I came across these photos yesterday.  Both from last year. Both taken on mornings of patchy sun and drizzle. Both of the beautiful mess we make when we allow time to unfold and let inspiration in.

We drank sloe gin with our bread and cheese and talked about painting weeds, hygge, hiding and learning to sit still.

We cut up apples and opened old notebooks and new parcels.

Happy weekend.


Beautiful mess
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 18 May 2012

I hung out of the bedroom window last night before closing the curtains. The garden has grown shadows and secrets under its new canopy of green. Sounds are more difficult to distinguish now but I could hear owls calling and the coarse, throaty cry of pheasants.

Inside the house, water was running for an evening bath, dull base sounded from upstairs, there were footsteps on the wooden floor boards, a dog whining in the kitchen below. I heard soft laughter from another bedroom, the hiss of a car on the wet lane and, close to me, my husband quietly turning the pages of his book.

Everything outside was growing, reaching up, beyond, through and around, looking for a place in the light. So many layers of living things.  Inside too.  Each one of us busy with our own precious life.  We weren’t together but we were connected, enjoying the same darkening evening, the same privilege of safety and the proximity of others.

hanging out
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 3 May 2012

Come back to Portland with me. To Beam and Anchor – a workshop and retail space in an old warehouse on Interstate Avenue. Alchemy has taken place there – nothing explosive or glittering – not the harsh shine of gold but its glow. Jocelyn and Robert Rahm and their partner, Currie Person, have created a warm hub of creativity – a place for makers to gather, to collaborate and to sell their work. It’s a space where creative dialogue will flourish. Upstairs everything is bathed in soft light but it’s all happening. Between the carpentry and re-upholstery workshops and Jocelyn’s studio at the front of the building, is a kitchen built by Jocelyn’s brother Bren – smooth cement work tops, walnut cabinets and a 100 year old farm table they describe as a “gathering place for collaboration, bread breaking and story telling”. This is the heart of the building, a reflection of its promise; the place where they hygge, inspire and restore each other and invite the local community to join them.

It took eight months to renovate the building and then carefully select and curate the beautiful things that are for sale downstairs. They have managed to combine careful attention to detail with warmth and the vitality of creative energy. The juxtaposition of raw industrial location and beautiful, handmade goods is affecting. The workshop and kitchen upstairs lend authenticity and presence to the ground floor. People step in off the street to the lovely groan and clank of heavy goods trains and immediately stop to savour the beauty of even the smallest objects and to chat for a while. Nothing is too precious to handle, including the people – their uncomplicated warmth, love of good design and belief in community is the cohesive energy behind the project. The palette is muted but the vibe is not. Watch this space.
Good things will flow from here.  http://beamandanchor.com



Beam and Anchor
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 30 April 2012

Almost six years ago I flew to Portland Oregon to train with the Gypsy Caravan Dance Company. It was spring.  Portland was in bloom.  Cherry blossom, rain, bookshops, clogs, fresh coffee, bright sunshine and dancing. Laughter. Then more dancing. I loved the city almost as much as the spirit and kinship of the studio.

Tribal belly dance is about connection – connection to our selves, to the music and to each other. It’s about moving with unified purpose, sharing and soul. Community is too, isn’t it?  I think about it a lot – Portland. And the importance of community.

I’m on my way back today. Part of me feels as if I’m flying home.  Maybe our spirit still travels occasionally to the places we have lived and loved.



On my way
Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 18 April 2012