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Blog — "Baltimore"

A Weekend of Relaxation

Heidi Shenk "Baltimore" "Finn" "outdoors"

This weekend was completely relaxing. Nothing crazy that needed to be done and minimal work on the fence. Andrew finished up what needed to be done last weekend, so he spent some time making a tree planter box and a storage box out of left over cedar. The tree box will go in the front of the house and we hope to get a magnolia or cherry blossom to plant in it. The search for the tree will begin next weekend.

With some cooler, less humid weather on Friday and Saturday we were able to spend time outside in the evening. We enjoyed grilled squash, sweet potato, and sausage on Friday night and ate on the deck with our fun little lanterns.

And it wouldn't be summer in Baltimore without enjoying a good ol' Natty Boh. And by that, I mean, nearly a whole case of these somehow ended up in our fridge after someone was a little overzealous with buying beer for their softball game. And just to hint, that someone wasn't me. Not my first beer of choice ever, but if you live in Baltimore it's just one of those things you learn to like no matter how watery it may be. :)

So the weekend is over, but for me the relaxation continues because of summer break. It is an especially relaxing morning as I am without this little guy who was dropped off at the vet this morning for his little snip-snip surgery. So Lilah is asleep instead of the two rough-housing this morning.

So instead of me chasing animals around this morning, I have been given the opportunity to get some work done earlier in the morning and enjoy my coffee just a little bit longer.

What weekend activities did you enjoy? Hopefully it was just as relaxing as mine!

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First Thursday with The Dirty Guv'nahs and The Bridge

Heidi Shenk "Baltimore" "music" "The Bridge" "The Dirty Guv'nahs"

Every first Thursday of the month during the summer season, there is a free concert at the park in Mount Vernon hosted by quite frankly the best radio station ever, WTMD. This is one of the things I can add to my list of reasons as to why Baltimore is such a great city. People just getting out of work pop by the park, find a spot to sit with their blankets and lawn chairs, and enjoy their picnics, food truck delicacies, or brews from The Brewer's Art stand nearby. And it is inevitable that you always bump into other people you know, setting a wonderful social atmosphere-- almost like a big summer party.

This was an especially fantastic First Thursday this month because Baltimore's The Bridge was playing. Earlier, they had announced that they were calling it quits after ten years, so we wanted to be sure not to miss any chances to see them. The progressive bluegrass/jam band, as I like to categorize them (or sometimes I call them bluegrass on steroids), certainly didn't disappoint. They were greeted by a very appreciative crowd that sang and danced the whole way through the set, appropriately saving Bury My Bones in Baltimore for their encore.

In addition to The Bridge who closed out the night, we were pleasantly surprised by the band that played before-- The Dirty Guv'nahs. Based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, "The Guvs," certainly proved worthy, and I'll soon be making a trip to The Sound Garden in search of an album. Pure rock and roll and a bit of Americana mixed in is what The Dirty Guv'nahs had to offer, and I was more than happy to listen and enjoy.

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Design a Day Challenge: Day 29

Heidi Shenk "Baltimore" "cards" "challenge" "design a day" "design" "stationery"

Baltimore is a pretty inspiring place. So much history, architecture, and art in this vibrant city. Baltimore has a bad reputation, but after living here for four years, I feel like it is my duty to let people know just how cool it actually is. My shop name, Row House 14, is actually where I live-- a row house with the street address number 14. My house is my studio and that is how the name came about.

One thing that I love about the old Baltimore row houses is that many people have painted their doors brightly in colors that look fantastic alongside the brick buildings. When we moved into our row house, I was determined to do just the same-- I chose teal. (surprising, right?)

I love doors. They represent quite a bit in our lives. Recently, my mother made a complete doors series of woodblock prints that were beautiful. Her doors represented all sorts of places she had lived throughout her life. The Baltimore doors and her woodblock prints were equally inspiring today when I came up with these colorful door postcards. The colors are Baltimore and design woodblock inspired.

In addition to these fun postcards, I also worked on some note cards today that will eventually find their way into my shop. I felt this design quite inspiring in itself as it seems I have had all sorts of doors of opportunity opening for me lately.

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Rainy Day Music

Heidi Shenk "albums" "Baltimore" "Jayhawks" "music" "records"

I've got the rainy day blues. And by day, I actually mean days. Spring is usually beautiful in Baltimore. It's the time of year when we can look forward to weather in the low 70s, cherry blossom lined streets, tennis in the park, outdoor meals along the water, pints and music on the rooftop deck with friends. But March never warmed up (except for one beautiful Friday afternoon) and we're now a week into April still with no beautiful weather in sight. Instead, all we've seen are cold days with rain-- lots of rain.

Last night turned into a lazy night with homemade vegetable soup and bread. While cooking, music is a must so I turned to perhaps the most perfectly named album of all time-- The Jayhawks' Rainy Day Music. Rainy Day Music does in fact embody exactly how I feel on a rainy day. Slightly lazy with just enough energy to mimic the endless drumming of the rain on the sidewalks and streets. Minor keys made for melancholy days like these. Acoustic and electric tones mixed with a little organ weaved into melodies here and there. Vocals that are soothing yet leave you with that same slightly gritty feeling you have after being caught in a downpour. And melody lines that tease you with a pop of sun, only to see it disappear again behind the clouds once more. This album, no doubt, is most definitely rainy day music.

This morning I woke up with that lazy feeling again. Maybe it was the long school week, but more than likely it was the rain. So onto the stereo goes Rainy Day Music while I sit and enjoy my cup of coffee. And so far it is riding out the rain-- we have clouds now and maybe we'll be teased with that sun later.

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Whimsy, Arts and Crafts, and Moroccan Flair

Heidi Shenk "art" "Baltimore" "cards" "design"

I recently came across some of the most fabulous cards and envelopes-- beautiful white linen cards with envelopes to match. I am obsessed with quality so despite the fact that they were a little pricier than some of the papers I had been previously purchasing, I felt that it was a must to purchase these. I had a bit of a lull in the card making last month due to school obligations, but I have finally had the time to sit down and work on some new designs. Finally, this past weekend, I was able to print my designs using the new linen cards, and man are the superb!

As seems to be the usual case, my designs are quite eclectic. One design is arts and crafts inspired. Another is whimsically designed with a cursive "hello." And lastly, one design features a Moroccan inspired pattern. However, one things always remains the same-- they look amazing on these cards! Is it possible that I could potentially design the ugliest thing out there and have it look like a million bucks just because of the cards? I am convinced (not that I plan to do that). Already, I have sold two sets of luscious linen sets and I am printing several other sets for an upcoming trunk show at Alexandra Webb on Charles Street in Baltimore's Federal Hill. I plan on ordering more of this fabulous paper and designing quite a few more of these goodies in the upcoming week. Hope you love these lovely linen fibers just as much as I do!

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