Thursday, July 30, 2009

"The Fantastic Mr. Fox"

The trailer for the Wes Anderson directed "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" is out (thanks to the wonderful blog vintage kids' books my kid loves for bringing it to my attention!) and it looks pretty, forgive me, fantastic. And how could it not be? The classic Roald Dahl's story, the Anderson aesthetic, and voiced by a bevy of Anderson favorites (hello Bill) as well as Meryl and George and the brilliant Jarvis Cocker of Pulp... do you think it could disappoint?

Check it out here:

A pretty girl in pretty clothes

"I used to wear cocktail dresses and heels every day.
Basically, it took me a really long time to get ready."
-- Zooey Deschanel (Jane mag. June 2007)
Is there anyone cuter in the world than Zooey Deschanel? I've already mentioned that I'm looking forwarded to her super cute summer movie, "(500) Days of Summer" and her musical collaboration with M. Ward, in "she and him," is a favorite. But now with the discovery of a blog, "The Many Faces of Zooey Deschanel," devoted to her cool and pretty girly style - there is no denying that she is a style icon in the making. For all of this, it could be so easy to hate her... But then the fact that she comes off, in interviews, as both a private, non-Hollywood person as well as a smart, straight shooter just makes you want to be best friends with her. Life really is unfair.

Forget the whole Katy Perry comparison, doesn't she look like Marion Cotillard, especially in these two pictures? Maybe because she looks more serious. Like the French.

She gives being pale a good name too.

I still won't wear them, but she even makes crocs look semi-cute.

A little bit Dorothy, a little bit Amelia.

With her lovely big sister, Emily.

Still from movie - how cute do they look together?

all images via the blog, The Many Faces of Zooey Daschanel, of course.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"We are all held together by invisible thread."

image of Pablo Picasso and daughter via LIFE

I found the following poem/list by Raul Gutierrez here, but was moved by it so that I wanted to find out about the author. It turns out he's a really great photographer (his blog is called "Heading East") so it really is no wonder that he can paint such fantastic yet simple images with words. The poem moves beautifully from silly to moving and it really does get you in the last couple of lines. Read on.

"Lies I've Told My 3 Year Old Recently"

Trees talk to each other at night.

All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.

Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.

Tiny bears live in drain pipes.

If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.

The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.

Everyone knows at least one secret language.

When nobody is looking, I can fly.

We are all held together by invisible threads.

Books get lonely too.

Sadness can be eaten.

I will always be there.

by Raul Gutierrez

School days memories

The Christmas before my oldest son started kindergarten, my sister gave me this adorable keepsake book from Chronicle Books. Now son is in 2nd grade and the book is already stuffed full (maybe I need to be more choosy about our keepsakes).

School Days offers space to record facts about each of your child's school years--friends, favorite subjects, teachers--and 13 accordion pockets to fill with report cards, awards, drawings, and writing assignments (my favorite). The book's sweet retro illustrations are just decorative icing on the very useful cake.

My middle child starts kindergarten this year, and I ordered another copy because I love this book so. What's better, I ordered during Chronicle Books' annual Friends and Family sale, so it was 35% off and shipped for free--same deal for any in-stock Chronicle item until August 5.

Maybe I should have ordered several copies. I can't imagine that one copy is really going to hold 13 years worth of the stuff I have to save, unless my enthusiasm wanes a bit as the years go by. Maybe 9th grade writing isn't as charming as 1st grade writing. Here's hoping.

shed love

I love small spaces. Cozy houses. Little nooks. When I was in elementary school I had a friend who had a tiny walk-in closet and we would have our sleepovers in it. So the leap to loving sheds - not so big. And isn't this just the loveliest shed, belonging to and photographed by BisyBackson, you've ever seen? Still plenty of rough and tumble and dirty tools, but I would love to hide out in it and read. A tiny little house surrounded by such lush greenery (and with 5 saws within arm's reach!) would just be heaven for a slumber party too.

all images by the lovely photographer BisyBackson

Monday, July 27, 2009

Scribbling in style

I have a confession. When I was kid, I would squirrel away my own new crayons and use my siblings' sets just because I did not want to wear the tips on my own Crayolas. There is just something about fresh box of crayons.....
I loved to color and I still do. Sometimes my son will move on to another interest and I will just want to finish the page we were working on. It is such a relaxing activity- sitting with a case of crayons and a coloring book that is just waiting to be filled up.
We have all sorts of coloring books around the house these days, but my favorites are the more unique sort. They make those lazy afternoons a little more exciting and they can be the perfect gift for that child that seems to have just about everything.

Taro Gomi has a series of coloring and drawing books (Scribbles, Doodles, Squiggles) that are just plain cool. There are pages and pages that vary from layouts with instructions to open spaces that allow imaginations to run wild. They are so imaginative and often funny.

A favorite from my childhood that is still around is Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book Ever. It is not only filled with coloring opportunities, but all sorts of activities that involve cutting, gluing, writing....I remember working so diligently (as diligent as a 2nd grader can be) on this book and loving every minute of it.

Small Magazine has an original coloring book on Etsy that is very sweet and just off the beaten path. A unique art experience for those looking for a little something different.

If you have not colored in awhile, I suggest giving it a try. You might be surprised by how freeing it feels to pick up those crayons again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

toy city vs. miniature country

This is a passage from Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" that has always resonated with me - the desire to live in both the country and the city at the same time.

Esther Greenwood talking to her sometime boyfriend Buddy Willard:

"Remember how you asked me where I like to live best, the country or the city?"

"And you said..."
"And I said I wanted to live in the country and in the city both?"
Buddy nodded.
"And you," I continued with a sudden force, "laughed and said I had the perfect setup of a true neurotic and that that question came from some questionnaire you'd had in psychology class that week?"
Buddy's smile dimmed.
"Well, you were right. I am neurotic. I could never settle down in either the country or the city."

How about you? Are you more of a city person:

image by isayx3

image by mausheld

image by outdoorphoto

Or do you prefer the country?

image by karenw82

image by doobrady

image by tch1337

Clearly, the only thing I do know is that I want to live in a miniature world!

And, if you don't know already, there is an online application that makes tilt shifting so easy to do. Check out to manipulate your own pictures and make your toy towns.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

kitten season

image via FFFFOUND!

My boyfriend and I found a kitten outside of his house a few days ago. It is either a stray or a throw away, but either way it is in tough shape - a few singed whiskers, a couple of cuts, a nicked ear, and very skinny. I would prefer to think that these are the marks of being a stray because I don't want to imagine anyone treating an animal so unkindly (even though I know people do). Though initially skittish, turns out that July (as we've named her) is incredibly sweet and affectionate. We've also had her checked out by a vet friend and she's doing okay, we just have to feed her little belly slowly and with lots of rich kitten food.

It also looks like we've found her a home (neither of us can keep her since we both already have felines). Two people have expressed interested in her and will be visiting her this week. Both are also library students (who don't know each other) and both made fun of the librarians + cats stereotype. Which is such a silly thing to apologize for when loving cats is such a wonderful thing (says this cat lady).

image via Books Rule

Anyway, it is kitten season and lots of cats (grown-up and little) are needing homes so if you've been thinking about it... now is the time (if you are in NC - "The Goathouse Refuge" is an amazing no-kill shelter run by a wonderful artist, Siglinda Scarpa). And please don't these sweet and adorable pictures sway you.... that is totally not my agenda. :)

image by Geninne's Art blog

image via FFFFOUND!

image via dainty doll

image via aL-baum

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Just living is not enough....One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."- Hans Christian Andersen

I was thinking the other day about bouquets. Strange, I know, but I had just seen a photograph at my parents' house from after my first dance recital. I was 4 years old. I'm standing in the living room at my grandparents' house- I'm wearing a pink ensemble I really don't remember, I'm just familiar with it from the picture, and I'm holding a tiny, ribboned cluster of white flowers that my parents had given me after the big number. The funny thing is, I do remember how crazy I was about that bouquet. It was just so beautiful and smelled like summertime. I had never held one before and I had seen that all the older girls had them too. I wanted to carry it everywhere.

I still feel that way about a bouquet. They feel special. I mean unless you are part of a wedding or a performance or maybe being honored in some way, you really don't have the pleasure of holding one very often at all. If only bouquets could maybe happen on some drizzling Wednesday or after your annual review or after you get your two-year-old potty trained. Now that would be something.....

Image courtesy of lisawarningerphotography

Calling in a sick day...

image by White & Wander via here

I feel a bit of a migraine coming on today so I think I'm going to hide out and follow this bear's lead: get in bed, cover my eyes. Here's a classic Shel Silverstein poem to go along with my whine.

by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox.

And there's one more - that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be the instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke.
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in.

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My toes are cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There's a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is ...
What? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is .............. Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

One year

I have a little one about to turn one. It has me thinking about how fast this year has gone, how she is not a baby anymore, and how we will celebrate. These images are inspiring me....

Image courtesy of sarahjanestudios via etsy

Image courtesy of whimzycreations via etsy

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of google

Saturday, July 18, 2009

MJ and the girls

I know I'm a little late to be posting about Michael Jackson. The truth is that, growing up, I wasn't the hugest fan (except for "We Are the World" and "Man in the Mirror" - I've always had time for weepy, mildly socialist ditties). While my siblings were going nuts over "Thriller," I was making a serious and passionate argument that the "Annie" soundtrack was way more rocking. That said, I cannot help but love and share this picture found on myvintagevogues. It's bizarre and funny and totally taps into my inner old lady. Hope it gives you a little joy this weekend too!

image via myvintagevogues

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thrift Home

image by gradiate

Yesterday I was listening to an episode of NPR's "The Story" (based in NC, but check out the podcasts - especially you, Mae!) titled "Spend Thrift" about Terri Thompson, a woman who convinced a home builder in Henderson, NC to let her decorate a model home entirely with secondhand and thrift finds. It was a huge hit, raised money for "Habitat for Humanity International," and introduced a ton of people to the joys of thrifting. The Frugal Design Showcase Home is not exactly my random style, but that's what's great about it. It looks like a regular nice home that's not full of retro finds or vintage knickknacks, but just a traditional home that's cozy and comfortable. It's not only a brilliant idea to warm up those cold new model homes, but also to show people who have never thought to go into a thrift store that they can find their tastes and styles there too in addition to, hello?, saving money. I also love those thrift stores that are designed to look like rooms in a home ("Vintage Revival" in Hillsborough, NC comes to mind) - I always end up wanting more than I would otherwise. I'm such a sucker for presentation...

image by pixeljones

image by h. wren

image by darkhairedgirl

image by Luke H

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ideal setting

I have seen the movie Something's Gotta Give so many times I have lost count. It is not because I am huge Jack Nicholson fan or a die hard Diane Keaton follower and it isn't because the movie was one of the most award-winning films of 2003. The fact is- I am in love with the main character's house. It is an amazing beach home, the epitome of luxurious coastal living and I would watch that film over and over just to get glimpses of the rooms, the furniture, the palette , the accessories.....see for yourself.

The whole house is just so calming and comfortable , but light and airy. I decided to poke around and find out who designed the space. As it turns out I am certainly not the only person taken with the home- there were quite a few articles written about designer James Radin and his work. Radin was the filmmaker's interior designer and she brought him in to work with the set and production designers. The result is my ideal setting, so I had to take a peek at the rest of his work.
Interestingly, Radin also contributed to the 2006 film The Holiday- another movie I have watched time and again, getting lost in the rooms and admiring their details. The two living spaces below are from that film.

Radin's portfolio is a library of incredible images- these are just a few. I can't get enough of this guy. If only he did house calls....

Images courtesy of Cote de Texas and House Beautiful


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