Thursday, August 30, 2012

party hat artist extraordinaire

Artist Stuart McLachlan is an illustrator. He is an illustrator who began to explore the creative opportunities in paper styling and the result is quite awesome.
His children's hats are intricate and fun pieces of visual storytelling.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Count von Count

Recently, the man who was the voice of Sesame Street's The Count , Jerry Nelson, passed away. He had been a part of the Sesame Street family since the 1970's as a puppeteer and the voice of some of the show's characters, most recognizably the beloved Count.
The Count's crazy accent, silly laughter, and enthusiastic organ playing makes him a favorite in these parts. I'm posting a "Number of the Day" segment for all the Count fans out there....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

summer's end

I know today is not really the last day of the summer, but it is in this house because tomorrow is back to school! The summer went by so quickly and although I look forward to welcoming my favorite season....there are some things about the warm weather I always miss. Being at the ocean is probably top of the list.
Artist Annie Wildey does the most incredible paintings of the sea. Having one of these hanging in the house year round would be the best part of our summers right there on the wall!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ezra Jack Keats

Reproduced with permission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

The Jewish Museum in New York is responsible for putting together the first major exhibition celebrating the art of author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. His classic, Caldecott Award-winning picture book , The Snowy Day is considered a children's literature treasure, but his 20 year career yielded numerous amazing picture books.
Currently the exhibition, "The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats", curated by The Jewish Museum's Claudia J. Nahson, is at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA.
If you are scheduling a leaf peeping trip in western Massachusetts, you need to add this to your list of must-sees.
Reproduced with permission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Reproduced with permission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
Reproduced with permission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation
 Reproduced with permission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

 Images: The Jewish Museum and

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Forget Me Not

Call me, maybe?
Card from Broadway Paper via Style Hive

One of my dear friends is moving away and I thought the internet, specifically Etsy, would provide some consolation in the form of beautiful objects. Scrolling through the array of forget-me-not themed items and lockets harkening back to the turn of the last century reminded me of all of the nineteenth century cult-of-death things I encountered at the V&A in London and as a child visiting Civil War museums in my hometown of Richmond. Jewelry made from locks of hair, death masks, cameos...the Victorian era was obsessed with memory and mortality. 

By the end of my tour of all things lonely, I felt considerably comforted. Maybe because this kid has never asked for some of my hair. 

Deco forget-me-not ring from Etsy, $125

And another (also Etsy), $39

Remember not to forget me! Ring from Etsy, $18

Victorian locket from Etsy, $110

Forget-me-not cookie jar from Etsy, $125

Cameos, popularized by Queen Victoria, Etsy, $19

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

wedding parasols

Although I have lost count of exactly how many, I have attended a fair amount of weddings. Each one had special touches that made it distinctive and though there are a few elements I saw more than once- I have never seen a wedding parasol. I have never witnessed a bride or bridal party member carry one. They have never been available to guests (even at the blazing hot Cabo beach wedding) or part of the decor at any of the ceremonies or receptions.
I always look forward to how the design of every wedding is individual and unique .....I hope I see a wedding parasol one of these days.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

paper zoo

On the blog Handmade Charlotte there is a fantastic tutorial for making paint chip animals. The tutorial has printable templates (which is a huge bonus) and even tips for storage, but what I like most is that this is a DIY kid craft that can be altered in so many ways and still work.
You can use the template or design your own zoo of creatures. The paint chips have great color and weight, but this could be done with heavier scrapbook paper as well. You could leave your animals as they are or add drawn smiles, polka dots and hairy backs.
It is one of those crafts that could appeal to 2-year-olds and 10-year-olds alike (even 37-year-olds....).  Whether you use your animals as decorations or action figures, this is a winner of a project!

Monday, August 13, 2012

through the screen

Why is it that when I try to take a picture of Sweet Pea through the netting of his pack and play or the screen door - it just looks ridiculous and nothing like these cool images by Matthew Tischler? Clearly instagram needs to create a screen door filter for me very soon or else I'm going to be forced to buy one of these amazing prints. (By the way, wouldn't be a rainy filter be awesome too?).

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rosemary Loves Lavender

I attended the wedding of two enthusiastic home cooks last weekend in southern Vermont. The ceremony took place at an apple orchard; the reception was in the apple packing barn. It was beautiful. Their wedding motif was rosemary and lavender, which beats any of the themes suggested in the dozens of bridal magazines I read before my own wedding (Skiing? Disney? Debauchery?). Rosemary and lavender were used as colors for the bridal party and table decorations and an image of them adorned the couple's invitation. But I was most excited about the use of real herbs. The center pieces were lovely smelling potted herbs and sprigs of lavender were placed at every napkin.

But the very best use of the herbs were the cocktails. Named after the bride and groom, each was infused with a simple syrup flavored with lavender (hers) or rosemary (his). Both drinks were spins on a Tom Collins, with a base of fresh lemon juice, gin, and club soda. The bride's drink also contained lavender simple syrup and honey (making it a little like a Bees' Knees) and the groom's had rosemary simple syrup.

Recipe for a Tom Collins

Recipe for lavender-infused simple syrup (I think you could just substitute rosemary in place of the lavender).

Here are more nice things to be done with lavender and rosemary, whether or not you're altar-bound:

Rosemary cake from

Lavender cupcakes. Recipe here.

For favors?

Lavender confetti for a well-scented farewell!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

a plan

This photo made me spring into action. Instead of daydreaming, net surfing, and gathering images of all potential workspaces that I could maybe/sometime/one day fit into my house.....I am taking that weird wall area in the nook of my bedroom and putting up some prettily covered clipboards to get the stray paperwork under control. 
It will help with organization- one child to every clipboard, one clipboard for art projects, one for home projects, etc.. It will not require purchasing of furniture or shelving and I won't even need to move anything!
I even have a variety of papers for the covering part. I'm half a dozen clipboards away from home organization :).
Image: ecoetsy

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tiny Potatoes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the tinier something is, the more adorable it is perceived to be. See: babies, human; babies, animals; and vegetables, tiny potatoes. As seen in the photo above, tiny potatoes are delicious roasted in olive oil, salt, and mixed herbs (I cooked them for about 50 minutes at 375 degrees). I found mine at Whole Foods.

A few pieces on the Dakota Fanning of summer vegetables here, here, and here. I’m most excited about the last one, which uses lemon.

Serving an entire meal of baby vegetables as part of an elaborately staged hint to tell your husband you’re expecting, a la Rebecca in Full House is optional.

the three bears

This past weekend we finally saw Brave. It was just as good as all the critics, ages 4 to 62, had said - a lovely combination of exciting, sweet and funny.
Without spoiling anything, I will say my favorite character is the mama bear. I found myself laughing out loud, but also remembering a few of the books I had on my wishlist on at home. Sure enough, when I did check there were actually three titles that featured bears. By summer's end, I hope we get a chance to check them all out from the library....
 I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

 Bear in Love by Daniel Pinkwater
Otto the Book Bear by Kate Cleminson


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