Friday, March 30, 2012

that painting from "Modern Family"

The show "Modern Family" makes me laugh- I know I am not alone there. But, have you ever stopped giggling long enough to check out the three family homes? They are each so lovely (of course not 100% realistic given that nobody ever has anything out of place and they are super duper accessorized, but I digress....) and during the recent string of reruns, I have taken to checking out the family's surroundings.

One thing I was really curious about was this painting below from the foyer of Jay and Gloria's house....
It caught my eye every time it was on the screen. Thanks to the site Chasing Props, a very cool spot that lists where you can find certain decorative items from some of your favorite television shows, I found out the artist Nathan Rohlander is responsible for the work called "Junk Food", 2002.
Sometimes it seems like the Internet can answer even the most random question, doesn't it?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2 Easter Projects

I have two simple projects planned for the Easter holiday season to help decorate the house. The first is a paper craft that adds a little character to those dyed eggs. All you need to do is print out these stencils onto craft paper and snip yourself a few of the little critters featured in the above shot. They will be part of our holiday centerpiece.
For a hands on activity that even toddlers can do, the lifestyle blog four flights of fancy provides step by step instructions on how to create snazzy Easter eggs decorations with whatever art materials you might have on hand and some clear contact paper. The perfect thing to display on your windows or make into a garland and the design is completely up to the kids!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

descriptive writing

I am in awe of the writers who can move you through time and space, ultimately putting you where and when their stories take place. Being pulled so far into a story that you lose track of the hours and your own world is one of the greatest pleasures of reading.
In a novel I read recently, I was completely impressed with the author's various descriptions of Boston in late autumn. But, it was not because he was transporting me to a time and place I had never been, it was because he perfectly summed up a season in a city where I had lived in a simple paragraph. In so many words, he got it.... just how I saw it and felt it. When that happens, it is almost more impressive than being transported to another place and is at least equally amazing.

By early November in Boston the trees have lost most of their leaves. On wet days the branches and trunks are black and slick looking. In the afternoons a damp hard wind blows off the harbor, and then darkness swells up out of the tar streets, and the traffic lights shine like jewels. It is not winter but no longer truly fall, and the tourists are gone, and the city is stripped down to a tight rhythm of moneymaking: the mouths of subways suck in clots of workers and breathe them out again across town; the streets are full of taxis and delivery trucks and touched with a kind of coldness and sadness I have always secretly liked. - A Little Love Story, Roland Merullo

Monday, March 26, 2012

Helen Musselwhite

Artist Helen Musselwhite specializes in paper sculpture and collage. Her work is comprised of layered, intricately illustrated, folded and cut papers. They come together to form another world, a peek at another time and space.
Her work is varied and interesting and her site has numerous galleries to browse.

I think the pieces under glass domes are incredible and even among the amazing colored works, the all white paper collages are my favorite.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday, paper garlands, and etsy

Image courtesy of concretehoney

Paper garlands are an inexpensive way to make a party more festive or a room more memorable. They also make a sweet and different (plus easy to mail!) birthday gift.
There is no shortage of designs and colors in the vast array of snipped, stitched, drawn, or folded paper garlands found on etsy.
These are just some of the patterns I fell for while clicking over the selection.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

color wheel dressing

In one of my studio art classes in college, we spent weeks on the Munsell color system. I still have a lot of the projects relating to that class and, until very recently, also had the Munsell binder (which is a classic three ring job just filled with volumes of what resembles paint chips)- because all that color is just hypnotizing.
The color wheel has guided quite a few of my artistic endeavors since then and informed some of my clothing choices. Now I am no fashion plate, if I am being 100% honest, I flatlined in the fashion department long ago, but I always follow the rules of the color wheel.
The blog academichic has a cool post, Fashion 101, that talks about color relationships in fashion and making good choices.
It is a beginner's guide to mix and match :).

Images courtesy of google and academichic

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

deviled eggs

Check SpellingSo, I have come to the conclusion that this is a subject people feel passionately about (strangely), either they think deviled eggs are delicious or they really, really dislike them. If you fall into the latter category, read no further....if not, I am so excited because from Easter to Labor Day is deviled egg season!
I am a big fan of them. I love that they have their own piece of super specific serving ware. I even got the cookbook Deviled Eggs:50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy from my sister.

My favorite recipe is the most simple one I think. It is perfect for picnics or brunch and I never get tired of it!


6 eggs, hard cooked and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
pinch of salt (optional)
fresh ground black pepper (optional)
smoked paprika (optional)

Cut eggs in half. Arrange egg whites cut side up on a serving plate and put the yolks in a small mixing bowl. Mash yolks with fork then stir in mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar. Mash and stir all ingredients together well. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Spoon a little bit of the mixture into each egg white half, dividing mixture as evenly as possible between the eggs. Sprinkle eggs with smoked paprika if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Yield: 12 deviled eggs

Monday, March 19, 2012

Children's Book Week Poster 2012

The Children's Book Council has the 2012 Children's Book Week (May 7th-13th) poster and bookmark available on their site!
The poster, by acclaimed illustrator David Wiesner, is particularly awesome this year because it celebrates classic children's book characters. In order to receive one, or many, all you have to do is order the amount you would like on the site and pay for postage on a self addressed envelope.
The bookmark is even easier- you simply click on Lane Smith's illustration on the site, save the image on your computer and print on heavy paper- instant Children's Book Week bookmark!

Friday, March 16, 2012

calling all patrons

My town did a survey this winter to find out what the average person thought of the library and if, as well as how, they used our public library. Over the course of the last three weeks the local paper has published a series of articles regarding the results of this survey. The articles were both inspiring and discouraging....
It was a shame to hear just how many people never use the library, but I was really impressed by the "Friends of the Library" group here in town and I fully intend to join. This is a funny sort of post- the only point is to remind everyone to use their community library. In an age of everything being at your fingertips through your home computer, libraries are severely under utilized and in danger of losing funding.
The services libraries can provide go beyond borrowing materials, most have wonderful children's programs- such as book clubs and story hours. Libraries can have museum passes available and they offer workshops and speakers open to the public. However, if there are low circulation numbers and sparse attendance, there is a danger these programs and resources could disappear.
Once upon a time, I imagine as soon as you moved somewhere and settled in, you went and got a library card- how else could you get books for yourself or your family or where else would you or your kids find information or research? Now, when a library can often be viewed as a simple spot for lending, I doubt that getting that card is nearly the priority it once was to people.
This weekend I am taking my five-year-old to get his own library card. He could not be more is a step in the right direction.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

bicycle baskets

On my list of cool things I would like to have is an old timey bicycle, complete with giant basket. I suppose I could ditch the vintage bike idea and just get a neat-o basket for my Mongoose....something to consider.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Forsythia are Spring. They are usually in bloom during that part of early Spring when people burn the brush in their yards and a jacket is still necessary if you are outside. Around here, Forsythia flourish and there are flashes and bursts of yellow in nearly every yard it seems.

It has been an unseasonably warm Winter, so I would not be surprised if very soon those bright flowers were everywhere, but if you are impatient- you could always "force" some Forsythia branches. They are the perfect candidate for blooming indoors- woody and deciduous (according to Martha Stewart the best type of shrub/tree for forcing), there is a simple how-to if you wish to enjoy the pretty yellow-ness inside as well as in your yard.

Images via google and designmegillah

Monday, March 12, 2012

Considering CSA

This year I really want to try a share, or a half share, in our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I think it will inspire me to test new recipes and hopefully encourage the kids to try new foods, but also it would just feel good to support a local farm.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept, the site, Local Harvest, explains Community Supported Agriculture-
Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. also provides tips for potential CSA members and a list of questions you may want to ask a farm before committing, as well as a how to guide. On top of all that, there is a searchable map that allows you to see if there are any CSAs listed in your area....although, I bet local farmer's markets would have a lead on them, too.

**I love that listed in the fall portion of our local CSA are cider donuts and pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns- it is worthy all the different sorts of leafy greens to get to those :)!**

Sunday, March 11, 2012


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