Monday, November 30, 2009

Art within Art

There is no artist more productive than the toddler finger painter. They crank out masterpieces by the dozens and before you know it, you have more than enough art for every wall of your home (not to mention 95% of the pieces are giant smears of multicolored goo, these are toddler artists after all). It just doesn't feel right to toss all of the excess art into the recycling once your fridge is covered and the baby books are I looked around for an alternative.
I heard from the teacher of the toddler art classes at the library that she uses the surplus of her kids' paintings as wrapping paper for the relatives. Another helpful friend suggested making gift tags and mailing labels from the extras. My favorite idea came via the blog blogger, an artist herself, took some of the paintings her children had done and using simple templates (of her own design), created art for their rooms.

I think this is such a fantastic idea. What could be better than the miniature artists in your own home contributing to the design of their rooms?
I love the versatility of this project. The templates could be the simple outlines of train cars, bugs, any variety of animals.....whatever is most suited to the child and the room. Sarah Jane was generous enough to supply the templates from the gallery on her blog, but if you want to try something different you can do a search for clip art or silhouettes and come up with many fun options. At last, the proper showcase for finger paints!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shirley and her girl

I bookmarked this picture of Shirley MacClaine with her daughter on A Cup of Jo because I just thought it was so incredibly fun and goofy and just the kind of relationship I'd want to one day have with my children. Turns out that there are plenty of other pictures of Shirl and her girl, Sachi, hamming in it up in front of the camera which I adore just as much. Speaking as someone who has none, I know that having kids is hard and stressful and not always easy, but it also looks like some of the most fun you can ever have too. Maybe I'm being a little too romantic about one day being a mother, but these two make motherhood look so darn joyful.

via imbd

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The ladies of "Hiving Out" are out for the week. We are taking a holiday break from posting this week in order cook a couple of turkeys, grade a number of papers, keep a few kids swine flu-free, and rest up for the rest of the year. Hope you have a great holiday too!

(Vintage pictures of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade courtesy of straatis. Aren't they neat?)





Sunday, November 22, 2009

Manon Gignoux

There is such a dreamy and other-worldly quality to Manon Gignoux's aesthetic that I just adore. If you haven't heard of her - she's a French stylist, designer, and artist and everything she creates from jewelry to surreal fabric statues to her own workspace seems to reflect a meeting of reality and fantasy. She sees her own work as existing "between art and fashion" and I love how she explains her influences:

"The origins of my work can be traced back to my last year of study at France’s Duperr√© School of Applied Arts when I carried out a photographic study of the clothes worn by workers in the early 20th century and explored the "traces of wear and tear" on clothes. Starting with details of a hundred or so photographs taken from books, I filled research notebooks and ended up with four themes: the "carpenter" or the traces of alteration, the "washerwoman" or the imprint of repeated movements, the "inside-out suit" or the dynamics of (de)construction, and the "woman shopkeeper" or the encounter between work clothes and everyday life and the way an object that is worn fits the body."

- from Manon Gignoux's "creative approach" statement

via Bloesem

via sam's notebook

via Facteur Céleste
via pia jane bijkerk

To see more of Gignoux's work go to her blog: Manon Gignoux
To see more pictures of her amazing studio go to: pia jane bijkerk

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, a living room tent, and Etsy

"Shady Lake" is a mixed media painting on a map by rachelaustin

It's getting too cold for outdoor camping, but the weather is perfect for setting up a tent in the living room. So gather your blankets and sheets and use this and this to inspire your construction, but leave it to Etsy for all the indoor camping extras the whole family is going to need...

Yes, even indoor campers need fire and food (but know that not all of it needs to be real):

"basic campfire package" by mysticwill

"portable smores" by katystinykitchen

"The Campout" handpainted glass plates by nunostudio

And don't forget that every camper needs his or her own personal light to keep the night time creatures and shadows away...

"foreveReady flash" (a child's all wood flashlight) by ForeverandAfters

"The Mason Firefly" (a mason jar light) by themasonry

...unless, of course, the campers are the ones making the scary shadows and cuddling with the night time creatures....

orangemoontoys has an array of shadow puppets and even kits to make your own.

"Little grey-eyed owl" by squishyfish

"Brown Owl with Rainbow Feet" also by squishyfish (her owls have such great faces and feet!)

And let's not forget the importance of classic camping games...

"1951 Go Fish Card Game" via tippleandsnack2

vintage and wee pocket game for chess or checkers via violin1

"Animal Track ID Memory Game Set" by thewhimsytree

And with the dying embers of the fire, there is always so much to record and so much to write "home" about...

"camping cards" by laurabrownart

"Teeny Tiny Camping Trip Stamps Set" by Tresijas

"Bird Watcher Letterpress Journal" by OldSchoolStationers

And once the little ones are sound asleep and dreaming under a night sky of their own making - the following items are just the things grown-up indoor campers need...

"Toasted Smores Soy Candle" by Buzzabee

"Vintage Thermos" via JennyHopscotch (filled with hot chocolate... or a hot toddy)

3 vintage ghost stories (2 for the kids, but Poe for the adults) via coriandervintage

"Bright Plaid Wool Blanket" by AllieRuth

"Log, Soft Sculpture" by sallyenglanddesign

With indoor plumbing and only imaginary mosquitoes - this is, without a doubt, my kind of roughing it...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Max and Ruby

Max and Ruby, the sibling bunnies created by Rosemary Wells, are turning thirty! If you are in the New England area, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is celebrating this milestone with Ms. Wells on November 22nd from 12-5.
Max and Ruby are darling no doubt, but author/illustrator Ms. Wells is quite fascinating herself. Over the years, she has re-released many of her picture book classics, such as Noisy Nora and Timothy Goes To School, with updated illustrations. As a fan of the originals, I always thought this was interesting, but given that decades later her books are still popular favorites, she knows what she is doing! Some Max and Ruby through the years for you .....

All images courtesy of Google

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vivi minus Bootsie

So these altered comic strips are reflective of me now - a little strange and lonely without a smartalecky friend...

One of my dearest and loveliest friends, Bootsie, recently moved away to Alabama. I've known her for about around 7 years and in those 7 years we've laughed ourselves into stupors and have agreed on absolutely everything from books to boys. We've also agreed on absolutely nothing and have argued in the way only 13 year old girls know how to do (dramatically and viciously). Thank goodness we've also always made up like 13 year old girls too (dramatically, yes, but also sincerely).

Bootsie moved because she wanted a change, to be some place different and to do something different. I am so proud of her for wanting to shake things up and challenge herself in her life. I just don't like that it has to happen 8 hours away...

Anyway, Bootsie also introduced me to the wonderfully bizarre and brilliant "Garfield minus Garfield." It's a blog (and I quote) "dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle." Who knew that without the lasagna lovin' cat - Jon's life would become a series of three panelled Kafka stories? (Thanks, B., for the philosophical crisis... and I hope your unpacking is going well!)

(all comic strips from "Garfield minus Garfield")

Monday, November 16, 2009


I'm loving the photographs titled "under" by Brock Davis via his flickr photostream, Laser Bread. So fun and clever!


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