Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holly Farrell and vintage wallpaper

Whenever my darling husband wants to tease me about the blog - his go-to is "vintage wallpaper." 

And though none of us have dedicated a single post to the topic - the idea of this blog being super passionate about "vintage wallpaper" apparently makes him smile because, as he claims, it suggests not only our particular taste but also how intensely we can talk about such divine things like end pages, paper dolls, or the color aubergine. So, in other words, my man's reference to "vintage wallpaper" is a cute way to point out how dorky we can get on this blog. And the truth is that we are MAJOR dorks and dorkily in love with what we love. Therefore, for him and to him - I'm finally going to say it out loud and publicly... I freakin' love vintage wallpaper. Long may it live!

Case and point: 
I cannot get enough of the vintage wallpaper patterns found in many of Holly Farrell's paintings. I especially love how the colors and patterns in the background play so beautifully with the objects found in the foreground. Don't you think that objects like cookbooks, Barbies, shoes, or a even flyswatter look so much prettier when accented by a wall of dizzying pink blossoms or falling teal and yellow feathers? And though I so wish Farrell had an Etsy shop or a place to buy some prints - for now we all must make due with admiring her lovely website: http://www.hollyfarrell.com/


Monday, November 29, 2010

Salt Dough Ornaments

In the window between Thanksgiving and Christmas I usually like to do some projects with my kids that will wind up being part of our gift to the grandparents. This year I am giving salt dough ornaments a try. I remember making these for our tree and for my grandparents and I'm anxious to have my little guys create their own. I found a very easy, step-by-step, dough recipe and pointers at Kaboose.com.

Although they note the project is for 7-year-olds and up, I really think if parents are handling all of the oven work (obviously) and monitor the painting- really even toddlers can participate (nobody wields a paintbrush like my 2-year-old!).

From Kaboose- This shiny Christmas dough ornament craft is the perfect finishing touch to decorating the tree. It can also be altered and made into lapel pins, magnets and gift-toppers.

What you'll need:
½ cup salt
1 cup flour
½ cup water
Rolling pin
Cookie sheet
Miniature cookie cutters: star and Christmas tree
Acrylic paints: green, yellow, and various colors of your choice for tree ornaments
Glitter glue or glitter paint

How to make it
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Mix together, salt, flour, and water until dough is formed.
3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. Do not add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.
4. Roll out the dough to about ¼” thick with a rolling pin that has been dusted with flour.
5. Use cookie cutters to cut out as many trees and stars as you want.
6. Use a toothpick to make a hole toward the top of the shape. Poke the toothpick into the shape, then holding toothpick straight up and down, make a circular motion as if you were stirring something. Keep circling until the hole is the size you want.
7. Place all shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place into the preheated oven.
8. Bake for 2 hours.
9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
10. Paint. ( When paint is dry, use glitter glue or glitter paint to put a sparkling cover coat on your ornaments. )
11. When dry, thread ribbon through hole and tie in a knot in the back.
12. Tie onto package.

If your toppers are large enough, you can make two holes in each so that you can thread ribbon through like a button, only showing a small amount of ribbon on the front.
These make adorable pins to wear to school. Just don’t make a hole. Glue a pin back to the back of the completed ornament instead.
Uncooked salt dough doesn’t keep well, so only make enough dough for the ornaments you are going to make. If you are only making a few toppers, halve the ingredients above. The listed amounts will make enough ornaments for a classroom of 20.
While I was researching this project, I came across some sophisticated and intricate examples of salt dough ornaments that I just loved at katyelliott.com. These beautiful snowflakes are inspiring me to make some "grown-up" ornaments as well!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Images

Around this time every year, I wish that Norman Rockwell still created magazine covers. I think his artfully captured marriage of the exaggerated and the familiar is unparalleled. His depiction of expressions and, equally impressively, an overall spirit or emotion, are accomplishments that remain admirable and incredible decades after his pencils and paints touched the paper.

If you ever find yourself around Stockbridge, MA- there is no excuse- you have to drop by the Norman Rockwell Museum. It is home to 574 Rockwell works and celebrates his tremendous contribution to American illustration.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”

So I got married last week and though I've still feeling the love and happiness of marrying such a sweet and wonderful man (blah, blah, blah) - there is still nothing that feels as good as a good song about heartbreak. For example, Adele's "Someone Like You..."

Oh, and thx to a dear friend of Lorelei's for posting this video to his facebook page from which I swiped it (by the way, LL's friend also has a pretty amazing blog - check it out if you can stand following a blog that is, like, 100 times cooler that this one: http://www.fiftyfivehundred.org/).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

a toast to vivi and mr.

I met Vivi in 7th grade science class. We pretty much immediately hit it off. We had a lot of important things in common. It had been surprisingly difficult to find another preteen Streisand fan and watcher of The Golden Girls up until then.
I have always considered her one of the best people I have ever known. Anyone who knows Vivi is aware of her intellect, compassion, and incredible sense of humor. She is one of those rare folks you can turn to in life's scariest or saddest moments and she instantly helps. No matter the demands of her own world, she will take the time to ground a friend who is adrift or bring a laugh when it is needed most.
I don't know Mr. all that well, but from what Vivi has told me and from what I have seen- in addition to being creative, funny, and generally wonderful... he is one of those rare folks too.

A wedding, in the simplest sense, celebrates love. A marriage is part celebration, but also it is about navigating life's constant chaos and I think Vivi and Mr. have a good team going. It is all about meeting the perfect partner- they just come in so handy.

Vivi is one of the first friends I found for myself as I was growing out of childhood. We were not brought together because our families were friendly or because we lived in the same neighborhood or happened to share the same kindergarten teacher. Twenty-three years ago, I decided to strike up a conversation with the girl sitting at the lab table behind me- in my whole life- it will always be one of the best decisions I ever made.

I wish Vivi, and her Mr., nothing but happiness- because nobody deserves it more.

Thursday, November 4, 2010



I am totally impressed with the site newdressaday.com. It is the handiwork of Marisa, who (after being sparked by the film Julie & Julia) decided to tackle her own year-long creative endeavor. She blogs:
The only shopping that I’ll be able to do is that of pieces that have been used and worn already. So long to mall trips and hello to sifting through piles of vintage pieces at flea markets and at neighborhood garage sales. Each day for the entire year, I’m going to introduce a new piece into my existing wardrobe that I’ve found from these places. On top of this, I’m giving myself a budget of $1 a day.

At a time when folks are growing more aware of recycling and re-purposing, her blog is not only creative and humorous, it is inspiring.
As a non- sewer, I was constantly fascinated by how she could hem and stitch her way into a whole new look. I was particularly charmed by the non-glossy, funny presentation of her creative process and the slew of "before and after" photos.
There are only 25 days left in Marisa's self appointed challenge- you should check out her blog before her year is up!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sally Storch

I know absolutely nothing about Sally Storch, but recently came across her work on this amazing tumblr page and fell in love. Her cityscapes and bedroom scenes feel like the female French version of Edward Hopper to me (and though she's American, it seems as if there really is a French influence according to this biography).

via ptutoy


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