Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Times Tidbits

Did you know that retired London subway cars have now become affordable work space for artists? Thanks to the Village Underground, who bought the cars from the London transport authorities, gutted and renovated them, and now rent them to artists for approx. $60 a week. Did I mention that they are on the roof of a warehouse, too? Such creativity, ingenuity, vision and resourcefulness - I love it! [read more here]

Speaking of creativity in re-purposing things, there was a feature on Wieki Somers, who likes to find the beauty in everyday things, like turning a boat into a bathtub.

Looking for an addition to your design library? Check out Modern Americana: Studio Furniture From High Craft to High Glam by Julie Iovine and Todd Merrill.

And lastly, I appreciated the page dedicated to dressing boys by Ellen Tien. Finding non-jersey, non-sports-related, not sloppy boy clothes are such a challenge, and there were some fun combos represented. I do wish, though, that the shoes had been listed as well. I'm all about the shoes. [To see the complete slideshow, click here]

Monday, September 29, 2008

Birthday Delights

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to have my birthday parties at McDonald's. Until I was about 6 years old and realized that I could have ponies come to my house instead. I haven't had McDonald's in years, but I have such good memories of the place - Ronald and his big shoes, the bouncy cage things on the playground, the french fries. No McD's this birthday, but it was a good one. Slept in until 9:30 am [I can't believe that this is my definition of sleeping in now!] on Saturday, went to see Ghost Town [it was really good - heart-warming and hilarious], did a little shopping and lots of good eating [my parents brought up a cake from A Piece of Cake - the best cake ever]. And some sweet people gave me some sweet gifts...

[Earrings from give a penny. designs from ma mere and pere]

[A book on the making of Princess Di's wedding dress from Weez...I've always been intrigued with the British monarchy, and I remember asking my parents when I was little how I could become a princess and thinking it was totally unfair when they told me you were born into royalty.]

[And this beautiful paper from a new friend; she bought it at a store I have been meaning to check out called Toots & Magoo, but I've always had both boys with me whenever I'm in the neighborhood and they aren't the best shoppers. Now I just need to decide how to use it - oh, the possibilities!]

The boys went shopping as well, and I got a big bag of "mommy candy" [Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids] and magazines...a perfect gift.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Birthday Hints

Reggie keeps asking me for some hints on want I want for my birthday, which is this weekend. I keep trying to think of something small, you know, just a little token gift, but I keep coming back to these two things:

[Branch Twig ring, $675. It comes in silver, too, but I like the gold.]

[And a dog, preferably one like Bradley, my friend Emily's. He's a Yorkie, but not a little yippie one...don't want a dog that's too small with all the action around our house. You know who else has really cute dogs is Erika. They are terrihuahuas - so cute!]

Here's a fun fact: I had dropped the hint about a dog for my 25th birthday, and Reggie was looking into it, but then we found out I was pregnant - an even better surprise! We decided to wait a little while on the dog...still waiting...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blurb All About It

I wrote about these gorgeous books a week or so ago, but here's another [cheaper] option for custom photo books - Blurb. I used Blurb to make a Christmas present for my parents last year [pictured above], and I am planning to make another one this year. The images + printing were great [although, this year I am definitely going to get a hardcover book instead of the softcover - the edges of softcover tend to curl-up and it bothers me] and it was relatively easy to make. I say relatively because if you wanted to customize a template [the font, font color, etc.], you had to do it for every page [I think they may have changed this since last year], so it took me a while to get it the way I wanted it.

One really great thing about Blurb is that you can "slurp" your blog, meaning the program will take all of the content [images and text] from your blog and put it into a book. Very cool. I figure each year I will just slurp my family blog into a book and there's our photo album for the year. No cutting, pasting, taping, or gluing involved. And they start at only $29.95* for a portrait size [8.5 x 11"] hardcover. It makes me happy just thinking about it.

*And if you order your book by 9/30, you can get $15 off your book purchase of $34.95 or more [enter code encore at checkout]!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Times Tidbits

Lots of interesting things in the Times this Sunday...here are my top 4 morsels:

A biannual magazine called The Last Magazine, a play on all the talk that print media will soon become obsolete [may it never be!], will hit newsstands in October. The founders of the magazine describe it as a mix between newsprint and an art book, and want to use it to showcase new talent [artists, directors, designers, writers, musicians...]. The magazine will be over-sized, printed on refined newsprint. Being the magazine addict that I am, I will let you know when I spot it and what I think!

Ellen is the new face of the Cover Girl ad campaign, which will start running in January. I don't get to watch her show often, but I'm always laughing whenever I do, like the time she had Jenna Bush call her dad live from the show. So funny.

Parents in Amsterdam can be seen riding these bad boys. Holy Schmoly, how awesome is that?! It's like a foot-powered car on two wheels with cargo space and all!

And lastly, I learned that Houston is being called the new Miami. I know a lot of people think of Houston as oil and concrete, but there is a lot, lot more to the city than that. A vibrant arts scene, incredible restaurants and shops, an opera and ballet, etc, etc. The museums are awesome, partly because of all that oil money. And the restaurants, oh the restaurants...delicious and quirky all in one, like Cafe Brasil, where we used to walk to on Saturdays to read the paper [this was before we had a mobile youth!]. Anyway, I've never been to Miami, but Houston was already high on my list.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Crazy for Cardies

Ah, the cardigan. It's so nerdy and hip at the same time. I love them. I love that grandpas have been wearing them for decades and here they are all over the place for young and old. I tore out the image above from the Anthropologie catalog before we moved with plans to order, but then got totally distracted and didn't and now the cardigan isn't available anymore. Anyway, I just found the picture in one of my stacks and thought "I need more cardigans!" So, I've found some good ones out there...

[all from Anthropologie :: Looky-Here $106, Grandma & Grandpa $98, and Rising Sun $209]

[Theory :: Ange $345 and Gap :: The Belted Cardigan $39.99]

I bought the one from the Gap recently...I am planning to remove the belt loops and wear it sans the satin belt. Now, it just needs to get a little bit cooler around here!

And for the younguns, J.Crew's Crewcuts has some really cute sweaters, cardigans and sweater vests...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quiet Weekend

We were headed to Houston this weekend, but postponed our trip because of that mean old Ike. Not sure what we will do now...nothing will be quite as good as being with old friends. Any suggestions?!

A Year on the Wall

I just pre-ordered this 2009 wall calender from Miriam Bereson, and I can't wait to mark it up! It's so nice to see the entire year in one place, and in such a colorful, not boring way. Here's a close-up of last year's planner...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shades of Blue + Yellow

It's like the rain and the shine...two of my favorite colors in the '09 spring lines at NYC fashion week. Style.com has complete coverage of last week. I always enjoy seeing how designers mix colors and patterns and textures. And the hairstyles on the models, too. It's art walking down a runway!

Also, if you are interested in Pantone colors, the '09 Spring report has been released, and you can find it here...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh, Rain

It has rained a lot since we moved here, and when most of your getting somewhere involves walking, biking or waiting for a bus, it's hard to ignore and more than a little irritating. I saw this umbrella on In(side) the Loop and thought it was hilarious. My sentiments exactly only in another language so it sounds prettier and the kids won't know what it means!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Naked Decor

While I was searching for the flag pillows, I came across Naked Decor. They have some really fun pillows [including the majesty/union jack one] as well as other home accessories. The dachshund items were some of my favorites. Maybe it's because my friend Suzanne had two of them in high school, and she always made me laugh when she talked to "Beau-beau" and "Malkie" [their full names were Beau and Malcolm. I'm a nickname person, so I get the whole nickname thing it just made me laugh because they would get so excited and wag half their backside around]. Anyway, my two favorites in this category are the Happy Hot Dog pillow [$49.95] and the My Pet Lamp: Dachshund [$59.95].

Another cool feature of the site is a house tour of the designer's house...[I think this is cool because I am nosy and I like to see where other people live.] I especially like the first bedroom pictured below...I would've never thought to paint the ceiling that dark color, but it has such a calming, quiet effect that I love. And with the wood floors...oh, how I miss wood floors!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Union Jack

I've been on the search for the perfect pillow for my bed, and since my sweetie + I fell in love in London, I'm thinking one of these might be the one...

Now, I just need to decide which color...hmmmm...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tune In...

Michael Phelps is hosting the season premiere of Saturday Night Live this weekend. It'll be a late night [11:30 EST], but I can't wait!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Remember my obsession with moss? Here's some graffiti after my own heart...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Free + Easy

I am loving this Kooba bag. Partly because it's beautiful and partly because I get tired of schlepping so much stuff around. Doesn't it just scream "free and easy?!" [not so much "free" in the dollar sense of the word! Kooba Josephine Clutch, $385, available here]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Outside the Lines

I mentioned last week my 4-yr-old's love of pen + paper, which makes me oh-so-happy because it's something that I can relate to and love, and has nothing to do with wrestling or bad guys. The thing I love most about the way he has written his name [above] is that it is all over the page. The letters don't line up. They aren't in order. They are the way he thought best to write them.

When I thought about this it made me think about my favorite teacher at the SMFA who was always challenging us to get rid of all the rules that we had been taught growing up. Rules like writing in a straight line, coloring inside the lines, making everything neat and ordered. He taught me to really brainstorm, to say or write every single idea that came up, to not be afraid of "bad" ideas. And that by getting all those out you made room for the really interesting stuff. The ideas that don't flow out of what we think we should do because we've been trained that way, but ones that come from our own creativity. And for me, someone who was the best little rule-follower in school and cried her eyes out when she got a smiley taken away for talking during quiet time [another kid was encroaching on my drawing space; what was I supposed to do?], that's an amazing thing.

I hope that even when my kids do eventually write in a straight line, that they will always think outside the lines. And I'm going to frame this little piece of paper, and leave it on my desk so that I'll remember to keep things outside the lines!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Very Good Stock

Since we are planning ahead, here's an idea for an amazing gift that would definitely take some forethought. A custom, hand-bound book, filled with images from either your shoeboxes or computer files, as well as quotes or personal stories [if you so desire]. At Good Stock, this is their speciality and the books are gorgeous. The custom books do have a hefty price tag, but there are some lower cost options as well. Did I mention they are gorgeous?

Monday, September 8, 2008

'Tis the Season

The holidays have arrived at b.wise papers! I know, it's hard to believe with the school year having just started, but the holiday collection is now available. One of the things I love most about the holiday season is all the mail - yippee! It makes me giddy just thinking about it. And I especially love the ones with pictures [go figure].

The entire line of b.wise papers is made from 100% recycled/50% PC card stock, and each card is custom printed using soy and vegetable based inks. The print facility is also 100% wind-powered. We think you should be able to send something lovely and keep our earth lovely at the same time. So, get out your cameras and let's put together a rockin' card to send to all your family, friends and fans out there. If they are anything like me, it will make their day.

I've got some other things up my sleeve for the holidays too, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 5, 2008

If I were in NYC this weekend...

I would go check out the Collette x Gap pop-up store at Gap's Fifth Avenue flagship. The collaboration will be open from September 6th until October 5th and will include Collette products, Gap x Collette exclusives and collaborations with other designers. There will also be a series of Paris x NYC tees.

[Colette x Gap Repetto shoes]
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