Saturday, January 31, 2009

Climbing New Heights

Jake has been on the move, and has been making his way up and down the stairs for a couple months now. I can't stand the thought of him slipping and bumping his cute little lip, so, I have become very motivated to put carpeting on our sort of steep, wooden stairs. 

We had the walls painted Fernwood Green by Benjamin Moore, when we moved in. We managed to break the ugly light that was at the bottom of the stairs moving some furniture. No great loss. Except now, it's very dark. I want to lighten, brighten, safen (is that a word?), and fun it up. Here's what I'm thinking...

For the bottom and top of stairs, I ordered the Heath light in oil brushed bronze from Restoration Hardware (on sale for another day at 20% off!). This won out over the slightly funkier Jonathan Adler light from Shades of Light (photo on right). We're considering one of these two rugs from Dash and Albert. I'm liking the one on the left, Ricardo thinks maybe the one of the right. We're going to test them out and see what looks best. So, add some pictures on the walls and we'll have brighter, softer stairs for my little monkey!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Unrequited Love

It seems like every time we go visiting, Jake meets a new dog or cat. And he is IN LOVE. Madly, deeply, stars in eyes, in love. He even has a special word that I can only describe as pure, tender glee for these pets. Unfortunately, the recipients of his affections do not feel the same way and can't get away from him fast enough. It breaks my heart.

We'll be working on his technique.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BlaBla Buddies

I've seen some of these ADORABLE stuffed animals before, but just started looking at the website of blabla, and I have to say that each thing is cuter than the next. I didn't realize how vast their collection is. The company was started by "two long times friends" named Susan Pritchett and Florence Wetterwald who happened to come across villages of talented knitters on a journey to Peru. Inspired by the talent they stumbled upon, they decided to create their own (marvelous) collection of knitted toys and clothing for kids. I encourage you to read their bios...what interesting lives they've led!

From now on, all baby gifts will be purchased from here!

Everyone can be an author

How fun is this? My artist rep-turned-friend, Michael Thibeault from the Arts Counsel wrote to me to tell me about this innovative kids publishing company that he and his partner Fran have started called Think It Ink It. The idea is... through either a creative story writing kit, or through on-line instructions, kids can write their own story which is then transformed into a professionally illustrated book that comes with an author photo, bio, and dedication. Having a published book would look great on a college application, don't you think? Jake and I are going to get started right away!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Source of Disorganization

Ever since I had Jake, I've been using this enormous bag (exhibit A). I really like it because I can shove everything in it. Shove. That's the problem. It's a bottomless pit. Things go in, and rarely come out. I'm not even sure I want to KNOW what's in there. SO, I'm going to need this (exhibit B) slightly smaller, slightly more springy bag very soon. Thoughts?

Well, maybe the bag isn't the ONLY reason I'm disorganized but...

Where I want to be NOW

Am I completely delusional to think that it would be incredibly fun and relaxing to go on vacation w/ Jake to a nice simple little house in the Caribbean for a month?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Valentine's Pillows

Some super cute pink and red pillows... fun for every day! I'm on the search for some great BIG pillows for Jake's room. I've got my heart set on a few... but more on that later!

Grow Grow Grow!

Sad, Sad, Sad! It seems that one of my favorite small sites for kids clothes, Grow, Grow, Grow, is closing down. They're offering their baby clothes at half-off. Jake was wearing his little pumpkin romper this morning. They're very soft and comfy, although the colors are a little more muted than they appear on line. I'm off to order a few more!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tell two friends...

This musical mirror from Fisher-Price was one of the best toys Jake has had. His buddy Jared had one first (Jared has the best toy advice, ever), we told Quinn (who now has one), and so on. The great thing about this toy is that when your baby is very little you can hold your squishy baby on your lap, and see his/her face as he/she looks at the toy. Then, as they get older, it's fun to use to stand up, and now that Jake is walking around, he likes to dance with it. I wonder what he'll do next?

P.S. That's really not Jake's best photo...but you get the idea.

Mommy has other plans

I think Jake might go to the Yale School of Architecture so he can build Mommy and Daddy their dream house. Not that we'll push him or anything!

A Man with a Plan

Today we went to visit our buddy Quinn (son of one of my best friends), and I overheard Ricardo and her husband talking. Apparently (although it's been said, "we won't push him to do anything when he grows up, he'll choose what he wants to do"), Jake and Quinn are going to be left-handed pitchers for the major leagues because left-handed pitchers get $10 million dollar contracts. We don't actually KNOW yet if either of the little buddies are left handed, but I think that may be irrelevant in "The Plan". Not that we'll push him or anything.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dear Diary

I started a baby book for Jake (as any new mother SHOULD)...but the pressure! And then I messed it up, and skipped a month, and put the wrong month in the third month, and then there was really no going back from there. Which is RIDICULOUS because I have designed MANY baby books during my career. But, I wasn't even using one of the baby books I designed. I think BEING a designer will make it entirely impossible for me to ever come up with the perfect baby book for Jake. So, Jake has a diary that I fill in from time to time. It's got a plastic cover, and I got it from B&N. Basic, totally non-babyish (and I'm not even using an engagement calendar that I designed either!) But anyway it works, and if I mess up, there's no pressure....I cross it out, no problem. AND, it means that one of these days when I get around to creating the PERFECT baby book, I'll hopefully have all the important info. And, if nothing else, Jake will know what he did from week to week when he can read. Which might be tomorrow. He's gifted.

This baby book above from Molly West is what I might be looking for. My sister used it for her daughter who has the most excellent baby book on the planet because my sister is an illustrator. She illustrated, and hand wrote the whole thing. She has more patience than I do when it comes to things like this. But, I would have been a little picky, and glued another ribbon over that flowered ribbon on the spine. Maybe ribbon with sailboats.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not that anyone ASKED me but...

I've seen a lot of posts today about what interior design changes Michelle Obama might make to the White House. To help her out, I've created this inspiration board for their bedroom. I think it's a fresher, more modern look that would suit them much better than the Kennedy or Regan bedrooms (first, and second above) that I found on Hatch, the Design Public blog.

The curtains could be custom made w/ a box pleat, and perhaps a cornice on top. The lovely painting by Wayne Thiebaud could hang between the windows. Another really large painting (perhaps something of Chicago?) could hang above the bed. Walls would be painted bluey gray on top, and cream-ish on the bottom. The icky carpeting in the above photos could be replaced w/ hard wood floors w/ an area rug. End tables, and a nice comfy bed with fluffy pillows could create a relaxing evening after running the country and doing good deeds.

No one invited me BUT...

IF I had been invited to the inaugural ball, I would have worn this lovely Valentino gown, but I would have had my personal jewelry designer replace the little brooch in the center with one that had sapphires and rubies (like I added in the photo above), and I would have worn slightly dangly earrings. With blue shoes

Monday, January 19, 2009

I like these posters too

1. Limited edition Barack Obama Inauguration poster by Gemini Studio Art
3. Obama '08 by Lance Wyman (sold out)

A Moment to Remember!

Tomorrow will mark one of the most memorable days in American history, as Barack Obama becomes our 44th president of the United States. Three cheers for him! It's definitely time for a change, and I think he is such a hopeful choice. He seems like a nice, normal, honest guy who, in my humble opinion, typifies the ideals that built this hard, and you can achieve your dreams. He seems to want good things for OTHERS as well. His kids, OUR kids, the country. He's modern, he's normal, I feel like I could have gone to college with him. He makes me feel proud to be an American.

And, I must say from a purely design perspective, the posters I've seen that people have created on his behalf are great. I wish I had collected some! LA street artist Shepard Fairey who has been known for putting his art in unlikely, and occasionally illegal places, is the creator of THE poster that seems to have become an icon for the Obama campaign. His limited edition prints sold out on his website in minutes. Read about it here.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I think there's something wrong with my Bender Ball.
It makes my stomach muscles hurt.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jake's Room Idea #1

Ricardo and I had a lot of fun decorating Jake's room. With the exception of three little things that I still need to do/get, Jake's room is really the only completed room in the house. It was really important for me to get the room ready for him to welcome him into our lives...I just wanted it all snuggly and cozy and baby-perfect. It was a little stressful at the time because I was pretty hormonal, and any decision could (and did) bring me to tears. Looking back, I can't believe I was such a nut!

Having said all that, this is a sampling of the first idea I had for Jake's room that we DIDN'T end up doing. I still really love it though, and think it would be adorable. If anyone uses this as inspiration...good luck, and I'd love to see a photo when you're all done!

I drew a couple sketches first to show Ricardo what I had in mind. The rug and crib bedding are from Serena & Lily (they have the MOST beautiful baby bedding I've ever seen). The crib bedding might be discontinued now, but I think you can buy the fabric at Layla Grace. The fabric swatches on the right are all from Calico Corners, and the crib and lamp are from Pottery Barn Kids.

I'll post what we ended up doing in Jake's room INSTEAD in a future post...stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nice News!

After I posted about her jewelry, Holly at Bijoux d'Odalisque wrote to offer a 15% discount on her lovely jewelry if you mention you read about her Etsy store on my blog! How sweet of her! Happy shopping!

Book Club

Jake and I are starting a book club. We will only read lift the flap books. Will you join us? Please bring your own Scotch tape for repairing damage by over-eager club members. Two new additions to our series are on the way to us!

I Confess...

I had Ricardo order me a Bender Ball after seeing an info-mercial on tv. My post c-section tummy makes me look like I'm still a few months pregnant (is that ever going to change?). Naturally, I was an easy target. I have an uneasy feeling that we might be signed up for life because supposedly there's a part you're supposed to cancel???

It arrived today, and Jake loves it. It's a very good size for him to hold AND, big news...not only does he CATCH a ball (which is old news), today he actually THREW the Bender Ball back. Making the entire purchase definitely worth it. He didn't even watch the video!

I used to teach

I've taught many classes in the past on design at Parsons, and The Learning Annex. I've also been a creative director for many years and have seen tons of submissions. When I taught, here's an issue that always came up: "If I submit my idea to a publisher, how do I know that my idea will not get stolen". This would usually come from students taking one of their very first design classes.

Here's my opinion. It's tough to come up with a truly original, unique idea. Which is not to say that an average idea can't work. It usually does, and very often gets published, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Publishers see TONS and TONS of submissions. Chances are good that they've already seen 12 of your ideas in the past, or already thought of your idea in some way themselves. They are not in the business of "stealing" people's ideas. They don't need to.

Also, a truly creative person who is most likely to be successful does not have ONE creative idea. They have hundreds. On the off chance that someone DOES "steal" your idea (which is highly unlikely), you'll have many more to follow through with. My motto is: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The wonderful idea that is sitting on your desk will not get "stolen". It will also not get published.

If you have an idea you believe in...take a risk, and send it out. BUT, do your research. Go to a major bookstore like Barnes & Noble, or Borders and look for similar products and ideas. See what's out there. Find out who is publishing ideas that are similar to your own. How does your idea compare. How is it BETTER? How does it fill a niche that is DIFFERENT? Do your market research. THEN, view several publishers websites and follow their guidelines for submission. Do your homework, and send in a thoughtful, well-written proposal. You can also try to contact an agent.

With this lamp...

I love this pendant light (on the left) from Galbraith & Paul. I think it would look great with the dining room table I like. We're spatially impaired when it comes to home decorating, so it will take some finagling before we figure out what size we'll need. For our house, I prefer it in the swatch shown. 

Galbraith & Paul has beautiful hand-printed fabrics...and gorgeous rugs. You can purchase the lights through: 2Modern, Room & Board, or Lumens.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I want this table

Our house is definitely a work in progress. I've been wanting a house for YEARS and thought it would be so much fun to decorate. BUT. It's been a lot of work, and the fun part seems to take a lot more time and money than I have right now, which is frustrating. And, of course, there's that part of me that wants it "just so", and if not...then I'll wait. 

It's actually all gotten a little easier now that Jake is WALKING! He's pretty heavy (27 lbs at 10 mo. old!) so, although everyone has said..."just wait until he starts walking"...I've found it to be a bit easier. However, I do miss his very deliberate, adorable crawl. 

We saw the above table last spring on Jake's first outing to SoHo at the simply delectable Room & Board. Ricardo and I just want to move into that store. I don't love the chairs with it. I know the look is pretty trendy right now, but for me, there's just too many metal legs going on. I'd prefer a cleaner look.

The Upside of Awfulness

When Jake was just 5 weeks old, our house was robbed. Awful, awful, awful. Thankfully, we were fine. Jake and I had just been on one of our first longer outings when I came home and realized what had happened. It sucked. Awkward new mom, recovering from a c-section, in a new neighborhood where we didn't know that many people. Almost all my jewelry was stolen, laptop, and various cameras, etc. It was a total pain in the @#$$. Police, finger-printing, mess, insurance huge-time-sucking-hassle.

But I digress.

The upside is, that it caused me to get rid of many of the boxes still unpacked in our house...forcing me to move further in, AND, now I have some money to buy jewelry. Except I really don't because it seems so decadent to buy it for myself, and kind of selfish in these troubled economic times. 

But I will. In the meantime, I have received lots of nice presents from family and friends!
Above is a necklace I love that I found on Etsy by Bijoux d'Odalisque. I have the Etsy shop marked as a favorite seller, and I like to visit it often. There were many more great things posted before Xmas, but perhaps sales were good, so they're restocking! 

Score One (or three) for Grandma!

Guess what! Grandma Z found a "spare and a pair" monkey blankets! Now we'll be all set forever and ever! You can find them here! (The bunnies are cute too!) 

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Our favorite book for quite awhile has been Peek-a-Boooo! by Marie Torres-Cimarusti, illustrated by Stephanie Peterson. It's a lift the flap book, exposing the faces of a pumpkin, bat, witch, etc. Jake absolutely loves it, and when he's done, he'll flip the book shut so I'll read it to him again. There are a few books in the series...we hope to collect them all!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another bedtime favorite

Jake's friend, Jared gave him this great toy from Fisher Price, and it plays the most pleasant lullabies. I always turn it on when I put Jake to bed, which makes for a nice distraction as I leave the room. It's face lights up as it plays. One night, I heard music coming from Jake's room, and realized he had fallen asleep on top of Glo, so both Jake and Glo were...glowing. Be still my heart!

Monkey Blanket!

It seems that Jake has a favorite security blanket...monkey blanket! I bought it for him before he was born, so I have to say I'm pretty happy it's become the "chosen" one. Unfortunately, monkey blanket becomes quite stinky quickly, so we realized we needed back up. We went back to the store where I bought it called A Time for Children on the upper westside of Manhattan. The store is amazing because not only is it filled with the most adorable children's clothes, books, and toys, BUT, they donate 100% of the profits to the Children's Aid Society, a charity which has been helping New York's children and families in need since 1853. They were out of monkeys, so we got 2 brown owls, and a tiger. I totally would have bought the three pack if they had it! When Jake starts to be able to tell the difference between owls and monkeys, I'll have to search further!


Hi! I'm Heather, a new mother of Jake who was born in March, 2008. My husband, Rich (who I call Ricardo), and I have a new house that we moved into last year, just a few months before Jake was born. We've been slowly moving in ever since...

I've been the creative director of a small publishing company, author, and freelance designer for many years. I come across all sorts of amazing art, artists, designers, and photographers almost every day. I started this blog to share my creative endeavors as my greatest creation of all starts to grow...more and more each day! I hope that you will join us on our journey!