Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Martha's Gamecock Cottage

My sister gave me this adorable painting for Christmas. It is of the historic Gamecock Cottage which is located near the house I grew up in on the north shore of Long Island. It was built around 1864, and has been an aviary, a boat house, and a summer cottage. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it is located at the end of West Meadow Beach peninsula.

She painted it in one of her new styles that she started using for her Hello Cape Cod , and Hello Boston books. It now sits proudly in our playroom! I love it, and it's a great reminder of where we grew up.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My sister is incredible!

I may have mentioned that Jake has been going through a big Brown Bear, Brown Bear  phase right now, and has the book memorized. So, imagine his excitement when we arrived at my mom's house the other day...we were greeted by my nieces wearing a yellow duck and green frog t-shirts that my sister had made using Brown Bear fabric. Jake was handed the prized brown bear t-shirt. Then she gave him this adorable quilt that she just whipped up! She's pretty incredible like that! AND, she also gave him this pillow which he is nuts about (and so am I!). My niece told me that my sister just sketched it out (using a SHARPIE) on some felt and stitched it together. He's so proud of all his new things, and was quite the big toddler on campus at daycare today when he strutted in wearing his new tee, and carrying his new blanket for naptime!

My sister Martha is pure genius at coming up with some of these projects. I've been known to find some pretty incredible things just stuck in her basement that she just thinks no one will want, or hasn't had the chance to display anywhere. Proof of this...my mom had a garage sale last weekend, and some of her old college art projects were selling like hotcakes. We were actually quite hysterical about this, as one woman made her dig through my mom's attic to try to find more things, and made her sign the back. Having lived side by side with her while growing up, and always making projects, we tend to take it for granted that people actually WANT things like this!

This week, I'll show just a few of the items my sister has come up with that I've sequestered to decorate my own home. Stay tuned...it's my Martha week!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shutter Shock!

Last weekend, we had a rather interesting...and upsetting experience. While Christmas shopping in a local, upscale mall, last December, my husband passed by the Venture Portraits photo kiosk featuring fun, cool photos of families. Lured in, he decided it would be great to get some family shots done, and paid $50.00 for their promotion...a one hour photo shoot which came w/ a "free" 8 x 10 framed photo. Great! Right?

We had our photoshoot last weekend. The photographer was great, Jake was adorable, and loved it. They shoot against a white, seamless background, and they play music, and generally have fun. We switched Jake's outfits, brought his guitar, and books and he was beyond a terrific sport about it all.

After an hour, Jake was done..."my go home". So, we packed up, I took him to the car and my husband stayed inside to schedule our "viewing". Then they handed him the PRICE LIST!!! WHAT!!!???

Keep in mind, I am an ART DIRECTOR and have HIRED photographers for shoots! I've gotten MARRIED and hired a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER!!! I've reviewed countless portfolios in my day, so I can speak from some experience that I have never encountered such ridiculous prices in my entire life.

First of all...you can only buy their framed prints. No chance of making your own album, or wallpapering your guest room with photos (not that I was going to, but I should be able to do whatever I want w/ the photos, right?).

If you wanted one large photo of their "JAZZ" series...a 30"x40" photo is $3,800.00. OR, perhaps a more modest 10"x10" print? A mere $800.00. Or, maybe you'd like to do a little series, a larger 20" x 30" framed photo flanked by 4, 8"x10" photos? $4,800.00. And, if you can't quite decide which photos you like best, for $1500, they'll make you an album with 10 photos. Can you believe this?

Now, if I WAS going to spend $4,800.00 for FIVE photos (no matter how well framed they are), I think I might not be looking for the photographer in a MALL...no matter how high end the mall was. I think I'd do my research and find someone who offered a number of tailored packages to work with me to decide what would be best for us. Afterall, I am the customer. Or not. Since, there was no way that I would show up at that viewing and see all the adorable photos of my family. I'm weak. I'd buy something, but I wouldn't feel good about it. And, that's the thing, if you don't show up for your "viewing" you forfeit the "free" 8"x10" photo (just read the fine print!)

So, no thanks for all that. And please, if you happen to come near one of these stupid Venture Portrait  kiosks in the mall, make sure you ask exactly what the prices are first, and what you get. They're evasive at best.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

If they only knew...

I got this cute book called, I Love You, Daddy for Jake about a year ago (probably for Father's Day, or something like that). He's out grown it a bit, but I like reading it to him because it's written in a sing-song rhyme that I like. I think sometimes shorter rhyming books help him to sleep a little more than some of the longer Curious George books that we read...perhaps because he's not concentrating on them quite as much. Last night, as I was reading to him before bed, he started pointing out who the various "Dads" in the book were:



His Aunt (TeeTee):

And she thought he never mentioned her! Ha!

Hope you had a good weekend everyone!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let's Make a Cake!

I've got felt on my mind lately...I've been looking for creative ideas using felt because I want to make Jake a Brown Bear, Brown Bear felt board to play with (he is currently obsessed with the book, and reads it to me several times a day. He's gifted like that!). In my searches, I came across these crazy cute felt CAKES! How much fun is this? They come with about 60+ felt shape to decorate the felt cake to your hearts content. I didn't have anything quite as elaborate planned for Jake, but perhaps we should make a Brown Bear cake?

Available at Mahar Drygoods , and Twinkle Kids (the creators of this fun product!)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Print+Pattern is in print!

One of the first blogs I became hooked on, Print & Pattern, is authored (and in a sense, curated) by a talented British woman who goes by the name Bowie Style. Her blog highlights the best of print and pattern designs worldwide. I was excited when she announced a couple years ago that she had been approached to create a book...and even more excited when I stopped by her blog today and realized it's now available!

The book, Print & Pattern showcases 120 of the top print designers with bios of each of the artists. Some of the artists included in the book are: Orla Kiely, Cath Kidston, Sukie, Carolyn Gavin, and Helen Dardik. I can't wait to get the book in my hands...I'll be excited if I see some of the artists I've worked with over the years featured in her book! The book is published in the UL by Laurence King, and will be distributed in the U.S by Chronicle Books .

More sneak peeks are available at her site here.