Friday, May 28, 2010

Dreaming with the Dream Jam Band!

Francine Wheeler is a singer for The Dream Jam Band. She's the wife of a talented designer that I work with, and I'm so excited about the release of their new kid's album, Leave it in the Soup! They've been working on this album for awhile. I played this youtube link for Jake this morning, and he clapped along and swayed with the excellent review from a 2-year-old!

To read more about Francine, and The Dream Jam Band, read this article about Francine featured in Parents Magazine! (She's famous!) The songs are lively and upbeat...I have to say that I liked the youtube video just as much as Jake did! Front row seats please!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random Cupcake Thoughts

I've had cupcakes on the brain (and in my stomach!) lately because I've been working on a cupcake book in conjunction with a fabulous looking cupcake bakery in Boston called Sweet. During a product development meeting late last year, it was decided that we wanted to pick up on the cupcake trend, and create a cupcake cookbook.

Here's a mock-up of the cover. It could change s little, but look for this in stores this December!

One of our editors had recently been to Boston where she had some great cupcakes from Sweet. We contacted the owner of the bakery, and they agreed to create a cookbook with us. One of the challenges for them, (and for our editor) has been to adapt the recipes to 12/24 cupcakes from the large quantities they make for their shop. The editor, who lives in Sunnyside, Queens has kindly been bringing many cupcakes into the office as she has been testing the recipes. I think she should open her OWN cupcake shop, so I made her a logo:

She asked for some help testing the recipes, and I gladly offered to make the Lemon Cupcakes which are beyond delicious. I've made them 3 times now, and keep tinkering with the recipe. I get a little lazy about things like sifting flower, but they're still pretty good. Really, I must stop.

On the topic of cupcakes, someone recently told me about Cake and Shake, an organic cupcake cart that has been setting up shop on the streets of Manhattan. I can't wait to pass one. I personally do not care if my cupcake (or shake) is organic...but, if organic is on the menu, I'm game!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Best Wishes

This cute "wishing tree" recieved the Best New Product Award in the party category at the Stationery Show. Guests can write "wishes" and hang them on the darling cardboard tree. I think it's such a great idea to have at a shower, or wedding reception, or graduation party.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hi Everyone,
I'm back posting after a couple busy weeks. We went on our first family vacation to Eleuthera, a small island off the coast of Bahamas which was incredibly beautiful. Then, after I got home, I spent two days at the Surtex Show in NYC. The show, which is part of the National Stationery Show, is full of talented artists and designers specializing in print and pattern design. My focus there is to find designs to be used journals, notecard, gift bags, bookmarks, and various other gift products. Above is a sneak peek of my office, and some of the designs we purchased there. Each year, I love hanging the art in my office and reviewing our finds. It's fun to hear what my coworkers like and to discover what their favorites are! More on all this later...I feel like I'm still catching up on my life after our whirlwind of activity!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my most wonderful mother...and to all lovely mother readers! It's time to celebrate...for me it's also time to celebrate that I AM a the best "big boy" in the world!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Finders Keepers

I promised to show more of my sister's amazing artwork, so here goes (despite my questionable photography abilities!) Besides writing and illustrating children's books, she's very versatile and has tinkered in all sorts of mediums (if you've been following my blog for awhile, you'll know what I mean!). She sews, makes doll houses (which are more like mansions), cooks Barbie cakes, quilts, and's all creative. Instead of just painting a bathroom and adding a new shower curtain, she has been known to actually PAINT NEW TILES and resurface the whole bathroom. 

Several years ago, she bought a kiln, and was painting on any ceramic tile surface she could get her hands on. She made this tile mural of the the Nauset coastline in Eastham, Cape Cod. I think it hung in a museum on Cape Cod for awhile before it found an unfortunate home in her basement. Lucky me, I unearthed it during a basement flood while I was visiting one day. Finders, keepers. It's mine now, is proudly gracing Jake's playroom in all it's beauty!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Junk or Jewel?

I "bought" this floral candle holder at my mother's garage sale a couple weekends ago (for free). I think it's really pretty. My husband thinks it's odd. But, it's hard to object to a family heirloom, right? What do you think...pretty or odd?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Aren't Flowers Cool?

One of my best friends came for a quick visit from Oregon last week and gave me these gorgeous flowers. Aren't they lovely? If you look closely, you will see what beautiful works of art they really are...not just the arrangement, but up close as well. I played around with them for about two minutes in Photoshop...see what cool effects you can make? 

This is adding a simple "cut out" filter to the two original photos:

And this is the effect you can get using the "poster edges" filter. I think this turns the original photos into the style of some old botanical prints that I've seen somewhere:

Thanks for the visit and the flowers (and the Jumbo and bath toys) Melinda and family! It was great seeing all of you. Shall I blow these up to super-sized prints for your house???

P.S. I know I promised to post more cool things my sister has made, but my photography just doesn't do them justice. I'll play around a little more and try to post again about her fabulousness this week!