Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whistling a Happy Tune

In an effort NOT be sucked in by all the coupons flooding my inbox, and to give EXPERIENCES, and SPECIAL THINGS, rather than just stuff, I am proud to say that I have completed my first special Christmas project (for which my husband is very grateful). I decided to make my own children's book using BLURB.com especially for my niece, and my son who are just the best of buddies.

I adapted Laura Joffe Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie into a fun book of the great times Jake and and his beloved cousin Avery have had this year. She is completely dedicated to him, and tireless in meeting his demands, as is the character in the original story.

I would like to say I breezed right through this project, and while having an audience of two took some of the pressure off my usual design job, in truth this took me HOURS! And, hours. And hours. But, I had a great time, and I hope that Jake and Avery will love their special book. Here's a sneak peek:

With regard to all the rest of my Christmas shopping, I confess, I gave in to many of those coupons, but WILL give a special gift to my nieces and nephew of a fun filled day doing something I think they'll love (but I won't say here, because you never know who's reading!

How have you been doing on your Christmas shopping? Are you making things? Do you have time? Do you know of any great coupons you'd like to share?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Less than Dazzling Dining Room

(image from Galbraith & Paul)

 (image from Galbraith & Paul)

Despite how well our dining room "works" for our lives at the moment, I have been obsessing (ever so slightly) about the ugliness of the room. I want it chic AND fun. SO, last weekend I took a wonderful mini trip to Philadelphia with a friend to check out the Galbraith & Paul sample sale. I've been wanting one of their great pendant lamps for above the table. It seems it might be the one thing that will be immune to food spills and craft projects.

Galbriath & Paul is a fabric design, and printing studio housed in a renovated textile mill in the Manayunk neighboorhood of Philadelphia. They produce upscale, hand block printed textiles which are used on pillows, lighting, and fabric yardage (unfortunately available to the trade only). We arrived early, so I was immediately able to snag a light in the correct size, but ultimately passed it on to another admirer because the color just wasn't right for me.

(image from Galbraith & Paul)

For a moment, I had the thought of purchasing some of the yardage in the above fabric and making my own pendant light...but who am I kidding...do I really need a project of this magnitude? In my one spare hour a day? Probably not.

(image from Galbraith & Paul)

They had stacks and stacks of wonderful pillows for sale, which became quite overwhelming. The colors were not quite right for my living room, but there were many designers there putting together fabulous groupings of the pillows, so it was pretty tempting!

In one room they had two large tables filled with fabric remnants which was fun to sort through. It was all available by the pound, so I just grabbed some different things I liked and will someday turn them into something beautiful. Once I laid out all the fabric, I realized how predictable my color choices are! Aren't these fabrics great (see below)? I'll have to see what I can come up with!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Star Factory

Just as Santa has been busy making toys, Jake has been busy making stars for the top of our Christmas tree. You can see the intense concentration, and attention to detail that each star warrants. We now have about 50 stars. Do you need one? We'd be happy to share!

Last week, we showed Jake Rudolf on tv. I wish I'd previewed it as I hadn't seen it in many years. He's never REALLY been scared of something before until old Bumble started roaring on the big screen. Scared as in hysterical, shaking, crying. Eeeesh! We quickly fast forwarded the movie to the end and tried to come up w/ quick explanations about why Bumble was now nice (he had his teeth removed...), and how and when Bumble was going to get his teeth back. (in the next episode? OK, he doesn't know what an "episode" is...try again...) Needless to say, I was up at least 5 times that night with a crying little boy. I'm not completely sure if it was the Bumble that did it, but we did feel quite awful about the incident. Of course, now he has quite a Bumble fascination, and keeps wanting to see the movie. I'm not up for more sleepless nights, so I'm ok w/ waiting until next year to see it again (or perhaps the year after!)

AND, yes, that is an ironing board you see in the background. As unattractive as our dining room is at the moment, I really do (reluctantly) have to admit that it's working for us. The stainless steel table and ugly black chairs chairs are leftovers from my husband's previous (and far less wonderful) life before me. As hideous-looking as they are, that table is sheer genius. I do not care what Jake does on it...sure, paint! Carve pumpkins AND paint? No problem! Bring on the fun! We can just chisel off the goop! Really, as much as I try, it's truly indestructible.