Tuesday, December 18, 2012
A little peek here of our Christmas card. Does this wreath look familiar? After seeing Amy Merrick's gorgeous wreath creations & signing up for her class, I decided to draw a wreath based on my favorite creation of hers: the Birds Nest Wreath, and use it on our Christmas card this year. It's letterpressed in neon orange ink, which I think offers a nice color surprise, while still feeling festive.
See more of Amy's beautiful work here.
Monday, December 17, 2012
This weekend, my great friend was back in town (hooray!) & asked if I wanted to go to a wreath-making class by Amy Merrick. I've been dying for a crafternoon (baby nesting + holidays = "dying for a crafternoon"), so I jumped at the chance. Amy makes exquisite flower arrangements & her wreaths are beautiful & perfectly wild. (See & purchase here.) She gave us a little tutorial to start, putting together greens like magic & making it look effortless. For me, it was not. I went hard out of the gates & bulked up on greens, then gradually thinned out as I went around, creating a little dieted-looking wreath on one side. But I love it! And it was so much fun getting to work with materials I never work with, hanging out with a good friend & happy people. And I now have a beautiful (and beautiful-smelling thanks to the eucalyptus) wreath hanging on our wall (above).
Big thanks to Amy for letting us into her gorgeous studio to play with greens all afternoon!
See more of Amy's work here.
Monday, December 10, 2012
When Griffin was born, my older sister (and mother of four) flew over from London to visit us & as a gift, gave me hand soap. I thought it was a strange thing, at first. But when I started washing my hands 80 times a day (preventing germs before holding & cleaning off various baby secretions after holding) I realized that the beautiful smell of that hand soap was like a mini trip to the spa. Ok, VERY mini; maybe even a grand overstatement. But it was a welcome change of smell - one that I came to look forward to during those first blurry few weeks. (Older sisters always know!) A few months ago, I picked up this copper soap dispenser ($30) at Terrain. After being sold out this fall, they are now back in stock. Fill with your favorite smelling liquid soap & give to anyone in need of (or who would appreciate) a nice refreshing pick-me-up.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tada! Our advent calendar sliding door!
After seeing a cute & seemingly simple DIY advent calendar on the blog A Merry Mishap, I was inspired to do something similar with our new blank canvas sliding door. I painted some trees on the door in a very pale blue-gray color, picked up some clothes pins at the hardware store, some kiddo party bags at the party supply store & painted the numbers on the bags. I filled the bags with little treasures - crayons, markers, a silly straw, stickers, chapstick (remember I told you he's obsessed?) & attached the pins with heavy duty sticky tack. I eye-balled the placement (I'm too lazy for the level & ruler) so some are a little off. Adds to the charm.
And best of all, Griffin loves it! "Six!" he yelled this morning. "I want to open six!" Bag #6 had stickers in it, which he promptly peeled off & stuck on chairs, himself & Daddy. Fun for all!
Monday, December 3, 2012
Growing up, we had a little wooden tree sitting on our kitchen table with a little sleigh next to it that held 24 ornaments. Each day, we'd put a little ornament on one of the pegs on the tree. We all loved the ritual of it. Which one should I pick today? the little drum? or the toy soldier? Maybe the angel? And of course, it was a good lesson in taking turns:)
Over the weekend, our good friend and oh-I-can-just-whip-that-up-in-the-shop, Mat of Bellboy New York made us a temporary sliding door for our apartment - that is of course perfect & not the slab of scrap wood I said would do. We want to separate the kitchen/living area from the bedrooms (the hopefully sleeping baby is almost here!) but we can't make up our minds about what it should look like - all wood? should it have windows? or metal? maybe all cement? Too many options when you've got handy friends! So, Mat made us a temporary all-white door that I'm going to paint (thinking a tree pattern) & add little bags like the ones above from a Merry Mishap to create a big advent calendar for Griffin. Stickers one day, chapstick (his new obsession) the next, followed by a few markers - his mind will be blown. After Dec 25, my hope is to continue painting over it & make it a rotating canvas in our home until we finally get around to the real door - which I think may take a while!
Stay tuned for some door advent calendar pics!
[Photo courtesy of A Merry Mishap]
Friday, November 23, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Country Living likes our Paper Quilts! So much so that in the latest issue, they feature a DIY tutorial, complete with a pattern template as well as paper & frame sources. Check it out here.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Recognize this little guy? It's Griffin! He's making his modeling debut in the Linda & Harriett for Paperless Post Holiday Collection. And, have you heard? Paperless Post just launched their PAPER line - a selection of their online invitations that are now available in paper! And just in time for those holiday cards. I think we may have to use this simple one. Pic isn't bad either, actually:) Done & done!
And check out the double thick card stock option from PAPER, above. I recently received a card that was too thick, if you can imagine. I love a good weighty card stock, but it was too stiff for a family holiday card - like board stiff. It's just not friendly feeling in the hand - not for a holiday photo card. But this one, above, from PAPER is the perfect amount of weight if you're looking for more than the standard thickness. It has tooth, weight, bends a bit, and the photo quality isn't compromised. Geez, I'm pretty picky huh? :)
See the L&H offerings for PAPER by Paperless Post here (just holiday for now). And check out all our designs for Paperless Post here.
ps - Get 20% your PAPER by Paperless Post order here!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I was asked to do a poster design for Print Aid NYC - a fundraising effort put together by artists committed to helping their neighbors & rebuilding their city. All proceeds go to the Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Relief, of which 100% of donations is dispersed to city relief efforts and organizations for food, water and hygiene supplies, as well as long-term relief and restoration efforts.
The theme for the posters is "light." I chose to handletter the poem Somebody Has To by Shel Silverstein with a brush & ink and had it whirl around the page among scratchy stars. It's a bit of an interpretation of light, but polishing stars with polishing jars and rags seemed to fit just right.
You can see & purchase my poster here. ($30; limited edition of 50)
To see all current poster designs & learn more, visit Print Aid NYC here.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Our studio is in a building in DUMBO that is still without power (residential buildings are priority), and just this morning I found out they expect it back on November 9. Yikes. Those who have placed orders over the last week, please be patient.
We were lucky to not feel the effects of Sandy in our home in Brooklyn. And I am so saddened by all the neighborhoods, communities, businesses & families who are suffering right now without water, heat, clothes, a home, a bed. We made donations over the weekend to local shelters & will continue to do so as long as they need it.
If you're looking to help - big or small - please visit NYC Service for a comprehensive up-to-date list of organizations aiding in relief efforts all across the five boroughs. If you're local & wanting to donate clothes/goods, this post has good tips on efficient & effective donations during a disaster (ie no bikinis. Duh - but someone did at our donation drop off.)
...And a little reminder for us all: Our 64 year old nanny who was without power, heat & water said she felt like the man in this children's tale about being content with what you have. Worth a quick read or to share with children.
[NY Magazine cover, above]
Thursday, November 1, 2012
I wanted to check in after this crazy week.
We were lucky. We never lost power in our home. Our neighborhood was relatively unscathed, just lots of branches & trees - a stark contrast to other neighborhoods so close to us. Our studio is in a building in Dumbo which is right next to the water. It's the building in the photo above - that's water in the street; those lights in the distance are of lower Manhattan - all before power went out. The building remains closed to tenants while they assess damage, so we're not sure when we'll be able to get in to & ship out orders. Until that happens, we're hunkering down at home, feeling pretty lucky to have power, water & heat. Thank you to everyone who's reached out to check on us. Can't say it enough - we're lucky.
I'll check in again soon.
[I saved this photo from a Dumbo neighbor, but don't know who.]
Thursday, October 25, 2012
We're giving away three items on
Note: Like most Facebook contests, you'll have to let the Sweepstakes app connect to your account so don't forget to accept that when prompted or you won't be entered.
I took Griffin to a Halloween party yesterday & it was so much fun. Kids bobbing (or just grabbing as my fireman did) for donuts, decorating masks and eating mini hotdogs - all signs of a great party! Griff was a real sport wearing his fireman costume (thanks to his big cousins F&H for lending it to us!). The red suspenders underneath were my favorite part :)
Monday, October 22, 2012
I've been a Design*Sponge reader since its early days & have been a faithful reader since. Grace has built an amazing team & I am always inspired by the artists and work she features, so I was super excited to have our Quilt Calendar featured on Friday. This calendar had been in my head for almost a year, and then it took many many months to bring it to life. And even when it was done & I loved it, I still wasn't sure that others would love it or get it. So it really made my day to have the support from someone like Grace who sees beautiful work every second of every day. It's an honor for sure.
Read the feature here.
And of course, big big thanks to Grace at D*S.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Each month of the 2013 Quilt Calendar features a quilt print inspired by a traditional quilt pattern. July, seen here, is the only one that's derived from an actual quilt: the Stars and Stripes Quilt in the Smithsonian (see bottom image) made by Mary Rockhold Teter for her son George who served in the Civil War. The family donated the quilt to the Smithsonian in 1940. It's a beauty.
[Stars and Stripes Quilt image courtesy of Civil War Quilts, an excellent resource tip from a friend's mom who is an avid quilter. Thanks, SD!]
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
You may remember me talking about the Quilt Calendar debut at the National Stationery Show back in May. Well, it's here! The 2013 Quilt Calendar is now available in our shop!
After working on a small letterpress calendar for years, I was eager to work on a larger scale, and the quilt patterns I've admired & loved for so long seemed like a great fit for the size. While I wanted this calendar to be big & fabulous (lots of bright inks!) while hanging, I also wanted the artwork to be saved/framed/gifted after the month had passed. So each month features a 19" x 19" quilt print that is designed to be trimmed & fit into a 20" x 20" frame (thank you, Ikea Ribba frame!) or larger.
A calendar this big took a big effort to complete. It measures 26" x 40" & is entirely hand screenprinted - a feat for one print at this size, let alone 13. The paper is 100% recycled cover weight stock (a nice sturdy weight for preserving & handling your prints) and hung by custom made oak bars, fastened with brass wingnuts. A keyhole slot in back allows for easy hanging on one nail or screw - an important piece that was not so simple to figure out. (I really dislike the double nail hanging requirement - the measuring, the leveling - not for me.)
It was the hanging device that took the longest to figure out - and the whole process depended on it. The months couldn't be printed without knowing exactly how these would hang. I owe a lot of thanks to a certain woodworker friend for sitting with me for hours sketching out possible options - which ranged from simple bull dog clips (but then where do you store the rest of the months - under the bed?) to an oversized coat hanger (took up too much room at the top - and it's already pretty big). The result holds the weight (nearly 10lbs), mounts flush to the wall (paper hangs perfectly parallel to wall - no awkward leaning), and allows for easy changing of the months (unscrew the wingnuts while on the wall to take off the top bar & then the month).
Above: September (the wedding quilt pattern), shown here trimmed & framed in an Ikea Ribba frame.
Above, a close up shot of the oak hanger & brass wingnuts.
Above, reverse side of hanger: recessed screw & keyhole slot allow hanger to mount flush on the wall.
Top two photos by the super sweet & talented Karen Mordechai
We are excited to announce that our 2013 Quilt Calendar is now available online! Here's a fun little video we put together to help us launch this big guy. Enjoy!
More details on the calendar to come, so stay tuned.
[Photography & editing by Zak Hawley; Music: "I Spy" by Siobhan O'Malley - visit her Facebook page here]
Friday, October 12, 2012
See more of Gray's work here & his collection available on One Kings Lane here.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
We were in Wyoming last weekend for my best friend's wedding - the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended, including my own. It was everything a wedding should be - so much shared love, committing to each other, supported by & cheered on by the closest of friends & family, a casual come-as-you-are vibe that puts everyone at ease. No dress code - other than the suggested Carharts & hoodies (she's run a horse ranch for an outdoor education program for the past five years) - the preferred dress out in WY. A sign-up board for bartending (John & our good friend took the 10:30pm shift) and a potluck dessert table (that included our friends' awesome homemade butterfingers!) helped keep it intimate & super special. We stayed in one of the only heated rooms on the ranch & Griffin was in absolute heaven - sticking his fingers in the horses' nostrils, giving the miniature baby donkeys lots of kisses, hamming it up in the cook house. Wyoming, we miss you. Congrats J&L - we love you!
Monday, October 1, 2012
Griffin turns two later this week & we had a little party for him over the weekend. It was so fun seeing him better understand the concept of his birthday. Last year, he gagged on his cake & this year, he was so excited, he ate a candle. (The other kids were licking the icing off theirs, but he really went for it.) Last year, he didn't really understand presents or have much interest in opening them. This year, he was suuuper excited about them (see below), save for a brief pause when a gift included a gigantic lollipop that was so enticing, he up & left the gift-opening to try to eat it through the plastic. I have no idea where he gets that from.
Two things: First, birthdays should always include balloons. They're the happiest & simplest decoration - big bang for the buck. Secondly, collared shirts on little boys age them by years! He looks so big.
Friday, September 28, 2012
We had a busy day yesterday shooting footage for a little video we're putting together to help launch our 2013 Quilt Calendar. I totally underestimated how long it would take & how exhausting it would be - pregnant or not. But it was super fun putting all of the side elements together - the pieces around the calendar that will move - the paper balloons, the twirling pencils, the swimming fish, the dancing fabric trees. Even Kingsley had fun striking a pose:) Stay tuned for the calendar launch & the video premiere, here on the blog in just a couple weeks!
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
As usual, it features a post card on the back of each month. And this year, there's one on the back of the cover too - giving you 13 post cards. I use post cards all the time -- for sending notes of course (thank you, happy birthday, etc), gift tags (I cut them in half to give me more), and sometimes to spruce up a to-do list. I think these calendars make such a great gift on their own, but anyone who likes to send mail will appreciate the added value in the post card feature.
Go check it out here!
Monday, September 17, 2012
Now available online: a set of 12 post cards ($4.50) from our 2012 Calendar. I love using these post cards to write quick notes. The other day, I sent the hearts pattern post card to my sister & her husband for their 3rd anniversary. Griffin likes to draw circles on the back of his notes. Pretty letterpress pattern on the front plus crayon circles on the back equals a perfect thank you! hello! or I miss you!