Friday, December 21, 2007

The Nutcracker

John and I went to see The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center the other night. I had been dying to see it ever since we came to New York five years ago. When I was little, I used to go see friends of mine in performances. I loved it. Then and now. The strength and elegance of these men and women (and children!) are not to be believed. I would highly recommend it if you're in town. John even said it was better than he thought it was going to be:) Performances run through December 30th. Check out the schedule here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Little Devil

I know - it looks kinda cute, even to me. And not at all like it has rabies.

Alive, check.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our New Neighbor

It doesn't seem right to say what I'm about to say below this adorable little guy, but... I hate cats. Okay, maybe hate is too strong. And I have liked a few in the past. There was DD, Jasmine, Lilly, and Kitty. But that's about it. (That's a lot, I guess.) But these days, I'm all about dogs.

That is, until the neglected cat next door started meowing so loud, my Holiday Road music wouldn't drown it out. John, being the kind soul that he is, decided to put out a plate of turkey and some water. It didn't take long for the thing to come and gobble it all down. And when it did, John cracked the door to try to make peace, and it bit him! I nearly had Earl Gray coming out of my nose. Sensitive, I know. But John went from feeling so sorry for this little guy, to slamming the door in the frozen cat's face.

I spent most of the day yesterday convincing John he doesn't haven't rabies. Apparently, if the cat dies in 10 days, we have a problem. So now, we're suddenly obsessed with keeping this cat alive. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Welcome, Hope!

My sister had her baby this weekend! Her fourth, actually. They've named her Hope. I love this name. As she was talking to me from her London hospital bed, I was looking at our Christmas tree - decorated with ornaments from childhood and new ones from friends and family - and was filled inside with joy at what a wonderful gift this little Hope is to all of us.

We'll be taking a vacation after the holiday to go visit my sister and her family in London. I'm so excited to meet my new niece! I've been waiting to buy the little one a soft little friend, like Abigail above from Hop Skip Jump. Indigo's pretty darn cute too! See more cuties from Aussie crafter Hop Skip Jump here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fridays with John: Elf Yourself

Before joining Liz (professionally), I worked in advertising for 5 years, mostly as a copywriter. It was great work and I still love a great ad--especially when you don't feel you're getting sold to. OfficeMax's Elf Yourself microsite does this perfectly. It's a great way for you to get into the holiday spirit and make fun of anyone you have a picture of at the same time.
While Liz is out running an errand, I took the liberty of "Elfing" a few of her favorite animals.

And this thing is no joke, created by the small, but big-minded, NY ad agency Toy, received 36 million views last year--over a span of only 5 weeks.

Red & Blue Rudolph

I recently did these cards for a client. I love that they wanted to use something other than red and green. Rudolph looks quite handsome in blue, too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New York's Finest: Hot Chocolate

The hail tapping my window right now has prompted me to post this most delicious post.

Hot chocolate is a staple of mine for getting through the winter. I don't know how I survived four years living in Maine - but I'm a complete wuss when it comes to winter. My hands, my feet, my nose - they all cry out as soon as my pinky toe steps outside. (John loves this about me.) I walk around with my shoulders pressed up to my ears and wonder why I have a sore neck.

So anyway - hot chocolate. Last February, New York Magazine rated the city's top cups of hot chocolate, and I was pretty proud that my favorite was also their number one choice: City Bakery. YUM. It's more like drinking chocolate and you can really only have about 5 or 10 sips before you get a tummy ache. So take it easy. My friend Nick says Jacques Torres is the best, but NYMag only gave it #7:

Try to keep up, Nick.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lucky Us, Lucky You

Happy Holidays from Linda & Harriett and Lucky Magazine! We're giving 25% off to Lucky (and lucky) readers. Go sign up for Lucky Breaks at Lucky Magazine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Martha's Moose Peeking

The Christmas Cards are rolling in. Here's a cute one by Martha, of course. (I seem to say that a lot - "Martha, of course.") Anyway - I loved this little Moose peeking out behind the trees. And the envelope it came in was almost even better:

I love patterned envelopes. I'm trying to work it in to our line for early next year. I like to think of it as an extra little surprise party in your mailbox.

Monday, December 10, 2007

28 for Dinner + Graham Cracker Houses = One Big Surprise Party.

Okay, so my vision of rolling out the gingerbread didn't really pan out. But the kids had fun. And my father in law's surprise party was a huge success. Dinner for 28 in our apartment was not as hard as I thought. The keys were having enough places for people to sit (we used every single seat option, including our park bench and work chairs), cooking in advance and reheating (spinach artichoke dip, cocktail weenies, homemade lasagna and baked pumpkin pasta), and having plenty of booze - it doesn't (usually) go bad, so there's no harm in over-doing it. Over-buying it, that is.

I was a bit stressed prior to the big event - hosting 28 people for dinner in our little apartment to surprise my father in law for his 75th birthday. I was wondering if we were going to have enough food, enough chairs, enough (ack!) space! But in the end, the apartment has never felt so full, so comfortable, and so alive. Everyone was just happy to be there. John's large family is spread out all over and rarely gets together in the same place at the same time. It had been over a year - since our wedding - and before that, I don't even know. So it didn't really matter that the lasagna sauce was dripping down into the oven and causing the whole room to fill with smoke. Or that our tv/sitting room fits about 3-4 people max, or that we had plastic plates and silverware - so environmentally unfriendly, yes, but admittedly, it's the aesthetic of plastic dishes and utensils that bugs be even more. Everyone was thrilled to be with each other - celebrating my father in law's birthday - in the company of their nearest and dearest loved ones - seemingly oblivious to be sitting on uneven park benches, bumping into each other at every turn and eating reheated pasta with tacky plastic forks. Aleluya!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fridays with John: Paperwhites Part 2

And now I've found myself writing about flowers...
See below for my now open-aired opinion about the lovely Narcissus papyraceus. When googling the topic, I found Liz's entry and one other that addressed the topic. A gardener from the DC area wrote about it in an appropriately titled blog post: Pee-Yeeuuu.
I've taken some solace in reading the comments that followed:
  • Pee-yuuu, but Pre-tty!
  • Personally, I hate paperwhites. A more sinister confession: I'm not even that fond of tulips. I mean, the leftover foliage! It's like a balding man with a comb-over.
  • Once someone pointed out to me that the smell of paperwhites was very close to that of burning electrical wiring, I have had problems with them.
  • The first time I forced paperwhites I walked around my house for a day or so going "what is that SMELL??"
  • The malodorous flower is pretty but not enough to grace this house. My wife bought a bunch to force for one time only and they now reside outside in the garden.
  • When I was given some blooming paperwhites I had the same experience of looking for an electrical problem and then thinking there was something stinky in the garbage...I've avoided them ever since.
  • My son thought the ones on my desk smelled like model airplane glue.
  • I was wondering if I happened to buy a pot that was pee-d upon or something. My den stinks of urine.
I might not quite be in good company, but at least I'm not the only one with thoughts about this so-called "exclusive fragrance."

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Paperwhites For Bird

I love paperwhites. I love the simplicity of their bloom on top of their forever long stems - and of course I love the way they smell. (Side note: John thinks they smell like pee and thinks maybe I like the smell of pee. Nice.) Moving on, I do love them. They also remind me of my dear friend Bird. Years ago, my mom helped Bird put together a little paperwhite arrangement for her parents. A couple days later, they found out that her dad was allergic, and I'm pretty sure that ended paperwhites in their house for good.

I'm especially enjoying my paperwhites today because it's Bird's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Birdie!

And ps, feel free to protest John's sentiment. I mean... pee?? Let's get serious here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Goodies

I know I said I didn't want to make you all jealous in posting my goodies from Nancy - but I had to add these guys too. (Nancy said it's our very own Frank!) I don't know where our creative friend found these little treasures, but I do know that they will hang around well after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Morning in the Mail

Last year, John and I received a package from Nancy that trumped any package I have ever received. It was our first Christmas together, and knowing so, Nancy filled this package with all sorts of beautifully crafted ornaments and decorations. It felt like Christmas morning as John and I carefully unravelled each little treasure. I was floored yesterday when we received another package from her with more holiday goodies. John said I could post for the next week about these gems - and he's not wrong. (I am tempted - but I don't want to make you all jealous!)

While these packages from Nancy are above and beyond gorgeous and generous, I can't help think that receiving anything in the mail is a treasure - like having that person right there. You see their handwriting or unwrap the goodies they have selected for you or even get to enjoy something they have made or baked. Nancy is queen of these packages. And every time I get something from her, whether it's treasures like these little glass ornaments above or her famous chocolate chip cookies, I know she's thinking of me, and I feel her love all around me.

It's my goal (as indicated on the cover of our calendar) to send more care packages. It feels too good on the receiving end not to.

Thank you Nancy. I love you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Two (beautiful) last minute additions

We're a little late on posting these. Late being quasi-relative. Late according to the decked out streets of Brooklyn, the trees for sale on the street, having attended my first two holiday parties this weekend, the holiday music (and 80 thousand decorations) in Duane Reade and the nice surprise sprinkle yesterday - yes, I suppose we are a bit late. But I LOVE them - and there's tons (and by tons, I'm making myself feel better here too) of time to buy gifts and send holiday cards - so I am sharing. And selling here. :)

Long Live Navy & Chocolate

I've had a lot of people tell me how they like the navy and chocolate envelopes, but how are they going to address them? I always suggest a gel pen, but not everyone has jars and jars of pens and markers lying around like me. I also like the good old "Hello My Name Is" name tags in a pinch, but I decided to design my own for L&H. So here we are, the festive little labels for addressing your envelopes. Get some for your dark envelopes here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Fridays with John: All dogs go to heaven.

But sometimes we've got a little devil on our hands.

I didn't grow up in what people would call a pet-friendly home. As a child, the farthest I got as a pet owner was with Carl, the little green lizard (a 6-inch anole) who spent 4 lovely years in the aquarium in my bedroom. Three interesting facts about Carl: 1) I fed him crickets. 2) He was named after Carl Lewis because he was SO FAST. 3) He was actually a SHE. After his male naming, Carl laid eggs. Oh well.

Fast forward about 15 years, and I got the most wonderful gift in the world. After a long day at work, Liz came home with then a 10-week-old Kingsley. I've never been so happy.

Fast forward a year and a half, and this little puppy has grown to become such an integral part of our lives. I used to cringe when I heard people refer to pets as their "son" or "daughter." I won't say those words in public, but I get it. We love our dog and it's in a way I could never have imagined.

But now back to why I'm writing. We like to think we've trained her pretty well. She can sit, lie down, stay, leave it, won't eat her food until we say "ok," shake paws, etc., but the very staged picture above shows one of her worst talents. Jumping.

I walk her in Prospect Park during "off-leash" hours most mornings--and the amount of muddy paws she places on strangers' coats and pants each day is startling. The puppy apology worked for a while, but now that she's almost 2, that's losing some validity. Most people don't mind, but those that do, DO. And in a big, sometimes overbearing way.

It's the same thing with house guests. It's never aggressive. She doesn't bite. But she will knock you over if you're not paying attention. They laugh it off because they're friends and family, but I can tell they're wondering when she will grow out of it--if ever.

She's perfect in every single way. I love her like a daughter. There I said it. But the jumping has to go. I just talked to one of the area's best dog trainers. I'll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

L&H Paper Package

We recently introduced our Paper Package. I'm obviously a huge paper fan - and thought this might be a nice thing to offer around the holidays. You get a notepad, a pack of note cards and a calendar - all for the same price as the sum of it's parts, except that we wrap it up with some cool ribbon and attach a gift tag. Love the blue tissue with this little package, too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Busy Busy

Don't mean to be tooting my own horn here - but as a small card company, to see all these boxes lined up ready to go is pretty exciting - and making us a little nutso around here. Thank you, DailyCandy! The shipping bonanza continues today as we spread the L&H love with red & green pigs, moose notepads and 2008 Calendars.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Love a Great Deal

DailyCandy asked us to be part of their DailyCandy Deals email. I had no idea they even had a deals email, but I of course said yes and then signed myself up! Every Tuesday they send out an email featuring a few products at a discount of at least 25%. So get all the Linda & Harriett goodies your heart desires - and when you sign up for Deals, you'll get 25% off. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Turkey Success

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We cooked our very first turkey and I'm happy to report it didn't totally suck. It was quite good actually! We brined the thing for a good 15 hours before and then cooked it for about 5 hours. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. But the whole giblet thing? Woaaa, didn't see that coming. I stupidly didn't take any photos of our prized bird, but did manage to capture the pretty pecan pie. Yum! My sister also made pumpkin bars - a recipe from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. Enough said.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Flour Sack. Scottish Shortbread. Olive Oil. Bread Dough. Colors from Martha.

Off to do some painting of my own. Great timing before hosting Thanksgiving, Liz! Way to go. Let's hope I'll have some good things to share come Friday.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Teresa Green Design

I love getting packages in the mail. Yesterday, I got a great one from my sister who lives in London. She went to Origin The London Craft Fair that was going on last month and had designer Teresa Cole for Teresa Green Design make this tea towel for me. Here she is thinking about me when she's about to give birth to her fourth child any day. So sweet. It made my day. Thanks, K - I love you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Swell Season


John and I went to see The Swell Season (Glen Hansard from the Frames and Marketa Irglova) last night at Beacon Theatre. Oh my goodness. I had chills the whole time. I first heard these two talented voices in the movie Once and was immediately in love. And last night, they did not disappoint.

If you haven't seen Once, you must. And if you haven't heard The Swell Season, listen here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Yummy Invitation

It may be a bit too early for this kind of posting - since this week is all about turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing - but I had to share this oh so sweet invitation we recently did for a four year old's gingerbread house decorating party. I wish I had had fun parties like this when I was four. Or now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Long Live the Square!

There was an interesting article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal regarding the surcharge on square envelopes and how the shape is declining in sales because that extra 17 cents postage is just so darn annoying - extra stamps, but how much more?, having cards returned for extra postage. (Been there, too? Annoying!)

I'm a huge fan of the square. Square paintings, square photographs, and absolutely cards & envelopes. I love the composition a square allows for. It's more interesting to me. A colored envelope in my mailbox is a treat. A square colored envelope is a sweet treat. The Post Office, more specifically the machines at the Post Office, don't get this. Literally. They reject any square envelopes as "unmailable" which results in a person having to hand-sort these envelopes. Hence, the 58 cents postage required to mail square envelopes.

In the article the manager of a post office in Buffalo, NY had this to say about why the machines can't do squares:

Rectangular envelopes are always knocked down by sorting machines onto one of two long, stable edges. Ink detectors find the stamps: front or back, upper right or lower left. It then takes only two steps -- flip and turn -- to line them up for a computer to read addresses and spray on bar codes.

But squares land on any one of four edges, not two. So for half of them, mathematically, finding addresses takes four steps. When the machines fail, humans get involved -- at a cost, Mr. Mazurkiewicz explained, of $52-per-thousand envelopes instead of $4.

Read more from the article in the WSJ here.

[photos courtesy of Barry Newman for the Wall Street Journal]

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gingerbread Ma-

I saw this little guy on Etsy yesterday and had to share. I think he would make a very cute and guilt-free holiday present (not to mention completely unexpected and pretty funny) to send someone in the mail.

Quick comment on Project Runway

I really wish Elisa had been OUT. What was up with the grass-staining in the beginning? I shuddered at the thought that these materials were, in total, $50,000 and she was running it through the grass. And then the train? I'm thinking she won't last long.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I was going to start this off with, "I have to admit", but I don't feel badly for loving this show and in starting off with saying I "have to admit" something is just an attempt to make myself feel better - and would actually undermine the quality of this show. And again, I don't feel badly about it, so I'm just going to say it like it is: I'm a HUGE Project Runway fan. I love love love it!

The contests are fantastic. Seeing how people approach the same challenge differently is 100% entertaining for me. I've been reading about this season, and it seems like it's going to be a good one.

Tune in for the season premiere tonight at 10pm on Bravo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sketchbook Envy

I've always tried being a sketchbook person - carrying it around with me, hoping I'll whip up some great drawings. But it's never stuck. I do carry a notebook wherever I go, but it's mostly filled with lists - to-do lists and idea lists along with the occasional stream of consciousness which I love to do on a subway ride. It's amazing how quickly your brain works while your hand tries so hard to keep up.

I came across these sketches from Paris Breakfast. Oh how I wish my hand could move like this. Plus, I'm dying to go back to Florence where I lived for 4 months in college - so these images of Venice really tug at my heart.

Under the Weather

My apologies for the thin postings. We're feeling a bit under the weather around here. Mostly John. Which means I'm on soup duty. More to come shortly.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fridays with John: On music and art (and Wilco)

Those who know me--and now those who don't--know that my favorite band is probably Wilco. Thankfully Liz largely feels the same way, and this has allowed me to see some of my favorite concerts with her. If I take care of tickets and plan travel (more than usual I suppose), she'll usually happily come along. Most recently this brought us only a few miles away to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, but a few years ago we built a week's vacation around 2 of their shows, one at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the other at Red Rocks.

Many bands sell posters at their concerts, but I am particularly drawn to the ones Wilco sells at their shows. They are all produced in limited quantities (~300) and designed by a variety of independent designers and design studios. They usually sell from $20-30 and when I've bought them, I feel that I am purchasing art and not an overproduced commodity that would have sold for the same price. Wilco's tempered level of success may lend to this. Their shows almost always sell out, but their audiences (and venue capacities) number in the low thousands and sometimes high hundreds. Numbers that make selling a limited edition product sensible--from a business and logistics perspective. I get why U2, the Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen don't do this (at least today), but it's also why people aren't clamoring for them with the same passion.
Common theme's for Wilco's posters have included animals (birds, fish), Industry (appliances, factories, architecture, old bathtubs), and nature (plants, trees, flowers). Sometimes their combination makes for a forced or even tired juxtaposition, but when it's gotten right, I think they're powerful images that document much more than 1 concert on 1 night.
You can see much more of what I'm talking about here at Wilco's own shop and here at Expresso Beans, a music posters community. Hope you like what you see. Have a great weekend.

I mean....

How is it that J.Crew has so many darn cute photos? I get an email from them every other day with some perfectly composed photo that makes me think that a canary yellow winter coat is a great idea.

AND - I just went to their site to copy the link, they have a short intro clip of behind the scenes footage of a photo shoot. Maybe I'm really behind on this feature, but I think it's very smart. Check it out here.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Updated Note Cards Page

The look of a website is very important to me - it keeps me there or kicks me out. I recently decided that I wanted to change the images on our note cards section - but wasn't sure about the backdrop. My inclination was to go with white - but then things kind of disappear, especially when our cards have so much white already. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - especially the patch-like effect and texture of the wooden planks.

But what do you think? Is seeing the whole card better than the thumbnails?