Friday, October 29, 2010

Get Candy.

In case this Month ran by you in a blur I'm here to tell you it's Halloween ! I'm sure by now everyone has fun plans and creative costumes, but here are a few fun products I've come across this year and have been posting on my blog this week. Whether for your own party or for your hostess... Above are "Cinderella pumpkins." Aren't they darling ?? Not carving friendly, but fairytale friendly for sure.
I'm also LOVING this "Vodka in a Skull." An awesome vessel for the whole year really. A friend said today her boyfriend wast trying to figure out how to make it a mini fish tank post vodka. I think it would be great as a bud vase on a shelf. You could also use it as a water jug for the dinner table. And if you're not one for skulls (shame on your if you're not), black vodka is another fun unusual option.
And off topic of spirits is this fantastic black toilet paper. It's amazing how much its the little things in life, right ?

And if you're up for a fun baking project I made these last year. A lot of fun, but a lot of time :). And if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, THIS is the best. Liz and I both adore him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vintage L&H Part Three.

K, I promise no more for a while, but I had to post these because they are sort of my favorite. Ever. Have you ever seen something sweeter, more darling or more precious (did I just say the same thing three times ?) than this little doll above my initials ? This was one of the very first stationary gifts Liz bestowed on me and it was definitely Christmas, because I remember opening them in my mother's kitchen.

I got a mix of little gift tags and flats (above + below), and if I'm being honest ? I still have most of them. I just love this little sweet girl so much I can't bear to part. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of "why buy the good china if you're not gonna use it ?" but in this case using means losing, and I'm sort of too selfish. Love her. Know that if you ever see her little profile show up in your mailbox you are very very special.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vintage L&H Part Two.

I held this post off so that 3 week old Griffin could get some air time. And my posts seem silly with a little life to talk about, but I guess for now, back to moi.

This one isn't so vintage as the time line is concerned, but vintage in the sense that L&H personalized stationary is not just a click away like it used to be. Liz made me these beautiful flats on the thickest most luscious paper ever, in my favorite color (blue), with perfect envelopes to match for one birthday. My favorite part about them is how versatile they are. They are mature and simple so they work for everything from a quick hello to a thank you or a more serious condolence not. They are such high quality and so sophisticated I could send them to the queen, but cool enough with the awesome font that I could send them to the pied piper of hipsters (heehee. The two extremes of monetary/image snootiness). Like Elaine and her discontinued sponges, I take out my precious flats, hold the thick card stock, and think long and hard about whether or not the recipient deserves one :).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Griffin: Three Weeks

Just a little break in Lizzy's guest blogging to say hi.  So far, Griffin is a pretty good sleeper, but I hear that can change around now - yikes!  He especially loves this blanket his Farmor ("Grandmother" in Swedish) made for him.  I like to think he sleeps better with it over him because I sleep better with heavier blankets:) 

We'll check in again soon.  Until then, send us lots of Zzzzzz vibes!


Vintage L&H Part One.

As I said Friday, I was searching for some old school L&H last week. And as I said, Liz and I share a deep love for the State of Maine. In our early creative meeting days, when we'd daydream about where our companies were headed + about packing up and pitter-pattering around on the cobble stone streets of Portland, Liz made me this. A faux moving announcement for my fantasy move. How darling is it ?? And see that clear string on the right ? For years it had a cutie little plastic buoy hanging down (sorta kinda like the one below), and it hung on the wall over my desk. When I moved, I ripped the buoy off so that it could lay flat with other things. But I love my little whale tails, and the dream of the move.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Have a Wonderful Fall Weekend !

I figure by now you must be missing L&H sneak peeks and new products. Yesterday I started digging around some boxes of mine for vintage pieces that might be fun to see. In doing so I came across this (bad) print I had taken + developed in College, from when Liz visited me on a beautiful fall weekend my senior year, and we had gone apple picking. It was sunny and crisp and Maine. Bliss :). And we had come home and had a dinner party for a friend's birthday in our big old (decaying) Victorian home -- complete with cored baby apples as tea candle votives, and a college favorite -- share your knife with your neighbor (cause we don't own enough !).

A perfect fall weekend, and this weekend feels like it could be very similar for all you fall dwelling folk. For an unknown reason I wrote a Virginia Woolf quote around the apple tree print. I don't think there was any assignment or motive, except that clearly the image + text matched in their innocence. I just adore Virginia Woolf so I'll leave you with her quote + Hope you have a fantastic, and carefree, and sunshine filled weekend.

"A ten penny tea set made Cam happy for days. She heard them stamping and crowing on the floor above her head the moment they woke. They came bustling along the passage. Then the door sprang open and in they came, fresh as roses, staring, wide awake, as if this coming into the dining room after breakfast, which they did everyday of their lives, was a positive event on them, and so on, with one thing after another, all day long, until she went up to say goodnight to them, and found them netted in their cots like birds among cherries and raspberries, still making up stories about some bit of rubbish--something they had heard, something they had picked up in the garden. They had all their little treasures...And so she went down to her husband and said, why must they grow up and lose it all ? Never will they be so happy again."

+ One More For Good Measure ...

Also from the nymag design issue :: Brothers Evan + Oliver Haslegrave's home. Brothers that work together and live together (if you've read Eventide or Plainsong by Keith Haruf I'm thinking McPheron Brothers. If you haven't + you like sad books, I recommend). What really got me was the outdoor shovel in picture #1 in place of a faucet. First to think of this, and then to repurpose the item without making it look kitchy is sheer talent. Then there is the hammer door handle + lock, and this amazing lofted bed. It says he did it so that his dog wouldn't climb in ?! Seems drastic, but the billowing sheets look fairytale like + perfect. And don't feel sorry for the pup -- he takes two steps up to the right, and gets a lofted bed as well !

PS. As a frame of reference for their work if you live in New York, they designed Elsa in the East Village, Manhattan Inn, and Pauly Gee's, both in Greenpoint.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simplicity is Bliss.

Speaking of simple design working well... I've had a Remodelista daily email sitting in my inbox for a month (actually, exactly ! September 20th), that showed the work of Michaela Scherrer, interior designer from Pasadena, CA (you'll die if you go through the projects on her site. Above is the tip of the iceberg). I am downright obsessed with these clean images, uses of white, and details of chroma and color. She really visually teaches that there is no "white." Everything is a color. Couldn't you move in to any one of these rooms ? Bathrooms included ? In love.

[images courtesy of Remodelista]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Inside, Please.

It's rainy + grey out. Which makes me want to be cozy inside. Have you ever stayed at an Ace Hotel ? I haven't, but I love the Lobby in the one up the street from me. And I just love this shot of the Portland edition above. Such simple things = such an interesting design. Hospital cornered blankets + photo shoot lights ? Pennies become infinite coolness.

There is a great article in a recent NY Mag about the design team Roman + Williams, + their journey from being no one to being the city's authority on Hipster/Vintage cool. If you live in NYC and haven't visited the Ace Lobby, go get a coffee at Stumptown, a drink at The Breslin, or a sandwich at the No. 7 Sub Shop. Also exciting is that The John Dory is reopening as an Oyster Bar at this 29th Street location. YUM. (As you can see The Ace is more than just a pretty face). Stay dry today !

[Photos courtesy of Remodelista + NYMag]

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soul Warming

I spied this while waiting for sandwiches in Flour Bakery this weekend in Boston. I just love it. Six words manage to say so much. You see yourself at a kitchen table with legs swinging, to short to reach the ground, the one voice on the other end of the phone that makes yours tremble no matter how strong you've been, or the hug that feels so encompassing and safe you could melt and stay there for the rest of your life. It's nice knowing no matter how tough life gets we have "soup" in some form to help it go down easier. And if we're lucky -- it's some good Jewish Matzoh Ball, or Chicken :). Hope everyone has fantastic Mondays !

Friday, October 15, 2010

Passing Through

Have you ever noticed some of our favorite things are those that last the least amount of time ? I was at a beautiful memorial service this past weekend, and in her Eulogy, the sister of the girl who passed mentioned that one of her sister's favorite songs was "Sacrifice" by Elton John. She said she particularly loved the line, "some things look better baby, just passing through," and that this line helped her when something she loved ended. Ever since I've noticed how many fleeting things are what we cherish most--like babies + sunsets, or fresh cut flowers. Maybe we give them extra attention, and they're that much sweeter, because we know how quickly they'll be gone. Soon babies become people, day turns to night, flowers wilt. Of course everything in life is fleeting, but some seem to slip through our fingers so much quicker. The wonderful thing is that we get them at all, and that they come around again. Another birth, another evening, another trip to the garden.

[images are a hike in Northern Cali Monday morning, my friend's sweet baby Will this past weekend, and the sunset out my window a few nights ago].

Have a wonderful weekend !

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Way Life Should Be.

Liz and I share a common love for the State of Maine. I started going to Maine at age 10 for summer camp. I spent 6 beautiful, perfect, innocent summers at Matoaka -- 1 Great Place (our actual address !) in Waterville, Maine. Then as you know, Liz + I went to College there, and Liz and John got Married there. Now I think we both just look for excuses to go. Lucky for me a best friend is getting married there this summer.

Anywho -- this new perfume " Maine " has gotten editorial everywhere. I don't even focus on perfume sections in mags (why do I care what you say it smells like ?! I need to actually smell it. Thanks.), and I've still noticed it nothing short of four times. And to be honest, I wanted it the second I saw it. I am very particular about perfumes, I layer two currently, and I already know I want it. Pllleeeeaaaseee let me smell like Maine. I see running bare feet, cool blue lakes, a sparkling sun, crisp air filled with burning leaves, apple orchards, blueberry pie, salty rocky coast air, I could go on, but what could be better ?

[Images courtesy of MCMC fragrances]

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where I'm Coming From.

As Liz said I'm applying for a master's right now, and while I do I'm taking some classes. One is a class in color, my favorite of most favorite topics. My confession though, is that no matter how much l love mixing new colors, swirling my palette knife around, or meticulously applying the paint to grids + wheels + charts ... My favorite part ? When I get up after all my concentration, turn the faucet on, and watch the colors run together, or thin out, or grow. I like the found combinations I hadn't planned on, but happened to house next to each other in their divots. I overheard a girl in my class say she preferred her metal palette to her plastic, because the paints didn't stain the steel color like they did the white. And it's funny because for as type A as I am, those stains are one of my favorite parts. Like an antique quilt faded from time in the sun and loving washes, or a table whose rings tell the stories of a thousand dinner parties, a colored patched palette warms my soul.

And I find myself snapping pictures of these palettes as I let the water run though my sink. For what ? I don't even know, but lucky you, you get to see them too.

I went to wash this last one last week + thought to myself how ugly it was. Clumpy and dark, I had no plan of photographing it. But as I stared and thought this, I realized how much I felt like that palette on this particular day. I was having a very sad day that felt heavy and blue. It was dark, and felt like I had to trudge through the muck, instead of swimming though cool lake water.

So I took a photo of him too. It felt worthy after it felt representative. And I don't even know why I'm sharing this with you except to say color is one of my favorite things (and I usually use too many words to say very simple things). And to love objects and people for where they are worn + tattered + imprinted, because that is where they've been loved or hurt -- probably the things that have made them the better imperfect that they are today

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Hostess.

(Liz + I at her wedding)
Hope you enjoyed your long weekend ! Okay – I SWEAR this is the longest post I’ll ever write. But it’s hard to talk about the people you love, right ? I know some of Liz’s readers are close friends and family that know how wonderful she is. And even those of you who have only met her briefly because she made your wedding invitations, or at the stationary show, or even if you’ve only ever read her blog, you get the sense that she’s great, right ? But people, I have some big shoes to fill writing for her this month. I have tossed and turned over what is right or will ever live up. I don’t think I know yet, but I do know I can’t write without telling you all how important she is to me. I also hope she doesn’t mind that this is soooo long, or sorta personal, but I get chatty (she knows this).

As Liz said, She and I have known each other for a long time. Before we ever met she was a cool “upper-schooler” to me. I even remember meeting her for the first time when she and my sister were going out to lunch one day (I must have been 14 or 15). Somehow our friendship grew from there—even through High School when two years is a humongous age difference. I still have mix tapes she made me covered in sparkly stickers, and brightly labeled letters she sent to me at summer camp (L&H precursor). Our relationship grew into more of a friendship and less big/little sister when I joined her and my sister at Bates College, and then even more so when I came to New York. As she said, I unknowingly followed along, a few years behind, in her footsteps --we both even studied in Firenze, albeit different years (But let’s be honest, she followed me downtown—I lived there first :) ).

In New York we spent more and more time together, and as we both started our companies (I remember sitting in Chat&Chew on 6th Ave when she first told me about her passion for cards/paper/stationary) we started holding weekly “creative meetings” at Grey Dog Café, halfway between our apartments (which were only about 3 blocks apart anyway). We took them seriously, and would spread out her new note cards and envelopes, and Id flip through drawings I was working on. There was never judgment or fear of. She became one of my most important sounding boards in work and in life. Week after week, we’d trudge in, in big snow boots and wool coats in the winter, stomping snow off our shoes, pulling off wool hats. Or we’d rush in for AC relief, sweating in sunglasses and cotton dresses in the summer—fanning ourselves with their laminated menus. I can see a movie clip in my mind of us entering through that door season after season, different haircuts, different clothing trends, same line at the counter, same order. It was there she told me she was engaged, and there she told me she was buying a house. So many grown up decisions, so many important life choices. All the while, no matter what was going on with her, she remained my cheerleader and my support. No event in my life has ever been to small for her undivided attention. For years when we’d buy each other gifts or write thank yous, our notes went on and on about how important we were to each other, how much we were really more like sisters. That faded when I think we both silently accepted we’d repeated ourselves enough. There was no new way to say it. She was like a sister, and short + sweet became more important because the rest was understood.

There are very few people we can actually count as family who are not. But for the past 12 or more years Liz has never ever once treated me like my life, was less than the most important thing in the world. Every birthday and Christmas a beautiful gift, every week a check-in (the last few years more like every day), every sadness a hug or encouragement. And of course the endless unexpected :: she took over as my marathon coach when she knew I was panicked over an injury, she listens quietly when I’m sad, and never forgets a follow up note or email of support. She, like family, has made me feel like my talents (or lack thereof) are worthy of the highest accolades in the world. She has done many many things that have been exactly what I needed at that exact moment--like she has a viewfinder into my head and my heart, and quietly takes action. There has never once been a mention or feeling of owing, or counting, or deserving. It is a selflessness that really rarely exists anywhere, and when it does is 99% granted to family. No fooling, I could cry thinking about it. Miss Liz is more than a friend to me on many levels. She is someone I will never be able to repay for all she has done. I hope anyone reading this (congrats if you made it this far !) has a friend they can tuck in this category. It is irreplaceable.

And I still haven’t don’t her justice – honest.
And then you add to this that we both have great taste—so friendship and art intertwine and here I am, thanks for having me, Liz :).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hi There.

Liz's introduction to my little guest appearance here is way too kind, and I will share Liz from my perspective, but I don't think Griffin's gorgeous little face has gotten enough airtime yet (way cuter than mine !). I'm sure Liz will have plenty more to share when she returns to her laptop, but I just had to have him up for another few days. Look at these beautiful open eyes ! I got to hold him at about 22 hours. Twenty-two hours. Can you even imagine what that means ? I can't. But I do know it means the softest skin, the most perfect little features, and the warmest burrito wrapped nugget body in the whole wide world.

You'll learn I like quotes. A lot. There are so many reasons to love children at every stage of youth, and one very selfish one is the reminder of what it is to have the innocence to make pirate ship sails out of sheets, hear reindeer hooves on roofs, and the curiosity to watch ants at work on their hills, and inch-worm bodies move up and down, up and down.

I cut this quote off the tag of a doll my mother bought me years and years ago. Ive had it taped into a notebook ever since. Just some of the wonderful things Griffin has in store.

"Know you what it is to be a child ? It is to be something very different from the man of today... It is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief.; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has a fairy god-mother in its soul." -- Francis Thompson, 1908

More on Griffin's Mama Monday. Have a lovely weekend !

Thursday, October 7, 2010

L&H Blog Contributor: Lizzy Sall

I am so excited to announce that my dear friend Lizzy will be contributing to the blog while I take some time off to be with the baby.  Lizzy & I went to high school & college together, and we both majored in Art.  She also majored in English, so you've got a real writer on your hands now!

As you've seen in some of my recent posts, Lizzy has been helping John & I with some changes to our apartment.  She has a great eye, sources items & suggests changes we might have never considered, and tells us what stays & what needs to go.  As an expectant Mama, her direction has been critical to my nesting. And as someone who is challenged by making spatial decisions, she has single-handedly made my home a happier one.

Lizzy's talents cast a wide net.  She worked for several fashion designers before starting her own line, which she & her partner sadly but responsibly had to fold during the recession. She is an avid baker (did you see the pics from my baby shower??), writes for Sunday Suppers as well as her own blog Puddin' Pie, is applying for a master's degree in interior design, has impeccable taste and is just about the most wonderful person you'd be lucky enough to know & even luckier to call a friend.  I'm not one for superlatives.  It's just true.

I'm thrilled & honored to have Lizzy contributing here on the L&H blog and know that I'm leaving you all in very good hands.  Sit back & enjoy!  This is gonna be good!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's a Boy!

 On Monday night, we welcomed Griffin Libre, our 8lb. 10oz.  hefty & healthy baby boy.  I have never felt such excitement, such great anticipation, and such incredible love as I have in the past 24 hours.  We are absolutely over the moon & enjoying every sleep-deprived second with this little guy.

As I mentioned before, I'm taking a little break from blogging this month, but I'm leaving you in great hands.  Stay tuned for her intro.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Anya Hindmarch: The Bespoke Collection

Anya Hindmarch is a UK designer known for her super cool & classy collection of handbags and accessories. Last fall, she launched her Bespoke collection, which I have only really heard about through my sister who lives in London. The collection isn't available online yet & while there aren't many images of it out there either, there is this great video of Anya in shop, where she talks about her desire to move away from the seasonal It Bag & shows you some of the amazing customizable options of the collection. Seeing this video not only makes me want to hand write something to be inscribed inside a luxe-leather-something, but it also makes me want to beam myself there right now just to touch everything. It all looks so gorgeous. I'm sure the pieces are not cheap, but what a fantastic idea. Take a look at the video here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

From the {Nursery} Fridays: October Baby!

So yesterday was my due date.  Come & gone.  Which means... we're having an October baby!  A little pumpkin!  :)  My mom was an October baby, so I kinda love that they will share that. 

It's pretty crazy knowing that within the next week, we'll have a baby!  Now that we're down to the final definite week, I get giddy & feel like pinching myself every time I think about it - seven days!  Or less!  Are you a boy or a girl, little one??  Oooooh, I can't wait!

But first, I realized that I haven't told you my plans for the blog while I have the baby.  Sorry about that!  Been a little distracted.  I am planning on taking October off - in both work & blog life.  I'll post updates and photos here & there, but not consistently.  Not to worry though.  I have someone filling in a couple times a week, who I know you'll just love.  I'll wait to introduce her until... it's time:)

Happy Weekend, everyone!

[Photo above of me holding the first gift we received for Baby Libre from our good friends: little hand-knitted shoes.  Love!]