Saturday, January 31

Last Day of the Rose & Radish Sale!

One of the most charming shops online and, I imagine, in person (I'd love to visit!), Rose and Radish is having a January sale--but it ends today! Thinking ahead for Valentine's, there are just so many fine pieces to choose from. Enter code THANKS09 on the shopping cart page.

add to kirtsy

Wednesday, January 28

101 Things: The Big To-Do List Part 10

53. Get to work on adding photographs to our wedding album and make plans for a family heirloom book (aren't these Good Stock books so delightful?).

54. Grow my first rose bush. I simply love the descriptions--this one from David Austin's catalog: "The flowers are initially tea-scented but often develop a wonderful combination of sauterne wine and strawberry." Some day I would love to have the skills to grow a pergola tumbling with roses....

55. Write more letters--more inspired, thoughtful, sentimental letters. (One of my very favorite letter writers is Elizabeth Bishop (if you've never read her poem "One Art," you must). There's something profoundly passionate and inconclusive about her loving correspondence with Robert Lowell.)

Update: Starting a letter-writing project for our baby-to-be...more on this soon!

56. Hear a new poet read every year.

Elizabeth Alexander's beautiful poem at the Inauguration had me wishing to catch her in person in the most near-as-possible future...! She wrote, "What if the mightiest word is love?/Love beyond marital, filial, national,/love that casts a widening pool of light,/love with no need to pre-empt grievance./In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,/any thing can be made, any sentence begun./On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,/
praise song for walking forward in that light." Love indeed.

To find out about poetry near you, National Poetry Month and more, visit the Academy of American Poets.

57. Learn more about dance history (this book reviewed in the NYTimes last week looks wonderful) and read some biographies of Martha Graham, Anna Pavlova and Rudolf Nureyev. Is there anything more romantic, truly?

To be continued...!

add to kirtsy

Tuesday, January 27

Home Is Where the Art Is: Rose Cabat

Reading through the NYTimes art section today, I feel in love with this image (top) of Rose Cabat's pottery. After her children were raised, Cabat returned to making the art she loved as a child. Often working in isolation, critics have said her work is truly original, influenced by no other potter or trend. Cabat created a line of pots she called 'Feelies', vessels with narrow spouts and glazes that feel feathery to the touch. Some are as small as 2 inches (to fit in your hand!) and others of much grander sizes. Get this: Cabat is still living in Tucson, she's almost 100 years old and she continues to make work! I can't get enough of the jewel tones, the rich earthy tones--I need to see them in person. I'm truly becoming ceramic obsessed...!

(Images found here, here and here.)

add to kirtsy

Monday, January 26

Sweet Find: Bold & Noble

Simply elegant--I love these intricate, folksy designs from Bold & Noble. I'm all about giving art--wouldn't these be great for weddings and baby showers?

add to kirtsy

Sunday, January 25

Pretty Primer: Design a Play Tent

How darling are these play tents? I'm wondering how hard or easy (hopefully!) it might be to make one of these--future gift for my niece and nephew, maybe. Four long dowels, some wide pieces of fabric, some ribbon, a little sewing--what's your sense, is it possible? I can just see a little one playing pretend or snuggling up cozy! These kiddo hideaways from vessel and Anthropologie.

add to kirtsy

Wednesday, January 21

Home Is Where the Art Is: Kim Sayer

I was reading the backlog of Desire to Inspire entries I'd been meaning to get to (such a super blog!) and, in the process, fell head over heels in love with the work of Kim Sayer, especially the fresh and witty photographs of her Dinky Toy collection. The first of their kind, these snappy little die-cast cars were first released in England in 1934 and meant to accompany model train sets already in production. Maybe you remember my beloved vintage pickup from our wedding? I just couldn't resist expanding the collection and found some lovely companions on eBay. Can't wait til they arrive! What collectibles have been on your mind lately? Any fun new finds?

add to kirtsy

Tuesday, January 20

First Lady Style: Designer Isabel Toledo

Michelle Obama looked so elegant this morning in yellow brocade from Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo. I just adore the lines she creates for each garment--such a rich array of shapes. Of her work, the curator of the Kent State Museum writes, "Effortless at first glance, her garments are actually painstakingly engineered to be fluid and comfortable and to feel familiar. Even the elaborate spinning helixes, suspended shapes and geometrical constructions are anchored with both pragmatism and poetry." Truly.

(Images from here, here and here.)

add to kirtsy

Monday, January 19

Into the Kitchen: Valentine's Sweet Treats

When it comes to Valentine's Day, I just love breakfast--something slightly sweet (m'm french toast!) with a nice rich cup of coffee. Of course, I admit, I won't turn down dessert at any time of the day...! What are your favorite love-inspired culinary treats?

Recipes: vanilla-maple french toast with warm berries, amaretto and cranberry kiss cocktail, Lulu's Bake Shoppe linzer cookies, Amy Butler's red velvet cupcakes via d*s, cranberry coffeecake, caramel pecan cakes.

add to kirtsy

Friday, January 16

Great Read: New Southern Weddings Magazine!

What a wonderful weddings development: the new Southern Weddings Magazine! Some of my very favorite designers and bloggers are featured--congrats, ladies! I can't wait until my copy arrives. Order yours here.

add to kirtsy

Making My Day: Kids Letters to Obama

This article from the NYTimes is absolutely endearing. A couple of my favorites:

Dear President Obama,

Here is a list of the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Fly to the White House in a helicopter.
2. Walk in.
3. Wipe feet.
4. Walk to the Oval Office.
5. Sit down in a chair.
6. Put hand-sanitizer on hands.
7. Enjoy moment.
8. Get up.
9. Get in car.
10. Go to the dog pound.

— Chandler Browne, age 12, Chicago

Dear President Obama,

I am small, quiet, smart. I love to swim and play basketball. My mom and dad are from the Dominican Republic. I am going to the Dominican Republic next year. I think you should try to change the world by building shelters for the people who live in the streets. It’s the beginning of January, and it’s cold. Good luck being the president.

— Pamela Mejia, age 11, Boston

add to kirtsy

Thursday, January 15

Into the Kitchen: Quick Weeknight Dinner

With a busy, busy schedule, I haven't made a proper dinner in what feels like ages. Today I was so happy to get back into the kitchen and I whipped up our meal in under an hour--I couldn't believe it! Potato-corn chowder from Martha and yummy popovers from epicurious.

For the soup, I left out the green beans for S and added some heavy cream to thicken the broth--in the end, delectable, creamy goodness! 

I finally got to use the popover pan my mother-in-law gave me last year and it worked like a dream. If you're nervous about making the pastries work, I highly recommend following the recipe closely: get your pan nice and hot first and when you mix the batter, definitely warm the milk--it does the trick for every time! The gruyere isn't necessary but, boy, it is a nice subtle treat. Crunchy, light, soft--they're just the best.

(Images from here and here.)

add to kirtsy

Designing Wedding Heirlooms: Card Birdcages

Lovely new birdcages at Anthropologie--one on sale too! We had a painted bamboo cage at our shindig and we're still using it as decoration in our living room. I've heard they look awfully nice with potted violets inside, too.

add to kirtsy

I Have a Dream

"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love." Monday is Martin Luther King Day--this new year is flying already! I'm excited to enjoy the long weekend and give back on the National Day of Service. S and I are going to spend some time at our local women's center assembling HIV education kits. More information about opportunities near you on the Obama's USA Service site and the MLK Day site. Volunteering really feels like a great way to get geared up for the inauguration festivities!

add to kirtsy

Home Is Where the Art Is: Michael S. Smith

How amazing are these rooms by Michael S. Smith? I'm so eager to see what he'll do as the new White House interior decorator. The fresh, airy expressions with antiques--what a brilliant choice.

add to kirtsy