Saturday, February 28

Pretty Primer: Crafty Books

Friday evenings, sometimes S and I go out for dinner and head to the bookstore--it's one of the best dates, hands down. We dream about travel, art, nature, music...there's simply nothing better.

This trip I found some lovely new sewing books: Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing for Baby by Lotta Jansdotter, Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule and Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross and John Gruen. I just adore the aprons and baby bloomers in the Ross and Gruen book--patterns included. So many great projects, now I just need to learn how to run a sewing machine--this girl can hand sew like there's no tomorrow but...! Most of my clothes were handmade as a kid--isn't it great that the trend is returning and with style?

Browsing the shelves, I also leafed through How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith and she has come up with such a refreshing list of 'explorations' (one of my favorite words, by the way!)--many of which would be great for the kids, too. Take this one for example:

Exploration #46: "Found Patterns -- Collect or document as many patterns as you can find while on your travels. You may decide to use only patterns in nature, or human-made, or both. Pencil rubbings work well for this."

You could write, collect scraps, draw, paint, record audio many possibilities. Once upon a time, when I was in ed school, I had a professor who had a whole lecture class--I'm talking 100+ people--observe the moon. Those were the instructions: 'observe the moon.' It was simply remarkable how many ways we approached the assignment. I've never forgotten--what a lesson in the range and depth of human curiosity. What are your favorite explorations?

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Thursday, February 26

Heirloom Nursery: Handmade Baby Bibs

When it comes to preparing for baby, I've been pretty disappointed in the mealtime linens out there--the bibs simply aren't practical, they're expensive, they're (dare I say it) so gaudy or they just seem so industrial for a little person. Instead, I'm thinking of trying to make a handful of these Martha Stewart towel bibs--I imagine they'll be soft, sturdy, tastefully colorful, imminently washable. What a great shower gift, too! My best friend got us these beautiful jacquard hand towels from Anthropologie (she's got the best taste!) and I'm thinking of getting a few more to try them out. If not for a little person, then why not for sewing up one of these great tea towel aprons? Oh, how I love Martha's craftiness!

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In the Spotlight: Naomi Shihab Nye

One of my very favorite poets, Naomi Shihab Nye, is teaching here as a visiting writer in just a couple weeks and--it would be an understatement to say--I'm excited. I'm scurrying around trying to find poems to share with the workshop (it's been months since I wrote, eek! what do you show to someone you adore?) and can't help but think of her remarkable spirit.

The author of poetry, young adult fiction and children's anthologies, Nye lends her voice to the warm, peaceful and genuinely heartfelt: she is a true humanitarian. In an interview a couple years back, she spoke of poetry's meaning: "I think for many of us 'the fuel that feeds us' is language in the sense that language can carry us to understanding and connect us to things that matter in our lives. For those of us who trust poetry and the power of linkage that poetry gives us, it's a way of sitting quietly with words and letting them lead us somewhere." The poem Nye's referring to is called, "Hidden,"

If you place a fern
under a stone
the next day it will be
nearly invisible
as if the stone has
swallowed it.

If you tuck the name of a loved one
under your tongue too long
without speaking it
it becomes blood
the little sucked-in breath of air
hiding everywhere
beneath your words.

No one sees
the fuel that feeds you.

If you were to take one book of poetry of the library this year, I would highly recommend her collection Words Under the Words. Her poems about love and family make me believe in times like these.

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Tuesday, February 24

Great Books: Baby's Box

In my 101 things list I mentioned expanding my children's literature collection and now I have a great excuse for doing so...such a guilty, wondrous pleasure! I found this funky 'Squirrel Brand' peanut taffy crate on eBay and I've been filling it with favorites:

The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
For You Are a Kenyan Child by Kelly Cunnane and illustrated by Ana Juan (plus Juan's website is the most sweet and wacky thing)
The Five Senses by Herve Tullet (love this multimedia book for kids and adults alike!)
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats (Keats collages have always been magical to me--plus, little Willie looks a tad bit like our pooch!)

Don't kid's books just make you feel like the world is so curious, rich and alive?

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Sweet Find: Basic French

Thanks to everyone for the sweet, kind and ever-so generous messages about our little baby news! Your support means so much. I can't help but feel inspired and a little sentimental these days about the lovely design popping up all over for kids. Aren't these simple Basic French baby announcements darling? I'm such a fan of this boutique--for little people and big.

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Oscar (Wedding) Fashion

How wonderful were all the light dresses at the Oscars--are you seeing a trend here too? The draping, the pleats, the glittering satin...I was starry-eyed! Penelope Cruz may just be my favorite actress--I lovelovelove this movie. More white dresses to be found on etsy.

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Pretty Pink Party

Artfool recently created this simply fanciful kid's party for Modern Bride--pink, pink, pink and that cotton candy blue, seems like something out of a dream!

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Saturday, February 21

Designing Wedding Heirlooms: Blumchen Vintage

Oh, someone please plan your wedding with some of these vintage florals from Blumchen...! Invites, favors, napkin many possibilities!

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Great Blog: Artisan Sweets

I just stumbled upon Ashley's Artisan Sweets blog and her pastries are just so sugary, sexy and sophisticated--it's no wonder her work has been so sought after! Plus, her posts on her two little boys are a delight.

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Wednesday, February 18

A Vision for the Event: Just Comfortable Elegance

Dreamy cream and watery blue--I've been imagining an easy, easy-going LA restaurant wedding. Elegant cake, dinner and fine clothes you'll definitely wear again. What's your feeling--could the bride have one bridesmaid dressed in relaxed shades of white too?

Image sources: Jennifer Behr, Anna Williams, JCrew, Truli Confectionary Arts, Banana Republic, JCrew, the lettered olive, Dandelion Ranch.

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Sunday, February 15

Beauty Bliss: Simple Luxuries

Lately, I'm all about the beautiful, unbeatable basics. My favorites: Origins Paradise Found body scrub, flat bobby pins (also available in gold), fresh sugar lychee soap, Aveda vintage clove shampoo and my favorite jewelry, Wide Arc earrings by By Boe--they look so modern and organic with a bob!

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Thursday, February 12

A Little Valentine's Day Announcement

Happiest of Valentine's Days, friends! With all this love going around, I thought today might be a good day to tell you our exciting little news: I'm four months pregnant! We are so, so thrilled--I feel like my heart's got wings! Thank you for all your support these past few months--oxoxox!

(Red booties from here and love birds from here.)

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