I loved this “gratitude” post on Meri Cherry.
If you’ve never been to this site, take a moment to poke around a bit. It’s full of absolutely terrific crafts to do with your kids. For this craft, it was almost impossible not to create something lovely. We ended up with such a gorgeous collection of little cards – our big dilemma now is whether to frame them or pair them with pretty envelopes and give them as gifts!
Tiffany Shlain is one of the the most inspiring, engaging individuals I’ve ever met. She’s an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, founder of the Webby Awards, and all-around creative powerhouse. She uses film to raise questions and engage people in discussions on everything from friendship to the pursuit of happiness. On Friday, I was lucky enough to see the premier of her new short film, The Adaptable Mind. Not only did I love the issues it presented, but it was such visually creative way to convey her ideas.
One of the highlights of my summer was a trip to Rockland, Maine to celebrate my Dad’s 80th birthday. Maine is so stunning and it was the perfect setting for a week of festivities. For the actual birthday party, we took over a rustic little boathouse on the edge of the water and kept the decor simple: navy checkered table cloths, jelly jars filled with wildflowers that my daughters and I picked that morning, custom napkins with a fun logo (www.foryourparty.com), plenty of champagne and of course, the perfect view.
I just got back from a week in Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Idaho. It was the most perfect way to detach (no cell service!), relax and soak up the beautiful outdoors in a pair of cowboy boots. It was truly spectacular. (Someone needs to have a wedding here!)
My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week with a trip to Sons & Daughters in San Francisco. The restaurant has 83 acres of dedicated farmland in the Santa Cruz Mountains and you can taste it in every bursting bite. They have cornered the market on new veggie hybrids such as pluots, limequats, lime basil, etc, making the dining a true adventure. Then as if the food, wine and atmosphere wasn’t enough, they brought their very cool business card to our table along with the check, and of course it was letterpress. They have great taste, so what else would it have been?
Having Full Circle Press as friends is pretty spectacular – especially come birthday time. They sent me a stack of trimmed paper – drilled and prepared for book-making. It was the perfect craft for my daughter’s 8th birthday party. Accompanied by goody bags of string, crayons and colored pencils, the paper kept the group enthralled for hours. Thank you FCP and happy birthday to Tessa!
My family spent the 4th at our home in Colorado. Hands-down, the coolest spot to hang-out is in our treehouse. Check out the youngest member of our clan catching up on some reading.
I love a simple centerpiece on my dining room table – flowers in a single color, a collection of rocks that my girls pick up on the beach … or plums from the tree in our garden. Paired with a pretty bowl, it turns my table into summer.
I’m going crazy over these wooden tiles from Charleston-based, Mirth Studio. Inspired by cement Moroccan tiles, they lend color and pattern to any room. I’m imagining the “Poppy” floor tile in my daughter’s room, the “Café” riser decal for my stairs, and the “Harmony” wall tile for a powder bathroom backsplash.
My husband and I are always in search of the perfect after-dinner chocolate. Our newest discovery is Dandelion Chocolate (don’t you love that name?) made right in the Mission District of San Francisco. For all you health enthusiasts, who eat chocolate, the bars are dairy and gluten free. The packaging is wonderful, too. They have all the design touches we love at A Day in May: gold foil stamping, beautiful patterns, and lastly, a hand-made touch. They print the “batch” of chocolate right on each bar, and also on the back you will find the chocolatier’s handwritten initials marking their work.
One of our favorite home activities has to be doing a “kiwi crate”. It arrives once a month – a little box of kid-craft-heaven that makes my girls literally bounce with excitement. I’m a sucker for the clean, bright design and I’m blown away by how terrific the actual product is. They have thought of everything: the packaging is lovely, the graphics are simple and easy to understand, each box comes with absolutely everything you need for the activity, and the projects themselves are always truly original. Plus, each kit is set up to provide many different experiences – two crafts, an idea-book for related activities, plus the box itself is designed as a useable craft.
I am fascinated with this Spanish company, GAN, specializing in rugs and poufs. The designs are so original and chic. With a two year old at home, I am constantly finding myself sitting on the floor playing tea party, blocks, you name it, and I’m always looking for something to lean against. My husband and I laugh that we have started collecting bean bags and poufs. If you, too, are in the market for floor lounging aids, shop no further: gan-rugs.com
One of the fun things about iPhones is that your photo book can trigger happy memories at any given moment. I just stumbled upon this photo from last summer – my daughter Sabine playing at the Calistoga Ranch kids’ pool. There’s just something about that big beach ball, floppy butterfly hat, and her pink dress! Bring on the ice cream cones, sand in our toes and lazy days. Summer is just around the corner.
I just spent Mother’s day at Indian Springs in Calistoga, the oldest operating spa in California. Wine country has it’s share of luxurious spots brimming with modern polish and posh, so it’s pretty wonderful to find a beautiful, family-friendly place with a whisper of roughness around the edges. Think swanky sanitarium meets mom & pop motor court. They underwent a renovation in 2014 but still maintained the original architectural details and touches. This place truly makes you feel like you’ve walked back in time.
I just sent flowers to a good friend today. I have pretty high standards when it comes to floral delivery and I am normally unhappy with the presentation, but today there was good news! I found Olive and Cocoa. They offer really interesting and beautiful containers and unique floral designs ranging from hip succulents to the happiest Springtime blooms. Check it out for yourself – www.oliveandcocoa.com
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I’ve lately been fascinated with graphic, simplified forms of illustration. I was mesmerized by this recent little video on Charley Harper. His minimalist drawings of animals are utterly gorgeous. I love how he’s able to distill a complex subject down to it’s bare minimum, rendering only the most important details to convey the form.
My husband is Argentine which means, happily for me, that when we travel to see his wonderfully large family, we get to go to Buenos Aires. We are visiting now and my daughter was given a very cool coloring book by a famous artist here called Milo. Milo’s artistic style is whimsical and full of color so it has translated perfectly into a child’s world. The book itself is oversized so each image inside feels like a poster. And my favorite touch, at the bottom of each page, Milo adds: “Artist: Milo Y ………” Sabine cannot write her name yet, so I have been doing the honors there but she has been handling all the coloring. Enjoy the images of Milo’s famous work which can be viewed all around Buenos Aires as well as my daughter’s artistic flair.
Spring arrives at my house with an extra air of festivity: two of my daughters celebrate their birthdays a single day apart. Though I don’t love the madness, I’m a sucker for creating a fabulous cake. My sister-in-law Katrina, one of the most stylish people I know, turned me on to these wonderful edible butterflies – the perfect topper to a cake, large or small. My girls were entranced!
I hope everyone had a lovely Easter! It’s always one of my favorite holidays with the brightly colored eggs, springtime flowers, the promise of new beginnings and of course jelly beans. Here are some pics of our family egg hunt featuring my daughter and one of my step sons (aka the Easter bunny).
I recently discovered the “20 Ways to draw…” series from Quarry books. I bought them with my daughters in mind but they are slowly slipping onto my own book shelf instead. The books take a theme (flowers, clothes, trees, etc.) and present 20 stylized drawings for each object within that theme. There are no “how-to’s”. Instead, the drawings are beautifully simple, rendered to their most basic lines and shapes in such a lovely manner that they seem very doable. I find myself turning to the books repeatedly, not only for graphic design projects but because they are triggering ideas and giving me inspiration to do some monoprints and etchings.