My husband and I are taking a trip to Florence and the Tuscan countryside this Spring. I am in the process of doing research for our exciting getaway but I keep getting sidetracked by images of the amazing storefront signage and overall design. I must focus! But in the meantime, here are some of the images that have caught my eye.
Last week, I spent a morning helping with an art project in my daughter’s second grade class. The kids carved simple bird outlines into a little foam “plate” and we created a series of prints from each one. In the end, we selected a few to frame and a few to cut out and create a huge tree of “singing” birds to hang in their classroom. Being behind a computer all day, it’s easy to forget the joys of creating something with your hands, and this brought it all back; no “command z” to erase mistakes, no Photoshop to fix color. It was a much needed reminder that there is unexpected beauty in imperfections and complete joy in a tactile process.
My husband and I were given this gorgeous book recently. It’s a cookbook from a restaurant in Venice, Italy. I have always loved most things Italian: graphic design, their unparalleled craftsmanship, and last, but not least, their food. This book strikes all the right chords.
I was so taken with the design: the gold foil stamped title, the beautiful octopus illustration, the mono-toned, metallic printed maps of Venice on the end paper and the gorgeous photos of the restaurant and surrounding areas in Venice. The book design is not only beautiful, but brilliant… They have stripped away the outer spine of the book leaving the logo, glue and stitching exposed. This not only creates a distinctive look, but the book actually lays flat on the kitchen counter while you cook.
I’m in love with everything about the furniture company “Jardan”. Family owned and run, they design and craft every piece by hand. I love that their designs feel modern but the natural materials lend such warmth. I just wish they were in San Francisco instead of Australia!
One of my favorite blogs to visit is The Design Blog. Their website provides me with never-ending inspiration in the areas of graphic design, industrial design, fashion, animation, etc. They provide daily posts and my absolute fave is Monday, Designer of the Week. The graphic designers that they choose are always off the charts. Here’s to hoping one day we will find A Day in May on there…
I was so inspired by this article I just read. Gaylord Schanilic combines all my loves – design, books and letterpress – and creates the most exquisite pieces of art. From the paper and type to the illustrations and bindery, every detail is done by hand. In an age where most people do their reading electronically and producing a book often takes only a few keystrokes, this was a wonderful reminder that some books that are meant to be held.
Ok, guilty pleasure admission, I love HGTV’s show Fixer Upper. Watching Joanna and Chip take a house from ho-hum to wow in a single episode is really inspiring. As we continue with our own home renovations, I just love watching them work. Take a look at some of these great spaces they have created. I love the neutral palettes, textured design details and natural elements:
I’m hooked! Making the chutney was so much fun – and such a terrific hostess gift to have on hand – that I decided to give “canning” another go. My friend Jocelyn has the most bountiful Meyer lemon tree imaginable and January is prime picking season. Preserved lemons are the easiest things to make: slice, salt and jar. And of course, no jar is complete without a proper label…
I’ve been looking around for the perfect wallpaper and recently stumbled upon Kreme. I am particularly taken with their Muse line. The designs are so fresh and fun and have this wonderfully subtle watercolor quality to them. Perfect for an accent wall or bathroom.
I spotted these “tents” while on vacation last week. How great would they be in a backyard or even better, in my kids’ room? Instant reading nook-hideout-fort and oh-so fantastic looking!
I recently took my daughter to a LEGO exhibit called “A BILLION BRICKS” in Stamford CT. The creativity blew me away. A few men basically locked themselves in a room for a couple weeks and built the most astounding 3-dimensional scene. It included trucks, spaceships, helicopters, ships, subways, dragons, full-speed trains, and a million interesting little LEGO people. And all of it, the entire imaginary world, was built out of the classic LEGO brick.
I’m leaving the California rain and heading to Mexico! Here’s what’s in my bag…
1. Black bikini – classic, timeless and it just never gets old.
2. Skinceuticals CE ferulic – I swear by this stuff. It’s a splurge but so, so worth it.
3. Old Navy tank maxi dresses – I’m not afraid to splurge but I’m just as happy to save. Every year, I buy a handful of basic tank dresses from Old Navy. They are so comfortable (I’ve slept in them) and magically easy to toss over a bathing suit or dress up for dinner.
4. Great book – No kindle for me. I love the feel of paper and this book is on my to-read list.
5. Chunky jewelry – To dress up my basic dresses, nothing does it better than great jewelry. I love the pieces at winifredgrace.com
6. I bring 4 pair of shoes: gold flip flops, silver flip flops, black flip flops and…
7. Nike “Free” running shoes – I’m religious about my running and these are my favorites.
8. Cover-up – I’ll bring a dozen but this one from from lemlem.com is so beautiful.
9. Straw hat – I like the casual vibe of this style. This one’s from Calypso, but I actually bought mine from my local hardware store!
My family and I just arrived at a winter wonderland for the holidays. At Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Colorado, the only thing missing is Santa Claus. We are all looking forward to ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ski mobiles and hot chocolate. Merry Christmas everybody!
One of my favorite things to do in Sausalito over the holidays is their annual Gingerbread tour. Shops from one end of town to the other create their own gingerbread houses and they range from the traditional to the truly sublime. (Yes, that’s a gingerbread throne in the second and third row of photos) And though 36 Marie Street wasn’t on the tour, we couldn’t resist doing one of our own.
I’m spending time with my family on the East Coast right now and it’s always fun to see the new developments in my hometown. The store BACK 40 MERCANTILE is a wonderful new addition to Old Greenwich, CT. I’ve already done some holiday shopping there for my husband and step-sons. All their products are organic, sustainable and locally sourced. The overall aesthetic is a combo of earthy colors, wonderful textures, and innovative design. An A Day in May dream, and did I mention, I love their logo!
I won’t admit how long it’s been since I’ve been to the Mission. Just know that it’s been way, way too long. So last weekend, my husband and I decided to remedy that and spend a late afternoon doing a little bar-hopping, food tasting and store perusing. It was literally a feast for my stomach AND eyes. One of the last spots we visited was Mission Cheese. I was in heaven to be sitting in this rustic, cozy little spot. Yes, chalkboard type is everywhere, but how cool are those sheep! Look closely, the “wool” is created from all the names of everyone involved with the creation of Mission Cheese.
Pink never looks better than on toddlers in tutus. Check out my daughter and her buddies at ballet class this past week working hard on their dance moves.
I’m a true homebody at heart, so when my friend Jocelyn invited me to her parents house in Sonoma for an afternoon and evening of making apple chutney, I couldn’t think of anything more perfect. We chopped and simmered apples, sipped wine and filled 45 jars with our delicious mixture. And of course, no chutney is quite complete unless it has a proper label.
The always magnificent Tjasa Owen, landscape artist, gave me this lovely gift for my birthday last week. Her creativity and generosity are boundless. Thank you, Tjasa!
We are embarking on a home addition next year, expanding our main floor into a larger, open family space. One of our challenges will be how to transition a high traffic kitchen floor into wood floor that exists in the rest of the house.
I loved some of these solutions – We could blend tile into wood or use a porcelain tile that looks like wood. I also fell in love with all the work at Tabarka Studio. Their wood floorings are works of art!