You might remember a little while back I featured some fabulous door-hangers from Hobocamp Crafts as the Awesome Item of the Day. WELL, now’s your chance to snag one of Melissa and Zach’s totally radical coffee cuffs. Made of upcycled fabrics and an eco-friendly substitute for the cardboard rings you slip up around your morning cup of joe, these cuffs are up for grabs in a giveaway over at Trying To Be Greener. Check it out here and enter!
I want to hang copies of this all over my house. I want one in my car. And in my purse to carry around all of the time. The Now or Never watercolor print from Kate at For Me, For You is so subtle and soft, and yet a strong, clear reminder of how we should approach our days. For all of those times when we’re uncertain or scared, being reminded that the best moment is oftentimes the one we’re in is an important message to keep in mind. Doesn’t hurt if that reminder is pretty to look at.
I’ve been meaning to write about these for a little while now. I’ve had them for a couple of months, actually, and really appreciate when they’re clean and in my crazy stack of diapers.
Breezy Babies are made of a stretchy organic bamboo and cotton knit blend that is just that — stretchy. The size is great for my biggish little one and they’re easily snappi-able because of the terry-like texture. Because of the stretch they’re pretty quick to put on and hold in place. Super absorbent, I know that they’ll hold up well during errands or a long nap. The one thing I’d change is narrowing the crotch just a touch. My girl has some thighs and I find these wear just a bit wide between her legs. That part notwithstanding, I love ’em. I’m looking to clear out my stash in the near future but will definitely be holding on to these, and perhaps snagging myself a few more.
I love little bowls. I have a lot of them in my cupboards. I use them for salt, for spices when I’m cooking, for burning a cone of incense… lately I’ve been using them to feed the baby. I think I like little bowls for the same reason I like making my little pouches ; something about having small compartments for storage, the idea that good things come in small packages, knowing that there’s something special in this organized space.
The goods at Black Bird Design House are gorgeous. Made completely by hand using a wet-felting process, these little bowls totally fulfill my tiny vessel dreams. They’re bright, textured, and perfect for things like jewelry, pennies, buttons, business cards… I love, too, that they include a bit of California sunshine. I might live in NY, but at heart I will always be a California girl.
I love sweetpeas. They are one of my favorite flowers. Every year my mom plants a bunch of them in the backyard; when I was younger I used to love going out and picking big bouquets to display in the house or give to friends. When I married Bus-Stop Boy in my parents’ backyard I requested that my mom try to perfectly time the sweetpea blossoms with our wedding day.
It goes without saying, then, that when I first saw this Peaflower ring from Stellahats I was instantly taken with it. I love the size, the luster, the way it curves just so slightly at the edges to stay flush around the finger — so pretty.
Our first item was a sweet pink and white gingham jumper. This time it’s a totally awesome top, complete with a little embroidery and some lace details. I love the little cap sleeves and the tie at the back – perfect on a hot day. I plan on laying this out at some point and figuring out a pattern. Then I can make a zillion more.
Dang. Check this out. It’s totally…get this…a Robot Heart! It’s got some wire components, circuitry, and a lock and key. I pretty much can’t take the originality and Awesomeness. Catalina over at Catalina Calderon Textile Art Studio creates beautiful fabric art and this month is featuring, amongst other things, a collection inspired by robots and barnyard animals.
And Barnyard Animals.
We spent the weekend up at my Mother-In-Law’s cabin in Montrose, PA, and just got back this afternoon. I was greeted with a lovely convo on etsy letting me know that my Picnic pouch had been included in a sweet little treasury: Summer’s Comin’. It features other artists in the Hudson Valley and should definitely be checked out. Thanks to Gemini River Rocks for including me!
Got a few fun things going on in the shop, including a new size (Medium Flat) and some sweet fabric combos.
I think I’m having a love affair with felt these days. I want to buy it and use it somehow to make something bright and fun with lots of cool stitches all over it. The items over at Felt It feed my new little interest in this condensed-fiber cloth. While her original focus was on tissue cozies, she’s expanding her shop to include onesies, totes, and iPod cases. I love the tree on this onesie – the shape of the branches, the way the leaves are stitched and arranged, a bit lower to ground on one side, how the green looks on the bright red background. Super sweet.
I’m kind of digging everything about Annie and her sweet stuffed fox toys over at Bird and Little Bird. I love the fabrics and the design, that the little arms can move (or not, at your request), his fabulous scarf and that for some unique reason he’s only Semi-Fantastic. On top of that, Annie is a special-education teacher, which I completely admire and respect, and has a sweet little blog here where she talks about, among other things, her personal reviews of children books. Miss Sunshine is totally in to reading these days so I’m always open to suggestions for good reads.
I had the good fortune of finding a few boxes of baby clothes at my parents’ house this past weekend — things that my brothers and I had worn long, long ago. With my mother’s permission I snagged some fabulous little items of mine to share with Miss Sunshine, including our first treat, a pink and white checked romper with super amazing ruffles at the shoulders and an appliqued fish at the hip.
I think that my favorite part about this Item is, “a good talking to”. I don’t know why that resonates with me so much – maybe it reminds me of motherhood or grandmothers or dads … those people who keep you in line because they love you so much. Mixed-media artist Michelle over at Michelle Moode is one of those artists I admire because they make it all look so effortless. I look at her work and am in awe that someone not only has these kinds of ideas in their head but can translate them so beautifully into something real and solid.
It’s, like, “here’s some paper, ink, watercolor, graphite, beeswax, and lots of brown, white, and red thread. Let me make this beautiful piece of art.” Amazing.
I think I should just make the blanket statement that from all of these shops I am having a very hard time just picking just one Awesome Item. Once you start browsing around at Golly Bard you will see what I mean — Holly just has some of the most lovely watercolor paintings and prints. This one in particular keeps catching my eye – the pattern, the colors, the special little details of each little log. I can imagine getting an entire set of her paintings and finding the perfect wall on which to display them all together.
Today’s Awesome Item comes to you from California, where I have flown to visit my parents. Miss Sunshine and I took off on Saturday and will be headed back to NY tomorrow afternoon. I miss my Bus-Stop Boy and Jeff, but am grateful that my little one gets to spend some time with her Granny and Pops.
On to the goodness….
This. Stuff. Is. So. Awesome. Haley over at Bread of Many has some of the most unique and beautiful paper goods. As is oftentimes the case with these Awesome Items, I had a very hard time picking just one thing. These little invitations, though, caught my eye with their charm and for simply being so different and sweet. They make me want to have a party. Or just send some a couple out before the next play date. “Yes, I know we get together every week at the same time and the same place… but this week I just wanted to send you an official invitation.”
This is Jeff.
He’s our first little baby and a special part of our family. He loves to chase after sticks, frisbees, squeaky ducks — you name it, his passion is to retrieve it. He doesn’t like to let it go, though. In fact, it’s quite possible that he gets more pleasure watching you try to tug it out of his mouth than the actual running after it part.
I think, therefore, that he would love this toy. Committed to using eco-friendly materials and practices, the fine folks over at Dog and Sparrow have produced this bright chew and tug toy out of recycled fleece. I imagine that this would be so much better than the rope tug toys, which tend to fray and end up having to be tossed relatively soon because of concerns that the pooch will swallow a string. The length looks perfect, too, and I love the colors!
Ugh. I feel so terrible. I was doing so well, what with the projects I tackled in the living room and the kitchen. Next thing you know we’re on to the bathroom…which my husband just redid and I completely cleared out so it’s already pretty pulled together. That and my attempt to get some new organizing-boxes at the Container Store totally bombed.
After the bathroom it was on to the kid’s room, which I completely convinced myself that I don’t have. That is until I realized that even though my kid is only 7 months old she DOES have stuff that I need to go through and clean up and clear out. I didn’t accept this, though, until suddenly we’re on to the Master Bedroom — which totally could use a good dusting but really doesn’t have much else to do.
And then there’s the OFFICE, which has been completely neglected….
I’m sorry, Spring Cleaning comrades. I don’t know what happened. It’s like I skipped one day and that gave me license to put the rest off! Please tell me I’m not the only one out there…!!??
I learned a new art related term today: Scandinavian Design. From the Scandinavian Design Center:
Since the 1930s Scandinavian design has been guided by a humanizing approach to Modernism distinguished by functional practicality and the sophisticated simplification of form. Traditionally, Scandinavian designers have sought to enhance the quality of life through the development of appropriate and affordable product solutions – designs that are inclusive rather than exclusive.
The idea of design as a means of improving everyday life has also meant that many Scandinavian designers have focused on products for the home – from furniture and textiles to cutlery and ceramics. Their all-encompassing quest for “ideal forms” has led them to find inspiration not only from vernacular precedents that have been honed over many generations, but also from the wonderful variety of shapes found in the natural world – for example, the patterns of frozen ice, the curving shores of a lake, the texture of tree bark.
This fascination with finding definitive forms has meant that Scandinavian designers often refine their work over long periods of time in order to create the best possible solution. This careful and thoughtful approach is central to the remarkable longevity of certain Scandinavian products.
I think I want to now be a Scandinavian designer. Is that even a term — “Scandinavian designer”? Anyway – I do. Especially if it means that I’ll learn more about how to produce such beautiful, simple and functional items like these clips from modern bean. The colors of the felt and the patterns are so simple and so bright, inspired by this Scandinavian Design approach. It’s obvious, too, how much care and detail are put into every little stitch. I love them.
Obviously I’m totally in to little girl hair accessories these days. As noted before, Miss Sunshine doesn’t have much hair yet, but it’s fun to dream.
Ooooh….this is just so bright and chunky and fun to look at. It’s pretty much a party on your wrist. Clare Sutcliffe over at Softy Walter has some of the most beautiful swirly felt projects. This one in particular is almost hypnotic and would be a stand-out accessory. She also has brooches and hair clips – equally as stunning and awesome as the bracelets.
In line with my previously stated love of paper and little cards, here are some sweet hand-stitched envelopes from Miss Mayo. Made of old book pages, some tissue paper and thread, these are the kinds of things I’d just love to have in my purse for those random, “I wish I could give that person a special note” kind of moments.
I’ve had my eye on these pretty and simple business cards for a little while now. I love peacock feathers – the shimmering turquoise, purple and green, the rounded shape and the whimsical feathers blowing at the ends. I just think they’re beautiful. These calling cards from Sarah over at Thoroughly Curly Designs sweetly capture that simple beauty and would be so fun to include as part of my packaging or to hand out as a promotional piece. I love her idea, too, of giving a set to a new bride with her new, married name on them.
Tackled a few corners of the kitchen these past couple of days. Cleaned out under the sink, cleared away some cans for the mail-carrier food drive tomorrow, and sorted through my spices. Ah, the spices. Are they supposed to be alphabetical or something? That would take a considerable amount of effort and then last about 7 seconds in my kitchen. Before long the coriander would be next to the turmeric, the garlic salt tucked in between the vanilla and some cinammon. For now I’ll just stick with all tall jars together, all small tubs together, and all most used items on the Lazy Susan. This photo captures the before shot — the after, oddly, looks quite similar. Sorry I don’t have a photo. Just imagine all the tall items down below, the tubby ones on the mid shelf, and a straightened up version of the Lazy Susan.
I’m proud to have conquered under the kitchen sink. It’s dark and deep and gets very cluttered very quickly. I repurposed a wire shelf from our bathroom and am glad to have the cleaners all tucked together like that. As my baby girl gets more mobile, this will be the first cupboard with a latch, obviously. And yes, I know that Clorox cleaner is totally not eco-friendly. I can’t help it. It’s the worst offender in my cleaning arsenal, I promise. See the Meyer’s? And the Method?
Finally, a tip: For those of you with babies who are sitting up, but still a BIT wobbly (as my little one is), consider this as an option when you’d like to try and get a few things done but don’t want to set all those pillows up on the kitchen floor. Note also the improvised toy. She loves that thing.
I was totally psyched to wake up and see that this shop had come back on line. It had dropped away for a bit to revamp, but now it’s returned, looking great. Jon over at typist has pulled together some sweet tees, including this Schwinn print, using hand constrcuted screens and eco-friendly ink. Reading the inspiration behind the shirt totally makes me want to go out and buy a bike, by the way. I’d have to get one of those kids seats, too, so that Miss Sunshine could be my little co-pilot.
Expect more prints from Jon in the coming weeks!
Who out there doesn’t love stacks of colorful, fun paper? Just looking at it all, like looking at stacks of fabric, makes me want to create something to send off.
The Paper Addict makes me feel that way. Every time I look at her shop it makes me happy. I love this print in particular because of the stripes, but all of her cards are so vivid and cheerful. I can totally imagine carrying around the mini ones, writing random little notes and handing them out to brighten someone’s day.