Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Record Set

This rare half-cent coin was just sold for $353,000 at auction! 

The coin belonged to Mark Hillary who died in 1963 at age 20 in a climbing accident, his family only recently came across the coin during a clean out. The coin was struck in 1796. 

Alright Swings & Arrows readers quiz time. Name the cap that's perched on a stick on Lady Liberty's shoulder. 

Be back here Wednesday! 

- Grace

Friday, January 25, 2013

Having My Cake

Petal Layer Cake, Ruffle Layer Cake, Banana Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
by Made from Scratch

Cakes have been on my mind recently due to an upcoming birthday and while Grace’s post on cakes is gorgeous, I’m not sure that my talent quite matches up to the level of artistry required.

Coconut Cream Cake
from Always with Butter

Lucky for me, Miss Moss’ beautiful cake round up the other day has given me some beautiful and (slightly) more attainable ideas. Now my only worry is that they might be overkill for a 5 year old’s birthday...

Pink Lime Cake with Cream and Coconut Cheese Frosting
from Call Me Cupcake

Blood Orange and Rosemary Cake
from What Katie Ate

Maybe I’m going a little overboard and my gorgeous cake will go unnoticed by small partygoers that will devour it regardless of how aesthetically appealing it is. In that case, I’ll leave you with a cake vision that can ONLY be enjoyed aesthetically. 

“Cake Window” by Wayne Thiebaud

Happy Weekend! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Taylor & Ng

I'm in love with these Taylor & Ng animal mugs. Adorable illustrations are accompanied by the animals name written in French. 

These can be found on eBay if you type in Taylor & Ng. 

- Grace

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's a Boy! It's a Boy! It's a Boy!

Last night at 9:43pm Cathleen brought into the world Graham Foster McKeon. Congratulations Cathleen and Micky! I can't wait to meet Baby Graham. 

Cathleen will be on 6 weeks maternity leave from the blog so things will be slightly different during that time. I will cover Monday and Wednesdays and we're still figuring out Fridays. 

Stay Tuned for pics of the new baby!

- Grace

Friday, January 18, 2013

Awesomeness Abounds

I'm getting hungry just looking at this lady! 

Marie Stover
ca. 1870-1900
Williamsport, PA

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Damn You Mossimo!

When it comes to fashion, I'm hurting! I can appreciate beautiful clothing but when it comes to actually putting together something nice I'm stymied. Mossimo for Target (my husband's favorite Target designer) has created this adorabs (yeah I did that with adorable) Swan Scarf

Adorabs! (Did it again). 

Priced at only 14.99 this might just help the clothing challenged add a little sparkle to the otherwise boring blue shirt and black leggings outfit worn everyday. Comes in red too. Woot woot! 

Damn you Mossimo, Damn you. 

- Grace

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Figs

Figs by Sarah Maycock

Illustrator Sarah Maycock shows there's more to figs than Newtons. 
Check out Sarah's other beautiful illustrations on her website:

- Cathleen

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rule # 67

Crave Immortality! The film star James Dean was right when he said, "The only greatness is immortality" (defined only by a body of creativity you leave behind when you're dead). - George Lois


The Birth of Venus

Mona Lisa


The Scream

Les Demoiselles de Avignon 

American Gothic

Composition No. II, with Red and Blue


Marilyn Diptych

Balloon Dog (red)

- Grace

Monday, January 14, 2013

What Do You See?

Have you ever had your fortune told? My mom and sister used to get their tarot cards read, and I once went to a palm reader in college who predicted my future for $20 then asked me for more money so she could perform a ceremony to ensure her prophecies came true. Needless to say, I declined her generous offer. Obviously no one knows what the future holds, but it's always fun to speculate. Especially when lottery tickets are involved. There's also something about coincidences that never fails to give me a curious pause. Tea leaf reading, or tasseography, is another foretelling device that involves deciphering the clumps, patterns, and pictures that form in your mug after a piping hot cup has been drunk (coffee grounds and wine sediments will also apparently do the trick). Seeing a candle can signify enlightenment, a dog represents a loyal friend or relative, flying birds mean good newsbut if it's a raven, it could mean death. And since tea leaves and coffee grounds and wine sediments are all dark, I don't know how you're supposed to tell the difference between those last two. Anthropologie has a Fortuitous Cup and Saucer by Molly Hatch for $78 that will hopefully help us figure this all out.

- Cathleen 

[Images courtesy of Anthropologie and Wikipedia]

Friday, January 11, 2013

Artwork of the Week: A Kiddely Divy Too

A Kiddely Divy Too mandala made entirely of stickers by Lauren Venell. 
This would have been the art of my sticker-saving 8-year-old dreams. 
Lauren sells 6"x 6" prints of her kaleidoscopic sticker configurations in her Etsy shop, laurenvenell, for $12

- Cathleen

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Art I Love

I've been meaning to blog about this sculpture for a long time but I always forget. 
This sculpture (housed in a museum somewhere in France) marks the meetings and positive relationship between Louis XVI's France and the new American Revolutionaries. 

What makes this piece significant is not it's style or technicalities but instead the moment it captures. When Benjamin Franklin went to France he was greeted warmly by an enthusiastic French population. Franklin was viewed as modern and smart. Louis XVI was enamored with Franklin because Louis XVI was very interested in sciences and all things new in that vein. 

Louis XVI gets a bad rap in the history books, but the truth is, he was not a dumb man---quite the opposite. Louis XVI was a man who was not next in line for the throne, but due to the death of his father and older brother the throne was literally thrown into his lap. Louis was an intelligent boy who excelled at the sciences and languages. He was very tall and horribly near-sighted. He gets his reputation for being dumb because due to court rules he wasn't allowed to wear his glasses during the day at Versailles. Can you imagine? From sun up to sun down someone who desperately needs glasses is not allowed to wear them. That just seems unfair. 

However, my most favorite thing about this sculpture which puts it in the category of one of my favorite pieces of art, is the way the two men are juxtaposed. Louis is dressed regally and traditionally, whereas Franklin wears the modern clothes of the new America. It is this contrasting of men, styles, and thus countries that I love the most. 

- Grace

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nesting in My Freezer

I'm officially in nest mode. All I want to do is hunker down and cook and organize our apartment in advance of the little one's big arrival. My plan is to make double batches of hearty meals once a week until I've tried them all and my freezer is full of delicious, fortifying food to defrost with one hand while juggling a wriggly baby with the other. Pinterest is helping me dream big. Here are the six meals on my menu:

Lasagna Soup from A Farm Girl's Dabbles

[Not Pictured]
Mom's Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes from my mom

Karen's Zucchini Bread from Micky's mom 
+ the added high fiber ingredients from a Whole Food's recipe

Mac & Cheese with Spinach (Instead of Kale) & Bacon from Good Life Eats

French Beef Stew with Red Wine from Katie at the Kitchen Door

Mushroom Soup from Season with Spice

I wanted a bunch of comfort foods with healthy ingredients that would do a recent-birth-giving body good. Lots of whole grains, protein, dairy, leafy greens, and fruits and vegetables are all important for that. I'll be sure to share my mom's meatloaf recipe when the time comes, along with Micky's mom's zucchini bread (if she'll let me give up her secrets), plus a review of how the rest of them turn out, including which dishes freeze/reheat the best. Yes, a follow-up will be forthcoming! 

- Cathleen 

[Images courtesy of, A Farm Girl's DabblesWhole FoodsGood Life EatsKatie at the Kitchen Door, and Season with Spice]

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

North Korea's Artistic Identity

It's hard to know what kind of art, if any, is being made in North Korea. I would say it's safe to guess that anything being made would be laced with propaganda. Of the little carefully selected by North Korea to be presented to the rest of the world we are usually faced with their Mass Games ceremony. North Korea is careful not to present themselves as impoverished but instead as a country booming with food, enterprise, happy citizens, and art. 

I would classify the artistic identity of North Korea as their large, card flipping, human mosaics. One can barely pay attention to the news and current events and still know that North Korea is into card flipping! 

Here are some images of these enormous human mosaics. 

September 9, 2012
Arirang Mass Game performance in Pyongyang 

Detail of above. 

Photo Credit: Sam Gellman
About 300,000 flip cards at the 2011 Mass Games. 
These cards were manned by children. 

Photo Credit: Sam Gellman

Photo Credit: Sam Gellman
Mass Games, year unknown. 

Photo Credit: Sam Gellman
Mass Games, year unknown. 

Photo Credit: Sam Gellman
Mass Games, year unknown. 

Kim Il-Sung

It's evident that the human mosaics are also a way for the North Korean government to indoctrinate its people with the glory and right of the dictatorship. 

- Grace

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