Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Long Braid

Long Braid by Diem Chau
porcelain plate, silk, thread, 6.25" in diameter

Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of Swings & Arrows! Hurray!! So I thought as our gift to you I'd find an Artwork of the Week to commemorate the occasion that blends the traditional (cotton) with the modern (china), something I think we strive to accomplish here daily. 

Artist Diem Chau embroiders drawings on a fine silk muslin that is stretched like canvas across various serving dishes. The effect is quite ethereal, an image floating just above the surface of a saucer or bowl. My favorite pieces are the ones where the line comes off the canvas, engaging the territory around the work, or when the thread pools in the space beneath the scrim.  

You can see more of Chau's work on her website:

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Finds and Treasures

It's just a few more days until Brian, the kids, and I are off to the beach and I am counting down the minutes! I am not much of a beach bum but I definitely appreciate the change of pace a vacation brings. Right now I have my eye on these 100% cotton candy stripe bath towels. The colors make me so happy and I love that they are different than the usual big fluffy beach towel. Problem- I can't decide on a color... which would you choose? 

Available through Kara Weaves these babies are priced at an affordable $30 a piece... nice! 

- Grace

Monday, July 29, 2013

Straight Up Muggin'

This might just be the perfect mug. 
Round up top, square on the bottom, and robin's egg blue! This mug made by Paul Eshelman (how does he do it??), certainly makes all the right moves. 

This beauty and more can be found at

- Cathleen 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mastering the Art of Baby Naming

The Newest Addition to the Royal Family
The arrival of the newest royal baby and the recent birth of my own little princess (only slightly less newsworthy, I feel) have 
meant a lot discussion and speculation about names lately. I love thinking about names and 
talking about them and pairing first and middle names together.  

Sometimes I think I only want to accumulate more names, not so much the children that go with them. I kid. 

That being said, I really like the new prince’s name; George Alexander Louis. 
George is solid and traditionally English and so trendy right now. Alexander is classic and brings to mind strength and determination, not to mention world domination. (Also, it is the name of my brother who happens to possess all those qualities- including the desire for world conquest. And everybody knows that “A” names are pretty much guaranteed to be fabulous.) Finally, Louis, a traditional French name, is also strong and classic. A great multicultural choice for our increasingly global culture. :)

Whatever your feelings on the matter, I hope y’all have a great Friday. I’m so glad to be back on Swings and Arrows!

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Artwork of the Week - Grace Edition

Merijm Hos
via This is Paper Magazine

Loving this wood sculpture by Merijn Hos. You can see more of his/her (?) work here.

Happy Thursday! Alissa will be back tomorrow to infuse our Fridays with a little bit of inspiration!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Artwork of the Week: In the Middle of the Night

Illustration by Adrienne Adams

It's official: we are moving to Durham, NC THIS Friday! So while my guys and I are busy packing up and heading down south this week, I thought I'd post some art that really resonates with one of the reasons why we chose to move out of the great big (New York) city: a yard! 

I cannot wait to finally have a yard of our very own. Where we can plant rosemary and tomatoes and blueberries. Where we can go hunting for fireflies at dusk. Where we can tromp barefoot through the grass without any fears of stepping on broken bottles or possibly human turds. 

It's going to be awesome! 

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lighting Inspiration

I have a serious lighting issue in my kitchen. About 6 months ago our toilet overflowed and dirty toilet water was pouring through the kitchen ceiling. It was one of the grossest moments of my life. Grossness aside, it caused us to rip out our existing and totally uninspiring light fixture and to live with holes in the ceiling and table lamps on the counters. I have been planning to install recessed lighting along with a statement piece pendant. The pendant I had in mind was $800 until I stumbled upon this beauty at Land of Nod:

Super cool, fresh, and edgy. The price is perfect at $169. Yay Land of Nod! 


Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Only Temporary

A long time ago in a faraway land (Brooklyn at 27 years old), I used to want a tattoo. After a lengthy deliberation over what it would be and where, I decided on a Charley Harper illustration of a bee on my right wrist in white ink. Once that was settled I told myself that I had to want it—REALLY want it—for a year solid before I would go under the needle. And then I kind of forgot about it. Which later made me realize I must not have wanted it that bad after all. 

This temporary tattoo designed by painter Mia Christopher would be a nice way to dip my toes back into the proverbial inky waters, without the pesky pain and FOREVER factors. And it's only a $5 commitment to boot. 
I also like that it looks a little like a beautiful bruise. 

If you're so inclined, you can peer at more of Mia's canvas and paper work on her website: 

- Cathleen 

Friday, July 19, 2013

FEED for Target

Have you checked out the new FEED line at Target? Spokesperson and line designer Lauren Bush has helped Target promote this amazing line of charitable goods! 

Luckily since I live right outside of DC my Target is a hotspot for rich DCers so my branch always gets the cool lines that Target releases. 

I had a chance to check out the FEED line last night and the stuff was way cooler than I expected! 

The one item I REALLY REALLY wanted was this blanket: 

It was sold out of my store so I had to buy it online. I wanted the striped one but again, all out, so I settled on the red stripe. I'll let you know how it feels and looks when it arrives. 

Other items I liked: 

Didn't think twice about these cookie cutters until I saw them in person. So cute!

Love these melamine plates. $10 for a set of 4! 

And I love all the bags. I can't pick one I like the best: 

With these cute designs and affordable prices it makes it easy to help feed hungry families in America. Go FEED! 
Check out more of the line here


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is It Possible...?

"Can a man or woman fulfill sacred devotion to thought, or music, or art, or literature, while fulfilling a proper devotion to spouses or children?"
- James Wood
New Yorker
 July 22, 2013 
Sins of the Father

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Bird

Bird illustration by Charlotte Peys

Did you ever sing songs into the breeze during recess, hoping that the birds and squirrels within earshot would flock over and perch on your outstretched hand like in Snow White? No? Me either. 

- Cathleen 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Set Sail....

Medium Schooner Lamp
Scully & Scully

Yeah... I'm going to need this lamp, stat. 

- Grace

Only You Can Prevent Snake Bites

We're upstate today visiting with the McKeon side of the family on a private island hemmed in by Brantingham Lake. "Private island" makes it sound pretty fancy, but it's actually more like a semi-rustic sleep-away camp for grownups which means lots of board gaming, occasional kayaking, and plenty of beer drinking. It's all sorts of fun. Though I have never seen a snake on the island, we have come across a crow skull while playing all-terrain bocce on the back hills, as well as the remains of a deer that probably crossed the frozen lake midwinter and got stuck once the waters thawed. At least that's my guess.  

If we ever did discover a snake inside one of the many hollowed out logs that someone's bocce inevitably rolls into, I'd really like to know what I'm up against.

That's why I really really really need this poster

- Cathleen

Friday, July 12, 2013

Artist of the Week Redux: Stacy Scibelli

So good we had to feature her twice (!), Stacy Scibelli The Wundermaker is at it again. This time she's working on a most interesting project titled Suit Yourself wherein the artist has undertaken the Herculean task of designing, cutting, sewing, and wearing a new outfitdown to the underwear!—every day for 30 days. And not only that, but she also arranges and displays each piece of clothing as a wall sculpture that she then photographs. But wait, there's more! Stacy is also documenting her process everyday on her website where you can see each piece she's created, on her person and on the wall, and read her thoughtful commentary on her sometimes frustrating but always revelatory creative process. It's all super inspiring. 

This one goes two ways!

Among her daily expositions, she also talks about what audio books she's listening to while she works and what she's eating for lunch, mundane details to many perhaps, but I for one love peeking inside the artist's studio to get a closer look at who they are behind the grand explanation of what the work MEANS. I often find my eye wandering away from what's on display towards the shelf where they stash their favorite tea and the table where pencil cups brim with their best pens. An aside, I know, but getting to see the personal details makes the whole professional picture so much rounder and fuller, don't you think?

Stacy's only eleven days deep right now and I'm already hooked. 
You would be too! Check out her daily posts on

- Cathleen 

[All images courtesy of the artist.]

Thursday, July 11, 2013

On My Travels...

I found this amazing rattan arm chair! And where did I find it you ask, on the side of the road in a pile of trash (man I wish I was joking right now). I'm going to paint it and hopefully breath new life into it. 
Any color suggestions?


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Violinist Seen from the Back

Violinist Seen from the Back by Vincent van Gogh, 1887
chalk on paper
image courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum

A sketch that I had never seen before by the late great Van Gogh. A beautiful example of hatching (parallel lines drawn closely together) and cross hatching (overlapping layers of hatching drawn at right angles), the definitions of which I never fully understood before. 
An expressive yet fairly simplistic line drawing with varying tones and texture. 
This sort of thing really thrills me.

- Cathleen

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Obsession!

So I've got a new obsession and I may be a little late on this but Rikshaw Design has the most adorable and fresh textiles that I've seen in a long time. I'm totally hooked on their kurtas and some are beginning to go on sale for the season - Woot woot! Here are some of my faves:

Anchor Classica Kurta

Fish Classic Kurta
Love this! Fish Classic Kurta is on sale right now for $52 but it's not in my size... sigh. 

Wave Classic Kurta

So what do you think? Are you a Rikshaw gal like me? 

- Grace

Monday, July 8, 2013

Totally Baked: Eggs

Eggs may be the single most perfect food. Scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, fried with bright runny yellows, as far as I'm concerned, it's aaaaall good. When I was in Paris six years ago (cough-yeah, I'm name dropping PARIS-cough cough), I had the most amazing eggs in this cafe my dad and I blearily stumbled into after spending our entire first day sleeping off jet lag. And despite my exhaustion, I still think about those eggs SIX years later. Their version came baked with buttery mushrooms folded into a soft eggy embrace. My version is a simple variation that will fancy up breakfast-for-dinner anytime you're feelin it. 

Warning: You will need ramekins!! Or some other 1-cup capacity oven-proof vessels to cook these things in. But trust me, it will be worth the (small) investment

Baked Eggs

4 large eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
4 Tbsp milk
butter for greasing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease four 1-cup ramekins with butter. Pluck thyme leaves from thyme branches, discard naked thyme sticks. Mince thyme leaves and sprinkle inside greased ramekins. Divide minced garlic among the ramekins while you're at it. Gently crack 1 egg into each ramekin, keeping yolk intact. Drizzle 1 Tbsp milk over each egg. Season with salt and pepper. Bake eggs in oven (or toaster oven! if you don't want to heat up your whole kitchen) until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 14-16 minutes. And remember! Eggs continue to cook once you take them off the heat, so be careful you don't overcook these bad boys.

Serve with toast for dipping in those sweet hot yolks! 
Also consider adding cooked crumbled bacon or buttery sauteed mushrooms or wilted spinach to the eggs pre-bake. The possibilities are almost endless!

- Cathleen 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

Jasper Johns

Enjoy your day, and thank God we're American!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Black Ceremony

Because tomorrow is the Fourth of July, which is officially Independence Day in these United States and unofficially national pyrotechnic appreciation day across America, we bring you an image of daytime fireworks created by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. 

Staged in 2011 to open the artist's exhibition at the Arab Museum of Modern Art, these fleeting black puffs of smoke cast across a bright blue sky are almost the anti-firework. I rather like that. 

- Cathleen 

[Image courtesy of Prattle & Jaw]

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

To Dream To Build

One my of lifelong dreams is to either build my own home or to restore a historic home. I was thumbing through this month's issue of the Washingtonian and I was mesmerized by one of the homes the magazine featured.

All photos by Anice Hoachlander
Located in Potomac, Maryland (woot woot!) the Harkavy residence is located on one acre and is oriented to face away from the street and towards the woods. And that cool inverted roof? It collects rainwater. 

Architect: Robert M. Gurney 
Square Footage: 2,900

Love, love, love this house.

Also I happened upon this article and I thought I'd share it with you.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Read Your Bookcase

We have just begun the packing process for our big move that is scheduled at the end of July. Right now we are in the accumulating boxes stage, hitting up area liquor stores and new neighbors in the building for their cardboard cast offs. First items to be wrestled into said boxes will be the books. Of which there are quite a lot! Going through our collection I have been reluctantly reminded of all the books I have accumulated over the years with the best of intentions to read every one. There are way too many that I was once SO excited to get into that still sit languishing on our dusty shelves. For shame. 

This wooden modular bookcase would be the perfect direct reminder to read what I sew. Read Your Bookcase was designed by Italian furniture company Saporiti and has seriously motivated me to shop my own shelves for a change. Seriously. What if I never bought a new book until all of the books I already owned had been read? I should just do it. Yes. I'M GOING TO DO IT!** 

- Cathleen 

**Disclaimer: Ok, I will absolutely refrain from purchasing any more new or used books for myself, but that does not preclude me from snagging a free book on a Park Slope stoop here and there or Christmas/birthday Amazon wish-listing. Because it's really HARD to come up with wish list stuff, you guys! Seriously. 

[Images via The Meta Picture and Selectism]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...