Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Arrows by Julia Kostreva
digital illustration of vintage arrows 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We'll be taking off the next few days to give thanks for all that we are grateful for, including YOU fine readers. 
It means more than we can ever express that you come here to see what we share everyday. We hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with much love and inspiration!

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Shaved Nice

Red Pencil Shaving Collar

I just spent the weekend with my besty Grace, her husband Brian and their little darlings Clementine and Teddy. Grace is an art teacher at a grade school, and after hearing more about what her days are like, the antics of her students, the sort of lessons she teaches the kids---and catching her constantly on the look out for old jars and plastic berry baskets to use in her classroom---I definitely have a deeper appreciation for what she does.

I also think she could totally rock this red pencil shaving collar in class and blow all of those little minds apart. Created by Veselka Bulkan of the Green Accordion stationed in Germany, this accessory is so bold and amazing that only she could pull it off with total confidence. Do it, Grace. DO IT.

- Cathleen

Friday, November 22, 2013

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

As much as I've learned about my children as a homeschooling parent, I've learned even more about myself. Many of the subjects that I felt concern about teaching have been the ones that ended up being the most enjoyable. Other subjects that I thought should come easily tended to be continually put off until "next week".

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but Art class was the chief neglected subject. Starting out, I had no doubt that my children would love art because I'd automatically be able to transfer my love of it to them. Unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken. I couldn't figure out how to explain to them what to do and present it in a way that cultivated a creative atmosphere.

Carpenter, 1880 and Woman Mourning, 1882
Van Gogh spent two years teaching himself how to draw


Last month, I happened to pick up Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards from our library. I was fascinated by her discussion of the differences between the two sides of the brain. I've always thought of myself as very left-brained; definitely not the super creative, flighty artistic stereotype. But I discovered that I'm much more right-brained than I'd thought. I happen to suffer from what I call directional dyslexia (I gesture right when I mean left, and vice versa), I have intense spatial awareness, and I often have trouble hitting on the right word for things, picturing it my head without being able to name it. That might just be early onset senility but it also indicates a strong right brain disposition.

Although it was nice to discover these things about myself, as I kept reading, I also learned how to break down the psuedo-instinctive processes that occur when I draw alone. Ms. Edwards verbalizes (an almost impossible task for the right side of the brain) and simplifies the process of drawing to demonstrate how to access that creative, visual right side. Her premise is that not only can everyone learn to draw but that drawing itself facilitates better thinking overall. Tapping into the right side of the brain allows an individual to access the part of the mind that is especially able to see patterns and make connections, leading to more thoughtful problem solving and creative thinking.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to transfers these realizations into my art classes with my children. Instead of just praying that one of my kids is artistically gifted, I'm going to assume that they all have some ability and try to foster and encourage it. And even if they don't become artists in the professional sense, I hope that having learned to appreciate their right brain characteristics, they'll live better and more creative lives all around. 

Fingers crossed, everyone! I'll try to post again on this at the end of the school year 
and let you know if the experiment was a success.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Half Dollar Ring

I had a plan for another post but after finding this video yesterday I had to share.
Outside of my wedding band I would never wear a ring or any other type of jewelry, but this could be a very cool alternate ring option.
I was impressed by the ingenuity but even more by the outstanding use of a hand held drill and a few different drill bits.  One would usually use stationary tools for such a detailed job but this dude (with some long finger nails) doesn't play around and doesn't fear tearing apart his fingers.  My favorite part was the use of a nut and bolt to stabilize the coin.  That and the echo of his hammer throughout, what seems to be, quite a large workshop/warehouse.

Although it's a very simple band, I love that he was able to keep the words from the coin's edge on the inside of the ring.  I am pretty sure it reads "United States of America Half Dollar".  
Since I am on the topic of cool rings, here is one I found a while back that made me happy.

Titanium and Jack Daniel's Whiskey Barrel Ring

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Proof is in the Pie

Late one night last week I discovered the holy grail of pie bibles had just been released: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen. I didn't even know it was in the works! Excitedly I told Micky about it the next morning. That it was the very same bakery based in Brooklyn that we loved so dearly. That it had the Salted Caramel Apple Pie recipe in it that he had gotten me for my birthday one year and I had later attempted to recreate to lackluster results. That we HAD to get it before Thanksgiving this year so that we could bake one of their incredible pies for dessert and get it right this time.  

He feigned interest while he went off to brush his teeth and I settled back into our bed to play with Graham as our morning routine began. A few minutes later I overheard some rustling in the other room and then Micky returned with the book in hand and said "Happy early birthday." Squeeeee! 

I have since poured over every page, reading up on what supplies we will need (pastry cutter, glass pie plates) and what techniques we must follow (cider vinegar and cold water in the all-butter crust), trying to narrow down what pies we'll be cooking up next week. The book is organized according to season, emphasizing their practice of only using the best local-if-possible ingredients to make the most flavorful desserts. I cannot wait to bake THEM ALL! 

Obviously Salted Caramel Apple Pie is at the top of the list. We've got to get 'er done. And while fruit-based sweets are my favorite (sorry, Grace), I'm thinking we should try out one of their custard pies perhaps. Because Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without multiple desserts, am I right? Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie sounded good. But so did the Sour Cream Raisin variety. And then there's the Rosemary Honey Shoofly Pie! Wait. Salty Honey Pie?! Yes. I think that's The One. Jackpot. 

What desserts are you guys making for Turkey Day?

- Cathleen 

[image #1 from; grainy image #2 from me]

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Finds & Treasures: The Cracked Pitcher Edition

Hi All! I had a very interesting weekend. While scouting my favorite thrift shop for a killer find I happened upon this set of Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup glasses and pitcher. I hemmed and hawed about them for awhile and checked the comps on my iPhone trying to decide if I should buy or not. 

Comps varied as some people were selling just the four glasses for $14.99 but another seller was selling a similar set for $299.00. So I took the leap and purchased the set. 

Someone online selling the same set was touting this as Andy Warhol's signature… I think they forgot these were mass produced and that's simply a machine printed copy of his signature.

I brought it home and my better half liked the find, I was feeling like I made a good choice. I went about cleaning it and noticed a crack at the base of the handle for the pitcher. My spirit was deflated. There are no returns at my favorite thrift shop and on top of that I'm pretty sure I put the crack in it myself while washing it. 

The crack, ugh!

So what do you think readers? Do you think I can still sell the set? The pitcher doesn't leak with the crack but it's an absolute ding to the integrity of the piece. If I do sell what do you think I can ask for the set now? 

- Grace

Monday, November 18, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Memphis, Tennessee

From the series Memphis, Tennessee by William Eggleston
dye transfer print, 16 x 20", 1970-1973

Speaking of William Eggleston, this is one of my favorites of his photographs. I'm not totally sure if the image has its own title, as it comes from a series he did over 3 years, but  apparently the freezer belongs to the man himself

There's a reason why MTV's Cribs always included a shot of the inside of the celebrity's fridge. You can tell a lot about a person from the things that they like to keep stocked. If you peered into ours you'd see we prefer to keep our M&Ms in there---nothing quite like the click of the cold candy shell against your teeth.

- Cathleen 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Virginia Wolf

My daughter recently rediscovered one of her last birthday books and upon reading it together, I rediscovered it too. 
The book is Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault, a story loosely based on the relationship between the writer Virginia Woolf and her painter sister, Vanessa Bell.

 I love the story itself; of sisterly love trying to break through the walls of depression and isolation. Vanessa is truly concerned for her sister and tries everything that she can think of to help cheer her up.

 Together they create Bloomsbury, a place of happiness and beauty that helps to pull Virginia out of her slump. Aspects of the lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell are skillfully woven into the narrative and give a sense of their mutual love.  And on top of that, the writing is clever and thoughtful with the artwork equally whimsical to match, reflecting the gifts of both those real life women.

It is rare that we have a children's book that I love to read as much as my children and vice versa but none of us have gotten tired of this one. 
I hope you'll check it out and love it as much as we do!

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


As many of you know, November has become the month for men's health and raising awareness for prostate and testicular cancer.  Much like breast cancer awareness it has become a bit of fad but not necessarily in a bad way.  The wearing of pink during the month of October has turned into a bit of show (especially in the NFL) and many have complained about the commercialization of pink products as well as the rabid corporate involvement.  I have heard that only small profit percentages from pink products actually go towards breast cancer research but in the end it's still better than nothing.
What I do appreciate about Movember is that it still seems to be a grassroots movement and since one has to naturally grow a mustache, there is less of a chance that the same sort of product bastardization will happen. Movember is really all about men showing off their manliness and I enjoy being involved myself.  
I could go on to list all the famous mustaches worn by world leaders/dictators, mascots, actors, artists, athletes...etc., but I feel like there is one that always stands out above the my mind.  It's a classic logo for what really is just a sub par product....
National Bohemian
I love this logo and it hasn't changed since 1936.  Mr. Boh has been rocking the classic handle bar mustache decades before any hipsters or indie rock bands grew their own or used it as a symbol for proving their edginess.  I love it's simplicity, the fact that it's only ever black and white and I appreciate that it has become an unofficial symbol for The City of Baltimore. If you ever drive through B-more, on 95, you will most definitely notice the huge Mr. Boh billboard welcoming you to an interesting and somewhat disgusting city.  
I also like that it seems as if the illustrator couldn't decide to draw a profile or straight on view of the face and ended up doing a bit of both. Why does he have just one eye? 
Natty Boh is usually consumed in large quantities and is the preferred beer of many frats as well as parties where beer pong is played in abundance and cans are shotgunned.  Regardless of it's taste or usage, I hope National Bohemian lasts forever just so we can always purchase cans with the image of this fine gentleman on the front. 

Here is an image to show the progress of my stache. Happy Movember! 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Malled by Michael Galinsky

You know how I feel about abandoned malls, and now photographer/filmmaker Michael Galinsky has stirred something in me again with his snapshots taken inside the buzzing shopping centers of the late 80s. The series, the result of a photography project he completed while attending NYU in 1989, has recently been published by Steidl in a book titled Malls Across America. It is currently backordered on Amazon.

The photos remind me a lot of the work of Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, known for their documentation of mundane middle America in the early 70s---Galinsky's subject a manufactured town center where the young and old congregate to shop, stroll, and slack together. They all capture the completely ordinary, narrowing their focus on regular people going about their lives, finding something special in those instants.

- Cathleen 

[Photos courtesy of Steidl and Yahoo]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finds & Treasures: Blessed Sacrament School Bazaar

Happy Tuesday! I hope that everyone had a great weekend that was full of fabulous finds! This past weekend was my daughter's birthday so we laid low on the thrift store, yard sales, and estate sales. That being said, I didn't deprive myself completely. I hit up the Blessed Sacrament School Holiday Bazaar which includes a megatron White Elephant sale. One of the things I snagged was this very cute Weidmann set of teacups and saucers. You can't really tell from the picture, but they're very small. Despite their minute size, however, these babies pack a punch. Brilliant in color and bold in shape, these tiny treasures demand your attention.

Weidmann Teacups and Saucers

Happy searching, readers! 

- Grace

Monday, November 11, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Honey Locust

Honey Locust 1/1 by Bryan Nash Gill
relief print, 24 1/2" x 23 3/4", 2010

His printing process according to

"[The artist] saws a block from each branch and sands one end until its smooth. Gill chars that end, so that the soft spring growth burns away, leaving behind the tree’s distinct rings of hard, summer growth. He seals the wood and covers it with ink. Then, he lays a thin sheet of Japanese rice paper on the cross-section, rubs it with his hand and peels the paper back to reveal a relief print of the tree’s growth rings."

You can see more of this stunning naturalist work on the artist's website:

- Cathleen 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Miss Moss Gets Married

Diana of Miss Moss has long been one of my favorite bloggers so I was super excited when she got engaged. Her blog is so gorgeous that I knew her wedding would have to be something incredible. Well, she just posted photos of her wedding last week and it is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

Diana's aesthetic is so textural which is so much of why I love her. I've always been attracted to textural juxtaposition but I've never experienced anything like what Diana finds and posts on her blog. Which is all the more fascinating because I can't even physically experience those textures- I can only look at them!

But it seems like every beautiful element possible was present in her wedding. Flowers, wood, lace, fabric, glass, greenery, stone, metal; you name it, she had it. 

And the cakes! So many cakes!

Not to mention that she just looks so incredibly happy and beautiful. Joy is fairly radiating out of her and her husband.

Seriously, just try to tell me that this isn't the sweetest thing you've ever seen.

Aren't weddings the BEST? I'll never get over them. Especially when they are as special and inspiring as this one. 
Congratulations, Diana and Anton!

And Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wooden Specs Studio

Much like my fellow blogger, Cathleen (who has a love for wooden toys) I love pretty much anything handcrafted from wood.  Handmade furniture, axe handles, cigar boxes, guitars, wooden toys, a wooden watch (posted by Cathleen in 2011 list is endless but I found these not too long ago and was actually upset that I still have 20/20 vision.

Peter Boerger owns and operates Wooden Specs Studio in downtown Indianapolis.  He started making his own glasses in 2007 mainly because he thought it would be neat to have frames made out of wood. It soon blossomed into a business and you can now buy and wear one of these very cool and unique pieces of utilitarian art. Visit his site, read more or maybe buy a pair at
Here is a very calm and well made short film by Will Wertz that shows Peter's process and is worth the 4 minutes.

He uses a variety of cherry, walnut, oak and sycamore to craft these frames but I would love to see him expand to other woods in order to help create new designs.  He uses only hardwood but incorporating some softwoods, such as ash, elm, mahogany, cedar and pine could be very cool.  You may be able to form more diverse and interesting shapes with pine, and mahogany could easily add an interesting grain and color without having to use paint.  Regardless, these are great glasses and when age catches up to my eyeballs I think one of these will be my first go to.
Here are some of the available designs from Wooden Specs:




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Slow Wood

I have a thing for sandwiches. And play food. And wooden toys. This wooden Dagwood-style sandwich stacking toy fills all of my bills. 
Sadly it's only in the prototype stage from Studio Fludd, but you can best bet that when this  hardwood hero goes into mass production, I'll be ordering one of my own. Check, please!

- Cathleen 

[All images courtesy of]

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'm Back, Bitches!

Hi all! I'm back! I have finally adjusted to my new very crazy schedule and am back ready to post!

This weekend I hit up an amazing estate sale in Rockville, Maryland. The house was in a blue collar neighborhood and was a little rundown---this all signaled to me that a treasure trove awaited me. My intuition paid off! Inside was a picker's dreams! Tons of stuff---good stuff---covered in dust in a house that reeked of smoke. I got a couple of great items including a large blue Ball jar with a zinc lid for a dollar, however, what I am most proud of is this baby:

A gorgeous chinoiserie bamboo chair. It's in perfect condition and the seat caning is in mint condition, a must since re-caning costs so much damn money. I bought it to re-sell but now I'm in love and I just don't think I can part with it…. sigh. I'm waiting for my interior design friend to come over and let me know what she thinks. 

Cathleen is on for tomorrow! Make sure to check out all of the amazing posts this week! 

- Grace

Monday, November 4, 2013

Artwork of the Week: Carnforth Railway Station

Carnforth Railway Station, N Lancashire by Andy Hornby

Falling back. The days are shorter, the shadows longer, and the air is so much cooler now. Daylight saving time ended at 2am on Sunday and even though our high-tech phones automatically adjusted themselves, all day we kept forgetting when we caught sight of the delayed dashboard and oven timers thinking we were late for things. That hot panic creeps up the back of your neck only to be quickly relieved at the realization that, "No! We've got time! LOADS of it! An entire HOUR to do with whatever we please!" It feels like a nice little bonus until you hear that familiar cry ring out just before the crack of day. No one told Graham he had an extra hour to sleep in this morning. Hmm. 

- Cathleen

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pure + Good

As soon as the weather even hints at a chill in the air, I rush to bring out the tights. They make me feel not as bundled up but still warm and weather appropriate. In my love affair with tights, I've tried out many brands and so far the clear winner is 
Pure + Good from Anthropologie.

Color Palette Tights

Anthropologie can be a little hit or miss in the quality department (I think it depends on the brand) but Pure + Good has never failed me. They have great colors that are warm and well fitting but not so opaque that you feel like a school girl. I'm especially loving this current pair that are ribbed and sheer are the same time. Perfect to go with shorts- my fave.

Ribbed Sweater Tights

This fall, I'm super excited to be wearing the ones that lasted over halfway through my pregnancy last fall and winter and they're hardly worse for the wear. Not too bad for $15!

Is anyone else a tights lover? Or just me?

Whatever your choice of leg covering, get it ready because it looks like the cooler days (and nights) are ready to settle in.

Happy Chilly Weekend, Friends!
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