Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jeans.... sigh.

I've talk about how much I hate jeans before but here we go again. Fall is looming... which means I will drag out wearing shorts as long as possible. So here's my question, I like the boyfriend cut jeans but I don't know anyone that owns a pair. Have you tried them? What do you think? Any brand recommendations?

I like these ones from J.Crew the Broken-In Boyfriend Jeans.... but they don't come in petite and I'm VERY VERY short. 

On another note did anyone read this article on anti-helicopter parenting? We have got to give our kids freedom. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hanging Around

7 x 65 cm, 2012

Weaving is so hot right now. The blogs I frequent and the Pinterest feeds I follow are absolutely teeming with them. Here's a round-up of some of my favorites as of late. 

artist unknown 

Linen Seafoam and Peach by Rachel Duvall
36 x 56"

Woven tapestry by Maryanne Moodie

Sport by Ben Barretto
165 x 250 cm, 2012

artist unknown

- Cathleen 

The World's Largest Photograph

 This is the largest photograph ever taken using the largest camera ever made.  It is 107 feet wide and 31 feet tall.  It is not just the largest photograph printed, but rather the exposure itself is that size.  Planned and executed by six artists and assistants- Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Jacques Garnier, Rob Johnson, Douglas McCulloh, and Clayton Spada.  They used an abandoned Air Force jet hangar as the camera by completely darkening the ceiling and walls and sealing off all light except one pinhole on the hangar door with only a quarter inch diameter.  They coated a giant piece of muslin in silver gelatin hallide to make it light sensitive and hung it on the opposite side of the hangar.

The exposure time was 35 minutes and what it captured was an old Marine air base in California.  After the exposure they needed to develop this massive photograph by washing it in an Olympic pool sized custom made tray filled with 600 gallons of developer and then 1200 gallons of fixer... Impressive.

Here is the photograph displayed in a California gallery. Or maybe this is a digital rendering because those people look fake.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Drawing by Junyi Wu

Alissa! I feel the same way! Fall is so open! Full of possibilities! Brimming with potential! 
We've just finished setting up our living room (after moving in almost 4 months ago) and it feels like a fresh start. We splurged and had it painted in my favorite Pewter Mug gray and spent one night last week hanging art on the walls. I even took a drawing that we received as a wedding gift (over 3 years ago) to be framed and I'm SO excited to finally see it hung in our home and checked off my to-do list. 

And I bought a new plant! (To replace one that was recently confirmed dead.) Things are really looking bright shiny and new over here!

You can see more work from Los Angeles-based illustrator Junyi Wu on the artist's website and Tumblr, as well as purchase original artwork and prints online from Nucleus Gallery

- Cathleen 

Friday, August 22, 2014

The New Year

Most people on the planet make New Year's resolutions on January 1. As many times as I have tried to do this (and follow through), something about being at the very beginning of the dregs of winter really zaps my Can Do! spirit. My New Year really starts at the beginning of the fall. I get super energized by the coming cool weather (maybe because I'm rested from a summer break) and I'm ready to hit the ground running. 

I always start by doing a huge fall cleaning and purging and then I get my list of new projects ready. (Fall is the perfect project weather.) Since I had a really great summer doing little fun projects with my children, I'm excited to jump into bigger projects for myself. At the top of my list is redoing my bedroom. For the past 2.5 years, I've been waking up in a gross box of yellow and brown. And it ruins my morning. Every Morning.

In order to crush this soul-crushing, I'm finally going to follow through on something that I've been wanting to do FOREVER: paint my furniture a beautiful navy/cobalt/ultramarine blue. (I've mentioned that I have problems with color assignations- maybe someone can tell me the name of the color that I've looking for.) Anyway, I was thinking of going with olive green walls (ala LGN) but I think it would end up being too drab. Our designer friend Anne-Marie reminded me that I've been wanting to do lavender walls forever, so that's been floating around in my brain for a while. I don't want it to be too bright (Easter Eggy, as Anne-Marie said) because I'm looking for a little more soothing. 

A-M sent me this- definitely more soothing.

I'll take some before pics and keep all our readers posted. I'm going to paint the furniture first and then tackle the walls. Ugh. It will be a lot of work but it will be worth it to not wake up in a sad yellow dungeon every day.

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year, Friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shadows by Andre Kertesz, 1931

Shadows- Andre Kertesz 1931
Andre Kertesz was a Hungarian photographer who was known for his experimentation with angles and development. A lot of his work is very surreal and this particular shot is one of my favorites.   

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Game of Shadows

Doesn't this book look awesome? The Game of Shadows by Herve Tullet is a die cut board book that you read by shining a flashlight through the lacy pages, projecting the story in light shapes across the wall of a darkened room. I've always been interested in shadow puppets---I've harped about it here before---and this is just the sort of thing that I could use to get Graham hooked early. Christmas wishlisted!

- Cathleen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Best Impromptu Street Performances

A really good street musician is always impressive to hear and many videos of these performances have gone viral over the last few years.  Here is a list of all the best I have seen (not in person), although I have seen some live performances that I have been very happy to stumble upon.

This was a performance by the famous violinist, Joshua Bell, in a DC Metro Station. It was planned by a writer at the Washington Post as a study of how people respond to street performers and whether they would recognize a master.

This one is amazing and beautiful.  It is an entire orchestra (with chorus) that performs Beethoven's 9th and each musician emerges from a hidden location every time their piece of the symphony begins. This video, outside of hearing an amazing orchestra play, shows Beethoven's complete and utter genius. The power of the composition in the 9th symphony is unparalleled.

I don't know if this one was planned or if this pro concert pianist just sat down as he passed by a public piano in London.

Another pianist who plays a public piano at the delight of passengers waiting for their plane.  This is a fun one because he plays several different variations of Fur Elise.

This crew has done this a few times now, but it would be very cool if you were on the same flight. It is the cast of The Lion King musical bursting into the opening song of the play.

A street guitarist just doing his thing and proving to be a damn fine picker.

This recently went viral and made me happy when I first saw it.  A street guitarist is doing his thing when two dudes passing by felt the muse and broke out a little freestyle.  The guy in the reflector vest made me laugh because he was heading into the nearby store and couldn't help but take the time to get involved.

I love finding a good bucket drummer in DC.  They are usually GoGo drummers and a whole lot of fun, but this kid is impressive.

Not musicians, but these Ugandan kids are kinda awesome.

If you know of some others, please link them in the comments below.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Marketplace

Marketplace sketch by Melissa Castrillon, 2012

My friend Janie and I decided to do an entire dinner sourced from the Durham Farmer's Market this weekend. Unfortunately (ok, fortunately!) they only sell what's in season, so both of us ended up rounding out the meal with a little help from the bog box supermarket. (Who knew lettuce season was over?) But all of the main stars of the meal were local! I cooked these super delicious meatballs with ground beef I got from one vendor and sliced up some goat cheese from another guy that I served on a whole grain bread bought from one of the baked goods tables. Janie boiled up some sweet corn for our side, tossed some beets into a salad, and baked a beautiful peach buckle for dessert. It was great! Though next time it would be really cool to limit ourselves to JUST what they're selling at the DFM. It would be tough, but I think we're up to the challenge. 

You can see more from British illustrator Melissa Castrillon on her website, purchase prints from her shop, and peek her process on her blog

- Cathleen 

[Image via flickr]

Friday, August 15, 2014

North Carolina!

So, I just got out of the car after a harrowing seven hour road trip to Raleigh (it should have been four and a half) and I'm pretty close to deciding to live here permanently just so I don't have to drive south on I-95. 


It looked like this the whole way. (Not really.)

This is a lightning fast trip- I'm meeting my new niece, celebrating my Dad's birthday, sending my sister off to college, and various sundry merrymaking. I'm hoping to hit the Raleigh Flea Market and I'm going to wave to Cathleen (Hi, Cathleen! I know, I should have planned this better so we could hang!) from I-85.

But, NEXT WEEK, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming and Fridays will stop looking so sad. Promise.

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thinking About The Invention of Wings and Eddie Murphy... huh?!

Recently the book The Invention of Wings was recommended to me by my internship supervisor. She receives credit in the book for assisting Kidd with her research. I'm not much of a fiction fan but since this was historical fiction I decided to give it a shot. The book was very good! I highly recommend it. Kidd spent an enormous amount of time researching her characters and was careful to be historically accurate. However, my favorite part of the book was the epilogue where she describes her research and what and where she had to fabricate in the book. 

The book revolves around the life of Sarah Grimke, a real historical person, and her family's enslaved person Hetty/Handful. Both women are real people but in reality Hetty died as a young girl. 

Sarah Grimke

I didn't know anything about Sarah Grimke, had never even heard her name but it is because of her and the steps she took in abolition as well as women's rights that I have the education and opportunities I have today. 

Angelina Grimke

Her sister Angelina was also a powerful force in abolition and women's rights. 

Harriet Powers
Bible Quilt
National Museum of American History

In the book Kidd bases her character Charlotte's story quilt off the work of enslaved person Harriet Powers. I'm ashamed as an art historian that I had never heard of nor seen her work. Two of her story quilts survive, one here in DC and one in Boston.

This powerful appliqu├ęd quilt tells stories from the bible and acts as a form of literacy and expression for the enslaved Powers. 

Harriet Powers
Photo Courtesy of the MFA in Boston
And here's where I take my leap in thoughts. I recently re-watched Eddie Murphy's Delirious with my husband. I finished the book a few days after re-watching Delirious. The combination of events has struck a cord with me. 

I had first seen Delirious when I was about 17 and I thought it was hilarious! However re-watching as an adult, having had more experiences and being the mother to a daughter and a teacher to children, I was extremely bothered by the act. 

Murphy was only 22 when it was filmed and although there are elements of hilarity I was extremely bothered and put off by his misogyny. Over and over he ridicules women, talks about slapping a former girlfriend, and engages the audience in mocking a female audience member. 

What the Grimke girls did in the 19th-century has helped give women so many opportunities, but sadly, misogyny and pushing women down instead of giving them a hand up still exists. 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sleep or Sofa

Rochester Sleeper Sofa in Lagoon Performance Velvet
(What is 'Performance Velvet' anyway?)

Hoping to convince our respective families to spend Christmas at our house this year--with visions of a real tree propped in the front window and a giant dinner around the new dining table dancing in our heads--we are now on the hunt for a sleeper sofa for the downstairs den. Admittedly sofa beds have a well-deserved reputation; typically too stiff for sitting on as sofas, too uncomfortable for sleeping on as beds. So I'm hoping to overcome the stereotype by finding one that our guests practically fight over when they come to visit---that is also affordable. Impossible, you say? Well, I've consulted the authorities and having gagged at most of the price tags, struck out on my own and found SALES! We're planning to roll around on some in person this weekend, but in the meantime, what do you think about these contenders?

Paidge Sleeper Sofa in Licorice Marled Microfiber

Henry Sleeper Sofa in Aegean Blue Pebble Weave

Davis Sleeper Sofa in Graphite

- Cathleen

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bear Mountain Boats Canoe Building

Graphic pulled from Bear Mountain Boat's website

For years I have been dying to take woodworking classes and really start learning the craft.  My plan is to enroll in a fundamentals class this winter after finishing a couple carpentry projects.  I once read that the best woodworkers are boat makers. The craft itself existed as a matter of survival and had to grow along with the changing of climates, locations and outside threats.  But something else made boat making the pinnacle of woodworking and that was the fact that the vessel had to be water tight and sturdy using just wood and natural materials even before the creation of power tools.

I would love to one day build a canoe, but that's way down the line.

Many people know of Nick Offerman's (Ron Swanson) abilities as a woodworker, but you may not realize how advanced he is in the craft.  Here is a video of Nick making a canoe, in the Bear Mountain Boat style, at a rented workshop in Brooklyn.  It is very satisfying to watch and I would love to reach his level of skill one day.

(This is instructional, and not him playing a character and making jokes. Although he does do the silly Ron Swanson giddy laugh at the 3:20 mark. Guess that's just his real laugh, which is pretty funny.)

Canoeing is an amazingly peaceful and adventurous activity and the boats themselves can be things of beauty.  Creating one with your own hands would be ultimately fulfilling and I really hope to get there someday.

Nick loving his finished product.

I want to go to there.

Here is a canoe that was part of an installation I photographed at the Hillwood Museum.  It was a beautiful boat.

I could stare at the wood for hours.

Yes, please.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Drawing by David Hockney

Drawing by David Hockney
October 1966

Is there anything crueler than a summer cold? I am home with a runny nose and sore throat today---though not in bed. A certain yell-y little boy would never allow something like that. This drawing by David Hockney certainly makes me wish I were, however. 

- Cathleen

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Teaming Up!

Jillian Dressed and I are teaming up once again to sell off some of her amazing clothing collection as she and her husband move to their new house!

Poppy Elspeth Skirt.
Just one of Jillian's amazing pieces. 

Be sure to check out my eBay listings. I'll have about 40 new listings a day until I go through all 12 bags Jillian gave me!!

Also, I'm having a yard sale this Saturday from 9am-2pm. Come on out! I'm cleaning out inventory I've had on Etsy and Craigslist for a long time as well as other goodies. I'm not going to post my address but if you want to come and don't know where I live PM me.

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Ocean Abstract

Ocean Abstract by Gao Cheng
ink on paper, 54.3 x 54.3 x 3.9"
$4000 from Saatchi Art

It's rained for three days straight. Three days cooped up in a house at the beach with an 18 month old has tested all of our mettle. We went to the aquarium. Two days in a row. We've watched more episodes of Curious George and Peppa Pig than I can count. We made a blanket fort (that Graham promptly tore down) and splashed in the puddles outside (until he got down on his hands and knees to lap up the dirty water). Hopefully tomorrow will be brighter. And drier. And outside! 

You can see more work from Chinese artist Gao Cheng on

- Cathleen 

[Image via booooooom]

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Gear by Ryan Putnam

I found this designer/artist, Ryan Putnam, this weekend and thought I'd share some of his work.  In particular, a group of illustrations of arranged gear used by several fictional characters from classic movies.  I do wish he had more and hopefully they are coming.

Marty McFly- Back to the Future

Yukon Cornelius- Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
Yukon was just plain awesome...


Marty McFly- Back to the Future 3

Marty McFly- Back to the Future 2

And here are a few other prints I found on his site that I thought were cool.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Three Years Old!

Handmade Leather Polaroid Wayfarer Sunglasses

Happy 3rd Birthday, Swings and Arrows! 
To commemorate your third year of life, I found a pair of handmade leather sunglasses, fulfilling both the traditional (glass) and modern (leather) anniversary gift requirements.
If you were a three year old person you'd break these in 2 seconds. Good thing you're a blog.

And to all our readers out there, here's to many more years of inspiration together! 


Friday, August 1, 2014

July Showers

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I've been deep in the throes of shower planning. Nothing too extravagant, but special and fun for a special, fun friend. We ended up going with a kind of American picnic meets German brunch theme. Marcey, the showee, is an All American girl who spent a couple years post college in Germany- so we thought it was appropriate. Her wedding colors are deep blues and fall-y orange, which you'd probably have guessed from the photos if I'd stop writing and 

Anyway, here are a couple of photos...

I didn't get any shots of the the drinks but they were so pretty! Maybe if I'd been a little less of a lush, I'd have a better blogpost. But you really can't argue with prosecco in the morning!

Happy Weekend, Friends!

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