Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Love Letter to Summer

Hi all, well I'll admit I haven't been incredibly inspired to write my weekly Love Letter to Summer series of late (hence why I missed last week's if you noticed...) but this being the last week in July, I figured a Love Letter was in order! After compiling this little pictorial post I realize I need to eat more ice cream- specifically go out some night and grab a scoop at a local ice cream shop. We head to Maine this weekend to go camping and visit with friends, so some much needed summer activities will be taking place I'm sure. I'll keep yah posted! Have a great week!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A little Before & After: the bedside table...

It dawned on me recently that I have a bad habit of destroying my bed side table. Thinking back on all the places we have lived and of all the bed side tables I have come to know... there is always a hodge podge of crap that accumulates. The result of never having a proper desk and of enjoying working on my bed (a carry over from boarding school?). Now at this juncture in my life I would like to blame motherhood for this gross collection of crap, but sadly it's only a poor excuse.  So after a quick trip to Target this weekend, I was inspired to tackle my bed side table.

My large and in charge jewelry box usually resides on this table, but was moved during a yarn spinning adventure that required much of the table (more evidence that I need a desk one day... thus this chaos might be avoided?). On top of the jewelry box is a new little felt bowl I scored in the clearance section of Target for $1.99. (I bought two!) This one holds my thread and needles, as I always seem to be mending or need to mend something... and the bed is a fun spot to do so...

It's so cute! I should really go back and stock up on more! They would make great little gifts.

I also bought this little caddy thing which houses pens, stamps and any and all nail tools one should need. It is true that with a toddler around- surfaces that are typically out of reach become a catch all destination for the crap that toddlers should not play with... and it seems, as with most organizing dilemmas, there is a required balance of function and everything having its place. To explain, if I set out to organize a side table I wouldn't think to have a little collection of thread, and yet one naturally took hold and accumulated. Ideally it should be reunited with the larger thread collection in the sewing area, but perhaps that's for another time. And so here it remains.

Anyway, here it is an embarrassing look at the transformation of my bed side table. Let's hope it sticks!

Fall Knitting To Do List

I'm starting to tally up a little fall knitting to do list for myself, and I thought I would share! My goal is to work on these little projects ahead of time to ensure they are worn and enjoyed!

Above is the Hannie Hat, I'm going to knit this for our daughter in a similar vibrant magenta, sure to look great with her green fall coat and her brown down winter coat.

I stumbled upon these Lady Bug Mittens that are pretty adorable, and I know she would love them and thus keep them on!

And these Give a Hoot, owl mittens are pretty cute too!

I started this Little Sister's Dress last fall and my gauge was WAY off, so it will hopefully fit her this year? It's knit in a dark gray and I'm almost towards the bottom!

The Provence Cardigan I started when she was 3 months old... and thank god I did because it's a project I keep putting aside to work on later, which is easy to do since it's HUGE and won't fit her until this fall with the sleeves turned up! Which means it will hopefully fit her through to the spring. I just have to knit the two vertical stripes for the button holes and then crochet the collar!

I also want to knit her this honey pie sweater, isn't it so cute? 

I also want to start knitting socks (the toe up method) and I want to knit myself a classic and simple button up cardigan in black, just what my wardrobe needs... I have yet to find a pattern.  

Well back to working on my larger summer knitting project, I'll report back on all knitting progress at a future date!

This sums it up pretty good...

Since becoming a mother 21 months ago... my contact with my friends has dropped off, they don't call me and frankly I don't call them, I wish it was different... and maybe one day it will change, like in 5 years!? It's just a hard thing to feel inspired to do when you finally sit down on your own.  You don't want to call and just complain, nor sit there completely silent on the other end of the phone... and the inevitable "So what's new with you?" question is a bit unbearable because on a second by second basis so many tiny little insignificant things are new with you that only affect you... that only you meticulously notice, before it gets whipped clean from your memory. It's like constantly living underneath a noisy busy highway over pass, waiting to cross the highway but the cars just go zipping by and you are left there just stunned and blinking profusely until your blinks turn into a spaced out stare of vacancy. You've shut down. dun, dun dun

So at the end of the day when all is finally quiet, its nice to be in control of your habitat, to shower without someone poking you through the curtain and incessantly repeating "Mommin shower? Mommin shower? Mommin shower? Mommin shower....?" and to just sit there blankly because you can, because at this instance your vacancy won't potentially lead to your child causing harm to themselves... at this time of day one's vacant state is no longer classified as neglect but rather the opposite- a recharge, a selfish delicious moment where you can just be. 

I wish I felt more inspired to call my friends... but I'm at a lose on where to begin? So if you feel so inclined call me and tell me all about your life and remind me what it is to be an individual, to have lived on the other side of the wall, give me something else to think about, laugh about, analysis (for the love of god, lol!).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shop Update: Stormy Indian Summer Inspired

I added 5 Garlands to the shop today! Here are four of them. They range from $5-$8 providing a very affordable way to decorate for a party or to add a little swag of magical escapism to your home!

And tonight's storm is really inspiring my shop layout... check it out 

Still looking summery with a hint of what's to come next season!
Visit GrayDayStudio HERE! ; )

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What We're Reading... more Children's books

The little one and I have been "reading" these two darling children's books of late and I love them so, that I just had to share! Sweet Dreams, by Rose A. Lewis and Jen Corace is a story written in a parent's voice to her little girl telling her all about the animals who come alive at night, about "the friends she is soon to meet". And Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, is a story about a girl who finds a magical box full of unlimited yarn that allows her to knit a sweater for every person, dog and house in her town.

 Here are a few vignettes of my favorite illustrations from Sweet Dreams. This book has a sweet rhythm to the comforting sleepy message.

And here are some of my favorite illustrations from Extra Yarn.  Our daughter refers to these books as "The owl book" and "The Yarn Store, book". And although her attention span is not as long as it will be, we have this tradition of sitting on Momma and Dadden's bed with Momma's pillow, and we flip through the books reading them occasionally and searching for the special elements in each book- the owl, the dog in the sweater etc. And learning bigger lessons about being gentle with our books ; ). I just love growing a little collection of beautiful books for our daughter. I hope you are inspired to check these books out for yourself!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Garden Update: Blooming and Ripening!

As the end of July approaches, things in our garden have begun to bloom and ripen!

On Sunday I picked a total of 7 large tomatoes, our first of the summer.  It always takes a while for the biggins to reach their full potential. Above: are 4 of our cherokee purple and 1 Brandywine heirloom.

The sunflower our nephew started from seed is ENORMOUS! I've never seen a sunflower grow so tall- maybe 8 feet!?

And watching it bloom has been a fun daily activity.

And Today I would say it's officially open, here's a bumble bee getting in on the action.

And the over all view of our little garden. The four tomato plants are at the back of the beds, beets under the triangle structure, and our newly planted pumpkin seeds took root where our spinach and lettuce grew at the beginning of the summer.  Of course we've had some run-ins with the little bunnies hence the newly laid chicken wire surrounding the pumpkins. Those cute little things better watch out, I've got a 14b dog who loves to kill bunnies! ; )

UPDATE: we measured the sunflower tonight and it's 100 inches tall, that's over 8 feet! pretty stinking cool!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Easiest and Tastiest Peach Dessert You Will Ever Make!

We had our friends over last night for dinner. The husband made the Barefoot Contessa's chive risotto cakes, plus Nigel Slater's potato salad, and I made a tomato salad. It was a nice light- summery dinner and we finished it off with blissfulblog's peach dessert! It was very easy and very amazing!!!

You simply de-pit the peaches and grill them on both sides on the grill, adding honey when they are cut side up. Then you top it with a cream of mascarpone, honey, cardamon, basil, and pistachios! It was VERY good! I can see this being a quick go to dessert every night of the week.

Go here for the full recipe and instructions. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

What to Watch: An Epic List of Movies for your weekend

Last weekend I got hit with this stomach bug and it knocked me on my a$$ for 2-3 days.  In that time all I could do was sleep and watch movies. In theory this sounds like an awesome weekend, but for me it was like being on a very long international flight (except more comfortable and with my own bathroom!).  I couldn't even knit, read, or write, simply lay there... (boo hoo, we get it!) My point is I watched an embarrassingly huge amount of movies. (whoops!) And I'm here to report back on what I saw.  Keep in mind that I'm not sure how great each movie was, given my state, but in general I found them pleasant and worth the watch.

Above: The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, a documentary that follows the Topp Twins, New Zealand's Lesbian sister singing comedy act.  I really enjoyed this film. I had never heard of the Topp Twins before and their bond is something else!

Korkoro, a film about a family of Gypsies living in France during WWII. It wasn't your typical WWII film. I enjoyed learning more about this side of the war and learning more about Gypsies in general, their culture, beliefs, etc.

Bread and Tulips, an Italian film set in Venice, is charming and scenic with a lovely little message about love and friendship. (ps: the trail is suuuuper cheesy! If I had seen the trailer beforehand, I might not have watched the film. It's much more understated than this.)

Following Sean, an interesting look at life in the 60's in San Francisco through the eyes of a four year old, and what his life is like as an adult.

The Country Teacher, I enjoyed seeing this sliver of life in the Czech countryside. It's a film where the lead character has to come to terms with his sexuality and how that relates to his new rural environment.

Young Goethe in Love. I love films that showcase the countryside, and I found this German film a lovely addition to the mix of Romantic period pieces. It had all of the same ingredients- star crossed lovers, costumes, too many mouths to feed, and drama.

Well I hope this has helped add a few films to your list for the weekend!

Check out more recommendations in my What to Watch blog series

NEW at GrayDayStudio: Summer Inspired Totes

Happy Friday! I thought I would check in and let you know what I've been up to today!
The long awaited canvas bag series went up at GrayDayStudio this morning. I'm pretty excited how they turned out. Each bag is a limited edition series of 9-10 bags, made to resemble watercolors and mono prints. All bags are made with the idea in mind of holding on to that feeling we experience during summer and "carry" it into our day to day activities.

Above: Never Sigh When You Can Sing, a perfect reminder to look on the bright side.

Magic Moment Maker, is inspired by star gazing and firefly catching.

Onward to the Sea, is rustic and splattered like a seafaring bag should be.

Hope you have a lovely and summer inspired weekend!

PS- my 30th customer gets a free garland of their chose with purchase, just add it to your cart and I'll redeem you through paypal! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Meet Our "New" Vw Van...

This week has been a little busy and thus my daily blogging took a back seat... and here's why! We bought a 1970 vw panel van!  We knew we needed a second car, and we always wanted a vw camper bus. Our primary car is a tiny Toyota Matrix which is great but you can't pack a lot of stuff in there, and it's not handy for those trips to the hardware store. So we needed something that could potentially haul stuff, hold more people (and wasn't a mini van- no offense). Plus buying an old car would be more affordable, so we got to work searching for a camper bus.

Through our search we realized that we didn't actually want or need all that comes in a camper- i.e. stove, sink, fridge. We wanted more interior space, plus many campers were either nuts expensive or super creepy and would require a lot of work up front... nothing between. Then this little panel van came across our path and fit our requirements, so we went for it and made it ours!

(Cranky toddler after naptime? Check!)

The crazy thing is growing up I had a faux rotary phone this same turquoise and dreamt about one day having a vw bug of the same color and now I have a van that color. I completely forgot about this until it was officially ours and sitting in the driveway. ; )

The Van has a lot of "Flare" that we will remove. It's one of those easy and free fixes that will start to make it feel like ours and allow us to visualize what comes next!?  We have a few immediate things we want to do, and then a larger, grander list of dreams. For now we need to replace the front seat belts- to make them more user friendly, and then put some hooks on the back bench so we can put the carseat in there for the little one. (And a new curtain. ) Naturally I've started a little board on pinterest to begin gathering inspiration.

Grander plans include: Folding table, possible windows along the sides, AC & Heat (yup!), wood panel interior, two jump seats behind the driver and front passenger seats, back cushion for the trunk, upholster the seats in a uniform leather with a contrasting piping trim... then other little details. (when I say "future" I mean over the next 10 yrs, lol). But that's what we like about it, it's going to be a while until we have a house of our own, so this is a little something we can tinker around on and dream about.

So there you have it! Meet our funky turquoise panel van/bus. I love what it represents for our little family- many fun adventures with family and friends, camping and road trips.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I lud du tomorrow + other home videos

It has been a while since I did a major home video blast of the little one... her recent love of singing Tomorrow, from Annie inspired this video post. I still have a bigger goal of taking all the video ever taken and compiling it into one big file. Feels sort of strange figuring out how to navigate new technology so I don't just have it backed up and stored somewhere- only to forget about it, but rather have it all in one place... like the good ol days on a big wonking video cassette?  Anyway, enjoy the videos. There are more home videos after "the jump" aka- hit the "read more" text to see the rest.

A Love Letter to Summer

Hi all, hope your weekend was a good one! I had a bit of a stomach bug and thus was in bed for all of it, netflix and ginger ale were my allies. It proved to be the longest stretch of "time off" from taking care of our daughter these past 20 months, although not being well isn't a vacation by any means! Thank god for all the help from my Mom and husband in the child care dept. So this means my new bag launch for GrayDayStudio will be pushed back a few days. I'm bummed since these ideas have been patiently waiting since May-ish. Anyway, we have an exciting week ahead of us... so stay tuned! Plus later today I'm posting some home videos of the toddler, it's been a while and there are some real gems of late. Here is this week's Love Letter to Summer! Have a great start to your week!


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