Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sparkle and Shine, Goodbye to '09

Last post before the new decade! I am looking forward to spending the evening with friends, sending 2009 out with a smile, and kicking off 2010 with a bang. Here are my picks for a festive night out: sequined dress spotted on {this is glamourous}, feather-and-chain necklace from Anthropologie, and to top it all off, these wild mirror mosaic boots by Thakoon. Of course, in reality, I will be digging out whatever shiny items I can find in my own closet, but a girl can dream... Wishing you all a happy and sparkly New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Design, Simply Put

The winter holidays is my favorite time of year for curling up in a cozy spot with a good book and a hot cup of tea. This afternoon, I'm going to take a little time out to chip away at The Count of Monte Cristo (a small literary step up from last year's Twilight obsession, ahem) - I've just passed the halfway mark of the 1200-page volume. With the joys of reading in mind, I'm loving the simplicity of these book cover designs. The magnificent imperfection of hand-rendered design, above, and beautiful classic typography with colorful patterns, below, by Christina Ottolini for Mucca Design.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Spirit

Pajamas, the coziest slipper socks, homemade hot chocolate, movies, family and friends, and of course quite a bit of cooking and eating. Aaahhh... the holidays! While I am being productive and working today, I'm going about it in the most leisurely way possible. I've got lots and lots of projects coming up in the new year that I am excited to share with everyone soon, so this little window between the holidays is the perfect time to rest and rejuvenate, stoking the creative fires for the energy I will surely need in the weeks ahead.

Snowy pics, top, from Camilla Engman's beautiful blog, and bottom, Rocky Mount Studio.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Stop Before the Holidays

Last weekend, I visited the Brooklyn Lyceum Holiday Craft Market - a really good showing this year of fun housewares, art, and delicious food items. I got to meet one of my fave designers, Tara Hogan. I've been reading Tara's blog, INK+WIT, for ages so it was super to meet her in person and chat for a while.

Tara was kind enough to feature my yoga tees and prints on her blog recently, and I am now the proud owner of one of her lovely letterpress prints (below) which is now making my home office a cheerier place to work! If you haven't already checked out her blog or shop, get on over there!

A few other faves from the holiday market: (clockwise from top left) ceramics by jennifer fisher, artwork by Kristiana Parn, handmade plush toys by Zooguu, screenprinted moleskin journals by fisk and fern

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best. Cookies. Ever.

I know, it's a bold statement. But inside each of these slightly-flaky-on-the-outside, a-little-chewy-on-the-inside chocolate delights is a melty caramel Rollo candy. My husband's friend's Polish grandmother used to make these (although I don't know that Rollo cookies could be considered a traditional Polish recipe!) and not only was this his first attempt at making these particular cookies, it was his first time making cookies EVER. We brought the cookies to a holiday party, and they were a huge hit. These are the last three. You set the bar high, babe. Here's a link to the recipe.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hey Mati

Came across these excellent collage/painting prints by Mati Rose over on PaperNStitch's site today. I love elephants and happen to have quite a few of them around the house, including a pink elephant watering can that I also turned into a painting, so of course these struck a cord with me. I visited Mati's website and learned that we share a love of artists Margaret Kilgallen and Louise Bourgeois. You can see lots more of Mati's work in her blog and etsy shop. Cheers!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Cheer

Fun, modern, with just a touch of kitsch, these excellent compositions by photographer Zee Longenecker are getting me inspired this morning. I know, perhaps they're not seasonally appropriate - more spring-y than wintery - but sometimes on a frigid morning, a bit of brightness is exactly what you need. Plus, these prints would look great in my office! You can find them (and a ton of other gorgeous prints) in Zee's etsy shop, blissful colors. Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Doorstep Decor

Loving the festive front of Kein Cross' West Village home-slash-boutique, as featured in the New York Times. "To me, Christmas is silver and pink. I just like to have fun and enjoy it." Well said!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We're All Made of Stars

Designer Shabd Simon-Alexander's line of hand-dyed t-shirts, leggings, scarves and bags is inspired by Hubble telescope photos of stars and galaxies. I got to see her work in person recently and everything is super luxurious, taking tie-dye to a whole new level. Perfectly-cut tees and super soft leggings.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Handle & Spout

Another fave from last weekend's MS Holiday Craft Fair, Handle & Spout makes fun, pretty things. I would love to have some of these hair pin flowers to wear to a party. And I could see the leather dot earrings becoming an everyday wardrobe staple. Simple, with a little flash! Note their subtle, clever take on the ubiquitous mustache trend.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shiny Happy

A perfect holiday party dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs on Gilt Group today.

Won't quite work for the "ugly christmas sweater" I am attending, though...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Magic Crystal

Here's another fave from the MS Holiday Craft Sale. I totally fell for these spun-cotton ornaments by Vintage By Crystal. Made by the same techniques used by old-world German artisans, these quirky creatures have some serious charm and a certain timeless quality that eludes description. And really, who wouldn't be charmed by a spun-cotton narwhal or a dapper bendable giraffe (below)?

They also remind me of the much-beloved 1960s Rankin and Bass holiday specials - i.e. Rudolph - that inspired the cool creatures for Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Crystal also crafts these groovy vintage-inspired bottle brush trees that would make a really cool holiday display. You can find lots more interesting characters in her etsy shop and on her website!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nice Way to Start the Week

These cheery, Matisse-esque interiors by Brooklyn-based artist Bella Foster are just what the doctor (dentist?) ordered to help me forget my minor tooth-fix this morning, my second dental appointment in as many Mondays.

I spotted Bella's work at the Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale that took place Saturday over at Martha's offices in Manhattan. It was chock-full of crafty goodness and crazed Martha fans - the line was beginning to stretch outside the building and down the sidewalk when we left! I'll post a few more of my fave vendors from the sale this week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Crafty Time

I made these sparkly glitter letters for my friend Cheryl's birthday - with such great initials, how could I go wrong? These are about 5 inches high and are backed with some retro patterns from my recently-acquired quilt fabrics. I figure she can hang these on her tree or use them to decorate her new home office down south! I hope you like them, Zibs. We miss you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My New Obsession

I can't tell you how taken I am with these excellent paper and acrylic collages by New York-based artist Aaron Wexler. Just stunning.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Retro Squares

These excellent quilt squares (just a few of the many now in my possession) came to me by way of my mother-in-law; they are leftover scraps that belonged to my husband's grandmother's friend's great-aunt - got that? The extra fun thing, besides all the great fabric patterns, is that most of them are stitched to newspaper bits dating from the 40's. I definitely have some collage ideas in mind for these babies - anyone else know of any good projects to create with these?