Cute explosion

zoey and jasper Have you guys seen the series Zoey and Jasper by photographer Grace Chon, of her son and their rescue dog?

Heart melting.

Our dog is pretty patient, but we would have to do a series of lounging photos as that's more her forte:

Anyways, click on the first two photos for more and prepare for cute explosions.



What I'm Reading: Middle Grade Novels

Around this time two (!) years ago, a few of us got together and created a children's writers and illustrators critique group. We meet monthly and review each others work. (It's been invaluable and totally deserves its own post someday.) Though I have hours and hours of art critiques under my belt, until then I had only participated in a few writing critique sessions and only for picture books. To be able to provide more helpful advice to the novel writers, in the last couple of years I've made a point of reading middle grade and young adult books. I devoured such books as a kid, but honestly, (besides the Hunger Games and the Divergent series, ahem,) at that time I wasn't familiar with any current titles. I'm happy to say that's completely changed and it's been really fun! I thought I'd periodically list some of the ones I loved and recommend. So let's start with:

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Believe the hype. This book is brilliant.

Black Boy White School, by Brian F. Walker

An honest look at racial and economic lines in our society. Complicated and nuanced, Walker doesn't deliver a neatly packaged ending. (Which is a good thing.)

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Erskine's absolute mastery of the first person account from a kid with severe aspbergers is stunning and enlightening.

Anyone out there have some recommendations for me? What are your favorite current middle grade novels?

Friday Wrap Up

cowgirls45 First, who lives in LA? I have your Saturday afternoon planned for you: How would you like to go to a little get together hosted by Emily Henderson? There will be drinking, and nibbling, and a dj, plus you get to say hello to my dear friend Soledad who's amazing jewelry line, Sol del Sur, is among those featured!! I am beyond excited for her, but alas am stuck on the East Coast. (Does her work look familiar? I designed her new site last year...)


If you see Sol there, give her a big hug from me. You will freak out when you see her latest line. It is that good. Click on the image above to RSVP.

And on to number 2: See those cowgirls above? Go check out the roundup of photos from LIFE Magazine over on Messy Nessy Chic. It's awesome. (And if you can't get enough of ladies and horses, check out McLeod's Daughters over on Hulu. Someone might be obsessively running that show in the background while she works lately. Someone... --Aussie accents, high waisted jeans, and french braids, people!) 

Aand I'll leave you with this brilliant piece of animation that made me laugh this week:

Session: China!

Session China

The magazine my brother, Sam, co-founded has just launched it's first issue!

"Session" is China's snowboard magazine. Exclusive, original, content from China and around the world keeps you tuned in with the Chinese and International snowboarding community and inspires you to get out and ride.

Obviously, it's for a Chinese audience, but if you're into snowboarding, or just great photography, you should check it out. It's gorgeous. It will be available in print in China, and online for everyone else here. (I should note that it's available in English and Chinese versions.)

Congrats to Sam and the whole team! Job well done!

Fun fact: Besides taking many of the photographs, Sam also models some snowboarding gear on page 36. [Insert wolf-whistle here.] ha.

New Biz for the New Year GIVEAWAY!

OMHG Giveaway!

Oh my gosh, have you heard about the ultimate business giveaway, A new Biz for the New Year, over on Oh My Handmade Goodness?!  If you have a creative business that needs a branding overhaul, get yourself over there!  They're giving away prizes worth over $6500!

And I'm donating a custom logo! I'm SO happy to be a part of this, but honestly, I'm more than a little jealous I can't enter!

Crazy, awesome: ULTIMATE.


Shawn Gilheeney

Check out this limited edition print,--each one hand painted-- by my friend Shawn, now available through Tiny Showcase.

Shawn Gilheeney Tiny Showcase

Edition of 30 screen prints with hand finished watercolor.

Hand printed, painted, signed and numbered by the artist. Measures roughly 30" by 22" on an archival watercolor paper.

Shawn Gilheeney Tiny Showcase

...As each piece was individually painted by the artist, no two are exactly the same.

shawn Gilheeney Tiny Showcase

There are only 16 left, so run over there to get yours!

Road Trip "Reading"

road trip It's the summer and that means weekend road trips to various parts of scenic New England! And I'm wondering if any of you have some audio book recommendations?

We usually spend our long trips having long rambling talks about our possible future and then catching up on Radio Lab and This American Life. But driving to Joshua Tree a few weeks ago, we substituted NPR for BossyPants. (And even if you've read it, the audio book is worth a listen because Tina Fey reads it herself.) It was awesome.

I'm not an avid audio book listener, as I've assumed that I prefer reading books the old fashioned way. But Ms Fey's reading led me to wonder if there aren't other books that are great, if not better, to listen to?

We just downloaded from the library the Game of Thrones* for this weekend's drive. But that's just one book. (--we both agreed that we wouldn't read ahead of the show. I know, kind of backward. But the show is so good.)

So, any ideas? Thoughts? What audio books do you love?


*Edit: Did you know the audio book for A Game of Thrones is 33 hours long?!

The IOU Project

Video Mondays [youtube=]

Have you heard of the IOU Project? " easy-to-wear line of clothing based on the idea that each piece is handmade and completely unique. The uniqueness of each item allows us to provide traceability right down to the weaver that hand-wove the fabric."

IOU Project                                      IOU Project

I randomly came across them, and was so inspired by the idea, I bought a dress and scarf for our honeymoon coming up.   The only  bummer is that I forgot to check who made my items! Fingers crossed they add a note to my order.  I'll let you know when I get it!


Birthday/Bachelorette Weekend in NYC

Last weekend I was in NYC for a joint Birthday/pretend Bachelorette frolic with my friend Mandy-- who's getting married the week after us!  We had such a blast.  Here are the highlights:
We started the weekend's festivities with a trip to the magical Spa Castle in Queens.  Have you been?  It's insane.  It's as if you tossed a mall and a spa together, with a dash of Disney World.  It was really fun and I recommend it to everybody.  You can kind of make it as relaxing and spa like as you want, or just stick to the more water park-ish parts filled with kids.  I think we even spotted a few birthday parties going on.  Our only regret was that we couldn't stay longer than a few hours.  We had to leave to catch an early (sold out!) screening of Bridesmaids. Which of course was awesome.  (Random note, G also saw Bridesmaids last weekend, but with a bunch of dudes at Mandy's better half's bachelor party.)
Judd Apatow + Kristen Wiig + Maya Rudolph + Paul Feig= my idea of heaven.  (Ok sure, I could have done without all the gross-out humor, but still, I was laughing during it.)  And how great is Melissa McCarthy?  She's so under-appreciated. I tried not to watch too many trailers ahead of time, but I just found this one and happily it actually uses a bunch of clips (or at least lines) that didn't make the final cut. So have at it:
Our day ended at Radegast Hall in Williamsburg with dear, dear friends who I haven't seen in ages.  It was so good to see everyone. (Williamsburg is cra-aazy by the way.  2001 does not compare to 2011.  I know, Ms Obvious, here. But, still.)
warby parker glasses
On Sunday I managed to get over to Warby Parker's showroom and finally got to use my gift certificate from Christmas.  I chose the above pair--which technically are listed as 'sold out' online, but apparently if you visit the showroom they have a few left in stock.  Just a little tip if you're in the area. 

Before skipping town, Jane got us provisions at our friend's wonderful Vic's Bagel Bar in Murray Hill. Yummers.  I had forgotten that New Yorkers are the ones who really know that you need to slather on the cream cheese. Other cities, who toss you a little cream cheese container, are just mistaken.  You really need a pound of cream cheese to properly enjoy a bagel.  Preferably with custom "mix-ins" a la Vic's.  (FYI my brother took their product photos.)
We managed to pack a lot of other things in-- awesome dinners, shopping, some lazing around and much needed catching up.  What a great weekend.

Lucky girl.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I keep spotting all these fun gifts, so I thought I'd do a Mother's Day gift round up! Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps.

Britt Beautiful Skin system - Mature Skin types

My Tree and Me: Pick from a bunch of really cool family trees aea47x.jpg

Je T'Aime Breast Cancer Awareness Bag from RI's nonchalant Mom.


Monogram mug from Anthropolgie

Jess LC's Franklin Necklaces: Braille letters on one side with the text in English on the back.  Choose from five phrases.

Sugar Baby cookbook

Kitchen Conversions poster from Sweet Fine Day.  Also check out their baked goods at Whimsy and Spice!

Portraits by Gaia Cornwall


And of course I'd love to do a portrait of said mom's kids!  Details here.

Also spotted a pretty necklace, and some lovely perfume ideas, over at Wiksten Made.  And head over to A Cup of Jo for a personalized wine bottle, or a customized photo.  Happy hunting!



The new issue of LMNOP is out today!  YAY!  Go over and download it-- It's free! And every page is just lovely...

Some of my favorites:

Craft ideas for Plastic Figurines


Mo Willems

Mo Willems LMNOP

Cophenhagen City Tour for Kids

Visit Copenhagen LMNOP