easter inspiration

i am loving these easter-y images from martha stewart

i love the marbled eggs, and the muted colors, but i what i think i like more... is  the grass that they sit in... cute presentation

who wouldn't love this simple chicken silhouette sitting on top of their breakfast egg... or doubling as a finger puppet 
love this place setting with a classic chocolate rabbit... 
... and patterned napkin covered eggs          

darling printed chicken with the perfect chicken shape...
and of course, homemade peeps. 

so my plan after collecting some ideas is...
1. cover cheapie plastic eggs with some of the patterned tissue paper i have on hand. 
2. make coconut macaroon nests with chocolate eggs, and make marshmallow crispie rabbits.
3. make a dogwood blossom shaped easter basket for e with the super thick packing felt i have been saving.

...i'll keep you posted!


pecan oatmeal raisin cookies

e wasn't feeling so hot today. we decided not to subject any other children to her hot forehead and to keep our germs to ourselves. i have been dying to make ina garten's pecan oatmeal raisin cookies. i asked e if she wanted to help and she gave me the nod of approval. feed a fever... right? or is it feed a cold? either way she sat on the counter inhaling raisins as i added the ingredients to the mixer.
as soon as the cookies were out of the oven, e and i sat together blowing on pieces of molten cookie.
she ate a couple of bites and enjoyed it, i think... but here comes the kicker. she put down the bite of cookie she had in her hand, shook her head no, and pointed to the tomatoes. 
since she was born it has always been a little bit of a family joke that e looks exactly like her dad. yes, i gave birth to her, but she bares very little resemblance to me. now i know she is not all dad.
neal would, never in a million years, choose a tomato over his favorite baked good. at that moment i was enjoying my cookie and  couldn't think of chasing it with a tomato. ... but if faced with a choice of a fresh baked cookie or a fat juicy slice of heirloom tomato, with fleur de sel and fresh cracked pepper... i can't say i'd take the cookie.


inspired by...

...silvery dewdrops on early morning walks
apparently, so is this contemporary artist... teresita fernandez


e's first birthday... part 3

the favors for e's party continued the woodland theme. i wanted to give something that wasn't candy or sweets, but also something that reminds the guest of e. I found 4x4 canvases online and covered each  of them with vintage wallpaper. i painted the child initial on the wallpaper in a mossy log, woodland theme. 
 for the packaging, i used waxed brown paper bags, folded them over, and sliced a hole through the fold. through the hole, i laced the twig to hold it closed.
  the tags for the favors were made of bark from a paper bark melaleuca tree. i painted the initial of the child on the tag and tied it to the twig with fat pistachio green yarn. i finished it off with some spanish moss and a red german spun-cotton mushroom.


e's first birthday... part 2

the food for e's party was kept simple. self serve sandwiches and fresh pears for the adults, and lunch bags for the kids. the sandwiches were either chicken salad or roasted red bell pepper and hummous. the chicken salad recipe comes from maili productions (catered our wedding)... and can be found here. the roasted bell pepper and hummous was a favorite combination of mine from a little sandwich shop in oxford england. they would spread fresh ciabatta bread thick with hummous, and layer the peppers on. delightful. the bags for the kids had either a almond butter and banana sandwich or plain cheese. also in the bag were little boxes of raisins, tiny apples, and a babybel cheese. babybel is the cheese that is wrapped in a layer of red wax... turns out the wax was more popular with the kids than the cheese it presented.
 i made lavender lemonade with lemon juice, sparkling water and lavender syrup. the lavender syrup is made from steeping dry lavender blossoms in sugar and water. the sugar syrup sweetens the lemonade and adds a lovely aromatic.
 More 1st birthday tomorrow!


e's first birthday... part 1

i think this was one of the first creative projects i worked on after e was born. during all of the time spent learning how to be a mother, i must have saved up some of my excitement to be creative, as i was bananas over my upcoming event. the theme for her birthday was woodland. think moss, mushrooms, fern, fallen logs, little critters. i gathered ideas and prepped during e's nap time for months, and finally the day rolled around. it whirled by just like any event that one is really looking forward to. but at least i have some pictures to remind me of the first birthday party to date. there will be many more. i'll start with my favorite, the cake. i had the idea of making a cake look like a couple of stacked logs, perfect for the woodland forest theme. i made the cake using nick malgieri's... how to bake... recipe for celebration cake. seemed apropos. i carved the cakes into the proper log shape. i added cupcake bottoms to serve as lopped off branches. the "bark" icing is chocolate ganache, and the wood of the stumps, where the tree rings would be, is my grandma's recipe for chocolate frosting. 
 what is a birthday cake without cake toppers and decorations? i made little snails out of marzipan paste, and gave them their eyeballs with tiny nonpareils, and a little dot of food color, then slicked them with corn syrup for that slimy look.

to the cake i added meringue mushrooms from martha stewart's recipe. then the cake was finished off with fresh fern curls, and fern sprigs, and tiny blue grape hyacinth... then we ate it.   more 1st birthday tomorrow!


inspired by...

...hanging banners at the getty center. on a recent visit to the getty center, i saw these two darling banners. i love the play on scale, the first with the enormous butterfly, and big red currents. the second with the don quixote/fairytale scene. i just am crazy about the silhouettes of the children running in front of the surreal backdrop... and even better... the same silhouettes are used for each piece of art, only in opposite colors. i wish i knew who did these as i would love to see more!



 i made a couple of barrettes for e from some notions and scraps i had laying around. the first is made from a paper dogwood blossom left over from making our wedding invitations almost six years ago. i sewed the edges of the flower by hand and glued it to a little barrette. i wrapped the barrette in embroidery thread so it will stay in e's hair.
the second is made from some vintage trim i found at a ribbon store downtown. i have always loved it but couldn't bear the idea of cutting it up. so i got to use a little, but still have enough left to make something else.
 the third i love, because i just adore the selvedge edge of fabric yardage. these two clips are made by using the little edge if the fabric where the manufacturer puts his name and information about colors used in making the print. i cut this usually discarded edge off and sewed it on a tiny bobby pin.


felt alphabet

i just love this felt alphabet from etsy seller michima. these would be great with magnets in them for the refrigerator. i am sure e would learn her alphabet in a jiff, because if she is anything like me she will not be able to take her eyes off of them.


smocking project

this is part 2 from my smocking post on 3.10. i have made some progress on the pleated panels of fabric. fairly easy and entertaining to do. it is somewhat like knitting, in that you have to pay attention to where your thread is in relation to your needle, and you have to pull on the thread with the same tension with each stitch. now i just have to stitch the same pattern on the back panel, then sew the two panels together to make the dress. should be done by next summer?


collage invitation

with inspiration taken from collage artists... post on 3.12... i hand cut a mixed paper collage and mounted it on a papaya colored card. this would make an adorable birthday invitation. the birthday party information would fit in on the left, and a square envelope would accomodate the legs perfectly. this combination looks charming paired with the pink polka dot envelope. the best part is that it can be personalized for any party or child. this collage happened to take on a lot of e's characteristics, as i used a photo of her for the template. the child's silhouette, paper colors and patterns can be changed to suit the party, balloons could be added, the possibilities are endless!


"say waaa"

not the typical photo of your smiling bouncy baby, but that is what i find so beautiful about them. from photographer jill greenberg. click on the link to see more.


new favorite recipe site

 after reading this review of the latest book from michael pollan, food rules, and reading snippets of it in the bookstore during e's story time, i fell hard for his logical ideas of how to eat healthily. to my delight i stumbled upon this recipe section from the new york times. it is phenominally easy to use and makes the question of the day "what's for dinner" a no brainer. simply scroll down to the bottom of the page, pick an ingredient you have on hand, and then voila, choose from a handful of healthy recipes using that ingredient. last night i made lentil dal, and because i substituted red lentils for the brown, dinner was done in no more than 30 minutes. and can i tell you how delicious it was? n and i were just sad the recipe didn't make more, but then again, we would have been breaking one of the food rules... “Eat food. Not too much...”


inspired by

collage artists...(with exception of klimt)...

i have always been intrigued by gustav klimt's paintings, his juxtaposition of pattern and form.

leo lionni is a favorite of mine from when i was young, i always remember his animal characters simply assembled from torn paper.

ezra jack keats is adored by myself and e. she loves whistle for willy, and i love the illustrations and his use of blocked out areas of pattern, not to mention the charming story that goes along. 

ida pearle we all know and love for her minimalistic collage style depicting children playing sweetly. 
 i plan to play around with my paper collection this weekend and see what i come up with for a new invitation style.


portfolio... part 1

here are some samples of my paper/invitation work...
it is such a lovely thing to receive an invitation in the mail these days. there is something about feeling the paper between your fingers that makes the event for which it was sent feel very real and special. many of my designs are layered to produce an even more tactile experience. 
i love to use hand cut appliques of fabric, or paper, and add embellishments of sewn areas, or hand painting. this makes each invitation slightly different and truly a one of a kind little piece of art. each invitation is a little celebratory piece of your occasion that starts a unique anticipation for your event the day you send them out. click on the link below to see more.


smocking project

i was given some pre-pleated fabric to make a couple of smocked dresses for e, and have since been looking for smocking designs that are simple and classic but don't scream little house on the prairie. here is what i found. i love the simplicity of this, with the french knots adding texture. http://www.babetteworld.etsy.comhere are a couple of gorgeously simple pieces that i would love to use for my inspiration. http://www.annafabo.etsy.com

i would love to slip into this smocked collar... beautiful.
and lastly my favorite piece... from Bottega Veneta. breathtaking.


B is for Baby

i have been hand painting monograms for a couple of years now, and thought i would share with you one of my favorites. i did a this for a mom in santa barbara whose baby's name i just adore.

...go to my website, b is for baby to see more styles