Christmas is coming…

GiftsforYoungAdults

I have a real love/hate relationship with technology and try to avoid giving gifts with plugs.  That is especially hard to do when buying for anyone young (say between 10 and 20).  I find money always works, but if you are looking for something a little more personal to give your favorite tween or teen the following 18 ideas score high on the ‘cool’ scale and ‘low’ on electricity usage…

  1. MOMA colorful Backgammon set
  2. Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones
  3. Music, movies and concert gift cards
  4. 1000 Record Covers
  5. Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Photo Printer
  6. Lewo Wooden 48-piece Stacking Game 
  7. Half Baked Harvest Cookbook
  8. Tretorn Andre 3000 HYLITEHIXAB2 Sneakers
  9. 642 Things to Draw
  10. Rosie Lush Basket
  11. Super Spirograph
  12. Secret Marvels of the World: 360 extraordinary places you never knew existed and where to find them
  13. MOMA Paper Watches
  14. The Kwik-E-Mart
  15. Sneakers
  16. This Book is a Planetarium
  17. Multi-masking Mania
  18. Ravensburger Sneaker: American Style
*Christmas is Coming – Vince Guaraldi Trio

 

 

All I want for Christmas…

GiftsforKIds

I’ve been busy making my lists and checking them twice and now I am ready to share a few of my favorite things to buy for Christmas 2017, starting with 15 gifts sure to  please your littlest loved ones…

  1. Hanna Anderson Organic cotton Long Johns
  2. The Very, Very Long Dog (also reviewed here)
  3. Carlo Robelli F640 Acoustic Guitar
  4. Melissa & Doug Simple Crafty Superhero Masks & Cuffs
  5. School’s First Day of School
  6. Iggy Peck Architect
  7. Zoonimooz
  8. Seedling DIY Galaxy in a Jar Kit
  9. Jellycat Sloth
  10. Safari Bowling Set
  11. Mukikim Rock and Roll It Rainbow Piano
  12. Kinoptik City Magnetic Tile 123 Piece Building Kit
  13. Ravensburger Underwater Paradise Puzzle
  14. Woodland Castle with Royal Family Figures
  15. Janod Mint Balance Scooter Bike
*All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth – Alvin & The Chipmunks

 

Kids and Dogs…

 

longdog
A short tale about a long dog

From the day my first child was born we read together every night.  When our second child arrived, he was instantly included in our reading ritual.  Our nightly routine began after bath-time, with me nestled between two sweet cuddly boys reading as many books as they wanted until all three of us were asleep.  We read hundreds of books each year and many of those were on repeat for weeks at a time.  I miss those days, and I miss having the opportunity to check out the latest in children’s literature.  That’s why I was thrilled to read an advance copy of The Very, Very Long Dog by Julia Patton.

Bartelby is a very, very long sausage dog who lives in a bookstore and (just like me) loves to read.  He has a group of loving friends who like to take him for his daily walks around town. Bartleby never knows what his back end is doing until he finds himself in trouble. His friends are always there to fix the problem, until one day they can’t. It is then that Bartleby realizes he is the problem. He becomes very depressed and refuses to leave the store.  His friends love him so much they create a noisy solution to his problem, so Bartleby always knows where he starts, and ends.

I loved this warm story about a group of friends who accept each other no matter what.  The illustrations are simple and sweet, utilizing pastel colors which are as warm as the story.  It’s such a lovely story that would be well-suited for babies through age 6.  The Very, Very Long Dog is available beginning December 5, and I will be purchasing a copy to give as a gift to a special little girl in my life.  I hope she enjoys the ‘tail’ of Bartleby and his loving friends as much as I did!

*Kids & Dogs The Perro Sessions – David Crosby & Jerry Garcia

Take me home country roads…

woodstowndoors.jpg
Woodstown Doors Quilt

My past few posts have mentioned me helping my momma recover from some surgery.  Spending time in hospitals and rehab facilities isn’t fun under the best of circumstances, so every day I tried to take a mental health break to get outside and explore… Continue reading “Take me home country roads…”

10-28 Ephemera

fortuneset
Trick or Treat…smell my feet (image from The Sum of All Crafts)

It finally feels like fall and not a moment too soon, since Halloween is almost here.  I never did get the chance to work on my 2017 Halloween mantle design so I am making do with a shiny door wreath and full-size candy bars and calling it a day.  It feels like I lost the month of October while helping my mom recover from her surgery, and thought you’d like to check out some of the things which kept me spellbound during her convalescence …

Hope you have a frightening good weekend…

*Donald Duck – Trick or Treat

 

When the bear would come to town…

beartown
It’s a bear’s life

I spent the last two weeks helping my mom recover from some surgery complications.  If you’ve ever spent time sitting bedside, wishing someone you love back to good health, you can empathize with my need to periodically escape with a good book.  Beartown: A Novel, by Fredrik Backman, provided exactly the diversion I needed.

The book has been on my 2 B or Not 2 B Reads list for quite some time, so when I saw it on the library shelf I felt like I had just won the book lottery.  I got home only to find I needed to get to my mom’s side as quickly as possible. I threw some clothes and Beartown into my luggage, hoped a plane, and two nights later finally found time to start the first chapter, which consisted of two succinct sentences.  “Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead, and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.” I was instantly transported, and hooked.

This is the second book by Mr. Backman that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed (read my thoughts on the first, A Man Called Ove, here).  He has a talent for creating fully realized, believable, and relatable characters.  In Beartown, Backman has fashioned an entire town of characters whose intermingling backstories and current relationships play out against the pursuit of a national hockey championship and a tragic crime that impacts every character along the way.

This book is sure to make my ‘Best Books of 2017’ list, and I am guessing it will make many other ‘best of’ lists too. Have you read Bear Town? Did you like it? Will it make your best of list?  I’d love to know… .

*Three Great Alabama Icons – Drive-By Truckers 

Dark and grey…

Greys
Midi 3 Way

Each season I feature ways to re-create my favorite runway looks (my 2016 recreations can be found here, here and here).  Some of the hot trends for Fall 2017 include fringe, checked fabrics, velvets, midi length skirts and dresses, broad shoulders and the color grey – all featured above.  After countless hours spent viewing the shows from New York, Milan, London and Paris I keep coming back to the fashions created by Lela Rose, Victoria Beckham, Christian Siriano, Isabel Marant and Michael Kors.

Any of the ‘3 Midi’s’ pictured above (all from Michael Kors Fall 2017 collection) would be easy to sew and flattering to almost everyone.  Of course, some basic pattern alteration would be required (either by extending hemlines and/or altering the skirt side seam angles) but anyone with moderate sewing skills could easily make the changes before cutting out the pattern.  After you’ve finished the garment accessorize as you see fit and you’ll be ready to rock fall…

LEOPARD
Perfume |  Earrings   |  Skinny Belt   |   Gloves  |   Ankle Booties
VELVET
Perfume   |   Earrings   |   Bag  |   Pumps
Houndstooth
Perfume Earrings   |  Belt  |   Bag  |   Boots

Next up – more of my ‘Recreating the Runway’ series featuring my favorite floral and velvet looks.

*Dark and Grey – Kid Rock

Must be the season of the witch…

Halloween2017Mantle
Green and grey and black (aka: Halloween Mantle 2017)

The only time I feel inspired to decorate my home is between summer’s end and Christmas. Now that it is ‘officially’ fall I am planning my Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas mantle looks (see my 2016 looks here and here).

This Halloween I am feeling inspired by the way black, silver, grey, dirty white and olive green look together.  I will reuse my ‘Boo’ sign, buy a few led candles, ravens and assorted lanterns, and make the black feather wreath, branch bunches, and lace-covered, velvet, and glittered pumpkins.  Check back over the next few weeks as I post a few easy-to-follow ‘ tutorials and to compare how closely the eventual reality matches my vision.

*Season of the Witch – Donovan

Take you riding in my car…

Brewbikes
Fat Tire Bikes

Plans change.  Instead of taking it easy my husband and I headed over to Asheville because, why not?  Have you been?  This was my first visit but not my last.  What a great, laid back, artsy hipster town (or at least the parts I spent time in).  Check it out…. Continue reading “Take you riding in my car…”

9-22 Ephemera

Germanfloort
1725 German Wood Floor from the J. Paul Getty Museum

Even though we are experiencing summertime temperatures today is officially the first day of fall and I am more than ready for autumn.  Between weekend travels that have taken me north, south, and east to see my children and preparing for the opening night of an art installation next week I haven’t had much free time to explore the web but did manage to stumble upon the following:

I am looking forward to having the next few days off and hope to finalize my Halloween mantle decorations (see last year’s design here), watch the new Kingsmen movie, catch some football (go Eagles!), and cook (I am hoping to make Smoky Pasta alla Vodka and Slow Cooker Honey Lime Ginger Pork).  Hope you have a relaxing weekend doing the things that make you happiest…