the end of things: toy story 3 and knuffle bunny free.

this is my somewhat wordy review of the endings to two great trilogies: the knuffle bunny series by mo willems and the toy story series by pixar*. there are spoilers ahead.

is it the colors? the clearly written stories and relatable characters? i would like mo willems fine, but i like his work so much more than fine because my kids, especially g, adore his books. we had fun reading some elephant and piggy books from the library this year. g constantly wants to read knuffle bunny, the only book by willems that we own. after reading an interview with willems, i was especially interested to see how the series would come to an end. i read it in the bookstore, trying not to cry in public. it was so sweet and beautiful, and it reminded me of the end of another beloved series that drew to a close this year. apparently i wasn't the only one to see the comparison. more on that in a moment.

toy story 3 was a funny one for us because we saw it on dvd, not in the theater, after hearing it lauded by everyone we knew. the first time was a bit disappointing, though i did tear up a bit. then i rented it again this week, about two months after the first viewing, and have seen it more clearly in subsequent (read: three more) screenings.

toy story 3 had many challenges. first, it had to draw us in with a fresh approach. as a sequel it had the opportunity to build on characters we have come to love over the years, but had to resist overplaying certain quirks so that those characters don't feel overplayed or tired. and finally, because it's the last in the series, it had to give the audience some type of closure without negating the meaning from the previous two films. initially i was skeptical--it felt like a prison break movie, not wholly unlike chicken run. i also couldn't decide how i felt at the end. i cried, inevitably, but wondered at andy's ability to let everyone--including woody--go.
am i so materialistic?

this is what i thought was so interesting about both knuffle bunny free and toy story 3. in the end, both trixie and andy examine their attachment to their cherished toys, then let them go. both stories have other themes too, but the theme to hold dear to memories then pass on objects is very strong. i know i'm sentimental, perhaps overly so, but i was interested that both tales end with such unselfish gestures. these actions probably stood out to me more because at the moment i'm struggling with letting go of my children's baby clothes--and my oldest is just over five years old! what kind of mess will i be in thirteen years? the more i think about it, though, the more i see that this is a wonderful message to teach our kids--to hold onto memories, then pass on beloved things. i have always believed in donating rather than trashing, but i still hold on to my fair share of material possessions. i hope to teach my kids to let material things go easier than i do.

i could go on about the materialism themes in toy story 3--how lotso is a perfect foil for woody ("we're made to be thrown away!" lotso yells at the heirloom 1950s toy woody). and how horrific the scenes at the dump are. how could we not think twice about throwing things away after that? the film shows on many levels the ways that we should--and shouldn't do things. We see the toys--their themes of sticking together no matter what, never leaving each other behind, risking yourself to help a friend, sacrificing your own needs for the happiness of others--are among the good examples we see. on the flip-side, we see how a lack of respect (lotso's perspective that toys are disposible) and what following a selfish leader can lead to. in the people, we see that giving is good, even when it's hard, and that caring for things--showing respect--is a form of love. i'm definitely thinking about the latter as i look at the toys strewn about my house and think, are we taking care enough? it's an important value i want to teach my kids.

i also love how toy story 3 (along with the first two films) shows a special respect for childhood, especially the magic of play. i remember holding my toys and feeling that they could come to life. that's something i want my children to have, too. sometimes it's hard to give kids quiet space and free time to play, especially as the world grows more competitive and electronic. it was gratifying to see the way Bonnie took care of her toys, and how she played--all out, full on imagining, no television or video games played. it was also gratifying to see that the kind, imaginative andy grew up to be kind and imaginative. being in the phase i am now, it's always encouraging to see other kids go through the growing up process and remain relatively their same sweet selves.

both willems and pixar do a fine job of addressing children and adults. i cried at both because i'm understanding more and more what other parents say about how fast childhood goes, and i think pixar and willems illustrate this all too well. willems writes the loveliest message to his real-life trixie at the end of knuffle bunny free--more than her unselfish action at the end, it's these pages that made me cry. in toy story 3 i cried during the home-movie montage that shows andy growing up, and the scene near the end when andy's mom sees andy's room packed up and is suddenly struck that her son is grown up. parenthood is crazy that way--one moment you're humming along, lost in the daily routine of things, and the next moment you notice something that triggers the realization that your children are growing up.

as a writer and a parent i love seeing how closely these works parallel the lives of the creators. these stories are based in truth, and sincerely reflect their true emotional experiences with great characters and quality production. in the fifteen years since the original toy story came out, i'm sure pixar has seen its fair share of high school graduations.

finally, i wonder what it's like for younger adults/teens to watch toy story 3. i keep thinking of my cousins, for instance. when toy story first came out, they were three years old. six months ago they were the ones graduating high school, then preparing for college and post-high school life in the summer. i think about my aunts, and wonder how it felt to watch this film through their eyes--these kids grew up playing with toy story toys and games and watching the films excitedly in the theaters. now, the series winds up just as childhood does for their kids. it's quite poetic, really. knuffle bunny free and toy story 3 offer riveting stories for children along with entertainment and guidance for us grownups who are on the other side of the process. they are both poignant tales with themes of unselfishness and caring for others. i'm inspired as a parent and a writer.

*i'm using pixar as a collective for simplicity's sake since the film was a collaborative piece--including more than one writer.

favorite things from 2010.

somehow there are two days left of this entire year--did it sneak up on anyone else? before 2010 is completely over, i wanted to note some of my favorites from this year of wonder. it was full and lovely and i look forward to 2011, whatever it holds.
note: some of my favorites did not come out this year, but they're my favorite things from this past year.
album: broken bells by broken bells.
i listened to this over and over when it came out in the spring. james mercer (the shins) has such a great voice, and this pairing with danger mouse is pure greatness.
album: the suburbs by arcade fire.
musically there's a lot going on, and lyrically too. plus the songs will always remind me of wandering the streets of nyc with b--we traded off humming "the suburbs" and other arcade fire riffs while we waited for the subway or looked for cool buildings.
album: abbey road by the beatles.
i have to admit i always respected and admired the beatles, but i didn't really get it until this year. i didn't grow up listening to them, and hadn't listened much at all until we started introducing some beatles songs to the kids--fun early stuff like "twist and shout" (which g calls "shake it up baby now") plus later fun stuff like yellow submarine" and "octopus's garden"--b made some beatles cds for our road trip to utah, and that was it. the medley on abbey road is incredible. "golden slumbers" is probably my very favorite, but it's really hard to choose just one favorite beatles song.
children's book: knuffle bunny free by mo willems,
& film: toy story 3 by pixar. for more in depth reflections on both, see here.
film: inception.
i love movies, but find very few that i am willing to pay full movie theater price times 2 + cost of a babysitter for three kids, so i rarely see movies at the theater. the only movie i saw in the theater this year. we saw it on an imax screen, and it was well worth it. the visuals were stunning, the plot and characters were intriguing, and one of our favorite buildings made a cameo appearance.
film: 500 days of summer.
we finally saw it on dvd this past summer, and i loved it. something about it just stayed with me. i especially loved the dual-screen scene that showed how tom wanted the party to go and the reality of how the party went. i've always wanted to do a scene/short film like that, and they did it so wonderfully. it was also fun to see a film appreciate the architecture of downtown los angeles, because b and i share that appreciation.
film: scott pilgrim vs. the universe.
fun fun fun. that's what this film was. fun on so every level.
live concert: neko case.
she is incredible live. it was amazing to hear her in person.
sewing project: christmas tree advent.
inspiration from here (some of it very direct). i finally finished our advent. i'm pretty proud of myself because it was a big undertaking.
cookbook: cook 1.0 by heidi swanson.
swanson is the writer/photographer behind 101 cookbooks. this vegetarian cookbook is so wonderfully simple. i've really been inspired the recipes this week--we're due for a major detox around here after all this holiday bliss.
book: silas marner by george eliot.
it's a simple story, but so beautifully written it really left an impression on me. it took a bit for me to get into eliot's 19th century writing style, but once i was in i was spellbound. i recommend it to anyone.
children's book: iggy peck architect by andrea beaty.
the illustrations are fantastic, and the rhyming tale of the young architect is refreshingly tight and charming. i need to find more rhyming children's books that have the same respect for meter.
website: fabricworm.com.
i love looking at their wide selection of fabrics, from heather ross to japanese imports, and their prices are pretty reasonable. right now i'm loving this.
literary discovery: the new yorker.
two of my favorite authors are new yorker writers, and i finally started reading it online more this year. i'm very excited to start getting it in the mail (thanks, whit!)
treat: homemade strawberry ice cream (made with organic strawberries) and ginger snaps.
a friend gave us some organic strawberries, and using this recipe. if you haven't had organic strawberries you should. the difference is incredible. i'm afraid i can't go back to overgrown grocery store strawberries. i was also excited to adapt my great grandma's ginger snap recipe to make them gluten-free.
restaurant meal: curry dosa at hampton chutney company in new york.
it was so good we went back with friends. mmm.
in the kitchen: heavy aluminum round cake pans with removable bottom.
perfect for cheesecake, and great for regular cake, too. this was a favorite purchase this year.
from the market: arugula.
i hadn't tried arugula before this year. it's delicious in salad and on pizza.
first with lulu: evergreen city ballet's production of the nutcracker.
it was just my lu and me. she sat on my lap for a lot of it. we were both mesmerized. she loved the music/dancing/costumes/everything. i loved sharing a favorite (ballet) with her.
one of my favorite memories with g: jane's first day of school.
we went to get donuts at a nearby shop. we both missed jane terribly. he's my special little guy.
first with flora: trip to utah to introduce her to family and give her a name and a blessing.
it's fun to see the effect our calm, sweet girl has on everyone we love. she belongs.
memory with b:
i can't choose just one because b gave me a lot this year. he won a trip to new york so we could go together, and our time there was amazing. for our anniversary he surprised me with tickets to bumbershoot, which was awesome.
favorite colors this year: yellow, pink, and gray or light blue.
what are some of your favorites from 2010?


classic books

a few good girl friends and i formed a book club last summer. we met every other month to discuss the book and eat yummy food. i am hoping we'll pick up again soon. together we read:

persuasion by jane austen
hound of the baskervilles (a sherlock holmes classic) by sir arthur conan doyle
david copperfield by charles dickens
peter pan by jm barrie
silas marner by george eliot

our meetings were wonderful, from the company to the food and the discussions. i love having some kind of structure that encourages me to read "the classics"--books i have felt like i am supposed to read.

i also felt very fortunate to find this small collection of classic books for children at a nearby used bookstore. i got them for a steal, even if they need a little de-mildewing.

i am a sucker alone for the colors and illustration styles of the covers, but when i see the titles i become very excited for our kids to grow into reading these chapter books in a few years. we've started to get lulu's feet wet with the adventures of winnie the pooh and stuart little. i love hearing b's voice as he brings different characters to life. lulu giggles delightedly and never wants him to stop.

what are some of your favorite classic books? what classics do you enjoy with your children, or have you enjoyed sharing with your children?


mr. krueger's christmas.

one of my favorite holiday traditions is watching mr. krueger's christmas with the kids. the film is such a classic and it always makes me cry. i've been trying to figure out exactly why i cry every time.
*james stewart gives a beautiful, sincere performance as a man who is overlooked, but never feels sorry for himself.
*trivia: when the mormon tabernacle choir starts clapping and eventually gives mr. krueger a standing ovation. this was unscripted and the true reaction of the choir to james stewart. in turn the expressions on stewart's face were also genuine, and bring so much depth to the character.
*stewart's prayer at the manger of the savior is so tender. apparently he told the director beforehand that he would do it on the first take.
*i am overwhelmingly inspired when talented people come together and collaborate. in this case, james stewart, a masterful actor, and the mormon tabernacle choir with their beautiful music. i just have this belief that when you put together a group of super-talent, you will produce some form of greatness.
here is mr. krueger's christmas on youtube. you can also buy the dvd here.


darling cake topper.

meet this cute little peggie. i would love to put her on top of flora's first birthday cake.
images from and peggie here.


flower tees.

i've talked about sewing before. still, without a deadline it can take me a while to work up the gusto to actually sew something. this week i finally finished this corsage tee.
lulu's reaction was so great and it felt so good to make something, i went on to make this blossom tee.
lulu adores it--there's something so refreshing about gray + pink.

instructions for the blue shirt here.
instructions for the pink flower here.



i would wear these darling clothes if they came in my size. lulu loves the rose shirt and taupe coat. i love the colors and the attention to detail.


writing prompts: first laugh, navajo.

i really really miss wondertime. here. i collected this idea because i love the sensibility of it. what a beautiful tradition.
wondertime used to run this whole series of firsts--readers could send in a quick description of their child's first--time skiing, lost tooth, snow day, etc. i still want to use this idea to create photo books of my children.


i heart pie.

thanksgiving week is nearly upon us, and i'm looking forward to baking and cooking up a storm.
aren't these pies pretty? i might get daring. i might not.
what are you looking forward to making/eating this thanksgiving?

image (and techniques) via martha stewart.


billy collins--forgetfulness

please please please read a book of poetry by billy collins. that is all.


in the works.

welcome to our living room.
what i love about this room: the white walls, wooden floors, and big east-facing windows make it a cheery, warm space.
favorite pieces: b's paintings: the colors of the house painting, the technique and warmth of the oranges (they remind me of california, too), and the calm river in bishop, ca; the calder-inspired mobile; the credenza/stereo; the knit wool rug.

our color palette is probably partly a response to gray northwestern skies. our warm reds and yellows make for a lovely contrast to this gray, drizzly time of year.


the art of family.

i read this article a few years back, and have since had it in my head to have a creative space--a studio of sorts--where brad can make art, and i can write or whatever, and the kids can do anything and everything in between. i never expect we will have a large house, but i know that we will carve out whatever space we can for our family studio.
if you've seen any of the "i'm a mormon" spots, you'll recognize cassandra barney. i appreciate her perspective--see her video here.


new yorker: how i met my wife

found again here. i collected this idea because i love word play.

How I Met My Wife By Jack Winter, Published July 25, 1994 in The New Yorker

It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way. I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I’d have to make bones about it since I was travelling cognito.

Beknownst to me, the hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin off my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn’t be peccable.

Only toward and heard-of behaviour would do. Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might cause was evitable. There were two ways about it, but the chances that someone as flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona grata or a sung hero were slim.

I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone you could easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled passion. So I decided not to risk it.

But then, all at once, for some apparent reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make heads and tails of. I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado, and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen.

Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated as if this were something I was great shakes at, and forgot that I had succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times.

So, after a terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly crowd with strong givings. Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous.

Wanting to make only called-for remarks, I started talking about the hors d’oeuvres, trying to abuse her of the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about myself. She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savoury character who was up to some good. She told me who she was. “What a perfect nomer,” I said advertently.

The conversation became more and more choate, and we spoke at length to much avail. But I was defatigable, so I had to leave at a godly hour. I asked if she wanted to come with me. To my delight, she was committal.

We left the party together and have been together ever since. I have given her my love, and she has requited it.

“How I Met My Wife,” by Jack Winter Published July 25, 1994 in The New Yorker


to be published.

i just found out segullah wants to publish one of my poems in their spring 2011 issue. i'm surprised and excited. i submitted three poems on new year's eve 2009 for their annual contest, and heard nothing for months. i finally inquired about it, received a polite rejection letter, then had a baby and didn't submit the poems anywhere else. now i'm glad i didn't. this will be my first publication, and i feel honored. to find out more about segullah, click here. they also have a lovely blog. this is one of my favorites. and this.


family home media.

here is another article from my files. this article was written by one of my film professors. i was lucky enough to take a class he taught on children's media. i try to think carefully about what kind of media my children are exposed to and how we use it in our home. film, music, the internet, books--they can all be such powerful tools for good. reading his advice periodically is a great way to remind myself of what i want our family to be doing with our free time, and what kinds of stories i want them to hear and see. i like to think that sharing good stories with my children is like handing them a huge bouquet of balloons. stories can fill us with wonder, take us on journeys, and instill in us a sense of identity and purpose. stories can help us see the world.

image from the red balloon, one of our favorite films.



hopefully you've seen this by now, but it's been a while since i posted a movie. this is one of the best films i've ever seen. ever. and it's about one of my favorite things: words.
you can see more radio lab films here. i also hear the podcast is amazing, lifechanging even. i'm embarrassed i haven't checked it out yet, but if you feel like changing your life today, here.


the gospel vision of the arts.

here. i love this beautiful talk by spencer w. kimball. i first read it in a directing class in college, and appreciate the direction it helps give me as i work.


collections: ideas.

i am my mother's daughter, and really, my grandma's granddaughter for that matter. i have a blue file labeled "writer's prompts." for the past several years i've used it to collect ideas--articles about writing, interesting stories and anything that i find interesting. i am in the process of scaling down the file and going more digital, especially since i have found many of these articles or stories online. i will be sharing some of them on here, too.
we realized when we moved to this house, we decided to make the third bedroom a nursery/studio space. i also decided that i wanted to hang a bulletin board to use as an inspiration board. for months it has helped me stay on track with the color scheme i want for flora's side of the room. plus the pictures make me happy.

when we were visiting my family this summer, b pointed out that my mom has a similar bulletin board hanging over her desk in the kitchen. i knew this when i put up mine, and once again, chalked it up to being my mother's daughter.
how do you collect ideas and things that inspire you?


i heart hable.

i think you will too. unless you already do.



i would almost learn to knit because of this cute hat. via.


noel is on my mind.

homemade christmas ideas take more planning--and much more time.
i seem to be very keen on felt. this is just a handful of what i would like to do, especially since this will be our first christmas in our own place. we will miss family, but it will be nice not to travel.



collars are darling, especially on baby clothes.



i love sweets. and movies. and it's often wet outside, and i was pregnant this time last year, which greatly limited my activity (not that it should have, mind you). here is a collection of things that make me feel healthy, to inspire me to be more healthy. because i always feel better when i fill and cover myself with healthy things.

from top left:
eating lots of fresh fruits (& veggies); live plants; all natural beauty products, such as alba; new york city ballet workout; kashi cereal and granola bars, and other whole grain goodness; recipes from 101cookbooks.

and of course:
going to bed early.
drinking lots of water.
practicing yoga.
what makes you feel healthy?


newborn wish list.

i wish, i wish....i'm on a roll with wish lists lately, and the nursery is not lacking. i have been blessed with many beautiful and practical gifts with the arrival of each of my children. still, if money were no object and i could buy anything for my newborns that i wanted . . . yeah, here are a few things on that list.
netto bassinet. phil & ted stroller (so smart!) baby gym (love the wooden one from ikea). a great chair (like the tok by stokke). beautiful clothes from the tea collection. a mobile by flensted. eames elephant. swaddlers by aden and anais. wooden rattle from alouette.


wee marie antoinette.

is anyone else as delighted by this wee marie antoinette as i am?
also more here.


bugaboo daytrips

i found this fun site a few years back, and though i have yet to try the bugaboo trip in paris or stockholm or even portland or vancouver, you can bet i'll check out bugaboo's recommendations when i do get to those cities, especially after nearly completing the fun tour of downtown l.a. as they posted.
see more here.


children's books: a few favorites.

my mom has her master's degree in library science, and studied english as an undergrad. this apple didn't fall far from the tree; i love books, especially children's books, especially those that showcase great stories or beautiful art--or both. some favorites:

alphabeasties. a smorgasbord of beautiful typography in an alphabetic setting--with animals! i think this book will find its way under our christmas tree this year.
charley harper's abcs. vivid, graphic illustrations of animals and birds. we love charley harper.
iggy peck architect. poetic, fun, and more beautiful illustrations.
pippi longstocking. a new edition of the classic swedish tale with illustrations by lauren child of charlie and lola fame.
follow the line. and anything by laura ljunkgvist, really. we love her version of snow white.
babar. the original stories by laurent de brunhoff are whimsical and beautiful.
mary blair. her beautiful storyboards for walt disney classics such as alice in wonderland, peter pan, and cinderella have been reinvented as illustrations for children's books by renown author such as jon scieszka and cynthia rylant. you can buy alice in wonderland on amazon right now for a steal--this is another book you'll find under our christmas tree (i know there's no images on amazon, so either trust me on this one or google "mary blair alice in wonderland" to see what i mean.)
this is the short list--so many books! what children's books are on your short list?


fall is nearly here.

this week we are having a nice little preview of the pending winter rains, and i find myself craving apples and vegetable soup and hot chocolate, scarves and sweaters and boots. i'm also looking for more ways to spruce up our home for the coming months--it can be pretty gloomy when it's pitch dark by 4.30pm.
what do you crave in the fall?


last bit of summer.

school has started. it's raining. summer of 2010 is coming to a close.
there's still time for one more little summer post.

some highlights from the end of our summer: my semi-surprise birthday dinner at the lake; picking blackberries; homemade chocolate hazelnut gelato; an outing to the seattle square (where we met the lovely people who made that ice cream poster) and pike place; bumbershoot; and this pizza.

that's prosciutto, arugula, and organic sun tomatoes. mmmmm.
we have at least one more trip to the farmers market. the parks are still there. we'll make gelato at least once more. and there will be blackberry pie in the near future.



i've been thinking lately about my attempt to make summer a writing season. understandably, summer was not the time to do it. between new baby and vacation and birthdays and a little someone in our house starting school, the season has flown. but now we are in a new season: a season with daily rituals and routines, a season that requires more order and discipline, a season with less sunshine and earlier bedtimes.
so i'm going to try again. i figured if i write 1 story per week, i could have 52 stories one year from now. it's important for me to break down big projects into little bits like that--too often i think, "i want to write a book," but that statement has no instructional value.
with all this on my mind, i found these profiles especially encouraging. i'm just getting more into the new yorker lately (seriously, where have i been?), and found that over the summer they featured stories from 20 writers under 40. i have yet to actually read a story, but have been immensely interested by the profiles. suddenly i feel much better if it takes me a year to write a book. or several years. i'll still be under 40.


roses headband.

inspired by these and with the help of this tutorial, i made a roses headband yesterday. it felt really good to make something--really good. maybe it's her name, but almost anything flower seems appropriate for this little blossom.



maybe now that it's officially summer, the sun will shine for two days in a row.
a few things we love about summer:
shave ice
the beach
fresh basil and heirloom tomatoes
farmers markets
light out until 10pm

what do you love about summer?
image: martin parr via this cool person.


the writing season

this morning my dad sent me these quotes from stephen king's book on writing.

"Being swept away by a combination of great story and great writing-- of being flattened, in fact-- is part of every writer's necessary formation. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you." [p.146]

i think this first quote is my favorite. i tend to gravitate toward writing poetry and short stories, but when i think of work i have been flattened by, i think first of essays. the works of e.b. white and adam gopnik, to be exact. jonathan goldstein's short stories as well as his essays have also flattened me. dickens too. i realized recently, and now again reading this quote, that i need to be even more selective about my reading because i want to be flattened more.

"Reading is the creative center of a writer's life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows...." [147]

isn't that lovely imagery? i love his next advice too:
"...I believe the first draft of a book-- even a long one-- should take no more than three months, the length of a season. Any longer and-- for me at least-- the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel, like a dispatch from the Romanian Department of Public Affairs, or something broadcast on high-band shortwave during a period of severe sunspot activity." [154]

writing is a funny creature for me. it's something i think about doing, something i want to be doing, and for some reason, have a harder time actually doing it than i logically should. i find it easier to make excuses or justify doing other things instead, especially when i think of making long commitments or trying to write something longer than a one-page poem. but a season? i love the sound of a season. a season has completion, but it's not as long as a year. it waxes and wanes, like a good story should. i think a writing season sounds just about right.

i don't want to set any large parameters here, for many reasons. mostly, for once, i want to just see what happens, to start writing and see what the end of the season might yield. i don't know what the harvest will be--it may not amount to much more than writing in our journals more often--but even that would be something. i feel like my life looks like this right now


and if i choose to, i can care for it and get more of this

*for the metaphor's sake, i'm pretending those are cherry trees even if they're not. isn't imagination great?


ohdeedoh 1: toadstools.

i recently applied for a freelance position with ohdeedoh--along with about 160 others. we finally heard our fate last week in the nicest rejection i may ever get. anyway, i thought i would share my submissions here.
i have been enchanted by mushrooms lately, so for my roundup entry i found toadstool nursery decor. this is my expanded list--i submitted five--and the i found the larousse page after the fact.
Bunnies and squirrels and owls, oh my! Woodland motifs are still catching our eye in the nursery. Not to be outdone by their fauna counterparts, toadstools are just as whimsical and charming for a little one’s space. Here are some of our favorites.

the small object
etsy set with hedgehogs
wool felted toadstools
cosmo fabric purl soho
mahar tea set


inspiration: wedding color palette, heart banner

i love the colors of the flowers and fruit. the heart banner would be great fun to do a photo shoot with.
you can find more images from this lovely hollywood wedding shoot here. the whole design is really beautiful.


baby love.

i don't know what else to say: she's here. in our home. crying in her crib. dressed in a kimono night gown made by a friend. wrapped in a blanket used by her sister, then another blanket made by another friend. elle est parfait. we are excited to show her the world.


the palette project

i saw sofia coppola's marie antoinette a couple years ago and was really struck by it. i was especially interested when i heard coppola talk about the colors for the film. she worked closely with the art director and cinematographer on a color palette that they kept consistently through the film's design and filming. coppola collected pictures and small objects that stayed within the candy-colored palette she envisioned for the film, and greatly minimized the blacks and browns on screen. i had a greater appreciation as i watched the film a second time, and felt that their use of color was a powerful part of that film.
i am a list maker and collector, so to me, the thought of collecting objects or pictures based on color makes sense. it also sounds really fun and inspiring. i have been further inspired to start my own palette project after reading this article (which also provided the love images in today's post) from martha stewart living. the article talks about a few different ways to find color inspiration--and how to find your own color palette for anything, from your wardrobe to a room to a brunch menu or bouquet.

i have started to pay more attention to colors i love, and have started to collect them. i have a file folder and folder on my computer dedicated purely to color. i'm excited to see how paying more attention to the colors i love--and hopefully finding some trends--might affect the design of our home and my life as a whole. for instance, is it a coincidence that both of the images on today's post feature some variation of a primary color palette? right now i find i am very drawn to dark yellow, light blue, and red or dark pink (sometimes light pink, too). gray is still one of my favorites, too, especially paired with more lively colors like yellow or shades of pink.
how do you find colors you love? do you consciously try to create color palettes for projects, your wardrobe, or your home, or does color just happen? what is your favorite color or color combination this spring?


suitcase love.

i love this suitcase toy box. brilliant.

it led me to these:

and reminded me of these:

land of nod
my kids love suitcases, especially lulu. she loves to pack her bags and "go on a trip" to grandma's house.