Friday, July 31, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Want Wednesday: Love

I love love, but not just the smoochy butterflies in your tummy love - all love. Love between friends, siblings, parents and children, love for being, for life and all the beautiful things in it. So today, this week, this lifetime I want to be filled to the brim with love.

Here's a handful of original prints and paintings that love to love:

{Clockwise from top left: It's raining hearts (print), Harriet often wore her heart on her sleeve, Jar of Love No. 10, Love Print, Elephants Are Lovely Guys, Sweetheart Tree, I Love You Blogs and Tea (print), I want to dive into you

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Little Urban Anthropology To Go With Breakfast...

I love this 3:00 minute short by urban anthropologists Carolyn and Andy London. Everyday objects like faucets, phone booths and newspaper boxes were animated using the voices of some overlooked New Yorker's that they interviewed. Creative genius, completely entertaining. My only complaint is that its too short; wish I could see so much more of it.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

{found via This Branded Youth}

Friday, July 24, 2009

Triangles and Test Prints

In junior high while some girls doodled hearts and flowers around their name + their boyfriend's forever, I was busy sketching diamonds and triangles. It was like a compulsion I drew them everywhere: brown paper bag book covers, folders, in the margins of notebooks, on tests and quizzes, I even marked up a few pairs of jeans in the process too. The truth is though I'm speaking in the past tense the compulsion lives on; I'm still drawing my trusty diamonds and pyramids on almost any piece of scrap paper that comes my way. Its like a glitch in my brain. I just can't help it. So while I was carving a new linocut yesterday I had an urge to see if anyone else had diamonds and triangles on the brain. Turns out, I'm not the only one with this compulsion.
I love this rubellite pyramid ring. I love it so much I really think I need it. And even though my hands are always stained with ink and my nail beds are atrocious I would proudly rock it out. This painting is pretty much exactly what my notes are covered with - well minus the whale and all the pretty colors. A few years back I saw a picture in InStyle of Charlize Theron wearing a pair of shinny gold pyramid studs. Needless to say I instantly loved them but this pair in a brushed finish is more my style. Wait maybe I shouldn't be sharing these because I want to buy them next month. Okay, so quickly moving on - isn't this custom drawing great?! You send in one of your favorite pictures of yourself or someone you love and Renee, the artist, will sketch you into this groovy geometric portrait. Triangles make perfect houses don't you think? Well, Barehanded Press would seem to agree with me in this Housing Crisis screen print. They have it in an awesome t-shirt too! Love, love, love these funky vintage white plates with orange triangles. I think I've found a kindred spirit in the artwork of Nicole Docimo of Blue Bicicletta. In her Etsy shop banner her bicycle has wings on it! Well, two weeks ago I started sketching flying birdcages for a new logo. Crazy right? Like I said, kindred. These mixed bloom cards show my love of black ink on white paper; simple sketching at its best. And last but not least, my love of school supplies, paper, playing office and triangles all converge into one with this fun numbers notepad. Can't wait to pick up my own.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Want Wednesday...

clockwise from top left: I want an afternoon, or two, spent relaxing right here with pink sand between my toes. I want to pack up this lovely tote, pull on my beachcomber shorts and slip my feet into these cute sandals. And because I want to plan for a long and comfortable day at the beach I'll pack a lovely lunch with plenty of yummy fruit like cantaloupe and purple grapes in this vintage picnic basket. I'll tuck my super soft cotton beach towel under my arm, grab my swimsuit, put on my sunglasses and hit the road.

Yea, I'd really like that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Light and Fluffy Summer Read

I'll read just about anything I get my hands on: literary fiction, dramas, ethnographies, mysteries, thrillers, horrors, girlie right of passage books, biographies, text books. You name it I'll read it with one exception. I don't do straight up romance.

It started in the fifth grade when I went to the library and read every single book they had on Harriet Tubman and I learned that they were all entertaining. Books have the power to transport you, to educate, to entertain you. They can show you perspectives from people in places you'd never get to see otherwise. In my mind, there is nothing more valuable and representative of a particular culture than their books and art.

And because today is such a glorious and sunny day I'd like to share one of those fun girlie beach books with you. There is nothing deep and award winning about it. It is what it is - a great beach book; the kind you can read in a few hours, get a bunch of laughs, a few eye rolls from and be utterly entertained. I like to think of these kind of books as my lifetime movies - a little cheesy but when your brain is fried or you've been super stressed they're the perfect fix. So, this weekend plan to soak up some sun in your backyard or at your favorite beach spot and immerse yourself in Agnes and the Hitman.

Its a romantic comedy that centers around Agnes, a food columnist and cookbook writer, who is struggling to put on a wedding for her mafia princess Goddaughter at her new dream home. Everything that can go wrong does and she finds support and love from an oddball cast of characters. If you've ever read and enjoyed any of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels then you're sure to enjoy this light read too. And because a picture says a thousands words here's a few that reminded me of Agnes and her many mishaps...

{clockwise from left: I could picture Agnes running around in this red kitchen cooking and jotting down her to-do lists on these notepads with her ugly flamingo pen, wearing this lovely embroidered apron with a cute little red frying pan (her weapon of choice) pin pinned to it and pushing up her red glasses as they slipped down her nose while she leaned forward to check the ingredients in a recipe from her mafia cookbook.}

Straight from Agnes' kitchen to yours, one of her recipes from her Cranky Agnes' columns; exerts of which are found at the start of each new chapter. To read more of Cranky Agnes' recipes or columns head over here.

Cranky Agnes’s Poor Woman’s Hot Fudge Sundae
- Jello Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding Mix (NOT INSTANT)
- Skim Milk
- Almonds or walnuts
- The lowest fat vanilla ice cream you can find that still tastes like ice cream.

1. Make the pudding according to the pie directions on the package using skim milk.
2. While it’s cooking (in the microwave, of course), chop some almonds to whatever fineness you like. You should be eating six almonds a day, so if you haven’t been, you have some to make up for. And the oil in the almonds is good oil, so your heart is safe.
3. Scoop up the ice cream, being generous in proportion to the fat calories: the lower the fat, the more you can sling in there.
4. Dump the chopped almonds over the ice cream and then pour the thickened pudding over that.
5. Eat.

What you’re getting here is a lot of calcium—skim milk and low fat ice cream—with the added boost of the almonds. This is not health food, but it’s a hell of a lot healthier than the real deal and may give you the hot chocolate and creamy vanilla fix you need to keep from going toward the light. No, that’s not your next door neighbor’s porch fixture, that’s death.

Eat your spinach.

{top image: books via etoile's photostream}

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Few More Sigh Worthy Handbags...

saffron Silverlake leather convertible satchel by The Sak
blue embossed crocodile leather James tote by pallie bags
orange lambskin Claudia satchel by Botkier

Bag It Please

Okay I know I talked mini bags and pouches on Wednesday but I couldn't stop searching, looking, dreaming about the perfect sumptuous leather handbag to hold all of those fetching zippered pouches in. You know, the one, the perfect one that goes with everything. The one that says "hey I'm cool in a relaxed effortless kind of way". The one that makes jeans and a plain old tee suddenly look amazing and pulled together. And we all know it when we see it too because your heart starts to beat faster, your jaw opens slightly, you suck in a careful breath and...sigh. Hey, some girls do clothes, others do shoes - I do bags.
Part of my love lies in what Toni Collette's character, Rose, says in "In Her Shoes" - no matter what mood you're in, what size you are, how much you weigh a handbag always fits. Well, okay obviously we know she really talking shoes but you catch my drift. The other part of my adoration lies in the smell, the touch, the feel of a well made bag in your hands. The craftsmanship, the artistry behind it. Frankly finding the perfectly designed bag, the one that fits your shoulder just so, has all the right pockets, makes any outfit look amazing is down right magical.

If you're like me and this little sampling of purses has just wet your appetite then stick around because I'll be sharing more sigh worthy bags later today. I mean come on do you really think I could resist not to? And if your love of handbags isn't just skin deep be sure to check out Melissa Loves new weekly Wednesday feature "It's my bag, baby" to see what other women are toting around in their delicious handbags. It's definitely becoming one of my favorite features.

Well, that's all for now. See ya later!

{click on the images above for its link}

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Want Wednesday: Perky Little Pouches

Now that my office is painted (five coats over enamel trim - which was a near disaster in and of itself), the moulding for the floor has been taken out and lowered, the two new glass panes to replace the ones that broke for the French doors have arrived, and the massive dollop of white paint that spilled on the floor is mostly gone I feel its safe to think of other things. Things like pretty little pouches that store all of our essentials; makeup bags too cute to hide inside your purse. So stand back ladies these tiny bags deserve the spotlight...

clockwise from center left: learn to write pouch, double zipper nautical rope print pouch, large retro squares zipper pouch, Polly goes to Paris mini zippered pouch, plum floral pencil pouch, celery green tough ruffles zipper purse, mums print mini coin purse, love is the key makeup bag

clockwise from center left: orange and yellow Elena wallets, red leather pencil case, yellow Mono mini purse,black living leather cosmetic pocket, white and red leather zip pouch, pink elephant cosmetic bag, Alex pleated and punched white leather pouch, teal wristlet

Monday, July 13, 2009

Beauty Tools...

Every woman knows the tricks behind a five minute face. With some good lighting and a handful of carefully selected beauty tools - well, let's just say miracles can be achieved. So, I'm wondering, now three days into my office re-do, why no five minute tricks have come to mind? I'm wondering why this kind of beauty makeover seems more like cosmetic surgery? And I gotta say I'm not a fan of breaking bones for beauty's sake; it takes far too long to heal.

Friday, July 10, 2009

An Afternoon At...

On Sunday I headed over to the Falls with some out of town friends to ride the Maid of the Mist for the first time. I'm not sure why it is the case, but it seems that most locals have yet to take the short and very wet boat ride to the base of the falls. I, for one, am so glad that I finally did. It truly is an amazing experience and thankfully it doesn't have to be a once in a lifetime one either. I plan to head over and ride that boat again and again and again until the summer's end. And if you know what's good for you, you will to.

Until then, here's a mini picture show to wet your appetite (no pun intended):

Niagara Falls, as most of you already know, is actually made up of two massive fresh water waterfalls owned by two separate nations. Ours in the States is aptly named the American Falls while the lovely Canada is home to the Horseshoe Falls. Both are equally awe inspiring and come with their own plethora of site seeing activities on their side of the Niagara River.

We didn't have time to explore the Cave of the Winds and I gotta say I wasn't too upset about that. I have a slight aversion to rickety wet slippery stairs. Even though I was assured it is neither rickety nor slippery and that the stairs are actually re-built once a year I still think I'll have to work myself up to that one.

It was so difficult to take pictures of the Horseshoe Falls. The sheer volume of water is astonishing. Look at the center picture above; you can hardly see through all that mist! And once you get you closer, well be prepared for you and your camera to be sprayed, misted and flat out drenched. But don't get me wrong, it's lots of fun. We were all smiling ear to ear.

Here you can get a better sense of the Horseshoe Falls' overall shape. I was able to snap these as we were headed back to the dock. The boat ride is about a half hour and unfortunately seems much shorter. There are two boats that run every 15 minutes. So while one is headed out, the another is on it's way back. Which, as you can see, makes for some fun pictures.

Next time I head over I plan to pack a picnic lunch and hunker in for an entire day spent relaxing at the Falls with a good book and waterproof shoes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Want Wednesday

I love boats. I love seaside fishing towns. When I was a little girl I dreamed I'd marry a fisherman. Heck, I still do sometimes! So its no surprise to me that since boarding the Maid of the Mist on Sunday I've been craving nautical inspired goodness. Today I want nothing more than to be effortlessly chic and wear these nautical inspired duds around town.

{striped cotton joie top via InStyle, white porter grey shorts via InStyle, Dean & Wood sunglasses via Anthropologie, cotton and brass rope bracelet by Club Monaco via InStyle, gold Genevieve Trotters via Zappos}

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Feel Happy, Oh So Happy...

I'm so excited this morning because the lovely Heather from Gathering Spriggs has done a little (though it seems pretty big to me) spotlight on Birdcage Cards! First off, I'm just plain old excited because its the first time my work has been featured anywhere, but to have the 1st time Birdcage Cards has been featured to be on such an inspirational and beautifully put together blog as Gathering Spriggs is, well...amazing! I feel blessed and excited and I can hardly sit still!

Its such a validating feeling for an artist to have one of their favorite blogs say "hey, I love your work and I think my readers will too". I feel so lucky and honored to have that experience be happening to me right now. So, please join in on the excitement with me and go check out Birdcage Cards on Gathering Spriggs!

P.S. - did I mention that Gathering Spriggs readers are entitled to a 10% off discount on anything in Birdcage Cards' shop from today, July 6, through next Monday, July 13? For more details head on over to Gathering Spriggs.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

Wishing you a bright and sunny July 4th weekend filled with friends and family, laughter and love, warm beachy days and cool nights, comfy shoes and lightweight cardigans, apple pie and vanilla ice cream and most of all some gorgeous fireworks! 'Cause hey, nothing says patriotic like a ridiculously expensive firework display, right? Anyhow, without further ado here's your healthy dose of red white and blue...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Want Wednesday: Office Decor & Accessories

I'm in the process of re-decorating my workspace and while there are certain things that a.) I might not be able to afford right now or b.) just don't match the aesthetic I'm going for I still find them lovely and want to share them with you. But be forewarned, picturing all these items existing within one space could cause seizures.

1. I want my desk to feel distinctly feminine and I think these lovely white porcelain pieces, aptly named Emma, from see Jane work will do just the trick.

2. I want my space to be organized and tidy like it is now, but this time with thoughtfully placed fresh light colors. {clockwise from top left: drawer detail of Porter Collector's Desk via Pottery Barn, oh so tidy closet via Point Click Home, bright and colorful accessories via see Jane work, soft blue themed drawers organized just so via Martha Stewart}

3. I want a little whimsy on my desk. {clockwise from top left: diamond push pins via Paper Source, dozi paperclip holder via MoMa Store, staple free stapler via Paper Source, mini desktop cleaner via MoMa Store}

4. I want a space full of airy metal baskets; a little bit industrial, a little bit vintage and a whole lot of fresh open organization. {left: basket letter tray via see Jane work; right: pic via Martha Stewart}

5. Even though I'm a library junkie book storage is always the first to fill up in my home. I want, no I need, a stylish way to display all of my books. {clockwise from top left: book club vintage bookends via Burke Decor, this leather covered Webster's dictionary makes me swoon via my new fav see Jane work, perfect espresso stained filing cabinets and hutch via Pottery Barn, sapien bookcase via design within reach}