Okay, maybe he's not a super hero...in like, the Batman/Superman sort of way.
He's not even known. He is simply an idea that has come to be.
A while back, I had made a stuffed bird for my 4yo son and naturally my 6yo wanted me to make something for him. Not a bird, or a dog or any of his favorite anmals. Out of ideas, I suggested he draw a picture of what he would like for me to make. So here's his sketch...
With fabric from my husband's worn out dress shirt, leftover yarn and a bit of polyfil I set out on my mission. And after a few months of production delay, I presented Robot Cat.
BTW, he is neither a robot or a cat but we're gonna roll with this. Who knows what kinds of adventures he will encounter!
How did the summer slip away so quickly? Well, I hope everyone has stayed busy and cool in between the relaxing, lazy moments.
Looking back, I guess we've been busy. We did a little home improvement by having the house painted and an entry portico installed. Not quite how I designed the arc but it's still nice...and most importantly, it keep the rain off our heads.
I'm still in search of the right lantern. There are a LOT of ugly light fixtures out there!
We took a trip up north. First, to the AMAZING Children's Museum in Boston, MA. We loved this place! So well organized and all the interactive displays and rooms were VERY well designed. Check out the main atrium and the incredible 3-story bent wood climbing sculpture!
Then, we visited family in Phippsburg, Maine. We spent a few quiet days taking in the scenery, having lobster and exploring nearby attractions. The boys really enjoyed the Maine Maritime Museum and the boat ride on the Kennebec. I really enjoyed my lobster dinner.
Last but NOT least, we visited college friends who live in Rhode Island. They recently welcomed their second child and we were so glad to meet him. We had a great time with them. On one of the days, we went to the beach at Newport and the shore was covered with red seaweed (or jellyfish)! Here's Rob spearheading an ambitious sand castle project. It turned out great and it kept the kids busy!
In addition to swim lessons, summer camp, family visits and BBQ's, I guess our puppy has kept us busy. Look how big he's gotten. Sniff is a really good dog and silly when he sleeps on his back...
One thing I didn't get to do this summer is garden. Since the painters had to work near the garden beds, I had to take a year off from growing veggies. I miss it. Look how sad the empty garden is.
Next year, I'll do DOUBLE!
Okay, maybe not. But I will move forward with gusto!
Next week the doors open at the local schools. Can it really be the end of summer?
Friends of ours in Rhode Island recently welcomed their second baby. We are so happy for them!
I made this vest as soon as we got the good news. It's a pretty easy pattern from "natural knits for Babies and Moms" with just knit and purl rows. I used Sublime baby cashmere merino silk yarn. It's so super soft and easy to work with.
I love picking out the buttons to personalize the piece.
I am straying from the architects/designers to highlight another strong woman in history, Mary Cassatt. I don't know much about this talented painter except that she created her own style while socializing with the great Impressionist and male counterparts, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh and Pissaro. I like to envision Cassatt talking "shop" with the male artists at their local Parisian cafes. At least, that's the image I retained from reading Irving Stone's bio-novels about Vincent Van Gogh and Camille Pissaro. (Why didn't he write a book about her life?)
I think any woman who made strides in self expression and career advancement deserves serious recognition. She was extremely talented and perservered in the male art world. Now who couldn't find inspiration in that?
Someone please explain to me why everyone talks an octave higher when babbling baby gibberish to a puppy.
Alright, I am guilty. I mean, look at that face. Just woook at dat face!!!
Yeah, soooo, we got a new puppy. The boys have been asking for nearly a year and we finally thought the time was right. Plus, we were waiting for the right dog for our family and this one is THE ONE. We found our beagle and corgi mix through Pet Rescue. The foster family who took care of him and his siblings were amazing. When we met this puppy we knew instantly that we had found the right pet.
On the ride home, our 4yo named him Sniff. Turns out, it's a perfect name for the ever sniffing beagle breed.
Sniff and I had a few bad days of housetraining (must remember to be forgiving) but, knock on wood, he's been accident free for 4 full days...and he's only 11 weeks old! Okay, maybe it won't last but I'm learning his signs and he's learning the rules of the house.
We knew our 4yo Dr. Dolittle would be head over heels for a pet. Our 6yo has been wonderfully responsible and affectionate. My husband grew up with pets and he LOVES having a dog in the family. In fact, I think his work stress dissipates faster with Sniff by his side. Me, I am adjusting to being a "mom" again but I am enjoying the easy demeanor of our puppy and his positive affect on my guys.
Next in the series of great women designers is Margaret Macdonald. Her famous husband, Charles Rennie Macintosh, is well known for his architecture and influence on the Art Nouveau/Arts and Crafts movements but it is their incorporation of interior design, furniture, textiles and art which is what I admire about their collaboration. Together with two other students of the Glasgow School of Art, they created the 'Glasgow Style'. This era in architectural design is one of my favorites. The integration of nature and the harmony of porportions is a true lesson for all of us in our eco-friendly era. Plus, I just LOVE how they designed each room with full detail.
The bedroom of the Hill House (pictured here) is just a small example of their holistic approach. Every detail was carefully thought out and custom designed. Macintosh is the famous architect but Macdonald's contribution and influence is visible.
This chair, designed for a tea room, is another piece of furniture I would love to have in my home. (Perhaps not in the same room with the Eileen Gray side table.) The intentially tall back provided privacy/intimacy when grouped at the table.
Margaret and her sister, Frances, created some of the most beautiful artwork of that era, like the piece pictured above. (Gustav Klimt, namely the frieze in the Succession Building, is a close second for me!) I could stare at their art for hours.
Please take the time to browse through the links. There are so many beautiful images from their body of work and Macdonald's story as an influential, creative woman is so interesting. Similar to this visionary husband and wife team, my husband and I met in school. Should we find a common creative vision, I wonder if Rob and I will work together?
I've decided to do a series of posts on some of my favorite designers who are women. I couldn't come up with a decent title for the series so for now I'll just use their names.
Having endured architecture school and having experienced the ratio of men to women in the field first hand, I find Eileen Gray's life story all the more fascinating. She was an integral member of the International Style and her influence on the designs of her male counterparts wasn't fully credited. Sadly, she was not alone in the battle for recognition. Many women have and continue to be left out of the limelight. (I would have loved to have attended this event at MoMA.)
The NYTimes article made me sad for women architects but I have to stay hopeful for us gals. The least I can do is honor one of the great ladies on my little blog post.
This is my all-time favorite side table. One day, I will own one in my dream home/pallazzo.
I loved Kris's post about birds when she wrote it but now I love it more because there is a new bird lover among us. My four year old has been learning about birds and their characteristics in preschool. Who knew?!
To foster this new appreciation, I've been getting books from the library so that we can both learn about these beautiful creatures. (Is it sad that my son knows more about birds than me? I guess I led an unobservant life as a child...or there were no birds on Staten Island beside pigeons.) Anyway, LOVE the library!
Today is his last day of Spring Break. I decided to use some fabric I had around the house to make his very own bird. This is my interpretation of a female bluebird.
Owen picked out the buttons for the eyes; one black and one red. He tells me he wants to take it to school which tells me that he likes it. Yay!