At their wedding this past weekend, my dear friend & her husband chose the most unique and perfect first dance song: When I Get My Hands on You - lyrics by Bob Dylan, vocals by Marcus Mumford, off of the album Lost on the River: New Basement Tapes. Everyone was in complete awe. I have been listening to the song on repeat. It's a special one.
Live performance above. Official lyric video here.
I mostly listen to Pandora at the studio and stick with a certain station for months. Lately, it's been on the Paul Simon radio station, which I love. Cat Stevens' Don't Be Shy came on recently, and I've been playing it on repeat ever since. Thought I'd share this live performance where Stevens first talks about the sentiment of the song.
I love the entire song, but these words especially:
Love is where all of us belong So don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there And you're there, you're there, you're there You're there, you're there, you're there You're there, you're there, you're there
We took the kids to the Brooklyn Museum last weekend. They're still so young, but it makes me happy to talk about the art we see, even if they think we're speaking a different language.
One of the current exhibitions features the work of artist Judith Scott. The pieces are incredible - meticulously wrapped objects - some recognizable and visible, others hidden amongst the weaving. I hadn't known of Scott or her work before walking into the museum (my favorite way to discover an artist - blindly) and her work stopped me in my tracks. I read the artist bio on the wall and then read a bit more about her work & life in a New York Times article when I got home.
Her life's story is heartbreaking and beautiful and hopeful. Read more here or go see her work in person at the Brooklyn Museum.
[images are my own, from our visit to the Judith Scott Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum]
At our old apartment, we had the best UPS driver -- Thomas. I started Linda & Harriett out of that apartment and slowly increased daily UPS shipments over those four years and got to know Thomas after seeing him every day. He gave me his cell phone number and was always happy to loop back around the block to pick up packages. On the days we shipped big orders to places like West Elm and Anthropologie, I'd call him to give him a heads up & he helped carry everything down the stairs. I baked him cookies around the holidays and he high fived Griffin in the doorway. He was awesome & I hope he knows I knew it.
I understand this is a marketing video. It still brought tears to my eyes & thought it was worth sharing.
My friend Taylor is a Horticulturalist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and is the beauty behind Gamine - a high quality, well-designed line of workwear for women. I love her story of how she got started - which includes wanting her clothes to hold up to working in the dirt all day and not wanting to look frumpy. Oh, and Bill Cunningham. Obviously.
I was super excited when Taylor asked me to design a bandana for Gamine. She gave me free reign - which was pretty amazing (that never happens) and exciting. I wanted to honor her passion for American-made textiles & immediately thought of quilts. I experimented with some quilting ideas (below), feeling inspired by the work of American artist Ellsworth Kelly.
I loved the quilted look, but as a print (see below, tacked up next to the final piece), I was missing the little turned up edges from the actual quilt - that magical moment where one thing physically ends and another begins. I wanted to love it, but it just wasn't right.
So I decided to scratch that and instead draw inspiration from Taylor's work -- plant life. I translated my beloved fig branches to fit the bandana shape (below) and loved it instantly. It felt loose and happy. Natural. This was a great start.
I added inky frames, scattered "seeds" and a striped border for additional texture & keep it feeling contained.
We discussed color, but ultimately Taylor decided to keep it black & white - which I'm thrilled about. It came out so beautifully!
The bandanas are a cotton / linen blend and screenprinted & sewn in the USA. They will be available in the Gamine shop in early 2015! Email Gamine for more details.
My final gift guide includes beautiful / useful / delicious gifts for nearly anyone on your list - and a few options for personalizing them.
Clockwise from top:
Star Ornament: I love these beautiful paper star ornaments. Tie around a bottle of your favorite beer or wine bottle & you're done.
Mug: I love this mug from Brooklyn-based ceramicist Helen Levi. Pair with your favorite coffee or tea. Or fill with something you love, like these delicious caramels.
Tea Towel: Jenny Pennywood's tea towels make great gifts on their own, but if you want to kick it up a notch, pair with your favorite kitchen tool, a nice box of sea salt or a few coveted family recipes.
Books! Friends of mine have recently launched books & they're all fantastic & share-worthy:
Make & Give by Erin Jang and Steph Hung - a super approachable book of 35 simple, modern craft projects to make any day special for the people we love. (I'm making two of their projects as Christmas gifts - stay tuned for that post!)
Gift ideas for HER - your sister, your mom, your friend or you!
Clockwise from top:
Brass Cuff: I have recently embraced the cuff & am loving the size of these stunners.
Lines Plate: I am crazy about this plate. It's just a plate, and yet it's so much more than just a plate. It's a beautiful way to present some sweet treats after a meal or apple slices for the kiddos or hold jewelry on a nightstand. Present it to her filled with your favorite cookies, a box of nice sea salt or a few of your favorite recipes.
Catchall: Loose change, keys, bobby pins, matchbox cars - we've got lots of little stuff in our pockets that need a place other than right next to the kitchen sink. This will contain that beautifully.
Scarf: A scarf to me is a perfect gift, and Block Shop's are hard to beat, especially with their amazing color combos like this one.
Personalized Stationery: Personalizing a gift is one of the most thoughtful ways to show her you care. And if she loves paper as much as we do, then this is pretty much a home run. I love the simple look of this stationery, above.
Dreaming Oil: Rub a few drops into your palms and inhale. Farmaesthetics calls it "the lullaby in a bottle for grownups." It's my new favorite nighttime ritual. The folks at Follain are hooked & I am too!
Copper Oil Lamps: I've been eyeing these Swedish designed & made beauties ever since I saw them at a restaurant in Stockholm. They're simply stunning. A special piece for someone who would appreciate their design.
I did these little gift round ups last year and it was too much fun not to do again. First up is for the little ladies. I think Louise would get a kick out of all these things and hope that's the case for the almost-two year olds in your life.
Clockwise from top:
Crown Headband : For dress up or to get her to put her boots on when you need to leave the house stat.
Magna-Tiles : Griffin's favorite has now become interesting to Louise, so we'll be asking Santa for another set of these fun magnetic building tiles that we bring with us everywhere.
Embroidery Art : I have long admired the embroidery pieces by Castle. This one made me laugh when I saw it.
Leggings : I love the very visible hand at play here. Louise has these in gold and they're starting to get snug, so I think we might need to get a larger pair - in black this time - and wear them with everything.
Strawberry Socks : Louise loves nothing more than putting on socks - mine, Griffin's, Daddy's, even those of a friend over for a playdate. These strawberry socks are irresistible - just like her :)
Popcorn Vest : Louise has the Popcorn sweater from Misha and Puff, and every time I put it on her she says "popcorn" - which is just the cutest, as is this sweet sweater vest that I wish they made in my size.