June 29, 2010

Tiny Pants

brown linen pants with mouse knee pads

You guys, how cute are little kid pants? I'm not patting my own back here about these pants in particular, I'm just sharing that every time I pull a tiny pair of Jakey pants out of his drawer I do a little internal laugh. Or sometimes not so internal. Lara's clothes now just look like miniature adult clothes, which also has its cuteness appeal - but really, not the same thing. I mean, there is just no way that any grownup could put on a big version of what counts as pants for toddlers and looks like anything other than a clown. Or M.C. Hammer.

P.S. Does anyone know what that little mouse character is from? It was salvaged from a beloved but outgrown shirt (that used to be Lara's before her brother inherited it!). Looks like some kind of Hayao Miyazaki rip-off to me... or is it an actual Miyazaki character? I haven't seen all his movies, so what do I know.

June 24, 2010

The Last Part of Unpacking...

... is, of course, decorating the new place. I've been trying to put up our various pieces of art, with at least a slow regularity. I'm very happy though to have arranged the living room mantle (mantle! I've never had mantles before! I love them!), with pride of place going to my amazing graduation present from my dad - an original Chagal lithograph!

I'm completely in love with it. Here is it in the midst of some other special pieces:

Also, I've finally figured out a good system for displaying Lara's art. And of course I can't take credit for this, since many, many people before me have stumbled onto the awesomeness that is IKEA's curtain wire.

Looks awesome, makes our dining room a happy place.

June 23, 2010

Berry Mysterious

It seems that we here at the Ministry of Obvious Puns are in urgent need of your collective wisdom. To wit: what are these berries? They came in the CSA delivery last week, and I don't have a clue.

I think the tiny red ones are lingonberries. I have no clue about the other ones. Help please!

June 22, 2010

Lucky Thirteen

Guess what? The tiny one is now thirteen months old! Here is a video that displays all of his human tricks, and really, the whole store of his knowledge:

June 21, 2010

Handmade Wedding

Craft is doing a lovely feature on handmade weddings this month, and it made me want to look through our own wedding photos...

We did everything ourselves except the dress, food, and music, and it's incredibly fun to have the memories not just of the day but also of the many months of planning and making that went into it.

The invitations:

Wedding - invitations

Ask Misha sometime about walking five huge birch branches in a little rolling cart for 60 blocks! But it was all worth it to create this huppah:

Wedding - Huppah & Danglies

The huppah was not free-standing, and was held aloft by our groomsmen during the ceremony - according to the ancient custom which symbolizes the support that the newly created home will need from friends and family. Isn't that a lovely bit of tradition?

I cut circles forever to make those dangling things hanging from the ceiling. An all-white backdrop works really well for eye-popping colors, I must say.

The favors were tiny flipbooks of us dancing:

Wedding - favors

We got three different ones from the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, made a bazillion copies of them, had them cut, and then put them all together by hand.

Some more details: programs, closeup of birch huppah poles, and tabletop centerpieces (dyed twisted willow branches):

Wedding - programs & tabletop

That night was the most fun I've ever had in my life. And also, it was the best I've ever looked (or will ever look!) - which, if it had to happen at any particular time was lucky to happen on my wedding day!

June 17, 2010

More Lara Art

You may perhaps be seeing a trend here at forty-two roads. A double trend, in fact, marked by far fewer posts, and less creative content from yours truly. I guess there really are just a finite number of hours in every day, each of those hours goes by rather quickly, and trying to do writing interferes with trying to do crafting. I do hope to get back to a more creative life soon, though, or at least that's what I keep promising myself.

For now, though, here are some more of Lara's drawings. Very happily, her creative side has only been thriving of late.

After a trip to the zoo, she whipped out this fun rhino drawing:

Zoo Rhino

I love how far her writing has been coming along. We're very laid back and only reactive about letters, reading, and writing - I mean, she's only four years old - and so it's been totally amazing to notice that she seems to just be picking it up out of thin air. Now the letters are in a row, one after the other. Now she remembers how to draw most of them from memory. Now she can immediately identify the first sound (and thus letter) of most words, and with some help work out the other sounds in the word. The mind developing is a magical thing.

Also, the people have recently gained bodies, and have thus stopped being four-limbed octopi. Here is a self-portrait:

Lara's self-portrait

I love that she gave herself a belly button under her shirt.

June 12, 2010

Summer Crisp

It's been amazing living in a house. I've never lived on more than one floor before, so some of it has been getting used to running up and down the stairs for every little thing. But mostly, I've been savoring the luxury of space, and the amazing pleasure of having instant access to the outdoors. What a good call to move in the spring, and so have the whole summer of immediate back yard enjoyment! Reading and writing outside is, of course, beyond wonderful. Eating on the deck is the best. But really, everything is fun, everything is a novelty. Yesterday I mowed the grass with the little mechanical mower - totally great! And so immediately gratifying to see the results.

rhubarb strawberry crisp

Somehow eating dinner outside immediately transforms routine into event. I love it. Yesterday, we celebrated the summer fun with some rhubarb strawberry crisp, which was super scrumptious. Nothing beats fresh-picked strawberries, especially the little odd-looking organic ones that are grown for flavor and not appearance. Mmmmm... just the right amount of sweet and tart together. I used this Martha recipe and swapped out the raspberries. Next time, I might use only half an orange's worth of juice, though.

Jakey liked the crisp well enough...

June 12

... but mostly he is a blueberry fool.

June 4, 2010

Another Stencil Portrait

Sadie's two beautiful kids (how cute is this pose, by the way?):

Oils - Sadie's kids

It's probably hard to tell from this image, but the aspect ratio of this painting is just a bit different - 8x10 instead of 9x12. It's every so slightly more square and it was interesting to me to see how this seemingly inconsequential change makes a noticeable difference in the way the image is framed by the background, and how the stencil placement needs to be adjusted to accommodate the new proportions.

It really makes you think about painterly decisions about canvas size, which were obviously made before the artwork existed. Although, it's true, of course, that many old masters (whether painting frescoes or oils) were commissioned to do pieces of a specific size to fit preexisting wall spaces, so their process had more to do with envisioning the best composition within the assigned size. But what about all those mid-size still lifes and landscapes? When next I find myself in the museum (and when, oh beloved but extremely loud Jakey, will that be?), I will try to think about this more.

In any case, I am rather grateful that I can do my previewing layout mock up lickety-split in PhotoShop, rather than having to graph out a cartoon like in the days of yore.

June 1, 2010

Reunions Weekend

Hip! Hip! Rah! Rah! Rah! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Sis! Sis! Sis! Boom! Boom! Boom! Bah! Two-thousand! Two-thousand! Two-thousand!

It was Misha's ten year reunion this weekend, so first, a little locomotive for the class of 2000!

I was amazed to find how much I wanted Tiger gear for the kids after never particularly caring about it before. But man, those tiger ears are the cutest. Plus? It's been three days. She has yet to take them off.

Jakey had a blast being carried around for an entire day. Which, let's face it, is not a bad deal.

Yay! Excellent fun with my favorite people. Check out Ms. Parade Marshall on the left in the jaunty hat.

Now check out this girl, modeling the Rio-tastic headgear from the 20th reunion! Those feathered headdresses were amazing. Ridiculously amazing.

But the fifth reunion costumes were pretty good too. It was Superman time (because 5 kind of looks like S and works well in the logo).

Lara immediately got into the spirit of the thing: ears, tail, giant "Keeping it Rio" sign.

We were going to stick around for the always-fantastic fireworks, but when we were suddenly faced with this situation we decided to have a slow and peaceful drive home.