Thursday, December 31, 2009

Party Animals - Year's End

We couldn't resist posting more of Marianne Perdomo's photographs. Here, dog Eli & cats Humphrey & Alvar party (& then rest up for, no doubt, more mischief. Just like GG). Have a safe & happy New Year's Eve. [photographs via Marianne's flickr photostream]


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lila the Burro

It's been donkey's years (sorry) since we came across Marianne Perdomo's lovely portrait of Lila. Since it's the Christmas season, & donkeys play quite a role in the story, we'll share it. Burros are so helpful--to our friends in Darfur, to Santorini & other Greek islands...all over the world. They are very smart & sweet, too. Since they work so hard, you'd think they'd be well-treated. Oops. Not always.

Here are
two links for wild burro rescue in the States. Here's another link to Bedlam Farm's Journal. They have cute donkeys there, too. Of course, now GG wants a burro of her very own. Um. No. But she can ride one if we go to Greece or Italy next summer. (And if she asks-meows nicely!)

ciao-meow/GG Central

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

War is Over! (If You Want It)

We were reminded of John & Yoko's Happy Christmas card in the New York Times a few days ago. Go here to download the poster & for news. [Image courtesy of www.IMAGINE]

ciao-pax-meow/GG Central

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fourth Day of Christmas

Sadly, GG's editor is very much under-the-weather. We hope to return by New Year's Eve. GG is doing her best to behave but also to be entertaining (because sometimes her naughty behavior is inspired hilariousness). [illustration from Vintage Holiday Crafts]

ciao-meow/GG Central

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from GG - Week's End

Very best Christmas wishes to our friends around the world! [illustration via Vintage Holiday Crafts]

ciao-meow/Giulia & her editor

There's No Place Like Rome

Giulia always gets the last word; she'll be by later. She's rearranging the Christmas tree ornaments to suit her questionable taste right now. Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Joyeux Noël from GG's editor.

[photographs by
Enzo D. & Giampaolo Macorig via flickr]

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GG Hosts a Christmas Dance

GG has her Christmas gifts ready & wrapped (with help...she's hiding her secret thumbs to get out of work) for friends Hermione the Cat & Toffee the Dog. Cute illustration from Vintage Holiday Crafts. You've still time to make use of the site for cards, notes, gift tags, & so on.

ciao-holiday-rush-meow/GG's Christmas coordinator

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dance of the Snowflakes

GG is leaping & pirouetting to The Nutcracker score. Here's a YouTube link to a clip of Mikhail Baryshnikov & Gelsey Kirkland in 1977. Now, that was a Nutcracker to remember. [image via The Washington Ballet]

ciao-meow/GG's holiday music coordinator

Ante Up for Africa

Ante Up for Africa donates $200,000 to construct Darfur Peace & Development Organization's new high school.

DPDO is happy to announce that Ante Up for Africa has generously donated $200,000 to help construct Gangi High School in El Fasher, Darfur. Ante Up for Africa, founded by Don Cheadle, Annie Duke, and Norman Epstein, was created to raise money and awareness for relief efforts in Darfur. To complete construction, DPDO needs to raise an additional $100,000.

In November, DPDO completed construction on a 280-ft. perimeter wall surrounding the high school compound. Construction on the main buildings will begin this month. The high school will feature six classrooms, two libraries, two computer labs, four teacher offices, dormitories, and a cafeteria. In order for students to enroll for the school year beginning in May, construction must be completed by April. DPDO will enroll 460 students, many of whom were orphaned due to the Darfur conflict.

Please support education in Darfur this holiday season by donating to the Gangi High School Project. Donate online by Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal here:

Thank you to everyone who helped in 2009!

[Nina Leen photograph via LIFE Archives]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Why Wear Anything Else?

Fellow Benevolent Postcard Society member, Samantha in Istanbul, Turkey is a finalist in a design competition and needs your votes! Last year she designed a shoe for Fluevog that was eventually made into a real shoe named the Zaza (after her). This time around, she's in the running for a competition to design the ad for the Zaza. The winner is determined by the number of votes their design receives, so Samantha needs as many votes as she can get to win. Help her win by voting for her beautifully illustrated ad, called Why Wear Anything Else?, here. You can vote once a day until December 22.

Above text is quickly lifted & slightly tweaked from the BPS blog & from Lori Langille's automatism blog. Please help! Samantha is so talented & is tied (tied!) with another talented person. Giulia the Cat exhorts (no, not extorts:) everyone who sees this to vote. You will not receive spam, you don't have to sign up for anything. Please help!

ciao-grazie-meow/GG's editor

[illustration is used with permission of artist]

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Snow

GG is mad to frolic in the deep snow & is disappointed to be denied. She threatens to resume Christmas tree vandalism with reckless abandon. Her editor remains unperturbed as only unbreakables adorn the tree at this point. (Ha!) A few sights from around the Washington, DC area after our big storm. Capitol lawn frolicking, the White House be-wreathed gate, cat pawprints (not GG's) in the snow, determined tourists at the Washington monument...[images via Getty & DCist]

ciao-frosty-meow/GG Snow Central

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Christmas Cat for GG - Week's End

Friday Update: Snow storm on its merry way & we're busy getting ready. So this is week's end for sake of balance. We shall return over the weekend. Cheers! (You can still help out Toys for Tots online--no excuses!) The Management

Actually, this
was for GG. But. Toys for Tots donations are far below expectations; the situation is quite desperate. The IKEA kitty is going to the big toy box near GG Central. Please, please, please: donate to Toys for Tots if you are in the States. The IKEA 2009 Soft Toy Campaign runs through 24 December. Prices are low, cuteness level is high; donations go to UNICEF & Save the Children.
[image via]

ciao-meow/GG's editor

Swedish Christmas Kitchen

Congratulations to Lori Langille, Canadian illustrator. She was included on the Times (UK) 50 of the World's Best Design blogs yesterday! Lori kindly allowed GG's editor to use this image from her automatism blog last Christmas season. Thank you to Lori for her kindness this past year. (Lori also created the Benevolent Postcard Society art project, in which we participate. Well, GG doesn't but she supervises postcard selection by flopping on to one particular card each month. That's the one we choose. No kidding.) Happy Holidays to Lori & to her fellow designers!


[image from
Marie Claire Maison via automatism]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snowflake Garland

A wonderful, old-fashioned (inexpensive) idea resurrected by the terrific Design*Sponge. This little project reaps loveliness far outweighing the tiny expense involved. [photograph via design*sponge]

ciao-meow/GG's Christmas harried decorator

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

La Capitale de Noël, Strasbourg

Two night-time photographs of Strasbourg, France in Christmas light splendor. Strasbourg has perhaps the most famous (& best!) Christmas market in Europe. Walking around la place de la Cathedrale & the adjacent marché de Noël (also known as Christkindelsmärik) makes you part of a 431 year-old tradition. Surrounding villages & towns in Alsace also have lovely markets. Still, a visit to Strasbourg (& a gingerbread bakery) should be high on your list if you visit France at Christmastime. (Strasbourg & Alsace is beautiful anytime, though!) [photographs via Lost in France]

ciao-bisou-meow/GG's travel agent

ZooLights 2009 - Bid Adieu to Tai Shan

The annual ZooLights Festival is ongoing at the National Zoo. It's lots of fun & this year if you're in the DC-area, you have a special reason to go. This is adorable panda Tai Shan's last Christmas in America. He will travel to China & take up residence quite soon. Throughout ZooLights, the Giant Panda Habitat will be open for extended hours for those who wish to bid farewell to Tai Shan before he departs for China in early 2010. The Chinese have extended Tai's stay twice due to pleas from the public. This time the departure is for real, so go as soon as you can. [photographs by ]

ciao-cheery-meow/GG & her editor

Monday, December 14, 2009

Toys for Tots

Please remember the Toys for Tots campaign. The website states that items for children between 0-2 yrs & 15-17 yrs are very much needed. Please visit the site for your local campaign news, drop-offs, & any questions you might have. Suggestions for 0-2 year olds: IKEA soft toys. You'll be doing double-duty. We'll be back with ideas for the older children by the week-end.

ciao-meow/GG Central

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reindeer Love

A pretty reindeer photograph on a rainy-icy Sunday. If children (or adults!) in your sphere of influence are antsy (i.e., driving you crazy), here are free coloring pages. We wish we could interest GG in something, anything but the Christmas tree. It's not even done yet & she's plotting its demise. To make wonderful gingerbread cookies without pain & drama, visit Liberty London Girl's English family house. She has very specific & helpful suggestions (& photographs). For London doings, visit Wee Birdy who is busy with a Christmas cracker round-up. Here in the States, Oprah Winfrey's Christmas special with President & Mrs. Obama is at 10pm. Perhaps a Bo sighting?

ciao-meow/GG Christmas Coordinator

[reindeer by
Jom Manilat via animalphoto]

Friday, December 11, 2009

FEED Projects - Week's End

One of our most favorite gifts, ever, was the FEED bag last year. GG still hops in for a twirl around the it doubles as a cat toy. The little bear is sold out (until March 2010), but the big guy (who goes by 'Plumpy') is still available. See here for all you need to know about FEED Projects & the variety of rucksacks, bags, pouches, & bears. Happy weekend!

ciao-frosty-meow/GG Holiday Central

[GG collage/images via FEED Projects]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Latke Love

Are you busy grating potatoes? Neither are we because we're invited to a Hanukkah party. If you want to give it a go, here's a good recipe. Now get to work!

[photo via Martha Stewart Living]

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa Baby

A bit of a repeat. But a funny update, too.

We don't care if it's uncool (it's been said): we love our Starbucks 2006 Santa Baby CD...15 great songs & a wide range of singers. That was an unusual-for-us impulse purchase & no regrets. It's out-of-print but apparently in demand & probably available on the usual-suspects resale sites.

The update--a (goofy) vintage video of Eartha Kitt (& friends) singing Santa Baby. GG slinks around the apartment every time she hears this...& why not? Miss Kitt was quite the feline, non?

merry-meow/GG's party planner

[image via our own half-dead scanner]
illustrations by Ed Fotheringham [here's his website]
Design by Kristery Cameron, Starbucks Creative Group

Hanukkah Dreidel - DIY

We know it's late as Hanukkah begins Friday, 11 December at sundown. There's still time to make some inexpensive & cute dreidels. These are made out of construction paper. Go here for all sorts of Hanukkah projects, decorating ideas, & recipes. If you don't celebrate Hanukkah, we bet you know someone who does. Surprise them with something special. (They'll invite you over for latkes & you'll be so very happy!)

ciao-shalom-meow/GG & her editor

[photograph via Martha Stewart Living]

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh Dear

Apologies. Couldn't be helped. It's that kind of day (so far).

[Thanks for the snack by Paul Moody via flickr]

Monday, December 7, 2009

Made4Aid Monday - (Nearly) Effortless Holiday Shopping

Made4Aid has sent £900.00 = $1483.74 to the World Food Programme so far for their work in Darfur. With a few payments on their way, this makes over £1,000.00 total raised so far by Made4Aid (about $1650.00). Wow.

We urge you to visit the site & either make a bid or buy some lovely cards for a set (low) price. They make their way quickly from the UK to the States, but we hope that our UK readers will especially be alert to this notice.

GG's editor's friends & colleagues are leaving today & tomorrow (separately) for Khartoum & then on to Darfur to meet with DPDO staff, volunteers, students, teachers, & the women's collective (among others). The World Food Programme is vital to the camps in which DPDO works (& to those we cannot reach at this time). This is an overwhelming responsibility & so we are grateful for any contributions to WFP, especially through Made4Aid & Darfur Project - Eclectic Bags.

Joyce's Darfur Project - Eclectic Bags are unique, gorgeous, made from recycled textiles Amazing Joyce served as the inspiration for Made4Aid & she has raised:
  • $15,176.00 to WFP
  • $5,176.00 in 2009
  • $10,658.00 to WFP in 2008
That deserves another wow. More on Joyce very soon. But get on over there & take a look. Please!

ciao-rushed-meow/the Management

[GG collage from Made4Aid photographs/used with kind permission]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sylvie on Sunday

The gorgeous original papercut of ballerina Sylvie Guillem is by San Francisco artist & all-round wonderful person Tina Tarnoff. She sent it to GG's editor this week as a surprise (included with a necklace we ordered). We thank the lovely Tina, of Thought Patterns, for sending Sylvie to Washington,'s been far too long. We'll tell you all about the necklace next week.. GG wants to wear it but non, non, non. There are limits! Here's a little story about Sylvie Guillem on bricolage.

Have a good rest of the weekend (& a good week to our friends in Australia & New Zealand who are well into Monday, 7 December by now).


[Sylvie Guillem, No. 3 image by Tina Tarnoff/True Love Productions/all rights reserved, used with permission]

Friday, December 4, 2009

Adopt a Lion - Week's End

Adopt a cute lion at IKEA & help UNICEF & Save the Children. There's a new Facebook Fan page for the IKEA Soft Toys Aid 2009 campaign. Or you can read about the Adopt an African Lion program at the National Zoo. Either way (or both), you will be helping out worthy causes. And have fun. What more do you want, really? (You are so difficult to please, some of you cranky pusses!)

Please remember Toys for Tots, too. Here is the video of First Lady Michelle Obama's remarks at the White House for the beginning of the holiday season. She announces the participation of the White House staff in this year's campaign. It's all good.

a ciao-snowy-meow from Washington, DC

[image via]

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vintage Holiday Cards

Vintage Holiday Crafts is a huge source of clip art for nearly every holiday & occasion. You can even make your own vintage-style gift certificate--for anything. We won't waste anyone's time listing, just visit. The rules are clear & the site is generous. It's hard to believe sometimes that anyone would do something like compile an enormous collection just because...but that appears to be the case.

This is a repeat but a popular search on Giulia Geranium. If you get started now, you can take your time & do some fruitful searches on the Vintage site. (We'll do a separate post for Hanukkah.) Remember Martha Stewart's site as a good source of ideas, Christmas templates, clip art, & blogger-friendly posting ideas.

Very, very busy here. Apologies & we'll post more free links 'n stuff very soon.

ciao-meow/GG's crafty editor

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Girl Effect

This first week of December, start a positive chain reaction.

[domino cascade by Nauticashades via wikipedia]

Monday, November 30, 2009

Have a Heart - Save the Date, Save a Life

Your signature is more powerful than you know. Amnesty International's Global Write-A-Thon is December 5-13, 2009. Register here if you are not with a local group. Residents of other countries, see this link.

[photograph by Giampaolo Macorig via flickr. Full size format, here.]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tonight on 60 Minutes - Congo Gold

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Five million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a war fueled primarily from gold mined in the country by warlords. Scott Pelley reports. 60 Minutes, Sunday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. ET/PT.

We'll update the link with the full story as it becomes available. Enough Project's Raise Hope for Congo page for additional information & actions you can take, here.

[photograph by
PHGCOM via wikimedia commons]

Friday, November 27, 2009

Attention Must Be Paid - Week's End

GG does exactly what the kitten is doing...only on the laptop! Have a good evening while we chase her around the apartment. [audrey hepburn complex/tumblr via we heart it]

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We repeat last year's vintage card (still looking suspiciously like Hallowe'en-turned-Thanksgiving) because we must dash. For those celebrating here in the States, have a safe & great holiday.

ciao-meow/GG & her editor

[image via Vintage Holiday Crafts]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hunger Bytes

A billion for a billion. An international video competition sponsored by the World Food Programme--go for it. Entries accepted through 31 December 2009. Watch it, pass it along. Thank you.

[Southern Sudanese women drag bags of grain to a central collection point dropped by WFP chartered airplane in the village of Pochalla, Jonglei state © Peter Martell/IRIN]

Monday, November 23, 2009

Made4Aid Monday - London Calling

We're reviving Made4Aid Monday...not enough people are bidding to keep us happy. These cards are not on auction but available without bidding. Below are a few details, but you'll be sorry if you don't hop over & see all 16 cards. Really beautiful. (They'd make a great gift. Ahem.)

"These cards will be on sale until around early December or so... for a minimum donation of $1.70 per card. This isn't an auction - you're not bidding against anyone else as I can make up more cards for the next person - you can simply pay and I'll mail your cards to you once your payment is received....Postage for up to 8 cards would be: UK - free; Europe - $1.90; Worldwide outside Europe - $2.40. If you want to buy more than 8 cards please email..."...

ciao-meow/GG's editor

[photo collage by Made4Aid/used with kind permission]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Eclipsing the Sun

So cool, we couldn't pass it up. Have a great Sunday evening.

[Buck Eclipses the Sun via animalphotos]

Friday, November 20, 2009

Autumn Wall - Week's End

Lovely winding vine-twine from Giampaolo Macorig in Rome. A good weekend to all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

1 Dollar is a fortune

IKEA's 2009 Soft Toy Aid tag line.* It matters not if you purchase a teensy rat (eek!) or something larger. IKEA donates the equivalent per soft toy purchased to UNICEF & Save the Children. A double-dip thought: adopt one more toy than you need & donate to Toys for Tots. (*£1 in the UK, €1 elsewhere)

ciao-early-merry-meow/the Management

GG Central collage from IKEA images]

Can You Hear Me Now? Again?

While we are under the weather, some updates on Darfur, South Sudan, & Congo (DRC). Today from Enough Project's John Prendergast on New Legislative Action Tackles Congo's Conflict Minerals. Please click through to the take action link for suggestions regarding personal electronic purchase & recycling. Thanks.

[photographs by drburtoni & Mvemba Phezo Dizolele/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting]