Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Hallowe'en

Have a spooky (but not too scary) evening! (illustration via Vintage Holiday Crafts)

ciao-shivery-meow/GG & her editor

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Clever Pup's Paris Notebook - Week's End

GG Central is in a mad Friday/Saturday- Hallowe'en-Rally for Sanity rush...oof. So pull up a chair, sip on some hot chocolate (or a glass of wine) & dip into the recent Parisian adventures of our Canadian friend. This is a new & ongoing venture, not the Pup you might be accustomed to (note the Breton shirt, ballerinas, & the beret placed just so). Très mignon, non?

We'll be back over the weekend to wish you a Happy Hallowe'en. (You can always hop over to GG's editor's blog & say boo.)

ciao-meow/GG's editor

(illustration by Hazel Smith/all rights reserved 2010/used with permission)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pepita Treats

We just made these--so easy. All you need are pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), sugar, honey, & a little butter. Click here for the recipe from Martha Stewart's Halloween Central. More What To Do with Pumpkin Seeds. We're making the spicy pumpkin seeds next. (image via Martha Stewart) PS: Each treat is 2 Weight Watchers pts. Enjoy!

ciao-crunch-meow/GG Central

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Play Dress-Up - Mad Men Yourself

Are you missing Mad Men? Are you supposed to be doing something else right now but musing & waiting for a good idea (or waiting to get out of a task?). It happens to the most productive of us. Go to AMC's Mad Men Yourself & play. (Be aware that some jazzy music will start up & we can't figure out how to mute it for you.) Set a timer so you don't spend more than 10 minutes. Then you're done. Here's our rather plain first attempt. Note the rolled-up newspaper, ready to whack (lightly) people for criticizing Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert for holding the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Keep Fear Alive here in Washington, DC on Saturday. Yes, we're going. No, it will not harm our democracy. That political satirists are allowed to have a rally in the middle of the national's capital IS the point.

By the way--if you're in the States, you are planning to vote next Tuesday -- if you've not already done so in early voting/absentee voting. Right? Hmmmm.

ciao-meow/GG's Mad Men Basket Case

(second image via Indecision Forever (dot) com)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shabby Apple Dare to Design Finalists - Vote Now

GG wants YOU to vote for your favorite Shabby Apple's Dare to Design finalist dress. There is a technical error that zee blogeuse at Apple a Day is working to resolve, but you can vote in the comments for now. Voting ends 15 November 2010. Vote only once. (This photograph is on many sites. This particular version is from audrey hepburn complex via daily bits of beauty)

ciao-meow/GG's hairdresser (she doesn't need a dress, remember?)

Win "A Long Piece of String"

Hint--it's a children's book. Are you interested in vintage (ahem) 1963 children's literature? Are you American or Canadian? Well, go to Basket of Kisses & enter this giveaway. (Basket of Kisses is GG's editor's favorite blog about Mad Men.) You have until 31 October (this Sunday). All you have to do is visit & say to whom you would read the book if you won. Easy peasy. (images via Basket of Kisses)

ciao-meow/GG's editor

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hallowe'en Costumes - Butterflies & Bees

Some fun costume ideas & how-to for adults & for grown-up + child via Martha Stewart. Only a few more days. We are working on the GG template & also on GG's editor's blog, so we're letting Martha & her amazing staff do the heavy lifting. (above: Madame Butterfly, Cat & Kitten, & Beekeeper)

ciao-meow/GG Hallowe'en Central

Celebrate Hallowe'en with a Black Kitten

Pssst. Do you live in the Washington, DC-area? There's a wonderful idea on the Washington Animal Rescue League's website (in italics, below). Also enjoy artist Tina Tarnoff's Audition for a Black Cat. It's very funny. (photograph by Ralph Crane via LIFE archives)

ciao-meow/GG Central

In the spirit of Halloween, if you adopt any of our kittens with black hair on them, you will receive 50% off the adoption fee (only $25)! From now until the end of October 31, when you adopt a kitten (under 1 year old) that has any black fur on them, the adoption fee will only be $25. As always, if you adopt a cat that is over 1 year old, the adoption fee is waived. Come in to see the spectacular kittens we have available at the League who are awaiting their perfect, forever homes!

Monday, October 25, 2010

GG's Geography Games

Quiz Your Noodle & other free games from National Geographic Kids. GG is utterly uninterested in broadening her horizons today. Even after viewing this adorable illustration of a worldly teacher & her students. She just yawned. Despair. (An Interesting Lecture illustration via Vintage Holiday Crafts)

ciao-meow/GG's editor

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fierce Feline Pumpkin

GG's pumpkin design choice this year. Lots of good ideas & templates to download/print at Martha Stewart Halloween Central. How difficult can this be? We'll let you know. (We are still trying to sort out the website template & colors. Meanwhile, thanks for not making fun of us!)

ciao-rowr-meow/GG Central

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New York City Ballet Coloring Pages - Week's End

Who knew that one of our favorite ballet companies had a children's section on their website? You did? We salute you. We're behind the times, apparently. There are 36 thumbnails to click on. An outline of characters is downloaded with the ballet title, choreographers, & costume credits. Click print et voilà. You become the costume designer. GG's editor just tried it & it works perfectly. Have a great weekend.

ciao-meow/GG Central

(little ballerina feet by Alfred Eisenstaedt/LIFE; coloring book via NYCB website)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hallowe'en Flower Girls

Need Hallowe'en costume ideas? Flower mad like GG & her editor? Here are a few from Martha Stewart. The top photograph is our ideal & is definitely do-able. (Don't forget about FEED Projects Halloween Trick-or-Treat bag.) Adult costumes & masks up next. (Very simple ideas, too.) (photographs via Martha Stewart & bricolage)

ciao-meow/GG Central

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Sketchbook Project 2011

Doesn't this look like fun? GG continues to hide her opposable thumbs & cannot participate. But you can. (There is a price but if you would like to be part of a large art project & travelling exhibit, it seems small. Of course, if you cannot, keep drawing anyway!)

Even though GG's editor has used Moleskines for various projects over the years, she was alerted to The Sketchbook Project by the lovely author of secret, fragile skies & agelessbeautyalways (separate blogs). We highly recommend these elegant & slightly wistful reflections by a writer in New York.

Now go sketch, draw, play, start a rumpus. Giulia is exhibiting her talent in that last activity. Right. Now.

ciao-meow/GG's beleaguered editor

(graphics by Hannes Haus from his 2009 Sketchbook)

The deadline to sign up is 31 October 2010. There are discounts for groups.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

GOTV - Volunteer to Get Out the Vote

"This election isn't just about one vote or one party--it's about your future. It's time to get out there and shape it, it's time to get out there and fight for it."--President Obama

Please spread the message. This election is as important as 2008, perhaps more.


Fresh Flowers for Tough Times

For those of us residing in the State of Penury, here is an excellent idea by Sarah of Blossom and Branch, via Design*Sponge. It's a definite upgrade from our parsley-in-a-creamer. This is Sarah's second post in a twice-a-month series, Flowers A-Z. Take a look, you might be surprised by the ingredients.

ciao-meow/GG's floral designer

(images via design*sponge, GG collage)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Made4Aid Monday - Flower Photography Cards

GG's editor did the math--not our strong suit, admittedly--but we are aces on a calculator. With free shipping world-wide (this is rare, people), each card costs $2.75 (USD). Go to any store & see if you can find lovely handmade cards for $2.75. We'll save you the trouble because we searched: you cannot. These cards make a thoughtful gift, too. GG Central has ordered from Made4Aid from nearly the beginning & can therefore highly recommend from several trouble-free experiences.

ciao-meow/GG's editor

(photograph & text below via Made4Aid's new etsy shop)

From Made4Aid:

A set of 8 original flower photography greeting cards. Made and donated to made4aid by Sally.
The photographs are from a series of flower photos, printed in high resolution on glossy photographic paper and mounted on good quality card. The cards are blank inside for your own greeting and come with matching envelopes. The size of these cards is 5 inches/12.5cm square. The price of this item includes shipping worldwide. Made4aid items are sold to support the work of Médicins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and the World Food Programme. For more info. about made4aid go to

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sous le Ciel de Paris - Week's End

GG & her editor wish everyone a good weekend. A big welcome back from Paris to our friend La Clever Pup. Here is Juliette Gréco in 1962, singing the Jacques Brel song. It was re-popularized by last year's excellent film, An Education.

ciao-meow/GG Central

(Photograph by windswept ribbons via audrey hepburn complex)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

30 Rock Live

If you're in the States, don't forget that 30 Rock is live tonight (here's the "live episode page."We love Tina Fey's Liz Lemon. First up, those of us in the East. And yes, this was a bit of an excuse to show this cute Cig Harvey photograph via Joanna at A Cup of Jo. Joanna & lil Toby have colds & are under-the-weather. Send them some purrs & bonjours.

ciao-cheeky-meow/GG's editor

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chile - Los 33

Felicitaciones a los mineros chilenos!

Our Spanish is almost non-existent but GG & her editor congratulate the Chilean miners, their families, & all those who participated in the extraordinary rescue effort. Soon, very soon, let us discuss why this dangerous mine was allowed to operate. (A discussion worth having around the world.)

ciao-meow/GG Central

(seagulls by D Sharon Pruitt/Pink Sherbet Photography/Creative Commons set)

Audrey Hepburn's Ballerinas Auction

Audrey Hepburn's eldest son, Sean Ferrer wrote last month that he & his brother Luca Dotti have decided to auction off one of the last pairs of his mother's ballerinas to benefit the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund & UNICEF. Please visit the Foundation website & see how you can help. Wouldn't Audrey do that for your children? (You bet!)

ciao-pirouette-meow/GG Central

(Audrey Hepburn, 1955, Norman Parkinson Archive, via Liverpool Museums)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Made4Aid Returns - Now on Etsy

Hoorah. Many of GG Central's favorite gifts given last year for the holidays & birthdays were from the good folks at Made4Aid in Britain. Instead of auctions (which we enjoyed), you can just go directly to Made4Aid's Etsy shop & have a look. There will be more additions in the next few weeks. Also, if you would like to donate anything, please get in touch with Made4Aid at made4aid [!at] They are super-friendly & talented people.

GG's editor uses her French market bag (made in England) every single week. Our friend Maria Caterina wears her Neapolitan skinny scarf proudly (& will again if it ever cools off, oh please). Our friends in Darfur use this lovely hand-embroidered tablecloth for their tea table in the Women's Cooperative. Etc. More to come, we just wanted you to know. There's more but Giulia has begun howl-meowling for her supper. Good grief, what a racket!

ciao-cheerio-meow/GG Central

(Smile card image via Made4Aid)

Monday, October 11, 2010

TruthBeauty at The Phillips Collection

Giulia is on the warpath again. She wants her editor to take her to this exhibit. Plans seem to be underway to revive the idea of a GG salon at The Phillips Collection café. Sigh. GG's editor is very much under-the-weather & keeping mum, not promising a thing. Meanwhile, if you are in or will be in Washington, DC we highly recommend a trip to the Phillips. If you would like to donate a small amount (via text) to repair damage from the recent fire, please click here for information.

ciao-say-cheese-meow/GG Central

TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art, 1845-1945/October 9, 2010–January 9, 2011 Like impressionism, which challenged the traditions of painting, pictorialism expanded the possibilities of photography beyond the literal description of a subject. Pictorialist photographers produced some of the most spectacular photographs in the history of the medium and influenced subsequent developments in modernist photography. Comprising over 120 photographs, this exhibition retraces pictorialism’s beginnings with the experiments of Hill and Adamson, and Julia Margaret Cameron; through its mastery by Alfred Stieglitz, Gertrude Kasebier, and Alvin Langdon Coburn; to its lasting legacy in early works by Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham. Organized by George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, and Vancouver Art Gallery. (photograph via audrey hepburn complex)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

Visit Imagine Peace & send your best wishes in honor of John's 70th birthday. Also, remember to play The Beatles (always!) & dance wildly like Giulia. (It helps.)   
ciao-peace-meow/GG & her editor

Friday, October 8, 2010

Riding Up Solsbury Hill - Week's End

just hopped up to look at the television. She heard a song advertising a film. We don't know about the film, but it was great to hear the song. Since we really can't say much about other matters at the moment, you might as well have a little fun. Here's a link to get you started on the archaeology & history of Little Solsbury Hill & the Cotswolds.
Giulia wants to ride a bovine, but you can watch Peter Gabriel riding a bicycle while singing a song. In a circle. With a big audience. What would we do without English eccentrics? (And Scottish, Welsh, & Irish eccentrics, too.) Also, in case you didn't know: Peter is a humanitarian of the first order. (image, here)

ciao-crikey-meow/GG Central

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Pop Quiz

It's that time of year. To get into the spirit, start with a quiz from Martha Stewart's Halloween Central. Do You Know America's Most Haunted Sites and Frights? GG's editor's score: 6 of 7 & the following: Are you sure you haven't been alive since 1775? You're practically an expert on the creepiest and most mysterious parts of America's past. Congratulations!

We just had a birthday at GG Central but it was definitely not our 235th birthday. The nerve!


(Little pumpkin by D. Sharon Pruitt/Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons flickr set)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Did you know that the first words recorded by Thomas Alva Edison were "Mary had a little lamb?" You did? Well, we salute you because we did not. Click here to listen.

For a fun mini-dance break on a Tuesday, we give you Stevie Ray Vaughn playing his version of the nursery rhyme. GG runs to the iPod (with mini-speaker) or laptop every time she hears favorite songs. She really loves this one.

ciao-meow/GG's playlist creator

Monday, October 4, 2010

FEED Trick-or-Treat Bag

FEED Trick-or-Treat Bag to benefit UNICEF

It's never too soon to think about Hallowe'en. Giulia is dressing up as a FEED Bag this year. OK, kidding. But she'll be taking a turn in the neighborhood in one. Treat yourself to your very own Trick-or-Treat bag & help UNICEF. (photograph via FEED Projects Facebook page)

For 60 years, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has helped children in need worldwide. UNICEF works in over 150 countries to reduce child mortality through health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

HSN honors Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’s 60th anniversary with the FEED Trick-or-Treat Bag, created by FEED Projects. A portion* of every HSN-exclusive bag purchased will help UNICEF provide one child in the developing world with an entire year's worth of vital micro-nutrient supplements.
So leave the pillowcases at home and help kids while collecting goodies with the FEED Trick-or-Treat Bag to benefit UNICEF.
ciao-meow/GG Hallowe'en Central

Friday, October 1, 2010

Daring to Design - Week's End

You don't have to be designer, nope. Visit Shabby Apple's website & learn all about it. GG's editor loves Shabby Apple & thinks that you ought to consider some creative activity this weekend. The contest opened on August 15 & closes October 15. It's really, really not too late. You can find out more on their blog An Apple a Day.

As loyal readers know, Giulia does not need a dress--she has the perfect outfit every single day. She's incredibly chic. It's also very chic to have good manners & care about others. That's why we are pleased by the following from Shabby Apple Dresses website:

We at Shabby Apple Dresses love to help women dress but are also commited to helping women live as well. Thus we are supporting the fight against global poverty by partnering with Unitus-a non-profit organization that accelerates access to life-changing financial services for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Shabby Apple donates 5% of its net sales to support work in India (where Shabby Apple Dresses has sourced many of its dresses and the textiles used to manufacture its dresses). In addition, each Shabby Apple Dresses customer has the opportunity to donate an extra five dollars to Unitus every time she buys a dress. Shabby Apple Dresses and Unitus are involved with 10 of India's most promising microfinance organizations that provide financial services to more than 1.6 million hard-working women and their families.

Every $100 donation from Shabby Apple Dresses provides at least 20 women with access to financial services - and the chance to live a life without poverty.

Each new Shabby Apple Dresses dress features a unique hang tag with a micro-credit success story.

Now, isn't that fabulous? Go forth & design!

ciao-chic-meow/GG Central

(Christina Hendricks of Mad Men via AMC; Shabby Apple dresses collage)