Monday, October 31, 2011

Guardian Gourds

These fairy-lighted pumpkins seem to stand guard against evil spirits abroad in the land. We thought it a nice thought on a spooky evening. Happy Hallowe'en, Samhain, Nos Calan Gaeaf!


(photograph via Martha Stewart via bricolage)

Happy Halloween!

Giulia & her editor wish everyone a fun & safe Halloween!


PS: If you're stuck for Halloween ideas, check National Geographic Kids.

(vintage illustration via The Graphics Fairy)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Bat Headband

...and other costumes you can make tonight or Sunday. Yes, yes. You can do it. If you're in the eastern part of the country, welcome to snow & ice. Already. There might be materials at home for costume construction; if not, if it's safe to drive or walk, maybe you want to escape all that college football for a bit. Just a thought...

Here are last minute Halloween ideas from Martha Stewart's website. Everything from pumpkin carving templates to costumes for grownups & children to food. All you have to do is download & print. If you don't have ink, just wing it.
We particularly like this easy bat headband. Dress in black leggings & a sweater, perhaps add a cape if you have one. Clean simple bat chic.


PS: Remember the wonderful Halloween ideas from National Geographic Kids.

(photograph via Martha Stewart)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pretty Deer

While chasing Giulia (into everything as usual), beginning (!) Halloween prep, & readying for what feels like a sudden cold snap, GG's editor slowed down enough to see deer outside the window early this a.m. The building borders a finger of Rock Creek Park so that makes sense. We know that deer have become a controversial subject in many parts of the country. We're not getting into that now. They are pretty to us.

We use Sharon Montrose's baby deer notepad for daily lists. It might be discontinued, hope not. Will check that out. These brass deer on Etsy would be pretty for autumn/holiday decor, no? Karen at the The Graphics Fairy has three versions of the vintage deer ready to print out today. All in all a satisfying bit of synchronicity.

Back tonight/tomorrow!


(images via HanaPee & The Graphics Fairy)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pepita Party

Make some of these as soon as you can. Pepitas (or pumpkin seeds but it's so fun to say 'pepitas') are fresh this time of year. From pumpkin carving to doing what we did: buy a bag at Whole Foods or your co-op. We just made the Maryland style & there are 5 more variations on the darling Cherry Tea Cakes blog. You can make up something of your own, too. Yum.

PS: Do you have your pumpkin yet? No? Neither do we. Don't panic. There's a whole weekend left before Halloween. We keep telling everyone & anyone who will listen.

ciao-meow/GG Snack Central

(photograph by
Cherry Tea Cakes)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. --USDOJ Office on Violence Against Women

If you are at risk, or you know someone who is (or suspect that they are at risk), please visit the website. We are aware that men are often victims & can receive help through the office. The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233); 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Here is a link to other countries' national domestic abuse hotlines. Get help or help someone!

(photograph via
Saving Grace)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Degas & Dancers

If you're in the Washington, DC area (or will be by January 8, 2012), definitely stop in to the new Degas exhibit at The Phillips Collection. There's also a Degas exhibit on at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. There are some good articles in the New York Times & a good slideshow on The Guardian. Here's the Degas label on The Guardian, too, so you can see all the article titles at once.

Can you tell we're rushing? Yes.We're dragging our laundry in & out of the rain & up & down the stairs. At least that's a bit of exercise. Growl.

ciao-meow/GG's beleaguered editor

PS: If you have little ones around, remember these New York City Ballet link coloring pages.

(Dancers at the Barre/Phillips Collection via Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Haiku Cat Master Cat Food Breath

Such a large tummy/ I can't wash it all at once/ A squeegee would help. -- Cat Food Breath

The funniest cat on
Twitter now has a website. That's right: Cat Food Breath is now entertaining supplicants at more than 140 characters. Those of you who resist Twitter & Facebook can partake of the wit & wisdom of a 17-pound Siamese with a sushi habit. CFB stays au courant, as well, so #OccupytheCouch is now part of the Twitterverse.

CFB brightens our day with pithy one-liners, haiku (original & um, reworked), & philosophical asides, even fashion advice (accessorize with cat fur. It's gonna happen anyway). Not a day goes by without a laugh-out-loud moment. Or several. This is not a one-sided affair either; CFB will gladly converse with you & set you straight as to who is the boss. Be sure to use the word 'cute' in any reference to CFB, it will smooth the way. Here is a
funny interview that CFB gave to the lovely author of paper bag & string (& of the website Careers For Your Cat, more about which soon).

What follows are some original haiku by the master. Read in bemused tone as if to an oaf. Used by permission.

Has your cat been fed?/ Don't let the bowl stay empty/ Kitty needs food now.

Are you wearing black? / Accessorize with cat fur/ You will look stunning.

Quit hogging the bed/ You are always on my side/ I need more pillows.

Where's my crunchy food? / My bowl seems to be empty/ Fill it now or else.


(photograph with kind courtesy of CFB)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Everyday Luxury - Honey

Of course you can buy honey year-round; but at farmers markets & coops, right now, beautiful jars & bottles of new golden honey are available. Saveur & Martha Stewart have good articles (& recipes) about honey. You can check with the National Honey Board for information about honey in your area.

If you're thinking "but I don't use honey enough & it just sits in a cupboard..." Leave the honey out on a counter or the table with a dripper. Look up a few recipes to use it with right away; it's not just for tea. Here's a favorite easy recipe & a favorite cake. You'll begin to use it more often. GG Guarantee.

And of course there are few things as satisfying on a chilly autumn day than bread & honey. Unless it's a spoon & honey. But we're trying to be less piggy these days;)

ciao-meow/GG's editor

(photographs by
Francine Zaslow & Jeff Kubina)

Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats

For ways to celebrate a feline-themed Halloween, check out National Geographic Kids. They have printable masks, costume ideas, labels for collection boxes, & a cat o'lantern for their worthy Cause an Uproar initiative. Of course, there are Halloween ideas that are non-cat related. Eyeball deviled eggs, anyone?


(photograph via
funnycatsite; lion cub mask via National Geographic)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Prep

There's time over the weekend to get ready for Halloween. We'll be posting about good causes & Halloween soon. For tonight, though, if you're in North America, Netflix Instant has 39 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents available. We just scared ourselves silly watching a few. Boo!


(photograph via
Hitchcock Wiki)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tigers Among Us

We are devastated by what happened in Ohio yesterday. But we do not blame the legal authorities nor the lovely Jack Hanna. We blame people who buy & sell wild baby animals.

It is shocking to read about tigers in captivity in backyards around the States. We had no idea. Please click over to the
World Wildlife Fund to look at an interactive map with captive tiger population statistics. Follow the links to see what you can do to get this outrageous conduct under control. If people want a wild animal, they should adopt a little cat. We assure you, that is wild enough!


(Mama tiger & cub by Michael Nichols for
National Geographic)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Lowering Sky

The weather here is distracting: gray, windy, occasional downpours. Very dramatic. Or very gloomy. Maybe both. There's little time to write or post. Still, these photographs by Elisabeth Perotin, a wedding photographer living in Reims, France are inspiring; we do love carousels.

If you want/need to distract someone, you can download these coloring pages of carousel horses OR you can click n' paint. (Tip: set a timer so you don't waste more time than you can afford to spend:) And to fulfill your poetry needs for today, here's Merry-Go-Round by Miroslav Holub.


(photography by Elisabeth Perotin)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Knit a Penguin a Sweater

No, we are not kidding. Look how people are helping the penguins affected by an oil spill off New Zealand. Thank you to Lori for tweeting a link to the story this afternoon. We're rushing so text below is directly from the etsy blog:

recent oil spill on New Zealand’s coast has left the environment and wildlife in shambles — including the local blue penguin population. While volunteers are working hard to rescue and clean the animals in the region, they require a little bit of crafty help: tiny sweaters, or penguin pajamas, for the rescued birds. These woolen sweaters keep oil-soaked birds warm until they’re well enough to be cleaned and prevent them from ingesting oil from their feathers.

If you’re interested in donating a penguin sweater, New Zealand yarn store Skeinz has provided a handy how-to and is organizing the donation efforts.


(photograph by
Leila Nargi)

Monday, October 17, 2011

World Food Week 2011

Yesterday was the official World Food Day 2011; World Food Week activities continue this week.

“FOOD PRICES – FROM CRISIS TO STABILITY” has been chosen as this year’s World Food Day theme to shed some light on this trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable. Price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries. Hardest-hit are the poor. According to the World Bank, in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty.

On World Food Day 2011, let us look seriously at what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society.--FAO website

For actions you can take & multi-media events, please see here. To join the 1 Billion Hungry Project on Facebook, click here.

(photograph by Olga)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Toast Travels

For some lovely short articles on a wide variety of subjects, visit Toast Travels by Toast. If you don't receive their catalogues, you might like to order one or all of the latest. Giulia pines for these socks but purchasing two pair for four legs, c'est impossible (for now).

Have a relaxing weekend!


(Toast photograph via

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Cade Martin's justly celebrated photographs of The Washington Ballet have been published in a book, Wonderland. (You can order it on the Washington Ballet website. While you're there, take a refresher course in Ballet 101 (or pass it on to someone who feels intimidated by ballet).

ciao-meow/the Management

(photographs by
Cade Martin)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Every Leaf a Flower

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. - Albert Camus

The trees outside our windows are still green but today there's a noticeable increase in yellow; in the near distance a red tinge is wider, longer every morning.
Thanks to Olga for this beautiful photograph. She used the Orton imagery method & you can use it, as well. Here's a step-by-step article from Creative Nature Photography.


ciao-meow/GG's editor

Monday, October 10, 2011

An October Day

Happy holiday weekend to those in the States, happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends. Hallooo to everyone else. Bit frazzled today but Giulia is asleep (of course) so that makes one less thing to worry about. For now. We're researching & writing. Some fall-out coming your way later this week & next.

For now, here's the link to our
Pinterest boards. You can request an invite, if you like, on the site. We've neglected it of late, until this weekend when *window* shopping became of great interest.
If you have responsibility for keeping the peace today, here's a link to autumn crafts for children from Martha Stewart.


(lovely photographs by liivia s - it inspires us to seek out some late season cosmos)

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Graphics Fairy - Instant Art

Visit Karen at The Graphics Fairy. Right now. Too bossy? You'll thank us later. Karen is amazingly generous in a world of generous bloggers. She posts lovely images every day & you can print them. And use them. For free. Yep.

Right now, though, attention should be paid to her Instant Art series. Karen posts downloadable PDFs of a variety of flora & fauna. We just printed out a rooster, some geraniums (yay), pears, & onions. So fire up the printer, check the cartridges & go for it. (Note: the rooster is quite clear in person...the image here is via our crummy scanner.)


(rooster via The Graphics Fairy)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Everyday Luxury - Chestnuts

Yes, we're pushing it, the season. It's close but not quite here. We know, we've searched. Dashing off to the farmers market near the White House & to check in on marchers downtown & see what's up. Reports back on Twitter.

Here is a favorite recipe, a how-to peel chestnuts, & a peek into castagne season in Italy. The best chestnuts we ever had were in Strasbourg & in Rome.


(photograph uncredited - get in touch - via Pinterest)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hero Dogs

You're a hero. Everyone keeps telling you, but you don't feel much like a hero. Mostly, you feel frustrated, and angry, and scared. Frustrated at how tasks which used to be effortless now seem like climbing Mt. Everest. Angry, sometimes at the people you love and the very people who are trying to help you, because you hate feeling so dependent on them. This is not the future you had planned. And this - THIS? This 65 pound wagging yellow fool with the floppy ears and the tongue hanging out of his mouth - this is supposed to make any of that okay again? --read on, Hero Dogs

On Sunday, at the Takoma Park Street festival, GG's editor met an adorable (what other kind is there?) 10-week old yellow Labrador puppy who was to begin his training as a hero dog on Monday. The only thing that kept us warm in the cold rain was the puppy, the story of Lady Liberty & learning about the Hero Dog organization in the metropolitan Washington, DC-area. The people of Hero Dogs are new heroes to us. Check out their website, appearances at events in the area, & how you can help.

is pining for a puppy now.

ciao-woof-meow/the Management

(photograph via Free Desktop Backgrounds)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fragmented Flowers

Singaporean photographer Fong Qi Wei went deeper than just taking photos of flowers and created an amazing series of Exploded Flowers – images that show the radial symmetry of flowers.--from DeMilked (via Illusion)

A lovely & clever art project. See the entire series, here.


(photographs by Fong Qi Wei)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Keep Your Eye on the Tigers

Just 3,000 tigers live in the wild today. These majestic animals face grave threats to their survival, including poaching and habitat destruction. It is our work to ensure the protection of the 1,000 remaining breeding females, so that they may live to produce the next generation. Help us give tigers room to grow: Support our efforts to conserve these great cats and their homes. --Wildlife Conservation Society

This is a full-blown emergency, people. Please visit Wildlife Conservation Society's Tiger Tools page & take action. Also, GG Central purchased these Vanishing Species stamps that will help raise money to fight tiger poaching.

For children of all ages, visit
National Geographic Kids Creature Feature/Tiger page. There are coloring pages, e-cards, & all sorts of cool features. Giulia is paw-painting right now. With spilled coffee on a tiger page. Seriously. We have to go!


(Siberian tiger by
Joel Sartore for National Geographic)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello October!

Giulia sends her regards. She's asleep in a pile of blankets retrieved from the linen closet in the middle of the night. Yes, it has turned brisk. We're off to the farmers market & hope to have rosy cheeks half-way there. It will be a super-successful day if we can find some beautiful tights & also smell woodsmoke on the way home.

If you're in the DC-area, the
Takoma Park Street festival is tomorrow. Stop by the Amnesty International table to say hello & GG's editor will give you a button in the color of your choice if you say you read this post.
Have a great weekend!

ciao-meow/the Management

(photographs by Eylul Aslan; Vido in the leaves by valter d via animalphotos)