Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Make Vintage Christmas Cards

It's that time of year! (Stop yer grousin':) This is one of the most popular searches on GG.

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.

We also have Hanukkah crafts & clip art, & games. Because Hanukkah is not as early as last year, there's time to post in the coming weeks. However, if you are in the DC-area, or will be, & would like to go to the 20 December National Menorah lighting on the Mall, tickets go fast. Click here & good luck.

ciao-meow/GG Holiday Central

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Put a Pom-pom On It

Giulia's editor likes to think she's clever. We've been looking at our nice but unremarkable winter pull-on hat/beanie (purchased for 50 cents at a thrift shop) & feeling ho-hum about it. That is until this a.m. when Erica showed the way: pom-pom it. *smacks forehead*


(photograph by Honestly WTF)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reading Tolstoy

Circumstances conspired to point us towards Tolstoy today, again. Giulia's editor read an excellent translation of Anna Karenina in 2001 & finally understood the greatness of Tolstoy, even in English. Now, a pile-up of Tolstoy blogs, reading groups, & even a tweeter! Visit C.M. Mayo's appropriately-titled Reading Tolstoy's War & Peace. She's our go-to link-a-lot & she always says the most interesting things.

We don't own the translation of War & Peace we want to read, so here's hoping the library does. And that the renewal policy is generous. 365 chapters is no small project. Eep.

ciao-meow/GG Book Club Central

(Woman Reading by Alexander Deineka)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eye Poetry

That's the name of Irene Suchoki's shop & it's apt. We're posting this now because the holiday order deadline for her beautiful prints & calendars is December 5 for the States, December 8 for Canada. The deadline for international was November 22. But if you like something (love the calendars), then why not order? Subscribe to the idea of The Twelve Days of Christmas & feel the stress decrease. Seriously. This photograph makes us want to whip out the fairy lights. Right now.

Here's a link to Irene's
discounted print sets. There's New York, Paris, carousels, butterflies, Italy, & fairy lights. Some of our very favorite things.
Happy Sunday.


(photograph by
Irene Suchoki)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Take a Hike

We're off for a drive (& a walk) in the country & to visit friends & family. What else are holiday weekends for? OK, many of you will be shopping, either online or walking on your two little feet. Take a break, either way, & visit a nearby park/museum. GG's editor was pleased to see that Brookside Gardens is a member of the First Lady's Let's Move - Museums & Gardens. Check to see if your favorite park or museum is on the list. Then take yourself on a walk, even to the corner store. You'll feel so much better.


PS: Please remember to support small & local businesses as much as possible. We make an exception for IKEA's Soft Toy campaign.

(photograph via Life Well Remembered via Pinterest)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful & safe holiday. We plan to be careful with caloric intake (ahem) but pumpkin pie is mandatory. GGCM favorite recipes (beloved by guests for the entire holiday season) are caramel-pumpkin pie by Gourmet & spice-kissed pumpkin pie by 101 Cookbooks.

ciao-thankful-meow/GG Holiday Central

(first photograph by Roland Bello via Gourmet Magazine & 101 Cookbooks)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Balloons Over Broadway

It's Thanksgiving eve, hooray! Many of you are on the road or at airports (or will be). Wherever you are, we know that like us you will watch the 85th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow morning. Here is this year's interactive website for some fun & games now. If you are in New York, surely you know about the balloon blow-up scene up at 77th & Columbus. Right? Here's New York magazine's Thanksgiving parade advice.

ciao-meow/GG Holiday Central

PS: The lovely new children's book Balloons Over Broadway tells the story of puppeteer Tony Sarg & his creation of the beloved helium balloons in 1927.

(Pikachu's adventures in Manhattan by anniebee)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wine for Everyone

If we could send everyone wine, we would. Alas, you're going to the wine shop on your own. But here are two good round-ups for wines under $15.00. Any of these look good as a host gift, too. (Giulia is staying home to watch Christmas movies on Thanksgiving; her editor is expected for a delicious dinner with friends.)

Remember not to expect your hosts to open your gift right then & there. We're mystified as to why some guests continue this rude behavior. For the unsure, Basic Wine Etiquette.

ciao-meow/GG Holiday Central

PS: We think the computer issue has been solved. It's too soon to tell for sure.

(photograph by Olga)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Holiday Lips

Giulia's editor is mid-computer crisis panic. It's not pretty but here are some pretty lipsticks. Yet another red-lipstick-is-it guide from The Guardian. Several favorites are on their list. Also, Joanna has excellent links, like this latest lipstick. Wish we could wear it. Beso has a Three Makeup Pick-me-ups that look good, too.

We'll try to be back tomorrow...


(poster by James Montgomery Flagg, 1930)

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Been a Hard Day's Night

We're still sitting in the midst of a computer crisis so we'll not be able to watch A Hard Day's Night on Netflix Instant (tonight) but you can. Also, the National Museums Liverpool has a fun page, The Beatles Games. The big daddy of the sites is, of course, The Beatles. Have fun & have a great weekend!


(The Quarry Men by Mike McCartney)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kitchen Flowers

We are in the midst of a computer crisis here (since early Tuesday). While we sort it out, here's a link to 7 Spots to Display Flowers (besides the kitchen table) for a little inspiration. The photo is our kitchen window with some Pixlr-o-matic effects; the flowers salvaged from an aging fair-trade chrysanthemum bouquet.

Don't forget to visit links here & on bricolage. If you plan to post on IKEA's Soft Toy Aid campaign, let us know in the comments over there, OK? Hope your week is going better than ours. Ugh.

ciao-meow/the Management

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sweet Paul Holiday 2011

Generous & lovely Paul Lowe is Santa. We're almost sure of it. If you've not visited him before, you are in for a treat. The holiday issue is alive & waiting for you. That is all (for now).


(photograph via Sweet Paul)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kings of Pastry

KINGS OF PASTRY Theatrical Trailer from Pennebaker Hegedus Films on Vimeo.

So far, this week seems to be going in the direction of "what's good for a coffee break." Giulia's editor recently watched Kings of Pastry (on Netflix Instant) while cooking dinner. Excessively diverting isn't the half of it. Definitely watch (or rent).
Carol of Paris Breakfasts even has a label devoted to the Kings. Visit her for all the skinny. Definitely watch the trailer below.


(photograph by Le Portillon)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Audrey a Roma

We're running late (as usual) on this Monday. If you need an espresso break (yes, please), check out the Audrey a Roma tumblr & exhibition site. The exhibit runs through 4 December in Rome at the Museo dell'Ara Pacis. If you can't be there, you can at least check out the photographs & site. Funds raised will benefit UNICEF in Chad. The book from the exhibit is not available in English (yet).

Here's an excellent comprehensive-but-short article about Audrey & Rome, a description of the exhibit & information about the Audrey Hepburn Children's Foundation.


(photograph by Pierluigi Praturlon)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

IKEA Soft Toy Aid 2011

A favorite holiday ritual has begun: the IKEA Soft Toy Aid campaign launched November 1st & runs through December 24th. As always, IKEA donates $1.00 (or 1 euro) for each soft toy purchased to Save the Children & UNICEF. This year, IKEA launched the U.S. campaign by donating thousands of much-needed cuddlies to Toys for Tots, another favorite organization. You could echo this by purchasing an inexpensive toy (or more) & then donating it to Toys for Tots. They've had a very difficult time the last 3 years & this year is unfortunately more-of-the-same.
Visit here for the Wembley (UK) store (or go to your nearest by changing the city); they are double-duty giving as well. We'll post more information throughout the campaign & do a round-up of what's going on in Canada, Europe & Australia. As far as we know, every IKEA store, in every country is involved in the campaign.
Suddenly, we're excited for the holidays. Giulia's pink ears perked up when she heard the IKEA video song. It's adorable, do watch!
ciao-merry-meow/GG Central
(Bjorn Bear via IKEA)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day

For our friends in Great Britain & Commonwealth countries. And for all the veterans in the United States on this Veterans Day.

(photograph by Susannah Conway)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Whitney Museum's For Kids

The Whitney Museum of American Art has a For Kids site for ages 8-12. It's in beta (testing) so they'd love your participation. It cannot get better unless you use it. Visit & be inspired. Plan a trip to the museum if you're in the city or not. Planning a trip has a way of making it happen (trust us). Check with Budget Travel magazine; they have excellent ideas, links, & planners.


PS: The Whitney teens' site is very nice, too. Visit

(photograph via quarter life coe via julia)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Tonight is the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass). The German Nazi-coordinated attacks on synagogues, Jewish-owned businesses, & homes were the beginning of what we know as the Holocaust. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has excellent resources for teachers & students. We urge all teachers & parents to read Guidelines for Teaching about the Holocaust. No matter how much you know about the Holocaust, the museum has something to offer. (Here is last year's Kristallnacht post)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

GG Garden Reminder - Indoor Bulbs

It's time, people! (Oops, it's past time.) Check shops & online for bulbs to force inside. Catalogue copy will usually indicate if a bulb is suitable for indoors persuasion. If you've never done this before, see Concha's post--with lovely photographs--on paperwhites; here's a good post on the ease of forcing regular old crocus bulbs. Kevin Lee Jacobs has an excellent post on indoor bulbs on Garden Design.

Giulia's editor has a longing for hyacinth & muscari this year. Hyacinth bulbs aren't as inexpensive as some others, so we're mulling it over. Possibly, we have mulled until (perhaps) the only hyacinth available will be single bulbs in the market. In which case, sold.


PS: You have time to plant last-minute bulb purchases outside. It's true, believe us. We've planted clearance-priced bulbs in the stinging cold.

(photograph by Kevin Lee Jacobs via Garden Design)

Monday, November 7, 2011


Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

This video of a murmuration* of starlings has gone viral but we're posting it anyway as many of our friends haven't seen it yet. Watch as Sophie Windsor Clive & Liberty Smith row out on the River Shannon. Giulia was not quite sure what was going on but she was intrigued, nose tip to screen. *A murmuration is a collection of starlings. Read more about starlings, here.


(starling flock over Brighton pier by Joffley)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Have a Cozy Weekend

Our weekend plans are in flux at the moment, hence the delay in posting. But one thing is for sure: we plan to keep warm & chase the cat! (There are many links on here & on bricolage for you to read.) Or join GG's editor on Twitter. Maybe it's time you joined, eh?


(lovely photograph by
Le Portillon)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Supper Onion Pie for Tough Times

One of the key phrases most searched for on GG's blog is for this supper onion pie by Nigella Lawson. It is really easy & delicious. We don't have even one decent photograph of it, sorry. We are also sorrier than we can say that the tough times continue. The post is from autumn 2008. If you'd like to make something else with your lovely fresh red onions, Saveur's The Elegant Onion is a good place to start.


(vintage red onion via The Grapics Fairy)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh, Elmo

If you don't love Elmo, we don't want to hear about it! Being Elmo, A Puppeteer's Journey is a terrific new documentary now showing in cities across the States. It will be opening throughout November & December. It opens here in the Washington, DC area on the 11th. If it's not scheduled to show, why not (nicely) demand it? Here.

Of course, Sesame Street's site has many excellent games, coloring pages, & other activities. Here's Elmo's page. Have fun!


Update - 6 April 2012 Being Elmo is currently being shown on PBS stations. It is also available streaming on Netflix.

(Elmo by
elmo elmo)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perfect Fried Eggs

After so many years of cooking eggs, you'd think we wouldn't need a refresher. But this morning, one bite of an egg that could bounce off the floor, & we went looking. Really, we just need to pay attention & not have the burner on so high.

Here's one
long-ish explanation; one less so. Both have wonderful photographs. For something only slightly more involved, make an omelette wrap.
We can't wait for the weekend farmers market; we'll splurge on some fresh eggs. Yum.


(photograph by
Katie Quinn Davies)

Art & Design for Human Rights

ART WORKS Projects’ mission is to use design and the arts to raise awareness of and educate the public about significant human rights and environmental issues.

ART WORKS provides visual advocacy tools which produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels. Conceptualized and created in conjunction with established humanitarian and human rights advocacy organizations, ART WORKS’ art and design exhibitions, books, recordings, films, and other initiatives provide opportunities for large numbers of the general population to engage in ending major human rights violations. via Art Works Projects

On November 8th, Horn of Africa, a multimedia exhibit by ART WORKS Projects will open at George Washington University. You are invited. Here are the details (there's also a panel discussion with John Prendergast & a concert afterwards). Check here to see if the exhibit will be coming to your area.

(photograph by Andrew/Cuba Gallery)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Día de los Muertos

GG's editor has always wanted to travel to Mexico for the Day of the Dead. Alas, not this year (again). But we will be visiting the always-interesting Mexican Cultural Institute (in Washington, DC) to see the Day of the Dead altar before 23 November. Visit virtually & read all about it. Also, the Mexican Sugar Skull site is comprehensive & a lot of fun for kids of all ages. Day of the Dead is a terrific site, too with celebration, history, & activities.

Now, for the most fun - even
Giulia looked up. Visit the interactive Smithsonian's Latino Center Day of the Dead & build your own altar. There are history lessons, a teacher's link, glossary, everything you need. Very cool.
The Frida Kahlo (they are separate) images are by Frances Perea & are for sale on Redbubble. She has posters, prints, cards & postcards for sale, here.


(Frida Kahlo prints by
Frances Perea; Day of the Dead altar by Steve Bridger)