Thursday, June 28, 2012

Helping Kids Stay Creative

For an excellent list of sites to help kids stay creative, click over to My Life Scoop. There are a few GG faves & then some new-to-us.

Things are very busy here but we'll pick up the posting pace next week as we decamp to house-sit for Paris-bound friends.


(photograph by Jason Lee via My Modern Met)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

She Lets Her Hair Down

...and helps you put it up, too. For hair advice & inspiration (& humor), visit Rubi Jones' She Lets Her Hair Down. She moved from New York to Paris & is wowing them there. If you have long hair, you should watch this lovely video. It's more of a little film than straight tutorial but it is instructive. And both techniques work (because we do both but it's nice to see how someone else does it.)

Lest you think the blog is only for those with long hair, there's plenty for everyone. (Including men.)


(photograph of Françoise Dorléac via Rubi Jones)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wanted: Your Summer Holiday Photographs

The holidays are here. (Well, almost.) And for the team at La Lettre as well. So as to keep up our special daily contact, we once again invite you to submit your vacation photos. From July 9 to August 30, you will help produce La Lettre with pictures from your vacations past or present. ~La Lettre de Photographie

This is an excellent opportunity & you most certainly do not have to be a professional photographer. Send the photographs to:

Here are last year's specs, they weren't included this year. We're working on finding out if there are changes. Get going.


On Cup of Jo today, 5 tips for taking great photos of children.

(photograph via Hannah Skoog)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Sunday in France

If you're not there: pretend. There is a particularly long list of good French films (& films set in France) available on Netflix Instant this summer. (Use A Better Queue for a quick list.) Some favorites: My Best Friend, La Cage Aux Folles, Pauline at the Beach, & Happily Ever After.

For some Paris daydreaming, visit the Haven in Paris blog & the Girls' Guide to Paris. And GG friend Carole will be back in Paris for most of the rest of the summer. Visit her at Paris Breakfasts for all the news. If you don't know what to make for dinner, here's a great idea, especially if you live near a good fish market (we do:).

Happy Sunday!

ciao/the Mgmt

(photograph detail crop by Gordon W. Gahan/National Geographic)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Seeds of Change/Heifer USA

Heifer USA recently kicked off Seeds of Change, a five-year project to support and cultivate sustainable community food systems and create jobs in Arkansas and Appalachia. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other partners, Heifer USA will build a food system value chain that connects farmers with businesses, markets and their communities. - Heifer Blog

To learn more about this vital project (& to donate) visit Heifer's website. You can also give where the need is greatest.

(vintage illustration via Agence Eureka)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Little Night Swimming

Sure, it's great to go swimming during the day. But if you're as pale as Giulia's obedient servant, you probably prefer to go at sunset or after dark. There are usually less people around, too, so you can get in your lap swimming. You are doing that, right?

Two great swimsuits.

Give a sprinkler party if you lack access to a pool.

Know how to swim & rescue someone!

After the pool, this braided headband looks great. It's so easy to do.

Jeremy & Claire Weiss underwater photography series will cool you off in this heat.


(photograph by Jeremy & Claire Weiss)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Midsummer!

Let's all pretend we're in Sweden. Not only because of the midsummer holiday which is (according to friends) so much fun...but surely it is not 100+F (plus humidity)! Ugh.

Fun midsummer links:

Five steps to making a flower crown. It doesn't have to be as fancy as these; you can make one similar to Amy's (above) in a flash. Really, you can. Here's another simple & pretty example. (Giulia will be wearing one later; will try to get a photo.)

If no time to make a Tosca cake, buy a plain one & decorate it. All you need is whipping cream & some berries.

For science, EarthSky's Tonight - all about the solstice.

For love & art, A Midsummer Night's Dream quotes. For maximum effect, declaim these while wearing your flower crown.


(photograph via by Amy Merrick via Lawrence)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


He ran after butterflies,
Blue ones and red;
He did a hundred happy things—
And then went to bed.~ A.A. Milne

Butterflies are back in our area, what about yours? If you've some young ones around this summer, make sure to bookmark the Children's Butterfly Site. For everyone, Butterflies & Moths of North America (BAMONA) invites citizen scientists to participate in submitting their photographs & observations. The site is beautiful, definitely give this one some attention.

And if you're in the Washington, DC area (or will be visiting), Wings of Fancy is now on at Brookside Gardens through September 16. A must-see.


PS: Nabokov's butterfly drawings. Lovely.

PPS: Needless to say, ahem, we do not condone making earrings out of real butterflies! (Just in case you were wondering.)

(photograph via Автор: Taesang)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Cocktails

As you read this: it is cocktail hour. Somewhere!

This blackberry-sage cooler (non-alcoholic) looks great. Of course, you can add alcohol. Having recently acquired far too many (as if that's a thing:) black raspberries & blackberries, this is on tonight's to-do list. If you're serving more than a few people, our friend, Hermione's mama, swears by this raspberry-herb prosecco-based Martha recipe in the summer. Here are 25 summer cocktails if you'd like something else.

It's a real Monday here so that's it for today.

Cheers. xo/GGCM

(photograph via Scaling Back)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Swimming in Roses

I love flowers Id love to have the whole place swimming in roses...(Molly Bloom, Ch. 18 Penelope, Ulysses)

It's Bloomsday. This is mainly from the archives as the week has slipped by far too fast. If you're on Twitter, follow this man today (& year-round). The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia is maintaining a website dedicated to Joyce & Bloomsday; it's fairly new & needs more information; if you have some information, send it to them, please.

If you're in Washington, DC, Politics & Prose, has a Bloomsday reading event starting at 10am (it won't be all day at P&P but continues on at other cafes/bookstores.)

And now, off for those flowers.....


(photograph by Irene Suchocki)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sweet Dreams

Officially under-the-weather. Back on Wednesday. If you cannot fall asleep for a nap or at night, you could visit the much-improved Keats-Shelley House (in Rome) website as we are today. Those Romantic poets can make having a fever seem (sort of) welcome. xo/GGCM

Update - still not well. Back on the weekend.

(photograph by the amazing
Anka Zhuravleva)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Have a Lovely Weekend

It's already early evening on if you're not having a lovely weekend yet, get started!

A few links because not everyone plans their wedding a year in advance:

Wedding poems compiled by the editors at Poetry magazine.

If you're looking for wedding dresses & dislike meringues (ahem), try this one or this one. (You could have it made.)

Lots of wedding cakes are hideous so why go for the traditional? What about a
Persian love cake (& a garden cake, too)?

Fifteen secrets to a good marriage.

Joanna & Alex & maintaining their spark. (Smart!)

(photograph by Elisa Mendes)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Some Ways to Unblock

Writer's block. It happens. So here are some ideas--in no particular order--to help you unblock or at least make it less painful. It might just be a slowing down. Remember to rewrite/edit what you already have done.

1. Walk, swim, ride your bike. Get away from the desk (or wherever you usually work). If you garden, go into high gear. Experience shows that extreme weeding does clear the mind. Fact.

2. Museum/art gallery visits

3. Listen to music (yes, of course you already do. Something new, old, different. This is why the gods invented YouTube.)

4. Re-read a favorite book/short story/series of poems.

5. Compile a list of favorite poems on
The Poetry Foundation website. Or a virtual notebook on

6. Bake or cook, complicated (or not). Something requiring a bit of ceremony is always a good diversion. (Share it or you'll have yet another *big* problem:)

7. Write something else: catch up on correspondence. Quaint word. Write some postcards. If at all possible, walk to post them.

8. Look at photographs (books, flickr, photographer's websites). Choose a few that particularly hold your attention & write about it...the person or the scene portrayed. Don't think too much, just do it.

9. Tell someone; it might break the spell. Choose your confessor wisely, though. And don't get irritated by the suggestions on offer, especially by non-writers. (If the response is rude, you're a writer, you can, uh, exact your revenge later.)

10. We hate to recommend spending a dime but The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron has helped many people (& not just writers).

11. Watch little kids play - at the park, the pool, wherever they are. Instructive. (Plus, they're super cute.)

12. Take a bath. Preferably this kind. If you can get to a large body of water: do it.

This too shall pass. Really. It just might take longer this time.


PS: Play with your hair. Seriously.

(photograph by Cig Harvey -You Look at Me Like An Emergency is out now)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Simple Summer Flowers

After work, tonight, tomorrow, this week: do it. Pick or buy some flowers. Just a few. If you do that, our work here is done. Such an ugly political season & it's only going to get worse (sorry but that's the truth). You don't have to know much about flower arranging for simple summer flowers but here's a foolproof, low-tech way to use just about any waterproof container (not just roses) as a vase.

Visit Amy Merrick's website & Apple a Day for inspiration. Beautiful flowers, photographs (& words).


(photograph by Amy Merrick for Lawrence)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Origami on Walls

French artist Mademoiselle Maurice creates art for the open air. She uses origami & lace (among other media) & installs them in the streets of Paris. In this origami installation she pays homage to Hiroshima victim - and anti-nuclear weapons activist -Sadako Sasaki. Here is a lovely (short) vimeo about that project.

How to make origami cranes; for origami roses, here are simple instructions & a helpful video.


(photograph by Mademoiselle Maurice via Illusion)

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Transit of Venus

Beginning on June 5, for a period of about seven hours, the planet Venus will pass directly in front of the sun as seen from Earth. This is the long-awaited transit of Venus, whereby this world appears as a small, dark dot sailing along in front of the solar disk. The June 5-6, 2012 transit will be the last transit of Venus in this century. ~ EarthSky Tonight

Do not miss this once in a lifetime event. Learn what you can from the EarthSky site & then hop over to NASA's Sun-Earth Day 2012 site. There you will find all the materials necessary to teach yourself (or students) about the transit, including a live webcast from Mauna Loa, Hawaii.


(photograph collage via NASA/LMSAL)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Strawberry Season

The laptop/poky internet problems continue. Meanwhile, suddenly (it seems) it's June aka the berry season. If you live in the DC-area, Butler's Orchard is a great place to pick your own berries (when possible). Otherwise, the farmers market is the place to go.

Adorable berry picking photographs & two good ideas on what to do with the berries. Honestly, though, does anyone really make anything on the first few go-rounds of local berries? From basket to mouth is the norm in these parts:)


(photograph via
Hither and Thither)