Friday, September 28, 2012


...or À bout de souffle ... this describes the atmosphere chez nous lately. (No, we're not off on a crime spree, silly.) You can watch the film (for free!) via Google Video. We've been told it's accessible globally. Make sure to visit Open Culture's 500 Free Movies Online (& the links just below for more links/search tips).

Behind the scenes photographs of the filming of Breathless.

What it was like to work with Jean-Luc Godard by cinematographer Raoul Coutard.

Jean Seberg's Breathless style

Have a great weekend!


(film still via IMDb)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Playing with Pencil Shavings

Oh yes, seriously. If our scanner worked, you'd be seeing original pencil shaving illustrations right this minute. We'd be (justly) famous by next week. As it is, visit Barcelona native Marta Altes' illustration website for inspiration (& also more projects). So fun (& funny).


PS: More drawing ideas for children of all ages; lovely coloring pages, some from museums, all free.

(Thanks, Design Mom & Pikaland for the illustrations & links:)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Drunk on Apples

The title is from a poem; don't worry, Giulia isn't lurching around from the effects of Calvados. A busy day but here are some helpful apple links.

Apple basics from Martha.

Caramel apple handpies, whoa. A really great full-sized pie via Joanna.

Where to pick apples in your region of the States.


PS:  Samantha's excellent autumn recipe round-up+links.

(collage/photographs via Pinterest & uncredited - & apple picking by A. Matzke)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Your Childish Self

Ted Hughes' beautiful letter to son Nicholas in 1986 has made the rounds but it is much on the mind here today.

"...Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it. So everybody develops a whole armour of secondary self, the artificially constructed being that deals with the outer world, and the crush of circumstances. And when we meet people this is what we usually meet. And if this is the only part of them we meet we're likely to get a rough time, and to end up making 'no contact'. But when you develop a strong divining sense for the child behind that armour, and you make your dealings and negotiations only with that child, you find that everybody becomes, in a way, like your own child. It's an intangible thing. But they too sense when that is what you are appealing to, and they respond with an impulse of real life, you get a little flash of the essential person, which is the child." 

Please read the entire letter at Letters of Note.


(photograph by Pelayo Lacazette)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Clutter & Creativity

Clutter & creativity do not go together; at least not in this home. (Why mess causes stress.) The problem on the surface is not nearly as dire as anything on television or in magazines but it feels awful. Two weeks ago, a lot of paper & assorted effluvia left here. What a relief. But a lot has remained & must be kept (paperwork, mostly). And it isn't organizing itself, no. It's just laying there all over the floor! Shriek. 

So, here are some links if you need help, too:

On the advice of a friend, we've signed up to follow FlyLady 

 Eighteen 5-minute tips decluttering tips.

Jane Brody's ongoing decluttering project in the Times.


PS: Inspiring Swedish rooms.

(photograph of an uncluttered room via Livet Hemma)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Queen Anne's Lace

During walks this past week, we've seen lots of tall Queen Anne's lace (& it was included in our weekly farmers market bouquet). Make the most of it by either pressing or drying it for the fall & winter. 

 Lacy links (sorry:)

Queen-Anne's Lace by William Carlos Williams

 A pretty & easy children's project using the flowers.

Beautiful prints of Queen Anne's lace in Irene Suchocki's shop. (You can request special sizes, too.) This flower photo set is a favorite. There's even a locket. Lovely.

How about making some Queen Anne's lace cookies?

If you're feeling semi-ambitious, follow Amy Merrick's instructions for making a press.

Lots more lace on Pinterest. 


PS: Perhaps take walk & look for some flowers to dry/press. See Let's Move for some ideas.

(photograph by Irene Suchocki)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poems for Autumn

Here are some fall poems selected by the editors at the Poetry Foundation's terrific website. You can also do a search for more - the search function is excellent; save them in the feature 'my favorite poetry. And finally, if you are supposed to be writing but are stuck, some ways to unblock.

A busy day here; back tomorrow.


(photograph by Andrew Chung-Gon via English Muse)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dine Out to End Childhood Hunger 2012

Please share this important information with family & friends, on Twitter & Facebook:

Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry® is a national event that brings together thousands of restaurants and millions of diners to help make sure no child in America grows up hungry. Through the end of September, participating restaurants will raise funds through a variety of ways to support No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength's national campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Dine at a supporting OpenTable restaurant and help end childhood hunger in America! (via Share Our Strength)

Here are participating restaurants in the Washington, DC-area & the New York City-area. Check this interactive map for a restaurant in a city near you.

Thank you & cheers!

PS: If you own or manage an independent or single-franchise restaurant, please visit Share Our Strength to find out what you can do to help.

(Julie & Julia still by Jonathan Wenk)

Monday, September 17, 2012


We're reading up on ruby-throated hummingbirds (& the other varieties, as well) today because we saw some this weekend, apparently on their migration south. (To be clear, we knew nothing about hummingbirds except they are beautiful & native to North America.) They are so beautiful; tiny but tough. For a great resource visit Cornell's All About Birds.

Two more hummingbird links: hummingbird cupcakes & a coloring pages for children.


(photograph by Sam Alvano of his wife Abigail hand-feeding hummingbirds! Giulia wants to do this, ahem. More photos.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Summer into Fall

The first few yellow leaves have begun to fall when the wind picks up. It's also been cool enough in the mornings & evenings to remind us that autumn really is on the way. But it's still late summer & it will be while until summer clothes are put away. Tights, scarves, blazers, & sweaters keep favorite skirts & dresses out of storage. For Antipodeans, it's probably much the same in reverse, no?

For some general guidelines, this is a good slideshow (though some fashionistas will disagree). If you went neon this summer, here are some excellent ideas.

Saturday update: Back on Monday. Meanwhile, flowers inspire (get some). Halloween prep (yes!). Also a very happy Rosh Hashanah to our Jewish friends. If you're scrambling for a terrific honey cake recipe, here's the best. xo

(photograph via Lawrence)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Origami Kids

Kids at heart, we're folding origami birds this afternoon. It's a great way to focus on something positive. Earlier this summer, Origami Kids started following us on Twitter. All day long, photographs of cute origami projects pop up in the timeline. It's a great way to take the mind off of the news. Briefly. (Warning though: there are an awful lot of adverts on the site.) Start folding!


PS: Previous origami post & paper airplanes, too.

(lovely photograph (detail) by Bethan Phillips)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11

New York magazine's The Encyclopedia of 9/11 contains archives & new material. It's an excellent resource.

PS: A gentle reminder that people experienced this tragedy differently. Telling others to "get over it" is never ever a good way to start a conversation about that day or any other catastrophe. It's going to end that conversation, though.

(photograph via Instacane via Cup of Jo)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meatless Monday - September Tomatoes

Monday here is slipping away with little to show for it. But you could make this French tomato tart & feel quite accomplished. It is very easy (don't tell anyone). Another good & easy tomato tart; more Meatless Monday ideas. And a poem about tomato pies (yes) for good measure. xo


(photograph (detail) by Mimi Thorrison)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Have a Beautiful Weekend

We're still not back to full-strength for posting. But a few links of interest:

The National Geographic photography contest is open now through 30 November. Do it!

A beautiful & sad Letter from Greece from the Poetry Foundation. The heart breaks.

Abbey's lovely New York apartment; she always has great ideas.

Chanel's pretty fall make-up.

If you're in the Washington, DC-area tomorrow (Sunday, 9 Sept.) stop by the Amnesty International table at the Takoma Park Folk Festival to say hi!


(photograph of Chet & Halima Baker by William Claxton)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

For the Children of Syria

The war in Syria is taking a severe toll on women & children (as always). Elisabeth Dunker of Fine Little Day is raising funds for Save the Children with the sale of three of her sweet posters. Nordic Design Collective's Tovelisa is doing the same. Please visit Fine Little Day for details.


(Magic by Hanna Konola via Fine Little Day)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

La Rentrée

Emmanuelle Brisson's series L'air frissonne des choses qui s'enfuient is a lovely, gentle way to return this season. See the entire series, here. A short poem for children (or anyone, really) about butterfly wearing. Maybe it's time to brush up on your French? If so, start here. That's enough homework for today, then. xo


(photographs by Emmanuelle Brisson via My Modern Met)