Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lines Ever since I saw these handdrawn, pen and ink city maps, I can't stop thinking about them. Black and white lines seem so insignificant, don't they? Then you see them reinterpreted in a meaningful way by an artist, and tada! A map of Rome... From a distance, it is hard to tell they are even lines. It is such a neat graphical piece of art, don't you think? There are maps for most major cities, including Paris, Amsterdam, Manhattan... and I am sure you could get your city made custom if it isn't already available. In other O Chickadee news, it has been a busy weekend filled with much handmade love. Will update tomorrow with shower pics and news, and other loving handmade gifts that Zach and I have been lucky enough to receive lately. For now, settling in with a movie and letting challah sit out overnight for french toast tomorrow.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Timeless Paper I love, love, love these placecards by Timeless Paper. I think they could be beautiful for a wedding tablescape, but also nice for a Mother's Day brunch, baby shower, birthday party, tea party, or just an afternoon get-together. In person, the way they perch on the side of the glass is so charming.
Timeless Paper also has endless other shapes (although the butterfly is my favorite). Other shapes that make me happy are the airplane, the lovebird, and the umbrella.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What a hoot! I was completely inspired by this sweater posted by best friend and sister of the heart Idle Hands. Dawn is the most amazing crafter (friends. my fingers are crossed that one of the baby crafts she mentions is perhaps for my little one). Isn't this sweater so sweet? It could make an adorable baby blanket too, I think. And it officially got me started on a hunt for all things owl-related. Isn't this owl rug amazing? And I think it is impossible for these handmade rattles to be any cuter. Little snow owls!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Cate!

Our good friends Neil and Lisa celebrated their daughter, Cate's, first birthday this weekend. Although I had to miss the party (Zach manfully represented the Holmboe's, bringing this book , which has the most amazing illustrations, as a gift and trying not to be the creepy single guy at the little girl's birthday party), her celebration did get me to start thinking about little girl parties. Obviously, I won't be throwing any of these soon, but it is fun to imagine. And my friend Melissa is due with her first baby (a little girl!) in June, so little girl party planning will be happening in the near future, albeit from a distance. I love these party hats for a little girl's party, don't you? They fulfill every little girl's fantasy, being bright and feathery and glittery, without actually being princessy in nature. Also, Saint Cupcake, one of my favorite cupcakeries here in Portland, is now selling cupcakes online! For delivery! So you can celebrate little girl parties all over even if you can't be there yourself. I love the package design... And the cupcakes look delicious, don't they? Trust me, they taste delicious too. And when you order online, you can pick the types of cupcakes, and the types of frosting, and even the types of sprinkles! The receiver of your thoughtful gift then gets to decorate the cupcakes themselves. A perfect activity for a little birthday girl (or boy. or grown up, for that matter). Cate, we hope you had a great birthday, cake and all!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Non-Nursery Room Nursery Room Furniture

I love the idea of non-nursery room furniture in the nursery. Things that can grow and adapt as your child grows seems so appealing. While my mom was visiting, we snatched up this piece from Pottery Barn for an incredible bargain. When we saw it, we immediately thought "drawings!". Unlike its original purpose (which was a photo display), it seemed perfect for a little boys room- to hang his drawings, clip leaves he collects out on nature walks, to hold seasonal decorations (I already have visions of the University of Southern California pennant that we can clip to it during college football season). For now, we are using it to display some of the congratulation cards we received when we announced we were pregnant. I think the idea of displaying art in an unusual (and organized) way in a nursery is very appealing. Other ideas- what about a red grosgrain ribbon draped across the wall with wooden clothespins displaying drawings and photographs? Or a row of old-fashioned wooden clipboards hung by nails across the nursery room wall? In other non-nursery nursery ideas, this one comes from Zach. Are you familiar with Tibetan prayer flags, friends? Featuring different prayers, the flags come in a variety of colors, and I love the idea of swagging them across the ceiling of a nursery. Traditionally, the flags are hung outside, and the belief is that the wind carries the prayers through the mountains and down to the people. Such a beautiful perspective. Wouldn't it be nice to have your baby showered with prayers every morning?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Not Done Yet (but close!)

In an attempt to finally have a real grown-up bedroom that will (hopefully) turn into a relaxing retreat once the baby comes, Zach and I have been working away to actually infuse personality and furniture into our bedroom. This has included new bedding (with European shams and a bedskirt- no more mattress sitting on top of a metal bed frame!), curtains, and most wonderful of all, bookcases. I wanted to do a whole wall of bookcases. So even though our grown-up room is not done yet, and even though the bookcases still have a ways to go (I still need baskets to put along the bottom shelves, and I want to get some silver picture frames, and our wedding picture that is sitting on my desk at work is coming home to be added), this is what we have so far. We decided to arrange the books by color, which I love and turned out better than I expected. Who knew I had so many books in the purple, gray and green color families? I think my favorite section is the yellow, followed closely by the pink/red/orange spectrum. I enjoy the green section too. I like it because it feels less visually overwhelming to me than a whole wall of books with jumbled colors (albeit perhaps not as practical. The concessions we make to aesthetics). How about you, friends? Would you ever arrange your books by color, or are you a purely alphabetical-by-author kind of organizer? In other news, this was Saturday morning's breakfast: Mom's very best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins. Yum.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Baby Announcements I love searching for baby announcements, but feel that the baby blue polka dots with a 2x4 inch picture of the new baby in the hospital warmer is just tired. I want something celebratory and bright and boyish and joyful. I think some of these are wonderful, don't you? These letterpress announcements by Oblation are printed in Portland. So fanciful and cute- a little chick (adee, perhaps?).
This tree design is perfect for a baby born in Oregon. Sustainable in feel, and boyish without being cliche, and I love the idea of two trees leaning up and over and protecting the new baby. It reminds me of Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet", which says (on Marriage):
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness,And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart,And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Isn't that a beautiful thought to start the day, friends?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fancy Tights

My sister showed me these fancy tights from Les Queues de Sardines. I love them all. With red shoes, I think I would feel so happy in them. Especially the raindrop ones below. Perfect for stormy Portland days. Like a wink to our rainy weather. Would you wear these tights? Wouldn't you feel so special in them?

Gifts for a new mom

Fingerprint necklace Another fingerprint necklace I have to admit that I hate, loathe and despise the idea of a "Push Present". Made popular by celebrities, (and with possibly the grossest name ever), Push Presents seems like yet another marketing ploy designed to get you to spend even more money in the pursuit of making having a baby The. Most. Important. Thing. Ever. Not that it isn't important! huge! life-changing! but in my opinion, the ultimate push present is getting to meet your new baby. Am I right, friends? Plus, not unlike the wedding industry, the baby industry can begin to feel like a bit of a racket. That said, I do think that something special to commemorate a new baby is a beautiful idea, especially if it is something you can hold on to. Like the fingerprint necklaces above, which could be so sweet with a fingerprint of your new little one. Here are a few of my other favorites. This necklace by Jeanine Payer. It is an antique photo of a baby, with hand-painted gold angel wings. You can select the poetry you want inscribed on the back. Such a beautiful sentiment: This collection of charm bracelets and necklaces. All gold and silver, you can add to it over time and make it into a lifelong keepsake. My favorite charm is the compass. You could have it inscribed with so many lovely sentiments. One idea I like especially is to feature the coordinates where your baby was born, or of your current home where your new baby will grow up... What about you, friends? Any gifts for new moms you would recommend?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Slipcover? Really?

Zach and I need a new sofa. The hand-me-down that was so generously given to us when we bought our house has seen its last day. Stuffing is now visible from every single couch cushion. Which leads to the burning question: to slipcover or not to slipcover? Mesa With Mesa (our big, hairy, loveable newfoundland) as part of the family, and a baby on the way, a slipcover makes so much sense, doesn't it? Baby spit-up on the sofa? Throw the slipcover in the wash. Stain won't come out? No need to buy a new sofa, just replace the slipcover. PLUS slipcovers can be used seasonally, so during Christmas I can put on a charcoal gray slipcover with red accent pillows, or a white slipcover with blue pillows or ...!... the possibilities are endless! But stylistically, I have never loved the messy, undone, french country look of slip-covered sofas. So we set out on a hunt for a tailored, slip-covered sofa that wasn't too messy looking and that fit our budget. Of course, the sofas I love the most are well outside what we could afford. But they are pretty to look at. I love this one. You really can't appreciate it unless you see it in person- the beautiful linen of the slipcover, the shape of the arms, the depth and curve of the seat. It is a beautiful piece. I also love these two from Lucca & Co.: In the end, we decided on this sofa, which fits us, our home, and our budget: I love a lot of things about this design. First, although the shape of it is pretty traditional (curved arms are not my fave), the piping on the slipcover and the white band make it feel very not-slipcovery. Also, the fact that it has 3 cushions instead of just 2 like more traditional sofas. Plus, it came in a variety of neutral fabrics, which seem durable and substantial. And let's not forget the reasonable price, friends. We ended up buying it in chocolate brown, with white piping. I think the contract will look beautiful in our livingroom, and I plan to liven it up with pillows. The best thing of all? Chocolate brown should hide much of Mesa's hair, and if not- I can whip the slipcover off, wash it, and voila! Such practicality! I feel redemption coming from our impractical pirate ship purchase.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Hope everyone had a romantic Valentine's Day! I love Valentine's Day. Zach and I had our first date on Valentine's Day (12 whole years ago- can you believe it?!?). He proposed on Valentine's Day. And each year, he sends me the most beautiful bouquet with a lovely sentiment. This year? Two bouquets. The first one came with a card that said "One bouquet because I love you..." and the second "And one because I love what we have created together". I ask you friends, how do you follow that up? I attempted to with mud pie, Zach's favorite. Homemade espresso ice-cream in heart-shaped molds, toasted almonds, real whipped cream with specks of vanilla bean... it was delicious. I also discovered these beautiful letterpress cards from Hammerpress: I love the juxtaposition of the old-fashioned technique with the vibrant colors and modern aesthetic. How about you, friends? Did you do anything special for your Valentine?