Thursday, December 30, 2010

Decor: Coffee Table

Why is Bernard Vuarnesson’s Tetra Coffee Table so difficult to find.
It's gorgeous, it's smart.
You can find a knock-off of it at InMod but it does not leave the leg, or maybe it should be called knee, room under the pulled out trays.
DWR used to carry an unlovely version of it without the latticed top.
It does seem to be available at Europe by Net but you need to request a quote. Quel ennui!
If they can have these in the near future of imagined worlds like that in Minority Report (i.e., watch carefully when the camera pans through Tom Cruise's characters's apartment), then why can't we have them readily available in the here in now?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Teacher Gift Bags

This year's eleventh hour gift bags for the Otter classroom teachers included:
Candy-shaped Floating Candle
Spherical Magnet (i.e., "bahl")
Burts Bees Lotions & Potions
Origami Boxes
Red & Green Jelly Beans - pomegranate, mango, pear, cherry, apple, margarita, ktl.
Schaffen Berger Chocolate
Miniature Christmas Spirits
Coloured Bulldog Clip

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Custom Board Books

Pint Size Productions offers a really fun service that allows you to create a board book of your photos.
Custom photo books with board book construction are not so easy to find but critical since Sam loves to crinkle and rip pages.


Growing up, we had one of those cheap, flat-packed metal versions of these. I loved them and never knew that they came from a much older and grander, German tradition: Weihnachtspyramide.

Garden: kalanchoe tubiflora (Widow's Thrill)

Kalanchoe tubiflora (Widow's Thrill) is my newest botanical preoccupation. I spotted it over at Gayla Trail's wonderful site, You Grow Girl.
But, of course, it had to be toxic.
"... bufadienolide cardiac glycosides[2] which can cause cardiac poisoning, particularly in grazing animals ..."

Best add this to the "When Sam Is Older" List along with Brugmansia (Oh, yeah, this one requires a garden plot too).

Monday, December 13, 2010


From Wikipedia:
Pyes of mutton or beif must be fyne mynced & seasoned with pepper and salte and a lytel saffron to colour it / suet or marrow a good quantitie / a lytell vynegre / pruynes / great reasons / and dates / take the fattest of the broath of powdred beefe. And if you will have paest royall / take butter and yolkes of egges & so to temper the floure to make the paest.

And, yes, I like the kind that uses suet! It gives it a greater unctuousness.
I can vouch for Saveur's Traditional pie; I have not tried their Modern (i.e., meatless) version.
David Lebovitz's quick version (no suet!).
Delia's overnight, English recipe.
Or buy it at Brit Shoppe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Play Mat/Bag

My first friend, Trevor, had a fabulous drawstring bag for his sizable collection of Lego. It opened flat, which meant that you could easily pile and bag the Lego when you were done.
You can buy versions of it online but it probably would not be too difficult to make.

GoGo & Co.'s GoGo Sac.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sewing Supplies

Inspired by a 2009 Craftzine Xmas List.

Tout et n'importe quoi à partir de Sajou.
DMC Colour Card
The Stitches of Creative Embroidery, by Jacqueline Enthoven
Any Elsie Svennås books.
Sajou's Ciseaux Petits Monstres at Purl Soho - they may not pass TSA; best save them for road trips.
FOr no reason except that they are so pretty, these Mettler variegated threads.
Also very covetable, I mean useful would be these Sajou Fil Dentelle Au Chinois or Sajou Retors du Nord Boxed Set.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Scale = 1:2/3 (1:18)

Some days I think I will die if I do not get my hands on a Lundby.
Other days, I resent them for being 1:10 instead of 1:12 scale.

If I did get one, I would probably try the summer house model, The Gotland. Cheeky Monkey Toys carries it here in the U.S.A. but I cannot understand why it has to be so much more expensive on this side of the pond (check out the price).

The stair in the Gothenburg is very groovy. But the upper level balcony and the bathroom/corridor of the Stockholm is very charming.

Lundby Website
Lundby Advent Calendar
Lundby on Ebay

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Xmas Tree

DH said that we should have a tree for the Big Boy this year.
I don't really like the bother of a tree but I could see his point. Fortunately, real trees are both a fire hazard and a choking hazard (i.e., the fallen needles) and he approved the purchase of an artificial tree.

Having no clue where to buy one, I looked to someone whose artificial tree I admire: Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely. Hers is artificial and pink! And she even has a bird perched on hers, which reminds me of my Mother's somewhat menacing little clip-on birds on our childhood trees. Unfortunately, as much as I might admire coloured trees and those aluminium trees of yesteryear, approval was for a green tree.

Another tree, I recalled fondly was the one our fabuluxe mentor decorated during my time in Singapore. Her theme was a loose interpretation of the palette of the costume of buddhist monks: burnt orange and purple balls, with some cinnamon-coloured paper icicles. It was gorgeous! I can imagine some orange pomander balls fitting into this really well too, creating a strange synthesis. Here is a first pass.

I have not decided on whether to use the burgundy balls or not. It is more accurate but my fond recollection of Mary's tree does not include it.

All the ornaments have to be shatterproof and too big to swallow. So far so, so good! I still need to find the right bird or birds. And as for a topper, well, I am not sure at all about that. And I have a vague notion involving a garland of coppery and purple paillettes but have not found one yet.
I think Big Boy will like all of the balls. I know he likes the ones on the tree in the lobby and on the ones around town.

One other critical step was settling on the correct height: not too big as to make storage a nightmare but still big enough to impress Big Boy. Hence this diagram was generated early on:

Treetopia for the Bedford Falls Fir
Amazon for the shatterproof ball ornaments
Amazon for a DIY garland

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nemesis: Paper

Thank you, Suze Orman.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Decor: Buddha

Pudding Molds from Il Buddino.
Coin Bank at Perpetual Kid.
Sleeping Buddha silk coverlets at, suprise!, Sleeping Buddha.
Table Lamp at Urban Outfitters.

Baskets: Vietnamese Rice Baskets

Image from Lantern Moon
Inspired by Soule Mama's photo on her blog of her Ghanaian market basket, I was determined to get a proper knitting basket.

While looking for such a basket, I stumbled upon Lantern Moon's even lovelier, to my eyes anyway, rice baskets from Vietnam. I decided to give the smallest one a try and, continuing the cautious streak, ordered a plain one.

It has since arrived and been in constant use. It is lightweight but strong and despite being the smallest one holds quite a lot: one almost complete TSJ (i.e., Toddler Suprise Jacket), two balls of yarn, the pattern, three magazines, and occasionally an ipod or even some toys. It is very pliable but keeps a nice, deep upright shape so your goods do not spill out and roll away.

Another perk is that, like a Transformer, the upper portion with the handles can tuck down into the bottom half so that it can be stored stacked, or filled like a bowl. This made me love it even more. I am trying to justify a second one!

I am sure they would be great for holding so many other things!