Friday, March 28, 2008

Amazingly awesome

i just came across the funnest sneak peak ever on design*sponge (obsession? yes.) i would totally recommend checking out Adam Wallacavage's funky-to-no-end space. it reminded me that we have a couch just like this one (from his home) in storage that belonged to my nana. my mom and i have been planning on reupholstering it for agggges. any fabbo ideas on a good fabric pick? i was thinking something clean and canvas-y maybe in cream and light blue, but i'm not totally sure. i'm hoping to help her pick one out while i'm back in the US in a few weeks. Right now it's a dark red velvet, which is a bit intense for m&d's sunny beach-y house.

(photo credit: design*sponge)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

All dressed up with no where to go.

Lately I've been kind of obsessed with all these new artists and the animals they draw all dressed up for a day on the town, er, or maybe it's humans with animal heads... well, however you choose to see it, I'm loving it! Since I often spend too much of my time sieving through etsy, I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorite finds, just so that you don't have to do all that work... aren't I great?!
"Elephant Love", which is about the sweetest thing ever, is a print of an original, ink piece by Wendy Allegree of orangewillow, a Cincinatti-based artist. I love it too much. You can purchase her prints at her etsy store for a teeny-tiny fifteen dollars, as well as some of her really affordable, original, ink drawings (fifty). There are quite a few great ones to choose from, and she's having a sale - buy three prints, get one free! What a snag. Here are two more of my favorites... ("Musical squirrel" and "Tea Time")

These two cloaked owls at Sydney-based yellowmonday's etsy store are really just too cute!Another great artist, Marjorie of MarmeeCraft, creates these wonderful, whimsical, little critters. Check out her prints at her etsy store. A few of my favorites ... Bashful Birdlings ($16)...
Mr. Fox, Esquire Cabinet Portrait ($16) and Bunny, Cabinet Portrait ($16)We got tempted a few months ago by Berkley Illustration's immaculately-dressed powerful owl, bunny and billy goat (trust me it was a hard decision choosing just those three). I found out about Berkley Illustration from design*sponge, another place where I spend too much time. We're planning on framing and hanging them together, somewhere, and at some point. Knowing that they are sitting in an envelope at my parents house is just fine for now. There are a lot more to choose from and very reasonable at 7 bucks a pop! (p.s. I love the tiger and the horse!)
So when you start searching for animals all dressed up, you are bound to end up on some children's illsutrations pages. Since some of my friends are starting to make children, I figured it's not totally off the mark to throw these on. They are super-cute and, who knows, maybe someone I love is trying to decorate a baby room!

I mean, Kylie Parry's "wellie collects starfish at the beach" made me laugh out loud. (i love that he's a little bit cross-eyed.)"Dance avec moi" by sarah jane is also really sweet and would look great on a bedroom wall (there are other background colors to choose from). Check out her store for some other really cute children's illustrations. So this post has also brought back some really fond childhood memories of sitting in a friend's playroom having her dad read us "Babar" ... I just want to pass a hello along to Mr. M. because without him we would have barely known Babar and never met the Berenstain Bears.

If any of you come across some more artwork that falls into this "dressed up animals" catagory, let us know!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hello Again.

Hi guys.
so i've been hibernating. it's been a while. i know.

for a while i considered just dropping my blog, cause you know, there are other things to do with my time! i felt busy and lazy all at once and i just wasn't sure how important it was for me. i thought a lot about that and then... i started getting complaints. "what's going on with your blog? seriously?" "where the hell are you?" and it really made me happy. i guess i realized that some of you out there, sitting at your desks, playing on the internets , missed me. so i felt kind of honored. and happy. and inspired.

but i had to decide how could change my blog into something that inspires me - something that i could feel motivated to keep working at. i like writing about my goings ons, but it can feel like keeping a diary and i'm soooo bad at that. i guess i started to think of transforming it into more of a platform to share things that i find interesting, beautiful, well-made, hip.... i decided to make my blog what i want it to be... so i will start to focus a little less on what i'm up to personally and socially and a little more on the things that i'm caught by. things that i find. things that i do. concepts and art and design and crafts and projects and and and ... and maybe a little less on how long we stayed at the OTR last weekend....

so i know... it'll be a transition, and i hope that you guys will help me out a little bit in the process, maybe guiding me and giving me ideas, your opinions and sharing what you are into these days. i'd love for this to evolve into something wonderful that represents me and my world and to include a space for you to share what you are loving... so we can all play together again... like when we were kids, but cooler. don't forget, there are the comments or you can shoot me an email - whenever and about whatever.

ok. thanks for coming back after the long cold... and sorry for the ..... pause.
love and kisses,

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Seattle, Olympic National Park & Portland, OR

Welcome back to "the chronicles of USA, 2007" (installation 3). So after all the gluttonous loving from our favorite canucks and the incredible aventure of whale watching with Capt. Ron we had the pleasant surprise of landing in Seattle, WA. Seattle is rad.
Katie, the best nurse in Seattle, brought us to the Seattle market, which is called Pike's place. We had lots of fun walking around and shopping. We bought some great prints - which in a remarkable effort of never-seen-before completion skills have actually been framed and HUNG - yeah. i was weirded out by that. We also framed a print from Cairo - not a bad turnaround and much more normal.

So the best part of Pike's Place is the fish stall, where the fish dudes all dressed in orange rubber outfits throw a fish across the display to all of the would-be buyers. This would-be-buyer is meant to catch the fish. The rules are simple. The outcomes vary. It's really quite humorous to watch... which is why i suppose the crowd is huge. The customer is put on the spot to perform. Oh it's all in good fun. Seattle is all in good fun.

After loving seattle for a bit (the food, the billiards, the beer, the company...) we headed off to Olympic National Park with fills up most of the Olympic Peninsula. Olympic National Park is host to stunning beaches, temperate rain forests and loads of animals. It was such a great experience to hike around and camp at these awesome spots. We had ridiculous amounts of fun.

After the friendly rangers at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center gave us some guidance, we decided to stop for a short hike along a nice trail that brought us to the Marymere Falls.Afterwards we did the two short trails around the Hoh Rainforest Vistor Center (Map). This is where we encountered many Dr. Seuss trees.
Along the way, one of the most exciting parts of the adventure was bald eagle spotting. this was a great spot by peppe. later on there was an even greater one by katie (as she drove.... very impressive). Seeing a bald eagle is a very, very cool thing.We ended the day with just enough time for a sunset beer at Rialto Beach. It's hard to describe the roughness of this beach, but if you can imagine immense trunks of driftwood sprayed on the dark sands with an unbelievable rough sea, you can start to get the picture. It is a very special spot. And then sitting around the campfire in the rain, roasting marshmellows and bragging about our waterproof gear was also fabulous.... We started the next day by driving out to the tip of the coast and grabbing some lunch. We finally pulled into Portland, OR around 9pm to the welcoming face of our old friend, Morgan. It was fun catching up and chatting over some nicely brewed beers. Though we didn't have much time in Portland, what we did have we spent almost exclusively in Powell's Bookstore - the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Possibly, in my totally uninformed opinion, the coolest place in Portland.the next part was the hard part... parting with katie. it sucked.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gola di Fara San Martino

I wanted to start this post off with a great clip from Creature Comforts. We were at some friends for dinner this week and started talking about this hilarious show by the creator of wallace and gromit... it's humor just speaks for itself. this is one of my favorite clips:

Last weekend we headed out of town for a little nature escape. We got to Cansano around dinner time on saturday. Here i am doing a little knitting (more on that to come), which i've found to be a rather challenging endeavor... but am still finding the patience to push on. Sunday we woke up early (even earlier with the time change!) and headed to fara san martino for a bit of a nature walk.
it was our first time to this specific part of the National Park of the Majella, and it was a really pleasant surprise. In the area there is evidence of prehistoric settlements with the Grotta Porca Arcangeli and artifacts from the bronze age. The town, Fara San Martino is located around the tenth century monastery, San Martino in Valle, founded by Bendectine monks, which is now being unearthed after it was destroyed in a landslide in 1846.

the hike brought us up to this view where we greedily ate a sandwich and then turned around to head back down. hopefully we'll be exploring more of the region in the weeks to come. at the moment i am really loving abruzzo and all of it's rustic charm...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Oh Canada, eh?

So back to the trip *this would be "installation 2" if you're counting... Looking at these photos is bringing on a bit of gloom... oh, why can't i be on permanent vacation? being back in roma, lovely though it is, with winter coming on strong (i can't believe my mom went to the beach the other day!), and all the friends leaving and making plans to leave... well it's a bit gloomy, let say. a lil' bit dark and friend's leaving just stinks... well, so on that note, oh what i wouldn't do to be back in bean town right now!? i can just IMAGINE the ridiculous displays of team spirit that must be taking over the city in some kind profane, almost euphoric way... i will say no more than "go sox!" and then just get the heck on with it.

so waking up from the wedding was the least fun part of that sunday (thanks alex and paul!!) ... cause arriving in vancouver was a treat! the airport provided us with all kinds of... native specimens? shall i say? there were birds, boats, and a big First Nation eagle - all displayed in a Welcome to Vancouver Passageway (i.e. "customs this way...") COMPLETE with a recording of birds chirping and waves softly lapping. oh, we were in Vancouver... welcome to Canada, eh? it was like being at a natural history museum... and oh, in case you were wondering, FREE! totally free.

so Vancouver was amazing. we had the absolute best hosts (obviously), but to emphasize even more the most repeated phrase of the whole trip - we didn't have enough time :-( we were there for two nights and two days. we saw tara's campus. we met the stars of jay's film. we watched her belly. we hung around town. we ate noodles. on the second day we cruised around vancouver and checked out vintage shops in gastown. it is such a great city. amazing vibe. beautiful beaches. and just clean, clear and lovely. oh and The Adorables are really cute there too....

this photo peppe took with his new holy-sh*t-what-a-nice-camera camera in one of the great community vegetable gardens that dot the city. we found it over by the Granville Island Market, where we had also seen loads of lovely looking foods and beautifully carved and spun objects. so vancouver seriously impressed us --- a few more days would have been totally welcomed, but instead we filled up some coke cups with beer and hit the busride/ferry to victoria. what a gorgeous ferry ride! oh yeah, we saw orcas on the way... right... (obviously?!?!) and just the most impressive wide open skies and fjord-like land masses plopped into the frigid looking waters. oh and the trees! green and blue and blue and green.

Victoria was also really lovely. it had this very charming thing going on. we had a real nice couple of nights with T&J... here's some shots of us messing about in the park.dinner at the diner...we headed over to the Fisherman's Wharf on T & J's last day with us in Victoria for some fish and chips at "BARB's". I had gotten myself kind of obsessed with Barb's since the first day. seriously, it's in your best interest not to give me the guidebook... i tend to take the task rather seriously. so we were told (i mean, the guidebooks says...) the ABSOLUTE best fish n' chips was at Barb's place. therefore, i was on a real mission to get us to the best fish n' chips (bestness of it confirmed by random taxi driver and other "respectable" looking locals, namely a rather sad looking dude watering the flowers at a big hotel). So anyway, the guidebook said it was a must do and i was a believer. amen. Luckily, the company either a) agreed with me or b) thought it wasn't worth a fight. so we headed over to Barb's right before they left.

It was nice really cute along the floating wharf where Barb's was. barb's barb's barb's. la la la la la. and there were harbor seals right there (i think they were begging for little nibbles of fried cod)! Oh and yes, the fish n' chips were quite delicious. free refills on fountain soda too. god i love that so much.
the best part of it was that being over there we met Captain Ron of Sea King Adventures, Inc. We had considered taking one of the bigger whale watching tours from the inner harbor, but when we saw Captain Ron's set up in Fisherman's Wharf, we knew it was all coming together. 40 people crammed onto a huge zodiac, all strapped in OR just P & I on a small 10-seater with the only owner-operated tour in Victoria.... Easy choice! We were so lucky that Captain Ron decided to take us out, even though it was just the two of us... well Bro, the dog (who made awesome company), had to come too... (ya can't leave the dog locked in the shop, people.) It really made it an unforgettable experience. With Ron's knowledge of the sea and our ability to just ask him questions and make him stop for photo taking... it was just awesome. oh. and i mean... we saw freaking killer whales, my friends!!!!
here's a tidbit about Sea King Adventures. If you are ever in Victoria, i not only recommend going out with Captian Ron, but I also would go so far as to try to dissuade you from going on one of the more commercially available tours... it's just that much better. Plus you get to leave from fisherman's wharf and you can probably squeeze in a fish n' chips before you leave... i hear Barb makes a decent plate...

The Legendary Captain" Ron King, Owner Operator of Sea King Adventures, has over 35 years of experience in the beautiful waters around Victoria and Vancouver Island. He is a certified Master Skipper with naturalist and conservation education.

Because SeaKing Adventures is Victoria’s only 100% family owned and operated marine tour company, Ron’s commitment to quality, safety and satisfaction is guaranteed! His central location on board the vessel allows him to provide Victoria’s most comprehensive fully narrated, totally interactive and personalized tours. Boasting a spotless safety record and sightings guarantee, Ron’s qualifications and experience combine to make him the city’s premier guide. (

Me and bro.Crazy Bull Kelp, of which you can find more info here. This impressive stuff is everywhere and supposedly has all kinds of uses that it's not being used enough for.So one of the highlights of the ride was when we pulled up alongside of this other boat which had three Dall's Porpoises bow riding.

here's a shot of Captain Ron and Bro.Finally we get to the spot.... ORCA WHALES!!!! oh god, it was just so amazing. it's really hard to put into words how, literally, awesome, it is to see these big creatures in their habitat. It's amazing. We headed out of victoria on one of these guys.....

Six passengers and one tiny, ity, bitty, little seaplane. P was stoked with the Pilot looked at him and said "Ok, you're my copilot... you're up front with me." i swear i saw him do a YES! outloud. either way... kid looked pretty happy. i, on the other hand, was squished up against a door that i didn't quite trust not to open while flying thousands (?) of feet above a fridig water full of killer whales. but i'm not complaining. there were some rather spectacular views from up there and it was really cool. honestly, the commercial flights were more expensive and didn't leave or drop you off anywhere convienent. So we took Kenmore Air - the seaplane airline and would never regret it. they drop you off right downtown in seattle (the pilot even radioed ahead for a taxi. i sh*t you not.)... i mean talk about convienent ;-)

P the world renowed co-pilot:
Flying into Seattle was great... such an awesome view. one i'm sure many seattlites would be very jealous of. i think i'll have to leave with this view... seattle, olympic national park, humboldt, san francisco and santa barbara to come....