What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I am headed to my parents house, where I will be joined by husband and his family plus several family friends. I don't know about you, but I love Thanksgiving! I love the relaxation of sitting down to eat with all my favorite people and just chatting (or doing some fun activities!). I also love having the opportunity to bake up a storm . . . in fact as you read this I am almost certainly elbow deep in pie, cookies and cranberry applesauce (a family tradition). Just in case you aren't as psyched about turkey day as I am, I have rounded up a couple of crafts, ideas and resources that are sure to get your mind a-whirring.ONE | pretty DIY gourd-candle centerpieceTWO | turkey day slot machine menu generatorTHREE | reminders for keeping fido safe during dinnerFOUR | wishbone DIY place cardsFIVE | wooden candle centerpiece DIYSIX | essential thanksgiving tips from NYTimes expertsSEVEN | grateful letter garland how to
Have a lovely holiday! I will be back here next week.
p.s. I am thankful for you guys, my lovely readers!
One of my favorite activities growing up as a kid was to play MadLibs. I loved how silly the fill-in-the-blanks game was, creating wild and wacky outcomes just through the random selection of nouns, adjectives and verbs. So I thought it would be fun to create my own version for you to play with friends and family this Thanksgiving. It's the perfect activity to do while you are waiting for pie to be served or trying to scarf down that second helping of stuffing.
So, care to join me in some silly sentence-based shenanigans? Download and print a pdf of the O.I. turkey-themed MadLibs here. I have designed it to print on a regular sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper; just fold the paper in half and fill out the right side (without looking at the text and spoiling the surprise) and when done, unfold to reveal the crazy sentences you have just come up with. Sound good?
Enjoy! And Happy ____________ Day!
With Thanksgiving coming up this week I totally have food on the brain. Do you too? Last night I planned out all the desserts and treats I will be making and I swear I could feel my mouth watering.
What are you up to this weekend? I am laying low and stuffing myself with these fabulous confections. Last night I went to an art history trivia party with some friends (I know, nerd alert!) and offered to bring dessert. On a whim I decided to whip these bad boys up and they were a big hit! I completely made up the 'recipe' so feel free to play with it as you will.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches with Nutella and Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Bits
2 dozen chewy chocolate chip cookies (you can make these or buy them at the store)
1 gallon of vanilla ice cream
1 jar of Nutella
assorted toppings (I used dark chocolate sprinkles and ground up chocolate covered pretzels)
These couldn't be easier! Basically take two chocolate cookies, put 1/2 tablespoon (or more to taste, ha!) of nutella on the bottom of one cookie and then add a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of that. Put the second cookie on top and squish the ice cream down to make it more sandwich-like. Finally roll the side of the sandwich into a low bowl of sprinkles or crushed up chocolate covered pretzels or mini oreo pieces or whatever other crazy things your brilliant mind can come up with. Stack them in a tupperware container and store in the freezer until you are ready to eat them (just don't store them on their sides as all the toppings will fall off—learned that the hard way). Now go eat up!
Have a great weekend, friends!
Last week I went up to the Cloisters—the Medieval outpost of the Metropolitan Museum—to see a beautiful new exhibition that's been getting rave reviews. It's called The Forty Part Motet and it's a sound art piece by Canadian artist Janet Cardiff which features forty special speakers each playing one vocal part in a powerfully moving choral piece by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis. The work is usually shown in the blank white boxes of contemporary art museums and modern art galleries, but someone got the brilliant idea to install the piece in the cathedral-like atmosphere of The Cloisters. Listening to the gorgeous music, with each voice distinct and blended at once, while sitting in front of beautiful religious artwork from hundreds of years ago becomes almost reverential. One feels like you are sitting in the middle of the chorus, surrounded by singers, transported back in time and place to a church service in the Middle Ages (though the choral piece is technically from circa 1555-1575).
Trust me when I say that this is an incredible installation, not be missed. It's a bit of a trek up to the museum, but it is well worth the visit to see this show, which closes December 8!
Learn more about the exhibition and hear a clip of Tallis' choral piece here.
Have you noticed it? There is a chill in the air (at least here in the Northeast) today . . . finally! I am ready for the lovely cool weather that comes with the beginning of winter. Not crazy cold, mind you, but just that glorious crisp sunny day requiring a cozy jacket, scarf and a cup of hot cocoa. Perfect, right?
Here are some of my favorite picks for snuggling in and keeping warm as the temperature drops. . .
one | jcrew factory flannel shirt, sold out!
two | jcrew chevron checker hat, $42.50
three | sperry top-sider shearwater boots, $150
four | restoration hardware snowballer, $10
five | crunchy snowball stress ball, $28
six | popbar dark hot chocolate on a stick, $3.50
seven | patagonia hi-loft down sweater hoodie, $299
eight | boden cable knit scarf, $36
Stay toasty out there!
As you know by now, I am pretty much obsessed with any piece of artwork that creatively employs bright areas of color. This gorgeous photographic series by Fabian Oefner, entitled Orchid, is his final set of experimentations with "paint action" artworks.
Watch the video here to see how he puts these together; learn more about Oefner's work here (this older series is wild!).
Thanks to This is Colossal for the tip!
Remember that fun in-flight safety video I posted about a couple of years ago? Air New Zealand has a habit of making awesome celebrity-filled safety films to show on their flights; check out this great one with Betty White, this adventurous one with Bear Grylls, and this nerdy Hobbit-inspired version.
Well now Virgin America has gotten into the act with this bold musical number. It's definitely fun to watch, even though I am not sure how effective it would be (hard to follow those captions on a tiny airplane screen). Still, I like that they are thinking out of the box!
Seeing the Virgin video inspired me to go on the hunt for more clever examples. I kind of love Delta's holiday-inspired video, don't you? How cool would it be to have Santa on your flight?!
But this Thomson Airways video is by far the cutest! It's several years old, so the picture quality isn't great, but how adorable are these little guys?
Which one is your favorite? Do you think these would make you pay attention or do you think they are too creative to be truly safe? Let me know in the comments!
How fun is this bookshelf? I am not sure how practical it would be—given my insanely large collection of massive art books—but I love the ingenious use of flexible wooden bands to create these cell-like cubbies. Read more about the 'Chuck' shelving system here.
This made me think about some other fun/impractical/unusual bookshelves I have come across (including this awesome one). Would you put any of these in your house?
And while this technically doesn't qualify as a book shelf, The End Bookend from Urban Outfitters was too good to pass up. Hilarious, right?
Which shelving unit is your favorite?
I have been in love with the work of Liam Gillick for years but, for whatever reason, have never managed to post about him here. Go figure! Well I am here to rectify that. May I present to the colorful creations of Liam Gillick, stunning sculptures of bright planes of chroma, metal and light. Awesome, right?
See and read more on Gillick's website here.
Last week I went to the doctor to have my eyes examined. Recently I found myself squinting to read street signs and the scores scrolling across the bottom of the screen on ESPN (blame it on the hours of grad school reading!). Turns out I need a tiny prescription to correct this, which I took as an opportunity to buy some cool glasses!
I have been in love with Warby Parker for a while—they have an impeccable design sense, the fabulous mission to donate one pair of glasses for every pair purchased and (as of this summer) have several beautiful new showrooms in New York. I headed over to their Greene Street store on Friday to pick up my glasses and nearly swooned. Not only were the display cases gorgeous, but they had fostered an old-world library vibe, complete with gold reading lamps, library ladders and color-coded bookshelves (yes!!).
They even have a (free) photo booth so you can pose for a quick picture with your new frames! Love!
After much discussion with a lovely sales associate (a sweet guy who goes to the New School and majors in media studies; I wanted to befriend him instantly!), I decided to get the Welty in Whisky Tortoise. They are a little bit bigger/hipper than standard rectangular readers but still cool enough that I my face will appear stylish. At least I hope so!
And the bonus? All of Warby Parker's frames, including prescription, are only $95. Win!
Even one of my favorite artists, Jason Polan (who is trying to draw every person in New York), has hit up Warby Parker! All the cool kids are doing it!
p.s. This is not a sponsored post (I don't do those), I just like to gush about good companies when I find them. :)
I finally did it! I joined Spotify. My friends have been on me for ages to join the super cool internet music application/share service and I finally bit the bullet. Mostly because I have decided to institute a new column on the blog here, entitled "Play It Cool." It's a regular series which will feature fun playlists I have put together for your listening enjoyment. My musical tastes are quite eclectic so there should be something in here for everyone!
The inaugural playlist is entitled "Easy Like Sunday Morning" and sports lazy, happy songs that are perfect for lounging around your house in your PJs with the paper and a cup of coffee (or an adorably sleepy pup, as the case may be). Hope you like it! And hope you have a deliciously relaxing weekend.
(pup photo found here)
It's a dreary day here in New York so I thought I would post something to perk you up a bit. Calvin and Hobbes comics are my go to treat when I need a smile; these art-focused strips are like candy for art history nerds like me. I am particularly in love with the second strip, which is a send up of this famous painting and the third one, which references this beloved artist.
Click on each strip to view it larger and head over here to see more Calvin and Hobbes goodness.
I have written about the fabulous work of street artist Slinkachu before (see here), so I am delighted to bring you this update on his work. This series was created to help promote a European conference called ReAct Paris, which is helping to tackle the growing problem of unemployment in the EU. These clever little works were hidden all over the streets of Paris (who did I miss them?) as a way of addressing the question, "Why is it so hard to find a job?"
I love the reference to this famous photo in the first piece and the name tag presentation in the last one. So smart! Also, FYI, the line to see the Mona Lisa has never been so short!
See more of Slinkachu's masterful miniatures here.
Also, have you noticed that the blog has gotten a bit of a facelift? I realized it had been over two years since I had done a redesign and we were in for a metaphorical coat of paint here and there. I hope you like it! I am pretty happy with the results, but would love to hear what you think in the comments.