Tag Archives: design

bubble calendar

bubble calendar 2

All I have to say is…………….POP! 365 days per year. Could there be anything more satisfying than an XL calendar composed of bubble wrap? What a way to mark time.

bubble wrap calendar

This Bubble Calendar poster is designed and made in Brooklyn. We love the way it looks in our library. Thank you to my sis-in-law Marcy for this wonderful holiday gift.

IMG_5087

The only problem with this genius idea is that it requires a lot of self control…you can’t just go crazy and pop-pop-pop the whole thing in a blind, manic frenzy, as requested by your inner 8 year-old. I guess you could, but it just wouldn’t be right.

Hope your ’14 is going well thus far.

falloween 2013

fall grasses

Some crazy things are going on at home tome headquarters this Falloween. For one thing, our decorative grass, above, has turned a pleasing shade of brown and sprouted fancy, fall-ish tufts.

Six friendly ghosts are calling our pergola home…

ghost lanterns

Boo!

IMG_4537

After several years of searching/hoping for/dreaming about weird white mutant pumpkins, we finally found some…and a bale of hay as bonus. All I have to say is that you know you have an awesome husband when he comes home one day with a bale of hay…

white pumpkins

In our travels, we stumbled upon a pumpkin patch with one very unique pumpkin.

The most delightful news is that we got a new garden gnome!

IMG_4624

(In case you are wondering, he is an expert at taking off his hat and beard, but did not master this skill until after the photo was taken.)

While this photo shoot this was going on, our original gnome shed single tear across the yard…Was this pride? Jealousy? Maybe he just wanted a pumpkin of his own? Well, he got one.

gnome with pumpkin

Happy Falloween!

boon, swoon

IMG_4303

What did The Hubs and I know about baby products before I got pregnant? Of course, absolutely nothing. Zip. Maybe even a little less than zilch. Like most new parents, we’re figuring all of this out on the fly. Gradually, we have amassed a collection of goods for our little guy, both necessary and not-so-necessary, and we’ve started to figure out what we prefer as far as function and style. One brand that has checked off many boxes for us is boon. Their products are modern, simple and functional.

For example, we are loving the Flair Pedestal High Chair with Pneumatic Lift, pictured above. Not only does it roll smoothly from place to place in our house, it cleans up well.

Ian in boon Flair

It’s easy to get Ian (now 8 months) in and out of this commander chair and he must be comfortable in it because he’ll sit in it long after he’s finished eating his banana, avocado, or squash: he’ll sit there gnawing on a cracker or pouring water from the sippy cup all over himself for a good 15 minutes. From this seat he’ll also watch me perform the ever-captivating Unload the Dishwasher show. Now I’m putting this blue dish in the cupboard…

When I put the boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack on our baby registry I assumed I was being silly. When bought the Twig Accessory I figured I was being waaay too whimsical. Note curious pig in photo below:

boon grass countertop drying rack

But these have turned out to be some of the most useful products in our cache. This little lawn keeps Ian’s bottles, pacifiers and now sippy cups organized and away from our other dishes. The twig holds all kinds of bottle and pump paraphernalia.

Finally, this boon GLO night light has been shedding the perfect amount of light on Ian’s nursery for the last few months:

boon GLO night light

I first saw this on Pinterest and became enchanted – it definitely seems like something the Jetson’s would have had. Though this can “glo” through the whole rainbow on repeat, we keep it orange-ish red. This creates the perfect amount of light for so-called “dream feeds”: enough light for mommy to see what’s going on but it’s not so bright that baby fully wakes up. Get this: the illuminated balls are removable, and stay lit for 30 minutes, a feature we haven’t used yet, but if all goes as planned, we will enjoy this quite a bit in the future.

***

Have you swooned over any of the boon products?

For another modern baby brand we have enjoyed, you can see my post about babyletto furniture here.

(BTW, boon did not compensate me in any way for writing this post – I just like the goods.)

diy baby clothesline: the hoarding starts now

pile of baby clothes

There are many things I am uncertain about in this parenting venture but there is one thing I know for sure: I will never ever be able to get rid of these tiny newborn suits! In fact, though it is logical, normal and the correct course of events, I am nothing short of stunned that Ian (now 5 months) has already outgrown them.

A local friend sent me a link to her soon-to-be sister-in-law’s sewing website, Cabin Creek Stitchery, wherein she provides a step-by-step process for making T-shirt quilts – I love this idea – surely a pint-sized quilt could be made from these extra small duds?

In the meantime, I decided to rig up a quick way to display them in his nursery on a clothesline so that I can enjoy them just a bit longer. This project didn’t take long. It was storming outside, so it was a perfect day to attempt it during naptime…

stormy outside

I gathered some clothespins, clothesline, and some adhesive hooks:

clothespins clothesline

Then I simply strung them on the line and hung them up on the wall. (FYI, the adhesive hooks worked a lot better in theory than in practice – once the clothesline had the suits on it, it was too heavy, so I had to use screws –  sorry, once again, Wall!)

Here’s how it turned out:

baby clothesline

Once he got up from his nap, the project manager seem to approve:

Ian 5 monthsHey, I recognize those from somewhere…

I am frankly undecided on the final result – it darkens his room a bit – and I’m not sure if it looks cute or ragtag. I’ll keep it up for a while longer and then we’ll see. If I decide to scrap this, and I don’t ever get the wherewithall to make a quilt, I have a few other ideas… I figure the only way to satisfy my sentimental side without becoming a full-out hoarder is to somehow re-purpose these clothes. So maybe I could make:

  • a poncho?
  • a parachute?
  • a tent?
  • a table cloth?
  • how about an nice colorful awning?

Point being, I am trying to soak in every bit of this experience. Literally everyone in my life and everyone I meet randomly on the street tells me that this phase “goes so fast!” and I already see what they’re saying. I suppose, instead of hoarding or even going to great lengths to re-purpose these items, I could simply look back at the several THOUSAND photos we have taken…

How about you? Has sentimentality got you doing crazy things?

minimalism no more

WARNING: The following post could be upsetting to individuals who adhere to a minimalistic lifestyle; it could be disturbing to people who prefer their living spaces to be clean and uncluttered; and it could potentially unhinge those who seek solace and serenity in their homes.

ANOTHER WARNING: The following post could be dangerous to all the individuals in our lives who chuckled when they saw the wide open spaces in our home and assured us it would never stay that way once we procreated – because the delighted cackle that would follow the words “I told you so” would be so forceful and filled with so much self satisfaction it could sprain their necks/jaws/ribs.

A FINAL WARNING: The following before and after photos may indeed be disconcerting to experience in this virtual forum, but to those of you who dare to actually cross this threshold in person, I urge you to proceed with the utmost caution and with a great deal of attention to what toy/gadget/desperate attempt to distract/or actual tiny child might be underfoot.

Needless to say, after all that prefacing…we used to be minimalists (or we aspired anyway)…and well, we aren’t anymore. I present the evidence:

ONE PART OF OUR LIVING ROOM, BEFORE:

DSCN4797

THAT SAME PART OF OUR LIVING ROOM, AFTER:

IMG_3425

ANOTHER PART OF OUR LIVING ROOM, BEFORE:

DSCN4796

FROM A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT ANGLE, AFTER:

IMG_3426

REMEMBER THE RELATIVELY SLEEK LINES OF OUR DINING ROOM/BOOK NOOK?

DSCN4804

NOT ANYMORE:

IMG_3369

BACK THEN, I’D NEVER LET ANYTHING GET IN BETWEEN ME AND MY BOOKS:

DSCN4787

NOW, WELL, IT’S A WHOLE OTHER SITUATION:

IMG_3378

OF COURSE, ALONG WITH ALL THE CHAOS COMES THIS:

ian 4.5 months

SO WE ARE HARDLY COMPLAINING…

I assume most homes take a hit when the kid moves in? And do I presume correctly that it only gets crazier from here?

laundry room button art

daily_chores

Our laundry room is a crying shame. It’s dingy, it’s messy, it favors function over style a thousand-fold. This didn’t used to bother me. After all, it’s just a laundry room. But now that I have an infant and am doing approximately 65,000 loads of laundry per week, I find myself wishing it was a slightly nicer place to be. The best part about this laundry room is that it’s conveniently located on our main floor. But this can also be the worst part, i.e. if I accidentally leave the door open when friends stop by. Exhibit A (ok, I cleaned it up a bit for the photo shoot):

laundry room

I think we’ll eventually try to spruce up this room and do so with some color since the rest of our house is mostly white – I’m thinking black and white checkered floor, kermit green walls and a royal blue washer and dryer set. I’d like for it to be somewhat quirky — why not bring a modicum of fun to an activity that can feel like drudgery?

In the meantime, I wanted to share a little DIY I tackled a few months ago that has made a just a teeny bit of a difference in there and also served to organize my buttons so that I might actually use them. (Mind you, I did this pre-baby. Though this project didn’t take long, I’d unlikely have my hands free long enough to complete it now…)

First, I picked up a cork board from good ol’ Target. I chose frame-less but you could get one with a frame or even get several squares of those adhesive ones and cover a whole wall.  I also picked up a package of straight pins – I loved the colors of these:

straight pins

Then I gathered together all those extra buttons that came with sweaters or shirts over the years (or fell off clothing and never got re-attached…) I’m thinking: even if some of the sweaters are long gone, it’s possible their buttons will match a future piece of clothing. It was nice to have a variety of button sizes and colors to create some visual interest on the board.

I planned out my design by laying the buttons in the configuration I wanted – I went with my first initial but you could do a flower, a punctuation mark or something abstract.

button board

Once I had my idea set, I applied the buttons to the board by angling all the pins upwards slightly so that the buttons didn’t slide once I hung up the boards.  (Actually, I have to give a shout-out to Rob for reminding me about a little thing called gravity…)

And voila:

button board complete

Next time I need a button, all I need to do is go into the laundry room and choose the best one. And the next time I go in there to do a few loads of wash, I can look at this board and pretend that this is a fun place to be…

taxi, please!

IMG_2935

So the theme of Ian’s nursery has turned out to be Nature and City: this wasn’t intentional but this is how it evolved. And I suppose it’s not that surprising…

For those of you who don’t know, Rob and I met when I was living in Manhattan and he was located in the South Bronx. We lived together in the South Bronx for a while before moving to the Nyack area, which is about 45 min from NYC. We are now excited to share both urban and suburban experiences with our son. In other words, we hope to keep enjoying all the great green space out here AND we intend to take him in to experience the art, food, music and general vibe of New York often.

Before I met Rob, I lived on the Upper East Side, on 75th Street between 1st Avenue and York. This means that I lived relatively far from any subway stations. It took me 12 minutes to walk to the 77th and Lexington Avenue stop. This isn’t that big of a deal UNLESS you are: 1. trudging through slush and snow 2. attempting to wear high heels 3. trying to not break a sweat 4. running very very late 5. nursing a bum knee/ankle/shoulder/pinky finger 6. carrying way too many bags filled with bricks.

Suffice it to say that I was usually dealing with at least five of the above conditions on any given day. This is why I often ended up hailing a cab. This is, in turn, why I often found myself bemoaning the price of cab fares to my mother while we were blabbing on the phone. And finally, this is why she took it upon herself (I swear I wasn’t angling for this) to occasionally drop cab money in the mail for me.  It was usually a 20 spot (or in her words, a “Jackson”) and was indeed spent rather quickly as I made my way around town.

Mind you, I was in my early/mid 30’s and could afford cabs (that is, as long as I skipped a few dinners). But his was cute of my mother. What made it cuter is that she drew these little taxi cabs with colored pencil on the outside of the envelopes. I saved these drawings and decided to get six them framed for Ian’s nursery.

taxi art

I had a custom matte made at Michael’s Craft Store and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. It hangs on one end of the full length mirror we installed horizontally:

IMG_2936

Ian just took his first trip into the city this week. Considering how tucked and snug he was in his car seat, I don’t think he got to see any cabs this time, but he certainly got to hear a lot of them HONK! That’s not a sound we hear too much in our neck of the woods.

ian in the city

The crazy thing is that Rob was a cab driver back when he lived in San Francisco. Therefore, he’s one of the few city dwellers I’d met who didn’t think it was a big deal to drive all over the city and who also managed to GET PARKING SPACES (and usually right in front of his destinations). I found this to be very intrepid. Let’s just say that once we met, I didn’t have to take too many subway rides or hail many cabs. I’ve pretty much had door-to-door service ever since.

Of course, the taxi envelopes eventually stopped arriving in the mail, but I am so glad I saved them. I knew I’d want to use them some day; I just didn’t know how.

This is all to say: thanks Granny. Ian and I look at them every day an will for years to come.

commemorative mushroom…commemo-shroom?

IMG_2567

So my girls, Sara, Susan and Sandra, hosted a super-fun baby shower for me in the fall. It was a delightful affair complete with excellent food, adorable gifts and a lot of laughs. One thing that made it extra special was this crazy ceramic mushroom. Everyone signed it to commemorate the event:

IMG_1799

IMG_1800

“Is this weird?” Sara asked me a few times. “Yes!” I answered, “And I love it!” Commemo-shroom did give everyone a good chuckle, sprouting up as it did between the cheese plate and the salad.

I couldn’t be more thrilled that Sara stumbled upon this it at a local mom and pop paint-your-own pottery place called Jill’s Ceramics located in West Nyack:

IMG_1936

I enjoyed going there to pick it up after it was glazed. This place has just about everything under the sun that you can paint to make your own. They do events and kids parties – what fun:

IMG_1930 IMG_1928

You KNOW I’ll be going back to paint this. Lets call him my own personal truffle holder :

IMG_1929

…And of course I’ll want to visit Teddy the Parrot:

IMG_1927

…Not to mention Travis, the Llama, out back (!):

IMG_1934

Love this guy – and so did Sara and her daughter, Nora:

IMG_1932

Now, the mushroom is all glazed. It looks great in Ian’s nursery, poised up high (out of reach) on some little floating shelves in the corner (Container Store). It sits adjacent to his Miffy book and some teeny animal figurines his Aunt Marcy gave him:

IMG_2651

As my friends and regular readers know (I suppose the home tome header says it all), I have a thing for mushrooms. So of course this isn’t the only shroomy item in Ian’s world. Check out this muslin burp cloth:

IMG_2652

And these organic toadstool rattles from Uncommon Goods that my friend Josie got for him:

mushroom rattles Uncommon Goods

Thanks to all those who attended the shower and signed this special (and, yeah, somewhat strange) commemo-shroom – Sara, Susan, Sandra, Josie, Martina, Nancy, Bobbie Anne, Katie, Stefanie, and Rachelle – You know I love you girls!

And to the rest of my readers – I highly recommend Jill’s Ceramics (if you’re local) and, in general, I think these paint-your-own pottery pieces (storefronts where you can do this are all over the place) make wonderful commemorative gifts. Okay, maybe not everyone wants a mushroom…but a nice platter, a big salad bowl or decorative plate would certainly be appreciated by most…

magical mobile

sqrl & bee mobile 2

In honor of upcoming Valentine’s Day, I would like to share how much I heart this mobile we hung in Ian’s nursery. Rob picked it out on etsy. It’s by Sqrl & Bee Studio, the creations of Melissa Frueh. It’s colorful, whimsical, and made of sustainably farmed wool. When you blow on it or push it, it looks like a bunch of dancing planets.

This fiber artist makes all different versions of this mobile. This one happens to be called: “Circus Came to Town.” I wasn’t sure if it would work well with the city/nature theme we have going on in there or jive with the backdrop fabric we got at IKEA years ago, but it’s all just crazy enough to work.

The best part about this is that Ian (six weeks old) is also starting to love it. I present an action shot:

baby mobile

Now that his eyes are focusing more, he can while away whole minutes in his crib gazing northward. This new hobby/fascination allows his mom to wash a dish, put on her socks, get a few gulps of coffee, or…post this blog. Woo hoo! The question is: what is our little superhero thinking as he watches this magical mobile bounce…?

***

I had every intention of posting a big ‘ol blog about his entire nursery…turns out I’ll be sharing in installments, for obvious reasons, ha! Hope you are all well!

from the new new newness department

first day

We are glad to welcome Ian Fletcher Strati as the newest addition here at the home tome headquarters.  He “started” December 28 at 3:02 AM and has been heading up the Cute Department for two weeks now. Though he is new to the position, he is proving to be quite talented. Above, you can see him on his first day on the job. He was already good at holding hands.

We are pleased to see that he is already a fan of mushrooms. (Thank you Josie.):

Ian and mushrooms

He looks dashing in formalwear. (Thank you Sarah Z.):

Ian in Tuxedo

And he does a great imitation of a burrito. (Thank you Stefanie for the swaddling tutorials and blankets.):

IMG_2317

Sometimes he does sleep on the job, (thankfully!) and proves that real men really can rock polka dots. (Thank you Cousin Annette for the moses basket).

Ian in Moses basket

His hands are extremely small, yet busy, and he requires regular manicures so that he does not self-destruct (i.e. scratch his face.) (Thank you, Dara, for your delicate expertise.):

IMG_2382

Mostly, he is serving as a serious distraction to the other home tome employees. It’s admittedly difficult to blog, eat, sleep, pay bills, exercise or perform many formerly regular duties when we can now, instead,  just gaze at this:

Ian asleep

Stay tuned for notes on the the nursery…we have had WAY too much fun setting that up.