Holiday Cabana

I am not sure what I like best about this lakeside retreat in Sri Lanka. Maybe it is the creative use of a shipping container or that all the materials used were found on site. The nicely sized covered deck sitting on top of the container is a nice touch. Although maybe it is the incredible view of the lake and mountains. It looks wonderfully peaceful and I can imagine myself sitting on the deck sipping a faux-jito.

Wood Wire Desk

You would think that living in a smallish NY apartment would deter M&I from taking on projects like building furniture. Well we have two couches built from scratch that suggest it isn’t as bad an idea as you would think. We have been hemming and hawing about a new computer desk for a while. The one we have is perfectly serviceable and nothing has come along to catch our eye. What we have now is a glass top metal desk that we picked up off the street on day. My main issue with the desk is that the wires are all over the place and it makes the desk look messy. I love the simplicity of this wooden desk top that is made to hide wires and look good doing it. In fact the only thing I love better than the simple design of this desk is the wonderfully simple, easy to follow, and beautifully designed instruction manual.

Piggy Power

Each year when we are choosing our charity gift donations for Christmas M&I talk about what we think would be good ways to encourage charitable giving in our children. While we had some ideas, none were as elegant as Piggy. This set of nesting momma (for personal savings) and baby (for charitable savings) piggies become a visual reminder to set aside a little bit of what we get for those less fortunate. Thankfully there is no need to take a hammer to these cuties. Once the banks are full there is a rubber stopper on the bottom to access funds. I have a weakness for pig shaped things and I find these to be especially adorable but I love the idea of choosing a cause that my little one can get behind.

Making Room for Baby

Some days my mind is on one thing and one thing only. Baby. Apparently there is a lot of stuff you need (as well as lots of adorable stuff you really don’t) out there that I would like to blog about. I could just start posting the baby related stuff here, but that just didn’t feel right. So I started a new blog. If you want to see what nursery decor, stroller, crib, etc is catching my eye you can head over to Making Room for Baby. Or not. I leave it up to you dear reader.

T-shirt Transformation

M&I have been taking a long hard look at our stuff and coming quickly to the conclusion that some of it has to go. Many things have been very easy to freecycle, recycle, craigslist, or haul to the thrift store. Other things have been harder to part with. Each of us has quite the collection of t-shirts that we wouldn’t wear in a million years, but have sentimental value. M’s mom is a very talented quilter and has started on a t-shirt quilt using many of M’s shirts. I was considering making a shirt rug, but cutting them into strips is as hard to contemplate as shipping them off. So now what… with this so simple tutorial on Apartment Therapy I can give them a new life as a tote. I am pretty sure even I can handle this sewing project. And who doesn’t need a few more reusable washable bags around the house? This way instead of taking up space in a drawer or bin they can be out and about for me to enjoy.

CORN!!

I love corn. I love it on the cob, I love it in tortilla form, I love posole, I love corn bread, I am not a fan of polenta oddly enough, but I digress. A few years ago a nutritionist told me what I already knew in my heart of hearts, corn doesn’t like me. Now that we are part of a CSA we have been getting ears of corn. I figured half a cob isn’t going to hurt me and guess what, it didn’t. So then I decided to try some corn chips with guacamole, again feeling fine. Well a few more corn chips and ears of corn later it turns out corn still doesn’t like me. And the sweetest corn of all, NJ Silver Queen, is still to come. All you Star Trek geeks out there, I am going to need a little help from Bill Shatner to properly vent my frustration. If you are going to go ahead and pretend you aren’t a Star Trek geek see what I am talking about.

Seal Pelt

Move over Slanket there is a new way to keep warm! This adorable Seal Pelt for babies is made of Icelandic wool and has an interesting bit of mythology to go along with it. I have to say I am a sucker for cute things to put on babies and I love that it is wool and not synthetic material . I can’t say that I think the adult version is nearly as cute and I may go as far as to say it is a bit scary.

The Knitting Itch

I am starting to get the knitting itch again. Although the temperatures are hovering in the 90s again this week (seriously, enough already!) my fingers are dying to get knitting and purling once again. Last week I was on a hunt to find a pattern for the perfect baby cocoon to make sure I had not only something to keep the little one warm but more importantly to get that all too cute newborn picture. Today I saw a project that really got my fingers in the mood to get my needles clacking. Blair over at wisecraft is knitting a garter stitch square blanket. I love this picture, I love the colors, and I love that it is all garter stitch squares. Very little measuring or counting and no thinking necessary, what could be more perfect for the woman who only knits scarves. Once my idle hands are busy knitting away my mind is free to finally get some peace. I believe this is because my monkey brain (this is a meditation term and although I haven’t mastered meditation I certainly know the feeling of a mind skipping from one thought to another) is finally focused on something. I just happen to have skeins and skeins of natural wool begging for me to finally try the kool-aid dye technique and get to knitting. What kool-aid flavor will make grey…

Storm King

Photo courtesy of Jay Erikson’s photostream

For approximately 8 1/2 of the last 9 years M&I have talked about going to Storm King. As we speed down the Thruway weekend after weekend catching a peek of the sculptures through the trees we inevitably mumble about how we really need to go. Finally the day has come. Saturday the weather was absolutely perfect, low humidity, not too terribly hot, basically the perfect day to get lost and see some art. After a lazy morning and more traffic than either of us care to remember (did everyone in NY have the idea to get out of the city at the same time?!) we arrived at the park at around 3pm. This actually turned out to be a happy accident. We missed the hottest part of the day and we were in prime shadow time. With me being a little more encumbered than usual (hey, I am walking for two here!) we took it very slow and there was lots of time admiring the conveniently placed benches up close. We walked as much as we could, hopped on the free tram for a bit, walked some more, and hopped on the tram. At times it felt like we were the only ones in the park, surprised to find huge sculptures hiding among the trees, unseen by those who decided to stick on the tram. Getting close to the beautiful meandering stone wall that is lovely for both the way it meanders between each tree in its path and the amazing craftsmanship of a bygone era. Appreciating the deliberate way each rivet and fin provide form and function to Calder’s impossible giants. We felt very small in the huge open fields standing next to hulking pieces of steel. We decided that next year we may have to get a season pass so we can stop and enjoy more often.

Did I say German? I meant Swedish.

A while back I made the claim that I wish I was German because it seems that all of the most wonderful felt objects are made in Germany. Well now I decided I would like to be Swedish. Not only is one of my very dear friends of Swedish descent (Hey, U!) but to seems that whenever I see a clean, lovely, white room with colorful tasteful accents and beautiful wood details, it is an image from a Swedish blog. Today the object of my envy is the beautiful wood fire wooden hot tub pictured above on Skona Hem. In this weather, I personally could only imagine this as a cold plunge rather than a hot tub but it is such a lovely contrast to the fiberglass monstrosities we favor in the States. I would love to have one of these at our upstate retreat, you know, once we have running water. Do you think they all come with that view?!