— Noted.


Excited to give this to my dad for father’s day, and curious about what will be next in the series. (Hint: If you are on amazon prime – you can buy it there too.)

Blocks3_1024x1024 jpbl_1024x1024 jpbl-view2_1024x1024 jpbl-view5_1024x1024


When I head to the beach, I keep it simple and my gear usually involves bringing a towel.

However, two weeks ago my friend picked me up in her new car to head to Rockaway Beach, and informed me we would be making a pit stop at Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up beach chairs. When we were assessing the inventory, she told me the mandatory feature was to get an adjustable back. This girl is pretty low-maintenance, so I shrugged and picked up the chair she selected and we headed out. I was impressed by the simple adjustable carrying strap on the chair let alone any sort of reclining option.

These chairs are a revelation. The back lowers in 5 different positions, perfect for finding the perfect angle for reading a trashy magazine, or taking a snooze, or eating wood-fired pizza.




I made the crepe flower! (See my post below this one if you’re not up to speed).

These are the things I learned:

– There is one store in NYC (out of nearly 10 or so that I either visited or called) that sells crepe paper.

– Floral wire is also an elusive item to find in NYC (granted I did not try very hard and was convinced copper wire from the art store would be just fine – which it was).

– Why aren’t my petals as big and beautiful as the ones in the step-by-step picture? OH. Because I’m using the crepe paper you use for birthday parties, not the high-end stuff. (I couldn’t find green crepe paper so I actually made my leaves out of crepe STREAMERS. If there was extra credit for this, I have won it all.)

– Do not drink iced coffee before sitting down to work with fragile cheap crepe paper and scissors and glue.

– Do not expect mom to gush over the paper flower. Don’t get me wrong, she liked it, but she was not GUSHING which is in fact, totally NORMAL.


IMG_0008 IMG_0009 IMG_0010 IMG_0011 IMG_0012


All in all, it came out OK. I even made shortbread cookies to go with. A very good and easy recipe by smitten kitchen here.



My new to-do list item is to buy the high-end crepe paper (via the internet) and give it another go.


I stumbled on the instagram of Blooms in the Air, and have to say that I am not one who is too easily impressed by flowers that aren’t real. But these paper flowers are stunning.

fusia_single_front_01 pale yellow&white roses duo_05 pink duo_04 pink pen_02 yellow & peach_07



Nosing around some more, I saw this oh-too-perfect gift for mother’s day that combines a peony with shortbread cookies from Matchbox Kitchen. Yes, please! Perfect! Oh, no! Turns out they’re all sold out.

1397858548828 Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 10.19.08 PM fuchsiabox4



Do not fear, I discovered this interview with Ji Kim, the creator behind Blooms in the Air. She shares instructions on how to make your very own peony. I so appreciate the beautiful work of a talented craftsperson, and inspired even more by the openness to share the how-to. I am going to attempt to make mom a peony! The good thing is I know she’s is going to like it even if it’s not as beautiful as Ji’s, because that’s what moms do.


Adónde is a duo from France that has created the Cylinder Modular Stoneware collection, a system of beautiful stoneware dishes and plates that can be used for different purposes. A dinner plate becomes the lid for a bowl, a bowl then seamlessly transitions from oven casserole to leftover storage container in the fridge. Stackable and functional. This is not your mother’s tupperware.

Available at Totokaelo.








These eggs have been popping up out of the corner of my eye. There is something about giving a group of artists the same constraint that feels very revealing. And, lovely that it’s 100% for charity for two very different causes — NYC school children and the endangered Asian elephant and its habitat. (Or maybe not that different at all?)

28645-1395775750-6 Jane Morgan-xl


28690-1395685999-185 Nick Matic-xl 28815-1395679850-105 Oliver Jeffers-xl 28828-1395681159-116 Andrew Zienteik-xl 28838-1396450314-Martha Meredith Crop copy-xl 28840-1395682159-129 Cynthia Rowley copy-xl 28875-1395684628-164 Dakota Sika-xl 28887-1395685367-177 Krink-xl 29208-1395776106-63 Warby Parker-xl





Very pretty “dressing ladder”, made by hand in Michigan. It’s easy to look at this and dismiss it as over-priced and excessive. Look again, and you can see the details of someone who embraces their craft, and solves an everyday problem in a graceful way. Sold by Joinery, a store worth visiting in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.




Grampy is a character from the Betty Boop cartoons, who likes to invent contraptions out of household items.

He has a thinking cap, which he puts on when he’s trying to solve a problem. The cap is a mortarboard with a lightbulb, which lights up when he has his “Aha!” moment.














I want this cap.


This episode is called Betty Boop and Grampy, produced by Max Fleischer in 1935. It’s good for a giggle:


And relatable (in both this post and in my work), here’s The New Yorker article on the “Aha!” moment (which inspired my reminisce on Grampy), seen through the eyes of their cartoonists.


I discovered these blocks at the Bauhaus museum in Berlin. So simple, each block has a different material inside — making different noises when rattled. In a world where we can become over-stimulated with beeps and whizzes, it is amazing how satisfying it is to jiggle each one. Sparking wonder. Instant joy. A special gift for anyone with child-like curiosity.


From a google translation of the product description:

Sounding Blocks
rings in 12 cubic blocks and rattles it, which have a few same color and same sound. children from 1 year can with this little kit first experience in the stack with a make basic form. accompanied by the sound of the dice. the acoustics will be trained: blocks of the same sound can be associated with each other. strong rainbow colors from yellow to blue help with the assignment. a block game that meets the assumptions of the bauhauslers, who have dealt with the design of toy: the game is to prepare joy while fulfilling an educational purpose. as material was already at that time related mainly wood in bright colors. kept the 4 x 4 x 4cm large stones in a soft cotton bag. a nice entry into the world of shapes, colors and sounds.


I love it when ordinary everyday objects can combine beauty with purpose. The crossroads are rare, and it’s difficult justifying how decoration can actually improve something that has functioned well for many years.

These wooden rulers by the inimitable Hay come in six different designs, and three shapes.

Wooden Ruler 02 catalogue

Wooden Ruler 02

Wooden Ruler 01

Wooden Ruler 01 catalogue