Four Legs

When Jaime from Design Milk asked if I’d like to do an interview about Bruno and Fritz for her design-y dog blog Dog Milk, I couldn’t say YES fast enough! Evan and I both love talking about our furry little guys. Make sure you hop over to Dog Milk and take a look—I think it’s a fun read!

(Needless to say, we’ve since remembered a dozen or so additional nicknames that we left off of the list. And yes, we really do use them all! It’s a wonder either dog even knows his actual name.)

Thank you so much, Jaime!

Today as been quiet. We’re settled down with our supplies at the apartment and waiting for hurricane Irene—she’s just rain and wind right now, and hopefully that’s how she’ll stay. We slept in a bit (or at least I tried to—one foot out of the bed and I lost my spot!), visited with Mamma Biscuit and her dads, and indulged in some amazing vegan treats from our favorite bakery, Sweet Semosh.

Tonight is for getting caught up on Project Runway, watching old episodes of Cheers, eating leftover Chinese, and staying dry inside. I’m trying to fit in a little freelance work now, too, just in case we lose power tonight. And if we do, well—I’ll be making a lot of friendship bracelets tomorrow!

How cute are these pillows?! The moment Elisabeth Dunker (whose work graces many rooms in my house!) sent out an email announcing their addition to the Fine Little Day shop, I added them to my ever-growing list of pillows I love and desire.

Now that Fritz has stopped chewing on stuff (okay, mostly—every now and then he still enjoys a good tassel), I feel like it might be okay to buy a few nice pillows. I love pillows. I want a pillow on every chair, tons of them on the sofa, a bed covered with them—I basically want to live in a giant pillow. I could always get this, I guess:

Christiane Högner’s Cushionized Sofa is the stuff dreams are made of—literally. Can you even imagine tossing your body down on that thing at the end of a long day? It would be like tumbling into a marshmallow fantasy land of sleepytime goodness.

I want everything Donna Wilson has ever made, really, but her recent Nos Da Collection is my most favorite of all. The “licorice” cushion is so, so beautiful. I’ve been fantasizing about it for long time now, but just recently saw it in person for the first time—and now I covet it even more. And how can you not love the Blah Blah cushion?! Perfect for resting your head on while pretending to be engaged in a draggy phone conversation.

OMG, THIS PILLOW. This is one of those things I swear was made just for me. It’s cotton, it’s velvety, it’s got multi-level textures, it’s earthy-yet-graphic, there’s yellow involved, and…TRIANGLES. I love a good triangle. The Turbine pillow from CB2 is awesome, and I may or may not have already ordered one in a fit of glee.

Speaking of triangles…yeah, I saved the best for last. It’s the holy grail of pillows—one made from Alexander Girard’s Checker Split fabric. Circa50 makes pillows from a variety of Girard fabrics, but Checker Split will always be my favorite-favorite. This pattern inspired the one on the sometimes-rug in my living room (I say “sometimes” because the dogs seem to have decided that every rug is a giant wee-wee pad, so actually it’s more like “no time-rug”…sigh), and I just love it so much. I’ve held off investing in a Girard pillow for a long time, though, because I just know that the second I turn my back, Fritz is going to chew off one of the corners.

Indeed, sometimes the dogs win. Maybe I need to have a private pillow sanctuary behind a dog gate. Oh, come on…who am I kidding?

Exactly, Fritz. Exactly.

For the past couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with superhero vegan cookbook author (remember this review?) and Post Punk Kitchen founder Isa Chandra Moskowitz on the illustration and design work for a really awesome new endeavor she launched today, the Teal Cat Project.

The Teal Cat Project works like this: You donate $25, and in return, you get a Teal Cat tchotchke. 100% of your $25 then goes toward funding a cat rescue program. The first affiliated group is the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, who train and educate rescuers about trap-neuter-return (TNR) practices to keep feral cat populations in New York City under control.

The Teal Cats are really cute, and they’re upcycled from thrift-store finds that were donated to the cause. The current campaign will only last until the current batch of Teal Cats is all gone! When the ceramic kitty supply has been replenished, a new campaign to support a group in a different city will start up.

Check out the Teal Cat Project website, poke around a bit, and, if you’re able, buy a Teal Cat! There’s even an option to donate a bit of money without buying a tchotchke (or if you want to give a little extra). This is a great way to support a great kitty rescue group, and I hope you’ll consider chipping in.

You can follow the Teal Cat Project on Twitter and Facebook, too! Anything you can do to help spread the word is greatly appreciated. Meow!

Okay, enough about cameras and design and money and houses and STUFF. Sometimes you just need to watch a Mariachi band serenading a Beluga whale.

(And yes, I am putting this in the “four legs” category.)

I’m working on an awesome freelance project—which you’ll get to see very soon!—at home for the next few days, and that means I’m camped out on the sofa with an iced coffee (and a couple of cute puppies) at my side. Here are the four views I have from my “desk”. I like the last one best, of course.

We all know the internet was invented for the primary purpose of sharing cute animal photos more easily, and I’ve really been doing my part to contribute over the past month and a half. Here are 6 weeks of Instagram photos of Fritz and Bruno, my furry little loves. They are really good at relaxing, napping, and cuddling.

I’ve blogged about Atlanta-based artist Jen Ray before (her “Siempre” print was on my wish list back in 2009, and more recently her “Toro” print made an appearance on the It List post I wrote for sfgirlbybay), but after opening my mailbox to some of her tiny treasures earlier today, I decided I really need to post about her more recent work.

Product photos by Jen Ray // All pieces available in Jen’s Etsy shop, Corduroy

Look at these clay animals! Oh my gosh, SO cute. I chose the Action Mole with Mint Mittens (I love moles), but there are plenty of others, too. This little guy is my spirit animal, and he’s already made a home for himself on my work table. I love having him there! The best thing about Jen’s work is that it’s friendly. Her illustration style, penmanship and renderings of animals are so open and warm, and everything she makes immediately feels like it could come and live with you and be a good friend.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I want to buy everything in her shop!

UPDATE, December 2014: Jen Ray’s shop (full of gorgeous, handmade pottery) can now be found here.

Product photos by Jen Ray // All pieces available in Jen’s Etsy shop, Corduroy

Summertime in the Hudson Valley means more than just green mountains, winding rivers, antique fairs and crickets—it also means groundhogs, also known as woodchucks.

Among famous groundhogs of the northeastern United States, most everyone already knows Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck (full name Charles G. Hogg), but I’d like to introduce you to a lesser-known celebrity groundhog: Newburgh Haggis.

First spotted by Evan in the summer of 2008, Haggis has made a very nice home for himself (herself? I’m not going to check) in our garden, devouring numerous vegetable and herb plants straight down to the root. He’s raised children under the deck, created a tunnel system to rival the NYC subway, and dutifully “relocated” (i.e. dug up and left for dead) several plants according to his own landscaping sensibilities.

In other words, he’s a member of the family. Sometimes he has friends Scarface and Fatback over, but mostly he’s a solo ‘hog. We’ve accepted the path of destruction he leaves in his wake, and we welcome his arrival every year.

Moments after the photo above was taken, the sweet potato plants pictured were reduced to tiny stumps, of course, but at least Haggis got a nice meal out of it, right? Sure, he’s trouble. But he has such a cute face.

I was supposed to take this entire week off from work, but things didn’t really pan out that way…so I’m just off for one day instead. I’m spending today with Fritz and Bruno, eating popcorn with malt salt, getting some freelance work* taken care of, and hopefully going for a long walk in Fort Tryon park, provided I can convince F&B that it’s not all that cold outside.

Following a tip from Nubby Twiglet, I picked up a bottle of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish in Mint Sprint. It’s a little more blue-green than it looks in the photo—very springy and bright! I did my fingernails, too, but my hands are bad models.

*Yes, it still counts as a “day off” if I’m doing freelance work. At least for now it does. And yes, I’m actively looking for more freelance work, so if you need your blog redesigned or a snappy cover for your book, I’m your girl.