life : summer = less

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
- Henry James

maybe it has to do with lovely summer afternoons, but i was trying to maintain two blogs and it's too much for me as a blogger. what was i thinking? i had a plan for the other one, but i'm going to change the plan. i think it might also be hard for readers to keep up with two blogs from one person, unless each one is really distinct.

home is where the heart is and that is here, even though we might consider a name change. i'm not sure how 'handmade' fits in here as i came up with it when i started sewing and do more than that, now. not sure, but i do feel the need to re-arrange the furniture, a bit. hope that's ok? i've started with the front door (blog banner), but will continue to fiddle around. there are a few recent posts from the other blog i'd like to bring in here, but i won't do so all at once. hope you have a wonderful weekend!

xo, cindy

nyc : from c to shining c*

we just got back from the beach and are in a frenzy to put away our stuff as quickly as possible and then go out for lunch - the nerve! we have a bunch of pics and were very lucky with the weather as it's been pretty stormy in nyc. we're already missing the pool and may just put on some coppertone and fill up the tub to pretend we're still there. no complaints though, especially in light of the heatwave out west. portland 100+ - whoa!

cindy* is going to be visiting nyc soon and i thought it would be a great opportunity to post some of our favorite spots. most are local, but there do seem to be a number from japan. we're not big on expensive restaurants and prefer small cafes, which are highlighted in teal. we'll keep this list updated and probably add some photos in the future. so, get your walking shoes on, some $$$ and let's go. we've arranged them by neighborhood.

xo, cindy

ps if you have any other special spots in nyc, let me know and i'll add them to the list if they're places we like to visit or would like to!

bloomingdale's - super-department store & forty carrots restaurant. delish & healthy!
59th street & lexington avenue

museum of modern art - the new building is as great as the art.
53rd street & 6th avenue

magnolia's bakery - one red velvet cupcake, please. ok, two.
50th street & sixth avenue

anthropologie - this is the best one with two floors and art installation pieces!
50th @ rockefeller center

times square - visit at night for fantastic photos.
42nd street & 7th avenue

grand central terminal - great building and food court.
42nd street & park avenue

ny public library, main branch, rose reading room is incredible & free.
42nd street & fifth avenue

bryant park
42nd street & 6th avenue. outdoor movies on the lawn in the summer on monday's @ 5 pm.

kinokuniya - japanese store with wonderful craft books, paper goods and anime.
41st street & sixth avenue

international center for photography
42nd street & 6th avenue

muji - japanese department store features clean lines and neutrals.
40th street & eighth avenue

b& j fabrics - really organized & helpful.
525 7th avenue (in the 30s)

tinsel trading - trims & notions, incredible store for crafters. must visit!
37th street & 5th avenue

lots of high-end stores in this neighborhood, but must our visits are -

high line park
gansevoort street, in the meatpacking district, to west 20th street, in chelsea, between 1oth & 11th avenues.

chelsea market - redefines the term 'food court'.
15th street & 9th avenue

billy's bakery via chockpocky - she loves the banana cream pie.
21st street & ninth avenue

so many shops, but we love

dean & deluca via jamie - gourmet food shop, including doughnut plant via chockpocky.
prince street & broadway

uniqlo - colorful japanese clothing store has great prices.
prince street & broadway

vespa via jamie - famous scooters.
13 crosby street

kate's paperie - stationery & paper crafts.
72 spring street (between crosby & lafayette streets)

paul smith via jamie - very cool english designer.
greene street & w. houston

van leeuwen ice cream truck - delicious organic ice cream. favorite flavor = all.
greene & prince streets.

makie - incredible handmade clothes, love everything made with liberty of london fabric, especially for little girls.
109 thompson & prince streets

snack - cozy cafe serving delicious greek food.
105 thompson & prince streets

purl - legendary knitting & sewing shop - paradise!
459 broome street @ greene

once upon a tart - for a quick bite to eat.
sullivan street & prince (next to purl knitting)

local - also good for a quick bite.
sullivan street & prince (across the street from purl patchwork)

thompson & sullivan streets have really nice independent boutiques. from there you can walk to greenwich village or the west village.


thé adoré via chockpocky - 'charming rustic 2nd floor dining room for a light lunch (tea + sandwiches, soups, pastries)'.
17 E. 13th, just off Fifth, just below Union Square

greenwich letterpress via chockpocky - lovely stationery store.
christopher street & seventh avenue
sweetiepie restaurant via dallas shaw - sweet restaurant & dessert bar.
10th street & greenwich avenue

momofuku milk bar via chockpocky - 'delicious corn cookies + decadent cakes & inventful soft serve flavors'.
13th street & second avenue

long island city - queens
easy to get to from grand central - one stop on 7 train.
gorgeous views of mid-town from a really nice park - this is the attraction, but there are a few very nice shops and several restaurants - our favorite is cafe henri right by the subway.

new york botanical garden - bronx
get there using metro north from grand central.

williamsburg - brooklyn
very cool shops and restaurants.

shop : supermarket in a barn

there's a supermarket in yonkers called stew leonard's that is really something else. it's fashioned after a barn and has a silo and small zoo, which is kind of strange considering what they sell inside. the layout takes you through in a zig zag pattern instead of the typical rows. kids love it because they have all kinds of puppets and things going on to entertain them. adults love it because they have great stuff, including really delicious milk.

we took charlie last weekend and he seemed happy with his pistachio ice cream and all the free samples. he bought a lobster and had a good laugh making it because after we dropped him off we went back to the park in long island city and our car battery totally died with no warning (hear that honda!?). we had to be towed and just about made it to the dealership before they closed. scott is a bit obsessive with his car and charlie laughed so hard thinking of him up all night trying to figure out what was wrong. it's been a while since he's had a good laugh, so i suppose it was worth the $200 repair.

well, our battery has been recharged and it seems like a good time to head outside and take a short break for a few several days. have fun and a good week!

xo, cindy

ps i got the best kettle corn at stew's place - it's slightly salty & sweet. yum!

guest : reading my tea leaves

we're very excited to invite you to please join us over at erin's place for our downtown view of the high line park. thank you, erin!

xo, cindy & scott

nyc : park life

this week it's all about park life in nyc. first up, the east side. this one is a newly-opened section of gantry plaza state park in long island city. we love all the different styles of seating, including the fun hammocks. enjoy the view!

xo, cindy

cool water mist makes for happy feet!

life : scott's tips

Hi Folks -

Well, as you know I was in the doghouse, yesterday. Here's the story. I always send Cindy a text message when I get to work. I drive about 20 miles and sometimes it can take more than an hour. The other day, I forgot and she wasn't able to get hold of me for two hours, so she was a bit upset. It's understandable, but I didn't run off to Argentina to hook-up with my 'soul mate' or anything. Anyway, over the years I've developed some helpful tips to get out of the doghouse when I find myself there occasionally -
  1. Apologize with no 'buts' attached. 'I'm sorry, but _____' is not going to work.
  2. It's not a good time to start complaining about her annoying stuff.
  3. Don't even think about trying to buy your way out of trouble at least with my wife.
  4. Accept that you might have short-term relapses as someone is a bit cranky with you.
  5. Never, never ask this question 'Is it that time of month?'
Happy wife, happy life. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'm enjoying my new found liberation here in our air conditioned apartment, for now.


PS Cindy said you should check out the video from Neko Case for People Got A Lotta Nerve. It's an interesting choice.

garden : vegetables

the new york botanical garden currently has a really interesting edible garden display. i've never seen pineapples outside a grocery store and the basket in the last photo reminds me of a hula skirt. these photos were taken with the yashica 35mm film camera i received last year and were the first batch to be successfully developed.

i really like the white border on the prints i purchase and was going to only use it on my film photos, but i kind of like it. it's another step and slows me down, but i think it will force me to be a better editor. let me know what you think. have a nice weekend!

xo, cindy

ps at 2:00 pm yesterday scott took up residence in the 'doghouse'. he is in very big trouble for not doing something he offered to do and subsequently nearly gave me a heart attack. it could be a very long weekend for him as there's no air conditioning in the doghouse or other nice things like running water, refrigeration, cable, me. pray for him ;).

garden : first tomatoes

les brumes texture

the first tomatoes from our tiny garden this year are little cherry 500s. we're usually late bloomers because we buy the small $2 plants, but this year we weren't playing around. we bought the $6 plants! someone is going to be very happy when he gets home today. he'd only be happier if i made dinner. you never know, stranger things have happened. i do know that i'll have some photos from the edible garden display at the new york botanical garden later this week.

xo, cindy

fun : nice people

florabella textures are really nice

we still receive nice comments/emails from our online friends asking about charlie and i just wanted to thank you so much and give an update. he is doing ok, but it's a struggle. helen was quite the talker and she was the one who kept everyone informed about things going on with different family members and friends. his world has gotten very quiet and 24 hours is a long day to fill. he's done very well with daily life and has socialized through bingo (lots of female widows), lunch at the local church (more widows and he's the only guy), atlantic city, golfing and us. recently he rolled out of bed and has a black eye. apparently, he was sleeping on helen's-side so he would be closer to the bathroom. he forget, rolled over and splat. oh boy!

kelly is the such a creative inspiration and so nice. she opened a new shop yesterday called sunrose studio featuring her wonderful photography and digital collages and the name is perfect for her. good luck, kelly!

except for one, our neighbors are really nice. the hydrangeas above are from our lovely neighbor in the house next door who insists on giving them to scott for me. i've been lucky to receive peonies and roses from his tiny garden, too. he doesn't speak english and we don't speak chinese. we bow and smile, a lot. everyone understands. it's nice. we hope to have some nice tomatoes from our tiny garden to share with him this summer.

i hope the members of the band fanfarlo are nice because their music certainly is. i like the cover art for their new album reservoir.

hope you have a very nice week! xo, cindy

home : the domestic arts

the only thing i made in these photos is the camera strap, but i ironed just about everything.

ever since my photography class finished i've been able to get back to sewing. it's such a rewarding craft as it is creative and functional, but does involve lots of math and ironing. my mom thought of ironing as an art form and would turn the laura ashley dresses i wore into things of beauty with each ruffle just so. although i don't really make him anything, scott seems to like when i sew, too. maybe it's because i usually ask him to check my calculations?

one project i was intent on making this summer was an apron. i never found the orla kiely version in target and was looking through a kitchen drawer for one i had to use as a pattern. i found it and three others that my mom made. i completely forgot about them! i washed and ironed each one and they are almost too pretty to use. the blue gingham one above is smocked, which is something i really love. i'm thinking i'll make one dish per apron, which will make scott really happy. not sure how long it will take me, but i hope not too long.

instead of the apron, i made a patchwork camera strap cover using alicia's tanglewood fabric squares pre-cut to the perfect size (thank you!) and her wonderful tutorial. i didn't realize it, but i seem to collect a lot of patchwork. not sure what to make next. any ideas?

hope you all have a nice weekend!

xo, cindy

ps i've gotten so lazy this summer, i don't seem to be able to use capital letters.

shop : anthropologie

we were in the anthropologie at rockefeller center this weekend and they always have the most wonderful window displays. very inspiring as i've been focusing on the domestic arts this week - sewing, laundry and ironing. the last two are photos are for their new vera collection. i loved seeing the actual screens for the prints.

happy wednesday! xo, cindy