fun : giveaway!

i hope you all had a nice weekend! since i've been so fortunate recently in the giveaway arena, it's time to give a little something back to our very dear readers. so, leave a comment telling us a highlight of your summer or winter depending where you live before september 2nd for a chance to win this back-2-school inspired giveaway -
  1. heather smith jones jotter - i have two.
  2. muji 5-color ballpoint pen with mechanical pencil.
  3. shanna murray & pistachio press limited edition letterpress card.
  4. a very special surprise or two made by yours truly. think a butterfly garland.
  5. all wrapped in a wonderful sewn mailer from pickalapoopa.
we'll announce the lucky recipient on september 2nd. good luck!

xo, cindy

ps in the meantime, here's a new band that everyone can enjoy, now - the drums. based out of brooklyn, their retro-surf inspired sound will certainly extend the last days of summer, especially since their new ep is called summertime. love the song let's go surfing. enjoy!

fun : happiness is ...

susannah conway - cupcake heaven

lorena arance - piece of me (guitar)
kelly connor sonrose - soft flowers

receiving photos from around the world! winning one from susannah (england) and kelly (usa), thank you both! purchasing one from lorena (spain).

i learned about the art of holly farrell years ago on a favorite design show called room service with sarah richardson. it was nice to see holly's current work in the current edition of small magazine along with some incredible photos by jen altman.

livy's craft closet is absolutely divine and so are her image collages.

bright and cheery aprons, banners and more from pam wares.


coldplay's chalkboard video for strawberry hill is fantastic! like some of their first releases (trouble), this song is so endearing it almost brings tears to my eyes. all i can say is - help, help, save me ;)!

we'll be having a back-2-school inspired giveaway monday, but it will be quick. enjoy your weekend!

xo, cindy

fun : this is home project

he + art = heart

the graphic submission deadline for the this is home project is friday, august 31st! you should all do it. i'm no graphic designer and took a shot. i couldn't pick one phrase from those submitted to represent graphically, so i chose three. so greedy. there are some really wonderful submissions over there worth a look see.

xo, cindy

fun : weekend surprises

some surprises from this weekend:

- pretty bouquet for $7 and trying a new lightroom technique above (i started with an aged photo preset, but made a bunch of changes to it),
- scott showing me some books in kinokuniya (i didn't buy any, which is good because i don't need one more book i can't read),

- new handmade tablecloth for our kitchen table (there are vitamins in the pepper container because we use ground pepper, my brother made the napkin holder),
- white peach glazed doughnut (i'm totally hooked on these darn doughnuts!),

ping pong in bryant park,
- scary movies new (even though it was dopey, this one made me put the chair by the door, for real) and old (warrren beatty was so beautiful - that hair). one more old one, but i can't remember the name or track it down - the movie was about a couple who kills widows. so dark and creepy.

- this wild morning glory appeared in the window box we're not supposed to have. we didn't plant anything in it this year other than pine cones and the air conditioner from above drips into it. did you know that air conditioner water is very good for plants? it's true - high in nitrogen.

hope y'all had some nice surprises these weekend!

xo, cindy

pics : hydrangeas & roses

two types of hydrangeas.

and roses, too.

thank you for the wonderful comments about the night time photos, everyone! right now, it is hot, hot, hot and hurricane bill is heading north! i'm going to channel cooler temperatures with some photos taken this spring using my film camera at the new york botanical garden. film always = a surprise. have a wonderful weekend, everyone! we have no plans so there are sure to be some surprises.

xo, cindy

pics : nyc after dark

empire state building, un, chrysler building

when i took the photography class this spring everyone loved taking photos at night. it's a challenge for me. once i get home it's really hard to get me to go out, again. i don't sleep that well and get up early. i don't even like to go out for dinner. but, you can capture wonderful images at night. lots of color and mood.

so, this saturday, we went out to dinner over in long island city (home of julie powell), which also has a wonderful view of manhattan. there were so many people in the park and many had cameras while they waited for sunset at around 8:00 pm. next time, i think it would be interesting if there were clouds and i'll bring a small tripod so i can slow down the shutter speed, let in more light and eliminate all camera shake.

being out in the evening was definitely a lot of fun. it was even interesting just to go to the supermarket at that hour :).

xo, cindy

queensboro bridge.

pepsi sign seen in julie & julia, but during daytime in the movie.

cranes built in the 1920s to load and unload railroad car floats.

detail of the cranes.

detail of the cranes from another side.

times square can be seen just down the middle below the chrysler building. i'd love to go there next time.

this doesn't really fit with this set, but i love neon signs and they make them here.

yums : doughnut perfection!

doughnut or donut, anyway you spell it, i love you!

look at this amazing doughnut! it's square with a hole in the middle and filled with blueberry jam and covered with a peanut butter glaze. normally, i wouldn't eat the whole thing in one shot (save half for later), but this one from the doughnut plant via dean & deluca was sublime. scott doesn't eat doughnuts, so it was mine, mine, ALL MINE! it didn't hurt that i had it after seeing the sweetest docu-comedy called paper heart, which is about whether or not everyone is capable of feeling fairy tale-style love. i definitely do for this doughnut!

we stayed out really late (for us) this saturday - 9:30 PM and i'll have a few nyc skyline photos to prove it later this week. i really don't know how i stayed out so late when i was younger because i was totally dragging myself around. must take naps because it was very nice and so grown-up. hope you had a nice weekend!

xo, cindy

pics : film from the country

sometimes, i don't realize i haven't loaded the film properly into my film camera. i take lots of photos with no results. it happened this week, although i did manage to get a few and figured out what i was doing wrong. but, big whoop! yesterday, i learned about angelia's lovely studio/craft space in virginia, which she lost in a fire. everything. so, erin is calling on all of us in the blogosphere to show some support for the handmade community by getting the word out about a fundraiser for $3,000 to help save the thread get back on its feet. we don't have a shop, but we do have a paypal account and have made a small donation = to a couple of cappuccinos. we won't miss the extra caffeine a bit.

have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

xo, cindy

fun : happiness is ...

could i wear that skirt any higher? i'm chaneling julia child. i was
inspired by meg to do the the self-portrait even though it makes me uncomfortable. as of 2:26 pm, it's been replaced three times. i'm done, now.

making a simple denim skirt with some patchwork binding i purchased long ago from i heart linen and a fabric flower using a pattern from martha stewart weddings. two more things off the summer to-do list. i got the blouse in a beautiful liberty of london fabric on sale from pronk.

going down to the laundry room in our building and finding the lights aren't even on, yet. i'm the first one and all alone.

new tradition
i'm old enough to need a routine mammogram each year and each time i get more scared about the results. from now on, after having the test, i'm going to make a donation to susan g. komen for the cure as a thank you.

the new season for mad men starts this sunday. we can't wait!

a really good free itunes single of the week from british artist gary go. according to itunes he 'grew up near wembley stadium listening to music float through his bedroom window." lucky chap!

xo, cindy

pics : ice ice baby

thank you so much for visiting me over on simply hue - your support & encouragement really mean so much to me. if you want your photos featured, you just have to send vicki an email. i believe she will be continuing the photographer spotlights in the future.

several weeks ago, i read an article in the june 2009 issue of martha stewart living about chilled soups. i wasn't so interested in making the soups, but loved how the photographer, kenji toma, captured them through a layer of ice like this -

image : martha stewart living

pretty cool, huh? he had one layer of ice, then the chilled soup, then another layer of ice on top. there was lighting from below, while kenji stood on a ladder about 6 feet up to take the photo. there was also a blow-dryer involved to melt certain spots.

for some reason, i wanted to try it. first, i started with a layer of scratched lucite on four glasses with a little dish below. i like the texture from the lucite and will likely use it, again.

for the ice, i used a 8" square cake pan, and after a few attempts, figured out that i should shoot through ice that was very thin and barely frozen so it remained clear. i added a blue fabric (pajama bottoms) underneath, which helped make it look cold.

i don't imagine using ice again, as it got everything wet (surprise, surprise), but i'll try other things like screens, lace, plastic wrap, etc. to create my own textures.

i wouldn't say this project was the highlight of our weekend, although i'm glad it's off my list. the highlights would be the absolutely fantastic julie & julia movie (more about them both to come, i think) and taking charlie to the high line and chelsea market on sunday. he said it was the best day he's had since losing helen and that's a pretty good day if you ask me. hope you enjoyed your weekend!

xo, cindy

ps i'm always late to post on monday because i try not to work on our computer over the weekend. maybe i should just be early for tuesday?

guest : simply hue

i'm very excited to invite you to please join me over at beautiful simply hue as i'm a part of vicki's spotlight on photographers, today. there are incredible photographers in her series and some very nice giveaways. thank you, vicki!

fun : happiness is ...

embroidery by says you

this is home is a wonderful new project from erin and christa. participation is open to everyone by sharing an interpretation of the meaning of home through words or images. it's a really nice reminder about the most special place or state of mind there is. mine was home = love.


receiving mail can be a very nice thing, especially from special people. the top postcard was sent to me by sweet jewels and i love the quote.

the second photo includes a custom embroidery that i won in a giveaway by says you on design for mankind. it is just the most special piece and really unbelievable to receive. betsy is a very talented lady and makes the most charming embroideries with a touch of whimsy.

this might be corny, but i have a wonderful book illustrated by monica sheehan called be happy, a little book to help you live a happy life. one thing we've started just before falling a sleep is to reflect on the good things about our day. it's the last thing we do and so nice. sometimes, it's really simple like - we woke up!

hope you have a wonderful weekend! i'd really love to see julie & julia, but scott is working saturday (ugh!) and we're taking charlie to the high line on sunday. hope it's not too hot up there.

xo, cindy

ps i won a couple of other contests last month and will feature them soon.

pics : beach diptychs {last}

this is main beach in east hampton. the waves were really choppy that day, but we managed to avoid being turned into shark bait, this time.

queene anne's lace & a red bicycle from the maidstone country club at the beach.

we always go to the east hampton house. this time we had a 1-bedroom suite with a kitchen and corner view. we always wanted to stay in this room and it was pretty nice. we could eat dinner, look at the view and watch tv all at once. it was great, except watching tv during dinner is a no-no, especially the news.

the grounds are really pretty and it's convenient to town. they have a pool & tennis courts, too.

i was on a quest for lightening bug photos and it was nice to go out after sunset. i have severe lightening bug guilt from what we did as kids. we not only put them in jars, but sometimes after they would light up, we scraped the glowing part off and put it on ourselves. did anyone else do this horrible act? i'm really sorry for it and i'm serious.

it's no surprise that i didn't get the lightening bug photos, but i found some other cool stuff, including a sweet song about them by owl city. well, i found the song when we got home.

the 'cottages' are so pretty on huntting lane.

i love the stone path to the doorway.

we could be happy in either place. we're not picky.

the stone wall and topiaries are really pretty.

we always kidded about buying the house by the train station if it was available. it's so tiny with 2 bedrooms/1 bath on a lot that is about 75' by 75' and the train tracks almost in the front yard. but, it is so cute and convenient to town and the train. it's for sale for $750K! might as well dream a little bit bigger and go for a cottage on the beach.

wish we were all there, now! this might be the last time for a while, thank goodness you say ;). we have a big anniversary coming up in october and should really go someplace else. oh boy, it's tough because we haven't been on a plane since 9/11. suggestions on how to plan a real trip are welcome. i'd love to go to san francisco.

xo, cindy