tunes : love this uk import

I just simply could not leave you for the weekend without a music recommendation. I learned about the snazzy English band Captain when I read they were going to open for Keane (not that I was able to go to the concert). Their up beat tempos can be a bit deceiving as their lyrics are sometimes a little bit dark. See if you notice. Rich in sound, quirky and interesting.

All right, for real this time, have a lovely weekend!

xo, Cindy
Photo Credit :

fun : summer vacation

Dear Miss Cerutti + Miss Wolf:

It's been awhile since we've been in your elementary school classes, but we haven't forgotten either of you. As is customary with each new school year, we wanted to show you some of the things we did on our summer vacation, which reflects stuff you taught us.

Physical Fitness

Hmmm ... shouldn't you put the pin in? Is that your Robert DeNiro face? You wanna' piece a me?

Dodge Ball Revenge
We profusely apologize for the poor image quality with this one. Scott was quaking in his kicks at the thought of the g-force that would be expended in his direction should that ball explode.

Swings - weee!
They sure make the seats a lot smaller and lower to the ground these days. Scott isn't allowed to jump from the swing after the last time he fell down and went boom.


What's cookin' good lookin'?
Nutrition 101 covered all three major food groups:
carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Pizza has vegetables
We were a little bit scared during this meal. A man kept looking in our direction. It seemed like he might tip over. He approached our table while we were in mid-bite. Was he going for our pizza? Bad idea. No, he said that Cindy looked like Laura Bush and he adored her, Laura that is. You taught us to never speak to strangers and we didn't.

Strawberry ice cream has milk and fruit
A yummy trifecta of carbs, fats and proteins.


Ralph Lauren's Tree House
Amazing to see this in the store, so we took the stairs.

Gold Medal Swimming
Scott pretended to be Michael Phelps - watch me, watch me! Actually, he had to swim back and forth several times
because it didn't occur to Cindy to change the camera setting to continuous in order to capture this action shot - oops.


All that swimming made us put our heads down and ask the clouds to temporarily turn off the sun.

Someone tried to escape, but was grabbed by the leg.

Class Play

The Farm
We created a play that took place on a farm in the 1700s. Doesn't our set look authentic? Psych, it's the Home Sweet Home Museum.

The hat was purchased years ago from Edna Mae's Millinery in Newport, Rhode Island. The dress was a rare fashion find from Target and similar to one sold by J. Crew for a lot more dough.

We couldn't find Scott a snazzy hat that fit him, so it was a one women play.

Why so serious?
I really need to exhale already - can you hurry up? Plus, this sepia tone is adding 10 years to my face. Blink and this photo might be gone!

Method smiling
This is supposed to be like Cindy's in a cornfield. More like a field of ornamental grasses next to the pool. There were cornfields available, but we're averse to buckshot and dirt, so we improvised.

School Pictures

Time to get serious and clean up for our class pictures.

Stop squirming!

Ok, we'll be good now and act our ages - not!

One final message for each of you:

You were Cindy's second grade teacher and beautiful enough to be on Mad Men. But, was it really necessary to write on her report card that she "talked to much in class"? She became really shy, and now, we're all paying for it.

Miss Wolf
You were Scott's fourth grade teacher and very nice. But, did you misspell the word "bully" on his report card. Didn't you really intend to reference his astrological sign, which is Taurus, the Bull?

See you next year. Write back soon.

Very truly yours,
Cindy B + Scott

PS Have a happy and safe weekend everyone! We'll be keeping an eye on Gustav as it seems to be heading for our friends down in the Gulf Coast. See you in September.

the winner & a surprise

He: "I thought those independent auditors from a top 5 accounting firm would never leave!"
She: "Oh brother, we used, which is probably more reliable. Ok, you say it while I make the drum roll sound."
He: "Megan is the lucky winner of our 100th post giveaway and she is Queen of the Day!"
She: "Sweet! Thank you to everyone for your lovely and encouraging comments, and for joining us in our barrel of monkeys."
He: "We're heading off to the beach for one last summer fling and will be taking a brief interlude from quaint handmade as we're kind of sick of ourselves and our stuff.
Having said that, our plan is to have some creative self-portraits when we get back as we're still searching for props."
She: "Ho ho ho ho ho ho - HOLD IT!"
He: "What?"
She: "You know what I would think if I just read that?"
He: "Tell me [can I stop her?]."
She: "Two words - Plastic Surgery! That's what people do, they go away for a week."
He: "No way. [thinking] We better offer up some proof so people can compare down the road."
She: "No! I don't have anything interesting. I wanted to do something like Tim Walker (link goes to his amazing portfolio). Mysterious, so the blogarazzi doesn't get us. See?
He: "Whoa, I'm not dressing up that much. Come on, it's just like pulling off a band aid."
She: "Well, o-k. Here are some photos of us to use as a benchmark in case everything on our faces suddenly shifts upwards. Just keep in mind that these are "natural" shots. I only had under eye concealer beneath one eye and Scott was sleepy, all day."

He: "It's hard to see, they're so small."
She: "Really ;)?
Wishing y'all a happy weekend, Monday, Tuesday ... you get the picture. See you on the other side of our little break, but I'll be checking your blogs - can't get rid of me that easily."

Props : Crown, Bellochio + Rose, Suili

thanks to the academy!

Recently, my wallflower self has been encouraged to get up on stage and accept a couple of awards for quaint. The
Arte de Pico award comes from the uber-creative Ellia of Greenbeanbaby Art. And then, Laura of the always interesting Quirkology and Monica of the beautiful M & Co awarded us with the Brilliante Weblog award. Thank you so much for the honors ladies as you all never fail to inspire us!

Monica's award involved some questions, so here we go with a rebel yell as I kind of re-interpret the rules. Scott is supposed to answer them on his own and it will be interesting to see if there is any overlap. Should be ;).

What are the last 3 things you purchased?
* Waves prints from Mav & Lena
* Damask Wooden Gocco Postcard from Krissy
* Patchwork Linen Tape from Rashida

What are the last three songs you downloaded?
* Bess Rogers - Decisions Based On Information, album
* The Kooks - Shine On, video
* Jon McLaughlin - Beating
My Heart - love this!

What were the last three places you visited?
* Brooklyn, The Bronx & Queens all in the same day
* East Hampton, NY
* Cape May, NJ

What are your three favorite movies?
This is hard as we love to watch movies, but these popped into my head right away.
* Bullitt
* Rear Window
* Finding Nemo, but Wall-e might replace the fish

What are your three favorite possessions?
* Wedding ring
* Vintage sterling silver & enamel collection
* Membership card to the New York Botanical Garden

What three things can you not live without (other than family and friends)?
* iPod
* Television
* Cosy bed

What would be your three wishes?
* World love
* Good health all around
* Perform on stage with a favorite band, or any band for that matter

What are three things you haven't done yet?
* Traveled to California (04.09?), Japan, Italy, Scandinavia
* Adopted a dog
* Picked winning lottery numbers, but
this one won't matter if I get my three wishes first

What are your three favorite dishes?
* Almost anything Scott makes for me, which is a lot
* Ice Cream
* My Mom's homemade
Spaghetti and Meatballs

What three celebrities do you want to hang out with most?
I'm a jaded New Yorker, so don't really give a hoot, but there are a few exceptions.
* Kelly Jones, Stereophonics
* Pia Jane Bijkerk (changed from Kate Spade after thinking about it on the subway this morning)
* Steve McQueen back in the 1960s

Name three things that freak you out?
* Being scared
* Dirt on me, I wouldn't last 15 minutes on Survivor
* Snakes

Name three unusual things you are good at
* I've never lost a sock doing laundry
* Figuring out things without the directions. Actually, I'm not sure I'm good at it, but just prefer to do it that way.
* I'm very observant and will notice a message/details that might go unnoticed.

What are three things you are currently coveting?
* Nikon SLR
* Beach House
* 20/20 vision

Name three bloggers you are tagging and giving a "Brilliante Weblog" award to and seven for the "Arte de Pico" award.
* Making these choices is too much pressure because
everyone who visits this blog is a Superstar.
I'm not sure people want to be tagged and I don't want to be annoying.
* So, if you haven't received these awards yet, consider yourself awarded by me. Yay!

Note: Jen B of the Polaroid-filled Scissors Paper Glue and lovely Michelle of Cicado Studios have taken the baton and accepted their
Arte de Pico and Brilliante Blog awards. Hurray!

xo, Cindy

music that's smooth

Slim Aarons

In order to be fair, we have moved on to bands that include guys, although the lead singers are still girls - haha. I'm thinking about the book
A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life, by Slim Aarons with these music picks. One thing I learned about his photography was that he never used a stylist or makeup artist - he only worked with the "beautiful" people so I guess they didn't need any, or had their own.

Note: Slim Aarons' daughter Mary stumbled upon our blog today and left the following comment on the 100th post entry -

"I am Slim Aarons' daughter...and true...he never did work with a stylist. He was his own stylist. The beautiful people he shot were "styled" by him. He'd move flower pots around, rearrange furniture, have women re-style their hair, choose different outfits than the ones they wanted to wear etc. He choreographed every single shot he took!"

That was cool and shows how differently many photographers work today with entire teams of specialists.

Now, on to the music. These bands have a very cool vibe reminiscent of Palm Springs or Monte Carlo in the 1970s and are great listens to extend the waning days of summer. I only write about music in my library, so please share bands you know who fit the bill.

I first heard the UK-band Beaumont from their cd for kate spade.
Laid back 1960's-style cocktail music. Uber-cool.

The New York trio called Ivy features Parisian-born singer Dominique Durand in combo with the chiming guitars and rich arrangements of Andy Chase and Adam Schlesinger.

Pink Martini
Portland, Oregon-based Pink Martini is a 12-piece orchestra that offers a language lesson in English, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. I don't always know what they're singing about, but their robust beats more than make up for it and set the tone.

xo, Cindy

Photo Credit : Other than the first one,

apartment therapy unplggd & us

I think our 15 minutes of fame are just about over as our computer cabinet was featured on Apartment Therapy Unplggd yesterday! Very cool, but seeing those photos so large has convinced me that I need to get a tripod. Thank you so much Sondra!

xo, Cindy

97, 98, 99, ONE HUNDRED!

She: "Do you know what today is?"
He: "Monday?"
She: [Gives stink-eye.]
He: "I know, it's our 100th post!"
She: "Final answer?"
He: [Gives stinkeye.]
She: "Hahaha. Yes, it's our 100th post!"
He: "That is really amazing! Remember we thought we were going to be kicked off the web after the surfing post?"
She: "Yeah, that post was so silly. In the beginning, we started out with the intention of keeping an online journal of our comings and goings because I was concerned that we didn't have scrapbooks and such."
He: "Right, and it's a way to keep track of the things we like, but mostly your stuff."
She: "True, you are my muse. Hehehe."
He: "I know - lucky me! But, to be serious, I like the blog because it makes you really happy as you've met people who like the things you like."
She: "All together - awww."
He: [Gives stink-eye, again!]
She: "Just kidding. But yes, the best part of this adventure is the people we've met."
He: "That has been nice because we really are low-key and don't talk too much about ourselves in the "real" world, believe it or not."
She: "True, we're generally active listeners ;). So, when a blog hits a milestone, it is customary to offer a give-away as a thank you."
He: "One of us?"
She: "No, something that people might actually find useful!"
He: "Phew."
She: "I came up with a giveaway that I think our friends here might like. Here goes -
  • Pamela Barsky Journal made from a vintage scarf
  • Kate Spade Note Cards that say "watch less. write more."
  • Quaint Handmade Lavender Sachet
He: "Cool. What do people have to do to get it."
She: "Just leave a comment no later than August 21st and make sure there's contact info if they win."

He: "Sounds good to me."

She: " We'll announce one winner for the entire haul on August 22nd and mail it to anyplace on Planet Earth. And, thanks everyone for visiting us in our little neck of woods. It's been the highlight of the summer."
He: "Yeah, what she said."

She: "Copycat!"

Photo Credit : Cindy

let's hear it for the girls, again!


If Feist reigns supreme in your music library (adored her appearance on Sesame Street), these songbirds might strike your fancy, too.

Imogen Heap
Sure, Imogen wears crazy outfits to award shows, but she's an artist for goodness sake. Hailing from London, Imogen's sound is reminiscent of Björk (who also wears crazy outfits) with a nice mix of electronica. Graceful and passionate. Love that red dress, too.

Sara Bareilles
Piano-playing Sara was born in California and combines intelligent, playful songwriting with melodies that sparkle. Her performance this week on Live From Abbey Road was great and revealed that she's a strong and smart young lady. Her first pop-hit was Love Song, which is not about romantic love. The inspiration behind the song came from continual requests by her record label for more songs because they were unhappy with those she had written - argh.

Ingrid Michaelson
A true New Yorker, you've probably heard Ingrid's songs before, but you just don't realize it. Songs like Breakable and Keep Breathing have been featured on Grey’s Anatomy and Old Navy used The Way I Am in a commercial.
She was criticized by die hard fans as they wanted to think of Ingrid as their own. But hey, a girl's got to pay the rent.

Bess Rogers
I added Bess after reading Stephanie's recommendation and purchased her album from iTunes. A little reminiscent of Regina Spektor. Lovely.

Have a lyrical weekend everyone!

xo, Cindy

Photo Credit :

farming in a high rise?

There was a very interesting discussion on NPR today about Vertical Farms. Briefly, the plan is to construct high rise buildings
in urban centers with the intention of year-round crop production.

Sounds cool - 12th floor, corn!

xo, Cindy

Photo Credit : The Vertical Farm Project

design*sponge & us!

Holy mackerel, we are thrilled to tell you that our pink cabinet is included in the Before and After feature on the fantastic Design*Sponge today. We'd say it's a Gold Medal day! Thank you so much Grace!

xo, Cindy + Scott

paint it, replace it, organize it!

This is the cabinet we use to store our computer and I just finished giving it a make-over.
Since it's located in our bedroom, we chose something that could be closed up at the end of the day - it's bad enough having technology in our bedroom. Although it was no fun, I painted the outside of this cabinet white (3 coats) a few years ago and I'm glad I did as the style is much different than our new bedroom furniture (more on that another day).

The cabinet looks ok, but was kind of crowded with the large PC tower (almost 8 years old), monitor, printer, scanner and work files. I used to make handmade stationery and it's hard to believe that I printed well over 5,000 greeting cards from this workspace with that equipment.

This is the cabinet now with the
more compact (beautiful) iMac I've been wanting to get for a long time and an all-in-one printer, which opens things up a bit. The speakers are gone and work files have been re-organized in order to free up space on top. The chair was purchased in Housing Works Thrift Store and guess what I did to it? Right! I painted it white!

One thing I've learned the hard way is the importance of regularly backing-up your computer - everyday. After my experience in the hard-drive heartbreak hotel, I used Norton Ghost to back-up from one drive to another on my PC. It's a good system, but if something catastrophic happens to your computer (power surge, fire, theft) all of your data could be lost. I've been told by my tech friends that it's best to back-up online or to an external hard-drive that is stored separately, which is what I'm doing now.

To lighten up the inside of the cabinet, no way was I going to paint it and like the contrast from the wood, I purchased some wrapping paper from Kate's Paperie to line the shelves. The paper is made by Barbara Schriber Designs and I needed 6 sheets at about $6 each. It has a vintage feel and if it gets tired looking won't be expensive or difficult to replace, unlike the vintage wallpaper I was considering. [Note: This kind of paper is delicate and susceptible to stains from soda cans, etc. I have a clear plastic on the pullout shelf for the keyboard and try to use a coaster on the surface with the computer.]

We have limited storage space, so I like being organized. But, I don't like getting that way and try to have some sort of system even though it's not perfect. Russell + Hazel binders and files make storage happy and nice to look at, which makes them more likely to be used.

Even just having file folders handy helps, a lot - these are from Target. We still have to go through our files a few times a year, but it's better than the leaning tower of paper we used to have on the kitchen table - almost 12" high at one point - ugh!

The file box is from Target and I covered the top with the wrapping paper. It holds software and
technology information. Most of our other home/work files are kept in our desk in the pink studio. The vintage enamel box holds frequently used cables for our iPod and camera. The router and dsl connection are stored under the printer and turned off when not in use.

The nicest part of this cabinet is the inspiration doors I've been able to create. The panels on the doors are inset so I glued on some cork in order to be able to display art and mementos. The cork is not deep enough for thumbtacks, so I use quilting pins and pretty colored binder clips.

In this space, I'm lucky to have love notes from Scott, plus work purchased on Etsy by -

Jess Gonacha
: You Are My Sunshine Gocco Print
Heather Smith Jones : Dew Upon Roses Watercolor
: Rose photo
Roadside Projects : Girl with camera
: Crocheted Rose

: Letterpress Library Card
Royal Buffet : Butterfly Gift Tag
Dawbis : Collage
The Paper Peony : Bird's Nest Thanks Card
Pretty Little Things : Felt Flowers
Laurie Coyle Designs : Mod Spring Birdy Gocco Print
Blue Citrus Art : Pendant
Sarah Ridgley : Skull Card
Donna Compton : Flower Photo

Phew, glad that's done. I hope there was some helpful information and resources, especially the etsy-love. Do you have any tips for getting organized?

Photo Credit : Cindy