finance : time for a pep rally

Dear Wall Street:

Please put the Bear into hibernation, bring out the Bull, and give us a Rally today. You can do it! Here's a lovely song called Details in the Fabric from Jason Mraz and James Morrison to keep you calm.

xo, Cindy

[Note: I think the stress is getting to me along with a cold. On two occasions, I posted and unposted things that were supposed to be scheduled. I'm sorry if you noticed and it's making you crazy when they're not here. Also, good for the Market today - I suddenly feel so powerful ;)!]

Photo Credit :
Wikimedia Commons

pics : tusk & monique lai

Hi All -

Recently, I was fortunate to be involved in the development of a marketing campaign for accessories company Tusk. The campaign was designed to highlight the sleek silhouettes and inventive details found in Tusk's handbags and small leather goods.

We worked with the phenomenal fine art photographer
Monique Lai to create the concept for the Spring 2009 Preview collection, which transports the bags to a different era 'Somewhere In Time'. Shot on location at the glamorous Jumeirah Essex House hotel on Central Park West the campaign features gorgeous Ford Model Gracileia wearing clothes from designer Alvin Valley.

I thought Monique's photos were so beautiful, I just had to show you. See more and details in the

xo, Cindy

tunes : kings of convenience

Hi All -

Black Eiffel had a beautiful post this week about ballerinas and it reminded me of the graceful Lladro porcelain figurine my Mom gave to me in college. When I was a kid, my best friend took all types of dance classes and was always in a recital. I wanted to join in, but was taking Flute lessons at the time and Mom couldn't afford the dance classes, too. Finally, when I got to college, I was able to live my dream and take ballet, modern, etc. three times a week. I don't think I was ever graceful, but it was fun and great exercise.

Now, the last couple of weeks have been particularly stressful with the financial meltdowns, and I've been listening to far too much NPR. I think this week's musical choice will provide a perfect respite from all the commotion - Kings of Convenience. I might be late to the party on this band from Norway, but better late than never. If you like Simon & Garfunkel, you will love these guys. I downloaded the album Riot On An Empty Street from iTunes and it included two songs featuring Feist - Know-How' and' The Build Up. This video for I'd Rather Dance With You is adorable and brings it all back to ballet.

Enjoy your weekend - get into the swing!

xo, Cindy

pics : love thursday

Hi All -

The Shutter Sisters have a fun, weekly feature called 'Love Thursday'. All you do is take a Love inspired photo and share a link on their site on Thursday. This is my first attempt with the theme and I've focused on some favorite chintz china and a vintage flower. The dish just so happens to also have a heart to seal the deal!

Be sure to check out their site for some incredible captures, including those from the delightful Mrs. French who just opened an Etsy shop - yay! Try it yourself and share the Love.

xo, Cindy

books : national punctuation day

Dear Readers:

I just found out that it is National Punctuation Day, although I'm sure one day is not nearly enough for us. You can read more about it on NowPublic.

Sincerely yours,

blog : honey, i'm home!

Hi All -

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and support yesterday! To be quite frank, one day with two blogs had me ready for the funny farm. I don't think the blogosphere needs another one originating from this corner of the world, so I'll stay put right here. I did change the format a bit on quaint though. Nothing like a little re-organization to make things feel like new ;). There will likely be a bit more to come.

xo, Cindy

blog : something new?

Hi All -

I hope you had a lovely weekend! We stayed around our neck of the woods and it was very relaxing.
Maybe it has to do with the change of season, but I'm thinking about something new and would love to hear your thoughts over here. Happy Autumn.

xo, Cindy

s/he : sweet-heart

He: "Hello Mrs. K. How was your day?"
She: "Very good Mr. K. Busy, but productive. And you?"

He: "The same, except for a couple of meetings."
She: "That's good. It's been a tumultuous week. Wouldn't you agree?"

He: "Yes. Hurricane Ike, Wall Street meltdowns, and marital discourse."
She: "Well, we're not in a position to control the first two, but the last one seems better."
He: "That's true. Those little spats usually don't last long, but we have to keep it real here and show the good, the bad and the ugly."
She: "Well, I have a poem for you so we can finish up the week on a positive note."

He: "A
She: Yes, don't worry. It is charming and was written by the renowned poet,
Ted Kooser. I just received a copy of his book Valentines after Rebecca wrote about him."
He: "Ok?"
She: "For over 20 years, Ted has been writing a poem for Valentine's Day and sending it on a postcard to his favorite women. He started with a list of 50
, including his wife and the wives of friends."
He: "
She: "Yes. The list has grown to 2,500 since then. Ready?"

He: "Yep."
She: "Are you sure this is a convenient time ;)?"

He: "Cut it out. Go ahead, please."

She: "Ok, here goes. Have a very nice weekend everyone. And, to those of you who work on the weekend, don't worry, your next day off will come soon enough, and we'll all be working.

A PERFECT HEART, by Ted Kooser

To make a perfect heart you take a sheet
of red construction paper of the type
that's rough as a cat's tongue, fold it once,
and crease it really hard, so it feels

as if your thumb might light up like a match,

then choose your scissors from the box. I like
those safety scissors with the sticky blades
and the rubber grips that pinch a little skin

as you snip along. They make you careful,

just as you should be, cutting out a heart

for someone you love. Don't worry that your curve
won't make a valentine; it will. Rely
on chewing on your lip and symmetry

to guide your hand along with special art.

And there it is at last: a heart, a heart!

Photo Credit : Cindy

s/he : sound of silence

She: "Shut! Up!"
He: "Fine!"
She: [He is so annoying lately. I can't watch Prison Break without thinking I'm seeing a home movie. Where are my headphones because he usually keeps talking?]
He: [Women!]
She: [How dare he - 'please don't talk to me until I'm settled when I get home from work'.]
He: [All I ask is for a few minutes to get settled when I get home. Is that too much to ask? And, I don't appreciate being told to shut up, either!]
She: [But, if he has something to say during that time frame I have to listen. I don't think so. Homey don't play that!]
He: [I don't get girls even after all these years. Talk, talk, talk.]
She: [Blah, blah, blah!]
He: [It's going to be a long night. I'm a Taurus, but she's Italian! She has family in Jersey City.]
She: [He's lucky my Grandpa from Jersey City isn't around.]
He: [I better start to fix this, although it will go on for a while.] "I'm sorry I walked away while you were talking."
She: "Mmmm. It's not very nice at all. Would you do that to your boss?"
He: "No."
She: "It was a crazy day at work and I wanted to tell you about it right away. I know it took you an hour and a half to drive 20 miles, but you know how I get riled up sometimes?"
He: "Ok, what happened?"
She: "Nothing! Never mind!"
He: [Here we go ....]

Photo Credit : Francois Lafite
PS Did you know there were pillow fight clubs and pillow fight days around the world? It's true, look at these fun pics from the giant pillow fight in Paris, October 2007. C'est magnifique!

tunes : have a cup with m.

A nice cup of tea while listening to the very sweet M. Ward sounds like it would be good right about now. I adore Transfiguration No. 1, but I'm only able to find a partial track.

xo, Cindy

finance : wall street

Betty Davis said it best in the movie All About Eve, "Buckle your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy ride." But, she wasn't talking about what might happen on Wall Street today with the recent financial troubles of Lehman Brothers (bankruptcy), Merrill Lynch (acquisition under pressure by Bank of New York), and AIG (bridge loans & asset sales). Don't forget that it's long-term gains when you invest in the market and we'll try to do the same.

We have a lot of empathy for the thousands of people who are likely to lose their jobs, which is a crisis
as significant as most natural disasters. It might be worse because it could be considered to be self-inflicted in many respects.

xo, Cindy & Scott
Photo Credit : Conceptualist

tunes : thank you & elbow

Thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences with us yesterday. It's interesting to read about the impact 9.11.01 had on people from other places and how a simple change in plans helped some to avoid disaster. I think I have a song today that provides a gentle transition from such a solemn day.

Apparently, based on my purchase history,
Amazon seems to think I should like the English band Elbow. I checked them out a few times and wasn't sure. Then recently, I saw the band perform on Live From Abbey Road and thought they were great. My favorite song is called One Day Like This and it is a romantic gem - "kiss me when my lips are thin".

Earlier this week
Holly posted about the music she's listening to and encouraged everyone to do the same - sounds good to me. We'll be keeping on eye on Texas this weekend as it looks like hurricane Ike is heading in that direction.

Happy weekend - hope it's beautiful!

xo, Cindy

PS I think there's a little somthin-somethin between the singer and one of the violin players. What do you think?

9.11.01 : we remember

  1. We remember the double exclamation points you put on the southern tip of Manhattan.
  2. We remember feeling we were home upon seeing you even though we had miles to go to get there.
  3. We remember the beautiful September morning on the day of the attacks.
  4. We remember we couldn't believe our eyes or the subsequent heartbreak we felt.
  5. We remember the smell in the air and silence in the sky, except for the fighter jets flying overhead.
  6. We remember the 2,974 innocent people who were killed and the 24 missing in New York City, the District of Columbia and Shanksville, and their loved ones.
  7. We remember the first responders who have died and continue to develop illnesses as a result of their efforts to make things better.
  8. We remember the love and support for the United States from around the world.
  9. We remember why so much of that support has since evaporated.
  10. We remember like it was yesterday.
  11. We always will.
xo, Cindy & Scott
Photo Credit : Jenniferrt66

craft : patchwork & the black eye

Floor Mat Transformed
The sunny color choices for the floor mat were too bright for our gray bathroom, so I turned it into a tablecloth for our yellow kitchen! The fabrics used are from Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Heather Ross, and a Japanese fabric called Honeycomb. I didn't want to create an actual quilt with batting, backing and binding, so I used fusible interfacing in white on the back for a neat finish. I've ordered Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin, so it would be great to stamp a pattern on the back (just what I need, another hobby ;)). We'll see because once I'm done with something that's usually it.

Although I often focus on what's 'wrong' when I make something, I am happy with how this spontaneous project turned out. The colors are cheery and look happy in our kitchen. Also, I do enough washing and ironing, so the Italian in me has put a heavy-weight clear plastic on top to keep it clean. I barely notice it, or choose not to ;).

Floor Mat Do-Over

Now that the floor mat has been transformed into a tablecloth, I still want something new for our bathroom, although it could really use a more dramatic makeover. This is the one we have now, which I made with fabrics from the Denyse Schmidt collection called Katie Jump Rope. I like it, but I'm ready for something different.

The fabrics I'm going with this time are from the Moda collection called 'Apron Strings'. They're typical calico and offer a much softer color palette. I'm going to kind of follow the patchwork pattern called 'Stacked Coins' from Purl's Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts. Since I only have a bunch of 4" squares, I hope there's enough fabric for the coins part. A nice calico in a a soft gray would be pretty to bring it all together, but that might be difficult to find. I'll check City Quilter and Purl Patchwork with fingers crossed.

What Happened to You?

What do we have here? I think it warrants a multiple choice question. Choose one. Scott -
  1. Came home, turned off my boy Jason, turned on Steely Dan, and got popped.
  2. Decided to get one eye lifted so he would look half his age.
  3. Was practicing playing Cyclops for an upcoming movie role.
  4. Visited an underground fight club.
  5. Has sensitive eyelids and had to have the doctor fix one and make it all better.
Although no. 1 is true minus the getting popped part and changing the music is perfectly fine as I am a stereo hog, the correct answer is no. 5. He has a shiner and looks oh so rugged like Rocky (I'll spare you those pictures).

Happy Wednesday!
xo, Cindy

pics : polaroid & eames

I saw a wonderful short film about the Polaroid SX-70 made by Charles and Ray Eames on The Mid-Century Modernist this weekend. This stylish promotional film shares the fun of photography and provides an interesting explanation about how to use the camera and its functionality. The film was produced in 1972 and the diversity of the people featured in it is really wonderful. I also love the sound of the camera and the actual photos, of course.

The post also led me to the wonderful website of graphic designer,
Jason Santa Maria (another JM), who shares his love for the camera and some very helpful tips for those of us who couldn't resist the temptation any longer after seeing that film and had to jump on over to ebay for her very own (better get some more film + a filter). Oh dear, I'm officially on creative overload! But, I finished my floor mat and it is now a tablecloth for our yellow kitchen ;). Pics and ideas for the 'new' mat in better color choices for a gray bathroom
to come.

Hope your weekend was great!

xo, Cindy
Photo Credit :
Gary K. Waters

tunes : their initials are jm

Jon McLaughlin

It just so happens that this group shares the initials JM, but you won't find John Mayer here. If the reports are true, he broke up with Jennifer Aniston in a text message saying "
That’s it - the end". John, are you crazy? Anyway, I digress. This group of guys are all singer/songwriters and may help you extend the waning days of summer if you live in the northern hemisphere. If you live in the southern hemisphere, you're just entering into spring, so you can get a head start.

The first time I heard Jon McLaughlin I thought - kid, you're gonna' be a star. I also thought - we know Erin, she knows you, so hook us up when you get to the Big Apple ;). Classically trained in Indiana, his songs represent piano-led rock balladry at its best. My favs are Industry (piano!), For You From Me, Perfect and Beating My Heart. His current album is Indiana with OK Now scheduled for release in early October (just in time for my birthday). Thanks to Annie for the 411 on Jon.

Jason Mraz
I've enjoyed Jason's music on the radio for a while with Remedy and Wordplay, but when I heard the song I'm Yours this summer I was smitten. He's a wonderful songwriter from Virgina and
most famous for his poetic, lyrical twists, which float across rock, hip-hop and jazz arrangements. Beautiful duets with Colbie Caillat (Lucky about being in love with your best friend) and James Morrison (Details in the Fabric about taking a deep breath) appear on his current album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.

There's a lot to say about Jason and he was "thisclose" to having a post all to himself because he loves POLAROID and has a book coming out. You can read more about it on his website where he will talk to you. Not sure I like that part as I'm usually listening to music! (He'll be at Radio City Music Hall the day before my birthday - are these guys in cahoots? Don't answer that.)

James Morrison
His first big hit in the US was You Give Me Something from his debut album Undiscovered, which has yielded more than five singles. Born in England, James has a lovely raspy voice reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and offers a gentle take on the sound of soul through simply beautiful songs. His new album Songs For You, Truths For Me drops at the end of September.

Other than Joni Mitchell, did I miss any JMs on your playlist?

xo, Cindy
Photo Credit :

fun : this & that

[Mr. Kim 604]
We turned out to be Mr. & Mrs. Boring this weekend. I think we burnt ourselves out with the photo shoot about our summer vacation ;). We aimlessly wandered around Long Island City, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. And then, we found out that the antique car show we were supposed to go to with my brother who owns this 1962 Corvette (he bought it on eBay!) is actually next weekend.

[Twentieth Century Fox]
We did see the new Woody Allen movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and it was very good. We usually love his movies because the city where they're shot always looks beautiful and they often feature interesting people acting kind of dopey. But, we wouldn't' recommend spending $20+ to see it in the theater - dvd should be just fine. We both agree that Javier Bardem is a real Don Juan and it's hard to believe that he was the crazy guy in the eerie No Country For Old Men. I guess that's why they call it acting?

I don't have many pictures this week because I'm working on an entry for
Jude's Do Not Leave Unattended! project. The idea about what to do came fairly quickly (hmm, too quickly perhaps?), but execution is tricky, so I'm involved in a lot of mental gymnastics trying to figure it out. This is such a wonderful project as it lets us shift from interacting through bits and bytes to tangible journals that travel from person to person through the mail. The first entries are really wonderful. If you haven't already, you should sign up. Thanks Jude!

I'm also trying to get back to sewing again by starting with a new floor mat for our bathroom. The pieces have been cut, arranged, and now on to sewing. It's always interesting to see how a quilting project changes from selection of the fabrics to cutting them out to binding. It's looking very yellow/orange so we'll see what happens.

Have a great week ... new music choices on Friday, if not sooner.

xo, Cindy