Friday, January 30, 2009

I Heart TED

Any parent knows that while their little ones are bundles of joy, they are also the most time consuming things ever invented. A free evening is a rare thing when it comes along and most likely to be spent on catching up with friends or the long list of movies that never get seen. So what about higher culture? I was thinking when was the last time I had time to see a talk or go to a conference? I literally drew a blank. Maybe while I was pregnant.

I actually can't remember which is why I love the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) website. I don't think I'll be traveling to a TED Conference anytime soon, but I'm still able to engage my thinking brain with their video archive of talks. There is a wonderful selection of topics and speakers all published under a Creative Commons License so they can be reposted and shared at will. TED lives up to its slogan Ideas Worth Spreading.

Best of all, a lot of the videos run about 15 - 20 minutes which means you can squeeze some higher thinking into your day. Thanks TED!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Little Privacy Please

Anyone who has every spent any time in the children's section of an IKEA store knows that kids love the PS Lömsk chair. It's almost as popular as the Ball Room. There is always a line of little ones waiting to take their turn in this peek-a-boo enabled seat. I'm looking for some tot sized furniture for my own little one and this is definitely a contender. I might take it personally though if she spent too much time with the hood down.

V is for Vintage Valentines

I've been looking for some sweet Valentines Day cards to send to friends from me and my daughter and am horrified at the selection in stores. Who thinks Hannah Montana and Spiderman are appropriate symbols for a holiday that centers around the expression of love and friendship? Argh! I miss the cute and yes corny cards from my childhood.

If you prefer vintage cards too, here's a couple of links you'll enjoy.

Add a Vintage Valentine to your web page with cut and paste code from Zwani.

Take a walk down memory lane with the great sampling of vintage cards at 7deadlysinners.

I found the cards above via Curly Wurly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Nation

If Shepard Fairey's iconic Hope poster epitomized perfectly the tone of the Obama campaign, then I think Lance Wyman's poster captures the sheer joy and energy surrounding his election. Unfortunately both poster's are sold out. Too bad, I think this one would look great in any kids room.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. Through the Eyes of Children

Here's a charming slideshow of children's drawings of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Poughkeepsie Journal. Priceless!

The drawing above is from Charlie Gower's flickr stream. Visit it to see other terrific portraits of MLK.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Kokeshi Doll Dos

I love the hairdos on these little Kokeshi Dolls from Japanese Zakka. Wouldn't life be more fun if everyone at the office had a hairdo like one of these? I think I'd opt for the two little buns. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sweet Reads #2

I bought Stranger in the Woods for my niece two Christmases ago. When I get a chance I'm going to pick up a copy to add to my daughter's little library. It may be a bit beyond her 15 months, so I'll set it aside for later. I'll add it to the stash of books I would like to survive. Let's face it toddlers are not kind to their books.

The book tells the story of a special snowman who provides the woodland creatures with a little extra sustenance through the coldest days. I love the subtle message of living in harmony with nature and giving a tiny bit in the process. We've been putting out some carrots and apples for the deer in our backyard. Now, I'm hoping for a really good snow so I can build my little one a true snowman.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Little Space for Imagination

I'm so taken by this tiny felted playscape by asherjasper. I love the little animal pals, the hedgehog is especially sweet. I could see a lot of great make believe being sparked by this wee world. I think this is a brilliant use of felting.

The asherjasper Etsy shop also has a wonderful menagerie of felted animal balls. I can feel the beginning of an obsession starting and maybe a new collection too!

No Time to Knit Baby Booties and Mitts

Any one who is hopelessly behind on their knitting projects will appreciate these lovely lambswool booties and mitts from Papa Stour. They would would make a lovely present for the winter babies on you gift list. Baby it's cold outside!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun is as Simple as a Ball

It's easy to forget in the frenzy to find the coolest toys that sometimes the simplest things are the best. This Christmas at my brother's, after the kids had opened their gifts, we ended up in the basement which already houses a considerable toy collection. To my surprise the thing that captured my 15 month olds' attention was a giant pink ball. Giant in that it was almost as big as she is. My niece informed me she has seen a truly "giant" ball at Disney World, so there!

Anyway, I suddenly realized that my daughter with all the toys she's amassed to date, also a considerable collection, does not have a bouncy ball. So much for making a list and checking it twice. It's back to the store and back to basics.

The sweet dotted bouncers pictured above are made in Germany by Togu and available at

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Je T'aime Brooklyn

Yes, I love Brooklyn, French, sweat shirts, shopping and my little one. So buying this cute little top from Atsuyo et Akiko should be a no-brainer. (Damn this recession!) I spotted it at Sweet William, a super sweet kids store in Williamsburg, just before Christmas. Sweet William has a great selection of mostly organic clothing made by designers who use ethical manufacturing standards. That's the good news. The bad, the prices are as the French would say "une peu cher".

I did end up buying an adorable hat by Entertaining Elephants. The hat proved irresistible because it had little ears and tied under the chin. Now she looks too cute for words and can't rip her hat off two seconds after I put it on! I conveniently justified the expense thinking it would keep her own little ears warm. When I'm feeling a bit more flush maybe I can justify the sweat shirt on the grounds she'll learn French.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

For the Birds

This sleek bird feeder is sure to be a hit with your feathered friends. I could see the pale blue color would be particularly popular with the local robins. It's available from J Schatz in 7 additional colors including bright orange. If you're on a budget there are less expensive options available in most grocery stores including simple suet block feeders. It may take a day or two for your neighborhood birds to discover your offering, but once they do you'll be amazed how many different species are living right in your yard. It may not be television but it's sure to engross the kids.