Archive for September, 2011

Henry’s sweet birthday

Henry’s parents are our dear friends Liz and Sean. It’s crazy that Henry is already 1 – where did the year go? His mom created our ketubah, and is a phenomenal pattern designer with lots of style. Here are some scenes from his adorable party. Happy First Birthday Henry!

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Repainted paintings

Sometimes when we are in Cornwall we come across yard sales or estate sales where people unload their old paintings for under $10. Often we are torn about whether or not we actually like the painting, but at this low price it’s hard to pass up a piece that’s in a nice (large) frame or – even better – an already stretched canvas that’s in good shape. This past weekend we pulled out a very-horizontal painting that – to be honest, I liked – except for a pair of cartoonish ladies that were painted in the foreground. We needed to fill an empty spot in the wall – and with that end goal in mind, we went about repainting our painting.

First, you put on your oldest pajamas that you don’t mind getting paint on. Next, you slip out to the garden and hope the kids don’t get paint everywhere.

We covered our canvas in white, and with our inspiration nearby – we almost made a Rothko replica.

We made it our own and filled a space over the television.
My husband created this ‘chocolate Pollock’ which I insisted stay over the dining table – it is just that yummy to look at.

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Found things

I am not in the habit of picking through trash, especially with the bed bug epidemic going on in NYC area. In these times (green-marketing/’upcycling‘ of everything) one does however feel an obligation to recover good, reusable things when you see something useful standing in the street – looking abandoned and well, totally salvageable. There was a night when rain was pouring down and this gorgeous orange chair was standing by bags, waiting for the garbage truck with all the other trash and recyclables. I mention that it was raining because the weather was doing most of the work for us; saturating this valuable piece of furniture with water so that it was soaked and well cleaned to its frame by the time we got it inside to dry. And sure enough – there it was; the ‘Herman Miller’ label on the bottom just like this one.

Did I mention that most Eames chairs with label in tact can start at $300 a pop?

It seems fitting that we hung this recycled painting right over it. More to come on our ‘repainted paintings‘ series .. stay tuned.

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Before and after shots of Ezra’s most recent and most desperately needed haircut. I love the barber’s photo on the mirror in the background; of the man with the pipe! What is he about?

a little scared:


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Frock talk

More gratuitous photos of Zoe in her summer dresses. Before the cold weather stays and we have to pack them away, here is posey-grumpy-sleepy-happy-peekaboo (and always sweet) Zoe in her summer frocks:

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9/11 trip out of town

After a 4 day work week (which still felt incredibly long) we woke on Saturday morning to sunshine. What a pleasant surprise – I totally anticipated another rainy weekend indoors, and frankly I dreaded the idea of going into Manhattan to see museums. All the streets were blocked for 9/11 events and by Friday night I had already seen too many recaps on television. I didn’t live far from the towers 10 years ago, so I opted to sit this one out this time. We jumped in the car and escaped to a day trip in Long Island – Fire Island to be exact. My kids love any trip that requires a little travel on a ferry boat. We enlisted Lea and her family (the Seows) and when we arrived, the kids were ecstatic to be able to scoot and move around without worrying about traffic. At first we were certain the rain would come down on us at the beach, but instead the gray clouds seemed to blow off the shore and out to sea: meaning we got a lot of dramatic light for picture-taking. We found some strange ‘sea bugs’ on the shore and the dads created a giant tunnel in the sand. By sundown all the kids were wiped out and ready for bed. It’s amazing how tiring all that ‘hole digging’ can be.

Watching the ferry dock, from inside:

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Labor Day

By Labor Day the rain had somewhat subsided, and we decided to chance it and run to the Goshen Fair while the weather was on our side. I have to confess, we are not big on ‘carnivals’ or amusement park rides – so we went right for the animals and blue ribbon wearers. There were some colossal pumpkins and perfect vegetables, and even a giant rabbit. In the end Ezra and Zoe spent the most time in ‘Reggie the Potter‘s’ demonstration booth – watching her throw and shape clay into the tiniest clay pots. Apparently she has classes for kids and was so patient with little viewers, I’d suspect she makes a fantastic pottery teacher. See her website and class listings here.

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We met a few new friends. Zoe got to eat pancakes with her new little friend Glory, and we all met Glory’s new brother Linus. Another unexpected country-home diversion for a rainy day: Ezra rolled back the top of an old roll-top desk upstairs to expose a white fluffy nest made up of the house insulation and down feathers from our blankets. Once the parent mice left, we could check out the babies in the nest. Later, a friend came by with two darning needles (or dragon flies) for us to explore. Ezra loved touching the wings.

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Labor Day weekend

We were expecting warmer temperatures and sunnier skies, but hurricane Irene still seemed to be lingering – in the form of misty fog and off-and-on drizzle and showers. The nice thing about living in the city is that – when you DO get the country – your kids find it to be such a novelty that they want to play outdoors all day. Unlike their country cousins, Ezra and Zoe would much rather collect things off the cold, wet grass than stay indoors watching TV. So bright and early on Sunday – regardless of the wet grass and pending rain – my kids spent hours picking up the apples and pears that were shaken off of trees during Irene the weekend before. A lot of them were in good enough shape to eat! And one small pear tree bent over enough for the hands of shorter pickers to reach without a ladder.

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Well, when you are trapped in the house because the weekend has unexpectedly gone cold and rainy (after collecting a ton of apples and pears off the ground) – what better thing to do than make a ‘crisp’ with the kids? Of course I do all the peeling and cutting, and then ‘dad’ loves to improvise on the following yummy recipe. Note the insanely cute and distracting baby at the end of this link.

I don’t think we’ve ever added the almonds, coconut or cornstarch because when we are out in Cornwall, the nearest store is twenty minutes away. So we stick to the simplified oatmeal-in-place-of-granola and add strawberries (because we had them) to boost the sweetness. And brown sugar. One cannot forget the brown sugar. Now that I just changed the recipe entirely I feel like I have to rewrite it! But it was worth a visit to smittenkitchen.com to see that cute baby, right? I love this page.

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