September 28, 2011

The Perfect Hat

Hats. Caps. Lids. Headwear. Headpieces. Headtoppers. Chimneytops. Toupee-covers. Brainwarmers. Baldspot-air-protectors. Skull-suckers. Pate-cozies. Crown-doilies. Whatever you’d like to call them, hats have historically proven themselves rather useful, fruitful, suitable, and otherwise tasteful in aspects of personal fashion. And of course, they are everywhere.

Or so one would think.

My daughter’s hats drive me nuts. Some are too big, and, thusly, useless until her head balloons into its next stage. Others are weather-specific, which only makes them helpful when Nature’s capriciousness is what was planned on when leaving the homestead. The rest of them (the hats, I mean) are purely, and idiotically, “functional.” They have a bill that goes all the way around the head (like a bucket hat, for example, or a so-called sunhat), which serves to protect the inserted head from sun and/or rain. These aspects are wonderfully advantageous should the particular hat-wearing child be seated or, God forbid, standing in the sun or the rain. But put that same circumambular-rimmed thing atop a child in a chest-born carrier or even in your common, everyday, mundane, average, push ‘em-pull ’em stroller, and then that stupid thing (i.e. “hat”) turns and pivots and swivels around their head and it covers their face and it’s handy chinstrap gets in their mouth and soon enough the kid’s irritated and the kid’s annoyed and you’re cursing and the kid’s screaming and the kid’s inconsolable and consequently things go rapidly downhill from there. All because of that stupid little hat.

So…I needed a new kind of hat.

So, naturally, I went on the hunt.

What I needed was a sort of Wild West bonnet, only without all the Little House on the Prairie/Laura Ingalls Wilder frontiersman themes about it (in the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that the Recent Paterfamilias is personally related to the aforementioned and afore-denigrated Ms. Wilder).

It took an extensive search and multiple frustrating ordering mishaps and administrative delays, but ultimately, finally, through no fault of their own, I discovered Urban Baby Bonnets. Colorful, reversible, non-combustible, wonderful. They cover her (the baby’s) face from the sun. They don’t pivot around her (the baby’s) head. They compliment her (the baby’s) feminine wardrobe. And they don’t drive her (the baby’s) father (the Recent Paterfamilias) to mind-bending distraction.

One would think that this sort of headgear wouldn’t be so difficult to come by. But in all of the stores, sitting there smugly on their tidy little shelves, there they are, nothing but sunhats and bucket hats and baseball caps. And that’s all there is. As if there’s nothing else out there. As if all the hats in the world were represented on that tidy little shelf. It’s almost enough to nearly make a person start to think that International Child Hat Producers (those devious shortsighted miscreants) might actually have a personal vendetta against the mental welfare of well-meaning headwear sensitive parents.

Admittedly, I am sure that there must be another reason why any rational person might ever suggest that putting an infant in a bucket hat is a, not only good, not only beneficial, but an essential, even brilliant, idea. But whatever that reason is, I have yet to find it. These stupid hats. It’s almost enough to make a person want to chuck them all out the window and go out on the street and walk around with a parasol (but then again, strolling about with a Sunlight Umbrella might make you look like one of those “Silly People” I’ve been reading so much about as of late).

September 27, 2011

I'm Going to Disneyland!!!

AND ... I am getting paid to go.

Yup that's right.  I have a shoot for the next three days that takes place IN Disneyland --- AFTERHOURS --- whoop whoop --- partay at Mickey's house!!! Well, actually we will be in Goofy's house but still ---
Haven't been this excited about working for Disney since I worked at the Disney Store --   Oh yah, nothing more thrilling at age 17 than stocking Plush Mountain!!!  Yes, I am a Disney geek!!! (shhhhh don't tell!) But there is a REALLY good story as to WHY I'm a Disney Geek (and a McDonalds lover) Someday maybe I will tell it.  But not right now, because I have to pack and make fake Ice Cream and get ready to go to DISNEYLAND  ----Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Hopefully more exciting tales to tell and pictures to share later in the week.

September 26, 2011

Finding a chair for the nursery - Will we ever get to sit in it?

If you remember back weeks months ago we were on the hunt for the perfect chair for the Nursery.  And after testing out pretty much every chair in Los Angeles I came upon the most hideously comfortable chair in a thrift shop.  For $20.00 it was mine.  And when I say hideously comfortable I mean exactly that.  The chair needs a major face lift but every person who sits in it agrees that it is soooooo extraordinarily comfortable. I have never had to reupholster  anything before (well not anything permanently -- lots of fake upholstering for sets) so I shopped around a bit and got a few quotes.  I ended up leaving it with a woman who owns a thrift shop down the street and is constantly reupholstering vintage furniture for her shop.  I figured she would know if old furniture could be salvaged.   She seemed to think it was worth the effort so I confidently went off to find fabric.

This was 9 days ago ...

The chair was supposed to be ready on Friday but I guess they had to replace a mechanism on the bottom.  Now "maybe" it will be ready Wednesday.  I'm starting to worry.  How will the chair look? Will we ever see it again? Will it be as comfy with it's new look?

In the meantime... while we wait... I figure I would share with you my sketches and final four fabric choices (although the fabric has been picked I will leave the choice for a surprise in the reveal)

September 22, 2011

Nursery Drawings for Sunshine

Sunshine's Nursery is nearing completion.  But before we do the big reveal I thought I would share some of the preliminary drawings.  This was the inspiration for the look of the room.  Although in the end the room will look very different, it will have a similar feel and some of the highlighted elements incorporated into the space.



September 21, 2011

Buy American ... or not?!!

What is it about the French and baby consumer products? Why do people think that they (the French, not the babies) know so much about what they’re doing? Why were my wife and I told that Sophie the Giraffe (a squeaky toy, a teething toy, from France) was a “can’t live without”? Why were we told that we would regret it if we didn’t have Sophie, not just in the nursery, but in the delivery room? Is this just a shameless marketing gimmick to which susceptible parents fall prey and then go on to encourage other susceptible parents to fall prey and then so forth and so on until the gambit has run its course? And why are new parents so prone to fall for these ploys? Why do we like the weirdo Deglingos stuffed animals (designed in France)? Is it because they are weirdoes or because they are French? Or is it in spite of the fact that they are weirdoes and/or French? If a child refuses to teethe on Sophie the Giraffe, does that mean she’s xenophobic? And why did this Recent Paterfamilias see a copy of Walter the Farting Dog in translation, in French (Walter le Chien qui Pète), in a kids’ store window last week, in a non-French speaking country? Shouldn’t Walter the Farting Dog, in America, in translation, be in Spanish? Or Chinese? Why is it that this Recent Paterfamilias has found a “European Baby Bathing Pod” (see: plastic bucket) to be the most effective and convenient way in which to bathe his child? Why is it that the only thing this Recent Paterfamilias has found to successfully clear his daughter’s clogged nasal cavities is a Swedish “Snot Sucker”? And why does no one ask for a description as to how this tool works? Is it because the description itself is nearly as nauseating as the operation of the device? And why is this Recent Paterfamilias so comfortable discussing how he orally sucks the snot, through a filtered tube, from the nose of his beloved offspring? And on a side note: are the Swedes comparable to the French when it comes to child-specific consumer products? Are Swedish highchairs superior to French ones? Or Finnish ones? Or Dutch ones? Do the English or the Spanish or the Latvians even make highchairs? Why is it that European Teddy bears (see: our 26th President and the obvious malcolloquialisms) seem so chic and all our bears just seem so…well…bearish? Why do German wooden toys come across as more “wholesome” than American wooden toys? Are their trees more wholesome than ours? And why has the Recent Paterfamilias fallen for all this? Is it Francophilia? Anglophilia? Swede-o-philia? Is it marketing? Sleep deprivation? Sheer stupidity? Is the Recent Paterfamilias questioning his purchases too much? Or is the European Bathing Pod (see: plastic bucket) actually superior to American Bathing Buckets, if American Bathing Buckets did, indeed, exist? And why are there no American Bathing Buckets? Can’t somebody in a Midwest warehouse somewhere spare a five-gallon bucket so that his neighbor might effectively give his child a complete and proper scrubbing-down? What is the country coming to when we can’t even share our empty buckets? Will this eventually make us industrially inferior to the Europeans? And why do They have a corner market on buckets? Doesn’t a bucket seem like it would be a universal item? And why do all these questions come up at the precise moment when a child is wailing in the next room? Is it sleep deprivation? Coincidence? Marketing? Is it some sort of global conspiracy? And why can’t a person just buy what he wants without having to question it so much? If his baby likes it, and if it works, and if it clears her nostrils, then who the hell cares?

Xenophobic babies? Over giraffe-shaped teethers? Just because they’re make in France? Really?

September 19, 2011

Jump!!! - now on paper too!

You can find it in my Etsy shop.  This one is in Navy but I am happy to do custom colors to match your decor.  Here's a sneak peek:

September 15, 2011

“Cast no Stones, Ye of Infinite Patience”

(an excerpt from The Life and Times of a New Mommy—as told by the Recent Paterfamilias—per an anecdote related by the New Mommy while on a film set for which she had been propping during the month of August, 2011)

“I sometimes feel bad for the two of them, my daughter and my dog. I mean, he [the Recent Paterfamilias] is fantastic with her, he really is, and with the dog, too, of course, but it’s just that, he’s not…how should I say it…he’s not in possession of endless reserves of patience. I don’t mean to say that I’m the better parent. It’s just that…well…it’s just that I have more patience than he does…with the baby, and with the dog, and with them together. So I feel sorry for the two of them, the baby and the dog. He doesn’t mean to be impatient. It’s only that he...well, I don’t know how to say it without seeming like a bad person…”

[Cut to: the following day on set; the New Mommy is speaking with the same crew members to which she had been speaking the day before during yet another lull in the day’s shooting schedule]

“Remember what I was saying yesterday? About my husband’s whole lack of patience? Well, when I got home this morning [the film was shooting “nights,” and was thusly “night dependent,” which resulted in crew members reaching their respective domiciles sometime after daybreak], I thought I’d do the right thing and run the dog out. He [the R.P.] and the baby were still asleep. I felt bad for the dog as he usually gets the short end of the stick now that the baby’s here, plus, he’s got to deal with [R.P.’s] temper, so I ran him out.

“Well, after five or six minutes outside, I found myself screaming at the damn dog, in public, on the sidewalk, with all these people looking at me, people going to the gym and to work, and then here I am, yelling in a loud voice, ‘You have to stop behaving like a f----ing idiot!’”

“What was he doing?” a camera operator who’d been a part of the conversation asked.

“He was trying to attack a street sweeper.”

“A what?”

“A street sweeper.”





The end.

[It would appear that the combination of a human infant, several consecutive long workdays, and a dependably ill-behaved, and willfully disobedient, canine can ultimately exhaust the patience of even the most tolerant soul upon the face of the earth, which, frankly, should cause the remainder of us who find ourselves in this life lacking in such unplumbable reserves of understanding, compassion, and empathy to consider ourselves fortunate that there are others out there who are willing and able to step in and pick up our slack, should we shuffle and stumble and lose what is left of our, admittedly, limited allowances of patience.]

September 13, 2011

Foxy Nursery

A cute little room I got to design for a commercial I was working on last week.
all built on a sound stage!

September 12, 2011

Studio Peek: The Washout Booth

The first thing that I upgraded upon when I moved to my knew studio was a washout booth -- The washout booth is the  place where I wash my screens once I've printed.  Previously I was using a laundry sink.  But some of my screens didn't quite fit in the laundry sink and I would end up ankle deep in water.  THE husband made me a great booth out of a concrete trough and leftover from a job plexi.  I supplied the reminders of what the sink is to be used for.

September 07, 2011

Recipe for how to Effectively Destroy an Otherwise Perfectly Useful Oriental Rug

Ingredients called for:

1 (one) Oriental Rug

1 (one) Healthy Measure of Tropical Meteorological Event

1 (one) Dog

First, take your solid measure of a tropical meteorological event (in this case, the so-called Hurricane Irene) and then add your dog to this mixture. The type of dog which can be used may vary, but for the best results, a member of an historically stubborn and/or temperamental breed will best suffice. The rug called for can be any sort of area rug, although if a more “dramatic” outcome is desired, an expensive rug would prove to be the most successful.

With your tropical weather event in hand, take your temperamental canine that refuses to relieve himself (or herself—gender makes little difference) out of doors in any manner of precipitation, and then add this animal to any domicile in which the rug might comfortably lie.

Then wait.

Eventually and, as has been stated above, dramatically, the recipe will begin to take shape, typically in at least one of several different manifestations.

All recipe results should be expected to culminate differently, as variables differ within each laboratory, but the end results should be almost always nearly the same: surprise, excitement, and then vocal exclamations. This is a simple recipe, for certain, but it is also a reliably effective one for almost any event.


September 06, 2011

A Sunshine Shower

Believe it or not, I've only ever been to one other baby shower.  So when I offered to help with Sunshine's shower I didn't really know what I was getting into.  Somehow the idea to do a Rain shower themed shower for a girl named Sunshine seemed appropriate.  Everyone was assigned a task: Invitations, food, activities, gift bags etc  and my role, naturally, was taking charge of the decor.   We had an amazing host offer up her apartment and front courtyard and  I set the tone with a blue and yellow color palette and the loose theme of a "sunshine shower" and the rest seemed to fall into place.  

The invitation, designed by Angela, was beyond adorable.  Who wouldn't wanted to go to a party if you receive that in the mail? mmmmm lemon drops!!!! 

The food was delicious and beautiful at the same time.  Fresh lemonade, a smorgasbord of healthy salad options and a bunch of sweets and...  of course, cupcakes.  My favs were the Blue Velvet mini cupcakes from Sweet E's on Robertson.

The gift bags were little makeup bags (that said "sunshine cutie") filled with Sunshine's favorite candies and 5 adorable postcards done by the same person who did the invite.

The Activity was brilliant.  No silly games.  Instead, we all got a chance to decorate a onesie for the baby.  The girls in charge of the activity had prepped a bunch of cute fabric with an iron-on adhesive and we just had to cut out a patten (they had stencils for those who needed) and iron on to the fabric.  Easy and fun.
The decor I kept simple.  We had the party in the garden and so to add to the mood (and to offer a little shade), I bought 5 blue umbrellas and strung them up over the top of of the second floor balcony.  Super simple but big impact.  An eclectic mix of chairs with color coordinated pillows, some flowers, a few well placed balloons for a pop of color and a sprinkling of rubber duckies to bring in the cute factor and Voila a Sunshine Shower.  

September 05, 2011

Meet Arty, The Skårtshop Bear

photo by: Charlotte Cheshire
No, you can't buy him on Etsy.

He was a whim of a project, to go with JUMP! my latest print featuring a bear jumping on a trampoline.  He is very, "green".  He is  made entirely  out of used recycled t-shirts.  I call him "Arty".