November 30, 2011

Is it Time? -- to start the Potty Training?

            Last Wednesday, at approximately 11:37 in the a.m., the daughter of the Recent Paterfamilias, clever little animal that she is, discovered how to open her own diaper.  The expression which spread across her face, as her fingers decidedly pulled that Velcro strap off to the side, has not been seen on a human visage since that Greek guy sat in his bathtub, saw the water rise, and then ran through the streets screaming Eureka, Eureka.  As many of my readers might suppose, this discovery of my daughter is, decidedly, not good. 

            This is not a good development.  And it must be admitted, even by this observer (the closest of close observers of that tiny human): This child is smarter than I am.  This is an established fact.  And, thusly, she can thereby outwit me, distract me, bamboozle me, and then there we are: a diaper-less baby accompanied by a man who’s a mess in a room that’s a disaster.  This, it must be acknowledged, is hardly an enviable position in which to find oneself. 

            So what does one do?  Does one potty train early?  Does one yell, scream, chastise, and then repeat as necessary?  Does one duct tape the diaper to her tiny derrière? 

            The Recent Paterfamilias finds himself conflicted.  Duct tape is easily accessible and reassuringly economical, but is it worth it?  And how does one train an infant out of learning that which she has already taught herself?  Frankly, to this R.P., that seems like an exercise in futility, if not downright impossible. 

            Per my personal experience, it should be noted that babies, as a species, don’t seem to want to learn all that much, but that which they do learn, they don’t seem to forget all that easily.  The Recent Paterfamilias supposes that they are much like the common, ill-bred housecat in this way. 

            So what am I to do?  The R. P. appreciates expressionistic art as much as the next idiot, but Jackson Pollack-esque splatters of baby bowel movements on my living room walls are, artistically, pressing the boundaries of good taste. 

            But the Recent Paterfamilias is open-minded.  Maybe the graffiti art movement, established and influential as it is, is decidedly over, out of vogue, dated, kaput.  Maybe it’s the nouveau-infant-stool-flinging-school that has recently, and officially, and decidedly, established its foothold in the art world. 

But then again, should this be the case, what will we be left with?  And who is going to want to go see an exhibit of it at The Guggenheim?  If we ain’t careful, should we allow this unfortunate art movement to proceed, they (the art-loving public) will have no choice but to label that particular Fifth Avenue corkscrew-shaped building as the The Poopenheim.  (Although, frankly, given its downward-spiral physical movement, like that of water down a toilet bowl, I’m beginning to wonder if this wasn’t the intention by Mr. F.L. Wright in the first place.)

November 29, 2011

A new NEW color chart

I've done it again.

A new color chart.

This ones is for reals!

I printed each color on a piece of birch wood and then scanned the colors to make the chart. This is the most accurate representation of the colors I have been able to achieve. Of course it's still not 100% because every monitor is calibrated slightly differently.  But, art isn't like upholstery or curtains, if the color doesn't match 100% I think it's okay.  However, just in case you think differently, I am now offering color samples at two for 1 dollar (to cover the postage).  So, if you do want to make sure before you invest that the color is what you want click here to order a sample then order your art with confidence.

Also please let me know in a comment if you think that there is something missing? Any color that you would like to see that is not on the chart.

November 28, 2011

The Holidays Have Begun

I've been so good with blogging this year, I decided to take a few days off.

 It's thanksgiving (here in the US) so I figured it was a good excuse opportunity.

--- but in reality, that's not the reason I shirked my blog duties last week.

The real reason is that I downloaded The Hunger Games onto my Kindle and became obsessed.  I read all three books in the span of a week.  No time to blog because I was reading (and eating some turkey).   I can't stop thinking about them.  Have you read them? I highly recommend them.  Not only is it entertaining but it really gets you thinking.

Now I  need a new book -- any recommendations?

"Once Upon a Time" by Jolline available on ETSY

November 23, 2011

Precious Moments

            I often feel like I’m taking advantage.  It’s not fair, I know this, but I can’t seem to help myself.  Maybe it’s a side affect of being a Recent Paterfamilias.  Maybe it’s a result of existing in an exalted state of sleep deprivation.  Maybe it’s because I’m a terrible father.  But, for whatever reason, I occasionally, often, continuously, constantly, find myself taking advantage. 

            But please, allow me to explain. 

            My daughter has recently been introduced to real food.  Thusly, my daughter typically has food all over her face.  In addition to breast milk, as of late, she’s also been “sampling” “real” food (or “solids,” as we call them in the “biz”), which result in “residue” on her hands and on her face and in her hair and on the dog and everywhere else within sight, all except within the confines of her stomach.  This, I am told, is normal.  (Out of good taste, I won’t subject my dear reader to even a mild description of the rather noticeable impact these “solids” have had upon this Recent Paterfamilias’ offspring’s bowel movement, suffice it to say that the impact is “significant.”)  But whenever her face is plastered with destroyed peas (peas, not pee, which is different, but has also been known to occur) or destroyed bananas or destroyed pears or destroyed prunes or destroyed squash (squashs? squashes? what is the plural of squash?), but, at any rate, when my daughter has painted herself with destroyed food-like items, I find myself reaching for the camera. 

            Is this wrong?  Am I taking advantage?  Am I the world’s worst Paterfamilias? 

I sure as hell hope not.

            But, my dear reader must admit, there’s something somewhat intoxicating about a food-covered face.  (For whatever reason, this does not apply when considering the food-covered faces of adult humans.) 

            I am aware that many such situations will present themselves during the life of my daughter.  There will be no shortage of opportunities (see: embarrassing opportunities) where I will want to grab a camera and capture the moment.  But, of course, all those moments can’t be caught.  Consider the case of my infant daughter’s own mother.  She was under three years old.  She got out of bed and went to the bathroom all by herself.  She hopped on up.  And then she fell on in. 

She called for help. 

And then help came. 

The help laughed.  The help called for the rest of the family.  The rest of the family came running.  They laughed.  They pointed.  They laughed and they pointed and they didn’t help her out of the toilet and I’m sure that one of those people wishes that they’d had a camera handy to capture the moment.  (It should be noted here:  three-plus decades later, my daughter’s own mother is still upset about the aforementioned incident, and she, my daughter’s mother, still remembers who laughed and who pointed and who laughed and pointed, and she, my daughter’s mother, is still threatening that those who laughed and pointed are going to pay for what they’ve done, even if those who laughed and pointed do find her own daughter adorable.)

November 22, 2011

November 21, 2011

From Night Owl to Day owl

New Background colors - Customize to match your decor.  These featured are pink, sunglow and avocado on whitewash.  Visit to make pick your own combination

November 18, 2011

November 17, 2011

Another Attempt at Love

Last february I posted a DIY on making sequin art.  I got a lot of great response from this post.  I also got a lot of questions on how to make it.

Then just a month ago I saw a Facebook post of one brave soul who actually took the DIY challenge.   She sent me some pictures of the process to share here, and maybe inspire more budding artists (would make a great holiday gift!)   I am beyond impressed at how her's turned out (I think it might look better than mine!)

Pretty amazing!

I also asked if she had any tips and this was her response:
Couple of tips: I ended up using 20 x 30" foam board and had to put 3 of them together to make it deep enough to take the #17 straight pin and having 1/2" left sticking out. The foam board is only 1/4" thick each so that is why I needed 3 boards. I took the pattern to Kinko's to have them blow it up to size for me and they actually transferred the pattern right on the foam board. I ended up using #6 flat sequin.I'm actually hoping for a finished framed picture of 18 x 28.

There is still time to make your own Love for the Holidays - click here to download the grid for this pattern

November 16, 2011

Looking for a "Manly" Diaper Bag?

        This Recent Paterfamilias had previously intended to write this week’s column on baby food and baby poop.  But, for better or for worse, he has since changed his mind.  He has decided that baby foodand baby poop can both wait until next week. 

            This week, the Note from the Recent Paterfamilias is:  On Diaper Bags. 

            Or, more specifically:  On Masculine Diaper Bags. 

            Or more specifically still:  On how Masculine Diaper Bags are not a thing, on how they do not exist, and, frankly, on how the search for said item is futile and, quite honestly, fairly stupid. 

            And, finally, more specifically still:  On what a masculine Diaper Bag would look like. 

            But please, allow me to explain. 

            The baby, the wife, the dog, and I were all in a store last weekend, a kid’s store, a baby’s store, a famous baby’s store in fact, a store with the ridiculous name of Snuggle or Spittle or Piddle or some other equally as banal thing when this Recent Paterfamilias overheard a conversation a soon-to-be father was having with a salesperson alongside his “done-up” wife, in which he was rather insistent, while they were registering (rather rudely, I might add) for “baby goods,” that he required a “masculine diaper bag.” 

            “Is that the most masculine one you have?”

            “It is, sir.”

            “That one you showed me,” he asked the salesperson, “that one was the most masculine one you have?”


            “That’s the most masculine one available on the market?”

The salesperson, and his wife, assured him that it was. 
            Frankly, looking at him, he didn’t look all that convinced. 
            But what kind of guy insists on a masculine diaper bag? 

            Ah, yes, a question for the ages. 

            What did this guy expect?  Special secret pockets for his little black book and his whiskey flask and his pocket pistol?  Something made by Orvis or Filson or Eddie Bauer or L.L. Bean?  An aluminum briefcase from Halliburton?  A studded shoulder bag with the orange and black Harley Davidson shield on the side?  A canvas satchel with space allotted for ball peen hammers and crescent wrenches and circular saws?  What did this dude expect?  A leather briefcase?  Well, dude, go and run out and buy a leather briefcase then.  This Recent Paterfamilias has little patience for other paterfamiliases of this sort.  “No, this is just my briefcase,” these guys will say, “it’s the same sort of briefcase I tote to the office, only this one is filled with diaper cream and Aquaphor and hand sanitizer,” and he says all of this hoping that you, the viewer, fail to notice the kid in his stroller or, marginally more noticeably, strapped to his chest. 

            So, the R.P. finds himself forced to ask this person, if only hypothetically:  What’s up tough guy?  How else do you plan on trying to disguise the evidence of your kid?  And if producing a child from the root of your loins within the womb of a human female ain’t masculine enough for ya, then what is? 

            Ah yes, another question for the ages. 

November 15, 2011

Did you Miss Me?

I was gone a little more than 24 hours.  In fact, I was gone a full week, but still... Did you even notice I was gone? 

Maybe if you went to my Etsy page you would have noticed it was on vacation.  Or maybe if you sent me a text you might have wondered why I didn't respond.  But other than that it's probably a surprise to most reading this blog that I was on the other side of the world.   Amazing these days how even going to China you can still stay completely connected with the world.  

Pictures from my trip to come, but in the meanwhile this gives me the perfect opportunity to share an illustrator who I am completely obsessed with: Fernando Voken Togni.  He did a series of "24 Hour Cities" for Qatar Airways Magazine and I want to frame and hang them ALL on my wall. Unfortunately they are not for sale but you can view these and more at his website

November 11, 2011

4 Neat Rugs for under $100

1. Flokati Rug (4'7 x 6'7) $79.99 at Ikea
2. Hand Tufted Tan and Ivory Rug (5'x7') $84.00 at In Mode
3. Nuloom Chevron rug - (5'3x7'6) $77.57 at Wayfair
4. Yellow Striped Wool Rug (5'x8') $92.00

November 09, 2011

Note From the R.P. on Crotchetiness

            Murmurings have been heard coming from certain corners.  Ugly rumors circulating through the night.  Whispers of wicked slanders whistling about through the metaphorical grapevine.  The Recent Paterfamilias has changed, they say.  He’s not the same as he used to be.  He’s too opinionated.  He’s too crotchety.  He doesn’t like anything.   Maybe he should post his columns on a day beside Wednesday.  Maybe Wednesday is bad for his intellect, for his psyche, for his ego, for his id.  Maybe earlier in the week is better.  Maybe later in the week.  Maybe every other week.  Maybe that will change his tune, change his attitude, chipper him up, make him less crotchety like he’s been so much as of late.

            Well, in response, the R.P. would like to state publicly:  These accusations of recent crotchetiness are patently untrue, and the R.P. finds them both misleading to his reading public and offensive to his own idea of himself.  The Recent Paterfamilias is not crotchety as of late.  The Recent Paterfamilias has always been crotchety.  This is a natural consequence of being in possession of an opinionated constitution.  One is perpetually, and inherently, and understandably, crotchety. 

            Now, it must be admitted, the sources of these criticisms are themselves, at best, suspicious, unreliable, and fairly crotchety themselves.  Which would, of course, make any and all of their opinions on the R.P. suspect, at best. 

            So…is the Recent Paterfamilias intent on altering his crotchety ways?  Absolutely not.  If he, the R.P., has an opinion on modern dollhouses, he will state it.  If he, the R.P., has complaints about the state of European children’s products, he will voice them.  If he, the R.P., wishes to admire a chair designed by those elusive Eames people (whomever they are, and if that is their real name), his admiration will abound upon the blogosphere. 

            So that’s that, the Recent Paterfamilias would like to announce with full confidence that this discussion on his crotchetiness is exhausted and complete.  And to finish, with all outward crotchetiness deliberately withheld, the personal opinion of this Recent Paterfamilias for this particular week, the 25th of his offspring’s life, is this:  Always view with utmost prejudice all opinions other than one’s own.  (Although, in all honesty, that ain’t exactly an opinion.)  

November 04, 2011

4 on Friday: Ombre Obsessed

1. Aubergine Ombre Rug at Z Gallerie
2. "Haze" Artwork by Ashleigh Rosa on Etsy
3. Ombre Pillows by KapellaKID on Etsy
4. Ombre Wallpaper by Brett Design

November 03, 2011

Airplane Custom Color Combo

if you are interested in your own custom color combo email me with your ideas

November 02, 2011

A Note from the Recent Paterfamilias on (appropriately enough):  Halloween

           People like to ask questions.  I can’t say, exactly, why this is, but it is a commonly known fact.  And one of these questions that people like to ask is:  “Now that you’re a parent, are you going to dress up for Halloween?”  Naturally, this is one of those exceptions to their respective rules (the rule in question being:  There are no stupid questions).  Of course I won’t dress up for Halloween.  I have no intention of ever dressing up for Halloween.  Other seemingly sane adults are perfectly willing to adorn themselves like idiots if they so choose, but this Recent Paterfamilias is not about to alter an established personal practice simply because sperm met egg, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. 

            Naturally, of course, the daughter of this Recent Paterfamilias will be (or rather, was, this past Monday) costumed.  She was a chili pepper (not like Anthony Kiedis or Flea, but a more literal, and decidedly less ridiculous, chili pepper).  Originally, I had other ideas for her wardrobe, but I couldn’t find a teapot outfit anywhere (gets hot and bothered, makes lots of noise, just like a baby) and the polar bear onesie fleece body suit that was purchased online left this Recent Paterfamilias decidedly nonplussed.  The chili pepper, in all honesty, was apropos of nothing in relation to my offspring, behaviorally-wise, but at the store, the lobster looked lame, the bumble bee has been more than pop culturally bruised, and the sunflower was simply just stupid.  So, chili pepper it was.

            Maybe, in the future, this Recent Paterfamilias might be persuaded to put on a mask of some sort.  The simple black eyewear of a stereotypical bank robber in the time of the Lone Ranger.  An oversized grinning Bill Clinton or Dick Nixon or Willard Fillmore.  That creepy white big-nosed classic Venetian masquerade thing that scares the hell out of most reasonable people. 

            But who knows?  Perhaps, in the future, this Recent Paterfamilias might eventually come ‘round and go in whole hog:  an ironic culturally-relevant cliché (like Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Batman movie); or a sideshow freak (Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Batman movie); or an American original (Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Batman movie); or possibly just a regular good old costume suitable for a regular good old Recent Paterfamilias (a uniform-clad and physically-battered version of that perpetual loser, Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo—a costume under which, of course, the R.P. would be wearing the purple suit of H.L.’s Joker from the Batman movie). 

            Or maybe the Recent Paterfamilias could just dress up like himself with a sign on his back reading “Best Father Ever” (although, admittedly, any so-called Best Father Ever would probably put forth an even modest bit of effort and costume himself as something as simple as Superman or maybe even as banal Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Batman movie). 

            Halloween is meant for children.  And this Recent Paterfamilias is optimistic he’ll still feel this same way next year.