Monique Lhuillier Fall 2013 rtw
Backstage Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring 2013
This week: Palma Violets (yes, I do love them), Beach House (featuring a satiny smooth lip syncing Ray Wise), Chelsea Light Moving (Thurston Moore’s new band) & Bob Mould (a superby funny video with the supremely funny Jon Wurster. You may never feel the same about Take Your Child to Work Day or Bloody Marys again, but, you really, really need to watch it anyway.)
This is a trailer that I’d actually consider owning (though we’d need two to fit all 6 of us). This super cool looking trailer is designed to be highly efficient and environmentally friendly. The Cricket manages to pack in everything you need for a getaway into it very small package. Available in 2 models, you can choose the Folding Couch model (interior shown below) which sleeps 1 (or 2 if you’re close) or the V-Berth which can sleep 2 adults in a bit more comfort. Either model can add the optional Kids Attic to sleep 2 children (under 100 lbs) up above. And if you add the Photovoltaic Panels, you are solar powered for even the most out of the way get away.
Released this week, the debut album from this Chicago brother-sister duo is well worth a listen. It’s a mesmerizingly dreamy, poppy mix of influences stretching from Regae to 70’s pop that will pull you along and have you bouncing along in your seat. You can hear the full album here and be sure to read the piece on the duo from Interview or the full Interview Interview. To get you started, here’s “Keep You”:
Last, but far from least, I’m going to mention Girl Rising. I am working on a bigger post, but I want to get it in now too. If you haven’t heard of it yet, the film presents the story of 9 extraordinary girls in 9 countries, each story written by a renowned writer and narrated by a celebrated actress. The stories will probably break your heart, but they will also inspire you. The trailer is below and there lots more information on the website. Find the film or bring it to a theater near you & see it, donate to the 10x10 Fund for Girls’ Education, do whatever you can to help these girls, all girls rise. It really, truly absolutely is true, educate girls and you will change the world.
Ayala Homossany (with Illustrations by Dikla Calo’ Henkin) has created 2 beautifully illustrated iBooks for children ages 3-6, both of which can be found (obviously) in the iTunes store. The 2 books, Enchanted Wonders- Gateway & Enchanted Wonders- Butterfly. These interactive books can be downloaded to both the iPad (through the App store) & your computer (via iTunes) and encourage your child’s creativity & imagination. gateway is a free download featuring the DRAW activity from the upcoming Enchanted Wonders- Gateway book, while Butterfly ($4.99 ) offers 6 full activities for children that can be done with parents (if you need a few activity hints).
These are a super option for children who need extra protection, but still want to use headphones with their growing number of devices. The Arcade headphone features soft ear cushions with a compact, adjustable, kid’s sized headband. Featuring AERIAL7’s Automatic Volume Reduction (AVR) technology the Arcade offers a crystal clear sound without distortion or excess exposure to noise. And, in compliance with OSHA regulation standards, the Arcade’s volume will automatically reduce to 85 decibels if the volume control accidentally gets turned up to protect those little ears.
The Arcade is avalable in 4 colors & retails for $35 and can be found online at www.aerial7.com and select stores nationwide.
I have been avoiding nail polish since I first decided to have a baby. Now that my fourth and final baby has decided she wants pretty pink nails, I’ve begun looking into safe options for her. Hopscotch offers 16 super kid-safe, non-toxic colors, sparkly top coat and soy-based polish remover.
Yes, this in intended to hang from the Little Partners learning tower, but it also can be wall mounted for a great little easel without taking up lots of floor space. It’s reversible from chalkboard to whiteboard and comes with a magnetic strip that hold paper in pace for painting. It even comes in a slew of lovely colors. You can see ours mounted up and in full use in our chalkboarding post.
I love the look of well used chalkboards of all kinds from the beautiful Cy Towmblys to those little old school slates and I try to work them in whenever I can. At the moment, we don’t have any huge chalkboard walls (though I’m considering it if I can find the right spot), but we do have several smaller options throughout the house. Chalkboards are great because the more you use them the lovelier they become and they are always changing, so you can always make a change when you want something new. They are also a great way to work your child’s creativity into your daily life. My daughter adores chalkboards, so we have several for her, but her favorite spot for chalk is always on the wall.
Ten years ago, give or take, we moved from our apartment in Park Slope to a co-op in Forest Hills (that’s in Queens for those of you who don’t know). We looked for months for an apartment and we had found this one on the very last day we were going to look before giving up forever. It was the last apartment we were going to look at, and luckily for us, it was the right one. The apartment was a mess, literally, but as soon as we opened the door we knew it was the right one, despite the huge pile of trash in the living room. It was probably twice the size of our apartment in Brooklyn, had a doorman & an elevator (as opposed to the 4th floor walk up we were living in at the time), had 4 huge closets (vs the 2 mini closets we were trying to leave behind) and was half a block from the subway. The only thing that was smaller than our Park Slope apartment was the kitchen, but it had a super cool floor to ceiling sliding door that closed it off from the dining area. One of the first things we did was paint that door with chalkboard paint to turn it into a huge rolling chalkboard. It seemed like the perfect choice at the time, but pretty much everyone who walked in thought it was awful, horrible, ugly. We loved it, so we didn’t care. And then when baby 1 was born, he loved it too. Now, however, chalkboard walls are popping up everywhere. I think it’s also an easy way to work black into your home in a way that doesn’t feel as harsh and an even better way to work handmade, homemade real life art into your life. It’s a whole lot easier to commit yourself to a personal art piece when you know you can just wipe it away if it’s not quite what you were hoping for. And the beauty of a chalkboard is that more wiping away just adds that much more charm.
If you want to create your own chalkboard wall, black or green chalkboard paint can be readily found at your local hardware store, Home Depot, craft store, etc. For something a bit different, colored chalkboard paint is available from Hudson Paint & Benjamin Moore or, probably best of all, you can even make your own with a bit of unsanded grout for that perfect color (see Martha Stewart’s tutorial here). It’s a great way to add some extra art space to a playroom or child’s bedroom or for a very customized note space in kitchen or mudroom. And when you want to make an impact, a full wall of chalkboard paint, in whatever color you choose, and some fabulous drawings, be it your own or your child’s, is a perfect, ever changeable solution. Not feeling like an artist, use your favorite quotes or use a stencil or projector to trace something amazing.
After you choose your surface and your paint, you’re ready to get started. You’ll want to make sure whatever surface you cover has a few coats for solid coverage and it works best if you do small areas at a time. Once you’re sure you have a good solid surface, don’t forget to prep the chalkboard before decorating by covering it in chalk and erasing at least a time or two first.
If you’re not ready to go full wall (which I love), a small section is great too or there are several options that offer the same look with a bit less commitment. We have 2 large canvases covered with chalkboard paint the are hung on command strips in our living room. Our children have decorated them and if the ever want to, they can make changes or even erase and start over. We do have 2 chalkboard areas in our kitchen as well. One is a small painted area above a small prep counter, which we use for notes & drawings. The second is my latest addition, a long strip of chalkboards contact paper on the side of a tall cabinet. I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but it’s really great. Super easy to apply, prep it the same way the peel it off when your’re ready for it to go away. It’s also far less expensive than most chalkboard wall decals and comes in an easy to size 6 foot roll. It’s a fabulously easy way to get the look of a chalkboard wall without the serious commitment. I love the idea of chalkboard painted furniture with chalked decorations, be it an armoire, coffee table or old chest of drawers. (If you want a more permanent piece, be it wall or small, use a spay varnish for protection.) For your children, a painted play table, chalkboard wall decals or a wall mounted easel can also give you a way to work a chalkboard into smaller play spaces where a big easel isn’t the best option. Vintage chalkboards in all sizes make great decor pieces for both little ones and adult spaces. And, if you’re really lucky, there’s always a Twombly.
Here are several really lovely examples that I’ve pulled together from around the web:
Mount Moriah occupy a unique space in American music, similar in many ways to where Johnny Cash was with his American Recordings series of records at the end of his life, operating with elements of country, folk rock, and indie rock to create a music all their own. And on Miracle Temple, the follow up to their self-titled debut, Mount Moriah continues to write songs which are rich and expansive, full of soul and swagger. Miracle Temple is a more fully produced album, but the elevated production only enhances their sound, making it bigger, rather than sapping it of the essential strength which coursed thru the grooves of their first record. Singer Heather McEntire has one of the best voices in music right now, a rich soulful sounding voice with lots of steel, a classic country voice. On songs like “Eureka Springs”, you can feel the full force of her vocals even tho its quiet tones are dominant, soaring slightly as needed. But Mount Moriah is more than just one person, and on Miracle Temple the guitars share the stage with equal vibrancy. Jenks Miller’s guitar is the perfect compliment to McEntire’s voice, and the intertwined play between them is what drives the songs on Miracle Temple (along with the incredible rhythm section of drummer James Wallace and bassist Casey Toll), with songs like “Connecticut To Carolina” a great example of how they accent the other. If forced to pick, I would put “Younger Days”, “Swannanoa” and “Union Street Bridge” at the top of the list as favorite songs, with “Union Street Bridge” being the song from this this album most illustrative of Mount Moriah’s place in the lexicon of American Music (“Lament” from their first album occupies a similar place for me): it’s a soulful country sound mixed with lyrics that are well above contemporary country music dross, with evocative lines such as the chorus, “there is no more machine of the mind, there is only what we came here to hide”, which will ensure that we can expect Mount Moriah to never get an invite to the Grand Ol’ Opry, if only because such a failure by Nashville to embrace music which enriches what country music can be is nothing new and symptomatic of all that is wrong (and has been for some time) with the country music establishment. Not that I presume Mount Moriah would even be interested in performing in what is now more a wax museum than epicenter of American music, or at least I like to think they would not, but such things are off point. The real point is Mount Moriah are making great music and Miracle Temple is a brilliant record.
Miracle Temple by Mount Moriah is out now from Merge Records.
A digital download was provided for review.
First day out of prison
Billy showed up in our driveway
just off route one,
a cousin of my aunt’s
the second time
in all my eleven years
the light was just turning,
the day starting to give way
to the streetlamp moon
shining on rush hour
the long hush of traffic in a steady rain,
red lights, white lights, high beams
on the black hill highway
that he turned off
his long white Cadillac
crunching the gravel,
baring down on the kitchen window,
my mother upstairs,
my little sister resting inside her,
I stepped out of the house
just as the engine switched off
and the heat of the machine
a tall bald man I’d never seen,
denim shirt, jeans,
brown leather boots
shut the heavy door of the car,
walked up to me
cold looked down:
“Is your mom home?”
I am a terrible liar,
I acted alone
I turned red and lied,
rubbing the keys in my pocket
I studied on gouging out
his menacing eyes
got any closer,
I hadn’t worked
on the farm yet
I was still scrawny,
patches of sweat
pooling under the arms of
but he walked
back to the car
opened the door
Tell her Uncle Billy stopped by.”
and pulled away
easing his ride
returning to the camouflage,
the lights and wheels slipstream
the thin glass of the windows
we live behind.
Orangutan Van by Steve Songs starts like a trip back to the 1980’s new wave explosion, a la Frankie Goes to Hollywood or Pet Shop Boys, with a blend of electronica and pop and rap. “Recess Rocks” gets things moving and invites kids to get up and move to the music. The super slick “Superhero You” continues this vein, taking it into more urban pop/boy band territory. Things slow down to a fun free association alphabet song, “A Is For Silly” where Songs sings a duet with Silly the puppet. The title track is another silly song that takes a world music trip in the vein of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”. With “All In This Together” Steve Songs takes a Dave Mathews inspired ride thru civil rights history. And that is one thing about this album that kids will either like or not, that Steve Songs is all over the place with his musical styles, dipping into one style or genre of music for each song, which if problematic for some kids, keeps things from getting in a same sounding rut that too often infests kids music for others. In the end tho, Orangutan Van as the title suggests is an album that is all about having fun.
Orangutan Van by Steve Songs is out now.
A CD was provided for review.