Tonight is a blue moon. So I was reminded by my husband, who writes up the news every night at work. He was not, however, able to tell me what a "blue moon" means, so I had to look it up. Naturally, there were various historical references, and much debate as to the original source of the term. I'll just print this one:

The Farmer's Almanac defined blue moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season; one season was normally three full moons. If a season had four full moons, then the third full moon was named a blue moon.
In any case, chronologically, a blue moon on New Year's Eve is a rarity. So I felt I should commemorate it with a post. This seemed like the best thing in my recent photo archive to celebrate a blue moon New Year's Eve.

This is all three of us playing shadow puppets with a sun and moon from a kit that Q received as a Christmas gift. Q took almost instantly to the concept of shadow puppets, and you can bet we'll be having a lot more fun with this in the future!

Happy 2010 to one and all! OX M, M & Q



As you know, I'm not a style blogger. So...I don't know what's gotten under my skin, maybe it's the January blahs setting in early. Maybe it's also a little bit about the fact that we're going back for another visit to New York in a couple of weeks, which...well, frankly, it is hard to think about New York without thinking about fashion.

In any's what I was reading in bed last night:
I'm hard at work this week jamming out project and commissions than need to get done before we leave town, and frankly my brain is quite thoroughly fried. Maybe all these things have conspired to leave me feeling uninspired in the blog post department today.

All I can find in the depths of my heart at this moment is a style post. So there it is. Call me shallow. I refuse to apologize for saying that the following are three utterly frivolous things that are floating my boat right now:
Two dresses from the Rodarte for Target collection (the one on the upper left, in particular, is all the way up my alley, and for under $40 you just can't beat that with a stick).

And these faux-leather leggings from Topshop. I just love faux-leather leggings. Maybe it's that they feel a bit like the riding breeches I loved to wear as a kid. As comfortable as sweats and as stylish as tux pants. I had an inexpensive pair that I loved (they were all soft and flannel-y on the inside, perfect for winter), but they tore along the seams in very short order. Faux-leather is a tricky species if the quality isn't high enough. These from Topshop are of exceptional quality, beautifully-made, no detail spared, as sturdy as all get-out, and they fit - literally - like a glove. Hurrah Topshop!

...OK. Now I've got that out of my system.


Do the long, dark winter afternoons ever get to you?
Q and I sometimes get a little crazy in the dark, cold hours between naptime and bedtime....
...rattling around the house all alone while daddy is at work. Having tickle fights. Chasing eachother around the house. Making up games to play. In the summer, we go for long walks in the evenings. But this is the month in Colorado when the cold clamps down, and I just can't force a little one to sit in a running stroller for an hour as we roam the icy streets after sundown.

So this is us, cabin-fevered and a little slap-happy, taking shots with the computer cam.

Well, the new year is nearly upon us, and with it I'll be kicking off a new series in the shop. Stay tuned for more of The Wild Children in 2010!


This absolutely stunning image found via Wabi & Sabi. I don't know where she found it (if anyone knows, please supply the link) but I could not help re-posting it tonight. What a heart-stopping photograph. Wabi & Sabi finds the most beautiful things, and I always enjoy stopping in to check out her latest collection of images.


Scenes from Christmas...
Q playing grandpa's piano. Here's the funny thing: her finger positions are quite advanced. This is odd, since none of us has taught her. This is, again, 100% Q. My great aunt was a prodigy and a concert pianist, first touring Europe and, later in life, the US. I took many years of lessons as a child, but have since forgotten most of it. My mother can still play quite beautifully. Mike's father has been taking cousin Victoria through lessons for a few years now. But as for Q - as with so many things - she is just a superb mimic. Much of the time, we don't even know where she saw the things that she is able to pick up and reproduce.
Christmas mass.
I particularly loved the angels. Children make such beautiful and artless angels, don't they?

A friend gave me an Amazon gift certificate before the Holidays, which I used to purchase a box of fillable ornaments. I filled them with moss, lichen, feathers and small animal figurines from Q's overflowing collection, and then threaded them on heavy hemp twine. Q was rather taken with them.
Christmas at Mike's parents' house.
Stefanie's buche de noel, and Susan's table settings.
Notice, at top right, that Q still sports her Billy Idol smirk now and then!
Stefanie brought a Curious George activiy book for Q, which Q was nice enough to share with cousin Abby. The two are just a year apart, and absolutely adore one another.
Q trying on her new "cop kit", which included dark cop shades, a walkie-talkie, and a set of plastic cuffs. Heh.
While Q and I opened presents, my dog Sam found a quiet retreat from all the screaming, whacking toddlers...tucked deep under Susan's Christmas tree.

Q relishing in a well-deserved Holiday bubble bath.

I have to admit that my dog sleeps on the bed. Often under the covers. And sometimes with his head on my pillow. It's far too late to train him otherwise.

HOWEVER, the very next time we adopt a dog, that dog is going to have one of these tough dogbeds from BowWowBeds.
My husband's late and beloved dog Max (an enormous Akita mix with dingo coloring) would have been all over these.
And though I don't typically wear a lot of jewelry, I am strangely attracted to these natural history themed pieces from the UK at MakeIt.

Maybe it's just that I'm awfully fond of foxes.
And this antler is pretty cool.


Christmas Eve......delightful!

How was yours?


Three days before Christmas, we decided to have a little sleepover with Q's cousin Victoria. We figured it was an excellent opportunity to make gingerbread from scratch, and bake far too many Christmas cookies.

Q discovered for the first time (we're not frequent cookie-bakers) the joys of eating heavily-sugared dough, and rubbing her face in the Hungarian high-altitude flour (zoom in for the flour dusting on her nose and eyebrows).

As you can see, we're of the school that likes to slather butter all over the baking pans, rather than using the spray-on shortening. What can I say? My grandmother was French, and she used butter in everything. Butter in copious quantities. Butter on top. Butter in the middle. Butter underneath. And yet...she was maddeningly slim her whole life. Go figure.

Right on cue, it began to snow just after dusk, and we all bundled up and piled into the car for a ride downtown to admire the lights.
We hadn't gone ten blocks before we came across this...
...someone's elaborate Holiday project. These people own two vintage firetrucks, which they apparently spend all their free time decorating, and then driving around the neighborhood during the Holidays.

I think they just do it for the pleasure of seeing the kids' faces light up...and oh, do they ever!
Q is now a brand spanking-new convert to the love of all things firetruck.
Downtown, we stopped into the tail end of the Sinterklaas festival for some assorted meats from various regions of Germany, Switzerland and Holland, and then a leisurely wander around the Christmas wonderland of the 16th Street mall.

In the last photo, you can see Q escaping into Forever 21, where she did a hotfoot circuit at top speed, burning linoleum and touching every faux-fur and sequin frock on the racks with her sticky little hands (mommy hot on her heels).
We took a bus ride up and down the pedestrian mall, searching (to no avail) for an available horse and carriage. At Christmastime, all the carriage horses wear their hooves painted in red glitter...which is pretty cool. dice. Disappointed, we wandered listlessly into American Apparel, where the Q fell madly and vociferously in love with this ridiculously large, superbly shiny, pewter-hewed tote bag. Next to basketballs and bunnies, bags are Q's most favorite thing. She appears to have a propensity for alliteration.
Larimer Square, always a photo opportunity at this time of year.
Back at home, M. made gingerbread men from scratch using only his bare hands, a mixing bowl, and a tin sports-drink can (did I mention he's talented?), while Victoria and Q watched Mary Poppins and ate the spoils.

Q emulating Mary Poppins, and attempting to ascend to the ceiling using only a Chinese parasol. (Shortly after failing at that worthy endeavor, she attempted to ascend to the ceiling by laughing hysterically and at length. Which also did not work. Though, by all rights, it should have.)


This is how Q leaves the apartment on her way to go swimming. In late-December. Outdoors. At 8500 feet above sea level. In a ski resort.
Well, she did deign to put on a hat, at least, in the end.
Had to zoom in on that one. Bare feet on the brick paving, even! She's a tough one. Yes, that is snow.
Q loves hot tubs. Any body of water, really, will do. She tried to swim in the fountain in downtown Denver tonight as a snowstorm set in. She's not picky.

Luckily our cousin Kim works at a health club, and while we were in the Vail Valley she signed us in for a day of swimming at the indoor pool, as well.
Q was delighted. But then...she kind of thinks that people just basically live to fulfill her every whim. Hmmmmmm....
...where could we have gone wrong?

This is Q trying to get cousin Kim's attention. You really need to zoom in on this series to see her expression. Obviously, she needs something. Or, she's just tired of the conversation. Or, she wants Kim to come in swimming with her. In any case, check out the laser beam focus she uses to get her target audience to make eye contact with her. And see how she points to her own chest as she comes around into Kim's field of vision, just in case her point wasn't clear? It just cracks me up. This kid will never have trouble getting her point across. Or getting things done. She is nothing if not direct, confident and authoritative.
Here she is swimming in the big pool. Her kicking has improved a great deal since last summer. Kim also pointed out that she is able to show off a bit for the camera even while trying to swim.

Then we met grandma and grandpa at Larkburger for lunch. If you're ever in the Vail Valley, don't miss Larkburger. It's a must. The truffle burger (with truffle-oil aioli) is to die for. But if you're not into red meat, there's also a turkey burger and a fresh seared tuna burger which are very nearly as good. The herbed parmesan truffle fries are incredible, and even the green salad (with field greens, edamame and a truffle/ranch dressing) is solid. Trust me, you can't go wrong.
...oh, and I hear there's one open in Boulder now, too.