Friday, April 28, 2006

music to my ears

i can't believe that it is friday already. i came down with a flu bug monday. stayed in bed tuesday. felt a bit better by wednesday. and returned in full yesterday.

during all that for some reason i was extra blessed by musical mail this week!

first off there was the fantastic cd put together for me by shari of the glass doorknob as part of lisa's music swap. i love love love it shari. part of the reason i got involved with the swap is that i felt a little out of touch with music that has been released in the last two years or so (since about the time the little bug was born). music has always been a big part of my life. and d's too. (he has a large vinyl collection) but i haven't done much (any?) music purchasing in the last while as our budget stretched with our expanding family! (thank god for kcrw's music programming!) this cd fulfilled my wish and then some (sleater-kinney rocks! where have i been???) the kids were thrilled with the magic of the little sponge capsules - and the postcards included were beautiful too. (not to mention the cd packaging.) i love it all shari. perfect - as you suggested - for my commute. and the tea perfect for my commuter cup! thank you so much.

the next day my husband came in with the mail and asked me why i was getting another cd? i had no idea. until i saw the return address. this one was sent on by my oldest and dearest friend. (i was telling the big bug last night that we met when you played the french horn and i the flute. what a history!) a reminder of where i come from and what i am missing! thanks c. i love it. already on heavy rotation. and you are right on about both bedouin and andy. and who would have ever thought i would be singing along to a song called "i hate winnipeg"? (it isn't what it sounds like - rather about the "pull of home". great article on it, and the weakerthans, found here.) i miss you so.

and of course into the packet from c was a little something for the wee ones. sing-a-long and lullibies for the curious george film - by jack johnson. (in my opinion the saving grace of this movie was the music...) the 3 r's is being played over and over and over and over... (this song was first found on the kid's compilation mary had a little amp - another great kids' cd. can you tell i have the kids' music swap on my mind? hope all have been in touch with their partners!)

and now promises of a cd swap with hayley! very exciting...

so music carried me through the week. what have you been listening to lately?

i did pretty well staying away from my screen. will fill in on the projects from last weekend next week!

have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Corners of Our Home 12

much better viewed large

when our development was built(1955), every homeowner was given an olive tree for the front yard, and palms for the back. the woman we bought from told us she refused the palms because she didn't want a mess in the pool. no trees for her. the olive died long ago. these palms hang over the fence to us from the neighbors to the left and right.

this is what we see when we lie on our backs in the pool. for a canadian prairie girl it all seems quite thrilling.

the yard itself is a mess. still working on putting in a new sprinkler system to prepare for new plantings. it is good to look up!

we have been wanting to lie on our backs - looking up - in the yard lately - but the weather isn't cooperating. so instead we go for long walks. look for bugs. and pretend we are working our farm. (big bug is obsessed with farm-life since our weekend excursion...)

what have you been doing while your tv is off?

more corners here.

Monday, April 24, 2006


your television!


It is National Turn-off your TV Week. It isn't easy. But it is rewarding.

Some links to check-out
the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood
the TV Turnoff Network
what your pediatrician says...

We had a lovely full weekend. Breakfast with this dear friend and her lovable little guy down by the beach. And she took me to a fabulous fabric store where the big bug chose some long admired fabric for summer skirts for her and her sister. Then Sunday we took in the annual Pierce College Farm Walk. The College is just around the corner from us so we try to take in as much of its programming as we can. It was a beautiful day.

farmwalk.1 (mooo)

I love that this wide open space is so close to our front door. (Must be the prairie girl in me...) The big bug said her favorites were the chickens (always are for some reason) and the little bug "baa" and "neigh". The sheep-shearing and spinning and the equestrian drill-team were popular as well.

farmwalk.2 (baaa)

farmwalk.2 (ahhh)

And the apron even worked some magic and got some crafting done! But will share that another time. I don't watch much television - the occasional DVD or (guilty-pleasure)episode of Grey's Anatomy... So besides keeping our tv off all week - I am going to try spending less time on-line too... Bye for now...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Best laid plans...

Time to put this apron to work. Inspiration abounds.... here, here, (must gocco on fabric!), here (music swap!), here (have I really not finished these yet?!) and here (must find one more skein...). Hoping for a productive weekend! Wish me luck!! (I think I will need it.)

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

I am having a terrible time finding any more of Muench Big Baby yarn in Rainbow. It seems to be backordered everywhere I go. If anyone spots some I would be so willing to compensate them for picking some up for me... Thanks!

OOPS! And how could I forget. Happy birthday baby brother. I love you!

me and he

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Corners of Our Home 11

In which she shows a little more clutter than she is comfortable with.


Another wonderful set of bookshelves by D. Without whom we would have boxes and boxes of my books everywhere... This entire wall of the office used to be a closet. He tore it all out. Built a smaller closet. And these shelves. We now need to build a better desk/work area.

Our house isn't big. Around 1700 sq ft (is that right D?) It has three bedrooms - one of which we use as an office/guest bedroom. That leaves the girls sharing a room. Which right now they seem to have no problem with. Not knowing anything different and loving being together. But I wonder how long that will last? With real estate the way it is here. We can't afford to move anywhere larger in our area. (We couldn't even afford to buy our own home now.) So if we stay we may have to add on. Or put together one of these in the backyard!

For those with kids - what are your experiences with room sharing? And anyone out there have experience with small prefab structures?

More corners here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

i am where i am

studio balcony

i thought in the beginning i wouldn't mention my job here. but today, as i was downloading some photos to flickr that i had taken at work i thought about sets and thought "studio" was the natural place to put them. but then that warranted an explanation that it is not my studio. but the studio i am at monday thru friday and sometimes on the weekends as an artists' assistant. i work for a fairly well known artist - whose name i do not feel comfortable sharing as i am sure you can understand. he is wonderful. generous. kind. not at all the egotistical, maniacal artist stereotype. although i think he fit this bill in his younger days. he seems to have mellowed with age. his ego does still need the occasional stroke. (which yes, is part of my job description) but for the most part he spends the days painting beautiful pictures, while i work on his catalogue raisonne, shipping paperwork, reproduction requests, correspondence and the like. it is a great job. but one i never expected to have. it is great because he is great. he loves the girls as his own granddaughters and knows that my "position" as a mom is first and foremost. and we love him.

i studied for 7 years at university. first with the dream of being an artist. then with the plan of being an art conservator. i never followed through with the first after graduating with a BFA in painting. but moved right on to the second. (after a year struggling to fulfill the dreaded organic chemistry requirement.) i love(d) art conservation. but jobs are few and far between. i worked as an assistant conservator in toronto for a while. then came to los angeles on a graduate internship. it was in conservation. but not hands-on. rather in the theory and investigation of the problems surrounding contemporary art. while i was scheduled to stay only one year. i was renewed for another two. then left when administration changed and i was offered my present position. which i took instead of returning to conservation in toronto because i was in love. and wanted to stay. (one husband and two kids later...)

out of my graduating class, only one of my circle is still in the art con field. and she has recently decided to try something new. (art conservation is a romantic - but not at all lucrative business!)

anyway. too much information maybe. my point is my path hasn't been at all what i expected. and i often wonder what comes next. i am getting older(!) and still dream of new careers. (i loved mav's post on this topic sometime ago.) designing schoolyards. reggio amelia atelierista. printmaker. and while i love to dream i can't imagine really doing anything else. than being a mom. and this job lets me do it. i don't love my job. but i love what it allows me. we talk about buying a house here. or here - where everyone we know seems to want to be! about slowing down. doing some consulting. being able to work from home. to be at home. who knows.

i wonder about others' journeys. compromises. i think this is so relevant to women of "my" generation. caught between career and children and realizing you want to be the best mom perhaps more than have the best career. (and some do both so beautifully! loved kath of red current's look at this) are you where you thought you would be? are you on your way to someplace new?

i am happy where i am now. but curious about where else i may go...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

kids' cd swap update

The last of the pairings, and instructions for the cd swap went out today for those who signed up. Please let me know if you did not receive your partner's info - or if their are any problems! And happy cd burning!!


Monday, April 17, 2006

"I love it"

easter eggs.3

We had a lovely holiday weekend. Painting eggs. Visit from the Easter Bunny. A fabulous egg hunt. A chance for the big bug to wear her new "fancy shoes" that she had so carefully been saving!

The girls (that includes me!) ate much too much chocolate. I never allowed the big bug to partake in the sweet stuff until she was well over two. But I caved with the little one - who will be two in June - and let her in on it. She carefully watched her big sister who hordes her chocolate (it isn't a frequent treat) and will have a little nibble every day for a week until she eventually forgets it is there. Then the little bug quickly stuffed as much as she could into her mouth. Causing me to have to pop a few chocolate eggs out of her mouth as she yelled "NOOOOO. Chocolate. Pleeeeease. Moooooo pleeeease. I love it! Pleeeeease!!"

And then there was the mail on Saturday. I thought the box was a little too big for the tissue holder I had ordered. The one with the beautiful apple print that I wanted as soon as I saw it here. The big bug immediately commented that it must be a special package to have such lovely flowered tape on it.

And it was very special. It held this

littlebirds apron -

Thank you so much Stephanie! It is so lovely. The craftsmanship, attention to detail and styling so much to my liking. (In my haste to photograph it I missed the lovely little pin cushion that hangs down on one side.) I didn't want to have to take it off! I love it!!

Plus it seemed to be imbued with powers to make me get some of the languishing projects I have hanging around the house done. (Hopefully more on this soon!)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter


Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Corners of Our Home 10

dining room corner

For my mom.

Our dining room table. With nothing on it.


That shouldn't be there! (You are right. It does feel better!)

Love you!

More corners here.

(If you see this Melissa - note the baseboards!)

I will keep the sign-up for the kids' music swap open until the end of the day tomorrow (Friday). Do sign up if you are interested and haven't. It's easy and I think will be fun! (Thanks Steph and Tracie for mentioning it on your blogs!) And please take a button if you like!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

mr. matisse


Matisse is one of my favorite artists.

So when E came home from school with this last week. Then chose this book to take out from the library. I got very excited! (And inspired to pick up the first volume of Hilary Spuling's Matisse biography that has been sitting by my bed for months.) We talked about Matisse and how he drew with his scissors. She is very interested in collage right now. Every time I take out some fabric she asks for a little to cut and layer and place. So carefully. I'll have to try and make something with her little piles.

And take her to this when it opens...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"Every small child loves a sandbox"

Children's Rooms...

We are still in the throes of planning our yard. The landscape designer we are working with (Yes, we splurged here. We are doing so much else our selves and just didn't feel as confident when it came to plantings. We want this to work!!)has a great plan drawn up but I am still "sitting on the fence" so to speak about what to do for a kids' area. I think this is a very important component of our space. Living in this mild climate, the girls like to be outside as much as I let them and I want them to have a "destination" when they go out the back door.

I have been pouring over old Sunset publications. We have found them to be a very valuable resource for the remodel of our 1955 home. This one, lent by a very cool and in the know when it comes to all things mcm neighbor, has some great ideas

every small child

with a future

I love the images from these books. I also love the commentary. On describing a bathroom for a child with access to the backyard they write: "Bathroom door opens directly to out-of-doors, so children can wash up in bathroom before entering rest of house..."Buffer-zone" bathroom of this sort can save many a scolding."

And who wouldn't want a playroom like this

Anyway, I digress... As for our yard. We will likely go with something like this

sandbox divide

,incorporating a trellis of vines over the sandbox I think (beans, Italian squash...)and beyond this our planter beds.

I also have been bit by the idea of a desert tortoise. Anyone familiar with them as pets? The big bug so badly wants a pet - besides the fish - and I was thinking this (non-shedding vegetarian heat lover) may be a good option? What do you think...? Oh - now to design its enclosure!

Monday, April 10, 2006

sing a song - kids' music swap anyone?

Thanks so much for all your interest! I am closing sign-ups and will be in touch with those who emailed me early next week!

afternoon snack

i have a bit of interest so, well, here it goes...

so i was thinking - how about a kids' cd swap? i have so enjoyed the swaps i have participated in - miniswap and currently lisa's music swap. gleaning from the guidelines set by each...

- it doesn't have to be strictly "kids' music" but can include music that your kids like - just make sure it is appropriate for swapping...
- there is no age limit for the children to participate - but when possible it would be fun to have them make up the playlist
- be willing to ship overseas (fun to hear an international mix of kids' music!)
- have fun with the packaging but no need to send anything other than the cd
- goal is to ship by mid/late may (i'll pin a date down once sign-ups close)
- interested? email me with kid's cd swap in the subject to: t(dot)bartley(at)att(dot)net and include your name, name(s) and age(s) of your kid(s), your blog address (if you have one - not necessary), and your mailing address
- once i see the interest that is out there (please feel free to "spread the word"!)i will close the sign-ups and randomly match the households I will keep the sign-up for the kids' music swap open until the end of the day tomorrow (Friday 14 April). Please sign up if you are interested and haven't! The more the merrier!!

now i just need a cool button! and here it is! (check out my sidebar!)thanks so much jan!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

bedtime storytime

late-night story

the big bug had her "very best bud in the world" sleep over last night. sleep. not too much. but they had a lot of fun. i would have thought they would have been much too young for this. (they are both almost 5.) but the friend is a really outgoing child and has become completely comfortable with staying at our place. they entertain each other so well. "reading" stories to each other until the wee hours. (ok- until 10 o'clock - but that feels like the "wee hours" at our house!)

Friday, April 07, 2006


Orange is my pink.

As a girl my mom never dressed me in pink. There isn't even a baby picture of me in pink. She always said she felt it wasn't a good color for redheads. Part of me thinks it was more her not buying into gender roles etc. Whatever her reason. I never wore pink. But lots and lots of orange. I remember an orange and yellow plaid pantsuit. I remember an orange parka and snowpants. I remember a winter toque with an orange edging that I never wanted to take off. A chocolate brown dress for Christmas with tiny orange flowers...

I still love orange. I did go through a serious pink phase some years ago. I even wore a pink dress at our wedding. A bit of rebellion perhaps? I don't think so. There are just so many wonderful pinks out there (I have even seen my mom - a redhead as well - in pink of late!)

But I don't think I own any orange clothing now. But there is orange throughout our home. Here are a few spots I found while getting ready this morning...





This will be my last color post as I try not to spend time on the computer over the weekends. (Kind of ironic as tomorrow is pink and pink - right now - rules as far as the big bug is concerned. We do laundry loads of pink...) I have really enjoyed this. Thanks so much Shash for the wonderful idea. You can see a rainbow of colors here.

Have a wonderful weekend!

I have been toying with the idea of trying to organize a kid's CD swap. What do you think? Having never done anything like this before I am a little hesitant... and would love some feedback.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Corners of Our Home 9 - thursday.white

To cover both Corners and Colors, here are some white spots around our house.


The "bullet" planter was passed on to us by aging neighbors who no longer used it. My employer gave us the Alvar Aalto "Beehive" lamp. It illuminated the dining table in his London home for many years. But he felt he didn't have a place for it when he moved to L.A. The big bug's Miffy lamp was bought on ebay while I was pregnant with her. (Knowing whether she was a boy or a girl she would love Dick Bruna!) The large white chair is, obviously, the back of our big orange chair! The Le Klint pendant was a purchase at the yearly Artemide parking lot sale. (Great deals! Anyone know when the next one is?) And the clay "shells" that hang against the brick of our fireplace were a Mother's Day gift some moons ago - bought at Ikea.

It is fun to go to flickr and see all the wonderful colors! And of course, more corners here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006



The rain has stopped momentarily.

My dear friend C is my constant inspiration for practicing "green". She makes me think carefully about the choices I make. (I think of her and remember to take those canvas bags to the market!) And leads me to resources that help me make those choices. She has even started a Green Drinks International group in the small city we grew up in! (Check if you have one in your neighborhood...)On this green wednesday I salute her! (Check out her site - and her links. All so green!)

I know I have mentioned some of these before. But today again they seem apt.

Some green links that inspire me:
Walking Schoolbus
Boston Schoolyard Initiative
Community Environment Park
Path to Freedom
Garden School

Be Green.


More great green links at little birds!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


and it does feel that way. it is raining. hard. the drive to the studio was unpleasant and i have a headache. time to brave the rain and go find a hot coffee with lots of milk to soothe me!



looking forward to green! what color is your tuesday?

Monday, April 03, 2006



Shash of MECOZY and Mav of port2port {press} came up with a lovely way to move through the week. I love the idea of Monday being yellow. I love yellow. And it puts a bright fresh face on the beginning of a new week. (One with a difficult time change no less!)

It is grey and cloudy here today - with another storm on the way. But I did manage to find some yellow.


Had another busy weekend. Breakfast with a dear friend on Saturday morning at a fabulous diner in Hermosa Beach. We are going to make this a standing date. First Saturday of each month. Kids in tow. Husbands at home. Some coffee (decaf for her!) and conversation. It felt so good. A trip to the Getty Center on Sunday. Forgot my camera. And another birthday. Another apron!

for mac

Hope your Monday is yellow!