There’s a new (and adorable) kids clothing brand in town and I’m thrilled to have designed one of the T-shirts for their launch. It’s called SAY. You may recognize the pattern from the wallpaper I designed for Archer’s nursery and I have to say it is SO fun seeing it 3 dimensional, on clothing. For years my full-time job was creating patterns for 3 dimensional product (notebooks, journals, stationery, binders, bags etc.) for Target and my favorite part was seeing the pattern come to life on the product but now I’m thinking there is something extra special when you see the movement and fluidity it takes on as clothing. Makes me want to do more! Archer might be upping the cuteness factor for me a bit too.
They’ve also teamed up with other designers like Amanda Jane Jones and Jennifer Hagler of A Merry Mishap to create the edited selection. And the good news is… in lieu of investing in advertising they are giving away 1 MILLION shirts (!) so head on over and pick yourself out a cloud Tee. Or one of the other designs, I guess. ;) I must admit I want the Bowie Tee too.
When you move to one of the biggest cities in the country you don’t imagine being in a neighborhood where your friends can just walk over for a girls night in. Especially not in LA because “nobody walks in LA”. But it’s happening! One of my good friends and her family just moved into a house on our same street! And I have a few others just blocks away. So last night I hosted my first impromptu, super casual, walk on over, no make-up allowed, come as you are, ladies-night-in for a couple of my besties. After all, we had to break in the new pink sofa!! (That’s right it’s here!!!!).
To get the place easy entertaining ready, I took advantage of Target‘s new travel inspired spring collection because holy moly have you seen it?! Those planters and the ceramic pieces… Gah! So good.I repurposed this vase as a wine chiller, stocked the bar cart, turned on spotify and that’s it!
Lord knows I have itchy feet to explore a new city, see new landscapes, and collect souvenirs from different cultures. Morocco still remains at the top of my list (which is where Nate Berkus found a lot of inspiration for this latest collection) and Mexico was nice but that was already 5 months ago! So while we have slowed down on travel a bit since Archer, I am in nesting mode even in my studio space, filling it with pieces I love. Special pieces that remind me of trips we’ve taken, have me looking forward to the trips we will take, and give me the excuse to share it with friends that are close to home.
P.S. Spring entertaining doesn’t have to be anything fancy, here’s a few tips you can steal from my gal’s night in. 1. If you’re inside, bring the outdoors in, with plants, flowers, and/or cactus. 2. Deck out a bar cart for an easy self-serve station for your guests (not pictured was the cheese plate and fruit tart that we devoured in minutes). 3. Liven up the space with some new wall-art or just rotate in pieces you already have from other rooms in the house for a fresh vibe.
Well it’s official, Archer is walking and the baby proofing game has begun! I think I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t spent a lot of time around babies so I wasn’t sure what needed babyproofing and what didn’t. Of course most is common sense and I’ve seen the drawer catches and door knob covers but we decided to hire a baby proofing service to get the low down from a professional. They go around your house giving advice on products to use where. (If you are curious the consultation cost us $40). I have to say I am really glad we did it, because I wouldn’t have thought of some of the suggestions and others that I would have done were unnecessary.
So if you are wondering how I’ve been making my house a bit more child friendly, here it is! Surprisingly not a ton has changed, but I will walk you through where we are so far.
The most dangerous rooms in a house are the bathrooms and the kitchen so the main thing the baby proofer recommended was installing gates to keep Archer in the main living spaces instead of having the whole run of the house. We used Munchkin’s LOFT gates, which went in easily and I really like how sturdy it feels. We needed two gates, one in the doorway that leads to all the bedrooms and bathrooms and one in the doorway going into the kitchen. By blocking off the kitchen with the safety gate, it eliminated the need to put cupboard catches on all the cabinets in the kitchen.
We also secured the entry console table with a strap that screwed right into the wall. As of now hasn’t bothered with the items on top of the console so they are staying until it becomes a problem but so far so good.
The one piece of furniture that we decided to swap out for now was our vintage wood slat coffee table. The living room isn’t exactly spacious and in tight quarters those sharp corners already proved themselves a hazard. Also, the marble slab on top was a bit scary to have when he was nearly knocking the table over when pulling himself up on it. I found this simple rush grass ottoman/coffee table, which was pretty inexpensive and nice and soft and round and I even like it. When Archer is older and the other table makes it way back in here, we can use this one in our outdoor patio area.
Our family room is two steps down so the baby proofer guy said they usually don’t gate for one or two stairs and for a while there I was worried Archer would never get that he shouldn’t just take a nose dive down the stairs. Thankfully after working with him on turning around and scooting down backwards he totally got it. We were advised however to pad the heck out of the rug down there because the fast he gets the more prone he will be to taking a few nose dives whether we like it or not.
The family has become Archer’s main play area so we also just moved this coffee table off to the side and have two large baskets of toys down here to continually empty and re-fill which is his favorite activity du jour.
In the bathroom the only thing we did was put a lock on the toilet. Archer has a large head, is very tall, and skinny which equals extra top heavy… so anything to prevent him from taking a dunk in the toilet is A O K with me.
And finally… plug covers all over the house, making sure all cords/cables and cleaning supplies are out of reach, and securing large items like dressers and television to the wall were those common sense things that even I already had under control.
So in summary: My house hasn’t gone through a complete kid zone transformation (yet atleast) but here are a few things I’ve done to get it more toddler ready
#1 Gates are my new best friend, use them to keep your kiddo in the safe zone.
#2 Secure large furniture pieces (and items like televisions) to the wall
#3 If you can’t take away a trip hazard give them a soft place to land
#4 Toilet locks get the thumbs up from me
#5 Plug covers all over
#6 cords and power cables out of reach
#7 put the cleaning supplies where they can’t get to them
This post was in collaboration with Munchkin. Munchkin rids the world of the mundane by developing clever, innovative solutions that make family life safer, easier, and more fun. You can find Munchkin products at Munchkin.com, Target, Babies’R’Us, Walmart, and Amazon. It’s the little things!
I’ve been trying to carve out more time to highlight more makers and artists I love because little finds like Woodland Tale make me so happy! I remember when I had just graduated from college with my graphic design degree and I thought my only option to make money was to go corporate and be a studio designer at an ad agency (which I inevitably did until I woke up and realized there is so much more out there). One evening I fell into an online rabbit hole discovering makers, artists, and designers all making a living doing what they love, creating their own work. I grew up in a non-internet world so this was the first time I really discovered what it can do for creatives.
Now the internetz are over saturated with everyone and their mother making something, etsy has a whole lotta incredible shops and a whole lotta not so incredible but when I stumbled upon these critters, I had to make them mine, I mean Archer’s of course (but really mine).
Kate Akatombo hand stitches these little plushies under the name Woodland Tale out of her studio in Ukraine. The detail is incredible and how adorable are those little faces? I reached out to her to answer a few questions about how she came about making the adorable guys so without further ado…
SSS: Tell me about your creative journey. (background, schooling, previous work etc.)
KA: I always was somehow connected with handmade. My mother was a terrific knitter (and so was her mom and her sisters), my other GrandMa taught me crocheting, sewing and, of course, embroidery of all kinds. Later I was lucky to work in a small retail hobby shop, where I had to learn a lot of various decorative techniques – and this was the very time when I finally understood that working with threads and fabrics is my thing.
SSS: How would you describe your aesthetic? Is your work inspired by anything in particular?
KA: I’m very bound to everything natural and all things inspired by nature. I rarely use flashy, bright colors, prefer cotton and linen textiles and have a dream about naturally dyed fabrics, made by myself. In the world full of machine-made things, in the life of high pace I really strive to something real and thoughtful. This is also true for my little critters. They take time to be made, but every stitch on their small bodies is laid with pleasure of slow life.
SSS: Please share some insight into your design process. How do you come up with the animal shapes, color selections etc.
KA: I have to confess that the very first critters made were significantly inspired by illustrations for children’s books, mostly by Japanese and Spanish artists. I was really amazed how they come up to creating images – very close to the child’s doodles, but still with so much character and feel for color. So I tried to just draw simple as well – but on fabrics.
Most of my softies are 2D, they are flat – as if a drawing turned into a plushie. At the moment, I’m trying to go on with it and make more complicated patterns, vary the embroidery stitches, play with shapes too.
I also have a creative escape – my series of blooming friends, bunnies, hedgehogs and moose deers, embroidered with flowers on their bodies. They have basic shapes, but the embroidery is always different and unique. I really loved stitching them this winter, when starving for spring time, I was designing gentle blooms and leaves.