Thursday, February 24, 2011

Uncle Brad Reading Hitchcock, 1972

We just installed a carbon monoxide detector in our house-- something I asked my mom to do because everyone in the house has been having crazy dreams lately. Ever since I heard a Halloween episode of This American Life about a family that thinks their house is haunted (but they are actually experiencing the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning) I've been convinced there is a gas leak every time I hear a creak.
I know it's still nine months until Halloween, but I've been thinking a lot lately about being scared and how I used to love it. I read so many R.L. Stine books, and watched shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark. It seems so weird to me, because I actually hate being scared now. I can't watch horror movies, I get freaked out seeing people dressed up for those zombie walks, and I still refuse to look into a mirror with the lights out. But I feel weirdly nostalgic about being scared as a kid. I guess when you're little it's fun to be scared by ghosts, and now that I'm a grown-up I don't enjoy it. Maybe there are too many other things to be worried about, like carbon monoxide. (Seriously guys, that's how Weird Al's parents died!)
Madeline pushed a button on the detector the other day, causing it to make a painfully loud noise. She burst into tears and I had to cuddle her for a good minute or so before she calmed down. The poor girl was freaked out by the very thing that makes me feel safe.

Anyway, this whole spiel was inspired by this photo I came across of my Uncle Brad reading a Hitchcock book. I love the flood pants, the glasses, the posture. He's wearing a suit, so I bet it's a sunday. Just reading some scary stories after church. It's one of my favourite kid pictures of all time.
Also, does anyone remember this creepy Disney movie, The Watcher in the Woods? "Narek"!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tough Cookies

A lot of my favourite books growing up were about kids who lived during the Depression and WWII, like
To Kill a Mockingbird, or The Sky is Falling. The kids in these books always seemed so brave, so tough, and wise beyond their years; yet somehow still children. Fittingly, the kids in these photos really seem to evoke all those qualities. Especially the pre-teen with the finger curls in the first picture, no?

These beautiful photographs and more can be found in an archive from the 1930s and 40s on flickr.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meet the Fillies

A few weeks ago Jes and I attempted to do a photo shoot with our girls, Adelaide and Madeline, wearing some of the more pint-sized pieces from Filly and Foal. Maddie seemed to demonstrate the versatility of her outfits, while poor Ada demonstrated the versatility of her emotions. I know I am a little biased, but I'm going to go ahead and say it: CUTEST. BABES. EVER.

"I love you Fiona"

I was excited to find this old copy of Mary Poppins because I've always had a soft spot for the movie. But the best part is the declaration of ownership ("Fiona") in orange marker on the cover and the endearing childish scrawl ("I love you Fiona") on the first page. This treasure really encapsulates one of my favourite things about vintage-- discovering the unique details of a particular item. Our latest haul has been especially fruitful in quirky details.

1. These tiny leather booties bear the unfortunate brand name of "Pussyfoots". But aren't they are insanely adorable? And even more so when you imagine a cat wearing them?

2. I love this dress. I love stripes, I love pleats, I love 100% cotton. But mostly I love the fact that there is a little ladybug button that is sewn in the centre of the bodice; a tiny friend for the lucky kid that gets to wear this.

3. If a happy childhood were a sweater, i bet it would be hand-knit and cream-coloured with a hood and wooden buttons. Looks like little GONZALEZ - L really hit the jackpot.

(As always, all of these and more can be found at Penny Arcade)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Make: Crayon Hearts

Confession: My child eats crayons.
Sure, she's only 13 months. And sure, she likes to eat a whole bunch of unsavory things other than crayons (dog food, anyone?). But after one particularly scary time where she manged almost half of a cornflower blue stick, I decided enough was enough. It was time to turn those crayons into something less chomp-able.
When I came across this recipe, it looked just about perfect. Transform the half eaten crayons into new, pretty scribblers that are perfect for toddler hands; but less toothsome than the stick-like variety. And quick/easy to make, to boot. Here's how:

You need:

Some broken crayons, or a new pack if you'd like
1 Silicone Baking tray (I used a heart-shaped one I found at the dollar store)
Exacto knife (for peeling those labels off)
1 cookie tray, lined with aluminum foil

Then you:

1. Preheat oven to 250 degress (farenheit).
2.Break the crayons into bits and coordinate them in the silicone mold. You can fill them up pretty high, they won't spill. And the more colours, the merrier.
3. Put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, checking in on them to see when the crayons have completely melted.
4. Remove when the colours are mixed, using oven mitts. Set on an even surface to cool.
5. Pop out and start drawing!

Quick, cute, and I'm betting they're going to make some pretty nice V-Day presents. (Yup, Maddie, you're getting some!)