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Iota Illustration Giveaway

August 29, 2013


By Gabrielle.

I have a really fun giveaway for you today! It’s sponsored by the etsy shop, Iota Illustration, and the prize is a $150 gift certificate for the shop prints. Hooray!

whale by iota illustration

Do you know Iota Illustration? The shop is owned and run by the talented Oliver Lake. He’s a children’s book illustrator who loves to make images that appeal to both children and adults.

I really enjoy his work! I think it would be wonderful hanging in a nursery, a playroom or a family room. Some of my favorites: Out On A Lark, Two Fine Foxes, The Cat’s Whiskers, The Bird and The Whale, and Tiger Transportation.

Iota IllustrationTiger Transportation by Iota Illustration

Wouldn’t it be fun to use one of his prints as an inspiration piece for a children’s bedroom? And it’s not just prints. His illustrations are available on throw pillows, iPhone cases, tote bags, and t-shirts. Cute!

Visit Iota Illustration and leave a comment below to enter — I’d love to hear which print catches your eye first! The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!


By Gabrielle. Images by Iris Thorsteinsdottir for Kid & Coe.

I’m fond of our home tours for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorites is that it gives me the chance to truly learn about living with kids in every corner of the world. Practical advice and personal experience from real families are the best, made even better with pictures and local accents! As I mentioned to Laura this week, you just never know where you’ll want to move your family tomorrow. Perhaps to Bristol? It sure sound lovely. (And then there is the matter of Banksy, graffiti artist extraordinaire! How cool would it be to casually name-drop him as your neighbor?) I know you’re going to adore Laura and the Hall home, and I’m also pretty sure you’re going to love the company she keeps, known as Kid & Coe, especially if you’ve got little ones and despise traveling with all the gear they seem to accumulate! Welcome, Laura!

Q: Tell us all about your sweet family living in the UK!

A: Four of us live here. I’m Laura, the Communications Manager of Kid & Coe, traveler, magpie, and generally creative person. I’m joined by my husband Matt, an IT risk consultant by day (yawn!) but a dastardly food blogger and inventive cook by night (yum!). There’s also our bumptious three year old daughter Olivia, who loves to sing and read, often at the same time, and our four-year-old cat Sukie, who I rescued when she was just five weeks old. She’s lovely but thinks she’s a human most of the time.

Q: How did this house become your home? (And please tell us what it’s like to buy or rent in Bristol…just in case any of us are interested!)

A: We love our home so much! We bought it four years ago after living in a hip city center apartment, because we wanted to be near a park and to have a family in a lovely area. I got pregnant within a month of moving in. I have so many friends on this street and the next who all have three year olds. Who knows what they’re putting in the water!

One of the best things in my life was getting pregnant while living here. We live on top of a hill, and one day I was puffing up it, heavily pregnant, when a lady opened her door and invited me in for tea. She had a bunch of other mums from the street having tea in her garden, and just like that I was invited into the Richmond Street mums club! It’s lovely, and I really like that the vibe is like that round here.

More of this darling home…plus a bomb shelter! Just click!


By Gabrielle.

There’s something special about the Woolley home. It’s definitely in a state of repair and redesign, I’m sure the exposed brick lends an added chill, and the constant sprinkling of dust from the perpetual updating must get old. But on the flip side, it’s a home where anything seems possible when the sunlight streams in. It’s a home where cuddling up together in one room creates all the warmth needed. And as for the dust, who notices such things against such a colorful backdrop? From the way Chelsey describes her six children to the way she chooses wall color and their two non-negotiable house rules, this is a tour to enjoy. I really hope you do!

Q: Tell us about the sweet family making this house a home!

A: My husband, Woo (not his real name, but a name that he goes by and the name that I almost always call him), likes to say that we met in the pediatrician’s office. We did have the same pediatrician, but I think that we most likely met for the first time in high school where he was friends with my little brother, and I was friends with his older sister. We didn’t start dating until I’d graduated from college, and after we kept seeing each other at things like thrift stores, gigs, and Ultimate Frisbee. We like to say that Woo’s the public face of our family — personable, often hilarious, and friendly. He works from home as a self-employed app developer. I’m a stay-at-home mom driven to read or fiddle around with the house in my spare time. I have a degree in science, but wish I’d done something much more right-brained. Soon after we married, we moved to St. Louis and started our family. Four of our children were born there, and the last two were born here in Utah.

Ruby, eight, is our resident tomboy. She can run, climb, play in the dirt, and collect bugs and rocks with the best of them. She is also extremely compassionate, generous, and social. She has many, many big ideas; right now she has lots of plans for her future involving the study and cultivation of sharks.

Herbie, seven, would love to be the oldest kid, but is making the most of being the oldest boy. He considers himself an expert on anything he’s done (even just once), or heard about (even just barely), and will unload what he knows on his little brothers. Despite trying to be an adult in every way, he definitely has a slapstick sense of humor, loves a good knock-knock joke, and still loves hugs from his mom and tickles from his dad.

Moses, five, is our sweet, sensitive middle child. He gives the most sincere, surprising compliments, has an angelic, innocent smile, and is very affectionate. He also is the kid who best understands comedic timing and the anatomy of a good joke. He would really, really like to be good all the time, but sometimes just can’t help himself when his little brother takes one of his cars, or his big sister involves him in an exciting, sneaky plan.

If you think the turquoise kitchen is bold, wait until you see the dining room!


By Gabrielle.

I smiled all the way through Heather‘s tour, but especially so when I read her clean house philosophy: “Our house will become a mess every single day. I accept that. I feel like we’re succeeding if at least once a day, the house is as neat as I want it to be, and at least once a day it’s as crazy as they want it to be.” It’s a refreshing compromise, don’t you think? Everyone seems to win, at least for a few hours!

Friends, this is clearly a home where the children’s informal preferences have merged with the adults’ decidedly more formal leanings in every room, which must be a dream for the kids and make them feel like this is where they belong. Someday, the formal side may win out. Until then, I’m pretty sure no one minds being seated at the kids’ table! I really hope you enjoy the peek into Heather’s home as much as I did.

Q: Tell us about the neat family making this house a home!

A: Hi, I’m Heather. I’m a mom, blogger, and opera singer (by way of Russian literature and law school). I live in this house with my best friend Kent, a patent attorney who is much kinder and funnier than his job makes him sound. We’ve been married nine years and we have three little sugar plums. There’s my honey-love preschooler, Fluffy, and my twins, 21 month-old twin agents of anarchy, Salty and Peppers. I personally would love to use my kids’ real names, but I promised my husband long ago that I would use pseudonyms for them when posting on the internet.

When we bought this house, my style was very, very formal. Six years and three kids later, I’m down to very formal. I know what you’re thinking: “Ring the police! Children being raised by a formal mother! Bring in the governess to make them play clothes out of old curtains!” It’s not like that, really. I’ll admit, my house is a little high maintenance, and most days I’m okay with that. Our home is filled with special, beautiful things and people that I love and take care of.

Lots more to see, including two kitchens…kind of!


Petting Zoo 1

Petting Zoo

Petting Zoo 3

Petting Zoo

By Koseli.

My husband and I are huge Christoph Niemann fans (as I’m sure so many of you are!) and just heard that he has a new app for children and adults called Petting Zoo. It’s an interactive book with illustrations of 21 animals. When you swipe or tap each animal, it reacts in a surprising way. What would an elephant in the bathroom do? Can a dog breakdance? I can’t wait to play with this. It’s right up my alley. The app is available for iPhones and iPads.

Do you have any favorite apps or digital pictures books you love? Which ones do your children love the most? I haven’t been able to find many I’ve liked for my 18-month old son, but we love Wee Alphas, Timbuktu, and Where’s Puppy. We also let our son draw on the iPad using the app Paper. It’s so cool!


Living With Kids: Andrea Gorda

December 18, 2012

By Gabrielle.

When I browsed through Andrea‘s home tour for the first time, I was in a bit of a rush. Deadlines were clamoring for my attention, and I was just about to listen. Until time seemed to stop, and I found myself in a little spot where books were as big as afternoon ideas. The view outside the windows seemed to go on forever, which is probably the best thing for daydreams. And whatever this family who lived here wanted to make? I bet they had everything they needed to make it. It was just one of those spaces that spoke to me. And I think it asked me to stay awhile. So let’s do that right now. Please enjoy Andrea’s home, Friends!

Q: Tell us all about the cute Canadian family who lives here!

A: We are five. Glenn, my wonderful husband, is a natural gas inspector. I’m Andrea. I was in watershed management but became a stay-at-home mom who raises some livestock and dabbles in art. Our first child is Katie, a five year old, old soul who giggles, loves reading Charlotte’s Web, and is best mates with her brother Jack. He’s four years old and loves grand storytelling with elaborate details, twisting plots, and implausible scenarios. Madeleine is an eight month old babbling, standing, into-it-all firecracker who has the loveliest smile. Eyes on that one at all times! Molly, scruffy dog one, and Clyde, scruffy dog two, come in to lie by the fire.

In our electric blue chicken coop (by the by, never pick paint colors while pregnant!), we’ve some dear old laying hens. And past the garden is our grass-fed herd of Dexter cows who help to keep Trixie, old pony extraordinaire, company.

You’ve got to see Andrea’s canning shelves!


Living With Kids: ace&jig

November 27, 2012

By Gabrielle.

This one’s different. Completely. It’s a little less of what you’ve come to expect from a Living With Kids home tour and a lot more of what you’d expect from a love story about two friends. Because, to me, this is exactly how Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson’s life reads. They’re the gorgeous designers behind ace&jig — Cary is the brunette, and Jenna is the blonde — which is a cool enough story on its own. (Have you seen their clothes? I think this skirt should be traipsing through the gardens of La Cressonnière!) But then there’s their personal relationship. They met as interns over ten years ago, became roommates and bridesmaids in each other’s weddings, and now live and work together in the same neighborhood where they’re also raising their babies. See? A television series in the making! Friends, meet Cary and Jenna. This is how they live and work with kids in two separate houses and one studio. Enjoy!

Q: Where do you live?

A: We both are lucky enough to live in a not only picturesque (think Cosby show brownstones!) but very supportive community of Park Slope Brooklyn. We live very close to Prospect Park, which was designed by the same designer as Central Park, and we spend many weekends there. It’s wonderful to have a respite right in the middle of our city. There are a plethora of children that live here, playgrounds to romp around in, and many cool and creative activities abound. Needless to say, our children are never bored. In fact, they’re probably overstimulated!

textiles galore, just ahead!


New Antiquarian Wallpaper

October 22, 2012

By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

I like plain, clean walls. They’re the perfect canvas for art, photographs, you name it. But the minute I open a decorating magazine, I’m mesmerized by all pretty wallpapers! Even though it’s the exact opposite of my plain jane walls, I can’t get this wallpaper from Anthropologie out of my mind. It’s so quirky! It’s not too floral, or too graphic, and it’s definitely original.

I imagine it in a hallway with a great umbrella stand in the corner and some dachshunds running around, which, like the wallpaper, I also do not own. But I bet they’d go very well together. What do you think? Is it busy? Disruptive? Or just the thing?

P.S. — As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to wallpaper a powder room in old New Yorker covers. If you could use anything to wallpaper a room, what would it be? I think your children’s drawings would be so cute, too!


By Gabrielle.

The first time I saw photos of Tracey‘s home, I thought that there is no way this is a house that holds four boys and all of the dirt and noise they carry with them. It’s far too beautiful, far too white, and with such healthy doses of femininity! But then I read her story. And with every answer to my every question, I learned that this gorgeously decorated house has nothing on the beauty that’s happening inside this family’s hearts. There’s no way this house can’t hold those four boys and all of the dirt and noise and goodness they carry with them! Sheer loveliness and a pretty unbelievable story of how this family came to be, straight ahead. Please enjoy it!

Q: Please tell us about the family who makes this house a home!

A: Within these four walls resides a family of six. Two amazing, doting, giving, selfless, magnificent, parents (wink wink) and four adorable, energized boys. Josh, the hubs, is an amazing father and supportive husband. Our boys idolize him and I adore him. He built the chickens a dollhouse-styled coop, all because he knew I would love it. He’s a keeper.

Shy, our oldest Thing, is eight. He came to us when he was just three, an absolutely adorable terror. Now, he’s still adorable and has outgrown most of the terror! He is my mama’s boy, already planning out how he’s going to take care of me when I’m old. Ari, Thing 2, was 15 months old when he came home. He is our sweetheart who just wants to love and be loved. He is also our muscle man, and conquered the monkey bars at two years of age. If you are wondering, Shy and Ari are biological siblings. Bryce, Thing 3, is four. He showed up to the party nine months after we brought our oldest two home. OOPS! He is the family cuddle bug, social butterfly, girl crazy, knight/superhero/tiger, resident expert on everything. Last but not least is Cooper, Thing 4, who just turned two this summer. The boy is always on the move, determined to keep up with his brothers. If he’s not scaling a wall, tackling the pup, or chasing the chickens, chances are he is reading a book or cuddling on someone’s ear.

And then there’s me, Tracey Lynne: wife, mama, blogger, amateur photographer, beachaholic, party thrower, DIY enthusiast, reception coordinator/designer, and boogey monster chaser. I wear dresses as often as possible and love pink, bows, and ruffles. Cupcakes are my favorite.

You won’t want to miss the rest of this family’s story.


A Few Things

September 7, 2012

Hello, Friends. How are you? Did this week run away from anyone else? Or is it just me? I told you I would share a report from our Swiss trip, plus our back to school photos, and I haven’t posted either. Oh dear! But on the bright side, I made a little dent in my inbox. Which is something!

I’m really looking forward to the weekend. Our kids have sign up sessions for their fall extra-curricular activities — stuff like dance, trombone, horseback riding and tennis lessons. I’m sure it will be busy and full. And I’m sure my lack of French will ensure I misunderstand at least half of the instructions we receive. : ) How about you? Any fun plans for this lovely September? Maybe some apple or peach or blackberry picking?

While I map out the weekend schedule, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share with you:
-A la la lovely little girl’s room. Dancing unicorn included.
- A sweet way to tell someone they mean more to you than the Sun and the Moon. And even Saturn.
- Vote for your favorite American Made artisan!
- Animal badges to make with your kids.
- The Diminutive Review. A new blog focused on finding beautiful children’s clothing at deeply discounted prices.
- Fabric on the walls instead of paper.
- Have you entered the $5000 Pottery Barn Kids Sweepstakes? You could win a design consultation with me!
- Find a new artist featured on the excellent site, Wondereur. (And she’s a mom!). Plus, they built a web app, so now you can access their great content even without an iPad.

I also write for Babble. Here are some fun slideshows I put together this week:
- 22 Ideas for Creating a Gallery Wall.
- Inspiring Nursery Decor — projects you can make yourself.
- Scarf Style. Don’t be intimidated by wearing scarves. I’ve gathered tons of great ideas.
- Decorate for Fall! DIY ideas you’ll love.
- Are your kids already talking Halloween? Mine too. Here are clever costume ideas to get you inspired.

I hope you have a marvelous late summer/early fall weekend! I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


P.S. – We did a little more cottage hunting this week. One house featured that staircase above. It’s still on my mind…


Peter Brown would make the best dinner party guest. He’s witty with even a minimum of words, has charming stories from his childhood (The first line of his entertaining bio reads: “I was born and raised in Hopewell, New Jersey, which is a great place to live especially if you like mosquitoes and poison ivy.” Ha!), and would be the absolute best teammate for a post-dinner game of Pictionary. These same qualities make him a pretty wonderful children’s book author and illustrator, too. When he describes his process — “I say as much as possible with my paintings, and whatever I can’t say with the art I say with words. My stories don’t have many words, but it takes me a long time to think up the words that I use.” – it makes me want to choose my words more thoughtfully. I’ll start with Peter Brown’s ever so thoughtful ones! Please enjoy them.

Q: What’s the one childhood memory that still seems as clear as the day it happened?

A: I’ll be honest. I don’t have a good memory. But my childhood memory that stands out most has to be during one of my family’s summer trips to a little island off the coast of Maine. I was returning to the house from a morning spent picking wild blueberries. I used my shirt as a basket to carry the berries when a deer walked out of the woods (the deep, dark, scary woods) and right up to me. The deer just stood there looking at me, a few feet away, so I grabbed a handful of berries and reached out. The deer licked the berries right out of my hand, and then walked back into the woods. I was about five years old.

Q: What qualities do you think contribute the most to your success in children’s book publishing?

A: I think my ideas for stories are unusual enough to be interesting, but familiar enough to be relatable. I’ve had good luck creating characters that people seem to really enjoy. My pictures don’t make sense without my words. And my words are useless without my pictures. This makes for an engaging reading experience.

Click for more Peter Brown!


Raise your hand if you’ve read every single Skippyjon Jones book aloud to a little one. Keep it up if you did so in a truly authentic cat-who-believes-he’s-a-Chihuahua voice! We can all thank Judy Schachner for these unforgettable moments and, with every new Skippyjon Jones book she releases, our well-honed and probably pretty hilarious Spanish accents! Friends, I loved getting to know Judy. Her understated response to my first question floored me, and I’ve since softened my tone when reading Junebug Jones’ words out loud. I hope you enjoy her, too.

Q: I always ask about childhoods. For some reason, we all imagine that a creative mind like yours was inherited! How would you describe your upbringing and early family life?

A: I grew up in an Irish Catholic working class family where money was as tight as our apartment was tiny. My brother Kevin, who was six years older than I, was the funny-bone of the brood. My brother Ted, who was eight years my senior, was always considered the family artist. My Dad, a man as decent and honest as they come, was a machinist, and my musically gifted Mother was a homemaker. She was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer when I was eight.

Anxiety was always the elephant in the room and my way of not getting trampled was to escape through my imagination. I sketched thousands of characters on long sheets of shelf paper taped to the wall of our one and only bathroom. But as I’ve come to realize, it was never really about the art; it was more about being able to morph into every creature that I put down on paper.

Many of my characters’ stories began in orphanages or convents. I loved drawing nuns in their habits…I loved rags to riches stories with incredibly happy endings…it’s what I wanted most for my own life. Other potent themes in my secret world of morphing centered around beautiful women of questionable virtue, with exotic accents, tragic lives, and fabulous wardrobes. On the other side of that bathroom door, little Judy was smoking her pencils and drinking water like it was champagne.

Q: We would love to hear about your studio and where you’re most creative; what’s your view while you work?

A: I have a brand new studio in my home which for me is a dream come true. It has great windows and plenty of storage. I have a large drafting table and several work tables that are usually covered in projects, reference materials, and art supplies. There is also a floor-to-ceiling bulletin board wall which doubles as a painting area for larger works.

I am surrounded by things that inspire me: toys, textiles, books, and taxidermy (somebody’s got to love those poor creatures). My studio is on the second floor, up in the trees, and it’s beautiful during a snowstorm. I listen to all kinds of music, including my daughter Sarah’s compositions, which she scores for film and television. I’m a huge fan of all things NPR, as well.

Don’t miss the rest of Judy’s interview! Just click to see it.


I’ve told you before that I’m not a super emotional person, haven’t I? It’s really true. Usually. Just not after reading Regina Sirois‘ interview answers. They are so genuine, written straight from her sweet heart, and her last three answers left me sitting sentimentally for some very long minutes. This is certainly a lovely home, friends, but this tour left me admiring so much more than the Sirois family furnishings. Please enjoy it.

[ 6/19/12 Update: This just in! Regina won the Young Adult Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2012. That's a big deal! Go Regina!! ]

Q: Tell us about the family who makes this house a home!

A: We have an unconventional home because we have an unconventional life. (Don’t we all?!) My husband is an artist who does visual special effects and computer animation, and I am novelist. We both work from home with our two daughters who are four and nine. With all this togetherness (day after day after day) we need a home that we like to be in because we are always there! Together. Always.

You’ll love the rest of the tour. Just click to see it!


Scrolling through Cortnie’s photos made me a little sleepy, and I mean that in the most wonderful way! Her home — despite being filled with twin boys who probably fill up the space with lots of laughter, dirt, and noise! — seems so calm, content, and positively airy. All the perfect conditions for the perfect nap, wouldn’t you agree? It honestly made me think back on my own childhood, especially those lazy afternoons with the ceiling fan making the curtains dance, lulling me into an unexpected slumber. Enjoy the tour, Friends, and be sure to tell me if you had the same reaction to this sweetly sleepy home!

Q: Tell us all about the family who lives here!

A: In our home lives my husband Gary, myself, one huge black and white tomcat, one petite calico, and our twin three year old boys, August and Liam.

Click to enjoy the rest of the tour!


Did you know it’s Babar’s 80th Anniversary? We are big Babar fans at the Blair house — even before we moved to France.: )  In fact, I have very specific memories of being 6 or 7 years old, sitting on the floor in the children’s room at our local library, and enjoying a stack of Babar books. I’ll bet many of you have similar memories!

The newest Babar book is Celesteville Games. Athletes from all over the world come to compete. Oh. Plus, Flora is all grown up and getting married! If you’re already a Babar fan, I’m sure that mini synopsis is enough to intrigue you. And if Babar is new to you, I hope you’ll hit the library and read up on his adventures. There are over 40 books — and the  stories are always matter-of-fact, calming, and fascinating all at once.

How about you? Any Babar fans at your house?

P.S. — The New York Times shared a neat video of an interview with Laurent de Brunhoff.


One of my favorite qualities in a friend is the ability to find happiness. No matter how much rain falls, she waits happily for the rainbow. No matter how much trash piles up around her, she spots the treasure. No matter how much chaos fills her life, she always seems to keep calm. I imagine Sarah would make the perfect friend.

When she asked if my readers might like to see what it’s honestly like living with kids during a major home renovation, I immediately said yes. And when she sent a photograph of her husband working on her home’s electrical while holding their daughter, I gulped. Twice! But she has reminded me of a few important parenting ideals, as well as a few unforgettable redecorating with kids warnings, all while making me smile throughout her entire interview. I’d like you to meet my new friend, Sarah. Enjoy the tour!

Q: Your sweet family, as seen on your blog header, is adorable!

A: Our family consists of 4.5 members; we only count the dog, Mollie, as a half-member since we’ve had kids! My husband Jay works for a specialized cable manufacturing company. Not TV cable, but cables that go on military aircraft. He is a regional sales manager, which means he travels a lot…making our renovations even more exciting!

I’m Sarah, a stay-at-home mom, the owner of an online children’s clothing store called Lula in London, blogger, and wife extraordinaire! I am not a photographer, but I sure wish I was!

The little people in our lives are Lula and Diesel. Lula is almost three and full of personality. Diesel is almost one and just about the sweetest, happiest little guy you’ll ever meet. They’re both the most flexible, adaptable kids, which makes our constant changes so much easier.

Click to see more of Sarah’s lovely chaos home in progress.


Nicole seems like she has endless amounts of patience. Rooms full, actually! Nearly every corner of her home is adorned with art she has created with her four young daughters, yet none of it looks messy or hastily made. Rather, it looks intentional, harmonious, and made with care. There is a difference, isn’t there? Anyone who has attempted a handmade décor knows it’s definitely a trick to execute, and Nicole does it very well. You’ll see. I hope you enjoy the interview and the inspiration!

Q: Please tell us about the artists who live in this handmade home.

A: I am Nicole Shiffler, mother of four lovely little ladies: Caroline (6), Johanna (4), Ainsleigh (2), and Annabelle (2). My husband, Bobby, is one outnumbered man in a home where dolls and tutus can be found strewn across every room. I am a stay-at-home, blogging, homeschooling, want-to-be artist who knows very well the privilege of me-time. I absolutely love creating with my children and for my home. It is a stress-relieving, gratifying, incredible process to create. It is even more so when I can share it with my children.

Click here to see more of Nicole’s handmade home.


Author Interview: Mem Fox

February 6, 2012

I love Mem Fox’s books. If you haven’t been lulled to sleep by Time for Bed or wishing for a moment or two of invisibility like Hush does in Possum Magic, you are definitely missing out! Her website is wonderfully full, too. And entertaining! I was so tickled to read Ms. Fox’s list of Loves and Loathings. Among her loves are green paper clips, world peace, and a clean kitchen sink. Among her loathings are cleaning up dog vomit, racial intolerance, brown clothes, and mobile phones in airport lounges. Agreed. Friends, I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.

Q: If you close your eyes and think back on your earliest memory of your youth, what’s the one image that springs to mind?

A: Playing a game with stones, a game that included a chanting rhyme, with other little girls on the mission I grew up on in Africa. The others were all African. None of us noticed.

Click here to read the rest of the interview.


I’ve long thought that Dallas Clayton is pretty awesome, but I was still completely floored when he answered my questions with the most staggeringly thoughtful answers and observations. Awesome doesn’t even begin to cover it. If you enjoy this interview half as much as I did, you’re in for a wonderful day! I promise.

Q: For some reason, we all think the most creative writers had either ridiculously happy or tragically lonely childhoods! How do you remember yours?

A: Having a child has made me realize how much of our youth we don’t remember at all. My son is eight years old, which is right around the age my real memories of my childhood start to kick in. This means I’m missing eight whole years of experiences that were probably super fun from my memory banks. If someone created a service to help explore those memories via Universal Studios’ virtual reality simulator, I’d certainly sign up for that! Maybe there would be some good creative-writer back stories locked away in those forgotten years. Otherwise, the rest of my youth was great. Lots of climbing things and throwing things at other things, and then in my teens lots of angry music about the government, and also spray painting.

Click here to read more of Dallas Clayton’s magical words…


You know I love a crisp and colorful Swedish home, and Cina Kjellsson’s does not disappoint. As the designer behind the boldly patterned products at Camp Cirrus, she and her husband, Matts, have created a shared space that incorporates their entire family and still conveys the message that a group of creatives lives here.

The emphasis seems to be less on designing a space to look beautiful, and more on building rooms in which to live beautifully. Collections are few and chosen sparingly, but still with impact. The walls are white – of course! – and the walkways clear. There is space to share and space to be alone. Such brilliant take-aways to apply to any home, don’t you agree? Enjoy the tour!

Click here to see the full tour.

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