Wednesday, March 30, 2011

newly local

Went to the mall yesterday and discovered that Nordstrom is now carrying boys' and girls' clothing from Peek, Aren't You Curious. You can get Peek's clothes online here and via Nordstrom's website as well. But it sure was fun to check out in person. Prices are a teeny bit high, but the quality and style are worth it, at least for a piece or two. The boys' collection is especially good. Though Charlie won't go near shirts with buttons or plaid shorts, he did agree that this T-shirt was cool:

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I got him this one, too—and just might be wearing it myself since he said it was "weird."

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back garden

Isn't that the British phrase? Well, we are hardly British, but we do have a garden in back of our house. It's not exactly my baby: The previous owners put it there; my husband is way more of a gardener than I am; and the layout is kind of goofy (bare patches, a huge Japanese maple right in the middle of everything). Plus my son likes to dig big holes. But I love eating dinner at outdoor table on warm (enough) nights, and having furniture out there makes it feel like our house has another room.

Tiny flowers (weeds?) growing against the house
I think these are called grape muscari
Daffodils need no introduction
Of course, the best part is the weeping cherry.

Tessa likes it too.

Monday, March 28, 2011

wedge issue

"Don't you have some just like that already?" —Tessa, on seeing my new shoes
My name is Nadya S., and I have a problem with wedges. Cork, espadrille, wood: I love them all. Wedges give you (relatively stable) height, they make your strides longer, they can make blah clothes edgier. They anchor you. The wood ones even give you a nice clip-cloppy sound effect. I've worn wedges for years, and it seems I find a new variation each season. I'd just gotten a perfect new pair with black straps, silver linings, and a really high cork heel. I wore them happily one early-spring day.

Then I lined my wedges up and realized how many pairs I have—of shoes that are almost exactly the same. Nobody needs eight of the same shoes. I'll try to stop. Really.


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The world doesn't need another cool-mom blog. But is worth a look. Hosted by former Cookie editors, Momfilter calls itself a "lifestyle playbook." But it's really just a series of recommendations—both casual and considered, about everything from parenting styles to family vacations to weeknight recipes to cute snow boots that aren't Uggs—from women who are way, way cooler than the rest of us. And I know I can always use a little more coolness.

another sign

Pretty morning light in the living room, branches from the weeping cherry tree in the side yard

small sign of spring

I noticed these planters in Anthropologie yesterday—not for sale, just part of the store's merchandising. They're so simple and cute I might have to steal their idea and get some myself. I snuck a peek at the labels underneath: Ikea. Done.

on the walls

A  wildflower canvas in Tessa's room, plus a Paper Source banner

Sometimes friends who come over are surprised by the art on our walls—mainly, I think, by the fact that we have some. We try not to be snobs. We're not too proud to frame posters. A Wayne Thiebaud cake print has hung in every kitchen we've had since we lived in California after college:

Two cake slices on the poster; forgive my bad photography

Most of our art, though, we've bought online. And we haven't paid much for it. One great source, for housewares and and jewelry as well as art, is—a sort of edited etsy (as on that huge site, you deal directly with artists) for people with a clean, modern aesthetic, like Sean Finocchio's altered photos of taco trucks and seedy motels in Southern California:

The British firm sells beautiful, simple, graphic posters (and has great styling in its shots). 

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Robin Rosenthal, a former Martha Stewart design guru, now puts out graceful, super-chic kids' posters of letters and numbers at— and she's so sweet that she sent me a personal thank-you email when I bought her blue print for Charlie a few years ago. (She also created this adorable app: 

Tara Hogan, who runs out of a barn in upstate New York, makes letterpress prints with sweet but not precious animal imagery. Her "Pommebirds" looks perfect over Tessa's bed:

Sharon Montrose's gorgeous animal photography, available at, has made the round of style blogs (and now graces our front hall and dining room). 

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Yes, I do have a weakness for animal art: I'm thinking the next thing I get will be one of the lovely (and really, really reasonable) watercolors from an Italian artist named Dimdi on This ibis, maybe?

Image from dimdi


We live in Bethesda, Maryland, in a red brick house. An asymmetrical colonial on the outside, it's been opened up inside, with lots of natural light and cool colors on the walls. I like uncluttered surfaces, clean lines and midcentury furniture:

Clean kitchen island, DWR Kyoto counter stools
Saarinen tulip table, knockoff Jacobsen chairs from Room & Board, hyacinth
Same table, a pretty platter, some apples

 warmed up with delicate or ethnic or cute touches like this

Pillows from West Elm, an alpaca blanket from Peru
or this

On my dresser: perfume bottles, an old teacup, and a painting Charlie did in preschool
or this
Supposedly dogs, but my kids call them lions
or this
Hearts and cherry blossoms
And though I can get antsy about those clean lines and neat arrangements, my kids mess up their rooms like crazy. I'm trying not to be too much of a design snob or control freak. The folks on crack me up, but I sure don't want to be one of them. Plus I'm not nearly neat, or hip, enough myself.

What Charlie's floor usually looks like
Taped-up drawings added to framed pieces
Paint-your-own pottery guy and shiny things
Some of Tessa's beloved animal art
More animal art and small treasures
Through the mirror: "Fishy," a dollhouse, my mother-in-law''s vintage rocking chair


I have to get over myself a little bit. I feel like I should start with an apology. I mean, who cares what I’m inspired by, thinking about, drawn to? Who cares about this vase or that print or that dress? Then I remember that the point of blogs is to share our enthusiasm for such things, no matter how mundane and personal.

So here we go. After leaving an editor job at a fashion and beauty magazine in New York, I wrote about art and style in Washington, DC. All the while, I’ve loved clothes and art and design, both graphic and interior. Now I'm a full-time mother two two children, 8 and 4 years old, and a very part-time freelance writer. My lawyer husband loves cooking, art, and baseball. I’ve been tiptoeing around style and design blogs for a few years, and now I think I’m ready to dip my feet in the water.

Enough justification. On Blue Locket, I’ll write about what inspires or excites me at the moment, whether it’s something new to wear or a book I’ve read or a pillow I’m wanting for my living room. After much debate about what to call the site, I've settled on Blue Locket, after this, 

a childhood gift from my paternal grandmother, who gave me a love of pretty things. Besides, I like concrete imagery and the color blue. You wear a locket close to your heart and fill it with beloved photographs. Consider this my online locket.