Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Friday

Maraca Mouse is psyched :)

Yesterday I did some work on my story about Katie Koala and her search for Lyle the Bunny. You may have seen my image of them on the Valentine's Day Cards I sent out and posted here.

Somehow they keep missing each other, but here a friendly penguin shares some cocoa :)

Lena enjoys some rest while I paint. She fits well with her stuffed friends ;)

I took down my paintings at Fat Cat Monday night :( That was the longest span I've ever had work on display :) A special thanks again to the owners Miki & Daniel for exhibiting it and buying a couple pieces, too!!

Now where to put it all?

Every now and then, scenic painters get out of big 'ole stages and carpentry shops and go on location! This was only over the bridge to Staten Island, but what a beautiful place to work.

Even factories across the water look romantic at dawn...

Thought this ship looked amazing against the pink and lavender sky.

GettyMart gorgeous ;)

This is a giant salt pile which may be used up this winter with all the snowfall!

Our destination & setting for a series of Macy's commercials (this one with Martha, yes, that Martha!) was Snug Harbor. I knew only of Snug Harbor, Long Island. This one is home to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden which is "the product of more than 30 years of restoration and development to convert a 19th century home for retired seamen to a regional arts center housing myriad museum and arts programs as well as an active Artist-in-Residence program. It is the largest ongoing adaptive reuse project in America and is considered one of New York City’s unique architectural complexes and historic landscapes..." *Please visit their well designed website to read more.

We worked in two of the adorable row cottages used for their artist in residence program.

These tracks are not a human's footprints. Looks like a snow bunny has been hoppin' through! maybe Lyle ;)

I look forward to returning in the Spring to visit the botanical gardens, this greenhouse above and various museums and galleries, including a kids' museum :D

This beautiful old building, unfortunately empty and in need of much work, was used as an exterior shot. Bryon Finn carved and wood grained these letters from Styrofoam to make it resemble a Frat House.

Loved these shuttered windows in each room.

View of crew and lighting trucks. Below, another great building in which we enjoyed lunch :)

Sadly, locations are often too small for all of the equipment, plus our paint kit & supplies. Above, a few essentials stashed in a bathroom. Most of it was designated to the back yard. Brrrr cold!

I shared my favorite paint shoes on a January post and here is the underside you all asked to see ;) Quite pretty, despite and I guess, because of the obvious wear & tear.

We have snow here again in Brooklyn and it casts such a magical glow to everything. The thaw out is not so nice.
Enjoy it while you can!!

Snow peeps built by Mirabelle & Odille :)

Have a great weekend!
xo, Allyn

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If I Were a Toy...

If I Were a Toy is the adorable revamped store formerly known as Giggles and Green. I posted a piece about them last August. Joanna Kayata is still the owner. She simply decided to add more toys and games, while selling less clothing. *They now offer haircuts for kids, too! Little ones all over Carroll Gardens & Cobble Hill can now sport terrific trims by their professional and kid-careful stylists :)

They sell a wide array of fun and educational games, activity sets and toys for a range of ages. I am partial to Eeboo. I simply love the design and illustrations they use on their products :)

If I Were a Toy offers a nice range in sizes and prices. It's the perfect stop to pick up a birthday or baby shower gift! They also sell Peaceable Kingdom line of cards :)

une petite leçon française ? Little Pim

You still have a chance to purchase their remaining clothes, hats, mittens and cute rain jacktes!

Plenty of practical playthings for babies.

Stacks and stacks of great games and building sets.

Decor and art supplies by Melissa and Doug. Cute lunch boxes by Crocodile Creek :)

As for activity time: Monday & Friday offers Jitterbugs a music class for ages 3 months to 5 years. Visit their site for details.

Tuesday & Thursday is Playtime with Lori for ages 3 mos. to 4 years of age. Interactive play with arts & crafts, music, games, activities, snacks and storytime :)

Ya'll come back now...

Saturdays from 10-12 noon it's Art Outside the Lines for 3-8 year olds. Read more on their site.

Visit If I Were a Toy and give your child the perfect cut, craft supplies and a space to make some art! Shop product lines from Manhattan Toy, Gund, Alex, Colorbok, Shylling, Isa Booties, Brain Quest, Skuut, Tiny Love and more...

Thanks to Joanna for letting me show off the new & improved Carroll Gardens Toy Store! Continued Success to you and Virginia!!

If You Were a Toy, what would you be???
xo, Allyn

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Accent on LOVE IT ...

Last week I decided to take a look at the New York International Gift Fair. I had not been since I worked my sales magic for Inatome well over 10 years ago. The Javits Center can be overwhelming, so I stuck to the designers and companies I admire in the Accent on Design and Studio sections of the show.

Funktion was one of my 1st stops and I felt total joy spotting them toward the end of the aisle. The turquoise wall caught my attention and set off all the fabulous color combinations and patterns beautifully! Above, their friendly salesperson let me include her in a photo. Of course I loved her little apron and she wore some great rings, too :)

Funktion designs many home goods including dish towels, table cloths, napkins, as well as adorable clothing for babies and kids, plus outdoor items perfect for picnics & beach trips. The owners who design it all, Tara and Dave, actually met and fell in love two years ago at a gift show! what a sweet story and nice Valentine's extra :) You can read more on their website.

I turned a corner to find what may be the softest little blanket I have ever felt! This is Ambajam and these blankies are appropriately called "Cuddle Ups" :) Below is the founder, Alessandra Mayer and she couldn't have been nicer or more gracious! I had the pleasure of meeting her lovely mom and their friend, Bonnie while I was there. It was really fun talking to them and it's great to see people in a business so well suited to them. It's easy to see that Alessandra loves what she does!

Ambajam has received a great deal of press for their precious baby clothing, accessories, gift bags and super-soft blankets *(in various sizes) and Oprah Magazine recently highlighted their Cuddle-ups.
**Currently, for every
blanket purchased through this Sunday Feb 14th a blanket is given to a child in the Starlight Foundation. Simply buy one now & help another child at the same time! Click here to read more**

Hi Kimochis, I love you :D Wait 'til you see the ultra cute scenarios and dancing animals on their website. Possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen and I make it my business to see cute stuff!! Kimochi means "feeling" in Japanese and these little guys are here to help you with your little one's early emotional development.

You'll meet Cat, Cloud, Huggs, Bug & Lovey and learn about their personalities, feelings and behaviors on the Kimochi site, plus play games with your child there :) A page for teachers is in the works as well. How can you not be a fan of such cute plushies that also serve a purpose?!


Here is Zolo, more great toys and games that also teach and ignite the imagination of young children. They also carry the Kimochi line.

Here you'll find an array of building sets, card games, books, journals, soft toys and more...

Below, meet Zola, she's nocturnal staying up all night to keep watch, but boy does she get tired during the day.
I can totally relate ;)

Oh Ze Super Zeros! Each Super Zero has a "mini" power and a related challenge that teach kids to embrace what makes them unique and find their inner Super Zero! Brilliant. Geared for Imagination carries cute and charming French designed toys. I met and talked to Bret Faber, VP of Sales, who seemed just like a kid as he talked to me about these adventurous and educational plush animals from France :)

Above, Bret holds Zonk the monkey, a super climber afraid of heights? Good thing he uses his cape to parachute down!

The Delingos are unique quirky animals with a language of their own. I wasn't so sure about them at 1st, but getting to know them on the site I see their appeal :)

I immediately fell for the Woodours!!! These are great little bears, there are musical ones, activity-style, puppets, mobiles, teethers and more. Thought this campfire scene was the bee's knees :D

This baby bear has a chirpy bird, a squeaky fish, rattling squirrel & teething cracker. Each fits into a color coded pocket :)

Snack time!

*Art on a Yoga Mat*
Plank yoga mats for those of us who like a little humor mixed in with our downward dog ;)

My favorite is this bathroom tiled floor with a melange of pharmaceuticals and what look like chiclets gum!

Doreen Hing is the Creative Director and Founder of Plank and they also create the perfect bags for carrying yours.
*The images are created to change one's perspective of a yoga mat. The commissioned photography and art quality imaging is directed so that each plank can be hung as wall art.
Nice to see something new & so playful!

Yummy blueberry muffin :)

Here is Merben International inc. The little penguin spoke to me and I had to walk over. Merben's President & CEO, Mercedes Benayon is committed to quality in gift giving and it is very apparent looking and touching the many beautiful home goods, bath & body items and soft toys they carry.

The throws and pillows were just stunning in person!

Thought I would end part one of my visit here with this soft sweet hippo :)


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