Here’s our visit to Governor’s Island, which we call “Ice-Cream Cone Island” because that’s what it’s shaped like. This small island which is really close to the southern tip of Manhattan, has a long history as a military facility and coast guard base etc. and a few years ago it was sold to the people of New York for us to enjoy. The island was also residential for the military but now nobody can live there, so you have an island full of Victorian and Greek revival houses so close to Manhattan that are empty! It’s like a ghost town in some ways.
The most fascinating fact for me is that in 1637, Wouter Van Twiller, representative of Holland, purchased Governors Island from the Native Americans of “Manahatas” (for which Manhattan was named) for two axe heads, a string of beads, and a handful of nails…almost as expensive as Manhattan! Anyway, we chose one of the hottest days to go there in this hottest summer on record, but still had a great time. There is a really full schedule of events and things to do for the visiting period: every Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Monday from May 26 – September 30. Check out the official website for more info. You get there by free ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn and it only takes about seven minutes.
The girls at the Children’s Museum of the Arts Teaching Artists area. They have new themes and projects each weekend, including everything from painting and drawing to large-scale sculpture. For more information, visit their website.
We got to tour Castle Williams which just opened to the public this season.
Views of Manhattan from the island
Summer is still with us, so it’s not too late to implement this beautiful idea to light up those barbeques, parties and other lazy evenings of summer. These non-flammable, versatile, paper lanterns are also an excellent kid’s craft as they are so easy to make. I love that they are made of newspapers as we all have that handy! Check out the full tutorial on the lovely Willowday blog.
Chair from recycled newspaper bound together with rice glue by Seung Han Lee
As you can see here, I love chairs and am also completely fascinated by objects that are made from recycled materials – and these great pieces are no exception. I wonder how on earth they come up with these ideas…
Building block chair by Pepe Heykoop
Chair of reclaimed cutlery by Osian Batyka-Williams
“Pollocky” Pallet Chair by Gavin Turk
Cardboard Kids Chair by Phillipe Nigro
Cork chair by Aaron Kramer
This is a guest post from Carina of XO- In My Room line of original furniture and blog.
1. The Labyrinth Park
The park includes an eighteenth-century neo-classical garden and a nineteenth century romantic garden. All over the park there are a large number of sculptures and many fountains, waterfalls, springs and ponds. In the middle of the park, is the Labyrinth, which is a lot of fun for children who like to get lost in it as they try to find their way out.The Labyrinth Park is the oldest park in Barcelona and since it’s located outside of the tourist radius, (in the district of Horta in the north part of the city) it’s something of an undiscovered treasure.To maintain the park’s beauty, a maximum of only 750 persons are allowed to enter each day. A small amount is required at the entrance to help maintenance and on Sundays and Wednesdays it is free.
The park was built in 1791 by the marquis and landowner Joan Antoni Desvalls of d’Ardena, at the same time the construction of the Desvall palace began. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Desvall palace was a meeting place for the society’s elite. Over the years, three kings have paid a visit to the gardens. When you walk around the garden, it’s easy to imagine how it looked during the celebrations once held there; the outdoor theatre, the beautiful outfits and exquisite food, the children playing games in the labyrinth…
2. The Magic Fountain
Quite spectacular is “The magic fountain” created in 1929 by architect Carlos Buigas for the Universal Expo. It is very popular specially during summer nights (it’s all year round) because of the high temperatures we have in the city, kids like to stand very close to the fountain, and get wet when the breeze blows. The fountain changes colours and pressure of the water according to the music. The showtimes with music now in summer are from 9 p.m. up to 11p.m. every half hour.
3. The Blue Museum, Barcelona
This is a brand new museum!
The Blue Museum designed by architects, Herzog & de Meuron, occupies 9,000 square meters distributed on two floors with modern installations and facilities, built around an immense, free-access hall which is the start and finish point for all the Museum programmes and services: the reference exhibition «Planet Life», the temporary exhibition areas, the Media library, the Science Nest for children aged 0-6 years, the workshops, the cafeteria, the restaurant and the shop and much more.
Herzog & de Meuron, were also responsible for adapting the new Museum premises and for the museographic design of the Planet Life exhibition, a journey through the history of life and its evolution in tandem with our planet, and a portrait of the present day. The museum is always free for children under 16 and for adults the free admission is on First Sunday of every month and every Sunday after 3 pm.
Here is a guest post from Gina of the beautiful Swedish blog, Willowday.
Starting with the Stockholm archipelago and it’s 20,000 islands, this area is the perfect introduction to Sweden with typical countryside and sea life coexisting harmoniously. The islands are both lush and green and then, granite rock. You can find fully functioning red farms on some islands, alongside summer houses, selling their local seasonal produce at the dock or if you prefer, an island to yourself to moor up to or the opposite: a restaurant and cafes with a beat. This all begins to unfold just 10 minutes outside of Stockholm with easy ferry rides to take you to the outer limits. If you visit Stockholm, a visit to the archipelago is a must.
Drive 5 hours south west to the Atlantic and you are in Bohuslän, which, in contrast to the green Stockholm archipelago is the golden, rocky coast known as Sweden’s west coast. These islands are set on the Atlantic with restaurants teaming with seafood and sail boats speckling the blue water against the more barren backdrop of beautiful naked rock hills. Precious meadows are alive with wildflowers that magically break the strong profiles of the hills and the combination is breathtaking and compelling.
I am always on the lookout for nice bedding for kids and love the bright colors and folkloric influenced designs of byGraziela. Graziela Preiser, whose bedding and decor were internationally famous in the 70′s and were a staple in most German homes, and her daughter, Nina have relaunched the iconic and award winning patterns in a range of products which includes bedding, pyjamas, crockery sets, hooded towels and decor accessories. ”Those who cuddled up in Graziela bedding in their childhood are now in the age at which they have children themselves,” says Nina, who herself wanted her son to be surrounded by the designs of her Mum. Available here.
Irene Writing Desk with details of the drawers
I am just crazy about this hand crafted and original furniture for kids from Barcelona company, XO – In My Room. Each piece is carefully designed and made by the team of lovely Carina Hemmings, her husband and his two brothers. They use reclaimed wood, and tons of imagination and love to produce each of these beauties. They also make hand-crocheted cushions and other vintage type goodies. Their shop is open, so take a look. PS: I just received the first photo of the wonderful writing desk above, so it’s available, but not yet listed in their shop!
Jana Canopy Crib
Candy Circus Crib
Afra Butterfly Screen
What started out as a small eclectic lifestyle store hidden amongst the bustling city life of Mumbai, has grown into one of the largest luxury design brands that India has produced. Good Earth, now located at a converted textile mill, boasts over 10,000 square feet of interior solutions. Taking inspirations from India’s rich history, they’ve successfully managed to put a modern spin to silk-screened cushion covers, hand-quilted bedding, hand-painted earthenware furniture. They’ve also opened a restaurant at the premises, an art and design book store and even an in-house kids brand, Gumdrops.
Gumdrops features bed linen, clothes, decor, baby gifts and more. Sofa sets, chenille toys, organic bamboo towels, father-and-son matching shirts, and much more is playfully displayed under a traditional Indian shamiana in a section of the store. Motifs include elephants, monkeys, camels, quirky bicycle prints, and motifs from Indian tales. A percentage of the sales is donated to their own charity Good Earth Education Foundation, which provides free education to underprivileged children through its 40 rural schools.
Gumdrops Kid’s Section
I am enthralled by Japanese illustrator Mai Ohno and her loveable and colorful characters. This beautiful tenugui is called Shelter and is the story of a girl and her guardian angel – and together they ride out the storm! Tenugui are a traditional Japanese woven cloth made of 100% cotton. They are perfect for wrapping just about anything, for gifts, or just for keeping things in! Traditionally used as an all-purpose cloth, nowadays Tenugui are put to more decorative uses such as scarves, table runners, wall art, bags, etc. I can imagine a wall adorned with a gallery of these lovelies and the stories they tell. This tenugui has been hand-dyed by artisans still practicing traditional tenugui techniques in Japan. And it’s available from one of my fave online shops, Upon a Fold.