Category Archives: Best of Modern Kiddo

Kiddo Fieldtrip // The Moving Rainbow Explosion of Fun

This weekend Wolfie, Greg and I participated in one of the coolest things ever: The Color Run!

The Color Run is a unique 5 kilometres event unlike any other. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a crazy colorful day with your friends and family. All levels of experience are welcome, all that matters is that you participate—and that you wear white clothing! Why? Because at every 5 kilometer marker, runners get blasted with colored powder, turning the procession into a moving rainbow. And friends, it’s AMAZING!!

Soooooo, the run fills up really quickly and spots in the San Francisco run were all full. But that didn’t stop us! We decided we’d show up anyway to support the runners and check it all out. We weren’t sure if we could bring Sammy  (technically, I think dogs weren’t supposed to be there) BUT he’s such a big love, everyone just lit up when they saw him and ran over to pet him. With his big smile and wagging tail, he sort of became the unofficial “Happiness Mascot” of the SF Color Run!

We started hanging out at the pinkie red kilometer color marker and as you can see, Sammy really got into the spirit of things!

We decided to check out the blue team, and those guys were all was jealous that Sammy was all pink, so they got in on the action too—giving Sam a pretty baby blue bath. The powder, by the way, is an all natural non-toxic mix. It’s corn starch and color—and it’s safe to eat, although the warn you it’s highly caloric. Don’t taste the rainbow…

The race starts out slow….you see a handful of runners coming through, with a lil splash of color. And then suddenly you see a SEA of people and the color cloud gets bigger and bigger!


We didn’t make it over to the yellow station but it was SO great because we could see it in the distance and all you saw was this POOF of yellow. Even if you don’t run, you will still get lots (LOTS) of color splashes.

The finish line is one big colorful dance party…they toss out extra packs of color (and you can buy larger packs like that one up there) and people are just throwing color all over the place. Everyone is bouncing around and grinning. SO. MUCH. FUN! The whole scene looks like a futuristic, candy colored, post apocalyptic water color painting! Hmm, never thought I’d type THAT phrase!!

They gave away free Slurpees and Coconut Water too… Whoo hoo!

I can’t recommend this enough. And it’s a great thing to do with kids (whether they run or simply enjoy the color mania). They have Color Runs all across the country, through out the year. Even if you can’t run, you should head on down and check it out—in some ways its even more fun just volunteering and observing. There was so much happy energy in the place! Everyone was smiling {Special howdy do to our sweet pal Nuala from tea collection, who we ran into there!} Wolfie thought it was the coolest thing ever and wants to start training to run for next year!


We were soooooo filthy when we got home, and it took a while for us all to get cleaned up. So we decided to wait to bathe Sammy til the next day. Um…mistake. The blue dye is reeeeally tricky to get out! He’s nearly white, but still has little blue paws and tail.


This is the video that Wolfie and I watched back in January, and it was what sold us on the event! I hope you watch it with your kiddos too!

Charley Harper, you’re our guy.



Ahhh, Charley Harper! Charley Harper was a Cincinnati-based American artist who was best known for his highly stylized wildlife illustrations. His work has an amazing simplicity and charm—I just love it. And of course designer Todd Oldham loves him too. He and Charley developed a unique friendship and Oldham made it a passion of his to expose as many people as possible to his work. Since Charley’s passing in 2007, he has worked with the Harper estate to produce a ton of cool things. Like The Big Book of Charley (ok, ok, it’s really called Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life). This huge book (it’s gigantic) is a stunner. I don’t own it, but I’ve seen it and let’s just say you’ll need a big coffee table. (little tip, the book is a bit pricey, due to it’s large size, but it’s worth every penny! They re-issued it in a resized, smaller version that is much cheaper—$20— but I hear the quality isn’t quite as good. If you find a great deal on the book, make sure you check the size to see if you are buying the smaller version or the original!).

When Todd Oldham was at Old Navy (remember? he was the Creative Director for a while! I had totally forgotten about that…) he produced a really adorable kid’s collection, featuring Charley Harper artwork—board books, a memory game, a coloring book. We have them all and they are awesome.

In a style he called “minimal realism”, Charley Harper was able to capture the essence of his subjects as simply as possible. When asked to describe his art style, Harper replied,

“When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures.” — Frame House Gallery excerpt, 1977

Isn’t it gorgeous?? Of course you’ve probably heard about the new Todd Oldham line for Target, Kid Made Modern. It’s REEEALLY cute stuff….like these Paint By Numbers!

And then I discovered these adorable wood figures—little birds and leaves that you and your kiddo can paint. Sweet! I can’t wait to do these with Wolfie! {there are a ton of  other non-Charley Harper goodies in this line, I posted a bunch of photos on instagram under my handle: @galexina. You can see them here. You can also see more of the line in Last Month’s Hootenanny. #8 over here!)

Do you love his work as much as I do?? And are you planning on hitting up Target to scoop up some Kid Made Modern goodies??

10 great crafty vintage sheets ideas

Image via: In Color Order

I have such a love of vintage sheets–as do many many other people!  And with good reason.  The patterns are so joyous and perfect for the sweet spring going into summer weather. And they bring back such wonderful memories as a child of good nights  nuzzling those colorful sheets. But why should these wonderful floral sheets only be appreciated when you are asleep? That’s why I love all of the great ways crafty people are incorporating vintage floral sheets into their sewing.

I wanted to share with you my top ten crafty vintage sheet projects that I’ve been storing on my Pinterest boards that I find worthy enough to take a pair of scissors to my beloved collection of vintage sheets  I’ve been hoarding over the past few years.

There are many grand little banners that one can make with vintage sheets, but my favorite is this pretty little bow banner made by crafting queen, Rachel Denbow. I bow down at her crafty and cutely shod feet.

This amazing little apron can be made in ten minutes with a vintage pillowcase. Whoohoo!!! Tutorial from Betz White.

These lovely little bags are perfect for sachets or for giving little presents! From Vintage Sheets.

I think this might be one of my favorite ways to use vintage napkins. What great idea and what a great easy Christmas present too!  Image from Flickr user Sparkle Candace.

Are these not the most adorable things you’ve ever seen?  Just think how many sweet little blocks you could make with a whole sheet! Another amazing gift idea. From Spearmint Baby.

Staying on the baby train for one more stop—would you look at these sweet little bibbity boppity bibs?  They’ll make you even more excited to feed your widdle one. From Crafty Blossom.

How can you not want to wear this skirt?  Perfect for summer and so much less work than a whole dress! Lisa Clarke from Polka Dot Cottage created this gem and has a great tutorial so you can make it too!!! I’d kinda like to see it in a striped sheet!

I love this idea of using vintage sheets to cover shelves adding a nice bit of cozy to any room! So charming.And you don’t even need a sewing machine.

Who says your Christmas stocking should be red and green?  Wouldn’t you rather have this happy frilly little fellow? I’m sure Santa would remember it out of all the other ones! Image from flickr user marywasadj.

There are so many marvelous vintage sheet quilts out there and delicious interpretations that I almost get dizzy thinking of all of the great ways one can use vintage sheets in quilts. Image from Little Miss Shabby.

Do you have a stash of vintage sheets? What are your plans for them?

8 Ways to Wear Vintage Flower Pins

Ooooh lalala I love vintage jewelry! And one of my absolute favorites are vintage enamel flower pins from the 60s. Colorful and bold…girlie but graphic, they are like having a secret little garden in your jewelry box! Just take a look:

I’ve been collecting vintage enamel pins for years and just love the variety I’ve unearthed. The flower pins come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some have stems. Some are multi layered. All are colorful and fun!

Look how beautiful these pins are! I’m also a fan of the sparkly rhinestone ones—especially those in whimsical shapes like starbursts and butterflies

Vintage pins are the perfect way to add a little extra color and oomph to your wardrobe. The classic way to wear a pin or brooch is to wear one in the upper corner of your shirt, cardigan or dress. I love them this way!

While you can definitely wear pins on cardigans and shirts, I wanted to show you some other ways to rock the vintage pin. It’s the perfect way to add a little punch to any outfit!

If you’re not in the mood to wear a bright accessory on your outfit, think about adding a little touch on your coat. The nice thing about this is you can keep it on your coat long time! If your coat is more of a neutral color—like black or grey—this is a GREAT way to give it a little refresh! TIP: If you have longer hair, avoid putting extra pointy flower pins on your collar. Your hair will catch on it like crazy! Trust me…

I’m a maximalist—so one is never enough. Don’t be afraid to pile them on! Two is the perfect number. Three can be fabulous too, but they DO start to get heavy and can wear down the fabric of a more delicate sweater.

Who says your pins have to be at eye level? This is such a sweet and unexpected way to add a little personality to your jeans! I did this one day many years ago on a whim, and I can’t tell you how many people went bonkers for it.

Look cute from head to toe—after you’ve tackled your cuff, why not add a fun pin to your hatband? It works on any kind of hat (floppy sunhat! cozy ski cap!) but I love the incongruous look of a masculine fedora with a quirky flower.

I bought this simple fabric tote at Old Navy years ago. While I loved the houndstooth, it looked a little plain, soooooo I added some a handful of my favorite pins to liven it up. If you have a tote with wider straps, try adding it to the base of the strap, so its visible as it hangs from your shoulder.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I find that most people always wear their pins like a corsage. Try wearing it smack dab in the center of a dress—or even at the waist band!

Scarves can be slippery little suckers. A sweet pin guarantees your scarf stays in place. It’s also a fun alternative to a necklace. I’m using flower pins in this story, but a rhinestone pin would be just as fabulous! BONUS— wrap the scarf around your head and add a sweet little pin.

Mmm hmm. On your shoes. And why not?? Thread the pin through the knot of your bow and VOILA! Insta-update on your tired old kicks.

So there you have it. Pins, pins pins aplenty! Cheerful, sweet and super easy peasy to style! Are you feeling a little pinspired?? I sure hope so!

{Psst! One word of caution. If you are a mama, the pins with separate petals can get a little pokey when you go in for a cuddle, or so Wolfie tells me. “OW! Mama. Your flower poked me!”}

{Double Psst! People are charging crazy prices for them lately, but you shouldn’t have to pay more than $15-18 for them. $10-12 is a really fair price. I might pay more if it was a REEEALLY spectacular or unique one! The best place to find them is the thrift store or flea market but scour Etsy and eBay for bargains too! Happy Hunting!}

The Magical World of Barton’s Bonbonniere

I love discovering something that just makes you go, “Oh WOW.” This is one of them! Back in 1938, Viennese chocolatier Stephen Klein started Bartons Salon De Chocolat in the New York area. They had great success creating delicious European-style chocolates and even expanded their line to produce kosher chocolates—earning a reputation in the Jewish community  for being “the” confectioner for Passover sweets. As demand increased, they opened more and more shops. In 1952, as they prepared to open their 50th store in Manhatten, they decided to give their brand a refresh. And what a colorful refresh it was!

Can you believe this place? I love it. LOVE!!!

Every colorful detail was intentional as can be—and quite unlike what was happening in architecture and design at the time. Apparently the rules for store design included missives like “the store front must look modern” “strong colors should not be used; they overwhelm the merchandise” and even “don’t call attention to the ceiling and away from the merchandise”. CLEARLY the brains behind Bartons had their own ideas!

In the August 1952 issue of Architectural Forum, architect Victor Gruen said “store design is taking itself too seriously,” and was determined to turn the candy store into a visual delight. They began by giving the traditional storefront a vibrant paint job that made it stand out on the street.

Together with graphic consultant Alvin Lustig, they set about to create a “toy shop for adults”. The plan? Clever displays, vibrant colors and whimsical Calder-esque light fixtures that were guaranteed to make customers smile and put them in the mood for some candy shopping! (It’s no coincidence that “Lustig” means jolly/lively/fun in German!)

Ahh, those lamps. No detail was spared and even the candy tins were colorful and featured fun illustrations. This spectacular one is my favorite:

So there you have it. The technicolor world of Bartons Bonbonniere! It’s amazing, isn’t it?

OH! And for those of you who would like to see a little slice of this awesomeness, head on down to LACMA in Los Angeles. They are having a special exhibition on California Design and THE LAMPS are featured!


images: article / tall candy boxes / round candy box