Recommendations for you on this cloudy Monday
1) Puzzling: Marc Boutavant is one of my very favourite illustrators. We have both these (above) fabulous, big ( 38'' x 11.5'') Djeco Marc Boutavant jigsaw puzzles... they are perfect for a 6 year old to do quickly and busily on their own. The second ice-skating one is hard to find but it seems the lovely pink tree puzzle is still available.
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2) Gazing at pretty things: Out my window is a heavy grey sky. I don't mind in the least, but I am craving colour - and lots of it. I can't get over the colour in this incredible 1751 Franklin County, Massachusetts house. It belongs to Kristin and Mark Nicholas who unsurprisingly run a knit, crochet and stitch business. Now I am gazing at our very staid wedgwood blue bathroom walls with a plan to make it a little less depressing.
A bazillion more photos can be found here.
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3) Reading: I have just finished two great, easy-going books about quirky, dysfunctional families covering themes of creativity & parenthood and if you like books about quirky, dysfunctional families (which I really, really do) then I highly recommend both.
The first is Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel written by Maria Semple who started her writing career writing for Ellen, Mad About You and Arrested Development. I loved the characters in this book. I wanted to move to Seattle and visit with them - or at least visit the fabulous house Bernadette created. I was sad when the book was over. You'll love it too... Her first novel This One Is Mine: A Novel is also about a quirky, dysfunctional family and is equally as readable but the characters are not ones you'd be wanting to spend vast amounts of time with - imho. Anyway, Maria Semple. Check her out. Also - check out her 7 Favourite Funny Books on Huffington Post - I was destined to become a Maria Semple fan considering what she wrote about one of my favourite books Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido.
The Family Fang: A Novel - by Kevin Wilson is also great and interesting and thoughtful - a family of passionate, obsessive, wacky performance artists and the fallout from their life/art decisions as the children grow up and away.
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4) Kitchen dance party this week - Michael Jackson's Thriller & Beat It and there has been dishwashing and table setting to this one by the Kopecky Family Band - Their album, Kids Raising Kids, is out tomorrow.