It's already been established that I love all things Disney. And with that all-consuming obsession comes a whole world of specific things to love. Like, did you know I have a favorite Disney artist? I do. Mary Blair is my favorite Disney artist, followed by Eyvind Earle, Herb Ryman, and Rolly Crump. These are the artists who are responsible for look of Disneyland and early Disney films. The old guard, if you will. Don't even get me started on the new crop of Disney artists! So much talent!
If you've ever ridden It's a Small World, then you know Mary Blair's work. All of those adorable little figures were her babies. I could give you a list of her animation credits, her concept art, and her color styling, but how about I give you a book recommendation instead?
Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair by Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, and Brigette Barrager is a children's picture book (I mean, technically, but I don't think of it that way) that follows Mary's life from her childhood to her world travels to her work with Disney and how she always "collected colors". I am always drawn to things that are colorful and it makes me smile that we have that in common =) She wasn't afraid to be bright and vibrant in her life or her work.
Mary Blair lived a life adventure through color. If you're an artist (or even if you're not) you will find this book incredibly inspiring. And it's now one of my kids' favorite books.
Palm Springs Birthday Bash
Because I've been positively yearning for a Palm Springs vacation and have no vacation days to spend there, I decided to bring Palm Springs to me!
Of course, every great party starts with a great menu. If I had three wishes, one of them would be for an self-replenishing buffet table that was always laid out with delicious appetizers and hors d'oeuvres. So when I make a menu, it's usually all finger foods. For Palm Springs I wanted a menu that was fun and light and slightly tropical so I bought dozens of tiny utensils and picks and clear plastic serving vessels in different shapes and filled them with chicken salad, marinated baby corn, sugared blueberries, teriyaki sausage with pineapple, avocado and shrimp toast points with lime, and lemon cupcakes with cactus and flamingo toppers. Plus chips, Chex mix, cans of Spindrift (they're so pretty and perfectly color coordinated!), and pink martini glasses for sparkling apple cider (a stand-in for champagne because none of us are big drinkers around here).
The color scheme was aqua, pink, orange, and lime green so I made piles of tissue flowers in those shades, put down a fake grass rug surrounded by pool chairs (did I mention we used the pool as our setting?), I bought a leafy umbrella (and added pink fringe) and pink table cloths, and filled up unicorn, flamingo, donut, and pretzel pool floats, and stuck cactus and flamingo and palm tree cut-outs on everything. Phew!
Soundtrack: Lounge music and Rat Pack swinging standards
Party Game: Bingo! Because, hello, Palm Springs! It was either bingo or golf =)
And once again, I apologize for fuzzy photos. Sometimes I'm just having too much fun to worry about the perfect shot. I know, Instagrammers everywhere just fainted, but that's how it is, folks.
Adventure Bookshelf: Just Kids
Though the word is often overused, it isn't often that you come across a book that genuinely transports you. Some books provide excitement or escape, but few have that certain magic that makes you feel every word on every page. Just Kids by Patti Smith is one of those magical books.
After I finished Just Kids, I wrote one short sentence in my book journal: Beautiful. That was the only way I could think to describe what I'd just read. The book is essentially the lifelong love story of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe and is written like poetry. It was the sixties, of course, a romantic decade in itself. What earns Just Kids a place on the Adventure Bookshelf is that Patti and Robert lived a life of adventure in its most raw state. They spent their days painting and reading and starving. They roamed the streets of New York, lived in the Chelsea Hotel, and dined with Andy Warhol. Their lives were pure art.
"Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to treat life as art."