FAMILY

MY GRANDPARENTS, HOBBY PAINTERS

My maternal grandfather and my paternal grandmother were both hobby painters, actually they were both really talented. One in Ohio, the other in Northern India and two generations later I am appreciating the artistic bloodline.

In India

While at my father's house this past spring, I was admiring the artwork of my paternal grandmother (pictured above with me in Delhi and Calcutta) that my father had brought back from India to display in his home. He said she took a painting class and these were two (pictured above of the deer and dogs) of several paintings she did during that time. I remember them hanging in various rooms and hallways in Rajo Villa when we would visit, but honestly had no idea she painted them all. He also brought back vintage photographs, restoring them and has been making copies for my sisters and I. The photos above include my paternal grandparents and my father as a young boy.

In Ohio

My late grandfather (pictured with me on my wedding day) mostly painted still life in oil, or landscapes. I actually used to paint beside him when I visited for the weekend. I wrote about that in a post on the joyababy blog a few years ago. When I think back to my childhood and my maternal grandparents, that was probably the most vivid memory of time spent with them.

I find it all so inspiring, how talented they were at an art they solely enjoyed as a hobby.

 

EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHS OF MY FAMILY

My favorite things to photograph are the simple, everyday moments that take place. I know I have talked about this in a previous post here and here. With instagram and an iphone everything is so user friendly for capturing those fleeting moments on the go and sharing them. I do plenty of both.

My goal this year is to try and take so many more photos of all FIVE of us with my Nikon. A few things need to be done to tidy up some hard drive space for the amount that is sure to follow and fix my tripod for family shots. To start, here is a set of adorable shots of my 2 year old doing everyday activities in the "self care" category (Montessori friends!), ie in the bathroom. This is such a funny age to watch, because they really start to show their personalities and take a sense of pride in doing independent activities. They role model older siblings and parents, even down to the facial expressions while brushing their hair and teeth.

As a child I used to love to watch my Dad shave in the bathroom daily. It was a mundane part of his morning ritual, but something I found unique to watch. Do you have a memory like this? Something you remember sharing with a parent or sibling growing up, that was a simple everyday moment?

Speaking of the everyday moments of a two year old, you must watch this most ADORABLE episode of Olive Us, created by Gabrielle of Design Mom featuring HER two year old's day.

Terrible Two Who?

 

 

TRINKETS FROM DELHI

My sister was visiting this past weekend and brought the boys and I a few gifts from her recent trip to Italy & India. Aunt Amita (and cousins) brought the boys journals with embroidery stitched covers and handmade paper inside, elephant figures and a cute finger puppet/magnet trinket.

She was sweet enough to bring her sister (me) a few things like this beautiful kantha embroidered pillow form and pretty bangle. Kantha embroidery originates in West Bengal, where my father's family originates (Kolkata).

A TODDLER SIZED TABLE & NEW ACTIVITIES

If you have been following along in my journal, I mentioned a few posts back that my mom has a wonderful basement full of treasures, especially for entertaining. Well, we were talking earlier this fall about me purchasing a table for my 2 year old to "work" at and "have snack" at near the kitchen -where I am always working myself. And I was all ready to hit Lakeshore Learning or similar for the preschool sized table, when she had an idea. Buried under some other small tables, was an enamel top table that was perfect in size, shape and look with the exception of the legs being too tall for my 2 year old. "Take my saw!" she exclaimed. See how resourceful your mother can be?

Once I took a look at the table, with it's white enamel top and antique drawer knob- I was sold! So much more my style (and price) and would fit in nicely with our other home decor. I feel this is especially important in an older home (built in the 19 century), with fewer rooms on the first floor. We don't have a family room on the first floor or any play room near the kitchen, but we have a large dining room and living room. Here you will find the vintage table, with my 2 year old's favorites. I like to keep the items out for him minimal, and more in line with the Montessori aesthetic, like we do for our Montessori learning space. Actually Montessori activities and materials are meant to be seamless within the home space, just sized for the child.

Every once in awhile I will flip through the Land of Nod, Pottery Barn Kids or Ikea catalog and think "Oh that all goes together so perfectly for a play room or activity space..." feeling slightly defeated. And then I stop and look around, realizing that my style is more natural, eclectic, and maybe slightly imperfect. We like the "less is more"  and "having objects with history" type of philosophy, just like this vintage table.

On the newly re-purposed table you will find my busy toddler with:

a mix of architectural blocks from two sets one by Haba &  another by Noblesse in a thrifted wooden tray |  new wooden camera sized so perfectly for his hands | cute book about a toddler boy getting big | a version of the Montessori metal insets in a thrifted wooden bowl