Happy New Year!

Best wishes for 2011, here is to believing that all of your wildest dreams will come true. Yeah, I watched Napoleon Dynamite the other night. I want to thank you so much for your support, kind comments, and reading Black Eiffel in 2010 -- I am grateful to the moon. I look forward with great excitement and anticipation for '11.

Happy New Year!!

(photo by nik daum + White & Wander)

Nintendo Art Academy update

Remember the Art Academy learning game I talked about a few weeks ago? See the previous post here. I wanted to give you a quick update and show you how fast our daughter has enhanced her skills, it is pretty neat to see how much art exploring she has been able to do. I'm impressed by how it teaches art skills like drawing a foundational sketch before you paint and how to layer colors. I took these shots throughout the last few weeks on my phone while we were in the car. It has been such a fantastic car and running the errands activity for her, that she doesn't get bored with. Who else has played around with Art Academy?

Egg Press at Target

Egg Press let me know about their fantastic venture in joining forces with Blue Sky to bring an exclusive line to Target, yahoo! The line includes a great selection of calendars and planners with their signature Egg Press designs. I've seen some samples up close and there are some really lovely options in their collection. If you are looking for a stylish and affordable calendar option, check them out at your local Target.

Best Albums of 2010

Did you have a nice Christmas holiday? We sure did and I extended my holiday a few more days unplugged, which was really nice. I cannot believe how fast 2010 is coming to an end! Looking back over the year I compiled a list of my top ten favorite best albums of 2010. There is a little bit of everything on the list, because my taste is rather eclectic.

Pointer -- it is great how many of these mp3 albums are $5.00 and under on amazon -- follow the links below to preview each album.

Vampire Weekend - Contra $6.99
Beach House - Teen Dream $5.00
The Tallest Man On Earth - The Wild Hunt $5.00
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs $7.99
Angus & Julia Stone - Down The Way $5.00
Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History $5.00

Laura Veirs - July Flame $8.99
Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid $4.99
The Morning Benders - Big Echo $9.90
The Black Keys - Brothers $3.99

What were your favorite albums for 2010? Shout 'em out.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a most lovely Merry Christmas weekend! I hope you get to be around the ones that you love and create some special memories.

I will leave you with this quote from the Christmas Carol, "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach." - Charles Dickens.

(a few snippets from what we're up to at our house... all photos by blackeiffel)

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Whew... I think it is because of our sweet little newborn taking up most of my time that I didn't get around to making homemade gifts this year, so yesterday and today we decided to wrap up a little something (Chocolate) for our friends and neighbors in a simple homemade way using tissue paper, Japanese tape, crayons, and markers. Our four-year old of course took the lead.

(photos by blackeiffel)

Cool Christmas Cards

I dropped the ball this year and didn't get out Christmas cards, tears. I think it is my first year not sending them in a long time ... maybe I will send sweet valentines? Here are a few Christmas greetings from some pretty cool cats that I wanted to share with you, aren't they awesome?! Check out Justin + the Hackworth family's card above!

I'm gaga over Allyson from Unruly Things illustration! So cute.

Suann from Simple Song said she created this card last minute, wow! I love the milestone annual report, a lovely way to update your friends and family.

Have you seen any clever ones around? Did you get cards out this year?

Anthropologie Christmas Window Displays 2010

Anthropologie of course had to have its separate post when it comes to window displays. They hit another home run with their various looks throughout the country this 2010 Christmas season. I love how each store has a slightly different take with their creative details.

(Image credits :1 - Spring, Texas 2, 3-4 , 6 - Rockefeller, New York City | 5 Houston, Texas)

Christmas Window Displays 2010

I always love a good Christmas window display. They are creative, fun to look at, and speak volumes about the store behind them. Have you seen any great ones while out and about lately? Which ones are your favorites? Here are a few of my favorites I've seen recently on the web for the 2010 holiday season.

First up and above, the simple yet elegant paper cutouts from this Chanel window in Zurich are just beautiful! (photo by anjoyplanet)

These Fendi lights on 5th Avenue look sparklingly stunning. (photo from NYC loves NYC)

Nicole Farhi teamed up with talented paper sculptor Su Blackwell to create their magical paper creation windows. (photos from here) I also thought that Su may have done or consulted on the Tiffany & Co. windows, but I was unfortunately mistaken. You'll have to read this to find out more.

These sweet Louis Vuitton illuminated lanterns seem like they would be especially brilliant in person. (photos from here)

Conran Shop

The Conran Shop went resourceful and recycled unwanted wood to create clever trees for their windows. Cool! (photo from here)

I also have one more post coming up of a store that blows me away with their creativity in terms of window displays... any guesses? Stay tuned.

Music Monday : Ray Charles

The month of December I've focused on holiday songs for Music Mondays and today I've decided to throw it back to one of those classic Christmas oldies sung by the music genius Ray Charles. Happy Music Monday everyone! I've searched around a bit for this track but can't find it, any ideas? What has been your favorite Christmas song this year?

Here are my favorite holidays songs that I've posted so far...

Miracle song by Matisyahu (Hanukkah)
Christmas Lights by Coldplay
Your Song by Ellie Goulding

The Twelve Days of Christmas Ilonka Karasz

Ilonka Karasz
Ilonka Karasz

Check out my latest thrifting find! Vintage Book : "The Twelve Days of Christmas" illustrated by Ilonka Karasz. We were looking for ugly sweaters a few weeks ago and this beauty was sticking out on the bookshelf calling my name. It has been on my list for a few years, and bam... there it was! Have you seen this book before or did you know AIGA liked it back in the day? Don't you love the colors?

Ilonka Karasz

Doesn't it seem like when you are looking for something else you find unrelated gems? Have you found anything on a thrifting trip lately? What are your favorite Christmas or holiday books, I would absolutely love to hear your favorites as we are slowly building our collection so we can do this.

ps. The least expensive used copies of this book I've seen are sold by sellers here.

(photos by blackeiffel)

iPad Christmas Message

The British web-design company Torchbox used iPads to deliver 'A Starry Night' Christmas message. This is fabulous, if you like technology, specifically the iPad, you won't want to miss watching this one!

It was filmed and edited at Torchbox's office in Oxfordshire and the music was recorded and produced at Torchbox by Katie Overbury, Wes West and Tom Dyson. I want that track, don't you? via CR Review

Individual pies

Raise your hand if you like seeing individualized pies as the new beloved treat trend these days? I am a pie kind of girl so I am especially loving this! What about you? Do you have a pie weakness? I like that they are miniature which instantly heightens the cuteness factor, they don't have to be shared because everyone can have their very own, they can be packaged beautifully in a box or jar and they are well... just rad. Who wouldn't love to get one of these tasty pie treats delivered by a friend or neighbor?

Cool thing is they wouldn't be hard to make or package. Make your own recipe and pick up some pre-made pie shaped packages here, find out more about scrumptious looking potted pumpkin pies by Brooke here, and thanks to a tip from Joanna if you don't feel like getting dirty in the kitchen, you can even buy pies all good to go from All Jarred Up! Also if you are in L.A. you can find sweet little pies like this.

(images : stephmodo / inchmark / All Jarred up)

Paul Smith + Striped Mini

Instead of the slug bug game, we play the 'Mini' game and our daughter loudly shouts "MINI" whenever we see one on the road. We miss our little ole' Mini that we used to have so when I see stuff like this ad campaign for Paul Smith kids 2011 I get a little bit nostalgic. I love the way they filled up the mini with stripes, and that it even goes on tours! How fun is that?! Talk about clever iconic marketing.

(via smudgetikka // photos by Sandro Sodano + Paul Smith)

Nudo Gift Boxes

Looking for a beautifully designed food gift box?! Wouldn't these Nudo gift boxes be a perfect gift for a foodie? See them all here.

Georgia on my mind...

Atlanta Home
Atlanta Home
Atlanta Home
Atlanta Home

My husband and I talked about our favorite places throughout the country that we would want to live in last night and after seeing this beauty, Georgia is being added to my list. Well, Savannah is already on my short list (for the states) but still ... isn't this home dreamy! Couple this with some southern hospitality, dripping trees, and some fresh peach pie and I'm there.

What about you? Have you ever daydreamed about places around the country/world you would live? What are your top three? I would love to hear about them.

This home is owned by Derek & Carolyn Lowe, Derek plays for the Atlanta Braves. It is designed by architect D. Stanley Dixon and designer Betty Burgess and shared in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles. Photos are by Erica George Dines. See more photos here.

(via pinterest > hallready)