Wednesday, March 30, 2011

College acceptances are pouring in...
this is a fun way to celebrate the next phase.
This one is for a soon to be freshman at Middlebury College in VT

e-mail me for details
marnie ruane at g mail dot com

Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 spring line ready to go.
I will burning the midnight oil pretty soon
to get ready for a show in Virginia
at the end of the month.
The fabric on the top of the laptop
is a custom fabric created by a friend of mine,
specifically for our local market,
Spoonflower is a great way to have your own designs made into fabric.
This fabric incorporates our local school logo;
it will be perfect for picture frames
to give to
sports team members,
graduating seniors,

Friday, March 25, 2011

A post for my darling daughter miss is - happy birthday sweetie pie.
I hope you get to see this film.
It is playing in Central Square in April.
love m xoxo

I cannot wait to see this documentary. Miss Is and I are fans of "On the Street" and this film is all about Bill Cunningham as he is "on the street". If you do not know Bill, he is an 80 year old style photographer for the New York Times and rides around Manhattan on a bicycle to capture the street styles and fashions. I have never actually seen him in action, but if I spent more time around 5th and 57th my chances of a sighting would be greatly improved.

I want to be riding my bicycle at age 80!

The Sunday Styles is one of my favorite sections of the Sunday Times; yes, I do read the other news, and I love the book review, but I devour the style section. Delicious, as Diana Vreeland would say.

Click here to find out more about Bill Cunningham and the documentary

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Maira Kalman:
Various illuminations (of Crazy World)
at the Jewish Museum, NYC
through July 31st
My readers know that I am a huge fan of Maira Kalman's work.
I cannot wait to see this exhibit.

This is Maira Kalman's first museum survey. The viewer will see her
illustrations, photography, embroidery, textiles, and performances.

The pink box that is too perfect to open...

From the exhibit blurb:
"Kalman's work illuminates contemporary life with a profound sense of joy
and a unique sense of humor".

Raincoat above hanging like a T

Back 10 years ago, I saw this raincoat at Kate Spade;
it was designed by Maira Kalman.
I coveted this raincoat - the bright yellow version to be specific,
alas, it was too dear.
It had the price tag of an original piece of art,
which it was,
so I smiled and enjoyed looking at it...
I think of it each spring when it is wet, windy and raw;
what a spring in my step I would have
if that raincoat were keeping me dry.

"Kalman thinks of her work as a form of journalism.
She uses writing and drawing to render an ongoing account of the world as she sees it.
It is a daily discipline of creativity
based upon photography, travel, research, walking, talking, and open observation."

The last statement struck a cord with me;
I now realize why I like Kalman's work so much
and why I like writing this blog so much.

This blog is much more than my business, mrr design;
When I stared the blog three years ago,
its purpose was to write about, showcase and promote my business.
But the blog has evolved, as it should.

It is about creativity and what inspires me
in and out of the studio on a daily basis.
The blog has become an on-line journal of sorts.
I still promote mrr design, but let's face it,
all mrr design would not be very interesting.

The idea of a daily discipline of creativity,
or in my case, three or four times a week discipline of creativity,
reminds me of another well-known designer, Diane Von Furstenberg.
I learned about a lecture that DVF gave at Harvard a few weeks ago
and read all about it.
Her subject was female empowerment.
Here are her 10 rules to live by
as published in Elle

Pay atttention to the rule #3: Document your Days.

Just like Maira and Diane,
I am documenting my days.
This blog gives me great joy.
Here I share images, thoughts, ideas with like minded people,
and that makes me happy.
People can read and take what they like and leave the rest.
I hope you enjoy it.

Diane’s 10 Rules to Live by (from Elle Magazine)

  • Trust yourself. “The secret to feeling attractive, and to being attractive, is the confidence that comes from knowing who you are and what you believe in.”
  • Accept the passage of time. “The older you get, the more you should learn to love life and appreciate the beauty that comes with age.”
  • Document your days. “Carry a camera and create an inspiring visual diary of your life.”
  • Your suitcase symbolizes your life. “The best way to know a woman is to open her luggage. If she knows how to pack well, it means she understands , and cherishes, how to live a simplified life.”
  • Fashionable friends. “Choose fashions that make you happy. I hope the clothes I design will become my clients’ best friends. That way, when they open their closets, they will always encounter someone special.”
  • Dress your personality. “Always choose styles that also accentuate your personality. Don’t use fashion to try and project a different persona. Authenticity is key.”
  • Use your feminine power. “My mother taught me that being a woman is a privilege because the world revolves around us! It is a precious gift, and its power should be used in a subtle and respectful way.”
  • Your handbag is your guide. “Before leaving home, check your agenda and organize your bag according to what you have to do that day. Keeping everything in order makes life easier.”
  • Indulge yourself. “If you are like me, and don’t want to resort to Botox, book regular massages. I’m sure it helps to keep everything firm and in it’s place!”
  • Lead a balanced life. “The best regimen is to keep moving! Never stop working, travelling and seeking adventure. Drink plenty of water, limit alcohol and sugar and get to your yoga class!”

PS. I had one of DVF's wrap dresses back in 1978 - just like the one on the Newsweek cover
in bright green and white
My mother and I each had one!
I loved that dress!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

glorious, delicious, happy colors
as seen on the March 17th blog post from sis boom
look at the background
yes, you got it,
a custom board done by
mrr design.

Big news on the mrr design front in April

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Everything will be greening up soon.

I just discovered a wonderful new blog via design*sponge. It is called bbbcraft sisters: three sisters living in three cities who are all creative and have a very creative mother, who must have inspired them along the way.
Here, here to mothers.
I have so many glass jars in my laundry room.
I save them for Christmas presents:
to use as containers for spicy nuts and chocolate sauce.
But here is another idea.
Knit a decorative collar
a glass jar is transformed.

Photos from bbbcraft sisters via design*sponge

Saturday, March 19, 2011

did you hear about the BIG MOON -

credit goes to dh for pointing this out. Camera ready!

Supermoon' Will Occur Saturday Night

Gordon Gillet / ESO

On Saturday afternoon, the moon will be the closest it's been to Earth in more than 18 years. The "supermoon,"as observers have dubbed it, will appear Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET at a distance of 221,565 miles away. It will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than your average full moon, weather permitting. The reason why the moon will be so much closer is due to a fluke of orbital mechanics. But don't be alarmed: Although the supermoon will result in a dramatically large range of high and low ocean tides—which could result in flooding problems if combined with a coastal storm at the same time—it won't cause a natural disaster.

Friday, March 18, 2011

This cabinet was at the NYIGF and featured on Stylebeat's blog.
It reminded me of a post from Pigtown Design - Meg keeps her shoes in a repurposed steel cabinet not unlike this one.

I thought this cabinet would make a fun post, if I could decipher the message on the cabinet in the painted signal flags, but it turned out to be futile.
I tried to read the painted signal flags above using a reference card that was tucked in my needlepoint bag (Why was the reference card in my needlepoint bag? More on that later.)
I think the artist took some artistic license because all I could figure out is below.

row 1: z _ _
row 2: _ _ j
row 3: mix
row 4: l
row 5: p
row 6: z _ n

Is anyone better at translating these signal flags. An atta girl or atta boy if you figure the signals out and maybe a prize.

I know a little bit about signal flags. A couple of years ago I was a needlepoint fantatic creating dozens of signal flag needlepoint coasters for my father and several other family members - Using signal flags, I stitched names and initials on sets of coasters for various family members to use on their desks (Dad's below), summer houses and boats. It was a fun project; I could finish the coasters quickly and derived almost weekly satisfaction in the completion of another coaster. Therefore, a satisfying project... See a couple of the finished projects below. My thanks to my special aunts for their inspiration, instruction and reference card!!!

The coaster on Dad's desk.
Spells the first letter of each town where Dad has lived.
Second one, well used, in the kitchen, coffee stains and all.
Dad's initials with a j for Jr.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Swatches from Sonia Delaunay

"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday."
Pearl S. Buck

Top of the morning to you
Swatch above is from Jennifer Paganelli's new line

I was struck by all the geometric patterns that I am seeing this spring
and then I saw the historic designs from Sonia Delaunay
(see top of blog and below)
[Variation on Design 1355, Designed by Sonia Delaunay (French, born Russia, 1885–1979)
France, 1934, Gouache on paper, Private collection © L & M SERVICES B.V. The Hague 20100623
Photo: © private collection]

This exhibit
Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay
opens tomorrow at the Cooper-Hewitt in NYC

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Earlier this week I showed you some of the fabrics for MRR Design's Spring collection.
I mentioned that geometrics are popular in design circles today - to prove my point, check out the boxes by Jonathan Adler at the 2011 NY Intl Gift Fair below - just like some of the geometric fabrics I will use this spring.
And maps, they have been growing in popularity. I have a wonderful collection of maps; the walls in the room that I call my own are plastered with maps. I did a blog piece last year on the popularity of maps and choose a fun map fabric for the spring line and then I found another popular item from the NY Intl Gift Fair - map table from Oomph...
Good things go around and around.
Images above from Good Bones Great Pieces

and just today
Mrs. Blandings looks at all the geometric pillow designs

image below from John Robshaw

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring 2011
some of the fabrics that I am thinking of...
I love maps so I could not resist this fabric

lots of geometrics
here is the brick walk
aqua is still a popular color and sells well

still not sure about this one
but I love the two below

these blues and greens are soothing
a little bit of sophistication with the earth green circles

gotta have a little bit of fanciful color and pattern from sis boom
there's that geometric again
and the lollipop trees
what child did not make lollipop trees in school art class?
gotta have some fun with the safety pins

and a little floral, but not to sweet
just plain earthy
and summer ...

Friday, March 11, 2011

A few weeks ago I visited my father in Massachusetts.
As I walked to his front door I noticed a large tree limb on the ground;
a victim of one of the blizzards.
On my second walk by the fallen limb, I noticed all the buds.

It was 18 degrees outside; I was shivering and thinking about spring.
Looking at the tree limb, I had a sudden impulse to snip branch after branch with my cold, bare hands and stuff the branches into the back of my car.
To some, I probably looked like a madwoman.
My plan was to force them to blossom at my house.
Instant Spring!

Later I wondered whether the branches would ever bloom since
the limb was severed several weeks earlier.
But the tree was in its winter hibernation.
So I recut the branches when I got back home,
smashed the ends with a hammer to help the branches draw in the water,
and just when I was thinking nothing would happen,
I saw a change.
I was not sure what flowers would emerge from the woody stems.
My father has not lived in this apartment for a long time, so I am not familiar with all the trees.
The apartment building is an old school building that dates back to the early 20th century.
It was converted to apartments years ago.
This tree is outside my father's living room window.
I vaguely remembered pretty flowers.

Now these lovely flowers have blossomed in my kitchen.

Check out these beautiful apple blossoms.
A perfect tree to grow outside a school.
In fact, I have always thought
that my father's apartment was the principal's office,
because of the high ceilings, large windows and steps in the apartment.
(I imagine these steps led to the principal's inner sanctum.)
Makes sense that an apple tree would be just outside the principal's window.
These flowers make me smile each morning when I stumble downstairs
to feed the dog before dawn
each night when I come home
from a long day,
well after sunset.
The beauty of nature and its power to impress, surprise, delight
is amazing.
Spring is coming
as soon as the floods end...
rivers are raging,
roofs are leaking,
basements are wet
but the grass will be green
and the trees will be strong
and the flowers will be abundant.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I was never a fan of the big box book stores. I am not surprised that they are having a hard time.
Some Connecticut book stores that I enjoy are places like Diane's Books in Greenwich and R. J. Julia's in Madison. Other book shops I like are a Bunch of Grapes in Edgartown, Nantucket Bookworks or Concord Bookshop, all in Massachusetts. Whenever I travel, I find a bookshop and explore the shelves. I also explore online, like the Tattered Cover Book store in Colorado.

Just look at the difference in the logos.
I love walking around independent bookstores, reading the labels that the staff place on the shelves, asking for suggestions, looking at the masses of books piled on the floor at Diane's ( a sight to behold). A lot of other people like it too because these book shops are still in business.
At Christmas and birthdays, I always support the independents when buying books as presents. These days I am a heavy user of the library; in fact I always have been a huge library fan, even during my days in NYC. There was a nice library in midtown not far from my office. When I moved to the Connecticut town where I now live, one of the first things I checked out was the library. I couldn't imagine living in a place with a mediocre library. Our library is wonderful. It is a vibrant, busy place with people of all ages using its books and services. It is a happy place. . Reading Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and The Sun Also Rises now.