Monday, June 30, 2008

Kitchen Inspiration

The Marie Claire Maison site has added more photos to its series of wonderfully inspiring and individual kitchens -- here are a few to give you a taste. You can see the rest here.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Happy weekend! May it be filled with good things. This lovely photograph is by the fantastic Alison Miksch, discovered on the always wonderful Desire to Inspire blog.

Dream and Magic

A few of the stunning photographs from a shoot done for Vogue Italia (August 2007) by Tim Walker. I came across these while browsing fffound! last night and loved the atmosphere in these shots. That's model Stella Tennant communing with nature (and couture), incidentally. You can see more from the same shoot here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Hope you enjoy this week's sampling of links ...

Fifty Best Ever Summer Holiday Books
The Telegraph has a great selection of big juicy reads, old and new, to enjoy while on a dock by the lake, a blanket on the beach, or a bench in the park.

World Freehand Circle Drawing Champion
Amazing video of the champ in action -- not only is it perfectly drawn, but it's done unbelievably fast, too. Via where we play.

Bonjour mon coussin
A French company that creates some of the most interesting cushions I've ever seen. I featured one of them in a post last week, but go look -- there's lots more to check out.

Paper Cuts
Paper Cuts is the New York Times book blog, by the editors of the NYT Book Review. Lots of great posts — a quick glance today reveals a meditation on calligraphy, a Polish production of MacBeth, George Carlin, the truth of JFK's Ich bin Berliner speech, plus this link to the Guardian, which recently asked its arts critics to cover sports for a day — and vice versa.

Gone In Sixty Seconds
A lovely tribute to the design legacy of the Polaroid, written by Phil Patton. Via Design Observer.

Interior Desecrators
Baffling and at times terrifying examples of 1970s interiors. Not for the sensitive. :)

Diamond Dyes Trade Cards
The See Saw blog has an interesting post about the brilliantly coloured trade cards of the Wells Richardson Company, who in the 19th century patented, manufactured and distributed analyne dyes under the name of Diamond Dyes. A glimpse into the infancy of print advertising.

Johnny Loco
Fabulous bicycles and more. I want one of these. Via eye candy.

The delicious photograph above is by Ellen Silverman, who is pretty much one of my fave photographers. Lovely work.

Happy Summer

It's officially summer! Well, as of last Friday, but anyway. Hope you have a lovely one. This is a photo I took three years ago, of the old aluminum canoe at my mum's place by the lake. The water was so still and reflective that paddling in the canoe was like skimming over clouds. It really was a beautiful day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Marimekko in Black and White

Urban landscapes were the inspiration for designer Maija Louekari's Hetkiä/Moments latte cups.

Marjaana Virta's Kullervo pattern on a latte mug.

The pleasantly knobby Kirsikka latte mug by Iiro A. Ahokas.

Anna Danielsson's Fokus pattern is available in two colourways, bright red-white and black and white, which can also be combined.

Spent a bit of time happily browsing through the Marimekko site today, and found these black and white latte mug designs quite cool and appealing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Walk Through the Woods

Woodland inspiration. Clockwise from top left: Carve Your Own Postcard wooden postcard by Julie Teninbaum & Drus Dryden,; Branch Wallpaper by Trine Andersen, Ferm Living; Baerreis Hair Fork in cocobolo rosewood by DesignsbyBaerreis on Etsy; AssistOn/magno wood radio by Singgih Susilo Kartono,; Adónde Appetizer Picks (set of 6) by Javier Gutiérrez and Laurent Serin, Design Within Reach; Ikkyu solid Honduran mahogany table, Propellor Design.

More Wood

This is an interesting find. Etsy seller pogotown recently purchased a 19th century 20-drawer oak printer's cabinet, and, opening one of the drawers, discovered this: a complete (101) piece set of block capital letterpress wood letters. With all the great small presses out there these days, I'm sure it won't be long before these find a good home ...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Archive: Concentrated Style

Textile designer Dominique Kieffer's 60 square meter apartment in Paris is proof that elegant living doesn't need a lot of space. Located in a former hotel built in the 18th century, Dominique's home uses harmonious tones of browns, beiges, and deep violets to give visual continuity to the tiny space, while doubling up on the purpose of each room (such as using the entrance as a dining area) means that every inch of the apartment is used intelligently. Dominique's collection of paintings, engravings and sculpture contribute to its warm atmosphere of a 19th century artist's atelier, all enhanced with the use of her own fabric designs for the soft furnishings (sofa, bed, cushions, drapes). Inspiring and beautiful. Scanned from a late 90s edition of Marie Claire Maison.

Bread & Honey

Summer of the lovely Design is Mine blog sent along a note this weekend about the new food blog she's started with her friend Alice, called Bread & Honey. It's the perfect venue for Summer, a baker, and Alice, a food photographer, and though it's still new there's already a whole slew of delicious recipes, all beautifully photographed, to check out. The charming shot above is Alice's fun interpretation of Summer's Rosewater Cupcakes.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Happy weekend! Hope you find the time to pause and admire a flower or two along the way. This lovely photograph is by the staggeringly talented Ellen Silverman, discovered via Desire to Inspire (which I've been haunting a lot this week, it's just so good).

Write It Down.

Astygmate pillow by Bonjour mon coussin. Perfect for the near-sighted (like me)!

Wooden bangle bracelet with stamped text by palomasnest, available from her Etsy shop.

Exquisite teacups by Chi of PeppaStudio, available from her Etsy shop by special order. Via Creativeadoration.

I love text on objects ... especially when it's done in an old font and then used in a fresh and unusual way, as in these examples here. I'm especially coveting those teacups ...

Orange Beautiful

Emily of Orange Beautiful just sent along a little note about the great new type line now available at their Etsy shop –– be sure to have a look. Elegant and modern, with a little bit of cheekiness to make it fun. You can view the entire new line at their online lookbook, too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Muji Obsession
The Japanese term for Muji fanatics is Mujirers, and I think I could easily become one myself. My sweetie is also well on his way to being a Mujirer -- he bitterly regretted not getting a Muji aluminum fountain pen when we were in London four years ago (happily they're finally available on this side of the ocean -- his sister in New York just sent him one for his birthday).

London-based clothing company with very pretty clothes. Sadly, they don't ship outside the UK, but it's still nice to look. Unfortunately I can't remember whose blog I saw this on ... if you know, let me know ...

Update: Jane reports that Plumo has shipped stuff to her in Toronto, so looks like I'm (happily) wrong on that!

Women Impressionists Exhibit
Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond runs from June 21 to September 21 at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, who co-organized the exhibition with The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. It focuses on the achievements of these four artists through a close examination of their work, assembling 150 watercolours, drawings, oil paintings and prints on loan from numerous international museums and private collections. Looks like a great show.

On the Trail of the Indian Yeti
Curious news story this week about the mande barung (forest man) reputed to live in the remote West Garo hills of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya in India. The mande barung is a little known Indian version of the legendary ape-like creature known in the US as bigfoot, in Canada as sasquatch, in Brazil as mapinguary, in Australia as a yowie, in Indonesia as sajarang gigi and, most famously of all, in Nepal as a yeti.

The wonderful Tastespotting site has sadly run into some sort of legal difficulty at the moment, but in the meantime you can have a look at their new site, dedicated to drinks.

A site dedicated to the pop culture of the past -- advertising, design, books, architecture, fashion, toys, photography, transportation, cinema, music, TV and more. Lots of very cool stuff. Via things magazine.

Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database
The Skin Deep website was created as a public service by researchers at the non-profit Environmental Working Group, in response to the worrying fact that the FDA doesn't require skincare/cosmetic companies to test their own products for safety (yikes!). Search their database to find out the toxicity rating of over 25,000 products -- and be prepared to clear out your bathroom medicine cabinet and makeup bag. Via Laura (thanks!)

Kareem Rizk
Brilliant collage artist Kareem Rizk (who I blogged about here) now has his very own Etsy shop. Gorgeous and affordable prints.

The lovely photograph above is by Quentin Bacon, via Desire to Inspire.

Armchair Traveler: Quentin Bacon

A beautifully atmospheric image from photographer Quentin Bacon's portfolio. Don't know where this is, exactly, but it looks like a magical place. Via Desire to Inspire.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Leafy Inspiration

Stylized leafy forms for cool summer inspiration. Clockwise, from top left: Janthur cushion, Looolo; Leaf bowls by George Jensen, Fjorn Scandinavian; Coat Tree, Ferm Living; Sepia Crocus Bag, Anthropologie; Leaf post earrings, ByBoe; Palms Lounger, Lister Teak.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cindy Picks

Sculptor Ageli Batle makes beautifully detailed sculptures of natural objects (leaves, shells, horns, feathers -- even hands) in graphite that are also usable as pencils.

Minimalist sculptor and video artist Richard Serra at Pearson International Airport.

Fractal 23, a chest of drawers by Takeshi Miyakawa Design, is an optical wonderland for your woollies.

Cindy Deachman is a freelance editor and writer who I met last year when she contacted me to do an illustration for Burnt Toast, a great little food culture magazine she started and ran for several years (now sadly no more). The one illustration led to several others which were among the most interesting (and just plain fun) assignments I've ever done. Cindy still keeps in touch with those who've worked with her on the mag with emails of her web finds -- quirky stories, objects, or ideas that she's come across and just has to share. Here's a few of her recent discoveries -- enjoy. Thanks again, Cindy!

Archive: An Elegant Studio

French sculptor and painter Suzanne Delarue's atelier is as beautiful as her work. The extensive use of white in her home serves as a sympathetic backdrop for her favourite delicate tones, derived from nature. These notes of soft green or mineral brown are brightened by the gold mirror frames and architectural features hung throughout the space. Filled with natural light by day, at night the studio is transformed by the glow of lit candles into a warm and intimate space, made luminous by the reflections of firelight in the gilding. Scanned from a mid-90's issue of Marie Claire Maison. (photos: P. Van Robaeys)

Friday, June 13, 2008


Happy weekend! Hope it's a good one. The lovely photo here is by Rene Mesman.

Tag - I'm It!

I was recently tagged by the delightful Rina of the mysteriously named "..." blog. Thanks for the honour, Rina! After much thought over the last few days, here goes ...

Here Are the Rules: Answer the following questions about yourself. At the end of the post you pass on the questions to 6 other bloggers and list their names. Then write them a comment telling them that they've been tagged and ask them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know that you've accepted the challenge and refer to your post.

1. What did you do 10 years ago?
Ten years ago, while working unhappily in an office and squeezing in the occasional freelance illustration job on the side, an acquaintance who was a writer at an ad agency suggested that I bring my portfolio in to the art department there. I did, got an illustration contract, and immediately quit the office job with absolutely no regrets. Getting that contract enabled me to eventually work full time as a freelance illustrator, so it was a big event for me.

2. Five items on your to-do list today:
Follow up with the printer about a client's business card that I'm designing, catch up on email, go to the post office to send off some packages, do some t'ai chi stretches (I'm planning on going back to t'ai chi classes again in the fall), and start working out ideas for a series of prints that I hope to eventually sell as limited editions.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Freshly baked bread, chocolate, perfectly ripe pears, clementines.

4. Places you have lived:
Well, nowhere very exciting, as it's always been around the same area in Canada. But the places I've lived in my imagination are quite lovely ... :-)

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Donate funds to women's shelters, literacy and arts organizations, take care of family and friends, travel, and live in a nice airy house by the sea with my sweetie.

6. People you want to know more about:
Barbara Hepworth, Henri Matisse, George Sand, Joseph Cornell, Isamu Noguchi, Franz Kline, Marie Denise Villers, Louise Vigee-Lebrun, Angelica Kauffmann.

I'm a bit shy of tagging six other bloggers, but for a start I'll tag the following:

aesthetic outburst
diana : muse
Ill Seen, Ill Said

Note to the tagged: This isn't mandatory -- just for fun! And the great photo from the 1920s is from a great site called Vintage Photographs.

The Puzzle House

An extraordinary house exists on Fifth Avenue in New York. The architectural designer Eric Clough embedded 18 clues in the apartment of the Klinsky- Sherry family, leading them on a scavenger hunt through the rooms of their home. A book with a narrative about a mystery, hidden behind paneling in the front hall, offered clues to a search that included ciphers, riddles, poems and custom-built furniture with hidden drawers and panels. Rather like living in a Griffin and Sabine novel, actually. To find out how the story unfolds, read more about the puzzle house here. For more visual clues, see the slide show here.

This could be a fun idea on a smaller scale, too -- what about a secret door or panel in, say, the kitchen, where a secret message can be left for your partner to discover while brewing the early morning coffee?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...