Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Silent World

I am in awe of these stunning photos by Michael Kenna, from a series called Silent World. Via ffffound!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Jane had a post about Transit on her blog recently, and I instantly hurried over to their website to have a look. Great pieces, in the neutral tones I love, with interesting draped coats, wonderful wide leg pants, and great approaches to layering, too -- a particular concern at this time of year, with the weather so changeable. Perfect fall inspiration. Thanks, Jane!

Paul Newman 1925 - 2008

We've not only lost a brilliant actor, but a generous humanitarian, too. Thank you, Paul Newman, for making the world a better place for so many people. Photo via The Thoughtful Dresser.

A Slight Delay

This past weekend was a distracting one for me, so my Monday post is slightly delayed -- I'll have more for you a bit later today. The groovy photo is from a 1967 edition of French Elle. Via Will Kane.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Happy weekend! Hope the autumn weather is perfect for you -- sunny days with a little bit of invigorating crispness in the air. The lovely photograph here is by Richard Birch. Via Desire to Inspire.

Raising the Barn

Love this great barn conversion by architect Preston Scott Cohen, for the Goodman family in Pine Plains New York -- very cool. Via Dwell.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Happy link sampling.

LIFE Magazine Reborn Online
Time and Getty Images are planning to resurrect LIFE, the prestigious photojournalism magazine, as an online-only photography website. The new site is scheduled to launch early in 2009 with 6 million images from the LIFE archive, and then will have around 3,000 new images added each day by Getty Images. Via ArtsJournal.

A Year in Paintings
Diana has a lovely post this week about her friend Abbey Ryan, who is celebrating the first anniversary of her Daily Painting Project. Abbey's work is utterly beautiful -- be sure to also check out her gallery site for more loveliness, too. If you can tear yourself away from Diana's wonderful blog, that is ...

Design Inspiration From Both Sides of the Iron Curtain
Alice Rawsthorn reviews Cold War Modern: Design 1945 to 1970, an exhibition opening today at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. "We show this period to be one of high contrast in terms of its optimism and anxieties," said Jane Pavitt, who co-curated the exhibition with David Crowley. "This age of incredible technological acceleration and competition between the superpowers provided not only the threat of global annihilation through the arms race, but resulted in human achievements without parallel - man walking on the moon. This duality is clearly reflected in design." Wish I could see this one!

The Vintage Office
A Flickr group devoted to cool vintage office supplies and furniture -- snappy staplers, clackity typewriters, chairman of the board leather chairs, and more. Lots of great stuff. Via Aesthetic Outburst.

Online Medieval Cookery
Interesting news for the historically inclined foodie -- Forme of Cury, a rare medieval cookbook compiled by King Richard II's master cooks in 1390, is in the process of being digitally photographed page by page by the University of Manchester's John Rylands University Library so it can be uploaded to the internet. The recipe book, written in Middle English, has instructions for around 205 dishes cooked in the royal household, such as blank mang (a sweet dish of meat, milk, sugar and almonds), mortrews (ground and spiced pork), and the original quiche, known in 14th century kitchens as custard.

Meomi is the name of design team Vicki Wong (Vancouver) and Michael Murphy (LA). Their artwork has been featured in numerous illustration and design books, while their characters have appeared on clothing, toys, merchandise, and magazines worldwide. Super cute and clever work, guaranteed to make you feel happy. Via Cindy (thanks!)

The Tiny House
Intriguing IHT article by Steven Kurutz about the small house movement, which aims to minimize "... one's footprint - structural as well as carbon - by living in spaces that are smaller than 1,000 square feet and, in some cases, smaller than 100."

Ten Best Stress Busters
From Whole Living magazine, a list of 10 ways to beat stress naturally. I don't know about you, but for me once it's fall it's all a bit of a blur for the next few months, so I find this to be timely advice ...

The beautiful still life above was styled by Hannah Simmons. Via Desire to Inspire.

Profit Illustration

If you happen to pick up the October issue of Profit Magazine, you'll find this collage illustration by me accompanying a piece about the mistakes several entrepreneurs (interviewed for the article) made while establishing their businesses, and what they've learned from them. My concept was the battered ship making it safely home to port after enduring storms and other disasters along the way.

Bookshelf: Billy Collins

I'm really looking forward to Ballistics, the new book of poetry by Billy Collins. A distinguished professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, Billy Collins was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and Poet Laureate of New York State from 2004 to 2006. You can read some of the poetry in Ballistics here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Inn Square

This is New Inn Square, a renovated warehouse in Shoreditch. It's one of the many properties available from Beach Studios, a London company that rents out locations to photographers and film studios. Who doesn't dream of living in a cool warehouse?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Study in Contrasts

This is the stylishly monochromatic Frederiksberg home of Joekim and Henrik, featured on the Bolig Magazine website -- but as it's in Danish that's all I can tell you, I'm afraid. What I do know is that great design transcends language. Enjoy. You can see more photos here, too. Via Purple Area. (Photography by Tia Borgsmidt)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Small Space, Big Style

The living area in the Paris apartment of Corinne Muller has been kept as open as possible to create a sense of space and to allow the uninterrupted flow of natural light. The white-lacquered cubes serve as storage and dressing areas, while a board between the cubes acts as a simple office area -- and it can be easily lifted to one side to allow passage into the next room.

The kitchen is composed of two modules placed diagonally to each other. Humble materials, such as a laminate counter and plywood cupboard doors, keep things simple and affordable, allowing for splurges such as the retractable hood fan and the custom built shelf. The salvaged large cupboard door hides lots of storage space.

The bedroom, open on one side to the dressing room, can be isolated from the entry area by a sliding door. On the Lebanese teak bed, fabric from a trip by Corinne to India adds a note of rich colour. The bedside table is a Korean trunk, while the reading light is an Ingo Maurer lamp. On the left side is a hanging lamp by Noguchi. The light switch is a reproduction of an original Bauhaus design.

The bathroom is an extension of the kitchen, though the recycled plastic tub is invisible from the living room. A simple stainless steel sink takes up little room, while the sandblasted glass walled shower allows natural light into the bathroom.

What was once a tiny dull apartment has been transformed into a bright, pleasant living space with a surprising amount of storage. Owner Corinne Muller asked interior designer Marianne Pascal for a home that had light, openness and fluidity, despite only being 59 square metres in size. Marianne's solution was to create simple box partitions that would provide storage and privacy for personal spaces while leaving the rest of the apartment open. The result is a comfortable space that feels much larger than it actually is. Via Marie Claire Maison.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Happy weekend! Hope it's a lovely one. This delicate and ethereal photograph is by Anne Naumann.

Of All the People in the World

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd in Washington DC, 1965

The population of Canada

The population of the USA

Left to right: Passengers on the Titanic; Survivors on the Titanic; Lifeguards who worked on the film Titanic; Stunt People in the sinking scene in the film Titanic

Irish people who emigrated to the USA between 1846 and 1855

There's a fascinating touring exhibition on right now. Created by the Stan's Cafe Theatre Company, it's called Of All the People in All the World, and it uses 112 tonnes of rice to represent statistics about the entire population of our planet -- one grain equals one person. Trying to picture large numbers is always the most difficult part when reading statistics, so this visual rendering really allows you to understand what these numbers mean in human terms. Have a look at the Flickr set for more from the show. Via the Creative Review blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


This week's link sampling. Enjoy.

And God Created Yves
Vicki Woods reviews the new book Yves Saint Laurent: Style, which complements the retrospective now on at the Montreal Musée des Beaux-Arts.

The Rule of Regulations

Wish I could have seen this show (sadly, now gone) in London -- fortunately BLDGBLOG has a great overview for those who missed it. Called The Rule of Regulations, the show examined how retroactively applying today's building codes and zoning regulations would affect historic structures such as Le Corbusier's Maison Citrohan. Some seriously gruesome results.

Fun astrology-meets-colour site by Michele Bernhardt, for Pantone. Find out what your birthday colour is, and what that means in astrological terms. Mine was pretty accurate, actually. Via How About Orange.

Everything is Connected

Tim Parks of the Guardian writes about anthropologist Gregory Bateson, who believed that the arts could diminish our desire to control the world. The idea that reading stories and listening to music could make people less destructive is definitely a beguiling one ...

Vending Machine Pizza
Terrifying but true -- the Tombstone Deep Dish Pizza vending machine. Via things magazine.

Damien Hirst Auction Surpasses All Expectations

Damien Hirst's 2-day art auction at Sotheby's brought in a total of $200.7 million, more than the auction house's original high estimate of $177.6 million. The sum obliterates the previous record for an auction of works by a single artist, a 1993 sale of $20 million for 88 works by Picasso.

The Designer's Field Guide to Sustainability
Recently published by the LUNAR Elements team, this is a tool designed to help all designers and engineers, no matter what their level of experience, design more sustainable products. Via Swiss Miss.

Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street
Stevie Wonder performs Superstition live on Sesame Street in 1972. The little kids are grooving, the band is cooler than cool, and the music is AWESOME. Via Kottke.

The lovely photograph is by Anne Naumann. Via emmas designblogg.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent: Love

Let me tell you how I spent my day yesterday. It was in Montreal, at the Musée des Beaux Arts, having a religious experience at the stunning Yves Saint Laurent retrospective. Actually, I'm still at a loss for words, but what I will say is this: there is no comparison between seeing the clothes in photographs, on TV or in films, and actually viewing them up close. These pieces have a presence and a richness of detail that are simply not visible when viewed through an intervening medium. I am in awe of the virtuoso creativity of Yves Saint Laurent -- it is breathtaking to see how effortlessly he blended an instinct for beauty with a wildly unfettered imagination. The exhibit runs until September 28, so you have a few days left to catch it in Montreal before it heads off to San Francisco, where it'll be for a few months before heading back home to Paris.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy.

The next few days will be busy ones for me, so my posts may be brief and I'll continue to be slow responding to comments. Rest assured that I do read each and every one of your thoughtful comments on my blog, but as you know life has a way of speeding up now and then. As it is, I'll be away on a field trip today, but rest assured I'll tell you all about it later this week. Thanks for reading, and for being such lovely readers, too -- you are all wonderful. (Groovy space age office wear by Pierre Cardin, 1970, via Will Kane)

Bookshelf: Edward Steichen

A gorgeous new book on photography legend Edward Steichen is due to be released tomorrow. Written by William Ewing and Todd Brandow, it's called In High Fashion - The Condé Nast Years, 1923-1937, and focuses on Steichen's 14 years at Vogue and Vanity Fair, where he was known as 'America's court portraitist'. In her review of the book, The Telegraph's Justine Picardie notes that Steichen's portraits " ... reveal themselves as the prototypes for the work of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz: for they are intended to flatter, rather than reveal imperfection; to encapsulate heroism and intensify iconic status; in other words, to make the rich and famous look like even more gilded versions of themselves." These portraits certainly succeed in doing just that. You can read the rest of Picardie's thoughtful review here, too. From top to bottom: Marlene Dietrich, 1932; Gloria Swanson, 1924; Amelia Earhart, 1931; Martha Graham, 1931.

Monday, September 15, 2008


123 wall sticker. I also quite like this photograph ...

Map plates, so you can check out the neighborhood of your next trip (that is, in New York, Venice, Tokyo, London, Paris or Rome) over lunch.

A reconditioned portable gramaphone from the 1930s. Perfect for playing hot jazz at your next cocktail party.

A Silver Dreyfuss 500 Desk Phone, to add a retro glam note to your office.

Deborah Bowness hand printed wallpaper, to liven up a dull wall or two.

Pedlars has a seriously great selection of quirky and original items, both new and vintage, for the home. It's also a whole lot of fun just to browse, even if you're not shopping for anything in particular ...
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