Friday, January 30, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope it's filled with beauty, like this exquisite photograph by Kari Herer. I'm trying not to spend money at the moment, but I have a feeling I may cave and get myself this lovely Silverware no. 1657 print — and the other one you can see under the Inspiration section at right, too ...

Bailey Doesn't Bark

Bailey Doesn't Bark (love the name!) is a contemporary wares, textiles and paper line by artist and designer Re Jin Lee. Postcups is her new line of playful porcelain cups, perfect for Valentine's Day. Each cup features a short phrase in burnt sienna bold text on one side, while the other side has a postcard design, which (and this is the cool part) can be personalized with your own message plus your recipient's address — Re Jin will hand write it onto the cup with heat set porcelain paint (black or blue). The cups retail for $50 each — order directly from Re Jin here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Domino Thoughts

Like a lot of other design bloggers, I was saddened to hear the announcement about the demise of Domino magazine yesterday. And, like many (see here and here and here for a few other reactions), it got me thinking about how the decision to cancel the website as well as the printed magazine seems to show a lack of understanding of just what the web is all about these days. Considering that much of the costs of magazine publishing is in creating a physical product (print costs, paper costs, distribution costs), why aren't more major magazines exploring the idea of online magazines? Sites like Issuu show that there's still a tremendous demand for magazines, so it seems short sighted, to say the least. So here's my idea: what about a new hybrid of Domino that's both website and virtual magazine? It would follow the lead of independent magazines that offer a limited online version plus (for a fee) the ability to download it so you can read it in full and create your own print version if you prefer. Considering the loyal (and tech savvy) following that Domino has, it seems to me that Condé Nast has squandered a remarkable opportunity. What do you think? Would you pay for an online magazine subscription to Domino?

(photo by Justin Bernhaut, May 2007 issue of Domino)


Welcome to this week's buffet — enjoy.

Domino to Close
It's likely that you've heard the sad news by now — yesterday it was announced that Domino magazine will be folding, due to the recession. In the press release issued yesterday, Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend said, “Although readership and advertising response was encouraging in the early years, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations.” So disappointing, and hard to know what to say about it, too.

1000 Novels Everyone Must Read
The Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges have drawn up a fearsome list of novels from any decade and in any language. Organized by theme – love, crime, comedy, family and self, state of the nation, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel – it's a list that will keep you busily reading for many many years.

For Sale: The Apartment of Christian Lacroix
Christian Lacroix is selling his seventeeth-century Le Marais apartment in Paris — though he's staying in the neighborhood. The listing has lots of photos of his colourful and eclectic apartment — very much like his clothing design, actually. Via fashionologie.

Nate Williams Desktop Wallpaper
I love the fun and cool style of illustrator Nate Williams's work — and now he's offering a whole bunch of great desktop wallpaper designs on his website. Via How About Orange.

Tintin Movie
I'm a bit baffled by the whole idea and casting for this — a 3-D motion-capture film of Hergé's classic comic The Secret of the Unicorn directed by Steven Spielberg. The cast includes Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell as Tintin, James Bond star Daniel Craig as the villainous pirate Red Rackham, and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thomson and Thompson. Andy Serkis is on board as Captain Haddock. It's the first of a planned trilogy of Tintin 3-D motion-capture films conceived by Spielberg and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, with Spielberg directing the first film, Jackson the second and an unnamed director the third. Hmmm ...

A Designer's Portfolio, 16th Century-Style
Fascinating post by the always excellent Creative Review blog about ‘model’ or ‘pattern’ books, used by our design ancestors to show their work to potential clients — and to teach assistants how to reproduce the house styles. These books are extremely rare, but recently the British Library discovered a prime example – the so-called Macclesfield Alphabet Book, dating from c1500. It's filled with wonderful designs for different styles of script, letters, initials and decorative borders. Great post, with lots of great photos, too.

The Bocuse d'Or Competition
The New York Times is blogging right now about the Bocuse d'Or competition, known informally as the Culinary Olympics — if you're a really serious fan you can watch a live feed of it here.

Pulp Gallery
An online collection of classic pulp fiction book covers from the 30s and 40s, featuring detective, sci fi, mystery and ghost genres. Wild stuff! Via things magazine.

The quirky dining room was photographed by the amazing Tria Giovan. Via Desire to Inspire.

Poladroid Experiment

A while ago I downloaded a copy of Poladroid — the fun little app that turns regular photos into ones that look like Polaroids — but it wasn't until this evening that I had a chance to try it out. Here's the result of my first experiment (after several tries — the colours turned out a bit differently with each one, just like the real thing). I used a photo I took one summer afternoon of two perfect little eggplants I'd picked up for supper — they look a little moody here, but I can assure you they were (eventually) delicious!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The title of this photo is "Sprinkles Make Me Happy," and I couldn't agree more — just looking at this makes me feel cheerful. It's by Lauriann Wakefield, available as a print on her Etsy shop, and — you can see more of her wonderful work below, too.

Lauriann Wakefield

You might remember the beautiful cherry blossom print I purchased last year from Lauri, Lauriann Wakefield's wonderful Etsy shop. I still enjoy it every day, and make a point of visiting Lauriann's shop regularly to see what's new. So I was really interested to see these carnival photos that she's done — the colours are much brighter than her previous work, and there's a sense of movement and fun, too. Have a look at more (plus her exquisite flower prints) here. The perfect antidote to cold grey wintry skies.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Organizing — or, creating order out of chaos. Whether it's simply tidying up a shelf in the kitchen or tackling an office full of years of backlogged filing, there's nothing like that feeling of happy accomplishment when it finally gets done. The lovely photo is by Jennifer Causey.

Silvia Cordero Vega

I love these exquisitely delicate collages by Buenos Aires-based artist and calligrapher Silvia Cordero Vega. Beautiful work. Have a look at more of her collage work here. Via her Flickr site.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year — it's the Year of the Ox! Those born under this sign are, like their animal namesakes, patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint. Canada Post has issued this beautiful stamp to commemorate the occasion.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope it's a lovely one, with time for a cup of tea and a good book to curl up with. This delicately beautiful still life was photographed by Sandra Lane, whom I discovered via Tea For Joy.

Pip-Squeak Chapeau

I've been getting back into knitting again (at this point, mostly chunky scarves to protect against the bitter cold weather we're experiencing this winter), but I'm tempted to toss aside the yarn and get out the credit card after seeing what's new at Pip-Squeak Chapeau. Love it all — including the sweet dress and hat for the little ones (top and bottom photos). These pieces make wearing your woollies a true pleasure.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Welcome to this week's buffet — enjoy.

Smile! Polaroid is Saved!
From the Independent story by Emily Dugan: "If all goes to plan, the Polaroid factory in Enschede, Amsterdam, will soon be making film again thanks to its new owner, an eccentric Austrian artist and businessman named Florian Kaps. Mr Kaps, 39, has dedicated the past five years to instant photography. He set up, the biggest Polaroid gallery on the web, and the first ever Polaroid-only art gallery in Vienna, called Polanoir." Yay for eccentrics! Via Swiss Miss.

Ada Lovelace Day
Conceived by Suw Charman-Anderson, Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. This could be a woman who is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, is involved in developing software or hardware, or is a tech journalist or a tech consultant — but also any woman who creates, invents, or uses technology in an innovative way, such as in animation, gaming, developing hardware, tech project management, or using tech to do science. How do you support this great idea? Simply pledge to publish a blog post on Tuesday March 24th about a woman in technology (past or present) whom you admire. The goal of Ada Lovelace Day is to have 1,000 people do the same, and the great news is that there are 1,164 so far who are participating (of which I'll be one, too). The main link above takes you to info about the day, find out more about who Ada Lovelace was here. Via Cabinet of Wonders.

Ampersand is a brand new and beautifully designed online magazine by Kansas City Art Institute student Ramzy Masri. It explores the connections between design, art, music, fashion, literature and photography. Lots of good stuff! Via Design Observer.

Free the Blue Room
Deborah Needleman, editor-in-chief of Domino, takes a look at the White House decorating challenge facing the new First Lady — how to show reverence for the past without living in it. So far she's picked the fantastic Michael S. Smith as her official interior designer, so she's off to a great start!


The lovely people at Ruby Press report that this February will mark the launch of, an online outlet by the creators of Net-a-Porter. The will offer luxury items at a hefty discount. The site isn't up as yet, but you can bookmark it for now and sign up for email updates.

There's Something Up in Blogville
Thought for the Week, the blog of the London-based design firm johnson banks, is sensing a sea change in blogs these days. Some interesting observations about the future of blogging.

Design*Sponge Garden Columnist
Grace over at the always fab Design*Sponge blog has a new garden columnist — Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua. You have to check her out because not only does she know her stuff, but she's unbelievably funny, too!

Pim Pam Pum
Pim Pam Pum is a fun little online memory game that uses images from Flickr. Type in a word (such as "flower") and your puzzle will feature images with that tag. Via How About Orange.

The lovely image above is from the portfolio of photographer Roland Bello. Via the awesome Simple Lovely.

Atelier: Jason de Caires Taylor

This ethereal photograph is not a record from a deep sea archeological expedition, but rather an underwater sculpture by artist Jason de Caires Taylor. Called Vicissitudes, the piece is made up of life-size casts taken from a group of children of diverse ethnic backgrounds, and is located in the world's first underwater sculpture park, off the coast of Grenada in the West Indies. Taylor’s work not only comments on the adaptive nature of children to their surroundings, but also explores the intricate relationships that exist between art and environment — eventually these sculptures will become artificial reefs and attract marine life. You can see more of Taylor's work here. Via Cherry Coloured.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Simple Pleasures

The extraordinary power of hope. It's the beginning of a brand new era in the world — one with limitless horizons. The lovely landscape portrait above is by Montreal-based photographer Irene Suchocki, via her Etsy shop.

The Eco Home

Just discovered the shop Olive and Myrtle, which specializes in well designed eco-friendly homeware. Lots of lovely items — these are just a few of the many things I liked there. Via dwellings and décor. From top to bottom: Organic Bamboo Oval Salad Servers; Rectangular Accent Pillow in Brown; Champagne Ginger Soy Candle; Organic Cotton Towel in Sandstone; Organic Bamboo Coasters (set of four).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Subtle Strength

This living room fascinates me. It starts with a very simple and bold layout — a modern sofa and light, and a large painting on the wall — but then unexpectedly creates an atmospheric and subtle mood thanks to its gentle colours. Via LivingEtc.

Vintage Film Posters

The WalterFilm Gallery site has an astonishing collection of film posters, lobby cards, photos, stills and more from all over the world — here's a few of the posters that I especially liked. These are works of art as much as advertising — wouldn't any one (or two, or three) be lovely to have framed on a wall? Via Design Observer.

Sponsor Spotlight

Rachael of Number 8 will be showing this special Alphabet Soup archival print in the Art House Co-op's Scavenger Project, which opens in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 23rd. Digitally rendered from an original drawing, it's been printed with archival Ultrachrome pigment inks on archival quality matte paper and is available from her shop. As an added bonus, Rachael will also be donating 10% of this month's Number 8 sales to

Genevieve of Paddywaak just got this fab pair of vintage Tiffany blue ceramic vases into her shop! They look rather like twisty ruffles, and remind me of something you'd see in a chic 1940s interior. They're sold as a set, so you can use them as bookends (as shown here), or as part of your decor — either sitting pretty on a shelf, on your desk as an elegant pair of pencil holders, or even in the bathroom with cotton balls. More details here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tine K Home Catalogue

Danish company Tine K Home has one of the most gorgeous catalogues I've seen — beautifully styled and photographed, with the most lovely things in it. I'll take one of everything, please!

Mankind Mag

A little reminder that the latest issue of Mankind magazine, by the lovely Erin of Design for Mankind, is out! It's been redesigned, weighs in at a staggering 73 pages, and has some amazing contributors, too. Download a copy for $1.99 (or take a sneak peek for free) here.

Winter Supper

Found this recipe for Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans on Eating Well and thought I'd share — I'm currently on the lookout for great winter weeknight suppers that are healthy, too. And one must be well nourished to create, after all ... :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009


Happy weekend! Hope you're staying warm, wherever you are. We're having a severe cold snap here at the moment, so it'll be a cocooning sort of weekend indoors while outside the temperature hovers at a wind chill in the -30s. The warm lovely photo is by the wonderful photographer Francine Zaslow.
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