Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sweetness and Light

After the exuberant indulgence of the holidays, I find that a spell of simplicity is something I particularly crave — lighter foods, lots of water and a little home spa time, too.

(photo by johnny miller)


This week's links. Enjoy.

How to Write a Thank You Note
This handy no-nonsense guide will inspire you to treat yourself to some lovely notepaper (or note cards if you prefer), brew some tea or coffee, and settle in to write thank you notes for your Christmas gifts. So nice for your recipients to receive in the mail instead of the usual bills, too.

A Q&A With Isabella Rossellini
As fascinating as she is beautiful, Isabella Rossellini is well worth interviewing. Love her.

The Downton Abbey Gingerbread House
Wow. Watch a time-lapse video of Curtis Jensen constructing an elaborate gingerbread version of Downton Abbey using little more than gingerbread, icing, green- and red-colored candies, and (as Vanity Fair notes) "...focus so steely that it would likely earn an approving head nod from the Dowager Countess."

BeetBox Turns Root Veggies Into A Drum Machine
New York-based designer Scott Garner not only likes a good play on words, but enjoys making them into something, too — so he built a BeetBox drum machine that uses beets as conductors. Follow the link to see it in action. Very fun.

A Real Life Hobbit House
A true blue Tolkien fan in Pennsylvania recently commissioned architects Archer & Buchanan to build him a hobbit house for his Middle Earth memorabilia — follow the link for photos. It's actually a rather nice interpretation — aside from the most notable hobbit details (round door, for example) it really reminds me of late 19th century lake stone cottages in Ontario.

Best Art Books of 2012
Lavishly illustrated review over on Brain Pickings of their fave art books from 2012, ranging from Indian folklore to Paris vs. NYC, by way of Japanese Wonderland and 80 years of loving of dogs. Wonderful.

Obliteration Room
Check out this time lapse video of artist Yayoi Kusam's interactive work Obliteration Room at the Tate in London, which starts out as minimalist monochrome living room that people are invited to “obliterate” with colourful stickers. Lovely to see visitors of all ages participating, too.

23 Show Stopping Desserts
Make a splash with one of these extravagant desserts for your New Year's Eve dinner — choose from a classic croquembouche, baked Alaska, almond cream tartlets, butter saffron cake and white chocolate mousse among others.

(photo by anna williams)


I'm smitten with my new Christmas book — Encyclopedia of the Exquisite by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins. From the description: "Encyclopedia of the Exquisite ... takes a cue from the exotic encyclopedias of the 16th century, which brimmed with mysterious artifacts, focusing on the elegant, the rare, the commonplace and the delightful. A compendium of luxury that merges whimsy and practicality, the book traipses through all the fine arts, showcasing every sphere of style: fashion, food, travel, home, garden and beauty." So looking forward to reading this — plus, Jessica started a blog that's a continuation of her book, with more fascinating things that didn't make it into the book in time.
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