Friday, March 28, 2008

it is what it is

cheers! to keri smith's slogan of the day.

a bag story

two weeks ago i saw this bag posted here. it was love at first sight. perfect size, perfect design, perfect color.

i've been carrying canvas tote bags to work for too long!

so the lovely leather shop sent it to me alllll the way from england.
and yup, i love it. the bag fits just right.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

moosewood muffins

moosewood restaurant new classics is the first cookbook that i read chapter-by-chapter like a novel. it is full of delicious, easy recipes and lots of good advice for building a healthy, homey kitchen.

last weekend, we tried their classic muffins for the first time, and i am hooked!

the best part is adding whatever "extras" you want. they have some great suggestions: peach blueberry -or- mango banana chocolate chip -or- pumpkin apple cinamon.

for easter, we tried granny smith apple + blueberry. i want to test a new combination this weekend!

wet ingredients

6 tbsp butter at room temp
1/2 to 3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c plus 2 tbsp milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 c "extras" (fruit/nuts/etc)

dry ingredients
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

streusel topping
[they say optional, i say necessary]
1/3 c flour
1 1/2 tbsp cold butter, diced
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

preheat oven to 350. prepare 12-cup muffin tin by lining each cup with paper liner or a bit of butter. first, make the streusel topping. combine all streusel ingredients and blend with a fork until the butter is pea-sized or smaller. set aside. next, the wet ingredients. in a mixing bowl, cream together the butter & sugar until smooth. beat in the egg and then the milk & vanilla; the mixture will look lumpy. by hand with a rubber spatula, fold in the "extras." set aside. now, the dry. in a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. mix well. then, add the wet ingredients to the dry, and fold togther with a rubber spatula. don't overmix! spoon about 1/3 c of the batter into each muffin cup. sprinkle each muffin with a scant tbsp of streusel topping. and then, immediately place the muffins in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. after about 20 minutes, rotate the muffin tin in the oven to ensure even baking. when they are puffed & golden, remove the muffins from the oven and place the tins on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. enjoy!

creative recycling: security envelopes

two mentions of the beauty of security envelopes in one week!

i've never gotten enough bills to notice the pretty patterns...but now i'm intrigued!

first, junk mail gems shared her amazing assortment of security envelope patterns that she's collected over the years. now she's even making rolled beads & jewelry from them. (above)

then, derek&laura of the curiousity shoppe (a super fun online store, by the way) posted this simple tutorial to reuse your leftover envelopes and make the most of their colorful insides. (below)

i am certainly not looking for more bills, but i wouldn't mind having some of this fun paper to play with.

catalogue it

i came across this photo last july (one of those un-documented inspiration photos--if you know the source, please let me know!).

the card catalogue is what caught my eye. it brings up memories of weekly "library time" in elementary school where we learned the dewey decimal system and the school lirarian encouraged us "check out" chapter books for Quiet Time reading. (although i definitely never needed any encouragement to check out more books.)

now i see a card catalogue and think of the unlimited possibilities of having one all to myself!! filled with paper scraps. or colorful beads. or string & things.

or empty, and just looking pretty in my bedroom.

then today craigslist has an ad for an original LA public library card catalogue!!

so maybe the pictures aren't quite as pretty, but the potential is certainly there.
if only i had the dollars... and the space!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

tuesday morning

easter brunch leftovers for breakfast this morning... allison's yummy fruit salad with lots of pineapple. and a cinnamony blueberry&apple moosewood muffin (a great recipe that i will share!). and coffee. yumm.

opening night: david horvitz

on saturday night, the lab101 space opened Here is Where You'll Find Me.

i really loved the photos & work of one of the artists, david horvitz. he lives in los angeles. he published a polaroid book. he seems pretty sweet.

i love love art that inspires & interacts with its audience.

Friday, March 21, 2008


just starting...
the poisonwood bible. the first book for the crosscountry bookclub! the first 5o pages have me hooked.

just finished...
the house of the spirits. snagged from a bookshelf at home because i liked the cover. i finally got through this book and really enjoyed the writing & the story. reminded me of gabriel garcia marquez, magical realism.

still halfway through...
the audacity of hope. night train to lisbon. the book of laughter and forgetting.

any special book recommendations?

joyful happy wonderful spring~

new york is ringing in spring by celebrating color.

from march 2 to may 12, color chart: reinventing color is on exhibition at moma.

it makes me wish i could celebrate some springtime in new york!

but for now, i can enjoy the magically colorful online version.

top left: jim dine, the studio (red devil color chart no. 1), 1963
right: andy warhol, do it yourself (flowers), 1962

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

everyday collections

after reading a bunch about collections recently, this photo from hownowdesign (via so sweet & so cold) made me realize that THAT's the kind of collecting that i'm the most enchanted by.

my mind says: a whole jarful of bread bag tabs!?!? wow! cool!

bottle caps, mesh fruit bags, ticket stubs, glass jars, tin cans. all those colorful/simple designs. and having a whole bunch of them together? fascinating.

the vintage goodies that other folks collect are gorgeous--but the simplicity & accessibility of everyday collections are the most intriguing to me.

maybe i should start recording the little collections that i've subconsciously created...

*yes, i realize this photo is actually a product shot for the glove stretcher on the right.

so long, winter

the gridview of a flickr set is always an interesting way to capture a group of photo clips together. today mav of port2port closed her Winter 08 photo set...and the result is a lovely combo of twinkling colors and stark whites.

goodbye, winter. hello, spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

wall art

i love this wall that apartment therapy pulled out from an old copy of elle decor. i can't take my eyes off that picasso print in the middle. we are so far from having enough art to even attempt a wall collage right now (i think my collection of frames outnumbers my collection of art/prints), but someday soon!

so when that day comes, the best combination of inspiration & direction seems to be design formuLA's recent post on making a picture wall collage. she has a bunch of great wall photos AND includes diagrams of different layouts.

ok, i'm still a little bit intimidated by the blank walls, but we're making progress...

top image from apartment therapy
bottom image from lisa congdon via sfgirlbybay

political sketches

with endless daily analysis of the current political scene, i enjoyed this little glimpse at the thought process behind political caricatures.
check out drawing the candidates at nytimes

[image from anita kunz, nytimes]

Monday, March 17, 2008

a day to go green

happy saint patrick's day! enjoy your corned beef, cabbage, and a slice of buttery toasted irish bread.

image from the boston globe

Friday, March 14, 2008

photog polaroid! polaroid recently announced that it's discontinuing its instant film.

...instamatic karma. may pang shares a box of john lennon photos that have been tucked in the back of her closet since the 1970s. (nytimes)

...coin. smile. click! nakki goranin explores the history of the american photobooth.

[photo from heather]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

multi-purpose yogurt

i was just admiring spega yogurt at wholefoods yesterday! of course, i'm not the only one who thought how useful their pretty glass containers could be. they're included in a:t's list of pretty votive options.

[photo from apartment therapy]

great apartment + colorful chairs

this tour of laure's apartment (see the pics!) is so LA, so colorful. i love those wire mesh chairs (left). it makes me want to go out & buy some metal folding chairs (maybe craigslist?), and spraypaint them bright happy colors.

[photos from laure for apartment therapy]

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

creating with cork

we have a growing jarful of wine corks in the kitchen, and i haven't been sure how we'd use the collection... until then i saw this!! these cork trivets by abigail are one of many awesome entries in 2008 DIY contest at design*sponge. oh wow.

ok, so maybe we don't need a zillion trivets floating around our apartment. but it's one neat idea that could spark many more!

PS you can check out all of design*sponge's DIY finalists in bitesize chunks: [1-4], [5-8], [9-12], [13-16], [17-20]. And then vote for your favorite!

[photo from abigail for design*sponge]

photography grid

i have this bad habit of collecting gorgeous images off the internet, but not recording where i found them. so it makes me feel a little guilty to share them when i can't say where they came from!!

but sometimes they're too good to hold back. i came across this awesome photog wall sometime last week. not sure where. but i love it. if i get my hands on some record frames, this could be major inspiration for a new wall collage.

[photo from unknown??]

gocco swirls

here are the first prints with my new gocco press! just playing, but i like the swirls. the possibilities are sort of endless, so i haven't decided yet what to do for the first real project.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

found: the road to hope + more

found today on the sidewalk of venice blvd

allison & i collected some great new treasures at the rose bowl flea market this morning [pictures to come]. plus discovered the seriously sweet bob dylan exhibition at the skirball cultural center. and found soon-to-be-closed dutton's brentwood books (why must the world stomp on independent bookstores?).

PS for new finds everyday, you should check out FOUND magazine.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

opening night: dan-ah kim

i visited nearby project:gallery for the first time tonight to check out their latest opening. the show, kaleidoscope, features five female artists who represent "a whimsical and feminine style, that truly tells a greater tale than at first glance." hm.

i was really enchanted by the illustrations & stitchwork of brooklyn artist dan-ah kim. photos don't do them justice, but i love the colors, the composition, the stitching details. yup, gorgeous!

her etsy shop has a great collection of her prints for sale.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

canyon cleansing?

the US Bureau of Reclamation is flushing out the grand canyon today. it's an attempt to rewind devestating environmental changes, the results of damming the river back in the 1960s. in 1971, a lone civil engineer warned that the dam would have drastic effects..."but no one listened."

so we've altered the results of 17 million years of natural history, and now we're fix the damage done by re-manipulating the river through a process called adaptive management, which involves annual flush outs like this. hmmm... a curious (and controversial) solution.

just this week i saw a sneak preview of grand canyon: river at risk (woohoo, 3d imax!), which explores the canyon and all these water issues. worth checking out.

[photo from cobalt123]

city pride

i'm so into these maps from ork posters. i just bought the boston one for our apartment. and looking forward to los angeles coming soon!

plus ork donates 2% of its sales to non-profits, sweet!

currently available: boston, brooklyn, chicago, manhattan, san francisco

coming in spring 2008: los angeles, seattle, portland, toronto, and one unknown

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

weekend highlights

+ pirate shanties @ machine project
+ good microbrew

+ drinks @ the mandrake
+ frohawk two feather closing @ taylor de cordoba
+ yummy veges @ tender greens
+ the other boelyn girl (ehh okay)

+ target (pretty designs!)
+ ikea (new rug!)

+ haircut @ vidal sassoon academy
+ inspired @ corita art center
+ art (gocco!) supplies @ blue rooster

and now it's back to work...

Monday, March 3, 2008

"my paper mind"

peter callesen makes unbelievable paper cutouts from single pieces of paper (above). he creates from the paper--but also creates images in the shapes that he cuts. i love this play with positive & negative space.

javan ivey created a beautiful video using cut paper images, titled "my paper mind." under about, he gives some description of the method he uses, called "stratastencil." cool process--lovely results! [via tinygigantic]

all the paper cutting talk makes me think of nikki mcclure and her spectacular xacto-cut images. i still have her 2007 calendar hanging on my wall.

and the master of cutouts, matisse
(oh! just found this PBS online matisse game)

happy monday!