I have noticed a trend in holiday catalogs this year, have you? It centers around a colorful grid of gifts. JCrew has been banking on the bright and bold for a while now, but this year their website has presented it in all in big beautiful boxes. Similarly, the Land of Nod, which has countless adorable and inspiring kid's gifts, has created some fabulous spreads to display their wares in one fell swoop.
What's on your holiday list this year? And, like me, are you totally swayed by how it's displayed? See more goodies from JCrew here and Land of Nod (including a ton of holiday decor!) here.
Yesterday the local weather man promised me 1 to 3 inches of snow. What did we get instead? 1 to 3 inches of slushy cold rain. Here's a little shot from the archives—which I took in October in Central Park—to keep me going until we get a real winter storm. Because if it is not going to be a downright winter wonderland in this city, I at least want it to be sunny!
Hope you have a bright and sunny day, wherever you are!
I live in a rental apartment in New York City, so I won't be buying wallpaper any time soon. But I love keeping an eye on the latest trends, particularly now that wallpaper design has gone way beyond pinstripes and polka dots (though I do love both!) and now features complex trompe l'oeil patterns and images. Anthropologie has jumped into this field feet first with a beautiful—but pricey!—selection of wallpaper. I am obsessed with the paperback book pattern (top) but could certainly see incorporating these other more minimal patterns to add some visual interest in an all-white room. Wouldn't the tin tile pattern (bottom) look great on a ceiling? Much more manageable than the real thing!
Stacked Paperback Wallpaper, $198
Geo Pyramid Wallpaper, $398
Scrapwood Wallpaper, $328
Brooklyn Tins Wallpaper, $348
See more gorgeous options here.
How was your Thanksgiving? Clearly, given my absence for the last several days, I had a great time! I went home to my parents house and baked up a storm, including this amazing Apple Blackberry Pie (ha, if I do say so myself). It's a recipe from Martha Stewart that needs a little tweaking but once you hit the sweet spot—zing!—it proves to be a unbeatable combination. It was the first time I had ever used homemade pie crust and, for this recipe, I think it made a huge difference both in taste and aesthetics! I mean, how pretty are those leaves that the recipe calls for?
I also stumbled across this hilarious video over the weekend. Here's hoping your holiday wasn't this obnoxious . . . or full of ugly cat sweaters!
Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!
Have you noticed that buttons are popping up everywhere these days? I love it! I happen to wear these two cheeky numbers on my jacket with pride . . . must be the art history nerd in me.
I have also been swooning over the beautiful buttons on offer at The Indigo Bunting. Aren't they fun? I can picture topping a pretty package with them or pinning them to a blazer when I am having a bad day. Too bad they are sold out!
And then I stumbled across these two amazing public art projects involving buttons on Plenty of Colour this week (it's like Chloé is writing posts just for me; love that blog!). The top three images are of a campaign by Partners for Mental Health—created by Blok Design—that allowed people to wear take and wear buttons that corresponded to their mood. The bottom two images are of ba similar project by Rethink Communications for the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery where visitors were able to take pins that represented how they feel about contemporary art. Brilliant, right?
Speaking of buttons! You may have noticed that if you hover over the images in my posts a Pinterest icon appears on the right bottom corner...go ahead. Try it! If you click that button when it appears it will allow you to easily pin that image to you Pinterest account. Hope you like this new feature; should be fun for the pin-crazy like me!
As I mentioned last week, I am starting to get holiday shopping on the brain. And, somehow, I always have trouble shopping for friends and female family members about my age . . . you don't want to get something too expensive or something they already have . . . but you also want to find something cool and (ideally) useful. This is where I turn to Etsy and check out my endless lists of favorite products and shops. Enter: BlackbirdAndTheOwl's beautiful handmade and hand-painted clutches. I love the pennant and stripe patterns and am happy to report that some of the smaller purses start at just $19. Yes!
Check out more fun stuff in the shop here.
Are you a foodie? I like to think of myself as a gourmand, but sometimes its hard to keep up! I read Bon Appetite and the occasional NYTimes restaurant review, but mostly I like to have pretty things strewn around my kitchen for when I actually am inspired to try out a recipe or two and pull out my good plates for a dinner party.
So here's a little gift round up—just in time for you to make your holiday wish list—of all kinds of beautiful things for the kitchen. These goodies happen to be from Terrain—a shop full of lovely things and the perfect place to start your holiday shopping.
one...................languiole coffret breakfast knife set, $128
two...................12.5 ounce weck jar set, $18
three.................black hawaiian flower sea salt, $12
four..................yarrow skimmer, $42
five...................enamelware pie set, $128
six....................chalkboard labels, $9
seven................dip-dyed baguette board, $128
eight.................little flower sea salt caramels, $8
Which would you pick up? Discover more gorgeous gifts at Terrain here.
I have recently rediscovered my childhood obsession with the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes and have been rewarded by all of the intellectual jokes the brilliant author Bill Watterson throws in (somehow I missed those as a kid!). As an art history nerd, this one is one of my favorites—you can read many more here and learn more about Calvin & Hobbes here.
You know how I am a major graphic design nerd? Specifically modern masters like George Lois—the genius behind Esquire for a number of years—have always gotten my creative juices flowing. Well, thanks to the great minds behind the international lecture series Creative Mornings, George Lois will be speaking at the Metropolitan Museum this Friday! And tickets are free! Huzzah!
You just have to sign up here at the very stroke of 11am EST today. But be quick, tickets sell out fast! Hope to see you there!
How cool is this?! Hop is a suitcase that actually follows you around on your travels. It uses a proximity sensor, through an app on your phone, to sense your location and make sure it stays near you at all times. It can even corner and change speeds! It is only in prototype stages, and looks a little wobbly to me, but the idea is fascinating. What will they think of next?
Read more about this fabulous creation, developed by designer Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, here.
In case you have been living under a rock (or live overseas, I suppose), I am here to remind you it is election day! And with this year's Presidential race as tight as ever, I hope you all will be exercising your rights and hitting the poles today to cast your vote, as these amazing illustrations from the tumblr site #GoVote encourage you to do. Lamely, the timing of changing my last name (post-wedding) precluded me from registering to vote under my new name in New York in time to weigh in on this election . . . sad! So I will have to live vicariously for you all and hope that all goes well!
On a separate voting-related note, do you remember what you learned in your eighth grade social studies class about the electoral college? You probably remember that it is important to the outcome of the race but not the particulars about how it works, right? Well here is a beautifully illustrated little video that gives you a tidy recap just before the poles close.
Happy Election Day! See more beautiful #GoVote designs here.
(Hat tip to swiss-miss for the tips here and here)
When I lived in Boston there was a tree I liked to visit. Now this wasn't any ordinary tree, oh no. It was a tall, beautiful tree near Harvard's Law School campus where, at the very base, you could find a tiny little entranceway, complete with a hinged door and a sign that marked the spot as Pooh's House. And the tiny home rewarded repeat visitors; every so often 'Pooh' would do some redecorating . . . adding a little mailbox or a wreath. You can imagine how upset I was, then, to return last year and find the tree cut down (it's a story right out of this book)! Somehow, though, Pooh's House had been spared and continued to live on in the same spot, only now with much more sunshine. The stump has even been repurposed to create a shingle roof.
This is a long-winded way of introducing these amazing miniature worlds, erected on otherwise blank and boring ceilings, by the creative genius Ji Lee (who I have written about before here). I love their detail and how cheeky they are—the first photos are of a tiny museum gallery installed on the ceiling of an actual museum exhibition! It reminds me that simple little acts of creative intervention in the public sector (much like these) leave a small footprint on the landscape but offer big rewards—like my delight over Pooh's House—to any person who might chance upon them.
So kudos to Ji Lee! You are welcome to open a parallel world at my house or office any day.
See more of Lee's work here.
If you read my post on Wednesday, you know that I have been out of work all week because my office is still rebuilding (power, phone service, etc.) in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Simply put, while I am all for surprise paid vacations, I can't help worrying about all of my friends who live in Brooklyn and Southern Manhattan and are still without basic necessities like food, water and power. Not to mention all the other people who are without homes or loved ones in the wake of this Frankenstorm. Luckily this is the time where New Yorkers prove we are kinder and gentler than our reputation gives us credit for (evidenced by this heartbreaking story and this heart-swelling shot) and pull together to set things right.
This is where you and I come in. You can donate to the Red Cross and help them rebuild communities particularly hard hit by Sandy. If you live in the area you can volunteer your time to help in the clean up efforts, in organizing resources and supplies or simply helping businesses, schools and churches get back on their feet. Or, in keeping with the designy spirit of this blog, you can also purchase one of the two beautiful prints above from 20x200 (one of my favorite sites!). The top print, created by artist Dylan Fareed, is between $60 and $120; 20x200 will provide 50% of its proceeds into its Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. The bottom print, a NASA satellite photograph of the hurricane roaring up the eastern seaboard, costs between $60 and $2400 (depending on the size); 20x200 will donate 100% of these proceeds to Sandy relief. They have already raised an impressive $4000, and with our help we can raise even more.
I hope you all have a safe, healthy and happy weekend. I will be back to normal—less disaster-focused—posts on Monday.
Hoping to see some Halloween cupcakes photos, as promised on Wednesday? It was not my best work, but you can see the results here, here and here. It was welcome, fun distraction, I have to say! See more of my Instagram photos here.