PATRIOTIC PASTA
































What a cool idea! The Australian advertising agency WHYBIN\TBWA created this smart campaign to promote the Sydney International Food Festival. It consists of popular foods from 17 different countries  laid out to resemble their nation's flags. France is made with bleu cheese, brie and grapes; Greece consists of feta and olives; Japan has tuna sashimi and rice. The whole idea is simple yet well-executed—just as smart graphic design should be!

Check out more great examples here.

Still hankering for something to do over this long and potentially-rainy weekend? Here are some links to tide you over.


I think these tips will prove useful for my trip next month.




Ununpentium—there's got to be a better name than that.



I wish I had been able to see this.


These are perfect for dinner parties, water cooler talk and networking.



"Trying to lift things" is this little man's only worry at college. No frat parties for him!


I feel queasy just looking at this monstrosity.



Have a great weekend!



NEVERWET NEVER FAILS
























This is totally wild: there is a new product on the market by Rust-Oleum called 'NeverWet'. It's an invisible spray paint-like compound that is intended to be used to repel water on outdoor products like wood, metal, fiberglass, etc that might be subject to damage or rust.

Home Depot came up with a clever contest to get people to realize the full potential of this innovative stuff. And some brilliant person thought to stencil it on their driveway/floor with the fun phrase above. I think it would be awesome to stencil a reminder note just outside of your door like 'don't forget your umbrella!' And since it the spray paint would only be legible when it rains, it would be like your own secret message. Sweet!

Check out NeverWet here and some other stencils here.



OUR SPECTACULAR EARTH

In this Envisat image, acquired on 2 December 2011, a phytoplankton bloom swirls a figure-of-8 in the South Atlantic Ocean about 600 km east of the Falkland Islands. Different types and quantities of phytoplankton exhibit different colours, such as the blues and greens in this image.
Earth-observing satellites like Envisat can monitor these algal blooms. Once a bloom begins, an ocean colour sensor can make an initial identification of its chlorophyll pigment, and therefore its species and toxicity.


This Landsat image from 19 July 2011 shows Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River in the southwestern United States. Straddling the border of the states Utah (to the north) and Arizona (to the south), it is the second largest artificial lake in the country. The area to the north of Lake Powell is known as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and covers over 760 000 hectares. Appearing green in this false-colour image, the Kaiparowits Plateau makes up a significant portion of the Monument, with the Fiftymile mountain (dark green) separating it from the Escalante Canyons. Another feature of the Monument is the Grand Staircase – a sequence of sedimentary rock layers – part of which is visible in the lower-left corner.

Korea’s Kompsat-2 satellite captured this image over the sand seas of the Namib Desert on 7 January 2012. The blue and white area is the dry river bed of the Tsauchab. Black dots of vegetation are concentrated close to the river’s main route, while salt deposits appear bright white. Running through the river valley, a road connects Sossusvlei to the Sesriem settlement. At the road’s 45th kilometre, seen at the lower-central part of the image, a white path shoots off and ends at a circular parking area at the base of a dune. This is Dune 45, a popular tourist stop on the way to and from Sossusvlei. In this image, there appears to be some shadow on the western side. From this we can deduce that the image was acquired during the late morning.

The foothills of the Andes mountains near the southern coast of Peru were captured by the Kompsat-2 satellite on 4 May 2011. The Andes stretch about 7000 km from Venezuela down South America’s west coast to the top of Argentina. The mountain rage is the result of the Nazca and Antarctic tectonic plates moving under the South American plate – a geological process called ‘subduction’. This process is also responsible for the Andes range’s volcanic activity.

In this image from the Envisat satellite, clouds cover the North Sea and sweep down to the strait between Denmark (lower-right corner) and Norway (upper-centre). In the upper-right corner, a thicker blanket of clouds covers south eastern Norway and spreads into Sweden. Located on the Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway is Europe’s northernmost country and is famed for its fjords. Some of these are visible in the image as dark lines between the white and snow-covered land. Near the top of the image, we can see part of Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, the Sognefjord. In the lower-right corner, we can see part of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, with small and large bodies of water speckling the flat terrain. 


An area covering northern Namibia and southern Angola is pictured in this Kompsat-2 image. Running across the image, the Okavango River forms the border between Namibia to the south and Angola to the north. Zooming in on the upper left corner, dots of white and other bright colours near a road show rural settlements. The red soil typical of many tropical and subtropical areas of Africa is also evident. In the lower-right corner, we can see large-scale, circular agricultural plots up to about 600 m in diameter. The white lines running through the circle could be maintenance roads.

The Tibesti Mountains, located mostly in Chad with the northern slopes extending into Libya, are captured in this image, acquired on 4 March 2012 by Envisat’s MERIS instrument.
The mountains’ highest peak is Emi Koussi – pictured here as a circular structure in the lower-right portion of the dark area. The westernmost volcano is Toussid√©. Our satellite view shows the dark peak with lava flows extending to the left. The white depression to the southeast gets its colour from the accumulation of carbonate salts, creating a soda lake. Surrounding the Tibesti Mountains, the sands of the Sahara appear like orange, yellow and white brushstrokes.



How gorgeous are these satellite photos taken by the European Space Agency? I have talked about how much I love space photos before (here and here), but these remind in particular just how incredible our little planet truly is. Look at the colors! The texture!

See more gorgeous images of our fair Earth on the ESA website here.


(thanks to 'but does it float' for the tip)


PARIS ON PAPER




































How cute is this little welcome bag and letter? It was designed by Erin Jang (of the Indigo Bunting) for  this super chic Parisian wedding.  I am thinking it could be a great point of inspiration for a photo album after our trip to France next month; wouldn't it be fun to add mini infographics or maps to the first couple pages of a photo album?

Check out more of Erin's lovely work here.



HAPPY WEEKEND!


































I had a great time in D.C. this week! I managed to sneak in a lot of museum visits (the Phillips, the National Gallery, the Corcoran, the Hirshhorn, etc.), eat my fair share of tasty food and snap some cool shots (see above). Isn't that what a good vacation is all about?

I also put together a couple of fun DIY projects in the past couple days, which I will excitedly share with you next week. Until then I am headed home to Connecticut today to soak up some beach time before summer runs out on us. What are you up to?

Hope you have a lovely weekend! See you on Monday!



HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHY FOR A MODERN WAR













































This spring Staff Sargeant Ed Drew, of the California Air National Guard, decided to record the comrades-in-arms serving alongside him in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Not all that unusual, I suppose. Until you hear about the medium Staff Sargeant Drew employed for these portraits: tintypes, a finicky process popularized during the Civil War as a cheap, though burdensome, means of rendering the likeness of soldiers before they went off to war, perhaps never to be seen again. The tintype process involves an elaborate exposure process involving fragile glass negative plates, hazardous chemicals and specific timing sequences. It is not surprising that tintypes fell out of favor long ago. But Ed Drew's revivalist project demonstrates the quiet beauty and dignity instilled in his subjects by this medium, while simultaneously drawing connections to Civil War subjects 150 years ago.

Today—actually at this very moment, since I am writing this from the train—I am headed down to Washington D.C. with my family for a couple of days. I look forward to experiencing other poignant, powerful photographs about war at this exhibition (which has a great catalogue!), saying a quiet prayer at this humbling museum, and admiring this (newish) memorial. With that in mind, I will be signed off here until I return to NYC on Thursday. Hope you have something fun planned between now and then!

(photos by Ed Drew from the New Yorker here)



LEATHER LOVE





























Believe it or not, I am already planning my Christmas presents. Crazy, I know! But I want to try to make a bunch of fun things (instead of only buying things) this year so it pays to plan ahead. One idea I am toying with is to work all the presents on a theme like knitting, sewing, cooking, etc. Perhaps even leather!

Here are some awesome DIY projects using leather. So many options, so little time! Which one should I do?

top to bottom:

Suede and Gold Leaf Mousepad, crafted by Lovely Indeed

Leather Cabinet Pulls, crafted by Remodelista

Leather Handle Box, crafted by Whimsey Box Blog

Leather Passport Holder, crafted by Poppytalk

Monogramed Leather Keychain, crafted by The Sweetest Occasion


Hope you are out enjoying this beautiful day!



ANCHOR'S AWEIGH!

















































Did I tell you my Dad is turning 70 this September? We are having a party at our beach cottage for him and, not surprisingly, my Mom and I have decided to give it a nautical theme. Plus, this weekend my husband and I bought a small racing sailboat to sail at the cottage (it looks like this)! So I have seafaring on the brain . . .

Here are a couple of fun ideas I have come up with for the party. Do you have any to add?

top to bottom:

Nautical flag garland, $31.63

DIY wave cups

Serving Swedish Fish and Lifesavers, perfect no?

Kikkerland striped paper straws, $6.60

Monkey fist placeholder, $4



HAPPY WEEKEND!




I have a crush on Brian Williams and, since I currently own this, I think it's fair to say I love this song. With that in mind, this little video compilation made me giggle in delight. Hope you like it!

Did that pique your interest? Here is my favorite little slices of the internet this week; hope you like them too!

Roads that power your car. Wild!

Good tip for iPhone shutterbugs.

I would buy this just for the bragging rights (and the garage).

Chicken a la iPhone?

I am updating my Netflix queue as we speak.

Excellent article reminding me about a hilarious man. Guess I need to pick this up now.

Google Maps takes to the calle.

I rewatched the NSync/Backstreet Boys battle episode last night. RIP Cory Monteith.

A cast that looks incredibly cool, but how do all your eighth grade friends sign it?

So, so, so excited for this movie to come out (did I mention I was excited?!).

These ideas are perfect for my party-planning mindset right now.

When pigs fly swim!

Get away before summer is over!

I am tempted to make these to give out as favors at a party this September. Too ambitious?


Have a lovely weekend!



THATCH AND THISTLE SUPPLY CO.





















































I am currently planning my father's 70th birthday party (Milestone!) and therefore trolling Etsy and Pinterest for fun ideas and decorations. And voila! I stumbled upon the glorious shop Thatch & Thistle Supply Co. on Etsy and immediately fell in love with all the brightly-colored perfectly-patterned bags and straws and garlands on offer.

Do yourself a favor and check out all the goodies here.


(Need more inspiration? Check out my party-planning board on Pinterest here.)