Saturday, December 29, 2007

We're back ... earlier than expected, but still having had an amazing time. To get away from the city and all the crazy Christmas rush, hurry, and hype we went camping in Death Valley. We had planned to stay until New Years Day which would have been truly amazing, but alas, an early return was upon us. Death Valley National Park is spectacular and so large - the things to see are endless. The places we camped are accessed via some serious 4-wheel drive roads (one of them was a series of 4 dry waterfalls) and the reward from the grueling crawl-drive was total beauty.

Death Valley is littered with abandoned structures. The entire region has a rich history of mining and prospecting, as well as a lot of boom and bust. Ghost towns, abandoned mine shafts, empty swimming pools fed by hot springs, little mining encampments ... all of the left-overs were a feast! I spent more time taking pictures of the decaying buildings and foundations instead of the really amazing rock formations.

The first night we were lucky enough to sleep in the Geologist's Cabin (above) at Striped Butte. This extremely well maintained and popular cabin was a highlight. Its remoteness reminded me instantly of the Papa Stour holiday cottage in Scotland (with which I am mildly obsessed) and upon stepping inside the first thing I did was take pictures of all four interior walls.

. . . . . .

Another night we camped out a place called Tarantula Mine which, despite the scary name, was another highlight. Apparently who ever owned the land continued to mine there until the 70's so the structures are a real mix of old and new - a newer, but totally decaying trailer (details above) and a couple of rusted out trucks from the 40's and wood shacks. The 'photo shoot' has finally forced me to actually learn how to use my dormant flickr account. See more here.

Wonderful way to spend Christmas and fantastic weather, albeit freezing at night, but good for star gazing. We'll definitely be heading back soon ... being out there makes me want to build a little house in the middle of nowhere that I can call my own.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy holidays!

Thanks to everyone who has made my first blog year a fun one... and thank you also for leaving encouraging and helpful comments - cheers!

See you in the new year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The last of the birthday gifts: a wonderful little perforated metal stand. I'm not sure which era it is from... the 50's? 60's?? I have seen a few of these, here and there, at flea markets etc. and always wanted one, but never really took the plunge. So it's a wonderful gift!. I first tried it at the couch so that it could hold magazines but it never looked quite right with everything else. So it has found a home right next to my desk, where it's actually very useful to me. Plus, I don't have any space for plants or flowers in my work area so it's nice to have a greenery on the side.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It'll be a late night tonight given some upcoming deadlines... it's not hard to load up on the caffeine when I'm drinking out of one my favorite mugs. My mom got these when she was living in England in the 70's and dared to get rid of them a few years ago, so I scooped them up. They're so tall and skinny and fit so perfectly in my hand. Plus the stamp on the bottom is gorgeous. It says 'R.F. made in Wales' in a lovely little font.

Another wonderful birthday present: a pair of Bauer Pottery salt and pepper shakers, which again, fit right into my kitchen's apparent color scheme!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One deadline down, three more to go for Monday! Hence my little absence.

Keeping me sane are my wonderful birthday presents, well christened and much loved. First up: Emile Henry tajine. Now that I have cooked several meals in this, I cannot imagine how I lived with out it. Not only does it cook food oh-so-deliciously, it is also a truly beautiful object, and lucky for me, compliments everything else in my kitchen.

While washing the dishes this morning I noticed how bright and happy everything looked on the tea towel. I love red. Moreover, I love red alongside blue and yellow.... and white, and black and grey... and everything. Thank you, R... I love my tajine.

Speaking of surrounding yourself with beloved objects, I point you towards this thoughtful post on sprink.

And thank you to all for the nice birthday wishes! It was a lovely weekend indeed.

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's my birthday today! I'm heading out of town for a few days for a little birthday fun with two very good friends of mine who also have their birthdays this weekend. Good old Sagittarians :)

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I bought a few of these cigarette cards at a flea market years ago, recently rediscovered them and subsequently purchased even more on Ebay. The illustrations are beautiful, reminding me of simpler days... and actually they are really informative! I have a another bunch framed in my bathroom. I don't have a garden (alas!) but these "Garden Tips" cards are quite lovely... I already know how to dig, but who knows, perhaps I will need to know make a dovecote one day :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I like the softness in this image. I took it at the Salton Sea.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

We all know how distracting the internet can be (or, for that matter, our very own persons can be - a recent post on skinny laminx that made me laugh out loud because I can so easily relate). I have a big deadline for Tuesday but instead of diligently working towards that I am fixating on Hella Jongerius' Office Pets (via karin's style blog). If they were all rolling around in my workspace, could they make it easier for me to work on this beautiful Sunday afternoon when I should really be outside enjoying the Los Angeles version of Autumn? ... Maybe :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It is not often that I say this, but this image is one of my favorites that I have produced. It comes from my graduate thesis about E.1027, a house by Eileen Gray. I have been looking through my past work lately {I am redoing my portfolio and every time I revisit my thesis I am reminded why I fell in love with Architecture.}
Yet another page ripped out of a magazine, source unknown.

I have this habit of hording magazines until I get so overwhelmed with how much space they take up that I get a glass of wine, plant myself on the floor and start ripping out the pages I like and tossing the rest. As a result I have piles of orphaned pages I feel compelled to hold on to and along the way I am reminded why I bought the magazine in the first place.
Behold Thomas O'Brien's inspiration wall (I'd know who that is if I have saved the magazine) ... it inspires me to be more 'neatly messy' and not just messy with my workspace and it's walls. I also like the consistent use of red push pins as well as the circle images. Plus, I don't need a ladder, but I'd feel much better if I had one. It's lovely.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I've added a mobile to my Etsy shop ... made up of 4 individual metal strands with a hook at the top ... they can be hung all together or separately. I had to something with all those circles cut out from the calendar. Right now, this mobile is hanging from one of the branches in my wall.

Will get to uploading some more beasts tomorrow ... but for today, all my light is gone. I am still not used to it getting dark so early.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I know these colors will look differently on everyone's monitor, but this is a color study of mine I did for a exhibition project a few years ago ... I found it rummaging through a stack of old papers ... I used to have it above my desk and the acid yellows and greens made me happy. I couldn't help but post about it ... this was nice to find and be inspired by it again.

Nothing like a bunch of paint chips to get you excited. These ones were from Benjamin Moore.

{left to right, and top to bottom}
hibiscus :: autum purple :: cedar green :: yellow lotus :: butter
mulberry :: celdon green :: hazy lilac :: dark burgundy :: lemon meringue
mauve blush :: pear green :: amazon soil :: stem green :: cabernet
light yellow :: provence creme :: grape green :: passion plum :: light daffodil

in another life I'd like to be a paint-color-name-decider.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I became obsessed with my camera this weekend.

the results... some barnacle-like lavender.

I am beginning to get a lot more interested in photography and am excited to learn a new vocabulary. R is also going to lend me an old German camera he's got stuffed away in the closet. We're going a long trip to the desert in December so I am looking forward to alien landscapes and strange light.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

my rest continues ... see you in a few days :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

After knitting and cutting paper at break-neck speeds to get ready for the Holiday Gift Bazaar {organized by Alegre of Green and Greener} I am happy to announce that I made it through safely, happily and a little wiser. My first gift fair was a great success and a lot of fun as well as a great way to meet some really amazing makers-of-all-things-wonderful!

It was also a good learning opportunity; the items I thought would do well didn't... and the ones I had thought would be hard sells practically sold out. And because I am usually buried behind a stack of paper or a mountain of yarn and am supported by a wonderful on-line, and therefore remote community, I am rarely in front and dealing with The Consumer. It was interesting to see people interacting physically with my work and asking questions .... I'm still digesting the experience and hopefully I can do it again.

I love the tree that R made for me... the beasts love it too :) I'll be uploading some more beasts throughout the week on my Etsy Shoppe.

And for now a sigh of relief and a few days of rest.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My triplets for tomorrow's fair.... not sure if I can give them up.

Meanwhile, here are the others beasts, waiting patiently for the big wide world.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another mobile I've fallen for. This one is by Miranda Watkins.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I love the shapes of the random candlesticks I've collected; these ones come from ebay. There are some very beautiful ones on hoping for happy accidents this morning by Eva Zeisel.

Other really lovely objects::

deer by jacksonswift
cascade by michelle brand
this pattern for a jacket by Drops Design

Monday, November 12, 2007

my first set of conjoined twins

and also a nice little interview on sfgirlbybay with Sandra Monart of Friederike! I love the images of her workspace and home, filled with beautiful colors and objects... also her portfolio site, herzensart is amazing... currently I am in love with her thorn birds (below).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I've just relisted the 2008 calendar... it's still limited edition with a total of 50 in all ... It's slightly different this time because I'm using a Japanese book binding method instead of glue. Because these little guys take a long time to make, I'll taking pre-orders on Etsy and will shipping no later than December 20th.

Thanks again to everyone who has posted about the calendar recently and to those who have purchased it!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I was so happy when Gillian Bencke introduced herself to me via this blog - I had seen her parisian dolls a while ago and fell in love with them ... There is something a little melancholy about them, totally beautiful.

Her exhibitions are equally inspiring ... the masses of dolls in A CROWD Rockert art ... the princess and the pea story told with in photos in Paris at various stages of progress... the rescued fabrics, the photography, the installations, everything I love.

Not only is everything about "rescuing and redistributing," her own process is interesting, and one to which I can completely relate: "a degree in communications studies, led to photography, self-publishing, exhibitions, installations and collaborations. studies in digital media were followed by travel: a broken LOMO camera and the collecting of memories instead. somehow on the streets of paris the idea of 'dolls' from rescued fabric came to be."

And me... the connecting line between my degree in architecture and my knitted beasts is hardly straight or even remotely predictable as to where it's going.

Above: rue d'orsel and A CROWD Rocket art 2005, photos by Gillian Bencke

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Back from a few lovely days away in the Rockies... tried to get some knitting done, but wasn't as successful as I had hoped. It's only 10 days until the Holiday Gift Bazaar...

I was able to check my email once while I was gone and I found out that the calendar sold out! I will definitely be making more soon (but still keeping a limited run) and will re-listing on Etsy as well as selling at the bazaar. Thank you to everyone who bought one as well as those who sent comments.

Just now jumping back into the swing of things... hence a short post today.

I cannot believe it's November already - yikes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I just cut out some business cards and these were the off cuts... they were so pretty I couldn't resist sticking them on the scanner and making an image.

Today is a very busy day - I'm leaving town and won't be back until next week and I have so many things to scratch off my list before I go.

Other things that are leaving town: my petites bêtes sauvages are off to Berlin to take part in a little exhibition at lilo und dicke dinger. They're all packed and ready to go but they've never flown before, so they're a little nervous. I've assured them that they'll be just fine and not to bother the flight attendants.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Introducing Mr. entry into the 2007 Holiday Softie Awards.

It's hard to think about the holidays, scarves and snow when it's 80 degrees outside, but think about them I will... this photo helps a little... sets the mood.
A polaroid I took about 5 years ago, quite possibly the last time I saw snow.

Also, thanks go out to freshly{blended} for the wonderful post about my calendar, as well Heather at skinny lamix - thank you!

Friday, October 26, 2007

finally... this calendar almost broke me... but it's finished... limited edition available on Etsy.

I'll be selling more at the Holiday Gift Bazaar in Santa Monica, CA on November 17, for those in the Los Angeles area and I will be making more calendars as we get closer to the New Year.

I'm about to go into turbo beast-making mode. These are buttons I picked up yesterday. Soon there will be faces for these eyes.

other little faces that I love {by bencke} have been lost in the mail... has anyone seen them?

Also, I am in bigger trouble than I thought - the items that I ordered from hickory no ki arrived today and I can barely contain myself. Everything about the coffee measure is perfect. The bag is amazing.... I can go on and on. I almost cannot bare how lovely and simple it all is.

I feel an addiction to this shop coming on.... t.r.o.u.b.l.e.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

oh no... I'm in trouble... I want (I mean need) this lighting fixture.

via atelier a+d

I am definitely one to buy a book because of its cover ... This one I bought because of its spine.

{added to long list of things I want to do: design a book}

Monday, October 22, 2007

this morning I had a coffee at a local bakery - on the table they had one of my favorite things: ceramic yogurt jars. I think nothing tastes better than yogurt from ceramic or glass... there are some more beautiful jars here.

So... Southern California is engulfed and smoke and flames. The Santa Ana winds are here and they are reeking havoc. I normally love the winds because they are so strange and so strong, and in a region where weather is usually so consistent, the change is always welcome, but this year it is scary. Yesterday 8 fires started and grew very rapidly. Today there are 17 total fires. It's incredible... shocking.

As for me, the calendar is coming along a lot slower than I had wanted.. but it's almost there. Also, I've got some little beasts traveling to Berlin soon to participate in a little exhibition {more on that later}. I've got to get their bags packed and teach them some German so that they can get by for a while.

So much to do!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An amazing find from my parents house a few weeks back - "Do's and Don'ts: A Compendium of Hints and Information," published in the late 1970's or early 80's in Zimbabwe {there is no publication information noted but Zimbabwe is still referred to Rhodesia and this was received as a gift in the early 80's.}

One of my favorite do's: "To get the mark out when letting down a hem, rub over the crease with a piece of stale bread."


Does that really work? I'm going to have to try.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This is another one of my absolute favorite images I grabbed from the web some time ago and whose artist and source is now entirely unknown to me and it now lives in the ether of my "Images I like' folder. I like how Colleen Baran {from whom I ordered this lovely ring} labeled her similar 'I will remember who has made this and needn't make a mark of it' way of saving images in a recent comment.
Does anyone know the image?

{update: thanks to Casey, the image mystery has been solved - the artist's name is Julie Meredith and you can find her work here.}

Friday, October 12, 2007

These polaroids I took years ago match these little cups I bought yesterday. I don't really need the cups - but I could not pass them up. Imagine this dessert inside them ... the colors will be so great together!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not only did I receive these amazing Cydwoq shoes in the mail today as gift (from the Sundance Catalog), but they came packed with this equally amazing recycled cardboard concertina-like packing material. I don't know... maybe everyone is using this stuff, but it's the first time I've seen it and it's beautiful. When stretched out it looks like insect wings.

But getting back to the shoes ... these handmade beauties are crafted a stone's throw from where I live, which makes me want to go there and peek in their windows so that I can learn how to make shoes this beautiful. I have a feeling that even though summer in Los Angeles is drawing to a close, I'm going to be living in these sandals for a while. I've now got my eyes on their RIDE boot, in the women's vintage section. But I think I have to wait until I win the lottery first.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ten years ago I went to see Gerrit Rietveld's Schröderhuis in Utrecht. I was an architectural student at the time studying in France and took a trip up to the Netherlands in the middle of winter to see this little house. I almost froze to death, but it was worth it.

I think the most iconic images of the house are always of the exterior, but it is the interior that I remember blowing me away. The efficiency of space was inspiring.

Years later, and still mildly obsessed with the house, I purchased {of all things} a stack of trading cards of his chairs. I have absolutely no recollection of buying them, but nevertheless I have them and here are some my favorites:

1st row: zigzag chair 1934; Hogestoel 1919; Danish Chair circa 1946-50
2nd row: Beugelfauteuil 1927; Metz side chair 1928; Red/Blue Chair [but all in white] 1918

I love chairs.
And I love small houses.

The end.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thank you to all who have been commenting lately on this blog - it's great to get such wonderful and encouraging comments! {above: my thank you cards at Etsy}

Another thank you: need to say how *wonderful* my new laptop wallet is from working class heroes... such a simple, clean and well crafted piece. I also love the old family photos on their website... all around I love their aesthetics!

In other news, I went to see Fionn Regan play last night and it was incredible. You can listen to his music here and here. I think he has a really lovely voice ... not to be missed, at least in my opinion :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm working on a 2008 calendar... and finally have a prototype. Just a few more tweaks and it'll be ready to go and on Etsy soon. Obviously, I'm still haunted by concentric circles.

Friday, October 5, 2007

When I saw this maison d'hôte in marie claire maison in February 2006, my heart skipped a beat. Even now, a year and half later, looking at those shelves makes me weak in the knees.

Fokus Fabrik from Finland {how's that for some good friday alliteration!} contacted me today about their new autumn additions... take at look at their great new fabric and designs... I also love their 'in action' link... these ladies look like they're a lot of fun and very creative!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

yesterday we ate outside at twilight with the little lights on

today i tried to make a mobile... this is it so far {inspired by Le Petit Atelier de Paris and Kevin Inkawhich at Silho)

tomorrow, who knows...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My little squid twins Marieke and Frederika were on the front page of Etsy today on a treasury curated by Pam Glew! These little squids were very hard for me to post in the store and I almost kept them for myself {well... I actually feel that way about all mes petites bêtes sauvages, but what can you do?} It feels like the first day of school for my kids or something! Thanks Pam!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Currently inspired by Le Petit Atelier de Paris and their Animobile.
I've wanted to make mobiles (and practically anything and everything else) for a while now... via eddy & edwina