one saturday morsel: design conundrum

so my friend maia over at conundrum is a very talented graphic designer. i remember in grade school when she was the best artist in class (some things never change). anyway, she is having a little giveaway, where the winner will receive two sets of her brilliant, whimsical stationery. i love her asymmetrical, prism-like designs.

and there's more where that came from, so go visit her etsy shop, then go show her some love before midnight on 10/31, then await your winnings...! you won't be sorry.

happy saturday.


all hallow's etsy

i can't help myself... i had to do a little bitty etsy halloween post. INSTEAD of book covers. however, i made sure that all of these things are a) useful and b) unique and c) fantastic, even without the halloween tag...! and i promise the book cover lust will never die, and shall return next week. happy halloween.

  1. bat canvas
  2. cozy beardy hat-mask
  3. steampunk spider
  4. black cat bookends
  5. costume-on-a-stick: hat, mustache, monocle
  6. costume-on-a-stick: grey hair and horn-rims 


family ties

emma erickson is something of a fashion newcomer who recently graduated with a degree in fashion from the academy of art in san francisco, ca. newcomer though she may be, her résumé is already growing. she has interned with hervé léger and shown her designs in new york and omaha, ne. wowza!

her designs all have various degrees of cozy, modern, and feminine elements. i love how she uses layers in her work. layers seem to have become an important part of modern style (great news for us midwesterners), and they can add an origami-like structure to a look, as i think they do in emma's work. she also displays a lovely sensibility for color in her designs.

visit emma here—and watch for the opening of her online shop, hopefully coming soon...!



what a thrilling idea for a global art project. on october 10, 2010, ten photographers walked around their respective corners of the world and took ten pictures. as part of the statement on the website reads:
no special occasion, no big event, just the essence of daily life captured through ten lenses. the 1010 project was devised as an antidote to everything in modern life always having to be bigger, better, louder and brighter than what’s been before.
but i really fell in love with pia jane bijkerk's photography from the netherlands for this project. she sneaks up and captures the elegant abstraction of light in nature in her pictures, which are quiet and meditative.

grape leaves

wine labels are a lot like bookcovers—neither can tell you the quality of what's inside the book or bottle. and i'm always attracted to the coolest-looking ones. here are some wine labels that i've noticed lately. all of them have a sort of relief-print aspect to them, which appeals to the printmaker in me, and is probably why they catch my eye.

big house wine. i always enjoy a label that seems to tell a bit of a story.

wrongo dongo... a bottle whose label i love yet whose wine i will pass over....

and gnarly head, which is two for two. mmm.


not just gonzo art

let's talk about ralph steadman. the man makes some amazing, crazy, gritty artwork. i love the wildness of his prints. even his signature looks like a madman just barely managed to scratch it out before getting captured by the asylum. this is all part of what makes his art so great. it always looks like steadman sat down after a rave, eyes blazing, hands shaking, in front of the canvas. it's a quality i love—he doesn't hold anything back, or so it seems.

most people will recognize steadman's invention of gonzo art.

i love this stuff. but i was perusing his other artwork and i found some amazing things! namely, author portraits. these are in a different style from gonzo, which i appreciate. every artist deserves the space to change the way his brushes (or engraving tools) move across the paper.

 anaïs nin


 franz kafka

 oscar wilde

 virginia woolf


he occasionally writes little biographical stories about the person he's depicted, and they are also great. definitely go read them. especially the one about anaïs nin. 

oh, and have a great monday.


one saturday morsel

just a small thing i found via a cup of jo. i think this must be one of the coolest discoveries a person could make. it's a paris apartment that lay untouched for 70 years—incredible. and so beautiful, too.

photo by GETTY

sometimes i feel as though i might make amazing discoveries at work, digging through the piles of ephemera behind the counter, blowing dust off of old newspapers, shuffling through gift ribbon and christmas toys and art books....


friday book cover lust

maybe fridays will be my book cover post days. i love books, i love book covers. even if the book is terrible, i can't help but love an eye-catching book cover. i won't necessarily buy a book because of its cover, but i will quietly covet it.
in that vein, here are a few more of the penguin classic hardcovers. i love these designs because they are simple and elegant. admittedly, the covers are a bit of a gimmick—people like me will be tempted to buy all these books just to beautify their library shelves. no matter how much you love to read, if you've any artistic inclination for book design, you'll consider buying the cover art, regardless of what's inside. in this case, those of us who lust after art and literature equally are in luck.

  1. woman in white, by wilkie collins
  2. oliver twist, by charles dickens
  3. the sonnets & a lover's complaint, by william shakespeare
  4. the hound of the baskervilles, by arthur conan doyle
  5. inferno, by dante alighieri
  6. a christmas carol & other christmas writings
you can also go here for 20% off all of these titles, if you like. just a little secret from me to you.

happy weekend!


sweet [he]art

i recently watched sofia coppola's marie antoinette and fell in love with the sensuous, opulent, ridiculously luxurious styling of the set and the costumes. did you know they actually got to use the real versailles grounds and structures for that film?! so amazing. after i took in all the satin and silk and lace and damask and cakes and whipped cream and jewels and champagne, all i wanted was more. (how appropriate. i'm a girl after m. antoinette's own heart.) hence this post.

i've also included some of k.y. craft's gauzy, intricate artwork. she illustrated one of my favorite fairytales of all time, the twelve dancing princesses. in her work, i see some of the same spill of riches in which coppola's film is saturated.


etsy vintage #2

there's so much out there! i've already explained my affection for vintage, recycled, and repurposed things. it just warms up a place. this is a jumble of things that i thought were lovely and would brighten up anyone's place. i love the idea of using only vintage pieces, but mixing antique with modern is also such a cool look. (it's impossible not to have these thoughts while looking around on etsy vintage.)

  1. vintage ge radio clock with alarm
  2. red shelf with drawers
  3. i always wanted old-fashioned canvas & leather suitcases like these
  4. happy brass cat couple
  5. rocking horse
  6. flower book plate prints: ladyslipper and gentian


i ran into robert longo's work while i was studying photography in college, actually. he used to hang out with cindy sherman, whose photos are fairly iconic and certainly world famous, but longo is also an artist in his own right. i love his suit dancers... businesslike people letting loose, shaking out their hair and dancing!

in retrospect, this might have been a more appropriate post for friday....

oh i love it—the freedom that these images display! they remind me of what i think about when i look around at fellow train passengers—everyone neatly packaged in their suits + coats, clutching their trim briefcases, checking their shoes for scuffmarks. withdrawn into their morning haze. how i'd love to see just one person stand up and shake out their folded-up limbs, loosen up their hunched shoulders, and break it down... all in their office garb! 



chris ware

first, i need to get something off my chest: i love graphic novels. i don't mean manga... that's something i've never quite cottoned to. i mean r. crumb, marjane satrapi, alison bechdel, charles burns, matt kindt. i love the idea of telling stories with pictures, maybe partly because it seems a more expressive way to tell them. i also just love the variety and completely original style that graphic novelists display in their work. they have to set themselves apart and they work hard to do so.

chris ware is a graphic novelist/artist who has made several novels and done covers for the new yorker and granta and fortune (although the cover he made for fortune was not published). he is also a chicago-area artist, which makes him even more rad. his art is precise, painstaking, meticulous. you take one look at the infinitesimal size of some of the things he draws and writes and understand immediately that he is fastidious in what he does. that is the exact attraction of his artwork.


nebraska vs. paris

the women wear their dark hair pulled back. they wear fur coats or fur collars on dark wool coats. their lips are smooth and red. they have never gone to sleep and dreamed that they were in nebraska. —ann patchett, the magician's assistant
think about this. i am reading the magician's assistant right now and for some reason this line struck me more than any other so far, and i'm further than halfway through. these women are parisian, cozy in their metropolitan corner. what would it be like not to dream of paris? it just made me think of what it would be like not to imagine or know of certain places.


vintage etsy

i love the idea of furnishing a place with only vintage/antique/secondhand items because it means that you aren't buying anything really new. and these days, for me, reusing and repurposing are two ways of maintaining a fairly light footprint—but also, secondhand wares often have more character and humility (can a thing have humility?) than their contemporary, firsthand relatives. so every once in a while i like to take a look around etsy's vintage shop. today i am thinking about plates and platters, because i don't have any platters and only a few (albeit vintage!) plates. someday i'm going to have to better stock my cabinets.

  1. vintage victoria pottery : plate or tray : here
  2. rosy english tin tray : here
  3. i love roosters : large platter : here
  4. set of six : cup saucer bowl : melamine : here
  5. anna wood white fish platter : here
  6. retro acid green platter : ceramic: here


time for some b&w photography.

imogen cunningham made photographs that are simple, sensual, elegant... and tinted with sexual undertones. georgia o'keeffe might have been her artistic soulmate—their work is comparable in many ways. i love imogen's photographs most of all because of their striking simplicity. the lines are clean but inlaid with layers of patterns. so entirely satisfying.

as organic and rich as ivory.
happy thursday.