my new 'hood

At least for 8 weeks while I find something more permanent.

Right smack dab in the middle of The Haight. A few easy blocks from Golden Gate Park, too many cool stores (at least on my just-having-moved-budget which will be zilch) and a "bohemian ambience". I'm looking forward to living here during the build-up to the November election.


Dexter : Season Premiere

So the season started tonight. How can you not love a show about a serial killer with such an amazing title sequence? It's brilliantly edited / directed art. Makes you crave a hearty breakfast with a side of ... blood !

Did you see it? You can catch it every Sunday night on ShowTime 9PM EST.


finished "scarf"

I had intended to make a real scarf but when I realized that I had made it too wide to be successful with the amount of yarn I had, I decided to instead make a cowl thing. This can also be worn a little tighter around the neck and tucked into your winter coat so your neck stays cozy. A neck warmer.

Moving Sale

I don't even know if anyone aside from my mother reads this ... but in case there is anyone else, I'm selling off a whole lotta stuff! Please view my Flickr album here for details on what's available. There is still more to come but I may as well get started!

The "big" pieces I'm selling include my 1930's antique dresser from an estate sale and a beautiful drafting table.

new hobby : knitting

I haven't knitted in forever. But all of my browsing on Etsy inspired me to pick it up again. And when I went out to the Fabric Place earlier this week, it was the perfect opportunity to pick up some needles and yarn.

So I'm working on something for my friend Lori. Shhhhhhh.

Isn't the color purple-licious?


did you know?

That there are buffalo in Golden Gate Park?

I just learned this today. One thing to add to my "to see" list when I get to San Francisco.
Yes! I'm moving to San Francisco!


Fabric Place sell out

If you live in the Boston area and like fabric, crafts, etc., then you best do yourself a favor and head out to Framingham ASAP! The Fabric Place, right near the Framingham commuter rail station (and another location at the Woburn Mall) is selling off all of it's inventory—including store fixtures—because they are going out of business. Everything is currently 25-50% off and prices will just continue to drop. But don't wait too long or all of the good stuff will be gone.

If you like Amy Butler fabric, there are bolts and bolts of it available at unheard of discounts. I think they mostly had designs from the Nigella and August Fields collections. I considered buying some up and reselling online, but I know it would just end up sitting around unused.

Additionally, there are tons of window treatments, sewing, quilting and knitting supplies, upholstery fabrics, etc. so now you have plans this weekend!


Etsy talent : Ash Hilton

Too many things to blog about! But that's a good thing ~ means a lot of talented people. Of course it also means a lot of beautiful things I want to buy! At least everything I'm showing you here is hand made, by independent artists—as opposed to mass produced in China.

So anyway, back to that talent. I found myself browsing around on Etsy again (I went back to purchase that chain scarf from Yokoo) and came across the work of Ash Hilton.

What caught my eye was this ring—which, it turns out, is actually 3 separate rings, stacked. LOVE! Adorable, simple little fruit shapes in a brushed metal look. Very cute.

What I also like about Ash Hilton and his work is there is a lot of care taken to be very environmentally and socially responsible. He tries to be as efficient and low-impact as possible which means not only recycling scraps of old jewelry but also taking the time and effort to research the origin of his metals and sourcing from the most responsible and local sources.

Visit his Etsy profile or personal site for more info about a "closed loop" or "ethical metal" that he fabricates himself.

And if you don't know anything about "conflict diamonds" or other issues with mining, the movie Blood Diamond (with Leonardo DiCaprio + Jennifer Connolly and also nominated for 5 Oscars) is an entertaining way to start skooling yourself! But don't let the education stop there.

Boston Jazz Fest

It's that time of year again! This weekend is the Boston Jazz Festival. It's FREE and always a good time. Head out to the South End on the 27th to catch a street full of live performances and some good food.

Bring your camera and be prepared to catch some good shots. My favorite group from last year, BLOCO AfroBrazil will be bringing the party to the streets at 1:30PM to get the crowd cheering and moving. Leave your inhibitions at home and get ready to shake what your momma gave you when this Brazilian-style drumming crew gets going!

BLOCO AfroBrazil drummer, 2007

Boston : South End Open Studios

Well, I'm sorry to say that I don't have any amazing art finds to report on from this past weekend. I missed the South End Open Studios due to a "test project" (San Fran related !) and a freelance gig that required me to spend the entire weekend hunched over a computer. Aside from burning out my eyes, I also drank too much coffee, ate too much café food, got too few hours of zzzzzz's and did too much nail biting (anxious). BUT if I had made it to the South End, I would have made it a point to check in on these peeps.

Susan Jane Belton documenting coffee consumption

Susan Mara Bregman Photography

Galvanized Headwear by Marie Galvin : I love her fanciful feathered, netted and felted creations. Her fall/winter collection features these scrunched felt headbands and hair pieces in beautiful shades for autumn. In fact, I splurged on one last weekend at the North End Arts Festival and can't wait to wear it. But I always love stopping by her booth even just to try things on for the fun of it. It's like a visit to a more contemporary version of a vintage photo booth!

Amy Ross Collage : I've featured her work here before, but haven't been to her studio in awhile. Sorry to have missed it again!


Boston talent : Amy Casher

This past weekend I made my way down the the North End Ähts Festival. As usual there was a good showing of some local artists. I always enjoy browsing through this type of event to see what people are doing and to inspire myself to start making things again, but I usually don't purchase. Not that I don't want to give my support—I do—but either nothing really catches my eye much or the price tag is too high for my budget (usually the latter). I'm a starving artist too!

But one of the first booths I encountered was that of Amy Casher. Her designs combine an urban rough & tough chic aesthetic with inspiration from the natural world. I fell in love with one of her rings—one much more on the "tough chic" side of things than some of her other work.

But that's what appealed to me about this particular ring—it was different. It wraps around the finger in a comfortable way but then it just whips out across the hand in an aggressive manner. But somehow it's soft at the same time. It's something about the organic curves and folds balanced by the metal and the sharpness of the edges. Anyway, I love it. And I've had a lot of comments on it. But mostly from my male coworkers telling me that it looks like I'm wielding a weapon (guys, I'm not a video game character). But at least I've sparked some curiosity. It's definitely a conversation piece. Especially since I've realized that I've been wearing it on my "engagement finger". It looks best there, what can I say?

Here are some more designs by Amy.


Etsy talent : Yokoo

I can't focus on my work. I should be brainstorming for a new client pitch but my head is elsewhere (San Fran!). So what better way to occupy my time than to browse on Etsy?!

Even though it's like 70degrees here today (enough already!), my mind is on Fall fashion. Today I pulled out my fall boots. I'm in denial. I want fall weather already! And then I found the knitted work of Yokoo and decided I NEED a chunky knitted chain. :: STAT ::

Yokoo's knitted work is really nice. Oversized cowls for you to hide in on those freezing, windy winter days when you can barely manage to crawl out from under the toasty comforts of your quilt.

But I think I like her style/styling and photography even more. It's brilliant artist-geek chic. Some of the proportions feel very avant-garde.

And what do you know? After clicking around a bit, I discovered that she actually does a lot of photography work as well.


Design dork alert!

Yes, me. I have some more dorky design things to share from my trip to the Brimfield Antique Show. First up are three mini antique interlocking alphabet blocks that spell out "ASK"—my monogram and what has become my "alias". If you like these, visit one of my favorite online shops, Three Potato Four where you might be able to snatch up something similar. Their inventory is always different and constantly changing, so if you like something, be impulsive and grab it!

surf blocks from Three Potato Four

Next are some numbers—617 : my area code—I purchased from a grumpy old man. He didn't want to make deals. Isn't that what you're supposed to do at antique markets? I think he went down $2! Anyway, I spent FOREVER deciding what numbers to pick out. Did I want to choose several different typefaces in a variety of sizes or go for something more united? Then I spotted these numbers in a font that's very close to Herb Lubalin's Avant Garde (difference being that this looks like a bold face but the bold "7" does not come together in a sharp point). But anyway, that was that, I was sold.

And what better way to display my antique numbers than an antique type drawer? Both my mother and my grandmother used to have one of these to display their little chotchkies and I've had them on my own radar for awhile. So I bought this from the grumpy old man as well. He told me that the back piece and the shape of the nail heads on the back tells its age. This one has a slab back—a thick piece of wood and square nail heads. It is the oldest type - I believe he said something like 1800's though I could be mistaken. But after that they used thinner pieces of wood (which is often very warped if you find them these days) and then something that looks like corkboard (yuck). Obviously this has been refinished. He told me, "I learned long ago that women like pretty things." He was right! I saw a few at other booths but they were all in really poor condition. So I went back to him.


BOS -> SFO ?

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but all I can think of is selling half of what I own and packing up/shipping/storing the rest. I spent today doing laundry and cleaning and I just kept looking at things thinking, "will I sell you or keep you?" Actually, I already took photos of a couple of pieces of furniture.

I have a running list in my head of things I am ready to sell and things I will not part with. I am not willing to part with the furniture that was my grandmother's—aside from the dining table which is just a mess. It's not even that the pieces were hers—I just love them—the style, etc., they fit my taste perfectly and are classic. I also will not part with my couch unless absolutely necessary. It was free but to purchase something similar would cost me a couple thousand. I might have to store them, at least at first, but it's worth it. Things I will sell include the dining table, living room chair, coffee table, TV stand, drafting table, bed, bookshelves, dresser. And then tons of "little" things and clothes/shoes/accessories.

I already have an idea of what my tag sale sign and moving announcement postcards will look like. I'm picturing this giant tag sale on our sidewalk. I can barely stand the anticipation!!

Clearly I'm not doing a very good job of not getting my hopes up.

San Francisco, San Francisco
City by the Bay yeah
You've got me

San Francisco, San Francisco
take me to the water
You've got me'got me got me, baby


The Bald Frog

If you blog, you have the option of having a "profile". That's what you see if you go over to my photo and click where it says "view complete profile". Anyway, one of the options to fill out in this "profile" section is a "random question". Blogger has all of these random, bizarre questions stored up and you can provide a quirky response if you feel so inspired.

Tonight I felt like responding to the one that popped up:
The children are waiting! Please tell them the story about the bald frog with the wig.

So I wrote my whole story. I go to save it and it says it can only be 400 words or less! So since I'd have to edit it down to something boring, I decided to just post it here!

Little Johnny had a collection of pet frogs. He usually kept them all in the bathtub, but on special occasions, he would bring his favorite frog out to watch nature shows on PBS with him. The little frog had spent his whole life admiring Johnny's lush head of hair. He thought, "when I grow up, I'll have hair like that". But he did grow up and he didn't have hair like that. He was bald! And worst of all, all of the other frogs told him he'd always be bald. He went into a deep depression and considered croaking his last croak. Then one day, Johnny brought home another creature who he called his "Princess". Soon, anywhere Johnny went, the Princess was there with him. And they all spent more and more time together watching nature shows. But one day, while Johnny was in the bathroom, the Princess said to the little frog, "I will kiss you and make you my Prince Charming but first, you must have hair!" So out she went to find Rumpelstiltskin and have him spin a golden wig from straw for the little frog. And so it came to be that our dear little frog wore a wig. Johnny thought this was all a bit strange. He asked the Princess, "why are you spending so much time and money on my frog?" And the Princess responded, "oh please Johnny, are you seriously threatened by that warty little thing?". And then the Princess kissed the frog. And the "warty little thing" turned into a beautiful Prince Charming, with a luscious head of golden locks. But as it happened, the Princess fainted from shock. When she awoke, neither Johnny nor her Prince Charming were anywhere to be found. They had both decided that she was too superficial for them and that they were both better off without her.

The End.

Other "bald frog" stories from the web:
Bald Frog and the Frog Princess
Bald Frog and the Tupac
Bald Frog and Hair
Silly Bald Frog


trash pics

I've been missing being able to post about green living, recycling and trash on the 30-day No Trash Challenge Blog so when a coworker of mine left this photo at my desk the other morning, I thought, YES! An excuse to talk about trash!

It's a photo by photographer Dwight Eschliman from a shoot for the Green Issue of the NY Times Magazine. I would estimate that the number of plastic bottles in this photo is the amount used/disposed of by the average American every month. I don't have the issue in front of me to see if they in fact give those details or not, but just based on how many are presented, I don't think that's too far off base. And while yes, they can be recycled, it's still a heavy amount of consumption and the best way to reduce the demand for plastics and other non-essential packaging materials is to stop consuming them and to find alternatives (i.e. reusable water bottle).

Before I knew that it was from a shoot for the NY Times Magazine, I thought, "look! pictures of trash (well, in this case, recyclables) are so "in"!" It immediately brought me back to a class I had with Dutch silk-screen artist Harmen Liemburg in design school where he encouraged us to pick up trash (something I'm already known for amongst my friends), collect it and then photograph the collection. And of course, I recalled the photos I took of some of the trash collected during my July participation in the 30 day no trash challenge:

Clearly, Dwight's photos are more impressive. But what I find interesting about his work and any photos of "one person's trash", is that it forces us to look at it in a new way. We're so accustomed to tossing things in the bin and having them magically disappear. The process of collecting, holding onto and documenting those things is something that I think is worth exploring not just from a creative standpoint but also from an environmentally responsible standpoint. Over on 365 Days of No Trash, Dave has been doing this for some 250+ days. Not necessarily photographing it, but otherwise documenting it carefully.

Actually, the idea of documenting one's trash makes me think of Kate Bingaman-Burt. She is an artist/designer/teacher who has been documenting her *consumption* for a couple of years through regular drawings. The idea and product—her lovely, simple marker drawings—has led to her own "brand". Ironic? Perhaps. Smart? Definitely.

So whether it's one's consumption or trash production (they go hand-in-hand by the way) that you look at, it can be a very visual and informing experience.

I'll finish this off with another of Dwight's photos from the same NY Times issue that I found interesting:

This could easily be one person's consumption in a WEEK. When you look at it like this, it really gets you thinking, no? What do I consume in a week?


you scream, i scream

we all scream for ice cream! Well, at least I did this past weekend at the Brimfield Antique Show where I found these fun 50s pop-art prints. They are actually rare (don't they all say that?), original press sheets from an early 50s print job. You can see the registration marks, notes and all. The chocolate ice cream is from a 2000-sheet run, using 5 colors (CMYK +one special mix? it doesn't specify), with 6-up—meaning that there are 6 "items" on one sheet - each dish will be cut out at the end to create a finished piece. The ice cream dishes are flipped around in order to use the paper in the most economical way.

The cones are huge. I'd estimate 2-2.5 feet in length. I think they were to be die cut and used as streamers. Can't you picture these hanging from the ceiling or outdoor patio of a little 50s diner or grille? With waitresses wearing poodle skirts and cat-eye glasses and jetting about on roller skates?

This is the type of stuff that inspired Andy Warhol and other artists of his time.
And now it will hang in my kitchen. That is, once it has been remodeled.


pretty packaging

I don't usually buy things from Duty Free but how can you not bring tequila back from Mexico? Especially when it looks as nice as this Partida bottle?

And the stuff inside was pretty good too :)