Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Fun

This week I happened to come across not one but TWO rainbow cake recipes! What are the chances? Aren't they both just awesome? And both have detailed instructions. The first comes from the gorgeously delicious-looking Whisk Kid blog. I can't visit this blog without getting a contact sugar high - the desserts are that beautiful. This lemony tower-of-power is a buttercream-filled layered concoction that would leave Willie Wonka speechless.

The second cake comes to us from the very fun and very new blog 2nd Floor Living - it's a little lighter on the frosting, a bit more psychedelic, and is a more literal interpretation of the rainbow idea. It's created by layering different colors of cake batter in the same pan. How cool!

My favorite thing about these cakes is their quite normal appearance on the outside following by a pow! bam! bang! surprise on the inside. Is it a coincidence that I'm posting these a few days before my birthday? Or is it my secret birthday wish to be presented with a cake as cool as these??? You decide...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eco-consciously Cool

I've been a big fan of Loop ever since I met owner/designer Elissa Brown Barbieri at this year's Stationery Show and fell in love with her mesmerizingly intricate, bio-science-y designs adorning recycled notecards, wrapping papers and notebooks. The ultra-eco-friendly vibe of the product line is reflected in the designs themselves; some of the patterns remind me of cellular walls - something you might have seen under the microscope in your high school biology class - turned into refined abstractions.

I recently purchased some of her doodlespark notecards (a colorful collaboration between Elissa and her mom) and was reminded of how excellent her products are. I just found out Elissa has expanded her line to include organic cotton textiles (below) featuring her beautiful, intricate patternwork. So exciting! These would make amazing pillow covers, dresses, etc.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nushka Dolls

Check out these excellent nested wooden dolls and their super-cute website home, created by Melissa Gardner of Brisbane, Australia. I'm drawn to the colors in the Lena version, shown here, but you can choose from several different "personalities" of her hand-painted lovelies, or she will even do custom versions.

I'm also loving the friendly, bubbly vibe of Melissa's site; a fun place to visit on this rainy, dreary NYC morning!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Week's Lunch Item

Veggie wraps! Very tasty and healthy, so I don't feel guilty when I have an afternoon treat.

I used zucchini, tomato, mushrooms, kidney beans and spinach, but you could basically substitute with whatever you like or have around. Saute the zucchini and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil for about 4 minutes, toss in a little salt and pepper and garlic if you like, then add some shopped fresh tomato and let that hang out for a few until the tomato starts to break down. Then add your beans and let them heat through, followed by a good handful of spinach. Take it off the heat once the spinach starts to wilt.

Take your whole wheat tortilla, and add a generous sprinkle of cheddar to the middle. Top with some of your veggie mix (don't worry if there's too much to fit - it's just as tasty leftover so you can make another wrap for the next day's lunch) and wrap it up!

Bon appetit!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Organic. Sustainable. Beautiful.

Mika Organic is a unique, handcrafted line of dresses, tops, and other pieces created from sumptuous organic wools, hemps, and linens. Mika Machida, who hand-silkscreens the often-animal-inspired designs and crafts each garment individually, created her line with care for the environment and its creatures at its core. It's easy to see why these sheep are so drawn to her!

Mika and her super-talented photographer husband Jason Wyche just returned from a trip to Africa, where she got to see some of her animal inspirations up close and in person. The Mika Organic line can be found here in New York, at Ekovaruhuset/House of Organic, as well as locations in California, Europe, and Japan.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rolling it out...

Whew! Just finished packing up my shipment to White Elephant, the cutest darn boutique in Hamilton, Ontario. The store is a very cool mix of vintage and handmade items; I pretty much want to buy everything in the store and move it all into our apartment. I couldn't be more thrilled to have my stuff in their well-curated selection, especially since some of the pieces are by other artists I admire and have purchased before in shops here in Brooklyn, like dutch door press and Modern Radar (in image below).

I'm sending them a bunch of organic cotton tote bags, and a variety of notecards, including some letterpress, some gocco prints, and some based on my collages (see image below). So, if you happen to be in the area, check it out!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Paper Goods

GOOD magazine is known for its philanthropy and its top-notch design work (among other things)... so when I received my current issue, celebrating the first-ever "GOOD 100" top ideas and innovators, I expected nothing less. And of course I was not disappointed. I absolutely love these paper sculptures from the current issue! Totally fun.

If you don't subscribe to GOOD, you should! All subscription fees go to your choice of charities, so basically you're contributing to positive change in the world, and getting a great magazine for free. Can you beat that?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Animal Time Indeed

Love this postcard set by Junzo Terada, a Japanese artist, designer, and illustrator who worked as a graphic designer for many years before starting his own studio Comes Graphic, and retail store of the same name, in Osaka.

The geometry of his illustrations reminds me of Charley Harper, but combined with a cheeky, irreverent tone and some really interesting textures, appealling to my collage-loving sensibility. I have a series of animal illustrations only at the sketch stage that I've been longing to develop; this piece is great inspiration!

I picked this up at the new-ish Fred Flare store in Greenpoint (below). Be sure to visit the store if you're in the area, lots of fun and funky gifts and fashion-y items.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's Be Frank

Josef Frank, Swedish textile and furniture designer, partnered with Svenskt Tenn founder Estrid Ericson throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, basically defining the modern, colorful Swedish design as we know it today.

Frank believed the home should be a refuge from the hectic city life, and was inspired by all things botanical. As a plant-deprived city dweller, this philosophy rings true with me. His laid-back, humanist approach to interior design is summed up in the quote below:

"There’s nothing wrong with mixing old and new, with combining different furniture styles, colours and patterns... A home does not need to be planned down to the smallest detail or contrived; it should be an amalgamation of the things that its owner loves and feels at home with."

Well said!

Continuing with the Frank tradition, Svenstk Tenn also produces this great textile pattern, below, by Therese Öberg.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Om Tees Are Ready!

My yoga tees are finally ready! I'm so psyched with how they came out, the subtle sheen of the gold ink looking fab on super-duper soft light blue cotton. The style is very flattering and comfy, great for yoga class but stylish enough for post-yoga brunch, shopping, or just hanging out.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I was lucky enough to have my dear friend Fernanda model them. An avid runner and yogi, she was kind enough to lend her gorgeous self for an afternoon of shooting. We had a blast, and the shots came out fantastic. Thanks, Fernanda!!!

You can find the shirt here, in my etsy shop.

Friday, October 9, 2009


It's a good thing I don't live in San Francisco, because I would probably be about 30 pounds heavier and have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Particularly if I lived in the Mission District, near Dolores Park, home to the makers of best ice cream EVER, Bi-Rite Creamery and Bakeshop. They use local, sustainable and/or organic ingredients and have some hugely creative flavors like Salted Caramel (so yum), Ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodles), Balsamic Strawberry, Creme Fraiche and my personal favorite, Brown Sugar with Ginger Caramel Swirl. It is truly amazing stuff and will forever change your ice cream expectations.

Their cups and spoons are biodegradeable, and they used strictly metal spoons for tasting (because you WILL want to taste a few flavors, at least) to reduce waste. But have they thought about the carbon footprint of desperate New Yorkers flying in to pick up a pint of Roasted Banana (created by roasting organic bananas with brown sugar until tender and caramelized) or Honey Lavender? Have they?!? Clearly this can only be solved by the opening of a New York sister store. Hey, a girl can dream.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Otherworldy Inspiration

From our visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium this weekend, some interesting almost abstract-painting-esque photos of colorful marine life. The jellies will never cease to be amazing to me. We also saw otters, sharks, seahorses, pipefish and the unbelievably weird leafy sea dragons. The never-still pipefish and seahorses were much harder to get a good shot of!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oh you pretty things

Love these small-yet-decadent clutches and bracelet from anthropologie.