london design festival

Some of the thousands of designs that were on display from South Kensington to Shoreditch.

tidying up


yesterday was mother’s day. in lieu of a gift my mom asked us to help her clean the garage.  no small task considering the amount of stuff stored there.  let’s just say she could open her own etsy…. not just a store on etsy, but an entire website where she is all the dealers.

ALL OF THEM… joke.

lucky for her my brother & i love organizing, so we went for it…full force.  as i was happily compiling like items in jars (OCD party timez!!!) i was reminded of a quote by brian eno in regards to the creative process: 

"i often think that i don’t have a single new idea in my head. but the big mistake is to just wait for inspiration to happen.  it won’t come looking for you.  you have to start doing something: you have to build a trap.

i like to do that by starting the very mundane process of tidying my studio.  it may seem like it has nothing to do with the creative job in hand but i think tidying up is a form of daydreaming, and what you’re doing is tidying your mind.  it’s a kind of mental preparation.  it’s a way of getting your mind in place to notice something.”

it’s not a new philosophy, of course, but it is one that i am fully behind.

clean house, clean mind.

happy mother’s day!!


fade into you

strange that i should find inspiration to write in an image that illustrates why i haven’t written lately.  

i almost never seek out a source for inspiration. more often than not it sort of presents itself.  when you least expect it, where you least expect, a light will flicker and there you have it.  the spark that momentarily illuminates a hidden treasure.  and then sometimes it seems like ages since the flicker has paid you a visit.  and then it actually has been ages.

desperate times call for desperate measures…

earlier this year i visited the new york gift show in search of inspiration, and found it!  lately though, inspiration has been lacking. so last month i attended the show once again in hopes of rekindling the flame. no such luck.  in fact, i felt a little desperate, trolling the aisles, scanning the goods. it was a sad grey mix of restoration hardware inspired wares.   the mustachioed craftsmen seemed just as insincere as the wingback chairs upholstered in soulless reproduction grain sacks. imitation irony is now available in 7 color ways & a variety of sizes to fit your lifestyle.  needless to say, a love connection was not made. it was truly a let down.

searching, waiting, remaining hopeful, yet receiving nothing.

feeling a bit lost.

it’s as though i have somehow become unrecognizable to the flicker of light.  


its not very often that i am inspired by time spent in an airport.

more likely thoughts turn to the uninspired, such as the number of folks who consider pajamas to be appropriate travel wear, or why so many feel compelled to drag their own bed pillow into the germ ridden confines of a 747.  why?

the remodeled terminal 2 at SFO has given me hope that i might never again find myself scowling in the general direction of some blown out flannel drawstring pants paired with an ugg fleece lined slipper.

there are many happy distractions in the new terminal. from the janet echelman net sculptures to the yoga room (although i just had a horrifying thought that the yoga room might be filled with the aforementioned sleep walkers, curled up on mats with their filthy pillows. farting & snoring away in blissful ignorance).  i was most taken with the exhibit of mid-century pottery, Modern Form: Scandinavian Ceramics 1930s–1960s .

the pieces shown are quietly iconic, shapes and glazes that might not be individually recognizable have collectively influenced generations of ceramicists.   and although their styles range from delicate to the hyper organic & almost brutalist, their impact on modern design is undeniable.

berndt friberg

stig lindberg

eva staehr-nielsen

wilhelm kage

axel salto

ch, ch, ch, chi-town

through work i have had the opportunity to do quite a bit of traveling within the states.  usually for a week at a time, sometimes more, but enough time to explore & get to know the place.  never has my experience been so overwhelmingly rad than my recent stint in chicago!!  seriously!!  perhaps it’s because i somehow had it in my mind that chicagoans are a brisk, abrasive lot that i was so surprised by their genuine friendliness…. 

and skills! my first stop was post 27, a dream shop & would definitely be a weekly haunt if i was a local.  rarely do i love EVERY single thing in a store- but it was like she was part of a gang of aliens who must have scanned my brain at some point- weirdly in love with everything on the floor.  other shops along our route might not have had aliens on their side but still rocked it with a thoughtful & surprising product mix.

did i mention that there was a definite lack of attitude? the shopkeepers went above & beyond to accommodate, my co-workers were kind and hardworking and overall kick ass.  in fact the ONLY attitude i experienced was served up (shockingly) at whole foods.  seemed this rosie perez wanna be didn’t take kindly to indecision over paper vs plastic. (calm down, i did bring a canvas bag, but it was too small for everything, hence the dilemma)

my only regret is not getting to sample more of the local fare.  luckily the one non-room service meal at rootstock was everything i love in a restaurant: small, local, smart waitstaff, reasonably priced food from the heart.

right on chicago!! (thoughtfully curated modern) (website=snooze/in person=good times) (if anthropologie ditched the lace applique & focused on home)

framed by friendship

if you have ever built or renovated a house, chances are your architect did not make this promise.

it’s a quote by the late architect daniel evan white.  and from what i have read, this was the case with most of his clients.  armed with that piece of information i think you will enjoy the photographs of his residential buildings that much more.

written in the stars

who doesn’t love a good horoscope?

i had never been one to seek them out, but if one happened to cross my path, of course i coudn’t resist.  several years ago my friend claire turned me on to rob brezsny’s free will astrology.  rob has a clever way of delivering his message through esoteric analogies and historic anecdotes.  i instantly became a fan.

this week’s message hit home as i struggled to find the inspiration to update this blog…

Shunryu Suzuki was a Zen master whose books helped popularize Zen Buddhism in America. A student once asked him, “How much ego do you need?” His austere reply was “Just enough so that you don’t step in front of a bus.” While I sympathize with the value of humility, I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think that a slightly heftier ego, if offered up as a work of art, can be a gift to the world. What do you think, Pisces? How much ego is good? To what degree can you create your ego so that it’s a beautiful and dynamic source of power for you and an inspiration for other people rather than a greedy, needy parasite that distorts the truth? This is an excellent time to ruminate on such matters.

blogging is such an obvious extension of the ego.  i started this thing to share design that inspires me, but its SO easy to slip in to full-on RANT mode, or it’s evil twin the self-absorbed design fascist.    so, how do i create this blog so that it’s a beautiful & dynamic source of power and inspiration, rather than a greedy needy parasite that distorts the truth? 

it’s easy!!  all of you must nod in agreement to everything i say.

i am not distorting the truth when i state that there is a definite shortage of good design in the horoscope department.  here, in an effort to be a source of inspiration, are the five i like & one i love (above).

lost unicorn, no reward

today is saturday.  a beautiful crisp & sunny saturday. 

what am i doing?

i am glued to my laptop OBSESSED with finding the source of this photograph.

i found it here.  but there is no credit attached to this image, only a trail of nearly  17,000 notes about who liked it and who reblogged it.  i have been clicking through these notes for an hour and twenty five minutes so far and it just keeps going and going…..

and then, just when i thought i found the source…..i’m right back where i first saw it posted.

where are we headed with art?   

it doesn’t seem to matter that the genius who created the image remains anonymous.  props are given only to last one to post it.

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