Etienne Leopold Trouvelot

Tuesday 07.19.11

Back in the mid to late 19th century, French ex-pat astronomical artist, Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, created these pastel drawings from his observations of planets and galactic occurrences. Years ago there was a fantastic exhibition showcasing his work at the Science, Business and Industry branch of the NY Public Library. Sadly, Trouvelot is known less for his artistic abilities and more for his earlier endeavors in entomology…gone very very wrong. We actually have him to thank for the scourge of Gypsy Moths in this country.

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Lost Kitten…

Monday 07.18.11

There are various telephone poles around this little river town, and they all wear the history of their secondary usage with pride: Lost Kitten, Backhoe for Sale, Firewood, Church Supper, Brush Hogging…

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Butter!

Friday 07.15.11

It’s state fair season. And so it’s also the time of year when 4H clubs compete with the giant squash, and Aunt Bertie’s cherry pie and, best of all, the butter sculpture. You heard right. Up until today I had never thought about such things, but as I was going through a stack of old NYT, my eye caught a headline in the June 28th obits: Norma Lyon, Sculptured Butter at Fairs. Well gosh be darned. There she is, astride a life-size butter bull!!! She was known simply as The Butter Cow Lady. She looks pretty happy in all these photos. Just goes to show you… RIP Norma.

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Back of the Book

Thursday 07.14.11

The first image is from a mathematics book. It’s a page in the back of the book which reveals answers to the arithmetic problems from the front of the book. The second image is of a page, one of several from the back of another book, advertising volumes in different price ranges. This one being 75 cents. What I want to know is, why were Nelly’s days so dark?

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Endpapers

Thursday 07.14.11

A few lovely old books.

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Brainstorm

Wednesday 07.13.11

Need help getting out of a design rut? Trying to think of some copy for that new design of yours? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This little crib sheet works wonders when it comes to re-routing your thinking. This used to be on my wall in my old studio. When we moved, I packed it up along with all manner of other odds and ends (that will gradually make their appearance) and haven’t seen it since. I’m not sure where it came from, but here it is.

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Upla

Tuesday 07.12.11

I rarely talk about fashion. Mostly because I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding the throwaway nature of a majority of the industry. This isn’t to say that I don’t like clothing or shoes, or whatever. I do. But I don’t necessarily want to be a party to their bad habits. Enter Upla, a French bag company which has been in the business since 1973. They are most famous for their “fisherman’s pouch” (besace du pĂȘcheur, en francais), a classic messenger-style satchel. The design has remained virtually the same since its introduction. It comes in a variety of fabrics and leathers, and I guarantee that it will be one of the last bags you ever buy. This is a concept I can totally get behind. Fair warning — these aren’t cheap. In fact, they are quite pricey. Especially the leather ones. But, if you decide to spring for one, I swear it will last…forever. I have one bag that goes back to 1985, and it is still in mint condition. The only drawback is that the bags are nearly impossible to find here in the US. Although a search online yields a few used ebay options, your best bet is to pony up for the shipping, and just order from the French site.

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