Not too long ago, my friend Theresa, a graphic designer, took a class in the art of the pointed pen style of calligraphy. Copperplate, to be specific. While I am impressed by proficiency and dexterity (both of which she possesses in the extreme), I am always more captivated by the process. The practice pages she showed to me one night over dinner won my heart. She very generously lent them to me. I hate to have cropped them, but the format here on Mrs. Easton isn’t well-suited to the landscape image.
At a loss for words? Want to be fluent in Italian? Just pick up this gem of a book, practice the gestures, and before you know it you’ll be freely communicating the entire length of the boot. Speak Italian was first published in 1958 by artist, photographer, sculptor and all around genius, Bruno Munari. The photographs capture something from a time long since past. But the gestures themselves are still as current as can be. The book (a bilingual edition) was reissued a number of years ago by Chronicle Books, something for which I am very grateful.
As a kid, my fantasy was to live in an RV. I was fascinated with the idea that everything had a dedicated spot and that there was essentially no space for anything extra. Dining tables converted to beds in the evening, and there were built-ins galore. Like a lot of people, my dream house has since morphed into a series of small sheds: One for sleeping, one for cooking and eating and relaxing and definitely one for working. If need be, I could easily combine both of the “non-studio” structures into a single unit. When I came across the Just Sheds site I found myself plotting some teeny future compound.
This is a video re-post from when I first started this blog. I don’t know about you, but I am proud to say that I have “almost” completely eliminated the use of plastic grocery bags. However, when you are faced with one, here is my friend Keiko’s very special technique for folding said item into neat little package for handy future use.
I posted something awhile back about Cat’s Cradle, and since then, I have been thinking about all of the other childhood games that used to preoccupy me for hours. Jacks was one of those. Tossing a single grape up in the air and catching it in my mouth was another. I once caught 63 grapes in succession…in a single sitting. My proudest moment. Anyway, in the process of looking for a video of someone playing jacks, I came across this one showing off how to play Korean jacks, or Gongi. I love the motion and the sound of the jacks being tossed up in the air and then swept off the floor.
A number of years ago we decided we really needed a classic picnic table. I found none that met the standards of durability and craftsmanship that I was after, and I didn’t want to buy something, only to have it fall apart after a year or two, or even three. So we decided we would just build one ourselves. Fine. No big deal. However, given that I like design details and silly things like measurements and angles to be worked out ahead of time (makes the execution so much more enjoyable — this truth can be applied to almost any design project), I felt it necessary to make up a plan to work from. And since I often enjoy the process of design more than the finished product itself, I decided the best approach would be to make an accurate scale model, and then drawings. Can’t find the drawings, but here is the model. The table itself, after 10 or so years, is still remarkably sturdy. So proud.