Category: unintentional beauty

Psychedelic Leaves

Wednesday 07.23.14

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I would attribute my weakness for pink and green to those formative years spent in ultra-preppy New England. These brilliant leaves are being shed by a maple tree that is, tragically, on its way out. Regardless, I can’t stop picking them up off the ground.

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A Bookbinder’s Tool

Tuesday 07.15.14

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I recently took a short but inspiring bookbinding class in upstate NY. It was hosted and organized by J. Morgan Puett, of Mildred’s Lane and The Mildred Complex(ity), and it was taught by one Leon Johnson. He, along with his wife Megan O’Connell, and son Leander, are the founders of Salt & Cedar, a letterpress studio located in the Eastern Market district of Detroit. They produce custom design work and printed matter – an extremely prosaic way of saying that they are extraordinary designers and  thinkers. They also appear to have created a modern day salon of sorts, encompassing performance, food, film and more. This scarified hunk of beeswax is one of Leon’s tools. Bookbinding uses waxed thread as a means to hold together the sets of pages, which are called signatures. You can buy prewaxed thread, but most serious bookbinders prefer to wax their own. I was told that this piece, which, at the time I saw it only measured about 3.5″ x 2″ x 3″, began as quite a large block. Figure one or two pounds. It wasn’t just the beeswax that caught my attention. It was also the way Mr. Johnson used it to wax the thread. When someone is so accomplished at their craft/artform, they do things with complete ease and confidence, and a kind of artful rhythm. A ritual motion that is part of them, unlike the halting actions performed by relative neophytes.

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Malolactic Chromatography

Friday 07.11.14

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Chromatography is a broad range of testing methods which helps separate or analyze complicated mixtures. Malolactic Chromatography is a specific test used in winemaking which aids in determining the presence of malic acid and lactic acid, and hence gauge the stage of fermentation for a particular wine. It is both complex and simple. If you wish to know more, there is a wealth of information available on the Interwebs. Thanks Jennifer and Andrew of Eminence Road Farm Winery for drawing my attention to the accidental beauty of this test.

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Curves Ahead

Thursday 07.03.14

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Garlic scapes are crazy and curvy, not to mention tasty. If you aren’t sure what they are, let me explain: scapes are the young flower stalks that emerge on hardneck garlic in early to mid summer. They get snipped off so the plant can direct more of its energy towards the bulb still in the ground. They are a fresher, milder version of mature garlic. That nature can produce these swirly beauties is astonishing. Some VERY generous friends dropped off an enormous bag of these the other day. Before whirring them into parsley, almond, lemon pesto, they had their moment in front of the camera. Karl Blossfeldt sure had the right idea when he turned to nature for inspiration.

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Newest To Do Lists

Wednesday 03.19.14

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For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, these to do lists won’t come as any surprise. I just came back from a short family visit in France, and my brother handed me these pages…the latest installment to his growing oeuvre. However, for those of you who are new to Mrs. Easton, please don’t worry. He’s fine. Maybe a little busy. He and his partner run an unusual luxury travel business. Apparently, the devil truly is in the details. For the entire collection so far, go here.

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Saprotrophs, Mesophiles, Psychrophiles and More…

Wednesday 02.05.14

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Mold gets a bum rap. Yes, yes, it’s disgusting and smelly and can easily make you sick, or worse, even kill you. But, without it, we wouldn’t have cheese or salami, to name but two examples of choice edibles. Incidentally, it can also save your life. So really, doesn’t the good ultimately cancel out the bad? These rather beautiful photos were first spotted on the blog over at Present & Correct. (I say, twice in one week isn’t bad, eh!) They are originally from a tumblr blog titled, somewhat benignly, Magical Contamination.

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The Departed

Monday 10.14.13

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When we moved back to the Lower East Side back in July, this was one of the first photos I took. I saw this small-ish rodent (rat) on Division Street, on my way into the depths of Chinatown. He looked rather peaceful. And while I know this is a picture of a dead rodent, I love all the geometry going on here. I have had encounters of this sort before. See here.

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