Shades of Violet

Tuesday 01.06.15

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Violet lives in Nice with my dear friend Kate and her husband Michele. She may reside in France but, make no mistake, this feline was born in Italy. Kate and Michele rescued her from a feral existence when she was a kitten. Violet now fully embraces the beauty and luxury of her surroundings. And she adores flowers. (Please note that she does not eat them!) Kate started sending me photos of Violet among the weekly bouquets, and I kept asking for more. Not only is Violet photogenic, but the setting is romantic and mysterious. No surprise there: Kate is a fabulously talented artist with a unique eye. One which always delights me!! Plus, we share a deep and abiding love of enamelware. And Michele is the proprietor of Danda Productions (among other ventures), a twenty year old antiques business where you’ll find a consistently excellent collection of landscape, portrait and still life drawings and paintings.

How about that wacky Serge Gainsbourg head?

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Variations on a Butter Knife

Monday 01.05.15

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I can’t speak for anyone else out there, but, for me, the iterative process of design is where I find true happiness! So, here are a few recent sketches of a butter knife I plan to carve out of wood. Nothing particularly fancy. Totally functional. This is the way I begin: sketch after sketch after sketch. Fast and not at all precious. Almost bordering on messy. Soft HB pencil. (Please don’t ask me what a pencil is.)

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The World at 42 Inches

Tuesday 12.16.14

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I was looking through boxes of old photographs the other day and happened upon these pictures from a long ago wedding. At some point in the evening, I lent my camera to Delilah, my cousin’s daughter. She was 6 years old at the time. I didn’t think much of it until I picked up the photographs from the lab (yes, that’s one way it used to be done). At first, I had no idea what I was looking at. But then I remembered that the camera had been out of my possession for a short while…in the hands of a three and a half foot tall child. Wow, I never imagined that a wedding could be all chins, elbows and breasts.

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Catch Me if You Can

Tuesday 11.11.14

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I don’t play games on my phone or tablet. Not because of some principled stance opposing them, or because I think they are boring and repetitive. Nope, my reasoning stems from experience: latent addiction is just waiting to devour all aspects of my life. Enter Catch…an elegant, playful, and visually stunning iOS game designed, developed and coded by Andy Bergmann. Andy is an executive creative director at CNN and all around talented guy. The premise of the game is as simple as it gets: catch the ball. There are no instructions on how to accomplish this simple action. No need. You start tapping and swiping, and soon enough you’ve got it. Until the next level (there are 50), when other objects are introduced into the mix as a means to increase the game’s difficulty. Did I mention that the hand and the objects exist on different 3-dimensional planes? According to Bergmann, “Catch requires an interesting combination of spacial perception and eye-hand coordination.” Catch appeals in large part because of its simplicity and unique graphic sensibility. I see a twelve step program in my future.

Here’s a nice write-up in Fast Co.

To download Catch, click here. Free for a limited time on iTunes.

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The High Line

Wednesday 10.08.14

Well, almost exactly five years and four months to the day from when it opened (yes, I am a little embarrassed about this), my husband and I finally decided to take a stroll on the High Line. It was a perfect early fall morning in NYC: wind blowing, sun shining, thickets of tourists wandering about, and the din of jackhammers and excavation trucks filling the air. The High Line is truly a marvel of architecture, vision and extraordinary landscaping. And yet, I am left feeling that it is a part of a city to which I no longer belong. I know there are a lot of voices on this matter of change, and loss of what was, and I don’t wish to delve into that conversation right now. However, let it be said that, while I don’t necessarily begrudge New York for what she has become, I don’t recognize her any more. In all of the ruminations, I did manage to catch this little snippet of ivy…undulating in the storm.

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Trespass

Thursday 09.04.14

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Hansel and Gretel immediately comes to mind. Or, perhaps a dacha in Russia, after the Bolshevik Revolution. So does Tiny, A Story About Living Small. This house is magical, set back among the white pines. The color scheme is obviously not for everyone, including myself, but it catches me off guard every time I pass it by. It’s the insulation (called “chinking”) between the logs that ultimately draws me in. The bold white lines appeal to my graphic self. Yesterday, as we sped by and I let out my now predictable gasp, P. kindly turned around and pulled off the road so I could traipse onto the property for a few close-ups.

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Mildred’s Complexity

Friday 08.22.14

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I mentioned recently that I had taken a bookbinding class. It was held at Mildred’s Complexity, which, in loose terms, is the studio portion of Mildred’s Lane. I can’t fully define the place, because it is so many things. A breeding ground for art, design, thinking, and anything else you wish to add. All of that aside, when I walked into the 2nd floor space I couldn’t believe my good luck. It is a visual feast. From the white padded floor (was it covered in felt or linen or some other material?) to the hanging clothing patterns, to the piles of stacked packages and papers and fabrics. And that just touches the surface. Anyway, I took a few quick photos of the orderly piles. Here they are. To learn more about this very unusual place, click here.

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