Category: moi

More Tools of My Trade

Tuesday 01.31.12

I am in the process of packing and moving most of my art supplies to our place upstate and into my new studio. Woot!!! (Hopefully this explains the infrequent postings.) I have a teeny tiny office space here in Brooklyn, but now I finally have the chance to spread out and work in a different way, and on multiple projects at once. The plan is to keep things confined to computer and sketch pad here in the city. I am beyond excited to be digging into the full-scale messiness of the design process. Most of all…I am over the moon about not having to clean up at the end of the day. In the midst of all this sorting and boxing up, I came across my paintbrush roll. A bamboo mat with strips of elastic woven through it in order to keep the brushes secured. It seems to be an item from another life.

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Bing(s)

Thursday 01.26.12

Around the same time that the various Chinese bus companies in lower Manhattan started serving interstate travelers, my husband and I started noticing these overstuffed, disc-shaped, sesame seed-crusted buns popping up at many of the food stands underneath the Manhattan bridge. I heard that the best ones were available in the basement of the Triple 8 Mall under the bridge, and that I should refer to them as Bing – which I believe is short for Shaobing. I ventured underground and bought a couple of them from a woman who was duly baffled by my presence. I was instantly hooked. They were tasty and satisfying and fit our limited budget. There were several varieties of Bing, but the trouble was, there was no menu and I couldn’t figure out what filling was inside any given pastry. Because of our mutual language barrier, the owner wasn’t able to shine any light on the puzzle. I knew there was a code to be revealed in the placement of the black sesame seeds, but I was firmly at a loss to break it. At around the same time, I heard that there was a place out in Queens that specialized in these little treats, both savory and sweet. I hopped on the subway, made my way to a shop called Unique Pastry and bought one of each kind. I subsequently made this crib sheet so that I could quickly and easily decipher the contents of whatever Bing I happened to find. Shortly thereafter, this piece appeared in the NY Times.

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Happy New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Tuesday 01.24.12

This is the year of the dragon, which, if you didn’t know, is really quite auspicious. I was born in the year of the dragon, so feel particularly special right now. My husband and I lived in Chinatown for quite a long stretch, and saw many a celebration pass beneath our windows. But none quite so spectacular as that for the dragon. To learn more.

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Will It Ever Sno Again?

Thursday 01.12.12

I don’t even really like snoballs. And goodness knows they aren’t exactly part of a healthy diet. But I was somehow saddened to hear that Hostess, the parent company that makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs, HoHos (my personal favorite of the bunch) and yes…the ever nutritious snoballs, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While the company has enough inventory on hand to keep the product on store shelves for the moment, who’s to say what will happen down the pike. I remember one particular milestone birthday when my friend Carol assembled a care package and had it waiting for me at a hotel in ICELAND! The parcel contained custom party hats, a homemade banner spelling out happy birthday, various small licorice candies, the requisite birthday candles and, you guessed it, a pack of bright pink snoballs.

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Happy Orange Blanket

Wednesday 11.09.11

Believe it or not, there are very few things that I actually covet. This blanket is one of them. Although, truly, we don’t need another. Well, maybe… Available at Ancient Industries. Check out their blog while you’re there.

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White or Black?

Saturday 10.15.11

I went to buy a couple of new alarm clocks yesterday — we have a cat who is occasionally unruly and hurls everything on the bedside tables to the floor. no clock could stand up to such repeated abuse — and was reminded of how truly ridiculous we designers can be sometimes. As I was standing at the counter trying to decide between the black version or the white one and back again, the soft-spoken, very design-ey gentleman in charge of the shop inquired in the nicest way possible, “Does it really matter?” Instead of taking offense, as perhaps I should have, I burst out laughing. He’s right, it doesn’t freaking matter. It’s a clock for crying out loud. It’s unobtrusive, simple, well-designed. Who cares if it’s white or black? Would it really make a difference in my life one way or another? It’s not going to work better if it’s one color versus another. This particular clock is a re-issue of a design originally created in the 90s by Dietrich Lubs and Dieter Rams for Braun. Oh, and for the record, I bought two black ones.

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Culture Shock

Wednesday 09.21.11

I feel more than fortunate to be able to spend time in both country and city. The contrast between rural and urban gives rise to an appreciation of place that I am not sure I would possess otherwise. I was looking at my photos from the summer and was so struck by the visual world I have just left behind. My husband took that first photograph of the young buck. The deer was fearless and refused to abandon his patch of ground full of fallen apples. That last photo was taken on Grand Street in lower Manhattan. A different sort of beauty.

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