This vintage animal puzzle was last summer’s bounty for wandering into one of my favorite shops, Maison Bergogne, in Narrowsburg, NY. I wasn’t exactly drawn in by the box, so I’m not quite sure why I removed the lid. Needless to say, I was pleased that my curiosity got the better of me. I should know that if something is in Juliette and Anie’s shop, it will likely be special in one way or another. And that taking the time to explore yields many aesthetic rewards. My favorite cards in the puzzle are the ones that have been repaired with a needle and thread. *See the rat and the fox.
Oh, and keep in mind that sometime in early summer, Juliette, along with biz partner Laura Silverman, plan to open bar/cafe Fish & Bicycle.
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.
Found at P.S. Bookshop in Dumbo. I thought about asking my husband or my friend’s daughter to model the masks, but then felt bad about dismantling the book. However, I couldn’t resist popping out the eyes. How about that high-tech chest control panel, eh? And, anyone want to help redesign the Rebel Alliance logo?
I am always on the lookout for good packaging, so imagine my total delight when I found an entire box of Wiffle Balls sitting on a bottom shelf in the toy section of our local supermarket. The packaging looks almost unchanged from earlier versions. And, as far as I’m concerned, they should keep it that way. Made in Connecticut since 1953, the Wiffle® Ball was invented by David N. Mullany. At the time, he was an unemployed semi-professional pitcher who saw his 12 year old son making a mess of his arm after throwing too many curve balls with a standard baseball. For more history and rules go here. And, thanks to my friend Nancy’s superior memory, here is a story that ran on NPR in September of last year.
The other day The Improvised Life posted this video created by artist Sipho Mabona. There must be an innate fascination with seeing something realtively complex “literally” unfold in reverse.
Ideas come from strange places. These odd little totems are called training dummies or retriever dummies. They are used in the training of hunting dogs. Typically they are made out of either canvas or rubber. One throws the dummy – maybe some animal or bird scent is impregnated or rubbed onto the thing – and then the good puppy goes and fetches the duffle-shaped decoy and gets a reward upon its safe return. Hopefully a biscuit and not just a pat on the head. Or at least that’s how I think it works. Now, I have said this before, I am not a hunter. And I definitely do not condone sport hunting. But I do believe I can still find an odd form of inspiration from these quirky objects. And they have indeed sparked a glimmer of a concept. Photos (except for the first two) are from here, here, here, here and here.
I read the obituaries in the NYT every day. And I know I’m not alone. I take heart when those, to whom tribute is paid, were at least over 90 when they died. And I find even deeper inspiration from those who were still working away at something they loved. One of the best obituaries I ever read was for a blacksmith by the name of Francis Whitaker. He worked almost right up to the end and, miraculously, grasped a hammer on his deathbed. Today’s obits required two full pages. Never good. Some names held meaning for me in a distant way. Others I had never heard of. Larry Stevenson is one of the latter. I learned that in the Southern California of the early 1960s, he went from lifeguard to successful and innovative skateboard designer in the most linear of careers. He began building surfboard-like skateboards, but by 1969 he introduced a new design that incorporated a “kicktail”: that singular modification to the standard surfboard shape that allowed skateboarders to embark on those crazy airborne tricks that demarcate the skateboarding style that we see today. To his credit, he patented both the single and double kicktail. RIP Mr. Stevenson. Photos courtesy of Lion City Skaters.