Wednesday, April 23, 2014

vermeer the tinkerer

I have been wanting to see this for a while,
as Vermeer is one of the very nearest and dearest of my favorite artists.
I often wonder how people saw his painting before the advent of photography.
And if this film is more accurate than not,
he is a close kin of another of my favorites, Leonardo.
(we are on a first name basis, it is that close you know)

I hope something sparks your imagination today!

It's been suggested that perhaps Johannes Vermeer painted his exacting masterpieces with the help of mirrors and lenses. Tim Jenison learned of these suggestions and started to study the problem.
He was in no rush. His R&D period lasted five years. He went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. "Looking at their Vermeers," he says, "I had an epiphany" -- the first of several. "The photographic tone is what jumped out at me. Why was Vermeer so realistic? Because he got the values right," meaning the color values. "Vermeer got it right in ways that the eye couldn't see. It looked to me like Vermeer was painting in a way that was impossible. I jumped into studying art."
A recent documentary called Tim's Vermeer (directed by Penn & Teller's Teller) follows Jenison's quest to construct a contraption that allows someone to paint as Vermeer did. Here's a trailer:
via {kottke}

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

paris from its better side

Oh my word, this has reawakened dormant desires in a glaring way.

French photographer and filmmaker Mayeul Akpovi continues his gorgeous video trip around the City of Light with Paris in Motion Part IV. As with parts I, II and III before it, this latest instillation combines thousands of still photographs to create time-lapse video of some of the city’s most famous sites. 

via {laughing squid}

Monday, April 21, 2014

choose your words

I love this reminder about choosing how to communicate,
one of several Achilles ' heels I struggle with regularly.

They're your words, choose them

You've seen the signs:
Guess what? There's no legal requirement that signs have to make you sound like a harsh jerk in order to carry weight or to inform the public.
To keep our prices as low as possible, we only accept cash. The good news is that there's an ATM next door.
Careful! We'd like to watch your stuff for you, but we're busy making coffee.
Our spotlessly clean restrooms are for our beloved customers only, so come on in and buy something! Also, there's a public bathroom in the library down the street.
In fact, you might find that when you speak clearly and with respect, you not only communicate more effectively, but people are less likely to blame you when something goes wrong.

via {seth godin}

Sunday, April 20, 2014

the meggnificent egg

In continuation of my personal thawing-out and celebration of spring:
A new cookbook about one of my favorite foods that deserves its own food group.
Hope you can have a delicious, egg-filled, relaxing Sunday!

"The egg is a lens through which to view the entire craft of cooking." 

New from Michael Ruhlman: a cookbook about the mighty egg, "A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient".
For culinary visionary Michael Ruhlman, the question is not whether the chicken or the egg came first, it's how anything could be accomplished in the kitchen without the magic of the common egg. He starts with perfect poached and scrambled eggs and builds up to brioche and Italian meringue. Along the way readers learn to make their own mayonnaise, pasta, custards, quiches, cakes, and other preparations that rely fundamentally on the hidden powers of the egg.
Ruhlman shares a bit about the book with NPR:
But often, Ruhlman argues, we don't treat our eggs very well. Take scrambled eggs. "It's one of the most overcooked dishes in America," he says. "We kill our eggs with heat."
Instead, we need, in most instances, to give the egg gentle heat. "When you cook them very slowly over very gentle heat, the curds form. And as you sit, the rest of the egg sort of warms but doesn't fully cook and becomes a sauce for the curds. So it should be a creamy and delicious and delicate preparation."

"The egg is a lens through which to view the entire craft of cooking," says food writer Michael Ruhlman.via {kottke} and {npr}

Saturday, April 19, 2014

no frigate like a book

A stumbled across this wonderful tumblr:
a collection dedicated to people reading,
Awesome People Reading.
It makes me excited about my overdue trip to my public library,
one of my favorite Saturday hang outs.
And it makes me feel less guilty of my expanding book shelves,
despite my supposed moratorium on book-buying until after comps.

Hope you get some good internal browsing in this weekend!

"A Book" by Emily Dickinson

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul! 


"A Book" by Emily DickinsonThere is no frigate like a bookTo take us lands away,Nor any coursers like a pageOf prancing poetry.This traverse may the poorest takeWithout oppress of toll;How frugal is the chariotThat bears a human soul!

Rodo Pissaro reads in a painting by Camille Pissaro
Rodo Pissaro reads in a painting by Camille Pissaro.

Jerry Lewis reads. Gets taxed.
Jerry Lewis reads. Gets taxed.

Jerry Lewis - Tax Day 1958

The duo read. Jane + Serge = book lovers.
The duo read.

Jane + Serge = book lovers.

Pola Negri (1897-1987)
Negri reads.

Pola Negri (1897-1987)

Benjamin Britten reads.
Benjamin Britten reads.

via {awesome people reading}

Friday, April 18, 2014

my next studio apartment

Oh my, a dream apartment if I ever live in an open studio apartment again: 
bookshelves for days, small, clean, economical use of space, light...
my favorite part: functional stairs
Creative Loft Space in Camden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

distilling joie de vivre

I have a soft spot for old, black and white photographs,
thanks in part to an early, spontaneous encounter with an exhibit of Henri Cartier Bresson in Florence
(Angi, it is still one of my favorite travel memories!).
Eisenstaedt made me smile this week.

Life magazine asks: Is this the happiest photo ever made? To Eisenstaedt, the camera was a conduit for transmitting pure joy. Like so many of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s most storied photographs, this one flirts with sentimentality — but avoids that ignoble fate by virtue of its energy, and its immediacy. This is not a depiction of manufactured emotion, but a masterfully framed instant of authentic, explosive spirit.
The drum major for the University of Michigan marching band high-steps as a line children follow suit, 1950.
Drum Major, Alfred Eisenstaedt
The photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, who was covering the University of Michigan's marching band. When some children playing nearby set off after this practicing drum major, he snapped the photo. Said Eisenstaedt, "This is a completely spontaneous, unstaged picture."
The photographer took many notable photos -- the famous V-J Day kiss in Times Square, of Marilyn Monroe, of Albert Einstein, of Joseph Goebbels -- but the drum major one above and his ballet series are my favorites (particularly this one).
via {kottke}

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

crossroads of should and must

I read this recently, and was overwhelmed by the implications it had for my own choices.
Everyone's path is there own,
but we all do face an alarmingly similar kind of internal mountain to climb
the more awake we are.
And the decisions we make again and again, every day, are a part of who we are.

It is a long read, but worth it...
The crossroads of should and must

The Crossroads of Should and Must

This is a story about two roads — Should and Must. It’s a pep talk for anyone who’s chosen Should for far too long — months, years, maybe a lifetime — and feels like it’s about time they gave Must a shot

There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And each time, we get to choose.
Over the past year I’ve chosen Must again and again. And it was petrifying. And at times it was dark. But I would never, ever, trade this past year for anything. This essay is my three biggest takeaways from the experience. It’s for anyone who is thinking of making the jump from Should to Must. Anyone looking to follow the energy deep within their chest but aren’t quite sure how.
Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.
Must is different—there aren’t options and we don’t have a choice.
Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us. Must is what happens when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Because when we choose Must, we are no longer looking for inspiration out there. Instead, we are listening to our calling from within, from some luminous, mysterious place.
Must is why Van Gogh painted his entire life without ever receiving public recognition. Must is why Mozart performed Don Giovani and Coltrane played his new sound, even as the critics called it ugly. Must is why that lawyer in his thirties spent three years writing his first novel only to be rejected by three dozen publishers. He honored his calling, eventually received a “yes,” and that is why John Grisham is a household name today. Must isn’t exclusively for writers and painters and composers, though. Must is why, in the early days, Airbnb sold boxes of cereal to make ends meet because no one would give them money and every conceivable metric said they should quit.
While working at Mailbox, I came across Stefan Sagmeister’s TED talk about jobs, careers, and callings.
He spoke about their differences, and I began to wonder which one I had. At the same time, I was also reading a biography about Picasso.
In it, Arianna Huffington describes the joy she felt learning about how Picasso chose to live his life:
The more I discovered about his life and the more I delved into his art, the more the two converged. “It’s not what an artist does that counts, but what he is,” Picasso said. But his art was so thoroughly autobiographical that what he did was what he was.
Picasso’s life blended seamlessly with his work. It was all one huge swirling mix of bullfights and beaches and booze. And we could tell. Because to look at one of Picasso’s canvases is quite literally to look into his soul. And this is exactly what happens when our life, our essence, is one and the same with our work. It’s when job descriptions and titles no longer make sense because we don’t go to work— we are the work.
And this lead me to a big hypothesis. What if…
What if who we are and what we do become one and the same? What if our work is so thoroughly autobiographical that we can’t parse the product from the person? What if our jobs are our careers and our callings?

Click here to continue reading...

via {medium}

Monday, April 14, 2014

a day without laughter is a day wasted

Oh my word, I just found out that April 14 is the International Moment of Laughter Day,
perfect for a humdrum Monday morning.

To mark the occasion, features this lovely picture of the one and only Charlie Chaplin utterly convulsed on the set of his 1952 career coda, Limelight. Here is the Silent Era icon on the set of his final major film, years after he had made his best-known works—masterpieces like City LightsModern Times and The Great Dictator. And yet, even in his 60s, the great filmmaker’s light appears undimmed.
The creator of the shambling, luckless Tramp, Chaplin’s tragicomic vision was perhaps forever shaped by his own difficult childhood.He grew up fatherless, and after his mother had a nervous breakdown, he spent time in a London orphanage. At times, he performed on the street for pennies.
Still, Chaplin would later insist, “a day without laughter is a day wasted.”
(It’s ironic that this raucously light-hearted photo was made by W. Eugene Smith, a cantankerous genius celebrated for his pictures of life’s bitterest struggles, rather than silver-screen frivolity.)
In the end, perhaps the happy fact of this brief meeting between two towering creative talents is reason enough for a smile. Or even a good laugh.

Director and actor Charlie Chaplin laughs raucously during the making of his 1952 film, Limelight, by W. Eugene Smith

via {life}

Sunday, April 13, 2014


In preparation for Easter, I am continuing my annual celebration of the marvelous egg
(and all things spring) since it is finally starting to warm up.
40 degrees feels like summer especially when the sun is shining.
I hope your weekend has been sunny and warm--
Happy Sunday!


Friday, April 11, 2014

how to survive the winter

This dad's idea is the sweetest--an idea for you leftover moving boxes this summer, Gabes!

This is how we survived one of the coldest winters on record in Minnesota. Recipe: whole bunch of boxes from generous appliance stores, scrap wood from friendly neighbors, 10 rolls of tape, ridiculous amounts of time, a basement, four small stir crazy children, a crazy cold winter, voila! 
How long did it take to build? About 10 days (mostly at night after my family hit the sack), probably 30-40 hours of cutting, taping, drilling, paper cuts, etc.
How did you make the timelapse video? I didn’t actually have the idea to make a video until I built the entire thing and realized it was pretty damn cool. So as I deconstructed the boxes I used a GoPro camera to take frame by frame photos (I could trigger the camera with my smartphone off screen). Then I reversed the timelapse video so it looked like the boxes were being built. That allowed me to cut them down a little at a time for maximum fun.
How many boxes? About 12 refrigerator, one kingsize mattress box and many others of various shapes and sizes, all collected for free from generous appliance and furniture stores around town. The most expensive thing was the 10-rolls of tape… I also used scrap wood collected from a number of generous neighbors…

via {follow art}

Thursday, April 10, 2014

chocolate pencils

And the best food group: chocolate

for Hironobu Tsujiguchi
Chocolate-pencils is a collaboration with patissier Tsujiguchi Hironobu, the mastermind behind popular dessert shops like Mont St. Claire and Le Chocolat de H. Tsujiguchi created a new dessert based on his impression of nendo after conversations with us, and we designed new tableware for them. We wanted our plates to show off the beauty of meals and desserts like a painting on a canvas. Based on this idea, our “chocolate pencils” come in a number of cocoa blends that vary in intensity, and chocophiles can use the special “pencil sharpener” that comes with our plate to grate chocolate onto their dessert. Pencil filings are usually the unwanted remains of sharpening a pencil, but in this case, they’re the star!
via {nendo}

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

more food art

And speaking of edible creations,
these scenic displays of food made smile.
Malaysian artist Hong Yi's Instagram is a wonder, in large part because of her experimental food-focused artwork (that can of soup was made with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and oyster sauce; the farm scene was constructed using slices from a single cucumber).

via {sho & tell}

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

artistic sandwiches

I have been following this lady on instagram for a while,
saving up ideas for my kids' lunches someday.
I stumbled across this collection of her food art and interview:
Art becomes artisanal becomes plain funny with Ida Frosk.

The Art Toast Project: Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World

"Restaurant etiquette has changed unrecognisably since Instagram became ubiquitous. These days, the tradition of saying grace has been replaced by the pre-eating ritual of uploading a sepia printed shot of your food with the hashtag #yum, a moment of euphoria only topped by the post-meal excitement of seeing how many likes and jealous comments it has garnered. Indeed, this burgeoning tradition has made the world of instagram rather banal, so it is refreshing when a creative brings a fresh and inspiring angle to the fetishisation of food, such as in the work of Norwegian culinary innovator Ida Skivenes aka Ida Frosk.
With her first post – a bear and a fox on toast – going live in June just last year, the past twelve months have seen Skivenes garner over 100,000 followers from her eclectic multiplicity of beautiful, witty works on plates, ranging from The Great Gatsby book cover, fashioned from fruit, jam and yoghurt, the Arcopolis of Athens made out of the ingredients of a Greek salad and breakfast for four as interacting Pac-Man pancakes. But one of the highlights of her feed is the Art Toast Project, where she has recreated famous pieces of art by the likes of Munch, Kandinsky, Degas, Picasso and Dalí on single slices of bread. Thoughtful, witty and delicious, here we present a gallery of Skivenes’ favourite works from the series, and ask her what inspired her to make so original an addition to the world of food art [...]"

The Art Toast Project: Claude Monet, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies

via {sho & tell}
article via {another mag}

Monday, April 7, 2014

givers and takers

I loved this quote about giving,
especially since I am often told that my desire to give exceeds my own boundaries.

via {swiss missphoto via {pinterest}
"People tend to have one of three ‘styles’ of interaction. There are takers, who are always trying to serve themselves; matchers, who are always trying to get equal benefit for themselves and others; and givers, who are always trying to help people.”

Sunday, April 6, 2014

sweets for the sweetest, kindest, most loving sister

Happy birthday 
to one of my favorite people in the entire world, 
one of the 2 best sisters one could have,  
someone I love even more than ice cream.

the one and only Glacier, aka Spring, aka Bahn.
In an ideal world, we would brunch like queens complete with fancy fruity drinks,
we would go cruise our favorite shops for sales and window shopping, 
hit up Central Market for our favorite sandwiches, take a nap in the park, read some chamber music.


We then cook a feast, dream about where we will live, what our days will look like, 
where we will go, how our families will be best friends...

And then indulge in decadent cakes over a Downton Abbey marathon.

or a Haagen Dasz taste test...

May your
 loved ones stay close,
your heart stay soft, 
your smile stay open, 
your eyes stay bright, 
your mind stay engaged, 
your imagination stay inspired, 
your focus stay fierce, 
and may your spirit be brave 
in this upcoming year.

Here's to a better one--
a MUCH better one! 

I love you more than words can say!

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