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!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Yet another reason why I dream of going to Japan...

Every year tourists flock to Japan to capture the annual blooming of cherry blossoms, an event so thoroughly documented you can find online calendars that estimate the precise moment to visit each city around the country to catch the trees in full bloom. For Tokyo the optimal time must have been this morning when photographer Noisy Paradise snapped this breathtaking shot just at dawn over the Meguro River. 

Cherry Blossoms over the Meguro River in Tokyo trees Tokyo flowers
via {colossal}

Friday, April 4, 2014

some thoughts on what it takes to get going

The isolating lie we all tell all the time.

This week has been crazy with rehearsals, auditions, concerts, and papers all converging at the same time. It has come on the heels of many disappointments, rejections, and resulting internal doubt.

And when I get so tired, I cannot sleep, feeling more overwhelmed, sad, and plain run through the ringer. I want to hide out in bed, hibernating until spring finally comes.

My final frontier in my time as a student is to be satisfied with my sound,
making a full circle to my very first audition on the viola at 11,
where I was told I sounded too much like a violinist.
Ever since then, it has been my achilles' heel,
and has manifested itself through my performance anxiety and lack of confidence in a big way.

I have been on a reading kick about the roles that optimism and grit play in success,
and have been on the warpath to finally "fix" something that has been a criticism ever since.

The conversation arose that a musical sound is in essence a communication between two people,
being nurtured by an ever more vivid imagination for possibilities, colors, and ultimately love,
with these organized sound waves as a medium that that connects us in a way that is uniquely our own.

I love words, but they often fail me when it comes to getting across what I actually meant,
and I became excited that I could expand my concepts of person-to-person communication
to different kinds of vibration beyond what the mouth and brain put forth.

I get so wrapped up in physical adjustments on my instrument
that this metaphysical approach caught me by surprise, and has given me pause.
When I asked what I can do to increase my aural imagination,
the response was to allow myself to dream more, to get lost in what moves me.
I essentially was begging for a prescription to fix something I thought I just did not understand,
and was told instead that I should shift my lens to something much more internal.
Although I know it is not a simple fix, I have started to listen to my instrument differently,
and I feel like I have found the room to grow again.

What makes you get going in your struggles?
What gives you the confidence to change?
What would you fill in the blank?

Getting up and running.

via {indexed}

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