11 April 2013

kitchen craze

20 May 2012

the shape of things

I still can't get over the quiet weight of this wee little book, The Shape of Things by Ilonka Karasz.

"With the help of geometry we can measure the earth & the shape of things on eart. We can do more–we can build. Man builds houses & bridges & measures by shadows. How does nature build? Who makes the snowflakes in the shape of hexagons? The beehives & the wasps nests? Rocks & Crystals appear in very definite shapes. Nature makes salt in the shape of cubes. The prism breaks light into the seven colors of the rainbow, and bubbles pack like a tetrakaidecahedron. Maybe everything in the universe is constructed on some very exact pattern. Look about you at the stars & the shells & the flowers & the wings of dragonflies..."

Thank you, again & again, Sarah & Greg.

08 April 2012

des oeufs

One year ago I found this palm-sized gem of a box, hidden away on a back shelf at the flower shop around the corner. It was a rainy, dim, and dreary San Francisco Saturday, and the the discovery of a forgotten box filled with hand-painted wooden eggs was an epiphanic symphony of so much sudden joy and hope and reverie; The clouds parted. 

It is easy to wallow in despair, to believe there is nothing sweet amongst the sour. But on a forgotten shelf somewhere out there lies a tiny box of Easter eggs, just waiting to be discovered, and within this box lies a new beginning...

04 March 2012

let's go!

Here's a sneaky little preview of an activity kit I had the honor of designing for Chronicle Books last summer, to be officially released this Spring–just in time for Farmers' Market season! The kit provides ways various ways for young children to participate and be engaged in the experience of going to the Farmers' Market, as well as learn about the importance of eating healthfully & locally.

18 February 2012

little ones

Lost pages from an old picture book tell a story all their own; a disjointed melody of dainty little darlings, frightening in caricatured cuteness. Found here.

These bright-eyed bulbous beings remind me of this: The Science of Cute.

13 February 2012

dining & doodling

I just received advances of this friendly little trio of doodling books I recently designed for Chronicle Books, featuring the ever-expressive illustrations of Sir Taro Gomi! The pages of these books, to be released this Spring, are meant to be torn out and used as placemats–a way to engage the imaginations of hungry tummies before sitting down for a meal. They seem to me to be the perfect excuse to host a dinner party! Who wants to come?

19 January 2012

craft yourself

It's been awhile since I've taken up a needle and a thread, but in the dead of winter, I'm re-discovering inspiration in the humorous and the homely. 

Chapter openers for Amy's Simple Times, hand-crafted by Megan Whitmarsh

15 January 2012

the searching eye

Film frames from The Searching Eye, Saul Bass, 1964

Work informs play, play informs work, and throughout both there are moments of triumph, and of despair. The new year marches on, and I continue to plow through with my head held high, my eyes wide open, and my hands busy.

"You know, we hear a lot about the joy of creating. What we don't acknowledge is the anguish and anxiety that come with the territory...Of course the pleasure when it does come can be very intense. Also, the play between pleasure and anxiety is part of the dynamic that makes the creative experience so compelling."

25 November 2011

food values

Bought this lovely trio of cookbooks from the ever-gracious Bonnie a few weeks back. And now, as the days grow darker and the holiday season starts off with a gobble, it seems the perfect time to bring them back out. Because the winter winds, as bitter as they can be, also have a way of bringing us together. And so, for that matter, does food... 

With the end of a successful Thanksgiving feast, and the start of a busy yuletide season, I am ever more reminded at the healing capacities of cooking real food. It nourishes us, it teaches us, it comforts us. It provides context, and history, and calm. My only hope is that we can instill this appreciation in our future generations, because while pizza is delicious, it is most certainly not a vegetable

[On a side note, excuse the recent lack of posts. Notions & Potions had been busy, and also perhaps bit existentially uncertain about her relevancy and relationship to the internet and the greater blogging community.] 

29 September 2011

reading, writing, and

Exploring Arithmetic, copyright 1958 by Webster Publishing Company

There's a crispness to the air today that reminds me of plaid uniform skirts and pumpkin muffins for breakfast, of pencil cases and new backpacks, of spelling tests, library books, and arithmetic. I never was attracted to math, yet I can't help but want to pull out a hand-crank pencil sharpener and spend an early evening filling in these whimsical pages. 

The desire to keep learning is strong, and the mind questions whether my current path is the right one. In this Autumn air, I long for academia.