This impeccable set of vintage notecards landed merrily in my mailbox recently–a surprise gift from a faraway friend! I cannot get enough of the design motifs of old-world Sweden; the sweetness and sentimentality remind me so much of the place I call home.
I'll be holiday homeward bound one week from now–at least for a short while. Bring on the gravlax, and mom's Swedish meatballs with jam!
Found these forgotten friends at the bottom of the bin during a recent visit to the glorious Alameda Antiques Faire, scattered pieces from a child's crafting game. I love the garish absurdity of the techni-color palate; candid and cute, if not a bit grotesque...
I'm pleased to present a sneak peek of this precious little pair of board books–one of my first printed pieces for Chronicle Books! Previously published in France as "Coleurs" and "Chiffres," these books were re-formatted in English and re-designed by me, with illustrations by Monsieur Thierry Laval. Look for them on your local bookstore shelves this spring.
Received the loveliest piece of post in my mailbox this past week, all the way from across the sea! Introducing The Life of Mr. Mustache, a charming little book by Studio Violet, plus a surprise notecard set from the ever-admirable Fine Little Day! Much Thanks, Elisabeth! This has made my week.
"He thought to himself, why am I sad? I have a good life, it's not all that bad. I should be smiling and not feeling blue. But worry worry worry is all I seem to do..."
I had the super cool awesome rad! privilege today of spending the afternoon with a fantastic group of fellow Chronicle Books designers, and a lively group of tweens. The day was filled with sunshine, crafting, popcorn, and prizes, and the event was a smashing success! We learned a lot from these silly 8-12 year olds, all while promoting a love of reading and creativity at this critical "in-between" age.
(I also happened to have the even bigger privilege of designing all promotional materials for the event. Please take a look at some of the applications, above!)
The houses in my neighborhood have been haunting for weeks, in preparation for tonight's tricks or treats...and in his annual Halloween greeting, my grandpa reminds me that all fear should be fleeting. Happy Halloween, everyone!
Happened upon an envelope of vintage beverage labels during a recent afternoon of bookstore browsing here. Such lovely bits of bubbly, and the perfect anecdote for a rainy afternoon. Now I want to start a collection...
Last weekend, while at a nearby yard sale, I happened upon a box full of French children's literature. Upon sorting through the titles I soon discovered to my surprise (quelle surprise!) my much beloved Nancy Drew (aka Alice Détective) amongst the well-worn spines. Turns out the entire Nancy Drew series, by the mysterious Carolyn Keene (Caroline Quine, en France) was published in French in the mid-1900s, shortly after the 1st editions of the series were published in the U.S. Given my love of this female super sleuth, I was positively tickled! Comment magnifique!
I also picked up several other French children's titles, part of collections published by Hachette Books beginning in the early 1900s–Bibliotheque Rose and Bibliotheque Verte. These collections, or systems of classification, were designed to promote reading in children and adolescents throughout France, with Bibliotheque Rose meant for school-age children, and Bibliotheque Verte for pre-teens. I am quite enamored by the simple graphics of this system–check out those beautiful rose-colored spines! Très beau!
P.S. Listen here for more about the beloved books of our youth, and the mysteries of childhood...
I've been simply smitten with this recent edition to my book collection: Seasons, by the magical French illustrator Blexbolex, published in English by Enchanted Lion Books. I'd love to get my hands on more of his illustration work, especially this, and this!
"Blexbolex got lost for awhile in the pages of his books. He needs two summers, an autumn, a winter, a spring, several storms and a lot of sunshine to rediscover the seasons for himself."
Selected objects from my desks at work & home, collected glass bottles at the OMCA, the beauty of brunch, and Alex Maldonado's Cathedral Crown.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Mark Dion & Lawrence Weschler at the awe-inspiring Oakland Museum, as a part of Mr. Dion's new exhibition The Marvelous Museum*. The two dove deep into discussion on the role of the museum in today's digitally-driven society, and the (mis)conception of a museum as a very static, passive entity, stemming partially from an audience's inability to truly connect and be active with the objects in the collection. I was particularly struck by Mr Dion's explanation of his "artist as curator" role within the exhibition; his desire to get people to re-connect with the soulfulness of these objects, to rediscover the joy of drawing their own conclusions based on a newfound sense of discovery. Afterwards, I walked through the bustling galleries, and was absolutely captivated. This was a community that still marveled at the museum...
Yesterday I paused underneath a giant knobby tree, forgetting for a moment my errand as the end result. I reached out my hands, and allowed myself to be completely entranced by the object before me. I couldn't remember the last time I had actually experienced a tree. With today's proliferation of digital imagery and information, I sometimes struggle with the ability to truly engage in the present & concrete. We live in a world of constant movement, and distraction. Are we losing the ability to experience actuality, to appreciate the simplicity of the sensory? I find hope in the beauty of the bits that surround me, loyal characters in my own curated life.
"The objects are characters that live with us in time and place and scale."