August 25, 2007

me simple.


I'm a big fan of documentation of everyday things. Studies or collections or collages of ideas or experiences we've had. I recently discovered the lovely blog me simple, who among other things, documents her walks through the country by assembling montages of photos of the plants she's encountered along the way. What a beautiful way to capture the essence of a small adventure. Plus it's a great catalog of how the seasons change over the course of the year. Lovely, lovely indeed.

July 28, 2007

cyanotype experiments.


I've been playing with cyanotypes lately. The image above is a detail of one I made with some stencils I'd cut and the image below is a detail of one made with some dill from the garden. They're not perfect but I'm having a blast experimenting with the technique!


June 30, 2007

purple day.


It's finally sunny here, the temperature is perfect and it's Saturday, so that means it's time to head to the farmer's market. Look at the purple beauty I found there today. Sweet peas by the arm load and cherries (sorry, a little blurry here) as big as gum balls. The scents, the tastes, the colors, the day. As far as I'm concerned it really doesn't get much better than this!


June 10, 2007

nyc architectural texture.


I took a few pictures of architectural textures in new york city.


June 06, 2007

a milestone.


Well this post is a bit of a milestone. This is my one thousandth post! I can't believe it. Who would of thought there was that much amazing art and design and nature and beauty and dogs and books to talk about? Who would of thought that I would connect with so many wonderful people who have commented and shared and been so supportive along the way? I feel so lucky to live in a time when this sort of connection and collection and broadcasting is possible. What a great experience dear ada has been and I'm looking forward to more of it. Thanks to all the great visitors and artists and designers and writers and bloggers and dogs out there. My life is significantly better because of you!

I've had the above photo for many years and unfortunately do not know who is responsible for it or the graphic layout so I'm not able to give credit where credit is due. A thousand apologies, but the image is just perfect for the occasion.

June 01, 2007

"what happened to me on Friday..."


I'm most definitely NOT the most tech-savy girl you'll stumble across. I'm still blown away that I know how to blog. So when it comes to imbedding stuff INTO a blog, well, that's asking a bit much from my tired, non-techy brain (at least anything that isn't youTube, which does make it pretty easy to figure out). So sorry this totally wonderful video by duplo isn't imbedded, but check it out anyway. Maybe you've already seen it, but if you haven't, it's a treat. It's so well done and such a great example of how compelling a simple story can be. And though I'm not particularly tech-savy, I'm certainly very happy that others are and that stuff like this is being made by smart, young, interesting people. Enjoy.

April 30, 2007

ethel m cactus garden


We found the cactus gardens yesterday at the ethle m chocolate factory, of all places. What an amazing oasis (both literally and figuratively) in the middle of the Las Vegas desert. Beautifully designed, the gardens featured a wide variety of cactus, all of which were just beginning to bloom. One week later, and the display would have been spectacular, but lucky for us, some of them had just started to show their amazing flowers. It's amazing that such beauty is possible from such strange and forbidding plants in an environment that seems downright unihabitable. But if this garden is any indication, the desert conditions are anything but uninhabitable. During our visit we saw a number of birds including a tiny yellow headed verdin, a scraggly, long tailed grackle and a nesting mourning dove, as well as a desert jack rabbit a short distance away.

What blew me away the most about the garden though, was the surprising color palette of the plants themselves. Lavendar and dusty magenta cactii with pale yet vibrant yellow flowers. Icy, grey blue cactii with brilliant magenta and orange blooms. Pale green cactii with electric chartruese buds and peach hued blossoms. High contrasts of paleness against punctuations of screaming exhuberance. Dramatic, inspirational and surprising. It was a great small adventure to say the least!


April 29, 2007

vegas patterns.


I'm in Las Vegas of all places, for a birthday celebration of a dear friend. The temperature is lovely. Warm and dry, it also reminds me that yes, it can be hotter than 55 degrees, which so far this year, constitutes a "good" day at home. I must admit that I do find the place pretty overloading to the senses, to say the least. Dark, shiney, humming, flashing, sparkling, disorienting, glaring, overscaled. But happily I have my camera which helps me to capture a particular view of being here, through the filter of a particular lens (no pun intended). And so far this trip has been all about pattern for me. Layer upon layer of pattern, from elaborate carpets in the hotels to old iron work in a restuarant to neon lights at the entrance of a club. Once I get home I'll upload the rest of the images to my flickr site, but for now, here's a little tease.

I'm also hoping to visit a cactus garden before we leave tomorrow. The few cactus I saw on the way in from the airport were in bloom, which is something I haven't seen often or up close. A nice small adventure in a place that feels far, far away from the world I am familiar with.

April 19, 2007



I don't read my horoscope and I've never really figured out numerology. Regardless, I was curious about the site colorstrology sponsered by pantone. So I checked it out, and yes, it's woo woo. Ah, but who cares? It's always fun to (ostensibly) read about yourself, especially when you like what you read. Imaginative. Builder. Visionary. Yeah, I'll take that (as if it'd ever say something like, unimaginative or lazy or dull). I'm not so sure about my "actual" personal colors but whatever. It's a fun little color distraction during the day and what could be better than that?

January 16, 2007

let it snow...


"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but inside it's quite delightful...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." What a fun surprise this morning. Again, a rarity for us here in the northwest. Maybe once a year. So I guess today's the day for 2007. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

January 05, 2007

vintage adventures.


I love a good garage sale, antiques fair or thrift shop. I'm always excited about what amazing object or piece of art or treasure I will find. It's always a wonderful small adventure. It's interesting to see what people collect, and I think it can say a lot about who we are. Shells vs. books, scarves vs. postcards. Each item captures your heart at some point, tugs at you, and you know that it needs to come home with you. It's happened over and over to me and I hope it'll never stop. I just love the adventure.

Well today I found the nicest blog that is all about this kind of adventure. tag sale tales is a great study in the beauty of the found object, brought into another person's life to be cherished again. I'm a bit surprised about how excited I get even when I'm reading about other people's vintage adventures but there you have it. Adventure is adventure, even if it's vicarious. Thank goodness, I now have a new sweet place to get a vintage adventure fix.

December 16, 2006

n. mississippi blur.


Dear Amy and I went up to n. mississippi today. So very fun, pretty and festive.


Blurry roses, blurry chocolate graphics, blurry christmas ornaments.


It was a delightful blur as you can see by the very blurry photos.

November 07, 2006

it's sunny and warm, somewhere else.


I'm in LA on business. This is what I left above, and this is what I arrived to below. Downpour, flash floods, monsoon conditions, home. Dry, blazing sun, 90+ degrees, LA. The contrast is a little unnerving. When packing for the trip, I read that it was in the upper 80's here, but I just couldn't get my head around it because it is November for god's sake. Bad choice, on my part in the clothes department. But who cares. It's beautiful and strange here and that is good.


September 10, 2006

3 favorites of the week: 9.10

abandoned places. dark, small adventures, beautifully photographed. scary, sad, provocative.


look at book. I'm late to this party but who cares. Amazing collaborative collage and storytelling from 2003.


me & george w. Very funny, cynical and yes, a bit scary.

September 04, 2006

horses love apples.


Central Oregon. Horses on a meadow. Happy we had old apples to share.

July 29, 2006

no to henny penny for now.


We just got back from the 3rd annual tour de coop's event, which is a benefit for a great non-profit organization, growing gardens. I'm not sure we're ready to become chicken owners ourselves, but it was very fun to see all the varieties of chickens, chicken coops and urban chicken owners out there. I liked the chickens themselves a lot. Such beautiful creatures up close. And sassy too! They "talked" far more than I would have guessed.

As it stands today, we're not sure we're in a good position to deal with all the upkeep and predator control required to keep chickens healthy and happy (not to mention the very distinct possibility that our two sweet pooches might be tops on that predator list). I'm not saying no forever, but sadly for now, henny penny isn't in our immediate future. Given that fact, it was wonderful to get a chance to see some of the multitude of happy and thriving urban chickens living in our city. Good fun was had by all. To see more chicken pics go to tour de coop flickr set.

June 23, 2006

chickens for me?

We have a big backyard for living in a city. Our house sits near one end of the lot and we have about a third of an acre behind us. And lately, I've been thinking about adding chickens to our gardened backyard. Not to eat but to have, for their eggs and pest control and as pets. A number of people in our neighborhood have them (I hear the roosters in the morning) and I've been enamored ever since I went to this garden store in town that has these funny chicken's running around between the plants. We went the other day and they had a mother hen and the tiniest, sweetest baby chick I've ever seen (it was definitely a cuteoverload moment). Now I'm not saying that I'm running out and getting chickens. I'm just saying that I'm thinking about chickens and so it's time to learn more.
So tomorrow I'm going to a workshop on raising chickens in the city. I figure it's the best way to get past my romantic notions of chicken raising and find out what it really entails. It's officially a chicken adventure so we'll see how it all unfolds. More to come...

June 04, 2006

soft hills

My dear husband was cleaning off his desk this morning and he came across some photos I'd taken a couple of years ago on a weekend trip we took to the John Day area in central Oregon. These are the painted hills and they are a most amazing thing to see in person. The colors on the hills look almost air brushed, and from a distance seem soft and blended. But up close they actually aren't. The volcanic ash that the hills are made of is, in fact, quite coarse and rough. And according to the John Day website, "the color variation reflects changes in ancient soils and vegetation during a major global cooling event approximately 33 million years ago". Regardless of the science of it though, every time I've gone, it's like I'm inside some giant charcoal drawing somewhere on the moon.

For as special experience the painted hills are, it's amazing how few people I know who have visited this strange and wonderful place. It's most definitely a magical and surreal, small adventure. For more pictures of the painted hills check out the set on flickr.

April 30, 2006

greek celebration

We went to a local greek restaurant last night to celebrate one of my best friends birthday. We had a wonderful time with great friends, good food and some belly dancing entertainment. I'm usually uneasy when a restaurant's has "live" entertainment that comes to your table, often because it's not so good and usually intrusive to the privacy of the party. But last night was different. The restaurant was noisy and lively and the belly dancing fit right in. It didn't hurt that the woman was really good at what she did, so it was really fun to watch vs. my usual sinking embarassment at times like these.
The other pleasant discovery of the evening was this delicious cheesy dish. How can something that looks so unappealing taste so absolutely fabulous? The cheese (I think it is goat cheese) is doused in ouzo and then lit on fire. Once the fire is out, the cheese is cut up and eaten on bread and oh my god, the flavor! Tangy, sour, buttery, cheesy all together. I don't remember the name of the dish but I'm sure that ich Kalliope can help me out here. It was truly a tasty adventure.

March 26, 2006

tired highpoints from the Art Center Design Conference

Ideas are glamourous, travel is not. I know this is a pathetic overview, but I'm tired. Which speaks to the high quality of this amazing conference at Art Center in Pasedena. My brain is tired. And the fact is that I'm a terrible traveler, so the body is tired too. But it was well worth the effort. The speakers were surprising, thought provoking, delightful. The conference itself was well designed and smart. Chee Pearlman and John Hockenberry ran a perfect show. Truly amazing job! Briefly the highlights for me were:
Jonathan Ives, VP Design from Apple (breathtaking, humble, shy, brilliant)
Dan Neil from the LA Times (smart, biting, visionary)
Contstance Adams consulting architect to NASA (visionary, humane, brilliant)
Jane Olson, Chairman of the Board of Human Rights Watch (passionate, committed, insightful, sensitive)
Dave Eggers, writer, founder of McSweeney's press, 826 Valencia, pirate supply and tutoring center director (compassionate, witty, unorthodox, transformative)
Isaac Mizrahi, couture and Target designer, talk show host (warm, mercurial, honest, engaging)
Erin McKean from Oxford University Press, lexicologist (warm, smart, unorthodox, open, funny)
Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia (visionary, open source, community advocate, "monarch")
Billy Collins, poet laureate (accessable, funny, fresh, rich)
Theo Jansen, artist (brilliant, driven, unorthodox, breathtaking)

My favorite ideas or quotes from the conference were the following (please note that these are not necessarily direct quotes. They are what I scribbled down while the attributed person was talking. I most certainly could have got it wrong):
"technology: techa=craft, logos=knowledge", Constance Adams
"a simple act of profound generosity", Jane Olson when describing the gift of hand knitted socks from a woman in a refugee camp in Bosnia
"gestures get lost in media", Martin Fischer
"niobe is the new titanium", Danny Hillis
"complaining is silly. either act or forget", Stefan Sagmeister
"people are hungry to look", Stefan Sagmeister
"trust gap", David Eggers describing how the parents of kids needing tutoring felt about a center in the back of a pirate supply shop
"my mother loved trivial everyday things. they represented hope and light", Jeff Goodby
"craft is personality", Isaac Mizrahi
"words are like beautiful butterflies, objects of the natural world", Erin McKean
"haiku negotiates between form and the desire for unfettered self expression", Billy Collins
"an object testifies to what it took to make it", Jonathan Ives
"reckless sense of faith", Jonathan Ives about Apple in the "bad" times

I'd highly recommend this conference to anyone interested in design, ideas, art and thought. Every two years. Be there next time!

March 18, 2006

sassy feet

I'm a big fan of small adventures, even the most mundane ones. I think they can add up to more fun than the big ones, frankly. There is something tasty about the cumulative effect of all these great things happening throughout a lifetime. It's kind of like tapas but with experiences rather than food.
Back in January I blogged about the beauty of the classic basics of a french striped fisherman shirt and espadrilles in the entry french things. It's important to note that I am one of those people who is still in awe of the internet and actually not much of an on-line shopper per se. Also, the potential hassle of the item I want not fitting or not being as fabulous as the photo or just never arriving, usually outweighs my willingness to shop on-line. But for these coveted items I ventured into the world of cyber-shopping once more. I went on the website, ordered the shirt and shoes in my size, pushed the buy button and crossed my fingers that the wonderful, authentic french items would arrive at my door step one day in the near future. A week passed and voila! this package arrived, reeking of adventure, with a perfectly fitting french fisherman's top and these fabulous striped espadrilles inside. A basic transaction, the type of which happens at thousand times a second, was now complete and successful. Mundane, yes, but still an adventure, nonetheless.

And here are the wonderful, new espadrilles on my own feet, ready for spring, just waiting for the temperature to crack above 45 degrees. I'm sure it will any day now...ever hopeful.

March 08, 2006

hedgehog sighting

Today was a red letter day. A colleague of mine at a party in December told me that he was getting his son a minature African hedgehog for Christmas. I've never seen a hedgehog in real life, but today I got the chance when his son came for a visit with Spike. Oh my! So sweet.

Anyway, I was bragging to another friend that I got to see a real hedgehog today and he asked if I'd seen the latest entry on cute overload? Which I hadn't. But there it was...a hedgehog for our viewing pleasure. Coincidence? I don't think so!