Thursday, February 28, 2013

follow me

Russian photographer, Murad Osmann has created the most beautiful instagram love letter. His series, #followme chronicles his travels around the world at the end of his girlfriend's outstretched arm. Although we never see her face, we sense her character from her wild auburn waves to her ever-changing nail polish all juxtaposed against the most iconic landmarks and vistas from their globetrotting.

Follow Murad for more...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Required Royal Reading

Anyone with even the slightest interest in Buckingham Palace, the comings and goings of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge or Henry VIII's long and tragic line of wife after wife after wife should take the time to read Hilary Mantel's piece in the London Review of Books.

I found it to be a fascinating examination of the monarchy, fame and female beauty. How we as voyeurs feel entitled if not required to critique these humans, who in so many ways are no longer human (to us) as we, like Mantel in her essay, wouldn't know what to say if we found ourselves face to face with one of them.

I think similar comparisons could be made with our first family or with any number of Hollywood celebrities, however the monarchy occupies a space distinctly separate from those two realms and, as such, there's no direct parallel.

Mantel's piece caused quite a stir; "Kate Speech Hate Speech" read the Guardian and The Independent was equally offended. I think both papers are slightly missing the point, that Mantel's thesis is not anti-Middleton (god forbid) nor anti-monarchy but a more complex look at the machine that will write the Duchess' story for her as it has for so many young women before.

My favorite passage?
"I used to think that the interesting issue was whether we should have a monarchy or not. But now I think that question is rather like, should we have pandas or not? Our current royal family doesn’t have the difficulties in breeding that pandas do, but pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. But aren’t they interesting? Aren’t they nice to look at? Some people find them endearing; some pity them for their precarious situation; everybody stares at them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage"
God save the Queen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Yawns from Everynone on Vimeo.

Because it's that time in the afternoon...

Monday, February 25, 2013

App love

I am having and instagram love affair with Over - a fantastic app that allows you to combine your iphone snapshots with text in an array of beautiful fonts. The interface is intuitive and the final result, so lovely that I am spending endless hours creating these little works of art. The combination of caption and image in one results in a form storytelling where the sum is greater than the two parts. 

For $1.99, it's worth the download.

Here are a few of my trial uses... for many more to come, follow me on instagram. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dinner party essential

As the crowds for our dinner parties seem to continue to grow and we no longer have any remaining room for a few extra chairs, I'm thinking that this emergency bench by designer Jamie Wolfond would be an excellent addition to the seating arrangment.

Watch the video below to see the bench deployment in action.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hipster Reads

To follow up on last week's plea for new reads - I love this infographic from goodreads. Have you read any of these?

Presidents Day

Perhaps it's the tie-in to my political pursuits or simply living in our nation's capital, but I love all things presidential and these charming paintings by Elizabeth Mayville are no exception. Mayville is on vacation from her Etsy shop right now, but here's hoping she returns soon with more installments of these pastel-hued portraits from founding fathers to more modern leaders.





Quincy Adams


Friday, February 15, 2013

Reading List

Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht Holland Via
One thing I've been enjoying in my recent life shift has been the opportunity to read, for fun, again. I didn't read nearly as many books last year as I usually do and now I've been tearing through things and I'm anxious for advice on what to pick up next. Here's a quick round up of what I've loved and what left me wanting over the last several months.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers was my most recent read. An incredible book (and 2012 National Book Prize Winner) that chronicles the lives of an assortment of slum residents in Mumbai. Their dreams, their challenges and the unbelievable obstacles they face in a rapidly modernizing India. It's a very quick read that will leave you at times hopeful and at others hopeless. 

Garlic and Sapphires is such a great book. Nothing new, just new to me, a delightful collection of stories (and characters) created by Ruth Reichl while serving as New York's preeminent food critic. For more of Ruth's poetic musings, it's highly worth following her on Twitter.

So I have not seen the Halle Berry, Tom Hanks movie-version, that apparently no one else has seen either? Have you? But Cloud Atlas the book, is definitely worth your time. Give it a chance, you have to get past the first two chapters and soon you will be entangled in a series of narratives spread out across centuries and continents, but beautifully intertwined. Themes repeat, characters recur (in a way), and I think you will love it.

I started out loving In the Garden of Beasts, which tells a terrifying story of complacency in Berlin during the immediate lead up to World War II through the experience of American Ambassador, William Dodd and his family. Nazism creeps in slowly, bite by bite while socialites and diplomats remark on how pleasant the weather is, until they are swallowed whole along with the rest of the country. The story gradually builds and builds and then plateaus into chapters and chapters where far too many characters comment on the 'electric tension,' 'palpable tension,' or variations on seeing a 'storm growing on the horizon.' But the storm never really arrives, Ambassador Dodd is replaced and returns home with his family and I was left wanting more.

Oh my is 1Q84 one crazy read, and a very long one at that. You should probably read it at some point. It won't be like anything else you've read, unless you've read other Murakami books. I don't know how to even start a synopsis. There's a fiction contest, a young woman submits a bizarre story that once polished (secretively) wins. The book becomes a sensation and the story becomes real. Parallel universes, communes and a lot of looking at the moon. Did I enjoy reading it the entire time I was reading it? No. Did I put it down and read something else for a while before going back? Yes. Was I glad I read it in the end? Yes?  Someone else please read it so we can talk about it. 

I loved Eugenides' Pulitzer winner, Middlesex, but The Marriage Plot? Meh. Just meh. Does anyone else agree? Seemed like a lot of wallowing. Wallowing, wallowing, wallowing in bad relationships and self-pity. 

Oh this is a fun crazy book. No need to give you a summary, you can read the whole thing in that time. Gone Girl is a total guilty pleasure read, but not something I feel like you should actually be ashamed of (I'm looking at you 50 Shades fans) Bring it on your next vacation, but just be prepared to not put it down once you've picked it up.

What are your suggestions? What have you been reading and loving - or eyeing on the shelf? Also, did you read any of the above? What did you think?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Read

Please do not miss this hilarious read on love, hope and celebrity in the age of online dating. It's brilliant.

Yesterday morning, a plane landed at an airport. A man who was or was not a famous actor, and a writer who was or was not in love with him, stood on the verge of finally meeting. A Valentine’s Day story for the romantic and/or foolish at heart...

More from Sarah Hepola on The Morning News

Happy Valentines, Love Google

Have you been to the Google homepage today? They're celebrating both today's obvious holiday along with the 154th birthday of George Ferris, inventor and namesake of the original Ferris Wheel for Chicago's World Fair.

Play matchmaker with the heart button in the middle as cartoon animals pair off for dates, some successful, some not so much... My favorite? A bear whose Octopus date was not expecting sushi for dinner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Paper dolls

I'm completely charmed by the simple perfection of these articulated paper dolls by Maria Dubrovskaya. Craft paper, white paint and a beautiful sense of line and shape result in incredibly original creations with so much character. I love each and every one of them.

Maria suggests using these as a bookmark, attaching magnets and sticking them to your fridge or creating your own animations with the pose-able papers. I could see them in an open shadow box, minimally mounted to allow for new variations when the mood strikes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Silent Shakespeare

I really adore the work of local theater group, Synetic Theater whose motion-based silent interpretations of classic pieces show that great dramas (and comedies) transcend language. I loved this little sneak peek video at the upcoming production of The Tempest (who doesn't love a water stage?).

So who would like to join us for a little theater outing to see the production later this month?

Pink hair

Photo Via Stylite
Forget the Grammy's red carpet fashion. The most notable look of the last week would have to go to Helen Mirren who appeared at the BAFTA awards Sunday night with the palest of pink tint to her cropped coif. Mirren told reporters that she had been inspired by an episode of America's Next Top Model.

We can only hope to be as cool as her someday.