The other day I did a quick search for what had been my favorite drawing material while in art school; the Cretacolor Monolith Woodless Pencils—as referenced in my post about Hugh Ferriss. My search turned up a real gem of a website called Leaderholder.com. This guy loves lead!! And everything that goes with it. The site’s photo galleries are a virtual treasure trove of beautiful, vintage and modern lead packaging.
But it doesn’t stop there. You can also browse a nice display of drafting supply catalogs (covers and interior pages) as well as vintage print ads from various pencil manufacturers. I always admire the devotion it must require to maintain and share a collection of beautiful—yet often overlooked—items like these.
What is this? It’s one of my creations from typeisart.com, a really fun interactive project inspired by Susanne Cerha’s absolutely brilliant typography poster, Parts of a Character. The Flash interface allows users to create designs using fragments of letter forms which are neatly arranged along the bottom of the screen—a nice palette of shapes. If you are even slightly interested in typography and letter forms or if you just like to create abstract designs (as I LOVE to do) you must give this a try. Show off your designs by saving them to the public gallery and when you’re done check out some of the typeisart swag. Who knows, maybe one of your—or my—designs will end up being selected for use on some of those items. I really want the silkscreen poster, but will have to settle for the tote-bag or a T-shirt. Oh and some stamps!!
The recent Last month’s issue of Dwell magazine had a very interesting feature about an artist—or draftsman as the magazine referred to him—named Hugh Ferriss. His renderings of buildings and other architectural structures are just amazing. I love that they’re sort of realistic and other-worldly at the same time. Their unusual combination of precision and almost painterly richness is truly something to behold. Makes me want to dig out my Monolith and Fabriano.
There’s a great set of Ferriss’ work on Flickr. There is also a nice (and arguably more articulate) post about it here.
So this week I tackled a new pattern and I am thrilled with the result. It’s from Girl’s Style Book, one of my new favorites. The best thing? I think it will actually be appreciated and worn!!! Our little friend Eliza is turning three and I’ve made this for her birthday gift. I think it will be lovely with her steel-blue eyes. (The fabric is slightly more blue than in this photo). I’m toying with the idea of making a little pair of pants or leggings to go with it, since it’s a bit too short to be a dress. It’s more of a tunic length and I think it would be extra cute with some soft denim pants, maybe with a patch pocket trimmed in this fabric for contrast. I’ll try to squeeze it in.
Also, I’ve finally decided to order some woven labels. Until I can settle on a good name for my little business venture, I don’t want to spend a fortune on custom labels so I think these will do the trick for now. I’m excited! Perhaps I’ll try to sneak one in the next thing I make for L and let her think it’s store-bought.
Last month when my parents were here visiting, my mom and I decided it was time to rescue my old doll collection from the cedar chest. These aren’t just any dolls. These dolls were handmade by my mom for me every Christmas when I was a little girl. We both looked forward to introducing them to Lauren, and hoped she would be excited. We must have tipped our hand because she showed no signs of being impressed.
Undeterred, we proceeded to strip and wash them and all their clothing. My mom took such care ironing and mending each dress and pinafore, re-braiding—and in some cases, re-attaching—hair, and re-dressing each one, bloomers, slips and all.
It felt good to be among these old friends again, fresh and clean, ready to start a new phase of life. It also felt good to see my girl sneaking into the chair with them and, when she thought no one was looking, introducing them to her other dolls.
We thoroughly enjoyed our camping trip at the coast last weekend—our last of the summer. Despite some surprisingly cool evenings and a bit of rain, we managed to put in a respectable amount of time on the beach. This is the third Labor Day weekend we’ve spent with our friends in the yurts at Nehalem Bay State Park. It’s becoming one of my favorite traditions. Although the campground is big and crowded and the sites are not at all private or remote, I still love this place. It is right near my favorite stretch of beach on the Oregon coast. I love the approach to this beach. I love the cool sand on our bare feet as we walk up the path, through the grasses, to the top of the dunes where the most breathtaking view reveals itself. I love to see the kids racing, tumbling down the soft hills of sand toward the beach and the ocean. I love looking back on the dunes from the beach once we’ve settled into our playing and relaxing. It’s quite thrilling.
I’m not typically a big scratch cook while camping. Hot dogs over the fire, spaghetti noodles with (good) sauce from a jar or an assembled mezza platter are fine examples of my culinary offerings while in the great outdoors. But I’d been having such success with this book and the chowder recipe had been calling to me, so I decided to pack up all the ingredients and give it a try on the Coleman stove. The result was divine. It tasted exactly like summer in a bowl. All six of us practically licked the pot clean.
The funny thing about this soup is that it sort of takes you by surprise. The ingredient list isn’t particularly impressive, nor are the techniques—with the exception of simmering the naked cobs in the stock. It doesn’t look like anything special when served. But when you taste it, you realize it is special.
I made it again last night and although not as stunning, it was still very, very good. I think the difference was in the quality of the produce and the salt. Please do yourself and favor and get this book. Then make this recipe using the freshest, best quality ingredients you can get your hands on. You won’t be sorry.