Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Mabel is actually dressing up as a fairy for tonight's festivities (her first ever trick-or-treating, so exciting!), but we don't have the Polaroid of that costume scanned, yet. So, instead, to get into the spirit of the day (actually, in San Francisco, at least, the spirit of past four days, as well), I offer this shot of the baby dressed as a pirate for a pirate-themed birthday party we went to last month. Considering we threw this costume together the morning of, I must say I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Arrr....

Friday, October 28, 2011

In the Midst of Nature

Today's art book, In the Midst of Nature by Bjorn Larsson cannot be found on amazon, or anywhere else stateside as far as I know, except for the admirable New York store Kiosk, purveyors of interesting goods from around the word or, as they put it, "things from places."

But anyhow, Larsson's book is a treat indeed. At first glance you think it's a book of nature photographs, and you're not far wrong. But you are wrong. Because it's really a book of photographs of nature dioramas--taxidermy, carefully arranged tree branches, and so forth--from various nature and science museums in Sweden. The resulting images are gorgeous.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Next in the Continuing Poem Series About The Fall of 2005

October 14, 2005
Oh the whole day slipped away from me today

rushing around work
in an outfit involving
a turquoise slip
(one I’ve had since I was about thirteen)
hanging out of my pullover on purpose

Suffice it to say
it’s been a damn hard week
on the home front
and thereby hangs a tale

but nevertheless
I’m finding increased equilibrium
I hesitate to say that
and jinx it
but it’s true
I can fee it

Aided and abetted
by the separate smells
of brown sugar
and cinnamon
at breakfast

image source is here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gopnik on Editors

I almost never reread books. But, inspired by traveling around New York with a young child--and by how doing so made me see the city in a new, more human, light--I did feel the urge to go back and read again Through the Children's Gate by the admirable Adam Gopnik.

Much of the book was just as I remembered--lovely smart musings about what it means to raise children in the city. Though there were things I'd forgotten--how much of the book is about September 11th and its aftereffects, for instance (though this should come as no surprise, considering it's a book about the years from 2000-2005), as well as the occasional inserted essay about curious urban phenomenon like wild parrots and server hotels.

I finished the book last night, and it emerged that another thing I'd entirely forgotten was the ending. This turns out to be a hilarious riff on publishers and editors, based on some pithy comments from his six-year old daughter Olivia. I absolutely love this. Read on:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tumbling for Tumblr

For a long time I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about when it came to Tumblr. People would talk about "a tumblr" like it was a thing, when as far as I could see it was just another blog hosting platform, like blogger or wordpress or  typepad or what have you. What was the big deal? But then I discovered Jenny Vorwaller's wonderful site, now called Beautiful, though it used to be called A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words--and I mention its old title because that's what helped me get it. Oh, this was visual! And, for the most part, visuals the blogger didn't create. And now I've come to just love the idea that aggregating and curating images, based purely on personal aesthetic response, has become such a thing in our current moment (see also, of course, Pinterest)

And what surprises and pleases me even more is how much I like what corporate brands are doing on tumblr, too. The best examples I know of are Kate Spade, above, and Anthropologie's Etymologie, below. Both companies really seem to have given the folks behind these feeds the freedom to just go nuts and make things that look pretty and wonderful. Which of course in turn enhances their brand--and I'm impressed with them for getting that.

And then there's my most recent favorite discovery which is SFMOMA's tumblr. Of course it should come as no surprise that folks at a museum are good at curation. I mean, well, duh. But it is really nice to seem them embracing such an of-the-moment form with such panache.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Out For a Little Walk

Less than two months ago, the notion that Mabel would go out on the sidewalk in front of our apartment without a stroller or a baby carrier and just walk down the block holding her father's hand was an entirely novel and notable one. These days she does it all the time. But that does nothing to diminish how much I like the above image. On a side note--I can say with some certainty, although I don't actually remember, that the object she is pointing and and heading towards outside of the frame is a leaf on the sidewalk. I've come to think that every baby has her own obsession; one baby of my acquaintance loved balloons, another has a thing for ornamental Buddhas. Our baby loves fallen leaves. Which makes this a great time of year for her, even in California where deciduousness (deciduousocity?) is the exception rather than the rule.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lower Polk Art Walk

The whole family had a great time last night at the Lower Polk Art Walk--such a great casual DIY neighborhood vibe to the whole thing. But I'm afraid the images in this post hardly do the whole thing justice--some cool things we saw I can't find images on line for at all (especially the murals, but even some gallery shows), and for others I haven't been able to find my favorite pieces. Ah well, next time I'll know to take more of my own photos. Above, Ferris Plock at The Shooting Gallery.

Casey Gray at White Walls

 Alex Braubach at Lopo Gallery

A fantastic pop-up group show called "Vacancy" in an empty store front at Polk and Bush (very little info about this to be found online, sadly).

Jonathan Rucio at The Popular Workshop

Mural by Jet Martinez on Cedar Alley

Unidentified mural on Hemlock Alley 

Brand new mural by Dray Wilmore on Hemlock Alley (he also had a great one-night-only show up at Lopo)

Samantha Lee's work on display in the "Artists in the Alley" outdoor gallery on Fern

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Ongoing Poem Series about the Fall of 2005 Continues

October 13, 2005
A hard start to the day

woke up at five
with Bill crying
This is what they said
being a new teacher would be like
but I don’t  think we believed them
I tried to comfort him
I worry about him
And then I worry that I don’t do a good enough job consoling him
And then I try to remember that it isn’t about me
And am left haunted all morning by the impression
of clinging miserably together in the darkness

try to distract
or comfort myself
with tiny thoughts from the day

Because yesterday was cold I’d decided today would be
my first day of autumn to wear tights
quite excited I picked out the eggplant pair with clocking
so of course
today was hot
dressing for yesterday nearly always being a mistake

I also got excited about having toast for breakfast
made from leftover bakery bread
and that was good
toast is autumnal to me and happy

My new soap is the color of ivory
(as opposed to ivory soap which is the dead white color of bone)
and round like a river rock
It looks handsome in the soap dish

Had to deadhead the geranium this evening
the one red flower finally died
but there are new leaves
and the plants look fresh and healthy
The leaves smell almost as good as the flowers
but I’ll miss the spot of color and implicit hopefulness

Oh and the viscerally unpleasant moment
when I went to take the trash out and discovered
curdled yogurt leaking out of the bag
and all over the bottom of the trash can
took the can downstairs
and washed it out at the spigot in the courtyard
splashing my shoes and ankles with water

image source is here

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Wave of the Future

I had occasion the other day to go digging around in the CD archive files of the publisher I work for. And in the course of my project I realized that, back in the day, we kept totally separate filing systems for our Book and Gift projects. Back then, publishing Formats (notecards, postcards, stationery, blank journals, novelty items, etc, etc) was a relatively new business, and was therefore maintained as its own separate country, with different archives, different processes, different rules, and, I imagine, just a few people who knew what all those things were.

These days non-books are just a regular part of the business, like books. And so the way we make both of those kinds of things is relatively similar--following the same basic rules of thumb, sharing the same drawers in the file cabinet, and so forth. And it occurred to me that these days, what Gift once was, Digital has now become--an exciting, mysterious, new-but-fast-growing area of the publishing business--in most cases probably managed by just a few hardworking people within a company, who create their own systems which only they really understand.

I've actually been doing a fair bit of Digital learning lately--folks here are wonderful about being educators and sharing information (for instance, did you know that you can check ebooks out of your public library? pretty neat). But I appreciate the fact that my little bit of proudly-held knowledge right now will, in ten or fifteen years when I look back on it, look about like my one-year-old daughter's current grasp on talking. And we will all look back and laugh at the notion of a time when digital was this odd separate thing, because by then it will be, of course, naturally, just part of what we do.

The wave of the future isn't the hot trendy thing that's next. It's the forward march of time, as inexorable as the tide, which will inevitably make that which seems strange and exotic today seem normal and even ho-hum tomorrow. Or we can think of it as that future time when things will be different, just sitting out there on the timeline, waving at us and waiting for us to catch up.

source for final image is here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Red Lipstick

Feeling inspired today by the above fantastic book that's just come out, A Shade of Red by Alyson Fox (I know, I know, I keep saying I'm not going to flog the books I work on, here on the Cabinet--but I just can't help it--maybe I should just stop saying that. Hmm...)

Alyson took portraits of 100 women all wearing the same shade of red lipstick, Revlon's Certainly Red...

The whole time I've been working on this book I've been toying with the idea of rocking some red lipstick myself...

And then in Pantone: The 20th Century in Color (another book I can't seem to stop talking about) there's a spread in the 1950s section about cosmetics, including Fire and Ice, also by Revlon, which my mother told me the other day was the shade she wore throughout the 50s...

And then on Design Sponge yesterday there was a home tour of the charming pad of former Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones--which concluded with the image above, revealing that in the time since the show Gretchen has gone blonde, while keeping her signature red lips...

And speaking of going blonde, I just read this piece in Lucky magazine about an editor there going platinum (about the same shade as my own) and realizing that once she did she had to start wearing red lipstick, specifically the legendary Nars Heat Wave...

Which happens to be the same shade worn by my inimitable pal and coworker Alex Sheehan. All of which seems to point to me purchasing a tube (probably of the Heat Wave, which apparently is great for the pale among us).

Monday, October 17, 2011

In a New York restaurant

I am completely in love with this Polaroid of big girl Mabel sitting down to have her supper at yummy Greek restaurant Ethos (which we wandered into on our last night because it was near our hotel and which turned out to have some of the best food we had on the whole trip).

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Five-Year-Old Girl's Clothing

Today's art book is a five-year-old girl's clothing by SkĂșta Helgason. This is something I picked up at the New York Art Book Fair the other week. It is just the sort of thing I am into (attentiveness to the quotidian minutiae of life and so forth). Not to mention the fact that the books were being sold by the artist's eleven-year-old daughter: the same five-year-old whose clothing was featured in the book, and because the clothes were hers she would sign the book for you in green sharpie, if you wanted, though she was very conscientious about pointing out the fact that it was her dad's book, not hers.

Once I got it home and did a bit more research it turns out that the book was part of an interesting project the artist did where he set himself the task of making 52 books in 52 weeks (although, as you can read about here, it ended up taking him just a wee bit longer than that). Anyway, I really love this. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another Poem in the Ongoing Series About the Fall of 2005

October 12, 2005
Colder yesterday than it has been

Cold in that way that feels
like a flavor
like a color
(pale bluish green)
wet on your face
Cold that makes you understand why we have
cold snaps
but heat waves
those verbs are accurate
heat rolls over you slowly like a wave
whereas cold snaps at your skin
like a teenage boy with a rolled-up towel

Last night I made dinner while Bill wrote a paper
Green beans with walnuts and walnut oil
Tossed some shrimp in there that I’d cooked up in a pan
Ate it with crusty bread and butter and bubbly water
a light meal but the walnut oil was rich and complicated

It’s been a down week at our house
Bill’s had nothing but hard days at school
and if I’m feeling calm it’s because I melted down on Sunday
and have been living since in the stillness that comes after
I keep looking for the
“radiance and glory inside the darkness”
I glimpse it sporadically
sometimes do feel the joy of seeing
a single dark curl behind Bill’s ear
a dark green bowl of bright green beans
new windows at Tiffany’s
brown paper bags
people on the street
silver spoons and pistachio ice cream

image source is here

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pantone Day

I've gone on and on here, before, about my excitement about the various Pantone stationary products I've been working on. And now the companion big book, Pantone: The 20th Century in Color is here! My own blogging dad did a great piece on it here, and Alyson Kuhn over at Felt&Wire has also been doing amazing and extensive early coverage. So I'll spare you my own spiel about this, if I do say so myself, fantastic book about the history of color. Instead, I'll share some pics from last Friday's Pantone Day at my office. To celebrate the release of the book we asked each floor of the building to dress in certain colors, and then we had a little party.

Here's what I wore (and Mabel dressed up, too!)

The third floor (design and production) in reds and oranges

The second floor (editorial) in greens and blacks

The first floor (sales, marketing, finance) in blues and purples

The team who worked on the book (plus a certain baby)

The book's designer, and my pal, Brooke, looking amazing


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