Friday, March 28, 2014

Ivan Belikov

I love Instagram, I really do (heck, I authored a whole book that's basically about how much I love it). But, as I mentioned the other day, I do see its downsides, too. Perhaps that's why I love Ivan Belikov's poster-style depiction of it. It's part of a larger series depicting various social networks, most of which I'm honestly not savvy enough to get. But I sure do get the concept of us all lugging our picture-taking habit around with us all the time like a snail does its shell, and leaving behind us an endless stream of photos like a slimy snail-trail of our lives. Genius. Love it.

First brought to my attention by Koi Koi Koi.

The Cabinet will be on hiatus next week. Have a lovely weekend. See you in April! xo b

Thursday, March 27, 2014

One of Those Rare Moments When the Poem Saga About the Spring of 2006 Syncs Up Almost Perfectly in Time With Our Current Spring of 2014

March 30, 2006
So we’ve had this bunch of daffodils on the table all week

bought them as those less than promising little green twigs
that you get at the cult grocery store I will not name by name
because I’ve been mentioning it far too often recently
and fear I must be getting sucked into their sect myself
where they are ninty-nine cents for a bunch of ten
and we got two bunches so twenty flowers for two bucks

and now
they have
opened up
into the most glorious
pretty springtime thing
you can imagine
seems like every morning
at breakfast we mention it
and I just sit there
almost in disbelief
that they are so alive
and in our house
and so impossibly

image source is here

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Putting the A in YA

For airplane days, sick days, or days when one is just feeling a little depleted and could use some comfort reading, my usual genre fiction genre of choice tends to be murder mysteries (favorite authors include Donna Leon, Laurie R. King, Kate Atkinson, and of course Agatha Christie); occasionally I'll dip into fantasy; rarely science fiction; never romance, westerns, or--my husband's favorite--seafaring novels (with the notable and profound exception of course of Patrick O'Brian--whom, if you haven't read, you must rush out and do so at once. at once!). But lately I've been enjoying a new little liaison with YA novels. This is a tad embarrassing. A bit like admitting you still wear strawberry lip smackers lip gloss or still have posters of boy bands up in your room. Except, of course, that they didn't really have YA novels when I was a teenager. If there had been books like Rainbow Rowell's--funny, romantic, sexy, smart, realistically foul-mouthed--when I was fifteen or so I'd have been thrilled. Instead I had to keep reading the Baby Sitters Club until I was old enough to make the leap to Salinger. Not to knock the Baby Sitters Club (about which more on my life long love affair with here), but something in between does seem useful. But while I may have missed their window of utility by twenty-plus years, I can still enjoy scarfing down such well-written volumes  as Elinore and Park and Fangirl from time to time as a fully grown woman. So there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Non-Fake Non-Perfect Life

Lately I've been feeling inspired by a little photo project that's lurking in the messy corners of my life. I'd found myself having lots of conversations with people recently about how we should be instagraming photos of our unmade beds, dirty laundry, and  unwashed dishes. Anything real and quotidian to counteract the fakey-fakey perfect-perfect version of life that people (self included!) tend to put forth in their instagram feeds. So I started doing it and it has made me ridiculously happy. I've even convinced a few other people to give it a whirl. There's a wrinkle where you have to decide whether it's more fun to make the photo of dirty dishes look all dreamy and soft focus and beautiful like people do with sunsets and lattes and shoes, or whether you use the flash and make the monster pile of clothes you should be taking to the dry-cleaners, but aren't, look its very starkest most unpretty self. Both directions have their own merits and pleasures, in my view. And both bring forth that same thing I've been saying forever (and will most likely continue to say ad infinitum): that real life is inherently beautiful, even when you don't pretty it up (maybe even especially when you don't pretty it up?). If I was feeling more grandiloquent I'd say this was the start of a Movement. Instead I say I like this: It makes me feel good and so I do it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Toy Box

It's rare that I can get an even semi-decent Polaroid picture of the girl indoors, in action, anymore. The light is just too low and the film too old. But somehow I lucked into this one--mostly due to milky spring sunlight streaming all Vermeer-like in the window to my left / Mabel's right. And there she is, caught mid-toy-box-riffle. I've long maintained that if you love San Francisco it loves you back, and I think I might need to extend that to California--its magical light being one of the ways the place shows you its love. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Erin Lynn Welsh

Am utterly enamored with these floral paintings by Erin Lynn Welsh, first brought to my attention by the always excellent Booooooom.

Enjoy, and have a fantastic weekend y'all!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Poem Series About the Spring of 2006 Continues On This, the First Day of Spring 2014

March 29, 2006
This morning we had english muffins with jam

I’ve never really been all that into jam
but for some reason lately
I’ve felt enthusiastic about it
We bought some blueberry
a few weeks back
so that’s mostly what I’ve been having
But just in the last few days oddly
the subject of marmalade
keeps coming up in my reading
so now I’m craving that
and ok I also have ulterior motive
namely that we have
some random brand of marmalade
in our fridge in a ho-hum jar
and I want to use that up
and replace it with the oh-so-pleasing
classic squat and curvy marmalade pot
Bill called me on that one right away
You just want a different jar in the fridge don’t you?
So nice to be known

why did it take me
until I was thirty years old
to figure out about seasons?
It’s cold and wet in March
but with green buds and long evenings
entirely different from
the cold and wet of December
this isn’t random
there’s a pattern
It’s predictable
and each bit is short and rare
fleeting and worthy of note
It took the farmer’s market
apples in December
asparagus in March
to teach me that

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oh You City Ladies!

Today I present you with three books by women about cities.

The first, as you can see just above, I authored. Last year I put together This is Happening: Life Through the Lens of  Instagram and it turns out this authorship thing is a little bit addictive. So this year I have a new one--New York Jackie. I am super duper proud and honored to have assembled this collection of photos from the 30 years Jackie Kennedy Onassis lived in the NYC. Book editor, mom, and everyday style icon, she was such a quintessential New Yorker and her New York years still evoke that easy glamor, that casual sparkle, that, really, don't we all aspire to?

Speaking of New Yorkers, the second book is one I edited, and which hit shelves yesterday. Hello NY is a fabulously idiosyncratic and personal ode to the city by one of its most delightful native daughters, artist and illustrator Julia Rothman. I am pleased as punch to have helped bring this one into the world. Julia wrote an amazing (and, at least to me, rather tear-jerking) account of creating this book over on her blog Book By Its Cover which, in addition to the book itself, I also highly recommend (just maybe skip over the part where I make her cry).

Third and last, a book with which I had basically nothing whatsoever to do--except to stand on the sidelines and cheer as my colleague Christina brilliantly acquired and edited it. But Wendy MacNaughton's Meanwhile in San Francisco is an amazing and riotous ode to the place I love most in the world and so, as many in this town no doubt will experience, I find myself getting a little bit choked up as I peruse it. There's a great piece about it up over on Brainpickings if you'd like to see a sample of Wendy's illustrated stories of the people who make up the City by the Bay.

Basically, not to put too find a point on it, I'm personally of the opinion that you should rush out and buy all three of these fine volumes. All available from Chronicle Books or wherever books are sold.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pink Again

About half a year ago I put up this post about how I cannot stop collecting fashion images of pink garments. Well, the obsession continues--aided and abetted by the always gorgeous site Wear Color and my own color-organized Pinterest boards. This latest crop is mostly modern-day, but does include a few mid-80s gems thrown into the mix--that being the era when I personally first discovered fashion and, like a baby chicken, imprinted upon certain style elements which speak to me profoundly to this day (indeed, the below Vogue Patterns images from 1986 are what, on some level, I believe clothes really should look like).

above: Valentino

Street fashion photo by Diego Zuko for Bazaar

Mario Testino shooting for Vogue Patterns Magazine, 1986


Source lost in the mists of time, darn (even reverse Google image search can't find it--I was inclined to say mid-80s vintage again, until I glimpsed the tattoo on the left-hand model's wrist)

 Michelle Harper and Jenny Shimiziu

Vogue Patterns Magazine, 1986

Glamour France

Again, source lost in the wilds of Pinterest/Tumblr/etc. Alas.

Grace Bol photographed by Wendelien Daan for Elle Netherlands

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bike Riding!

And suddenly the girl can ride a bike with training wheels. Just like that. What the heck?! Suffice to say I have never before in life experienced anything that makes time fly more quickly than cohabitation with a small fast-growing child.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Helen Frankenthaler

I've mentioned her in passing a few times before, in the context of my ever-ongoing love affair with Abstract Expressionist painting. But the other day I stumbled upon not one but two stunningly gorgeous caches of high-res images showing the work of Helen Frankenthaler (on Miss Moss and the Anthology blog respectively--for which, thank you both!), and cannot resist sharing with you here a whole great big gallery of these beautiful colorful artworks. Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend! xo b

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Poem Series Which Continues to Continue On About the Spring of 2006 Continues On Like This

March 28, 2006
This morning I had to go to the dentist and get a filling

With all the natural accompanying anxiety
and anticipation that implyies
But as I sat in the chair and they tipped me back
I had a view out the window of a sort of pavilion-like skylight
on top of a building across the street

Now that I think about it I realize
that this is the big white wedding-cake building
with columns like a bank or temple which is
like nearly everything else in the neighborhood
actually part of the art school
and has those great funny figural driftwood sculptures out in front
that are lit with giant yellow spotlights at night
But you wouldn’t know any of that from the view of the roof

Just a kind of big rundown rhomboid shape
made of frosty panes of glass
framed against the crummy back of the next building
in the gray light of a rainy morning
and utterly gorgeous

image source is here

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Work Shopping

I did not blog about publishing this morning because I was out on a publishing retail field trip. Where I bought the above stunning object for a hefty sum. The color on the edges is just as amazingly bright as it looks and the notepaper that makes up the block is luscious.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New Togs

Am realizing I might have kind of a thing about British clothing brands. When Mabel and I wanted to take a photo of our new outfits last night, she was dressed head-to-toe in Boden and I was clad all in Toast. The Toast outfit was a gift from my clothing-spotting genius father, who spied it styled just-so in the image from their website shown just below. And beneath that is another Toast image, included just to prove once and for all, if proof is needed, that dark roots under bleached-blonde hair are super cool.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Baby Orion Came to Visit

I love this picture because it pretty accurately reflects what goes on when friends with kids come over to visit: a certain degree of chaos--everyone looking in different directions (Bill looks at the baby, the baby looks at Mabel, Mabel looks at who-knows-what, and so forth)--paired with an amplitude of fellow-feeling wafting around like honeyed sunlight.