Wes Anderson, MB Goffstein, the Vogels, Sofia Coppola, Megumi Sasaki et alia

photo copyright MB Goffstein

"That's why the Vogels are so unique. 
Why do you have to explain art? 
You have to just look at the art very hard. 
You don't have to process that 
information through your brain. 
You can just take it to your heart, straight. 
And that's what the Vogels do."


If you would like to visit some fine art today, 
take a look at the work of MB Goffstein
Doesn't get any finer. 

Thank you, Brooke Goffstein. Thank you, Joan, for knowing.

When I, for one, read the novels on M. B. Goffstein's website, I wonder if Wes Anderson or Sofia Coppola or Alfonso Cuaron have called her yet. Can you see? 

Photo courtesy of MB Goffstein


The magnificent Rebecca Dautremer
and an all-time-favorite, Alexandra Boiger.

The work above is by

Sometime, I should tell you about
(here's a bit...it's happening soon: you should go).
And Alexandra Boiger.
Alexandra is a woman of great vision,
clear perception, and good heart.


Striped Stockings, Alice in Wonderland, Jacob K and Vogue

Every once in awhile, there's a photo
(Vogue has a habit of doing this)
that stops me in my tracks.
Often, these days, they are at the
magnificent alice in wonderland.

These are from a stylist she has
Truly, you will want to go see the rest.

Wabi Sabi: some notes from a conversation with Ed Young

Below, a bit from a few notes taken while talking to Ed Young in the Spring of 2006; at the time, I was working on a magazine article/shoot that would feature rooms I'd created for children...and the best part of the preparation was a chance meeting with Mr. Young and the opportunity to spend a few minutes talking to him about his thoughts on design for children.

Here are the notes, just as I transcribed them in another little blog I had at the time:

"...Mr. Young, who trained as an architect, had such important things to say about environments. The first thing he said was that I needed to talk to Ashley Bryant, who lives near the shore and takes daily walks there and collects various things and writes poetry and turns his play into work. Mr. Y thought this was of great importance (these are my weak notes, written fast because I could not breathe and was trying to get it all down and nothing made sense to my hand 'tho it was all making the most primeval sense to my brain. When I look at the entry I made after talking to him, I know somehow I got it because, two entries later, I used a quote of Mr. Y's that I found, and realized--later, again--that they were remarkably similar) because...notes, finally:

  • [children are] 'hungry for something that's not made already'
  • 'branches | personal | imagination' (think this was in connection with the walks on the shore of A. Bryant, and his making things...play into work...as children love to do)
  • 'express themselves through their imagination'...[by taking bits and pieces and making] "things out of them" (this might have been in connection with the statement--Mr. Y. talks softly, and almost lowered his voice to a whisper when he said this--and I didn't write it down, so this is paraphrased - 'do you know where children really love to get things? From the dump...')
  • 'architecture' (I think this is when he told me that is what he had been trained in)
  • [questions for architects should be] 'is it healthy?' | 'is it human?'
  • 'when humans use it and play with it - it becomes beautiful' (this in thinking that architects want the things they build to be beautiful, and that the mistake they make, often, is that pure 'beauty' becomes the most important end result to them--but if humans don't use it, it isn't beautiful. Mr. Y. said that places that were supposed to be beautiful but are not used by humans, because they are not people-friendly, often become the most blighted areas of a city...)
  • [for] 'creating a culture in' - (the highest use of architecture, I believe this was his thought)
  • 'once it's used, it becomes healthy' "
[The following were a few more of my own thoughts:]
Okay, so there you have it. The bottom line (literally) is that once it's used, it becomes healthy.

Perhaps this is the greatest problem with some of the interior design we see these days. Beautiful (perhaps), but who on earth really wants to live there? An immaculate house that looks like an untouched museum? Too often, nobody's home. Who would want to be?

Little ones, above all, are not supposed to be perched on the edge of a chair trying not to spill on it ... rugs are not supposed to be pure white unless you are the boy in the plastic bubble ... people need to be able to stretch and read and eat and play and write and be happy in a room, and this includes, most especially, children.
This can be achieved: we can make beautiful spaces that will be lived in, and not just admired, so that we can function better as a society, and members of a society.


Bill Cunningham Brings You Santa Clause(s)

Bill Cunningham is in-claus-ably wonderful. See here.

mama in her kerchief, and i in my cap

well, it is saturday and i am in a rush. planes touching down for christmas deliveries to our house tomorrow, people we love to hug. and not an evergreen in sight in this home, as i - not in my kerchief - have been wrestling the flu all week...

so, here, would like to point out that ancient industries rocks. what a fabulous blog! and she does book covers (our kind of gal!) and has a website, also. and, of course, i stumbled up this whilst looking at hollister's blogroll, which is, like everything else hollister does, exquisite and beautifully edited.

must go find tree, kerchief, and The Night Before Christmas....thus, "i in my cap, " above (one of my favorite, favorite lines and one i wondered over, pondering excessively when younger. much younger.)

hohoho and we're off!


A Little Christmas Film by Peter Sis, Beck Underwood & Co.

There is wonderful new film, 
sweet and not scary at all, 
even 'tho it comes from the delightful little romp 
that is called Creepy Christmas 
(see advent calendar, above).  

Beck Underwood, Peter Sis, Larry Fessenden, and friends. 

More where this came from.


How to give gifts unconditionally, here, via the lovely Tea at Trianon. Dog is from amazing ancient industries.


A Window on Elizabeth Street

There's original art and brand new words from Peter Sis on art.books.children. Just thought you might want to know.

And, here, interesting info from the always exceptional Book By It's Cover on the those new fishwrappers at Starbucks. I hadn't been picking them up, but I will now. What was I thinking? Scarcely goes there a day that I'm not trolling for additional news content, and it's always nice when it's delivered on newsprint: especially, these days, well-edited, well-designed, well-written inked-up newsprint.

A brilliant friend recently sent word that she'd just stopped by Starbucks, on the way to the bookstore. Wonder if she grabbed one of these? Wonder if she liked it? She has exceedingly good taste. I should ask her.


this marvelous bit of frosty cycling 
from lars via 
makes you smile, doesn't it?


Tidings of Great Joy

With love and a hat tip to the great Mr. Steig.
There's so much more where this came from,
but the days are just packed right now.

Extra love to those in
New York and Germany and Virginia.


This might be the Christmas Card.

Right here. Just not sure we're going to get to
the printing, stamping, addressing, return-addressing thing this year.
Am wrestling with my feelings about that. Okay. Done wrestling.

Will be wishing everyone, as ever, great happiness
and tidings of joy and whatnot. Also: a few moments peace,
a lightening of the load,
the privilege of enjoying our abundant blessings;
sit down, let some stuff go, spend time on your kids
or your dog or your book.
Spend time on something you love.
Spend time with someone you love.

above all, remember
you are loved.


(Madlenka x 1,000) + Peter Sis = Chicago

December 12th 2008
there's wonders afoot 
in Chicago....
a thousand Madlenkas, in Spanish, 
are going to schoolchildren...
more about it, here.


Good for Your Eyes and Your Soul, is Spontaneous Pie

Carrots, known to be good for the eyes, are in the latest post from the magnificent Emily Lisker.

Go check out Spontaneous Pie and see how Emily makes even the simplest things a soul-warming work of art.

Emily cooks like you're supposed to, I think: with care, and imagination, good taste buds and love. A pinch of some and a bit of other. No five-star sweat to bead your brow, no fussyglossy staged shots to fall short of. No invisible army of sous chefs dancing merrily behind the screen. 

It makes me want to turn on the oven again, and fire up the stove. Thank goodness.

Cooking can be fun, and simple, and you can enjoy it. I know this because I read Emily. And I am going to make Spontaneous Pie with spinach soon, and it will be good.

sweet heaven

miette is beyond sweet.

it is sort of just completely ethereal:
beautiful, swooningly delicious,
exquisitely packaged, perfectly presented.

in short, heaven.

right here at the
san francisco ferry building.

Being Digital: Nice. Google Magazine Search: Good.

"'Imagine an electronic newspaper delivered to your home as bits. Assume it is sent to a magical, paper-thin, flexible, waterproof, wireless, lightweight, bright display...Done well, this is likely to be a magnificent news medium. Done badly, it will be hell.' 
Heck, I just want it to be done in my lifetime."   {cover design: Chip Kidd}
from me:
Just noted that we will now all have digital tear sheets, instead of glossy piles of scattered 2-D italian sofas and random lighting ideas...google has just announced it's magazine search. Good, and about time. It has often seemed that magazines might have done this earlier...when many of our shoots were published, it was always hard to understand why it wasn't online...so much more readership potential. Well, now it's here, thanks to google. Cool.


Vintage Anna Internet: Office Office

Well, I imagine that everyone may have already seen this before, eons ago, but I just found it (in my current WOI search...Anna's house was in the mag, a while back) and I thought it was worth a gander. More here.

The office. The bob. The wall, the blooms. Simple, elegant, inspired. Exquisite vintage internet Anna.

World of Interiors

World of Interiors, originally uploaded by qwin cowper.

a very very good issue;
thank goodness it finally
arrived in the mail basket...

thanks to qwin for the pic


General Eric Shinseki

Wonderful and long-awaited news

We have learned so much about strength from General Shinseki.

There is no weapon more powerful than the truth. To accompany this with wisdom, patience, and good intention: this is the stuff of greatness. 

Thank you, Mr. Obama.


A Madonna for the New Recession

Wonderful words, this morning (as always), on The Insomniacs Kitchen...a favorite blog of mine. Here is the post, in it's entirety:

A Much Greater Poverty
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
-Mother Teresa


I've chosen a Dorothea Lange photo (via Old Picture of the Day) to illustrate our hat-tip to Emily.

Money or no, the child sits on the woman's lap carefully ensconced and softly held. There is the presence of love here. The protection of being cared for, no matter what the circumstances. The compassion that love affords, no matter where we are. A true modern Madonna.

(Perhaps this mother and child should have been the postal stamp this year: "Madonna of the Recession," whaddya think?)

Wishing you abundant blessings this weekend, and always.
To be loved and cared for, these are the greatest riches. Let's share this gift, and use our extra pennies to buy bread and milk for a child that might not have any otherwise.

Is it the year to skip the sales and shore up the local food kitchen?


In Love with Pink Boxes: Overzealous Baker Frosts Hills Like Wedding Cake

Found this at Anh-minh's delightful blog. And it's another "I love": the little houses that dot the hills near San Francisco. Clever Anh mentions both sfgirlbybay (very swell stuff she has, and more good little house pics here) and the author of Little Boxes, Rob Kiel.

When you are driving into the city, it always looks as though some overzealous baker (who loved little pink boxes) decided to create subdivisions and frosted the hills like wedding cake.

It's all sort of delicious, isn't it?

By Andrew Moore, Via Paul Pincus

Dear Readers: I thought you deserved an excellent photograph, having wandered through the week with us. Here, from Andrew Moore, via the elegant master Paul Pincus. I love this.




Good Fortune Hunting

"Good fortune
only arrives
when you share
your happiness
with other people."


Quote of the Day: John Foster on grainedit

"I also don’t care much for 
pretension in design 
for the most part."
John Foster

This says so much so simply, doesn't it? From grain edit's terrific interview: John Foster and his new book, FOR SALE: Over 200 Innovative Solutions in Packaging Design.

I think you'll like the interview, and the book. I love packaging design, and have gotten to do a bit. (We'll be posting examples as the blog progresses.) 

For now, though, I'd just like to thank John Foster (who also designed the book: he is taking part, thank goodness, in the new wave of publishing) for the excellent quote above, and the one we'll finish with:

"Selling products in a fragmented marketplace is more and more challenging and I wanted to show the designers who were up to the task."

In this crazy sad market, design that is not pretentious, overwrought, or underdone is a tonic. 

Glad Foster has brought some of the good stuff to the fore. Glad grain edit has the goods.


Suggested Reading

Ah, here is an illustration from Mudpies and Other Recipes...
now, do you remember why we love Erik Blegvad?

Visual courtesy of the marvelous
Check out her blog and her etsy shop.

Good books for the holidays.
What could be better?

To Make A Mudpie

You might just need 

The author, Marjorie Winslow, is
pictured below (pushing the pram).

More to come, as we also 
do adore the illustrator,
Erik Blegvad.

Driving the Buggy

This little girl grew up to
write a great book.

More on that later.


and they come without buttons, too

How delightful. With or Without Buttons.
And there's more where this came from, 
and more and more
warm worms for wrists 

juto found {via vic} @ {the lovely} lost


Vintage Sartorialist, I Love

It seems likely that haiku will survive and most existentiallengthy phone conversations will not.
When the phone was introduced, some thought it might be the end of the art of conversation. With the texts and emails and twitter and video chat, who knows where it's all going? There are so many ways to connect. Quicker, & more often (if desired).

With so many words, I think we are learning to choose them more carefully. One would hope.

above: vintage sartorialist, vintage phone


Where The Wild Things Are: Thank You, Hollister Hovey

I can hardly bear it, how about you? 
Hollister Hovey has posted 
the best of the New York windows. 

Porter Hovey has photographed 
a somewhat uncommon but 
utterly delectable feast 
for which to give thanks. 

Go visit them. Love.


Alexander: Here's the Apple Pie!

Sweetbriar Apple Pie, With Love

  • 1 pound o' butter
  • 4 cups of good fresh flour
  • 2 tablespoons, sugar
  • 2 teaspoons, salt
  • 1 cuppa water, with ice cube floating around (achtung! you will not use all the water!)
  • NOTE: this will be enough crust for 2 or 3 pies

Innards for each pie will be:
  • 4 or 5 sour-ish green apples (granny smith or so), peeled and cored and sliced
  • 1/4 cup, sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of: grated nutmeg, ground mace...and maybe a tiny scosh of cloves and cardamom? whatever. up to you. be creative (which you always are).

Make that crust, just like you have been (i.e., that amazing picture you just sent) but: leave it twice the size, roll it out, and have some nice crumbly artistic edges...you will be folding it over the whole apple deal, in a very soigne way... (For those who would like a lovely pie crust recipe, click here.)

Put this artsy pastry into a nice big pie plate, and chill for about 15 minutes...afterwards, fill 'er up with apple slices, enough so that it looks nice and heaping but not overmuch or too little....

Now, the fun part: shake that sugar softly over the apple slices, and happily dot little bits of butter around. Sprinkle spices on quick-like. Now, fold up those artistic pastry edges, sort of on top of each other. It will seem rather random, but I promise it will come out of the oven looking quite handsome (and taste lovely, to boot). Try to cover up most of those slicey apples, so they are tucked in nice. But don't spend much time on this part.

The pie usually takes about 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. The crust will be look done, and you'll know. Cool for a few minutes, and then sklather on freshly whipped (no sugar, ist besser!) cream. You can add a bit of grated nutmeg on the top if you want to get super-snazzy.

Enjoy. We will miss you at the turkey table, but we send blessings your way every second of every day.

(Here, we would like to send said blessings, also, to Mim and Pop and Grandma and Grandpa and the Basnights and every Thorne and Reynard we ever knew, along with the Brooksies, the Pilots, the Sans and Chaves families. Aloha, fam. We love all of you and hope you get the right end of the wishbone, every one!)

Alexander: Call your mother if she wrote something down wrong, above; we can try to fix it. It can happen. And remember, my German is sehr rusty, but I try. Ist gut?