Don Stevens. Beatnik.

Wandered over to The Selvedge Yard again. 

Absolutely magnificent post on The Best Generation.

As usual, JP's put together a beautifully edited group of photos.

This one, in particular, stuck with me. It's remarkably timeless, somehow. (Well, timeless in a sense...but I'm not going to wax philosophic at the moment.)

Seems as though it could've been taken yesterday.


I'm Only Saying Positive Things From Now On

"Three Ways That Good Design Makes You Happy"

Wanted to bring you this wonderful bit from design critic Don Norman. The post's title is his. He finishes the talk off this way: "So that's the new me. I'm only saying positive things from now on." Gotta love it. Click here for talk.

photo, flickr
philippe starck's paving design

"We’re collectively living through 1500, when it’s easier to see what’s broken than what will replace it."

"There is no general model for newspapers
to replace the one the internet just broke."

The post title, as well as quotes above and below,
are excerpts from Clay Shirky's

Like the previous information from Russell Davies--see first post with "We've broken your machines. Now we want your business."--I am reprinting these (and hope you will read both in entirety, for a better viewpoint) because they are germane to issues at hand. We are in the midst of a revolution, and it is thrilling and uncertain and unsettling. What revolution isn't? And, like any revolution, what will happen when the smoke clears is quite unknowable right now. Mr. Shirky, though, has marvelously salient points about what has happened. In the first sentence, below, he has taken us back to Gutenberg's time:

"During the wrenching transition to print, experiments were only revealed in retrospect to be turning points. Aldus Manutius, the Venetian printer and publisher, invented the smaller octavo volume along with italic type. What seemed like a minor change — take a book and shrink it — was in retrospect a key innovation in the democratization of the printed word. As books became cheaper, more portable, and therefore more desirable, it expanded the market for all publishers, heightening the value of literacy still further.

That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given novelty isn’t apparent at the moment it appears; big changes stall, small changes spread. Even the revolutionaries can’t predict what will happen..."

"Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.

We don’t know who the Aldus Manutius of the current age is. It could be Craig Newmark, or Caterina Fake. It could be Martin Nisenholtz, or Emily Bell. It could be some 19 year old kid few of us have heard of, working on something we won’t recognize as vital until a decade hence. Any experiment, though, designed to provide new models for journalism is going to be an improvement over hiding from the real, especially in a year when, for many papers, the unthinkable future is already in the past.

For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of overlapping special cases. Many of these models will rely on amateurs as researchers and writers. Many of these models will rely on sponsorship or grants or endowments instead of revenues. Many of these models will rely on excitable 14 year olds distributing the results. Many of these models will fail. No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the reporting we need."

Raiding London

Pump Court from Temple Lane

The Royal Coach

Gate by Inigo Jones

[raiding "old london" sets on flickr]

Fritz Henle

Children Playing;
Cloisters in Segovia

"Fritz Henle: In Search of Beauty" to 9.02.09,
Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin.


William Edmondson

The angel of Annunciation came up today, hereabouts, and I went looking for something that might pay homage to the delight it brought me, and perhaps pass said delight along: came across this, at the sumptuous gardenhistorygirl (some blog! love it. more pics here, and of course there).

The angel, above, is by William Edmondson.

"Edmondson (1874-1951) was the child of freed slaves (his last name is the name of the farm just outside of Nashville to which he 'belonged'), and he called his sculptures miracles," notes Arcady on her blog. She's got other good info on him, here. He was the first African-American to have a one man show at the MoMA (1937). Arcady notes that Edmondson carved the sculptures "in his front yard and sold them for a few dollars along with vegetables at his roadside stand. Now they sell for six figures." She also mentions that:
"The fleeting recognition during his lifetime never affected Edmondson’s own assessment of his art. 'I was just doing the Lord’s work,' he said in one interview. 'I didn’t know I was no artist until them folks come and told me I was.' Indeed, in every existing interview with Edmondson, he consistently credited God when asked about his work and never referred to himself as an artist."


A Word of Thanks as the Little Blog Approaches Her First Birthday

Life is random, isn't it?
[Just ask Eloise- here, in Moscow, via flickr].

As you might have noticed, there are random things
this little blog is wont to dwell on,
chief among them: art, design, books,
home, family, history, and- well-
perhaps just list the rest as
assorted oddsbodskins.

Life: a magnificent reason to celebrate.
And celebration is on the mind.

The first birthday of this blog seems
a good time to thank everyone who stops by
(and, happily, there've been quite a few of you!).
While wishing everyone well,
and extending gratitude,
I do promise to try to bring more
good things to you as time rolls on.

More good words and great art; a happy dash of style.
(A veritable smorgasbord of oddsbodskins galore.)
Life, with a fillip of art.

That's the intent, oh! dear and treasured reader.

And, here, a pledge: to go to as far as possible to do so-
Moscow, if need be. (Or anywhere else on the globe.)
That said, let us don warm caps and carry on- and
thank you, again so very much, for stopping by.

It has been a pure delight.

the brilliant hilary knight, of course


Vintage Books My Kids' Love

Congratulations to Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Lovesone of the most outstanding children's book blogs ever: bravo on the excellent shout-out in boingboing.

Beautiful Print Objects + Integrating Communication and Information: These are a Few of My Favorite Things

the following are excerpts from
Russell Davies:
"Meet the New Schtick" [One and Two]
"...The point I'm groping towards is that as objects informationalise communication channels are getting built in. And there are ways of doing this that are mass, cheap and easy. Printing. Paper. Ink. RFID. And cleverer phones will be the perfect things to interact with these clever objects. This is what advertising and marketing and media people really need to get afeared by. All this web stuff is going to look like a picnic compared to the horrors that will be dealt to the agency and media businesses when every product has a communications channel built right in. And I suspect it's a channel that most brand-owners will feel a lot more comfortable with. Marketing/advertising was always a necessary evil for most businesses. And Something bolted onto the culture. And they've never liked ITV. And having to do all this social networking stuff gives most of them the willies. But integrating communication and information into the product is something they can get behind quickly and easily."

Know what else this brilliant Mr. Davies says?

Here's what's coming:
"A way that you can make beautiful print objects without any of the legacy business issues. Cheap and easily enough that you don't have to make money. Or you can find other ways of funding things. These seem like exciting possibilities."

I think he is speaking future, here, and speaking it very well indeed.


Put a Little More Art in Your Life, via Reading the World, March 28-29, in San Francisco

Looking for some amazing art to add to your life?

Reading the World 
(mentioned earlier here and here
will be adding a Silent Auction this year.

Here's your chance to take home 
and others. Limited edition books, as well as additional 
surprises, will be included in the Auction. Click on 
any of the names, above, to see a sample of their work.

Reading the World celebrates 
Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults 
and is sponsored by 
University of San Francisco's School of Education 

2009 Keynote Speakers:
Rosemary Wells 
Marilyn Nelson, Francisco Jimenez
Junko Yokota, Michael Cart 
Theresa Breslin and Sarah Ellis 

On Saturday, there's a marvelous 
dinner at the Kabuki Hotel,
which will feature author 

For information and a quick interview 
with Dr. Bev Hock, one more click: here.