May 29, 2008


Evening Tweed is a graphic design collective of four graphic design students from Brighton (I am assuming Brighton, England). My favorite designer of the lot is probably Sarah King, who does some amazing work with type. Her Customised Fruit (above) is exceptional. {Images from Evening Tweed}


Meet Dinner In The Sky. It appears as though you can order this company to take your dinner party and its chefs up on a crane anywhere you would like to dine. You can totally tell this concept was invented by and for rich guys with nothing else to do with their money. Regardless, it's definitely worth checking out the slideshow.

While I couldn't figure out where exactly this company was based, I did figure out one very important question: Toilet facilities. “It’s like in a normal restaurant: you ask where they are to the waiter and… you go down. It’s just a bit less discrete because the whole table goes down but it takes less than a minute.” {via "The Restaurant Guy" John Dickson}

Oh, and who invited the guy in the above photo that is scared of heights?

May 28, 2008


I just read on Scandinavian designer Lotta Jansdotter’s blog that she will be having a printing party in SF the weekend of June 7th from 5-8pm at Craft Gym. I don’t think I can make it up there again next weekend, but for those of you who are local, you should be very, very excited about this! Although she and her studio recently left Nob Hill for Brooklyn, I am glad to see that she isn’t forgetting about the West Coast!Lotta has also just recently released a line of coveted fabrics to go along with her home collection. Her designs are clean, simple, and getting loads of press. I don’t sew, not even buttons, but her fabrics may be a good reason to start. {Images by Lotta Jansdotter}

May 27, 2008


I am a huge lover of hand calligraphy, even though most people would say that it, along with paper correspondence, is a dying breed. While that may be sadly true in some respects, I still think handwriting/type is one of the oldest and most beautiful art forms.

These images are from San Francisco based May+Belle Calligraphy and Design, one of the more talented designers in the craft. I am especially fond of the white ink and the custom-made stamp... soooo smart. And soooo something I will be doing. {Images by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls of May+Belle}

May 22, 2008


Lately I have been getting some great inspiration from some seriously artistic band websites. I don’t quite know how to describe my favorite genre here, but there is a certain level of ephemera, lots of depth and layers, and definitely some fierce creativity about these sites that I love (in addition to their music!). I don’t think it’s any coincidence either that many of my favorite sites belong to bands from my home turf of Seattle and the PNW...

THE DECEMBERISTSThe Decemberists site is perhaps my most favorite. (Their album The Crane Wife=so good.) The script alone on this site blew me away and I am a sucker for anything involving ships and dreams of the orient express. {Images from The Decemberists website / illustration by “the lovely and talented” Miss Carson Ellis}

{Special props to bride-to-be Cassie who frequently introduces me to amazing new music!}

May 21, 2008


One of my favorite design/home blogs, the quite popular Design*Sponge, gets all the credit for the discovery of these precious ceramics. Bringing just that certain something different, Cul De Sac Designs, hailing from Vancouver, BC, just makes me smile. I especially love her work using text, but am also impressed with the level of customization that Laura McKibbon, the one-woman shop that is Cul De Sac, is using for each original piece. Although I am still trying to figure out the perfect use for the pistol plate. {Images via Design*Sponge and musing about mud}

May 20, 2008


I don't profess to know a thing about architecture... but I know a thing or twelve about pools. Built for the Beijing Olympics and designed by a conglomerate of international architectural firms, China’s National Aquatics Center (The Water Cube) is mind-bendingly spectacular. Based on the structure of soap bubbles ("mathematical foam" as I heard it described), the Water Cube is not just for those of us with chlorine in our blood.There is so much buzz about this structure—its green-ness, its ability to resist humidity and heat, its earthquake-proof flexibility... in addition to its obvious aesthetic appeal. It has also been seen an architectural highlight of China's big debut. But in the end, I imagine most of the athletes will spend their time trying to tune out the spectacle that is the Water Cube. {Top image via PTW Architects, all other images via Beijing 2008 Olympics}


I recently found (online, not in the wild unfortunately) this beautiful type on a user blog over at Typophile. I read in a posted comment that ompelimo is Finnish for dressmaker’s. Being part Finnish, this made me happy. Also, the image is from a shop in Turku, Finland. That made me happy too. Anyone want to go to Finland? {Image by Anssi Koskinen via Typophile}

May 18, 2008


It's entirely possible that my love for graphic prints began with the ultra-talented Bay Area designer Jason Munn of The Small Stakes. The narrow perspective here may be that Jason Munn designs gig posters. The broad perspective is that he imagines, designs, and hand screens each print—resulting in simple, yet completely sophisticated, pieces of art for some seriously talented clients. His work has been featured in the likes of SF MOMA and my wall.
These designs are just a few of my favorites. The Stars poster at the top left (hello Moroccan tile!) was my first purchase, and I have acquired a few more since enlisting David to BART it over to Oakland for The Small Stakes scratch and dent sale. From what I heard about THE SALE, it entailed dozens of people lining up outside in a seemingly orderly fashion and then the floodgates opening as customers clawed, in a not so orderly fashion, over the prints. David (not one for the mêlée) spoke with Jason, who seemed surprised by the turnout… though neither of us are quite sure why. {images by Jason Munn of The Small Stakes}

May 15, 2008


The first time I saw this Pear Tree Light by Nick Foley on a design blog last year, I remember thinking I need to start a blog immediately to share this thing. Well, immediately turned into more than several months, but here it is! I LOVE this!Hand-crafted by industrial designer Nick Foley, this light is so stunning to me. The portable LED pears can be picked and ported around for an hour before they need to be put back on the tree to recharge. Brillant. I believe the light is conceptual, with only one in production. Otherwise, I should start saving my pennies now. {Images via}

May 14, 2008


I have numerous friends who have traveled to and studied abroad in San Sebastián, Basque country Spain, and have often sensed the city’s similarities to Santa Barbara. When I opened my latest issue of Travel + Leisure, the comparison came to life. Although more urban than Santa Barbara, and on a grander, European scale, the city seems to have that same coziness—wedged between low, dark mountains and the beach. Having never traveled to Spain, it has always sort of been my travel dream... just the word Barcelona conjures up hours of daydreaming material. I believe the feeling is called wanderlust. {Image by Javier Salas for Travel + Leisure}
{post script: After visiting Travel + Leisure’s website, I checked out their picks for Great American Beaches… to find that Santa Barbara’s Butterfly Beach is at the top of their list. I prefer Miramar and Summerland Boat Dock beaches myself, but maybe T+L’s editors didn’t make it that far…or they’re keeping our local secrets. Regardless, I guess paradise isn’t so far after all.}

May 13, 2008


Someday when I have spare change to spend on things such as ridiculously well-crafted fonts, I will open a shopping basket at Hoefler & Frere-Jones, font creators extraordinaire. If you are the type who craves well-tailored fonts, or well-tailored websites for that matter, be sure to pay them a visit. Their newest font, Archer, is one of my favorites. And as an extra bonus, you can visit the inspiring H&FJ blog here. {Images copyright H&FJ}

May 9, 2008


Another designer with amazing, inexpensive prints! I love these graphic prints by Wayne Pate of GoodShape Design. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the print on the left "the rising of the setting sun" and am already plotting out wall space. You can also check out Wayne Pate's sweet new print "love saves the day" here at design*sponge.

May 7, 2008


Just when you think the Urban/Anthropologie brand can't get any more relevant. I recently discovered, via Philadelphia-based blogger Oh Joy!, that the group has added a new store to their portfolio: Terrain.

From what I have read about the barely google-able outfit, it is poised to be the first of several greenhouse-inspired home garden stores. Currently it is a one-off shop outside Philadelphia. Oh Joy's posts here and here sum it up best.

As a kid I remember being über bored during trips to the nursery with my parents—and now, as an Anthropologie obsessor, I find myself completely drawn to Terrain. My how they know their niche. {All images copyright Oh Joy!}

May 6, 2008


I picked up this gorgeous woodgrain letterpress card by pancake & franks at the curiosity shoppe on my last trip to San Francisco. Thank goodness I didn't see all these, or I would have left my heart in San Francisco. Alas.

May 5, 2008

May 1, 2008


Last month I had the privilege of visiting NO for the first time and staying with friends bob & ali. In addition to snagging some colorful photos {click above to enlarge}, we had a blast running all over town, eating our weight in crawfish, po'boys, shrimp bread, pulled pork... and heading to the french quarter fest. Did I mention the eating?

Simply because it is the last place I have a traveled, I hope to start a series of Travel Guides with NO. More to come soooon. {Images by Katie}