Monday, May 28, 2007

sf capsule festival

Despite the cloudy (and rainy?!) weather in SF yesterday, Nancy, our friend Meghan and B and I had lots of fun at the Capsule SF Festival .

First on my list yesterday: to check out Lizard Press and Paperflirt, two letterpress studios in attendance.

Lizard Press

I was totally thrilled to meet Melissa of Lizard Press. I've admired her poster for the 2007 Book Arts and Printers' Fair (at left) since I first saw it weeks ago - and got to purchase my own print of it at Capsule. Look carefully - you'll see she's working with several layers - which add depth and interest to the piece. Melissa took the time to explain some of her techniques to me - and I can't wait to take a class from her. She's teaching at the SF Book Center this Fall so check it out. Melissa, if you are reading this, thanks again!

Oh and check out her description of the layout and functionality of the following Lizard Press broadside. So well thought out - it breaks down into 4 separate pieces. That's a lot to think about when just trying to print well, but an efficient way to maximize a single letterpress print!

Images courtesy of Lizard Press


I loved the modern zebra stripe cards:

Image courtesy of Paperflirt.

Also, I picked up a larger Paperflirt letterpress print of a piece of coral. Paperflirt's style is simple, elegant and just very clean. I need to start framing my burgeoning collection!

Capsule was largely jewelry and clothing (not paper goods) and two standouts in these categories for me were:

Lali Clothing

Darling, handmade children's clothing. Enthusiastic, super cute nice owner too! Terrific bubble fabric jumpers!

Miss Natalie

I had a great chat with Natalie of Miss Natalie, who was nice enough to let me take a photo of her ingenious display of her hand-printed handkerchiefs. Look closely: you can see she's turned her kerchiefs into parachutes, gently gliding toy figures (a giraffe!) down through the trees and out of the sky:

A multi-talented designer, Natalie also creates intruiging wallpaper patterns!

And now, for a look at a real giraffe and a real gorilla (we went to the zoo today :)....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

heyde does letterpress

That's right.

I took my first class yesterday at the San Francisco Center for the Book and loved it.

Here's my portion of our collaborative class project, on the subject of summer vacation:

Each student came up with a few lines of text and composed it in a composing stick. Then we laid all the text bits out at once on press (a Vandercook), locked them in (with tools called 'quoins' and 'furniture' and took turns printing (a somewhat athletic task!) full sheets of our composite work.

We ran the text in blue ink - and then re-ran it - with all new ink - to add some green (not visible above).

Above, you can see the 'bite' of the press (the indentation made by the lead lettertype into the grain of the paper). Love how the effect of the bite - when seen from the back of the page - is called the 'kiss'...

More tomorrow on my finds at the Capsule Festival!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

stella shoes

I just got back from my letterpress class. Fantastic and so rewarding. I'll put up a photo of what we printed tomorrow when I am less tired (it was all day!). For now, check out these sweet adidas by Stella McCartney shoes.

Are they sneakers - or are they flats?

Friday, May 25, 2007

sf decorator showcase

Today, at lunch, I checked out the 2007 SF Decorator Showcase. It featured about 20 spaces, designed by different SF based firms. I'd definitely take a look at it before it closes on 5/28 - if you have any interest in interior design.

My favorite room was a study, tucked into the back of the first floor (right by - of all things - the massive industrial refrigerator) by Angela Free Interior Design

Images courtesy of Angela Free Design.

I am not that surprised this was my favorite. So many of the room's elements - large washes of white, orange accents, an iMac, travel books - are things that I like to have around me in my own home! (On a different/scale budget obv.)

Other striking parts of the showcase:

*Lushart mural in the dining room by the Steven Miller Design Studio

Don't have a picture of the actual mural, but I am not even sure a photo would do it justice. Gray-green and misty - you had to look close to see that it was of large eucalyptus trees. Here's an example of a screen the same design firm has done - to give a sense of the beauty of their work.

Image courtesy of Lushart.

I liked everything about the dining room except the shiny black dining room table - I just didn't get how it fit or - for that matter - contrasted well with the rest of the green, white and gray room. Some pops of color would have worked to add some more spice or shine (gorgeous gold accents did a pretty good job already) but the shiny black table was just kind of jarring.

*Shiny black cabinets in the pantry by Tish Key Interior Design

Now this was an ingenious and oddly appropriate place for shiny black - but you probably think I am nuts. I would never think to paint pantry cabinets black! A teeny, tiny little narrow room, the pantry basically consisted of two rows of cabinets and counters staring blankly at each other. According to Tish Key, when this room was painted white, it was very dark (the pantry and the kitchen were about the only 2 rooms without some sort of view in the house). But when painted glossy black and faced with mirrors it became a jewel box of light. I wish I could find a picture to show how remarkable this was. I just love this kind of attention to the effect of light.

*For gutsy colors, the master bedroom by Kendall Wilkinson Design

Image courtesy of Kendall Wilkinson Design.

The image says it all.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


a couple of weeks ago, i went to beadissimo on valencia. to be honest, i've always been kind of intimidated by all the beads on the walls and just blank out and spend any time i am there playing with the india beads in the big trunk by the door (am always there with someone actually buying). at any rate, i spotted a certain elephant figure ... and decided to make something of it. and i wanted to, but i needed nancy to help me - and she ended up doing it for me! and so - another belle epoque creation:

i've worn it to work every day this week...

anyhow, i am psyched for this weekend. i am taking a letterpress class at the center for the book and will check out the indie designers at the capsule spring design festival in hayes valley. can't wait.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

virginia johnson

nancy and i enjoyed a stroll on fillmore a few days ago - and spent a bunch of time looking at all the gorgeous clothes in erica tanov, both her own, and other lines and accessories.

i fell totally in love with the virginia johnson items there.

an orange graphic tote:

a bold orchid patterned scarf

we also played the game where you say - if you could buy one thing in the store, just one of the stunning/cool skirts and dresses and accessories - like stripey knee socks - what would it be? we couldn't say - we wanted it all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

more and more belle epoque!

as promised, here are more of my belle epoque creations ....

a surprise party favor gift from a nancy party with spunky orange lining:

another look at this wristlet:

a 'for the south of france' creamsicle handbag with bamboo handles:

and finally, my favorite going out clutch - i love its colors and gold bits. it works so well to wrap it around my wrist and just hold it like so:

i feel so lucky!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

belle epoque superstar!

belle epoque, AKA Nancy, had us all transfixed yesterday at the Maker Faire. with her trademark flair, wit and grace, she showed us eager MF attendees how to make her bias-tape tote bag. so approachable, so nice - Nancy makes sewing these beautiful bags seem like terrific fun.

check out her other creations, including the below pink, GORGEOUS bag, for sale right at her etsy shop!

fabulous work nancy!

in other belle epoque news:

*did you know that belle epoque has WRITTEN A CRAFTY BOOK? check it out!

*lucky enough to own quite a few one of a kinds made by belle epoque, i will post some pictures of these treasures in the next few days. stay tuned!

other Make Faire highlights for me were:

*charm necklaces from designalicious

Not a charm necklace, but a beauty all the same. Image courtesy of designalicious.

chatting with ali, the creator behind this multi-faceted design shop, was a pleasure. i am bummed i did not purchase one of her super necklaces right then and there, because it sounds like they are close to sold out. ali said she'd put pieces up in the designalicious etsy shop shortly so check them out! also check out the rest of her fantastic design work - layout, knitted goods, japanese fabric stitched items, a gorgeous yoga mat bag! ali is the ultimate renassiance crafter.

*jill killjoy

i love, love the jill killjoy mini wallets!

they come in a rainbow of colors and i wanted them all, altogether. just like this:

Images courtesy of Jill Killjoy

but i made do - quite well - with a green, white and orange gem. liz, who creates these, mentioned she looks for vintage napkins and tablecloths to recreate into these fantastic tidbits of color for your pocket...

*baby tees (and other graphic tees) from my windup bird

super strong and graphic. and still, so cute. i wanted to eat them right up! lovely proprietress too.

*all sorts of products from social studies design.

hand-made goods for the urban-male, these were totally unique! i love this design, 'dog boy':

Image courtesy of Social Studies Design

of course, exploring the "Make" side of the Fair (as opposed to the "Craft") side with my robotic, gear (and 'crazy-tricks-that-you-must-do-OUTSIDE')-loving husband was also tons of fun. the mentos exploding (20 feet in the air) in diet coke, the drag-racing power tools, it was all just a riot. it was my first maker faire, but it will not be my last!

on the way home (only we would go home to sf from san mateo via palo alto), we stopped to check out the vintage bmw fair in palo alto:

b will kill me for saying this, but SO ADORABLE!

and finally, much closer to home, we stopped at daiso - the dollar japanese store in daly city. this is THE place to go when you NEED to buy something - ok, like ten things - but really need NOT to spend money. i spent like $10 bucks and got three of those fancy schmancy japanese clear folders (they are spendy at Maido), two miso soup bowls, a fantastic wine opener (just as good as the spendy one i got as a wedding present from Williams-Sonoma but literally 1/40th the price!) and some other items that i can't quite remember at this precise moment.

but can you tell i like daiso?

Friday, May 18, 2007

design for 100%

i spend a lot of time highlighting design that is, to me, beautiful, gorgeous, striking, stunning. looking back through my posts is a lesson in the superlative. anyhow, beauty in all of its forms catches my eye most, but utitilty is also important to me.

and all the better when utility and good design go together to make life better - for everyone. check out the new exhibit "Design for the Other 20%" at the Cooper Hewitt in NYC or the website if you can't get there. the exibit features remarkable design that aims to improve the lives of people who need help from useful, well designed objects the most.

Here are two of the featured designs:

*the One Laptop per Child project which has developed $100 computers to 'bring learning, information and communication to children in developing countries.'

*the Katrina Furniture Project, which 'creates neighborhood furniture-making workshop facilities using the debris left by storm and helps build the economic and social capacity of neighborhoods in New Orleans that faced experienced severe economic and social challenges even before Katrina. The workshops train community members in making furniture and the fundamentals of business, and function as a neighborhood-based place of work and resource center while residents rebuild their homes.'

They've made this graceful pew for one of the many churches devastated by Katrina:

Images courtesy of the Cooper Hewitt.

remarkable for both their utility and benefits - as well as their good design - these are worth checking out. you can also go upstairs and check out the, in some cases less useful, gorgeous items in "Design Life Now".

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

rare and wonderful glassware

I was very excited to post about this stunning mouth-blown and hand-etched glassware from Japan:

Image courtesy of Rare Device

I still am, but had to append the rare onto the title for now I realize that, at least this particular piece, is sold out. Also, perhaps it has to do with the fact that the Brooklyn shop Rare Device sells these gorgeous pieces. The shop offers, in its own words "simply good stuff for you and your home." Judging from its beautiful, well-edited selection of gifts and home products, I agree!

How is it possible for me to love Brooklyn so much now - and to not even (me! the new yorker!) have been there really ever? We never went when I was growing up in NYC or even in the time I lived there a few years ago after school and now it seems like it is just exploding with independent shops and design creators of all stripes. Perhaps it is due to the wonderful, wonderful design*sponge? By the way, design*sponge will be posting an SF guide soon - I cannot wait!

design*sponge already has a Brooklyn design guide which I hope to explore a bit with my two (now three actually -as i write this, one is defecting from sf) great friends living in Brooklyn. You lucky girls you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

smallest, coolest

thanks to sfgirlbybay, i came across this picture of a small venice beach apartment:

in contention for apartment therapy's smallest coolest apartments 2007, this is just gorgeous. so sunny and bright. all the best of what la is. i love the pop of the red poster and the blue door - and the simple table and chairs. i wish i could have such a serene apartment but that will remain aspirational i am sure. i have way too many books, magazines, photos - and seem to need to see them (spread out everywhere on every surface) always!

in other news, belle epoque will be in great sewing company at the maker faire! sfgirlbybay reports that lotta jansdotter will also be demonstrating this weekend! GO BELLE EPOQUE! (you can meet lotta at a party at lavish on friday too! again, see sfgirlby bay for more info!)

ps. more statistics: be sure to check out this somewhat hilarious analysis of the smallest, coolest contenders.

Monday, May 14, 2007

i (heart) bettye muller

a few weeks ago, my family was in town and i took them to my sister in law's store, my roommate's closet - a fantastic SF boutique outlet and must-visit when in SF.

i spied these right away:

and these:

and, egged on by my mom, sister and spinning ninny, got them. both pairs!
not so incidentally, everything at my roommate's closet is half off retail, so this bettye muller find was QUITE a find.

so began my love affair with bettye muller shoes. so well made, so comfortable. and the prints are such a great complement and conterpoint to my otherwise fairly neutral (sometimes, admittedly all black) wardrobe. much to the delight of those who've witnessed the repeating all-black ensembles, my color fascination is extending to my outfits.

here's an action shot:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

monkeys for mother's day!

I have been a big fan of Kozo Arts in SF for almost ten years... and have found many a mother's day present here. They have wonderful Japanese papers - and make, by hand, super frames and books from those papers - right in the store. Generally I go for the less figurative papers (they have lots more in the stores than online) but could not resist showing this:

Images courtesy of Kozo Arts.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

edgy and elegant

via bloesem i learned about stina persson - a fantastic illustrator and watercolorist. i am always so impressed by those who can watercolor well (it is so difficult!) - and am especially bowled over by the beauty and pointedness of stina persson's works:

as bloesem points out, stina perrson says her style is about "finding the right balance between the edgy and the elegant, the raw and the beautiful".

and i think she finds it very well! (i aspire to do the same.)

also, if you are in nyc, bloesem alerted me to the fact that stina persson will be exhibiting at the gallery hanahou. go to the opening reception if you can. i wish i could!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

belle epoque demonstrates at the maker faire!

Make magazine is hosting its Maker Faire at the San Mateo Fairgrounds May 19 & 20, and the super talented seamstress belle epoque is demonstrating!

she'll be showing us all how to make her bias tape tote bag:

and a shoulder tie tank top!

i can't wait to see how she makes her fantastic pieces ( a few of which i am lucky enough to own!).

see many more belle epoque creations here!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

letterpress statistics

i am not sure i ever expected to see these two concepts together, but all the same here they are, strikingly together, in a letterpress book by Green Chair Press.

an image from A Word on Statistics, via Green Chair Press:

be sure to check out Wislawa Szymborska's A Word on Statistics, the inspiration for this work.

Monday, May 07, 2007

at once delicate and bold

so says The Clay Pot of Brooklyn about the following stunning Alexis Bittar earrings:

Image courtesy of The Clay Pot.

just gorgeous.

a little paper crazy

inspired by
1. my wisting finds (see side bar)
2. Elle Decor
3. terramia's jogging my memory with a lovely post on the de gournay wallpaper in a recent Elle Decor
and 4. sfgirlbybay's feature on hoom.sthlm from Sweden, i have been looking at and finding various gorgeous wallpapers online. i have nothing to wallpaper and won't for the forseeable future - but that just means my imaginary wallpapering efforts can have no limits....

Image from Elle Decor .

Image of Vintage Wilde Carnation Wallpaper from Osborne & Little.

Image of Huton wallpaper in avocado from Flavor Paper.

and i couldn't resist, for where would the day be without a walk on the wilder side -here's the Luxury paper also from Flavor Paper:

Image from Flavor Paper.

thinking again... this interest in wallpaper prints may have something to do with the new book on Florence Broadhurst that is receiving lots of press...