Archive for April, 2009


I was completely delighted the first time I saw the work of British textile designer Zoe Murphy.  Only one year out of school and already a star in my opinion. She repurposes mid-century furniture and helps it transcend itself.  I ADORE the mid-century aesthetic but have to say that she really adds some welcome ooomph power to a look that is getting to be everywhere these days.  She gives it that little something extra that makes you really pay attention and appreciate in a new way, the great lines of that era.  (again, did I mention that I ADORE modern design.  Not dissin’ , just giving it room to grow.)

And her tag line, “love what belongs to you”, is such a perfect fit for her (re)work!





via: not beige ; with additional images from: more ways to waste time

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This week’s interviewee is photographer Julia Staples.  I met Julia 8 years ago while she was a photography student at Parsons School of Design in NYC and I was busy one building over working on my product design degree.  And I’ll just flat out say it… I adore her.  Even though we don’t see each other very often since we both moved away from NYC, she will forever be tucked away in my ‘good egg’ file.  

In 2003 she received a Fulbright scholarship to study for a year in Iceland, returned to her native Philadelphia for a few years, then decided to make the move back to Iceland and give permanent island living a go.  She is now busy there creating some seriously stunning work and kindly agreed to join the ranks of our other maker Wayne Pate  (our first & only up until this very moment…), officially making it ‘makers’ plural for our ‘meet the maker’ series.  Thanks Julia!



Julia Staples, photographer:

1.  What is your favorite movie for visual/design amazing-ness?

Probably all movies by Wes Anderson, especially The Royal Tenenbaums


2. What is your favorite Icelandic/or other  band to work to?

Reykjavik! are especially great to photograph, they are really fun and
great live to shoot. Really original music and the most fun
performances you have ever seen.


(I’ll be compiling both a watchlist and playlist on my blog very soon)

3. What’s your favorite thing about photographing Iceland?

there are no trees, it never is too hot, you can photograph for 24
hours in the sunlight in June, the name “Little America” really is
true and as an American, I find that quite interesting.



To see more of her beautiful photographs, please visit her website at www.juliastaples.com.

All photos from www.juliastaples.com , with the exception of The Royal Tenenbaums poster care of photobucket.

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c-152The Talbot Rantoul summer house designed by architect Eliot Noyes is hidden by spruces and sits 15-ft. above ground on concrete pillars. The hammock offers a quiet napping place– Martha’s Vineyard, MA 1965.


I just can’t get enough of inspired forest living.  I don’t know if it’s just my deeply ingrained love for the Ewok village, or if it was my own experiences going to our summer cabin as a kid.  Whatever it is, I am yearning for it.  Here are some good mid-century dwellings that stirred it up for me today.

summer-house-1The Talbot Rantoul summer house designed by architect Eliot Noyes. Neil Rantoul cleaning his rifle on a pull-down bed in the boys’ quarters which doubles as a painting studio– Martha’s Vineyard, MA 1965.

c-132Interior of the Talbot Rantoul summer house designed by architect Eliot Noyes. (L-R) Neil Rantoul listening as brother-in-law Mark Harrison strums a banjo in the living room– Martha’s Vineyard, MA 1965.

c-14The Talbot Rantoul summer house designed by architect Eliot Noyes. Talbot Rantoul relaxing on the sun-dappled porch– Martha’s Vinyard, MA 1965.

c-19Wood-panelled exterior of John and Janet Smith’s summer home near Pend Oreille River which they built themselves from a set of architect’s plans ordered from a magazine– Spokane, WA 1970.

via: The Selvedge Yard

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This is how my mom put her Wild LIfe to good use.  (L to R: 4by & RVee from my North American Wild Life series @ http://www.paigerussell.etsy.com)   Plant clippings in water are a great way to spruce up any container & propagate green living.  I’m all for the great indoors!

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Super(S)mart #003


Another shiny week has begun.  I don’t have a dog, so I’m up the creek with this week’s advice, but for those of you who do, please add a grain of salt!  I’ll be back this afternoon with fresh goods.

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To round out this week, I thought i’d share with you, TED.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.  It is an organization that holds annual conferences bringing together the brightest minds in these fields, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives in just 20 minutes.  This is what they have to say for themselves:

Our mission: Spreading ideas. 

“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

I first heard about this from my friend Graham Hill who is the founder of treehugger.com, the net’s biggest & best eco-centered site.  (He had the good fortune to attend this year’s conference & see the talks in person!)  And I was again reminded of this source of inspiration by another friend recently.  He recommended the particular talk I’m posting a link to.  The speaker is Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love.  She waxes on a different way to think about creative genius.  It’s always inspiring to me to hear different perspectives, especially in this generously free &  as-if-you-were-there video format. Very special indeed.   So get yourself a cup of tea, settle in, and click on this link to enjoy!

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday.  Ole!

via: ted.com

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‘yellow’ is for spring


To thank my mom for helping me with the big job of getting my sample kit put together for my new rep (my mom is my amazing studio assistant), I stopped and got her these yesterday.  Their technical science name is Craspedia, but I think it should be something more akin to Bubble blossem or Dapplelion.  Hmmm… just a thought.  I am constantly inspired and amazed by the intense beauty/architecture of nature so I will be posting often my little outdoor noticings.

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new golden #002anew golden #002b

Happy belated New Golden Wednesday!  Um, yes… but I’m late for a very good reason! I was super busy yesterday getting my sample kit together to send to my BRAND NEW CANADIAN REP!  Her name is Ashley Grant and she is lovely.  Not only does she carry some great brands, she also has years of experience and a hefty list of retailers she works with, so I am pleased to say, that this will reduce the amount of cold calls I have to make… and this is nothing short of a miracle!!  Hooray!  Hope you enjoy today’s ‘yesterday’ post, and I’ll be back later with more nice-ness.

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I’m very excited to introduce the first maker for my ‘meet the maker’ interview series, Wayne Pate, designer & illustrator extraordinaire!  I have been a fan of Wayne’s work for ages and am so full of big joy to welcome him to my fledgling pages.  My interviews will all be short, just ‘quickies’, with the first two questions always being the same, favorite’ visual feast’ movie & workplace music choices (I am always on the lookout for A/V inspiration), and the last will change according to my whims & fancy.  

One of the things I like best about Wayne’s work is it’s commitment to clean & colorful boldness.  Because I’m a color-phobe in my own work, I think that makes me even more attracted to work that embraces it.  “It’s so brave, all that color” – that’s what I say to myself…    Another best thing about it is that it’s completely affordable!  $35 dollars will buy you a little piece of lovely and maybe even an heirloom, when Wayne goes on and gets super famous (even more famous than he is already that is).  I highly recommend doing this at his online shop!


Wayne Pate and his Good (Shape) Design:
1.  What is your favorite movie for visual/design amazing-ness?
Probably the one movie that does it for me would be Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator To The Gallows) 1958. Soundtrack by Miles Davis. My favorite era is the end of the 50’s  and early 60’s in regards to design, music and fashion and this movie embodies  all of that for me.  (A man after my own mid-century heart!)
2. What is your favorite music genre/band to work to?
50’s & 60’s jazz and a handful of modern day contemporaries. The Five Corners Quintet, Nicola Conte, Mark Murphy, Michael Naura Quintet, Chet Baker Quartet, Sahib Shihab, Frank Cunimondo Trio just to name a few 
3. Over the past year I’ve been learning to navigate being my own boss.  What’s been the most helpful component of your entrepreneurial machine to get you past/through the challenges?  A mentor?  Delegation?  Learning to get by on 2 hours of sleep?
The one key factor is experience and that’s across the board. It helps you make good decisions, staying true and having confidence in what you do best as a designer/illustrator and not waste time wishing you designed more like somebody else, don’t rush creativity because the best stuff never response to those demands.
Thanks Wayne!  I can’t wait to check out the movie/music suggestions.  I will report back my findings here in the coming weeks.  And I love the final question wisdoms.  Being a designer, it IS a struggle to have faith in your ideas and not get all doe eyed about what others are up to.  If we can just all follow those wise words and maybe throw in a bit of “stay gold Ponyboy, stay gold” for good measure, we can’t help but get out there and rock our uniqueness.  
images from:  waynepate.comwikipedia, , & la musique     

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This German design duo has me singing their praises today!  After posting about their Clip Chair this morning, I came across another delicious project of theirs on Designboom.  It is going to be part of Designboom’s ‘Kitchen Ecology‘ Exhibition at Dwell on Design‘s three day event happening in Los Angeles in June.  It’s not clear to me how it works (hand crank hiding on the other side?), but I trust that it does, and regardless, I just love the idea. The super basic design is very friendly and effective. 

via: Designboom  

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