• Good design,  Using technology,  Website Reviews

    comments for the better!

    I switched ED comments to the disqus platform (pronounced “discuss”) because I want them to take over the internet.

    I like this whole commenting-on-websites-idea more if all the comments I make, ever, are accessible in one place to check back on, follow up, and deliver that last minute zinger before fleeing the scene. I also want my profile to be clearly connected to the social media of my choice, like my blog and my Twitter, in one place (though this is not so good for fleeing the scene).

    And it seems like disqus is doing this best right now. I see it on company websites, I see it on tumblr, and I see it on wordpress. I don’t see it on blogger much, but it could be there, if you wanted it. United!

    But I dooo apologize for the hassle of creating a new profile, if you haven’t worked with them yet.

  • Entertainment,  Good design

    Sharing Moonrise

    I was milling around the coffee and snacks table at church a few weeks ago when I heard a woman about my mom’s age discussing Moonrise Kingdom. It was her first Wes Anderson, and she was gushing. “Oh, I just saw it too.” I announced, “So good!” She turned to me.

    “Oh! But you’re so young. Did you appreciate it?”

    I nearly dropped my coffee. Did I appreciate it? I, who nearly went on a Royal Tenebaums location tour of New York with my friends? I, who have watched his entire oeuvre, most of them twice? Didn’t she just say she hadn’t seen anything else by the director?

    But she continued: “It reminded me of my youth. My young love. ”

    Ah, she’s right. Perhaps I didn’t totally get it. Perhaps young Sam and Susie’s devoted love seemed cute to me, but not as quite as eternally true as it struck this woman. I noticed when we first watched Moonrise that our completely-packed-theatre was full of people of all ages, perhaps a quarter of them over 65. And it’s been fun having a movie to recommend to adults much older than me—I think everyone would love it but perhaps some might truly wallow in nostalgia more than others.

    (fun side note for east coasters: it was filmed in Rhode Island!)

    Jessica Hische designed the typeface for Moonrise Kingdom. Meaning the first time Wes Anderson dallied away from his first love of Futura bold, he turned to Jessica (click to see her url for the work. It’s funny). Joe and I briefly discussed what accomplishment Jessica could do next that would possibly impress us more. We couldn’t come up with anything.

    Image by Adrian Tomine for the New Yorker.

  • Art,  Baby,  Good design

    Handwritten Birth Certificates

    These birth certificates by Mr. Boddington’s Studio are so lovely. That shop does the best job of highlighting handwritten elements and making them irresistible. The facts-as-art element, where you can’t help but read all the details, remind me of the personalized wedding prints done by JHill.

    Joe and I are going through our ever multiplying pile of art-we-can’t-part-with and trying to decide what to hang up and what to put under the bed. We don’t need something like this, but I love the idea of doing it for a friend.

  • Art,  Essay,  Good design

    Heirlooms in the closet

    Last night we planned to go listen to the orchestra that plays outside. I roasted the chicken, spread bread with salty Irish butter, and went to Savenors to buy a packet of those crispy Tate’s cookies.

    Then Lux’s mood seemed suspiciously explosive, like we might traipse over to the park put down our blankets settle in with our paper cups of wine and then she would start shouting and pointing with no reasoning whatsoever, just shouting and pointing.


    So instead we invited our friend and her boston terrier over to have dinner at our house. We ate the chicken sandwiches at the table and poured the wine into real glasses and Lux tried to feed the dog, Murray, her spicy sesame noodles. After Lux was asleep we started talking about trends lately and the crafting trend of Brooklyn came up. You know, the one where studios have opened and beautiful watches are being made by hand, and crazy inventive sweaters are being knitted, and fine cloth is being tie-dyed in the best way possible. Whenever this comes up I begin reviewing my closet in my mind; wondering if I own anything of that caliber—that I would save for years to come—and more importantly: that would last for years to come.

    I have a dress that I bought for my rehearsal dinner four years ago and I’ve since worn it to parties of all sorts, and some weddings, and just recently I wore it to the party we had in the park. The funny thing about this dress is that it’s from Anthropologie. In general I have a very difficult time shopping at Anthropologie. The trouble is that almost every item in that store is so heirloom. Usually there are two floors, both of them brimming with beautiful clothes, every single item could be that dress, or that sweater, or that jacket that you are known for, that embodies your style and makes you the richly dressed girl with lots of character.

    I end up not shopping because I have this collision of “who am I?” thoughts: am I the bookish artist? am I the frivolous gardener? am I the spirited crafter? And I leave after admiring the lace bralette and examining the embroidery on the sweater and watching how the skirts’ soft cotton falls just so. And I also might have twinges of fear that say: that dress will try to make you, instead of you making it.

    But nonetheless once I got my dress out of the store and into my closet, it became the clutch piece that I rely on and hope to wear for years to come. I’m grateful to Anthropologie for this lovely dress that was available to buy when I needed it and I’m especially grateful for how easygoing and accommodating it has turned out to be. Do you have these pieces like this in your closet? That despite the trend of $10 dresses from H&M or awfully sewn editions from Target, that you’ve managed to get home and love and make part of your life? Or are you considering investing in something truly made by hand?

    The loveliest illustrations taken from Danielle Kroll’s blog. 



  • Gifts,  Good design

    Behind the Scenes at Pounding Mill Press

    Don’t mind the survey, it will be up all week in order to cull the Erstwhile readers who are erstwhile, ok?

    Thank you so much to the 30+ of you who jumped right in yesterday! I’ve already learned so much, seriously.

    I love an artist who shows the behind-the-scenes work. It must be the wannabe baker in me; I really like to know how things look along the way. So I loved seeing this photo on Pounding Mill Press’s tumblr:

    It’s the invite-in-progress for a wedding, showing the library where the couple got engaged. I mean, really.

    I love Ming’s work because each design always has a story behind it, or a reason the design developed the way it did. It’s a one-woman show (plus, she has a day job!) and I imagine she has thoughtful interviews with her clients, gets lots of personal details, and then develops something totally unique to them. Amazing.

    Like this one: a burger themed announcement suite because the parents had nicknamed their baby Whopper, Jr.

    all this and much more, over at Pounding Mill Press. (also, lots of photos on their facebook page)

  • Darn Good Ideas,  Good design

    old glory lawnchair

    Our favorite all American advocate and blogger ACL posted about lawn chair season beginning last weekend and he’s right! What I’ve been missing in my active walk-to-the-park, sit, walk-home lifestyle is a something like this. Light, foldable, tightly webbed, I’ll be the envy of the senior citizens!

    He links to these American made beauties, here’s my favorite:

    $27.49, friends.

  • Cooking,  Good design

    in the cupboards lately

    A few things I love to see in the kitchen lately..

    I like how it says “Ready to Eat.” I keep it in the front of my cupboard for encouragement. “There’s always me, if you can’t find anything else in here. And I don’t have any bpa to worry about either!” it says.

    This is the mustardiest mustard you’ve ever had. For real. If you like mustard, you have to try this.

    One of those things I always ponder in the grocery aisle, and then decide it’s too expensive. But really, $6 for organic peanut butter with real chocolate and vanilla? Happy Mother’s Day to me.

  • Good design

    product geek: floss

    You know how some products are name brand scams? Like, the product is exactly the same, no matter which brand you buy?

    Well. This is apparently not true for floss.

    My mom put Reach “woven” floss (the pink package) in our stockings at Christmas. I loved it and used it all up. Then I went to the store, and thought, “oh they don’t have it. I’ll just get this Market Basket floss instead.” So much worse! Awful. I’m putting it in the toolbox for craft projects.

    Friends, advancements have been made in the floss arena. Reach for Reach. Seriously.


  • Art,  Good design

    happy girls are the prettiest girls

    Guess what’s on my desktop right now?

    This pretty little number, designed by my friend Kellyn. I love the green wood frame and the graph paper.

    She was inspired by The Happy Show, a free show in Philadelphia right now. We stopped by when we were there two weeks ago. I highly recommend. It’s on until August 12th. Everything about it was unlike any art show I’d ever been to.

    If you click on the image, it will give you a bigger size for closer examination.