so here’s a little nugget of wisdom i’ve learned: a place/location/patch-of-earth is entirely what you make of it.
when i had previously considered moving to LA i imagined a giant tasteless city rife with traffic and smog. and then on every visit, we’d have such a good time connecting with friends, finding amazing spots to eat and frolicking in the sunshine, that i kept feeling like i was being tricked. this was not the LA i was expecting. i’d get surprised that i could see the mountains, and that after driving just 10 minutes we’d be tucked away in a canyon and experiencing the most beautiful sunsets.
and now it’s become our home and i’m making the most of it. lately, this means getting outside – going on short hikes or even just walking around the silverlake reservoir with ash. it feels so good to be outside and next to the earth. it refuels me and centers me almost instantly. i’ve decided to put more intention towards doing this. stepping away from this screen and going on adventures to new patches of this planet. of course, one of my camera’s will always come along to document the travels :)
i just spied this playhouse tree house, and fell in love. of course. my future children will definitely have a tree house of sorts. even if we create it in the loft of our 3 story brownstone in NYC and we have to drag in branches and create a make-shift tree installation.
From an article about the tree house playhouse: “The freestanding, self-supporting house-by-a-tree is a playhouse designed with contemporary design principles, deviating from precedents that model real houses or garden sheds. Instead, the design was guided by the goal of creating interesting and different spatial experiences for children that inspire new forms of play.”
i think it’s so important to spend time outside. i love this approach to making the outside another ‘home’.
dear dev (a.k.a. builder-of-our-children’s-future-playhouse-treehouses) – the plans are here.
i’ve never been one of those people that feels the itch to take things apart to figure out how they work. i’m happy not knowing the mechanics of it all. to me, it’s as simple as: my camera works. why? because the right things are in the right place, doing the right thing, and tah-dah! now, figuring out how people work? that i’m interested in, which is why i can happily people-watch for hours.
HOWEVER, this fascinating series of exquisite portraits of things disassembled makes me kind of giddy. all the little screws, and pieces, and parts – all coming together and making a machine that fulfills a distinct purpose. the photographer is todd mclellan – i encourage you to check out his awesome portfolio. i’m really inspired by how he saw potential and created something so beautiful out of the things we are so ready to discard.
and now bear with me as i get all wide-eyed-with-wonderment here, but as i was examining these photographs i couldn’t help but think what a brilliant metaphor it is for us. humanity. each of us with our individuality, and purpose, and distinct role. and the power of what happens when we all unite and work together.
old alarm clock:
just two days ago, christchurch, one of my favorite cities in new zealand suffered a large (6.3 magnitude) earthquake. i don’t recall a single earthquake when i was living in new zealand, but over the past few months, this area has been affected twice. so far, the reports indicate that close to 200 people may have lost their lives.
these photos, by martin hunter, show some of the devastation.
i heard about the earthquake on a day when i was struggling with a friend who had let me down in a pretty big way. and as i sat feeling a bit disillusioned and figuring out how to deal with the disappointment, this catastrophe reminded me acutely that life is so fragile and precious. definitely too precious to waste feeling sorry for myself over someone’s lack of consideration.
it’s really all about having perspective sometimes. i’m so grateful for everything i have right this moment, and so grateful that when tests come along i have a partner that resolutely holds my hand and assures me everything will be ok.
my prayers and thoughts are with new zealand.
we don’t have a cat, but if we did, we’d probably get it a teepee so it could be cozy.
my first thought when i saw this invention was that it’s too good to be true. as much as i love riding our vespa around sunny california, wearing a helmet can be a drag. especially if you’ve spent a long time getting your hair to cooperate into the perfect messy side-ponytail. i AM however a fan of SAFETY (not just saying this because my mum reads my blog), and so i always wear a helmet. however, check this out: a collar that turns into an airbag helmet upon impact. i have no idea how it works, but i’m wowed.
durable + sustainable + minimal: i like this bamboo bench a lot.
and finally, because we all love polaroids – here is a polaroid mirror. holy moly. #iwant.
when i’m outside and looking for photo backdrops i usually go for:
+ wide open skies and delicious cloud formations
+ signage / tasty type treatments
+ colorful walls / doorways / storefronts
+ street art in all its shapes, sizes, varieties, and mediums.
so i was pretty excited to find this: google street art – a tool that helps you scour the world for street art caught on google street view and allows you to upload your own street art sightings.
viva la street art.
just LOOK at her amazing photos. her posture is what makes these so brilliant. she looks like she’s just effortlessly levitating in the air…
you know what else is awesome? natsumi’s bio:
yowayowa camera woman = natsumi
Lives in Tokyo with two cats.
Photographs mainly levitating self-portraits (and cats not levitating).
yowayowa is a Japanese term meaning “weak” or “feeble.”
Since I’m yowayowa, it’s really heavy to carry SLR cameras around.
this week i received not one but THREE parcels in the mail. it was like one big present party. and if you know me, you know that getting surprise parcels (or ‘prizes’ as i refer to them) in the mail brings out my inner six year old on steriods. there was lots of wide-eyed exclaiming and prancing and dancing and overall merriment.
forgive me for only taking photos on my eyefone. the first parcel was from new zealand sent from my friend pascale. i’ve known pascale since i was about 12 – i think we first met at a baha’i summer school in the south island and i *might* have had a two-week crush on her brother in my pre-teen days ;).
in recent years, i’ve been so excited to reconnect with pascale. she is one of the fearless troupe that make up the soulpancake brainlab and i love the way her mind works. she is adventurous, my height (yay!) and effortlessly creative. she also has a blog.
pascale sent dev and i some new zealand honey. but not just any new zealand honey…look at these flavors. mmm.
we’ve been portioning out servings on toast with melted butter and sometimes eating it straight of the jar with a spoon. i like to call that efficient.
thank you so much pascali!
the next package was an envelope containing our favorite coffee. my mum sends us these once a month or so and it is our favorite way to start the day. no other coffee compares – we even take it in ziplock bags with us when we’re travelling. the amazing thing is that this package even made its way to our mailbox since my mum forgot to put a stamp on it. but there you have it, australian post, doing the nice thing and sending the package anyway. just that one little act of good faith makes me want to high-five the entire continent of australasia.
and then today i received such a sweet gift from my dear friend leili. it is quite simply one the loveliest necklaces i’ve ever seen or held in my hands.
the cheerful yellow and powder blue beads are perfect compliments to each other and the they feel amazing- like little velvety gems. i’m entirely smitten with this necklace, as i am, all things leili towfigh hand-created.
i strongly suggest that you visit leili’s etsy store to admire more of her beautiful creations.
i’m so very grateful. and not just for these thoughtful gifts, but because i truly feel blessed with my friendships. i know so many wonderful, creative, brilliant people who live their lives with such grace and deliberate purpose. this week was a reminder of that. and how precious those relationships are.
happy thursday folks!
we bought these handmade delights at the silverlake craft sale we went to on saturday morning.
we justified this purchase because a) they are for our future kids, b) it was nearly valentines day, and c) they are awesome.
they’re currently sitting on the giganto-couch – welcoming our guests.
what? no valentines day post?! nope. i think you might have had your fill of that from every.other.blog today.
one of the best outcomes of having a blog is that people get a really great sense of what you like and what inspires you. i am honestly so thrilled when i get an email / comment / tweet / facebook message / REAL LETTER IN THE MAIL (see how accessible i am?!) telling me about something someone thinks i’d love. chances are, they’re right.
ash gets me like no other. and her recommendations are always 100% on point. this is no exception: meet irina werning. werning takes beautiful portrait stills of people based on a photograph from their past.
aren’t they amazing!?!
what photo from your childhood would you want to recreate?
so…many of you were confused by the lack of pit in my step-by-step (oooh baby. gonna get to you grrrrl. sorry NKOTB flashback) how to prepare a mango photo montage. let me do my best to remedy the confusion.
1. there was a mango pit/seed involved. the mango i used was not some fantasy world genetically modified pitless mango.
2. i didn’t take a photo of the pit and that was WRONG. i’ve obviously not watched enough culinary prep shows to realize the importance of showing the whole fruit.
3. the reason i didn’t take a photo of the pit is because it was in my mouth and i was gnawing on it. the giant mango seed is actually my favorite part of the mango. the part where the mango meets the seed is so tasty and tart.
4. i tried finding a picture of a mango pit on flickr but the options were either a decayed mango, or a tropical island paradise called ‘the mango pit’. how inconvenient.
so i’ll leave you with this photo which has nothing to do with mangos but everything to do with the fact that this weekend i got to hang out with a friend i haven’t seen in OVER ten years. here’s sasha!
the other day, lovely jennifer left a comment on my blog asking how i prepare mangoes, so…below is my six step procedure for preparing a mango. no big deal, just another riveting exposé in my adventures with FRUIT. :)
as i was cutting the lovely mango up with a very large, very sharp knife i was thinking how much more exciting this blog post would be if i sliced my hand open. i mean, exciting for you – the reader. more annoying/devastating for me. i’ve been known to be a bit too casual with knives. there was this one time when ash and i were craving oranges but were running late to the movies, so i took a giant knife with us in the car so i could slice up oranges on the way. ash wasn’t super impressed with the WEAPON sitting in the middle console of her mini cooper.
anyone else have another suggestion for how to cut up a mango? or crack open a coconut? or strip a fresh pineapple? feel free to share. i’m on a fruit frenzy.
it’s not often that i’m super vulnerable in this blogosphere anymore, i have other outlets for deliberating on the things that are weighing on my mind. and one of those outlets has scruffy hair and gives me giant spontaneous hugs that make everything a whole lot better. so more often than not, my blog has become a place for storing pretty things and pictures of our adventures along the way. but sometimes, i’ll feel like sharing something that’s resting heavy on my heart terrain and today is one of those times. consider yourselves warned. :)
sidenote 1: there’s always mallory’s awesome blog if you would rather spend your time looking at lovely things.
sidenote 2: i want to be mallory’s friend in real life.
so, i think it’s fair to say that for the most part, we all want to be liked. i know that some people think being elusive, apathetic and dismissive is the way to go, but at the end of the day, when you’re brushing your teeth and debating about whether you have the energy to floss, the person staring back at you hopes the people they surround themselves with, and the newcomers they meet along the way think they’re decent. right?
i’ve also always been a champion of authentic friendships. any sort of rift, competition, or contention gets under my skin and makes me uneasy. which is why i’m a bit jolted (?) when i learn that someone feels like they’re in competition with me, or has some grudge or grievance against me. this would be less of an issue if those assertions were open and forthright. but the insidious ‘words in passing’ where you tell a close friend of mine your bizarre list of grievances with me? err, sorry, this falls in the category of: not ok.
and what’s sort of bemusing, if it wasn’t so insanely wacko, is the kinds of things i’m being faulted for. here’s a little taste: i’m too happy, far too lucky, i get too many opportunities too easily. i get to do what i love. i found love too effortlessly. moving to LA was too convenient for me. i don’t seem to get my share of the harsh realities of life.
and it’s at this point, i want to exclaim a hearty: WTF?!
it’s fascinating to some degree that people who i’ve never even had coffee with, would make assumptions like this. and based off what exactly? my twitter feed? my facebook status? the fact that i smile in photos? or stop.the.presses, seem happy and grateful with my lot?
yesterday, a close friend reminded me that i can’t control other people’s reactions. and that many times, those reactions have nothing to do with me. she also expressed that as i come into my own, others who feel lost/disenchanted with their path, may resent me. and here’s the kicker…supposedly, i need to learn to be ok with this. #eek #lifelesson
the way i see it, we all have the choice to move forward in life and shine brightly. and along the way we might encounter people who are uncomfortable with that especially if you show up from a place of authenticity and happiness. i guess what i’m learning is that i don’t need to remedy their discomfort or shine any less brightly. there’s space for us all on this pretty planet, so my wish (since i OBVIOUSLY have a full time genie that grants all my wishes) is that we all be a bit kinder and gentler with each other, and to those fringe-friends (i like to call ‘em) who we don’t really know. because frankly the road for each of us windy and uphill at times and we’re all figuring it out as best we can.
i think these are male/female bathroom doors. and i think they are aweseome. spied here.
i just checked out the soulpancake project in flickr and it made me feel like a proud parent. i’m not sure why. it’s not like i even know one of 202 the contributors to the project…but i guess it’s seeing how the soulpancake book’s creative challenges are being used in the world and resulting in such clever, unique, thoughtful, awesome creations.
the challenge this week was ‘art at arm’s reach’. here are some of my favorites:
i’m always endeared by words made out of stuff. credit: jim shields
a staple-city! credit: eric nelson
credit: joel who also describes how he made his feathered friend:
“I decided that for this project that I would only use materials that were ON my desk since all my crafty things are inside it. I used two glass jars to make the body of the owl and then I covered it with white cardstock, cut into feather shapes. Then I painted over it with some watercolours and finally assembled some feet from a roll of wire that I randomly had sitting on the end of my desk.”
i love fruit a whole lot.
disclaimer: that above sentence is about as coherent as i’m going to get at 1:54 am after an entire day of working with a color-corrector on the soulpancake webisode footage. i have bleary eyes. and a bleary brain. so forgive me if i don’t get all Johann Wolfgang von Goethe deep here today. or actually, any day ever. ok. getting on with it…
right now our little kitchen contains bananas, mangoes, pears, apples, oranges and one well-past-its-due-date-lime. we also always have frozen berries on hand because you NEVER know when you are going to need a blueberry + yogurt + honey + cashew parfait. mmm.
the other day i even made blackberry and pomegranate jam. from scratch. i love that our kitchen is so conducive to cooking and concocting.
i have fond memories of watching TV with my family after dinner and my mum cutting up a whole bunch of fruit and bringing it to us on a tray to share. it was such a lovely treat to have someone deal with peeling and cutting the fruit up. i’m going to definitely carry on the tradition of being the household fruit harbinger. i have no idea if that’s the correct usage of harbinger…and i’m too tired slash lazy slash scared-of-having-to-think-up-another-word-in-its-place, to look it up. sorry.
why am i raving about fruit? i’m not quite sure. but in conclusion, my favorite snack these days is sliced pears or granny smith apples with extra super sharp cheddar cheese.
and on a sort of related note, these DIY fruit stickers are pretty darn cute.
first of all, this week’s soulpancake project challenge on flickr is to create: art at arm’s reach. all sorts of creations are coming into existence. you can see them here.
my contribution this week is my punk-rock-prom-date below, who some of you may recognize from the soulpancake book. my favorite thing about this dude is his mohawk which was fashioned out of two fake eyelashes. i also love that he is sporting a bowtie. fact: bowties make every outfit better.
in other news, i was invited to join pinterest. it’s like an online scrapbook where i can easily store things i spy and love. SO often i see a photo or idea on the interwebs and want to stash it some place for future reference, and now i have a tool that basically does exactly that. i know some people use tumblr for the same purpose…and i like having my tumblr too, but this seems like a much more organized way of collating and curating.
i have hundreds of polaroids and one fine day i will display them and that will be an awesome day.
here’s the inspiration for that wonderful occasion:
if you see any other fun ways of displaying polaroids, please let me know!
we decided to do hand drawn credits for the SoulPancake webisodes, so my work today consisted of creating a font. otherwise known as MY NEW FAVORITE THING TO DO. i used this handy site. and it got me thinking, giving someone an original font as a gift is pretty awesome. so for all you creative types out there looking for that perfect valentines day gift, you’re welcome.
a group of brilliant photographers who belong to the Flickr community decided to start a SoulPancake group where they choose one theme from the SoulPancake book a week – and use it as inspiration for their photographs. the project started this week and kick-started with the creative challenge to: closely examine your fingerprints.
you can see some of the submissions to the group here.
here’s mine (yep, i’m still smitten with the rainbows that traipse into our abode):
i love wood grain. i love wooden bowls. hardwood floors. the wooden beams in my yoga studio ceiling. i keep wanting to buy a whittling kit and carve my own wooden spoons, but i’m not really very careful with sharp objects, and i like having all my fingers and thumbs in one piece.
this bamboo, keyboard and mouse, might just be a must have.