Unto the Path

path1path2We’d only been in our new house for about a day when a mysterious package arrived. It came from Maggie, and I knew our wedding present was inside. It was wrapped in such a way that only Maggie could wrap a box – thorough, meticulous, hard to open. It made me smile, as The Boy hacked through layer after layer of bubble wrap with his pocket knife, and for a second it felt like she was there with us.

Finally, we got through all the layers, and found a simple wooden picture frame with a piece of cardboard laid over the front. The Boy removed it carefully, and both of us gasped very softly in delight.

It was made by ShadowfoxDesign, based on this picture that The Boy drew for me so many years ago. It seemed just right that it should come to us now, in our new home, with so many possibilities and so much unknown ahead. We’ll hang it over the fireplace in our living room, so that it’s the first thing everyone sees when they walk in. So that whenever I come in the door, I’m reminded of my two very best friends in the world, and how lucky I am to have them.

I’m telling you guys, she’s one of the best ones.

Photos by ShadowfoxDesign

Valentines for Christmas

Christmas_2013KT_03Christmas_2013KT_06Christmas_2013KT_08Christmas_2013KT_12Typewriter_05Typewriter_06Typewriter_23Typewriter_24Just a little series documenting the unveiling of my gorgeous brand new Olivetti Valentine typewriter, a Christmas gift from The Boy. I think he knocked it out of the park, right?

The Valentine was first produced in 1969 in time for the holiday with which it shares its name. Olivetti designed the Valentine to be lightweight, portable, and of course beautiful, to appeal to the romantic and itinerant natures of artists and poets, who would feel more at home writing on a cafe patio or the beach than in a cubicle desk. The company also released a series of stunning posters to promote the new “anti-machine” machine, as they called it. I’m particularly fond of this one. My new baby is one of the originals produced in 1969, and I love him because his Y and Z keys are mixed up, which I believe adds character.

So how on earth could I compete with a gift like that? I don’t know, but I think The Boy was pretty pleased with what I got him.

I hope everyone had a holly jolly holiday, and a splendid new year!

All photos by Xander Keeping, except for the last one, which I took myself and also happens to be the best one.

The World of Lisa Frank

“The World of Lisa Frank” – A Short Film from Scott Ross on Vimeo.

This is a really important documentary about Lisa Frank: beloved designer of rainbow-maned unicorns and puppies wearing necklaces, and icon of my childhood. Three things:

1) I want her office.

2) Why is Lisa Frank the JD Salinger of this generation?

3) Did you spot Mila Kunis?

Video by Scott Ross and Karl Beyer, produced by Urban Outfitters

Etsy Curios

The Boy and I are home again and settling back into our life together. Now that the wedding is over, we finally have time to get the house in order, frame pictures, buy coasters, etc, etc. Basically this means I’ve been spending a lot of time on Etsy, and in my travels I have stumbled upon these delightful gems…

Hand-Operated Automaton: After Hugo came out (based on one my favorite children’s books), who didn’t want their very own automaton? And this one would fit on your coffee table! So convenient!

Framed Luna Moth Pair: Last Christmas, I bought The Boy this beauty, but now I’m eyeing these lovely Lunas as the next piece in our growing collection (I’m also dying for this, but I think The Boy might not approve). Did you know that Luna moths only live for one week? That’s why it’s so rare and special to spot one. The only time I’ve ever seen a Luna was when I saw these guys at a music festival. The moth flew right across the stage just as a burning paper lantern floated by, and it was magical.

Brass Pineapple Champagne Bucket: I can’t really imagine anything more useless than this, so naturally it fills me with the kind of mournful desire that slowly sucks away at your will to live. We have to be very utilitarian in our tiny house, so I think this treasure will have to wait for another home. One day, little pineapple, one day.

Custom Engraved Wood Cutting Board: One of our dear friends gave us something like this as a wedding gift: a beautiful cutting board inlaid with our pig logo. I think I actually gasped when I opened it. This isn’t quite as perfect as ours, but it would make a really sweet wedding present.

Pickle Jar Ukelele: I don’t feel like this really needs any additional explanation.

The Boy and I are enjoying our return to a quiet life free of conversations about floral arrangements or string light wattage. Married life is pretty simple, so far, and honestly I don’t really feel all that different, with one notable exception. Both of us are still getting used to using our new names for each other. The word “husband” tastes so strange and sweet in my mouth, and I can’t yet say it without smiling shyly. I know in time it will become familiar and worn, but for now I’m relishing its newness.

All images linked to sources.

So Many Splendid Sundays!

photo-1The Boy’s birthday present finally arrived (only two weeks late)! And let me just say: this is basically the best gift I’ve ever given myself, because (let’s face it) this really wasn’t for him. I’m talking about So Many Splendid Sundays! the GIANT book featuring 128 pages of Winsor McCay’s celebrated Little Nemo in Slumberland serial, presented in its original size and breathtaking color. The book is pretty much the size of my coffee table, and it actually hurts to hold it up, but in a good way. As far as books go, this one’s a little pricey, but it’s also easily one of the best purchases I’ve made in awhile, and the kind that we’ll both treasure for all the years to come. Besides, this seemed like an extra special birthday, coming just three days after he became a married man. Let’s take a look inside…

Slumberland_3Slumberland_7Slumberland_8Slumberland_12Slumberland_15Slumberland_17All images taken from So Many Splendid Sundays, Copyright Sunday Press.

Tugboat Printshop

The Boy and I have finally, finally unpacked all of our boxes. We bought a delightful yellow couch, and upcycled an old cabinet with some blue enamel paint, so now it’s time to hang some pictures on the walls! I’ve got my eye on some of these amazing prints from Tugboat Printshop. I’m absolutely smitten with the gorgeous moon print above, but alas I think that 500+ price tag will keep that dream from becoming a reality. But I’m also loving some of their other, more modest pieces.

Wonderful, no? I pretty much want to live inside that RV picture, but I just can’t decide whether I like that one or the wolf better. They’re just so breathtakingly intricate. I wasn’t that impressed by the last print of the woods until I started looking at the detail shots, not to mention the amazing “making-of” images that detail the wood cut process. Very, very cool.

You can see more prints at Tugboat’s website, where all of these amazing pieces are available for purchase.

All images courtesy of Tugboat Printshop.

The Wheel House

Acrojou, ‘The Wheel House’ from Acrojou on Vimeo.
Wow, and I thought my house was small! Love this sweet little performance piece, entitled The Wheel House, by Acrojou Circus Theatre. I adore the vaguely steampunk aesthetic, which puts me in the mind of the Dust Bowl and Mad Max all at once. This is my favorite kind of theatre–or any type of art, for that matter–where you can kind of fill in your own story. I especially love when the lady cleans the cut on her guy’s forehead: such tenderness in that tiny space! I could do well to remember that right now. The Boy is building a computer that is roughly the size of our entire living room. I can’t walk two steps without tripping over a monitor or a GPU (whatever the hell that is), and I casually suggested the other day that maybe he and the computer should get their own apartment, and just come me visit on weekends.

Speaking of the tiny cottage: I built a box garden complete with four baby tomato plants! I woke up early to take pictures the next day, only to find that construction workers had set up camp on my patio. Pictures forthcoming, once they depart!

And in other news, my wedding band arrived in the mail the other day. It is beautiful with wee little bows all around the edge. 58 days! Gulp.

Video courtesy of Acrojou Circus Theatre. Definitely check out some of their other work, v. cool.

The Secret Knots

Loving these illustrations by Yina Kim, from a series entitled “The Secret Knots“. From the artist’s website, “I enjoy studying people in public places and create their lives in my head. Even though most of the people I have created are from my imagination, I have a feeling that I know them unconsciously. I believe that everyone is connected in secret knots.”

I used to do exactly this as a child. I grew up outside of Los Angeles, and I went to school in the city, which meant I had to sit in hours of infamous LA traffic at 5:30 am every morning  on my way to school. While my dad listened to NPR, I spied on the strangers in the cars next to us, and imagined what their lives might be like.

The Boy and I are back home on the east coast this week, visiting our folks, playing with dogs, walking in the woods, and making lots of diagrams of The Yard for the wedding (yikes! less than 100 days away!). It’s basically been summer for awhile now in LA, so it’s nice to be back here where the brief warmth and sunshine are so deeply appreciated.

Images courtesy of Yina Kim.