So anyways, he just put a hilarious series of drawings on his blog, roughly describing the recipe for okonomiyaki. It's worth checking out (as are his books!). Links: Website | Blog | Books
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Yeah. Sorry about that. I'm not sure what happened there, but it seems I haven't been around much. Must be that yoga obsession I struck up the at beginning of June, or the exciting publications in Libelle and Uppercase that got me with my head stuck up in the clouds.
Anyways, I'm back and I'm here with a review of Lisa Congdon's new book 'A Collection a Day', published by Janine Vangool of Uppercase. Many of you know Uppercase Magazine and love it for its amazing design, use of typography, beautiful imagery, and original content. If you don't know about Uppercase's selection of books, however, I would urge you to check them out as they're equally wonderful. Lisa Congdon's book is no exception - it's a jewel.
WHAT IS IT?
In 2010, Lisa Congdon, an amazing San Francisco-based illustrator and painter, started a new blog called 'A Collection a Day' on which for a year she attempted to post a picture or a drawing every day of one of her many collections. The blog soon got a lot of attention due to the amazing quality and style of the photographs and the interesting collections Congdon photographed and drew. Janine Vangool noticed as well and worked with Congdon on creating the ultimate finale of the project: a book worthy of collecting. WHY BUY IT?
For me, personally, I got this book because it's an instant collection. I know that sounds kind of silly, but after following Congdon's efforts online for an entire year, you kind of get attached to her collections and the visual abundance of them. I myself am a born hoarder, but moving several times from one place to another has left me with the habit of throwing budding collections out asap. I know everything I drag up the stairs to our apartment, no matter how small, will need to be dragged down those stairs again and, at some point, dragged up another set of stairs. So, I got this book, presented in a lovely tin case (I LOVE tin cases and would have many many many if it wasn't for above mentioned mindset) and now I have 365 collections all in one. Added to that, the book is brilliantly designed, as we've come to expect from Uppercase.
WHERE CAN I GET IT?
You can order it through Uppercase's webshop by itself, or get it as part of the Uppercase book bundle.
Links: Lisa Congdon's website | 'A Collection a Day' blog | Uppercase's website
Are you a collector? And if so, what do you collect?
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Anyways, this weekend ABC Treehouse is hosting a special event with Wallpaper editor Henrietta Thompson, who also happens to be the author of the book Remake It: Home and upcoming book Remake It: Clothes. Her lecture and book signing are a part of the Urban Art & Craft festival hosted in ABC Treehouse, where they've planned a weekend-filling program of fun DIY events.
Oh, and one more thing to prove ABC Treehouse is freaking awesome: they give weekly beginner yoga classes. There. Their awesomeness is not to be messed with.
Wallpaper editor Henrietta Thompson + Urban Art & Craft Festival 2011
Henrietta Thompson, former design editor of Wallpaper – now editor-at-large, has held senior editing roles at TANK, Blueprint, Dazed & Confused, Winkreative and Phaidon. Passionate about democratic design and the potential for the creative industries to create real change, Henrietta writes regularly about architecture, design and technology for publications including the Guardian, Dwell and Business Life. Henrietta has commissioned and curated several exhibitions both in the UK and abroad, and is the author of five books, most recently Remake It: Home, published by Thames & Hudson. She is currently writing a sequel, Remake It: Clothes.
Mrs Thompson will be given a talk on The New Remakers at the ABC Treehouse this Saturday July 2nd from 14:00 - 15:00. Followed by a book signing at ABC Amsterdam from 15:30 - 16:30.
The New Remakers
Designers have been rummaging in skips for materials and inspiration for as long as there have been skips to rummage in. Today, driven by the dual need to save money as well as the planet, they are rummaging more than ever before, and on a worldwide scale to produce some truly inspiring work. This talk will give an introduction to how the professionals approach upcycling, including a history of the best, most relevant and most exciting and enduring upcycling ideas we've seen to date, what's going on now, where and how, as well as an introduction to four major new trends for the future.
DIY stands for Do It Yourself, and AMS*DIY stands for the Amsterdam handmade happening with a double dose of attitude. It stands for opting out of mass-production, creating your own style, styling your own life.
AMS*DIY - the 2011 Urban Art & Craft Festival
At AMS*DIY, artists will be creating, demonstrating, and helping you DIY your life: there'll be art for sale, workshops where you can make your own art, and fun for young people too. More information and workshop reservations on their website or on Facebook.
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This apple braid recipe from Eat, Live, Run is pretty, delicious, and simple. I've actually tried this recipe last weekend and it was goooood. Mmmmm. Link: Apple Braid recipe by Rachael on Eat, Live, Run.
Tartlette is one of my most favoritest food blogs out there. The recipes are always straightforward and delicious, the food original and seasonal, and the photography is just stunning. I'm trying out this radish recipe this evening. So exciting. Link: Rosemary Roasted Radishes & Turkey Brie Panini from Tartelette
I guess this isn't really a recipe, but how awesome is this idea for turning your regular old boring eggs into heart shaped eggs. Thank you Anna The Red (who has a great blog on bento boxes and cute plush animals)! Link: Egg Shaped Heart Tutorial on Anna The Red
Hmmmm... What are you cooking for dinner tonight? If you need even more inspiration, I urge you to check out the marvelous 'They Draw & Cook' website, full of illustrated recipes and food ideas. I am featured here with a pesto-chicken recipe!
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Will & Kate: A Love Story tells the story of Prince William of England and Kate Middleton, of course. In the beautifully illustrated and interactive storybook, Prince William grows up from an ordinary little boy who always knew he'd grow up to be the king and meets Catherine, a very pretty small-town girl who used to dream of someday marrying a prince. They meet each other by chance one day and fall in love. And well... we all know how the story ends, don't we?
THE FUN'S IN THE DETAILSChildren can choose to have the story read to them by a charming British female narrator, or choose to read the book themselves. You move through the story by clicking the arrows back and forth in the bottom on the screen and there are enough distractions along the way to discover and play with - ancestors gasping, sheep bleating, birds chirping, fireworks popping - lovely. These interactive features are the highlight of the book, I'd say. They're incredibly witty and combined with the hilarious sound-effects and ambient background noises, they make for a very entertaining book. The application is very intuitive and it's quite easy to navigate and 'get' all the little jokes hidden within the pages.
A CONTEMPORARY FAIRYTALEThe illustrations in the book are really nicely done as well. The illustrations are done by British illustrator Adam Larkum and he chose to cleverly combine Quentin Blake-esque drawings of the characters with actual photographs of historical artworks, countryside landscapes, and landmarks. This makes for a fairytale story with a contemporary feel, which, let's be honest, is what Will and Kate's story represents, doesn't it?
WHERE'S THE DRAH-MAH? The only thing I was less impressed by in this adorable app, was the story. It feels kind of flimsy. It might be that I'm just the only person in the world who hasn't been completely blown away by this royal love story - but I would have liked to see more of a storytelling arch. There's no crisis. Little Prince William isn't unhappy with his fate to become a king and little Catherine isn't lonely. There's no moment of doubt before them getting married or mention of their famous breakup because of the pressures of living a life in the limelight. I'm missing a bit of drama here, which makes the story feel like Snow White without the evil Queen.
MORE PLEASE! Other than that - this is a delightful little app and very well suited for younger readers interested in the Prince and Princess getting married soon. The story is fun and happy, the drawings are lovely, and the interactive details had me laugh out loud (especially the talking paintings). Can't wait to try out Ink Robin's other book The Lollipop Lady Mystery. Great job, guys!
Links: Ink Robin's Website | 'Will & Kate' in the iTunes store
RELATED POST: Book/iPad App Review: Oliver Jeffers - 'The Heart and the Bottle' Comment »
First of all, I think I need this book, 'The Repurposed Library' by designer and artists Lisa Occhipinti. I did and still do judge books by their cover and how can a book this pretty looking possibly be sucky? It features 33 ways to repurpose old books. Now, I don't own any old books (only new, pretty books), but I am pretty sure I could get my hands on some and make my boyfriend very unhappy (he dislikes any kind of decoration I manage to sneak into the house). Links: Buy (me) the Book | Lisa Occhipinti's Website | Blog
Also, I came across this amazing personal library kit via Pinterest and I think I should buy it for my friend D. I am pretty much borrowing all her books lately and I'm not sure she's keeping track (she's having me read science fiction for the first time in my life and I am LOVING it. Is that okay to say now that libraries are cool again?). Links: KnockKnock
Finally, I couldn't resist showing you this cat-library by Belgian designer Corentin Dombrecht. Not because I think it's particularly beautiful, but because it's such a brilliant idea. Our Meneertje loves to sit on top of closets and high up shelves and I think he'd know exactly what to do with this one! Links: Blog
Alright, bye for now. I need to get back to drinking herbal tea and reading my scifi book. I'm still officially bedridden. Cheers!
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So either today or last Monday was supposed to be 'Blue Monday' (there has been some discussion on the topic between me and my sisters-in-law), but I think there's nothing wrong with having two 'most depressing days of the year', because that way we're spreading out the dreariness a bit, no?
So, for today's Craft Monday, I've got some double yummyness lined up: a double book review of 'Indie Craft' by Jo Waterhouse and 'Handmade Nation' by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl. I was going to do two separate reviews, but since there's some overlap on the theme and the artists featured, I figured, heck - I'll roll them into one blog post!
HANDMADE NATION ^ Pages shown: JW & Melissa Buchanan and Jill Bliss.
Title: Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design
Authors: Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl
Published: 2008, Princeton Architectural Press
INDIE WHADDA?I am sure many of you are familiar with this book and many more will be with the documentary of the same name that succeeded the book. But, because I know my blog is read by many who might not be 'in the know', so to say, a quick word of explanation. 'Handmade Nation' was and is one of the first documentaries on the contemporary crafts movement. Faythe Levine travelled 19.000 miles (like 30.500 km) around the USA to document artists part of this amazing movement. The new wave of craft was by then a new, exciting, mostly online community of women reinventing the benefits of arts, crafts, and creative thriftiness. I must admit I was completely oblivious to the movement back then (around that time I was probably still thrilled about H&M coming to our town, or whatever), but from what I've read and heard from 'the veterans', the community was small and close-knit. People knew each other and got actively involved in setting up indie craft (= artists and crafters not associated with a large cooperation, who are 'independent' so to say) fairs like the now legendary Renegade Craft Fairs (the first one taking place in Chicago in 2003). To give an impression of how different a world this was - Etsy didn't even exist yet! (GASP!).
SHOW & TELLSome reviewers have commented on their feelings of melancholy for these early days, recognizing all the names, and crafters. I must say these comments actually kept me from buying the book for a while, because I was afraid it would turn out to be a very 'incrowd' book, only to be enjoyed by those who were part of the scene. I was very wrong. The book, as well as the documentary, does a wonderful job at conveying the excitement of the movement in it's early days. The book has a beautiful timeline, illustrated by Kate Bingaman-Burt, showing you when certain events referred to by the authors and featured artists took place and how the movement evolved. The book tells you about where it started, who were there, what they made and why they love the handmade, and how the community is growing and expanding right now.
Although the writers do indulge a bit here and there in reminiscing about the good old days, I mostly appreciated this book for showing me how the handmade community I have come to love these past few years has come to be. A great book for people who need a concise, clear, and pretty (!) introduction to this movement, featuring many talented artists, beautiful work, and great illustrations. I must admit, though, the design of the book is very colorful and elaborate and sometimes the pages felt a bit cramped to me. But then again, I am a person who insists on designing websites in font size 10, only changing it because people are complaining they can't read what I'm writing.
^ Pages shown: Diem Chau and Kup Kup Land. On the cover: Marloes Duyker
Title: Indie Craft
Authors: Jo Waterhouse
Published: 2010, Laurence King Publishing
DOCUMENTING THE ART OF HANDMADEAs I said before, the books overlap a bit and it wasn't surprising to me to see that Faythe Levine actually wrote a foreword to this pearl of a book. Jo Waterhouse's reason for making this book is very similar to Levine's reason for creating 'Handmade Nation'; to document Indie Craft and bring forward the work of many of the talented artists out there. And yes, some of the artists featured in this book, were also featured in 'Handmade Nation'.
Despite the overlap I would still highly recommend this book. This book feels not just like an 'update' to me, including artists that have come to the scene's attention in the past couple of years and that I've come to love and admire - it also leads the way for 'indie craft' to be considered art. Waterhouse mentions in her introduction that although she feels no need to open up the old and multi-faceted 'art vs. craft' debate, in a way she still does so, by featuring artists like Severija from Lithuania, who isn't considered a 'crafter' but a 'serious artists'.
ART VS CRAFT - AGAIN?I understand what Waterhouse says - why bother again and again with trying to define and pinpoint the inherently fluid boundaries of what is art and what is craft? But it's an interesting subject to raise, not just because the contemporary art scene has long been a male dominated world, while DIY and craft seem often reserved for women. I was glad therefore glad to see some male artists (FYI: I am using the term 'artists' in the broadest sense possible, as I feel everyone who dares to create is, in fact, an artist) among the many fresh faces in this book. We are slowly seeing DIY techniques and artists spilling over into the traditional contemporary art scene and I'd say, it's about time. This book, I think, really helps to lead the way, and I think Waterhouse for making such a marvelous book with so many amazing artists that surprised me and inspired me. Buy this book, is my advice! Even if you don't want to read about craft, this book is just too pretty NOT to pick up!
In conclusion: I think these two books taken together could be all you need to introduce you to the world of crafting and the online community behind it.
So! That's it for today! PHEW! What a long post! Sorry about that!
If there's any books you'd like me to review, please do drop me a line or let me know in the comments below!
Have a not-so-depressing Monday!
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