my alma mater - the royal academy of fine arts in antwerp, belgium - celebrates its 350th birthday. lots of events and exhibits mark this occasion, including one showcasing the work by the students - past and present - of its famed fashion department, of which I am a proud graduate. here's an instagram report.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
having just spent a few days in belgium, i noticed the prevalence of enamel door handles everywhere. clearly a remnant of sixties/seventies architecture, i am happy these colorful accessories somehow survived renovations and updates. i experimented with making enamel jewelry as a teenager, a complicated process that involved a high-temperature oven - fortunately we could use my dad's at his lab. i've always loved the somewhat random outcome as colors and textures melt together. what's your take on enamel?
Sunday, November 17, 2013
today marked what was probably my last visit to the elephant's trunk flea market this year. technically, the market is open until december 8, but it will soon get brutally cold on that connecticut field. even though it was a drizzly, foggy day today, the shopping was great. here's a little taste.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Saturday, November 9, 2013
i came across this genius idea last summer, during a daytrip to amsterdam: a book bench, appropriately in front of a book store. from what i could tell, the whole thing was mounted on a metal frame. i must try to make my own version...
Friday, October 18, 2013
here's a little weekend inspiration. maybe it's because snail mail is all but obsolete, but i find old-fashioned stamps and stamp collections to have great graphic appeal. there's nothing better than to receive a battered manilla package or wrinkled postcard in the mail, covered with a multitude of colorful stamps. i always keep them to glue in my scrapbooks, a reminder of a rapidly fleeting way of communication.
Friday, October 4, 2013
here's a treasure i just picked up for a few dollars at housing works, one of my favorite new york city places to shop, and a great charity to booth. check out their online auctions as well, you'll find some amazing things! this little cat has already given me lots of ideas for making other stuffed animals, stay tuned...
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
i just stumbled upon the wondrous budgerigar portraits by fine arts photographer leila jeffreys. they struck a cord with me as i really love budgies - though she photographs other birds as well. our budgie janneke in belgium was a part of my family for thirteen years when i was growing up. currently, blue and grey take up residence in our living room. they are very social birds who love to be around people, and they can be loud too - when things get out of hand, their cage gets covered by what we call the shut-up quilt. it works.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
completely by chance, i stumbled upon a copy of jo whaley's book "the theater of insects" (2008, chronicle books) at a yard sale this weekend and i am so inspired. i absolutely adore the whimsical and poetic little still lifes, created by this san francisco artist, especially the ones that incorporate vintage victorian portraits. check out her website: http://www.jowhaley.com/.
Friday, September 20, 2013
this little book with embroidery templates for letters and monograms has been in my family's possession for as long as i can remember. i have always loved it, not only because i like the idea of personalizing items with a letter or monogram, these patterns also appeal to me on a purely graphic basis. it also recently occurred to me that these embroidery templates really have that retro 8-bit aesthetic that's so big again among kids.... what comes around, goes around...
Friday, September 13, 2013
i seem to have started yet another collection: fly ashtrays, a real category apparently in the world of tobacciana. i found my first ones at various flea markets, and am happy to report i paid nowhere near what these critters go for on ebay. my plan is to collect enough to mount on the wall all around a door frame. fly on the wall.... get it?
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
here's some color inspiration, by way of these silk spools i picked up at the braderie de lilles two weeks ago. i know i am not supposed to like yellow, because i am a blonde and it doesn't work, but i don't care. someone once told me yellow is the color of insane people. i still don't care. i love all kinds of yellow - with the exception of really pale pee pee yellow, that color should be outlawed.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
i've always been on the look-out for a vintage christopher ross animal belt buckle, his hare would be a top score. no luck so far, they're very collectable and quite expensive. so imagine my delight at finding this armadillo belt at the flea a few weeks ago. how cute is he?.... also, he was $2.
Friday, September 6, 2013
among my grandmother's collection of vintage postcards, i found these glamour shots from the twenties and thirties. somehow, this uncomplicated, fresh and pretty - almost naive - idea of beauty feels very modern right now. my grandmother once told me she used to rub rose petals on her lips as a teenager, to give them a pink hue. i love that idea, and I can picture her pouring over these images, dreaming of mary pickford, janet gaynor and carole lombard.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
we spent yesterday at the braderie de lilles, in the north of france. touted as the largest flea market of europe, it is really more of a street festival, with lots of booths selling t-shirts, socks, gadgets, and most of all.... food! in fact, the signature dish of the day is mussels, and the restaurant that has the largest pile of empty mussel shells at the end of the weekend wins some sort of prize. of course, i was mostly looking for the booths selling vintage flea-market stuff and i did find those, mostly on the outskirts of the town and away from the commercial center. here are some pictures to wet your appetite.