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"been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down…"

Month: February, 2014

Ace & Jig, s/s ’14

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I’ve always been in love with Ace & Jig’s colorful, handwoven textiles. With these textiles Cary Vaughn and Jenna Wilson, the duo behind Ace & Jig, create loose-fitting, beautifully textured clothing that is relaxed, comfortable, and easy-to-wear. Wilson and Vaughn  are masters at print mixing and layering, always guaranteeing a unique–if not always wearable–look to their collections. Their spring/summer 2014 lookbook is no different. But, despite the print mixing and over-layering of the outfits, the line’s palette–beachy-cool blues, deep indigos, lemon yellows, and bright turquoise–creates a unified look that is incredibly pleasing. And their mixing and layering of funky, laid-back summer-wear gives no shortage of inspiration for new ways to wear old stand-bys. If you’re interested in how Vaughn and Wilson desgin and weave their fabrics, you can read more about their textile process on the Of/A/Kind website. You can also see their whole collection on the Ace & Jig website, or you can shop some of the pieces of heir collection on Of/A/Kind.

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The Catenary Press, handmade chapbooks

7ZPulJDaniel Poppick is a talented poet-friend of mine who, along with a crew of people I’ve never met, started The Catenary Press. A small group of friends publishing handmade chapbooks of poetry, the Catenary team has produced some really beautiful, limited edition pieces over the last few years. They even published Hannah Sanghee Park’s first chapbook, Ode Days Ode, before she went on to win the Ruth Lily Poetry Fellowship. I’ve never actually seen these handmade books, but the cover art is always wonderful and the poems inside even better. Their most recent release is Heather Tone’s Gestures, currently being sold at AWP in Seattle. You can see more of The Catenary Press’s work on their blog, or follow them on Facebook.

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Morgan Carper – s/s and f/w ’14

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Morgan Carper has released both her spring/summer and her fall/winter 2014 collections. Though I don’t find them as pitch perfect as her fall/winter 2013 collection, she still kills it, continuing to highlight what she does best: texture, pattern pairing, and color. I think what turns me off a little bit from her spring/summer collection are the punchy, pinky hues she chose; my favorite pieces from that collection are her more neutral ones. But I can’t deny the fabrics, and cuts are still beautiful. Her fall/winter collection is spot-on, however, with swoon-worthy shades of blue and a slew of interesting shapes and cut-out details. Take a look below and see more of the collections on her website.

Spring/Summer 2014

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Autumn/Winter 2014

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Actual Brewing Company’s Website Expansion

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Just a quick post to rave about the drastic expansion to Actual Brewing Company‘s website. As in, their site is no longer just a page (with admittedly great art) stating that their page is a work in progress. Nope, it’s a full blown site now, with sections on the brewery, laboratory, and roastery. Each page features “how its done” graphics and information about Actual’s range of brews and beans. You can even order their (delicious) coffee online now, which may be the most exciting part about the site expansion for me, considering we live an hour away from any supplier. You can also buy Actual Tees, printed by Kris and the team at T-Shirt Express. There are still a few kinks working themselves out, but the design is impeccable and the process infographs fun and informative. Another bonus? The site is plastered with Mira Lee’s brilliant label art. Be sure to take a look!

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Steam Whistle Letterpress & Design

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Established in 2011 in the historic Over-the-Rhine district of Cincinnati, Steam Whistle Letterpress has been on my radar since I bought Kris a set of their “Paper Neighborhood” stamps. Paper Neighborhood is a set of 21 stamps depicting various characteristics of Cincinnati historical Italianate-style architecture. The object of the set is to build your own paper neighborhood, thereby preserving (at least on paper) these historical buildings. An ingenious idea, the set is handmade by the Steam Whistle team in Cincinnati and allowed for me to combine Kris’s interests in architecture with his love of printing into the perfect gift. In addition, Steam Whistle added another interactive level to their set by welcoming photos of purchasers’ creations. They even offered up a gallery of their own prints, illustrating reproductions of actual buildings in the vicinity of their shop.

Aside from Paper Neighborhood, Steam Whistle offers a full range of custom services, using vintage equipment to make everything from wedding invitations and announcements, event posters, business cards, greeting cards, and stationery. They also maintain an online shop selling their own designs and offer letterpress workshops and classes. If you’re ever in Cincinatti you should be sure to stop by their colorful headquarters on Main Street.

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Image Credit: The top two photos are mine from a trip to Cincinnati. The other two are taken from Steam Whistle Letterpress’s own site.

Been Listening…

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Beck’s newest album Morning Phase is currently on NPR’s First Listen. It’s full of delicious, dreamy mellowness complete with lovely, moody string orchestrations. NPR describes the album as a whole as “slow and stately,” two perfect descriptors of this less punchy, more pensive album from Beck. I recommend a listen.

Helen Levi

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Helen Levi‘s pottery is all over the design world right now, so apologies if you’ve already heard of her. I simply love her pottery too much not to put it up here for other people to devour. Most known for her gilded eye planters, Helen Levi is a talented photographer and potter (cheekily self-identifying as a “pot-ographer”), who makes simple, organic, and endearingly lumpy pottery pieces. Though her collection now focuses mainly on planters, mugs, bowls, and other functional pieces, she plans to expand into wider territory, making more sculptural works. Using faded, natural-looking colors to subtly contrast with neutral whites, Levi’s pieces name their own inspiration, from her “forest mugs” to her “desert tumblers.” Aside from all of these beautiful, understated works, my favorite is one of her flashier, quirkier pieces: the gilded hand necklace. I love it. If I weren’t moving soon and saving every penny I earn, it would be around my neck as I type. She sometimes sells repaired “seconds” of these necklaces at a reduced price, so a girl can always hope!

Helen Levi has a collection on Of/A/Kind of her gilded eye planters, but maintains her own online shop and website. Her photography is also worth a gander, or you can follow her gorgeous Instagram feed for some daily inspiration.

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Eidie Weaving

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Eidie Weaving is a small Etsy shop run by Kate Bieschke currently working out of California. She graduated from the School of Art Institute in Chicago in 2009 and has delved into the world of weaving since. Though it is her textile pieces that she sells, Bieschke seems to be full of diverse talents and interests, including photography, sculpture, and line drawing. Like most of the artists I’m fascinated with lately, Bieschke’s love for weaving lies partially in its flexibility to incorporate found materials. I love her vibrant use of color and texture and hope to see more from her in the future. Take a look at Eidie Weaving‘s Etsy shop, or see more of her work on her website.

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Ariele Alasko

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Ariele Alasko is a furniture builder and woodworker living in Brooklyn New York. Her work is organic, shaped with a rustic edge, and she specializes in articulating intricate, geometric patterns using the unique and natural properties of her medium of choice: found and salvaged wood. She makes tables, headboards, and wall panels. She carves spoons, bread boards, and plates. She has also designed the interior and created gorgeous installations for the restaurant il vecchio in California. Her taste is spotless, her work detailed and always gorgeous. Her Instagram feed is a must-follow and shows off her downplayed skills as a photographer of her own work. I would love to own one of her pieces someday, or even just to take a walk around her enviable studio.

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Image credit: Ariele Alasko, from her website

The Egon Schiele Typeface, Nathalie Hallman

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Nathalie Hallman is a designer currently studying at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, Sweden. She has caught attention for her award winning design Gaga Tea. But I stumbled on Hallman’s work through her mesmerizing Egon Schiele typeface. Constructed from images of cut-out and deconstructed works by Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele, Hallman’s typeface is dreamy, twisted, and yet oh so gorgeous. I am also fascinated by her “Modern Classics” project, in which she has redesigned the Rorschach/inkblot tests into portraits of some of literature’s most terrifying characters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, and Mr. Hyde. The fictive book covers are bold, haunting, and (like her typeface) eerily beautiful. You can see more of her work and read more about Hallman at her website, nathaliehallman.com.

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