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

Month: March, 2014

Annie Atkins and The Grand Budapest Hotel


Creative Review recently did an interview with Annie Atkins, the graphic designer behind Wes Anderson’s latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Kris and I saw the film this weekend and loved it.  We particularly enjoyed the beauty of the film, and the intense levels of design-details that went into bringing Anderson’s world to life. The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in the fictional country of Zubrowka across three different time periods, making it one of Anderson’s most design heavy films yet. Atkins, Anderson, and Stockhausen (the production designer) thus built an entire fictional place from the ground up, ensuring that it had a historically accurate feel despite its fictional roots. In addition, Anderson’s films always tend to be prop heavy, making this film no small feat. Everything from room keys to telegrams, letters to book covers, and a great deal of signage , packaging, and government documents were all designed by Atkins. These pieces were then brought to life using period-appropriate methods. Atkins notes that she used “a real 1930s typewriter for typewritten documents; a dipping pen and ink and for any handwriting.” In addition, many of the “pieces [had] to be aged… as nothing [could] look like it was made in an art department five minutes ago.” The detail and beauty of the film’s design is impeccable, and the movie itself is entertaining, amusing, and wonderful. To see more of Annie Atkins’ work, check out her website. For more on the design in the film, see the full interview by Creative Review. And for a great film, see The Grand Budapest Hotel, now in theaters.


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Saturday Snapshot

Brunch at Skillet. These were, quite truthfully, the best shrimp and grits I have ever had.



French clothing line Cotélac has released two gorgeous lookbooks for their Spring-Summer 2014 collection. One shoot is set in a desert plant filled greenhouse, the other on a vast beach with no water in sight. Epitomizing the nomadic look the brand promotes, the season’s collection is filled to the brim with loose tailoring  in their traditionally tomboyish clothing. Their washed out, easy-wear looks are perfect for the coming season and every outfit is an inspiring mix of tough and pretty. Take a look at the website, and shop the brand online.














Erin Smith


Erin Smith is so multi-talented that I had a difficult time narrowing down a selection of photos to represent her work for this post. She makes pots, cups, and small dishes, ceramic, leather, brass, and fiber jewelry, leather wallets and key fobs, fiber and ceramic ornaments, and these weird, triangular, fabric lamp things that (obviously) I cannot even find words to describe. As far as I can tell, she is a ceramicist, leather worker, metal worker, fiber artist, and maybe everything in between. Her work seems limitless. But it is all unified by her aesthetic, which is quirky, colorful, textured, and characterized by a love for raw imperfection. Her brass work is fascinating, with gouges and nicks, lending her bracelets and necklaces beautiful texture. Indigos, ochres, and corals are her most frequent colors of choice, with violent pops of electric pink, aqua, or yellow, making her work visually arresting. Her pieces are delightful, fun, and edgy. You can see more of her many many projects on her website, or purchase her pieces from the makers’ shop she co-manages and curates: Ship & Shape.










Honeycomb Scarf

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There was nothing. And then there was something. And that something was this scarf I wove.


Sarah Kersten, Counter Culture Pottery


Sarah Kersten is a ceramicist living in Oakland, California. Her main project, Counter Culture Pottery was born out of a desire to produce things she needed in her very own kitchen. The name is a pun for the sole piece she produces: a crock pot that, when in use in your home, sits on the counter and contains the living ecosystem of live culture foods. That’s right, Kersten’s main project is her beautiful and practical vegetable fermentation pots. Combining her love of making with her interest in food culture, Kersten’s 1.5 gallon fermentation jars are specifically designed for home fermentation. Each jar is high fired with a corrosion resistant, lead free glaze, and is built with a trough lid that forms a water seal. This seal drastically reduces chances of mold growth, fruit-fly issues, and brine water evaporation in an easy, manageable way for those fermenting at home.

Kersten developed her jar out of a desire to lend her creative talents to the ever-growing movement towards whole foods, plant based diets, and local/self-produced foods. A lover of fermented foods, Kersten saw home fermentation as one of the less unexplored ways in which individuals could take part in this cultural shift. For beginners, she even includes a recipe for homemade sauerkraut on her website, and recommends Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation for those just starting out. The recipe sounds delicious, and Kersten’s infectious passion is enough for me to want to give fermentation a try, despite it’s complete impracticality in my current postage-stamp sized kitchen. The jars are solid, simple, beautifully understated, and–above all–incredibly functional. Check out Kersten’s work and more of her thoughts about the intersection between food and ceramics on her website, shop her collection of fermentation jars, or follow her Instagram.



The Sunshine Award


Thanks to Hadorable for nominating my blog for a Sunshine Award! A photographer living in France, Hadorable‘s blog is a trove of inspiration, filled with beautiful photographs of her travels, daily life, and adorable daughter, as well as the beginnings of a collection of Vietnamese recipes. Her nominating me is a testament to the creative community that builds up so quickly through blogging–and that’s what the Sunshine Award is about. The Sunshine Award helps to connect bloggers, build encouragement, and promote the work of other bloggers to create a network of inspiration.

The Rules:

          1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post and/or on your blog
          2. Link to the blogger who nominated you
          3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
          4. Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
          5. Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them
          6. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer

The Ten Questions I have to answer:

1 What is your nickname? My most common nickname over the years has been “Lies” (also spelled Lize, and Liez). I didn’t think you could shorten Liza, but apparently you can. In high-school my friends joked that the Arcade Fire song “Rebellion (Lies)” was about me. Alternatively I’ve been called “Liza-loo” “Tall Girl” and “Stupid.”

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2 If you describe yourself thru a character from a movie, show, book, or whatever…who will you be? I would like to think I’m a rather strong and self-assertive character, and maybe I have become more so over the years, but I found myself mirrored most in a novel in the shy and unassuming Elizabeth-Jane from Thomas Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge. I was immediately struck by how similar I was to that character: all of her thoughts were ones I seem to have had at the time and her struggles with learning to trust people, her constant wish to please, and her efforts to improve herself and open herself to new experiences seemed to map almost perfectly with mine. She is a bit of a shy mouse though, who accepts her fate, good and bad, without fight or strife.

3 What is your purpose to start a blog? This blog has been a way for me to involve myself more in the creative arts. I would love for it to expand in more connective ways though as I begin to develop my own craft work.

4 Cat or dog? I love both. But I will always choose to own a cat.


5 What is your all-time favourite town or city? Why? Some of my favorite places I’ve ever been have been in France. I especially loved Arles. There’s a fondness in me for Paris and Prague as well. Funny thing is, these are all places I visited with my best friend Katie. I’m sure that has had a profound impact on how I feel about those places, and many of my memories of them revolve around our time together. I also love Durham, North Carolina, where my boyfriend and I are moving in the spring–but part of that may be pure anticipation.


6 What is the strangest thing you believed as a child? I genuinely, 100% thought I could float. Not fly. Float. I believed this so much that I still have memories in which my view of myself is about 2 and 1/2 feet off the ground moving my arms as though swimming through water.

7 What is one of your favourite habits you have? My morning routine: coffee and a book and at least half an hour of that quiet space to myself. I get up way earlier than I need to just to fit this in.


8 Do you think people can control their own destiny? I believe we can change our lives by the stories we tell ourselves. I believe everyone should learn to tell more positive stories.

9 What do you think people think of you? I’m afraid of what people think of me, but I’m okay with that fear. And I am certain of the people who love me. And I’m okay with that list too.

10 What is your favourite quote?  I have a lot, but I’ll share a beautiful one from Anne Carson’s Nox:

“I will consign fear and sadness to the sea.”


My Nominees: 

I find these blogs inspiring, enjoyable, fun, or all of the above on a daily basis…


The Ten Questions I’m Asking:

  1. What was your favorite toy as a child?
  2. When you were 10, what did you want to be?
  3. If you were to marry a fictional character, who would it be?
  4. What is your favorite part of your day?
  5. Where are you right now and why are you there?
  6. What is inspiring you today?
  7. What is your favorite tool to use?
  8. If you were to take up a risky hobby, what would it be?
  9. How do you take your coffee? (or tea)?
  10. Morning or night?

Image Credit: Mine, all mine.

Things to Click…


I started following a new Tumblr that showcases screen shots from Wes Anderson films along with their accompanying color palettes. Any fan of the high levels of attention to design that go into Aderson’s films will get a kick out of this site, and it’s a good way to get an instant dose of color inspiration.

It’s been a time honored cliche that creative types tend to be fired by a little bit of madness. Or at least that many famous creative minds (William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, David Foster Wallace, Mark Twain, Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, and so many more) have suffered from depression, melancholy, and other forms of “madness.” This fascinating article from Thought Catalog explores the commonalities between famous writers and the mentally ill, using the Fitzgeralds (Zelda and F. Scott, that is) as an in-road to explaining the neurological designs behind creative brains and why this pairing between madness and creativity occurs so frequently.

I’ve been reading a lot in the past few years about addiction–it’s myths, effects, etc–and it turns out that this is a field ripe for exploration right now as many scientists, counselors, and therapists are beginning to overturn years of thought on this affliction. NPR interviewed Lance Dodes this week in a story that uncovers the appalling failure of AA (and similar programs) to actually treat alcoholism and, in turn, presents some of the new ways we as a nation should begin to think about and treat addiction.

Courtesy of Deadspin.com, Real Time with Bill Maher featured this map of the united states, which shows the highest paid state employee in each of the 50 states. Such a map gives us a  somewhat discouraging glimpse into what the U.S. is most willing to pay for, and thus what it most values…



“Don’t Tell Mama”


I am so proud to call this handsome dude my twin. Listen to his gorgeous, melancholy tunes on Soundcloud. He’s going to surprise us all and be famous someday. My favorite is “Goin’ to Colorado,” but all of his songs do a darn good job of bringing back the old cowboy sound.

Seven Hills Bee Co


This is a bit of a nepotic post on my part, seeing as the owner of Seven Hills Bee Co is actually my older brother, but Alex Chabot takes some of the most breathtaking photos of bees I’ve ever seen. Period. A linguist, a writer, a darn good cook, and a lover of animals, summer, and the outdoors, Alex also specializes in bee removal and beekeeping. This means that, rather than exterminating bees that have set up their hives in undesirable places (i.e. your work or home), Alex humanely removes these hives and relocates them to one of his bee yards, where he continues to keep and tend to them. Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Alex manages about a dozen hives all across the city and sells the honey from his hives locally. In the meantime, he also documents the daily life of his hives through his photographs and their accompanying bee facts. His photos are simply stunning, encouraging you to turn your thoughts in wonder to the smaller things in this world. Fascinating, beautiful, and remarkable in their growing importance on the environmental scale, bees are totally worth spending a few minutes a day thinking about, and Alex’s feed enables you to do just that. If you want to learn more about honeybees, or simply see some incredible photos of these busy, bad-ass creatures, take a look at Seven Hill Bee Co.’s Instagram, or follow the start-up on Facebook. You won’t regret it!