Archive for February, 2010

We now take a short break for some cute.

Friday, February 19th, 2010

I found some more pictures of really swell cupcakes on Flickr:

1799709053_910edb7130_b 2929385950_cccbf3d2b7_o 3602452038_b8c67c3585_o 3601638357_a6be690f5d_o 3438561290_2700e20612_o

and my personal favorite, mainly for the name: The Straw-Berried Treasure Cupcake.


The cute inspiration bug bit me again recently when I saw the submarine tea thingie.


That makes me so happy. I have loose tea that I use occasionally, I may end up purchasing this.

Also, on a more macabre but still cute note, how badly do I want this wallpaper? (Answer: really freakin’ badly).

gray_animal-magic_repeat_on_1 gray_animal-magic_rabbit_detail-_off_1 gray_animal-magic_insitu_1

I love animals. I love anatomy. I love black and gray. I want – nay, I NEED – this wallpaper.

Westminster Dog Show 2010. Also, belated Christmas present.

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

1. Snorth and I exchanged holiday presents in February (hey, are you perfect? I think not), I gave her the “Rubenstein D’Grumples” drawing, and she surprised me with this great piece. Here’s the back story: Snorth bought a flower pot that looks like a snail. It cracked, so she was no longer able to put plants in it. Instead of weeping and rending her garments, she repurposed it. She crocheted a little dome out of eyelash yarn, which looked like a little moss cap, and then crocheted accompanying mushrooms on top of that. Snorth stuffed the snail pot and put this moss ‘n’ mushrooms on top and voila: instant terrificness.

snail1 snail2

Isn’t that charming? I don’t know where to put it in my apartment yet, but I love it and I’m going to find it a good home.

2. DOG SHOW OMG BBQ. Anyone who reads this blog knows how much I look forward to this thing every year. And this year was no disappointment. My camera decided to die last year at Westminster, so I was concerned I wouldn’t have any pictures this year with my new camera, like I was cursed. But my new camera did great and many of my pictures came out just fine. I’m going to take you through the benching area which isn’t photographed much. It’s where the dogs are groomed and where they wait before being judged.

There are these little patches of wood shavings throughout the room, and that’s where the dogs relieve themselves before heading out into the ring. Here are two papillons (French for “butterfly”, so called because of the giant, wing-like ears) contemplating takin’ a tinkle.


In order to keep your beast looking their best, you have to use a myriad of styling tools on them. The groomers use all the ones you see at the salons: hairdryers, hairspray, brushes, combs, fancy foot baths, even eye shadow. And oh so many hair clips and hair ties. Here you see a fine fellah rockin’ some sweet blue ones.


Here’s an afgan wearing a snood. The afgan’s ears are long and covered with hair, and you don’t want that dragging on the ground and in their food bowl, do you? No, you don’t. So many dogs with ears like that are seen wearing what appears to be festively-colored granny-panties on their head.


This one is blurry, but I couldn’t not include it. This dog has his ears wrapped, I don’t know why. I’m sure they have a good reason. It does make the dog look really silly, like a highly displeased Pippy Longstocking. I giggled when I saw him.


This dog is getting a foot bath. I guess his feet were shmutzy. I just loved how he looked like he had been on a coffee and cigarettes bender for a week.


This is a sheepdog wearing socks. Please note how fluffy the dog is, and then look at the socks and realize how skinny he actually is under all that fluffitude. The handler was helpful in telling me that this was the back end of the dog (sometimes it is hard to tell).


And this is the front.


I loved this dog solely because he reminded me of Stains.


Here is a picture of the nicest German shepherd you ever could meet. It liked to hop up on its back legs, put its front legs on its owner’s shoulders, and give her kisses all over her face. Awwwww.


These is my most favorite dog breed in the whole world, the Borzoi. Borzois are also known as Russian Wolfhounds. They have been used in art and paintings for centuries because they’re so elegant and lithe.

_wsb_566x458_Borzoi+hunt+2 borzoi_russian_wolf_hound_painting John_Emms_-_Borzoi_in_a_Landscape_-_os_20x26.5 LQLYF00Z Z5N6D00Z

Here is a male and female borzoi hangin’ out, being photogenic unintentionally. Even when they’re not trying to be pretty, they are.


And here’s a female borzoi laying on the ground, having a meaningful discussion with my mother. I think I’m going to have this framed for her.


Darth Vader and pretty graphic design.

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Upon arriving to work the other day, I was greeted by the Imperial March blaring from gigantor speakers outside my office. When I leaned out a window to see what was going on, I was greeted by this sight:


Yeah, so Foot Locker is coming out with Star Wars-themed shoes. This is to bring awareness of the shoes to the public. Following the “standing there” portion of the morning, Darth and the storm troopers decided it would a good idea to weave through midtown traffic. I don’t know, Darth Vader looks considerably less imposing when trotting past a Sunglass Hut. Note there are very few storm troopers behind them because they cannot navigate around the cabs. It was a weird morning.


But on a totally different note, I designed something purty! Most of the work I do here is not particularly creative, but every once in a while I get to bust out my artsy chops and bring the illustrating hammer down. Which I did this week. There was a request for graphics representing “growth”, “new talent”, “leadership”, and “regional offices”. And they liked what I did, so the illustrations made it into the book we produced.

1growth 2newtalent 3leadership 4regionalhighlights

Marian Bantjes.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I first saw Marian’s work when I was working at BBDO. On my way from Grand Central Terminal, I often walked past Saks Fifth Avenue. One day, I noticed that their window displays had stellar vinyl lettering representing various elements in their stores.

pic_saks-cape1 pic_saks-handbag pic_saks-wantit2 pic_saks-puffy1 pic_saks-tie1 pic_saks-cropped1

Now, I check a variety of design blogs throughout my day, and luckily Marian and her phenomenal calligraphy got blogged about. I looked up her other work and became smitten. I am a huge fan of calligraphy and art nouveau, and Marian has an appreciation for letter arts and a fluidity of line that is, well, perfect, really. I’ve seen a bunch of people imitate her, and I can always pick them out. They’re just not quite on her level. She’s the best.

mariam_two pic_neruda restraint swatchbooks_grandee_ma

And charts… you all know how I feel about a well-designed chart, right? (quick answer: I freakin’ love them.) She designed maybe the greatest chart ever. I have no idea what it’s for, but if I could ever get my hands on a print of it, I would be ecstatic. Perhaps I would even swoon and be in dire need of a fainting couch. That’s how much I love this chart.


I saw two movies! Two VERY different movies.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I’ve been getting a heaping pile of culture lately. I’ve seen a few movies, plus the play God of Carnage (with Jimmy Smits! And Annie Potts! And two other people who were also excellent, but who’s names don’t do the same rhythmic thing) and Avenue Q again (still one of the bestest musicals ever, especially if you grew up with Sesame Street as a child). One movie I saw is called Intimacy, and it is, well, very European. I’ve always said the French truly know how to make sex look terrible, and here they succeed with flying colors. The film, directed by Patrice Chereau, is about a guy who looks like a woeful elf (Mark Rylance) and has left his wife and family and lives in the crappiest house in London (I could smell it through the television, and it smelled like mold spores and old books and sour milk) and there’s this woman who looks like a normal Plain Jane housewife (Kerry Fox) and she comes over every Wednesday and they go at like raccoons in your backyard next to your trash bin. There are no words exchanged, we don’t know how they met, they just pant and claw at each other and bump their pale bony British uglies and she leaves. He develops an interest in knowing stuff about her (like, I don’t know, HER NAME), so one day, he follows her and he learns about her husband and her kid and blah blah. In the end, because he knows about her life and develops feelings for her, they can no longer rut like pigs and their relationship dissolves. Here’s the deal: the movie (which is actually very good, but only if you like long depressing discussions about the emptiness and loneliness of life, which I don’t) got a great deal of press because the actors pretty much have real actual sex. And it is so not sexy. I would actually prefer to watch raccoons mating beside your trash bins. I definitely much rather watch this:

This was the kind of movie I watched a great deal of in college and then had to write papers about. Now that I am not in college and not forced to do that, I try to avoid films like this like the plague. So I saw another film that I liked very much, and that was:

Monsters vs. Aliens!

Yeah, I’ve come a long way since college. I didn’t have very high hopes for M vs. A, but the voice-over actors were all ones I like (Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Hugh Laurie, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Will Arnett), and the plot, while not really super-fleshed-out, was believable and it was a good time. There are monsters, kept by the government in a secret prison! But then there’s aliens, bent on attacking the earth and taking it over! So the government releases the monsters, and they fight the aliens! It’s made by a not-Pixar movie studio and it’s no Pixar film, but not every animated film has to be. Sometimes they can just be fun and funny. So if you have a choice, avoid the sad gray intercourse and go with the brightly-colored animated characters.