To See

These incredible drawings by Evie Cahir

Pleasure Until Forever/Just Relax at Art Metropole

Design for Listen Up Philip by CHIPS-NY

Women Having a Terrible Time at Parties in Western Art History

Really love the design & branding for Glossier - some of founder Emily Weiss' inspirations here




Christophe Lemaire's super dreamy final collection at Hermès 
& an interview that he did with The Line





a bottle of nail polish that I drew for school


To Eat

Posting this as a note to self to make this -  raw raspberry "cheesecake"


Ha @ The Chicken Wing Boom, but honestly want to try this version of adobo wings

Also this jerk sauce by Kelis

And also this Rose Bakery breakfast


To Read

Find Your Beach by Zadie Smith

Marion by Emma Kline

Gallery Girls in Australia

Can't wait for my copy of A Piece Apart Gazette to arrive

Fell in big love with Gratuitous Type after finding it at the Vancouver Art/Book Fair - more on All Day Every Day

So many great bits in this interview with Lotta Nieminen - "you need to be emotionally connected enough to care about your work, but not enough to take things personally"

Really liking Ok Real



To Listen

Kindness Bedtime Mix

Love that Jessie Ware's first dance at her wedding was to No Letting Go


“There’s always something to do when you’re alone” seeing FKA Twigs in November 





Keep thinking about that Sottsass Phaidon book 

& these Waka Waka bookends (still)

& the toasted marshmellow at Earnest Ice Cream


also, thinking about a fiddle leaf fig tree.





Summer and school and life have been so super busy but it feels good learning new things and feeling able to do and make things that I couldn't a few months ago.

Lately, very inspired by the design work of:


& dreaming of taking a trip somewhere like:


and sitting down for a long time to read:

book list






































 to-read book list covers


So I didn't make it to 52 books last year but it's a new year (and a half) right?

Book List 2013


This was like a YA adventure read - everything works out for them all of the time (spoiler!) but it was fun following along.

2. The Sartorialist: Closer - Scott Schuman                           

Who lets Scott Schuman speak/write/communicate? Because he always manages to make himself sound terribly pompous. The pictures though, as always, are great.


I wanted to like this so much more than I did. The concept is intriguing (how certain objects conjure up memories and meaning) and the physical book is beautifully assembled, but the writing was so disjointed. I found it hard to invest in the story and very difficult to connect with. Enjoyed the illustration in the book though.


It was good! It was HUGE and took a long time to get through due to my inability to cart it around everywhere. Would recommend reading this big old thing on an eBook though the 1Q84 is cover is a beauty.

5. Grace - Grace Coddington                     

Grace is incredible but she (I will give her credit for admitting) is no writer. She drops off a lot of tidbits without getting into detail ("oh and then we had a two year affair" - the end!) but then spends a whole chapter talking about her cats (which are great, but still!) A harmless, breezy weekend read about what you already knew - Grace is the best.


This is a book about people's favourite books (with illustrations) and I loved it.

7. Number9Dream - David Mitchell                        

I liked it but I still liked Mitchell's Cloud Atlas more, too bad that movie was such a disappointment.


Definitely one of the most fun books that I read this year. It was over the top but also really humorous. Don’t let the cover deter you, it looks like a Shopaholic book but it's worth it.

9. A Hologram for The King - Dave Eggers                            

I mean, it was fine but empty – I guess that was the point?

10. Vampires in the Lemon Grove - Karen Russell                            

A mixed bag of her short stories, but one that I liked overall. I think she is at her best when it comes to short stories (see: Swamplandia or don't)

11. The Vanishers - Heidi Julavits                             

Such a good concept (witch college!) and first half but the second part was a letdown. I like her prose though.

12. Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein                

Good but heads up there is A LOT of historical detail which isn’t always my cup of tea, but I liked the YA girl power message of it all.

13. What I Loved - Siri Hustvedt               

Parts were great but it didn't blow me away. Some of the descriptions of the art were overly long and though I really like art fiction, I just never felt that I got a solid sense of the art being made even though it was a big part of this book.

14. And The Pursuit of Happiness - Maira Kalman                            

Illustrated book about US government - I learned a lot! Which I forget now! But I still recommend it.

15. The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller                            

Best love story award 2013! Greek mythology with a twist on the Achilles + Patroclus relationship.


Short story collections are always a toss-up (see: above, Karen Russell) but some of these stories are stunning and stay with you long after finishing them.

17. The Property - Rutu Modan               

More straightforward than her other works - not very forgiving towards Warsaw though.

18. Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar - Kelly Oxford                          

Some parts were funny but some were like just reading e-mails from a friend who is pretty good at e-mailing.

19. Tell The Wolves I'm Home - Carol Brunt                        

Really nice YA read about different kinds of love, YA writers just nailing relationships in fiction these days.

20. A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting - GuyDelisle               

Funny little cartoons about being a dad.

21. Building Stories - Chris Ware              

Incredible! So intricate. One of the most poignant things that I read (/looked at) this year.


Reminded me of Leanne Shapton's approach – very much enjoyed that in between story & art/picture book feel.

22. Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter                              

Very glamorous and cinematic.  Some people complained that this was too "tidy" but I loved the tidiness! Sometimes it is satisfying to find out what happens to everyone.

23. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P - Adelle Waldman                    

Good book about the Brooklyn literary scene, could relate to a lot in this about being a late 20s early 30s person but was also repelled by/eyerolled a lot of it, which I think was on purpose and very well executed. Protaganist is infuriating but also realistically drawn – everyone knows a dude like this.

24. Bobcat - Rebecca Lee                            

Short story collection, general theme of university/learning.

25. Ghostwritten - David Mitchell                           

Similar concept to Cloud Atlas but even more dense. There was always so much going on in Mitchell's books but I liked this one too.

26. Heads and Straights - Lucy Wadham               

A novella about the author's family life in Chelsea, London - loved it. Very British.

27. The Flamethrowers - Rachel Kushner                            

Feel like this was the hyped book of the year. I wanted to like it more than I did because the writing was great and there was some incredible phrasing - but the plot (if there was one?) was all over the place. Still enjoyed reading it and am still enjoy reading (the TONS of) articles about it as well.

28. Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan                          

Like a Singaporean version of US Weekly trying to pass itself off as cultural commentary. So much talk about designer labels/food and *drama*. Overall a goofy read that was a bit too long. Sold me on Singaporean food though.

29. Waterloo-City, City-Waterloo - Leanne Shapton                       

Great, as always - observations of people on the Tube. A bit confusing at first but then really enjoyed it – probably because this is what I do on public transportation too.

30. Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie                    

Written by "that voice on ***Flawless"- some parts were so good! The observations about race in America and the descriptive writing were especially fantastic. My qualm was that the protagonist was such an unlikeable character that it was hard for me to root for her, not that you always have to root for the character, but the ending left me indifferent.

31. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson                            

I enjoyed it, like a literary Groundhog Day pretty much - a life lived over and over again in different ways, a downer at times (she seemed to always be in every part of London that got hit by a bomb during The Blitz) but then so fun in other parts.

32. The Testament of Mary - Colm Tóibín                            

Good but too short. Would’ve liked more from angry Mary.

33. It - Alexa Chung                       

Oh Alexa, I thought you were better than this. Pretty but vacant. Tumblr in book form essentially and even then, there was barely anything to it. Could have done with a lot more sass.

34. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena - Anthony Marra                             

Fantastic and heartbreaking book about life during the war in Chechnya.

35. Night Film - Marisha Pessl                   

I couldn't put this one down, (the Gone Girl of 2013 perhaps?) there were so many twists! Overall very good follow up to STiCP which was also a very fun read.

36. Sunday Night Movies - Leanne Shapton                       

I didn't read it so much as look at it because it is all paintings but it is Shapton so obviously (ha) I really liked it.

37. Rage of Poseidon - Anders Nilson                     

Modern day updates on the gods of Olympus. Clever story but the best part is the physical book - illustrated in stark black and white silhouettes on an accordion style pull-out.

Reading Goals 2014

- Read a book a week (ha!)

- Finish all of the books & magazines in my house/on my library queue before I order/buy a bunch more that I can't wait to read this year including:
- This bookmark forever and ever - could not justify the cost but it would probably be the first thing I bought if I won the lottery


Happy Reading! Any & all reading recommendations always appreciated.

XLVI



Excellent Acne stationary, Yang's dumpling napkin, drinking a salted cheese from Happy Lemon, Seven Monologues of Marshal Tie Jia Stories from Rockbund Art Museum, a Maglev train ticket and tea flavoured pocky (!!)


Happy 2014! I'm playing catch-up with this space (as always) but I hope that everyone had a wonderful end of the year and a lovely start to the new one.

In all honesty, compared to my preparations for New York I did very little planning for China. My main goals were to eat a lot of xiaolongbaos (henceforth, "XLBs"), wander around perpetually drinking milk tea (mission accomplished!) and to hang out with my little sister. To my surprise, I ended up completely falling for Shanghai. The city is so cosmopolitan and vibrant - it was as if you could see the city changing before your eyes. There was an incredible mix of European, traditional Chinese and [super] modern architecture and influence, shopping seemingly everywhere (luxury mall game on lock), support for art & culture, and the food - oh goodness. Shanghai is the future, you guys. 

Some Shanghai highlights (or Shanghailights, if you will):
  • XLB heaven - I mean, I'm not at a point in my life where I can eat at Ultraviolet or anything but I made the pilgrimage to Din Tai Fung in Xintiandi for their famous XLBs and drunken chicken (verdict: excellent service & perfect little dumplings) and Yang's for fried golf ball sized XLBs  - a completely different kind of XLB that I'd never had before (verdict: I went twice, they were so cheap & so good) I also lined up for the Nanxiang Steamed Buns but after DTF & Yang's they were sub-par
  • The food - specifically the aforementioned cheese tarts/egg tarts/salted cheese chocolate drink/milk tea - seriously, Vancouver - please can I have? I feel like these foods (with the addition of deep-fried XLBs) are just crying out for a food cart here at home. Preferably a food cart beside my house.

Entrance ticket to The Bottle Opener, Jiag'an Temple lions, I'm lovin' it in China, China heart sticker from Golden Week celebrations, sister sister pictures
  • Tianzifang - a touristy/artsy neighbourhood among the alleyways of traditional Shanghai houses with a stop at Cafe Dan for lemonade and Japanese cheesecake as recommended by Masako 
  • The Skyline - the view of the Pudong side of the The Bund from the roof of the Captain's Bar. China is so good at rooftop bars and outdoor eating in general.
  • People watching - sitting on a bench in Fuxing Park as the sun went down
  • Walking everywhere - I stayed mainly around the downtown core of Shanghai even though I know the city is massive. I saw bikes carrying crates three times their height weaving through traffic, swaying laundry hung out to dry on formerly spectacular mansions in the French Concession, and walked by line-ups for cheesecake weaving on onto the sidewalk.

XLV



smoggy Shanghai - crossing the bridge to the Pudong side & the Oriental Pearl Tower
 

I never want to be one of those people who is all, guys I've been ~traveling~ and now I see my life with such *purpose* and <clarity> because um, I don't - but, (!) I'm feeling a little closer to whatever ^it^ is these days which is a nice thing.


Also, fall in Vancouver has been killing it. A bunch of moody, foggy days now followed by perfect, crisp sunny ones complete with picturesque autumn leaves everywhere. My fall list of to-reads queuing up on the kobo:

XLIV


Flowers by Jules Andre-Brown

Feeling predictably ~*inspired*~ after NYC & China, so I'm going to try to post more often/get through my archive of saved things:

  • Zadie Smith on Joy
  • Ashley Helvey doing good things over at Totokaelo - incredible new site & imagery, please can I have everything?

China






1. my sister, Chantelle on The Great Wall at Jinshanling
2. sunset over beautiful British Columbia
3. probably my best trip purchase - Totoro neck pillow!
4. banana (the best one) and pineapple pies from McDonald's (they also had taro)
5. The Forbidden Palace in Beijing









6. Jingan Temple in Shanghai
7. painted flowers at the China Art Museum
8. Yu Garden in Shanghai
9. pretty garbage at Yu Garden
10. Li Liao at Rockbund Art Museum
11. so much Pocky (milk tea was the best one)
12. Kwan Sheung Chi at Rockbund Art Museum





13. Purikura ^_^
14. The Pearl Tower
15. Acne Store
16. koi at Yu Garden






18. hutongs in Beijing
19. so smoggy at The Summer Palace in Beijing
20. Beijing sidewalk snacks
21. fruit plants
22. Summer Palace shadows
23. a floor in Tianjin











24. Ghost Street for dinner on the sidewalk
25. 798 Art District 
26. yogurt milk <3
27. rooftop view of The Bund
28. Children's Palace potted plants
29. mall shrubs

I got back from China a week ago today and I already miss it.

Can someone please start serving salted cheese + cocoa drinks & cheese tarts in Vancouver? I will be your #1 supporter.

Lots more (/too many) pictures on my instagram.

XLIII




View from the highline/Cafe Gitane notebook/PS1 wristband/OC sticker/Guggenheim ticket/souvenirs

New York, I love you. 

Five days in NYC was the perfect little getaway but at the same time I feel like I could pack up and move there in an instant.

The Thursday evening we got into Brooklyn was warm and calm. After unloading our luggage at our lovely little Air BnB we excitedly walked through Fort Greene's brownstone lined streets to Habana Outpost - an outdoor bar/restaurant, and ate Cuban(ish) food while eavesdropping on the conversations around us and soaking it all in. 

On our first full day in the city we took the subway and the lady sitting beside Jules was wearing those Margiela carpet boots. Coupled with a Lake Bell (excited to see In a World this week) sighting outside of Roman's on the way back to the apartment the night before I took this as a positive omen. So many exciting things happening, so much to see and do (plus so many good outfits).


Friday
  • woke up early to see the beautiful James Turrell show at the Guggenheim - incredible
  • took the subway over to Baohaus for decent little baos but confusing/confused service
  • walked around the corner for cereal milk ice cream at the Milk Bar and met up with our lovely pal Tyra
  • took the subway over to the west side for a little walk on the High Line
  • stopped in an Irish pub for some strawberry daiquiris/wifi
  • wandered the lobby of the Ace Hotel & browsed through pretty things at Opening Ceremony
  • Madison Square Park's Shake Shack for dinner (American portion sizes, massive as always)
  • finished the evening off in Manhattan watching the lights from Tyra's rooftop deck
  • took the L train to Williamsburg
  • met up with Jules' friend Tony for drinks at High Horse 
  • late night snacks at Cerveceria Havemeyer
  • more drinks The Knitting Factory and dancing plus even more drinks with friends at The Whiskey Bar
Saturday 
Sunday
  • a day walking around the MoMA
  • a Cecilia Dean sighting (!) near Penn Station
  • a train ride to Dunellen, New Jersey to see my cousin and her family

Ace Hotel photobooth with Tyra & Jules/Guggenheim view/Sleep No More playing card/MoMA ticket/Jules outside of our Air BnB in Fort Greene

Monday
Tuesday 
  • a final stroll through Fort Greene
  • lunch in Queens with a friend
  • the flight home to Vancouver

Later days, NYC. Hopefully I'll see you again soon.

XLII


Home

Back home again after one of those lovely & amazing & inspiring trips away that you just need to take every once in awhile. 

Note to self: do this more often.

XLI


All Eyez On Me, my Salt Spring suitcase


On Clothes:



On Other Things:



XL


Aubergine ("capricious") carnations & four reads

Art is not the art market. Art history is not the history of the art market. Art is about ideas and civilization, and yet too often it's marginalized by the market in America. 
MOMA curator Klaus Biesenbach

In July 2011, more than five thousand miles east of Waco, an assistant designer at the Hermès silk factory, in Lyon, France, unfurled a ninety-by-ninety-centimeter square of the company’s famous silk twill. It was lushly illustrated with the plants and animals of Texas. “This is my favorite scarf,” she said, pointing out the highlights to those of us assembled at the factory for a tour. The scarf, called Faune et Flore du Texas, was designed for the state’s sesquicentennial and had all the romantic detail of a vintage encyclopedia illustration. The artist behind Faune et Flore du Texas, said the assistant designer, first caught the attention of Hermès in the eighties. He was the only American artist ever to have designed scarves for Hermès. Who was this man? His name was Kermit Oliver, and he was a postal worker in his late sixties who lived in Waco, Texas. 
Portrait of the Artist as a Postman

In 1961, 24-year-old Ed Ruscha climbed into a 2CV with his mother and his brother and set off on a Grand Tour that encompassed Paris, Venice, Madrid and Vienna. He does not remember the Old World “as a great discovery”: rather than masterpiece-filled museums, what snared his heart was an Austrian girl who referred to him lovingly as “wanze” (bug).
Ed Ruscha: A Catalogue of Chaos

Outside Casablanca’s Mohammad V airport, there are dusty palm trees and low bushes prickly with violet flowers. Vapor from the nearby Atlantic Ocean spreads out in a haze across the sky, diffusing the morning sun to a glare. It’s Ramadan, and the city is asleep. French Montana, wearing sweatpants and slippers, a tattoo that reads “Pray For Me” on his neck, scuffs the parking lot pavement. “I was gonna come down and kiss the ground,” he says apologetically. “But it’s too dirty.” Instead, he climbs in the back of a black van, and heads for the city he used to call home. 
French Montana: Homecoming

XXXIX


Two good things - pale pink peonies & the new Apartamento

It's (somewhat) sunny out again! I've begun walking home from work because it is much more pleasant than an uncomfortably warm two-stop Skytrain ride and because it is also much more difficult to make excuses for a two-stop Skytrain ride when it is so lovely out. Plus I usually indulge in at least one ice cream cone and one album (MJ was right -Woman is so good) and/or podcast on the walk. Lately I've been going through the Pop Culture Happy Hour archive and inspired by their picks, here are some things that are making me happy this week:

  • I've taken a big step back from Tumblr because though I love it dearly it takes up huge chunks of my time and my aging laptop can barely handle it. That said, whilst browsing through Aritzia's The Magazine I came across a great illustrated guide to Manhattan - Picture Book by Maris Kreizman, which led to my re-discovery of Kreizman's excellent Tumblr, Slaughterhouse 90210 - pop culture + reading = true love forever
  • I like the look-books from resort season more than the big runway shows, the styling sets the tone rather than a flashy show and often the looks are more approachable (read: easier to imitate, which can be both good and bad). My dream resort collections this season are the usual ones - Chloé, Stella McCartney, The Row save one - Céline, which decided to hold a small presentation to select press only with no pictures, tweets or reviews perhaps in an effort to thwart those that might copy the collection (see: above) leading WWD to name the house the "Skull & Bones" of fashion and further reinforcing the fact that Phoebe Philo is simply the coolest. 
  • Behind Kanye's Mask - I squealed with joy (on the inside) reading this fantastic article - you think that it can't get any better but then it does! Again and again!
  • Took a meandering walk around Strathcona over to Commercial Drive for Italian Days last weekend and on the way stopped in at La Casa Gelato where I went for my old standby Pineapple Poppyseed and took a chance on a new (to me) flavour Peach Plum Jasmine that resulted in my new top gelato combo - I tell you, I was like ^_^