A Moominvalley morning in full sun

Photo of Moomin book and coffee in a Moomin mug

I love the world Tove Jannson created with her wonderful Moomin books. The writing and illustrations are top notch, full of subtlty and wistfulness and the complex emotions we don’t always allow children to have, or forget they have. Her works are up there with Edward Gorey to my mind, and the beautiful animations made of Charles Schultz’ Peanuts gang (especially the Christmas special).

The other week I showed a friend my pencil animation in progress and he said it reminded him of Edward Gorey meets Peanuts; as you can imagine it made my day 🙂

Happy Saturday, readers!

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A solution for paper oddments and idle hands

decorated matchboxes
Including papers from Florence, Amsterdam, Chinatown, and pages from an old children’s dictionary!

I impulse-bought a bunch of match books from a local shop. Cause it sucks when you suddenly find yourself without a lighter (as your friends are all secretly kleptos).

When I got home, I couldn’t get past how unsatisfying the design on the boxes was, and how I didn’t want to look at them (scroll down). So I set myself a little project, inspired by the book cover matchbooks I’ve bought at Word in Greenpoint (scroll down). Gold paint, some paper and a glue stick. Voila!

For mine, I just grabbed a bunch of paper oddments from my drawer of same, and started cutting them up. Below is a batch of ten, complete; there are different papers on the obverse of each. I reckon I’ll do more, cause it’s an oddly satisfying occupation for idle hands.
decorated matchboxes
decorated matchboxes

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The Comme des Garçons show at the Met

Comme des Garçons show at the Met
Some friends and I took a trip into the Big Town on Monday to check out a couple exhibits at the Met. One was the Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons exhibit of works spanning some decades. The gallery space was designed specially for this, a collaboration between the artist and the Met, and the whole experience was stunning and ethereal, and sometimes creepy (in a great way). We really enjoyed it, and I wish it had been less crowded even, so I may have spent more time sketching.

We also looked at the Irving Penn retrospective, also pretty damn wonderful and inspiring. Below are some photos from the first exhibit. Enjoy!
Comme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the MetComme des Garçons show at the Met

Sunset Swing beer can labels

Here’s a first for me: Beer can label design for the Sunset Swing annual gala, held by one of my clients (Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp.). Five Boroughs Brewing Co. created a brew just for the upcoming event, and this is the proof for the finished labels. So fun!

Below are some photos of the can and the ad journal from the event last evening. They were printed with a metallic gold for the lettering and silver for windows, which looks fantastic.

A treasure from Berlin!

Yesterday I received a wonderful surprise in the mail— this gorgeous piece of artwork by Luiza Mogosanu! This piece is in a celluloid frame from 1930s Germany, she told me in her note on the little card (a print of the same piece). I have already put it on the wall, next to another vintage oval frame. Thank you, Luiza!

This was a volley in return for some art I sent her a few weeks back. It’s such a delight to meet a fellow artist, and now I have an art pen pal in Berlin. Check out Luiza’s other artworks at her website! She is a gifted visualist, and full of light, of joy.


It fits in very well as I have a small collection of insects and bones on the shelf below all my paintbrushes.

Kitchen Nook, revisited


You may recall a post in which I talked about getting a new (to me) piece of furniture for the nook between the kitchen and the dining area of my apartment. The secretary in question arrived a couple weekends ago, a piece from the childhood home of a dear friend of mine. Before it arrived, I cleared that wall and painted it as per my plan.

It suits very well! And brings a gravitas to the space; still has plenty of room for the do-dads that were on the old shelves, plus room for stemware, a jar of creepy dolls, and the nested mixing bowls that belonged to my great aunt Dot.

Now I just need a more elegant solution to the cords from the lamps, and to replace the broken drawer pulls. I also plan to get a globe lamp to reside on top to illuminate the nook in general, in addition to the string lights inside.
Below is the composite I made in Photoshop last year to visualize the transformation:kitchen nook redesign

Notes from the archives

drawing_02_dinosaurs
While upstate over the holiday, I did some excavating and archiving of old art* and other things when I could find time. Often late at night, when the house was quiet.  The first night followed time spent watching old super 8 home movies from childhood. A natural progression, and something I’d planned to do this trip.

Time travel.

When I was in college my friends and I didn’t have our own phones, so we’d put sheets of paper on our doors for people to leave notes on. Inevitably some of them became elaborate volleys back-and-forth; sometimes we made random shit just for fun, or to say Hi to stick on each other’s doors.
notes left on my doors in collegeWe also wrote letters through the mail during summers apart because: 1. The cost of  “long distance” calls added up quickly, 2. We were all about visuals (what would delight and impress?),  and 3. The letters were things made just for you, delivered right to your mailbox.colorful envelopesOne thing that physical (analog) v. digital (instant) media has thrown into relief: When you know the recipient will not get your letter for days, and it’s already been days or more since they wrote you, you think about what will still be relevant by the time they read it. This tends to eliminate a majority of small talk.

What I mean is you tend to write about what’s important.

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