Conchiglie, ricotta, spinach, shallots, raw egg. Tonight I made the most deliciously simple pasta dinner from this fantastic cookbook. I had to share. Yum.
Brass has suddenly become super trendy with design objects as well as fashion. It seems like every jewelry designer these days is now working with the material. I’ve even designed a couple of bags using brass detailing here and here.
I just came across this gorgeous hand crafted lamp. The Stanley brass pendant lamp by Original BTC is made in Birmingham, England using the very old technique of metal spinning. Each indentation is hammered, one at a time, by hand to create a gorgeous texture. The use of this very old traditional material suddenly looks totally contemporary with its minimalist shape and large size. I just love it and I think I need to start saving my copper for one of these beauties.
Afia is a Brooklyn based fashion label, founded by designer Megan Sebold, that makes really adorable contemporary clothes from gorgeous traditional textiles sourced in Ghana. She believes in complete transparency, manufacturing clothes with Ghanian sewing cooperatives that pay their workers a fair wage. Love!
Two of my favorite American, craft based companies have collaborated and the outcome could not be more perfect.
Alabama Chanin is a handmade clothing label founded by Natalie Chanin in Florence, Alabama. They are known for their unique, hand stitched pieces with intricate patterns using traditional stitching techniques of the South. All of their pieces are made by local, home-working artisans and signed by them.
Heath Ceramics, a modernist ceramics factory located in Sausalito, CA was founded by ceramicist Edith Heath and has been around since 1948. Built on depression-era values, Heath was founded on the ethos of simple, good things for good people.
Natalie Chanin designed a line of ceramics for Heath and I am in love. There is a great video on the Heath website that shows a bit of the process.
Piet Hein Eek is a Dutch product designer and brand. I came across this inspiring video the other day and then discovered that he is in today’s The New York Times Style magazine. Everything they produce is in-house, in a gorgeous studio-factory-store-gallery-restaurant in Eindhoven.
“We found that it’s important to tell people that we do it all by ourselves,” Eek says in the above video.
I’ve been following his work for several years and love his regular use of recycled materials and the sense of playfulness and soul that all of his work has. He has a way of creating things that are fresh and new, while still being made from old things. He manages the task of making things that are environmentally conscious and beautiful in such a matter-of-fact and un-preachy way. Eco designers of all fields can learn so much from him.
Sometimes it seems to be the people with the most insane ideas who do the greatest things. Brooklyn Grange got funded through Kickstarter in 2010 with the crazy brilliant idea of building a commercial rooftop farm on an acre of building in NYC. They did it Long Island City and it has been so successful that they are now working on a second location, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where my studio is.
The BNY farm will fill 45,000-square-foot of rooftop and it will supply local restaurants, shops and people like me with fresh, organic produce. I can’t wait.
*Image courtesy of livelocalsource.com
I’ve been a muesli fanatic for most of my life. It is pure goodness. Last year, when I got one of my favorite cookbooks, there was a muesli recipe in it. I had never thought about making it before that. I followed the recipe the first time, but each batch I’ve made since had morphed into something slightly different, yet unique. The great thing about muesli is that there is no right or wrong. It’s simply a matter of preference. One thing that I have kept consistent is the Marcona almonds. They add just the perfect amount of roasted almond flavor and a bit of salt. This batch I made with rolled oats, smashed Marcona almonds, chopped dried figs, raisins, dried cherries, and dried coconut flakes.
I mix everything up and store it in a mason jar. I eat this mixture almost every morning with kefir (a sour, drinkable pro-biotic beverage that I discovered while living in Norway several years ago). If I want to add some sweetness, I mix in a bit of maple syrup or some raspberry jam. It’s also good if you prepare it the night before and let the oats soften a bit.
A couple of nights ago, I watched a beautiful documentary about the 50 year relationship between Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. They met when Yves was only 21 yrs old and head designer at Christian Dior.
It was a poignant story weaving back and forth between their personal and professional lives together and the present day, months after Yves’ death, as Mr. Bergé was preparing for the Christie’s auction of their massive art collection.
The final scene of the film was the auction, which took place in February 2009 and had a total sale of €342m. All of the proceeds of the sale were used to benefit the Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and a new foundation for scientific research and the fight against AIDS.
(Thank you Miss Moss!)