Sea NY

For the past few Fashion Week cycles, I have made an attempt to look at all the shows covered by (which, it turns out, is not every show — when feeling particularly ambitious, I also check out Now Fashion, which has broader coverage). It is rather exhaustive, but then I realize that I am sitting at my computer staring at photos, not a) a model walking in the shows or b) an editor/reporter scrambling from show to show cover it with a looming deadline. Fancy clothes aside, I think I have it pretty easy. I don’t know why I do it; I think it’s so I can feel “in the know” (that, and I’ve always been interested in fashion — there are just some years where I make more of an effort to be aware of smaller, up-and-coming designers). I have various self-imposed criteria for what looks I will add to my lookbook. They mainly revolve around “It’s so pretty!” or “I want to wear that, sigh!” But I do also like looks that I would never actually wear (for one reason or another).

I’d heard of New York-based Sea before, but this year, their Fashion Week presentation for Spring/Summer 2014 was a real standout to me. There was a fair combination of looks I could definitely see myself wearing and those I’d wear if-only-this-or-that-were-different. Their presentation contained more than 40 looks, but I keep returning to these four.

You can see their full collection here.

All photos by Gilbèrt François, courtesy of Sea / from


Forward (Maybe)


Oh, little blog, you deserve better. Part of me wonders if it’s time to throw in the (electronic?) towel and accept that blogging is not for me. Part of me has hope than I still make something out of it. But mainly, part of me (most of me) is just exhausted. In the tired, whiny way. It has nothing to do with the blog, or the blogosphere. I just haven’t had the energy — and maybe that’s just a euphemism for desire — to want to update here. This is nothing new! Many months ago, I was talking about how maybe the reason I’m always struggle with updating and maintaining my blog is because I put too much pressure on it to be something or contain this sort of post, but not that one. This is not productive or helpful to anyone! Certainly not to me. “This is your blog, lady! Post what you want!” (No, seriously, I am pretty sure this same exact post exists at least two other times in the archives.)

Soooooo, while work is, well, work, why not try again? Selfishness is not really a quality I admire, but all this trying again is really just for me, so I can prove to myself that I can do this and to feel like I have something to do other than work. Gooooo, team me, right?

Photo by Taking of Toast


A few months ago (unfortunately, I can’t remember where), I started seeing pictures of items from the Japanese company Futagami, which makes beautiful brass design products. Another line of products to go on the “future home wish list.” Their current line was made in collaboration with designer Masanori Oji, who says that he “design[s] living products” (I like that).

From Japanese Products Trading:

Founded in 1897, FUTAGAMI has a long history of making brass products such as artifacts used in the Buddhist traditions. Brass products gradually change their color over the course of many years due to oxidization. The longer they are used, the richer and subtler they become, dissolving into the human heart and the environment.

From top to bottom: Stationery Tray; Bottle Openers; Morning Star Black Pendant Lamp; Paperweights; Komagata Bookend; Chopstick Rests

I also like this lamp, which casts a shadow in the shape of a star on the ceiling (click through the photos to see). See more from the line here. Myth & Symbol, located in Houston, Texas, sells a selection of Futagami products — including this beautiful trivet — in their online shop.

All products and images from Futagami


Oh. Hello. No use explaining my absence, in part because there was no real reason for it. But for now, I’m here.

I haven’t been carrying my camera around as much as I used to or want to, but I’ve been taking pictures on my phone and having fun with the new(ly updated) VSCO Cam app.

Some views, from the past month or so:

New York (City), you’re pretty okay in the late springtime.

All photos by Taking of Toast, edited with VSCO Cam

Back to Business

Business seems to always come in fits and starts. It’s that time of year at work where I feel (and am!) really busy. It’s been building slowly, and then we hit a certain point at which it just became “Busy, busy, busy!” But other than this past weekend, when I had lots to do — all of it voluntary and enjoyable — I realized that I’m not that busy in my free time. A co-worker asked me the other day what I’ve been up to outside of work, and I paused for a moment before saying, “You know what? Not much!” As I said, though, work’s busy, so that sort of spills out and just makes me feel exhausted and tired and lazy, not too keen to do much.

Speaking of this past weekend: A friend and I were at a birthday dinner (hers, not mine) in the West Village last Saturday night here, and I suggested we take a walk to get banoffee pie for dessert. We’d been seated at the restaurant between reservations and were running out of time, so I thought it best to get dessert elsewhere. I’ve also been wanting to try another slice of banoffee pie since I first tried it in London a couple years ago. Going to a restaurant just for dessert! I felt very adult (plus, I had coffee after dinner, at night, so that made me feel luxurious. For some reason, I associate “coffee with dessert” with luxury? I don’t know.)

On our walk, we came across this building, above. Shoko’s recent post (which I highly recommend) about “looking up” and appreciating what’s around you was running through my mind that evening, so I stopped to take a picture. Everyone talks about it, but wow, does the Village have some great buildings.

Photo by Taking of Toast, edited with the VSCO Cam app

Flowers for Spring

I was on my way home from running errands on Saturday when I spotted a flower shop with beautiful, bright blooms on display on the sidewalk. I decided to keep walking — it was across the street, I didn’t need flowers, they were probably really expensive, etc. But I got to the corner and couldn’t resist. The flowers’ pull was so strong that I crossed the street and walked back up the block (both in opposite directions of where I was headed). In I went, and flowers I purchased. It was our first truly spring-like day, the sun was shining, and they were just so colorful. Were they overpriced and an “impulse buy” on my part? Certainly. But are they beautiful? I’d say so.

All photos by Taking of Toast

Art of the Menu

Even though I’m not a graphic designer, I still find Art of the Menu a source of inspiration. In addition to making me want to possess graphic design skills, it makes me want to travel around to visit all the restaurants whose menus are featured on the site. While a restaurant is, yes, about the food, service, and atmosphere, the smaller details are still appreciated. I always enjoy a menu that’s well designed — and goes well with the restaurant’s overall look/feel —  or something other than just text on a page. That’s not to say a cool-looking menu can make up for an otherwise bad dining experience, but if you can design a memorable menu, then I say, why not?

Designed by Drach P. Claude for Jeannette et les Cycleux in Strasbourg, France

Designed by Bex Brands for Gabardine in Point Loma, CA

Designed by Fixer Creative for Shuga’s in Colorado Springs, CO

See more under the cut! Continue reading