Knit Knit Knit

After a relatively strong posting run, I went away again! Well, not away away — I wish! — just blog away. Work has been busy (and getting more so), but one of the main reasons I’ve been posting so infrequently is that I’ve been knitting! Yes, knitting. It was all rather spur of the moment, but I decided to pick up knitting again. Or start knitting. Maybe somewhere in between, given that the last time I tried knitting was in ninth or tenth grade, and I had to relearn. It’s been fun, but time-consuming. Those hats, scarves, etc. don’t knit themselves, and I’m still a slow knitter who needs to stare at my knitting so I don’t make any mistakes. You know what they don’t tell you when you start knitting (or maybe they do and I just never paid attention or had anyone to tell me)? Knitting gets expensive! Yarn gets expensive, with skeins going for upwards of $40! No wonder cashmere scarves cost so much money.

So far, I’ve knitted a scarf (which will be officially “finished” once I get over my laziness and wet-block it) and completed a hat, which I am really am quite proud of! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, even with double pointed needles. I was very close to completing my second hat when I noticed a mistake, and in an attempt to correct it, I’ve made about three more. What I really need to do is learn how to correct my own mistakes. I think that will save me a lot of stress and trouble going forward.

Photo by Taking of Toast of the selection at Purl Soho

For the Wall

I have four or five prints/posters of various sizes sitting in my room, waiting to be hung at a later date. Some, I managed to hang up in college; others, I’ve ordered since then. If I had an unlimited budget, I’m sure I could find enough that, once hung up, there’d be no wall left. I’ve been collecting my favorites over on Pinterest, as well as discovering lots of new work. I like imagining what room I’d put them in, how I’d hang them (if I’d hang them — the framed-poster-on-the-floor trend still seems to be going strong). Below are some of my favorites. For a few of them, I’ll just say it: It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when (like that Max Wanger print, which I’ve had my eye on for months).

Clockwise from top left: “In Meadow” print by Anna Emilia Laitinen; “cat nap” print by Yelena Bryksenkova; “Blue Waves” print by Yao Cheng Design; “Cats” print by Amy Borrell/Cake with Giants; “New York” photo print by Max Wanger“Synchronized Swimmers Print” by Rifle Paper Co.; 2013 Birthstone Calendar by Oh My Deer Handmades; “Must Dash” archival art print by Emma Block

I also love this watercolor print by Malissa Rayder for LEIF, which is sadly sold out now, as are a few of the ones featured above. That will teach me to waver on purchasing (one-of-a-kind) prints! As a new (again) knitter, this one caught my eye. This poster made me laugh, and someday, I will have one of these on my wall.

I’m always looking for new art. Any favorites you’ve had your eye on for awhile or that you already have hanging in your home?

P.S. Happy March, and happy weekend! Spring is only three weeks away!

Toast

I think I could outfit just about every major element of my life(style) with items from UK brand Toast. I first heard about Toast a couple years ago when I was looking around the web for aprons. It doesn’t surprise me that I continue to see their stuff on blogs, Pinterest, etc. It all just seems so comfortable and liveable (like these PJs).

The styling of their winter lookbook is appropriately cozy and might even make me appreciate winter a little more.

The bright colors and patterns (check out that tile!) of Toast’s spring 2013 lookbook provide a nice contrast to their fall/winter lookbook, while still achieving that relaxed, comfortable vibe that seems to be what Toast is all about. Now I have my eye on this mug.

If you have some spare time, I highly recommend spending a few minutes (or more) looking through past lookbooks on Toast’s Pinterest. The locations/natural backdrops — especially the autumn 2012 campaign shot in Tusheti, Georgia, by Boo George — provide the perfect virtual getaway.

All photos from Toast

Saturday Snow

As you may have heard, it snowed on the East Coast a couple weeks ago. New York City got significantly more snow than it usually does, but we weren’t hit nearly as hard as places upstate and in Massachusetts, and, for that matter, outside Manhattan, where people are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. I still think there was more snow on the ground after the Great Snow of January 2011 — as only I like to call it — but the way people were talking about this blizzard, it’s as if that one didn’t exist.

We went out on Saturday morning to Central Park to explore the snowfall. There were sledders all over the place. The hill was covered in bright jackets of all colors, on everyone from toddlers to adults. Almost every dog I saw was even wearing a jacket. (There’s nothing quite like feeling outstyled by a canine.)

New York really is beautiful in the snow. I do wish I’d gotten myself up and at ’em a little earlier, if only to avoid the effort of trying to take photos of the snow-covered trees without people wandering right in front of the camera. But, hey, it’s good practice, right?

All photos by Taking of Toast

P.S. This is my 100th post! It only took me just under two years to do it, wahoo! Thanks for sticking with me and the blog. 🙂

Esque Studio

When I first came across this bubblegum paperweight by Esque Studio, the first word that came to mind was “whimsical.” The designers behind Esque Studio, Andi Kovel and Justin Parker, have been working together for 15 years, since meeting at a glass studio in Brooklyn. The idea behind establishing their own studio — which is based in Portland, Oregon — was to “[create] modern, functional, concept-based glassware aimed at the design industry and away from the pedestal. Through the years the duo has lead the movement of trend in glass, by breaking the rules and outdated notions of craft and material associated with their medium.” Even the studio’s name highlights this, by “refer[ring] to the suffix meaning ‘in the manor of,’ and is an intentional nod to and acknowledgment of outside influences and inspiration.” Esque Studio’s unconventional approach to designing glass is obvious in their body of work, from the Venom Candlestick Set to the Honeybear Vase.

I’ve put together some of my favorite items.


1. Beaker-Esque | 2. Lucidare | 3. Slumped Vase | 4. Ripple Vase | 5. Waterdrop Jug 2012
6. Mid Century Coolade Set | 7. Wall Tears | 8. Wax Collector

I love the bright colors of vases and pitchers. Find more of Esque Studio’s work — all of it special and gift-worthy — in the shop. Which items are your favorites?

All products and images from Esque Studio and the Esque Studio shop

Recently

I thought I’d share some recent photos from my non-adventures over the last few weeks. I try to bring my camera with me when I know I’ll be doing something special, but I think my phone does a pretty good job (occasionally, with some editing here and there) when I’m just walking around.

As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, we went to Bobo for brunch on New Year’s Day. I’ve never sat down there, but I do like the look of bar area on the first floor of the restaurant. Still hoping to one day have a meal on the terrace. A few days later, on one of my days off from work, I decided to attempt soufflé! For my very first try, it wasn’t too bad. I gather a successful soufflé has a small amount of luck involved. At least I didn’t open the oven door to check on it?

I think the photo on the left was taken on a surprisingly warm day following a cold snap. I decided to walk home across Central Park, and it turned out to be at just the right time for taking advantage of the late afternoon light. We went to Chelsea Market in mid-January, and I was happy surprised to see all the string lights still up.

I think we’ve already had more snow this year than we did all of last year. Snow in the city tends to stay white for about half a day, before it gets muddy. Later that day, I had to cut up some limes for a party, and I had to stop halfway through to observe to myself, “I always forget how pretty citrus fruits are!”

I may have discovered my new favorite chocolate chip cookie, from a coffee shop in midtown of all places. It’s conveniently located a few steps down from a relatively new dumpling restaurant (which has a tiny library, pictured below), so you can get justify the cookie with a real meal. ( … Not that I would judge anyone for just having the cookie, or just having half the cookie. I’m a BIG chocolate chip cookie fan, and I can’t ever finish this one in one sitting.)

As I suggested above, nothing too exciting these past few weeks, but that’s okay! January’s meant to be relaxing, isn’t it?

All photos by Taking of Toast, edited with VSCO CAM

Swinging

During the day on Christmas Eve, we went to the Park Avenue Armory to see Ann Hamilton’s the event of a thread (which, unfortunately, closed earlier this month), that giant swing exhibition that was making the buzz/blog/news rounds during the last couple of months.

From the exhibition’s website, which will do a much better job than I of describing it:

Visual artist Ann Hamilton combines the ephemeral presence of time with the material tactility for which she is best known to create a new large-scale installation for the Wade Thompson Drill Hall. Commissioned by the Armory, the event of a thread references the building’s architecture, as well as the individual encounters and congregational gatherings that have animated its rich social history. A multisensory affair, the work draws together readings, sound, and live events within a field of swings that together invite visitors to connect to the action of each other and the work itself, illuminating the experience of the singular and collective body, the relationship between the animal and the human. The address of the readers to the pigeons shifts at the end of each day, when a vocalist on the drill hall’s balcony serenades their release to flight. Each day’s song is cut with a record lathe, and the resulting recording is played back the next day.

For those unfamiliar with the Park Avenue Armory, it is gigantic, taking up an entire city block. (In the summer of 2011, the Royal Shakespeare Company brought over a full-scale replica of its theatre during its six-week residency at the Armory. It’s that big.) the event of a thread took up the entire Drill Hall. Giant swings were connected by a series of wires to a — you guessed it — giant white curtain in the middle of the space. As people swung, the curtain moved. In addition to trying out the swings, I also joined a number of other visitors lying on the floor underneath the sheet, watching it move up and down and side to side. There were also men and women writing and making recordings, in addition to a number of homing pigeons. The review in The New York Times includes more information about this element of the exhibition.

Here’s a very short video I shot with my phone while lying under the curtain:


Photos and video by Taking of Toast