Sunday, October 6, 2013


I fought it.
Oh yes, I did.

Everyone seemed to be doing it and this idea exhausted me.

Shut up, internet!

So I fought it by starting an account but completely ignoring it, hoping the whole thing would just go away. [O hai, Plurk.]

And then one day I investigated a little more, started a few boards and BLAM! Hooked.

You see, I thought it was mostly bridesmaid dresses and cupcakes and kittens and inspirational quotes. Or cats in dresses eating cupcakes as inspiration. Not that there's anything wrong with that, certainly.

I forget what the turning point was but there was a moment when I realized that I could see works by Arshile Gorky and Egon Schiele's notebook sketches and Franz Kline's liquor store receipt and the Sex Pistols' hand-written, I mean, scrawled lyrics to Pretty Vacant,

How about this: Eero Saarinen's completely charming list of Aline Bernstein's good qualities. And this extraordinary bit of history: Kate Warne. From the page: "Private detective and Master of disguise during the Civil War. She helped save President-Elect Abraham Lincoln by uncovering a plot to assassinate him on the way to Washington D.C. to take office. She disguised herself as a Union soldier, a Southern belle and a harmless grandmother."

When I begin my day in the studio, one of the first things I do is check the Pinterest stream of the boards I follow. [Some of the people I follow are quite astonishing. Victoria | Outerbridge, for example, provides themed pins every day, like a long and mesmerizing visual tone poem.] The amount of unexpected information is astounding. And some of it's quite useful. In fact, it's been a great source for my Mad Art Lab Quickies scavenging. I even started a few boards to save design ideas and color palettes. However, I have to say that I've also fallen for Evernote [finally, as in "the last person on the planet" to have fallen] to the extent that I could justify the premium version. And this replaced the inspo boards. Still, Pinterest- always offering up some fresh ideas.

But here's the thing. No matter how useful and informative a tool Pinterest has been, the main reason I spend time there is a little surprising. I've made it a place of meditative power. I had started a board called beautiful things which is not the kind of collection you'd guess. And the board evolved as I added pins and it kind of became its own thing. As I curated the board, I realized that when I scroll through the page, I feel a balance and calm from this collective beauty. The ugliness that lives in the world, frequently reported by the activist newsletters in my morning email, falls away for a few moments. For the space of a cup of coffee, I am reminded about the higher order of human achievement and thought and creativity. It takes me to a higher place—one where I can look out over my day and resolve to keep calm and carry on.

Quite literally, it has become my morning moment of zen.

Do you have a Pinterest story?
I'd love to hear it.


Featured image is an "I want" list by Louise Bourgeois, originally featured in this post.

And finally, thanks to Kiki Leigh. Our conversation helped me put this into words.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Design Seminar

To the fabulous Design Seminar Attendees

Hello Everyone—

Here are a few things you might be interested in.

First up—here are the items I used.

1. A PDF of the first slideshow: download here. [sorry, no longer available]

2. A PDF of the second slideshow: download here. [sorry, no longer available]

3. A PDF of the creativity exercises and doodle pages: download here. [sorry, no longer available]


 Secondly, here are some links you might like.

Ellen Lupton wrote an excellent book on typography. In fact, she also talked about grids. I recommend this book to designers and part-time desingers alike.

This is Lupton's take on grids.

Thinking with Type is her book and you can buy it here.

This seems to be a decent book:  
Graphic Design for Nondesigners: Essential Knowledge, Tips, and Tricks, Plus 20 Step-by-Step Projects for the Design Novice. 


Interesting sites I like very much. And you might, too.

I Love Typography

Design Observer

Design Taxi

Under Consideration


If you have anything you'd like to share, please do so in the comments.

Cheers and best of luck!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Viva von Koshka!

The most beautiful green eyes I've ever seen have gone dark today.
Count Linkovitch von Koshka
died peacefully in my arms at 11 am.

Thank you to Dr. John Yaswinski and all the people at Nazareth Veterinary Center—an extraordinarily compassionate group of people.

Please be advised that the Count gave one last order: that you must give your pets a hug in his honor today.

Viva von Koshka! Long live His Lordship in our memory!

Photos from top to bottom: Bruce Press; Sharon Hill.

Friday, September 30, 2011

An observation

Isn’t Scientology one

of those things where

you really like someone

and then once you hear

they’re a Scientologist,

you’re like, hmmm, ...

I’m out.

—Kathy Griffin

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Steve Jobs, from a commencement address at Stanford, 2005

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride ... all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Thanks, Mr. Jobs. This was some comfort reading this on the day you resigned as CEO. We love you.

As for you, Mr. Cook- I'm keeping my eye on you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mistaken Identity

For your enjoyment, something a good friend sent to me today —

The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing,
stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red
light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in
frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection,
dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked
up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered
her to exit her car with her hands up.

He took her to the police station where she was searched,
fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened
the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the
arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up
behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy
in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the What
Would Jesus Do
bumper sticker, the Choose Life license plate
holder, the Follow Me to Sunday-School bumper sticker, and the
chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally....I
assumed you had stolen the car."

source unknown

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hacktivism 101

Hacktivism. I'm not sure people who are involved in this activity like the word. But ... it's a clever portmanteau and you can go about your business and leave it at that. But I cannot. For the last few days I've become obsessed with reading as much as I can about the topic. [If you know me at all, you know how I am. I'm that girl who discovered Somerset Maugham and bought all the books. I'm a selective completist.]

I've been aware of vigilante hacking and always seemed to mentally back-burner the idea. But I got hooked. It happened about 2 in the morning during yet another insomnia episode. It was one of the few times I was glad to be wide awake in the middle of the night. Someone tweeted something about a Gawker link to a Westboro interview something-or-other. As much as I hate the new Gawker site, I couldn't help it ... CLICK! "Oh gosh. This looks like a smackdown I'm going to love," I thought.

And that was pretty much it for the night.

[If you're reading this, we know each other from twitter or facebook, most likely, and I don't want to be redundant so I won't embed the videos but will link instead.]

So there was this: Anonymous Hacks Westboro Baptist Church Website During Live Confrontation. Do I even need to qualify this with how bat-shit Westboro is? That they're not a religious group as much as they are a cult. That they are so egregiously grotesque that opposing hacktivists can agree that they should be taken down.

The radio spot was fascinating. Transfixing. I despise Westboro and I really admired the poise and calm of the Anonymous representative. Further, how could you not admire the calm cool collectedness of an organization who refused to engage and then decided to silence that little barnacle with a -BLAM!- all your sites belong to us, kind of move. Impressive. Like having a Maserati and not feeling the need to race it down the street.

And it started a few days and nights of surfing the net, learning about Anonymous, the Jester, how they are alike, how they are philosophically opposed, finally learning more about Wiki-Leaks, and following a number of Anonymous-related accounts on twitter.

That's it for now. I'm sure the next post will be full of links and ideas and loops of ethical internal conversations. I just wanted to update you about where I'm at.