Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

aliens and space

Space Wars Worlds & Weapons is a great collection of exciting artwork exploring sci-fi and fantasy worlds and their vehicles, weapons, and creatures.  The text by Steven Eisler goes into such great detail about elements in hundreds of novels from the 60s and 70s that it is hard to find the artists' names (listed in a jumble of acknowledgments on the last page of the book) and sometimes impossible* to credit the stories for which these works were made.  The book is difficult to read, but the spacescapes are beautifully painted by hand in the days before Photoshop.
 John Schoenherr for Dune
 John Schoenherr for Dune
David Bergen*
Michael Whelan for The Vanishing Tower
Howard V. Brown for The Experiment of Dr. Sarcom featured in Thrilling Wonder Stories magazine
Edward Blair Wilkins for Astarte
Robert T. McCall *

Eddie Jones for Star Trek New Voyages
Paul Lehr for You Will Never be the Same

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bela Monde

Lisa Limer is a beautiful woman who makes beautiful patterns from her incredibly striking photographs.  Somehow she keeps the feeling of a place in the myriad of intricate details and layers of her patterns.  Lisa traveled all over the world for years shooting spreads for Condé Nast Traveler and Gourmet magazines.  Her new company is called Bela Monde, and very soon her sumptuous patterns will be available on silk kaftans, scarves, and capes as well as fabric by the yard to the trade.  It has been wonderful working with Lisa helping her with technical aspects of her design work, and it was great to see her present last night to the Providence Design Catalyst as well as a few months ago to a focus group in her studio. 


Monday, May 23, 2016

heehee harhar

Separated at Birth? is a fun book of look-alikes, some remarkable, some ridiculous.  There are hundreds of celebrity photos from the popular feature compiled from issues of SPY magazine in the late 80s. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

children's books 87

Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) was a prolific Australian artist and writer who worked in a huge range of media including watercolor, oil painting, etching, and sculpture. While famous for his risque novels and nudes which were sometimes burned or banned, he is best known for his hilarious children's book, The Magic Pudding.  It's a funny story about a grumpy immortal pudding named Albert who wants to be eaten again and again.  He is kidnapped and rescued many times by a cast of just-as-strange characters. Lindsay wrote and illustrated the book in 1917 to settle a bet with a friend over what kids wanted to read about most, fairies or food!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

blow it to know it

This little whistle is a wonderful item to look at but you gotta hear it to appreciate its fun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

nifty kin

Here is a great photo of my grandparents, Hazel and Hollis, in the early 80s.  If you get a kick out of photos like this, check out Reddit's Old School Cool.  There are thousands of pictures of everyday people and famous people before they got famous.  It's interesting to try to date the photos from the different clothing styles and photo qualities. And it's fun to get glimpses into moments of other people's stories.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

kalle alle nordmenn

Happy Syttende mai, enjoy some gjietost, skål!

bar none

I just finished class at Professional School of Bartending, and it was a great experience.  I learned a hundred drink recipes and a hundred brand names of booze; it was an intense boot camp of learning and practicing.  Ellen and Sonia are really excellent teachers, and they offer day and night mixology classes in Brockton, MA and Providence, RI, as well as periodic TIPS certification and Flair classes.

Monday, May 16, 2016


I didn't know what to get my nephew Finn for his birthday, so I thought I'd continue our exchange of weird little handmade characters.  I'm glad he liked his puppet present and thought it funny when the lil guy became a phone cosy!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Very happy to get Lovebyrd's new album in the mail from Hairy Records!  The white vinyl is super slick and their sound is amazing!! 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

social science

Internet sources often don't mention the hugest point that I took away from the book Walden Two. Normally I don't spoil movies or books, but in this case, I will. It is written in such stilted dialog that I am actually doing you a huge favor. Written by psychologist B. F. Skinner, the story is about an experimental utopian society started by a man named T. E. Frazier. An old acquaintance of Frazier's and five of his friends visit the community and stay for a few days as guests. The way the community functions and how its thousand members live is shown to the group in the form of a tour.  Frazier answers questions and boasts of the systems in place that keep all the members self-sufficient, self-governing, productive, and happy. Some major differences from life outside the community include working only four hours a day, being able to choose a new job every day, children being raised by caretakers in a communal nursery, and married couples living in separate rooms. The model is constantly tested and improved by the members themselves, and Walden Two's success substantiates Frazier's belief that environment shapes people's behavior and therefore their personalities and abilities. Some of the visitors are impressed and join, some are skeptical, and some reject it. The most interesting part to me is how the utopia's creator is not entirely happy living in his creation because there is nothing left for him to create. Throughout the entire book Frazier tries to convince the visitors of his ideal society, but when exposed as flawed, its perfection is negated. 

thoughtful three

I haven't read all of Hermann Hesse's novels yet, but so far these are my three favorites.  I already talked about Demian, and I don't like the synopsis on the back of this copy much.  The other two are summarized well, though:
"Beneath the Wheel, Hermann Hesse's second novel, was originally published in 1906.  Along with Heinrich Mann's The Blue Angel, Emil Strauss's Friend Death, and Robert Musil's Young Torless, all of which came out in the same period, it belongs to the genre of school novels.  Basing his story in part on his own experiences, Hesse attacks educational systems that foster intellect and ambition to the detriment of emotion, instinct, and soul."  
Of Narcissus and Goldmund: "Hesse's novel of two medieval men, one quietly content with his religion and monastic life, the other in fervent search of more worldly salvation.  This conflict between flesh and spirit, between emotional and contemplative man, was a life study for Hesse.  It is a theme that transcends all time."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

illustrated truth

I Am Also a You pairs photographs by Jay Thompson with quotes from Confucius, Henry David Thoreau, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Alan Watts, Francis Bacon, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and more. Some truths you already knew, and some make you think anew. The combinations are interesting, and so are the funny hippie clothes! The book was published in 1971.
And in the sweetness of friendship
let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart
finds its morning and is refreshed.
-Kahilil Gibran