object love…Apolis Activisim

So, a friend and colleague turned me on to Apolis Activism. I'm sure I'm a late comer, but nevertheless, I'm glad I've discovered it. It's for men, but the accessories can be rocked by ladies, too. At least I think so! Read more about the company and the brother trio who created Apolis.

All images from Apolis Activism. A few of my favorites.

object love…Gerstner tool boxes

Sometime ago, a writer who was interviewing me for the SF Chronicle asked me what was my most favorite object. That was a tough question to answer. In fact, I don't think I ever responded. But, if asked again, my answer would be my Gerstner tool box. It was a Christmas gift [my only gift as I recall] from Doc years ago.

I have a serious love for tools and tool boxes, both new and old. By far, my favorite is my walnut Gerstner tool chest. The utilitarian design coupled with beautiful craftsmanship make them a true design classic. Beauty aside, they are practical and have so many storage uses beyond tools. Mine stores my minimal jewelry collection, small treasured objects, cards and love notes from Doc and D, and any other sentimental, personal things I don't want on display. 

Doc also has his own, but in oak and much smaller. Fortunately, they live in separate rooms, otherwise, I would have to insist both boxes be identical. His box contents are in constant rotation including fly fishing gear, antique tools, receipts, etc. I've recently noticed with his new found hobby, that more and more tools are finding a home inside the green felt lined drawers. While I watch him tinker away, I find myself thinking "I could use one of those at my desk." Hmm…

I do, however, look forward to giving D his own box one day. He's always loved to explore inside the tiny little drawers, and at various times, Doc and I have allowed him to have his own drawer in our respective chests. Perhaps thirteen is a good age, maybe even sooner. Although the price tag is steep, he will have it forever. And hopefully his children will have mine and so on. 


Tooling around,


object love…all things alice

Four days and counting until Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland opens! As much as I would love to attend on opening day, I won't. In fact, I probably won't see the movie until it's available on iTunes. Doc and I aren't movie-goers. We never have been.

But I'll attend in spirit. Do you think people will go in costume? Will there be pathetic, middle-aged woman like myself wishing they were thirteen again and wearing pinafores, stockings and ribbons in their hair? Perhaps we'll have a little Alice themed evening. The chances are slim of that happening. I will, for sure, wear my Alice apron all day! I'll embarrass my child and my husband, but WTF, you only live once!

Maybe I'll even carry this lovely book around while I wear the apron. I love this cover; it makes me want to dive right into the book.

We're all mad here.


designerly tidbits…shelving

Shelving is such a necessary evil. I couldn't live without it. Let's face it, who can? But honestly, most off-the-shelf shelving systems, I find, are over designed, self-aware, and poorly fabricated. I'm also not a fan of built-ins as they tend to look heavy and over scale for the contents that they house. So what's a designer gal to do? Look to the industrial…or at least to her industrial designer husband.

About 15 years ago Doc discovered a shelving system intended for industrial freezers, E-Z Shelving Systems. He used it in his Manhattan loft during his bachelor days. Once he moved to San Francisco, he began using it for some of his clients' projects, and now, the love affair continues. It's fantastic! It's robust, strong, minimal and infinitely adjustable. You can mix different depth shelves to create cantilevered worksurfaces with shelving above or even a baby changing station like we did when D was a baby.

Anyhow, we love this stuff. It's hard to beat. But, when we moved from our loft into our old Victorian, the E-Z shelving in EVERY room just didn't seem to jive. Of course, it's still pratical in our craft room and D's room, but not so much in the more "refined" rooms of the house like the living and dining rooms. 


So, after searching high and low for a comparable system in functionality, we decided upon Vitsoe shelving. I've always loved this system but price and availability have kept it on my wish list until now.

I'm sure all you design aficionados know this wonderful timeless system designed by Dieter Rams has been around since 1960, but I'm betting you're in the minority. For those of you who aren't familiar with Mr. Rams or his 606 shelving, I hope this won't send you into a fit of despair for wanting. 


The wonderful design details that Vitsoe executed for the support material and accessories, including a level, was what impressed me the most. 


The good news about both systems is they are both modular and can be reassembled into many configurations. They also travel well should you move. The down side is cost. Both are pricey, and the Vitsoe has at least six week lead time, at best, but it's a one time investment that you can own and use forever.




object love…PlayShapes

I spotted these in the fall/winter issue New York Times Style magazine. These wood blocks are wonderful and a refreshing departure from unit blocks. Don't get me wrong, unit blocks are still the toy of choice in our house, but PlayShapes are, as the name says, playful. 

Some of my favorite configurations by the creators and designers of PlayShapes, MillerGoodman.

Make sure to visit their  Flickr group for more amazing ensembles.

I cannot wait to get these under the tree for D!

Happy Building,


wrap up on letterpress

So I'm pleased to report that my letterpress class was wonderful! I learned the basics about letterpress and its history thanks to a short "lesson" and handout prepared by Jordan. After our intro, Jordan gave us a demo on the machine, and then each of us cranked out - literally - forty proofs of all of our cards.

With Jordan's permission, I snapped a few shots of her studio.

Thanks to a generous classmate, I was FINALLY able to taste Tartine's morning bun! WOW, WOW, WOW!!

I was pleased that my thumbnail sketch took to the process nicely, but I was disappointed in my selection of typography. I think with a few adjustments, it'll get to a place where I'll be happy. But I had a great time anyhow!


object love…letterpress cards

Three days and counting until my letterpress class with Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day!  Yes, like the rest of you, I love letterpress. One day, my business card will be letterpress. But in the meantime, I will be making calling cards for Fiddlesticks & Nonsense. Here's a peek at the art work…

I had several other layouts, but after some input from Doc and friends, I landed on these. Typography is soo hard and challenging. I'm not cut out for the nuances and finesse it requires. I'm really hoping the sketch comes through; keep your fingers crossed! I'll share the results!

Thanks for checking in!


object love…flea market finds part 2

I saw these gorgeous block and tackle, hooks and trucks at the Alemany flea market the week before, and I could not stop thinking about them. I was determined to have them. We have a small collection of measuring and marking tools, and I thought these would be a nice addition. 

So, after searching two flea markets and crossing the Bay Bridge I found them at the Alameda Market! Again, overpriced, but with some bargaining, I scooped them up at a fair price. Now the tricky part is to figure out how to display them. 


D also found a box full of dice. He loves dice. I hope it's not indicative of a future spent at the craps table. We fished through the pile and walked away with these.


And how could I pass up these adorable vintage Valentines? 



object Love…flea market finds

The sunny, warm weather inspired us to head out to the flea market on Sunday in search of treasure. With an open mind and wide eyes, we rummaged our way through our small but abundant flea market. Here are the goods that came home.

Some adorable vintage toy cars that were still overpriced even though I bargained them down to half price. These caught my eye because of their graphics and color. Check out the typography on the cement mixer… just don't make `em like that anymore. 


These precious puppet heads in a box full of doll parts were spotted by Doc. D calls them Lolo & Lola.

Now that Spring has arrived, I look forward to hitting the flea market on a regular basis and scooping up overpriced ephemera!