Noriko Ambe

June 7, 2011 - Leave a Response

A month has passed? I knew I was being a bit derelict about the blog but this is terrible – apologies. I’ve been bookmarking things left and right to write up but haven’t found the time. Work has been very busy, I had my five year college reunion, my brother had a baby – I’ve been MIA. Let that not distract from the awesomeness that are the paper cuts of Noriko Ambe.

Noriko makes all of her cuts by hand, though I’m under the impression she pre-draws them – she prefers the natural look of the cuts to the machine made ones.

I’ve written on people who cut paper in the past but I do think Noriko’s work goes to a new level – as she describes in her artist statement, “When I am drawing or cutting lines, I am interested in observing the power of the changing growing shape. This dynamic shape becomes an entity in itself, ‘Another geography.’ In a sense, the empty space is myself, and the materials represent the present world.”

Many of her pieces are the mass with parts cut away (I do realize that this is only my perspective) but the above work is a mass itself of cut paper pieces. I like this opposite effect as well as the large scale of this piece.

She has a few series’ that she seems most comfortable in – one being layers of cuts inside typical filing cabinets. Interestingly, when I first saw them I thought – these look like the cross sections of humans I saw at the Body exhibit a few years ago and low and behold that was part of her intention!

I like them because…they look like they’re underwater – they are coral-like and tide-impacted wave-like to me and I like them because of that fact.

They also kind of look like an arial view of a dry riverbed to me – they’re open to interpretation that’s for sure.


Deanna Lee

May 4, 2011 - Leave a Response

A few days ago I came upon the site Artsicle, a NYC-based startup designed to encourage art collecting. You can “rent” a piece of art (in NYC) for $50 and then, if it works in your home, buy it! It’s like Rent the Runway for artwork, which is a great idea! While I was trolling the site I came upon the drawings of Deanna Lee.

Of course I loved this because it’s a sheep and yarn! I also like that they look pretty cyclical and repetitive as well. It’s interesting to see people take new approaches to representing animals – I could easily recognize these but they were still a bit abstracted.

These are so cute. They remind me of so may artists I love already from papercutters to other pen / ink drawers. This one is entitled, “Boxer” – appropriate given the movement she’s able to create with the swirls.

Having gotten back into yoga a bit lately I can easily see this as its title, “Squatter” – my class on Sunday was a ton of squatting, I’m still in pain.

Ha – guess the name of this piece…”Thighs” – amazing. The curls remind me of animation and cartoons in a lot of ways. Deanna calls these “controlled doodling.” In her artist statement she goes on to say that, “the masses function as entities or characters that serve different roles in each work. I think of them as visual metaphors for social relationships and emotional states.”

I really recommend everyone check out both Deanna’s site and Artsicle overall – they have tons of cool young, new artists to check out and, if you’re in NYC, try out in your home. I hear Boston’s to come soon for their service, can’t wait!

Tamara Magel

April 28, 2011 - Leave a Response

Two weeks have gone by in a blink! I’ve been busy on projects for our home, which include sewing curtains, cleaning the oven (it was a process), patching holes in the master bathroom (after therapeutically removing the drywall mollies), and more. But I’m back and in the time I was absent from posting, Tamara Magel’s online shopping site went up. Tamara is one of the coolest people I’ve met through Nest, a micro-bartering non-profit I volunteer with, which is saying something as the group attracts the coolest women out there. Tamara has a great showroom in NYC and when I visited in January I wanted everything – Tamara assured me it would all be up online soon and she wasn’t lying. It’s here and I love it all!

As someone not very familiar with interior design officially I can’t imagine defining Tamara’s style but she has some really cool table top items by artists that I absolutely adore like the long grassy ones above. They remind me of a meadow.

The above and below are pierced stoneware vases. I don’t think they’re lined so can’t hold water I don’t think but dried grasses would look great in them. They really are prickly to the touch – I saw them in person and they’re beautiful!

My mom has many an item that fall within what she calls her “useless vessel” collection including 100s of pitchers, vases and bowls. While these vessels too might not serve a functional purpose they are so awesomely cool. The prickly one below would be a great juxtaposition with some elegant flowers.

And as always, I’m still on the hunt for the perfect pendant light for our living / dining room. The more I think about it I feel we need something that has multiple bulbs as the room is so big and the ceilings so high but this industrial one is still tugging on my heartstrings.

Since we ended up going with more subtle fabrics for the curtains, no maze / trellis patterns were bought, I’m thinking more and more that we should get these pillows for the guest room to satisfy the craving.

Now I just need to figure out where to put the toile in the house to satisfy that need of a certain someone…

Stephanie Kubo

April 15, 2011 - Leave a Response

I can see what search terms are bringing people to this groovy blog and I’m always surprised that the term “cartoon waves” is at the top of the list, everyday! Who are these people who constantly need images of cartoon waves? I did the search myself and realized it was because of my post on Meander. In poking around from there I came upon the totally awesome Stephanie Kubo and her amazing drawings, which are like Meander’s 2D work…on speed!

She works with tons of repetitive circles and other line shapes. They look like weaving, which is part of what I love most.

I can’t even imagine the patience that it takes to do these pieces and the steadiness of hand!

The above work is called “Coral,” which everyone knows is one of my favorite things. Interestingly, I feel like the circular drawings really represent the texture that coral can have with the peaks and valleys. I would need a compass to do this!

I really encourage everyone to check out her whole site. I had to stop myself at seven images to share here but it’s really unbelievable the scope of the drawing that she’s creating especially these ven diagram type ones. I wish some of her black and white images were available for sale on a large scale too.

Or fabric – how great would the above image be as a reprint on fabric for pillows? What’s interesting is how these look like they’re undulating and they’re just repeated shapes, so awesome.

Love the above – how cool. I’m not sure what these notepads are that she’s showing on her site, if they’re actual scans of her notepad that’s fabulous. Again, I’d take a huge one of these for my walls.

Pretty groovy.

Daisy Knights

April 7, 2011 - One Response

I’m back on the jewelry bandwagon and recently learned about the young and awesome, Daisy Knights, a British jewelry designer who has had a quick rise to fame it seems like. Her work is sold all over, including on Net-a-Porter, which is really awesome as it’s so popular for shoppers!

People probably know by now that I love animals and their parts too, in jewelry form. Gogo Ferguson was when I first really got into this stuff and Daisy’s antlers are equally beautiful.

Shells and the sea are just as critical to my happiness. I love jewelry that incorporates shells – I wear a sterling sanddollar on my left hand every day and have for years. Daisy has a collection of shell pieces and these studs are great. They remind me of the mussel necklace that I loved from Twigs & Heather.

Anemone? Not sure, but I’m going to think of it this way in my mind. I like that Daisy makes sets and sticks to an uncluttered line of just a handful of subjects for them. I like this anemone-like one in both stud and ring form, below.

I adore a thin banded ring. It makes the subject or the ring or stone look so much larger and it makes your hands look so much dantier. Daisy’s pieces seem delicate but durable.


Musette Morgan

April 6, 2011 - Leave a Response

Some people might call me really into the internet (partially for work), other people would call me an online sleuth, my boyfriend refers to me as a “Page 5 Googler,” which I take as a term of endearment. However you slice it, sometimes I go pretty far down the rabbit hole of links and in a lot of cases those start with Facebook Friends gathered from near and far. I found artist, Musette Morgan, through that very activity and I’m very glad.

Musette is a contemporary painter based in New York City and while the painters I usually feature are painting barns or seascapes, Musette’s treatment of still lifes for some reason reminds me of my mother and her kitchen, which is lined with paintings of fruits and veggies.

I like that she uses generally neutral backgrounds and foregrounds and lets the majority of the color and vibrancy of her pieces come out in the edibles themselves.

While this is incidental it is also fun for me that she paints veggies that I’m particularly a fan of including turnips, radishes, onions, shallots, rutabaga, etc.

Her work reminds me of my senior year painting teacher as well who used to always tell me to pick up a larger, wider brush, that you could create relatable imagery without having to use such a tiny paintbrush based in realism. I find Musette’s pieces extremely recognizable and relatable and yet her brushstrokes are also visible.

I recently put up a large vintage potato sack in our kitchen, one with a cool logo on it that I picked up at Laurel’s Landless Garden demonstration last week but we still have another wall in the kitchen that we could line with these food themed pieces. I saw one clip on Musette’s news page that listed a smaller work around $450, which seems wonderfully accessible for these amazing pieces!

Still lifes are not the end game though, she also paints wonderful landscapes and portraits. While I’ve been looking a lot of local New England artisans lately, Musette is actually from Memphis, Tennessee and went to school at UNC before heading to New York. Maybe it’s the South to North move that allows her to have such a cool approach to hot and cold tonal areas of her paintings – though I bet it’s just skill.

The above piece makes me wonder if she paints only en plein air or also from photographs, it would be awesome to send her a picture from the farm and have her do a large canvas for my folks!

Tie Backs

April 5, 2011 - Leave a Response

Sunday marked our one month anniversary in our new apartment! While exciting as that is, and while the progress we’ve made has been awesome, there are still some serious things missing. Don’t even get me started on our dining room chair / backorder debacle – we’ll be seeing those in May now thanks to Restoration Hardware. The other thing that continues to be up for discussion is curtains. I decided that I’ll make them (as I did four awesome throw pillows this weekend), now we just have to pick a fabric and get them going. I see another trip to Zimman’s in our very near future. Even before we get the curtains done though we’ve started a conversation on tie backs – as if curtains weren’t enough! Who knew there were so many different ways to hold them back.

Everyone knows I have a nautical angle on life, hence the rope and shell tie backs above. The rope tie back come from a British company called Stair Ropes, which is really cool – I know I’ve seen rope banisters before and I really like them. The shells are a DIY project in the making, get some drilled shells and have at it says Completely Coastal. The other two are much more traditional tie backs, a tassel and embrasses. Number 1 comes from Designers Guild, the Briati tie back, which is beautiful. Where else in your house is it okay to have pom poms? I can see the tie back item becoming a hot topic for a time for us. The simplest are the embrasses with little adornment but that get the job done. We’ll see what we end up with as time goes on, first stop is fabric though.

Amy Eisenfeld Genser

March 28, 2011 - Leave a Response

All the way from his new home in the Netherlands, my brother’s friend Neil sent me a New England artist last night who is right up my alley, Amy Eisenfeld Genser, who he found on Design Milk on Friday. Her work is both repetitive and pattern-centric – two of my favorite things – and she creates it in West Hartford, CT!

The above, “White Undulation” is made of paper and acrylic on wood. Amy rolls each of these individual pieces into these tight cyclinders, which then become the larger wholes. In her artist statement you can hear her synergies with my interests, “I am fascinated by the flow of water, the organization of beehives, and the organic irregularity of plants, flowers, rock formations, barnacles, moss, and seaweed.”

These white textured squares remind me of the porcelain works by Elements Clay Studio on Etsy. Amy’s are rolled paper again but the idea of exploring texture and 3D in a monochrome palette is pretty cool no matter what material you’re working in. Interestingly, she also cites aerial landscape views’ quilt-like qualities as inspiration, much like the work of Emily of Haptic Lab!

We’ve been looking at some amazing kuba cloth for the apartment lately and for some reason the above work reminds me of a few we’ve been eying out in Cambridge at Reside.

Her underwater, colorful items are just as interesting as her more monochromatic ones (though I’d prefer those ones for my own home). The above, “Waterfall,” is so cool – many of Amy’s pieces are listed as sold, however, on this one she has it listed that there’s a reproduction available, I’m not sure what that means – if it’s the same piece or if it’s not with the paper but just a painted version of the piece.

These above may look small but each square is 16 x 16 inches. I for one will reiterate that I love that they look sort of hive-like with their regular increasing and decreasing – an ode to my love of bees and stitch patterns.

Jamie Joseph

March 25, 2011 - Leave a Response

In preparation for our impromptu Chicago trip this weekend I, again, trolled through the Elements Chicago website, which I feel like I should just go see in person since I spend so much time oggling their items. More jewelry caught my fancy in my little jewelry binge today. This time I came up the beautiful stones / jewelry of Jamie Joseph. I’m fairly certain I saw one of these sparklers on my friend Kathryn the other night too and was blown away by the quality of the stones in person.

Oooh Peridot, you are such a great color green. I’m not sure if it’s in fashion right now but I do love green these days.

The above stone is Swiss Blue Topaz – unbelievably rich color. I love big cocktail rings and this fits the bill. The coolest thing I think about this line is that it’s made by a duo, Jamie and Jeremy and Jeremy is a woodworker / craftsman turned stone cutter. I think I have a lot of rocks in my craft room but I bet I’ve got nothing on him.

I love that these rings are sometimes punctuated by diamonds. The variety of metals used within each ring reminds me of another favorite jeweler of mine, Nava Zahavi, though her pieces are more organic / rough looking.

Oooh Moonstone – a constant favorite. Also, notably, compared with other jewelry I’m written about the Jamie Joseph line is more affordable – the rings I’ve seen online are in a range but really large beautiful ones can be under $1,000.

Not everything they do is rings too – they have a honeycomb collection, above, that I think is fabulous. My bee / hive obsession can now spread through to jewelry.

So elegant…I love all of their pieces!


March 25, 2011 - Leave a Response

After weeks trapped in the decorating mindset we’re taking a mini-break this weekend and heading to Chicago. The impetus for the trip is the hockey game tomorrow but in the spirit of leaving our “nearly there” apartment behind, I’m scamming only on jewelry today – specifically Pomellato jewelry, which was featured in the Financial Times’ special section on watches & jewelry this morning.

Their jewelry is like candy! Readers here know that I love stones set without backings so that the color of the stone can come through.

These rings, the Nudo, were the ones in the newspaper today – they are so simple but really elegant! I like how raised the stones are but yet smooth so they wouldn’t snag so much on sweaters.

I don’t really wear necklaces that often but these are so pretty I had to include them.

The thing that I really like about their designs, which are out of Milan and have been made since the 60s, are that they used contrasting semi-precious gemstones. The purple and green combo in the above picture is a favorite…and it is my birthday in 2 months!

Again with the contrast! How cool? I love the turquoise and purple and the green and blue ones – they are so gorgeous and the facets, while regular, still look pretty organic.

Their settings are great and very sculptural. There are a few setting I saw on the site that look like horns or thorns around the stones themselves.

And again…with the contrast. I just love them and I’m not that into gold!

I love the stones running up the settings too – very cool and not something done all the time. They have a section of more ornate, over the top rings though and this seems to be a specialty of theirs – see one below!

That’s a LOT of diamonds!!!

I should probably stop with the pictures but I just can’t get enough – the colors are so bright and saturated they make it feel like summer here in the freezing cold of Boston! Just one last one 🙂