Remember those children’s books that had flaps you could turn, and by doing so create crazy monsters or mismatched people? I do, I thought they were awesome when I was a kid. Now Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr have created an adult version – Ten Thousand Stories! Each page is divided into four mini-pages that mix and match to create 10,000 different story combinations, each with its own quirky watercolor illustration. Some stories make sense and some come out totally crazy, but all will leave you smiling. Check out the book trailer right here.
To me the phrase coffee table books is a big mosnomer. My definition is something along the lines of: unique books that are begging to be shared in any and all capacities, that are pleasing to the eye, and that don’t require hours of reading. In my home that means that yes, they are on the coffee table. But they are also on the bar cart, in the guest room, and on the mantel. Anywhere that warrants something extra special. To me it’s a fine curatorial line that needs to include art and writings, fact and fiction, food and conversation. Here are my ten most reliable favorites.
Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life // The Hand Written Letter Project // And Fork: 100 Designers, 10 Curators, 10 Good Designs // The Century // Edible Selby // The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science // Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities // Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines // Woodcut // Andy Warhol 365 Takes: The Andy Warhol Museum Collection
I was really happy to see that UPPERCASE has released Work/Life 3, this time focusing on illustrators’ lifestyles in intimate detail and finding out what it takes to stay creative 24/7. Featuring 100 artists from around the world, Work/Life 3 began when each illustrator was given a detailed questionnaire containing thirty questions that ranged from the simple (What inspires you?) to the detailed (How is your creative vision expressed through your work). After evaluating the answers, UPPERCASE editor Janine Vangool crafted an illustration assignment specific to each illustrator’s interests and personal story that best highlights their unique talents. The end result is the definition of creativity.
One overcast afternoon last week I crawled under a blanket and poured through Samantha Hahn’s Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines. The book features a collection of fifty heroines captured in Hahn’s watercolors in every shade of the rainbow. I’m such a fangirl of Samantha’s illustrations, and when they’re paired with hand-lettered quotes from some of literature’s most well-known ladies I feel positively giddy.
01/ The Healing Power of Cat Purrs. (I knew it!)
02/ The world is fascinated by Twins, this portrait series is lovely.
03/ Book on Book, a book-shaped clear acrylic paperweight.
04/ Office Safari, where cubicle meets safari.
05/ Science is awesome, and now science is branded.
06/ Mirror City, a kaleidoscopic timelapse of major cities.
07/ You can finally make your own It’s-It Ice Cream Sandwiches!
08/ If we could see Wifi, this is what it would look like.
09/ Painted Jello has never looked so appetizing.
10/ If Manhattan were dropped into the Grand Canyon!
Joanne Dugan’s ABC NYC: A Book About Seeing New York City is loved by adults and children alike, from subway signage to graffiti she captures the visual vocabulary of New York City like no other. Now Dugan’s urban typography is available for your living room, Alphabet City Coasters feature 28 letterforms and two symbols. Perfect for the typophile or city lover!
01/ How amazing is this reflective optical illusion house?!
02/ A sandcastle art installation showing the starkness of suburbia.
03/ This is not Photoshopped.
04/ 3D printed hands to hold your artwork!
05/ The Grapple Coat Hanger is a little black-room-butcher-shop, but I love it.
06/ Make a set of DIY toy animal corn cob holders, because why not.
07/ The Sandwich Book. ‘Nuf said.
08/ Tiny paint swatch paintings!
09/ Furniture made using the power of the wind.
10/ New electronic baggage tags that save time + paper.
This week on Design Crush:
Strawberry Galette with Sugared Crust
The Present Company Project
Hello, San Diego
Ikebana Bowls + Soe Cups
I was pleasantly surprised that The Surf Cafe Cookbook isn’t referring to the west coast of America, but rather the west coast of Ireland. And while the recipes are a bit heartier and the water temperature a bit cooler, the lifestyle is strikingly similar. Authors Jane and Myles Lamberth own Shells Café in Strandhill and between the covers of this cookbook share colorful, local, organic recipes that would be equally at home on a picnic blanket or a dinner party table. They also share lots of useful tips, like how to gut a fish and choose the best wine among other tidbits along with page after page of lovely illustrations. I think I’ve bookmarked half of the pages already and can’t wait to dive in (no pun intended!) this summer.
01/ Long exposure photos of fireflies in a forest.
02/ Easy Fried S’mores. MY HEART.
03/ Every neighborhood needs a Free Little Library, don’t you think?
04/ Decor tracks a city of bread as it deteriorates over a 6-month period.
05/ What your style of eggs says about you.
06/ Feet & Paws, a photo series of dog’s paws next to their owner’s feet!
07/ Realistic hybrid animals. (I’ll take a dorse, or is it a huck??)
08/ Best. Lemonade. Stand. Ever.
09/ Meet Projecto, a tiny projector for your Instagrams.
10/ Happy Donut Day! Now go make this Donut Garland and eat a dozen.
The graphic designer side of me knows I’ll be referencing The Designer Says on those uninspired, caught-in-the-headlights days for years to come. There has to be more than one gem in the hundred plus leading graphic design minds included between the covers. Their musings cover everything from failure to collaboration to staffing a studio. My biggest concern remains to be not ripping my own hair out…