I have a feeling this is one of those things that everyone was into five years ago and that I’m just discovering now, but I’m suddenly digging black-and-white composition book prints. What set me off was spotting these sneakers on the subway (which I stealthily photographed and then tweeted—thanks to Kate for identifying them), which lead me to start searching for other composition book-print stuff. There’s a lot out there, hence my realization that this probably old news…but whatever. These are my favorites!

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1. Notebook Print Saddle Shoes / Band of Outsiders
2. Winie Print Baby Rib Brief / American Apparel
3. Composition Book Knee High Socks / Artisan Socks
4. Composition Notebook Pouch / Out of Print
5. Composition Print Wristwatch / American Apparel
6. Jillian Print Dress / Club Monaco
(discontinued, but check eBay)
7. Dexter Sneaker / Circus by Sam Edelman
8. Composition Notebook Tote Bag / Out of Print
9. Black Static Backpack / Baggu

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Alright, the title gives the whole content of this post away, so…BYE! No. I like to hear myself talk, so I’ll keep going. Also, I know I said I wasn’t going to start posts with photography disclaimers anymore, but this is one of those posts where there are four photographs of the same thing from slightly different angles and really one photograph would have been plenty. Oh, and the lighting is gross, but I’ll get to that.

I’m obsessed with putting plants in every last corner of the new apartment. They’re all over the living room and the kitchen already, and I’ve started adding some to the bedroom, too. I’ve always loved plants in bathrooms, but the bathroom in this apartment doesn’t have a window. It’s not even near a window—it’s totally devoid of natural light. I know it’s possible to cycle plants in and out of dark rooms, but considering I can barely keep a plant alive under ideal conditions, I don’t really think that’s a good option for me.

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You see those cute plants there? Fake. Fake! I guess they look pretty fake in this photo, but I was standing on a step stool when I took this. From a normal human distance, they look totally real. (Kind of. They look real enough for me.)

Not wanting to invest a bunch of money in turning my bathroom into a plastic jungle, I turned to IKEA’s huge line of fake plants, FEJKA (which, appropriately, means “FAKE” in Swedish). Some FEJKAs are more convincing than others. I went with this one and one of these, mostly because they were the right size and looked the least like they were actively offgassing polyethylene.

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OK, they really look fake this close up. Shhhhh. It helps to put these plants into pretty pots, and not just use the black textured pot they come in. I’m using a large Sagaform herb pot and one of these cute West Elm chalkboard planters. I feel like I need a little warmth in there so I might swap out the black one for this brass-esque pot (fake plant + fake brass = real glamor?), but for now…I’m digging it. No shame!

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I need to mention again how much I love this RÅSKOG wall cabinet from IKEA. I had it in the bathroom in my previous apartment, too. It’s the prefect size, perfect shade of gray, perfect everything. Plus, since it only requires two screws to properly install, I only had to drill two holes in the tile—something to consider when you’re in a rental. The bathroom in the new apartment has no storage beyond a shallow medicine cabinet, so I really had to install something. Yay, RÅSKOG!

(Oh, and the snail box is from Jonathan Adler. It looks like this one only comes in white now, but you can still buy other animals in his Menagerie collection in this gray-black color. I love them! The sweet little tooth vessel comes from Brooklyn Rehab.)

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Oh, hello there. Aren’t you beautiful?

My love of Pia Wallén’s Cross/Crux blankets runs deep, and it has not lessened at all over the years. Every time a new color is introduced, I want it. I’d love to have a multicolored stack of them in my house! As it is, though, I only own it in black (including a duplicate backup, thanks to that possibly-accidental sale at UO last year), because how often can a person shell out that kind of cash for a blanket they don’t need?

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This popped up on Pia Wallén’s Instagram today, though, and…oh my. CAMEL? Give it to me. There’s something about camel, you know? It’s richer than beige, happier than brown, and it really takes the edge off of those sharp black and brights I’m so fond of. A camel blanket paired with charcoal sofa and bright cushions? Oh yeah!

p.s. It would be fun to do an update on this Crux-spotting post I wrote in 2009. Do you have a Crux or Cross blanket in your home? Share a link in the comments or email a photo to me—I’ll do a roundup!

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If you’ve been wanting to visit the beautiful City of Newburgh but haven’t yet set a date, might I suggest June 20th? Newburgh is celebrating its 150th birthday, and the annual Newburgh Illuminated festival is going to be REALLY fantastic this year. Live music all day long, a marketplace with tons of Hudson Valley-based handmakers and small business owners, all kinds of awesome food vendors, an historic trolley tour around the city, pop-up art shows, and (of course) loads of stuff for kids to do. The whole thing is going to kick off at 11am and run until the wee hours of the night.

If you live in New York City, it’s really easy to get to Newburgh. It’s about an hour-long drive from the George Washington Bridge, or you can take Metro-North to Beacon and then take a short cab ride across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge to Newburgh. (There’s a ferry from Beacon to Newburgh during the week for commuters, but unfortunately it doesn’t run on weekends.) It’s a really nice train ride—I did it twice a day for four years, so I know!

✚ Hudson Valley makers, food venders and small businesses:

If you are interested in being a vendor at the 2015 Newburgh Illuminated festival, please fill out this form and someone will get in touch with all the necessary information!

p.s. Curious about why the festival is called Newburgh Illuminated? Newburgh was the first electrified city in the United States! Thomas Edison opened the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Newburgh in 1883—and it’s still in operation by Central Hudson Gas & Electric now.

p.p.s. If you’re dying to know more about Newburgh and you want to ogle our incredible architecture, be sure to visit Newburgh Restoration!

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I’ve had Sydney-based typographer, illustrator and artist Georgia Hill on my radar for ages now. I keep hoping just the right book cover project will come along and I’ll be able to hire her, but in the mean time, I really want to share some of Georgia’s incredible work!

The posters above were created for agency Vault49’s New York office. You can see the full series on Georgia’s website.

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Illustrated lettering for Good Things Are Everywhere. Check out the progress shots—I always love seeing how artists work, especially when that work starts with a pencil.

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Last year, Georgia created this gorgeous mural for the Australian coffee roastery Single Origin Roasters, as well as an illustration for their “Random Acts of Art” coffee bag series. So cool. (Single Origin Roasters has a very nice interview with Georgia on their blog, by the way!)

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I’m really into this mural, “Can’t It Be So Simple,” painted on the back of the (now-defunct) Tate Gallery. I have no idea what goes into translating art from the page to a wall, but it must be amazingly satisfying to see your work at that scale!

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Holy. Moly. When I look at work like this, I kind of just feel like putting away any drawing/painting implements I own and forgetting that I even have hands, because…it’s just that good. This is a poster Georgia created for Travis Egnor. Beautiful.

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And finally…woah. This is part of Georgia’s Instant Slow Jams series, and I’ll be staring at it, glazed over, for the next four hours, while listening to this.

Make sure to check out more of Georgia Hill’s work on her website. She also has a great Instagram where she shares lots of progress shots and sketches and stuff!

All images via Georgia Hill.

I get ideas in my head about how certain clothing stores aren’t for me. My bias (OK, stubbornness) isn’t really against the stores themselves so much as it is against myself. I hold on pretty tightly to certain stylistic choices when it comes to my clothing (and my work, and my home, and everything else), and since I still have that teenage “non-conformist” thing hanging around my neck like an invisible chain of angst (OMG, shut up), I tend to write off a lot of options as being for pretty, popular girls—i.e., not for me. Anyone who has attempted to go clothes shopping with me (I’m looking at you, Jen and Jenna) knows how ridiculous I can be. Taking me into J.Crew is similar to taking a small, reasonably polite child to a fancy dinner party: I’ll put on a nice face and try not to throw a tantrum, but really…I just want to get the Hell out.

Aside from dabbling in a few accessories, Madewell is one of those stores that scares me. I don’t want to put my hair in a topknot. I don’t want to wear a chambray shirt. I don’t want to wear navy. I can appreciate these things on other people, but on myself? I don’t think so. Pass the skulls!

These jeans, though? They all look pretty nice.

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A couple of months ago, I mentioned something on Twitter about needing new jeans. I’ve lost a bunch of weight this past year, and after wearing my old jeans from the last time I lost weight (HAHAHAHAHA…ugh) into the ground, I needed to find at least a couple of pairs that would fit me really nicely and help me to feel good about myself. My former favorites (these and these) have been discontinued, so those options were out. Pretty much immediately, several people (including Jaime, who knows my body type and gets my style) recommended that I try Madewell jeans.

So I got over myself, went in, and tried on a bunch of pairs of jeans. I’ve gotta admit, they are pretty swell. I tried on the High Riser Skinny Skinny fit in several washes, but settled on the classic, dark-blue Davis wash. They’re high-rise, yes, but not in a too high, costume-y way—they come to just below my belly button. The length is a little shorter than what I’m used to (and this style only comes in one length, weirdly), but I actually kind of like that in jeans that are this skinny. I have a feeling I’ll be going back for these black cut-edge skinnies, too, because apparently I’m just enough of a loser that I’ll pay $128 for perfectly pre-ripped denim. Sigh.

I also tried on a few pairs of Alley Straight fit jeans, which are a bit longer (they’re available in two lengths, too) and slightly looser around the leg. They’re more similar to the jeans I usually wear, and if they were available in a dark rinse, I’d probably have bought these instead. If I find myself needing a pair of plain black jeans, these will be my go-to.

For reference on fit, I’m 5′6″, about 145 lbs, with a high waist-to-hip ratio. I usually wear a size 6 or 8 (or even 10) depending on the store. Madewell jeans are pretty stretchy since they have a little spandex in them, and between that and the usual vanity sizing ridiculousness, I find they run pretty large. Depending on the wash, either a 27 or 28 works perfectly for me. Happily, my jeans can go for numerous wearings without stretching out or bagging at all, and they come out of the wash without any weird twisting or anything. And yes—they make your butt look nice.

Maybe you’re not so bad after all, Madewell.

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Here’s what I wore to work today:

1. T-Shirt: Madewell, Slub v-neck pocket
2. Necklace: Madewell, Stonehold pendant (On sale…still!)
3. Sunglasses: Free People, Kensington
4. Blazer: Lucky, coated cotton (On sale! It looks like the product photo here, not like it does on the model.)
5. Scarf: Block Shop Textiles, Zipper
6. Jeans: Madewell High Riser Skinny Skinny, Davis wash
7. Boots: Frye Jackie Button Short
8. Belt: Wood & Faulk, Matchstick
9. Clutch: Renna Deluxe, gold coated & initial-stamped

I don’t know if it’s because of the time I recently spent in Marfa with Daniel, or it has to do with all of the still-living (!) plants in my apartment, but lately I can’t get enough of cactuses. Cacti. Whatever. Or maybe it’s succulents in general, since I can never seem to remember what makes a succulent a cactus.

Anyway, I put together a little collection of some of my favorite cactus-themed stuff. I want all of it! Greedy, so greedy…

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1. Amelie Mancini / Cactus tote
2. Budi Satria Kwan / Cactus print
3. Sea & Asters / Geometric Cactus Planter
4. Simka Sol / Cactaceae leggings
5. Confetti Riot / Cactus print tea towel and pillows—white and peach
6. Visual Cities by Mariadiamantes / Cactus print

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1. Banquet Atelier & Workshop / Ten Cacti and Paddle Cactus screenprints
2. Sian Keegan / Cacti phone case
3. The Kingpins / Michael Cera Cactus button
4. The Black Vinyl / Early-1800s illustrated cactus chart
5. Nuukk / Cactus stamps
6. Make-Ready / Cactus print

Speaking of cactuses (I’m having a hard time with the word “cacti” for some reason), when was the last time you listened to 3rd Bass? I had The Cactus Album on heavy rotation during 1989 and 1990, and then 3rd Bass just kinda…evaporated. It’s a FANTASTIC album, though, and it still sounds great (maybe even better) 26 years later.

As an interesting (debatable) aside, did you know that 3rd Bass and The Smiths have something in common? Other than being white guys with tall hair, I mean. They both used the same sample! If you skip ahead to the 22:18 mark above, the beginning of “Triple Stage Darkness,” you’ll hear it: You are sleeping, you do not want to believe. You are sleeping… Now, if you’re a Smiths fan who appreciates Morrissey’s excellent use of samples, you’ll know that this is the very same sample used at the end of “Rubber Ring” (3:33 mark). Crazy, right? And considering how obscure the source of this sample is—a flexi-disc included with a 1971 book about communicating electronically with the dead, written by a Latvian psychologist named Konstantin Raudive—I think it’s mayyyyybe safe to assume that someone in 3rd Bass was a Smiths fan, and that mayyyyybe they actually took the sample from a Smiths record and not from the original source…but what do I know! Those crackles sure sound like they line up, though. Cool.

(How’s that for a tangent?!)

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Yeah, I could live there is a D16 feature wherein I post pictures of homes I want to break into, kick out the inhabitants and move in. This week, I’m staying local! I’m going right down the road to my former Brooklyn neighboorhood, DUMBO, where interior stylist Martin Bourne and fashion stylist Leilin López live.

So…HOLY COLOR. That hot pink Wegner Teddy Bear chair is killing me. I want that chair in my life. I want to come home from work every day, climb into it with a cup of tea and a dog on each side of me, and sit there for hours.

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Pale greens and blues aren’t typically where I tend to go color-wise, but I love it here. If everything were white (which is probably what I’d do), the space would still be gorgeous…but it wouldn’t feel as warm as it does here. It’s tough to make an open loft feel this homey. I love it.

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Such a nice office area! Simple steel sawhorse brackets combined with regular old 2x4s are a great way to make huge worktops for very little money.

Those Hugo Guinness pigeon linocuts have been on my wishlist forever. Someday! Sigh…

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Hello there, giant dining table. I love long, shallow tables, at least ones that don’t feel formal. Like the desks above, this dining table—made by artist Jarrett Mellenbruch—appears to have been constructed from very basic materials. It’s a really lovely design. Combined with the Wegner and Børge Mogensen chairs, I’m in heaven.

You can view more photos of Bourne and Lopez’s home at Architectural Digest Spain.

All photographs by Pete Bermejo for Architectural Digest Spain

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One of the things I’m hoping to accomplish with my new blogging schedule is taking the time to post about graphic design I love. Despite the fact that I design stuff for a living, I’ve kind of shied away from posting about commercial art here on the blog. My hope is to focus primarily on print, packaging, and other tangible objects, but my only real guideline is that the end product was designed for a consumer market.

I’m pretty sure I discovered Toronto-based Greenhouse Juice Co. through Anabela’s (gorgeous) Instagram feed. However it happened, my eyes glazed over as soon as I started looking at their bottles, and then a fresh juice company had a new admirer…a mere 500 miles outside their delivery zone. Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to actually try one of these delicious-looking juices, but for the time being, I’m happy to just look at these lovely bottles! Greenhouse Juice Co.’s brand identity was designed by Sarah Dobson.

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OK, packaging design aside, do you not feel like drinking ALL of these things today? I know I do. I keep looking at the subtle ombre of the Piloto and wishing a bottle of it would materialize on my desk. I mean…Brazil nut milk and cold brew coffee? How could that not be delicious?! Gimme. That Pink Milk blend is fascinating, too. I can’t even really imagine what it tastes like. A cool, creamy borscht, perhaps?

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Even if you, like me, live too far from Greenhouse Juice Co. to be a real customer, I still recommend following them on Instagram. Their beautiful photos make me want to drink more juices, which is a good thing. They have a really lovely blog, too, with articles about wellness and tons of great recipes, most of them vegan. This wild mushroom and leek stew is so up my alley.

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Of course, if you do live in Toronto (lucky you!), you can visit Greenhouse Juice Co. in person and drink as much juice as your wallet can handle! All of their locations look super cute.

All photos via Greenhouse Juice Co.

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There’s a giant photo of my head on my blog. Bye-bye, comfort zone!

I didn’t start wearing brightly-colored lipstick until I was in my mid-30s. I was into deep reds in my teens and early 20s, and then I pretty much just moved on to sheer, pinky-natural glosses. The lipstick that brought me around was hot-orange MAC Lady Danger, which I wrote about in 2010. And for about four years, that was the only color I wore when I wasn’t opting for a gloss. (By the way, I’m still on my first tube—that’s how slowly I go through lipstick. Please don’t tell me it’s expired and that my lips are probably coated with invisible fungus. I don’t want to know!)

Late last summer, I started to branch out…but just a little. After seeing Jenna wearing a beautiful shade of hot pink lipstick, I went for it: I picked up a tube of NARS Funny Face, and suddenly I had TWO brightly-colored lipsticks that I feel good in! I’m kind of shocked that it works with my skin color, since cool-toned makeup is usually Bad City on me.

I really like the texture of NARS lipstick. It doesn’t wear quite as long as MAC’s matte formula, but it’s a little kinder and less drying to my lips. It’s also a bit more forgiving during the application process. When I run out of my MAC Lady Danger, I may try NARS Heat Wave for the sake of the formula since it’s a very similar shade.

I still only wear real lipstick once or twice a week, but it’s fun to have two to choose from. I don’t feel like I’m wearing a costume, I just feel…fancy. I guess that’s the lipstick look that’ll define my late 30s. (Hey, I still have a few more months before I have to say “my early 40s.”)

Oh, and in case you’re curious, here’s a list of the rest of what’s on and around my head today:
✚ Lipstick: NARS Funny Face
✚ Mascara: Ardency Inn (I wrote a review of this magical stuff a while back.)
✚ Dress: H&M (Looks like they don’t have this exact print anymore, unfortunately.)
✚ Black earrings: & Other Stories
✚ Gold earrings: Madewell
✚ Necklace: Madewell (Oh hey, it’s on sale! You can see much of it in my photo, but I love this necklace. I wear it almost every day.)

p.s. Semi-related, since this is the “vanity” category: This interview with Fran Lebowitz in Elle is so fantastic. I adore Fran.

(Giant photo of my head by John Vairo Jr.)