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Every few years, I get it in my head that I want to grow my hair out really long. Then, after a couple of years of letting it grow, I remember that I don’t really like how I look with long hair, and I cut it all off. This has been going on since I was about 9 years old. Seriously. I don’t know why I keep thinking I’m going to love my hair when it’s long, because I never do. It’s a pain to take care of, it gets tangled and frizzy, it feels hot on my neck in the summer, and in the winter it’s a static-ridden mess.

I just am not a long hair person.

I’d had a hair appointment scheduled for a couple of months and didn’t really know what I wanted to have done, but on Monday morning I hit my breaking point. This was just WAY too much hair (for me). Also, change is good. Who wants to have the same haircut for years on end? Hair grows!

Inspiration:
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Photos from (L–R): Lula via Rubi Jones; Dia Frampton; Hello it’s Valentine

These are the photos I took with me to my haircut appointment on Monday evening. I like my bangs shorter than this, but the overall style is what I wanted. A short bob, parted on the side, with lots of layers and texture. For the past year or so I’ve been getting my hair cut (and colored) by the amazing Danielle Peters at Fox & Jane in Brooklyn, and she really nailed it. Getting 8″ of length cut off is a big deal no matter how open-minded you are when it comes to haircuts, but Danielle understands my hair type and my personal style and my grooming habits—so I trust her with my hair completely.

Speaking of grooming habits…

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Fox & Jane recently started using the R+Co. line exclusively in their salons, and as a packaging design enthusiast, I cannot stop ogling all of these tubes and bottles. I inclination is to always choose styling products based on how they’ll look in my bathroom (heh), but Danielle steered me toward four products from the line that will help give my hair the beachy, textured, messy look that I like. In order of application: Dallas thickening spray, Chiffon styling mousse, Jackpot styling creme, and Death Valley dry shampoo. That might seem like a lot of stuff to be putting in my hair, but I’m a product-lover. My hair is also pretty fine and fluffy, and it needs a boost in order to look like it has substance. I’ve tried going days on end without washing in order to get that effect naturally, but unwashed hair and I just don’t work together. New York City can be gross, so I want to wash New York City off of my head at least 4 or 5 times a week. My hair is in relatively good condition, so I’m not worried about it being too much. For me, dry shampoo is more about getting texture and thickness than it is putting off shampooing.

See that curling iron? That’s an optional item, and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it! I have a Hot Tools 1-inch barrel iron, purchased after taking note of what Danielle uses in the salon. On most days I just blow-dry my bangs and let the rest dry naturally, but if I want a little extra wave, I can throw in a few curls here and there. Danielle showed me the trick: Alternate directions (under/over) as you work your way around your head, only curl the top layer, and let the ends hang out of the clamp so they stay straight. That’s it!

p.s. While looking through my “haircuts” tag, I just noticed how similar this cut is to one I had in 2008. A little looser, though, which I think flatters my (fuller/aging) face a bit better. Also, allow me to quote myself from 7 years ago: “I don’t think I am a long-hair person, though I keep trying it out every few years.” HAH! HAH! I am such a broken record.

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NYC-based plant design/delivery service The Sill runs one of my favorite Instagram accounts, a great collection of primarily indoor plant inspiration photos. I hadn’t checked out their blog until recently, though, and it turns out it’s a pretty great resource for both plant care and interviews with cool plant people. Now that I’m trying to be a cool plant person, I feel like I should be paying attention to this stuff.

Anyway, last night I read this great interview with the creators of the Urban Jungle Bloggers project, Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff. I’d never heard of Urban Jungle Bloggers before! What a super cool site. I wound up going from blog to blog to blog (including Little Green Fingers, home to the GORGEOUS plants in the photo at the bottom of this post), checking out everyone’s cool plant photos…and eventually feeling a deep sense of plant inadequacy. Today, though, I have a renewed sense of excitement about wanting to continue overloading my home with plants (and I don’t mean more of thesenot that there anything wrong with that), and to that end, I am ready to pick out some cute new pots and planters to put them in.

Currently on my wishlist…

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1. Pottery Lodge / Black & White Planter
2. Pottery Lodge / Spiky Hanging Planter
3. CB2 / Chunky White Block Planter
4. Assembly Home / Jada Mini Planters
5. 4040 Locust / Beach House Terrarium
6. Rider Designs / Mini Succulent Planter

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1. Anne Nilsson for IKEA / Mandel Plant Pots
2. Boxwood Tree / Icosahedron Glass Terrarium
3. Leah Ball / Black & Pink Hanging Planter
4. Schoolhouse Electric / Mini Planter

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1. Urban Outfitters / Mod Metal Planters
2. Fox & Ramona / Concrete Planter
3. Frae + Co. / Concrete Macrame Hanging Planter
4. The Object Enthusiast / Faceted White & Gold Planter

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Photo by Anne Herngaard/Little Green Fingers

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It’s been pretty gray and dreary in New York this week (Why is it 55° in June??), and I was yawning around my office drinking my second cup of coffee this morning when an email from Areaware popped up in my inbox and made me smile. Behold, the world’s most perfect paper clips!

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Photo via Daphna Laurens

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The paper clips (cleverly named “Paper Clips”) are the work of Dutch designer Daphna Laurens. They began life in concept only as part of an exercise to create 60 “imagination tools” using only the color black. Now that they’re in real-life production, they come in sets of reds, greens, and, of course, black.

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Areaware has a really cool section on their website called Origin Stories, where they delve into the design process of their products through prototype illustrations and photos from their designers. I love seeing this kind of stuff! There’s a section on the beginnings of these paper clips, and I must say…I’d like a large print of one of those drawings almost as much as I’d like to stock my office with the clips themselves. Perhaps more so. Aren’t the shapes so lovely?

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Photo via Daphna Laurens

Going a little deeper, I found a photo of the cast metal objects that were created by Daphna Laurens’ studio prior to their life as paper clips. A great example of how “working with form can result in functional objects with, nonetheless, a fluent visual appearance.” Yes!

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I don’t often mention on my blog what’s happening in my shop, K IS FOR BLACK, but I’ve been adding some new stuff these last few months and there’s a free shipping thing going on today this week, so…why not?

My two most recent prints are Are We There Yet and Volkswagen, New Mexico (I took that photo in Truth Or Consequences, not in a town called Volkswagen, hah). I must have summer on the brain in a big way, because they both feel very put-on-your-sunglasses-and-go, don’t they?

UPDATE:
Free worldwide shipping extended through Sunday, June 7!
✚ No code required, but you must use this link to activate the promo

Free shipping excludes framed prints, stretched canvases, rugs and clocks

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Most of the designs in my shop are available printed on other products, of course, including t-shirts, pillows, mugs, phone cases, totes, clocks, wall tapestries…and so on. I’ve now tried out almost everything Society6 offers, so if you have any questions, fire away!

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The latest addition to the line are LEGGINGS (!!!), and I am kind of obsessed with them. I’ve been wearing these Bright Droplets leggings as pants, and I love seeing people’s reactions to them on the street. Lots of smiles! I now want to get everything printed on leggings.

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I’ll stop talking about my own work now!! I don’t know why it still makes me feel embarrassed, but it does. Which is weird, because this is my blog? (That’s not a question. This is my blog.)

OK, go check out the new stuff at K IS FOR BLACK and get yourself some free shipping! Happy Sunday!

UPDATE:
Free worldwide shipping extended through Sunday, June 7!
✚ No code required, but you must use this link to activate the promo

Free shipping excludes framed prints, stretched canvases, rugs and clocks

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As you may know from my Instagram, we’ve been doing a pretty massive spring cleaning at Door Sixteen—every room (yes, even the basement), every closet, every box—and I’ve been paring down my shoe collection to only the few pairs that I wear with any regularity. I even set up a second Instagram account for a D16 yard sale, where I’ve been selling the many pairs of shoes that didn’t make the cut. (There’s more to come, by the way—shoes and otherwise!)

And what did I do to celebrate my shoe adieu? I BOUGHT ANOTHER PAIR OF SHOES. I know, I know. But my goal is to own two pairs of boots, two pairs of flats, two pairs of sandals, and two pairs of “fancy” heels. I’m all set on the boots and the sandals, but I need flats. I’ve also been wanting to add a pair of white shoes to the rotation, but I wanted them to be not quite so white that they looked like golf shoes. Not that there’s anything wrong with golf shoes, but I can’t pull that look off.

So, I’m walking to work, and I pass the Clarks store on Madison Avenue. It’s early, they’re open, and it’s dead inside…so I go inside and take a look. Clarks is one of those brands where you kind of have to see past all of the stuff that’s probably very practical but also very hideous, and just look for the few pieces that really hit the mark. As soon as I walked in, my eye went right to these babies.

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Oooooh, I love them. They’re the Hotel Image style in Cotton, which is very subtly off-white without looking dingy. It’s sort of a super-pale, creamy beige-white. Much less stark than you might imagine white shoes being. The cutouts on the sides feel summery without making the shoes unwearable in at least three seasons (they’d be so cute with black socks/tights), they’re super-comfy right out of the box, and the construction quality is excellent. When I buy shoes, I want to know they’ll be able to hold up over time, and I don’t mean time spent sitting in my closet until I decide to sell them on Instagram (heh), I mean frequent wearing and walking long distances on concrete sidewalks.

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Why yes, I did lie on my back in my office with my iPhone in order to take these photos! All of my coworkers were out to lunch at the time, fortunately. Or unfortunately, since I know they’d have enjoyed the whole thing.

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Here are my new shoes out in the wild! They’re so photogenic. It’s going to take a while for me to get used to looking down and not seeing black shoes, but I’m feeling this look. I’ve only worn them with jeans so far, but I think they’ll work with dresses, too.

For reference, this style runs a little large. I usually wear a solid size 10 shoe, but I had to go down to a 9½ with these. They also come in Light Tan and Honey, which is sort of a mustardy-yellow. (Navy and Mushroom are discontinued, but you can get them on major clearance!)

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(I had to take a blog break for a while. I’m back. Hi there!)

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 perfect 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.