Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

what if i was a craigslist “missed connection”?
October 13, 2009

In the name of good art and star-crossed possibilities, Brooklyn illustrator Sophie Blackall combs Craigslist New York’s Missed Connections listings for its endlessly entertaining and heartfelt subject matter. Her whimsical illustrations give permanence to these otherwise fleeting dispatches, interpreting the words of the seeker in an artfully literal way. I’m sure no one has ever honored me with a Missed Connection in San Francisco’s Craigslist, but on the off chance my presence has captivated someone from afar, I imagine the listing would read as such: “To the scowling Asian girl trying hard not to touch anything on the 31 Balboa bus this morning: You’d be so much more attractive with a smile, but I like a challenge. Call me.” What would yours say? —LML


what if i was a winner? (oh, i am!)
October 3, 2009

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I’m the kind of girl that comes in second. As a kid, I came in second in every spelling bee and times-table contest; as an adult, I’ve fallen second to even the uglier, less-talented girls in matters of love and career. Would I, for example, much rather have wedded the gorgeous college boyfriend with the wandering eye and overestimated intelligence? Or am I glad I’m not the girl he knocked up, and subsequently married, shot-gun style, at the tender age of 25? Hand me this new ceramic trophy by Yellow Owl Workshop, filled with a nice flower arrangement by Studio Choo, and say with a smile, “Congratulations! You’re the first-runner up. Aren’t you lucky?”

Picture 1

Would I much rather have not been one of the select few laid off from my job as a magazine editor? Considering the state of print media these days, pin me instead with a hand-pleated, hand-sewn decorative award ribbon from Small Stump and say, “Congratulations! You’ve just dodged a bullet.”


Would I much rather have been the beauty queen in high school—instead of the unpopular girl with the bad skin—if it meant that I’d suffer the fate of most early-to-peak tarts (now overweight housewives)? Let me prance around for a few days crowned with this breathtaking tiara by Tjep, made of layers of silver-plated brass and diamonds, and I promise to give it some really deep thought. —LML

what’s your type?
September 24, 2009


When I worked in Kyoto teaching English, the Japanese high school students would ask any English-speaking foreigner that crossed their paths three questions: What do you like to eat? What’s your hobby? What’s your type? To that last question, I’d usually provide a flippant “tall, dark and handsome,” but now—a decade later—my design career has put a different twist on that inquiry: What’s your typography? According to Lars Willem Veldkampf’s Typocalypse project, which appoints personality traits to 40 different fonts, my affection for the high-impact Arial implies that “I am the devil.” (My boyfriend, Mark, can attest to the accuracy of  this designation!)


My friend and fellow design editor, Lydia Lee, once told me that she had thing for Bembo. (Although, given her talent as an eagle-eyed copyeditor, I would have picked VAG Rounded for her.)


Using this font to write your boss that 15th “I have food poisoning” email is the surest way to find yourself in the unemployment line with the rest of California.


The official font of Oz, a magical land somewhere over the rainbow.


The script for Neil Patrick Harris’ Emmy-hosting gig must have been written in this font.


Works for me, too. —LML

because they can
September 21, 2009

Sitting on the mantle in my parents’ house is a wood vase filled with dried purple flowers that I made in the sixth grade. For two months I perfected my technique on the lathe and when completed, I triumphantly presented the fruits of my labor. I am reminded of this proud moment in my history as I browse through the incredible woodwork of Because We Can, an Oakland-based husband-and-wife team specializing in sustainable custom furnishing and interior design. It seems there is no limit to what they can create:

LCD Ecoglam

LCD Ecoglam

I’m not a fan of TV. I do like watching it (Mad Men and Friday Night Lights, especially) but frankly I think they’re ugly and I don’t like when the television becomes the focal point for a room. However, the Ecoglam frame from BWC really solves this dilemma. My computer is currently my entertainment center (thanks, Hulu) but this custom frame may change things.

Smart solution for small spaces

Smart solution for small spaces

Living in a big city often means trying to pack a lot into a relatively small space but these decorative shelves are a great solution. The cutouts are a cool, custom decor and they don’t clutter a shoebox-size apartment.

Three Rings office

Three Rings office

Video game company, Three Rings, asked BWC to oufit their SoMa loft to resemble The Nautilus from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Wildlife and Presidents chair

Wildlife and Presidents chair

I love these chairs, I imagine a mismatched grouping around a long farmhouse table in my rustic-meets-modern home (that I’m slowly building in my head). Until then I’ll just keep at the lathe and admire these pieces from afar. —MR

go with the flow
September 14, 2009

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What if we could fork over a some hard-earned cash in exchange for, say, an extra serving of self-esteem during a moment of insecurity? A dose of trust when making that proverbial leap of faith, perhaps? Wouldn’t it be nice to stock a pantry with compassion, authenticity and silence rather than canned beans and brownie mix? Thanks to Norwegian designer Mads Hagstrom, whose online Flow Market opened earlier this month, we can (no pun intended).

Picture 4Soul food at its finest: Small tins of 73 highly coveted intangibles are available for a cool $19.25 each. A steal for such priceless luxuries.

Picture 3By attaching a retail value to an abstract idea, Hagstrom’s Flow Market has caused me to think twice about what I consume. I mean, do I really need these gorgeous Taryn Rose boots just to make myself a worthy contender in a passive-aggressive game of one-upmanship? I’d love to take a spoonful of “Self-Love” before I commit to a $400 charge on my credit card. And you? Does your antidote to a bad day equate to a creamy, dreamy chocolate eclair? Crack open a “Cravings Liberation” instead.

Picture 5What’s on your shopping list? —LML

shake it.
September 8, 2009

When Polaroid announced that it was canceling production last year, I stocked up on as much of the vanishing film as I could. Its grainy, high contrast images make everything look a little bit cooler than it actually is. Unfortunately, its suddenly precious existence has now made me hesitant to use it all. Every potential picture bears a heavy weight of importance—one more insta-magical shot, one less piece of film—which totally takes away from the instantaneous fun and satisfaction of it in the first place. Enter: ShakeItPhoto iPhone application. Granted, I am a self-described late adapter. I hated computers when they first entered the scene (seriously) and delayed getting a cell phone for a ridiculously long time. However, today I’m totally reliant on my Mac and am lost (thank goodness for GPS) without my iPhone, so it just makes sense that I’ve found my nostalgic film in digital form. The app works just like the trusty Polaroid camera: take a photo, watch the white-framed image drop down and shake your phone (yes, it shakes and jiggles) until the square frame slowly develops into your image. Amazing. —MR

empty nests
September 4, 2009

As a journalist, I’m only as good as my voyeuristic instinct, and while I pride myself on my ability to give the third degree, I am floored by San Francisco photographer Todd Hido‘s more sophisticated (read: subtler) investigative eye. For his latest coffee-table tome, Witness Number 7, Hido goes beyond the closed curtains and barricaded doors of foreclosed homes in Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield to expose the eerie stillness of these strangely compelling vacancies. The result is a haunting set of photos that triggers an insatiable curiosity in the viewer: Who used to live here? What memories linger in these rooms? And my own question for you: Are you comfortable being a nosy neighbor? —LML