Knit Your Vegetables

Jung-Jung-VegetablesJung-Jung-plants The detailed needlework pins created by Japanese artist, Itoamika Jung Jung are simply nutritional fiber candy for the summer soul. Using lace threads in muted colors, these jewels embody everything fine in nature.

I’m at a loss to even speculate what level of finite skill it takes to create such exquisite representational fruits, vegetables and flowers from minuscule needles and lace yarn.

Do I have the patience required to knit with lace? No. But, I just had to order Jung Jung's book, Knots, Itoami Plants.

Is this not perfection for the first day of summer?

Credit © Itoamika Jung Jung via Pinterest

Try Harder My Love

I follow a lot of online happenings. It’s a big part of my world. This rosy red morning, a poster made its appearance all over my world. Many of you have told me that you enjoy the words I post. That makes me feel happy and loved. Thank you. I am a devoted writer, and I don't write for free (except here).

It doesn’t make me happy when something I've written pops up on another post, or in print without my byline.

When I can, I send a tactful note about recognition and attribution. Sometimes it slides away from me. Sometimes it makes a difference. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Along comes Pinterest and I fall blindly in love. Head over heels, I’m pinning away. I have two accounts, one for business, and one for pleasure. Inspiration is image driven, and I cannot contain my sincere love for the luscious photographs. In the blush, I try to find the source of my image affections and share pins with my world.

I will try harder.

How about you?

Please share with love.


So You Want To Be An Artist

Life is so busy right now that posting has succumbed to "a picture is worth a thousand words." Can you tell that from my last post? There's so many posts in my head that I would like to grab a cup of tea (or wine), sit by the fire and write and write for hours. That time will come, but not now.

Both my kids are artists. My daughter is a graphic designer and my son is a musician. When I saw this poster, I could not contain my hysterics.

My dad would have gotten a kick out of this. He was an artist too.

Food Rule Backlash

"Do all your eating at a table. No, a desk is not a table.”


Ted says the illustration above is of me. It's not, but it could be.

How many food rules do you break? Michael Pollan has added 19 new rules in his latest book, Food Rules: an eater's manual, and they’ve been brought to life by the fabulous illustrations from artist, Maira Kalman.

I just read an interview with Michael Pollan by writer, Sarah Henry of Civil Eats. The interview digs into how his collaboration with Kalman came to be. When asked during the interview whether or not Pollan feels our interest in the food movement has peaked, he expanded upon why he keeps pushing food:

“I do feel a sense of urgency to keep writing about food. We’re just beginning to see the impact of our food choices on health care and insurance costs—obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are soaring—and we need to keep the pressure on the government and corporations for change.”

I mostly like Pollan’s rules and abide by this one:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

This rule has been my food mantra for years:

"The fewer the feet, the better the meat”

…minus the feet.

More and more I’m noticing that I have conflicting issues around food--but they're the opposite problem than those who eat too much meat have. For years, my family has chided me to loosen up on my no red meat rule. Friends I’ve known my entire life can’t seem to remember that I haven’t eaten red meat since college. When I'm invited to dinner, they still ask,

“What is it again that you don’t eat?”

Why don’t I eat red meat? I can’t remember. I do know I’ve lost my taste for it. A part of me wishes I could find a reason to bring a little meat back into my diet because I’m getting increasingly paranoid about all the mercury in fish. I'm told, the cute cows I can hear mooing from the farm behind my backyard are the best meat around.

I want to live the life of a locavore. Yet, I can’t eat red meat...and I can’t remember anymore why I hold on tight to that food rule.

Pollan says to those who want to know if they need food rules:

“When you eat real food, you don’t need rules.”

Oh no, this one doesn’t fly with me because I have food rules and I eat real food. Anyone else have this food rule backlash problem?

Food issues are complicated, and the act of eating should be part pleasure, part communion with a hefty dose of healthy nutrition.

Maira Kalman’s illustrations are poignant, funny and sad all at the same time, which just about sums up my latest food feelings. Her art adds a large dollop of cream to Pollan’s book.

If you’re in mood for a little humor, Pollan brings his food rules to Stephen Colbert’s plate. Watch the funny exchange here.

Main image: Maira Kalman for Food Rules

Sawkille Co.

"That is best which works best…Beauty rests on utility…Simplicity is the embodiment of purity and unity" ~ Shaker Designers

I recently visited the Sawkille Co. showroom for Chronogram magazine and was dazzled by the simplicity of the designs…

Well-crafted objects enhance the experience of creating a home. The furniture and home décor items of Sawkille Co. are simplistically refined in their celebration of Hudson Valley artisan crafts. The Sawkille showroom in Rhinebeck, purchase NY draws visitors into a comfort zone that comes from an uncluttered space. The warmth of the handmade solid wood furnishings, with their down-to-earth style, conveys an airy and primitive aesthetic. The modern rusticity of the Sawkille’s handcrafted conceptual pieces are beautifully functional, and honestly durable. Large handcrafted wood dining tables created by co-owner Jonah Meyer mingle with hand-forged wall hooks crafted by Tivoli artist John Corcoran. Inspired wall art complements the showroom’s casual and curated displays, giving each piece the breathing space and consideration it deserves.

“We design and build work that will improve with time and use. We hope to add something lovely to an environment that you cultivate, to inspire and nurture yourself or someone you know,” says Jonah Meyer.

Meyer implements traditional wood joinery and finishing techniques with his adept handwork that seamlessly blends the mixed local woods with finely detailed industrial metalwork. His time-honored woodworking skills combine classically formed furniture, creating heirloom quality pieces with an understated elegance. Each table, chair, and storage unit is a functional work of art. Meyer calls this style “Farmhouse Modern.” He explains, “I’m attracted to old, finely crafted American furniture, and I like supermodern. I steal from both disciplines.”

As a RISD-schooled multidimensional artist, Meyer moved to the Catskills where he continued to create art - pottery and sculpture. Along with his wife and business partner, Tara Delisio, Meyer first opened a showroom outside of Woodstock that displayed small-production designs. Delisio, who grew up in Woodstock, runs the website and a delightful accompanying blog that provides a peek into the lifestyle of Sawkille’s inner world.

Some might consider Sawkille Co. a showroom, and others may approach the space as a gallery. But Meyer says, “I’m not in the business of selling art, and this is not a gallery.” While Meyer’s furnishings command center stage at Sawkille, there’s a collaborative artistry at work as well. The careful curation of handmade objects from other fine Hudson Valley artisans blends well with Meyer’s larger hardwood pieces create a cohesive shopping experience.

Drawing from the rich heritage of the Hudson Valley, Sawkille embodies many of the touchstones of sustainable living. All of the wood is local and the furnishings are finished and hand rubbed using beeswax or Danish oil. Low-impact elements give Sawkille a green edge. A local potter is provided sawdust to fuel his firings, and leftover stumps of waste trees are upcycled into gorgeous seats or tables. These zero-waste essentials are the types of monuments to eco-friendly living that make a simple home simply delightful.

Credits: Sawkille Co.