Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Some things I've enjoyed this week:

A funny Dairy Queen sign lol :)
This lovely shot by Nicole
Jordan's cleaning supply post.
Ali's colorful laundry + new posts
Alyson's post about Bill + Fanny
Holly's interview of Ez from Creature Comforts
Seesaw's post about Lizzie Fortunato
and of course the outpouring of love for NieNie, which makes me dig the internet even more.
(more auctions still being posted)

Happy Labor Day! Make sure to do something fun... and not labor too much. We're going away for the weekend... and may even go sailing on a pretty lake. What are your plans?

I'll be back Tuesday.

(image from here)

Luke Best

Flipping through some design books a while back, I came across the lively and fantastic work of Luke Best. I really love his style. He is also part of the hip British collective called, Peepshow. They have a clever conceptual design for their site, and have done some phenomenal work. Go have a peek.

Spread the word... today is Nie Nie Day!

For those who are unaware, Today is Nie Nie day! Stephanie (from Nie Nie Dialogues) and her husband were in a horrible plane accident where they both received 3rd degree burns and are still in the hospital recovering, leaving their 4 adorable children to be cared for.

Share the love, and bid or donate on various auctions throughout the web today. There is an incredible list here of all sorts of things. Help support a great family that exudes a great deal of happiness and sunshine. Also check out this website for more information on how you can help.

(image by Blue Lilly)

Abner Graboff

If you have never heard of Abner Graboff, a famous illustrator who did most of his work in the 50s and 60s, let me acquaint you. His work is brilliant, whimsical, playful, and bold. This little book called, The Noise in the Night by Anne Alexander that he illustrated is a real beauty. I have a few more of his illustrated books, hopefully I will share some of those later too.

ps. I am still continuing to upload them here.

DYMO Label Maker Giveaway

Each season, I like to do simple things to help me get organized, so when DYMO contacted me about a giveaway for a lucky blackeiffel reader's chance to win their very own DYMO Personal Label Maker, I thought and said, "oh... yes!" There is something special about pretty and uniform labels that makes my heart flutter. I use my label maker for everything from labeling cds and files to helping distinguish between my flour and sugar containers. It is a very well used and handy product in our home.

To spread the encouraging word and help others become more motivated about organization, leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite organizational tips to be entered to win. Enter by Monday September 1st at 11:59pm. Please enter only once and no anonymous entries will be counted.

Good Luck and Happy Organizing!

ps. You can also purchase this Label Maker at most major office supply chains including Staples.

The Color of Paradise

Watched this touching foreign film, "The Color of Paradise". It made me grateful for all of my senses including my sight. It was beautifully executed with amazing cinematography, although the storyline was a little sad.

Clever wedding announcement

I love, love, clever wedding announcements and invitations. My brother + sister-in-law received this beauty, and passed it along to me. Maybe you can't tell from the scan, but it is beautifully letterpressed, and it is incredibly unique because the groom is a graphic designer. The photograph is by Bryan Niven. Cole Nielsen designed it, see details here.

crew cuts

By golly, their cute Crew Cuts styling gets me every time. I think I say "ahhh... cute" aloud every time I see a new spread. Sick of the mentioning of it? (via Ali Loves Curtis)

Jem: Down to Earth

Hooray! Jem is coming out with a new album, "Down to Earth" on September 16th. It has been four years since her last acclaimed album, "Finally Woken" so, I am happy to see what this Welch singer-songwriter (current L.A. lady) shares with us after her world traveling hiatus.

Dutch Door Press

Dutch Door Press
is a letterpress studio of two friends Mara Murphy and Anna Branning which work in a lovely Victorian home studio in San Francisco. Their work is beautiful, with vintage inspired rich and crisp colors, and bold designs. They have a great sensibility that successfully ties all of their work together like none I have ever quite seen. When you see their work, you will happily know it is a 'Dutch Door' design. Their work is carried in a growing number of stores and online retailers and also have their own etsy shop. (Thank you Mara + Anna.)

My Net Diary vs. Calorie King

When my husband and I had treo and blackberry phones we loved using Calorie King as a means of effectively tracking our health progress.

In a nutshell our plan entailed,
1 - finding out what our weight, bmi, and health desires were.
2 - choosing how many calories and nutrients our body needs.
3- using Calorie King's food database to electronically track our progress and consumption.

After we both got new phones, we were bummed to find out that although you can use their online software, Calorie King doesn't jive with the iPhone. We inquired after their intentions, and they wrote back stating that they did not have any current plans to write software for the iPhone platform. Boo.

After that sad news, my husband kept searching for viable solutions and most often would come up with nada. That was until a few days ago -- we are now happy to say hello to My Net Diary. I believe it has only been out a few days for the iPhone, but I used it yesterday and it is quite a remarkable little program. It has a large food database as well as the ability to input exercise, water intake, custom foods as well as nifty little tracking charts. Yay!

With the gazillion dollar health and fitness industry, there are lots of excellent ways to track your health progress, we have just found that this way works for us. Basically this method is all about knowing and tracking what you consume -- calories in and calories out.

In summary, if you use a palm based phone CalorieKing is a great solution. For the iPhone, MyNetDiary is the only comparable solution we have found. If you don't have either of those types of phones or a phone at all, both of these companies also have online memberships.

What makes you feel healthy and fit? Is there a goal and tracking solution that works best for you? I would really love to hear about it.

(image from Real Simple)

White honeycomb tile

We just got an estimate, and are going to have our bathrooms floors refinished with white honeycomb tiles. I am looking forward to seeing how it will turn out.

(image source unknown)

Thank you Michele Katen

Last week, it was wonderful to peek into the world of guest blogger, Michele Katen. Don't you love the way her artistic mind thinks? Thank you Michele for sharing with us your insightful views on the arts and architecture. Be sure to see her website, and check back -- I am sure we are bound to see more lovely original and modern artwork coming from her brush.

Joslyn's Home

Oh my, I love blogging friends -- and it is so fun to peek into their homes too. Go see Joslyn's gorgeous home (from Simple Lovely) over at Design Sponge today. More photos here too.

Snow & Graham

One of my favorite letterpress companies, Snow & Graham has their website up and running! I have been waiting for a bit -- excited they are back online. Go check it out! (via poppytalk + somewhere in middle america)

Bye-Bye Beijing

How many of you watched the closing ceremonies last night? There were parts that were unbelievably amazing!!

(image from here)

As for advertising, there were lots of good ones airing this year. My favorite campaign was the 'Go World' Ads for Visa by TBWA\ Chiat \Day. I like how they coordinated through color tone and voice, and successfully displayed what the Olympics are all about.

Small Magazine Autumn

Hopefully, everyone knows by now that Small Magazine is full of amazing content.
Here are a few things they are up to this autumn season issue.

1 : Lovely paper cut outs by Jayme McGowan that you can also buy at her etsy via odette new york)
2: Remember Jen Gotch's call for accessories for this shoot? Look how gorgeous it turned out!

Fabric and Thread -- by Michele Katen

I just came across these two artists who use fabric and thread to make statements about their lives. The theme of domesticity is apparent in these handmade pieces by Joetta Maue. Her art statement says,"I use my daily life as the main subject of my work with the idea of the work being honest, even painfully so, coming from my desire to be true to my emotions, insecurities, strengths, and intelligence without fear of ridicule or censure from a patriarchal society." I think her work is very emotional and pushes the boundaries of art-making.

Here are some examples of Joetta's work.

Martha Sue
is a San Francisco artist who also uses sewing to express some of her ideas. A quote from her website states that her "deviant vision of botany illustrates relationships and issues within the plant kingdom, but is equally imbued with insights into human emotion and interaction." Her work reminds me of a bizarre but wonderful dream. I can't help but think of Alice in Wonderland when I look at it.

Here are some pieces by Martha Sue.

Barbra Ziemer Photography

Nature moves me, and I derive inspiration from it in many ways. A while back Barb emailed me about her beautiful photographs of the simplistic and tranquil aspects of nature. Have a peek at more photographs she took at her etsy.


Hanging from the ceiling, or swinging around while learning about Geography..how magical! This is my dream kid activity room. I first saw this at tinyk, where you can also see more of this amazing home. Photos by David Allee.

Have a joyous weekend, my dears!

Top five things that made me happy this week. What brightened your days this week?

1: Listened to lots of Lali Puni (see a clip here)

2: Booked hotel for Paris. They are not kidding when they say 4* rooms for 2* prices... I love Hotwire. Thanks again readers for your location staying suggestions.

3: Found out about the revolutionary Simplify Media iphone application. (see how it works here) (image)

4: Filled my brain will hours of new information from lectures and classes from Education Week. (image) Thanks Holly + Mac for watching V.

5: Cashed in cc points for this mixer, and made extra yummy banana nut muffin bread from this cookbook.

Over and Over

Michael Perry's Hand Job Book is one of my most favorite graphic design books on my shelves (see previous post). I was very happy to hear about his new book called, "Over and Over: A Catalog of Hand-drawn Patterns" from Book By Its Cover. (images from here)

Hinged, Strung, Stitched -- by Michele Katen

I met Molly Lewis last year on a trip to Portland, Oregon. She is a creative bookbinder. I am very glad to hear that she has started her own business called "Hinged, Strung, Stitched". Molly designs and binds books, presentation boxes and photo albums. Her website displays her personal style which merges traditional and contemporary techniques. It seems like a lot of people (including myself) are going back to the old-fashioned way of preserving memories. I think it is so much more meaningful. Don't you?

Here are some pictures of some of Molly's work.

This clamshell box is an archival way to store your photos

These books are hand-sewn!

Rosa Loves : Using Design for Good

Rosa Loves is a tiny nonprofit organization that does custom designed t-shirts to benefit various causes and people in need. Erin contacted me about her cool and original t-shirt design (shown above) that she designed to help benefit children in Bangladesh so they can attend a school program, and receive food and education. Rosa Loves also places the story behind the ones who benefit from the shirt inside each garment as a reminder. How fabulous! Thanks for Sharing Erin. I am a big fan of great design being used for good.

California Living -- by Michele Katen

I grew up in Connecticut where the houses are conservative colonials,with straight lines, paned windows, and wood siding. When I moved to California, the Eichler homes were fresh and exciting to me. Their sharp angles, low-sloping roof and floor to ceiling windows continue to hold my artistic interest.

This is an example of a typical colonial home in Darien, Connecticut.

Joseph Eichler created these prefabricated modern homes in the 1950's. Here is a present day example of an Eichler in Palo Alto, California.

A promotional brochure for the Eichler from the 1950's.

Little Women -- by Michele Katen

Thank you for the lovely introduction, Rachel. I am glad to have the opportunity to share my thoughts on your blog. As a painter, my work tends to focus on women and children. I did a series a few months ago with mother and child within the domestic sphere. To me, interior environments are like an extension of the figure. You may have noticed limited facial features in the people that I depict. The idea evolved a few years ago when I became interested in ideas of conformity and identity. Do they need a face or can the essence of a person be captured through gesture or hair? Viewers often see their own family in my work which brings up a universal quality that I enjoy creating.

"Blue Couch" by Michele Katen

I came across a talented photographer, Andrea Land, on the web who has been winning many awards recently. I sat down with her at the Atlas Cafe, a local coffee-joint in San Francisco a few weeks ago. She mentioned that she draws inspiration from her own childhood to create her contemporary portraits of young girls. Andrea's girls are nestled in sparse bedrooms. I wonder if the objects in the photos are meant to define their identity. I enjoy her thought-provoking work.

"Elizabeth" by Andrea Land

I met painter, Laura Karetzky, through an art exhibit in Connecticut a few years ago. In the past, she has filled her canvasses with images of her two daughters. Laura's girls are placed in the realm of their mother's Brooklyn studio. Does urban growth depicted in the background suggest the development of her daughters' identity? Does the daughter's stance represent the pushing and pulling of the artist's responsibilities to both family and career? A woman's work is never done. Her paintings continue to captivate me.

"Seven Years Later" by Laura Karetzky