2007 ~ let's resolve something

i'm big on new year's resolutions and reflections. so i'll deviate from my usual design-related posts to offer some info that encourages resolutions of mine in hopes to enhance your new year too.

resolution 1: get in shape girl!

(a dvd for rainy, dark days ~ with both morning & nighttime yoga practices that can be done without leaving your bed. easy-as-pie.)

(2 new types of yoga to try: acroyoga (top) and aerial yoga! these classes are springing up around the country & will be shown at the yoga journal conference in sf mid-january. combining basic yoga postures with trapeze equipment or acrobatic movement to build core strength, cutilvate trust & playfulness, let gravity work for you, and have a great time doing it.)

(this is a work-out dvd focused on strengthing legs & calves & posture in order to increase grace, confidence, sexiness & comfort when wearing heels.)

resolution 2: educate & meditate
(al gore recently spoke in sf at the world geologists conference. i met people on my holiday break who attended & were entirely impressed with gore's presentation & information. it may be kinda depressing & scary, but i'm gonna watch his movie anyway. ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power.)

(world changing: a users' guide for the 21st century ~ 600 pages of cutting edge innovations, solutions & ideas for creating a better way now & a more livable future. i'm commited to reading & utilizing this manual.)

(modern science & the living contemplative traditions of buddhism have converged to form the mind & life institute. http://www.mindandlife.org/ it's a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing mutually respectful working collaborations and research partnerships between modern science and buddhism — two of the world's most fruitful traditions for understanding the nature of reality and promoting human well-being. my resolution is to learn more about the correlations of quantum physics & buddhism and to actively participate in this organization.)

resolution 3: international travel
(countryside of france ~ the summer of '07 has potential for spending time in france with one of my best friends at her mother's house. that would be divine.)

(northern italy ~ already spent 8 months here but i won't shy away from another opportunity to visit. a good friend has a time share in october that i hope to get in on.)

(finland ~ my heritage is from finland & my family still has contact with relatives here. my parents & their siblings are trying to plan a big trip to finland & i'd love to be able to join them.)

(mexico - never been, but i have two weddings to potentially attend here in '07)

(south africa ~ not sure if this will be the year, but i never give up hope that someday i'll get here)


cabin fever

i now have three great books on cabins, but they weren't my only catalyst for this post. my holiday stay in oregon was at my parent's "cabin". i call it a cabin because that's what it feels like to me, even though it's their full-time home. they bought it last winter & down-sized from a 3-story custom home my dad built in 1992, to a single-story humble home built in 1905. it sits amongst hills of trees, has a creek running through the side yard and no neighbors can be seen from any where around the house. it's been renovated several times over the years and is ripe for some more, but my parents are adding their own special touches all over. they surprised their designer-daughter with new tile floors & removing a wall between the dining & living rooms, and not telling me before i got there. i was thrilled with their choices ~ it looks so great!
some featured cabin faves:

(chicken point cabin by tom kundig in northern idaho. concrete block, steel, & plywood, with a 30x20 window-wall)

(taylor smyth's pre-fab, green-roofed cabin in ontario. 3 walls of glass covered by slats of cedar siding.)

(david vandervort's magnolia cabin in washington)

(the delta shelter by tom kundig, in washington. a steel box on stilts, with only a 20x20 footprint, can be completely shuttered when the owner is away.)

oregon girl

just back from a week long break with my family in oregon ~ i hope your holidays were as lovely as mine! besides the wonderful relaxation and family bonding, i found some inspirational design too. below is a collection of gorgeous wood furniture made and/or designed by oregon-based fine wood workers.

(oregon black walnut and maple side board)

(maple burl table & chairs)

(marbled walnut side board)

(musical-grade myrtlewood table)

(ribbon mahogany and myrtlewood side board)


dad's birthday project at fine woodworking

this is not a photo of my dad, but rather an aspiration for his new woodworking shop. the folks at fine woodworking offer advice & inspiration for carpenters. my dad's been getting their magazine for as long as i can remember. it's an essential in the house ~ like a wood burning stove, a fresh pot of coffee, and a lounging dog. this is a photo of a diy tool cabinet that holds more than 300 tools, while covering only 12 sq.ft. of wall. it has drawers, cubby holes, hanging bars & hooks, all within a birch plywood box.
p.s. this is not the project i'm doing for my dad as a b-day gift. if it turns out like i hope, i'll blog about that later.

bright night umbrella

i have an infatuation with umbrellas. it's not that i own a collection of them or anything, but i just love the way they look. so when i stumble upon a manufacturer of high quality, gorgeously designed umbrellas, i swoon. and i post.
plus, their writers are great too:
"the gentle afternoon shower finds a relaxing harmony. a groove in which it can move and find its way. sit back. go with the flow. watching it dance, its course of least resistence inspires you to take it easy. chill."
welcome to bright night
(pretty packaging)

(slow flow)

(water cluster)

(ripple effect)


diy holiday projects

i aspire to many things, and a do-it-yourself arts-n-crafter is near the top of my list. but, i never seem to have enough time to make all the things i imagine i could. so here's a posting all about the holiday decor i'd be making if only i had an 8th day of the week set aside just for creating & making things. maybe it'll inspire you in my stead?

(urban tree idea ~ it's a wooden ladder all decked out! i love this and would love to set one up in my dad's new woodworking shop. maybe next year?)

(these are simple wooden frames, painted with fun paints, with neat-o extra large letter stickers placed on the glass, to spell out whatever you wish. you can add embellishments with ribbons, sequins, bells, buttons, etc)

(got twigs in your yard? collect them up, trim them down to the right sizes, and stack them into tree shapes. hold them in place with your handy-dandy hot glue gun. rustic and simple...and practically free!)

(and what to do with all those fabric scraps when quilts just seem way too ambitious? cut them into various sized squares with pinking sheers, glue them into a conical stack with a hot glue gun, top it off with a cute jingle bell and place the stack on a pre-made box for stability.)

(doodlebug is a fantastic site for tons of fun sequins, stickers, buttons, paper, ribbons, etc. this image is from their home page & shows what you can make with their offerings if you've got tons of free time & imagination!)

(so this project requires you to buy the stand and candle holder top, found at iron accents, but once you have those in hand there's no limit to the possibilities for how to use them. any season offers tons of options for the center piece of these taper holders)


stair masters

stairs are awesome. if designed well they can be the ultimate in form AND function. some are vibrant, some are ominous, some understated ~ here's a collection of several of my favorites. (the new seattle public library by rem koolhaas is one of my favorite contemporary public buildings. if you're ever in seattle you *must* visit it. the library's use of crayon-colored highlights adds drama and helps orient visitors by making essential features such as escalators and stairs easy to spot. above are the lemon yellow double escalators that excite as much as they transport)

(also in the same seattle public library: the entry to the luridly cherry-colored and organically-shaped public meeting room level eschews straight lines in favor of curves. boldness has genius in it!)

(tadao ando does incredible architecture. shown here are the stairs he designed for the oyamazaki museum in kyoto japan in 1995. austere and strong they have a sense of mystery about them)

(the prestige floating stairs by architectural stairs company. this hanging-tread stair has a floating appearance by not using any under support for a clean look that appears to be suspended in the air. you've gotta have the right side-bearing wall to support this, but it is a gorgeous effect)

(albini and fontanot have created a contemporary style for a new twist on the classic spiral stairs. a light and airy design, the beech treads and steel supports & cables are both warm and sleek at the same time. i love how clean, simple, and elegant they are )

(joel berman glass studios specialize in kiln-fire glass for architectural applications. here is a stunning example of their work ~ luminescent glass treads elevated by futuristic metal creates a contemporary allure & grace)


treasure chest of tiles

just because it's a tile doesn't mean it has to be ceramic & square. there are so many incredible options it was difficult to narrow it to just one posting, but here is a sampling from my treasure chest collection of "tiles":
(globus cork is a leading cork tile provider & their "knocout tiles" are a wonderful addition to their product offerings. made in america from portuguese cork, you can order the field tiles (which have routed holes) and the central medallions separately, in 36 earthy tones for a vast array of color combinations. for floors, walls, or even ceilings.)

(12"x12" resin tiles with your choice of colored rocks embedded within ~ the tiles are flat & smooth but give the visual impression of texture. the natural color variations within each tile offer an organic contrast to the ultra-contemporary resin functionality. a part of the magna mosaic collection at architectural systems.)

(the six patterns in erin adams' facet series offer mesh-mounted glass mosaics for use on walls, countertops, and floors. "vine with bird" is just a single example of the line's custom capabilities. possible motifs and colors are limited mainly by the laws of physics and your imagination.)

(birger juell's cobble block flooring is fabricated from antique beams, sliced cross-grain, sanded & triple oiled. shown above is "tree rounds" made from oak, sizes within it vary from 6" to 10" rounds. cobbleblock flooring is also available in pine & comes in 5 other unique patterns.)

(freeform decorative metal mosaic tiles by solistone are a great way to add shine & texture to your space. these durable mosaics are composed of stainless steel or titanium plating, ensuring they will maintain their brilliance and luster inside or outside your home.)

(the neoglass collection of mesh-mounted mosaic tiles found at sicis italia is quite adaptable, thanks to a choice of 3 shapes: oval "domes," penny tiles the company calls "barrels," and traditional squares referred to as "cubes." the translucent, opalescent tiles come in 10 colors for floors or walls and can be backlit.)