consumerist: series 3. catbird at home

catbirddecor catbirddecor2

Besides being my go-to spot for jewelry, catbird curates and sells amaze home goods, art, candles and fantastic little presents and cards for your extra especial ladeez. When last in New York I picked up this bowl to corral my nightstand nonsense and this little pencil satchel which says ‘these machines kill fascists’ which is a shout out to Woody Guthrie who was a BAMF and also,I like to believe the pen IS mightier than the sword (most of the time?).

minnesota love (free print downloads)

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

{minnesota nice}

     Living in South Africa (or anywhere that’s not your original home) you inevitably end up explaining where you’re from several times over. For P there’s a straightforward answer- he’s from Minnesota. He was born there, his paternal great grandfather even founded a city there, and his entire extended family is scattered between Minnesota and Wisconsin. For me it’s not SO simple, I can never bring myself to say that I’m only ‘from’ one place. While I spent 12 years of my young and formative years there I will never only be from Minnesota. I was born in India, my parents grew up in India, my extended family lives scattered across the globe, and I’ve lived in lots of cities that have made an equal or bigger impression on me.
     That’s why this week I’m working on a series of illustrations in Photoshop to print out and frame for a gallery wall in our living room. It will be different places that we’ve called home (both together and seperately) . For us that’s: Calcutta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Madison, Boston, New York City, Berlin and finally Johannesburg. Stay tuned over this week and next for some free art downloads I’m making to represent each place. 
     I’m checking Minneapolis/St. Paul and their suburbs off the list first with 5 illustrations of Minnesota. Feel free to save, print, and use these images in your own home or on your macbook/iPad/iPhone backgrounds. 
     **These are small versions, if you would like the full size jpeg please click on any of the pics. for private use only, these images are NOT licensed for commercial use. Thank you. 
Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love
{minnesota: simple}
Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love
{simple, inverted}
Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love
{favorite famous minnesotans}
Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love
{favorite famous minnesotans, inverted}
 

My love affair with iittala.

We’ve been working hard on our place and this week I’ll show you my favorite space in our home and where I spend a lot of my time: my our office. But first I’d like to sing the the praises of some of my favorite smaller elements of it, starting with my Iittala Vitriini boxes. We have our share of whimsical pieces all over the house, but my favorite things in our home are those which make me ask myself: Do I love you more for your practicality or your beauty? Leave it to the Scandinavians to come up with the most divine, most practical little storage containers around:

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Finding Iittala was an accident of sorts- P was on a work trip to Sweden and wandered into an Iittala (which is, by the way, a Finnish design company) to buy me a present (he came out with a ceramic container we now use as a salt well) and when he got back to Berlin he insisted I check it out because he was sure I would love everything in it (this was obviously before we had the same bank account). Well we went, and I did. I love these boxes because they are beautiful and functional. I use them next to the bed  to store my rings when I’m sleeping, in the bathroom to store my rings when I’m showering, in my closet to store (you guessed it) jewelry, and in my office to store this and that. They come in two sizes (60x60mm and 108x108mm) and  so many beautiful colors. They are designed by Anu Penttinen.

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

The collection is a mix and match made of glass, oak and aluminum. Now I pick one up whenever I want a treat for myself or P gets me one when he is feeling like he is in the doghouse  thoughtful. He also got me two on our wedding day, because that’s how much good design excites me. Iittala also makes two sizes of oak trays if you want to corral a few boxes together.

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love.

Iittala stores/stockists (a South African word?) are plentiful in the Americas and Europe, they are even spread throughout Asia. If you live in Africa like me you are going to have to have a bit of patience and work for your Vitriinis for now: the only way to get them here is to have your next overseas visitors mule them in. Iittala are you listening??

(Side note: these  lovely little boxes also make great photography practice, I’ve found a sweet spot and now want to photograph everything in the morning light on our right night table)

Oscar Ciutat//Caged//via Oscar Ciutat

it will be good to remember these when i inevitably fall in love with many majestic caged creatures in south africa. the good thing about living in africa though, is that there will be times when i will see these beautiful beasts in their natural habitats.

Charlie Crane//Welcome to Pyongyang//via Behance

charlie crane solved the age old problem of how exactly does one take photographs inside north korea? with permission of course. he took government chaperoned photographs inside pyongyang and the result, both beautiful and tragic, says volumes about actual life inside the capital city. they were published in a book entitled Welcome to Pyongyang in 2009 but i sure didn’t know it existed until today.