Oh, to be a kid again! What lucky little ones who get to wear these sweet, sophisticated pieces from the Chloé spring/summer 2013 children’s line. Adult sizes, please?
On May 12 we celebrate mothers, a single title encompassing countless roles. Among the usual teacher, writer, chef, plumber, healer, philosopher, juggler, designer, my mom masters another art: champion gift-giver. For my birthday, my mother gave me a surprise gift subscription to Poetry magazine. I didn’t think much of it until the first issue arrived and the spare words slowed me into total focus; a space of quiet, images and sounds. As it happened, my mother knew what I didn’t: That I’d somehow forgotten to pick up a poem since college. That I’d become rushed and missed this immersion.
Now the rainbow titles rest on my desk, ready to offer a place of retreat and source of inspiration. Just reading the word “poetry” reminds me to pause, look away from my computer and see my grandmother’s vase, feel the sun on my ankles, hear my colleague hum. Many thanks to my mom and mothers the world over for helping us to see with new eyes. Happy Mother’s Day, all!
The clouds are just gushing rain today, creating the perfect setting in which to hunker down and get things done. Where to begin? We recommend TeuxDeux, the minimalist to-do app and brainchild of design superstar Tina Roth Eisenberg. To explain TeuxDeux seems silly; it does what you want it to do, leaving finished tasks checked off in the past, moving forward unfinished tasks automatically, and offering custom lists for keeping track of gift ideas, book recs, etc. It’s simple, and that’s the point; but it’s also cleaner and more helpful than Post-it Notes or digital notepads. Trust us, and give it a try! We were skeptics once, too, but now we’re hooked.
So, my all time favorite restaurant in NYC, Blue Hill, has just announced they will be offering catering services through their new division called On the Road. Not that I’m going to throw a big party and hire them any time soon, but I’m just hoping that I might be l invited to a party they are catering! They are big proponents of organic, local and seasonal food and supporting local farmers. One of my favorite things about Blue Hill is that they are very accommodating to those with allergies. I can’t eat gluten, but rather than just taking the gluten portion out of my meal, they always seem to find a replacement for it that is just as, if not more, delicious. And, they don’t act like it’s a problem at all. I’m still dying to visit their farm upstate and the restaurant there called Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
While Sixth Avenue clamors with car horns and cell phone banter, turn the corner and enjoy the happy sounds of coffee sipping, radish peeling, and dough kneading at 109 West 17th Street. This is Haven’s Kitchen, living up to its name. Cooking classes, champagne tastings, and café chatter fill this glowing space where the Petite Alma studio celebrated our team’s April birthdays. At a Sweet and Salty Snacks class, we learned how to make a variation on Cheez-It crackers, chili lime popcorn, beet chips, roasted garlic bean dip, quinoa blondies, profiteroles, and our favorite: hand-rolled soft pretzels. Check out the upcoming class schedule. They’re all on our wish list!
If we may say so ourselves, the Petite Alma studio occupies a stellar location with tall windows, brilliant views, and a particularly unexpected delight: Chocolat Moderne. This incredible chocolate laboratory crafts its magic just five buildings down from us. Never would you expect to find this hidden treasure riding up nine floors, past cubicle-filled ad agencies and casting studios! There, Chocolatier and Chocolat Moderne Founder Joan Coukos-Todd hand creates her artisanal chocolates – a craft she’s honed in the 13 years since she took a fortuitous vacation to Brussels, bought an antique chocolate mold, and swapped her career in banking for a sweet new start.
We sampled a few delicious treats, including the inventive green tea bonbon (white ganache with macha green tea and a splash of Poire Williams pear purée) from the beautiful Kimono Collection. Suffice it to say, it takes all our willpower not to pop back over to the laboratory for hourly visits! You can find the chocolates online, at Whole Foods, Dean & DeLuca, and other specialty stores, but we suggest you stop into 27 West 20th Street for a glimpse into one enchanting world.
Ever want to suspend gravity and walk astronaut-like on the ceiling? Here’s your chance — at least to see what it would look like! Foster + Partners built the Vieux Port pavilion, a stainless steel canopy on Marseille’s harbor, to provide shade and shelter and, quite literally, reflect its surroundings. What fun!
How incredible are these embroidered book covers by Reed?
It’s so much fun to get a behind-the-scenes look into a company, especially one as inventive and cool as Graypants. I fell in love with the story Seth, Jon, and Alan tell in their video about testing assumptions, running with ideas, and crafting their signature light fixtures from salvaged corrugated cardboard. They also sell a popular chair made from a single piece of plywood. Brilliant and beautiful! Next up on my travel wish list: a Graypants studio visit in Seattle.
Petite Alma is looking for a production artist! This is a paid, part-time (can turn to full-time), technical position for someone who’s a pro at the Creative Suite (CS6), has an eye for layout, and enjoys detail and organization (and the work of Petite Alma, of course!). Illustration skills are a definite bonus. If you or someone you know may be interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send along the details.
I was delighted to stumble across the products of Caroline Gomez. Take a look at her ceramics, furniture, leather goods and kitchen accessories. Each piece is hand crafted and produced in France. I like her concept- simple, good quality, functional design made by hand. Bravo, Caroline!
Today is MAGNIFICENT in the city. There’s no other word for it. I went out for a wander in the sunshine to grab a healthy lunch and was struck by the delicious options in my neighborhood. Since it IS now finally spring, and everybody seems to be making their health a priority, I thought it appropriate to share some of my favorite spots… all within a few blocks of Washington Square Park (a glorious spot to lay out in the sun with your green juice).
Lifethyme: This local gem is on 6th avenue just north of the West 4th stop. Great to-go options and grocery items. Also has a juice bar and a bakery with lots of vegan / gluten free yumminess.
Victory Garden: Further south on Carmine St (just after Bleecker), this relatively new spot serves goat milk soft serve, chia pudding (omg) and healthy little bites.
Oatmeals: Heading west (closer to the park), you’ll find this spot serving up healthy (and not so healthy) bowls of oats with a range of fun savory and sweet toppings. I hear the gorgonzola fig combo is pretty outrageous.
Sacred Chow: On Sullivan St. Love this spot for dinner or brunch. Creative vegan options, my absolute fave kale caesar salad, and delicious desserts.
Melvin’s Juice Box at Miss Lilly’s: Melvin is a local hero in the juice world and his team whizzes up amazing concoctions. Miss Lilly’s has a fun vibe too if you’re after some authentic roti and cool tunes.
Rockin’ Raw: Open Thurs-Sunday, right across from Melvin’s. Raw food with super interesting, spicy, punchy flavors. Perfect for hot summer nights.
Organic Avenue: Just a block further south, this spot also has great juice and healthy snacks to get you energized for a day of Soho shopping.
In an attempt to escape the chilly and not-quite-Spring-like weather of NYC at the moment, last week I went a roadtrippin’ with some friends to Nashville and Pittsburgh. Turns out it was even colder down there, however they were such cool cities to explore! It’s hard to sum it all up in just a few pictures, but you can get a sense of what went down… food… live music… food… snacks… more food… I tell you, Nashville knows how to fry just about anything, and Pittsburgh makes a mean sandwich! Some highlights of the trip were as follows:
Full disclosure: Although it was such fun, I am quite pleased to be back in the land of Melvin’s kale shakes. Spring cleanse time!
Happy National Craft Month! To celebrate, we summoned Martha Stewart and attempted her dip-dye wrapping paper. Now, Martha works plenty of magic, but it didn’t quite happen with this project. Our rice paper-meets-watercolor photos may not look just like Martha’s, but the new craft brought us lots of fun and discoveries: more saturated colors, fresh designs, and new texture experiments created with wax and oil pastels. Will you join us in celebrating Craft Month? Just five days to go!
Eek! How adorable is this finger puppet mobile made by Lazy Animals? Each finger puppet is hand knitted with eco-friendly materials- mainly wool and felt. The owner, Ayelet, says that each person who wears the puppets gives them a unique body and that while wearing them, all of your thoughts and ideas can live through the tiny little creatures. I love this idea for teaching children how to express themselves. As soon as you put one on your finger, you are able to create whatever little world you like! Be sure to look at the other finger puppets she has made too, they are so funny and lovable.
We designers love pens, brushes, and the countless tools that help us create art, but New York-based artist Judith Braun reminds us not to forget our own hands! Using her fingers dipped in charcoal and a blank wall as her canvas, Judith creates her ongoing “Fingerings” series, began in 2004. Pretty impressive, right?