28 February 2011


Carved. Hand-cut. Sculpted. Die-cut. Cut-out. Shaped. Layered. Stenciled.

Dalton Ghetti, via kidrobot.

Yang Yongliang, via design boom(Click for larger.)


25 February 2011

vintage vendredi: m. sasek


I wanted this Vintage Vendredi to relate to San Fran somehow....and a book by children's author and illustrator M. Sasek popped into my mind pretty quickly.

Just look at this lovely little caption from the sleeve notes:
"City by the Golden Gate, Queen of the West, with only one drawback - "'tis hard to leave". M. Sasek echoes Kipling with more views than the 42 hills. The bridge across the bay; Golden Gate Park with 1,000,000 trees; Stow Lake and koala bears; Chinatown's Grant Avenue; Peking ducks and pagoda phone booths; Union Square, Presidio, Alcatraz, City Hall and Fisherman's Wharf.

Foggy day, bright blue sky - M. Sasek paints at cable-car slant all the famous landmarks. Pink, blue, gold horizons, a city most charming, a city most loved - This is San Francisco!"


M. Sasek is the pen name of Miroslav Sasek, a Czech artist who is most famous for his popular This Is... book series, which was published between 1959 and 1974. He originally studied to be an architect, but turned to painting with the creation of his first three travel books, called This is Paris, This is London, and This is Rome. He ended up writing fifteen more such stories.

Sasek spent years traveling to new places to find inspiration for his books. With nothing more than his art supplies and two suitcases in tow, he'd land in a city, take in the sights, then race back to his hotel to draw and paint and get every detail right. What a life!

"When I return home," remarked Mr. Sasek, "I'll unwind by picking mushrooms in the woods." Perhaps while he's there, he'll think of another place to visit and off he'll go on another journey.

Now these are the kind of books I would buy for children. Or, who am I kidding, for myself! Not only for their visual beauty and their virtual travel thrill -- but also just because Sasek sounds like a pretty cool guy. This interview describes him as "thin, well-tailored, and as bubbly as a glass of the best French champagne"!


I just wish I had more to share with you all -- not terribly many of his images are online! I can only imagine the wealth the actual books hold.

All of these images, unless otherwise linked, were found at this great website about M. Sasek.
There you can also find out where to purchase reissues of his books.

24 February 2011

wanderlusting after.... san francisco


This weekend, my love is traveling to the west coast without me. A graduate school is wining and dining him, but significant others were not invited along. Ah well.

I just can't help daydreaming about where he'll be going. San Francisco has been on my wanderlust backburner for so long now. In part because I've been brainwashed by quite a few movies set in the area. In part because of the rumored amazing fresh food that beckons to my tongue. In part because I'm drawn to any terrain involving beaches, cliffs, or hills. I'm enchanted by the idea of redwoods. I want to dip my toes into that other ocean, breathe that air.

And....I have a strange obsession with sea lions!

(To understand why, simply see here and here.)

I'm hoping a sea lion will be my San Fran souvenir (hint hint).

(Pictures are from San Francisco, Berkeley, and Palo Alto, since my mind is roving all over the Bay Area today! Images linked to their sources.)