Kinfolk, a guide for small gatherings…

photo by Youngna Park

Kinfolk (so aptly named) is hands down my favorite online magazine thus far. Volume One came out over the summer and I was instantly in love with the concept, photography, and design. Not sure why I didn’t write about this earlier, but perhaps because I was waiting for the printed version to arrive. Yes, Kinfolk is also a quarterly print magazine as well! In this day and age, I have to admit, I still love to hold a book in my hands… be able to flip through my favorite magazine, and not just “swiping” each page with a trackpad. So when the printed copy of Kinfolk arrived on my doorstep the other day, I was most delighted. If you think it’s gorgeous online, wait till you hold one in your hand. The quality of print and design is exceptional. And oddly enough, what I love most is the serene feeling I get as I turn each page. Makes you appreciate life, the beauty of gathering, and spending alone time. Volume One is now available with a limited reprint, so hop on it!

 

photo by Michael Muller

 

photo by Michael Graydon

 

photo by Hilda Grahnat

 


photo by Lisa Warninger

 

photo by Andrea Cheng

{ all images from Kinfolk Volume One }

 

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New from Elephant Ceramics…


platters and bowls in white on brown stoneware / platter in dark turquoise on brown stoneware

Do you remember these gorgeousness when I blogged about Elephant Ceramics earlier on this year? Michele Michael is back with new designs and boy, was I blown away. Loving all the colors, textures, and photography. New glazes in teal and turquoise, and my favorite – platters and bowls in white on brown stoneware. The brown stoneware is peeking just enough to make that graphic layer work so beautifully. I really need to get my hands on these. Get ready for some winter entertaining!

bowls in layers of blue / platters and bowls in white on brown stoneware


vases in white


platter in white with small bowls / bowls in deep teal

{ images from Elephant Ceramics / photography by Philip Ficks }


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What I saw in… Hearst Castle.

San Simeon State Park / en route to Hearst Castle

Have you ever been? It definitely wasn’t all that I had expected. Even though I’m a modernist and minimalist at heart, I can certainly appreciate the history and grandness of the Hearst Castle. Just the ride up to the Castle will take your breathe away. Talk about a long-term collaboration, the construction of the Castle was a 28-year project, maybe even more, between the famed San Francisco architect Julia Morgan and William Randolph Hearst. Did you know the architectural style of the Castle was inspired by Hearst’s European travels with his mother when he was a boy? The main house towers were inspired by a Spanish cathedral, guest cottages reminiscent of the Mediterranean, a Roman temple front and columns that anchor the outdoor pool… Can’t even begin to describe the massive European and Mediterranean art and antique collection. It literally covers just about every wall and room (and there are 165 rooms in total!). You have to see it to truly appreciate Hearst’s love of collecting. I was in complete awe.

 

Casa Grande / the main house

 

side view of Casa Grande / entrance to wine cellar

 

Casa del Monte (House of the Mountains) / “House B”

 


Billiard room / Flemish tapestry from 1500

 

tiny glimpse of the kitchen / look at that oversized mixer!

 

Neptune pool / how great is that pattern?

 

Roman pool / 1″ square mosaic tiles decorated the walls from floor to ceiling

{ all camera phone images by Peggy Wong }

 

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Muhs Home ~ now open!


A few months ago, Stephanie Shum of Muhs Home was kind enough to share a preview of her new online shop with me. I instantly fell in love with her carefully curated products. “Muhs” pronounced like “muse” (how fitting is this for our blog?!) is Stephanie’s last name spelt backwards. There’s a sense of “ease” to everything that she handpicked for the store. So important to bring that sense to our everyday living, don’t you think? Just simple, smart, timeless pieces. Each product you see came from Stephanie scouting across Japan and Europe, searching for local designers and makers with exceptional craftsmanship and love for their craft. Congratulations on a fabulous opening Stephanie!

 

ALiCE porcelain dinnerware
Stephanie found this line while browsing through neighborhood stores in Copenhagen. Muhs Home is the first US retailer of the ALiCE line!

 

Midori brass label accessories
I particularly love the label plate, so smart. And the endless use of baker’s twine…

 

Kami wood cups
At the Takahashi Kougei workshop in Hokkaido, Stephanie received a demonstration of how they turn each cup individually, just to get it down to the right thickness. She added, “And when Mr. Takahashi handed me the cup from the lathe, it was still warm!” How amazing is that?

 

Frame brass bottle opener
I’m constantly searching for the perfect bottle opener, think I may have just found it.


Yoshii two-tone chambry towels
Terry on one side, and a soft chambray on the other… heaven!

{ all photos by Joey Celis for Muhs Home }


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Stamps, forever…

image credit: USPS

A few years back I made the mistake of not purchasing more of the Charles + Ray Eames stamps. True story: I went to a dozen of post offices in Los Angeles and the verdict was the same everywhere – they were completely sold out. Couldn’t even order them online. So this time, when the Pioneers of American Industrial Design collection came out, I bought, A LOT. And unlike the Eames ones, these are forever stamps, yes! Featuring twelve of American’s most influential industrial designers, the full sheet also showcases the “Airflow” fan designed by Robert Heller. I have been a collector of Russel Wright’s dinnerware for a very long time, so you can imagine how delighted I was to see his flatware design as one of the stamps. To quote Wright, “Good design is for everyone.”™ – I only wish the United States Postal Service will come out with more design-related stamps. Is anyone out there with me on this one?

image credit: Core77

I remember not wanting to use the last two stamps on the bottom – the Aluminum Group Chair and the Molded Plywood Chair. So no doubt they were my favorites. Yours?

Psst! If you would like to purchase the Charles + Eames stamps, check out the Eames Office!

 

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