Two little birds...

Two little birds arrived on our doorstep.

My crafty mother-in-law has started working on mixed media works of art, and she sent these lovely pieces to grace the walls of her granddaughter's room. Our little one admires them everyday and reminds us that GramSam made them just for her. I am grateful that every single person in our family pursues their interests and sets a good example for our girl. I try to do the same. 

Diatoms Floating in the Interwebs

Rarely I mention that I work in the geology department of the California Academy of Sciences. In most museums these days there's a push to digitize the collections...photograph and database all the specimens for modern record keeping and to provide global access to holdings (among other reasons). One of my main tasks at my day job is to photograph specimens within the Geology Collections (Thanks, Scott Mansfield, for mentoring my photographic efforts). Awhile back I photographed some interesting microscope slides. These slides contain arrangements of microscopic algae called diatoms. The arrangements are generally meant more for beauty & novelty than for research (though arrangements sometimes show all the species found in one location, which could potentially be useful). I posted the pictures on Flickr as usual and they've...well, they've gone viral. This week I was surprised to open up my feedly reader and see the pictures posted on one of my favorite blogs, Colossal. Woah. I've had inquiries about prints...we're looking into logistic and copyright issues...stay tuned!

UPDATE: Prints can now be ordered. Send me your email and I'll send you an order form.


We carved pumpkins this year and we though it would be fun for Abigail to paint her little pumpkin. On Halloween I got out all the stuff. Smock, check. Paper drop cloth, check. Paint & brush, check. It got a little messy after that. Mostly she wanted me to squirt more paint out. And walk around. In the paint. After 5 minutes I came to my senses and cleaned up myself, my baby, and my floor. Then I found some Jolly Roger stickers which Abigail thoroughly enjoyed sticking to her pumpkin. Also, twenty minutes before nap time was probably a little ambitious for this adventure. I think with better timing, a high chair, and maybe another parent we could really accomplish some great artwork, or at least have some more great laughs.


katherine and simon

I know a lovely painter named Katherine Lewis.  I've known Katie for a few years now and am always delighted by her sweetness, her positivity, her adventurousness, and especially her artistry.  Whether she's painting, pursuing beekeeping, or studying abroad in France, she puts her whole heart into what's in front of her. I'm pleased to share the news that she has written and illustrated her very own children's book, Simon and The Orange Scarf


This book would make a lovely holiday gift for anyone, yes? You can see more of Katherine's artwork on her website. Bravo, Katie! I can't wait to read your book and get lost in the artwork. 

[FYI, I link to Green Apple Books in San Francisco and/or Powell's in Portland because they are my favorite bookstores...local, independent, and awesome. They have no idea who I am, nor do they give me anything for linking to them. Where you buy your books is your business.  I also advocate the public library [and the library didn't  waive any fines or give me anything to say that]

off the wall


I'm working on a little California themed wall art switch...sort of a cleaner version of the hodge-podge mix-match of funky frames & art you see in the decorating world these days.  Maybe this neat and tidy look is out of date (?), but for now I like it...I'm having the husband print up a glorious California poppy print and a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge to fill the other two larger frames, then it will all go up on our terra cotta colored wall behind our bed.

California ♥

Last night I went to a mini installment of the Bazaar Bizarre at Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences (every Thursday evening...if you ever want to go, let me know!).  After gazing at 3 kinds of cuttlefish in the aquarium, I bought this print from 3 Fish Studios


I've got some other California themed prints I think it will look great with...hmm...probably going to have to rearrange the artwork in the whole house to make it happen...I have a plan, we'll see what the Mr. says.

Anyway it was delightful to meet Eric and Annie from 3 Fish Studios.  I became a fan of the art of 3 Fish Studios from their beginning, and would from time to time pop over to their website to see what they're up to, or notice their work on some blog or another.  Truth be told I had forgotten about them lately...but it turns out I know someone who knows them! Love that. And I love my new print.  And I love California.

headed for something

If you're a blogger you know the feeling that your blog has to look just right.  Bloggers are always giving their blog little makeovers, and regularly changing their blog headers...but of course headers have been around far longer than blogs. I enjoyed seeing this post on the fab BibliOdyssey blog of some Art Nouveau woodcut illustrated page headers...


I love them all, especially these two: 


Which are your favorites? Is it time for a header makeover?

where wednesday [petra]

[Where Wednesday comes from across the world again...this week a post direct fromLondon: Petra of Indivisualism. I look forward to finding her 'daily inspiration' posts in my reader, and I find her blog to be unique and refreshing. I'm just getting to know Petra, and was delighted to find out the subject of her post today, imagining spending an afternoon with her there.  Enjoy!]

It took some soul searching to decide which place to share today - there are plenty of places, small ones and big ones, that I love - but in the end I decided to introduce you to the Tate. 'Introduce' may sound a bit grand. The Tate is after all quite a famous museum, and even people who have never been to London may have heard of it. So I rephrase: I will tell you a little bit about why I like the Tate and what it means to me.

The Tate Modern is part of a family of four art museums in England: Tate Britain and Tate Modern here in London, and Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. When I first moved to London about six years ago my boyfriend got me a Tate member card that, aside from letting me see the changing exhibitions for free as often as I wanted, gave me access to the member rooms. These are simply cafés, slightly tucked away, open for members only. At a time when I didn't know anyone in London I spent many days wandering the exhibitions and sitting in those cafés contemplating my new life abroad, with all the excitement and fear that comes with taking such a big step.

Over the years many things have changed, I have met plenty of people, gotten to know London well and at least for now I consider it my home. I renewed my member card many times and took many people to both Tates. But still, every time I go, be it alone or with someone, I am instantly transported back in time and reminded of the person I was when I first arrived. 

I love museums and museum cafés, for the variety of people you see, the snippets of conversations you catch, the multitude of languages you hear. I can spend hours flipping through a magazine, observing what goes on around me and letting my thoughts wander. But among all museums and museum cafés the Tate and its member rooms have a special meaning to me. They remind me of the start of an era, of dreams and fantasies, and of worries and fears. 

Where Wednesdays are        a  regular feature where I and a series of guest bloggers talk      about     places that are  important to us, be they work spaces,  outdoor      spaces,    sleeping spaces,  places we visit, places we  live,  places   we   drink    coffee, etc. etc.

[do you want to talk about a place or space that's important  to you? let me know and I'll set you up with a Wednesday!]