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Uptown Girl

Uptown girl…we’ve been living in our uptown world! Been so preoccupied with our move that Pillar Box Post…well got lost in the move. Things are starting to settle a bit now, which is very welcome at this point!

So….what has been happening? Well we made the big move in early August, spending the first week and a bit seeing the sights of our new hometown. We made the charming Ace Hotel our first stop…LOVED the typography and all the little details–everything has been tended to with love and care. Shame that the staff haven’t had as much love and care…and the music in the lobby made me feel old. Why is everything in NYC soooooo loud? Has everyone gone deaf from the noise?

We did a handful of tourist things like a harbour cruise in the pouring rain (spending the trip eavesdropping on two american teenagers who couldn’t tell Manhattan from New Jersey …and didn’t seem to have an understanding of the September 11 attacks. However they did have 4 smartphones between the two of them, so at least something next to us could be labelled ‘smart’.

Most of all we did a lot of walking…blocks and blocks and blocks. After the Ace we moved into our first sublet on Bleeker street in the West Village, right off Perry Street –the home of loads of movie ‘homes’ like Carrie from Sex and the City. All in all there were lots of complications with the move, nothing awful just annoying–internet not working, phones not working, bills not going through etc. but they reach breaking point at 4 am less than two weeks after arriving. It was a call from our family in England…Olive, our lovely 2.5 year old french bulldog, was very ill in the hospital and we had to make a decisions immediately whether or not to undergo an expensive surgery or to put her down. She had what they thought was a slipped disc and could be paralysed. We went for the surgery and crossed our fingers…and toes and legs.


The next few weeks were rough…Olive was in hospital and then in recovery at my in-laws…my husband was in a job hunt that didn’t seem very positive and I must admit I was a bit homesick. We didn’t have a place of our own, our goods were stuck in shipping purgatory. On the lovely side, we were getting to see someone from my family more in a few weeks than I probably did in the last two years…and then slowly, gradually things started picking up!

We were able to secure a longer sublet in the upper west side ( by forking over 4 months rent at once, eek!). An empty apartment, but at least it wasn’t full of someone else’s junk! And then the turning point — a job for my husband! It was a super quick turnaround and the pieces started to fall into place. Olive had hydrotherapy in England and was finally able to fly over and join us in October. Our shipment of clothes, books and my home goods arrived shortly after and bit  by bit we are getting things into place.

Thank you all for stopping by after such a long time away and I really appreciate the comments in my absence. I truly never thought anyone would notice and it was very touching to know someone out there did!

Now, onwards and upwards and I promise future posts will be a bit shorter, more colourful and a bit more exciting! The red British post box has been officially  moved to Manhattan…the post is in!

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About the images…I thought it was fitting to ‘restart’ Pillar Box Post in the way that it originally came about, with a shop window photo! I spotted this fabulous window display on west 20th street (and 6th avenue) around the corner from my work. It appears to be for a ‘bag manufacturer’ who create shopping bags and advertisements. Their recreation of New York out of paper bags with adorably detailed paintings is inspired. I don’t have a use for this idea, but I know there is one out there somewhere. Perhaps we DO need a two bedroom apartment after all… for a village of pillar boxes made out of paper bags!?

Photos by Pillar Box Post

 
 
 

Man the fort…

In search of a holiday this spring/summer? Yep, me too and since Mallorca isn’t for us this year please just let me live vicariously through you and book the Cap Rocat in Mallorca. For the uniniatiated to the workings of the Mediterranean, Mallorca is a Spanish island in the Med Sea. And past that sea, housed on a cliff, in a former military fort sits this boutique hotel. This hotel is a little different than most as it can list in its amenities a drawbridge, bunkers and trenches alongside an infinity pool, outdoor lanterns and the best umbrella/tent combo I’ve ever seen. I am absolutely in love with the outside setting, with that fantastic umbrella covering and persimmon red rugs. I wonder if they’ll knock the price down a bit if I just set up camp outside?

You can find out more at Mr. & Mrs. Smith or check out the Cap Rocat website where unbelievably there are more amazing photos of the turquoise sea, the sun loungers you’ll never want to leave and more torches you can shake a stick at…

Looking for more boutique hotel action in Europe, check out this beauty in Mykonos Greece or the spring/summer holiday we took in 2010, also in Mykonos! It seems like these inspirational holidays maybe do come true sometimes!

 
 
 

Easy as ABC…

Paper sculpting is back…Love these photographs from French artist Jérôme Corgier of l’Atelier Pariri. The ones with shallow depth of field are my favorites and would look great as an a2 sized poster!

Thanks to Fubiz for the dose of inspiration

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For more paper being used to fabulous proportions check out:

- a website using paper to great heights- also french in orgin- for orange

- and this oversized paper origami, photographed by another frenchman…hmmm I’m noticing a trend here, non?

 
 
 

Panda-monium

Sorry for the absence lately…I’ve been feeling under the weather  (as is everybody around us at the moment!). Not a whole lot has been making me cheery other than this excellent news story from China that ran a few weeks ago. In an attempt to limit the exposure that Panda bears have with humans— their caretakers and doctors are dressing up in giant panda bear suits! It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen these photos I can’t help smiling! It reminds me of this great commercial for John West Salmon that we watched in advertising class in university. I’m hoping that if my cold forces me to visit a doctor this week that they are dressed up either as me…or perhaps just some other random animal…perhaps a giraffe? It would certainly make me feel better!

thanks to the telegraph for the images/article/laughter

 
 
 

Just a bit of Blurb…

Joy to the world! I’m on a roll, ticking off things on the eternal to do list. This one goes way back a few years…well ongoing really, to find  a way of seeing our photographs after the event, and one that did not involve computer slideshows. I always had good intentions of scrapbooks and uber design but nearly seven years on and no closer to finishing my ‘trip to england’ sketchbook, I thought it was time to get real. I decided to create some photobooks with an online service and had plans to design intro pages and really make my mark on it, even if I wasn’t cutting things apart and glueing them down. Hah, that was two and a half years ago. A few weeks ago I got real and bashed out a cleanly designed book that isn’t full of bells and whistles, but is in fact full of pictures (yay!) and a smattering of information with dates and locations as page folios (where you would usually have page numbers). And there is the odd quote or highlight to a place. Just enough to make me feel like it wasn’t done by someone else, but not enough to send me over the edge.

I chose blurb as the service (because I liked the logo and website. how lazy) and thought I would start with one book to make sure I didn’t get everything set up for a slew of books only to find out their books were awful or something. Originally when I set up the files back in 2008 (no I’m not kidding), they only had an online book service, where you uploaded photos and placed them using their software. I thought that would drive me bonkers not being able to have full control as I would in a design program, so I thought I’d design the book in inDesign as normal and then export it as jpegs and upload an image per page (which would in fact be an image of the design as opposed to individual pictures). Well my patience, or procrastination was a blessing in disguise as now they have a template and upload feature for indesign which meant I could make one pdf, upload and voila, it was done!

I chose the most expensive option with ‘premium paper’ and hardback cover. I didn’t want a messy dustjacket that was only going to get damaged, or a softcover that was bent. The cover is excellent as it is an imagewrap, so if you had a panoramic picture wide enough with a large enough quality you could have an image going the whole way around. I designed ours with the picture bleeding over the spine and wrapping around to the back with a solid colour back with some type. Nice and simple. It covers from mid 2004 to mid 2006 and is under 120 pages and came to £36 with shipping which was definitely worth it. I’m ordering Volume 2 tonight (while I”m on a roll, I might as well keep it going) and then I’ll probably need a volume 3,4 and 5 to catch us up to present day. I’m so excited about our little personal library of coloured books! PLUS this is a definite tick for Number 6 of the ol’ ten commandments 2010. Got to cram them all in before the arrival of Mrs. 2011 in a few short weeks!

 
 
 

fine cell work

A few weeks ago I had a fabulous evening in the new (ish) Tom Dixon restaurant, Paramount (Thirty second floor in a lot of other cities is like a residential home, but central London it’s cloudworthy). The space is fantastic as you’d expect from Mr. Dixon, and as we all got chatting it turns out it was also the scene for some beautiful shots that stylist Louisa Grey and photographer Simon Bevan created for Fine Cell Work. I soon got caught up in it all and couldn’t seem to focus myself on what I was more interested in – the fabulous setting, the great shots, the products or the story behind it all. You see Fine Cell work is a charity that was started in the sixties that supports inmates and teaches them needle work. The end results are handsticthed products, mainly cushions, with a third of the proceeds going to the inmates and the rehabilitation process proving terribly successful. The work is carried out in 26 prisons, whilst the prisoners are locked in their cells, and the earnings give them hope, skills and independence.

On a purely aesthetic level, the cushions are very well made and the subject matter of the cushions range from a typographic “Because you’re mine, I walk the line’ to tattoo art to Clint Eastwood illustrations. The lifestyle shots featured above are of the most recent collection which will be exhibited in the Tom Dixon pop up store for London Design Festival 18th- 26th of September. So what do you think, would you bring some prison art into your home?

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If you’re interested in this, you might want to check out the FIne cell work shop here. Or check out more from the stylist, Louisa here. And while you’re at it, you might check out an old photo of myself and the mister, that I just spotted on Simon Bevan’s site…i’m the one in red!

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Lifestyle mages are credited to Louisa Grey and Simon Bevan.