Date Archives July 2010

What Katie Ate

When it comes to deciding what to prepare for dinner in my house, a typical pre-supper conversation loosely follows the theme of this gem of a site. In this sense, there is often a fair amount of indecision and foul language. In a perfect world making dinner would take the lead from What Katie Ate – a blog that is equally concerned with tantalising the taste buds and presenting food that is a feast for the eyes.

Created by food stylist and photographer Katie Quinn Davies, What Katie Ate features posts on gourmet food produce and packaging, restaurants, food photography and other foodie-related news; however, it is Davies’ own photography and recipes that really get me excited. Sure, food blogs are a dime a dozen, but I love how Davies’ blog focuses on dishes that are simple, delicious and, most importantly, achievable with the ingredients found in the majority of kitchen pantries. With a stylishly rustic photography aesthetic and refreshingly unpretentious prose, What Katie Ate is really code for What Danica Wants to Eat. Please excuse me while I tend to my food cravings.


The Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Video by The Scout

The Scout is beginning to really piss me off. First they do two amazing videos, one with leather goods makers Billykirk and another with interior design impresarios Roman & William, and now they’re at it again with a feature on the Mast brothers and their craft chocolate enterprise.

The Mast Brothers have been making quite the rounds lately, you might remember the video I posted about them a bit ago that Cool Hunting did. The Scout video above differs from their approach, which focused more in the production side of things. In this video you get to hear more about their inspirations as well as their love of craft and sail boats. 

The whole thing is amazingly shot as well. I was watching it on my iPad (yep, you read that right) and it’s comparable to food porn in some spots. An inspiring way to start your day. 


Kitsune Noir Mixcast / No.040

It’s been quite a while since the last Mixcast, I guess I’ve been trying to refuel myself. It’s nuts to think that I’ve made 40 of these so far, just 12 away from an entire year of Mixcasts. I actually think the little break was good for me. I have a bunch of rad new songs to share and this is honestly one of my favorites in recent memory. There’s brand new stuff from Arcade Fire, Blonde Redhead and The Books as well as some smaller artists like Brothertiger, Twin Sister and Gold Panda.

I also decided to not record myself this week because I’m waiting on my new microphone to come in the mail, then you’ll have to listen to me blab on and on. Enjoy the momentary silence.

It’s also important to note that the images for this week’s Mixcast come from my friend Ed Fladung. Honestly, I don’t remember how I met Ed, but I think it was through my blog and possibly over Twitter. Ed is a fantastic photographer who lives in Mexico, taking really great surf photos and talking about design and websites and all kinds of good stuff. Definitely take a peak at his portfolio and his blog as well.

Here’s this week’s tracklist:
You by Gold Panda
Tell Me Why by M.I.A.
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire
The Passenger by Stars
Silver Sands by Stereolab
Baseball Cards by Wavves
Lady Daydream by Twin Sister
And the World Laughs With You by Flying Lotus
Lovers by Brothertiger
Here Sometimes by Blonde Redhead
Ending of Me by Admiral Radley
Sun Arrow by Candy Claws
Free Translator by The Books


‘Supersonic’ Series by Richard Perez

I was looking through my Flickr friends yesterday when I came across this amazing new set by Richard Perez, aka Skinny Ships, which collectively I’m calling Supersonic. Each piece is titled Supersonic with a different identifying letter number. In order from top to bottom they’re A1, F8, D4 and B3. I just think they’re absolutely beautiful, reminding me of old cartoons or something Saul Bass might do. Richard is doing such amazing work right now, the guy is unstoppable (and you should hire him to illustrate your __________).


The Archival Clothing Rucksack by Best Made Co.

I’m a big fan of Best Made Companies axes, however impractical they are as a city dweller. They’re absolutely beautifully presented and marketed which makes me want one quite a lot.

I spotted this new bag by Archival Clothing in their webstore called the Archival Clothing Rucksack and figured some of you in the market for a new bag might be interested. This fella is made up of waxed cotton, the edges are bound in waxed cotton tape and stress points are bar-tacked or riveted and solid brass hardware is used throughout. It even looks like there’s a space for a hand axe on the side, though I’m sure your nalgeen could fit just as easily. Be sure to take a visit to Archival Clothing as well to check out some more great bags.


Le Creative Sweatshop

La Creative Sweatshop is a collaboration between Ndeur (Mathieu Missiaen) and Make a Paper World (Julien Morin.) The two met in early 2009 and (I’m guessing) started talking about how much they loved making things out of paper and how great it is to be from France.  Whatever their conversation, it must have gone well.  Eighteen months later you, can feast your eyeballs on the fruits of their labors.


Zara Picken

The work of British illustrator Zara Picken instantly transports the viewer to a time when housewives wore pearl necklaces while baking cakes, jazz music was played on ornate gramophones and social relationships were conducted with a sense of reserved grace. Certainly, Picken’s nostalgia-tinged, mid-20th century-inspired illustrations would be perfect for a campaign pitched by the advertising team from Mad Men.

The clever combination of digital and handmade elements provides Picken’s imagery with a delicious retro feel that is simultaneously modern. The humour that is present in all of her illustrations also adds to the appeal of her work – who wouldn’t want a “genie-us” wish machine? I also thought it most appropriate that one of her illustrations features none other than a black fox.

You can view more of Picken’s illustrations on her portfolio, flickr and etsy shop.


Space Suit of the Week.

A lot of things are for sale on TV. Easily my favorite is a precious half-hour on public access where the members of a local Baptist church sell goods donated by the congregation. What’s so great about the live TV show is that the goods are dumped on a table and sold in lots.  “E’rything on the table for $40 bucks.  We got some fancy Ninja Swords, a Gateway computer, Beanie Babies… lots of real nice stuff!” A telephone number flashes across the bottom of the screen.  At the top of the screen is the lower half of the steadfast Ten Commandments.

It’s so straightforward: here is some stuff to buy. What’s more tricky is a few channels over on the Home Shopping Network, HSN. It’s not merely the brightly-lit sets and glossy graphics, but a whole host of marketing and rhetorical strategies that assault the viewer. How can you not buy the hairspray when it’s so cheap… and used by the cast of Days of Our Lives?  By the time the side-by-side comparison shows a demographically-determined make over, you’re dialing the 1-800-number.  Right?

So what does this have to do with Space? If you’ve ever heard of Tang, you might have a clue.  Space sells a lot of stuff, too.  Tang, for the unfamiliar, is a powder that you add to water if you want to drink orange-flavored water. Tang became popular after John Glenn drank some during the Mercury flight, and somewhere along the way a persistent rumor emerged that Tang was invented by NASA.  It was not. The real story according to the History Channel: “There was a particular component of the Gemini life support-system module which produced H2O among other things. This was a byproduct of a recurring chemical reaction of one of the mechanical devices on the life-support module. The astronauts would use this water to drink during their space flight. The problem was, the astronauts did not like the taste of the water because of some of the byproducts produced, which were not harmful of course. So, they added Tang to make the water taste better.”

Another thing you may not have known: last week I quietly celebrated my 25th birthday. I’m getting at the age where I ask for useful things like new tires and prescription sunglasses for my birthday. However, I did receive one not-entirely-useful gift last week that has been making me think about space and commerce.  The photo above is the cover of that gift: a comic from 1951 about a chocolate powdered drink. But not just any chocolate powered drink, one that enables an American Serviceman-Astronaut to defeat a space villain.

The comic is illustrated by Bob Powell, who compares the discovery of Inapak to similarly innovative discoveries like electricity and the atomic bomb. The storyline of the comic involves the first man landing on the moon in 1984, discovering life and a sinister plot to destroy the earth. Lukily, Major Inapak enjoys the benefits of his namesake,  including: good red blood, sturdy muscles and plenty of pep. Evildoers don’t stand a chance.

All of the information I can find about this drink online relates only this this comic, and I have no idea what happened to the drink company from Chicago. Inapak certainly isn’t unique in using rockets as marketing bandwagons, but their wagon was hitched to the wrong star.  Nobody knows who Major Inapak is; they should have given a lifetime supply to John Glenn.