December 17, 2012

deck the walls

I was fresh out of high school when I made my first trip San Francisco to broaden my horizons, visit my dear aunt and see a bit of the glorious West Coast. During a short whirlwind week there I was lucky enough to pay a visit to an old roommate of my aunt, artist Michael Duté. His apartment left a permanent impression in my mind all these years later. I remember it was a rental, in Hayes Valley I believe, with a sunny kitchen and secluded back yard garden. But the most memorable image is of the hand painted frescos he rendered on the walls of his beautiful home.

Recently I came upon the design duo, Minakani. I immediately became obsessed with their work and aesthetic. Besides bringing back fond memories of Duté's work, Minakani looked like something borrowed and cherished yet modern and new. I found myself overwhelmingly inspired. In their words, they "create patterns and motifs for fashion, lingerie, childwear and home furnishing. Keeping a fresh and unique approach to colour and graphics we produce strong and simple designs, with a candid, vintage quirky, optimistic and poetic feel."

Though I would love to, it is unlikely I will be painting scenery and graphics on my own humble rental anytime soon. In the meantime I will continue to swoon over and keep a watchful eye on this pair's wonderful and whimsical work. And also share some of it with you here...

Oh, and a little do-it-yourself Minakani inspiration by Meghan McEwan, the founder of the my new favorite design and travel site -- Designtripper.

December 11, 2012

the secret to a full life

"The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters. meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision."
-Anaïs Nin, May 1946