Saturday, December 31, 2011

bye 2011

oh, you're taking a photo of those cards? let me sit on them for you.

(card backs)

happy 2012 to you!

gott nytt år!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

a horse is a horse

when home in december, i always end up going with my mom to the stable where she keeps her horse. my mom has been a horse person since she was a girl, while i have never been a horse person. but horses are pretty cool regardless. top is godiva. my mom is pictured with her horse, nejlika, who traveled to california by plane from sweden. certain kinds of horses are more expensive to buy in the states than to buy in europe and have flown over! nuts. did you know that horses often ride on passenger planes?! nuts. my mom is 70 and has a replacement hip, but she rides regularly. nuts. :-) but good for her i'm sure.

nejlika expects (and receives) treats on the regular. carrots, sugar cubes, cookies made for horses, apples. giving nejlika treats is one of the more fun activities at the stable.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


i'm hoping a certain L isn't reading this. had to take some photos of the beautiful blue chair jam cookbook before wrapping it. the book is chock full of crazy delicious photos by sara remington. and the graphic design is gorgeous as well. mmm. (more photos of the spreads)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

good in december

lights of alameda's movie theater

i think there should be advent calendars all year round. little (often meaningless but nice and simple) surprises each day. i've been enjoying hanna konola's advent calendar so.

also liking the best of 2011 lists, though so far i have only heard the lists on fresh air for books, music, tv. and their linguist's word for the year: occupy.

lately i'm listening to lykke li's latest album, wounded rhymes (just realized she had a new one—yay!). also check out her version of the righteous brothers' unchained melody

pretty excited about this calendar that i picked up by brendan monroe.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

circles and triangles

liking my new cup, seen in elisabeth's shop, but purchased in sf at rare device. intended to be buying holiday gifts for others, not for me....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

winter trees

the trees in alameda are tall and old and great.

always inspired by sandra juto's tree photos, which are gorgeous. here are just a few

Monday, December 05, 2011

the morran book project

camilla's beautiful morran book is out. such a wonderful tribute to such a fine dog friend. i love this photo of camilla and ingvar and morran, from my trip to sweden this past summer. all three laughing and enjoying a fika. that morran was so lucky to go on all those hikes in the woods in göteborg and on adventures all over europe! wrapped in cozy blankets, snuggly sleeping spots at every turn, treats treats, treats and so much affection.

above is one of my two contributions to the book based on this great photo by camilla.

all profits from the book go to the world society for the protection of animals.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

tomte time

despite today's sunny weather, i'm ready for winter glögg, candles, darkness, tea, cookies, tomter, strings of lights.


me, at parties may be my all-time favorite drawing by gemma correll.

in swedish, but still fun to see this video of designer lotta kühlhorn's
studio, style, design. found via lena sjöberg.

i like this oakland backyard, via lena corwin.

Monday, November 21, 2011

dust and water

oh, antony. come back to sf so i can see/hear you live please.

dust and water
dust and water with audience participation. go swedes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

book recommendation

more fall in alameda. to the farmers' market this morning. perfect day for bicycling, again.

finished what is the what last night, a fantastic book. my foremost book recommendation for the year. it is the story of the incredible life/struggle of valentino achak deng, who was one of the "lost boys" from sudan, written brilliantly in valentino's voice by dave eggers. i got chills reading this short interview with valentino and dave about the process of writing the book—the faith and trust and patience and friendship required to create this book. (i also recommend purchasing the book since the proceeds go to the vad foundation.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

farm bill rant

the fate of the US farm bill is not yet decided. currently it's in danger of being (re)written or revised by the super committee instead of its going through any kind of public hearings or the usual (largely pretense of) negotiations. if the super committee writes parts of the bill, almost certainly any new pieces that would benefit small, sustainable, organic and/or beginner farmers would not be included. and the few good programs that came out of the last two farm bills are in danger of not getting re-authorized. if the committee does make decisions about cutting funding, at the very least, they should not be allowed to write any new agricultural policy, as this would be even more undemocratic than the usual already undemocratic farm bill process. this (among other things) is what i learned at a recent kitchen table talk event about the farm bill.

if you care to learn more about the farm bill (which deeply affects us all—our food and our environment) and/or make some phone calls to senators/reps, civil eats has posted a blog that includes pertinent info.
also the book food fight, which i have yet to read, can supposedly help demystify the farm bill.

the civil eats post also features a very short video of michael pollan talking about the farm bill. it never ceases to amaze me how good pollan is at tailoring his message to the medium and to how much time/space he is given—such an adept communicator.

speaking of pollan, can't wait to read the new edition of his
food rules now illustrated by the fabulous maira kalman!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


sometimes he just cracks me up.

it's fall in alameda.

this weekend listening to: vetiver, florence and the machine, broken bells

will scobie and lots of other good illustrators/designers found through meowoodle

Friday, November 04, 2011


today is my mom's 70th. she is in sweden celebrating with her sisters. it sounds like they are treating her special all around. lots of celebrating. i'm glad. it seems like just yesterday i was 11 and my mom and i were surprising my mormor on her 70th. appearing from behind a piece of fabric that was hung in the back yard at vallsta. the family was all gathered, everyone in on it except my grandparents. my great aunt carin worried that my morfar (who had heart trouble) might have a heart attack on the spot, so carin's eye was on him when my mom and i emerged. i don't remember it all that well, but i love the photos. mormor clasping her hands, a huge smile on her face. totally surprised and joyful. and then clutching my mom hard to her. and morfar sitting, looking somewhat stunned but calm, smiling. seems like it took him a bit longer to take in the scene. (he survived it.) it's hard for me to believe that my mom is of grandma age now. grattis på födelsedagen mamma min!

don't have access to photo albums at the moment, so above is an oldie i've posted before. bigger.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

lilli carré's shadows

the top photo made me remember to post photos of this mini art book of lilli carré's. it's part of little otsu's wonderful mini art book series,
living things
. lilli's is about shifting shadows. i love her work.

the way lilli interpreted her theme reminded me of this swedish kids picture book i read when i was little. in it, a kid is afraid of the dark because at night, he sees monsters everywhere. but the outlines he sees, which do look like monsters, turn out to be innocuous things when the lights are turned on—oh, that trickster perception.

Sunday, October 23, 2011



PL is finally settling in to the new place. it's only taken almost two months! it's so much quieter here than at my old house in SF, but he seems more sensitive to suburban noises. finally he's hanging out (out from under the covers) during the day. this morning when i was taking photos of him enjoying the fall light, however, the toast popped up in the toaster. yikes! immediate fat tail. i almost caught the tail puff on camera. (this is a half deflated fat tail.) at least he didn't run for cover though. that's something.

Friday, October 21, 2011


finally going to go to gather this weekend. can't wait.

been reading richard russo books lately—so entertaining.

i love this clever tiger zebra animation. i also like her rocket coffee blast off sweater drawing.

funny cloud t shirt

now back outside! so pretty out today.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

alameda houses


one of my sources of entertainment in alameda is bicycling around and looking at the houses. so many different styles of houses from different years line the streets and stand in varying states of decay/renovation. (another day i'll post some decrepit ones.) there are plenty of well-used porches, trellised entryways, gardens (popular: sunflowers and roses), raiders flags.

the house i live in was built in 1895, and there many other victorians on the island—some gigantic, some itty. i think i'll pick up some books on the history of alameda/its houses.

according to wikipedia, alameda, named so in 1853, means grove of poplar trees or tree-lined avenue in spanish. before the spanish arrived, ohlone lived here.

on a totally different topic: via more & co, this awesome project: (moveable in more ways than one) moveable type

Sunday, October 02, 2011

around my hood

wild garden, crazy bright rose, perfect green truck

(another bigger of the rose here)

i scored some sale red + pink marimekko fabric that i will make curtains from. two curtains down at my new place and six to go.

guillaume kashima
amanda marsalis makes beautiful photographs. found through jeana's closet visit with amanda.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


abundant in alameda:

fat squirrels (all over—i think it's something to do with all the big trees and it being an island)
american flags
tangles of kids roaming together
riding of bicycles on sidewalks and without helmets (guilty—everyone else is doing it)
great old signs
bright coral colored roses

good stuff:
carson ellis
pawling print studio

Friday, September 23, 2011

more bits

from the new home

there are various tomatoes growing. tomato still with the vine scent on it has to be one of the best scents.

the yard—rambling and with so many possibilities. my landlady dreams of multiple treehouses and covered bike storage (sounds good to me!). chickens, of course, crossed my mind. i like hearing some neighbor chickens clucking. goats? i should at least try to garden! (there's also a tall, somewhat stingy with the oranges orange tree and a picnic table outside of the picture frame.)

one of my favorite san francisco stores, gravel & gold, apparently went to sweden. they visited the jobs textile factory. and check out their cute post about their own funky and bold first printed textile, panda.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

bright eyed

i plan to install a shelf to the right there for reading lamp and glass of water.

this here fine marimekko pillow i was ogling this summer in the marimekko store. and dear liz (in regular generous liz form) bought it for me for my birthday right then. i love it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

some good things

some alameda surroundings that tug at me.

the cake plate from laurel and family wants a small iced sweetness to top it.

the peaches (not mine) tempt me at least twice daily.

the blue flowers (also not mine, and just by the peaches) wish to fit inside my small blue ceramic vase (and they have in fact. shshsh). it's a matter of time before a peach finds its way to my house. maybe i'll ask if there's a plan to harvest or if they just plan to let them fall. the way the tree is propped up does make me think they have some peachy intentions. they certainly look ripe though, don't they?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


settling in. bought some cutie plants today at encinal nursery. some thread for curtain sewing. a mixing bowl for cookie baking. (i've always had housemates with mixing bowls it seems.) still need to get a small cookie sheet though for my miniature oven.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

goodbye living room doves.

i got the apartment, by the way! so very grateful. i'm off to the sunny east bay soon.

while i appreciate the convenience, diversity and cultural and food offerings of san francisco, i've never felt like a city person. i grew up in a city of 23,000 and lived on the edge of it, surrounded by hills. and the
two colleges i applied to, i chose based mainly on the number of trees in the vicinity (a lot). so it's strange to me that i've weathered city life in SF for 13 years. as cities go, i suppose san francisco is pretty gentle (aside from ridiculous housing prices). and the neighborhoods almost seem like small towns that just spill into one another. but still!

some things i will miss about my apartment of eight years
being able to easily walk to dolores park, bernal hill, and to all the bakeries and ice creameries and other deliciousness in between

the views from the back steps
flowers from the yard
rainbow grocery right down the street
my housemate of four years, heather (and splitting our csa box)
going to the alemany farmers' market with jen and mati most saturdays

some things i will not miss
the sirens that sound from living near a fire station
men peeing wherever/whenever on the street, regularly
city noise
the heavy influx of marina types and mainstreamers (stereotypes, i know) to the mission
slow drains
extreme drafts/lack of insulation and heat

i'm excited to learn a new place. to walk around and look at different houses and different yards. to figure out where to put things in my apartment. to bike. i wonder what the SF fog looks like from there...

have you seen heather smith jones' beautiful new shop, blue sparrow press?! lovely.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


wee house by my house party

it has been a long time since i've wanted something so badly. since i've known what would be good for me. this house, this little sunny apartment would suit me just right. at first when i entered, there was a strange smell that put me off. but that is just the current resident's smell. it can be waved away. and after a minute's adjustment, i no longer smelled it. then a couple of minutes imagining away the current tenant's things, and i could see myself and pinky leon there so clearly. in that bright morning kitchen with its black and white checkered floor we could bask—me drinking tea, PL on the floor, tummy to the sun. kitchen things on white shelves. tall windows and tall ceilings. hardwood floors throughout the rest. a tiny bathroom—the bathroom has never been important to me—the less bathroom to clean, the better. a back door to the large, rambling yard that has so much potential. and already an orange tree and tomato vines growing up, up. and a super friendly musician-mom landlady!

and i'm so excited to move away from the bustle (and poop) of the city and onto a sleepy street with tall old trees lining it. there are a lot of american flags out there, and i counted two of those military tank-like SUVs within about as many streets, which puts me slightly on edge, but the house feels so safe. i can bike all around the flat town on my cute public bicycle. there's a city carshare pod nearby. a public library nearby. an expensive, but cute natural foods marketplace. movie theater not far. BART not far. what more does one need, really! a park and a swimming pool, but i'm guessing that can be discovered there too.

i am getting ahead of myself. she has not decided yet who will move there. but i tell you, all of my fingers and toes are mentally crossed, and in my head i'm already there, already home. i did not feel this way when i moved into my current apartment years ago. not even close. the wait is excruciating. i may be developing an ulcer.

and i know it is dangerous, this wanting, because all this imagining, all this hoping could be dashed. but i can't help it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


i was trying to photo the marimekko socks that i bought in sweden—almost the only thing i bought for myself in sweden. but a little cat decided he was a far more interesting subject. i suppose he's right.

today i finished the grapes of wrath. it was 27 dollars for a paperback in sweden!! so i figured i better get one that's guaranteed to be good. it was. man. that is one intense trial of a story. constant struggle. and i'm guessing today's migrant farm workers' struggles are not much different. probably even worse in many cases. it's crazy how most of the seeds of today's food movements can be found in that book, published in 1939; we've known for some time how f-ed up our agricultural system is.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


bigger mk photos

amidst dropping off books at dog eared, dropping off cd jewel cases at scrap, dropping off old electronics at green citizen, donating some smudged FromOFGs to hayes valley farm, picking up moving boxes and doing some packing, i managed to catch the margaret kilgallen show at ratio 3 and eat a salted caramel ice cream and have a sauna! now i'm wiped out.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

sweden bits


in sweden i saw

lots of brown midsummer poles not yet taken down—holding on to summer
dramatic skies (though mild, lovely weather)
puffy clouds

small, bright green, perfect couch
lots of terriers and strange looking dogs
people baffled by the new locker system at both the göteborg and stockholm train stations
way more tattoos than i've ever seen before in sweden
camilla, morran and ingvar and karin for the first time—all completely charming

i was moved when
as the plane was landing at arlanda airport, i immediately felt safe and home (and not just from having miraculously survived yet another plane flight)

listening to our tour guide describe carl and karin's house and life together at carl larsson gården (unfortunately there are no photos inside the house allowed)
watching beginners (the movie) for the second time
saying goodbye to carin

i like
the black train cars
fika, of course
the smell of the underground
the soft air
how well little things seem to work everywhere—like how the hot water comes on right away

night swimming under an almost full moon in the archipelago
strawberry cake

some more descriptions under my photos.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

off to sweden

i will see some of these cousins soon.

i'm off for two weeks to sweden. bought the ticket many months ago and have been looking forward to this trip ever since, and daily for about a month. it's been 5.5 years since i've been back, since mormor died. i wonder how it will feel without her there. i'm happy to be going with friends, so i won't linger too much on the lack of mormor's physical presence. i will visit her sister carin, the last of her generation on either side of my family. i know there is so much i'll later wish i had asked carin, but i think that's just how it goes. i know when i see her, between us will be our missing mormor, and that that will make us cry.

as always, i am nervous about flying. racing around tonight trying not to think about it.

some lovely scandinavian flickrs for a virtual summer visit:
by the water
in the water
at the water's edge
(can you tell i can't wait to jump in?!)
red house on tree legs
astrid's temporary kitchen

see you in a bit!

Friday, June 24, 2011


his fur is almost grown back. i like how his formerly shaved patch is aligned with the light rhomboid. good job PL.

pssst: camilla engman prints for sale on the PL purrs site.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


origami and fries at frjtz

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


listen/watch. so damn good. the words, the delivery, the images. wow. can't express how good, so you'll just have to watch.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

my short friend

i mean come on with the cuteness.

more, bigger

in motion wiggly

Monday, May 16, 2011


cheeses make nice shapes.

you can find art for sale from the pinky leon purrs fundraiser here. more will be posted there wednesday too.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


hope to see you here tonight!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

you're invited

well, i guess i'm getting a little better about asking for help, because i'm throwing a pinky leon purrs fundraising party (with mati's, jen's and leslie's and a lot of other people's help). can't say i feel entirely comfortable with the concept, but it feels better if i think of it more as a party and art show. a bunch of friends/artists/crafters are contributing artwork. the moola will go to help pay part of the whopping cost of PL's procedure and surgery.

so, come to the party! not this saturday but next. party info.

(pinky leon will not be attending the party, unfortunately. he's even more shy than i am.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


at dusk on the back steps. last bit of light and the deep blues.

thank you all for the recent book purchases. it's been a big help in many ways!

pinky leon got his cone off yesterday, finally! i think he was beginning to believe it was a part of him. he cleaned it regularly, making big scraping noises (sandpaper tongue on textured cone fabric). a little funny, a little pitiful. that cannot feel good on the tongue! he looks much more dignified now, and is markedly cleaner and more sprightly. there's a spring in his step, and his old orneriness is back.

some flickry cats and dogs for you
sunken treasure's cat
a beautiful dog by anja
dog shore's album cover
gemma always cracks me up

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pinky Leon purrs

it's been a rough week. an emergency trip to the vet (two vets actually) for pinky leon (surgery) and the emptying of my pockets to pay for it.

pinky leon's tummy is shaved and
piglet pink; he's appropriately named. but i've known that for a while. when he was little he would meow, and for several seconds after meowing, his mouth would remain open. it was very amusing. he had a long list of descriptors—pink mouthed-pink toed-pink nosed-brillo backed-(his back fur was oddly rough when he was small) bushytailed leon. eventually shortened to pinky leon or PL.

the pink man is home recovering now. i am recovering too. so stressful. and while there is security in a bit of savings, there is also security in a warm, purring friend sleeping, finally, after much pacing about, settling in on my lap.

we are listening to the low anthem. (once upon a time PL was afraid of the piano. he heard it on the radio and freaked out. made airplane ears and ran and hid. his musical taste has matured, however, or he's become desensitized to the piano.)

to help pay for his surgery, i am having a Pinky Leon purrs BIG SALE on From Orchards, Fields, and Gardens. the books are half off.

some of my favorite PL photos
PL tiny, 1999

sweet face
in the sewing maching cover
tummy show off

Sunday, April 10, 2011

love ∞

love ∞ big

bernal hill is my favorite place in the city, especially when it is green. very soon it will start turning brown/tan—its summer coat. but right now the grass seems unusually lush after our many days of rain and then bursts of sun. today the hill was dreamy. (these photos do not capture it.)

i walked by julia's old house before walking up on the grassy bernal hill. julia was the eccentric french lady i used to go grocery shopping with. she died in april six years ago. her house looks the same. i remember her peeking out of her upstairs kitchen window when i rang the doorbell, yelling down to me that she'd be right there (descending in a cloud of perfume—she must have lost some of her sense of smell) or waving goodbye from the window when i left. i thought the house would have been spiffed up. it'a a very plain house, but with a sweet, sloping, overgrown garden and an amazing view of the bay. funny that all the houses on her block are plain and a bit downtrodden. they're probably worth so much just for their view/location. i think there must be a lot of people on that block who have lived there a long time. julia certainly appreciated her home. she spent what i gathered to be her happiest years there with her second husband. he died 15 years into their marriage, but she stayed on there, enjoying herself and her view and her dog(s) for many more years.

up on bernal hill, there were the usual people walking their dogs. and then there were a few little groups of people, almost hidden, sitting amidst the grass. one couple was putting down their blanket, but it was billowing, so they were sitting, letting the red and white pattern billow over their heads and against them. today reminded me of that most fabulous hillside picnicking scene in room with a view. lazy and warm and soft and springy (though lacking that passionate kiss).

Saturday, April 02, 2011

more spring

april morning (more/bigger anemone)

so much eye candy!

my beautiful aunt, ulrika lönnå, paints shimmering trees with thread. she recently had an art opening in gamla stan in stockholm. my cousin lotta blogged about it. so fun seeing my family on each others' blogs! (i'm just sorry i missed posting the link in time for any reading swedes to attend the exhibit.)

jen causey's the makers project made me tear up, it's so lovely. all these people making beauty in the world. and jen capturing it stunningly.

and jeana sohn's closet visits are such pretty peaks into others' closets and homes.

spring flowers!


nasturtiums, anemones, sun and perfect park days.

am digging anja mulder's photostream