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March 28, 2007

sunrise over 16th street

Construction1-1
Construction2-1

The city is wreaking havoc on the streets in my hood. I wish I had an audio track to upload so you could hear the full force of what a pleasure it is to stroll by. I just hope there's fresh smooth dark black streets with thick bright yellow lines coming soon.

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March 20, 2007

sweet simplicity

Emily Payne1
Emily Payne2
Emily Payne3

Found these lovely sketches by Emily Payne while surfing through Apartment Therapy San Francisco. Apartment Therapy is a nice site full of great interior design ideas and local bits of info plus lots of links. I like these commissioned sketches for their sweet simplicity capturing what I consider subtle moments of happiness.

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March 14, 2007

just the crumbs

Tartine Bakery

Just so happens that I live three blocks from the best bakery in San Francisco, Tartine. It has a line out the door at every hour of the day to prove just how well loved it is. Because I run late almost everyday, feel impatient waiting in the slow moving line, wish there was a place to sit, and because the calories would be too much — I rarely go there. Today however was a lovely exception. I played hookie from work this morning due to a press check and spent a nice leisurely breakfast munching on their delicious ginger bread and washing it down with a double latte, mmmmm so good. I highly recommend everything there, you just couldn't order a bad thing.

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March 13, 2007

kat heyes

Kat Heyes1
Kat Heyes2

By way of cake + pie's excellent blog full of design and letterpress inspiration, I clicked on a commenter name and found another designer blog freshly blended. While perusing her entries I had to go see Kat Heyes portfolio for myself. Kat's illustration style is quite inspiring. I love her use of color against monochrome, layering and line quality. Her blog is worthy of checking out too, I love seeing who artists are inspired by.

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March 11, 2007

scarf pattern

Here's a pattern for a scarf I want to knit (who knows when I'll ever find the time!?). Blogging it 'cause I just know I'll lose this tiny piece of paper that it's scrawled on long before I'm ready to make it. Sorry no photo, but the pattern makes beautiful open waves.

1 skein Malabrigo (I saw the scarf in pink frost)
3.5 sts = 1" in garter stitch
CO 26 sts using a #10.5 needle

Rows 1& 2: knit
Row 3: (right side) K6 *yo twice, K1, yo three times, K1, yo four times, K1, yo three times, K1, yo twice, K6*
Row 4: knit, dropping all yo's off needle
Row 5 & 6: knit
Row 7: K1, rep from * of row 3, three times except end with K1 on last repetition
Row 8: as per row 4

Rep rows 1-8 until desired length. End after row 2 or row 6, then bind off.

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March 10, 2007

brilliant brazillian

Misprinted Type

I'm crazy for this illustrators collage style and vision — it's so fun, subversively revolutionary and cool. Wow, look at all the projects he's done and is willing to inspire and share with us - superb! If only baby could print money!

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March 9, 2007

robots and bunnies

Robots Bunnies

While revisiting a favorite blogger and illustrator's site, Alex Noreiga, I saw a posting about his desire to become a comic book artist (you can do it!)— but for me the posting represented the brilliant marriage of two beings that I mentioned just a few days ago while blogging about some awesome Canadian ceramics I am coveting: robots and bunnies, yep that's hubby and me, and apparently it's a connection others feel go together too. Alex —an inspired idea and stunning illustration as usual!

bleep bleep :: boing boing

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March 8, 2007

knit amigurumi

jelly_bean.jpg

It's been frustrating that amigurumi patterns are always in crochet (I'd learn it if I had more time maybe?!) so it was a rare treat to come across this darling knit bunny pattern "jelly bean" while browsing through the online spring version of knitty — just in time for easter! The bunny pattern is my first (gasp!) purchase from an Etsy seller. I adore Etsy and love viewing all the handmade goodies but have never made the leap to buying anything...uh oh, now that I have an account eeeck gads danger ahead!

March 7, 2007

scenic drive

Scenic Drive-1

I really did have a lovely and scenic vespa ride to work today. It's always nice when one can break up the ordinary go to the office via BART or MUNI routine. I was on press over at Leewood on Indiana Street. I drove down 16th to 3rd then down to 25th then 'round the block to Indiana. I enjoyed scooting through the industrial neighborhoods of potrero and dogpatch and seeing the construction changes taking place there. I also saw a bar I want to check out, the name made me chuckle, it's called "Retox." I had a head scratch though when I parked on Indiana street right under a 49 Mile Scenic Drive sign. What part of this heavily industrial area is considered scenic to the typical tourist??

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March 5, 2007

afterwards

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My mother-in-law died this morning. She passed away with loved ones surrounding her and as peacefully as possible under the curcumstances. It was hard to witness her take her last breath, but at the same time it felt as though it was meant to be —hanging on to her longer was hurting her and not what she wanted. I'm so relieved that she wasn't alone. Much later that afternoon while waiting to make arrangements at the Neptune Society we wandered through the stunning old Columbarium on Lone Mountain. I was captivated by this stainglass window's color, light and the beautiful gesture of being guided to heaven — it felt really fitting for the day we'd just been through. (I love symbolist and preraphaelite women and angels) The saying on the window is "She Did Good Always." Hubby and I argue all the time about the use of absolutes, so I'm sure he'll agree that "always" is just too much for any of us, but she did good in many ways, touched many lives and we will remember and honor her memory.

March 4, 2007

crushed devastated rejected

Max Hardatwork

Never once did I have any clue that having a child in San Francisco would lead me down a road of such agony and disappointment. Please don't think for one instance that my son, who is amazingly sweet, radiant and utterly blameless, has anything to do with my agonizing dismay or that I'm at all unhappy with motherhood — quite the opposite, it's a highlight in my life. My defeat has all to do with the horribly broken, outrageous and utterly unfair preschool application process and school system in San Francisco. I kid you not that we were asked to attend open houses, tours and interviews (it was mandatory that both parents be present) all during the work day (I took many mornings and even a few days off work to accommodate these requests), write essays about how our child and our family are a good fit for each school, explain our toddler's behavior, temperament and unique qualities, write about our two year olds separation anxiety, explain our theories on structure and discipline, give a list of referrals that the schools could call to question, put forward our interest in fundraising and volunteering, attach a family photo and pay between a $50 and $200 fee per application (and we pay taxes for a subpar, lottery enrollment, public school system).

This afternoon we received all of our thin number ten envelopes with form letters rejecting our son from the preschools we'd applied to. They all say the same thing, "due to a large volume of applicants we are unable to offer your child a space. You are welcome to remain on our wait list in the event a space becomes available during the next calendar year" (one school even spelled it out that if you want to reapply next year you must pay the application fee and start over as though you had never applied in the past). So needless to reiterate it, but we are d-e-v-a-s-t-a-t-e-d and absolutely disillusioned. I am, much more than my husband, also incredibly bitter. So yes, you can read this whole posting with that lens, or you could read this knowing that my family is in the majority. I was told that 300 plus families applied for anywhere from 30 to 45 spaces in each school. That leaves 255-270 families per school that received the same thin number ten envelopes that we did — doesn't make me feel better for more than a split second.

The schools we applied to put forth the criteria by which they select their students at each and every tour and open house we attended — they are seeking economic and racial diversity coupled with gender and age balance with priority given to siblings. A few schools give priority to neighbors in an effort to support their community, but NOT the one in our hood. I can only assume that our "smack in the middle" status, us being obviously white and having just enough to pay full tuition (but not enough to donate a wing), was used to eliminate us. Were I a journalist I'd be racing into my editor's office and pitching an undercover story like this: Let's do an expose revealing the difficulties, elitism, discrimination and prejudice facing new families in San Francisco as they embark on the school enrollment processes. I propose we follow and document four or more different families as they apply to five of the top preschools in San Francisco. We choose families whose scenarios are ones such as, gay ethnically diverse parents, a single mother, a family with one child of preschool age and another on the way or just born, an obviously recognizable wealthy family either famous or locally well-known, and a working middle class caucasian family (middle class in San Francisco being relative only to itself). We also get some hidden cameras in those school admission committee meetings so we can learn about their numbers games and hear candid remarks about how they size up families. Who knows even I might feel their pain as they cut child after child from their lists for whatever reasons. You see where I'm going with this, but I swear this story is worthy of 60 minutes, 20/20, or nightline and America, outside of New York (which I hear operates with the same or higher level of classism but supposedly doesn't pretend otherwise), would be interested to witness just how unfair, nepotistic, and painfully arbitrary the San Francisco private school acceptance criteria is. Frankly and obviously, I'm outrageously bias, but I'd really like to uncover the details of each family's experience.

Of course, as with all rejection, we are stumped, sitting here going around and around trying to understand how this could be? We have reviewed all of our unique and more than qualified characteristics as well as resigning ourselves to the utter lottery and gamble of it all. All of us are unique and have wonderful children worthy of being surrounded by a supportive and sensitive community and deserving of a good education. Ok, should I start looking into home schooling? (No! just going off the deep end)

My husband keeps the fires of optimism burning by assuring me that he will make the calls and fight the good fight to change our preschool fate. He really is a persistence wins believer, and I often benefit from it. I am thankful for this quality and for his positive thinking, it's kind and supportive. I on the other hand sit here stuck in reality, depressed and immobile, hating the San Francisco school system and elitist private institutions. I also can't help but think that blogging the whole thing will probably bite me in the ass too, but hell, I've already lost this round I may as well write and publish what I think and experienced. I sure hope it won't be held against me since I'm already wallowing in self pity from this grievous process — and I am left thinking that just being who we are has already been held against my innocent son. Ughhhh.

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March 3, 2007

ceramics by cul de sac

Bunny Plate
Culdesac Custom

Cool ceramics from Canadian artist Laura Mckibbon whose studio is on Grainville Island. This is our perfect "if only we found you ten years ago" registry place settings, "when a bunny married a robot," ya that's us, we need four of each please :-)

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March 2, 2007

camilla's crochet

Camillas Crochet

Adorable amigurumi by the wonderfully talented Camilla Engman. Links to both her blog (but they are all sold out) and some quirky "how to" crochet instructions on the whip up site.

and linked from her site, fun illustrations by Leo Hillier, very nice.

Leo Mushrooms
Leo Hillier

!

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March 1, 2007

water bunny

songbirds.jpg
migrating songbirds recalibrate their magnetic compass daily from twilight cues

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I'm your guide

Even though San Francisco artist Dana Robson is probably receiving insane web hits today via Daily Candy's promotion, I too want to include her on my site as she's doing sweet little artworks with ink, needle and thread. I'm completely enamored with freehand embroidery and thread drawing these days. Besides her website's title is Aqua Rabbit and anyone who says, "I’d like to be a rabbit. Just for a day or two, to see what the world looks like as a rabbit." rates very high on my bunny love list. I also resonate with this quote from her process statement "Paul Klee said that drawing is only a matter of taking a line for a walk.” How I love to meander my pencils and brushes through the landscapes of my mind. Just reading that quote really makes me want to go for a long luxurious stroll.