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We've been working long and hard....(mostly long) on putting together a lookbook for our Natural Selection collection we launched back in May during NY Design Week!
We wanted to create a visual guide that communicates our vision & inspiration behind the collection. More and more, we realized just how much of the PNW surrounding has influenced us and our work. Whenever we go on nature walks, we end up collecting random nature findings, taking a ton of photos of everything we see...colors, texture, shapes, materials, and scenery with the hope of capturing all the wonderful feelings we experience when being out in nature....
The Natural Selection collection is very much about how we reinterpret the humility and warmth that nature provides.
Here are just some of outdoor shots we took around our neighborhood in Seattle for the lookbook! (which we'll soon share!)
A Couple months ago I randomly saw on Dezeen job listing that these guys from Formafantasma were looking for interns....and we (mostly Jean) are TOTALLY kicking ourselves for not just packing up, sell everything we have, and move to Amsterdam to just work with these amazing Italian duos!!! (....we're still scheming ways to figure out how to move there!)
They're work straddles the line of art, design, and most importantly craft. All the pieces are beautifully detailed using the most interesting mix of natural materials. Sometime you wonder how functional their work are...but really....who says beautiful things that doesn't get used, but can be appreciated isn't functional enough.
They just recently launched an impressive line of work for the coming Miami Art Basel, and I'm sure they're gonna knock everyone's socks (and underwares)off.
Mother nature is amazing…to design something as perfect as this pod vessel. Once tipped, thousands of poppyseeds falls and spreads to the ground.
This all started back in March when we went over to Ashley's moving sale (yes, I got some awesome stuff!) at first was just us doing a little shopping, but one thing lead to another, we ended up talking about a collaboration of some sort!
This year, we REALLY REALLY want to make it out to NY for ICFF & NY Design week, since we've never been!! We firgured this would be the best time to collaborate & come up with something to submit.
We've always admired Ashley's warm & natural sensibility of using super natural materials. So we thought it would be great to merge both of our aesthetic to design & create furniture pieces for NY Design Week. We' were so excited to hear that Ashley was just as excited about it as we are!
Our first brainstorming session was at Elliot Bay books. Without shame, we sat down and just covered the whole table with bunch of vintage books, drawings, inspirations, and materials to look at together. We were like kids in a playground going from one idea to another getting more and more excited as we talked & sketched.
At the end of the meeting we decided to go with designing some sort of lounge chair or hanging chair...the concept & design was still a bit undefined, but we continued to explore...
We then looked at some random materials we had sitting around our house in hope to find something that can really compliment Ashley's rustic warm aesthetic and also utilizes her textile skills.
Below are some of Ashley's felting & weaving project she was working on another day when we went over to talk. If you follow her blog, you'll quickly get a sense of how everything she captures is beautifully simple, warm, and balanced....and something that we really want to embrace.
I held on to this little tiny ball of Navajo wool sample from Ashley for the longest time...not only to look at it as a sample, but also because it was so darn cute & fuzzy!
playing with some materials....but ended up looking like a robot!
Various cotton ropes to mock up a mini hanging chair concept
All this is still quite priliminary....but I think we've honed in on some good general direction and pallet focusing on a more natrual, simple, and warm feel. Good thing we live & work in the same place, so we can literally look at all this 24/7!!
I lived in Seattle for 11 years and Dylan has been here for 20 years... and for the first time in both our lives, we got to go sailing on lake union!
What a way to start the summer!
Love the classy interior of Wino Country Safari.
Gearing up for a little patriotism before the Fourth.
Looking at Gasworks park from the water.
Moments like this reminds me why Seattle is so amazing....
Then summer in Seattle ended after the clouds came back... :P
It was fun while it lasted!!
As we mentioned few weeks before...we've been doing some re-hauling & re-organizing of our space for ourselves and for L&G studio...
Slowly but surely we're making some progress and have moved our bedroom into what was previously our office (or more like our storage)...
It's a smaller space, but I've been loving the idea to downsize our bedroom....keeping it minimal, airy, and peaceful....We painted our room with stock white paint...to replace the previously dingy dirty off white paint....and just changing that, the room felt instantly bigger, brighter and 100 times better!
We kept one side of the wall with the chalk wall from when we painted it for the office....since it'll still be useful for those occasional late night brainstorming sessions we do....plus I didn't' have the heart to erase the adorable messages & drawings by our friends' kids from Japan during the time they stayed with us!!
Then Dylan boxed in the window with soft toned pine boards with a added function as a shallow shelf....so we can incorporate some hanging plants & more plants!... LOVE!!
Then a little added color & pattern from a Ikea area rug for some warmth.Still got few more to add to the space...but overall we're gonna have it pretty paired down...with wood shelving made with cinder blocks and then have ropes & hanging rods to hang my accessories. I like the concept of "organized chaos" and love seeing selective pieces of clothes hung & displayed like that...it makes me appreciate what I have and gets me excited about wearing it...like the my new B&W sweater hanging on the mirror . A recent score at one of the vintage shops by Nationale & Stand Up Comedy in Portland.
still work in progress...can't wait to get it done!
The much anticipated part two of my Back to the Land House post! The hardest part is not including every image of every interior of the book, but these are my top picks. These and more on Flickr.
Imagine a studio like this!
Or one of the many glorious geodesics.
Some inspiration for our kitchen!
I love the Japanese feeling of this space combined with the massive string art (the text caption is from the book...the way the whole thing is written...not sure what they're talking about most of the time)
These have me dreaming of an Adobe shack...
In the late seventies after a failed attempt to live out of a VW microbus, my Dad had the bright, romantic idea to drop the nomad lifestyle, move to the country, and live off the land. So he did the only sensible thing a twenty-something in that time period could think of, he bought a lone chicken coop on a couple of acres and decided to make it his home. So began years of trials and tribulations that are a prominent part of my family's folklore: a lost cow, brush fires, a roof-climbing goat named Jemima and the transformation of that chicken coop into a modest passive solar home worthy of his back to the land dream.
Like many similar utopian visions of that time, the romance inevitably wore off, practicality set in and we became city dwellers once again, but my Dad still shakes his head and says "I'm so glad I did that." I can't help but feel the same nostalgic romantic feeling from time to time myself. Should we drop everything and head for simple country life?? Could we cut it out in rural life? Scratch that. We'd probably go crazy, but it's fun to think about the possibilities.
While I try to dig up the few photos that were taken of my Dad's own chicken coop transformation, I thought I would share three amazing books that inspired him to take that plunge (and has got me thinking rustic myself). All Their Own, The Craftsman Builder, and Woodstock Handmade Houses
Below are some pic excerpts of some of the exteriors. Interiors (my fav) in part deux.
More scans on Flickr.
I'm just blown away by the creativity, thoughtfulness and resourcefulness that went into these homes. They were built over time and evolved organically with limited resources, but ultimate freedom...it's authentic rustic charm...not the kind you read about in real estate listings...it's genuine character. Geodesic dome on top of a cedar-shaked double-wide character!
(abv) Love the gesture of this structure's roof line...it was actually architect designed and built as his personal hippie home.
The above is built partially into the ground for heating/cooling. The slanted roof runs to the ground to head off the north winds another passive solar feature and one my Dad used on the chicken coop to ward off the Michigan winter winds.
Not exactly sure what's happening here, but I think this is his artist studio/workshop. I could definitely work there!
Sweet treehouse! Me want! The triangular window collage is such a cool feature. Not sure if that staircase is code...
Ok check out Flickr and stay tuned for Part Two.
Here some photos of our recent clamming trip to Birch Bay....about a month ago...maybe longer...can't keep track anymore! I can't believe it's already the end of June!! Sigh...Time is going by way to fast.!! I feel like the summer is gonna be over soon!! NOOOOO!
Anyways, we went with a group of friends who had timeshare (thanks Terri!) at Birch Bay and so we all went to do some clamming. It's been a long time since I've been clamming, and it was Dylan's first time. (and might be the last...you'll find out why)
The first day of digging was in the late afternoon soon after we arrived. We were all digging around finding a few here and there....and I was honestly getting a little discouraged since all I found were tiny clams or big shells with nothing inside. Talk about lame....no one likes stupid big empty clams!
But then after about an hour or so, Christine and Nick totally found the money spot where we were getting handful of clams at a time! Booh-Yah!
As we dug and dug, the tide was also coming in closer and faster! So 2 of us had to build a sand barrier to block as much water out while the others were literally on their hands and knees in the water frantically digging.
Check it out! Dylan actually captured this scene with his manual camera! It was totally exciting to have found the spot with so many clams. I can only imagine what it would be like if it was actually gold... All that excitement and adrenaline rush! Hmm...that doesn't say too much about my life, huh?
We cooked up a whole bowl of these babies and sauteed them in garlic, leek, and white wine, and it smelled amazing!! Finally at 10 pm, we made our dinner along with salads, and other side dishes. We were all looking forward to be rewarded with some fresh cooked clams that we all worked so hard for. We all went for the clams...tasted them...chew chew..CRUNCH!
There was still sand inside!! We try to rinse them out as much as we could, but some of the clams still had a lot of sand inside...really not the type of texture I was expecting.
They would of tasted amazing if they weren't so sandy!!....I suppose we should of soaked them longer. :(
But then on top of that, the very next day Dylan got some sort of flu or food poisoning...where he had horrible stomach pain and ended up staying inside for the majority of the day...puking up all the clams...and CLAM SAND!....sorry, TMI! But yeah...not super pleasant for him. So I think Dylan's gonna stay away from clams for awhile now...
On the last day, we got to check out Lummi Island on the way back to Seattle. It's a lovely little island that we took a tiny ferry to get to. We all got to just hang out by this beach and enjoy a lovely picnic.
It was a quiet and fairly secluded beach with beautiful shore line. The entire beach is covered in round pebbles and rocks of all colors and sizes and we spent hours searching and collecting a bunch of rocks.....weighing ourselves down more and more as we went. The shore line was so beautiful with dramatic rock formations and interesting sea life! I love seeing all the patterns, textures, and colors in nature....It's so surreal! Also took some polaroids!
We had a great time though (minus sandy clams and Dylan throwing up...). Thanks Terri and Chris, Christine and Nick for the great weekend!
Here's us trying to take a polaroid of ourselves...it's harder than it looks! You can just see the struggle on his face trying to take the photo and smile at the same time. Men...they just don't know how to multitask do they?
See rest of the photos, here.
I have to credit Jared for this blog titled... This was a joke that Jared had made about my FIRST pea that I grew! That guy think he's a comedian or something....
But this is the first and ONLY one that grew since end of March when we started planting.
I like how you can see the inside! SO CUTE!
But the problem is that there's only ONE....and I worked too hard to want to eat it....quite a dilemma.Also, here's the recent update on the other plants....it's been almost 2 months since we started planting! The cheery and heirloom tomatoes are getting quite tall...at least 2ft tall now! We'll be transplanting them soon. Oh boy!! I just hope it'll yield more than one so I can at least keep one and eat the other!
The dupe got bunch of vegetable seeds and we're growing them!! LOOK! Well...we actually started in end of March. So don't be surprised if you see the plants a foot taller in the next couple posts. :P
This is my first time growing vegetables, so this is totally exciting to see these cute little greens growing out of the soil and watch them get taller and taller each day! I know nothing about growing vegetables, so I've been getting lots of great tips from everyone. One great tip we got was putting the seeds in the fridge for couple days and then plant it. This way, it tricks them in thinking that it's warmer weather and then they'll wanna come out! Silly plants...they don't know any better.
Here's what we're growing! Egg plants, beets, cucumbers, peas, peppers, arugula, heirloom and cheery tomatoes, cilantro, dill, chives, basil...Eventually they'll all go to our dupe backyard! I just hope we can keep them alive and to produce some awesome vegetables...otherwise I'm gonna be really sad....and pissed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...permanently. This will ensure all the plants to produce awesome vegetables.
Just saw these series of beautiful carved sea stones vases by Mitsuru Koga on Tortoise shop's website. Toroise is a fantastic shop showcasing many contemporary Japanese crafts, art, and designs. I got to check out the their two shops on Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice Beach when I last visited, and I have to say it was one of my favorite shop! I'd love to see these vases in person and hold them....and carry it in my pocket where ever I go. Aren't they precious?!
Dylan and I went to the coast in the Olympic Peninsula couple weekend ago to go camping for one night and we got to see beautiful Rialto Beach. The beach itself is a scenic shore by the Pacific Ocean with mostly rocks that's been washed away to form perfect rounded stones of all sizes (which feels great to walk on). On top of that there are an abundance of large dramatic looking driftwoods and sea plants all over the beach that kept us busy as we searched for tons of great sea treasures. A lot of the sea plants looked almost jewelery-like. Their natural forms, colors, and textures were so inspiring and fascinating to see all together, some of which I've never even seem before! The one hanging on the drift wood would make a great necklace just as is! I also love the texture of the delicate and feathery strands of the one below. I have no idea what any of it are, but was truly amazed by the variety of sea plants we were able to find. I love to go back again to collect some more and also lug some drift woods and rocks!
After 8 years of living in Washington, I FINALLY got to go to the tulip festival up in Skagit Valley about 60miles north of Seattle. I went with my family on a perfect day and it was breathtaking to see the huge field in rows of red, yellow, orange and many more. I felt like I was in the Netherlands again for a split second. Totally worth it! This plum colored tulip is called Queen of the Night. I Love the color and the silk-like petals. There were flowers left and right, and it was amazing being surrounded by so many flowers. I'm not a flower freak, but to see such vibrant colors in such quantity and density, I couldn't help but feel the desire to run through the fields with birds and butterflies flying around while I whistle and sing with everyone holding their hands and spinning around laughing carelessly....unfortunately there were people guarding and giant signs to prevent people like me from acting on such compulsive thoughts.
It's crazy what those flowers can do with your head!!
Dylan and I just had our 4 year anniversary as an unmarried couple. We planned a little getaway last weekend and stayed in an yurt at Cape Disappointment, WA (Formerly known as Fort Canby). The name is deceiving, because it's far from disappointing! It was actually a really beautiful and relaxing state park off the southern west coast of Washington that's close to beaches and couple of small wacky towns. We decided to stay in a cozy and convenient yurt while still got to have our campfire dinner. It was the best of both worlds. It was PERFECT!
Our first stop was at this wacky place called Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach, WA. Its' a store/museum filled with cheesy beach themed trinkets and novelty toys plus tons of mounted animal heads all over the walls AND some on the ceiling!
After walking around Long Beach, we headed back to our campsite and built a fire while sipping on some wine and cooked ourselves a gourmet dinner. We made garlic dill pork chops with roasted butter asparagus and squash, baked potato, and tossed salad. Food just tastes so much better cooked over the fire....I wonder if it's because of the charcoal....
Then, for dessert...it was homemade roasted coco marshmallow. We tried one of Martha's recipes for marshmallows, and it was surprisingly easy and fun to make....not to mention that it tasted soooo much better than store bought ones! The recipe is just for making plain ones, but we improvised and added 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coco powder in the mix, and then after it was set, we rolled it in 1/2 powder sugar 1/2 coco powder mix. Sitting by the warm fire, drinking wine, roasting and eating homemade marshmallows....we, were in heaven.
The following day, we woke up with the campsite covered in some snow. It was such an unexpected surprise. I was just totally glad that we stayed in a yurt versus a tent, which we saw some people stayed in them. Not sure if they froze to death or not, but I know we would of!
For breakfast, we then cheated and plugged in our toaster oven and baked ourselves Croque Madames for breakfast. Sorry for all the real hardcore campers out there...I know we put camping to shame, but it was too easy! 5 minutes to prep and 15 minuets to bake type of easy. :P
We then went out to the beach and saw some snow still remained after the sun came out. I've never seen a beach with snow on it, it was quite a sight!
We then headed to the North Head Lighthouse close by the park. It was built in 1896 and it's a working lighthouse. We climbed up 90 some steps and got to see the amazing coast line and it was gorgeous..... Now I have this urge to start collecting lighthouses and decorate my entire house with a beach theme...lighthouses, American flags, shells and dolphins....oh! I forgot, and mermaids, too. Gotta have that.
These beautiful sexy mermaids were at Marsh's Free Museum.... I should go back and get them....They'll be perfect for what I'm thinking of in our apartment.
So, in conclusion, Cape Disappointment was anything but disappointing. Not to mention that we saw a mummified half man half alligator named Jack at the museum, the worlds biggest frying pan, a cafe called Scrappaccino, a stuffed cat, AND this!!
We took too many photos, so the rest of the photos of the store and of everything else can be seen here.
So it was my birthday end of march! Hurray! I got some lovely birthday surprise packages from my good friends and I really enjoy how each were so well wrapped...so I had to document it!
A bundle of surprises from Noal. But the pods were my absolute favorite, especially with the beautiful vibrant paper and gold thread wrapped around it!Noal and I would always find random natural debris all over. And now we always keep and eye out for beautiful mother natured made things like this. Noal picked up some amazing tumbleweed while on a road trip one time, which you can see here.
Package of pretty in pink from Christianna...I ate almost half of the delicious strawberry chocolate right away!! mmmm.
Such a charming and cheerful birthday cake drawing! and of course she doesn't forget the forks. Thank you guys so much! I love you guys! MUAH! ^3^