I'm a creature of habit and familiarity, so I rarely (read never) change my desktop wallpaper. I've used the same background from The Fox is Black for the last two years. But with October now in full swing, I needed a change of scenery to get myself hyped up for the Halloween season. I threw this vintage floral pattern together with an old scientific illustration of a bat to create a new wallpaper last night and thought I'd share it with you all! Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Dave and I spent the majority of our honeymoon weaving through halls of dusty taxidermy, peering into Victorian cabinets full of centuries old creatures. My mom was pretty annoyed that after coming home from our trip, all I had to show were pictures of dead animals. But Italy has some of the most extraordinary and historically significant naturalist collections, with pieces dating back to the 18 and 1900's.
We took the train to Bologna, a city home to the oldest university in the world. There we stumbled into a seemingly deserted museum filled to the brim with old zoological specimen. Rows and rows of glass cases housed fading birds from all over the globe, haphazard piles of weasels and rodents, and lumpy beasts with bared teeth and hazy eyes.
But what makes this collection really unique is it's origin. Many of the creatures were collected by Ulisse Aldrovandi, Ferdinando Cospi, and Luigi Ferdinando Marsili – Renaissance naturalists who played a major part in establishing natural history as a systematic study and formed one of the first great curiosity cabinets.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
We're back from our honeymoon and it's time to bombard this blog with lots of photos from our Italian travels! The morning immediately following the wedding, we headed to the airport at 5AM to begin our 17 hour journey to the other side of the world. (Looking back, I definitely recommend taking a day or two to chill out at home before leaving for such a huge honeymoon – wedding planning and traveling are both dehumanizingly exhausting.)
Baggy-eyed and sleep deprived, we made it safely to Venice. The photo above is the view from our bedroom window after a beautiful thunderstorm. We spent most of our time in Venice wandering the labyrinth of rustic streets, eating gelato for every meal, and people-watching underneath the bell tower in Saint Mark's Square. This portion of Venice is notoriously riddled with tourists, so we often spent our days inside our hotel, watching Italian television in our bathrobes until we could safely emerge at night when the alleyways were less crowded, and the lights and music turned the city into the backdrop for a romantic chick-flick.
Foodie Tip: Alfredo's (Dal Moro's) - Fresh, piping hot, affordable, and mouthwateringly delicious pasta to go. For 5-7 euros, our takeout boxes were stuffed full with freshly made pasta lathered in pesto and filled to the brim with hearty chunks of prosciutto.
Next stop, we took the train to Florence, where after some arguing over getting lost (what's a honeymoon really without a few tiffs?), we finally made it to our hotel which sat along the Arno River. A bottle of champagne was waiting for us in our room and the open windows overlooked the city, the Duomo and Florence Cathedral rising up in the distance over the Tuscan rooftops. We perused the Accademia Gallery and soaked up all the incredible and historic artwork Firenze has tucked away in every corner. In the next few posts, I'll share some of the zoological museums we visited during our travels.
Foodie Tip: Trattoria Sostanza - Probably thee most phenomenal meal we had our entire stay. We made a reservation here for our "one week anniversary" after reading the rave reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor. Dave had the florentine steak - a thick slab of rare meat unceremoniously presented by itself on a plate, yet bursting with god-like flavor. I ordered the famous butter chicken, deep fried and still bubbling in a bath of gloriously golden butter. Every bite melted in my mouth. Paired with the house wine and topped off with a fluffy rich torta cake, I swear I had a foodgasm by the end of the meal.
All in all, the honeymoon was fantastic and a wonderful adventure to kick off this new season of our lives!
Thursday, July 3, 2014
A few things I'm coveting right now.
1// Obsessed with hand necklaces right now. I already have one, but this piece by Datter is just so cute and little!
2// My jewelry taste has simplified over the last year. Loving these antique bronze and black tourmaline earrings by JaxKelly.
3// Full on swooning over these bat wing heels by Jeffrey Campbell!
4// I can't get over how perfect this fringe kimono is (and all their other ones too). Shut up and take my money She Vamps!
5// Antler mirrors are definitely what I'm missing from my bedroom collection.
6// These "Decomposition books" by Bookbinders are adorable! (Admittedly, I only want one because it says "decomposition"…)
Friday, June 20, 2014
Summer is here! I refuse to let these days of sunshine pass by without getting at least half of these things crossed off my bucket list. I'm mostly looking forward to stuffing my face with sinfully fried food at the fair and laying around in the sun drinking margaritas on the weekends. ;D Check out my whole list below and let me know what fun stuff you've got going on this summer!
✓ Ride roller coasters, watch pig races, and binge on fried food at the San Diego County Fair
• Take Frankie to a dog beach
• Fix up the backyard in our new place & throw a big housewarming BBQ
• Watch a cult classic movie under the stars in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery
✓ Margarita Sundays (do nothing but hang out with good friends and sip margaritas)
• Walk the boardwalk and visit the Venice Beach Freakshow
• Get away for a quick weekend camping trip
• Add a little something extra and make adult Sonic slushes
• Spend all day at a waterpark (haven't been to one in ages!)
• Renew our San Diego Zoo passes and visit the new Tiger Trail
• Start gardening at the new house
• Take an In-N-Out picnic to Queen Califia's Magical Circle
✓ Fill the car with snacks and catch a movie at the South Bay Drive-In
What are your exciting plans for the summer?
Thursday, June 19, 2014
This new series is reminiscent of classical Dutch still life paintings, with their dark backgrounds and rich symbolism. Dead animals are arranged amongst florals, fruits, and tablewares. Some plants are ripe and vibrant while others, like the creatures, are beginning to wilt and decay – flowers fall limp and lose their color; an eggplant and pomegranate shrivel up in a bowl; squirrels, birds, and other beasts lie lifeless on the surface. In classic vanitas style, the artist states, "These paintings serve as both a celebration of beauty and a reminder of the inevitability of death."
If you're in the Boston area, you can see her work on display from now until July 26th.
See more at kimberlywitham.com
Friday, May 30, 2014
Finally getting some time to share a few of my portfolio projects from this semester!
Mandala Chai Cola is a fictional soda brand that evolved from an earlier design exercise where a simple star symbol was expanded to create a variety of unique logos. Starting with the basic 5-pointed star, I created a mandala, a Buddhist spiritual symbol often used as a meditation tool. In my sketches, I noticed that the central shape resembled a star anise pod, a spice used in chai tea. From there, I developed a chai soda brand inspired by the earthy, natural tones of the spices present in the drink and used design elements borrowed from Hindu Rangoli. The final identity and packaging design embodies the spiritual origins while also representing the unique and earthy taste of chai cola.