18.2.17

Weekend Links

17.2.17

And the Fashion Continues

I'm not into funky fashion. It's just not me. Trends make me feel like a conformist or worse, like a sucker for marketing. I prefer my clothes to stay a while. Because whether you like it or not clothes are an investment. They may not pay you a dividend but if you've ever bought something that loses its appeal after one season then you know the annoyance that follows suit. I like that these items are stylish but not outrageous:

1. Yves Saint Laurent - Yoox


16.2.17

A Quick Escape to Summer Fashion

Winter is as good as time as any to blog about summer fashion. Who doesn't need an escape after all? Whether you're planning a vacation or just looking forward to the end of snow these pieces might give you a short respite from the cold. I say dare to daydream. 


1. Dolce and Gabbana - My Theresa

15.2.17

If only everyone had a studio like this...

I love the open space in this studio. I think if everyone had this much room to work with they would all want to become artists. Here, the artist at work is Maryan Keyhani who used to be known for her jewellery designs. Now, she splits her time between Toronto and Berlin working on her art. Personally, I can't wait to see more of her work.


A sample of one of her paintings:


Maybe talent is genetic. This is a painting by her father.


14.2.17

A Visit to Cape Town

Valentine's Day takes on a different meaning when you have a parent in the hospital. Things are no longer about you. Even if you are single, compassion seems to take over self-pity pretty quickly. But hospital visits aside, life does go on. Even though I like seeing heart-shaped things everywhere I'll be happier when they're on sale tomorrow. But that aside, I wanted to visit the art of Africa via the Cape Town Art Fair. To say the art is as varied as the continent is over-simplifying things to say the least. If emerging talent is what you are after then you'll find plenty here. It's a market full of surprises and with its contemporary art movement becoming more visible every year it's bound to attract more attention. Plus, you just never know where the next art star will come from. 


1.  Yinka Shonibare MBE, Twins V, 2015


13.2.17

These Shoes Have ❤ Heart ❤

It may be a little late to order these for Valentine's Day but do you really need an excuse? These hand-crafted mules and slippers hail from A. Andreassen where their design is "inspired by the woven baskets that children in Scandinavia make and fill with sweets". Using natural materials of either felt or leather they are manufactured by family-run operations in Portugal, so no sweat shops. Not only are they adorable but they look comfortable too. I wish I could have them in every colour. They make them for kids too.


1.  Elskling Leather Mule "Very Red" £140.00



10.2.17

Highlights from ZⓢONAMACO

Held in Mexico City, the ZⓢONAMACO art fair puts the spotlight on Latin American art and more. The fair was less politically charged than expected but that may be only due to timing. Next year, ZⓢONAMACO may have something completely different on display. With 160 exhibitors to choose from, it's always difficult to narrow down your favourites but somehow it must get done. Scrolling down through 50 or 100 images is exhausting, even for art lovers. So here, I've selected a few of the works which I thought were interesting or beautiful, and some which I simply wanted to know more about. Everyone has a different approach towards the visual arts. Some people are indifferent. But what it really comes down to is whether it has some sort of impact, aesthetically or otherwise.

1.  Oda Jaune, untitled, 2016



9.2.17

Christie's Jewels Online Auction

I usually find the jewelry at auction houses somewhat dated, but every now and then there are some nice surprises. Even if I don't buy anything, I enjoy perusing the sites just as I enjoy going to antique stores. You never know what you may find. Plus, there is something rewarding about looking at the past through someone else's eyes and style. When you do find something unique it may be just the inspiration you need. While Christie's auctions may not be for everyone, from a creative standpoint they're worth a visit. Their Jewels Online event ends today but there will be more auctions in the future.

1.  Buccellati Malachite and Gold Brooch



2.  Cartier Paris Nouvelle Vague Ring



3.  Chanel Cultured Pearl and Enamel Ring


8.2.17

A Book for Procrastinators and Perfectionists Alike

If you are paralyzed by inaction or stress, then Gretchen Rubin's book Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives will prove incredibly helpful. The book is a must for self-improvement junkies. It will make you understand not only how habits function but also why they're so imperative. As the author emphasizes throughout the book, "the habit of the habit is even more valuable than the habit itself." She further iterates that having daily rituals, or habits prevents stress by freeing you from decision making. Fewer decisions equals less time wasted. When the focus of your energy is predetermined by the existence of a habit you simply get more done. Habits work when they become automatic. To better understand why they exist for some and less so for others the author offers a classification system that aims to identify different personality traits that affect the formation of habits and how you may be sabotaging your efforts. Ultimately though, what matters most is the preservation of the habit until its ingrained.

"What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while." (Gretchen Rubin)


Tips and Strategies from the book:

1.  Figure out a way to quantify your efforts and what you want to accomplish
2.  Establish and maintain a solid foundation of habits that deals with or nurtures the following: sleep, activity, diet, clutter
3.  Make a habit fixed by committing to do it everyday.
4.  Schedule to reduce pressure
5.  Just get started. Don't wait for the right time. 
6.  Make things more convenient and plan two activities/goals at the same time
7.  Be careful about using rewards as they may sabotage your good behaviour
8.  Distract yourself when necessary, but preferably with a habit that incorporates physical activity 

While skeptics may deem some of the information obvious this is a well-researched book and it's well worth the read, even if you just want to better understand your own behaviour. If you're not convinced by the power of a daily habit consider the quotation Gretchen Rubin cites from novelist Anthony Trollope. It may prove convincing enough:

"A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules." 
Anthony Trollope