December 28, 2009

The Precious Man in the Air: American Film Institute's Top 10 of 2009

1. Coraline
2. The Hangover
3. The Hurt Locker
4. The Messenger
5. Precious
6. A Serious Man
7. A Single Man
8. Sugar
9. Up
10. Up in the Air

Read about them here.
All of the titles are so similar. Weird.
(Would have liked to have seen Mr. Fox and Tetro included, pretending they were omitted because they were filmed overseas?)

December 21, 2009

Methods/Systems: The Nisse

"In Scandinavia, Pixies or Nisse is a household spirit that is responsible for the care and prosperity of a farm or family. A Nisse is usually described as a short man or woman (under four feet tall) wearing a red cap. While belief in guardian spirits is a very old tradition in Scandinavia, belief in Nisser was prominent in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Denmark, southern Norway and southern Sweden. Many farms claimed to have their own Nisse. The Nisse took an active interest in the farm by performing chores such as grooming horses, carrying bales of hay, and other farm-related tasks. These chores were usually done much more efficiently and effectively than by their human counterparts.However, Nisser could be temperamental, to say the least. If the household was not careful to keep its Nisse satisfied -- usually in the form of a single bowl of porridge with butter in it left out on Christmas Eve -- the spirit could turn against its masters.In the 1840s the farm's Nisse became the bearer of Christmas presents in Scandinavia, and was then called "Julenisse" and has been associated with Christmas ever since.The Swedish "Jultomte", the Norwegian "Julenisse", the Danish "Julemand" and the Finnish "Joulupukki" still has features and traditions that are rooted in the local culture: he doesn't necessarily retreat to the North Pole, but lives in a forest, field or stream nearby, or in Denmark he lives on Greenland, and in Finland he lives in Lapland; he or she does not come down the chimney on Christmas night, but arrives through the front door, delivering the presents directly to his household friends."-

Get one here.

December 20, 2009

How To: Roll a Coin on Your Knuckles aka a Steeplechase Flourish

"You may see this trick performed by various 'cool' movie characters (i.e. David Hemmings in Blow Up) on the big screen. It requires more practice than skill, and this article will show you where to start." -wikiHow

Learn how to perform a Steeplechase Flourish here.

December 15, 2009

How To: Use the internet to create your ideal granola

Mix My Granola lets your customize various granola bases with your choice of a wide variety of dried fruit, nuts and seeds; you can even design the label for the bag.

December 8, 2009

Gift Idea: 2010 Calendars

Clockwise from top left:
1. "CAts LEt Nothing DArken their Roar." Noa Bembire Calendar ($40)
2. Today is ($32.99 or $15.29 for a refill)
3. Stendig Calendar by Massimo Vignelli ($30)

December 7, 2009

Resource: Tommy Rowles

"Tommy Rowles has set 'em up for 51 years at Bemelman's" -New York Times

Resource: History of the Push Pin

Edwin Moore started the Edwin Moore Push Pin Company in 1900 with $112.60. Read about it here.

Gift Idea: His/Hers Classic Sleepwear ($49.50, $39.50)

1. Men's Union Suit ($49.50)

December 3, 2009

December 2, 2009

Gift Idea: Cormac McCarthy's Olivetti Lettera 32(estimate $15,000-$20,000)

"It has never been serviced or cleaned other than blowing out the dust with a service station airhose..." --Cormac McCarthy

December 1, 2009

Gift Idea: Grandpa Witmer's Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Mixer ($9.95)

Aside from being an incredibly simple but helpful tool, the thing that really endeared me to the Grandpa Witmer Natural Peanut Butter Hand Mixer was the R.N. Witmer Company website. Their slogan is "Turning Ideas into Products" and they sell four other products; a retractable clothesline, a sand auger for beach umbrellas, a vinyl flap called the "paperguard" for protecting newspapers from the elements and the peanut butter mixer.

Methods/Systems: Christmas Price Index

Every year PNC Financial Services publishes the Christmas Price Index, a calculation of the total cost of all the items included in "The Twelve Days of Christmas." This year's total is $21,465.56. Here's how they come up with it.

November 30, 2009

Product Appreciation: Uniball Micro

After my Pilot P-500 post I have had four separate conversations that have gone a little something like this:
Friend: "I read your blog."
Me: "Thank you!"
Friend: "Yeah, I saw the thing about pens. Have you ever tried the Uniball Micro? It's my favorite."

So, although I find the Micro to be a decent pen that's occassionally too scratchy, I thought it deserved some recognition because it has such a devoted following.

November 29, 2009

In Celebration of Things: Today's New York Times Book Review Cover

Speaking of covers...I'm smitten with the tableau Kelly Blair assembled for the cover photo of today's New York Times Book Review.

Methods/Systems: Considering the Cover

Tom Junod's Esquire article , "What's Wrong with the Cover Song?" describes covers as being "gifts and thefts at the same time, shouts of flattery and whispers of ambition — the court jester's plot against the king. They are evolutionary episodes in song. They are the sound of the world spinning; they tell you what the world is going to sound like when you're not around to hear it. They reveal the strategy by which youth plans to take over."

After reading Junod's article, John James, a former record-store owner submitted his list of 1,892 covers songs to the magazine. Although some might find the title of his article "
1,892 Cover Songs Men Could Listen To" a bit alienating and the list to be a bit too Beatles-heavy, his devotion is impossible to ignore.

November 28, 2009

Resource: Movie Title Stills Collection

This website has a magnificent collection of movie title stills organized by year and genre.

November 27, 2009

Product Appreciation: Incase Double Combo Charger

One day we will live in a world where all electronics use the same charger but until then there's the new Incase Combo Charger for iPods and iPhones. It lets you charge one or two iPhones/iPods at home or in your car!

November 24, 2009

Product Appreciation: Albert Maysles Glasses

Seeing the world through Albert Maysles' eyes may be the only thing better than rose-colored glasses?

Ranjan's/Monsieur Hulot's Resources (Paris Week, best for last)

My friend Ranjan (pictured above, with pipe) is no stranger to the finer things in life, which is why it's such an honor that he's also the Order of Things' most vocal advocate.

While living in Paris, he discovered two historic shops and was kind enough to share them with us. He suggests Parapluies Simon, which has "some of the most beautiful umbrellas and canes [he has] ever seen." Ranjan describes the pipe store, Au Caid, founded in the 1870s, as "a wonderful shop" where he recalls the "proprietor's exuberant mustachio." That Ranjan, what a gem! Thank you!

November 20, 2009

How to: Dress like Jean Seberg in A bout de souffle (Paris week, requisite French New Wave post)

Jean Seberg's character, Patricia, in A bout de souffle is undeniably chic. Here's where to find shirts similar to the ones she wears in the film but, as far as the criminal boyfriend goes, you're on your own:
2. Striped Shirt (I know the shirt in the picture isn't quite right but don't fret they have ones that are navy with white stripes as opposed to white with navy stripes on the website)

November 19, 2009

Industry Standard: Laduree (Paris Week)

Few things are more luxurous than Laduree macarons in that signature gold and celadon box but why not make your own? Here's Martha Stewart's recipe for macarons. I made the chocloate with chocolate ganache filling and found them to be even more delicoius the second day.

November 18, 2009

Industry Standard: Deyrolle (Paris Week)

What's the only thing creepier than taxidermy? Antique taxidermy.
What's the only thing creepier than antique taxidermy? Charred antique taxidermy.

Deyrolle, a taxidermy shop, opened in the 19th century and is a Paris institution. From what it sounds like, there's truly no other place like it (I wouldn't know because I don't like to be around dead animals). In 2008, much of the legendary shop's inventory was destroyed in a fire. The haunting aftermath was captured by two photographers: Laurent Bochet (image on left) and Martin D'Orgeval (image on right).

November 17, 2009

Product Appreciation: Chanel No. 5 (Paris Week)

I don't wear Chanel No. 5, in fact, I don't really like the way it smells however, I love its history. A few weeks ago, I felt the urge to drop everything I was doing and make an enormous bottle of Chanel No. 5 out of papier mache. As I was looking for images of the iconic bottle, I came across this NotCot post which points out how the bottle's proportions mimic Place Vendome.
Here's my bottle. I hung it on the wall above my bed because someone once told me that when asked what she wore to bed, Marilyn Monroe replied "Chanel No. 5."

November 16, 2009

Methods/Systems: Umberto Eco's "The Infinity of Lists" at the Louvre (Paris Week)

"The list is the origin of culture. It's part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order--not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries." -Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco guest curated an art exhibit on the theme of lists, it is currently on view at the Louvre. Here's an article about it and here's another one.

Also, all of this week's posts will be Paris-related...

November 13, 2009

Resource: "The Visual Miscellaneum"

Mr. David McCandless of Information is Beautiful creates some of the most aesthetically pleasing and yet surprisingly readable charts, graphs, diagrams etc... that I've ever seen. His book, "The Visual Miscellaneum : A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia" ($17.81) came out this week and is sure to be lovely.

Resource: The Triple Pier Show

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

The Triple Pier Show is unlike any other flea market, tag sale, antique show etc... It's huge and there are vendors from all over the world. My suggestion is to go not expecting to buy anything (it's lots of serious collectors so, things are priced accordingly) and instead think of it as a design museum (admission is $15) where you can touch everything.

November 12, 2009

How To: Remove Stains (Martha Stewart's Stain Chart)

Download Martha Stewart's stain chart and educate yourself on stain removal.

Product Appreciation: Love Letter Light

Molo's Love Letter Light shows it fondness for Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni by re-appropriating the left over marble cylinder that is cut out from the base of the brothers' classic Arco Lamp.

November 9, 2009

How To: Make Your Own Shaker Furniture... from a Kit

The Shaker Workshops website gives you the option of buying their furniture fully assembled or as a kit at a discounted price.

November 6, 2009

How To: Sharpen a Knife

In keeping with yesterday's topic, here's how to sharpen a knife.

November 5, 2009

Product Appreciation: Sweet Axes

I come from a very do-it-yourself, handy household (i.e. the drill has a nickname: Big Red). Yet, I've never used an ax, if you don't come from a place where you need fires for warmth, you don't need to chop fire wood etc... but seriously, get a load of these hot axes!
1. Collins Ax, MoMA Collection (currently on view )
2. Gerber Kick Axe (a folding ax seems insanely dangerous but it's so sleek!)
3-4. Best Made Company (you can't tell but the ones with the colorful handles have words like "fortitude" written on them)

Also check out the Brief History of the Ax, a companion guide for a two-part VHS entitled; An Axe to Grind (which, I couldn't seem to locate).

November 4, 2009

Product Appreciation: Buckyball

"Addictive" is the word that everyone seems to use to describe the Buckyball (the toy, not the state molecule of my native Texas). $29.95 seems steep for a toy that's a bunch of magnets but it looks like such fun.

November 3, 2009

In Celebration of Things: Pictorial Webster's

I saw John M. Carrera's book, Pictorial Webster's: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities, a few weeks ago and was charmed by its collection of engravings from 19th century Webster's dictionaries. Then, I saw this video about the project and developed an even greater appreciation for the book and the decade of work that went into it... and the mean case of tennis elbow that Mr. Carrera most likely developed from all that printing.

November 2, 2009

Product Appreciation: Peacock Chair

Images Clockwise from right : GQ UK September 2009, Virgin Suicides, Al Green

Mark my words, the cheeky and slightly kinky peacock chair will come back into favor. In the age of Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler, how could it not? Get one here.

Note: The Order of Things is not necessarily encouraging this trend, merely predicting it.

October 29, 2009

Resource: Apple Chart

Apple season is in full swing. Here's a reference chart that details the use, harvest season, texture and taste of dozens of apple varieties.

The chart is very comprehensive however, it does not include the oldest known apple variety: the Lady Apple. My suggestion is to use the extra line at the bottom of the chart to write the following: "Lady Apple, Eating/Baking, Nov-Dec, Crisp, Semi-sweet."

October 28, 2009

Design Idols: Design Research

Benjamin Thompson's now-defunct store/studio, Design Research, is legendary for bringing unusual international (mostly Scandinavian) products to the States. In honor of its 40th anniversary, a collection of items sold at this Cambridge store in the 1970s, including Marimekko dresses, have been reassembled at the shop and can be viewed through the store's exterior windows.

October 27, 2009

Resource: Colorful Images

"Colorful Images" sounds like it should be a post-modern art criticism journal but in fact, it's a catalog specializing in "unique personlaized products, stationery, home decor, & gifts." I would describe it as the Oriental Trading of the personalized products world. In my opinion, 95% of the products offered by Colorful Images do not need to exist (see Santa's Pants Treat Holders below) however, they do have a variety inexpensive personlized address labels and notepads. Also, their website allows you to shop by theme which I appreciate.

About Me

My photo
I once took a personality test that told me I was a perfectionist and I thought the test was flawed. True story.


Blog Archive