Fall ’18 Book Recommendations

I Wonder by Marian Bantjes
This book features the elaborately crafted word pictures of Marian Bantjes, the most inventive and creative typographic illustrator of our time. Whether intricately hand-drawn or using computer illustration software, Bantjes’s work crosses the boundaries of time, style, and technology. There is, however, another side to Bantjes’s visual work: her thoughtful treatises on art, design, beauty, and popular culture that add a deeper dimension to the decorative nature of her best-known work. Intended to inspire creatives of any persuasion, this is more than a collection of ideas: Bantjes has meticulously illustrated every page of the book in her inimitable style to create an accessible work of art that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann
In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called The Lost City of Z. In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for Z and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.

Six Women of Salem by Marilynne K. Roach
The first work to use the lives of a select number of representative women to illuminate the larger crisis of the Salem witch trials. By the end of the trials, beyond the twenty who were executed and the five who perished in prison, 207 individuals had been accused, 74 had been “afflicted,” 32 had officially accused their fellow neighbors, and 255 ordinary people had been inexorably drawn into that ruinous and murderous vortex, and this doesn’t include the religious, judicial, and governmental leaders. By examining the lives of six specific women, Marilynne Roach shows readers what it was like to be present throughout this horrific time and how it was impossible to live through it unchanged.

Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount
Book lovers rejoice! In this love letter to all things bookish, Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations: Bibliophile is pure bookish joy and sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, aspiring writers, and any and all who identify as book lovers.

Corn-Fed: Cul-de-sacs, Keg Stands, and Coming of Age in the Midwest by Melanie LaForce
Poignant, humorous, and honest, Corn-Fed will take you from childhood overnight camp, to a first job at Dairy Queen, to the ultimate culmination of rich and debaucherous adult friendships. Corn-Fed follows LaForce’s growth, struggles, and exhilaration with communities of women over the course of life. Most importantly, this book contains critical references to boobs and butter.

 

Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility by Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne
What does it mean to be a designer in today’s corporate-driven, overbranded global consumer culture? Citizen Designer attempts to answer this question with more than seventy debate-stirring essays and interviews espousing viewpoints ranging from the cultural and the political to the professional and the social. This edition contains a collection of definitions and brief case studies on topics that today’s citizen designers must consider, including new essays on social innovation, individual advocacy, group strategies, and living as an ethical designer.

Do Story: How to tell your story so the world listens by Bobette Buster
Today’s world wants to know you and the real story behind why you do what you do. Whether you have a product to sell, a company mission to share, or an audience to entertain, people are more likely to engage and connect if you deliver a well-crafted story with an emotional core. Find out: how to source, structure and shape your story; ways to discover the essence of your story; why finding the emotional connection with your audience can take a story from good to great. ALSO SEE: Do Lead, Do Sourdough, Do Open, Do Listen, Do Purpose, Do Inhabit, Do Improvise, Do Fly, Do Design, Do Breathe, and Do Grow

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

Creativity Takes Courage: Dare to Think Differently by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst
It’s not always easy to be creative — it takes courage. Organized around a series of twelve “dares” — including Dare to Fail, Dare to Be a Kid, Dare to Be Bored, Dare to Go Offline, Dare to Collaborate — Creativity Takes Courage encourages the reader to be fully present and spend idle time staring out the window. To leave your comfort zone and start a project, without hesitation, and nourish yourself with museum visits and reading time. Each dare includes fill-in pages and prompts to go deeper into what motivates us or hinders us, like mindful questions to identify fears of failure, or a Dare to Commit notebook for recording both daily and weekly projects.

A Few Minutes of Design: 52 Activities to Spark Your Creativity by Emily Campbell
This colorful, handy card deck presents fifty-two exercises and activities to jump-start your creative juices, free you from creative block, start a new project, or finish an existing one. Each exercise offers insight into the innumerable small decisions involved in design: how to establish a pattern, continue a series, how to say it without words, how to name a project, what fits, and what doesn’t? These cards benefit established practicing designers or creatives in any field with activities that are sometimes playful, sometimes challenging, but always enlightening.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

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Six Exceptional Light Sources

Circuit Chandlier is a two-dimensionally structured pendant with the ambiance of a chandelier inspired by the graphic expression of circuit boards. Andréason & Leibel partnered in this project with Csaba Humenyik of Humi, glass producer of custom made chemistry glass products.

 

Painterly Spectrum Resin Table Lamp brings colors and their associations into a space as an object. It’s made of epoxy resin that’s cast on the surface of parchment paper onto which different colored strokes are applied using latex paint. When it’s lit the light source makes abstract associations visible in a transient way.

 

Sun Lights is a series of lamps created by the exploration of the displacement of light. Inspired by sun-gazing, the muted light provides a warm glow with a color gradient similar to dawn and sunset. The like-absorbing acrylate, in combination with the dimmable LED illumination, provides subtle mood lighting, in which the reflection of the material creates depth. Available in a variety of color options.

 

Little Sun Diamond Outdoor Lamp features a crystalline faceted lens and is inspired by nature. This pocket-sized, featherweight, solar-powered LED lamp was conceived to bring clean, affordable light to 1.1 billion people living worldwide without electricity in off-grid areas. For those without electricity, it’s a clean, steadfast alternative to dangerous and polluting forms of light like kerosene lanterns. Every lamp sold delivers one Little Sun to an African community without electricity at a locally affordable price. Five hours of sunlight charging produces five hours of power.

 

Walter Table Light has a unique 1960s feel inspired by space age design, with a striking combination of either satin brass or satin copper and a choice of opal or anthracite glass shades. The lights are available in two sizes and they have an integral dimmer on the base.

 

The Voie light series is the result of an investigation into the manipulation of light-paths. Having chosen neon, the base creates an interception on the path the light follows through the marble base. Subtle nuances and the uniqueness of each block of stone are highlighted when lit-up.

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Noodles 12 Ways

Autumn showed up right on time this past weekend, and I’m so ready to dive back into comfort foods! Noodles in any form always fall under that category, so these twelve variations are all in good company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Magic of Linen + 5 Linen Care Tips

 

Warm, breezy days and flowing linens were made for one another. The centuries old fabric is made from the fibers of the flax plant, and the lightweight, breathable fabric is perfect for slower, more rumpled days. You’ll notice I didn’t bother to iron out the fold seams in these photos, and that’s because I think they add to the charm of all things linen.

MagicLinen is a family business located in Lithuania that combines their knowledge of textiles and love of décor to create linen pieces meant to be passed down through generations. All of the company’s goods are made from high quality European OEKO-TEX certified linen fabric and is softened through stonewashing, the modern way of doing so without any harmful chemicals. MagicLinen’s collection is entirely handmade and includes linen bedding, clothing, napkins, towels, placemats, table runners, towels, scarves, aprons, and more.

 

 

“We care a lot about eco-friendly, organic and slow living. We cherish classic values, at the same time being modern, opened to a world and new ideas, doing our best with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work. These principles reflect in the goods we deliver – we choose the most organic fabrics and enjoy the process of making items by hand than going to big factories.”

 

 

MagicLinen is aptly named, because the fabric really is just that and has been used through the ages to make everything from canvases and wallpaper to clothing and bedding. It’s super durable because linen is naturally thicker and 30% stronger than cotton, so it will keep its shape and withstand more washings while growing softer over time. It can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in water before starting to feel damp and dries quickly, making linen the perfect material for bath towels and clothing. The material is also a natural insulator meaning it keeps you cool in the summer and retains heat from your body in the colder months. It’s also hypoallergenic which is fantastic for people who have sensitive skin or suffer from allergies. A big bonus – linen is sustainable and eco-friendly.

 

 

I’m not fussy when it comes to the textiles in my home or in my wardrobe, so MagicLinen’s pieces fit right in. The dishtowels are super absorbent, the bed linens so cool and soft for summer, and the tablecloth and napkins my favorite options for pulling together a quickly dressed table. I want these pieces to last for along time, so I did my research when it comes to caring for them.

Washing
Linen items can be both hand washed and machine washed, though preferably on their own. When machine washing use the gentle cycle with warm water with a mild detergent. For hand washing also use warm water and about a teaspoon of mild detergent. Allow the linen to soak for 10 minutes before swishing it around while avoiding the urge to wring, twist, or scrub as it can stretch the fabric. Rinse with cool water until all of the soap is gone. To combat any stubborn stains, soak the spot in a detergent and water solution and launder as usual.

Drying
Washed linens can be machine dried on low heat. Remove them from the dryer while still slightly damp and hang or lie flat to dry completely. Air drying adds softness to the linen items, you can line-dry lay them flat on a white towel. The only linen pieces that will ever require dry cleaning are more structured garments such as linen jackets, suits, and hemstitched items in order to preserve their shape.

Avoid
Bleaching your linens or using detergents with optical brighteners can weaken linen’s fibers and cause discoloration. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can weaken the fibers and reduce their absorbency and moisture-wicking properties. Don’t store linen in plastic bags, instead choose linen bags or reuse old pillowcases.

Ironing
I prefer the wrinkled look, but if you’d like a crisper appearance you can use a medium-hot iron on the fabric while it’s still damp or overlay it with a damp towel.

Storing
Make sure they’re are completely dry to avoid mildew before storing your linens in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area that’s located away from direct sunlight.

 

This post sponsored by MagicLinen. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting our carefully chosen partners that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Chicken Salad 10 Ways

Chicken salad sandwiches are kind of a sentimental food for me, filled with memories of my junior high best friend and I wiling away the hours eating them in the mall’s food court. They were my first positive interaction with mayonnaise, which sounds strange I know and with which I still have a love/hate relationship. Lately my lunches have been getting boring and I thought searching out the perfect chicken salad recipe could help remedy that – here are ten recipes I’m going to experiment with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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