School of Hard Blocks

 

 

The School of Hard Blocks is a tongue-in-cheek set of twelve concrete alphabet blocks depicting the hardships of life. In a spoof of the wooden alphabet blocks from your childhood, these feature the kinds of terrible, real things we all go through as adults – like divorce, dentists, hangovers, genocidal dictators, etc. Check out their Kickstarter campaign and let’s make this the real deal!

 

 

 

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A Book That Takes It’s Time

 

A Book That Takes Its Time is one I’ve been waiting to get my hands on since the start of the year when I first learned of its upcoming existence. Finally today, thanks to the team at Workman Publishing, I’m able to share it with you on its release date!

Flow is a magazine celebrating creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures and this is its first companion book. It also embraces the physical qualities of paper – its weight, texture, the way it takes color – and the formats and ways in which it can be delivered. Articles in the magazine mingle with bound-in or fold-out posters, stickers, pre-printed thank you cards from noted illustrators, and other “goodies.” In short, Flow has created a magazine best enjoyed in print form and A Book That Takes Its Time follows closely in its successful footsteps.

 

 

A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness (the full title) was penned by the co-founders and creative directors of Flow, Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst. At it’s heart this tome is about doing, about experience, and about intention. It’s a book both about mindfulness and a book that literally inspires mindfulness while reminding readers to slow down, breathe deeply, and be present.

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m forever struggling to be more in tune with the now – maybe this year more than ever before. This book turned out to be a much needed balm, right from Chapter 1, that I can turn to when the days are especially trying or I just need a moment to regroup and regain focus. Make your way through its pages in order or skip around depending on what you need and when you need it.

 

 

Learn to appreciate and savor moments both large and small by punching out pages of decorative memory cards to fill out and save in a mason jar so you can revisit them when you need an emotional lift. Read about the benefits of clearing your mind and letting your hands lead the way, then use the provided images and words to create a personal collage. Snip, arrange, and paste them onto the fold-out blank canvas and see where your subconscious takes you.

 

 

Read about the advantages of slowing down, then put those lessons into practice with the removable Joy of One Thing at a Time Notebook. Tear out a postcard and snail mail it to a friend. Make a list to clear your mind and refocus.

 

 

There are lessons on how to shift your focus away from what you don’t have and focus on what you do have. On stepping back from your phone to take just one photo with a camera – and then let the gaps in an album tell the story. Even tips for breaking old habits that will get your wheels turning.

 

 

Not every page is an activity or lesson, some are simply filled with inspiring words that you may not have known you needed to read. Do you get it? It’s the kind of book that makes you take your time, one that you can’t just hurry through so like so many other things in life. It’s a book that makes you stop to savor, play with, and appreciate all the lovely and interesting detours that hands-on activities provide.

 

 

 

Readers will have the chance to learn hand-lettering, the basics of collaging, even how to meditate while running. There’s something for everyone, which is what I love most about this book that mixes reading, learning, and doing. It’s part creative therapy, part teacher, part self-help, part workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

This post sponsored by Workman Publishing. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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September Favorites

1/ Prolong Christmas Tree Preservative
Before you think I’ve completely lost it and have a tree up in September, let me assure that’s not the case. This stuff is also a great preservative for fresh flowers! You just add a few teaspoons to the water in your vase and it magically adds days of life to each stem.

2/ Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb
I’ve tried some Garnier products before but they were never a great fit for my skin. That is until I came across a sample of this moisturizer in a magazine. I use it every other day with the rest of my evening skin routine and love how velvety soft it leaves my face feeling.

3/ Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Pumpkin spice flavor doesn’t usually do much for me – I loathe PSLs – but I picked up a box of this on a whim last week and was pleasantly surprised. The cereal is coated in a mix of real pumpkin and just the right blend of spices without being too sweet. (I’m currently on my second box.)

4/ Geometric Throw Pillow
Story old as time, I ran into Target to grab a birthday gift for my aunt and came out with two of these pillows for my couch. They were on mega-sale!

5/ Happy Halloween Ivy Wall Plaque
On the same trip I picked up this little sign for my door. It’s the only Halloween or fall decoration I have up at the moment, but I’m hoping to change all that this weekend and go all out.

6/ Blistex Conditioning Lip Serum
This is more of a cream than a serum, but while I think it’s misnamed I do like the product. It comes in a little pump bottle and I’ve been using it before bed as an extra dose of moisture/preemptive measure against winter dryness.

7/ Reliq Mineral Dog Shampoo
My dog Bebe is super duper cute and super duper stinky. I’ve even had her tested for medical maladies because of it, but no, she’s just a smelly little half Yorkie that I love endlessly. Her of brand of perfume really intensifies in hot weather and this is basically a miracle in a bottle. It’s the only shampoo I’ve found that can rid her completely of stink and I can’t recommend it more if you’ve got a similar situation going on at your house.

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Quick Picks

 

I’m always looking for opportunities to share more of my favorite affordable finds with you, so today we’re debuting a new series called Quick Picks where I’ll do just that. Ten things that I’m crushing on from the last week or so that I don’t own but wouldn’t mind having in my home. No art, no designer anything, only things that are within reach. (If you see something you want to check out further just click on the image!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Autumn 2017 Inspiration

Babes in Boyland // Ana Konjovic // Barena // ESK Cashmere // Double Down Cardi // For the Love of the South

 

Buffalo Throw // Mulled Apple Cider // Big Stainless Steel Lanterns // Honestly YUM // Humphrey & Grace // Spice Butter Roasted Chestnuts

 

Rooms for Rent // Nora Murphy Country House // Daydreamer Soy Candle // Caramel, Pear & Pecan Lattice Pie // The Telegraph // Thibault Bevilacqua

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Paul White

 

Pencil. On. Paper. That’s all Melbourne-based artist Paul White uses to create his insanely detailed illustrations of vehicles and the occasional landscape (sometimes together in the same piece). From junkyards full of obsolete cars to graffitied passenger vans to partially deconstructed airplanes, White resuscitates each one if only for a moment in time. (Anyone else getting Max Max-ish vibes?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 Fall Comfort Foods

After a relatively cool August in Pennsylvania it’s been in the high-80s, meaning I’ll probably be holding off on these recipes for a bit. I haven’t been in the mood to cook for months and I’m hoping some of these super comforting dishes will get me back in the kitchen, which is usually one of my happy places. Which looks best to you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

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Rowan and Wren

Isla Fluted Champagne Coupe, Set of Two

I *think* I just may have a favorite fall/winter home shop – are you familiar with Rowan and Wren? Maybe it’s the impeccable styling or just-so dark and moody lighting, but I can see at least half of their goods gracing my home. My aesthetic is in the middle of changing, combining minimalist modern preferences with more traditional pieces, and Rowan and Wren’s thoughtfully sourced collection of distinctive homewares sits smack in the middle of that Venn diagram. Here are my 13 favorite things, because I quite literally couldn’t narrow the list down any further!

 

Leland Wall Candle Holder

 

Cadby Velvet Button Stool

 

Croft Door Knocker

 

Stoneware Biscuit Plate

 

Thora Rustic Candle Holder, Brass

 

Bodin Craft Beer Glasses, Set of Two

 

Dalwood Log Stand & Fire Tools

 

Mini Drop Vases

 

Aran Cuffed Carafe and Glasses

 

Lena Brass Coasters, Set of Four

 

Hayling Zinc Lantern

 

Larkin Bird House or Feeder

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