Sunday, September 30, 2012

Songs for Sunday: William Fitzsimmons

William Fitzsimmons is an old favorite of mine-- his songs are always gorgeous. 

Filmed by Josh Franer. "Beautiful Girl" appears on William's album 'Gold In The Shadow.'

"Please Don't Go," live in Marburg Germany, 2 Dec 2008 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Friday!

designed by Lydia Nichols
This week has been absolute madness, the weekend may be possibly more insane, and I am just hoping to survive till Monday. Come Tuesday everything should be handed in (hopefully), so I'm giving you advanced warning in case you don't hear from me till then. But never fear, I planned ahead and rounded up some links for you:

A fantastic St. Petersburg studio apartment

I really want to try making homemade granola

This dinner party is gorgeous

A good reminder

Have a wonderful weekend (and wish me luck)!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Short Film: High Speed Reel

This isn't really a traditional short film but rather a collection of high speed shots from the work of Charles Bergquist. Bergquist is a director, designer, and photographer based out of San Diego. I was quite impressed with his editing of this piece; though it includes segments from a number of different projects, the flow and pacing of the film is excellent and the composition is stunning.

High speed reel for 2011 shot with the Olympus iSpeed 3 from
Project Title : High Speed Reel 2011
Project Type : Experimental / Commercial
Film Location : San Diego, CA / Los Angeles, CA / Big Sur, CA

Director : Charles Bergquist
Production Assistant : Katrina Adair / Andy Martin
Toolset : Olympus iSpeed 3 ( from
Music : (Main) Mux Mool "The Butterfly Technique" -
             (Intro) Acoqui "Somewhere Else"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Moby Dick Big-Read

Marcus Harvey: Albus, 2009
accompanying Ch. 1: "Loomings"
Moby Dick has been on my list of must-reads for such a long time, but with all the reading I do for my research, it has been relegated time and time again to the "maybe next summer..." stack. (Other unfortunate denizens of this stack include Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karimazov -- I'm such a terrible Russian student.)

But there is hope for Moby Dick yet-- Plymouth University has undertaken a project to record a reading of each of Moby Dick's 135 chapters. Arising out of the 2011 Peninsula Arts Whale Festival, the Moby Dick Big-Read Project has been created as a part of the Plymouth International Book Festival. Peter Donaldson introduces each chapter, which is read by one of an assortment of esteemed readers such as Tilda Swinton and accompanied by a beautiful piece of art. (And you can download the recording of each chapter for free each day!)

Listening to excellent readings of such a marvelous book has been a new experience for me. I love to read and consume books quite voraciously, but the spoken word has a quality quite unmatched by that of the written. I must confess I am generally a speed-reader and can fly through a good book in a matter of hours. Listening requires me to stop, be still, and savor the prose at hand. It's not a task suited to multi-tasking, and so far, it's been quite therapeutic. 

Thus I am greatly enjoying this creative reading collective. And if you so desire, you are welcome to partake in this listening experience with me. It seems suited to close with the description of the novel given by the creators of this project:
"Moby-Dick is the great American novel. But it is also the great unread American novel. Sprawling, magnificent, deliriously digressive, it stands over and above all other works of fiction, since it is barely a work of fiction itself. Rather, it is an explosive exposition of one man’s investigation into the world of the whale, and the way humans have related to it. Yet it is so much more than that. It is a representation of evil incarnate in an animal – and the utter perfidy of that notion. Of a nature transgressed and transgressive – and of one man’s demonic pursuit, a metaphorical crusade that even now is a shorthand for overweening ambition and delusion." 
Clara Drummond: Cape-Horner in a great hurricane, 2012
accompanying Ch. 2: "The Carpet-Bag"

And in case you would like a sneak peek, here's the first chapter "Loomings" read by Tilda Swinton:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Inspired: Judith ann Braun

Judith ann Braun creates the most stunning, sophisticated finger-paintings I have ever seen. (She drew all of these works with fingers dipped in charcoal or pastel.)

Symmetrical Procedures

A close-up view

A Landscape Mural
A closer look at the landscape

Braun at work

Music Monday: Mumford and Sons

Babel is finally out in the U.S.! After my first listen, I can say I'm quite content. It's made for a happy Monday morning.

And since I can't help but share, check out "Reminder," the title track ("Babel"), and a few other tracks shared by the band. 

The album is now available! We are proud, elated, and impatient to share it with you. Enjoy x - M&S

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Songs for Sunday: Andrew Belle

Andrew Belle is not a widely-known singer-songwriter, but his songs are simple, lovely, and perfect for fall. So I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. "Daylight" is the title track of Belle's latest EP.

The Daylight is the first song Andrew Belle's latest release, THE DAYLIGHT EP, available on Feb. 28th, 2012
Purchase now!

And this is his wonderful cover of Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door."

Andrew Belle covering "Knockin on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan for American Songwriter's 30 Days of Dylan.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Friday!

Autumn Glory by bomobob

It's the weekend and fall is finally here! Of course, living in Tucson means that it's still quite toasty outside, but cooler weather should be coming soon (hopefully). I can't say I have terribly exciting weekend plans, but I am looking forward to perusing our local antique fair on Saturday. Of course, I've gathered a collection of my favorite finds from this week to share before I go:

Impress a lonely penguin (and get a job!)

A beautiful home in Vienna

Pothole art and political activism 

These lightbulbs are awesome

Make gorgeous DIY window art

Who wants to make almond date truffles? (me!)

Fall leaves on Etsy

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Short Film: A Hand-Lettering Experience

So much lovely hand-lettering in two minutes. Leandro Senna created 66 hand-lettered cards over the course of a month, with just a pencil, pens, brushes. I'm impressed by both the patience and the skill involved in this project.

Bob Dylan Subterranean Homesick Blues - A HAND LETTERING EXPERIENCE from Leandro Senna on Vimeo.

"I´ve been thinking for a lot of time on doing a personal project where I could get out of the computer for a little bit, and have pleasure doing something handmade. Getting back to the basics.
Inspired by Bob Dylan´s Subterranean Homesick Blues video, where he flips cards with the lyrics as the song plays, I decided to recreate those cards with handmade type. I ended up doing all the lyrics, and not just some of the words, as Dylan did.
There are 66 cards done in one month during my spare time using only pencil, black tint pens and brushes. The challenge was not to use the computer, no retouching was allowed. Getting a letter wrong meant starting the page over.
I had a lot of fun doing this project, researching, practicing and getting deeper on typography.
There are some intentional misspellings and puns on the original song video, so I tried to keep that in a certain way.
You can watch the original movie here
Get in touch with some of my work visiting"

Check out all of the cards and the process of making them on Senna's website

Favorite Reading: XKCD

I know I'm not quite the typical reader of this comic (I'm in the social sciences rather than the hard sciences), but XKCD is still my most favorite webcomic. The humor is clever, I love the research involved, and every so often I learn something. And in case you haven't seen it, yesterday's comic is incredible. (Maybe because yesterday was my birthday?) Anways.. Go check it out!

P.S.  These are a few of my favorite comics

"I learned from Achewood that since this poem is in ballad meter, it can be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island.  Since then, try as I might, I haven't ONCE been able to read it normally."
The Carriage
"Which, at one point, led to a study showing that LSD produces no more hallucinations than a placebo."

"To anyone who understands information theory and security and is in an infuriating argument with someone who does not (possibly involving mixed case), I sincerely apologize."
Password Strength

All images belong to XKCD

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reading: Heart Home

Spread from Heart Home Autumn 2012

Heart Home's Autumn edition is out, and it's full of all sorts of lovely home inspiration. Heart Home is a British lifestyle magazine for interior design that features independent British designers and all sorts of home transformations and lifestyle tips. There are some amazing spaces in these quarter's edition, including an eclectic warehouse transformation and an LA loft.

P.S.   They have some awesome recipes (Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella tart, anyone?)

Check out their previous issues on the Heart Home website

Inspired: Rob Bailey

Wish you were here

I'm a sucker for some nice minimalist design. And I absolutely love the sharp angles and bright colors of Manchester-based illustrator Rob Bailey's work. His pieces have such an amazing combination of complexity and simplicity. You simply must check out his site (there are more amazing designs to be found!)

Club night

Port Street Beer House

All images belong to Rob Bailey

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Music: The Perishers

The Perishers are a pretty awesome Swedish band that's been around for a while. "Nothing Like You and I" is my favorite song by them. It's pretty great. Enjoy:

I know, I know. I took the day off yesterday. Mental health break :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Friday!

Unexpected Awesomeness- photo by Traci Griffin
It's the weekend! I've got family coming into town and all sorts of wedding-related errands to run, but it should be plenty of fun. I hope you have some lovely weekend plans as well. Per usual, I have some links for you before I dash off:

Would you like to live on a houseboat?

A lovely paper collection from Darling Clementine

These illustrations are made out of tea!

All sorts of literary classics are coming to theaters this year- are you excited?

These backyards are awesome

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Improv Everywhere

Improv Everywhere is a NYC-based "prank collective" that aims to induce chaos and joy around New York City (and beyond). And they usually do a pretty great job. These are a few of my favorite missions:

For our latest mission, we turned a mini-golf course into a major golf championship. We surprised random mini-golfers with caddies, commentators, an ESPN camera crew, and a huge crowd. The "winner" was presented with the actual Claret Jug from The Open Championship. We surprised several groups throughout the day, appearing out of nowhere each time.
Full story at Improv Everywhere

For our latest mission we turned a carousel into a horse race. A single jockey was joined by two announcers, a roaring crowd, and a trumpeter. The children on the carousel had no idea what was going on. The mission took place at Le Carrousel in New York's Bryant Park.
Produced by Improv Everywhere

For the Third Annual Black Tie Beach, hundreds of participants spent a day at the beach in black tie attire. We covered Coney Island and Brighton Beach with a diverse group of people of all ages laying out, playing games, and swimming in the ocean in formal wear. Agents were instructed to find cheap tuxedos and ball gowns at thrift stores for the occasion.
Full story at Improv Everywhere

For our latest mission, we staged a reenactment of the first Princess Leia / Darth Vader scene from Star Wars on a New York City subway car.
Produced and Created by Charlie Todd

I hope this brought joy to you as well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's happening in Libya and Egypt

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, photo by Ben Curtis, Associated Press

As an International Studies major, I like to keep up on my news, and I've been following the events unfolding in Libya and Egypt. I thought I would share some of the better articles I have found describing the events of the last 24 hours and their significance, along with the significant reactions to these events from key U.S. political figures.

An overview of the last 24 hours from Al Jazeera (my go-to news source) 

This Foreign Policy article on the Salafi Movement provides a good primer on some of the conflicts going on between groups within Islam and questions of governance

An Egyptian blogger responds to the protests in Egypt

Slate's Fred Kaplan analyzes the events in Libya and Egypt and the US response

The Secretary of State's statement regarding Libya 

The President's statement regarding Libya and tribute to Amb. J Christopher Stevens

The Republican presidential nominee's statement regarding Libya and Egypt

The official twitter feed of the US Embassy in Cairo

I hope this is informative. 

Central Asian Adventures

I just turned in my Fulbright application that might take me to the Caucasus next year. There's something exhilarating about pushing the "submit" button on an application to an overseas adventure. It brought back fond memories of my last adventure in Central Asia...

The Presidential Park
Afternoon on the lake
Sunset over Issyk Kul    
Picking flowers

All photos by Kara Haberstock, all rights reserved

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Inspired: Louise van Terheijden

I stumbled across these lovely watercolors by Dutch artist Louise van Terheijden today, and I just love the range of colors and simple patterns in her works. She sells these paintings and more in her Etsy shop, (which you should go check out of course).
I think my new goal for the next few months is to learn to use actual watercolors. I love my watercolor pencils dearly, but I'd love to try my hand at something new.
Sea Glass

Green Dots
All images belong to Louise van Terheijden

Monday, September 10, 2012

On Support

Bridges need support too!! :P (photo by Kara Haberstock, all rights reserved)
This last week has taught me a lot about the immeasurable value of support.

My anxiety disorder decided to display itself in full force this week, probably more severely than it ever has. Panic attacks came everyday. I had trouble sleeping and near-constant nausea. Eating was a struggle. Small tasks could reduce me to tears, and prolonged social exposure could be overwhelming. I was not at all a "fun" person to be with. But through all of this, Nate supported me, in just about every meaning of the word. And I learned a great deal about the incredible benefits of partnership and the support that comes with it.

According to Merriam-Webster,"support" can mean the following:
1. to endure bravely or quietly2. to assist or help3. to pay the costs of
4. to hold up
5. to keep from losing courage
6. to keep (something) going
And support took all of these meanings this week.

Nate sat with me on the floor of my bedroom, in the corner of the bathroom, and in the car in the dark, quietly holding my hand until the tears and the shaking subsided. He made me food and convinced me to eat when I didn't want to.  He prayed with me and for me, listened as I tried to verbalize what might be causing my anxiety to flare up like this, and told me I wasn't crazy or defective, that this wasn't my fault or my choice. He reviewed applications before I submitted them and reminded me that it's perfectly okay if I'm not accepted, that it's more than fine to take a year off, and that what I do next year in no way defines me.He served as a buffer with friends and family when social interaction got to be too much. He was patient with my changing moods and general unpredictability. And now we're going through the process of finding a therapist for me together. 

It wasn't very much fun to need support. I hated the fact that my mood was so volatile, that seemingly anything could trigger a surge of adrenaline and fear, that even simple tasks could seem like too much. I hated feeling like a different person. And I'm terrified that this all could happen again. But this I do know: I have support. Nate and I are a team; we support each other. We're all in. And that is a source of comfort and strength.

1. The American Psychological Association has some great resources concerning anxiety/panic disorders if you'd like to know more.
2. This APW post is one of my favorites about panic attacks and marriage
3. If anyone can recommend good therapists in Tucson, I am still in the search process and would love a recommendation!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Song for Sunday: Evening Hymns

Evening Hymns' new album, Spectral Hymns, is absolutely fantastic-- full of haunting melodies, beautiful harmonies, and simple instrumentation.  I've been listening to it for the last two weeks straight. "Family Tree" is their latest single from the album.

This record is now available to buy:
Video by Istoica in collaboration with James Cooper, with editing by Mary Gerretsen.
Oh, and he has an awesome beard.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Friday!

Graffiti in Myanmar depicting Aung San Suu Kyi, photo by Michel Cizeka, Getty Images

It's the weekend! I am highly looking forward to a chance to relax a bit this weekend. Our Second Mile community group is headed up to Oro Valley for a collective "staycation" to hang out, have fun, and get away from work for a little bit (though I will unfortunately be taking a bit with me). It's coming at just the right time for me. But before I go, I have some links for you:

Is it just me, or is fashion really weird sometimes?

The best DIY project I've seen all week

Is Gangnam Style more than just a viral video?

Cool Russian CGI infographics (about Rosneft oil production and profits for the non-Russian speakers)

Audrey Hepburn's bran muffin recipe

On change in marriage

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Short Film: The Ballerina Stunt

This is technically a commercial, but this stunt was breathtaking. Nate and I calculated it out, and the trucks were driving at approximately 50 mph. I can't imagine trying to slackline at that speed. Check it out:

World record-holding highliner Faith Dickey battles to cross the line between two speeding trucks. Will she make it?

The stunt was set up to show the precise handling of the new Volvo FH. Filmed on an unopened highway in Croatia in cooperation with Hollywood stunt director Peter Pedrero (James Bond, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean.) Directed by Academy Award nominee Henry Alex Rubin. Music by J. Ralph / The Rumor Mill.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Inspired: Anna See

Indian Peacock
Anna See is a Nevada-based illustrator and designer who creates beautiful lithographic prints and illustrations of cities, animals, and all sorts of things. She also keeps a great little inspiration blog of lovely things she finds. And all of her prints are for sale on Etsy!

Bike Types


See more on Anna's blog or on Etsy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Amused: Shake

I came across this fantastic photo project this weekend. Carli Davidson captures hilarious stills of dogs (and a kitten) mid-shake. Who can be cross when you're looking at these faces?

Check out the rest of the project on Davidson's website!

All photos belong to Carli Davidson

Visualizing Palestine

"Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty." 
 - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  Article Two
I came across this media project over the weekend, and I felt it was important to share. I know this issue can be divisive, but for me this is not a matter of being pro-Israel or anti-Israel, but rather of being pro-human rights. Over a period of decades a group of people has been disenfranchised, stripped of their homes, their security, their freedom, and their voice, largely on the basis of ethnicity, language, and religion. Comparisons to South Africa under the Apartheid system are quite appropriate. As with most contested political issues, this is not simple nor is there a clear-cut solution; I challenge you to look at these infographics and to find out more.

Find out more:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Songs for Sunday: Army of 3

AKA: Ingrid Michaelson does it all.

As an Ingrid Michaelson fan, I'm greatly enjoying these covers of current pop songs. (I might like them better than the originals.)

This is the first session of the ARMY of 3 Series.
ARMY of 3 - "Somebody That I Used to Know" - original by Gotye
Instruments and vocals by Ingrid Michaelson
Produced, arranged and mixed by Chris Kuffner
Filmed, directed and edited by Dylan Steinberg
Check out the new album, Human Again by Ingrid Michaelson, featuring the single "Ghost."

This is the second session of the ARMY of 3 Series. 
No instruments were used in the making of this video.
ARMY of 3 - "We Found Love" - original by Rihanna
All vocals and sounds by Ingrid Michaelson.
Produced, mixed, cut up and put back together by Chris Kuffner.
Filmed, directed and edited by Dylan Steinberg.

Oh, and here's a single off Ingrid's new album. (I couldn't resist- it's so pretty)

Words and Music by: Ingrid Michaelson
Director: Jeff MartinRecorded and Mixed by: Bill Sanke
Original version from the album "Human Again" available now at