Pretty, Graphic Storage Boxes You Can Make in 10 Minutes

boxes are very useful things that became a trend and have maintained their popularity til today. you can find them in all shapes and sizes, as well as colors and designs. they may be labeled or not, but regardless they are excellent for organizational purposes and hiding what otherwise would be clutter. we are not fans of clutter on this website as a short walk through our posts may show.

aside from trying to avoid their cost, we decided to do a DIY in honor of earth day yesterday, upcycling our old shoe boxes into stylish, design storage boxes for all the craft and drawing materials that are floating about the apartment. needless to say, the experiment not only successfully celebrates the upcoming earth day, but ended up costing us three dollars and ten minutes per box (i made four).

Pretty box upcycling project #earthdayDIY

all you will need is:

strong wrapping paper ($3 from marshall's)
scotch tape and washi tape 
old shoe boxes

Side view of box

Make your own graphic box

spread out the wrapping paper and place the box on. measure so that you have enough to cover the sides and fold inwards about half an inch. take your scissors and chop it up. carefully fold up the paper to cover the narrow sides of your box. then carefully fold up the other sides, folding in the excess paper. tape on the insides with either washi or regular tape. 

The lid detail

the same needs to be done for your lid. as you can see in the picture above, washi tape can also be used to either create a little extra decoration or even cover a mistake in calculating your paper's width. once you are done, fill it in with what you need to and you may even add labels. 

Pretty on your shelf 

voila! you have a brand new box which a. declutters and livens up your space b. is upcycled and, therefore, reduces your waste production and finally, c. cost you very, very little!

do you like using boxes in your home? where do you get yours? click on to leave your comment!
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Paul Klee and Music as Image

hello everyone! how was your weekend?
we thought it would be fun to begin our week with some beautiful artworks and music. this is a combination that has been used often by artists, and found a deeply unique expression in paul klee's oeuvre.

paul klee, swiss-german painter of the previous century, has many works tied to his name and oeuvre. of those works, most have a sense of movement and flow. when you look at them it is as though your eye dances on the canvas or paper as it traces along his lines and colors. one such work is the portrait we see below.

take a moment to observe it, and notice how your glance moves around the image. does it not feel like you are on a smooth ride?
well, paul klee actually had a very interesting relationship with music. in fact there are quite a few works that are titled or indicate a reference to the depiction a musical sequence, or sound in general.

interesting example is the image above - in watercolor and ink on paper - titled polyphonic currents. according to richard verdi in musical influences on the art of paul klee, the artist used music not only as a pictorial influence on his work, but also "to clarify and discipline his pictorial inspirations in a manner similar to that employed by the composer of music." {2} we thus, begin to understand just how deep klee's connection is, and why his images have such a strong hold on our gaze.

it is additionally interesting to notice for how long music had been an influence on klee. he was the son of a music instructor, and his wife was a pianist {4}. he himself, it is said, practiced the violin and had a penchant for classical music and composers such as beethoven and mozart {5}. klee's work seems engrossed in musicality in a way that one could say balances between nietzsche's appolonian and dionysian elements. it creates a mesmerizing effect that in a way, actually does reflect the world - its organized, balanced, musical order.

{1} paul klee
{2} richard verdi, musical influences on the art of paul klee
{3} sabine rewald, paul klee (1879-1940)
{4-5} yannick le quilleuc, paul klee et la musique

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An Ideal Sweet and Citrus-y DIY for Spring

it is thursday morning and we will just go ahead and assume that the weekend is on all of our minds. the weather has been splendid and warm creating the perfect conditions to desire going outdoors even if you are not particularly outdoorsy. having this in mind, along with the fact that our easter recipes are always shared with you all here, we thought today makes for a splendid opportunity to share an ideal, citrus-fresh pastry dish!

Hazelnut cake with mascaropone frosting and chocolate kumquats

this is a hazelnut torte with mascarpone frosting in cream and cocoa, embellished with chocolate dipped kumquats. don't let the long title intimidate you. it is a simple, straight forward process. 

while the dipped kumquats were my own idea, the recipe for the torte you can find on emma duckworth's wonderful blog. it came out spongey and just moist enough, with a sweet, mouthwatering aroma. she gives great instructions for the icing too. make sure, like she notes, to add as much cream as you need until you reach your desired consistency, especially for the cocoa bit. 


regarding the edible decoration. mum brought fresh kumquats all the way from new orleans and we thought dipping them in chocolate would be a great idea. in the end - yes, it was. kumquats have a distinct flavor of their own. they have a citrus-y smell and sweet taste with a unique texture. if you like orange or lemon skins covered in chocolate, you will enjoy this as well! 

the first step was to wash the fruit while the dark chocolate (trader joe's 70% cocoa belgian chocolate) is melting with a bit of butter for extra shine in bain marie.

Covering kumquats with dark chocolate

when the kumquats are dry and the chocolate melted and smooth, dip one half into the mixture and place on a wax sheet to cool and dry (like in the picture). when they are dry enough, stick them onto your cake in whatever way pleases you and voila! we preferred to go around the perimeter of the cake form and add a few on its base. 

Close-up: Hazelnut cake

best of luck and if you try it let me know what you think!
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Know This - Walker Evans and Photography

hi there, and happy week!
how was your weekend? here it was lovely! the weather was absolutely sensational, perfect for celebrating easter and hanging out with loved ones outdoors. there was chatting, hugging, fooding and photographing - quite a bit of the latter actually. it really gets you thinking of our culture's obsession with photography, when it began and well...how different is it really from the past?

the other day, while procrastinating on pinterest researching for my upcoming papers, i bumped into this post by the met museum.

this is a self-portrait he created in an automated photobooth in the 1930's. walker evans was an american photographer who after having returned to new york from paris, influenced the scene of modern photography greatly{1}. interestingly, his work created an image of the american that has practically gone down into tradition. in addition, his interest in the affects of the great depression on people are evident throughout his photography {2}. his photographs produce a strong emotional effect on the viewer. in fact he held the notion that the photographic product and feelings were strongly connected and as he had mentioned:

"whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts. this man is in effect a voyeur by nature; he is also reporter, tinkerer, and spy." {3}

this is quite telling about the work we see here. i spent a bit of time looking at this self-portrait feeling nearly as though i knew him, or that he was in some odd, inexplicable way familiar to me. living in the age of the selfie, i have to admit that thinking about how different a self-portrait is from constantly posing, capturing and publishing your own image is became a dominating issue of discussion in my head. how different do you really think it is, and where do the differences lie? evans' portrait captivated me, while admittedly selfies are something i try hard to avoid observing when spending time on social media, although some are truly beautiful. there is a fine line it seems dividing these two concepts and it lies somewhere between vanity, documentation and the art factor. 

regardless of all of this, this was just an image that made me smile, and therefore i thought it might have the same effect on someone else so there you have it... a 1930's photobooth product posted to brighten and artsy your monday!

{1} Walker EvansHambourg, Maria Morris, et al. (2000), Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition catalogue. 
{2} See more oh his photographs here.
{3} Walker EvansHambourg, Maria Morris, et al. (2000), Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition catalogue. 
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A Picture Perfect Spring

hey there all!

it is almost the weekend, and i have to say as easter is coming up for us here, i have really gotten into this spring mood. the cold may still be with us, like the guest we are all now more than eager to hurry away, but if we all send our warm-weather vibes out i think we can really get some results.

hence, i will be sharing with you two of my favorite warm-weather, period films! it certainly cannot be random that they are both set in italy (entirely or partially). but hey, who can blame me?

Style Collage - "A Month by the Lake"

a month by the lake is a film i always enjoy re-watching. the story evolves around the life of an independent, mature woman who returns to her usual favorite location in italy for vacation. there she meets with the rest of the quirky tenants among whom are an alluring, young and quite fickle uma therman, and a dashing english gentleman.

throughout the entire movie you grow to love all of the characters with their flaws that are accentuated with a bittersweet sense of humor. most importantly, what i find exceptionally lovely about this film, is the understanding it creates of how beautiful people are at all ages, and how regardless of how old we may be, we are always likely to make fools of ourselves for love.

on a pure pictorial level, the aesthetics are wonderful. every scene looks like a painting, and the characters are dressed to truly reflect italy approaching the 1940's. interestingly, the characters' dress really reflects their personalities, with the leading lady balancing between feminine lady-like dress, and bohemian dandy.

Style Collage - "Room with a View"

the second film is one we have talked about before in the past probably more than once. room with a view is an ivory film, therefore by definition, a favorite. just by the historical accuracy reflected in the costumes, design and overall scenes lets you know you're watching something really good. but then, elena bohnam carter, with her unique expression, and amazing acting is just as captivating as the rest of the remarkable crew. 

if for no other reason, this film is just worth watching for both sceneries of florence and england. the country sides are alluring enough to make you feel wanderlust within minutes from its beginning. if i want to be entirely honest, watching it for the first time may have actually been the beginning of my indescribable desire to travel to florence and tuscany.

in addition, as an art historian, and nerd in general, you can take my word for it, this film has quite a few enjoyable art references that range from painting and architecture, to music and literature. it is just strewn with references all tied to the various characters that makes them grow on you without you really realizing it. 

what are your favorite fair-weather films?

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