List 125: Books people read at the retreat in Greece

Leave a comment
Asana/meditation / Design / Friends / Travel/commuting

So this is my super delayed new year’s day post.

2015 was nightmare-ish in many  ways and one of the catastrophic low-lights was missing David Pearson‘s workshop in August. When I heard that one of my all-time design heroes was coming to Melbourne the same time I would be away in Paros on a yoga retreat, I was livid. I know, I know, I can’t have cake (or in this case, baklava) and eat it too, but I’d been working on a long, drawn-out, creatively un-satisfying project for the past 8 months and was in desperate need of inspiration.

I had four choices. I could either:

  1. Change my flight;
  2. seethe silently and let the anger fester away into mental illness;
  3. have the awareness to watch myself being angry; or
  4. channel the anger into something productive.

Options 1 and 2 were too expensive (I hear Prozac is quite pricey these days), option 3 still remains just a lofty ideal, and while my meditation teacher would argue that option 4 is a form of deflection, I went with it.

So in a David Pearson-esque manner, I decided to design a cover series of books read by people who were at the retreat. But rather than re-designing the covers based on what the stories were about, I based them on the reader’s relationship with the book. I casually asked each person what they were reading and without asking anything else, designed a cover depicting the information they were willing to share.

The results were a fascinating mix  — some went so far as to exuberantly recite passages from the books, some gave me a mere, “It’s good”, while others babbled on as to why they chose the book without actually telling me whether they liked it or not or what the story was even about.

Penguin’s Great Books this is not, but it was a social experiment that kept me engrossed and entertained for three weeks. I also got to know 18 wonderfully crazy people better through the books they read and the stories they shared.

2015 may not have been so bad after all.

Books_in_Greece_2015

 

List 122: Gram magazines collected (and an exercise in identifying ingredients)

Leave a comment
Design / Food

You often hear about dogs doing naughty things when their owners aren’t around — eating homework, chewing on shoes, digging holes where they’re not supposed to. Well I know how those owners feel, even though I don’t own a dog (yet). While I was at work a few days ago, The Husband, aka Substitute Pet, threw out about a third of my Gram magazines, a collection I had been carefully putting together for the past 36 months. He denied it of course, claiming that I had just forgotten and probably used them to clean the windows. I wanted to kill him. At least a dog would look at you with sad, guilty eyes and attempt to win back your affection by making appropriately cute, remorseful noises, but this one just kept denying he had done anything wrong. Bad, bad, Substitute Pet!

So before he throws any more out, I decided to do a post about them here. I like this magazine because I often use it as a case-in-point whenever I’m asked whether print as a medium will eventually die off. My answer is always no — print and digital will live together peacefully and will continue inform each other, as proven by this printed monthly compilation of online blogs about food and drink in Melbourne.

But the real reason I’ve been enthusiastically collecting Gram is much more cosmetic: Not only do I get a kick out of figuring out the featured ingredient on the cover every month, it’s one of the few magazines that have religiously stuck to their distinctive cover formula. When you put a bunch of them together, they make for a great rainbow gradient! (Sadly, gradient isn’t as smooth as it could be, no thanks to Substitute Pet.)

+++
Set in Brandon Grotesque by HvD

Gram_mag_collected2

Gram_mag_collected

List 121: Crazy things I made with jam last winter

Leave a comment
Seriously random shit

Why?

1. Because I don’t like winter fruit and decided this winter that my two-a-day fruit requirement would be met by consuming jam;
2. Because there was a shitload of stuff in the pantry that needed to go;
3. Because I like eating weird food combinations that sound wrong.

A small disclaimer: I’m not by any means saying that all of these were wonderfully delicious. In fact, there were a few concoctions that even a starving child in a third world country would want to spit out, bury deep in the ground, and pray that no other living creature would have to eat something so foul ever again. There were however, some WINNING flavours like the papaya and lime jam dressing and the rosemary and apple jelly tostaditas which, despite Nutrition Australia’s best intentions, may become staples in my two fruit-a-day diet all year round.

+++
Set in Bello Small Caps by Underware

02_Tostaditas

01_FigFennel

03_Loganberry

04_EarlGrey

05_RhubarbGinger

06_Pineapple

07_Plum

08_Papaya

09_Boysenberry

10_Banana