Love BiblioGifts

[Image from Bibliogifts]

I have to acknowledge the super cute "Fear Not, I'm a Librarian!" logo from Bibliogifts that I used in my Polyvore collage. Perhaps this tote can be my gift to myself if I get into school.

Applying to Grad School

Fear Not, I'm a Librarian! by wearpinkargyle

I just turned in my first application to go back to graduate school, so cross your fingers for me! Here's a little hint of what program I applied to.


Mo's Holiday Wish List

Snow and Graham Calendar [image from Snow and Graham]
Great design, clean and colorful!

Re-Stickable Wall Frames [Image from Photojojo]
I'm IN LOVE with these. I have a re-stickable chalkboard in my apartment and love it so I am on the re-stickable decals craze right now.

Magnetic Photo Rope [Image from Photojojo]
This would be a great way to dress up my walls and is a nice safe way to show off pictures and art.

Orange Cat Mini Stapler [Image from Paper Source]
For fun...and it looks like my cat except in staple form.

Saelee Oh Mouse Pad [Image from My Favorite Mirror]
I love Saelee Oh! I have the most boring mouse pad at work that is plain black. I need a cheery horse during the 40 some off hours I am there.

Rob Ryan print [Image from Rob Ryan's shop on Etsy]
Love love love Rob Ryan's work. Perhaps one day my budget will allow me to buy a print of his.



Three Days in New York...

...and I have no pictures. I know, I cried too when I realized someone {cough cough} forgot to recharge the batteries. But I have lots of fun memories and will illustrate them with nice pictures from strangers that I will credit. Here is a sampling of what the Boy and I did (or rather ate) on our three day getaway:

Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia has opened up an uptown location since I left New York in 2006, and it's just as cute as the original in downtown. I had a vanilla cupcake a few hours after arriving and it was super yummy. It was a nice WELCOME BACK TO NEW YORK, MO! after waking up at 4 in the morning California time and snoozing on a plane for 5 hours. To be honest, I don't think Magnolia is the best cupcakery in town (I'm a sucker for Billy's,) but there's something a little exciting about fighting 50 other people on the day before Thanksgiving to grab the last batch of cupcakes. Gives me a nice fuzzy New York feeling inside.

[Photo of Magnolia Bakery by Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake]

Oh Babbo. This was what we were looking forward to. I didn't understand 75% of the menu despite a year of Italian, but I gladly ate everything anyway. This is what we ate:

Coppa with Fiddleheads and Pecorino (I thought "fiddlehead" was an insult. Turns out it's a vegetable.)

Pappardelle with Chanterelles and Thyme (best course!!)

Duck Tortelli with "Sugo Finto" (sugo finto=fake sauce, course=really good but not as good as pappardelle)

Grilled Hanger Steak with Royal Trumpet Mushrooms and Cipolline Agrodolce

Coach Farm's Finest with Fennel Honey (this was cheese, by this point in the menu I was about to keel over from food coma)

A whole lotta dessert (YUM!)

[Photo of BABBO from New York Magazine]

26 Seats
This is where we had Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you 26 Seats for having pumpkin pie on the menu! I also had sea bass with that delicious French curry sauce that I can never seem to get enough of, and then once I do, I get sick because I've stuffed myself silly. I did, however, miss stuffing. Maybe it will make an appearance at Christmas dinner.

Saja Boutique
This was my indulgent Friday after Thanksgiving excursion sans the Boy. Friday morning was purely a Mo morning, complete with a trip to Teany, a little Fluevog window shopping, and *drum roll please* a WEDDING DRESS APPOINTMENT. Some may say I'm nuts since the Boy hasn't "officially" popped the question. But I hope most people just think I'm cute and a good planner. ;)

A while ago I saw these dresses on Style Me Pretty (a really helpful wedding blog,) and I knew I wanted to try them on if I went to New York. They fit the criteria: 1) most of them are made of chiffon, which for no apparent reason I decided would be the fabric of choice for my hypothetical wedding dress, 2) none of them are poufy, 3) they are all fashionably unique, and, 4) the most stand out reason of them all---almost all of them are under 1k, my made-up-on-a-whim dress budget. So I made an appointment at Saja, which was very easy and they were prompt to respond to my email.

When I got there for my 11 o'clock appointment, the dressing room was ready for me with the gowns lined up. The store is really, really cute and the dressing room had a pretty chandelier with a big mirror. I think I was a little spoiled because I was the only one in the store at the time, so I was able to walk around in the dresses without feeling self conscious. The sales associate was super friendly and acted as my girlfriend for the day since I was by my lone self.

And the best part was that all of the dresses were beautiful. I liked all five that I tried on, so I plan to go back and try them on again with a small audience (aka, my sisters.)

Sarah Perlis
This was the big appointment and highlight of our trip to New York. The one that I had anticipated for weeks--our engagement ring appointment with Sarah Perlis at her studio. Before the appointment I probably could have described every ring on her website. So, needless to say, I was a little more than excited. After the Boy asked what ring I would want some months ago, I decided that I wanted something made by Sarah because her work was beautiful, ethical, and completely unique.

First off, Sarah was completely adorable and had everything ready to go by the time we got there for our appointment. She had set out about ten rings for me to try on and "ooo" and "awe" over. It felt like I was trying on engagement rings with a friend and not a stranger!

After trying the rings on, I chose a design and then Sarah had lots of colorful gemstones to choose from for the middle stone. Emerald? Sapphire? Aquamarine? It was a lot of fun to put such pretty gemstones up to my hand to see what it might look like in ring form. I chose a stone, a form was filled out, and that was that. We had an engagement ring. Amazing.

The Boy kept quiet the entire appointment and let me have my fun. After our wedding-related appointments, I practically skipped to lunch at Luzzo's.

Now I'm back. At my desk. Sifting through images and filling in spreadsheets. Le sigh.

But I can't complain too much---it was a pretty fun three days across the country.


Teaching Kids Photography

[Quincy, the Hobby Photographer by J. Otto Seibold, image from Harcourt Books; image of child taking photo and image of cameras from Photojojo]

One of the best jobs, if not the best job I ever had, was teaching art at a summer camp in San Francisco. So today's Photojojo newsletter was of particular interest to me: Turn Your Kid Into a Photographer. I had no idea these cameras existed for the wee ones! What a great idea for a holiday present. I don't think I have any little ones who would benefit from one of these cameras (my niece is far too young at 4 months,) but I think, not being biased at all being a photo editor, that it would be a FANTASTIC gift for 3-7 year olds. Pair it with J. Otto Seibold's Quincy, the Hobby Photographer, and you've got the makings of a future William Christenberry.


Happy Birthday, K!

[Letterpress birthday card from afavoritedesign.com, via Etsy]

Happy Birthday to the boy! It's going to be a great weekend with non-stop eating and friends. Cheers to a quarter century!


City Hall Chic on Polyvore

Ok. I'm not engaged. I admit it. But I've got weddings on the brain, because it's just so damn fun to look at pretty things and plan the most spectacular party ev-ah to celebrate your love and devotion to one incredible person. I finally got around to signing up for Polyvore, and voila! My first collage for a city hall ceremony. I don't know how crazy these colors would be in reality, but on the collage I like the gold mixing with the purple. Go visit my Polyvore! I'm already addicted.


Mr. President

[Button from buttonempire on Etsy]

I'm so happy it's official! I voted today and was about to reward myself with a free ice cream cone at Ben and Jerry's. And then I saw the line and promptly left.

The real reward were the election results. Even though the ice cream cone would have been nice. Woohoo!!!



[Vote from Sprinkles Cupcakes]

I do whatever Sprinkles Cupcakes tells me to do. GO VOTE!


My Poor Pumpkin

[Illustration by Meomi; pumpkin carving by Mo]

Ok. So my pumpkin did not go as planned. It looks nothing like the original, adorable illustration by Meomi. The fangs look a little like a mustache and the "BITE ME" is not that readable. And how much do I have to carve off of the pumpkin until I achieve a glowing effect? The pumpkin is so thick, I can't imagine how long it would take me to carve it down to a thin enough layer so that the glow of the candle shines through.

I still have one more mini pumpkin, and the back-side of this big one, so my spirit is not entirely lost. But it's always a bit of a bummer when something does not come out the way it looks in my head. Boooooo!

Maybe I should start drafting the blueprints for the gingerbread house I'm going to make for the holidays.


Becoming an Adult: Organizing My Apt

The Boy and I sit on patio furniture in our dining area. Our bedside tables are those plastic drawer thingies you get at Target. My files are in this red accordion folder, and no, not all my files are in there. Some of them are just shoved into this Illuminations bag from two Christmases ago. We have a walk-in closet but I can barely walk into it.

Needless to say, I'm in my mid-twenties and I think I need to graduate from the plastic drawer thingies and copious amounts of stuff that fall into the "at one point I really loved this and now I do not use it" category.

I'm sure once I clean everything up my cat will be really sad. She hides behind all of the stuff we pile up and pretends she's living in a jungle.

I'm inspired by this post and this one about closet organization from one of my new favorite blogs, What I Wore. Every morning, Jessica of What I Wore takes a picture of her outfit, and every outfit is so so cute! What I like best is that Jessica writes where each piece came from, and a lot of times they are from places that are accessible to poor broke me, like Target and H&M. It's a good place to steal ideas and think about what I should keep or ditch in my wardrobe. But first I have to get rid of the plastic drawer thingies.

[Image of scarves by Jessica Schroeder at What I Wore]


Jennifer Murphy's Bunnies

[All images from Jennifer Murphy's website and Etsy shop]

Poking around Etsy, I found Jennifer Murphy's shop and these ADORABLE bunnies! I love all of the details on the bride bunny, especially her little lace dress and flower pin. She also has an entire gallery of different critters on her website. Bears, bunnies, ducks, mice, elephants...you name the animal, she's made a plush version of it.

But I'm a sucker for the bunnies. They are the cutest.

**Update: Design Sponge and Once Wed already posted about Jennifer last month. I knew those bunnies were too cute! You can even see a "How-to" on Once Wed and Martha Stewart! Now I'm really excited to try and make one myself:

Design Sponge, Jennifer Murphy's Cake Toppers
Once Wed, Jennifer Murphy How-To
Martha Stewart, Pom-Pom Bunny


This Makes Me Smile

[Caption from the New York Times: Luis Soriano, a teacher from La Gloria, Colombia, traveled to the village of El Brasil with his Biblioburro on Oct. 11. The donkeys are named Alfa and Beto. Photo by Scott Dalton for The New York Times]

This article from the New York Times makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Yay for biblioburros!!

Don't forget to check out the photo slide show too. Gotta love the multimedia features on nytimes.com.


Haru's Kind Hearts

[Images from Haru's Etsy shop, "Kind Hearts Paper Wreath"]

Egads! This is gorgeous. I'm stunned by that close-up shot. For more eye candy, go here.


I Found a Pumpkin.

[Mo and pumpkin, Valley Center, CA]

I found a pumpkin. Now I just need to channel my inner-Martha. Will update with photos. Wish me luck.

Anyone else have big plans for their pumpkin?

Pop-Up Advent Calendar

[Eric Carle's Dream Snow Pop-Up Advent Calendar, from Chronicle Books]

I want this. I know, I want a lot of things, but this I might actually get. I know that the gif here is super crappy, but you can kind of see the awesome paper engineering on this calendar. Who cares about flat hang-me-on-the-wall advent calendars when you can have a POP-UP tree AND a POP-UP Santa.

I am also a big fan of Eric Carle and have been wanting to go to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. I unfortunately do not know anyone that lives in Amherst, and can therefore not justify the trip just to go to the museum. Sigh. Perhaps one day I will find myself in Massachusetts and will make time to go.


Happy 6 Years

[Silliness at the Louvre, circa May 2007]

Today marks the 6 year anniversary of us as a couple. Sometimes, I stop and think about how it feels like just yesterday. But really, when I flashback through all 6 years, reality tells me, wow, a lot has changed since 2002. You used to own four pairs of black loafers and not pluck your eyebrows. A LOT has changed.

The Scene: Friday the 13th, Wheeler Hall Auditorium, the University of California, Berkeley

I was sick. We're talking "I have pink eye and I am sneezing everywhere and I just saw the doctor please don't touch me" kind of sick. It was my second year at Berkeley, and I was, like I was for most of my late teens and early twenties, really moody and dramatic. It was Friday night, and after complaining to my friend about how miserable I felt, he suggested I join him and his friends to watch Evil Dead II on campus. It was, of course, Friday the 13th, so it was a nice night to watch Bruce Campbell spray tons of blood everywhere. So I went, with hopes that it'd lift my spirits after having a not so spectacular day/week/month/year. I even remember what I wore: a green zip up cardigan, jeans, and *drum roll please* black loafers. I was also wearing my Buddy Holly/Weezer glasses because like I mentioned earlier, I had pink eye.

For those of you who do not know what Evil Dead II, Bruce Campbell, or zombies are, please click here.

Because we're all geeks, we wanted the BEST SEATS EVER so we got to the auditorium really, really early. Since I've spent plenty of time in movie lines (Harry Potter and Star Wars, cough cough,) and concert lines (too many to list here,) I was pretty content sitting on the steps and chatting. We would be chatting for at least an hour. Maybe two. Maybe three? I don't remember this part very well.

A little while after we got there, two guys were walking through the lobby, and came over to us. One of them started talking to my friend, because they knew each other from a class.

And the other one just stood there, sort of blankly looking at all of us and looking mildly bored. He had a clean-cut look and was wearing a fleece jacket, and when I got a closer look at his round face, I noticed he had a small dimple on his cheek. "Hi--what's your name?" I said really, really loudly, because when I'm curious about people I want to get to know, I find the need to act really, really interested.

He looked down at me (I was sitting on the steps, he was standing,) and said, in quite possibly the most adorable voice ever, "Hi. I'm K----. What's your name?" He reached out to shake my hand, and I reached out mine, and then quickly jerked it back and exclaimed "OH! Wait! I shouldn't shake your hand, I have pink eye!"

Did I mention I'm a really awkward person?

He looked a little confused but sort of mumbled, "Oh, um, okay. What was your name again?"
I yelled out my name, which, by the way, always trips people up, and he leaned down, and said "Sorry, could you repeat that?" At which point I started listing things my name rhymed with. I'm a charmer, aren't I?

We probably only talked on those steps for 20 minutes, but I could immediately tell there was something different about this boy. I hadn't met many people who could come close to how gentle and soft spoken he was, and while we were talking, I could tell he was actually paying attention to what I was saying and actually processing it--unlike some vapid conversations you have at really boring parties, and you know exactly what I mean.

He also kept leaning down to hear what I was saying, which I thought was adorable, just like his dimple. He walked out of the auditorium, and the only thing I knew was his first name. But when I went back home that night, all I could talk about was the boy I met that night at Evil Dead II. In order to mask my own interest in him, I told my cousin, "I found the perfect boy for you" just as excuse to keep talking about him. She doesn't hold it against me today. ;)

Happy 6 years, K---we've come a long way.


Help Dress Me

[Irish Lace Cowlneck Dress by Free People; Gold slip by Free People; Suede boots by Rampage]

I bought this dress a few weeks ago. It fits well and I felt super pretty in the store, so I bought it.

And then I got home, tried it on for the Boy, who then said, "cool, you know I can see your underwear right?", at which point I looked down and thought "oh shit". How did I not realize this in the store?? Why in the world is this dress see-through??

Now I'm on the hunt for a cool top (or fun slip--I love that gold one!) I can wear underneath so I don't flash everyone I know. I'll have to pull on some opaque black tights too. I am also on the hunt for a pair of gray boots.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be appreciative. Thank you.

While you're at it, check out the Free People blog because it is pretty and has fun stuff on it: http://blog.freepeople.com/

I Heart Pumpkins

[Glitter pumpkins; Lace-patterned pumpkins; Pumpkin bird feeder; all from marthastewart.com]

Oh boy. I LOVE pumpkin carving and pumpkin patches. I think decorating the pumpkins and coming up with a design is so much fun. Last year was my first year in San Diego, and since San Diego doesn't really know what fall is, it didn't even occur to me to visit a pumpkin patch.

But this year, I'm going to pretend that I live somewhere that gets below 75 degrees and has fall foliage, and I'm driving out to Bates Nut Farm, where I plan to pick out a few orange beauties to experiment with. Of course I'm looking to Martha Stewart, the holiday guru, for some inspiration.

I can't wait to get my carving tools out and scoop out some pumpkin gutts. So excited.


Sarah Perlis

[Three Bezel Ring; Pink Sapphire and Rosecut Diamond Ring; Oval Bezel Ring; all images and jewelry from Sarah Perlis]

The Boy and I are spending Thanksgiving in New York with my sis and her boy, and I already have a long list of things I would like to do. We are planning to go to Mario Batali's restaurant, Babbo...hit up Cafe Lalo, one of my favorite places to eat dessert...visit the Met and listen to the kid audio tours...and, drum roll please, check out some of the gorgeous rings by Sarah Perlis.


Take note that I am not engaged, but they are still fun to look at and drool over while I pretend to do work. And they are going to be even more fun to look at in person!

Sarah Perlis is awesome because her jewelry uses recycled gold and rough uncut diamonds that are responsibly mined and resourced from a company in Sierra Leone that focuses on environmental responsibility and ethical working conditions. For more information about her awesomeness, read more about it here.


Ananda Khalsa

[Necklaces by Ananda Khalsa, images from Clay Pot]

These pieces are so whimsical and pretty. They are like little paintings you can string around your neck, and I love the Asian influence and delicate details. So pretty.
Check out more art to string around neck here: http://www.anandakhalsa.com/08/gallery/index.php.


Jeff Koons, Your Puppy Made My Day

[Jeff Koons, Puppy. In front of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, front view, by Flickr user Marc Hodges; side view by Flickr user Turkinator]

I got up really early and the first thing I did was buy a gigantic non-fat mocha from the coffee cart, and then my fingers began typinglikethisreallyfastandreallyloud so that everyone could hear my tap tap tapping in the office. Needless to say, I was really productive this morning...even though my hands kept shaking.
I calmed down a little more when I plugged my ears with my headphones and started on some of my photo requests. One of them was for a dog. After looking at rescue dogs, dog sleds, dog houses, and dogs with cats cuddling, Jeff Koons' Puppy popped up during my photo research. And after that I didn't really feel like giving any other dog a chance. I just wanted to stare at Jeff Koons' work all day. 10% because I got lazy after being super productive, but really 90% because I love Jeff Koons.

Check out Jeff Koons here: http://www.jeffkoons.com/site/index.html.


I'm Back.

[Me and my itty bitty niece]

I did some thinking about PA's future, and I have decided to keep it but think of it more as my personal blog---which can still include crafts I do, things I eat, shows I see, and other big things happening in my little life. But, I realize that I need another outlet devoted to something more related to my professional life. I'm working on another blog name revolved around children's books (content, design, and illustration,) but I keep hitting roadblocks, especially since time these days is hard to come by. I have yet to come up with anything catchy. I've had a lot on my plate since the beginning of the summer which is hindering my brainstorming sessions.

So, here's to the slightly modified Pink Argyle! Your regular girl geek just getting excited about pretty things in life. All my book obsessions will be moved to a new location---to be determined.


In Honor of My 101st Post...

I will be re-evaluating my blog and its content.

*I technically should have celebrated my 100th post in my last entry (woohoo!!!!! 100!!) but I was so excited about the uber cool book cover that I just totally bypassed it in my head.*

Right now I post about anything under the sun that catches my attention. That usually falls into a few categories:

-general children's books
-art books for grown-ups
-art books for children
-navigating San Diego
-my fabulous personal life!

Too many categories. There are too many on this list. I need to narrow it down, which, I'm hoping, would generate more interesting posts from yours truly.

I will have to consult some very important contacts of mine (like my friends and my cat) before I start writing again. There are some things I need to rethink, like my focus, banner, and style (I can never decide---all caps in the heading? just the first letter in capitals?)

I'll keep you posted--hopefully this blog is going to have a facelift soon!


"Pirate Chic" from flux

[Cover of The Dust of 100 Dogs, image from flux; catalog cover from flux via ShelfTalker]

One of my favorite blog reads is Alison Morris' ShelfTalker at publishersweekly.com. Alison is the children's book buyer at Wellesley Booksmith and has an eclectic mix of posts on all things children's books---including design! While I of course love reading the books, I can't get past my background as a graphic designer and picture editor and am constantly evaluating the cover art.

She posted a really fabulous catalog cover from flux, a new imprint for teens. It is a variation on the cover of the book The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King, and is what Alison describes as "pirate chic." I love the mix of visuals---that silhouette is so cliche in "chick-lit" but here it gets an unexpected twist (since it's a book about pirates) by being paired with a skull and a model ship. I like how simple yet bold the graphics are, and very fashionable. Our eyes aren't bombarded by too many elements, and I'm a big fan of books where there isn't a photograph of the main character so that the reader doesn't have an image of her right off the bat.

Check out flux here and Alison Morris' blog here.


Olympic Mascots II

[Images from cardmodel.cn]

I gasped when hyperartpro sent me this link where you can download a pattern of an Olympic mascot, print it, and then cut and paste it to assemble your very own paper Olympic friend! Too friggin' adorable.


Thomas Allen

[Limited Edition print from Aperture Foundation, Suspended by Thomas Allen, 2008]

The newest limited edition print at Aperture is this incredible Thomas Allen print, an amazing photographer that melds his love of pop-up books with vintage pulp fiction novels. I love the playfulness, the drama, the precise and skillful book art. I wonder if his work ever goes on display as book arts and not photography?
Check out Thomas Allen's print here and the book here, both available from Aperture Foundation.

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