Artist: Jennifer Collier

Jennifer Collier is an artist whose degree in textiles, at Manchester Metropolitan University gave her a solid foundation to branch out in different mediums.  Her studies led her to experiment with various materials and she creates 3-D paper sculptures using a variety of techniques including weaving, layering, lamination, stitching, waxing, embedding and fusing, often with found materials.  

Artist Statement:
The papers are treated as if cloth, with the main technique employed being stitch; a contemporary twist on traditional textiles.

The papers themselves serve as both the inspiration and the media for my work, with the narrative of the books and papers suggesting the forms.

I tend to find items then investigate a way in which they can be reused and transformed; giving new life to things that would otherwise go unloved or be thrown away.

What are some of your favorite uses for recycled paper? 


Different Type Of Learning Environment

I am passionate about educations and the current need to revamp the 100 year old system most public schools in North America employ.  As many of my readers know, we took our monkeys out of private school and are homeschooling.  For us it is the best 'system' we have access to.
I know there are school all over the world that have created systems of education that are considered revolutionary and experimental.

I saw an article about a 'free school' in Sweden called Vittra described as:

no classes or classrooms – instead, the students are taught in groups according to level based on the school’s pedagogical principles of ’the wateringhole’, ’the show-off’, ’the cave’, ’the campfire’ and ’the laboratory’ – didactic approaches that create different types of learning and teaching situations. In Vittra, they do not believe in regular classes and the school organisation’s vision is to create an everyday for the individual students where individual development, a living cultural work and challenging learning environments are most important.

Here are photos from the Stockholm location:

Here is part of the school's philosophy and mission statement:

Vittra gives every individual the opportunity…
  • to find the best approach for them 
    Children play and learn on the basis of their needs, curiosity and inclination in the best ways possible.
  • to learn based on experience
    Children’s learning is based on their experience which increases motivation and inspires creativity.
  • to understand their own learning
    Children are equipped with the tools to acquire new knowledge and increase understanding of ‘How I learn’, which enables them to learn more easily and effectively in the future.
  • to have faith in themselves and their abilities
    Children become more self-aware, aware of their strengths and potential for development which means they dare and like to be challenged.
  • to develop their ability to communicate and engage in respectful interaction with others
    Children understand and are considerate to the needs and interests of others, they can express and stand for their own views as well as take responsibility for their actions.
  • to be equipped for study and work in an international environment
    Children develop effective bilingualism in English and Swedish while experiencing and creating international contacts through networks and exchange programmes abroad.

Would you have loved to learn in an environment like this?

Would you send your children to a school like this? 



I love this idea! Cuppow is a company that produces lids that fit over mason jars, which convert into clever drink holders for your favorite hot or cold beverages.
This is such a throw back to my university days when we used mason jars as drinking glasses- a concept which has been making rounds as a cute party drink idea in blogland.
What I love the most about this company/idea is that it creates an alternative use to something that most people probably already have at home.

In the words of the inventors:
The canning jar already makes an awesome platform for a travel mug: it’s easy to clean, made of heat-resistant glass, cheap, durable, and when sealed it doesn’t leak. The only problem is that with their large openings, canning jars are not great for spill-free sipping while on the move. So we adapted it - made a new lid that lets us drink like a boss from virtually any wide-mouth canning jar ~ Joshua and Aaron

The lid cost $7.99 and is reusable, dishwasher safe, BPA free and durable.
Check out this cool video below:

CUPPOW! from Paper Fortress on Vimeo.

Check out their website and order your very own Cuppow
What is your favorite reusable product?


Carl Kleiner

Carl Kleiner is a Swedish based photographer whose work I first became familiar with when he did the photography for an IKEA cookbook called Hembakat är Bäst or Homemade Is Best

I really appreciate the originality of his photographs in this cookbook. 
Using a minimalistic approach, Mr. Kleiner creates a visually inspiring display of ingredients. 
To see more photographs from this book check out Homemade Is Best at IKEA.
Some of his other works with food include these cuties:

Mr. Kleiner also did a really amazing job with a commission for the company AVIOS:

And most recently another collaboration with IKEA- this time presenting their Kitchenware with geometrically balanced precision. 

It certainly makes me want to go check out some new kitchenware at IKEA-
What is your favorite style of photography for a cookbook? 


Film: After The Wedding

I did not expect to like this film.  I ordered it and it sat and sat on top of the DVD player.  I could not even remember why I had ordered it.  One night when Dr. J was out for a work thing I decided to watch it.
This movie is excellent. Amazing. Easily a favorite. 
It is also primarily in English. 

This Dutch film came out in 2006 and gained nation wide attention after showing at the Toronto Film Festival in the same year. The story starts in India at an orphanage and plays out mostly among the wealthy elite in Denmark. 
The film is chilling in its explorations of love, money, obligation and responsibility.  It has amazing twists, that are impossible to foresee.  
From the NYT review this film: "relies on whipped-up familiar ingredients — a birth, a death, a wedding, a funeral, a man, a woman, another man, another woman"
I recommend seeing the film prior to reading any reviews.  I promise you will love it.

Have you seen After The Wedding? 


What We Eat

It's been awhile since I did a 'what we eat' post.  Here are some meals we've been eating at home and out and about.  My friend M. gave us a restaurant review book for our city as a Hanukkah gift so we've been checking out some of our local cuisine-
Trying to get my smoothie in-take to a couple of times a week-
I like to mix blueberries with spinach for less likely detection. 

One of my favorite breakfast meal and reminds me of my grandfather-
Fried mushrooms with garlic (real) toast and fried egg

The Veggie Benny at our favorite breakfast place

Typical Jewish Brunch

Homemade Pho

Veggie burger made with black beans


Homemade bread with Eggplant Parmesan

Bento Box

Veggie Pizza 

In and Out! 

I like to make a bird every week- buy organic and use every last drop of the bird including carcass to make broth. 

Chocolate sauce spare ribs- great way to use up the huge amount of premium chocolate bars we got over the holidays. 
What have you been eating? 


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


BIOME By: Samuel Wilkinson

Inspired by the desire to create alternative uses for a smart phone or tablet and the idea of slowing down, designer Samuel Wilkinson created Biome.

This self contained flora terrarium is climate, water, light and nutrient level controlled via your smart phone or tablet. 
Wilkinson calls his prototype creation a "living Tamagotchi" and says that: “The idea promotes 'digital downtime' by finding an alternative use for smart phones and encouraging their owners to consider a slower life. The control and nurturing of a real mini eco-system takes patience and care, contrasting with the immediacy of messaging or tweeting that is so characteristic of the smart phone generation.”

This would make a cool gift for an urban dwelling green thumber. 
Check out Samuel Wilkinson's website


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember


Film: Crazy, Stupid, Love

This film opens up with a married couple, played by Steve Carell and Julianne Moore, having dinner and her asking for a divorce.  
Blindsided by this news the plot quickly thickens when the other cast members appear, one by one and the overlapping love triangles and relationships emerge. 
I am not one to get girly crushes on movie stars, however, Ryan Gosling is extremely easy on the eyes.  Furthermore, his character has a fantastic house with great architecture which I find makes him all the more appealing.  (Click to read my review of Blue Valentine)

I enjoyed this film because aside from a fantastic cast, it is not predictable.  
This is the third film I've review where Julianne Moore plays a cheater ( and here)
Have you seen Crazy, Stupid, Love? 


Mats Ottdal

Mats Ottdal is a Norwegian based graphic artist and illustrator.  He studied at the University of Melbourne and has a passion for topography which I thing is evident in the work he does. 

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