Xenogenesis

lilliths_brood_cover_artI recently finished reading Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy, and just had to share.  Published under the collection title Lilith’s Brood since 2000, it is made up of three novels: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago.  Butler is an excellent storyteller, with a “hard science fiction” bent in this trilogy that is satisfying as well as thought-provoking.

The series takes place in an interesting sort of dystopian future, where humans have destroyed Earth and each other almost completely.  An alien race steps in to save what is left, hoping to trade genetic material to ensure the survival of both humanity and themselves.  The aliens believe humankind, if left unaltered, contain a “Contradiction” between their high intelligence and their hierarchical nature that will lead to eventual demise in every scenario, as was already proven by our destruction.  A fascinating thought to consider, isn’t it?

While my own personal prose style preference strays closer to that of Amor Towles, thematically Butler does a masterful job of exploring sexuality, race, species, gender, and humanity — deftly and also in an entirely un-preachy way.  While decades old at this point, Lilith’s Brood is almost frighteningly relevant to us today.  Are we doomed to obliterate ourselves without some kind of outside intervention?  Can our intelligence outweigh our hierarchical strivings?  Is our stubbornness a boon or a hindrance?  It may be that history will have to play itself out before we can answer these questions, but Butler gives us a powerful nudge to think about these things sooner than later — all tied up in an engaging alien-encounter package.

Octavia Butler cover art by John Jude Palancar.

You guys! It’s here! A+

Stop the presses, everyone!  Anthropologie has finally expanded their size range to include both petites AND larger sizes.  Their new A+nthropologie items go up through a size 26W, and I could not be happier.  Over 120 new items, including dresses, tees, jeans, blouses… I am thrilled.  The only caveat is that their expanded line is only available in select stores and online, but I am hopeful that Anthro will expand availability in the near future.  In the meantime, I love that they have a great assortment of pants especially — tops can be easier to find, but a good pair of pants can be hard to track down, as can a well-cut dress.

I have to say, I am so pleased with the styling of this collection.  The models look wonderfully confident in their own skin, and they are seamlessly integrated into catalog photographs and ad space.  The clothes can easily be found by size, but they have not been shuffled off to a sad corner to exist in a silo — pieces are integrated well into the existing product line-up.  Bravo, Anthro.  It is encouraging to be seen and included.  A few of my favorites, below:

buttoned top  slim jeans  patterned tee  gingham dress  relaxed chinos  pocket joggers

Women creatives

Happy International Women’s Day!  In celebration of women, the work we do, and the world that we shape, here is a round-up of artwork and ceramics by women makers that I’ve been loving lately.

There is something feminine and strong about these paintings by Bernadette Marie Pascua.  She is a multi-disciplinary artist based in New York City.

Humble Ceramics, created by by Belgian-born artist Delphine, offers artisan pottery made with mindfulness and intention in South Los Angeles, one small batch at a time.  I love their Alder tumblers.

On Society6 you can find art prints by Tracie Andrews, an abstract artist based in the UK.  The considered colors and shapes make me smile.

Bobby Clark is a Scottish artist and photographer who currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.  Her latest artworks “explore the symmetry and balance of shapes, creating minimal studies of shape composition,” which I find both meditative and inspiring.

I covet this small half mesa bowl from OATMEAL.  Elise Birnbaum is a maker and founder of OATMEAL, where objects are designed and made with care in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — ethically and with respect for the material and the people they are making for.

Support women, support artists.  Happy International Women’s Day.

 

Something old, something new…

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via CB2

In my ongoing love affair with CB2 this season, I am finally replacing our old hand-me-down dining table.  I have had all the heart eyes for months over this stunning Cypher table in black marble.  On Saturday, it will finally be mine!  Delivery is scheduled for this weekend, and to say I am excited would be a gross understatement.

For a long time I have admired the look of artfully mismatched dining chairs, with  beautiful interiors like these providing perpetual inspiration.  I love the way colors and styles can be juxtaposed for interest, and the collected and unique vibe they can give a space.

elle decor   sfgirlbybay   my scandinavian home  @lieblingsblicke

I have gradually been tweaking the mix of seating in our own dining area over the last few years, with an eye for scale, proportion, and comfort.  Now that we’ll have a table I love, I am even more excited to see how everything plays together!  Here is my precious our table that will be delivered this weekend, along with the mix of chairs I have ready and waiting for it.

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woven chair   molded white chairs   oval back chair (similar)   X-back chair

If you need me this weekend, I’ll be happily sipping tea at my new table, savoring the view from every angle — and perhaps from every chair.

 

 

 

 

One of my favorites: Pigment

Nestled on 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, Pigment is perhaps my favorite store in the city.  They strive to embody all the things I admire about a brand: organic, modern, friendly, homegrown, and local, with incredible style to boot.  It is a beautiful gift store with a laid-back vibe, full of plants, jewelry, home goods, accessories, stationery, and much more.  Every time I visit I am inspired!

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Besides amazing home wares, Pigment offers a “plant lab” where you can choose your plant, a planter or terrarium, and any number of pretty decorative stones, gravel mixes, and sand options to assemble your own creation right there in the store.

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Pigment also carries sweet children’s goods and an enviable selection of bath and body care, including tons of swoon-worthy candles.  (Btw, I am kicking myself for not buying that pretty little rainbow print to add to my gallery wall at home — isn’t it precious?)

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If you’re in San Diego and have a bit of time, Pigment is not to be missed.  Saunter, browse, and enjoy!  They are always adding fun new things, and many of their products are by local brands and makers.  If you only wish you could be in San Diego, they have an online shop as well.

Craving a bite to eat or an excellent cup of coffee?  Urban Solace two doors down serves a delicious brunch, and you can hop across the street for coffee at Dark Horse Roasters while you wait for a table.  Let’s just say you won’t be sorry.