Naturally Claudia Bertini — 25 Oct '16
Seasonless fashion made from linen, cotton, and wool
Victoria shirt in cotton via @bertiniclaudia
Last year, I discovered Claudia Bertini when she released a collection of dresses and coats. For those who enjoy natural materials, you’ll admire Claudia’s designs for the cotton, linen and wool. There aren’t that many designers who make original clothing from natural materials.
The latest collection includes a dress that can be worn as a coat—much like a kimono or robe. Like the previous collection, the clothing is made to be relevant past the current fashion cycle. The dress is made from 5 meters of cloth, demonstrating a style of luxury that promotes comfort.
Cloth edges on a few items are left raw and undone, reflecting today’s appeal for distressed style. In addition, pleats are arranged irregularly.
Flattering and comfortable
soft fabrics: the Thelma Blouse via @bertiniclaudia and the blouse on a trip to Villa Borghese
Perhaps Claudia’s style could be a new standard for workwear. Now that there are more freelancers, more are working from home, why not make clothing appropriate for a different setting? The comfort of Claudia’s pieces make them comfortably career appropriate for modern times.
All images via claudiabertini.com.
My Kitchen in Rome — 24 Oct '16
Delicious stories about cooking and eating in Rome.
Cooking in a practical kitchen, one I can relate to. Photo by Rachel Roddy via Rachel Eats.
"I had no plan, only a vague notion that I would know the place I could settle in when I found it."
The latest cookbooks contain stories about travel and personal experiences. Only recently have I discovered this genre of literature. In My Kitchen in Rome, Rachel Roddy, a food blogger originally from the UK, describes how she came to live in Rome.
"Approaching Testaccio for the first time…I was caught off guard."
"Two weeks later, I signed a year-long contract for a small flat at a gentrified rent next to the market. Did I know at this point that Testaccio was the somewhere I’d been looking for? Looking back, that was possibly so."
I wonder what Testaccio is like. Rachel’s descriptions make the neighborhood seem like a place worth visiting. Located outside the center, in the south west corner there wasn’t an occasion for me to cross it on my last trip. Proclaimed "the most Roman of all Roman quarters", I’m for sure going to check it one day.
Of all the places I’ve traveled, Rome is the only place I know I’ll return to. When my husband and I booked our last trip, we booked it a week in advance. Without any planning, we landed and wandered for a few days. No tickets for anything were needed, just our feet and our appetites.
One of the things I’d like to experience more is the food culture. Maybe I can say that for every place I go to. How do locals eat? Do they really eat four courses as the menus suggests? My Kitchen in Rome shares glimpses of local food culture.
"I’ve already had several lunches at Augustrello, a single-roomed trattoria with frosted windows and a reputation for good Roman food, but it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth one that I witnessed a Roman ritual for the first time. A table of men, deep in conversation and seemingly able to order purely by gesture and nod, were brought a plate of fave (fresh fava beans in their pods) and an entire wheel of young pecorino romano cheese. While the conversation continued unabated, the men opened the fave by pinching the tip, tugging on the thread…they then ate them with pieces of pecorino chiseled from the wheel."
"I remember staring, thinking it both odd and wonderful. I wondered if I too might be brought a plate of fave and the wheel of cheese… fave didn’t even seem to be on the menu I’d studied."
Rachel’s photos from both her blog and her book are taken in her kitchen as she actually cooks each meal. In contrast to the flashiest food photography online, Rachel’s style is simple, honest and easy—there are no flowers or unnecessary rustic tableware. It’s rare to find photo stories that reflect the beauty of reality, undecorated.
Italy's Rarest Pasta: Su Filindeu — 23 Oct '16
Pasta made one strand at a time
Paola Abraini making su filindeu via ladonnasarda.it
I love recipes that transform basic ingredients. Flour, water, and salt, can be made into hundreds of forms. Su filindeu is a pasta that takes years to perfect and because of the expertise required, it’s known as 'Italy’s rarest pasta'.
"No one can remember how or why the women in Nuoro started preparing su filindeu (whose name means 'the threads of God'), but for more than 300 years, the recipe and technique have only been passed down through the women in Abraini’s family – each of whom have guarded it tightly before teaching it to their daughters."
“'There are only three ingredients: semolina wheat, water and salt,' Abraini said, vigorously kneading the dough back and forth. 'But since everything is done by hand, the most important ingredient is elbow grease.'”
"Then comes the hardest part, a process she calls, 'understanding the dough with your hands.' When she feels that it needs to be more elastic, she dips her fingers into a bowl of salt water. When it needs more moisture, she dips them into a separate bowl of regular water. 'It can take years to understand,' she beamed. 'It’s like a game with your hands. But once you achieve it, then the magic happens.'
"'The problem was that once they saw how I actually do it, they’d say, "It’s just too much work", and wouldn’t come back,' she said."
Quotes from "The Secret Behind Italy’s Rarest Pasta" via bbc.com.
a warmer wishlist — 22 Oct '16
Some weekend browsing.
My favorite look from Mara Hoffman Spring 2017 via vogue.com and a tiled fireplace in a Spanish farmhouse photographed by José Hevia via dezeen.com.
The internet is for daydreamers. I love looking at items I know I'll never wear, never visit nor will I ever make use of.
Chaquita banana wore bright blue. She was in a dress, but my favorite look from Mara Hoffman's Spring reminded me of Chaquita’s look. I remember watching banana commercials when I was five, wanting to carry fruit on my head while doing a little jig in a puffy sleeve dress. Would I ever wear the more practical version? I’d love to, but unfortunately, reliving Chaquita in a flattering way costs hundreds.
A bit of the utilitarian style of brutalism found in this modern kitchen. Photographed by José Hevia via dezeen.com
I've been admiring an old Spanish farmhouse, renovated with modern built in furniture. Burnt red tiles are found on the fireplace, all over the kitchen and on shelving. I hope to select tiles as bold in color to cover large surfaces of my home one day. Or maybe move into a home with built in furniture. The tables never budge and the legs are never uneven.
Cotton gauze tunics and dresses by Natalie Martin and a coat made from embroidered indigo cotton by heinui.com.
I wish I could wear light cotton all the time. Unfortunately, the breathable cloth is not suitable for winters I go through. LA based Natalie Martin makes a range of dresses and tunics in light cotton gauze. It's so light it's actually gauze. Another label based in a warm place, Heinui from Barcelona, is making jackets from embroidered cotton. I wish there was an occassion to wear cotton coats in the winter, but the only occassion I have is indoors.
rome walk — 21 Oct '16
If there was a way to trade commutes...
random path in rome: the high wall on one side seemed to be protecting an exotic garden
Imagine if you could walk in someone’s shoes for a day. I would love to trade places, even if it meant living someone's boring life.
During a visit to Rome, my husband and I wandered onto a side street after exiting the chaos of the Vatican. We were overwhelmed by lines, slow moving tourists, and pushy women with fanny packs full of passes to skip lines. In desperation, we darted onto the first side path. The narrow road was bordered by a a high fortress wall and a cliff overlooking five story apartments. Cars accelerated past us as if trying to escape the experience of being on this road. Everyone was there to get somewhere else.
At the end was a large fountain and overview of the city. Delivery vans could be seen every five minutes making sharp turns and the people around were all walking at a brisk pace. We met two tourists photographing the fountain, far below the number we've seen in a cluster.
the park entrance: We finally got to the entrance of the garden. But by that time, I was hungry. I was more interested in finding food.
hilly landscape: From this vantage point, you can see the seven hills Rome was built on.
uneasy: The fountain is enclosed within a busy road. I took the photo in between cars whizing by. My back was towards a cliff edge and there was a couple of feet to stand and view the fountain. I had to step back enough to avoid water splashing from cars but forward enough not to fall off.
steep turns: This house is built on multiple elevations. The terrain allows for different styles of gardens: elevation plays a role in arranging trees and plants
As we continued walking, we saw more people coming and going. The area had no places of importance, which made it all the more interesting. This is a path that commuters walk on to get to and from work and school. There were no tourists taking in this part of Rome.
The road led down the hill to livelier areas, where there were restaurants every couple steps. I’m not familiar with the Mediterranean vegetation since I flew in from a place where trees had lost all color. The green foliage and cypress trees were soothing to see. Also, I’d never been in a place where oranges grow. In Rome, it was common to find orange trees growing from sidewalks. Branches were weighed down by fruits the size of grapefruits. Food just falls off trees.
I’m sure locals are not enthusiastic. If there was a way, just to switch places and see what someone else sees, perhaps the world would be a happier place. Especially when an annoying commute can be an exotic travel destination.
walking down: I was super hungry and there were no restaurants in the area we were exploring. A downside for going 'off the beaten path'.
regular occurrence: This fountain just sat at the bottom of the steps. I think it's opulent but it's normal, everyday for Rome. We descended into Trastevere, a neighborhood with great dining options.
So many high walls. From the street, I'm always wondering what's behind.
chicago lakepath — 20 Oct '16
Where I live is not my home. I am my home.
Pearly iridescence: A typical summer morning on the lake path
I’ve spent a lot of time in Chicago, but despite the number of years, I still consider Berlin more 'home' than Chicago. Perhaps it has to do with how comfortable I was with myself during the time I spent there. I visited the Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry in junior high and high school for field trips and weekends. Although I was also there in college, I hadn’t been outside of the education system where I had to actually make decisions by thinking for myself. Chicago has always been a place for me to prepare myself, so one day, I can move out.
"Where I live is not my home. I am my home." - Marianne Faithfull on her home tour via Nowness
During one summer living downtown, I started biking on the lake path. I’d get up in the morning and immediately go for a ride up to Lakeview to grab a cup of tea. Back then, I believed tea was much healthier than coffee, so even if I wanted to have coffee, I’d have tea. What’s healthier than a healthy morning bike ride? A healthy cup of tea.
Morning Tea at one of the best coffee places, Intelligentsia
I soon became addicted to riding in the morning. The sun shining on open waters was slightly different but always breathtaking. These photos were taken from one of the mornings.
It feels like you’re in paradise. But even that feeling doesn’t make me want to live there. I can see why Chicago can be an excellent place to live. Despite the amenities, for some reason, I can't imagine settling there.
Alentejo, Portugal — 19 Oct '16
A very interesting middle of nowhere. Travel photos by Malcolm Bull.
"This is a church in the town of Campo Maior." and "an isolated cork oak tree in a vast rolling wheat field."
If you’ve ever been on a roadtrip in the US, a small town in Kansas can look very similar to a small town in Colorado. Similar styles of architecture and the same stores are available in most rural areas, along with the same Walmart, and similar Waffle Houses on the side of highways.
When I drive across Europe, the small towns outside big cities all have their own charm. You don’t have to go to a well-known touristy place to enjoy unique surroundings.
Alentejo is an agricultural region of Portugal. For over 300 years, the barks on the cork-oak trees are harvested there to make wine bottle corks. There’s a ton of wheat grown here as well.
While the middle of nowhere is really nothing special in the US, the middle of nowhere in any country in Europe is special. Flickr has been a great place to find original places to travel. Here are my favorite travel photos by Malcolm Bull, a Sussex based amateur photographer.
"the Pousada Hotel Flor da Rosa, near Crato, Alentejo, Portugal"
"Traditional blue patterned tiling on the outside of a house in Estremoz" and "bright white walls and potted flowers - Vila Viçosa"
"This cottage is on outskirts of Flor da Rosa, Alentejo." I love finding different details in different places, like the fenced in patio entrance.
"on a ranch in the middle of a vineyard - The Herdade da Malhadinha Nova"
All images and caption quotes by Malcolm Bull. View the entire album on Flickr.
local aspirations — 18 Oct '16
I don't regularly come across new ideas.
Today, I came across a new idea: aspire to be what has been traditionally revered in your own locale. The principles behind the local food movement can also be applied to tradition and culture.
"Rather than wanting to be like one’s own parents, or like the successful baker down the block, or even the respected political leader, young people may want to be football heroes, or to produce videos for Youtube. They withdraw their attention from exemplars of their own local culture and may fail to acquire some of the skills and attitudes that made for success for previous generations and may be important in adapting to local environment. " - Jerome H. Barkow, How the Internet Subverts Culture
Moss Garden — 17 Oct '16
A piece of the forest floor
Yesterday, I returned from the thrift store with two deep glass dishes, one with a lid and one without. I didn’t have any specific intentions with these glass containers. In the evening, for a flash second, I recalled seeing a photo online of a dining table with a bowl of mossy rocks used for the centerpiece. The headline mentioned how simple moss is to care for.
This morning, my husband and I went to the forest to forage for moss. I was determined to create some sort of terrarium with moss. We came home with a variety of lichen in addition to moss. With pebbles and soil, we recreated the forest floor.
My husband’s sister created a scene with a ton of variety (the first photo in this post). I really like how she put her’s together. So much variety can be seen in a well-arranged circle space. In the forest, it’s hard to notice the detailed pattern of the moss. I actually like hers more than mine.
Here's what we came across while foraging for materials:
I believe this is a type of reindeer lichen. I really like how the frosty green contrasts the deeper green moist moss.
The entire forest floor is a carpet of moss. It's very soft to step on. The weather was cold and damp, there was plenty of moss everywhere.
I would love to keep such a mushroom alive indoors. Unfortunately, it would probably start decaying if I tried bringing this Super Mario mushroom home.
Here we laid out the lichen, moss, a few succulents and natural 'props', like acrons, leaves and twigs.
Here's how my moss garden turned out. I hope it grows into the soil and becomes more lush overtime.
weekend snaps — 17 Oct '16
The last green leafy plants in the garden and flowers drying while dying.
This weekend I went to a very large thrift store. Made from a compound of tents, the shop had a department for anything that anyone would want for their home.
DVD's, old speakers and electronics along with toasters and coffee makers were housed in one tent. Another had table and bed linens. I spent most of my time exploring the patio where there were over ten back to back shelves of pottery and tableware.
Although it was cold, I was in a good mood, finding two bags of items that totalled to $15 but feeling more like I'd left with ten times the value.
The largest tents were filled with vintage furniture. Some kitschy, some tasteful. I posted a few snaps of the place via Instagram stories (@tforia and @tforia_journal).