Montag, 29. Dezember 2008

Flying from Sam Fuller on Vimeo.

I am off for some weeks! See you next year!
Hugs and have good holidays, Belle

Freitag, 19. Dezember 2008

The Holiday Cheer - com'on, you can do it!

Aw, let's face it. It is not such a good time around in the world and it seems as if all the Holiday cheer is out of place more than ever.
And as it looks as if everything around us is falling into pieces it is so easy to let ourselves go, drown and dress black (even if we might be spared yet - it's just the general trend).
I found myself in this situation just in these days, yes, one week before Christmas I found myself slowly slipping into sadness. But, wait! Just one minute before I let myself go a quote popped into my mind:

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
Thich Naht Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk

So, I took a deep breath, decided to take it slowly (e.g. sleep over it) and just the next morning I was able to smile. Not that the situation got any better, but I was willing to fight it.

Fortunately, I am not in a bad situation, but others around me are. So, I think it is my job to cheer them up and spread optimism.
Since I am a sucker for "you can do it"-readings, here two of my favourite recent up-beat reads:
Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project is already an online-myth in Happiness and here are her kind words against this year's December blues.

Leonora Epstein writes on msn lifestyle How to Stay Positive at Work. It's nothing new under this sun, but it is good to remember the most simple tricks.

I am not an optimistic person by nature, so "boosting the moral" is one of my personal quests. Just to say the obvious: surrounding yourself with happy things/persons/situations/good vibrations is contagious. I commute 45mins to work, go and return and since my cd-player is broke, but the stereo is kick-butt-awesome, I listen to the radio, switching channel every 3-4 minutes.
The current song that lets me blast the neighbourhood is "shine" by Take That. Yes, I admit it. I didn't get the hype the first time in my teentime (I was way too cool for them), never bought an album, but "shine" makes me sing along and smile. Do I need to ask for more?

Gosh! This is Glam! Just let it shine!

I guess it is as well the Holiday Period that makes me look even harder for good vibrations. There are things that only Christmas can do.
Like bringing together two music icons/idols that couldn't be more opposite.

via Molly (I fancy Bowie's accent. How cute!)

Whatever makes you feel good in this moment, get as much of it as you can, January comes soon enough!

For the new year you'll need a calender, try the one from Mibo, for free download.
It's just beautiful!

So, please spread the cheer, have a good Friday and a better weekend! Belle

via swissmiss

Cutie, you are not alone! xox, B

Freitag, 12. Dezember 2008

Not yet last-minute shopping weekend is approaching

aaww, wonderful song. The Band is so generous to offer this song for free here.

So, back to seasonal talk: did you already make all your shopping? I have nearly finished; this year I have grrrreat gifts! Still two people are missing, but my money is out there in the economy now. Doing the contrary to the rest of Europe I spent more than the year before because thanks to my new job there's more money, yay!

Emily Webber likes shop fronts, London. I couldn't agree more. Someone should do this for every major city. (Some awesome lettering out there.) If you are from London or will go there for the Holidays.. do some shop front spotting! :-) If not, Emily's cool site gives us the possibility for some virtual window shopping.

I don't know who is behind 1001 rules for my unborn son, but for sure it is a cool dad.

To most of them agree and some I make my own.

So that's it for this Friday. Oh I forgot: is this the reason why you are here?

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 5. Dezember 2008

December is a huge red dot in the forth dimension

So, November is over (finally), December officially started and we are all in Holiday-gift-rush-stress (see how non-religiously I resolved the topic?!).
I still need to get some, but half of it is done. Just remember: don't give "pratical" gifts!

All I Want For Christmas Is ... from Paul Rayment on Vimeo.

Ah! Ah! This made me so laugh!

Tom Weller has this beautiful web page about Minims, as opposed to maxims: "statement expressed in proverbial or sentential form but having no general application or practical use whatever."

This is too easy for you?

Ok, try this: an explanation about dimensions up to the tenth dimension. I think I lost myself between dimension 6 and 7, but then perfectly understood 8 to 10. I really liked it, I guess I fell in love with dimension four, I caught myself to fantasize over my BF as a "time-snake" (is very useful with my boss, too).

HA! Maybe you want to go back to the Minims? ;-)

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 28. November 2008

Just when you think you've seen it all, Internet suprises you

I had an uncle who worked for an american company for a while. Every year he got a huge frozen turkey as a gift for thanksgiving and every year he passed it to my family. My mother kept it frozen until Christmas and then made something wonderful stuffing it with a delicious blood-sausage-bread-maroon filling (only way I ever ate blood-sausage).
We kept this turkey eating tradition still after my uncle had changed his job buying our turkey by ourselves.
I remember, particularly, a Christmas several years ago. My mother had send me to a huge supermarket, that has a ridiculous big food section (the kind of big, where you have never seen before half of the fruits they sell) and everywhere I turned I couldn't find turkey. Turkey was out. Funk, what now? It was the pre-cellphone era, it was too far to go back and ask and time was running out. I was sweating. What would my large family eat if I wouldn't bring home a turkey? Could my mother make something else?? Like, what? I had a blank mind.
Then my eye fell on goose...
Oh! Turkey - goose - what is the difference anyway? It's a bird, right? It looks the same (in the frozen version), it probably tastes the same.. so, hey, I just take a goose!
It was a problem to get a goose as huge as my mother asked me the turkey should be, but I came close.
All happy by myself I carried the goose to the cashier like a mother would hold her newborn. Then I noticed the first difference between turkey and goose: goose costs three times more. Argh! But I paid it willingly, thinking how my mother would call me "so clever" by finding such a smart solution.
Oh, that was the second difference.. "mum, there was no turkey anymore. I took a goose." "You. Did. What????"
To make it short. She never made a goose before. Goose is completely different to turkey (seems as if) and anyway it would never be enough for four fully grown men which were my father, my brother and my brothers-in-law.
"I will just eat the filling.." I offered.
"That bloody goose will not have a turkey filling!"

After all I was not so clever. BUT, my mother made a super job and the goose was great. All family members wanted more (but there wasn't) and year after year my mother and I remember this story laughing about the funny parts. I am so grateful for this goose.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
— John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A part from the obvious things to be grateful for, remember "the best things in life aren't things."

Aw! wonderful type-job. Great!

To come back to my mother: she is great in nearly every situation you can think of and every time I hear her she says something encouraging. When she writes, it's always a lovin'letter, filled with little treasures. So, it is not the category of Postcards from Yo Momma... but sometimes she comes near to this.

If you don’t respond to Gma about what you want for Christmas, she’s going to get a tshirt made for you that says “Shit Happens.”

Aw! The loving family! It's always a pleasure to come back - I cannot wait!

Welcome Back from ImprovEverywhere on Vimeo.

So, to come to the surprising, stupendous part: I want this lamp. I mean, if I could lay my hands on it, I would totally buy it.

You can program it so that it slowly opens and lights up when you need to get up... wow, that is what I call a good morning!

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Update: I love how the Japanese face/solve problems. Funnily I will have sushi tonight..

Freitag, 21. November 2008

Happy things

In my hemisphere winter is coming nearer and nearer, days get darker and darker. And with this, inevitably, my mood gets cold and dark,too. But ALT! Stopp! There are some simple things I do, to escape this winter-melancholic-trap:

First, do what your doc just said so: eat a lot of greens and fruits. Second, get some green around you. Go to your local plant nursery and get some new green friends.
If you are like me, you have grown up with a family to which "green thumps" is a joke: they have green blood! Unfortunately, I have red blood, and most plants to me are exactly this: a plant (except edibles). So, I love buying plants, but sooner or later they die, which is tragic. I changed tactics and made my research in an environment, which I think is the hardest for plants: the office! There they get cold and heat, too less or too much water, too less or too much light and no one really "loves" them. What can survive there, will survive anywhere!

Here is a good list for plants that have exactly this spirit of "survival of the fittest".

I got myself a Spathiphyllum which is a though little friend!

So then, after taking care for our personal happiness, let's start thinking global.
There is this nice global event which takes place once a year around winter Solstice Day: the global orgasm! The darkest day, or to say, the longest night of the year, offers plenty of time to just join the party. The smart organizers of this event list three good reasons to do so: Peace, Gender&Social Justice and Global Warming - I could list some other good reasons, but I guess you get the picture ;)
Next dateline is 21st December 2008, 12.04 UT/GMT - I tell you in advance, so you can plan ahead...

Have good Friday and a better weekend, Belle
p.s. if you are still in a dark mood, you might try counting chimneys.

Freitag, 14. November 2008

Aw, it's still November

Yes and it is still raining. Again.
I think November and February are the worst months in a year, I just cannot stand them.

Okay folks, let's have some fun! When I am in a bad mood I tend to be overly judgmental, which means I could be the wrong person to ask for an opinion. (Better not.. hehe)
Get your inner judge out on these book covers: awesome thing and a good way to waste some time.

Just don't forget, "never judge a book by its movie!"

Isn’t it very funny, that I never wrote about the “casual Friday”? The casual Friday was never so important to me, because working in small biz and/or young/creative environment practically everybody dressed casual every day. Even now, working for a bigger, international company I am not bound to a dress code, but there are departments in the company which are and they have the “casual Friday”. Which is kind of funny. I can image that it is a huge relief to take off the tie for a day (even if it is such a great and easy fashion accessory for men, I wished I could wear ties!), be more comfortable and blend in, but – I prefer my boss in suit and tie! I remember the first Fridays I saw the management department walk around in Jeans. Which already were at least 15 years old. Please! No! You want to dress casual? Here you are!

But I tell you, women love ties!

You insist? Okay, get some real Friday wear or if you must, then please sport your inner Tom Selleck! ;-)

For myself I decided to contrast authority (as always) by doing the contrary: they have their casual Friday, I have my "Fashion Friday" - they dress down, I dress up, haha! It's stronger than me, must be some second-middle-child-thing.

Anyway, the weekend is near and you might want to get out of the office for good.

Have a wild ride!

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 7. November 2008

Does your computer reach its full potential?

Probably not. Do you switch your pc off when you are in meetings? At lunch? No? Do you have any idea what your pc is doing with all its free time and energy?
You don’t? You should! We all know that if you don’t monitor the free time of these little, easily to impress machines, they can turn bad and mean. Can you be sure that your pc isn’t secretly planning to take over the world?
You think you know your pc and it would never do such thing?


Fiction is full of what is called the cybernetic revolt, the first which comes into my mind is the 2001 Hal 9000, but even recently with “I, robot” or “matrix” the theme has been discussed widely.

Anyway, I am writing this little introduction to remember you that you can use your pc for the good.

So, instead of letting your pc waste energy and contribute to global warming and the ozone hole you can join the World Community Grid and do something without actually doing nothing. That’s a deal, isn’t it!? ;-) And you can be sure that your pc is too occupied to take over the world… keep it busy, keep it good!

Now, to happier things: Finally it’s Friday turns 1! Yay!

A year of making your Fridays better! Thank you my precious readers who come from all over the world, Europe, the Americas, Middle East, thanks for being here and share your Friday with me! Have some cake this weekend (I prefer chocolate).

Some music to celebrate! (Actually I am listening to this in endless loop this week, it’s just beautiful, even if I don’t understand a word.)

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 31. Oktober 2008

All Hallows' Even!

(Music by Jill Tracy, directed by Bill Domonkos)

I guess, this puts you in right mood :-) ah, the horror.

As a German, Halloween as a very remote part of my cultural background via the Walpurgisnacht, but I welcomed this new holiday and really like it. I think it is a good thing to "make friends with" the dark, the evil&horror for at least one night. It's like laughing into the face of your fears, right?

Here I have a little movie that unites monsters and a passion of mine: lettering. So beautiful!

Following the explosion of Halloween related articles on the web it seems as everybody just waited for the occasion to get out the skeleton!
Here is were you can make your own! Or make a whole spooky house!

Meeting the frightful can end in unusual friendships or insights.

Link: Bitfilm TV

Personally I feel that November is the month of the spooky things, ghosts, fog, black cats and strange sounds from the stairs.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

The perfect month to snuggle under blankets und read before the christmas rush begins.
What about some classics?

The mother of all horror stories:

You still can stand some strange and weird things? Flip through Steven Martin's Set of Vintage Halloween photos. Incredible!

And finally, tomorrow, we can be happy to live in modern times! Thanks to science the witch-hunting is history!

On of the best virals I've seen lately, with genius reference to Monty Python.

Have a good Halloween and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 24. Oktober 2008

It's getting rainy

Yes, finally autumn is really here and with it not only hot cocolate, but rain, too.
Weather forcast says that it will rain today in my surroundings, which means an umbrella is a must (if you are not the english type of guy who faces water from above with a hat and a stiff upper lip).
Personally I opt for Umbrella, every year I buy a new one (of low quality, that's why they last just one season), this time I wonder if I should invest some money and get something that screams up to the clouds: "ha! I don't care!"

or more an honest one?

Find your favorit here.

Fortunately Italy isn't really a rainy country, but when it rains it pours. The worst about rain in Italy is that streets aren't really designed to drain away quickly all the water so often you walk in puddles and even when I tried to hop from one spot to the others you always end up with completely soacked shoes and feet. I am thinking about getting wellies, but then you have to carry your "good shoes" with you and that's just what I want to avoid.

My secret dream: galoshes!
"Properly speaking, a galosh is an overshoe made of a weatherproof material to protect a more vulnerable shoe underneath and keep the foot warm and dry. (Wikipedia)" Have you ever seen some? I mean something that goes over your shoes and keeps you dry?

Search no further: they are here!

I think Swims are one of these products that you see and think: how could I live without before? They are genius! (Judging by the pictures. I never had one, never wore one and probably will not in nearer future.)

So, that is all you need for...

or maybe you prefer to stay in?

Have a good Friday and a better weekend! Belle

Freitag, 17. Oktober 2008

Mister Robert Ryan is a paper Artist which makes these beautiful Papercuts. I’ve never seen something similar before, it has an own personal style, romantic, but modern.

I love his work, surfing around on his website is always a pleasure.

Axel Broetje made a whole film with it - very nice and strange!

This is FinallyitsFriday when I put it through wordle.

I really liked the combination of words this little site comes up with. You can enter your own text, your URL or other. What about your favourit poem?

So, have a nice Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 10. Oktober 2008

Some variations on one theme

This is a little collection of films that talk about one thing: love and all its different stages.
This collections has grown over the last year and I never knew in which post I should add them, so in the end I put them all together. Maybe this would be a perfect S. Valentine post, but I think in February everything will be rosy and we’ll have a love-overkill. I will make my Halloween post then for S. Valentine, ha ha!

Let’s start with dating:

And if dating goes terrible wrong:

But when you've found your soulmate you'd go through everything for them! Aaaaw!

After a while, a very long while, life gets symbiotic. I know people like this. I hope one day I will be one of them.

Or not. Then you just start over again! :-)

Have a nice Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 3. Oktober 2008

Jane Austen Season

It's Friday, please fasten seat belts and relax during our start into the weekend.

See the high quality version here, it's so beautiful!

Autumn is here officially, and in Italy we still have warm and sunny days, perfect to stay outside during the day to enjoy the season. Like every season also Autumn has its own joys: like the return of the tea, related sweets like apple tarts, harvest and extreme couching (read: stay excessive time on your couch/sofa) or do all these things together while reading a book or watching a movie while it’s raining outside. I decided to get some Jane Austen books for my next extreme couching session but this means I at least waiting until November, when weather gets bad even in Tuscany.
Then I stopped in my library and thought why wait?” and got the only Austen book available: Mansfield Park.

Even if it is considered the less romantic book in Austen’s work it still hooked me. And since I cannot have the fine English weather to read it in style I took the book to the park.

I wished I could have even dress up to fit the book’s story.

As I may enjoy reading books in the right ambience, others create the right world for books. Take the virtual tour to Jay Walker's Library.

So, I guess this weekend I will finish Austen and if I have time there will be Apple tart, too!

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle
p.s. still here?

Freitag, 26. September 2008

Just watch the sky

Years ago, when I was still at University, I was collaborating with a team, relaunching an old cinema. It was a painful job, everybody tried to come up with creative ideas, the owner didn’t really know what he wanted, money was lacking and time was lacking, too. After several months of presentations nothing was realized, but in the end they “paid” us with a huge designers party in that cinema. It was wonderful!
After several cocktails we were sitting in the cinema (which at that time was much more decadence, than this)watching old commercials from the 50ies and 60ies (were hilarious). I guess they just taped together every bit of whatever film/movie they had, ending with the newest music clips. And there it was: the first typographic animation of my life. I was stunned, flashed and had goose bumps all over. Since then, every time I was on youtube I tried to find it, but I didn’t remember who it made, the music.. This week the clip crossed my life again, this time on internet (in cinema it was better) – and it is still great. Unfortunately on the tiny screen it is difficult to fully appreciate the work, but for every type geek out there: this is for you.

I don’t know what drives the maker of “just watch the sky” but I really admire the work on this webpage (and the webpage’s name). You’ll find there a really cool music collection and above all the typographic realization of special phrases.

Great work!

And to finish this week with something my office really could need:

EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment from Eepybird on Vimeo.

;-) Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 19. September 2008

I like to start my day with music, work with it and let my mood be guided by it. So I start this post with some music, too :-)

Recently I came across this advertising for bread.. it's so stunning.

Take note of the Titanic posters at 0:12' - the commercial is full of these little footnotes.

Speaking about bread I remembered that the New York Times once wrote about the secret of great bread, with recipe and even a film how to make it. It looks really great, but I haven't had the time yet to try this recipe. I love making brad, but honestly, I wouldn't be able to wait for 12 hours to rise. When I make bread it's already a torture to wait the 4 hours it needs until I can eat the first, still hot slice. Hmmm, best thing on earth! Oh, maybe this is a good project for the weekend.

Since it's still Friday and everybody has at least a day of work to do (lucky who's not working on Saturdays) here something that I found extremely helpful for my daily communications.

It's a copy&past chart you can find here. It includes most ignored characters like n-dash and m-dash and the right multiple sign × …
It doesn’t mean that I use them all the time, but when I want to make things 100% the copy&pasty chart is handy ;-).

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 12. September 2008

It's Friday and it's time to unplug (after work).

Have a good friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 5. September 2008

Buffalo Wisdom

Here's the right music to start the Friday, a bittersweet melancholy with the hint of far away, wind and adventure. Beautiful!

From the band Moriarty, all to discover!

Other things to discover: recently the Guardian published "The 50 greatest arts videos on YouTube" were you can dig yourself through Music, Literature, Film and Art. A wonderful collection which will open your mind and gives you at least 10 good discussions on the next boring party.

My personal favourit is this Pollock Video.

I want to crawl inside and be there! ;-)

Sadly, the Guardian didn't consider Design and Graphics an Art, so I add my personal two videos on this subject.

To close this post with another collection of equal brilliantness: Vanity Fairs's Hitchcock Classics!

They took famous Scenes from Hitcchocks work and set them up again with today-famous actors.

I've chosen stills from my favourit film "North by Northwest"

One of the best dialogues ever (oh, were boring books can lead to..! ;-))!

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 29. August 2008

New Year

So, the holidays are over and I am back in the office. Are you?
Coming back from summer holidays is for me like starting a new year. Maybe this is caused by the fact that my school years started after summer and my mother bought new clothes, shoes, pencils and stuff and everything felt new. Every year I started with new resolutions like “this year I will memorize my latin verbs day by day and not the day before the exams” (didn’t work so good). So September felt like a new year, fresh start. And it still does: I still start with new resolutions (this time it’s not latin verbs, but equally annoying stuff), the urge to buy new clothes, shoes and above all pencils.
My desk gets dusted and I try to make the most possible clean start.
I started with a new Avatar: get yours at faceyourmanga. This site makes Avatars with a lot of features like piercings and tattoos, but as well the possibility to make your Avatar look older than 20 years, which a lot of us will appreciate. ;-)

Some weeks ago I was writing about seizing the day by doing something creative every day or on a very regular basis. This idea isn’t really new, Plinius the elder put it in these words: Nulla dies sine linea (no day without line). I am coming back on this subject because after my post I discovered two people who do the same, first is Julianna Parr. She has drawn/painted/collaged postcards since 1998. There is an on-line gallery that lets you browse all the cards and search them by keyword. Awesome! Fun!

Kyle T. Webster has started a daily figure drawing blog, which is outstanding.

I cannot look long enough at his drawings, maybe they are really the best possible realization of Plinius’ “line”.

Just to finish the week with something that made me already laugh out loud three times:

Here you go, geek font humor.

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

1.9.08 Update

Freitag, 15. August 2008

In Summer Vacation

next post: 29th of August.
See you then, have some good days, Belle

Freitag, 8. August 2008

As is the Gardener...

Gardening can have as many forms as there are ways of thinking. The range goes from zen gardens made to concentrate and find calm, to gardens that have living purpose.
I am so impressed by the following movie. It's awesome.

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Cicero
[I would add a bottle of good red wine]

If you are without garden, then you must go for your balcony or a park. I recently "discovered" the park next to my office, it is really awesome. I can go there to relax, I even tried to run (will pick this up after the holidays again).

"Our happiness in life can indeed be said to be proportional to the extent and intimacy of our interaction with nature." - Daisaku Ikeda

Just to change subject now, there is as well a good reason to stay inside the house: the Olympics open today. I am not a big sport-watcher, BUT I love Olympic games openings, my earliest memory going back to 1984 when I saw the rocket man.
I doubt I will see the opening today, I will be in the office, working. Aw, sad.

Imagery by Jamie Hewlett, the Tank Girl genius.

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 1. August 2008

I start with some music. Just click, let go and read. Enjoy!

Did you ever experienced time flying away? No, I don’t mean the time that passes quickly because you are doing something nice, I mean the time that passes without being noticed. And then I say “oh my! The day/week/month/year is already gone. How?” Well, I heard a nice theory about this: the more your days are similar, the lesser you experience them. Which is, for me and 90% of normal adults the normality: get up, go to work, work a lot, go home. Every day is alike, over and over the same thing. One day equals the other and in our mind they become a blurry single memory: months fly by like days.
I am not the one who jumps to the big-shot conclusion and says: ok – then I’ll just have a world-trip and squeeze out of my day every drop I can. We all know that this is impossible.
But there is another thing I noticed: every day happens something worthy to remember, we just need to notice it.

"Each day provides its own gifts." ~ Marcus Aurelius

More than a year ago I started to make a little scribble for every day. I was far too lazy to write a diary and I found that a little picture about the most important/funniest/saddest moment recalls a whole story. I got addicted to it, I am happy that I started and I am sure I will go on with it for quite a while.

For August I uploaded a template you can use by yourself. Try it! Do whatever you want. If you are one of these persons that cannot draw, try stick figures. Or write - a Haiku maybe?

Every day is a little bit different; I am different every day, even what I like is different every day. One morning, while my pc was heating up I took my Pantone Guide and flipped through it, wondering what color would represent the current moment.
It was pantone 213: a bright Pink. Soon I got into the habit, every day I pick a Pantone Color. The most interesting thing is that normally I don’t like any more the color I picked the previous day. So weird. Summing them up in the last five weeks (only working days) I noticed that somehow I have a pattern. Dark doesn’t mean dark mood and red doesn’t necessarily mean angry or vibrant. I just pick a color. A color that somehow appeals to me in this very single moment, it can be any color, even one I don’t like personally. I should check it out after some months.

I have seen that Pantone had a similar idea, assigning a color to each day. You can check your birthday.

So, I started to value my days, it was more something I didn’t choose, but something that just happened. With my new job I started to write down all the different things I did during the day to monitor my progress. Soon I started to add personal thoughts and ideas and now I have something similar to a work - diary.

Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. M. Scott Peck

I personally love my little black notebook, that keeps track of everything. If you want you can start with a little pocketmod, which you can personalize as you like. I am very impressed by "Franklin's Virtues" that you can add to your pocket mod. It's a very nice little thing with endless possibilities.

Are you a “lister”? I keep listing everything, specially because I cannot keep all the stuff I need to do in my mind. Lists are helpful and it a personal satisfaction to cross out one task after the other. “Now do this” is the virtual list. Awesome.

This was my wednesday - more or less. I didn't put all the calls and mails and discussions. But it's cool to see how your day evolves.

So, finally it's friday and in Italy a lot of people leave for their holidays this weekend. August is the month you don't work, basta.
If you are leaving, too, keep in mind to fill yourself with happiness. So much that you can make your Happy Book! (via Molly)

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 25. Juli 2008

Lead Letters rule

Last week I went to visit a typography and I literally freaked out over e a real Heidelberger Letterpress, which was already very old. The owners were very happy about my joy and sadly admitted that they use the press very rarely, that they even start to throw away lead letters and letter cases. I nearly fainted. How was this possible??

I talked them down to give everything they would ever throw away to me and I left the place as a happy owner of two sets of letters and a real, 70year-old wooden letter case (still have to clean it).
I really admire letterpress art, it is so special.

I know that there is a huge Internet community that shares my love for this art, but it really seems that it is an art doomed to die, or, for the better, will be only for the few. In fact, the typographer I talked to said, that “in these days nobody wants a letterpress work anymore”; so it was a happy coincidence to see the Briar Press: “a community of letterpress printers, book artists, and press enthusiasts. The site is dedicated to the preservation of letterpress-era equipment and the art of fine printing.”

In the Cut&Caps section they offer loads of ornaments free for download – and they are all vectorized! (*oh thank you*)

I remember when I first used something in german is called “typometer” – I really searched for an English translation, I am sorry I couldn’t find it. Anyway, a very technical thing, close to a ruler that you need for typographic work. Normally these things are hard to find and very expensive.. but now you can download one and print it on film. If you are a graphic and read this, here you go.

“Hey, I am not into Typography, you are talking too much about letters!” Am I? Ok, let’s switch to something that I like equally: photography.
Recently I noticed these two websites, that are really photofun:
DeletedImages brings unsharp, moved, blurry and unfocused pictures back to life.” Fun to see the rejected photos of others, I particularly like this one.

Next is Flickrvision: “Flickrvision uses Google Maps to show Flickr photos as they’re uploaded. You can see what people all over Earth are taking pictures of right now! Amazing.” I love it! Take your five minutes off and get a real virtual trip around the globe. Awesome!

Here you go, have a nice Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 18. Juli 2008

Paper is good

Lately I was running my fingers through paper samples for a project at work. After considering thickness and the kind of finish I was searching for the whitest paper I could find. I said “I need paper which is as white as snow. No, even whiter if I can.” I am deeply in love with paper. I collect it, I keep it in stacks, little collections – my house is full with paper that I just love to have with me and don’t dare to use.
Others instead took the love of paper much farer and higher and create wonderful art with it, like Peter Callesen.

His art is so wonderfully special because he keeps the used papersheet visible.

Find more here.

Su Blackwell instead gets even farer: she animates the paper.

if you check out her homepage you can find a cool making-of for this spot - what an awesome work!

It's obvious, that I must at least make a little nod to Origami here… I just add the classic, the crane.

They are easier to make than it seems. Try one! You'll get hooked!

If you aren't about folding, maybe you should try coloring.
Pixo’s 10,000 page colouring book is already over 600 pages long.

He explains these beautiful line drawings are part of a Buddhist exercise in emptiness, which adds a dimension of profundity to the project.

For my project at work I found a wonderful "extra white" paper, which was so great to touch and to look at. Unfortunately this paper was too expensive for the purpose and I had to waive it. But I still dream of it.

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 11. Juli 2008

If I had to say one word, it'd be "hot". It's hot outside, it's hot inside - there is nothing you can do, except taking cold showers, sip iced tea and waiting for the evening, hoping that it brings a cooler breeze.
I am sleeping with all my windows open, which means that the heat in my house overtook the fear that a thief could take advantage of open windows. Until now a lot of mosquitos gratefully took advantage.

So in this moment "hot" is unavoidable linked to "mosquito" to me. What would be your thought about one word?
Find it out here - don't think. just write.

If you are lucky, you own a garden or a balcony, to sit outside and chill - I am not one of these lucky people, which means that I go out a lot, seeing friends with balconies. In donor I bring some chilled wine or a table lantern (hint, hint).

So, have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle
p.s. summer holidays are coming! :-)

p.p.s. How can I talk about heat without the classic! Awwww.. Billy Wilder!

Freitag, 4. Juli 2008

Designer's Blues

Sorry, I had a busy week and I am still on the run.
In the meantime please have a laugh on common reasons for Designer's Blues.

And if y ou have some time know y ourself better with this interesting test.

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||||| 54%
Stability |||||||||||||||| 62%
Orderliness |||||||||||||| 58%
Accommodation |||||||||||| 46%
Interdependence |||||||||| 36%
Intellectual |||||||||||||| 54%
Mystical || 10%
Artistic |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Religious |||||||||||||||| 63%
Hedonism |||||| 23%
Materialism |||||||||||||| 56%
Narcissism |||||||||||||| 56%
Adventurousness |||| 16%
Work ethic |||||||||||||| 56%
Humanitarian |||||||||||||||| 70%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||||| 56%
Need to dominate |||||||||||||||| 63%
Romantic |||||||||||| 50%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 43%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Wealth |||||||||||||| 56%
Dependency |||||||||| 36%
Change averse |||||||||||||||| 70%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 63%
Individuality |||||||||||| 50%
Sexuality |||||||||||||||| 70%
Peter pan complex || 10%
Family drive |||||||||||| 50%
Physical Fitness |||||| %
Histrionic |||||||||||||| 56%
Paranoia |||||||||||| 43%
Vanity |||||||||||| 43%
Honor |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Thriftiness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality test by

I wouldn't say this is me 100%, but a lot of things they got right ;-)

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 27. Juni 2008

Cockaigne \kah-KAYN\, noun: An imaginary land of ease and luxury.

In Germany we called it “Schlaraffenland” and it was always described as “the land where grilled doves fly directly into your mouth”. Everything was eatable and people just lied down under a gentle sun and everything they desired would come to them.

Pieter Brueghel painted a very nice version.

You can see the original in Munich.

I was wondering what I would desire, how my personal Cockaigne would look like and I started to fill it with design-pieces, colors, music, books, leisure, and peonies. Once my greed is satisfied I add health&love for me and my family and, obviously, the more I think the lesser important appear materialistic things. Considering that I have everything I need to shelter and take care for myself and added to that everyone important to me is in the same condition I really feel fortunate, lucky & happy.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

looking down. from hrrrthrrr on Vimeo.

Maybe when you die, you come before a big, bearded man on a big throne, and you say, "Is this heaven?" And he says, "Heaven? You just came from there." - Kirk Douglas

If this is not your style and you prefer to be miserable, just read this fine article: Great ways to be miserable! ;-)

Last, but not least, for my technological readers: a very nice, simple add-on for your desktop, the rainlendar – a calendar that allows you to add events and a to-do-list without getting too bulky.

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle

Freitag, 20. Juni 2008

Today a little bit of everything

So, how was your week? I had a little bit of everything. Some good days, one bad day, and yesterday a wonderful evening in front of the tv watching the German national soccer team winning against the Portuguese.

This post, too, will have a little bit of everything, think of it as a small buffet and you just pick what you like.

I want to start with the mole. It is old Czechoslovakia cartoon movie from famous artist Zdenek Miler. The Mole was part of a very popular german children’s program which I saw every Sunday when I was a kid. Aw, nostalgia!

Are you one of these people that still have the sunblocker from this winter's ski-trip in your bag? Well, it works in summer too, so you are ok. I carry tons of things with me, that one day could be handy, in the meantime my handbag is similar to Mary Poppins handbag: you can find everything inside there.

In Italy, after a rainy rainy may and an awful june (until now) yesterday there has been the first summer day. Today weather forcast said we will have a hot day and I dressed accordingly, but the sky is in heavy clouds...
I start missing hot weather which makes the best background for ice-cream (I cannot eat ice-cream when it's cold) and walks in the night with the one you love, talking and melting away.

Have a good friday and a better weekend, Belle

Donnerstag, 12. Juni 2008

King of the cube

Who is following my flickr-page knows that I have recently changed my job and office. The new ambience is really electrifying and stimulating, I am working a lot to dig myself into it. My new working place is really luminous, for the first time I have a real window, yay! I have a nice view on the motorway (haha) and the Tuscan Hills behind it – which is wonderful, every day they are different and they are similar to the hills in Germany where I lived (in fact they call them “the German Tuscany”), so I already feel connected to them.

Obviously I have so much to do, everything is new. My coffee rate rose from 2 a day to three, first because I am tired, second because a lot of coworkers offered me coffee to know me better and I don’t feel to refuse.
That reminds me of another starbucks commercial, which I so love.

I found the text unwillingly funny:
Glen, Glen Glen Glen
Glen Glen Glen
Glen Glen Glen
Glen's the man, going to work
Got his tie, got ambition
Middle management is right in his grasp
It's a dream he will never let die
Glen's the man of the hour
He's the king of his cube
Status call reports have finally met their rival
Burning the candle at both ends on his way to the top
He knows one day he just could become, supervisor

Luckily my new company as a good mensa where I don’t pay a lot for lunch. But I am seriously considering having my lunches in the nearby park in future.

Get instructions here.

But it isn't all roses and fun, hey, it is work. Even if all my superiors and coworkers are very supportive the last days I felt a huge pressure on my shoulders, waking up in the middle of the night caused by all the adrenaline that runs through my body (or maybe it's the coffee ;-)).
After touching a miserable low in self esteem I re-found my peace in focusing on things that matter much more than work, still promising to myself I would do my best to succeed. A day later I found this article, which says it much better than me, so I thought I would share it with you.

Personal Satisfaction
Doing Our Best

We often come into contact with the idea that our best isn’t good enough, as if this were actually possible. If you examine this notion, you will begin to see that it doesn’t make much sense. Your best is always good enough, because it comes from you, and you are always good enough. You may not be able to deliver someone else’s idea of the best, but the good news is that’s not your burden. You only need to fulfill your own potential, and as long as you remain true to that calling, and always do your best to fulfill your purpose, you don’t need to expect anything more from yourself...
Read here

It even helps me to know, that others have bad days, too ;-)

And in the end: celebrate the art of letting go. After all, the weekend is here.

by Marthawrites

Have a good Friday and a better weekend, Belle