InstaMidsummer

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Ok so I am a very late starter with this Instagram business but I am officially hooked. For those who have been hiding under a rock like myself – Instagram is a free photo sharing program that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it on a variety of social networking services, including Instagram’s own.

You may think its just another new fangled social app to add our exhausting list  – I mean what about Twitter – you’ve invested a lot of time building your social circle and persona? Pinterest - how many hours have you spent carefully curating those boards? And not to mention if you already have a blog – how much more social/information saturation can you take? [you can actually send your Instagram images to all of these formats].

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But, I implore you give Instagram a chance. There is something so magical about seeing a rippling feed of purely visual and poetic imagery from all your friends and peers around the world. Some of the images I can take using the app – applying the filters to simple daily tasks are so beautiful that – that sorry photographers – they trump the time and dedication needed to using a manual camera.

I digress… most of you probably already know about Instagram but what I have just discovered that might even be better that the app itself is Instagram’s blog which groups user images by hashtag. Thie blog gives you a mind-blowing visual overview of what is going on across the world… world events, natural phenomenons and simple weekend activities.

Instagram in one swoop shows that the whole world is different but the same. We all care about the same things – simple pleasures of drinking coffee on the weeekend – the coming of age graduation for thousands of students this month – summer rituals across the world and the awe and beauty of natural disasters.

Without trivializing world issues – I think Instagram just might be a tiny stitch in the fabric of devices unifying the world and just maybe give us a sense of belonging.

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I have been seeing this beautiful project by Dutch design firm Studio Wieki Somers and chocolatiers Rafeal Mutter everywhere. From what i’ve seen projects that usually try to mix design and chocolate tend to fall a little short of being completely innovative.

This 220 pound cylindrical block of chocolate designed by the studio doubles as a storytelling medium, detailing various stories about the history of cocoa as its delicate layers are exposed. The work, designed for the Vitra Design Museum’s Confrontations: Contemporary Dutch Design exhibition, ‘focuses on the search for the hidden properties…that evoke memories or stimulate the imagination of users.’ Various flavors and colours of chocolate are embedded throughout the Chocolate Mill, arranged in such an artful way that when a crank-turned blade delicately shaves-off tiny layers, patterns emerge to tell stories about the candy’s history.

One layer, full of white and red chocolate, recreates an African Bobo mask, which cocoa-bean pickers believe have a special power to bring a good harvest.

This project for me is particularly special because it cleverly taps into the charming trend of graphic inlaid designs on furniture that I have been seeing everywhere – and of course it tells stories which i love.

Check out the mesmerising video below which shows glorious curls of patterned chocolate unfurling from the wheel.

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Chocolate Mill from Wieki Somers on Vimeo.

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Kinfolk

Browsing at Anthropologie the other day, I came across an achingly beautiful magazine I hadn’t seen before. Kinfolk has sweet and holistic concept of a lifestyle magazine that “celebrates small gatherings” by slowing down life and appreciating the small things. Produced in Portland, Oregon primarily by couple Nathan and Katie Williams [who are a contender for a Selby visit if I ever saw one] and their creative friends with a shared interest in small gatherings, the magazine is a collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining.

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Filled with essays and stories accompanied by poetic imagery of tables of food and intimate gatherings – Kinfolk is the Martha Stewart for the Millennials. Published quarterly each volume explores different themes – Volume 2 published in Winter explored  “the joy of spending time with friends and family during the winter months, through brisk morning walks, warm fires, seasonal meals, and revisiting nostalgic traditions”.

The most recent Volume 3 looks at “how we all might benefit from incorporating more of the things we love into our daily routines instead of saving them for the weekend or our next vacation. The essays and personal stories focus on welcoming food, community, and simplicity into our lives as regularly as possible.”

Broken into three sections, features are categorized by the size and type of small gathering: for one, two, or entertaining for a few. The site also features nostalgic and poetic short films about the simple things in life.

Buy it it’s beautiful.

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GeodeBrights

No longer relegated to science books and school charts the design world is literally obsessed with Geodes at the moment and so am i! Geodes are partially hollow sparkling crystals and come in many magical colours.  Lately designers are featuring their forms on accessories, furniture, on textile prints and simply as decor. I want to get my hands on some!

Here are my favourite designs… and I love these magical colour palettes from Design Seeds which show all the intricate layers of colour.

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Liefshop Trinket Pots

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Johnny Rocks dyed Geodes

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Geode Necklaces are everywhere…

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Designers love the texture and pattern of Geodes so much some are even creating designs that mimic geodges. Elyse Graham showed a breathtaking collection of colourful synthetic versions at New York Design Week.  She layers colourful balloons on top of each other to make unpredictable, beautifully organic shapes.

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Elyse Graham

I also love the surprising work of paper artist Paige Smith who added sparkle to non-descript Los Angeles’ replacing broken bricks, cracks and holes with sparkling paper geodes!

La Street Art

La Street Art

Darling Clementine

Scandinavian brand Darling Clementine are one of my favourite home accessories brands – and every-time they release a new theme that is cuter and more fun than the next. Their fresh illustrations always use amazing colour combinations and clever narratives that make me itch to buy more notebooks and totes and cards than i really need!

Their new Folk & Flora series is totally up my street. Inspired by daily life and homely things, reading glasses, Moorish pretzels, cosy mugs of tea, books and sugar cubes dance across canvas totes, notebooks and stationary. I think the designs would look perfect on a tableware collection too!

You can buy the new collection online here

Darling Clementine

Darling Clementine

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