If you’ve ever been to the store and seen our big work desk, you might have noticed some beautiful traditional key joints at the end of the table. Those wooden joints are made from my favorite exotic wood – wenge.
A lot of the mid century Danish wood workers like Jens Quistgaard made some beautiful objects using wenge, this specific piece Quistgaard designed by Danish company Kronjyden. The tray doesn’t necessarily have the same finesse as the wenge pieces he did for Dansk later, but the price was right and the grain was beautiful.
Before Christmas, Juli and I decided not to get each other anything this year for Christmas. So obviously I decided to take the opportunity to get her something small but thoughtful, and since Juli used to work in publishing and has a children’s book collection, I went on the search for some vintage Moomin.
I found these two Puffin books at an online book store in Australia.
Moomin Valley in Winter map.
The really special book was a hardcover 1st edition of Moominpappa at sea. Which features really beautiful original cover art.
There is something about these old book illustrations. The newer books which don’t feature original artwork by Tove Jansson just don’t have the same soul to them. Take a look at “Finn Family Moomintroll”, the first novel. The reissues they are printing now has a terrible cover (below, left):
There is something that captures your imagination on the original cover (right).
On Friday we tried a new lunch spot on King St. West at Portland called The One That Got Away.
We only use sustainable fish!
The menu was filled with all sorts of delicious fish options, but what I was most intrigued about was the ability to order any of the fish grilled instead of fried. For some reason I never liked the taste of fried fish/meat, and fish and chips was always something that I wanted to like, but never really enjoyed. Now with my grilled Halibut sandwich I could really enjoy my own version of fish and chips.
We took a cue from Anthony Bourdain’s “No reservations” series, which has been entertaining us recently, and decided to order way more food than we can eat. We were lured by the fries and decided to order a large basket. Since we got the grilled fish with greens, it was pretty easy to get through most of the fries (shockingly).
Juli got the grilled baramundi salad which she says was amazing. The mango salsa and mysteriously tasty (a hint of tartar, but we have no idea what it is) salad dressing made this meal satisfying without feeling full.
The interior has a set of cool red wire chairs, and an old tin tiled ceiling.
The place has lots of nice natural light, and a reasonable amount of seating. If you can manage to get a seat, I would recommend staying in.
If they ever open a second location, we have our fingers crossed that it’s in the Junction!
In late October there was an exhibition called “Design a life” featuring a collaboration by wood artisan Mitani Ryuji, and glass artist Kazumi Tsuji. I’ve already started a collection of pieces by Mitani Ryuji (wooden spoons), so I saw this work as being an opportunity to invest in something really limited and really special.
This collaboration features a series of mouth blown glass canisters with hand made wooden seals.
A pamphlet on the exhibition.
Last night we met with Alison from Coriander Girl to work out some details about the flowers we will be using for the wedding, and she brought us a beautiful bouquet! It’s now looking pretty in our glass pitcher by Kazumi Tsuji.
I’m used to being turned down from most stores and galleries in regards to international shipping on limited run products. There is such a high demand for works by someone like Mitani Ryuji it is usually preferred not to have any of the work sold or shipped outside of the gallery.
I contacted the gallery Momogusa and spoke with owner and ceramicist Andou Masanobu, who was nice to not only facilitate my request but photograph and email me photos of the exhibited pieces for me to choose from. While I was picking which jars to buy for myself I took a look at Andou Masanobu’s ceramic works and inquired about 2 pieces that I really connected with. One was the ceramic soap dish (above).
The other was a set of 4 interlocking ceramic dishes.
The first book on the left is about Momogusa gallery, the next is the newest book by Mitani Ryuji (which I can’t read), and the last is in English and Japanese by glass artist Kazumi Tsuji.
This post is a bit late. Like we’re into a whole new year late. But we felt the need to share our Christmas stocking bounty since we managed to actually find some great items! We weren’t going to do presents this year but a few days before Christmas, we decided to do stockings and for the most part, we shopped local (yay Junction!).
John’s stocking for Juli (above): MOR candle from Russet & Empire, Happy Socks, Aunt Lolo’s DIY Cookies and airplane comfort kit (in grey bag) from Drake General Store and the Kay Bojesen monkey was a lucky find from World Headquarters.
Juli’s stocking for John: washi tape from The Paper Place, socks and letterpress cards from Drake General Store, Kay Bojesen soldier from World Headquarters and Panasonic Toot-a-Loop bracelet radio from Mrs. Huizenga (Junction location).
We hope you all had a wonderful holiday!