Week [0913].

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Friday the 13th. 

Save for a flash thunderstorm that has parts of Shanghai flooding, there has been no other notable  unluckiness today. Yet. (As I type this, thunder ROARED.) Fingers crossed. 

Aside from being inundated by NYFW updates this week, I haven’t forgotten about other memorable events. Even if it’s a bad one. Twelve years ago this past Wednesday the 11th, I dashed out of Advertising class to take a call from my mom to let me know that my sister, who worked in Manhattan then, called to say she was okay. I got in trouble for running out of class so abruptly but it was a sprint that couldn’t be fast enough. Then at lunch time we all huddled around the TV at the student centre to watch the horrendous events unfold. We don’t, and won’t, forget. 

It’s funny how anticipation works. Overdo it and the excitement might just pass you by before the event actually occurs. I hope this isn’t what’s happening with my trip that begins next Wednesday! As usual it’s the rush to get everything before going on leave and making sure all loose ends are tied and packing and meetings and more packing and gift shopping and goodbye-for-now brunches and…yes. Deep down inside I’m jumping up and down…and wondering if it’s strange that I’m just looking forward to even the flight itself.  

In the meantime…

Cutest hair accessories

A Corbusier-inspired home. Bonus: It’s in Paris!

Esprit Dior on exhibit in our very own MoCA Shanghai. 

If famous writers had Instagram.

Then Man Booker Prize shortlist has been announced.  

Have a lucky weekend!

Photo: Vancouver, 2012.
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Week [0830].

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This week has passed at lightning speed – and that’s a good thing, because I have been waiting for a long time to say, Good riddance, August.

It’s always March and August. Are the stars misaligned? Is it something in the air that makes us slightly more berserk than the rest of the year? Is it about the ending of one season and transitioning into the next?

I’ve been slack in enjoying the “little things” as planned last week. But what I have recognised, is that when one door closes, another really does open. Or rather, you need to close one door before you can open another.

I’m ready for the weekend and even more ready to crack into the delicious umeshu that I grabbed for tonight’s dinner.  It’s been a productive week of this issue being signed off by the client, 5th colour selection for our fancy cover, and the completion of “the” pitch. Time to exhale…and mentally begin packing for the big trip! And tucking into those wonderfully thick September issues while contemplating more “what ifs”.

In the meantime…

Why our best ideas come to us while we’re in the shower, as per Woody Allen.

The essential bag/clutch for autumn.

Such elegance – live stream of a Bolshoi Ballet class.

Honesty doesn’t sell.

Love Mrs. Reed Krakoff’s choice Yoshitomo Nara’s work for her living room.

Addicted to cold press concoctions from these guys.

Have an exhilarating weekend!

Photo: Hong Kong, 2012.

Week [0823.]

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This week’s recap comes a couple of days late (apologies) as I needed to unplug after this past week, which was eventful to say the least. My mind has been going a mile a minute in every direction – and at different paces too! – so needless to say, some R&R was much needed.

The end of August is near, and while my eye is still on the prize (North America in a few weeks!), my mind is already on the ‘beyond’. I’m planning, I’m plotting, I’m scrutinising what should/needs to be done, and when. While immensely talented in multi-tasking, I am anything but a planner. While trying to grapple with making sense of last week, I came across this blogger, who summarises it so eloquently: There is no strategising something that has no heart. Don’t plan/plot/scrutinise unless you mean it. Okay. 

This upcoming week will be about reminding myself to glance past the small stuff and to refocus – hard – on the little pieces of happy. Hopefully I’ll have everything sorted enough to share some big news with you soon.

In the meantime…

So ready to put this NYC field guide to good use.

Grown up lunch bags.

Playing with colour palettes and theories with this new app by Yale.

Recently, I seem to be obsessed with the wishbone.

Love every single incarnation of the Penguin Classics.

The best of international breakfasts.

Hope you had a chilled-out weekend!

Photo: San Francisco, 2012.

Week [0809].

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I’m finally sick. Whether it’s from the weather (heat vs. AC) or from the insanity of deadlines this week, I have finally lost the battle with the flu bug.

The weekend couldn’t have come sooner. While there is homework to be done for the latest pitch, all I want to do is to curl up in bed, drink copious amounts of orange juice, and to finally give attention to the stack of new books that have been giving me the evil eye of being neglected. I need to escape the hectic rhythm of the past week. I think I shall do just that.

In the meantime…

Great tips for the next big move.

Imagining the possible accent walls with these removable wallpapers: faded stripes, music score, greyscale dots, and anchors!

For the kiddies (and the kiddies-at-heart): Moomin furniture!

Lovers of architecture and interiors, unite.

I hate being a tourist.

Have a recuperative weekend!

Photo: Shanghai, 2013.

In the Mood for…

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Autumn.

Creating a moodboard and concept sheet for an issue is one of my most favourite things about what I do. Afterall, I get to call sourcing photography, surfing Pinterest, browsing recipes sites, and reading magazines my job. This is what this week was all about.

Those who know me know that I am awfully selective about being mainstream. Granted, in producing a magazine, we need to cater to our readers. And our readers are….mainstream. However, as an editor it’s my job to inject some unexpected into the expected.

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The palette we’ve decided on will use a lot of gold, orange and plum with hints of pale green. And as usual I will probably try to sneak in tints of blue, just because I feel it allows eyes to rest while being inundated with visual after visual. It’s difficult to not default to browns and reds so we needed to throw in some pops of contrast. I’m also eying the colours of Moonrise Kingdom.

As we all know, autumn is the season for harvest. But in China, it’s not just about flavours and staples, but more so about eating the right seasonal ingredients to keep your body warm – literally. Therefore we will be incorporating chestnut, gingko, white sesame, taro and ginger into our heartier-than-ever recipes. Lots and lots of wonderful, pungent ginger to keep our systems cosy.

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For this issue, I just want to evoke that special autumn feeling of coming home to something warm. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Coming home to the smell of hearty homecooking, gathering around with loved ones, jumping into piles of crunchy, golden leaves, walking into a room full of laughter. It’s always a challenge for me to fuse East and West together (we don’t have piles of leave to jump through here in Shanghai, or apple pie, for the matter), but it’s fun to see how many ways we can sneak new ideas in.

Alright, Issue 10. Let’s get you started.

Photo: Tart + Tea, London, May 2011.
Images: Bouquet, Lipsticks, Yarn, Apples. Tarts, Citrus, Porridge.

New [Work] Digs.

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Our little team of six moved shop this weekend and we are now located in a swanky, official looking downtown office building. Despite global headquarters’ orders to move in with the rest of the agency family, we were slightly reluctant to leave our cosy and creative loft office. We loved our space, our own little playground. We also happened to over-look the rooftop of a family’s home that told tales of an adorable puppy trying to befriend a Queen cat, 5:30pm al fresco dinners when the weather was warm, and the “interesting” daily laundry line. These little anecdotes became our daily work musings, which we will now miss.

But. New office means NEW SPACE TO DECORATE!

I dream of one day having a home office like the set-up above, simple and straightforward. Calming tones, clean-cut furniture with just enough softness. I admit that my tendency for clippings and inspiration will mostly require that I have a large overhead board of some sort, but this calming scene makes me think that efficiency will come with the territory.

8bde3b71-e032-4644-abcd-b08f8eb132e5-largeI am also one who needs at least two selections of pens on hand at all times. Don’t ask me why – I think I probably pluck two or three from the jars atop my current tabletop to use on rotation on a day of planning, and will grab my collection of Muji double-ended felts for editing. This little tray is perfect because it also houses more space for me to collect photos and artwork. Organised clutter, if you must.

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And then we have notebooks and paper products, which make me deliriously happy. This generally means one lined, one unlined, and one to easily tear pages from.

Here’s to hoping our new digs will inspire the team to produce even better work than we have been. And here’s to me dreaming of more perfect work stations…

Images: Office, Notebook+Notepad, Notebook, Organiser.

Week [0712].

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I wonder when I’ll stop daydreaming about seashores and beaches and actually get myself to one.

Today’s photo comes from one of my favourite sets of my own, of Brighton, UK. The therapeutic sounds of the seashore, salty taste in the air, pebble beach, fresh cups of seafood and even ducking from seagulls are all currently sorely missed. Brighton Pier, albeit visited as an escape from heartache, solidified how calming the shore is to me. (Raindrops also work.)

I think I’m homesick…but of which “home”? Must investigate this further, though the multiple international Skype appointments over the weekend might actually be detrimental to this thought.

Hmm.

In the meantime…

Cutest bandeau bikini.

How to Live with Introverts.

Stout reminds me of roadtrips to Portland from summers past. These Double Chocolate Stout Upside Down Cupcakes, however, sound like they could remind of of…tomorrow. Ha.

Hello, Lionel. Hilarious eco cup.

Might be a good thing I can’t get my hand on these paint samples.

Have a red-hot weekend!

Photo: Brighton, UK, 2011.

Makeover.

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Here is another reason, sometimes, to just do things without thinking too much.

So, welcome to the new design!

It was time for a new image – and knowing me, this may happen time-to-time.

Perhaps it’s the sunshine that’s been streaming non-stop into the windows, or that we’ve just wrapped another issue, or, in fact, I am just in need of creative exploration (constantly)…

No planning, just going with what feels right, albeit for now.

New image, new thoughts, new outlook. Now that’s a new formula that I can work with.

Week [0621].

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Summer has arrived for sure, with temperatures hitting 36°C this past week. Couple that with the humidex and you have us all hiding indoors…

But there are certain things you brave the heat for. Like catching up with a old friend from a “past life” over ice-cold Sauvignon Blanc out on the tree-lined Former French Concession street. Or joining the city’s glitziest (and some characters who just thought they were, ahem) at a fashion show for a UK brand relaunch. Or…sneaking out to take a phone call about something potentially BIG. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime…

This Breakfast at Tiffany’s print is not what you’d expect.

Fun and colourful shades for the sweltering Shanghai summer.

My secret passion is to style tabletops. For that, I need these.

The probable reason why we creative types function at our prime in the wee hours of the night.

“We live in a world made up more of story than stuff.” How Not to Be Alone.

Have a breezy summer solstice weekend!

Photo: Shanghai, 2013.