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Modern in Principle

I seized a copy of the October 1929 issue of Vanity Fair in a junk shop years ago, and have treasured it ever since. Knowing what happened at the end of that pivotal month, I read the articles and advertisements with fascination for a vanished moment of prosperity and modern aspiration. It also intrigues me by raising the question, what is modern? . . . → Read More: Modern in Principle

Everything Old Is New Again

You may notice that Mulberry Jam is looking different today. Coincidentally, I’ve also redesigned my professional website at That re-design was neither quick nor simple, and I’m very glad it’s finally launched. I’d love to know what you think about both new designs. Please drop me a line via e-mail to let me know what you think. All opinions welcomed, positive or negative. . . . → Read More: Everything Old Is New Again

When Modernism Was Young

Last week Mark and I went to the final day of the exhibit on Modernism at the Corcoran Museum downtown. I’d love to tell you to go see it; I wish we hadn’t waited until the very last minute to go see the show. It was a top-quality blockbuster. One thing that amused me about the show– after spending the full afternoon there, I realized how little styles have changed in architecture and domestic design since modernism was new in the 1920s. Any number of items could have come straight out of last month’s Dwell magazine. It seems funny that modernism nowadays is in fact deeply conservative! . . . → Read More: When Modernism Was Young

Warning: Bad Design Below

Have you seen the new logo for the London Olympics? Wow. This is so bad that when I first saw it I thought it was a joke. So bad that a petition circulated to protest it gathered almost 50,000 signatures in England within a few days. So bad it’s precipitated discussion in the House of Commons. There have even been warnings that an animated commercial using it actually caused epileptic seizures among viewers. No, I’m not joking! . . . → Read More: Warning: Bad Design Below

Neato, Frito

It’s been a busy week, so posts have been scarce I’m afraid. My teacher and mentor at the yoga studio is away for two weeks and I’ve picked up several of her classes as a substitute. I’m having great fun but it has taken away from time at the desk for writing.

So to tide . . . → Read More: Neato, Frito

Recursive Photos

Oh, this is cool. This is from a series of photos on Flickr that look like something Escher would have drawn. I’ve no idea how it was done. Although the photographer explains it, I don’t mind saying it was over my head. Please check out the full Recursive Series here to see a flash . . . → Read More: Recursive Photos

Hand-Painted Awfulness

I hate to be mean, but this may in fact be the ugliest piece of furniture I’ve ever seen. The company calls this little item a “Belvedere Bombay Chest”. (And here I thought the term was bombe, from the French.) By their own admission, the makers have applied no fewer than five decorative techniques to create this mind-bogglingly awful thing: “marbleized painted top, decoupaged flowers, gesso stripes, mirror mosaic front, and seashell encrusted foot board.” Not to mention the opalescent drawer pulls, silver rococo carvings and gilt bun feet. Wow. It’s so over-the-top awful it achieves a kind of legendary quality. . . . → Read More: Hand-Painted Awfulness

32 Colors

Don’t you love art supplies? When I was a girl, I used to love the beginning of school mostly because it meant new school supplies– scissors, pens, crayons and pencils. Now that I’m all grown up, I thought I was past all that, but I find I’m not. Not at all. . . . → Read More: 32 Colors