Week Love

UPPERCASE Magazine Steal

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Look what we got in the mail! We regularly buy just a few select magazines and publications, but I really do look forward to getting these in particular.

It’s rare to see the level of quality and care that UPPERCASE magazine has. When you see it, you can just feel that it was designed with love. Make no mistake, making something with this level of attention is difficult. The layout is sublime, the images and featured works are beautiful, the stories are carefully curated, and the printing quality and paper is just amazing. Getting little extras from designers and shops with the issues is like the cherry on top.


Speaking of cherries, I thought the little scratch & sniff cherries on the cover of issue number 17 was so cute and unexpected.


These little touches of care and UPPERCASE’S focus on supporting the creative community make the magazines well worth the price, in my opinion.


Pure delight and love, plain and simple.

We were sad to hear that due to unexpected circumstances, UPPERCASE has to move their headquarters. In order to raise funds for the move, they are offering a big sale of their back issues and books until Sunday. If you get to the shop on time, you can get many of the back issues 50% off, which is quite a steal indeed.

Visit their shop here to get yours.

Ceramic Designs and Other Things We Loved This Week

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This week, Naomi and me have received a shower of inspiration from a group of artist friends who are now taking the online course ‘Make Art That Sells’ at Lilla Rogers Studio School. They have all worked on an assignment for plate decoration and… the results are diverse and all exuberant and outstanding!

I love this type of decorations! In the 80’s, I earned a life  for a while creating ceramic pieces. I took a course on typical Spanish ceramics decoration and worked on pottery, plates and tiles decoration. This awakened my love for what in my country is a long tradition. I specially love the Spanish styles from Talavera, Fajalauza and Teruel, which pieces you can positively see at every Spanish home.

After the conquest of America, the Spanish styles influenced the ceramics in South-America, especially the style from Valencia. Many centuries later, these decorative styles were a huge inspiration to Mary Blair, The Eames, and other mid-century modern artists.

Here are a few samples of the terrific work from several artists at Lilla Rogers Studio School. I love the Mediterranean and Hispanic feel from all of these works, the colorful vibe and spring exuberance. They make me feel like cooking paella on a sunny Sunday morning!

Gillian Martin

Design by Gillian Martin.



Design by Sarah Walsh.

flora chang

Design by Flora Chang.

design by Lisa Firke

Design by Lisa Firke.

Beegee Tolpa

Design by Beegee Tolpa.

jill howarth

Design by Jill Howarth.


Design by Tammie Bennett.

This week, Naomi and I were watching at an amazing documentary from 1956 by cartoon artist John Sutherland Productions. “Your Safety First” is a commission from the Automobile Manufacturers of America and it portrays the history of cars from the past to the future in the year 2000. Of course, the car is portrayed as an irreplaceable part of our lives.

your_safety_first 1

Something that I learned when I first moved to Washington is that, unlike in Europe, here you can’t survive without a car! 

Just like other futuristic cartoons at the time, such as The Jetsons and some Disney short films, the way that our present times are portrayed is pretty funny. Some things are prophetic and other couldn’t be more wrong. Here are a few examples:

  • 4 hour work day
  • Computerized homes
  • 3D televisions and newspapers with sense of smell
  • Intelligent cars that drive themselves
  • A social media driving system to communicate between vehicles

your_safety_first 2


All this looks pretty cool, I mean, it’s great that we can now enjoy modern technology. But Naomi and I keep wondering if humanity is developing the new possibilities in the right direction…

We are aware of how much harm the automobile industry has caused to American society. To increase the consumption of oil, cities have been designed and re-designed, taking away the neighborhood life and shopping facilities from people, making walking habits almost impossible in most cities. For a European person like me, who is used to doing all the shopping in 1/2 mile radius and talking to all my neighbors and shop vendors, this way of life is a disgrace.

Hopefully, today things are starting to change. Young generations are turning their backs to the car. They realize that the American dream of freedom based in mobility is not for them and retrofitting suburbia is a reality.

Naomi and I are not against modern technology, that’s for sure. But we think it could serve us in a more organic and humanistic way. It needs to be in tune with what the potential of humanity is: a future based in the synergy between humans and nature.

For this reason, when we started Epokka we decided that we wanted to create products that would keep us in touch with our inner core. Electronics devices can be very handy for some things, but there’s nothing better than paper and pencil to concentrate on the creative experience without interference and distractions.

Vintage Cookbooks and Other Things We Loved This Week

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Who in the U.S. doesn’t have an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook somewhere about? When we first moved to the U.S., we saw an old one from the 1968 in Goodwill and I couldn’t resist taking it home.

Oh, the traditions and the weird ideas! Strangely, some of the coloring in the photos seem to make the food look rather unappealing. Never you mind, you go on with your pretty French macarons and we’ll be over here with our cocktail wiener tree.

Speaking of cookbooks, how great is this mid-century modern cooking flickr pool we found of not only snapshots of old recipes, but photos of recipes people have cooked themselves?

Mmm, chocolate goodness

Pass me a wiener?

Another joy to find was this amazing roundup of beautiful bookboards on Design Mom. It’s probably no surprise that we share a common love of books around here.


I believe my favorite is the Alexander Girard cover, but it’s a tough decision!

Every once in awhile you find something so timeless that you’re not sure if it’s actually vintage or modern. That’s how I felt when I first saw these gorgeous scans from The First Book of Language, 1962, courtesy of Present and Correct.


Oh, Scandinavian design! You light up my heart and make me want to play! Do they have something in the water over there or what? Nina Invoirm is having a sale over at her shop right now on her wonderful charming ceramic pieces.


I wouldn’t want to use these, just put them up on pretty shelves and look at them.

First cookbook photo: Naomi Niles
Second cookbook photo: Vintage Midcentury
Alexander girard cover photo: Alison Moore
Book of Language Scan: Present and Correct
Ceramics Photo: Nina Invoirm