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BooksI rarely pay for books. I usually borrow most of my books for free on my phone from the New York Public Library, score some interesting ones from “free books” shelves in offices, or if I need to buy any, I go to Amazon.com and use my cashback credit card points. But since I received a Barnes and Noble gift certificate for my birthday, I had to man up and make some purchases.

I rarely stop by bookstores either, but everytime I stop by a bookstore, I remember how much I love being in them, much like how I feel in libraries. I am one of those people that walk along the aisles caressing book spines and get a little over excited when I find what I am looking for or find something great that I wasn’t even looking for. I also like the feeling of community in these places where even if everyone is buried in their own little book-worlds, there’s a shared feeling of being in a certain tribe that still likes physical books. I really must support these bookstores better, only if there was a way they can take my credit card cashback points instead of charging my card.

So for this unique occurrence, I decided that I was going to get some educational books for the baby nephew and some design books. I got him an Old MacDonald puppet book and Beep Beep

Photo Credit: Barnes & Noble

Photo Credit: Barnes & Noble

Photo Credit: Barnes & Noble

Photo Credit: Barnes & Noble

since he’s at that stage where he likes songs and imitates sounds. I’ll have to check on him and see what he thinks sometime.

As for my design books, I picked up Vintage Patterns of the 50’s by Marnie Fogg and Print & Pattern 2 by Bowie Style. They are both more visual types of books and I am very inspired by both of them. I think either one will make a great present for the textile/surface design aficionado in your life, or for yourself!

Vintage Book 1The Vintage Patterns of the 50’s book reminds me of the wardrobe of Mad Men and is an excellent reference. Vintage Book 2Its introduction explains what the mindset of the time period was, which is coming off of a war so designs depicted a passion for form and structure, and also, coming off of rationing of colors for textiles, there is an exploration of different techniques and colors. Vintage Book 3It organized patterns into themes, with an explanation of how they relate to the time period and its possible usages. Vintage Book BackFor vintage pattern lovers like me, this book is a handy tool to have, hardcover yet small and lightweight.

Print and Pattern 2 CoverThe Print & Pattern 2 book is a pattern party book. It show colorful and fun designs from designer heavyweights like Marimekko, Amy Butler, Designers Guild and Dwell Studio. Print and Pattern 2-2The patterns are displayed alphabetically by designer, with a short write-up of how they got their beginnings and what they are doing currently. Print and Pattern 2-3It’s certainly a feast for the eyes, esp. for those who love Scandinavian-type designs. Print and Pattern 2 BackIt just makes me happy looking through it and I foresee myself reaching for it many, many times.

I realized this week that I love reading about random factoids and find myself opening up all these tabs on my browser and getting distracted and lost reading them. I’ve decided to make my time reading them count, and start sharing these interesting links. Hope you’ll find them interesting too!

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan via Making Game of Thrones

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan via Making Game of Thrones

Making Game of Thrones: “Anyone seen the sword blood?” This website is pretty cool because it gives you an inside look on the making of the Game of Thrones series. I caught up on it this year and I am hopelessly addicted to the series. I never read any of the books prior to watching, but now I am desperate to know what happens next so I’ve taken up reading the next books. After that insane Red Wedding, I swore I will never be as heartbroken again.

Photo Credit: Pantone

Photo Credit: Pantone

Pantone Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid: By now I’m sure you’ve heard, but just in case you haven’t, here it is. I had high hopes for emerald last year but I don’t think it really took off. I like shades of violet so I can roll with this. I also like that it “emanates great joy, love and health”. Let’s toast to that!

Photo Credit: NASA

Photo Credit: NASA

Hexagon Storms of Saturn: These are pretty amazing photos. I’ve said before that one of my dreams when I was younger was to become an astronaut so I always have this deep interest in anything outer space. But now, this is actually inspiring me to create a pattern out of it. I’ll post it next time!

Photo Credit: Jasper Juinen via New York Times

Photo Credit: Jasper Juinen via New York Times

Amsterdam’s Deal for Alcoholics: Work Paid in Beer: I’m not quite sure how I feel about this, I think I like it for now but I’m very curious to see what happens as this program gets implemented longer. On the one hand, it gives alcoholics work so that’s better than just hanging out drunk at some park, but at the same time, you are condoning the disease. What do you think?

Photo Credit: Gingerbread House by Traditions Club via Today

Photo Credit: Gingerbread House by Traditions Club via Today

World’s Largest Gingerbread House Raising Funds for Hospital: Some Christmas cheer! I do wonder how it’s holding up in the heat and how anyone is not tempted to reach out and grab a bite.

Photo Credit: Franck Fife, AFP, via USA Today

Photo Credit: Franck Fife, AFP, via USA Today

Last but not least, I would just like to take a moment to remember Nelson Mandela whose passing dimmed the whole world a bit. Thank you, sir, for the wonderful example of what the spirit of tolerance and the relentless pursuit of peace that one individual sparks can spread and change one nation.

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