28 August 2008

The Fanny

How is it one of the most unflattering-to-the-figure accessories has made a come back? Who really cares, because I can see myself sporting this fanny pack all over the place. Lord knows I need extra hands when I'm out and about. This lovely number is from BUST Boobtique.

Below, also from Boobtique, I would vote that this is one of the least-likely-to-be-decorative items ever. I've seen the Roadside Tool Kits for Ladies, and these tools from Barbara K might give someone uninspired to pick up a hammer an empowering boost. But the girly box cutter is in a different category. I can appreciate the idea, though, and imagine myself displaying it on my studio table rather than using it.

26 August 2008

The Cardigan

Totally. In. Love. But, do I love it because Anthropologie suggests I do? After a bounty of inbox updates, have they been grooming me through the seasons to come to this moment when I see a navy cardigan (navy!) with gold and gasp? It would look lovely with The Skirt. It does concern me I am so persuaded by clever copy and well-taken photography. I do know that colors for upcoming seasons are often chosen way in advance, so we are being prepped to follow the herd through subtle color nuances that change from season to season. But should I care? I'll have to mull over it while I page through the Anthropologie online catalog like an addict, adding virtual sticky notes to everything I want.

Working on shipping out 15 sequin bags to Nest that were made by the lovely Sevinc Esen. And also doing paperwork for two more amazing women who will be getting a loan to share in the cost of buying a kiln. I got, oh, approximately 2 hours to work today. But somehow it all gets done, with a little help from friends. Lastly, with a kind of cheerfulness and glee, I turned down a teaching job at yet another new language school in Izmit. My reaction was immediate, and decision clear, when I started pacing and feeling moderately ill. The fact that most of the words that come out of my mouth are English is not nearly enough requisite knowledge to teach impressionable young Turkish students who would rather be anywhere other than a humid classroom learning about... oh shoot, I've forgotten everything already... say, prepositions and phrasal verbs.

The postcard on my desk, from the lovely Oezlem. Photograph by Ahmet Polat.

25 August 2008

Paperiarre and Coconut Milk

Taking a very mini-break from inputting ingredients, nutritional information, and writing descriptions for my other job as shopping researcher, I found Paperiarre's interview on Etsy and then this beautiful linen journal. It is coptic bound so it will lay flat, and the lace on the cover is absolutely adorable. I have to stop myself from buying it right now by thinking about the pile of waiting-to-be-written-in journals and notebooks on my table. Is it so wrong to love blank books but not write in them? Though over the last three years my finished notebooks have started to fill a whole shelf.

I'm fighting a major headache from this heat and humidity. I won't admit to just how much I sweat last night making dinner, though I am happy to say it was Coconut Shrimp Soup! Which means, if you hadn't already guessed, I can get coconut milk now here in Turkey! Or at least in Izmit, who knows about other places. In the last two weeks alone, now that I have a wok again, too, I've made various coconut curry dishes, and peanut-thai-ish food, too. The soup was one I had been craving forever, and finally was able to make. I feel like I am actually cooking again, and though my love Devrim may insist I have no such regular motivation to do so, the love of cooking is creeping back again. Does that mean some of the last strains of culture shock are wearing off? That I can feel comfortable in my kitchen again after nearly three years of struggling to make things edible, let alone tasty, is a huge step. I think sloughing off the feeling that I need make Turkish food every night of the week helped.

Other items I can now find in Turkey:

Jiff peanut butter (but wasn't there a recall on it?)
Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Hoisin sauce
Curry paste
American Cesar Salad Dressing (yes, it says American on the label), by Kuhne
Steak sauce
Tabasco sauce

See what's been missing in my life? A little sauce!

23 August 2008

The Skirt

I don't comment on fashion much in this blog, and won't pretend to be an authority, but I do love fabric. So when I read about the much-famed Prada lace skirt in the NY Times my heart did a little flip and then dive, first because lace is something I work with (as you can see here):And then the dive because of course once something I love leaves the indie-world and moves to mainstream, I either lose interest or grudgingly admit I want it want it want it. And if on top of that, it is using a material I employ in my own work (trudging along by candlelight and printing press while Prada blazes runways at top speed), I see a timely end to the fad and all it's charm.

But here is the skirt, probably reproduced in countless blogposts across the world by now, but oh well, let's take a look again:

Loathed by some, loved by many, but regardless of what anybody else thinks, this lace is so exquisite it makes my hands hurt wanting to touch it. Nearly every day I sit in our garden with my Turkish neighbors while they make lace or crochet sweaters or knit blankets. Their hands never stop working, and I wonder, should we calculate the time and energy of their work, how much fuel could be created, how many fossil fuels saved by their flashing hands and wrists? If I were more scientifically inclined, I would whip up a formula. A Prada lace season will come and go, but these Turkish ladies will keep on going with their doilies and dust-protectors, and sleeveless cardigans for cool evenings, as long as the coming generations continue the tradition. I am not sure they will, but I'm hopeful the lure of a pleasant evening among friends while drinking tea, eating sweets, and crocheting lace will continue its appeal.

21 August 2008

Texas Detritus

I think these photos my cousin Barbara took while in Texas of things swept up by Hurricane Dolly are interesting and eerie; a beach front anthropological catalog of human detritus.* I know there is a Japanese photographer who took these amazing photos of beaches years after Hiroshima, and if I could remember his name, I'd tell you. I had his book, but it is now long misplaced and probably living somewhere in a used book shop.

Yesterday I put together my 80ytl fan with one hand/arm while holding Lina in the crook of my other arm. Which means to say, it took a very long time to put together. When the fan was delivered (this is just a standard rotating three-speed fan on a long stand), it was in a box, and I thought the guy would come back and put it together. This is not so far-fetched. When you buy something, nearly anything electronic here, they send delivery guys who set up your purchase. If it hadn't been so hot, I would have waited until Lina was sleeping, but in order for Lina to sleep, we needed the fan to cool the room down so I did it one-handed. It was easy and pleasing to put together and I realized it was nearly identical to the one I replaced.

Lina turned 40 days old today, but I'll write more about that on my other blog once I upload the party pictures from today's cake and tea party.

*Detritus is a word I want to use more often. It is nicer-sounding than debris. It's 12 and I need to go to bed.

20 August 2008


I discovered Listography today.

Totally amazing. Which gives me an opportunity to tell a story. The first lists I ever loved were written by my mother. I found a small, spiral notebook with her handwritten domestic lists: what to buy at the store, who to buy presents for, plants to water, tasks to do at home. For reasons I don't understand now (but completely fits my compulsion to 'save' things by altering them from their original state), I tore all the pages out of the spiral and put them in a small photo album. For years I made artwork about them, occasionally using one or two in a collage. Too precious to use that way often, they are still in the original photo album, but not displayed. Rather they are stacked all on top of each other and squished into a cellophane sleeve. Reminders of the life she once lived, I read them as a diary of her days. Looked for myself in the notes and lightly crossed out pencil. Her handwriting is marvelous and curly, neat.

These lists are at least 30 years old.

And then all the things I learned about my sisters, and the notes they would scribble on her pad of paper: Dad this is how you spell Alton Sveum, Heidi can't come to lessons because Heidi's invited out to a movie and she is going to sleep over, and how to spell princess, for example.

I've posted all of them on Flickr.

Mini-list of the day:
  • Purchase 80ytl fan
  • Contemplate the following impulse book buys: The Designer's Toolkit: 1,000 Colors; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; No Plot? No Problem!
  • Move books to wishlist (listing them is nearly as good as buying them)
  • Fold mountainous pile of laundry still sitting there from last weekend

Sweetbeets Treasury

Sweetbeets was thoughtful enough to include the Dantelle Green pouch in her Etsy treasury, EtsyMOMs in the Spotlight. Thanks so much Lisa!

19 August 2008

Kırmızı Minder

Thanks to the blog Kirmizi Minder for rounding up all the Turkish Etsy sellers and showing their work. Above is one of the handmade cards I have on my Etsy site and a link to the post.

The new and improved....

www.rosedeniz.com has arrived. Enjoy, and if you found this blog, congratulations. It used to have a different name.

Beyaz sayfa

Beyaz sayfa in Turkish suggests a new life, or fresh start. And thanks to my ignorance and haste in making my new website go live, my previous blog photos are officially gone because I didn't save my content. So live and learn, and start again. I'm almost cheerful about it because I admit I haven't put nearly enough into this blog, so this is a good opportunity to embolden my writing and really speak my mind about all things design, global, domestic, etc. Um, or, if not actually attracting new readers through grand proclamations, at the least I'll share more than news and press because that is all on my website now.

Above are a two favorite pages from Martha Stewart May 2008. Reading magazines after they are off the newsstand relieves me from the pressure of keeping up with trends, and rather allows me to select things that speak to me beyond the impulse to keep up with fashion, both in home decor and clothing. Living in Turkey allows me the luxury to filter the Western lens as I see fit. Lately I've wanted yellow, more yellow, and on the walls, in bedding, and in artwork. In fact, this is my screensaver now, from Metremade:

It's deep ochre yellow is calming during my daily scramble to read everything emailed to me, including all the things I've signed up for and regretted (but don't take the time to remove myself from the mailing list), and work on my projects, too. Thank heavens for yellow, though at one time I did hear that most spousal arguments occur in rooms that are yellow, typically a kitchen. Though I won't be repainting our rental apt. kitchen right now, I am toying with the idea of one day painting our future house's kitchen in some kind of yellow. But for now the house is still a dream and the while the color of the kitchen should be the least of my concerns, I always think color first, practicality second.

18 August 2008


Lately I've taken to reading magazines while nursing, thanks to Book Mooch and the amazing people who send me Real Simple, O Magazine, Dwell, and Domino in exchange for my unwanted paperbacks. With so many websites, ideas, and things I want to check out online while reading, I started taking notes in a little spiral notebook rather than dog-ear every page I'm interested in. Three days ago Topi dumped a glass of water on the current magazine I was reading, and after it dried, I taped the cover back together.

Sunset + Hürriyet

Carrying along with my fingers crossed hoping that my blog photos will miraculously reappear again (anything before yesterday's edit has a friendly little blank rectangle in place of the photo), I'm posting happy things to help things along.

Amy Butler's wonderful new Sunset fabric swatches from her August Field's fabric... somehow looking ahead to fall in this dreadful heat is helping me sweat less. Looking at fabric makes me think about projects which makes me think about all that I want to be doing but have to postpone because of one little 35 day old baby girl and her 22 month old brother. How do I have time to post, you ask? Magic, and a little bit of having itchy fingers that want to DO something MAKE something but only have scant free time. So the least I can do is cross off something from my list - sync my Palm, upload photos, oh, and celebrate that my watercolors were featured in the Friday section of Hurriyet, a newspaper in Turkey, along with an interview with Ilgin about Pukka Living.

17 August 2008


This is just a little note to say I'm sorry that most, if not all of, the images prior to this post can't be seen here at the moment. They are hopefully not gone forever, but since I moved my website my blog has become complicated. I'll attempt my best at patience until this gets resolved.... until then, enjoy this little jab at Ikea.

08 August 2008


I love this Lavazza ad I saw in Wallpaper magazine courtesy of Mygazines, where I can now read magazines that I can't get easily in Turkey! I adore the bright red lipstick with espresso cup.

02 August 2008


I'm working on a new website via OPP, Other People's Pixels, which is why I haven't posted anything in ages, and oh, yeah, because I had a baby girl July 13. She's 20 days old today! Check out my other blog to see the little one and her jealous older brother, Topi... Deniz babies.

Back to OPP... they have cleverly tricked me into thinking I am designing my own website (cool) which makes me feel less inept in the world of website creating. I prefer to make pretty and embellish websites, not create them, so thankfully OPP takes the hard work out of it and just lets me upload with a click.

Stay posted for the change on my site, Rose Deniz, because I'll be combining my painting and illustration and design with my handbags and accessories. If it still says, Three new Limited Edition styles available! Thanks for taking a look, it's the old site.