Thursday, September 30, 2010

nerd tagger


I don't know who this dude is. But I think we could be friends.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

free to a good home

well, $549,000 free. 


And  cash only.  Don't you just want to get your hands on this old, Los Feliz,  beaut and restore her with an endless budget?  Built in 1923 and being marketed as "Grey Gardens" - a bit of a stretch but they know their market. see more here.

desktop hoarder

I think I may have,  latent hoarder tendencies. On my desk top ( this one, not that one ) sits a full window of images that I pulled off of the net. Just in case I might need it someday. My friend Leah ('more ways to waste time') told me once, that she knows that she can always find something again if she needs to. Not me. If I don't see it, it goes away.

In an effort to clean things up around here, I'm posting a few of the images. Moving them from one pile to the next. Like a good hoarder.

 Love the patches on these jeans found over at Saffron + Genevieve - paired with the Orla Kiely bag and Hadley Pollet belt ( I sort of forgot about those ) Check out this Santa Cruz based site; lots of cute, beachy, linen-y, organic things for the home.

Saving this one for inspiration as I help pull together a Napa Valley, birthday party tabletop for a friend. Simple, beautiful, attainable. done. from 'Snippet + Ink'

Rolexes in technicolor. Thumbs up.

Baby steps.

LA Design Mart opens its doors to the public this weekend

A little insiders' shopping opportunity for those of you not able to shop, 'to-the-trade'. LA Design Mart is having their bi-annual, open to the public sample, sale.
A great way to pick up some pieces at significantly discounted prices (up to 70% off) and have the opportunity to receive free designer consults (10/2 9:00 am - 12:00 pm)
Saturday,October 2 10:00-5:00
Sunday, October 3 11:00-4:00
trade preview:
Friday, October 1 9:00-5:00
L.A. Design Mart
1933 South Broadway
Los Angeles

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Julia Leach :: founder & creative director of Chance

Last week, after I posted about the new web site, 'Chance', I started realizing that I had a lot of questions for the master mind behind this little slice of wonderful. The real Chance Girl, founder & creative director Julia Leach, was kind enough to indulge me.....


I'd love to know a little more about your background. Most of us know that you are the former Creative Director at Kate Spade, how did you come into that position ?

I've been interested in graphic design and the collision of art and commerce since I was in my teens, which led me to begin my career in advertising. I'd also developed a distinct sense of style inspired by my mother's bohemain sensibility and my more traditional grandmother. Straight out of college I worked at a very dynamic ad agency, Chiat/Day, where I met my mentor, Jay Chiat. I spent six exciting and enriching years there and established a great network of friends and colleagues while building the foundation for everything that's followed professionally. After C/D, I went on to work at PAPER Magazine, launching their website and, once again, being surrounded by amazing creative people. After a year there, Andy Spade called - we'd met while we were both working at Chiat - and asked if I'd be up for joining him, Kate, and their two partners at kate spade. Even though the company was quite young, I saw its potential and decided to jump on board. It was a great eleven year adventure. I'm very happy that now all of my interests and experience can be channeled into Chance.

Your new online business, Chance, has quietly hit the internet with storm. How long has this been in the making?

I had the broad idea - a brand that starts with the signature striped t-shirt and radiates out from there into a whole world of product and creativity - seven years ago when I found a red & white wide striped t-shirt in a vintage shop in Paris while visiting my mother, who's lived in France for many years. Like many others before me with entrepreneurial ambitions, I turned the idea over in my mind, put it on the shelf for a while, let it evolve and clarify, then decided it was time to take it from a concept to a business in late '09. I sketched out the stripe patterns on Christmas Day in Mexico, and started working with a technical designer and production person in January 2010. It was an intense eight month sprint to create a collection from scratch - all the fabrics are custom - and develop the ancillary products (beach towels, espadrilles, scarves, etc.), especially as I don't come from a formal apparel design background. I learned, though, that if you have a clear vision and enjoy team building, that and "intelligent naïveté" can be an advantage. That and a strong work ethic, which I have thanks to my parents.

"...if you have a clear vision and enjoy team building, that and "intelligent naïveté" can be an advantage."

Was it intentional to create a site without much press or an apparent campaign leading up to it and then hope that folks would find it on their own?

For the most part, yes. Originally, I had hoped to launch by Memorial Day so I'd have the summer to seed the concept, but by March (or was it April?) it became clear that this goal was completely unrealistic.  Usually it takes at least twelve months, if not more, to build out a line, so I revised the schedule and set the launch for resort '10. This has turned out to be one of the most advantageous shifts of the start-up process. Soft launching in August has allowed me to quietly get the word out, get product into people's hands and hear their feedback, meet with editors, and generally prepare for the official debut during the holiday season. I've always wanted Chance to be a discovery brand - the type of business that people happen across without a big marketing blitz - and that's turning out to be the case, which is very rewarding. I think I've also avoided some of the pitfalls that come with debugging a website and managing customer service when there's a big campaign from Day One.

 Where did the name 'Chance' come from?

I'd been thinking about names for several months, and then while watching "Being There" I heard someone say of Chance, the Peter Sellers character, "He has a peculiar brand of optimism." In that moment, it clicked. Chance and my point-of-view is all about optimism, adventure, independence, a simple kindness, so there's a parallel to the movie's message, generally speaking. It has nothing to do with the character's style (he wore a top hat and overcoat for much of the film) and a lot to do with the film's attitude and perspective.

"Chance and my point-of-view is all about optimism, adventure, independence, a simple kindness..."

The site has so many aspects, music, video, photography, that you don't realize that it's an "e-commerce site".  A site on which you can actually buy something. How often are you updating the content?

The product will be updated with a tight assortment of holiday items in early November, but the product that's there now is very much a debut statement (see previous note about the resort launch timing). Of course, going forward into Spring '11, there will be perpetual newness in terms of seasonal collections. As for editorial content, I'm posting Discoveries in batches of four once a week or so, more often if I'm excited about something, and the home page and other elements will rotate roughly once a month.  Since the concept is still so young, I don't have an urgent or specific schedule, although I definitely want the content to stay fresh. I think it's nice to let it happen organically and surprise people who have started to come back for more. It's been fun to sense a following developing around Discoveries, the product, and the brand in general.


Did you really begin the collection with basic, striped shirt? Can you tell us a little about that?

Yes, I did. I found a great old vintage piece (see above) that's similar to the red & white stripe classic t-shirt in the launch collection. I'd been wearing striped t-shirts for years and realized that other than St. James, a classic French company, there isn't a modern brand that owns this item as a core product. To me, it symbolizes a creatively lived life and an appreciation for design, simplicity, and travel - all of which inform my own lifestyle, and being a narrative thinker, I knew I could build a world around it. I really love how elementary a great, classic striped t-shirt is, yet it also represents endless possibility.

"I really love how elementary a great, classic striped t-shirt is, yet it also represents endless possibility."

Chance, represents such a specific lifestyle. It seems to package that concept of the well traveled, waspy, bohemian artist who enjoys good solid, simple design. Is the Chance girl an extension of you and your lifestyle?

Yes, she is - the Chance girl and the Chance woman. I was blessed with wonderful, creative parents (my father was a potter and my mother is a writer and artist) who, despite our modest means, provided me with a very rich childhood. They didn't spell it out, but they always made me feel like a much bigger world existed outside the tiny farm town where I grew up. Being from Minnesota, I was also exposed to great Scandinavian design from an early age, and my mom and dad appreciate both the fine arts and solid craftsmanship. In fact, my mom was a docent at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and my dad was on the verge of becoming an architect when he discovered pottery in the '60s. The only word I'm not so comfortable with is "waspy." I view Chance as a very international sensibility and want to ensure that, over time, it's very inclusive of different cultures and ethnicities.

The site is Beautifully art directed. Did you have a hand in the design of the site?

First off, thank you. I couldn't be happier with the site, and even more importantly, visitors and shoppers seem to like it. To your question, I'm not a formal graphic designer, but it really is my passion, and I come to all projects with a strong sense of design at the forefront. I brought a sketch for the structure and spirit of the site to Mindy and Danny at The Bear Cave (, and they took my direction and ran with it. I love the process of collaboration and have Mindy and Danny to thank for interpreting the Chance sensibility so perfectly. I'll have an on-going creative dialogue with them, for sure.

It seems to me that the sky's the limit on what you could create from this platform. A children's line, a store front, a magazine, a book.....Do you have anything in the works that you can share with us at this time?

It's true...I have so many ideas for how to continue telling the Chance story, but it's important to take it one step at a let the brand's arc happen naturally and in an authentically inspired way. For now, I'm excited about introducing a few special items for the holiday season. Perhaps the most special is a limited edition series of photos by Jarret Schecter. He captured a side of Paris that's very intimate and poetic. Not postcard perfect, but very personal. The prints will make a very special gift. Beyond that, the priority is finding and opening a small store front. I can't wait to find the perfect imperfect small space to call home...a place the will allow people to get to know Chance in all its dimension. Beyond that, yes, I really do believe the sky's the limit.

Thanks so much, Julia! I,  for one, cannot wait to see where this all goes. It's everything I love, packaged in one place.

If you haven't been over there, go. now. It's truly an 'experience'

Monday, September 27, 2010

blog crawl - blog it forward


I've sort of quit doing the ' you've been tagged '  and other blogging, 'getting to know you' games that used to go around. Mostly because, really, I don't think my life is terribly exciting enough to devote  to a post. That and I've become sort of a jaded, stick in the mud.

But my friend Beth over at hello, splendor has come up with a concept that, helps spread the word about other blogs, while answering a few questions about me. I like that. The community of blogging has given to me so much and I'm happy to spread the word about some great bloggers.  It's called 'Blog Crawl'. Each day, a blogger links to the blogger before them, and the one after them in the post.

Friday's Blog Crawl blogger was, Kristen over at Simply Grove a super hip chic, living in Boise, Idaho.


The theme that was given to us: "My Life Is An Open Book"

(which, by the way, I try to keep 'not so open', on this here b to the log )


That would be me, Megan Arquette. I live with my family, in the beach town of Los Angeles, called Manhattan Beach; in a little beach bungalow built in 1947. It's been my design lab and I'm constantly redoing it. It's a never ending process. 

I started this blog 3 1/2 years ago as a place to catalog cool, creative, design centric things that I find. I've been working as an interior decorator/ stylist for the past 10 years, with a hiatus here and there to take care of the real business in life: children. So my content, does have an interior design bent, but I believe design is in everything, Music, Fashion, Photography, Fine Art.... So you'll find a bit of it all on here. Some you may love, some you may think is completely, a 'not'. But that's the beauty of creativity. It's all individual, self expression.

Along the way, I've made some wonderful friendships. One of which, led to my doing a weekly podcast called The Skirted Round Table, with fellow design bloggers, Linda Merrill and Joni Webb.
Through this medium, I've been given the opportunity to speak with people, that never in my wildest dreams,  would I think I'd be chatting it up. Blogging has opened doors, and created a great network of people in my life. Like Beth! (thank you for asking me to do this)

The Setting:

As I've mentioned (above) I live in Manhattan Beach. What was once a middle class bedroom community of modest homes and incomes, has become a Bastian, of new wealth. Along with that new wealth, has come the mass intrusion of over sized homes,  painted velveeta yellow with giant columns (that's 'Mediterranean',  right? ). Big bloated houses sitting on tiny lots. Which most love. I do not. Personal preference.

The only shot I could find of the bungalow, with the Christmas tree waiting to go inside.....and the mail needing to be taken in.

On the other hand, the house that I live in, is one of the few remaining originals, built as a vacation bungalow for a family living inland, to visit in the hot  summer months.  It's only about 1,800 feet. It's tiny. But, we live a very casual life, close to the water, no need for big or fancy. And I love it for it's charm (don't love it for its lack of closet space and tiny kitchen)

The Characters:

In order of appearance:

Delilah- as the oldest daughter
Charlotte- the youngest daughter
Nick-the newish husband
George -the step dog
Fred - the step dog rescued from a South Central pound (who on occasion, gets threatened to be thrown back into the hoosgow )

Fred, on the left, focused on something he might need to kill. like a cat. George, on the right, is a mellow old soul. A bit like Eeyore.

The Plot:

The five of us, living in a small space - which has its own drama & "crazy antics". Trying really hard, not to make life  more difficult than it need be, thus our choice of 'living at the beach'. Doing what we love and knowing that this is our time to climb the proverbial, "Mount Everest".

The Twist:

The unforeseen bumps in that climb. Like the approaching of adolescence, an insane Labrador retriever who eats everything from sticks of butter to bars of soap, and my inability to not over load my plate ( metaphorically- although I do like large quantities of Mexican food)

enough about me....tomorrow the talented, Melissa of Oh, My Darling will be taking the torch....

it's what you're doing right now....

Friday, September 24, 2010

* p e a c e * o u t *

Summer's finally made it to the beach. Supposed to be in the upper 70s tomorrow. And sunny. And, I'll take it. I'll take it lying prone in the warm sand, arms dead to the side, towel over my face (because I've leathered the facial hide but good at this point) doing nothing for a few hours but listening to the waves crash. 

Hope your weekend full of nothing to do, too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

crosscut boards

Thinking these would be a great hostess gift. Crosscut slices of fallen, Minnesota hardwood that's been treated with a penetrating, moisture resistant mineral oil finish, which is safe for food and which brings out the natural grain of the wood. 

How beautiful would these be, piled with artisanal cheeses and fresh fruits for an autumnal get together.

found at canoe

Super Harvest Moon

If you care about things like giant glowing moons illuminating the sky, check out your night sky at 8:10, for the Super Harvest Moon that will be at optimum viewing capacity. The last one of this kind was in 1991 and then next one will be in 2029.  For the rest of you, the final episode of Real Housewives of D.C is airing tonight.

The kitchen that vimeo bought.

 20 something, video site founder, zach klein's kitchen in nyc.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

+ chance +

Have you stumbled across Julia Leach's new endeavor, Chance?
Leach, former creative director of Kate Spade, is the force behind this beautiful site. To say 'force' almost sounds too aggressive to describe the subtle, balance of design perfection in this lifestyle project.
If the Kate Spade had a bohemian, artist sister who was wordly but never forgot her waspy roots, Chance would be she. Inspired by the striped shirt- a staple in everyone's wardrobe, for it's perfect design.
She compares it to the simple paper clip. An item used everyday but is design perfect, both in form and function. From the elegant Citroen DS car to the humble Ticonderoga pencil. The site sells product - striped french fisherman shirts, espadrilles, jewelry......
but as you click through, it's more about living the life of classic design. Leach seems to be branding a lifestyle of living with and in, thoughtful design
including all aspects - graphics, textiles, industrial design and architecture as key inspiration points. She does so through video, imagery and music.
And , I for one, have totally fallen into it. I've had her site up, for 2 weeks, hopping on to discover a new song, video or just peruse the photography. Chance, I take, is going to be big.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

kevin cyr :: vehicles

Combining a lot of things I love: photo realism, color, typography, interesting old vehicles and yes, tagging. Artist Kevin Cyr, has created a series including all of this and more ..... I have no idea how big these are, but I really hope they're huge.

please inflate, save-the-date

I came across a post over on one of those blogs that I like to index under, 'bloggers that are cooler than you'll ever be' you know the type: petulant + cool teenager, smoking behind the blogosphere, blogger. The post had something to do with a dislike for 'theme weddings' ( so not cool. )
Anyway, I for one love all of the tremendously creative play on theme weddings out there - of which I like to index under, 'creatives that are more creative than I'll ever be'. Check out this super cute (which is so not cool) save-the-date created by artist, Jennifer Lopardo.
The couple was engaged in Paris, thus The Red Balloon inspired theme.
Blow up the balloon...
and you have all of the relevant information.
btw, I love all of the activities they have lined up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

brittany stiles, styles

I had a therapist once whose name was B. Fine. That's right. Doctor B Fine. If the name somehow steers the career, Brittany Stiles is a great example of this curious coincidence.
Brittany and I met a few years ago, when working on a little design project. Fresh faced (seriously, the best skin, ever. I used to have to stop her mid convo and tell her so ) and right out FIDM, her work was polished and sophisticated. Far from a 'fresh out of design' school aesthetic. I ran into her Tuesday at the Kravet's showroom and she told me that she was keeping very busy (no surprise) and so I asked her to send me over a few pics of what she's been up to......
Brittany has a great blog which you can find here and then check out her design site here and then go out and hire her.

Social Media Week....

I had a great time, last week, sitting on the Kravet Social Media panel. Kravet's been offering these panels as a service to their customers throughout the country. I think it's a great idea, as a showroom, to provide this kind of knowledge as a bonus.
No matter how long I do this blogging thing, I always learn a little more with each of these panels. For instance, designer, Rebecca Robeson, has grabbed hold of YouTube and made it her own platform for teaching, guiding and promoting her business. I highly recommend you check her videos out. And while you're at it, Natalie Umbert handles color like nobody's business. Here's a shot from the Laguna panel of myself with Rebecca Robeson, Kravet's own Jennifer Powell and designer Natalie Umbert
And just as a little plug: if you're in the L.A. area, Blog Out Loud will be happening at Rose Tarlow Melrose House tomorrow, Tuesday the 21st. I'd love to see you there. We have a great panel and the venue is to die for.

Friday, September 17, 2010

peace out

have a mellow weekend.
I just got word from my friend Lee Stanton, that he'll be opening a pop-up shop next to his own, gorgeous, showroom. The pop-up will feature pieces from his Newport warehouse and all will be specially priced.
Lee has always been the little 'secret' go-to gem, in So Cal for European pieces at very good prices for years. So, go in, take advantage of the great finds and if you're lucky, Lee will be there himself (one of my favorite people in the LA design scene) It's only open for one month starting September 20th.
769 N La Cienega Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069-5203 (310) 855-9800

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

board culture

I'm of the nosiest sort. seriously, pull your blinds at night if you live near me. Or if you have me over for dinner with a refrigerator tacked full of photos, ticket stubs, fall leaves, ephemera, magnets from past vacations, etc, you'll find me standing in front of it, asking 'who's that? where were you guys there? why this?'
I'm the best audience for this sort of gallery. I want to know everything. On the other hand, I personally , hate that my own fridge has been turned into a public bulletin board, covered with photos, school notes, flotsam and jetsam and (dear god) mis-matched magnets. (I know, bah hum bug - I like my public areas devoid of detritus) I am, oddly , private about showcasing that which, deeply inspires me. ya, right? figure that out. but there it is. notes from teachers and all.
however, my office is the place where I tack those bits and pieces that inspire me create.
I keep my inspiration board tucked up in my office, to the right, here, of my computer. Mostly it's for me, a place I can art direct. depending on whim. I stick thumbtacks into images of things that I want, things that make me imagine more, that work together, that work against.
I pin a ripped sentence from an email of a good friend that gives me hope or encouragement on top of my newest love- a hot pink sofa.... Lamp guru, Chris Spitzmiller wrote me an email a few years ago and I 'died', I stuck it on my board . the train of thought is never linear. But such an insight of what' s going in my creative life: It's so personal.
I'm always grateful when people are willing to post their own inspiration boards, because I know what comes with it is a certain vulnerability.
I've gathered this collection from all over, and so don't have proper cred to give. But really, does it matter? it's just great to see, another' s life through their own, creative board.

the B to the Log

it's all about me, really.

My photo
Manhattan Beach, California, United States
editor | interior designer | podcast personality | social media pollinator