Around The House

With our record breaking snow filled winter it has been easy to stay cooped up inside to just be lazy and stay warm. Being indoors has allowed me to go through some of my boxes of stuff to try to organize or put to use. I am a bit of a pack rat and I also like buying things that are pretty or just cool. Because everything is so minimal and neutral in this house (as opposed to our previous place), I am having a challenge trying to incorporate some of these things into the layout.

So until I figure how to put everything together here are photos of some of the items in question - the majority of the pieces are souvenirs from my trips overseas over the last couple of years.

Original Chinese Paintings Purchased in Shanghai
Handwritten Scarf

Under The Sea Porcelain Mugs

Postage Stamps from Singapore

Asian Hand Fan

Asian Hand Fan with Sandalwood Hand Fan

Asian Silk Covered Box

Magnetic Salt and Pepper Shakers


Magazines - Gone But Not Forgotten

Over the last couple of years it seems a lot of printed magazines have been ceasing publication. This is most likely because of the competition from free e-magazines and online blogs where information is instantaneous. There are a few magazines which I keep in my collection because it is a shame they are no longer published.

ONE : Design Matters Magazine

This lifestyle design driven magazine was launched in 2000 and only lasted a couple of issues. The magazine targetted 25- to 44-year-old professionals and covered fashion, beauty, home, interior design, product and industrial design. The page layouts were technologically styled and now feel a little dated, but, nevertheless, the magazine is still creative.
ONE : Design Matters Magazine



Blueprint : Design Your Life Magazine

This magazine, a Martha Stewart Living Publication, was published between 2006 - 2007 targeted towards women aged 25-40. The goal of the magazine was to target a younger demographic than the typical Martha Stewart demographic. The magazine had beautiful page layouts and typography. The ideas presented were also invaluable and fun.
Blueprint : Design Your Life Magazine



Domino Magazine:

This magazine was published between 2005 - 2009 targeted towards women in their 30s. It was dubbed "the guide to living with style". From time to time an issue would catch my eye and I would purchase it. The focus was interior design but it was presented in an elegant scrapbook kind of way. Included in each issue were sticker flags that you could use to flag the ideas that were an inspiration to you. Flipping through my issues the ideas are still relevant and original.
Domino : The Guide To Living With Style Magazine


Creative Chronicles : Nude Drawings

Anyone who has taken a college drawing class knows all about the "Nude" as a exercise in figure drawing. With my second drawing class, a real nude model was a bit shocking to me initially. But as this became a normal exercise in our drawing class, it actually became routine (and actually a little boring) to me. It did, however, force my drawing to be spontaneous due to the fact a model could only stand in the same position for a couple of minutes. Archived in my creative works downstairs I found my nude drawings on newsprint. They are abstract but that's what makes them art.

Nude - Charcoal + Newsprint ©2001 Stephanie Janke
Nude - Graphite + Newsprint ©2001 Stephanie Janke

Nude - Pencil + Conte Crayon + Newsprint ©2001 Stephanie Janke


Store Window Displays As Inspiration

In my travels I have been able to see some stunning and inspirational store window displays. In the big cities like New York, window displays are as much works of art as they are in selling product. As a mix of art, fashion, design and marketing, displays are transformed into amazing art installations or fantastic scenes from a movie. The goal, to entice you enough to walk into the store.

Here are photographs of window displays I have been inspired by during my travels:

In San Francisco - Barneys New York - Play on Modern Art

New York Chelsea Market - Anthropologie

New York SOHO District - Anthropologie

New York SOHO District - Anthropologie

New York Meat Packing District - Anthropologie

San Francisco Union Square - Anthropologie

Love is free campaign - New York

Banana Republic New York - Wish You Were Here Campaign

kate spade - New York - escape the ordinary campaign
kate spade - New York - escape the ordinary campaign

La Senza - West Edmonton Mall

Louis Vuitton - San Francisco Union Square - Giant Golden Spools


Signs of Aquatic Life

Aquarium of the Bay on the edge of Pier 39 in San Francisco is a treat for someone who grew up with life on the Canadian Prairies. The Aquarium features thousands of local aquatic animals including sharks, eels, jellyfish, stingrays from the San Francisco Bay and neighboring waters.

The Aquarium is divided into three parts: Discover the Bay, Under the Bay and Touch the Bay. Discover the Bay has a variety of tanks which you can walk around and see the animals. Under the Bay is the aquarium's largest exhibit where you walk under a clear tunnel where fish, sharks, star swim around you. The last major exhibit is Touch the Bay, where you can touch a few kinds of animals including bat rays, leopard sharks, sea stars, or sea cucumbers.

Here are some cool photos of our tour of the Aquarium of the Bay last year.

Leopard Shark
Colorful Jellyfish

Walking Under The Bay In The Clear Tunnel
Leopard Shark

School of Fish

Glowing Moon Jellyfish

Tank of Fish

Starfish Clinging To The Tank Glass
Petting the Leopard Shark and Baby Ray


Creative Chronicles : Lithography

Stored on a shelf in the basement are creative works ranging from Grade 8 Art to printed pieces designed years back. Some of the pieces are laughable (a painting of a country music singer or a blueprint of my dream house at age 15) but some of the works are portfolio worthy. With my "Creative Chronicles" series I explore creative work from my past.

Freedom - ©2000 Stephanie Janke
Lithography was a course I really enjoyed in college. It was not very popular most likely due to the time consuming process. In Lithography I created a series of prints that to this day I can still be proud of.

For those that are not familiar, Lithography is a form of printing that uses a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface. There was something rewarding about the process. The amount of physical work it took to prime your stone surface was a process in itself. Before starting the artwork we would load our heavy stone (almost heavier than me) into a sink, apply carborundum grit on top of the stone and use a heavy wheel with water to grind the surface of the stone. We would have to load our smoothed stone onto a trolley to transport it from the sink to our drawing station, and finally to the printing press.

To create an image we would use oil pencils or liquid tusche applied with brushes. Generally in my technique I would scratch out the details and lines. After the drawing was complete we would etch the stone with nitric acid and gum arabic. This process would activate the greasy areas of the stone and make ink attract to those areas when water was applied.  
Click here for a visual step by step of the Stone Lithography process.

Here are my original Lithography prints I created.

Mask - ©2000 Stephanie Janke

Eye - ©2000 Stephanie Janke

Eye - ©2000 Stephanie Janke
Stream of Consciousness - ©2000 Stephanie Janke


Muir Woods National Monument

As part of our trip to San Francisco I had an opportunity to travel out of the city and tour of Muir Woods National Monument. The forest of redwood trees, ranging from 500 to 800 years old, covered the sky with slivers of light narrowly peaking through. Seedlings of new redwoods gather at the base of their mother trees waiting for their time to grow.

Here are some photos from the trip.



  © 2010 Design by Stephanie Janke -

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