I'm excited to introduce something I've been working on for the past little while: Raya Goods - a new product line featuring my own illustrations printed on baby onesies, bags, t-shirts, etc. RAYA (pronounced rah-yah) in Tagalog and Spanish means a drawn or printed line or stripe. In Sanskrit Raya means flow of a river, zeal, ardour, quickness, force or velocity. Raya also means king, prince. My little Rumi is the inspiration behind all of this, of course. I can't wait to share them with you in the next few weeks! Please follow @rayagoods on Instagram to check them out.
I'm very excited about my new limited edition letterpress recipe holiday cards BEAUTIFULLY printed by Graven Feather here in Toronto. They feature recipes by my husband, Chef Rudy Boquila. You can now purchase (single cards or packs of 6) online on Etsy or Gravenfeather.ca.
They are also available at the following Toronto stockists:
Wishing you and yours the very best of the holiday season!
Brought to you by: Lexie, my resident fuzzy creature.
Cheers and thanks ~ Catherine Mangosing
I've only recently been watching episodes of the tv show Lie To Me (cancelled after a 3rd season), like a complete nerd. I haven't had a television for years, so I'm quite particular about what I bother to watch. I became completely fascinated with this show. The topic of psychology (and human behaviour) often does. Out of curiosity, I tried to do a bit of research to find out how accurate/real the science was behind the show. I found out via a Popular Mechanics article that the show is "90% accurate." The show is based on the life and work of an expert lie detector, Dr. Cal Lightman (brilliantly played by actor Tim Roth). Turns out, the character was based on a real clinical psychologist Dr. Paul Ekman, a scientist specializing in lie detection (and worked with everyone from the U.S. Secret Service and Dept. of Defense to Pixar to detect facial expressions). In fact, Dr. Ekman was involved in the development of each episode on the show and even sends actors on the show photos of facial expressions to imitate. So apart from an expected level of glamourization for television, apparently the show is based on a real science.
Such a shame it was canceled. Unfortunately, trashy shows that cater to the intectually vacant continue survive and thrive while shows like Lie To Me do not. There are only a handful of great, well-written shows on television on any given season. I discovered it late but this was one of them. I really love the cast, too. If you haven't watched it, go find it on Netflix. I'm starting on Season 3 and I'll be sad to watch the final episodes.
As a sidenote: I really like the show's title sequence design.
A belated post: My birthday this past April was something EXTRA special. I celebrated the big four-oh. What?! YES... be nice. I am still trying to get used to the idea! It was a celebration made more special by dear friends and family, spectacular food, an elegant setting and one amazing cake.
I decided to loosely theme the evening around one of my favourite films of all time, I Am Love. It is easily one of the most sumptuous films ever made. Food – and love – are central themes. I even designed my invites to look like the film's title sequence. If only I had Luca Barcellona as my calligrapher. Chef Jason Bangerter at LUMA created for me a beautiful menu around the theme. It was such an honour to have one of the best chefs in Canada to create such fantastic (and gorgeous) food for my birthday. If that wasn't amazing enough, my dear friend, Chef Rossy Earle created a jaw-dropping, Roasted Butter Pecan Cake with – get this – four layers of dulce de leche.
It was one of my most special birthdays to date. It was such a beautiful night and exactly how I wanted to celebrate. I only wish my parents who have lived back in Manila for years and more of my dear friends in New York had been able to attend. Everything else fell into place and there was no shortage of laughter. What better way to bring in a new decade. So it's not so bad being grown up ...er, old. ;)
Many thanks once again to all who shared the evening with me (including my friend Lee from NYC), Chef Jason Bangerter (and the great LUMA staff), Chef Rossy Earle for my amazing cake and Renée Suen for taking and sharing the photos. x
TORONTO: I am selling a pair of these responsibly harvested, bar-height outdoor RUSA chairs from Design Within Reach. These chairs are less than a year old and barely used (and mostly used indoors or in storage). They retailed for $450/each without cushions and I am selling them for only $125/each including Sunbrella cushions in Linen (canvas colour, see second photo below). I am moving and will no longer have a balcony to put these in. View the RUSA Collection at DWR. The bar height table is on sale!
Please email me asap, if interested. Cash only, local pick-ups only.
I'm thrilled to announce that The Goodwin officially opens its doors this week. It's been an amazing project to have been part of. It's such a joy to see everything come together. A huge congratulations to owners Andre Jones, Richard Wise and the entire team!
The interiors by Larah Moravek look so fantastic. It's as gorgeous as down-to-earth gets. Warm and inviting. The space features beautifully custom-designed cozy baquettes. Larah also designed those divine lighting fixtures on the ceiling (in first photo) made from steel tubing. Materials from the original landmark building were repurposed as wood paneling for "The Grange" (back dining room/event space). Old license plates from the 30s and 40s that were found in the basement were used as wall decor. Even the buidling's old boiler tank was upcycled as a planter (seen through the back window). There was a high level of sensitivity to the building's rich history that remains in the new space. The interiors have an earthy, restrained elegance. It's been a great journey seeing all the sketches and swatches take form. It's been so exciting to take part in the design and work in tandem with such a talent.
Another reason to look forward to dining there is the menu prepared by Chef Colin Kruzic – formerly of James in Brooklyn and Bouley among others. The menus are currently available for download on The Goodwin splash page. Or if you are in New York City, definitely stop by.
I've just written and sent my first newsletter. I plan to send one out every few months or so. It will be a way for me to keep my professional contacts (and those interested in my work) posted on my recent/current design projects. Sign up here if you'd like to receive it :) There will be no spamming involved, ever! Feedback is welcomed. Sharing is encouraged.
I have begun the (slow) decorating process of my new Toronto digs. My refusal to settle for crappy furniture has caused a slight delay in filling my place with furniture. Tough when you need furniture, want quality and on a limited budget. Needless to say, the delivery of my custom built table this week had me thrilled. Thanks to Craig Marshall of The Uncarved Block, a beautiful, live edge (or raw edge) table now sits nicely in my kitchen/dining area. Craig even let me tag along with him to shop for the perfect slab at Urban Tree Salvage. The UTS showroom was great and their pricing very reasonable. I highly recommend it if you're looking to have furniture made from local salvaged wood.The final product is precisely what I wanted. It's incredibly well made. Even the non-glossy varnish is just as I requested. It actually brought out the colour variations in the wood, which I LOVE. A lot of the slab's unique character were left in (like saw marks, natural markings). I can't seem to stop touching it!
Although I had originally intended to have a counter height table made, after sitting and working up high for a couple of months made me realize I much prefer a normal table height. The depth of the table is perfect for my small space. The choice to have a live edge on the table adds to the organic warmth that my apartment needs. So next on the list are the chairs. I know exactly what I want and will be able to get an incredible deal on them, thanks to a designer discount! I will post an update when those are delivered.
Thank you to Craig and Robin from The Uncarved Block!
p.s. the photos are all taken with my iPhone. I'm having some photo download issues on my camera today.
Earlier this year, an immensely talented interior designer and friend, Larah Moravek, told me about a restaurant/bar project she was working on in New York. She asked to see whether I might be interested in working on the branding for it. The owners were also interested in working with me and I didn't even hesitate. This was the type of a project that I wanted to work on but don't often get a chance. Particularly, when I know the interior design is guaranteed to be fantastic.
The Goodwin will be located in a brownstone building on Hudson Street in the West Village and is slated to open next year. The interior space is currently being gut-renovated and reconfigured. I began the design process in July of this year. I first learned about the history behind the selection of the name. Apparently, the restaurant is located on land where there used to be a 300 acre tabacco farm. The name of the tabacco company was Goodwin & Co. This illustration below (an ad) was given to me by the owners as inspiration. The owners wanted to capture and essence of the location and name's history while making it modern. This is in line with the direction for the interior design of the space.
I decided to do a lot more research, visually and otherwise, about the Goodwin & Co. I looked at typographic treatment, packaging design and layout of all the reference material I found from the same era. I also looked at cigar labels and loved the unique shapes they came in. I really wanted to capture the history while making it clean, modern and relevant.
The client LOVED the result. They felt I had captured what they wanted right away. Needless to say, I was thrilled. We ended up on the 'crest' as well as a wordmark. I am about to start working on the stationery system, menu design, website, etc. So this is really just the beginning. I don't often share my own work here on my blog but this was one I am particularly excited about. The storefront window posters and awning have been installed as the construction continues so I am now finally able to share this work. I will post more results later in the process! Also view this project in my portfolio identity case studies.
My apartment decorating is currently on a bit of a delayed schedule. But I am making some progress! I've put together some mood boards to solidify my thought process. Clearly, this grey and gold thing isn't going away anythime soon. It's the colour combo I've had on two different business cards over the past several years – including my most recent letterpress version. So why fight it?
I have been searching deep and wide (literally) for an affordable sofa. Most of the ones I've been drawn to have been modern, some leaning toward mid-century modern. Then I unexpectedly came across this Bliss sofa, from West Elm. I knew I wanted comfort and this satisfies all my requirements: extreme comfort, deep/wide seats and grey linen fabric. It won't be available in Canada until December, so I will have to wait a bit longer.
Over all, I want to offset the boxiness of my space with a lot of organic shapes and a lot of softness. I want to give shape to the idea of warm, organic modernism that I love so much. I've been drawn to the idea of live edged or raw edged wood for a while. The look of ABC Kitchen in NY epitomized it to me. I am currently looking into getting a custom counter table made as well as (potentially) a headboard and platform combo. It would be ideal to work with someone locally in Toronto who works with reclaimed wood slabs. I am open to suggestions!
It's been tough to be patient with this whole process. I want to just complete this but it takes time! I'd love to hear your thoughts, esp any designers out there :)
This weekend, Toronto will be up all night for the annual Nuit Blanche celebrating the city's contemporary art (among other things!). I am most excited about Dashing Collective's interactive art installation in Fort York. A DLYT project called SMILE (aka Socially Motivated Interactive Light Environment). It is a highly interactive arrangement of cubes of light that react to individual users as they move through the space. Part art installation, part social experiement. It'll be interesting how the crowd reacts and how the installation reacts to the crowd. It's a MUST SEE.
Featured in the installation are over three dozen of these lightboxes by Gus* Design Group. It's going to be so beautiful! The photo below is a preview of the installation. Dashing Collective also just announced that they are doing an on-site giveaway of one of these lamps! I know I will want one. Details and map link are below the jump.
To enter the giveaway: Visit the DLYT art installation in Fort York on Oct 1st BEFORE midnight – precise location here. Enter to win, fill in a numbered ballot on site (only). One winner will be chosen randomly to win one Gus Lightbox (photos below) after the giveaway closes. Contact producer extraordinaire, Mary Anne Ledesma for more info. Come early! See you at Nuit Blanche :)
I just caught wind of this Intel Museum of Me application/campaign this afternoon. I must say I'm thoroughly impressed. It takes your Facebook data to create a virtual museum exhibition about your life. The application walks through the museum when it's done gathering your information. It's amazing. It's spreading like wildfire on Facebook. This is a product of social media. It feeds our collective self obsessions that have been brought on by social media: the ME monster. It also feels like a post humous memorial and is, oddly, moving as a result. It's brilliant!
Toronto/Montreal baed artist Meghan Price found me through social media. Her work is so beautiful and delicate, it had to be shared. There is so much evidence of her background in textile construction in her work. The level of detail and intricacy is amazing. In addition to her fine art work, she is also one third of String Theory, a textile design studio specializing in gorgeous scarves and throws. Go check them out.
The lace pieces (top two images) are made of enameled copper wire and the bottom three images are waterjet cut steel. The waterjet cut piece will be part of a show entitled "Love Lace" at the Powerhouse in Sydney this coming July.
I love these laser-cut birchwood plywood coasters by The National Design Collective. I spotted them at Thor Espresso Bar last week. It's perfect for the city loyalists. They are gorgeous and how cute is that name?
There is no one else in this world – apart from Sarah Jackson – that I can call all of the following: Twitter friend, tenant, penpal-of-sorts and CLIENT. Let me explain. At some point, there were mutual Twitter follows. Then some Twitter conversations (and a lot of remote, simultaneous laughter). Which lead to an almost-ladies-drinks-at-the-Ace-Hotel between Sarah, my friend Nichole of Little Brown Pen and myself. It was foiled at the last minute by a scheduling conflict. Then Sarah jetted off to Australia and New Zealand for five months. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Toronto. Then one day she contacted me via email (as I was reeling from a potential tenant flaking out on moving into my Brooklyn apartment). She asked me whether my apartment happen to still be available because HER sublet situation fell through. Then, Voila! Sarah becomes a tenant in my Brooklyn apartment for a few of months. For those who may not know her, Sarah Jackson is an über talent: a writer, producer and creative director. She is also HILARIOUS, great looking, highly ambitious and smart. Whilst she was my tenant, we wrote many epic emails to each other about a myriad of interesting topics. Fast forward to now. She's back in Australia. Our emails back and forth continue. She ended up hiring me to redesign her blog as well as her work/portfolio website. Both were recently launched. This is a modern day, Twitter-born, multi-faceted relationship. Needless to say, Sarah and I will HAVE to now meet in person one day. And there's no telling where in the world we might do so. That's the most amazing part of all.