Anh-Minh

Maika Carryall Tote

by Anh-Minh on September 18, 2014

maika1I am a sucker for a good tote bag. And for me, a good tote bag should be simple enough in style that I can carry it on myriad outings: lunch dates, editorial meetings, interviews, photo shoots. It should be roomy (able to hold the basics—keys, wallet, phone, notebook—as well as a few copies of Anthology) and feature at least one internal pocket (so I don’t waste time fishing around for small things like my lip balm).

These bags by San Francisco-based Maika fit the bill, and I love that they’re available in a variety of patterns, printed on recycled canvas with eco-friendly inks. The leather straps with brass accents are classic. Bonus: The lining is waterproof. But if you’re not in the market for a tote, Maika also purveys other bags, travel cases, pouches, and buckets. And they currently have a bunch of stuff on sale!

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{ All images from Maika }

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Thing Industries

by Anh-Minh on September 12, 2014

thingindustries1Much to my neat-freak husband’s chagrin, there’s a chair on my side of the bedroom that basically gets used as a landing spot for recently worn clothes or garments that need to be hung/folded properly. It’s a shame because it’s a lovely Chippendale chair that is often obscured by piles of sweaters, skirts, and jackets. So what I could really use is Thing Industries’ Sacrificial Chair, which is described as follows: “Like a lamb to the gods, we give you this chair to sacrifice to your clothes.” (I hope it’s back in stock soon!)

I’ve also got my eye on a couple of other Thing Industries pieces: the felt Beast Rug (which is available in dark grey on their site as well as in a spotted pattern at Of A Kind), and the Indoor Stoop which can serve as both seating and storage (clever!). I’m looking forward to seeing more great designs from this New York/New Zealand-based creative studio and store.

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{ Top and bottom images from Thing Industries. Middle image from Of A Kind. }

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Sketchbook of Carl Randall

by Anh-Minh on September 11, 2014

carlrandall1A couple of years ago, I was in London while the National Portrait Gallery was holding its annual BP Portrait Award exhibit. I picked up a postcard of Carl Randall‘s Mr. Kitazawa’s Noodle Bar as a little souvenir. The oil on canvas piece is one of a number of paintings that Randall created, based on sketches done during his time in Tokyo.

I have the postcard framed in my kitchen and enjoy looking at it every day. But only recently did I realize that Randall’s website not only features his portfolio of paintings, but also pages from his sketchbook—providing a cool behind-the-scenes peek at his work process.

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My affinity for Japanese food is showing here—Sushi is another one of his paintings that I love.

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And check out the progression of this piece! The rough drawing was done with pen on paper, while the later iteration was pencil on paper.

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Here’s his Tokyo Subway and the initial sketches for the painting.

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{ All images via Carl Randall }

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The Making of a Rag Doll

by Anh-Minh on September 5, 2014

jessbrown1Since launching Anthology four years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to interview and write about people whose work I’ve long admired. Among them is Jess Brown; her work, studio, and home are featured in Issue No. 16/Summer 2014. The Petaluma, California-based maker of artisan rag dolls also offers home and apparel collections—and now she can add “author” to her list of accomplishments!

Jess’ book, The Making of a Rag Doll: Design & Sew Modern Heirlooms, which includes photographs by Tristan Davison, came out just a few days ago. It includes patterns and instructions for creating your own rag dolls and ensembles for them. I’m excited to try my hand at the projects, and am thinking that they’ll make some excellent holiday gifts this year.

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{ All photos from The Making of a Rag Doll }

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Ice Cream Cake

by Anh-Minh on August 29, 2014

icecream14To mark a year of sharing delicious recipes with us, Melina Hammer has created a multi-hyphenated treat:

fig-bourbon vanilla-almond brittle-pistachio honey-gingersnap ice cream cake

It has been a year of sharing delicious things with you all. I hope you have looked forward to and perhaps even made a recipe or a few, from these beautiful stories. Maybe even loved them? From last month’s panzanella to the muscadine marbled cheesecake, the braised lamb shanks with melted onions to the savory meat pies, the apple flognarde to the bourbon-soaked layer cake, I have reveled in finding new ways to enchant you, month to month. To indulge in tempting recipes together, to nourish when the cold creeps in, and to lighten things up when bikini weather is right around the corner, it has been so much fun. And really, the fun is only beginning. To celebrate, what other way than with a fanciful cake.

In line with the season’s swelter—I have not accepted that summer is coming to a close—I give you an ice cream cake. Not because it means no cooking, but because it makes everyone smile, and really, because it is just so good. You can do these steps over the course of a few days to spread the process out, or you can do it all in one day—as your celebration needs require.

icecream01for the fig ice cream layer

  • 2 cups ripe figs—they should feel soft but not mushy to the touch, stems trimmed and quartered
  • just under 1 pint ice cream—I used Steve’s bourbon vanilla; any good-quality vanilla bean ice cream will work well

for the brittle

  • 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • butter for greasing the pan

for the additional ice cream layer

  • just under 1 pint ice cream—I used Jeni’s pistachio honey; suggested substitutions: butterscotch, butter pecan, chai, pistachio

for the cookie crumb base and topping

  • 2 cups store bought gingersnap cookies, chopped finely—reserve 1/2 cup for topping

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instructions

1. Place fig segments on a small rimmed baking sheet so that they do not touch one another and freeze for an hour. If you are doing this farther in advance, transfer them to a sealed container until ready to use. Allow the ice cream to warm at room temperature for 20 minutes. Combine frozen figs and softened ice cream in a bowl, stirring to combine.

icecream042. Line a loaf pan with parchment, cutting both width and length measurements long enough for at least a 2-inch overhang. These will function as tabs so you can easily pull the finished cake from its mold.

3. Spread ice cream-and-fig mixture evenly to coat the bottom. I made this layer about 1-inch thick. Depending on the size of your pan or if you used the whole pint, it may vary slightly. Wrap securely with cellophane and freeze for at least 2 hours.
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4. Grease a rimmed baking sheet and spread toasted almonds out in an even layer. Pour sugar and water into a saucepan and over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Allow it to bubble, and without stirring, cook until sugar turns a dark amber color. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Immediately pour over almonds, tilting pan for even coverage or use a rubber spatula to incorporate almonds fully. Allow to cool to room temp, then twist corners of baking sheet to release and break apart.
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5. Chop brittle into small pieces. Bring loaf pan out from freezer and spoon brittle on top of fig ice cream layer. Make sure to cover all surfaces, including the corners, and press down with the back of a spoon to create a solid, even layer. Re-cover with cellophane and freeze for at least an hour.
icecream086. Bring second ice cream pint out of freezer to soften, again for about 20 minutes. Spread to coat brittle layer, again about 1-inch thick. Cover securely with cellophane and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
icecream10icecream117. Bring loaf pan from freezer and uncover, then spoon chopped gingersnaps onto pistachio ice cream layer (or whatever flavor you have chosen). Once again be sure to cover all surfaces including the corners, and tamp the crumbs down to make a solid surface. If you want to make your crust more uniform, melt a couple tablespoons of butter and mix it in with the cookie crumbs before tamping the mixture, allow it to cool to room temp, and pack the crumbs firmly to cover. Otherwise, know that some crumbs will fly as you invert the pan. Cover one more time with cellophane and freeze for 2 hours.

icecream138. Remove the loaf pan from freezer, uncover, and place a serving platter onto top. In one swift motion, invert platter and pan together. Set platter onto a table surface and gently lift pan. The parchment should allow for easy release from the pan and the frozen cake. Discard parchment, and sprinkle reserved chopped gingersnaps on top of the cake.

9. Slice into segments with a sharp knife and serve immediately. Happy Anniversary!icecream15

{ Text, Recipes & Photographs by Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }

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