25 February 2010

Check It: Book Hou

Book Hou is a studio in Toronto that emphasizes natural handmade materials and small production pieces. I found a lot of goodies while browsing their site. Aside from the ones I'm featuring here, check out their furniture and, of course, their blog.

Laser cut alphabet

Hand printed tea cosie

Hand printed stuffed animals

Welcome, Jane

I got a new fish last night. I names her Jane, as in Eyre, not Bennet. She's black and has the googly eyes I was once so afraid of. Jane was never the most beautiful character, but she was spirited. I hope this fish takes after her and lives longer than two weeks. Mr. Darcy seems to have accepted her. Maybe he's just happy because I added a new plant to the tank. It's hot pink and pretty awesome.

24 February 2010

Playlist Wednesday: I just drank a cup of coffee immediately after drinking a full sugar Coke. Think about that.

Did you ever have one of those moments when you hear a song, and regardless of how you felt prior to hearing the song when it comes on you just want to jump around and dance? You could have felt horrible five second before, but then you hear the first few notes and it's like you're mood is set to sugar high. I call that having a music buzz. It doesn't happen with every song, but when it does it's like you just drank a cup of coffee immediately after drinking a full sugar Coke. It's amazing, it's scary, and once the song is over you'll probably crash. It doesn't matter though because it was worth it. I've got a few songs for you that have this effect on me. I hope I don't get you buzzing too much.

Create a playlist at MixPod.com

23 February 2010


Summer Swim Roundup

It may be February, but I see swimwear in all the stores. Despite the snow on the ground, the very site of it makes me feel warm inside. There are tons of retro-inspired suits this year, and while I don't know how they  good look on real women, they sure look cute on hangers. So how about a swimwear roundup?


Pindot underwire tank
Full tilt bandeau top
and bottom
Billabong Jaden Chase top and bottom
Mix & Match Tankini and Hipster Bottoms
En Point Bikini 
Squareneck tankini and surf short

22 February 2010

Android Karenina Cover

Have you guys seen this yet? The folks at Quirk have revealed the final artwork for the cover of their upcoming Android Karenina. I dig those robot arms, so much fun! What do you guys think? What would Tolstoy say? Viva la robot revolution?

Monday Design Inspiration

Happy Monday! How about some design inspiration?

I wish this is how paper shredders worked.

Major sensory overload with these colored pencils.

The ingredients in a Hot Pocket, typeset.

19 February 2010

Goodbye Lizzie

Friends, I have sad news. Elizabeth Bennett the fish, affectionately known as Fish Lizzie died today. I'll spare you the details, but she was given a very respectable flushing. She & Mr. Darcy the fish had a magical two weeks of fishy bliss at my humble abode. Mr. Darcy is unavailable for comment at the moment, as he is hiding near the pirate ship. Sources say no immediate replacement to Lizzie will be made, as Mr. Darcy needs time to grieve.

Friday Links + Amanda Q & A

 Lot's of goodies for today! First up I've got your normal Friday links. Ten random things that I found on the Internet this week and think you might enjoy.


Card game for book lovers
Donut burger?!
Faux wood blog
Very cool old maps
Frog mug
Star Wars cookies
Book cover blog
What color are you? (I'm Yellow)
Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne's house
Felt Pancakes

Next, I realized that sometimes I use this blog to ramble with abandon. Many of my friends read it, and I love you for that. For those readers out there that I've never personally met, forgive my manners. It's about time I introduce myself. How about a little Q & A session:

What does Alpha Scout mean? Where did the name come from?
In college, a friend started calling me Scout because I knew how to find things. I'm the information girl, and if I don't have the information I will find out how to get it for you. Since I'm pretty good at what I do, I added Alpha, a mark or grade corresponding to an A. Yes, I graded myself, and I got an A in scouting.

What are three awesome things I should know about you?
1) If you want me to do something, make it a game. Take out the garbage? Not a chance. Take out the garbage in under two minutes while hopping on one leg? It's on.
2) My mom and I met Fabio at a Sam's Club in the suburbs of Chicago. He was selling a line of leather coats. In person, his face looks like a leather coat.
3) My passport aches to have more stamps in it. I am a travel junkie who is always in need of a fix.

If you could live your life like a musical, which musical would it be like?
My Fair Lady: I'd like a British man to take an interest in me, teach me etiquette and the ways of the world, maybe even buy me a dress or two.

Do you know the difference between lie and lay?
Yes, I do! People lie. Things lay. Lie is to recline, lay is placing something somewhere. So I would lie next to a chicken while the chicken lays an egg.

What is a talent you have that isn't really a talent at all, yet you are so proud of it that you call it a talent?
Recently, I told a friend that I could hear cardigans.

If you could describe yourself in 4 words, what would those words be?
Enthusiastic about awesome things.

What is your stance on formal shorts?
I've never had the guts to pull them off. If I did, I'd wear them with tights. This pair is both horrific and secretly awesome. Let's be honest, if you're going to do formal shorts, why not make them $1,200 and orange leather? Go big or go home.

Why do you blog?
I have thoughts running through my head all day. Ideas pop in that I want to share with my friends, and frankly anyone who is interested. Simply put, when I get ideas or hear about interesting things I want to share them with people.

I hope that helped you get to know me a little better. If you have a question for me, feel free to ask it in the comments section. Thanks and have an awesome weekend!

18 February 2010

Michael Johansson

Love, love, love these object installations by Swedish artist Michael Johansson.  I spy suitcases, books, a clock, speakers and even a cooler.

Mini-palooza Music Morning

This week is exciting. Natalie and I are going to three shows in a row. We've got St. Vincent tonight, Sondre Lerche on Friday and Ha Ha Tonka on Saturday. It's like a three-day weekend of rock. Except that Thursday really isn't part of the weekend, I have to work on Friday and there's no show on Sunday to go to. You get the idea though, right? We've tried to come up with a name for our 3-day fest. Mini-palooza seems to be the winner for now. Don't know who any of those people are? I've got you covered:

17 February 2010

Playlist Wednesday: Romantic Music for Robots

I asked you guys for playlist ideas, and you delivered. Today we are going to tackle Sabrina's suggestion of "Romantic Music for Robots." It's a little electronic, it's a little dancy and a little lovely. So oil up those rusty joints, or whatever it is that robots to before they dance, and listen up!

Note: I don't know why Daft Punk is showing up and "Daft Hands" in the player, technical difficulties people. I apologize.


I've got more more musical gem for you today. This music video was in my inbox this morning, courtesy of Sarah. Think indie-rock-folk duo. That might be a horrible explanation, so listen to Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero and judge for yourself. 

15 February 2010

Sledding + Design Inspiration

Happy Monday! I had an awesome weekend. I got to go sledding! It was a blast. Yes, I hurt myself and have a limp today. Tis the nature of the game.

Enough about me, let's add a little design inspiration to this Monday. How pretty are these vitamins? Bioform is a Norwegian-based company. I don't know much about Norway, but I know I like these bottles. Anytime you can make vitamins / medicine look appealing, I think you've achieved something great.

Alphabet paper cups! Not only are these handy at a party because everyone can remember which cup is theirs but they could be fun to decorate with. Stack them up, string them together, these are practical and pretty.
Finally, I found wood type pillows. I promise they are much more cushy then they sound. I'd purchase one, but my apartment is reaching it's max when it comes to type and letter related design pieces. Any more and it's going to look like an episode of Sesame Street.

11 February 2010

Friday Links

All together now, everyone take a deep breath and say it with me- it's Friday! I love it more than a bakers dozen of vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

I hope you have something exciting planned for the weekend. Tonight I'm actually hanging out with my dad and watching some BBC DVDs (I just wanted to use acronyms). Tomorrow I'm heading out for  pizza and improv, and I hope to go sledding with the girls on Sunday. We might as well take advantage of all this snow. As always I've got some Internet findings for you. Enjoy, behave and we reconvene on Monday.

Miss parts of Emma? Watch it all here.
Fashion thesaurus
70 free fonts for designers
She & Him cover kids songs for charity
Ice cream light!
Coffee Sugar Cookies
Recommended design reads
Candy sushi
Panda Ear buds 

How about some Friday tunes? I love this song, but the video creeps me out a little:

P.S. If you have something that you'd like you share, be a scout and let me know! I'll do my part and spread the word.

Katie Daisy

Now aren't these pretty? When I look out my window and see the 9 inches of snow on the ground, I get a little bummed. Then I look at these prints and remember Spring exists.

The Wheatfield is an Etsy shop run by Katie Daisy (I know, even her name is charming). The shop is full of prints that, according to Katie, are "inspired by nature, bathing in the creek, hiking with a puppy, camping with my sweetie, stargazing on a mountaintop and all things rural." Katie, you had me at hiking with a puppy.

If you think that's great, well things are about to get even more exciting because Katie has a website. It just so happens her site is adorable too. And look what I found, a floral ampersand!
But oh my goodness, this is the post that keeps on giving because she has also designed her sweetie's site. He's a musician. Oooo. Enjoy, and if you're looking at 9 inches of snow too, I sympathize.

10 February 2010

Now That's A Good Looking Mug

I am such a sucker for a good mug. This one answers one of life's most important questions: One lump or two?

Playlist Wednesday: A Band By Any Other Name Would Not Rock As Hard

Last week, we had fun listing out bad band names. It's only natural that we show a little love now and give credit where credit is due. To help you follow my logic, I've devised a point system of sorts.

The Band:
That takes serious guts. These guys aren't just some band, they aren't just a band, they are THE band and don't care who knows it.
+ 4 points for moxie

The Postal Service: It's like every song is a delivery stamped full of musicality.
+5 points for making me think about stamps and mail, I like stamps and mail.

They Might Be Giants: Are they or aren't they? They might be.
+ 6 points  for being incredulous

Owl City: I picture a city of owls and I love it. 
+ 8 points for a peaceful animal society imagery

Death Cab for Cutie: It's about the origin. In the 1967 Beatles film Magical Mystery tour there is a band called the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, they play  a song called Death Cab for Cutie. 
+ 9 points  for obscure Beatles references

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem: Fictional bands totally count.
+ 10 points for all members being Muppets

Create a playlist at MixPod.com

09 February 2010

Spring Trend

If the Pajama Jeans left a less than classy taste in your mouth, I apologize. I totally know how to make up for it. I've been checking out new spring clothing items, and I seem to have found a trend. Giant centered ruffle flowers anyone? Yes, please! From left to right we've got looks from J. Crew, Anthropologie and Kate Spade. It's a triple threat of cuteness.

Check It: Pajama Jeans

There's a line in a Decemberists song, "and all the stars came crashing down as I laid eyes on what I'd found." That's how I felt yesterday, when I saw Pajama Jeans. The universe slowed down a little and stars fell from the sky. They are awesome. By awesome I mean side-splittingly hilarious. Who thinks of these things? Who is so lazy that they cannot bring themselves to change their pants? I mock, but at the same time I really want to try them on. So many conflicting emotions. Watch out Snuggie, Pajama Jeans are going to take you down!

08 February 2010

Monday Design Inspiration

Despite my best efforts to put it off, Monday has come. In an attempt to get in the proper frame of mind, I have a few design items to kick the week off.

This poster for the New York Public Library is gorgeous and so smart. Small printing budget? Silkscreen on newspaper to the rescue:

This evolution of type taste poster is shockingly accurate and brings to mind a few painful memories. I remember my Typewriter and Gil Sans phases quite clearly:

Finally, this is the best piece of public art that I've seen in a while. Granted, I didn't have that big of a breakfast this morning, and if that giant waffle were real I'd be on the first plane to New York knife and fork in hand.

05 February 2010

Friday Links + Austen + Selleck?

Happy Friday, friends! I've got another quiz for you. If you liked the Bachelors of Highbury quiz, you will love the Which Austen Heroine Are You quiz? Take it and find out who you are. I got Catherine.

If you want the opposite of Austen check out Selleck Waterfall Sandwich. It's the most ridiculous blog I've encountered, but makes me laugh.

Have a great weekend! We will reconviene on Monday.

Friday Links:
Veer understands me
Pitchfork announces Summer lineup
Rainbow pancakes
Pretty soap
Dress love
Create your own desktop wallpaper
Customize your own water bottle 
This just seems unsafe
Virginia Woolf songs

04 February 2010

Nerd Love

You don't have to be a nerd to appreciate these Star Wars inspired posters, but it sure wont hurt if you are. I love the colors and textures on them. I'm keeping the copy on this post short. Any longer and I'll start nerd gushing. There are five all posters together, check them out here.


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