Design

Four Fun Things

Quilt

My bed takes up 99.9% of my studio apartment, and I’ve recently been eyeing this geometric quilt inspired by the Chisos Mountains in Texas. The colors feel fun and bold, but it’s not toooooooo far of stretch away from my usual all-white bedding. It would change an entire room, don’t you think?

Have you seen any good movies lately? We The Animals, based on the beloved novel by Justin Torres, follows the adventures and woes of three brothers growing up in upstate New York. Critics are raving about the performances, and the cinematography from just the trailer took my breath away. Opens in theaters tomorrow, August 17th.

Raspberry Ripple Toast

It’s here, the case for something I’ve been championing my entire life: toast for dessert. With a pint of whipping cream, smashed raspberries and hot, crisp brioche, you’re well on your way to food writer Nigel Slater’s Raspberry Ripple Toast.

Graham Walzer's Tools for Science photo series

Speaking of hobbies, photographer Graham Walzer’s Tools for Science series features his dad’s enthusiastic love for unprofessional science experiments. The photos really made me laugh, and reminded me of my dad’s passion for TERRIFYING fireworks.

P.S. Ice cream sandwich taste test, and more fun things.

(Quilt found via Miss Moss. Toast photo by James Ransom for Food52. Last photo by Graham Walzer.)

  1. Stephanie says...

    What about toasting Sara Lee ‘s pound cake?!

  2. Christina says...

    We The Animals is one of the best books I’ve ever read–and read again. I want to see the movie, but the book was so amazing I’m worried it won’t be as good. Still, I’m going to see the movie!

  3. Mary says...

    I read the book We The Animals and was blown away. It’s one of those stories that sticks with you for a very long time. I can’t wait to see the movie!

  4. Elizabeth says...

    This doesn’t possess the same sense of humor, but my friend’s spouse creates stunning photographs of science experiments. Her work is currently on display at the SFO museum in the San Francisco airport.
    http://lauraskinner.com/
    (See the bottom left corner to scroll through the photos.)

  5. Jen says...

    That quilt is gorgeous. At first I thought it was by BlockShop textiles. Quite reminiscent of Blockshop founder Lily Stockman’s work!

  6. Barbara says...

    Would love to see more mention and discussion of CRAZY RICH ASIANS on this blog. I’ve always thought of cupofjo as a blog that captures the zeitgeist and importantly, shines light on cultural phenomena and artists who have been living in the shadows. The CRA film is an incredible cultural beacon in the homogenous sea of Hollywood and I’m surprised it doesn’t get any mention here. I’ve never thought about it before but now I wonder: Is there enough diversity among the people curating cupofjo?

    • KSM says...

      I have to disagree with you and clearly, it is just my opinion. CUPOJO is a personal blog and that owner’s sensibility and likings are key to running it. What we have seen so far is that she has a capacity to understand diversity and has a nuanced approach to it. That said every single Hollywood movie and pop culture phenomena, was not the key conversation of this blog and may not be covered. So if she or the team are not passionate about a certain genre of movies they shouldn’t cover it for sake of it. Also, it is possible they loved the movie, like many other movies in the past few years which have broken mold and covered diversity of not just of race but gender too but may not want to talk about each every one of them. As a person of color, I think it is important for us to understand that what may look like a homogenous sea of Hollywood to you, is diversity for lots of other race and regions. I don’t think Hollywood caters to only blue-eyed blonde crowd anymore and not been doing it for last 15 years or so. Notice the rise of colored people in print, media tv and movies. Also ” Is there enough diversity among the people curating cupofjo?” this is a kind of a leftist bullying and can be dangerous and is already dividing the country politically. The issue of diversity is a very sensitive and extremely complicated issue. It should not be thrown carelessly or else it will lose its essence and value. We need to be vigilant of it, talk about it but not use it as a tool to manipulate.

    • Patricia says...

      For what it’s worth, Barbara, you make an excellent point about the need for expanded perspectives in cultural writing and diversity among writers. And nothing you said could reasonably be categorized as “bullying” or “leftist.”

    • Erika says...

      first, THANK YOU Barbara – I feel like as an AAA I’m finally getting some cultural recognition all around US while in cup of jo it’s “life as usual”.

      as to @KSM – wow.
      “Also ” Is there enough diversity among the people curating cupofjo?” this is a kind of a leftist bullying and can be dangerous and is already dividing the country politically. The issue of diversity is a very sensitive and extremely complicated issue. ”

      Did you read your own sentences after typing them, or were you too busy breathing down fire? It’s called wondering aloud. It’s called starting a conversation. It’s called having a question.

      What YOU are doing is dividing. What YOU are doing is pouring fuel to the fire. “omg issue of diversity is so sensitive, STOP TALKING ABOUT IT LIKE THAT!”

    • MRM says...

      One blog cannot possibly be responsible for covering every tv show, movie, magazine, celebrity, musician, food craze, fashion trend, etc. Take a look at the last 10 women who were profiled in the Style section of this blog. I see a septuagenarian in rural Maine (Sharon), a Guyanese immigrant (Nadia), a chef (Alison), a small business owner (Julie), an architect (Yen) – just to get the list started. Furthermore, COJ has written several thoughtful, passionate, and well-researched pieces on the current state of affairs in this country and around the world (family separation, #metoo and women’s rights, IVF, abortion, disabilities, etc.). I just don’t see this happening on other blogs.

    • Naudia says...

      They can’t write about every single book and movie and cultural happening. This isn’t movie review site. In this very post they cover a movie about a black family’s experience. The color factory covered this week was co created by an Asian American woman. They cover diversity in many ways every day / week. Paco de Leon is the finance columnist. You could ask them to cover that movie if you are interested in it but you don’t need to attack them because they haven’t done that specific movie yet.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      barbara, thank you so much for your note. i’m DYING to see crazy rich asians and hopefully will see it during our trip here. it’s not easy to sneak out to movies since having kids but i’ve been trying more than ever lately. i’ve heard amazing things about that movie.

      i also read this twitter thread this week, which i really loved, and we reached out to her to see if she’d ever be up for writing something for CoJ, fingers so tightly crossed:
      https://twitter.com/rokwon/status/1030145842831753216

      thank you again for your note xoxo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      PS and i would have linked to that great twitter thread in the link list this friday but wanted to wait to see if R.O. Kwon would ever consider writing for us. would be a dream come true.

    • Barbara says...

      Crazy rich asians has been a wonderful point of pride, contention, and celebration this weekend in the asian american community. I don’t expect cupofjo to review every tv show, movie, magazine, etc. but I would argue that CRA is much more than “just another movie.” This whole weekend, I’ve been hoping that folks outside of the asian american community can also see why this film is such an important, emotional milestone. I agree with many of you that cupofjo showcases diversity well. But I couldn’t help but wonder out loud – did anyone on the cupofjo staff feel the seismic impact this movie had on the asian american community? I’m not sure!

      Like many of us here, I love this blog and feel like Jo is a friend – and I would definitely tell a friend to go watch, write about, and talk about crazy rich asians.

      Thanks for all your responses, good and bad. Fingers crossed we get to read a piece by R.O. Kwon!

    • Loli says...

      Ads are getting smarter these days.

    • KSM says...

      @erika while I see how my statement can come across as adding fuel to fire. And you are right about why her question is important.
      But I still stand by my first reaction to her question and that I didn’t feel her intentions were fair(just my opinion).
      Just because there is a talk or a movie or a show about any race or religion or a phonemena pertaining to some community or country and a blog doesn’t cover,it doesn’t give us right to question their integrity (accusing people of lack of diversity in hiring is kind of questioning their integrity too).
      Maybe Coz where I work race and creed doesn’t bother me and that I work with a diversified crowd that I assume most employers aren’t biased or racists. I am aware that it is my little bubble and that it has happened so coz people in past have asked the question that Barbara asked.
      But in this scenario it didn’t seem right to me.

      And to all fans of CRA, my views have nothing to do with the movie. I loved the movie and it deserves every praise that it has got. It is her last question that hit a nerve with me(right or wrong I don’t know).

    • KSM says...

      @Barbara, I understand your intentions now. Your second response is very graceful. I apologize if certain words very out of place and hurt your feelings. Thanks.

  7. Jennifer says...

    What a beautiful quilt! Definitely a piece to cherish forever. My great grandmother was a quilter, and I have such an appreciation for the art form. I especially love quilts with modern designs.

  8. Heidi says...

    LOVE that quilt!

  9. Joss says...

    There is nothing like a beautiful quilt. They really are something you can pass down throughout generations, and the one you’ve got your eye on could be flipped over for the times you need a break from the bold design.

  10. Thank you for including that quilt! It’s gorgeous! It saddens me that more people don’t want to spend money on unique, handmade items, especially something like a quilt that takes a great deal of skill and artistry (and time!).

  11. Nicole Johannesson says...

    Anyone who thinks this amazing quilt is too expensive has clearly never quilted themselves! It’s insanely labour intensive. By buying a handmade quilt, you are buying something that can be passed down for many generations. It’s special and well-worth the investment. Yes it may seem a bit pricey at first, but most people don’t bat an eye at spending $5 on a fancy coffee each day. Skip buying coffee for a year and you could have two of these beautiful quilts ;)

  12. Emily says...

    My sister made this quilt! She is extremely talented in such a dying art form and spends countless hours on these beautiful heirlooms. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all :). So awesome she was featured here!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s wonderful, emily! we LOVE her work.

    • I love the quilt! It’s nice to see a bold, contemporary design incorporated into such a traditional craft. Quilting is a skill I’d really love to learn one day :-) Your sister is very talented and has a great eye.

    • Such a beautiful quilt! Please buy it, Stella, and take some pics of it in your space for us.

    • Hilary says...

      Emily – That quilt is gorgeous; I will probably have dreams about owning it. It would go perfectly in my loft. Your sister is so talented.

    • Sara says...

      Wow, your sister’s quilts are beautiful! I am jealous of her talent.

    • Sasha L says...

      Tell your sister she has a new legion of fans!! Her quilts are amazing, and as a beginning quilter myself, I have nothing but complete admiration for her and her work.

  13. Kayla says...

    I’ve been following Vacilando for a few years now and love her work! She’s one of a few quilters who inspired me to try my hand at quilting. It only took making one small quilt for me to realize that the prices for these handmade works of art are truly justified. I get that not everyone wants to (or can) spend hundreds of dollars on a quilt, but to me, it’d be worth every penny to have a treasure like this.

    • I’m a quilter!! I am currently handquilting a queen size quilt and it’s HUGE to be stitching by hand. But I love doing it (it’s my hobby, not for income) and I think a gorgeous quilt like Vacilando’s is worth at least $750. It’s art and it’s practical at the same time – my sweet spot.

      If you’ve never had the satisfaction and joy of making something by hand before, it may make total sense to go to Target and get something on sale.

  14. Hannie says...

    First off – I. love. that. quilt. And I was a little shocked when I saw the lowest price was for a CRIB sized one. But! Its really interesting to me that there are such critical comments here about buying a beautifully made quilt, one that might last 10, 20, 30+++ years, but no one balks at other $100-$200 clothing recommendations on the site. When I think quilt, I think forever, so I say go for it! Use it, put it away for a while, and get it back out when you want that feeling again.

    • Sasha L says...

      According to the website the quilts are handmade. Pretty much any price is appropriate for a handmade quilt in my book. I mean, have you ever handmade a quilt?? It’s kinda a big deal. I make crib size strip quilts, just with regular fabric from Joann’s fabrics, NOT SILK!, and they are comparatively very easy, but still take me forever. I make them as special gifts. To sell??? I’d want about $500, and I’m not even good at it. Seriously. It’s HANDMADE people.

      Here’s a link in case someone out there wants to make one, it’s pretty fun: http://acuppaandacatchup.com/2011/03/quilt-as-you-go-strip-quilt-tutorial/

    • Carrie says...

      The design on the quilt is pretty much the only reason I wouldn’t recommend her getting it (like it’s any of my business lol)! While I like it, it’s bold and i’d say it’s pretty common for one’s interest in a bold look to fade quickly. Softer colors, or even same colors in a smaller pattern might be have a more timeless feel- and then would feel worth the cost. But hey, that’s just me :) I have only white linen duvet covers. I love classic maybe to the point of being too simple

  15. Caitlin says...

    Not sure if you accept submissions for future Four Things/Weekly Roundup posts from readers, but if you do, I HIGHLY recommend this stunning NYT Magazine interactive piece on the long term effects of climate change and how we could have prevented it in the 80s:
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/01/magazine/climate-change-losing-earth.html?fallback=0&recId=18tFeRtyMTSPoCVeWXO0QowT0OU&geoContinent=NA&geoRegion=RI&recAlloc=random&geoCountry=US&blockId=signature-journalism-vi&imp_id=727839382

    Fascinating, well-reported read on a topic everyone needs to understand

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, caitlin. this looks really fascinating and important.

  16. Christi says...

    Watched “Crazy Rich Asians” yesterday, and I may have cried big fat tears (of utter joy) while the credits rolled.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      so amazing to hear, christi!!! can’t wait to see it this weekend.

  17. Katie says...

    We took a lot of trips to the Chisos Mountains when I was growing up. It’s a beautiful place that not many people know about.

  18. Carrie says...

    Holy cow, don’t buy the quilt! It’s sooo expensive and has such a specific look that you’ll probably get sick of it fast. I’d suggest instead maybe buying a down/down-alt comforter and just switch up your look with different duvets, or easier still, different throw pillows.

    • Ashley says...

      I am a quilter and just the materials for a baby quilt run around $100. Materials for a lap quilt are probably around $150 if you are thrifty….bed-sized quilts are much more. Depending on the difficulty of the pattern it can take anywhere from a day to several days. Vacilando prices her quilts very reasonably when you take into account the price of materials (I know exactly what she uses and can provide you a pricing list, if you’d want to know what it would cost you to make that quilt yourself ((spoiler alert- it wouldn’t be cheap))) and the cost of her labor, which includes her custom designs and hang quilting. Of course custom, hand-made quilts aren’t for everyone, but they certainly are for some people and are treasured and loved and appreciated by them. Everyone has different taste and different priorities in decorating and if she wants to buy this lovely quilt, it won’t hurt you one bit.

    • gloria says...

      saying “don’t buy the quilt!” is basically like saying “that person’s work isn’t valuable!” and implies that the artist is trying to rip people off, which is unfair. if you don’t have the expendable income to pay $500 for a beautiful work of art (i certainly don’t at the moment) then that’s one thing, but don’t discourage other people from spending money that will directly support working artists. i’m one of them, and not everyone can afford my work, but those that can are directly supporting my business and livelihood as an artist. PS quilts take a loooong time to make and require ridiculous attention to detail, design skills and craftsmanship that has been honed over many years. they are worth whatever price the maker asks for them, i promise.

  19. Kait says...

    Cannot wait to see this film and am in love with those quilts! Love this list.

  20. Ro says...

    That brioche dessert looks amazing. It would be a perfect complement to my avocado toast breakfasts, grilled cheese lunches, and egg sandwich dinners. I looove toast.

  21. Meg says...

    Oh that sweet dad – made me lol! Reminds me of my dad and his inexplicable obsession with growing strange varieties of fruits and vegetables even when they taste disgusting. He created a Frankenstein cherry tree that grew 4 different varieties. To my mother’s never ending horror, he would have us tie bungee cords around the top wispy branches to stabilize them so we could climb even higher for the best harvest… until that time my little sister lost her grip, broke our fence on the way down and ended up in the neighbor’s yard. Oops. #RIPdroppedcherries #dadhobbydanger hahaha Thanks for the fun memory.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Meg, I am laughing so much. So, so funny. <3

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Also, “To my mother’s never ending horror” = hahahaha

  22. Kim says...

    These ARE four fun things!

  23. Emm says...

    I saw WE THE ANIMALS at Sundance and it is really good. I haven’t read the book but it definitely feels like a movie that is based on a novel, and is impressionistic in places. The performances are very strong – the kids are heartbreaking. The parents are also heartbreaking!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      can’t wait to see it!

    • KS says...

      one of my favorite books ever. please read emm!

  24. Laura says...

    I love the quilt. I too love all white bedding and i will sometimes use a colorful throw at the foot of the bed for a pop of color. It is an inexpensive way to change the look of a room. You could go with the throw size to save a little money and maybe tie in a pair of white pillow cases with a colored piping to tie in the quilt. Yes, it is a bit spendy but over the years i have found that “investing” in quality pieces actually saves money in the long run.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Laura, love these tips so, so much. Thank you for sharing!!!

  25. Hope says...

    Hell yeah toast for dessert. Toast a couple slices of a baguette and then spread some slightly melted chocolate chips on there if you really want to live your best life!

    • Sasha L says...

      Or, melt chocolate chips and stir into pb and spread. Homemade sorta Nutella, but way yummier.

  26. The best movie I’ve seen lately was the AWESOME documentary about Fred Rogers, called Won’t You Be My Neighbor? It was incredibly heartwarming and sweet, and I was impressed by the number and variety of people interviewed for the film. There was also some fun behind-the-scenes footage from his show.

    • Sasha L says...

      Agreed! Wonderful film. This one looks very good too.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      LOVED and sobbed at Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Emily! Yes x 100.

  27. Colleen Wenos says...

    $350 for a bedspread? Girl, get thee to Overstock.com and put the rest in Roth IRA/investments/savings.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      A girl can dream! But, yes, agreed :)

    • Louisa says...

      Colleen, I need you to post this little dose of reality on every website I visit!

    • Sara says...

      The queen size is actually $750!!!

    • Hannah says...

      I think it’s easy to forget everyone has different budgets. If Stella wants a $350 bedspread she can get it! Sometimes investing in good, quality pieces makes a huge difference.

    • Christina says...

      While I agree that Roth IRAs/investments/savings should generally be prioritized, if Stella is already doing a good job with putting funds toward her future (and really only she knows that!), there is nothing wrong with choosing to spend $350 on a bedspread! And I say that as someone with a PhD in economics AND who studies personal finance for a living. I worry sometimes that women are judged extra hard on how they spend their money, especially when they choose to spend it on a “want” and not a “need.” So while I would always encourage prudent financial choices, purchasing a $350 bedspread is not necessarily automatically imprudent :).

    • orna says...

      it not just a bedcover. it is a handmade quilt that doubles as a piece of art. i think it would be worth every penny. some people like myself like to save up and spend more to purchase a small number of special things.

    • JenC says...

      If it is a handmade quilt, a queen size represents hours and hours of work plus a lot of money in fabrics and batting.

    • T says...

      My mum quilts a lot and I’m a bit saddened by everyone’s reaction to the cost. It’s a piece of art, that properly cared for will last forever. I wonder if we would balk at the cost of something like a side board or a coffee table costing this much, namely: something a man would make. The sad reality is that typically feminine crafts are undervalued and I think we should really change that rhetoric. Maybe you wouldn’t buy it but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Especially over poorly made synthetic sweat shop numbers. Just my 2c. Xx

  28. Cat says...

    The Tools for Science series is so love-filled, ah my heart!

    • Amy says...

      #dadhobbies

  29. Darien says...

    The title typography for We the Animals reminds me of Call Me By Your Name’s…! A lovely style for two beautiful coming of age movies.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Ahh, you are so right, Darien!

  30. Maryann says...

    I love these posts! Oh man, those Tools for Science photos are so great. I love trying to imagine what the game plan was in each photo.

    The delicious-looking toast recipe reminds me of a chocolate toast recipe that we used to make with leftover sourdough: put chocolate chips on slice of bread into toaster over to melt, then drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. I should make that again…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds so good!

    • um YES I will make that chocolate toast. Thanks for the blueprint!

  31. Eloise says...

    That quilt has me swooning at my desk. Go for it!!

  32. gfy says...

    The movie looks sooo good. and the toast reminds me of LA Sqrl’s toast with ricotta and jam on thick toasted brioche slices. This video shows just how to make it, it is very like yours above, just ricotta instead. It starts at 40 seconds:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3zQELlrY6A