Photo Faves: December 2013

Only two days into the new year, and I’m already having to move “accept things as they are” to the top of my things-to-work-on list. I’m ready to go home to London; we’re stuck in San Francisco at the moment and there seems to be miles to go before I can relax.

Making use of the delays by updating my photo favorites for December:

  1. HBW
  2. untitled
  3. IMG_5824
  4. Path
  5. She’s such an annoying little daredevil ….
  6. Four Freedoms Park is closed today …..
  7. Bah Humbug #merrychristmas
  8. Another summer project coming to fruition ….
  9. Cow pasture in the winter. Vt
  10. Brooklyn On Ice

Lots of snow pics, as it seems to be the theme today. Happy New Year + safe travels (if you’re traveling).

image at top :: december 26 ::/jane potrykus

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Week One: A Fresh Start

“escape the ordinary”

Typically, I mark a New Year by examining the excesses in my life over the past 12 months, and then resolve to be more mindful and purposeful, and less consumerist. The start to 2014 is different: I am keenly aware of time passing since our move, and so I’m focussed on maximizing experiences instead of minimizing possessions.We’re closing in on the 6-month mark in London, and even if we’re here until my buddy graduates high school (our goal), that’s only 29 months away, and yet it seems that we’ve barely scratched the surface in making full use of our time abroad. In a maudlin moment, I thought to myself “Even if I make it to Poilâne’s Cuisine de Bar once a month for lunch, that’s only 29 more visits!” You get the gist. Tempus Fugit.

Making lists always seems to calm my mind and focus my thoughts, so I’m resolving to broadly map out priorities for myself, for my buddy, and for our family. My goal is to compile a range of experiences so that my buddy doesn’t see it purely as a Mom Shops London List. There are exhibitions at the Tate and V&A to see, a river to walk, and (of course) food to eat. I’m resolving to revisit the list, revising and updating it not out of complacency, but reality.

And because pretty journals are a potent motivator, I think this version from Kate Spade will be my record keeper of choice. Not only is the cover phrase perfect (“escape the ordinary”) but the pages are lined: a plus for my handwriting style, which starts out even and rapidly loses steam. I’m quite smitten with the color, too, as I’m all about the palest of blush pinks at the moment. Of course, the detail of orange ribbons seals the deal. Kate Spade Paper is available widely in the States, but it’s just launched in the UK at Quill, one of the sweetest online shops I know.

Happy New Year.

lined pages + pretty orange ribbons

images courtesy of quill london

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Week Fifty-two: Happy Holidays from Across the Pond!

One of the tasks I most enjoy at Christmas is sending (and receiving) holiday cards. Selecting the perfect card is one of the details I like to get “just right” each year. With our change of address over the summer, I wanted to combine a festive message with the necessary “We’ve moved”, and I knew just who I wanted to design the card: Felix Doolittle. I’ve long been a fan of artist Felix Fu’s romantic watercolor illustrations. As I’m an over-planner, I contacted Loren and Felix over the summer to reserve a spot on their holiday schedule, and was elated that they agreed to take me on as a client.

It was such an easy process: I sent Felix a photo of the house we’re renting in London, and he responded with an elegant watercolor rendition, complete with sweet details (the moving boxes at bottom right are labeled “Chicago” and “London”). I only wish I’d had the motivation to buy and hang a wreath as pretty as the one Felix imagined for me on the front door. And no, I don’t own a Mini Cooper (anymore). Sigh.

a closer look at Felix Fu’s gorgeous artwork

Thank you, Felix and Loren (and staff at Felix Doolittle) for making my holidays extra special this year. I’m saving this card! xx, Jane

images by jane potrykus + courtesy of felix doolittle.

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Week Fifty-one: Chisato Tamabayashi

“season’s greetings” / pop-up tree card

London artist Chisato Tamabayashi was another of my serendipitous discoveries at November’s Small Publishers Fair. I instantly fell for her pop-up books, which combine graphic, minimalist linen covers with intricately detailed works of cut-out paper art inside. Chisato was kind enough to show me a few books from her collection, including “Plunge” with its enchanting school of fish detail (revealed to great effect when held upside down). Opening each of her books was like unwrapping a much-desired present, and visiting her booth was a delight: I lingered, reluctant to leave her carefully curated world behind.

The London Print Studio recently featured a Christmas Pop-up Card workshop with Chisato (which I missed). Hopefully, there will be more opportunities to come in the new year.

turtle from “plunge”

school of fish from “plunge”

whale’s tail from “plunge”

“parts”: an increasingly detailed look at hyde park, from map to single cell of a single tree.

gorgeously minimal book covers from chisato’s booth at the small publisher’s fair

excerpted photos courtesy of chisato tamabayashi. photo from small publisher’s fair by jane potrykus

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Pre-fall 2014: Vera Wang

look 24

Vera Wang’s pre-fall collection seems a welcome return to the utilitarian luxe design aesthetic that won me over: simple lines paired with glamorous details. (Though I must confess I don’t understand the heavy scarves paired with open-toed shoes.) See the complete collection at

look 30

look 14

image credits: photos courtesy of vera wang for

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