The Perfect Pencil

Penxo Pencil

Often, people ask me what pencil I use to draw and sketch (by often, I mean nobody, ever). So here is my current favorite tool, recently received via Kickstarter. If you have a hankerin’ to put lead on paper, the Penxo pencil is for you. Minimalist, perfectly balanced perfection. Combine it with Koh-i-noor’s 4300/24 2mm lead for black, non-smearing goodness.

Penxo pencil

A great unadvertised feature: it’s also a pen! Simply slip a standard D1 pen refill in place of the lead.

[Edit 4/5/17: It appears the company is now out of business]

Unintentionally Anthropomorphic

Many years have passed since Robyn and I visited the romantic town of Rothenburg, Germany. A quick image search confirms it is still as picturesque as ever and, best of all, my favorite tower did not wander off. Huh? Wander off? Notice the stubby, little legs created by the archway!

I love unintentional anthropomorphic architecture! It is not unusual to spot an unintended face on a building, but this one has an entire body, including a distinct head defined by a thin stone ledge and a shoulder peeking out below that. Its face even has a mustache, nose, hair (not nose hair), cheeks and ears. This just makes me smile.

Rothenburg, Germany

The tower, Klingen Tor, was built in the thirteenth century to help fortify the medieval town of Rothenburg.

Can You Spot the Focal Point of this Kitchen?

Bjella Kitchen Design

Hint: It’s not the dust bunny in the corner (just kidding, there will NEVER be a dust bunny in this kitchen).

While the area that draws your attention is, in this case quite obvious, focal points are typically more subtle. Most spaces have one, although it is often unintentional and sometimes even unwelcome. When you walk into your own kitchen, are your eyes drawn to a pretty little flower in a niche or the dirty dishes in the sink?

This focal point is built in, yet, it doesn’t have to be. You can create one in your own kitchen and add some pizzazz with a simple flower, for example. But keep it simple. Less is more.

Bjella Kitchen Design - Focal Point Study

Notice the impact created in the kitchen above by the addition of a simple, small focal point. It does a few things. It draws the eye, providing a splash of color. It also breaks the symmetry of the cooktop area, making it more dynamic and visually interesting. In this case it is a focal point within the larger focal point of the cooktop area. Yes, a good design often has layers of focal points.

Bjella Kitchen Design 5

This focal point is two-sided, serving both the kitchen and the dining room. Two for the price of one!

See more of my work at Bjella Architecture.