This is what happens when you travel to a yurt in the desert and read Barry Lopez.
Drive east on highway 90, past suburbia and floating bridges until you hit the top, the mountain pass with the ski resort to the north and the long lake to your south. Everything looks the same for a while, until suddenly the trees stop. One second they’re there, the next, they’re not. You’ve left one Washington and entered another – the alien half, the desert half.
Time in the desert slows. Your walking is different, your breath is different – languid, pronounced. Not labored, just more aware. You’re more aware of everything here, like the missing humidity had to be replaced by something, a sixth sense still undiscovered by forest-dwelling city folk.
A collection of yurts in the middle of a desert winery. Glamping at its best. Adirondacks and wine and tawny rabbits nibbling on sage. Twenty feet from your door, the descent to the bottom of a gorge – the river below receded, hexagonal tiles baked into the dried mud. And wouldn’t you know it, down here with the lizards and the snakes and the cactus flowers, sits one beat up desk, gradually becoming the desert. The office-supply life, it follows you everywhere.
Everything feels new and familiar and BIG. The vast space opens your brain and invites you to float from one thought to the next until you settle like pink dusk in the night. Record the thoughts acquired during such downtime, such non-thinking. Sift through them later, see what you find. Back to reality, desert memories rest heavy on the brain.
This is what happens when you read Barry Lopez shortly after your visit to the desert. You start speaking in second person, giving directives, knowing full well most people won’t end up in a yurt in the middle of the desert, day-dreaming and scheming. But then again, is that the point? Yurt Life is a state of mind – and its home turf be summer.
It’s taken a whole lotta control to not bombard our Facebook and Instagram with all things World Cup. Every four years, for an entire month, everything in my life is second to fútbol. I can’t help it – World Cup has a way of consuming me. I obsess about players, I devour stats, I dream of visiting each stadium… AND I lose my shit over team kits!
Team USA’s home jersey? Hate it. Best typeface? Nature of Believing by Eduardo Manso for Puma. Best game? Cameroon vs Croatia. The two best kits of World Cup 2014 facing off. Croatia may have won the match with 4 goals, but Cameron totally won on the kits front.
So imagine my excitement when the super talented Pablo Hannon of Hectica / Things I Like a Lot contacted me about a World Cup jersey exchange! Pablo proposed that we each design a jersey for our birth country. He would design a jersey for Chile, and I would design one for South Korea. No requirements or restrictions for the design but there was one rule – only 45 minutes of playtime. Game on!
Didn’t really know what to expect from 45 minutes of designing at a frantic pace. Final whistle blown (with a few minutes of overage), I saved my work and emailed it to Pablo, and he emailed me his design.
I drew inspiration from Korea’s past and future. Pulled together old school roots reflecting hanboks, the traditional clothing of Korea, with palace guard uniforms. The geometric pattern reflects both traditional embroidery and technology. An outline of Korea is knocked out of the pattern on the left and the heart of the Korean flag,Taegeuk, is placed proudly over the heart.
Pablo’s approach? “Stencil shaped futuristic font for the number and last name handwritten by the player self. Rorschach stains of national colours to accentuate the muscles of the player, and also to scare and impress the opponent through the hypnotising graphic pattern – confusing via the slightly mixed colours of back and front (more blue in the front and more red in the back).”
So tell us – which jerseys do you prefer? The official Korea and Chile World Cup 2014 jerseys or the RAH X TILAL jerseys? And if you want Pablo’s take on the design-off, check out his blog post!
The USA Booster Pack? It’s just beggin’ you to start writing some letters.
These vintage stamps (from 1962!) can NOT be missed. Celebratin’ the 50th anniversary of Arizona’s addition as the 48th US state, these beautifully textured bad boys were specially printed on a Giori press. Stick ‘em on one of the retro Air Mail envelopes (included in the Booster Pack), write up a letter using the American Naturals pencil (also included!) and get ready to impress the postman.
Yurt Life is a state of mind – and its home turf be summer. We’ve got the goods to get you day dreaming and scheming. One 1940’s-hailin’ pen, two pocket-sized memo pads, a big honkin’ clip, and five manila pockets to collect all your goodies. It’s STMT X USA!
This batch of office supplies? 100% inspired by our road trip to the desert. Where we stayed in a YURT! And not just any yurt – a yurt in the middle of a vineyard, at the edge of the Columbia Gorge (helloooo, amazing views!), with golf carts rollin’ around to pick you up and give tours.
Obviously a far cry from camping (#glamping for life!), but something about the desert surroundings made us think of old-school camping supplies – the metal plates and dishes, the green of Boy Scout uniforms, the days when you’d head out when a pen and notepad and catalog all the cool shit you found. We had to make the USA Kit travel friendly – ready to go on an adventure at a moment’s notice. It’s the Yurt Life, in office supply form. Ready for you to find your adventure.
We barely crossed over the mountaintop when the trees stopped and the mercury climbed. Hit the desert and the first thing we need? Ice cream. Problem was, we couldn’t find it. Our phones failed us, showin’ no results. Only thing we could find was froyo. Froyo? Hell no. ICE CREAM.
Know how we found it? The local visitor center. Old school, lo fi. Walked in, asked the lady at the desk. She pointed us down the road. We walked for close to an hour, but then we found it, an oasis in the desert. Local, homemade ice cream – dozens of flavors, dozens of options. (Most popular item on the menu? Extreme Bullz 101, a cray-zay mix of Monster Energy drinks and flavored syrup. Hello, college town!). Hen got salted caramel ice cream – I got strawberry, real, FRESH strawberries mixed right in.
What soon became the M.O. of the trip – ditch the smartphones, ask the locals. Which always happens when we’re abroad. But back home, whether you mean to or not, you rely on that handy little internetz in your pocket. Why ask someone when you can ask Google? Why rely on one person’s opinion when you got the collective opinion of Yelp?
Because that one person knows the local hot spots. People know the holes-in-the-walls, the authentic places, the cheap places, the places everyone goes to on a Friday night when they want to get some serious grub on.
After lazin’ all day in the sun, exploring the desert, hangin’ in our yurt (YES, a YURT!), we wanted easy, simple, and in-yo-face delicious dinner. Our phones told us the only dinner restaurant nearby was a fancy four-star place. Oh, but ask the awesome wine guy where he’d recommend? A Mexican grocery shop/deli, a 15 minute drive away. Was it THE best pork torta I’ve ever had in my life? Hard to say. Top 5, for sure.
Next day, same thing – asked the gal at the front desk where we could get some ice cream. She gave us directions to another Mexican place, off a side street in a quiet part of town. (AKA, NEVER would have found it on our own). Behind the counter were homemade popsicles, and in the back were women whippin’ up more ice cream. (We chose coffee ice cream, that day. In case you’re keepin’ tabs.)
Since old school became the theme of the trip – old school HAD to be the theme of the goods. We went with gear that reminds us of old-school camping supplies (or #glamping, in our case) – the classic green of the memo pad, the official ‘click’ of the pen, the honkin’ big metal clip holding all the goodies you pick up on the road. (Sage. We wanted to bring back ALL THE SAGE.)
Yurt Life is a state of mind – and its home turf is summer. Take your goods and find an adventure. Ask the locals. Eat lots of ice cream. Tell us the flavors.
When’s the last time you fell in love? Do you remember the moment? Was it when you spied that person from across the room? When that hook kicked in on that song? When you took that first bite?
I remember the day, the exact moment I fell in love with football (not the American version, although we of course got Seahawks love!). June 5th, 2002, 6:04pm in Suwon, South Korea. Team USA stunned the world when O’Brien scored US’s first goal against Team Portugal, the favorites to win their group. No one expected the US to score, let alone score 3 goals. Against all odds, USA beat Portugal, 3-2.
USA’s win over Portugal remains one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever. I didn’t realize the impact till later, sitting at a bar drinking with USA fans from all over the world. People kept shouting that I didn’t and I couldn’t understand how huge the win was, how important and impossible the win was for US soccer. MLS was 7 years young, Seattle didn’t have the Sounders, and the idea of top international players coming Stateside to play in the MLS was a pipe dream (Villa!!!).
12 years later, I’ve beaten my own set of impossible odds – I’ve watched soccer in 9 countries and visited stadiums in another 4. The World Tour doesn’t just feed my love of office supplies – it feeds my love of football.
Whether you check out our Seattle city guide or got your own plans, one thing’s for sure – summer break is almost here. Which means your kids will be out of school. And have to be entertained. Oh shit.
Don’t worry, we got your back.
Custom Kid Rad Bags, just in time for summer! These limited-edition Rad Bags come in Korean plastic bags with dope type-driven design. And the best thing about ‘em? Zip up the closure, and everything stays put – perfect for packing up the kids’ goodies for a road trip! (You can even make a road-trip game with the bags – fill in the letter blanks with objects you see on the drive!)
Each Custom Kid Rad Bag holds 3-7 school supplies, and we handpick them based on age range. Don’t wait until you’re pulling your hair out at yet another “Are we there yet?” Nab one of these bad boys now.
Around RAH headquarters, we’re BIG fans of Stephanie Duval over at 70percentpure.Her sense of style, her eye for design (just look at her Instagram!), her love of coffee and good food – and of course, travel. She’s the editor-in-chief of TWO Belgian fashion trade magazines, the author of several shopping guides – and oh yeah, she curated a desk for HAY, a Danish office-supply store we L-O-V-E.
So you can imagine how stoked we are to be included in her Kick-Ass Women Interview Series! Stephanie is highlighting some rad women in the creative industries, and we’re super flattered that she asked Hen to participate.
Hen shares her biggest regret and offers up the one piece of advice she’d dish out to everyone. PLUS, the interview includes a downloadable travel guide (created special for 70percentpure) featuring a kid-friendly day trip in Seattle!
What’s Jerry Seinfeld’s secret to continued success? A honkin’ big wall calendar! Every January, he hangs a year-at-a-glance calendar on his office wall. For every day that he writes, he marks a big phat “X”. The goal? Don’t Break the Chain.
Inspired by his method, we created our own monthly calendar from the STMT X Denmark Kit sketchbook and our collection of neon labels. I needed a system to force myself to slow down – time to flesh out new ideas, to form a coherent sentence out of a zillion loose thoughts. So for every day that I sit and write for 20 mins – I get to give the day a big ‘ol hug.
We designed our own calendar because… well, we like makin’ shit. It’s fun for us – we like using rad office supplies and trickin’ ‘em out however we want. But we know that ain’t everyone’s jam. Some people just want the tools ready to go.
PAPER PLANNERS UNITE
Paper calendars and planners are super popular in Korea (despite everyone and their grandma having a smartphone!). Walk into any stationery store, any time of the year, and you’ll find entire sections dedicated to calendars. Korean students go through paper planners in an alarming rate. Each day is chock full with an endless list – from school, cram school (hagwon), and one-on-one tutoring, to homework, lessons, and tests.
Students aren’t the only people obsessing over calendars. Housekeeping calendars and calendar-style “cash books” are equally popular. Cash books document every penny earned and every penny spent with so much detail it makes any transaction seem like a BIG transaction – even if it’s only ₩1,000 (approx. $1) for dukbokki.Of course, in a country with such a crush on all things calendars – we had to bring some home. Several options to chose from, all perfect for toting around. Which means if you want to test out Jerry’s method for yourself – whether you want to write every day, cook every day, photograph every day, be RAD every day – you have your calendar there, ready to mark with a big phat X.
A three-part system for fighting the good fight between the two.
What’s the difference between a hoarder and a collector? A hoarder leaves everything in uncontained piles that spill into all areas. A collector keeps their shit organized.
My father started my record collection and fed it weekly. When I was in the 4th grade, he gifted me his entire stamp collection. Why? He couldn’t handle seeing his stamps not perfectly lined up after I tore through his albums. Thankfully my mother was a pro at keeping house. Never a dirty dish in the house, not a spec of dust on any surface, vacuum cleaner marks on the carpet – always. If it wasn’t for my mother, my father would be hoarder, not a collector!
Me? I’m forever straddling the line between hoarder and collector. I collect pencils, sugar packets, and hotel do-not-disturb door signs. I’m a numismatist (banknotes and coins), phillumenist (matchbooks), tegestologist (beer mats), and philatelist (stamps). Seriously – what don’t I collect?
Oh, and pencils. So so many pencils. The RAD AND HUNGRY collection is massive and it’s nonstop growing. We discover new styles every sourcing trip, and I can’t resist them. I must have them all! But my obsession with pencils was quickly turning me into a hoarder. Didn’t matter that we’re constantly going through our inventory, our pencil collection was out of control.
We needed a way to organize the pencils, making it easy to find what we’re after and to rediscover what’s in our collection. Inventory software is nice, but sometimes it’s just faster and easier to handle the pencils than search the database.
So how do we do it? A three-part system. The first is simple and used for archiving every type of pencil in our collection – yes, one of every pencil we’ve ever purchased. The pencils are organized by color in Bonne Maman jam jars. Yes, jam jars. I love their jam and the shape of the jars, so $5 a jar is totally worth it.
The second system catalogs our pencil inventory – the stash we include in Pencil Packs,Rad Bags, or custom kits. The pencils are organized by category and stored in 35mm film strip protectors, all housed in binders. It’s super helpful for viewing – by company, style, country, color, etc. We use Clear File Archival Classic protectors. $4.95 for a pack of 25. So many options for binders, but we keep it simple – 1.5” Avery Heavy Duty binder in black. $7.95+. Depending on your style and budget, you can find binders as low as $2.
The last system is for storing our special stash – rare finds, special occasion, vintage pencils – and pencil boxes that I can’t bear to toss. The pencils are organized inside pencil boxes that are then placed in a vintage Logan metal 35 mm slide storage box. I found our first metal storage boxes for $2 each at a local thrift store. You can find used and new ones online ranging from $10 - $45 per box. (But seriously, check out that local thrift shop!)
Do you collect pencils or pens? How do you store them? Post photos to our Facebook wall or tweet at us so we can see how you do. Maybe your system will help us fight the good fight between hoarding and collecting.