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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pistil Penthouse

We have been busy the last two months starting a new business - the Pistil Penthouse Airbnb vacation rental.  We live in a 1903 built house, turned triplex, on Capitol Hill, one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Seattle.  We live in one of the apartments, Pistil Books is in the renovated basement, and the other two apartments have been traditional rentals until our top floor tenants recently moved to Amsterdam.  We spent about three weeks getting the place ready - some maintenance, painting, and furnishing needed to be done first.  We are located pretty much on top of Capitol Hill, and this apartment has two balconies with some amazing views looking west (towards downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mountains) and south.

View from western balcony:  Space Needle, Olympic Mountains, and one of many cranes that now dot our skyline.

Although of course I was tempted to cover all available wall spaces with bookshelves and books, I restrained myself and partially filled  just one small book case with a selection of titles I thought would be fun for guests to pick up at random and leaf through:  a collection of vintage books on trees and nature, some graphic novels and comics, a book of surrealist games, some art books, and a selection of guidebooks to the city and the northwest.

Our first guests were two women in town for a comparative literature conference - what serendipity!  Comparative literature was my college major.  We received some messages from them during their stay, commenting on their enjoyment of the apartment and the conduciveness of the dining table to working on a presentation for the conference.  In their after-stay review, they said "We were in for several days, and constantly discovering creative touches around the apartment (when you find a Lynda Barry book on the shelf, you know you are in a good place)."

About a week after our first guests left, Pistil Books received an order from one of them for several graphic novels and two of my recycled blank journals.

We have the idea of using the space mid-week when there are not guests to have readings and other art events.  So far, though, the summer is getting booked quickly.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Coming up: Group Collage at Magmafest

When: Sunday, March 1, 2015 - 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM 
Where: Hollow Earth Radio,  2018 East Union Street,  Seattle, WA 98122
Cost: Free
Get your creative juices flowing like lava and join Pistil Books for the making of a wall-sized community collage during the Magmafest Warm Up event at Hollow Earth. The collage will be on the wall at throughout the month. Cut-up materials and supplies provided.

There will also be Magma soup, bread from, & popcorn (donations for food gratefully accepted).

While you are creating & eating, enjoy Stand-up Showcase. Hosted by Forrest Baum, known in deep time as Hollow Earth’s OG DJ Prismatic. Toe-tapper, pun-cracker, yum-snacker, non-hacker, lunch-packer extraordinaire.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Urgent Crier

We recently came across this altered book in a box of books at a sale.  The cover of the book has a square carefully cut out, not going all the way through the boards, but a partial excision preserving the original interior pastedown endpapers when opened, thus creating a frame for the artist's assemblage. 

The small format book measures 5 1/2"w x 6", and the title is Urgent Crier by French poet Andre Benedetto, published by Robert Morel Publisher, 1966.

The text is in French and the theme of the six poems inside is the horrors perpetuated by humanity: racism, torture, war, and death.

The assemblage shows a tiny figure floating above a circuit board, bracketed by wooden half-circles, attached to the board with yellow yarn.

I often document ephemera found in books, and book owners often leave signs of themselves (signatures, inscriptions, notes, marginalia, coffee rings) but here is an example of a book deliberately physically transformed into art by a previous owner.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Happy Holidays from Pistil Books

Books make great gifts, and we are having a 20% off sale on all our inventory (except blank journals) when ordered directly from us through the month of  December.  Pictured are a few recent additions to our stock.

I've been invited by my friend Rosemary, who makes fabulous reindeer wreaths from Astroturf, to participate in a holiday craft fair at the Artspace Hiawatha Lofts.

The fair is this Saturday, December 13 from 3pm to 7pm at 843 Hiawatha Pl S, Seattle, Washington 98144.

 I will be selling a fresh new batch of  Recycled Blank Books, not yet listed on our website, but similar to the ones shown there.

Book and set of five records in slipcase.    This is the print version of Bernstein's famous televised "Yound People's Concerts" featuring the New York Philharmonic, of which he was music director.   The author had a famous gift for presenting serious musical analysis in a form which laymen and even children could understand-- in 1962.

This book is subtitled, "Or the Wickedness of Modern Society" and contents include: High License, Divorce, Intemperance, Suicide, Two Highways, Evil Companions, Dark Deeds, The Babylonian Feast,  Mormonism, Divorce, Profanity, Drunkenness, and The Social Evil, Gambling,  Immoral Literature, Foes of Society, The Theater, Right and Wrong Amusements, Dancing, Fashion's Follies, Clubs, Watering Places, A Wasted Life, Off the Track, Lepers, etc.

Blimps, dirigibles, and air ships!

Bill Brandt is considered one of the most important British photographers of the twentieth century, and is known for his images of British society, distorted nudes, portraits of famous artists, and landscapes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Noise Yoga Please

Starting this Wednesday, October 15, Sean will be teaching a series of yoga classes at Washington Hall accompanied by.... noise.  Poet Steven Jesse Bernstein's piece, More Noise Please,  inspired Sean's collage advertising these noise yoga classes.

The Stranger has a nice write-up, including the schedule,  here.