Monthly Archives: April 2009

Products of Play


It’s been one of those days… When you wake up and immediately and fairly inexplicably feel kind of blah, you know? Like you’re hanging out in a drippy gray cloud and you feel kind of foggy-esque, both in mood and physically. C’est la vie, non? It happens to the best of us.

And so! I slowly crawled around the internet, trying to find myself something to lend a little cheer to my mood… and I found(!): Oisin Byrne. And his work made me smile, because:

a.) I like it all. Not like when you see a piece by someone and you think oh! that’s awesome!, and you check out the rest of their stuff and are kinda disappointed because the rest doesn’t resonate quite as much. And
b.) It’s like being in my own brain. And
c.) He advocates ‘art which is the product of play’. Double thumbs up. It’s good to have fun with your work… it’s one of the best bits of creating/ the art of creation… getting in there and playing around and having fun and exploring.

Ogle away:

“dapple colour kingdom” (2442 origami fortune tellers)
It’s like a delicate pixelated rendition of a quilt! Like pointillism really, really close up (created out of living critters that have trouble standing still.. or something). I’d probably get in trouble for standing to close and wanting to touch it.

And then I saw…

“dapple colour kingdom”
Which validated that pointilism-esque thought.

“amelia blossom haven”
Makes my attempt to make a ton of origami cranes to hang on the wall/from the ceiling in my apartment seem like peanuts. Beautiful!

“infinitely folding star”

“Starmaps which fold in and around themselves infinitely, expressing the idea of a dimensional universe: of a universe which constantly folds in on itself to reveal a new reality.” Art + Science. You know I love it. That and contemplating the universe.

“universe cubed maquette”
Collaboration with Professor J. Richard Gott, the head of astrophysics at Princeton University; “The stars pierced in these boxes accurately map the visible sky as it surrounds the earth, gnomonically projected from sphere to cube.” Just gorgeous. More pieces that utilize light:

“we are stardust”

dancing with god”

And I can’t decide what other paintings or drawings to show you, so you should check them out yourself. They’re really lovely!

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Art Takes Over (How did I miss this?!?)


I was out and about a bit this lovely and toasty weekend, so I’m scratching my head as to how I didn’t know about the “New York Street Advertising Takeover.” Organized by Jordan Seiler, 120 illegal billboards were white-washed and reclaimed by 50 artists. These advertisements are not registered with the city and are therefore illegal, and though the companies that put up these ads are not being prosecuted by the City of New York, we’re all inundated with these advertisements in our public spaces.

by Ji Lee

by Clarina Bezzola

photo by Will Sherman, see more

photo by Will Sherman, see more

Yay Guerrilla Art! The sad bit being that some pieces have already been recovered. It’s a pity that these billboard spaces aren’t given to artists in the first place; because our city, which at least used to be known for our abundant artistic talents is becoming more and more a slave to corporations, slowly but surely erasing culture, art, and design from our daily lives until all we recognize are brands. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have public street art encouraged in these spaces? There could be walking tours. And open discussions. It could be nice.

via,Wooster Collective

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Rock that pale skin: Parasols


Saturday was a beauuuuutiful day here in New York City. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and it was the first time in a long time that it was A-OK to wander around outside sans cardigan, tights and/or socks. It was heaven, I assure you. I bubbled with joy at the feeling of the sunshine on my shoulders and the swish swash of my massive crinoline rustling against bare legs ((I decided that the weather warranted full on red-lipped, full skirted dress attire)).

The sun was very happy, too. So very happy that it went and burnt my freshly uncovered shoulders. Go figure.

C’est la vie,
shame on me.
Shoulda thought ahead
and put on sunscreen.


Rocked a:


The light went off when I saw the above lace-y confection over at Mod Cloth last night. And I remembered the children’s umbrella that was shaped like a parasol with ladybugs on it that I adored using for a few years until it finally was taken down by a particularly windy rainstorm (*tear*). And I thought, yes! Yes! It would be nice to tote one of these around, especially if they could come in pocket size, to help supplement your sunscreen/sunblock, or to give you a hand in the fight against burning should you forget and/or not want to smell sunscreen-y. And it would be so very classy-lady, too.

They’re sometimes called sun umbrellas, too, and can come with a UV coating. Or, you can just find a particularly pretty umbrella that doesn’t look too umbrella-y.

This one is an umbrella, but I think it would be adorable and believable as a parasol. Nice because you could use it in in sun OR rain, and still look charming. From Amazon

Jedi Creations has some lovely options that have a classic paper parasol appeal, but many can be or are waterproofed. Because, while you might intend to only use them in the sun, sometimes you never know when you’ll come into contact with water, and it would be a pity for it to be completely destroyed.

This lovely bit of chic simplicity by Longwood Living is an umbrella with UV protection. So you can use it no matter the weather! It’s also made sustainably with bamboo, a patent pending clear canopy, is completely biodegradable, and will allegedly stand up to high winds and heavy downpours. Can’t say I’m not intrigued.

Isotoner makes these two lovely vintage inspired stick umbrellas that are pretty enough to use when the sun is shining.

And last, but certainly not least, is Elena Corchero‘s absolutely stunning Solar Vintage parasol (*ahem* I seriously want this):

Ms. Corchero uses solar cells, resisters, and LED lights integrated into antique and hand-embellished fabrics wired together into circuits using conductive thread for this grouping of accessories. The objects, in this case the parasol, gather sunlight via the solar cells while the user is outside and to convert it into energy to light the little LED lights in the evening.

Corchero’s work is also created with sustainability and environmental sensitivity in mind and is at the same time a piece of wearable technology that is both beautiful and feminine; a seemingly difficult task, as many articles of clothes/accessories in the genre are tend to be more male-centric or poorly designed and not all that aesthetically pleasing. Corchero hopes that by combining an environmentally supportive concept with technology and fashion “…consumers can visibly signal their support for environmental causes without extra effort and without compromising their potentially high standard of fashion. Because they are distinctive and invite conversation, the level of attention to these topics in the public sphere can be increased in a bottom-up fashion, and the adoption of greener practices might become more widespread.”


And, since this is all about parasols. You can find some more at:
+Rain or Shine
+Luna Bazaar (all kinds of paper parasols)
+DIY from Martha Stewart on making sweet little posy toppers for your paper parasols

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Weird Little Beast


My cousin tweeted this image last week and it makes me smile every time I look at it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten weird looks for being fascinated by something strange/random/seemingly inconsequential. Today I stopped in the middle of crossing the street to try to pick up a key on the ground (I happen to have a thing for keys); alas, it was stuck and could not be mine and I was the recipient of several loud honks from taxi-cabs itching to make the right turn. Oops.

Again, sorry for my poky-ness. I’ve been working on some stuff and also caught up in the Must.Be.Outside(!) Glee that is springtime. You know the feeling, yes? The sheer joy in warming temperatures, watching the trees burst back into life, and the positively oodles and oodles of gorgeous colorful flowers overtaking the Union Square Green Market. And people watching! And listening to the street musicians. And and and….

Spring, how I love thee! It makes this Hot House Florida Flower whole-heartedly, positively, nerdily giddy. You too?! Swell!

I am working, however, on reigning in the brain. :) I assure you, dear readers, I have a hundred million (okay, maybe not that many – but a lot) browser tabs open in firefox and the computer that is my head of ideas of things to write about for you. Promise.

I tried to figure out where this image originated from but have thus far come up empty. If you know, do give me a shout as I love to give attribution.

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The Writing is on the Wall


Paint your walls with IdeaPaint, and you can doodle to your heart’s content all over your walls with dry erase markers!

Imagine if you used magnetic paint as the primer! I was super ecstatic about this idea when I read about it on Sara’s blog because I hang a LOT of random stuff up on my walls (*ahem* paint swatches), and this looks like a pretty handy way to do it. The sticky putty I often use seems to make things fall down when the seasons change drastically, thumbtacks leave little holes in the wall, and using foam tape has only led to big holes in the walls when I try to rip them off when its time to move (sorry mom). Magnets seem like a nice alternative. Amber does a pretty neat job with them:

Imagine how fabulous it would be if you could hang things up magnetically and doodle all around them. And you could so easily shift things around and/or change the look entirely whenever you pleased! I’m a little bummed at how easily the dry erase work would rub off, so it might not be perfect everywhere, but it’s a nice option – even just to test a look out before you go all permanent like this guy who drew all over his walls with Sharpies:

Magnetic paint + Dry Erase Board Paint + crazy doodles + awesome posters and wall doodads = kickass cheap, easy, creative, and changeable decorations = fun reactions from landlord (I’m imaging a bit of eyes bugging out and a stammered out “What Did You Do To The Walls?!?!”)((remembers the reaction to the time I decided it would be a totally Awesome idea to paint my studio upstairs a dark plummy magenta sort of color)).

Yes. Some things are better in theory than in practice. Lesson learned.

(merci Apartment Therapy)

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Hand-bound book necklaces made from scrap and/or antique leather! Personally I love the look of the lot of them all bunched together, even though they’re sold singularly. The paper is lineless strathmore drawing paper – so you can write in them yourself. I want to call this look The Jewelry-fied interpretation/personification of The Strand (or any bookstore that has tons of awesome old books). If I worked at one, I would surely like to be wearing this. Actually, I want to wear them all even though I don’t.

Margaux Kent collects antique leather (foraging through abandoned houses at times!) and creates one of a kind hand bound books/journals from them, and of course, the teenier book necklaces. She also makes other lovely bits of jewelry and other sorts of creations. Love and Yay.

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Berber Soepboer (should totally be my design BFF)


Check it out: A color it in yourself dress! How exciting!! (I wonder if the ink is washable to you could color it in over and over again? Might lead to trouble, however, should you get stuck in the rain. Could be pretty, though, if you only had bits colored in and the color dripped in a quasi-watercolor-y fashion into the parts you left black and white.)

If you’ve spent much time around me, especially and particularly when discussing clothing design or, well, design in general, you’d know that I thoroughly passionate about customizable/transformable/put your own spin on it design items; be they interior (like minimodern’s  color-it-in wallpaper I gushed about last June), or fashion-related as I discovered in all of Berber Soepbar‘s work. In reference to her work, she states:

“I especially design clothing which can be worn in different ways, so the owner can make choices in how to wear the cloth.

Life exists of many choices based on expectations, desire and the available time.

When everything is still possible the world seems an incredible place.

I translate these endless possibilities in my design.

A start to realize the ultimate dream in daily life.”

This dress is comprised of buttoned together pieces of fabric. The design allows all pieces to be interchangeable so you can create your own look by mixing patterns. The patterns for this and the previous dress were created by the talented Michiel Schuurman.

This is one piece, length, from her “Doable Dresses” collection which also includes permutations of silhouette, color, volume, size, and decoration.

I’m always, always a fan of other interpretations of transformable clothes – a running theme through my own work. Personally, I think you can do it with almost all of your clothes with a little creativity and imagination (i.e this post on the many ways to wear a “serious dress”)((p.s: I’m definitely planning a similar post regarding a favorite and constantly worn dress of mine): however, sometimes, a lot of us need (or would at least be helped by) a garment that sort of openly offers and almost requires your interaction to get the ball rolling. I think a whole new world is opened up when you can start seeing your clothes and closet as being open to interpretation.

As in: you don’t always have to wear everything exactly in the manner for which it is prescribed.

And, because I’m perhaps odd and definitely optimistic, I like to hope that if you can start to see your clothes that way, well, who knows where else you’ll find yourself applying that mentality. Yep, I’m a clothes as art and life lessons kind of ladybird.

(saw the color-it-in goodness on Yatzer)

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