Monthly Archives: July 2009

It’s all a matter of perspective

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What would your rug say if it could speak?:

These positive/negative rugs designed by Björn Dahlström for Kasthall bring to mind the famous Oscar Wilde quote; “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Granted, you can’t always help how you feel. Regardless, these are really interesting, and it would be a fun challenge to design the room around them. I would love if they came in other colors…. the white and navy is nice, but liable to get lots of footprints on them – though for mr. negative rug it would sort of reinforce the theme.

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Simple Singular Sensations

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There’s something about this dishware that strikes me as brilliant.

Artist Paola Navone was given white porcelain “seconds” from the famous Tuscan crockery factory of Richard Ginori which she subsequently gave new life with her free form swatches of color. Merci Gallery has turned them into one-of-a-kind pieces for an exhibition, after which the pieces will be sold.

I’ve always thought there was some unique sort of beauty about the surfaces (paper, napkins, etc) that artists/designers/etc. use to test out colors. You can still get a sense of colors incorporated into a final piece, but there’s also a hint of the thought processes behind those choices and the sometimes perhaps interesting in the nature and style in which some one just sort of throws the color down.

It’s really interesting to see that free nature of color swatching tossed onto formal dishware. Pieces that when they do have designs on them, are usually on the formal and well-thought-out side of design. This is somehow the equivalent of wearing both high and low priced clothes at the same time,  of that one slightly “off” thing that makes an outfit interesting. There’s something mildly audacious about it… Like a grown-up version of the coloring on the walls that got you in trouble as a kid.

more on designboom

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Hair-ish

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If you’re a gal who has historically had really long hair, and have since chopped it (all) off you may, over time, realize you (sometimes somewhat desperately) miss the feeling of hair cascading down your shoulders and/or back. I know I do, at least now that it’s been three years since The Great Chop. While I do, and have, enjoyed the ease and simplicity my pixie ‘do has afforded me, I have found myself recently craving my hair. It’s mildly pathetic at times. And so, I’m working on growing it some, and we’ll see how my patience holds through all of the ensuing awkward phases that will accompany the growing (*ahem* the mid-lengths ((I’ve always wished that I could have magical hair like one of the dolls I had as a child where you could pull her arm one way and her hair would magically grow (!) and wind it the other way and it would shorten. Talk about setting up a girl for unrealistic expectations, sigh))).

Anyway, I stumbled upon some interesting jewelry and hair-wraps that, while shown on long haired ladies, may give us pixies a temporary quasi fix for those moments where we’re craving an interesting hair fix.

First up are intriguing offerings from the talented Jules Kim of BiJules:

The “Hairrings” are earrings with dangling pieces of human hair (in a variety of colors that are both natural and fun). I think these are pretty interesting, but I can be a bit of a klutz/space cadet at times (tripping over my own two feet, knocking over drinks, laughing the candles at a restaurant out, etc) so this worries me a little bit. I could see myself getting them stuck in the subway doors or something. Never fear, though, Bijules does have other options that don’t carry the risk of ripping a hole in your ear.

Jules also offers up the “hairwrap”, in which the hair is attached to a loop that wraps around your ear and the“weave lariat”, in which the hair is attached to lariats that loops around your (sun)glasses with an aided dash of chain.

(see and purchase at her aforementioned website or on 80’s purple and Pixie Market

In a less literal sense are some lovely pieces from Laura Kranitz:

Laura does a number of pieces that use chain and feathers of varying lengths and colors and some that just use chain (available at 80’s purple). While feathers are perhaps nearing the end of their course, I do really like the idea of that dangly, swooshy, sweeping feel of hair but in other materials.

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ring ’round your ear

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I’ve been in love with Poras Chaudhary’s photos from India’s Celebration of Colors for some time now. The depth and intensity of the colors are positively exquisite and, as a profound lover of color, I bet this would be an amazing event to experience. The pics have been circulating the web for months, and rightly so; so, I thought I’d highlight this one photo from the series because I really really like what this fellow did with this necklace (?). I loved it so much I immediately tried to recreate the look with a fairly similar necklace that I own but, alas, the chain was a bit too thick, and so the effect wasn’t nearly the same. I’d like to investigate making one… but who knows if I can even wear it with the aplomb and tranquility of this fellow.

It does, of course, give me some ideas.

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Take me to the Bed Cave!

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Would you believe that this intriguing bookshelf/igloo not only stores books, but also a bed?!

It would be like a cross between one of those forts you created as a child by tearing apart the couch and making your own little play nook cave, and your own personal library. Truth be told, the Uroko bed (by Point Architects)was actually intended for children, but it seems like a pretty swell grown-up double duty bed. I know I certainly need a bigger bookshelf, and this one is handy since it stores your books, reading materials, knick knacks, etc. and also puts them all right within arms reach. It would make a great room divider should you live in an extra large multi-purpose room/studio type scenario and it would be pretty darned swell in one of the many loft-style apartments here in Brooklyn. One of those places you walk into and they pull a curtain aside point in and say “hey, this would be your room”. True story, it happened to my friend. Naturally, she said no thanks and ducked out of there quickly as possible. The idea of a curtained off room, or room with little to no privacy is certainly unappealing, but I’d certainly ponder it if I could have a little book cave of my own.

Imagine all the ways you could decorate it! While it’s shown with the all of those felt shingles, it’s essentially a basic curved sort of bookcase room which makes the decorating possibilities fairly endless:

You can create your own little world.

At the very least it would be an interesting idea to have bookshelf walls. If I remember correctly, in Jonathon Safran Foer’s book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, there was an outdoor study where the walls were made of books. Holy guacamole! I found that one bit with only a moment of searching:

“The first time Anna and I made love was behind her father’s shed, the previous owner had been a farmer, but Dresden started to overtake the surrounding villages and the farm was divided into nine plots of land, Anna’s family owned the largest. The walls of the shed collapsed one autumn afternoon – “a leaf too many,” her father joked – and the next day he made new shelves, so that the books themselves would separate inside from outside. (The new overhanging roof protected to books from rain, but during winter the pages would freeze together, come spring they let out a sigh.) He made a little saloon out of the place, carpets, two small couches, he loved to go out there in the evening with a glass of whiskey and a pipe, and take down books and look through the wall at the center of the city. He was an intellectual, although he wasn’t important, maybe he would have been important in life if he had lived longer, maybe great books were coiled within him like springs, books that could have separated inside from outside.” (126)

Spotted on Inhabitots

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Making faces

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So, lately I’ve been noticing a bit on an on slot of faces – just faces – showing up in street art. Most of these are from my neighborhood (Bushwick), but our little blue “Beau” is from the West Village. The (err?) stenciled on brick I’m pretty sure has been there for a good while, but the others are recent. The one of the coffee bag popped up at my local coffee haunt just as I was pondering doing a face post. I think their mostly hand scrawled look is interesting, and am curious about the sudden-ish little appearance. I like how they kind of gives a personality to these otherwise inanimate objects. You can almost turn them in characters, and imagine them suddenly springing into animated life and start speaking to you.

And while these aren’t “faces”, they seem to be have suddenly shown up in my ‘hood. Saw these two in one day, and one in the subway yesterday though I didn’t have time to grab a shot. I think their scribbly monsterlyness is kind of adorable. Especially here in industrial sorts of Bushwick.

Has anybody else been seeing faces or monsters locally?

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Eye’ve got you under my skin

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I’m sure you’ve seen the tiny trinkets (like lockets) of yesteryear with tiny little hand-painted portraits of a loved one tucked lovingly inside (sometimes they were painted with ground up hair, or perhaps included a lock of it – the very practice that inspires jewelry designer Melanie Bilenker‘s gorgeous portraits). It was the best that could be done in a time before photography. But perhaps you didn’t know (because I sure didn’t) that between 1780-1830, a unique form of this practice arose: sending a loved one a teeny tiny portrait of your eye.

Sometimes this loved one could be representative of a relative or lover who had passed away; but, more often, these trinkets were exchanged between living lovers. Sometimes secret lovers.

As it happens, in 1784 Maria Fitzherbert met the young Prince of Wales at the London Opera. He was immediately smitten and proposed to her tout de suite. She accepted, reluctantly, and then left the continent hoping that he’d forget the whole ordeal. He did not, however, and when sent her a letter proposing marriage once more he included not an engagement ring but a portrait of his eye, saying:

“I send you a Parcel…and I send you at the same time an Eye, if you have not totally forgotten the whole countenance.  I think the likeness will strike you.”

She accepted, went back to England to marry the Prince, and had a portrait of her own eye made as a gift for him.

It’s a quite charming gesture isn’t it, the gifting of ( a portrait of ) one’s eye? As windows to the soul, as they say, they’re also sort of a peak into the heart. There’s just something so lovely and intimate about looking into the eyes of someone you care about, and sometimes it’s hard if you’re feeling shy. So much can be revealed. And so, it’s oh so sweet to send a portrait of your eyes; it’s kind of like saying “Hey, it’s okay. I don’t mind if you see me, in fact, I want you to.” And it’s like a piece of their heart right there.

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