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Posts Tagged ‘design’

So lately I’ve been really into midcentury architectue and design.  I think part of it is that I’m so surrounded by it down here, but I really find the lines and shapes appealing.  Plus it’s really interesting to look at all of the old materials that people used, what color palettes were in vogue, etc.  My personal asthetic is a midcentury design feel with modern materials and odd accents, but that’s for another time (and another house, when I can actually do what I want to it).

I was just fortuante enough to aquire a massive personal library of books dealing with this era and its design.  There are some really awesome examples in there!  I love all of the pictures – they’re very techincolor-ish.  I also find that it’s fun to take color palletes from these pictures when you’re working on a project and stumped to come up with a color scheme.  I’d like to show a few examples here – there’s tons (and more coming everyday) of pictures of these midcentury homes and color palettes to go along with it.  I hope you’ll like them as much as I do!

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Friday Faves

Friday Faves

My first favorite of the day has to be crystalindumentaria.  Another Etsy seller from Buenos Aires (Argentina seems to be coming into its own on Etsy) she sells some very cool clothing.  Very figure concious.  To me, there’s nothing better than an interesting white shirt, and I think this one fits the bill.  A nice shape, a great neckline/collar and the ability to mold it to fit your body – what could be nicer?

Next is Champignons – I’m sure you’ve seen her work all over the place but I just can’t get over it.  Aside from the awesome name, she has great whimsical and slightly victorian items.  This piece is like an early movie – if you spin it around fast enough, you find that the bird will actually find itself inside of the cage!  I’ve seen this done in movies but never in real life.  Many more treasures about in her Etsy shop!

It’s not often that I want to buy everything in a shop, but I do when it comes to Hisss.  There is no shortage of excellent illustrators on Etsy but her style speaks just to what I like – historical figures and animals, all with a slight visual pun.  I love this illustration – called “polar opposites”.  She has a photography site as well that’s worth checking out.

Last is argonzales.  Her shop is filled with things for “manly men and girly girls”.  She has a great color palette and lots of little delicate items that are just interesting and strong enough to walk the line between feminine and awesome.  Ever since I took a silversmithing class years ago I’ve been obsessed with stacking rings and she has plenty of sets to choose from.

Thanks to all these wonderful creative folks for their amazing talents and energies!  I look forward to seeing what is to come from them.

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Wallblank is a great new thing that I don’t know if everyone has heard about.  Perhaps I’m just behind the curve.  One of my craft friends’ work was featured on there a few weeks ago, and since then I’ve been excited about checking back every day to see what they have come up with.

The premise is simple.  They post a new artwork every day, and keep it up for a week or until it sells out.  It’s that simple.  They usually have some wonderful work and it’s really quite affordable, plus they do the hard work of actually finding the awesome artist for you.

I’m particularly enamored with this piece:

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fridayfaves-feb6 Friday faves are back!  And thank goodness, because this is my favorite time of the week when I get to compound all of the cool treasures that I find.

First off is Jelanie.  She designs really fun and funky prints, with bright colors and really mod patterns.  A lot of it reminds me of the sort of scandanavian designs you see around, but to me, they are a bit more accessible.  Plus, it would look great just hanging on your wall!

Next is exclamationpoint.  In addition to these really cool felt and floss bracelets, she has a lot of beautiful and delicate sterling silver jewelry.  You’ll also find more whimsical felt goodies as well as a few surprise extras!

I am loving these hummingbird necklaces from kuss.  I know that people might be tired of all of the birds you’re seeing around the DIY universe but I like the hummingbird because it’s really understated, and it’s not a barn swallow!  She also has more beautiful bird shapes, if hummingbirds aren’t your thing.  She hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina – have to love the international etsy flavor!

Last, but definitely not least is one of my all time favorites, Sycamore Street Press. I love the whimsical designs, the bright colors, and the cheeky irreverance.  There is stationery, cards, calendars, photo mats, tags, book plates – the list goes on and on!  You could stock your life entirely in letterpress (and who doesn’t that notion appeal to!).

Thanks to this weeks awesome designers – please, keep up the good work!

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Some days I just can’t concentrate on actually making anything or doing anything productive.  Today was one of those days – all sorts of things are going on, situations are being managed, etc. and I just cannot pick one thing!  I bought a new desk for my studio – it’s still stuck in the back of my car, so no pictures today, but I’m really excited about how it’s going to fit in with my existing asthetic. There aren’t too many good shops in this town but the thrift shop that I discovered on the army post was pretty rocking!  In addition to the big desk I got a little side table that I’m working on spiffing up (pictures to come) and an awesome little plant.  I keep killing things down here so I’m hoping that I can keep this one alive.

Since moving to the Southwest I’ve remained pretty adamant that I won’t start decorating with Navajo blankets and statues of cacti and wolves, but I had a hard time avoiding this.  I had seen some beautiful lanterns around town and went on an expedidition to find one.  It’s my one conession to southwest style, but considering that it’s a Mexican import, I think that I can get away with it.  It’s pretty Mexican punched tin, and I love that it’s vaguely ethnic – it’s hard to tell if it’s Mexican or Moroccan.  I still haven’t gotten it wired up or figured out a place to hang it but I thought that I would at least show it here.  If anyone’s ever in Tuscon, I would stop at a little shop called Borderlands.  They have some really beautiful stuff.  And, as a bonus, guess who I saw there the last time?  Ty Pennington!  Yes, of Trading Spaces/Home Makeover fame.  We’re both in the know.

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This week I got to interview amazing artist (and creative friend) Robayre. I really, really love her work, and would have bought everything in her shop already had I managed to scrounge up the cash. It’s really just too hard to pick, everything is amazing! She also always has some great fun project going, which I always think is fun to follow, and is inspirational as well! She was nice enough to answer some questions for me, so here goes!


1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Um, truth? Well, I’ll have to admit it was marshmallows, but this morning was not a typical morning. Normally I’ll have cheerios in a cup on the way to work, or a raisin english muffin, or something portable and on the go. This morning I didn’t have to go to work, so I went to my best friends house where we made homemade marshmallows.

2. What is some of your favorite music of the moment?
I’m a huge music fan! I’ve been to way more concerts than I can count, and I have a very large music collection. Sadly, ever since I bought my first ipod I mostly listen to shuffle. BUT, there has been a CD in my car that I have been listening to constantly for about a month, and surprisingly I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. That CD is Sia’s Some People Have Real Problems. I bought the CD at the beginning of the year when it came out, but didn’t really get into it until I saw this video and thought, “Oh my gosh, that is totally me when no one is looking, and I’m singing along to music by myself!” I had to break the CD out again and have been obsessed ever since.

3. Of all of the creative things you’re doing at the moment, if you only had to choose one, which one would it be and why?
This question is like asking a mother to chose their favorite child, and those who know the way I work would understand. I have my hands in EVERYTHING. As soon as I start working on one thing my eyes roam and I want to be working on something else. I always admire the type of person who works strictly in one medium. But I’m just not like that. I always want what I don’t have.

4. Do you prefer watercolors over acrylic paints?
Hmmm, this is hard to say. I guess I gravitate toward using watercolor more often than acrylics.

5. Is etsy/creating your full time business? If not, what do you do in real life?
With 42 sales in my shop, I’m far from supporting myself with etsy, but wouldn’t that be wonderful? I work as a graphic designer and have been in the field since 1994 at the beginning of my senior year in high school. I love what I do, but as wonderful as the dream is, I fear that my artwork may not feel as special if I was forced to support myself on it.

6. Was there someone in your life who was a creative inspiration for you?
Well, both my parents are hobbyists. My mother is a quilter and crafter, and my father is like myself, having his hands in many areas of interest, from collecting saki cups to being a ham radio enthusiast. I feel like their parenting brought me up to be a person that wants to make and create and do, do, do. As a kid I was constantly desperate to be making something and I think my mom did a great job of feeding that fire by providing supplies and ideas. I often hear people my age and generation say that they grew up without crafts because their mothers were against the typical “womanly crafts”, and I can never relate to that because my parents were very much DIYers back in the day.

7. When did you first start creating things?
I’ve been making stuff since before I can remember. It’s just part of me. I know as a small child I loved art and it was probably when I was in second grade my grandmother paid for me to have private art classes.

8. What is your creative process like? Where do you get your inspiration, and what do you do to keep yourself inspired?
I keep a sketchbook, which gets filled with about 25% sketches and about 75% ideas and inspiration. I feel like I am a font of inspiration, so much so, that I unfortunately struggle with finding time to execute most ideas. Boredom is rarely a word in my vocabulary. I think I can thank my art group (The Makers http://www.themakersargroup.blogspot.com ), my blog and my online communities (flickr, Create A Day, etc.) for keeping me inspired. These things keep me driven to create and share what I am working on the most.

9. What is one cool thing that you think everyone should be checking out right now?
That would definitely be Found Art Tuesday ( http://rosamurillo.squarespace.com/found-art-tuesdays/ ) which just recently started it’s own flickr group that can be seen here ( http://www.flickr.com/groups/foundarttuesday/ ). I’d like to encourage and invite all readers to join there. I feel this project, started by my online friend Rosa Murillo, has so much potential to become something huge. It’s like crossing the idea of pay it forward (doing something good for others without asking for anything in return) with street art. Everyone has the opportunity to add beauty to the world and just imagine if each person participated once a week how exciting life would be. Easter egg hunts all year round.

10. What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Well there was this one time when I was supposed to be watching my baby brother and he was kidnapped by the Goblin King. I had to maneuver my way through this enchanted world to save him, meeting all sorts of strange characters along the way. Finally I defeated the King, who happened to be David Bowie, and brought my brother home safely where I then had a huge party with all my new friends. Oh wait, that didn’t really happen to me, that’s the movie Labyrinth, lol. -That was totally my sister’s idea, she is a bad influence on me, lol.

11. Coke or pepsi?
Thai Iced Tea. I don’t drink pop, it burns my throat and makes me hiccup something fierce.

12. Do you make a signature dish, and what is it?
Well, my boyfriend and I have a favorite meal that we make frequently. It is like the Tuscana Soup from Olive Garden. We got the recipe from that book of famous top Secret recipes and we make a huge batch in the crock pot.

13. What is your favorite thing about where you live?
If you mean in northern Illinois then it would be that we have four seasons, although I wish that the spring and fall seasons would last just a little bit longer. I am definitely in the minority here, and can feel the glares burning holes in me when I state I love snow. If you mean in my city, then I would say that it is because of its relative closeness to one of the world’s largest, greatest cities (Chicago) and yet it is a pretty safe community. If you mean my new house, then it would be that I finally have my own studio room where all my supplies are and all my artwork is made.

14. What is the last thing you bought online?
A felted necklace from artmind.etsy.com

15. In a perfect world where you didn’t have to pay bills or do anything you didn’t want to be doing, what would you do?
Haha, this is funny and deserves a bit of a back-story. A couple weeks ago my family was playing a game where a person asks a question and everyone else has to guess how you’d answer. My question was exactly this same question. It was surprising to me how unanimous it was that everyone knew my answer would be “nothing”. I guess I’m pretty vocal about how if I weren’t required to do anything I wouldn’t do anything. Let me clarify.

You know how you hear people say if they won the lotto and didn’t ever have to work another day in their life they would still get a job? Well, I’m not one of those people. I think those people are people who are easily bored and I am not. I can always think of plenty of fun things to do to entertain myself and that is exactly what I’d do. If you want to get specific, doing nothing equals a lot of artwork. Not that artwork is nothing.

16. Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have a house rabbit named Theo. She is a blonde dutch and is litter box trained. You can see some pictures of her here ( http://flickr.com/photos/robayre/sets/785357/ ).
17. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Everything will be all right. Time to get some Bob Marley in this interview. I get stressed easily and frequently and I try to remember when I start to feel that way how my mom would be able to calm me down. She’d let me know that everything will be okay, especially if you can share what you are stressed about with others.

18. What’s your best garage sale find?
I’m not sure what my best garage sale find is, but I might have just bought it this morning. I scored a Polaroid Color Pack II, Land Camera from my best friend’s grandma’s estate sale. Oh man, it’s so beautiful and almost brand new. I was a little cautious in getting too excited because of Polaroid’s announcement that they are halting production of instant film. BUT, I just found out that Fuji still makes instant film packs that can fit this camera and just ordered some right now.

19. Fill in the blank: if I couldn’t be creating, I would….
probably be dead. I just watched the Diving Bell and the Butterfly ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401383/ ) and the premise is that the main character has a stroke and is fully paralyzed aside from the ability to blink, he then proceeds to write a memoir that is transcribed through blinking. I’d like to think in the most hopeless of situations I’d still be able to create as well.
20. What are you most passionate about?
New projects. When I get really into a new project I want to tell everyone about it.

This was a really great interview! I really enjoyed hearing about someone who’s creative instincts are similar to my own, as it makes me feel as if I’m not totally crazy. Thanks again to Robayre for her patience and for her enlightenment, and happy creating!

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Lately I’ve been loving the work of Rob Dobi. I unwittingly bought one of his shirts in Madrid last year, though I suspect that it was pirated. Then someone pointed out his work to me and it all became crystal clear! He creates very whimsical illustrations, with full puns included. He also has some amazing commercial work that’s a wonder to look at. You can check out his whole portfolio here. He also has a line of shirts and posters available here courtesy of CafePress.

In a world where it seems like everyone is just stealing someone else’s good ideas, Rob Dobi is an original thinker, a real breath of fresh air. I hope that you’ll check out his shop and support independent artists!

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