Sunday, July 20, 2008

Designer Toys

My Dezeen newsletter arrived today, and it never disappoints. I was especially excited to read about Olivia Lee's designer dolls.

Anyone who is into urban vinyl toys, is already familiar with the concept of limited edition designer toys - that is, toys made by designers.

But Lee has taken this as irony. And made designer toys. That is, toys of designers! And they are fab! The dolls are made in good spirit and in her words - "this project is an observation of how designer personalities are literally becoming synonymous with the objects they design."

My readers already know I adore Karim Rashid. (See previous posts, here and here.) And let's face it, Olivia's toy of him is just too cool.

I want it! I hope Kidrobot will be producing it!

A Happy Accident

There once was a girl named Peggy, who really wanted to fly away. Since this seemed a little irrational, she made the very sane decision to obsess about the color orange instead.

She spent her days thinking about orange, which helped ease the agony of a grey cubicle. By night she mixed and mixed and mixed. But the perfect orange alluded her.

So she went to the trusty craft store - and found the orange of her dreams! She quickly took it home and breathlessly started applying it to a canvas in process. Now mind you, this was no ordinary bottle of orange paint. No indeed. This was a very free-spirited bottle of orange paint. Peggy applied the paint to a precise, mathematical piece she had been working on. But the orange paint would have no part of it - when she turned her back, it spilled all over the canvas.

Peggy was disappointed at first. But then she recalled her lessons around letting go of perfectionism, and had even written about that below. "Okay," she thought, "the canvas and the orange paint are conspiring to become something else." So she just went with it, reminding herself that she is merely a conduit.

Now that orange was feisty, and kept refusing to conform. Again it spilled, to Peggy's delight. She was really falling in love with that orange paint. The purple paint became jealous and spilled too. So what did Peggy do? She set them free. She poured the orange and purple onto paper. It was great fun! She had never been a fan of Jackson Pollock, but she began to understand how fun his work must have been.

She wasn't content just to pour, she decided to smoosh them too. The result -

reminded her of those bullshit Rorschach ink blots, and the psychologist who had gotten mad at her because all she ever saw was butterflies. Although she saw hearts in these blots.

Undaunted, she continued to experiment with the orange. She thought of Autumn, her favorite season, and painted this:

Autumn 2008. 24" x 24", acrylic and marker on canvas.

She has been seeing trees in her mind, with peacock feathers as leaves. And though she wasn't completely happy with her new painting, she was grateful to the orange for the lesson in being free-spirited and she knew that she would be working on series of paintings featuring trees.

It was clear she had to buy another bottle of the perfect orange. And then her thoughts turned to green...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday is for Creativity

Saturday. The day many Americans live for. This week was so busy at work, I had no time to create. But I am grateful for my job, and even though I am confined to a grey cubicle, I am never far from art. I always think about art, beauty and decor. I am fortunate to be in an office that honors art. My favorite part of the job is walking through the hallways where I can commune with the art.

Our office boasts several works by Viktor Schreckengost, lined up in one hallway. This is my favorite hallway, I walk through it slowly savoring the way Viktor does orange skies. And I wonder, could I ever paint an orange sky as lovely as he does?

Could I ever achieve that kind of beautiful precision? Each time I attempt precision, I fail. In the past I was hard on myself. Now I look at attempts at precision as lessons in letting go of perfectionism. Overly perfectionistic tendencies can cripple creativity. The journey is as important as the destination. But... I still dream of painting like Viktor.

All week long, I formulate ideas. I fill notebooks with doodles. So many ideas, I cannot keep up and I feel truly blessed by my creativity. I never want for ideas, only time.

I live my life as art. I am grateful, I feel so much love and I see beauty everywhere. Even in mundane objects.

I stared at these objects a long while the other day, marveling in the color. I was amazed at the design of the Bigelow green tea bag, logo designers never cease to amaze me. I think this bag would look cute rasterbated and hung along side my favorite logo design from Starbucks that I wrote about here. I love graphic type, and I am falling in love with yellow and chartreuse.

Today I am painting, there is no greater joy. It seems a sin to be inside on a day like this. But, the canvas is calling me. Canvas, a muse so alluring it cannot be ignored. I am not sure where this canvas is taking me. It has a mind of its own, I am merely the conduit.

Here is what I am listening to.

I bought this CD at Starbucks, I love that Starbucks saves me time when it comes to music. And I admit it - I bought it because I love the cover. Just look at those colors! Wow! I am falling in love with 70s style. My minimalist phase is over for a while. All white rooms with almost nothing in them still make me swoon - but I seem to be in the mood for color and stuff. I can see why people have more than one home!

Some lovely ladies from work invited me to join their crochet group. I haven't crocheted since I was a teenager - when I made an ugly purse for my mom that she used proudly until it fell apart. I'd like to make a rug. I love the idea of a large, round, orange rug.

Pattern from Craft Bits. Of course, then I'd have to paint my floors white. I would love to make doilies. But then I would need to take a pottery class, because I've always wanted to make vases with doily imprints.

Still obsessing about this candleholder from Urban Outfitters.

I was strangely drawn to peacock imagery this week.

I want to be a hippie. The world desperately needs hippies. Peacock feather earrings from Urban Outfitters. Peacock cup and saucer set from Wild Life Wonders.

I think Mr. Schreckengost would be surprised to see his work featured alongside peacock feather earrings. What can I say? That's just the way my mind works. One thing influences another. Who knows where the muse is taking me. Stay tuned to find out.

Friday, July 18, 2008


It's Friday! I had an incredibly busy week at work, so had no time to blog or paint. I did draw and doodle a lot, though. I've filed notebooks full of creative ideas. I am so lucky that I never lack for ideas, only time. So what are my plans for the weekend? Why, to write, paint and take photos of course!

Recently I've been thinking a lot about green. See previous posts here and here. I already have orange and blue in my apartment, but these lovely vases from Crate and Barrel are making me rethink green. I adore them, I'd love to have all of them! They are reasonably priced too.

I have a couple of new objects to play with this weekend. What could be better?
Got this one for $3.00! It says Jonathan Adler on the bottom.

The glass vase from India is not new, but I think it looks adorable with my new incense burner and votive holder. The incense burner is also from India and has the same shiny finish as the vase. I was so excited when I saw it! A perfect match that happened by accident.

I have two very distinct color schemes going, orange/pink/yellow and turquoise/blue. Thinking of adding green. Whatever I decide, there will be lots of white, of course. I also seem to have two distinct styles. Scandinavian and Asian/Moroccan. I also hope that my place is Bohemian and modern. Ahh. Such happy dilemmas. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh Hella!

I am insanely in love with the work of Hella Jongerius. She is one of my favorite ceramicists. I've written about her before. See previous posts here and here.

Her work is simple yet complex. The craftsmanship is superb. Her pieces could fit in any environment, they are modern yet primitive. They are edgey, but tempered with a soft feminine hand. Witness the genius of her embroidered porcelain.

It seems I am not alone in my obsession, here are some flickr finds of her work. Hope you enjoy!

Image from flickr user Vivian0123.

Image from flickr user LYNfabrikken.

Image from flickr user Hilarriet.

Image from flickr user and blogger extraordinaire Yvestown. See my blog roll for a link to her blog. I want this vase! I wish Ikea had an online store.

Here it is again. I drool everytime I see it! Image from flicker user d a a n. She also has a marvelous blog, which is part of my daily read. It is called The Style Files. See my blog roll for link.

Image from flickr user fueledbycoffee.

Image from flickr user Jayoni.


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