Archive for November, 2007

marc johns watercolors

(ed. note: welcome first-time readers! if you enjoy this article about marc, please click on the other categories to the left to enjoy even more posts about other talented artists and designers. better yet, feel free to be impulsive and click on subscribe to the right, and i will bring the good stuff to you instead! thank you for visiting!)

it’s monday and already time for a hearty laugh, so let’s look at these terrific watercolor pieces from canadian artist marc johns. marc believes that truth can be found through humor, and strives to create a minimal style of art that reaps maximum impact on the viewer. it’s too spare not to make me howl with laughter!

marc_johns_time_for_a_trim

marc_johns_we_are_sushi_rolls

marc_johns_i_prefer_pucci

marc_johns_you_shall_worship_me

marc_johns_9_badass_mayonnaise_jars

marc_johns_bubbles

marc_johns_long_raindropsmarc_johns_we_enjoy_leggings

marc_johns_presenting_the_annoyed_beast_show

marc_johns_hovering_gentleman’s_club

i love the frugal styling and colors and of course the slightly surreal and whimsical humor in every single one! i think i like worship me best, but his i prefer pucci really offers us a sneaky glimpse into the mind and the ridiculously playful stream of consciousness where ideas are born. to hold those thoughts and get it out on paper is quite an accomplishment.

purchase originals and prints on marc’s website, or buy his pieces in greeting cards form at moo. and be sure to check his blog and flickr stream for other wonderful illustrations!

via bb-blog


frank baumgartner art

look at this gorgeous work from swiss ceramist frank baumgartner. he fuses paper and porcelain together to make a type of lightweight paste that can be molded into lovely bowls and vessels. the pieces are finished with interior or exterior color (engobe or slip), and then fired them at 1255°C. frank currently teaches ceramics at the pegmatite pottery school in lausanne. his work is inspired by the mystery and transformation of his medium. experimentation fuels his passion for his craft, and instead of the execution of a formed idea, he lets the piece guide him to the finish instead, fully revealing all its secrets.

frank_baumgartner_bowl

frank_baumgartner_black_bowl

frank_baumgartner_duo_vessels

i love how ragged and elegant it all is. and i love the juxtaposition of paper, a material that so delicate and easily torn against porcelain, one of the strongest materials around. so delicate and restrained and light like a feather too.

just delicious i tell you!

see the school and find frank’s portfolio here, and purchase these beautiful works in his dawanda shop.


sale at the branch shop

looking to spread good cheer and higher social conscience by giving beautiful and sustainably designed gifts this year? hop on over to branch and see their wonderful array of home and personal accessories they have available, and reward yourself by taking 20% off any purchase today (saturday) and tomorrow (sunday).

branch_shop_snapshot

branch_felt_birds perch!_let_me_take_a_look_at_you_vase

daniel_michalik_alentejo_cork_bowls branch_kenya_finger_puppets

enter special code branchfriend when you check out to receive your discount, and support this shop and the responsible labor and production methods used for their inventory. discount does not apply to certain furniture items.


first snow

first_snow_kaiser

i don’t want anyone to think i’m playing favorites in my flickr stream, so here’s kaiser, my great big ten year old greater swiss mountain dog.

his breed used to pull the butcher’s carts in the alps, but this guy thinks he’s from jamaica and hates the cold. he looks awfully handsome in it though!


on being thankful

annya_bad_cat_and_turkey_print

bad cat and turkey print from russian artist annya djachiachvili’s etsy shop

today is thanksgiving, a day when cherished friends and families come together to slow down a little, break bread and hopefully create wonderful memories. we’ll get back to the regularly scheduled program after the holiday, but for now, i’d like to take a moment to reflect on these themes of gratitude and giving. i want you to know how fortunate i feel to have so many loyal, smart and funny readers who come to this space regularly. i’ve been building my blog here for six months now, and all the comments you leave, and emails, and encouragement, and positive energy i receive from you is truly amazing. it still boggles my mind that we can find people, all around the world, through our computers, and create genuine connections that come so naturally (that is so weird to say that, but true!).

i think if you have just one friend in the world you’re lucky.

thank you all so much for being there!


matanzas creek winery (and sea salt)

my sweet muffin of a husband and i were out in napa with friends (see below) in june for vacation, and while we were there we dragged them 90 minutes away to the bennett valley in sonoma county to see the beautiful matanzas creek winery. we first discovered it on our first trip to the area back in 1992 and have been big fans of their superior handcrafted wines ever since. when we visited, we were lucky enough to catch the lavender in bloom this year: 4,500 magnificent provence and grosso plants arranged in terraces down a one acre hill.

kenny_and_vesla_ca_2007

matanzas_creek_lavender_with_bee

it truly is a feast for the senses. imagine a sea of purple and the quiet, humming sound of bees drifting lazily and drunkenly from one flower to the next. the redolent, relaxing scent of the blooms and leaves wafting into your nose as you close your eyes and deeply inhale, and afterwards stroking your hands and wrists against the herbs to keep the scent with on you and in your memory for a long, long while. i am thinking “ahhhh” as i write this.

view_of_bennett_valley

but i digress. we were seduced by the wines as well, and decided to join their wine club. when i opened our first shipment, inside of the carefully packaged box was a small cube covered with russet-colored tissue paper. i opened it to see what it was and to my delight it was some wonderful lagniappe – a package of pink himalayan sea salt, made heady by the edition of the winery’s estate grown lavender.

matanzas_creek_lavender_sea_salt

 

matanzas_creek_loose_lavender_sea_salt

matanzas_creek_lavender_sea_salt_2

“whee! a reminder of my summer vacation!” was my first thought, which quickly changed to confusion…

“what the heck should i put this in?”

“lavender shortbread?”

“corn pudding?”

“huh? what? gah!”

so now i must humbly beseech all of you in out there in bloggyland. who here among us can offer up any suggestions about dishes that should include this salt?

i would be most grateful!


supermandolini designs

tikanis, kala? let’s chat about the moderne hipster graphic designers over at greece’s supermandolini for a moment. they first set out making tee shirts, but that evolved into an intriguing product line which includes hand assembled and finished items like acrylic jewelry and prints as well. perhaps you have already seen the avant daily commuter necklace, but what about the rest of the line?

supermandolini_daily_commuters_necklace

supermandolini_daily_commuters_necklace_2supermandolini_daily_commuters_necklace_3

supermandolini_bronze_bubble_maze_earringssupermandolini_bronze_bubble_maze_earrings_2

supermandolini_gold_ballad_pinsupermandolini_gold_ballad_pin_2

supermandolini_stallion_tee_shirtsupermandolini_cupid_bazooka_tee_shirt

supermandolini_go_ape_canvas_printsupermandolini_go_ape_canvas_print_2

supermandolini_window_seat_canvas_print

supermandolini_window_seat_canvas_print_2supermandolini_window_seat_canvas_print_3

it’s all very urban to me, with a tiny salute to the late seventies and eighties. that humorous-but-foreboding tension flowing through all their work sets my teeth on edge, but i think that progressive emotional response equals success in art.

efharisto for the info, emanuel!

view the entire product line and purchase it on their website (they ship round the globe!).


storylines wall shelf

i know i’m probably one of the last three people in the world who watches e/r, and i’m not ashamed to say it. this powder coated steel storylines wall shelf from dutch interior and product design house frederik roije reminds me of the heart monitor they frequently hook up to patients on the show, but it actually was inspired by soundwaves; specifically, the word bliss.

frederik_roije_storylines_shelf

frederik_roije_storylines_shelf_singlefrederik_roije_storylines_shelf_single_vertical

frederik_roije_storylines_shelf_2

use it vertically or horizontally in singles or multiples for shelving, or simply place it on a wall to create some hanging interest.

it’s available in four different colors, measures 35″ x 8″ x 11″and sells for $319 at generate.

via betterlivingthroughdesign


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