Archive for August, 2008

snapshot sunday

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cohn-stone art glass

fall is right around the corner here in the midwest, so i thought i would show you the rich colors and autumnal shapes in these vibrant, joyous glass collection that california artists michael cohn and molly stone have created.

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purchase select pieces at the artful home, and see more rich beauty on michael and molly’s website.


karen casey smith photography: miniview

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i want everyone to visualize calm right now. let’s breathe in deeply through the nose and hold it for a moment. now, slowly exhale through the mouth. if it make you feel better, then i think you’re ready to look at the meditative work of karen casey smith. karen’s collection is filled to the brim with thoughtful, focused shots that lead your eye in and hold it, quietly. afterwards, whether you were prepared to do it (or not), you might find yourself a bit more relaxed afterwards, a bit more focused inwardly, a bit more healed – in a million different ways. it’s a zen feeling. and who wouldn’t want to know a little bit more about the brains behind that operation?

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q: where do you live and where do you create your work?
a: home is about 30 miles from chicago, in the northwest suburbs. my work is created first in thought, then with attention to my subject while making the photograph and then in my computer at home.

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q: your flower collection is pretty extensive. what is it about flowers that appeals to you most?
a: i love being around flowers. they are a miracle of beauty, and with closer attention even more amazing than anyone could know at first glance. throughout the ages flowers have been loved and given in love, to celebrate, to comfort, and to lift spirits. the beauty of flowers can be experienced directly, without words. when contemplating a flower, time seems to cease to exist and in that silent space you can experience the beauty to the core of your being.

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q: i think your mandalas are mesmerizing – can you tell us a little about your technique, and the reasons why you create them?
a: mandalas are so appealing to me. i’ve been working in that form since around 1995 when i first read judith cornell’s book, mandala. she teaches that creating and contemplating mandalas is healing at the deepest levels. each of my mandalas carries a energy or vibration uniquely its own. the mandalas are a way to share positive, healing energy.

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the mandalas are made with the aid of templates i designed myself. i first do any editing of the original photograph that’s necessary to make sure the contrast is good, and that all color is in gamut and printable. depending on the flower, i have different templates to choose from that have a varying number of divisions of the circle. in choosing the flower and creating the mandala, i work intuitively. the message or energy of the piece is revealed when it’s completed.

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q: what are you doing when you aren’t taking photographs?
a: sometimes i work with and assist my husband, and occasionally do freelance graphic design. i love photoshop, and am always studying and working to improve my skills in both photoshop and photography. currently you could also find me cooking, baking (sometimes in my solar oven!), gardening, playing my ukulele or djembe, practicing tai chi, and playing with our two cats.

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see more of karen’s work on her website as well as at her etsy and redbubble shops.

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thank you karen!


fun jellio furniture and accessories

hear me now and believe me later, beloved readers: i am a nostalgic fool. i have fond and vivid memories of my childhood and the toys and games that were the fabric of my youth. i clicked through all the different scenes in my viewmaster, ate those colored candy dots on those long pieces of paper, made pretty patterns on my lite brite and tried many times in vain to draw circles on my etch-a-sketch (to no avail). and i loved every minute of it. i was just starting to think to myself “they don’t make ’em like they used to” but changed my mind when i saw the exuberantly fun collection of new york company jellio. they have created a line of unique designs as an homage to certain iconic items from our youth, and their pieces have me grinning from ear to ear whenever i look at them. can you identify what these pieces were modeled after?

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what a wonderful way to combine memories of childhood play with modern adult style. and seriously — i’ve got my eye on that button bench.

purchase these items and see more at the jellio website.


fun items (and sale!) at branch boutique

sustainable home decor boutique branch is currently having a three day sale. they are offering 20% off most of their merchandise, so now would be a great time to think about doing a little decorating.

how about some new bamboo veneer moso lamps by brian schmitt, sourced from a sustainably managed forest?

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or some fresh organically grown cotton and hemp pillows for your couch from k studio?

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i can picture the room already. and it looks pretty good from here!

click over to the shop and use special code branchfriend at checkout to receive your discount, but hurry – the sale ends august 29th, 2008!


grandpa cassette tee shirt

i always enjoy starting the day with a laugh, so i think this new tee shirt at threadless is perfect to look at right now. it was designed by florida artist zack finfrock.

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purchase this tee and see more shirts right here (right now all tee’s are only $12!). see more work from zack on his website.


sirena con jersey accessories

cuter than cute totes and necklaces from ali and eli, the creative minds that make up the barcelona-based team sirena con jersey, which translates to mermaid with sweater in spanish.

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purchase these goods at the supermarket and see more from the dynamic duo on their website.


orange beautiful’s lattice line (letterpress)

am i writing too frequently about local artist emily martin’s fabulous letterpress stationery? i think not, so let’s continue with her latest: the lattice line of patterned letterpress cards with colored envelopes. choose from warm or cool-toned envelopes.

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i really like how these handmade cards straddle the line between masculine and feminine, making them useful for thank you notes as well as gift giving, to those who are smartly appointed.

see the full line right here and make a purchase at etsy or the supermarket.


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