vintage scale wall hooks

I love it when you can hang a hook on the wall and even when there is nothing on it you still have something of visual interest up there. These early 20th century scale hooks are a fine example. Since they are cast brass reproductions they aren’t working scales, but I still think they’re pretty cool.

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The set of 5 pieces is $69.95 and you can find them at Signals.


silhouette masterpiece theatre

New and amusing works from the wickedly clever mind of raconteur Wilhelm Staehle over at Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre:

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 See more hilarity at Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre and Wilhelm’s other equally amusing site, the Dollar Dreadful.


kristen neveu mixed media: let’s chat!

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There is something about the perspective in the collection of the talented Kristen Neveu that makes me so inspired. I don’t mean necessarily the perspective within a specific piece; I am talking about the big picture here. Besides using deliciously tactile materials in the textural pieces she creates, there is so much that is inviting in Kristen’s beautiful work. There is a deeper mystery and emotion that is silently hidden away, waiting patiently to be discovered. It intrigues me. And I also find the fact that she works in both large and small scale to be equally fascinating. She doesn’t necessarily limit her imagination to a standard size, which makes me wonder why should you or I do it either? It unfolds before my eyes in each piece, that liberation. Let’s have a chat with Kristen and find out more.

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Q: Where do you live, and where do you create your art?
A: Los Angeles (Studio City/North Hollywood).  I’ve been here a year after living in Chicago for 14 years. I work out of one of the bedrooms in our apartment.

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Q: Did you study art formally? How did you get from that genesis point to making assemblages?
A: I didn’t study art formally. In college I had a communications major and an anthropology minor. I didn’t start working on art until about 6 years after college. I started making collages only from old magazines, and then started adding the paint and found materials… I worked with found wood from alleys in Chicago instead of canvas at first. In the last couple of years I’ve started adding my own photography to the mix as well – slicing up photos I’ve taken into the collages.

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Q: On your website, you say that your work is heavily influenced by time passages. Can you tell us a little more about how this provides inspiration and why its interpretation is meaningful to you?
A: I have a taste for nostalgia, and also I’m fascinated by the patterns that time creates. The future has a way of repeating itself again from past experiences. A sort of step-forward-and-then-a-step-backward type of momentum.

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Q: You moved from Chicago to Los Angeles recently. Have you noticed any difference in that way you approach your work, now that you have changed your surroundings?
A: My work has become more colorful out here, and more influenced by nature – I’ve been inspired by blooming plants and flowers, and also the beaches. In Chicago, I was really influenced by the details of the city and there were more rustic and worn textures in my work, and also more muted tones.

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Q: One of the things that intrigues me so much about your work is the way that you seamlessly blend masculine and feminine elements into one piece, e.g., a vintage car cut-out pressed against lace trimmings. Do you have a balanced attraction to both?
A: Yes; I hadn’t really thought about the masculine and feminine qualities, but you’re right… I do have a balanced attraction to the kinds of textures and meanings behind these types of elements. I think it’s also about the material icons (classy cars for example) of the past and relationships between women and men too.

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Q: What is your favorite part of the process when you create a new piece for your collection?
A: The late beginning part of the process where I’m past the blank canvas, and into the layering and patterns. I tend to work more intuitively, and this stage is when I reach that “aha” moment where I figure out where I’m going.

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Q: Where can we go to see your collection?
A: My Etsy shop and website. I also have some work available at Hazel in Chicago. I am happy to arrange visits to my studio in Los Angeles too! I’m applying for the Beverly Hills outdoor art show this spring, and hope to be in that!

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Thank you Kristen!


eclectonote journals at uppercase gallery

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I love these handmade eclecto notebooks designed by Janine Vangool from the Uppercase Gallery in Calgary. Beautifully detailed, there are 9 different appealing themes, like Peas and Carrots which contains imagery from vintage food magazines and cookbooks, or Near and Far, a travel journal filled with old maps and geography book pages. Since each piece is made from repurposed books and are peppered with vintage paper, no two are alike.

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I think these would make terrific holiday gifts for any writers on your list.

Each notebook costs $28 CAD and you can find them right here.


the art of michele bosak

When I went to the Renegade Craft Fair last month I saw a lot of great stuff, but was immediately drawn to a few certain things, one of them being the wonderful artwork of Michele Bosak. Michele, who told me she was just finishing up her MFA in Drawing at NIU, splits her time between northern Illinois and Michigan. Her collection has charming childhood themes, greatly effective negative space and a thoughtful vintage feel to it. The soft color selections draw me in and envelop me like a favorite childhood blanket once did.

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I appreciate Michele’s use of many types of media, like graphite, ink, watercolor and acrylic paint. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite in her collection but since I bought this piece, I think I like her wax and oil paint encaustic paintings best.

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See more from Michele on her website, blog and Etsy shop.


antique boulangerie boards (home decor)

Love these vintage european bread bakery boards. Each of these pieces, which range from 20-60 years old, are one of a kind and once lived an active life in a bakery in Europe.

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What a cool way to dress up a kitchen wall or warm up an otherwise sterile room!

Find them at Sundance.


jesh de rox photography

I know some of us think wedding photography can be so cheesy, but have you seen these wondrous images from contemporary Canadian artist Jesh de Rox? They are simply extraordinary, with an elegant, vintage timeless feeling achieved using modern techniques. His intimate and textural style feels like it comes much more from an whole, artistic point of view than the old methodology. And the breathtaking results transcend the traditional ideas of wedding photography and what we thought were its subsequent limitations. These are thoughtful portraits that can so easily be diplayed everyday in your home instead of in a dusty old album.

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The loosely styled, posed-but-not-stiff looking images capturing the beautiful nuances of a moment in time were exactly the kind I had wanted for my own wedding so many years ago (15 years to be exact!). We did our best to articulate it to the person we had hired to shoot the wedding, but it really did not work out the way we pictured it in our minds. We can always hope for something exciting if we do a 20th vow renewal though…

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For those of you lucky enough to be living in Western Canada, Jesh takes on a few commissions per year, so you might be able to ensure that the dreamiest, happiest day of your life will be recorded in the most special way. If not, you can always enjoy more of Jesh’s stunning portfolio on his website, and follow along with him on his life’s journey on his blog.


un bon weekend

I feel like it has been a while since I said “so long, I am off to Michigan for the weekend” because of all the health issues with the animals in my house this summer. I’m saying it now though. We are sneaking off for a long rejuvenating weekend, one that consists of not staring at computers till we go cross-eyed, trying to focus on the tiny screens of our cell phones or having to stop some fun or creative activity so we can hurry off to go do some errand thing that needs to get done right away. Sick of that.

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I hope your weekend is a happy and relaxing one as well!


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