Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bigg Treasures, Little Boxes

I was stopped in my tracks a bit ago by the stunning works of Nicole Bigg being shown in the window of one of our local galleries, the Craft Connection. This wonderful space is an artist owned and operated cooperative that has recently been moved into new digs. The interior of the old stone building has been lovingly re-created to showcase a constantly updated and beautifully curated collection of pieces from a variety of local talent- textile artists, painters, metal-smiths, potters and others.

Nicole's sophisticated pieces are uniquely styled using images of natural elements etched into metal tags that are then layered onto wooden boxes. In a town where the artists reign supreme, it can sometimes be difficult to find something new, especially when it is home to such an established art school. It becomes rather like treasure hunting to find the best gem in the spoils. As well as being visually enchanting, these pieces have a tactile quality that draws you in to investigate and her tiny bugs and birds give the piece an instant personality that is a slightly dark version of pretty.

Not that I doubt my eye for style ;) but if I needed proof, the next chance I got to take my camera into the shop was less than a week later and all but three of the pieces were sold. I unfortunately am unable to show you the piece de resistance that got me all excited to begin with, but these little guys will give you a good idea of what I am talking about. Especially the darling asian inspired shadow box. If only my camera had done a better job! No doubt I will be able to show you more in the future as I am sure her success with these pieces will inspire her to continue with them. In the meantime, if you are interested in adorning yourself with a smaller but no less stunning array of her work, you can find her jewelry creations here on her website.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thinking in Green

I am usually loathe to suggest that people buy from a chain store such as Pier One or Pottery Barn, although my love for IKEA stands uncontested. I usually buy artisan made pieces, thrift store finds, or retro-fit pieces myself. There are definitely stores that I snoop through but I am lucky enough to live in a place that has an abundance of artists and finding a unique piece is, to me, a far more enjoyable and satisfying option.

Having gotten this disclaimer out of the way, I have to say how much I love these pieces out of the new Pottery Barn catalog. I love the fabric selections for both the 'Madison' and 'Brooks' chairs and the simple style of the chairs themselves.

There are a few accessories that I may have been tempted into buying if I lived anywhere near a store, but with the headache of shipping glass and the added cost of shipping period, I can get an artist here to reproduce them. This is something that you can always consider, in this day of greener thinking and trying to support a local market, there is no reason not to collect your ideas from stores, catalogues or the WWW, but always keep in mind that these can be re-created by an artist in your area and often sourcing them out is a wonderful experience. Getting together some friends and doing a tour of a studio or even an art school (where the prices tend to be much lower) can make for a rewarding weekend activity.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Modern Take

Love this...

And this also...


yes, these too, gorgeous...

and also these...

All from Canoe.



Oh, the sheer sadness of it all. The Bluelines Blog, the Ghost of Fabulousness Past, Blueprint magazine, has pulled the plug on it's connection to the outside world.

We wish you wonderful contributers all the best in your future endeavors. Hopefully some of which include a re-collaboration of some sort. Of course, that may be wishful thinking, but wishes are what turns the world. And gravity.

Some of the contributers that posted contact info are thus...

The general consensus seems to be an idea that perhaps Domino could get involved here somewhere. I personally have no need for the fashion and beauty aspect anyway (although these people had a better chance of drawing my attention than most) because I follow pretty much the simplest beauty routine on the planet (read: soap, water and a few essential oils). But if they can't simply add to their team, maybe they could start a sister mag? Hmmmm? Please?

Dishing on the Goods...

Is it just me or has the common tea towel turned "must-have pop art expression piece" as of late? This is the part of the design world that I always find amusing. All of a sudden the world as a whole grasps at something that seems unlikely at first but then wholeheartedly jumps on board with an idea as though it has always been. What started out looking so unique as a concept becomes strangely old hat. Well, before we toss in the tea towel as last year's accessory, we have the full right to take it on this year as a permanent art fixture in our kitchens. Or in the case of some like these, pretty much any room of the house if you are so inclined.

My personal favorites are these tongue in cheek designs (above) from Esther Diamond. Based in New Zealand, this company is centered around a healthy dose of humor and a visit to their website will remind you that life is meant to be filled with a daily smile or three.

Creative Thursday and Atelier LZC recently showed in Cincinnati's Nicholas Gallery at the Mad Tea {Towel} Party, alongside other rather brilliant artists, including both textile creators and graphic designers.

A trip through Etsyland will provide no shortage of wonderful designs (as well as some neato vintage finds,) such as these lovelies...

Almost makes washing the dishes... well, I am not even going to say it. Almost though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do you dream in white?

I have nothing at all to say about these photos. They speak for themselves.

Imagine Morocco.

Photo Credits: Shootfactory

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Over the Moon

I love this 'Havana' seating combo and 'Argyle' cube storage by Lunar Lounge Design. I tend to gravitate towards people from Winnipeg because they always seem to have a personality bordering on psychosis. In a good way. My ex, who was from there, used to say that it's because there is snow there for so long that if you are not creative you go stir crazy. Sounds like a good breeding ground for people destined for the arts. The guys of Lunar Lounge started their Canadian company with the same ideas of the obvious recognizable icons who created the furniture that inspires these designs- affordability and use of materials that are readily available. With the introduction of formaldehyde-free birch plywood and a decidedly lower price tag than you will pay for an Eames these days, Lunar Lounge may be the way to go.

I also like their Orbit chair which you can apparently get in clear, as well as their Eliptikal coffee table in blue. If you would like to see more, visit them on etsy here.

Photo Credits: Etsy Lunar Lounge Designs

Handmade Wilderness

Unique is difficult to find these days. When they came up with the notion that great minds think alike, they weren't planning on billions of people taking over the planet and consequently ideas happening at an exponential rate, good or bad or neither. It always pleases me to find something that everyone else is doing but taken to another level. So I was most pleased to come across the sculptures in Jennifer Khoshbin's 'Handmade Wilderness' series a little while ago, done with paper mache over resin.

The carved trophy head is a wonderful alternative to putting a dead animal on your wall, but this funky idea brings a whole new and light-hearted twist to the idea that I just love. She has a special gift I think. My favorite is the deer done in flocked paper and I also love her wolf head and her rhino that you an see on her website here.

Her other projects done with paper cutting are also delightful! This is a talented woman.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Escape Artist

I love this photo titled 'Escape Artist', by Elle Moss.

I have a thing for vintage suitcases... and for butterflies. And for escaping.