Wednesday, December 30, 2009

metal on metal

I'm a sucker for touching rockumentaries. This one is no exception.  Never give up on your dreams. Stick to your convictions. Anvil will show you how.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tulip Mania

During the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, the Tulip flower became a status symbol and a luxury item, with rare bulbs selling for ten times more than the average skilled craftsman made in an entire year.  The vivid colors and firey shapes in the petals of ceratin types became highly sought after.  Interestingly, this effect was a result of a virus, and the Tulip market crashed.
Today I picked up this lazy bunch for $6.99 at my local organic market, brought them home and read about them in my Garden of Eden book of botanical illustrations.  (Nerd.)  Fresh flowers are so pretty to look at in the middle of winter.  I'm glad that horticulturalists found a way to achieve the same gorgeous results the virus created through breeding alone.  Maybe when I retire, I will breed Tulips.  Or make goat cheese.  I can't decide.

mini quilt!

Soooo nice to meet you mini quilt!
My wonderful and crafty Grandmother quilted me this stunning mini quilt for Christmas, featuring the Ohio Star pattern.  Growing up in Ohio, this is one of my favorite symbols.  I love the simplicity of shapes.  It's just one square and eight triangles dazzling me to death!  Lovely.  She nailed this one!  Americana to the core: tiny white polka dots on bright red vintage fabric meets navy floral vintage fabric meets cream vintage fabric.  Thoughtful DIY gifts make me feel truly loved.  Thanks Grandma!
A lady of many talents, she also paints like the late Bob Ross.  Kind of ill: 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

it's over.

We all write little letters to LIFE, expressing our frustrations, thankfulness, relief, excitement, and anger.  "Dear LIFE, WTF?"
But now, Pratt grad student and artist Rylee Eterginoso invites you to break up with anyone or anything in her amusing The Breakup Project.  It's a humorous take on saying good bye to someone or something that just isn't working for you. I find her blog platform simple, charming and accessible.  Although, I can't wait to see this Project in gallery form! If you need to break up with anything, whether it's drinking on weeknights or that girl who gave you stink eye in the Marc Jacobs store, this is a great method that is sure to leave you feeling satisfied, empowered, and in the end, probably laughing.  Encore!

Friday, December 18, 2009

quit your day job.

I urge you to read this motivating article in the New York Times on how crafters are turning to Etsy to flip their hobbies into six figures. 
Take Yokoo, whose knitted oversized chainlinks and cozy neckwamers have become an underground trend, all while making the crafty lady more than $140,000 each year.  If it don't make dollars, it don't make sense!

Yokoo's steez:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

meeting heroes: Jonathan Adler!

This is Jonathan Adler and I on our honeymoon. 
We had a lot of fun.
Ok, fine, it *might* not be us on our honeymoon.  It *might* be a snapshot of us after his totally inspiring lecture at the Knoll Design Center yesterday evening.  He spoke about his design work, which is consistently sincere and fun.  It's always a risk expressing your vision, especially when it's provacative, and I was completely taken by his no risk, no reward approach.  When it comes to staying true, this guy is fearless!
(One of my favorite features of the website is the "design your own" pillows and rugs, which are hand loomed by Peruvian artisans.  Kind of special.)

new art story!

The newest issue of CHEEK is now live, and it's more fun than swimming with dolphins! I did a nifty little story on a recent show at the Joshua Liner Gallery featuring artists Ryan McLennan and Kenji Hirata. If you feel like nerding out:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gun Salutes: Stephen Powers

A gun salute goes out today to one of my art heroes: Stephen Powers, a.k.a. Espo.  I have schoolgirl crushes on hand painted signs, and his are every design nerd's dream.  Over time, these messages will fade with wear, which makes them more special.  They also belong to everyone since they are in public view, and that is something Powers strives for.  His playful phrases keep it real all day, everyday.  I believe he's a true romantic at heart. In issue 13 of CHEEK Magazine, I mentioned his love letters project in the city of brotherly love.  If you haven't checked it out, it's pretty inspiring! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

let's be lazy! ( + . . + )

Last year, I ventured to Seoul, Korea for a jam-packed business trip for an art exhibition.  Lucky for me, there is one "mall" open 24 hours, which gave me the opportunity to get all of my dear friends little souvenirs at 2am.  Sick!  I received a greeting today from one of those friends with a picture of this amazing little character I stumbled upon:

Meet Namake Tarou!
This little guy is a sloth apparently, and his name means "let's be lazy."  How adorable is that!? Don't you just love his skull and crossbones sheets too?  In our super busy lives, he whispers to us, "don't hurry...take a rest...let's go slowly."  That's good advice sometimes if you are feeling tired;)

Monday, December 7, 2009

crown braids and Cazals.

I am getting waaaay inspired by Cocorosie's live performance with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Netherlands. This shit is bananas!!!  When people throw around terms like "creative" THIS is what they are talking about.  These ladies are weirdos, but they make incredible magic onstage.  Doll make-up, hauntingly beautiful voices, a nerdy beatboxer, creepy toy noises, and beats from outer space.  (Yes, I went to art school.)  Their outfits are just...brave! Whether they are rocking a Peter Pan style nightgown with a new era cap or an NBA oversized jersey with a metallic bowtie, I'm in.  Don't let all the awesome artsy fool you, Sierra (Rosie) is a trained Opera singer. Here are their amazing performances of "Animals" and "Beautiful Boys." It's so rad to see these colorful creatures against the backdrop of a conservative Royal Orchestra.
All I'm saying, is that Cocorosie makes me want to step up my style game.  A great place to start is with a crown braid and clear Cazals.  It's like, "I'm a duchess living in Harlem in the 1970s." I'll probably need a windbreaker (kidding) or something jazzy like that too. You got to keep people guessing;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

lovin's for fools.

A new painting. My candy colored version of a bleeding heart. So decorative.  I'm not even a real artist.  I just love painting tiny dots.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ready, steady, love.

owl ring. marc jacobs

miss marc wrist watch. marc by marc jacobs

moscot originals. "hyman" (named after the brand's patriarch) in tortoise
dear santa,
make it happen;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

some racing, some stopping.

This is a snow-cone-on-a-hot-day of an album, even though Pitchfork gave it a less enthusiastic review.  I get it Pitchfork, it's an easy listen, it sounds familiar in a sea of other sunny indie projects. But whatevs, I still think it's really bubbly and quite pretty.  Headlights, "let your haters be your motivators."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

fennec fox.

A nice outfit: a red heart cape and a sleeping fennec fox.

best. friends. forever. for. real.

Nothing says friendship like forever.  And if you are a real gangsta, you use the same needle.  Just kidding, that's gross!  To my R.L.S. partner-in-crime and my lil' owl sister, I love you both.  Seal that friendship with a tattoo;)
Honorable Mention ladies done by Miss Marina. 
Lil' owls by Custom Claire.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gun Salutes: MOS DEF

Introducing, "Gun Salutes." A gun salute is like a shout out. Get into it.

A 2006 jam, but still, kind of getting a lot of play in my rotation as of late.  
I can't.  Really.  And the live performance, stop it.  I die.

On some ol' "Biggie gimme one more chance" shit

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

a guide to recognizing your saints

When you decide to move to San Francisco in 2006, you sort of live in a bubble of survival/adventure and miss one of the most amazing movies based on real life of all time. It's not until three years later when you are living in Brooklyn and you Netflix it one night thinking, "This looks good." And it's better than good, it's unforgettable. Then you text your best friend that they have to see it. And they text back: "I could've told you that in 2006. In the theater. But I didn't. Oh snap. 2006 called, it wants its Robert Downey Jr. comeback performance back." Then you feel embarrassed because you are in fact, three years late. But it doesn't matter, because you just saw one of the best movies of all time. The end.
P.S. If you are three years late too, don't sleep!

make room for the emptiness

If you like secret puzzles, folk art, plants, and hexes, you should probably check out Jim Houser's solid gold hit now on view at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea. This was my first Jim Houser experience, and I couldn't be more impressed!  I've always been an admirer of his unwavering color pallete: rich terra cotta reds, sea glass blues and greens, and warm browns.  "Totally captivating" comes to mind.  He traditionally carries his drawings into the exhibition space, but I was happy to find new objects incorporated.  I love love love the electric speakers, which he handpainted to fit his color story.  Nearby the speakers, there is a small scale version of the same idea, kind of like a still life! 

The twine paintings he crafted, weaving colored string around canvas, create super tactile grids of hues that are hard to look away from.  The best thing about Houser's work is that you feel like little secrets are being shared.  You have to connect the objects to the drawings to the words and back again.  It's like a puzzle that you know you will never solve and that's okay, because the attempt is so entertaining!  The shelf installations were so quiet, like little museum diaramas.  One held a painting of a severed hand, whith the word "HEXES" spelled out at the ends of each fingertip.  A jar of small pebbles sat next to it along with a larger rock person sleeping.  Your brain makes thoughtful yet incomplete connections, but in the best way.  Like watching a dream playout. These are the little magical stories of Jim Houser.

One of his great talents is building a playful library of words and phrases in his drawings.  One of my favorite groups of words were "force field, swords, gardens, machines."  It's way better than looking at a scrabble board at the end of a long game!  When you see these words alone or groups, they are taken out of there usual context, and it's just nice to see things like "GONERS," "orbits," "MYTH," "mmmmmiracles," or "rumor" just standing as words. 
There is a wonderful blend going on for sure,  and you barely notice the overcast of gloom beacause the drawings and installations are so beautiful.  His characters face some tough breaks...severed heads, drowning, and being shot with arrows.  Truly a stellar show, "Make Room for the Emptiness" is currently on view through November 21st.  Also on view at the Jonathan Levine Gallery is an amazing show called "TRUE SELF," curated by Gary Baseman.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

cold season=1, mega=0

A sincere sorry for the lapse of posts recently due to a terrible cold I had.  Being sick is the worst, especially when you have to take care of yourself.  My friend frenemy forever drew this awesome Get Well Never card for me once upon a time, and I couldn't help but remember it during this past knock out fight between the worst cold in the world and myself. Sometimes it really does feel like you will get well never.  Soon enough though, you are always bound to get back into fighting shape!

maritime pride

(Squid & Whale Tattoo 181 Congress St., Portland, ME)

(Tattoo Flash and Tattoos by Kapten Hanna)
Portland, Maine is one of the most quaint and adorable port towns around. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting Squid and Whale Tattoo, home of Kapten Hanna and Cyndi Lou. The shop is a total stunner, filled with beautiful art, reference books, antiques, and trinkets galore! I had the best time discovering amusing objects such as a harpoon, Russian dolls, and ceramic sea captains. It's definitely one of my favorite shops, completely original in it's decor. The tin ceilings are so lovely, embossed with Victorian bows and filigree. And I love the light blue painted walls, a much more serene and calming choice than found in most shops these days. It has a homey girl vibe for sure!
Not only is the shop itself a great interior design success, but the rad ladies who work there do incredible art too! Kapten Hanna does noteworthy traditional work, with super clean and delicate lines. Her personal art is full if totally fun themes: the circus , maritime pride, dogs, horses, and pretty botanics. I love her flash page illustrating a round of the popular decision-making game Rock, Paper, Scissors. The accompanying banner simply reads "I WIN." So cute!!! You do win, Kapten Hanna!

Monday, October 5, 2009

get what you want!

Kimberly Scola's embroidery designs are perfectly simple and way cute.  This one is especially inspiring.  I mean who doesn't love the Smiths?  And who doesn't love getting what they want?  Her little visions encourage me to do more crafting with some of my favorite lyrics.  (View more cute here: 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

fist kiss.

Brooklyn, spelled out with brass knuckles = dunzo, add to cart. I love it when Etsy keeps it gangsta. Oh Brooklyn, you're sooooo edgy;)

pretty girls with pretty pets.

Once upon a time, I lived in beautiful San Francisco. Everyday I went to work at Upper Playground's Fifty24SF Gallery, I was greeted by the ballerina skirt adorned, bunny ear clad girl painted on the door above. It was the warmest welcome to any job I have ever had. Whenever I met this sassy lil' lady, I just felt like everything was in it's right place, and it was such a treat to be making a life, not just a living.
Miss Van, the artist who painted this gorgeous character, has carried her pretty girls into much more darker narratives, and I'm loving every story. She is draping slumbering animals on their pretty heads or giving them long locks that wrap around all sorts of lovely places. I've always been a huge admirer, and it's great to see her work evolving with a darker mystery, while still maintaining a sweet softness.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

lucky issue 13 of CHEEK magazine!

The newest issue of CHEEK is now live! It's en fuego! Read my art story about Adam Wallacavage's whimsical art and all the other awesome going down in Philly!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ukulele, yes!

My adorable west coast friend cheered me up with news that she is learning the Ukulele. I'm so inspired to learn too! It's such a cute and dorky instrument. And it sounds so cheerful:) Based on some amazing covers I have seen people perform (in my super unscientific you tube research), I can't wait to get my hands on one and cover some of my own favorites. For instance, "Thugz Mansion" by Tupac featuring Nas.
"Leave all the stress from the world outside
Every wrong done will be alright
Nothin but peace, love, and street passion.
Every ghetto needs a thug mansion."

You can basically cover any jam your little songbird heart desires! The fun possibilities are endless! Thanks HJB!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

style rookie.

This is 13 year old Tavi, a certified genius and possibly a wizard in disguise. Her fashion blog is my new obsession. I can't even wrap my head around her ultra hip writing style, sharp sensibility, and avant-garde steez. She writes honestly and playfully about her inspired ideas: "I can assure you that this movie marathon of ours was one of two times I've been cultured this year, the other being when I went to a museum in the city! Otherwise I just sit in my room and look at issues of Lula while making whale noises of enthusiasm over how pretty the styling is and eat crackers." Yep, that's right, "whale noises of enthusiasm." Can you handle her references?

Smart fo' sho, she's actually quite funny too. Okay fine, really funny. She makes fun of designers and calls herself out, sparing no allowances! One of my favorites: Oh God, could you imagine if I was a designer? "Needs more ugly! Throw on another optical illusion, sure! More wires!" Such entertaining visions!

Honestly, I'm touched, inspired, and a little bit smitten. A self-described "style rookie," don't let the title fool you...this lil' lady knows what she's doing. She's like a living breathing work of art, destined for fame. Also, she is really into outer space, which makes her cooler than you;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

everything all black.

It's gonna drop on Friday. He didn't fade to black, but I'm not mad at that. Kanye makes a shining appearance with the line, "I'm just tryin to change the color of your mood ring." Go ahead, change it;)

holy beautiful!