Saturday, December 13, 2008

My stuff: Bookmark

Let's start with an easy one. Here is a scan of both sides of a bookmark I made using paper collage. I'm very pleased with it. I have a bunch more in the works, and I will most likely post them as I finish them.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Objet du Jour: Oak Heritage Rocking Chair

One of the fun things I did over the summer was visiting Art on the Rocks, a yearly art fair held in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan (in Marquette, more specifically). If time allowed, I would make a yearly pilgrimage to this beautiful art fair nestled into the woods and rocks of Presque Isle Park. In any case, we made it this year, my husband and I.

One of the things we liked best (and almost bought on the spot but had no way to get it home) was a rocking chair made by Oak Heritage. What makes these chairs special is the the way the wood is hand-bent to conform to the human body. This is the most comfortable rocker I've ever tried!

Here is how the chairs are described on the Oak Heritage website:
We are probably best known for our rocking chairs. Inspired by Amish design, our chairs have been crafted using a more radical steam-bending technique. This signatory curve in the seat and back design gives each chair superior lumbar support which makes each rocker extremely comfortable while adding beautiful curving lines to its design.
Since we didn't buy one on the spot, we are going to make a special trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio, to pick one up. This will be our Christmas gift to each other.


I'm Back. Am I Back?

Ok, I've been suffering from what I can only call "blogger's block" for many months now. I'm going to make a concerted effert to begin posting again. I may fall flat on my face (again). Thanks for those of you who have hung in there with me.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Objet du Jour: Maury Island Farms Preserves

This is the best stuff I've ever put on toast. A delight to the tongue. And my jar, generously left for us by my aunt and uncle, is at that "scraping the sides with a spoon, hopelessly" stage.

I'm not a foodie. Toast is, in fact, one of the few meals I prepare. I would never have bought a gourmet foodstuff in a store--I'm more a "grab the store brand, it's cheapest" gal (unless, of course, we're talking chocolate). But I just ordered three jars for $6.00 apiece from The Country Store and Gardens.

I'm hooked.

If you don't believe me, here is a review by consumer Kathy Behrens from The Country Store and Gardens website:
This is the most excellent Jam you will ever taste, like freshly homemade! You'll never be able to go back to the grocerystore jam again. Annnnd, a major plus is that is spreads so easy, making a PBJ in a snap!

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Objet du Jour: Girl in Swing Necklace

What have you seen lately that's cooler than this necklace from Tatty Devine? Me, not much.

I found it at Soma Gallery for £33, along with a delightful array of other Tatty Devine items, also available from the Tatty Devine boutique. This one looks familiar:

I've seen these antlers in magazines and around famous necks, I think. It's made of walnut wood, not actual antlers. I'd love to be all trendy and wear this! (Wearing the girl in swing necklace, though I love it, is something I wish I could pull off--but, alas, cannot).

Antlers found at Soma Gallery for £23-- currently out of stock at the Tatty Devine boutique.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

If you meet the Buddha on the road . . . buy him!

We could all use a little more calmness, mindfulness, awareness and loving detachment in our lives, now, couldn't we? What could be a better way to remind ourselves of this than a wonderful Buddha head, such as this one from CB2?

Or perhaps a porcelain "Buddha Bath" sculpture is more to your liking, like this one by Estúdio Manus (available at the TOUCH Design shop).


But here is my personal favorite:

If this Buddha Cat from Mud and Metal doesn't make you smile, you may have forgotten how!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Objets du Jour: Stephen Jones Millinery

Upon viewing these spectacular designs from Stephen Jones Millinery, I couldn't help trying to imagine a lifestyle in which they would adorn my head.

Fits of giggles ensued.

On the other hand, aside from the starvation factor, wouldn't it be fun to be a model for a day, and to walk down the runway in an outfit for which such a creation would be just exactly the right finishing touch?

Yes, in fact, I am killing time until Project Runway is on. Who wants to know?


Eclectic Detective--On The Move?

I am once again considering a move to type TypePad for my blog, and it is once again driving me nuts. As you can see, it's a year since I've played around with this idea, which means a year of paying $8.95 a month for something I don't use at all.

If I can figure the damn thing out, I think I'll have more control over how my content looks, and that's the motivation. I don't know if it feels so complicated to other people, or if I'm just an old dog trying to learn a new trick. In the past I've always gotten frustrated and fled back to the easy usability of Blogger--which may be easy just because I've learned it.

Also, moving all my links and other stuff on my sidebar seems an enormous amount of work.

I'd welcome any comments from other bloggers about making this move--whether they advise for or against it, based on their own experience.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Art and Artistry: Joanne Russo

I love baskets. I collect them, decorate with them, and use them to organize at home and at work. When I could, I bought high-quality, handmade baskets at craft shows--but those days are part of my financial past. More recently, I bought useful, attractive baskets at retail stores like Target and Pamida--but sadly those days are also part of my financial past. Today, my baskets come from Goodwill and St. Vincent DePaul. On occasion I'll find one that meets my (fairly high) standards for $2.00 or less. Such a deal!

But the baskets I long for are art baskets. These are the ones where a basketry artist has taken the craft and pushed it in a totally new direction, stretching the definition of "basket" to a whole new limit. These are the baskets of artists such as Joanne Russo.

On her website, Russo talks about her work:
With a basket career spanning three decades, I’m looking back at what I've accomplished and forward to what I’ll achieve.

My previous baskets were exciting, fun and creative within a disciplined tradition. It’s time to let go of that safe and comfortable work and delve into larger, less controlled shapes and incorporate more of the textile skills I’ve learned throughout my life. It’s an exciting time and my new creations are as bold and spirited as ever.

As an avid observer of nature and incessant collector of diverse material - from acorns to zippers - I continually gather interesting items to use on my baskets. In this new series, each one-of-a-kind piece is woven tightly and precisely, with added elements thoughtfully chosen to display order and harmony. For one, I may use rows of hooks and eyes to imply that the basket’s construction is carefully held together, while on another, a zipper adds an illusion of function. For the finishing touch, spiraled, thread-wrapped rows define the basket’s top. On some baskets I’ve left the last few rows twisting out into space, reaching, as a tendril, for a safehold.

My new sculptural work suggests a narrative; a view of human nature expressed through a plaited form. The story is the same - we have a tentative hold on life, wanting to appear all together but always aware there’s a thread ready to unravel.

Some day my financial situation may change. The economy may improve. One of my "multiple income streams" may become more than a trickle. Who knows, I might even get a job! (Not.) In any case, these are the baskets I aspire to. Meanwhile, the knowledge that they simply exist--well, it makes my heart sing.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Objet du Jour: ShapeScapes

Hurrah! A set of ShapeScapes finally came up on eBay, and I won it! Most of the places I've seen it advertised, the price was like $32.00, and I got it for $12.50!

ShapeScapes has been on my "coveted objects" list for, oh, over a year now, but my budget for non-essential items is about $0.00. (Magazines, of course, are considered "essential items"--in my budget. After all, how can you do collage without them?) But given the price, I had to splurge! I'll just have to tighten the belt this month on something else. Food, perhaps.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Such A Deal

What's even better than wonderfully quirky items from UncommonGoods? When they're on sale. For example, these darling string doll keychains are down from $12.00 to $6.95

As for this "could it be more over-the-top" candle holder, its price is less over-the-top when it's $69.95 instead of $100.

A treat for Rover or Fluffy, like these pet mats, is easier to swallow at $9.95 than $25.00.

Sale items from UncommonGoods are 62 in number, and well worth checking out.

Eclectic Detective is proud to be sponsored by UncommonGoods. A percentage of any purchases resulting from this post will help in my ardent fight against the need to find a real job.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Lifeshop Collection Outdoor Furniture

The Lifeshop Collection has a line of outdoor furniture with a wonderfully pod-like feel to it. I have spoken before about my love of--or, perhaps, need for--this sense of being in an enclosed space on certain types of days or in certain types of moods.

I'm no psychologist, but I suppose it's a womb thing. Oh, wait. I am a psychologist. . . .

(Somehow I never tire of that joke. Ask anyone who knows me. They'll be happy to vent to you about the extent to which I never tire of that joke.)

Aren't these poddies snuggly? Although I found this past summer that what one really wants, on a lovely summer's day, is a hammock with a mosquito net draped over it.

via stylehive.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Objet du Jour: DwellStudio Blossom Pig

I can offer no explanation for my love of this object. It is from the DwellStudio Baby line, and I neither have, nor am, a baby. But it's a lovely cowgirl piggy cushion, and I want one! (Ok, maybe I'm a little bit of a baby. . . .)

Available at Design Public.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Jewelry Designer Mana Bernandes

Those who've been on the Eclectic Detective ride for a more than a little while know that what really gets me going is cooooooool jewelry. And have I ever found some for you! The designer is Mana Bernardes, and her work can be found on the TOUCH design site. Here is her bio from that site:
Mana Bernardes is a young jewelry designer, poet, and visual artist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her interests and aptitudes in art and design formed at an early age and continue to develop and transform. She participated as “Design + Social,” organized by the Institute of PVC in Rio de Janeiro, curated and produced the exhibition “Estampa de cada Rosto” at Lurix Gallery in Rio and also exhibited “Fashion without Frontiers” at Sao Paulo Fashion Week SPFW. In 2005, the Campana brothers invited her to participate in the exhibition “J’en Rêve” at the Cartier Foundation in France where she displayed an 8-meter mobile and her video art piece, “Connecting through the Cord.” which was also included in the commemorative exhibition of I.D. magazine.
The necklace above is titled "Clasp," and I love the elegance Mana has achieved with everyday objects. Here is another example: the cuff bracelet called "Night," below, is made of wine mesh and Swarovski crystal. How totally cool is that? (Let me hear you say it loud: WISH LIST!)

Finally, an completely magical necklace that caught my eye is "Spatial," below, made of iridescent sequins and nylon thread.

In short, I love Mana Bernandes, and will be keeping an eye out for her work. Let's hope for future posts!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog of the Week: decorate.i-blog

What's cooler than finding out that you're on the blog roll of a Greek blog? The Greek blog itself, with post after post of the most amazing finds! For example, here is an adorable children's foot-cushion, called "Barnslig," which is available at Ikea in the UK. (I'm not sure about the USA; I haven't taken the time to look.)

I discovered the Greek blog via sitemeter, which I use to track traffic to my blog: where people are coming from, what they look at, where they go next, etc. (I try not to obsessively use it as an "approval meter upon which to base my self-esteem," with varying degrees of success).

In any case, I found someone had visited me by clicking a link from a page at the address, which turned out to be a wonderful design-y blog entirely in Greek! And there on the blog roll, a link to my own humble Eclectic Detective. I'd like to thank the blogger, Vicky, for including me. (The whole international aspect of blogging--getting to know bloggers from South Africa and Marrakesh, being visited by readers from Australia, Indonesia and the Ukraine--blows my mind.)

In any case, here a couple of the other waaaaay cool finds on what I only know to call decorate.i-blog:

The coloured thorn beakers above are an example of the curious, delightful, and intricately textural ceramics by Ikuko Iwamoto. (I also like her authentic but ultimately impractical pint cup (below).

Another of Vicky's brilliant finds is the Splash Bottle Drying Rack, designed by Scott Henderson and available at Skip*Hop.

For more wonderful finds, I refer you with great pleasure to the decorate.i-blog. I only envy you to pieces if it happens that you can read Greek!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ecojot: Environmentally Friendly Notebooks

Just discovered EcoJot, via Delight.Com. This is a line of notebooks and sketch pads that are manufactured to meet strict environmentally friendly standards. According to Delight.Com, here's what makes them greatly green:
100% recycled + recycleable; 100% post-consumer waste; no new trees were cut to make these notebooks; paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council; glues & inks are vegetable based + biodegradable; the mill used to make the paper uses clean, affordable biogas (recovered landfill gases) as their alternative power source . . .
Green is great, especially when the design is as delightful as it is on Ecojot products. The designer is Carolyn Gavin, who has one of the skills I most admire in design: a sense of whimsy.

The products are reasonably priced, and many can be found online at JournalsAndBooks.Com.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Alfonso Ossorio

I have a new favorite artist. His name is Alfonso Ossorio. I ran across him in the October, 2007 edition of Art in America. These images of his work are from the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, in an exhibit titled "Alfonso Ossorio: Masterworks from the Collection of the Robert U. Ossorio Foundation"

If I had any educational background in art, I could tell you what I like about this stuff. I feel quite lame making the critical statement, "It's really cool." I could also say, "It makes my heart sing." I find it exhilarating. Visually stimulating. I want see it up close.

I suppose I could quote Marge Simpson and say "I don't know much about art, but I know what I hate, and I don't hate this." Or I could say what's in my heart, which is "If I were an artist, I'd love to make stuff like his."

Below is a pic of the closest I've ever come. All it shares in common is they are both in the medium called "assemblage," I believe. This was my first attempt. I hope to keep at it and come up with with stuff that is better. Cooler.

I don't expect to wind up in a gallery, but I do hope to make something that makes my heart sing. Something that exhilarates me. From looking at Ossorio's art, I am inspired.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Objet du Jour: "Messy" Tablecloth

I love this tablecloth on so many levels. The graphic is wonderfully irreverent, and the simple needlepoint treatment projects a lovely indie/handmade aesthetic.

Also, it colors outside the lines! I love it when art breaks through its frame; there's probably an arty word for that, but as I have no background whatever in art or design of course I don't know it. If there isn't a word for it, there should be. I played around with the concept a bit in this piece from my Flickr photostream. (Yes, I'm aware I'm rambling. It's been a long day.)

In any case, the tablecloth is by AZEdesign, and I spotted it on a blog called roadside scholar, which is well worth a look.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Objet du Jour: HateMail

Sometimes the sentiment you want to express is hard to find in the greeting card section of your local drugstore. For example, "Thanks for trying, but you blew it. I appreciate the effort but here's how and why it was a disaster." Nothing could be more perfect than this "Good Intentions" notecard, from the HateMail collection by CarolLeeDesigns on Etsy.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, this may be just the time to look for the perfect sentiment.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Objets du Jour: Clio Tableware

Handmade ceramic cheese platter. Waaaaay cool.

"Improved Crockery" dinnerware. Tres chic.

"Seconds" teapots. Ah, the irony. No, not irony. What do I mean? Literalcy. Literality. Literalness. Yes, my spellchecker tells me the latter is correct. (However, I prefer "literality.")

This type of literality is part of a design trend. I'll track down some other examples for you one of these days.

All available at Clio.


Handmade Christmas

I made this for my niece, Laura, for Christmas. She loved it. (Oh, look at it big, please do! You just have to click on the picture. This took me hours and hours over weeks and weeks--truly a labor of love!)

This Christmas all of my gifts were handmade or thrift store items. I had a blast, spent no more than $5.00 on any one gift, and really scored some bargains: my sister-in-law got a genuine Coach handbag that I'd found at Goodwill for $3.00!

My niece is sixteen, and she was simply mesmerized by all of the images on the box, which included lots of subtle references to her life going back to childhood ("oh my gosh, a TROLL!") I also made her a nice necklace with Swarovski crystals. My niece is pretty special to me.


Objet du Jour: Yada Yada Yoga Frogs

It's been so long, do I even remember how to do this?

Hell, it's not rocket science. . . .

I was filled with joy by these yoga frog figurines. Enough so that I had to break my over-long silence and post them for you. Some of you out there might have some very tense frogs on your hands, so it's the least I could do.

Available over at Art & Artifact: $59.95