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 http://decorate.i-blog.gr/, 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