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 RĂªve” 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!