Friday, February 29, 2008

Over and Out

Have a lovely weekend!

Mark Your Calendar: Emily Nachison at Oakland's Cricket Engine Gallery

Tonight is our monthly babysitting swap with friends, and I'm excited to get out and do something adult. (Hey, maybe we'll even have dinner somewhere with white tablecloths -- woo hoo!)

Since we've missed the last couple of Oakland Art Murmur events -- and since I'll be away in Portland for work during next week's "First Friday" -- I'm itching to see some art.

Lucky for me, there's an opening tonight for Oakland fiber- and multimedia artist Emily Nachison at Cricket Engine, a gallery space housed in a turn-of-the-century former military infirmary near the Oakland Marina.

Says Nachison of her folklore-inspired work: "Through stitching, screenprinting, assemblage, and painting I explore the mapping of memory through a language of enlarged images and symbols based on storybook illustrations. The enlarged scale and bright colors within my work are an expression of the amplified nature of memory and fantasy, as well as the inescapable presence of the natural world."

The Cricket Engine show, which kicks off with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. this evening, will be up through March 9. The gallery is located at 499 Embarcadero Ave., Building 3, in Oakland.

See more of Nachison's vibrant, fantastical art right here.

Design Dilemma: What Bedding Will Work With These Curtains?

More Ways to Waste Time reader Leaura writes: "I'm in the process of re-doing my bedroom. I recently made curtains with Marimekko's blue Onnen Apila fabric, and I collect vintage Lee Eden 'Big Eyed' prints. The rest of the bedroom consists of neutral walls that we might paint, and white furniture.

My issue is that I'm trying to find a comforter or duvet cover that will go with the curtains and the Big Eyed prints. Solids are somewhat of a bore for me, but I'm beginning to lose hope that anything else will work! Have some advice on prints that might work for a comforter without making the bedroom look like an unmatched color and pattern explosion?"

Photo from the Beach Studios

I know you said solids bore you, Leaura, but personally, I think an all-white bed is utterly dreamy -- especially in a room with strong color and pattern happening elsewhere. So rather than trying to incorporate even more of it on the bed, I'd go with something simple there and let the curtains and art be the stars of the show.

Another thought: Those blah, beige-y walls aren't doing your decor any favors. My vote would be to paint the room a fresh, light blue (like Martha Stewart's Drop of Blue, above) with white trim, which will tie in with those bold curtains and make the white furniture pop. Or go for a clean, bright white, like Benjamin Moore's Decorators White, which will serve as a crisp backdrop for your colorful curtains and vibrant art.

If you just can't live without some color and pattern on the bed, a bright blanket folded at the foot will add a little punch, as will a couple of colorful throw pillows. I especially like the Pappelina Lilo Blanket, left, $124 from Scandinavian Design Center, and the Ikebana Turquoise Throw, right, $200 from Designers Guild.

A few pillow possibilities (clockwise from top left): Blue Birds Pillow, $25, from DwellStudio for Target; Damask Pillow Cover, $15 from the Company Store; Mallory Pillow, $50, from Blissliving Home; and Cardinal on Agapanthus Pillow by Joom. You could also use some of that leftover Marimekko fabric from the curtains to whip up a couple of throw pillow or sham covers.

And if you're really set on a patterned duvet cover, remember that when it comes to mixing patterns, the key is to unify them with color and motif -- so I think blue botanicals are the way to go there -- and to consider scale. The general rule when combing patterns in a space is to choose one large, one medium, and one small. Since your curtain panels are large and your art is medium-scaled, and both are fairly strong, any pattern you select for the bedding should probably be on the smaller, more subtle side.

I like the pretty blue Plover Organic pattern, top left, $249 to $279 at VivaTerra; the simple but textural stripe of the Lucca Teal Comforter Set, top right, $380 to $460 from Blissliving Home; and the bold color of the Hanna Blom Quilt Cover Set, bottom, $50 to $60 from IKEA.

Readers, what say you -- any mix-masters out there with general advice or specific bedding tips for Leaura? If so, post a comment and share them here!

(P.S. Have a design dilemma of your own? Send it in, along with a photo or two, and I'll put it up here for a communal brainstorming session.)

Double Take: Inhabit and IKEA Tree Panels

Inhabit's "Timber" Triptic Slats Hanging Panels, $348 for three six- by two-foot panels, plus hanging poles.

IKEA's Anno Unni Curtain Panels, $30 for two nine- by two-foot panels. Hanging hardware sold separately.

Hmmm ... I wonder which came first?

Etsy Find of the Day: Kareem Rizk Collage

After discovering the work of Melbourne, Australia's Kareem Rizk via his gorgeous new BlueFlip prints the other day, I spent a little time wandering around on his website. While there, I was happy to learn that this talented artist and designer also sells some of his prints and originals on Etsy. The complex layering and the aged, weathered look of Rizk's collages give them a wistful, slightly mysterious quality -- and I, for one, am intrigued.

My faves: IV limited-edition 11-by-14-inch giclee print of a digital collage, above, $40

White Wall limited-edition 17-by-22.5-inch giclee print, $116

Bienvenidos limited-edition 17-by-22.5-inch giclee print, $116

Typo 3 limited-edition 11.5-by-14-inch giclee print of a digital collage, $40

Got Me a TV 13-by-16-inch limited-edition giclee print of a digital collage, $40

Fiat original 11-by-14-inch oil pastel and collage on paper, $330

Model Aeroplanes No.3 original 16-by-20-inch mixed-media collage on canvas, $420

See all of Rizk's Etsy offerings right here (bonus: each of his limited-edition prints is 10 percent off today, Friday February 29). And check out more of his work here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cool Stuff: Jonathan Adler Wallpaper

Good news if you've been itching to splash some "Happy Chic" all over your walls: Jonathan Adler has just released a line of typically fabulous wallpapers, available in a total of 24 patterns and colorways.

Take a look:

Grey Garland (my fave)

Gold Nixon

Black Greek Key

Green Brocade

Green Bamboo

Red Keys

Light Blue and Silver Foil Ropes

Black Scroll

The wallpapers are $195 per jumbo roll (about three times the size of a regular roll) right here.

Mark Your Calendar: The Oakland Museum of California White Elephant Sale

It's the junking event of the year in the Bay Area: The Oakland Museum's legendary White Elephant Sale.

Held in a vast, 96,000-square-foot warehouse, the 49-year-old White Elephant is the largest rummage sale in Northern California. Stocked with a year's worth of wares donated to the Museum's fundraising arm, the sale boasts 17 well-organized departments containing millions of items. (Yes, I said millions.)

Goodies include vintage furniture, original art, kitchenware, lighting, and even a renowned selection of Hawaiian shirts. You'll have to do a bit of digging and the kitsch factor is fairly high, but there are treasures galore and prices are extremely reasonable.

The White Elephant Sale is this Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 333 Lancaster Street in Oakland. Parking is a challenge, but regular shuttles will be running between the Fruitvale BART station and the sale. Admission is free.

Hint: Combine a stop at the sale with a visit to the nearby Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire on Sunday, and you'll pretty much be in treasure-hunting heaven.

My favorite find from last year's sale. $3!

Object of Lust: Jacquard Hammock

Wish I was here ...

Jacquard hammock with Olympic stand, 399 pounds sterling (about $798) from Graham & Green.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Etsy Find of the Day: Ellie Curtis

Digging today: Jungle Spirits Cushion Cover, $50, from East London print designer and Etsy seller Ellie Curtis.

I'm also having a very hard time resisting Claude, $30.

Visit Ellie's Etsy shop right here, and see more of her work here.

Cool Stuff: Maude Décor Handpainted Rugs

Just try to be in a bad mood in a room featuring one of the brightly hued and boldly graphic handpainted canvas floorcloths from Vancouver's Maude Décor. I don't think it's possible.

Dubbed "art you can walk on," the canvas rugs are the brainchild of creator Patricia Baun, who's given the traditional craft of painted floorcloths a distinctly modern interpretation.

Take a look:

The new Star Quest collection's Andromeda and Ursa Major designs.

Also new: The topographically inspired Famous Canadian Mountains series, including Baldy Mountain and Three Sisters.



Arlene & Irvine




Each handpainted rug is made to order and signed by the artist. They're available as runners or in sizes up to 8 by 10 feet, with prices ranging from $1,100 to $5,760 from Modern Tots or directly from Maude Décor.

Many of Baun's designs are also available as custom-order tufted wool rugs, as well as limited edition 6-by-9-inch ($30) or 8-by-12-inch ($40) archival prints.

See more of Maude Décor's offerings right here.


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