Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cool Stuff: Working Class Studio Fabric Bags and Boxes

Re-Gift line just in time for the holidays. They
are perfect to stash under the Christmas tree with a big pretty bow, and
after use, they can be used as home storage boxes. The fabric bags can
also be reused as lunch totes, knitting bags, kids totes and so much more.
Why waste a bunch of paper wrapping gifts when you can use and re-use
these boxes and bags for years to come!

Add panache to gift giving and style to storage with this elegant
collection of collapsible fabric-covered boxes. Available in several
rich colors and striking patters, Re-Gift fabric boxes can be used (and
reused) as gift boxes, colorful home storage containers, or chic accents
to your living and work space. Great for holiday and year-round use,
boxes include a coordinating hang tag ideal for gift labels or content
identification. Pattern design by Ben Morris (professor of fashion, SCAD).

Fabric Bags : Re-Gift
Add panache to gift giving and style to storage with this elegant
collection of collapsible fabric-covered boxes. Available in several
rich colors and striking patterns, Re-Gift fabric bags can be used (and
reused) as gift bags or stylish totes. Each bag is made of durable
natural cotton and features a reinforced bottom for added support. Bags
are available in three sizes: bottle, medium and large. Pattern design
by Ben Morris (professor of fashion, SCAD).

Flora ad

Friday, November 21, 2008

Over and Out

I have a crazy-busy week coming up -- I have to finish a magazine article I'm writing, get a jump-start on three other freelance assignments, deal with kids home from school, get ready for visiting relatives and the Thanksgiving dinner we're hosting, and finish cleaning the house and taking photos for a special project.

And since I suspect that many of the Yanks among you will be similarly preoccupied and/or away from your computers next week, I'm going to take a short hiatus here. I'll be back on Monday, December 1. (My birthday! But don't ask me which one. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. ;-)

Have a lovely holiday, everyone!

Shameless Plug: Portland's West End in Via Magazine

I just realized -- doh! -- that my write-up on Portland's burgeoning "West End" area is in the current issue of Via magazine.

Check it out on the Via website. Or click the image above to read it here.

The Artful Home: Jennifer Zahigian Photography

Oakland photographer Jennifer Zahigian's love for her chosen medium began as a child, when her grandfather gave her her first camera and taught her how to develop film in his darkroom.

Fittingly, Zahigian's photos -- these ones are mostly from her "Roadside" series -- are nostalgic but not sentimental, quietly and soberly capturing the faded, forgotten corners of Americana that colored so many of our childhoods. I think they're exquisite. Above: Mammoth Orange, Highway 99, Calif.

Whitewalls, San Pablo, Calif.


A Warm Day for Ice, Central Coast, Calif.

Rex Motel, Salinas, Calif.

Bottled Liquors, Cambridge, Mass.

Railway, Las Vegas, Nev.

Hoppy, Fresno, Calif.

Motel, Minnesota

Each image is available as a large, limited-edition chromogenic print, and most are also available as smaller, limited-edition metallic-paper prints. Prices range from $35 for a 6-by-9-inch matted print to $375 for framed prints measuring up to 20 by 30 inches.

Zahigian's photography can be seen at SFMOMA's Artists Gallery and at Oakland boutique Mignonne through the end of December. Check out more of her work right here.

Cool Stuff: Moveable Wallpaper

Developed by a team of New York City set decorators, Tempaper is temporary, self-adhesive wallpaper.

The vinyl-coated paper is printed using traditional copper-plate engraving, but although its makers claim the paper is just as durable as regular wallpaper, it has one key difference: Tempaper can easily be removed, minutes or years after application, with no visible damage to the surface it was applied to or to the paper itself. Think of it like a giant Post-It note, which can be removed and repositioned at whim.

I have no personal experience with Tempaper -- but if it really is as easy-to-use as it sounds, this product is genius.

Tempaper, currently available in six patterns and 15 colorways, is $75 to $85 per 33-foot roll right here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mark Your Calendar: Open Studios at Heath Ceramics

I'm a huge fan of Heath Ceramics, the 60-year-old pottery that Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic stumbled upon near their home in Sausalito, California five years ago and rescued from decline. (I'm also completely in awe of Catherine and Robin's amazing house.)

Believe it or not, though, I've never been to the Heath factory, despite the fact that it's only a few miles from where I live. (How lame is that? I'm embarrassed.) But that's going to change this weekend, when Heath holds its annual open studio and sale. Heath artisans will be manning their wheels and kilns during hourly factory tours, and everything in the Heath Factory Store will be 20 percent off -- including not just Heath's wonderful tableware and tile, but also gorgeous textiles and housewares from a small group of talented independent designers that Bailey and Petravic admire. There will be food from San Francisco's Green Chile Kitchen, and a hands-on tile glazing activity, too.

Below is a sneak peek of Heath's skilled craftsmen and -women at work (you can see the entire online tour here). I can't wait to watch them in action and to learn more about the process used to create this beautiful, timeless pottery

Heath's open studio and factory tours happen Saturday, November 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, November 23, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The annual sale starts Friday, November 21 in the Factory Store, and ends Sunday, November 30.

If you're not in the area, you can visit Heath online right here.

Etsy Find of the Day: Flock Home Textiles

I'm digging these nature-inspired textiles from Oakland's own Flock Home (aka designer Gina Pericini). How great would they be for a Thanksgiving table? Plus, Pericini uses natural linen and non-toxic dyes, so all of her products are eco-friendly. Above: Stag Beetle Cocktail Napkins, $32 for four

Flock of Swallows Pillow, $90

Cat Tail Dinner Napkins, $32 for two

Queen Anne's Lace Pillow, $90

Sea Botanical Dinner Napkins, $36 for two

Sea Botanical Placemats, $82 for two

See all of Flock Home's Etsy offerings right here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Reads: Lisa Solomon on Poppytalk

Speaking of blogging more about the design scene in our own communities, I wanted to point any Bay Area locals who may be reading over to Oakland artist (and huge art crush of mine) Lisa Solomon's guest blog this week on Vancouver, British Columbia's divine PoppyTalk.

Lisa is giving PoppyTalk readers a tour of her favorite homegrown shopping haunts, including San Francisco's Urban Burp, Oakland's Article Pract, and Berkeley's Tail of the Yak.

Check out Lisa's PoppyTalk posts right here -- and see her amazing artwork here.

Images courtesy of Lisa Solomon and PoppyTalk.

Sound Off: Another One Bites the Dust

First House & Garden shut down, then Blueprint was shelved. The dust seemed to settle for awhile, but then Home magazine folded, and in quick succession O At Home was shuttered. Now, barely a week after word that the mighty Oprah's shelter spin-off is no more comes news that one of my very favorite "nesting" magazines, Cottage Living, is ceasing publication. (There have been rumors -- quickly denied -- that Domino is in trouble, too.)

Blame the economy: Ad pages are way down at shelter publications. And despite the $5 or more you fork over for the latest issue at the checkout counter, advertising is what any magazine survives on.

But is there something more behind the demise of so many beloved home-design titles? Is the internet killing print? As much as I love a stack of shelter mags on a quiet afternoon, I do find myself reading them less and less. (I still buy them all, mind you -- but more often than not my magazines gather dust while I surf the web.) What used to be 100+ shiny pages of new products, fresh ideas, and drool-inducing "home porn" now often feels like old news, since I've already seen much of it on the blogs. Many of the homes featured in the big magazines are either clearly scouted from blogs (including this one) or have already made the blog rounds before the ink on the pages is dry.

I think blogs have also democratized design to a certain extent. These days, I'm far less interested in how Manhattan millionaires with top interior designers on speed dial live than I am in seeing the homes that cash-strapped artists, designers, and creative civilians from Seattle to Stockholm have made for themselves. And that kind of aspirational (but still attainable) inspiration is where design blogs excel.

That said, I do think we're losing something major with each home magazine that closes its doors. Consistently good writing for one, and original content for another. (And for me personally, work. I wouldn't trade writing this blog for the world, but it's not exactly paying the bills the way magazine editing and freelance writing used to.) So many bloggers simply paste up pages from the current issue of their favorite magazine, with little comment or insight that adds anything new. I'm not pointing fingers; I've done it myself.

What will we all blog about when there's nothing left to crib? Maybe, with fewer magazines as source material, we'll be more motivated to go out and create original content of our own, offering readers a more authentic reflection of our own lives and those of the artists, designers, shopowners, and creative nesters in our own communities.

That's pretty exciting. But still, I'll miss Cottage Living, just like I mourn O at Home, Home, Blueprint, and House & Garden. Curling up on a rainy day with a cup of coffee and the laptop just isn't the same.

What do you think? What's behind the recent rash of magazine closings? Are blogs a factor? What do blogs do better than printed publications, and what will you miss most about these departed shelter titles? Post a comment and let me know.

Cool Stuff: New Trays from iBride

Sorry I was MIA yesterday -- I've had looming work deadlines coupled with looming application deadlines and endless school tours, since we have to find new schools for both kids next year. (Kill me.) Things may continue to be a little spotty here over the next few days ... thanks in advance for your patience!

Anyway, I wanted to share these hilarious but beautiful new trays from France's iBride. I'm totally into anthropomorphism right now -- I mean, there's nothing better than animals in clothes, right?

Top: Bernice; above: Conelius, $120 each from Design My World.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cool Stuff: "We Not Me" Poster

I know this poster from Change the Thought has been making the blog rounds, but the aesthetic and the sentiment are just really speaking to me right now.

It's $18 right here.

More eBay Finds

RSS users, click here to see my latest eBay picks.

(P.S. Is this new eBay widget working for you all? Please let me know.)

eBay Find of the Day: Vintage Scissor Lamp

I've been kind of obsessing about vintage scissor lamps lately -- they're utilitarian but chic, and masculine enough to add a note of tension to an otherwise elegant room. This model in black lacquered steel was designed in the 1930s by Christian Dell, "master of the metal workshop at the Bauhaus," and has been completely restored.

Current bid: $1, plus $45 shipping from Germany. (The auction ends Sunday, November 23.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Over and Out

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Mark Your Calendar: Collapsitalism: The Holiday Recession Sale at Johansson Projects

Tomorrow, November 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. Oakland art gallery Johannson Projects hosts an opening reception for Collapsitalism: The Holiday Recession Sale.

The exhibition "is an attempt to [visually] connect art prices to stock-market fluctuations beyond ... charts and indexes" -- not to mention giving strapped art collectors a break and helping to support working artists who are feeling the economic pinch. Nearly a dozen emerging and established Northern California artists, including Zach Houston, Marci Erspamer, Nathan Cordero, Hunter Longe, Eric Larson, Susie Grant, Carson Murdach, Joan Moment, Andrew Benson, and Alex Case will have new, original pieces available for less than $500 each.

Collapsitalism will be up in the Johannson Projects Project Space through January 2.


©Copyright 2007-2014 More Ways To Waste Time and Leah Hennen. All Rights Reserved.