Tuesday, April 29, 2008

That's Random: More Music

Because I'm desperately trying to avoid finishing up my travel article on Portland's Hollywood District that's due tomorrow ...

Someone just asked me how the Swell Season show that Nick and I went to on Saturday night was. It was great -- despite the pampered yuppies I overheard complaining about having to come all the way over to deepest, darkest Oakland for the concert.

Here's the Paramount Theatre, the broken-down dive that these folks had to take their very lives into their hands to venture to. (Photo by halberst.)

Seriously, I weep for them. (Photo by lisa-k.)

Anyway, rather than trying to describe how wonderful those cute Once kids were live, I sent her a link to the video above, in which they cover Michelle Shocked's Fogtown. The way their voices mingle on the harmonies just kills me. (Sadly, I haven't been able to turn up a clip from the Paramount show itself, so this was taped elsewhere several months ago.) Then I figured I'd just go ahead and post it here -- in case any of you, too, have work you're trying to avoid.


(P.S. The Swell Season is touring the U.S. for the next couple of months, so if you have a chance, check 'em out.)

The Artful Home: Chris Crites' Paper Bag Mugshots

I just spotted these via the lovely Mary T. on Shelterrific, and couldn't resist sharing them here.

Years ago, Seattle artist Chris Crites found an old book of black-and-white crime scene photographs, and became fascinated with the mugshots the book contained. In an effort to understand and preserve the discarded images of criminals whose misdeeds had long since been lost to the winds of time, Crites began painting on brown paper bags the faces -- so full of anger, defiance, pain, and even a sort of weary pride -- captured on these vintage 1890s-1950s mugshots.

As Crites writes, "The images are haunting and evocative, each face unknown -- their story unknowable, yet begging to be told. The bright, saturated colors convey a sense of the ironic, with what must have been a very drab future ... "

Each 8-by-10-inch giclee print is part of a limited edition of 10 being offered on Petaline, a great new e-shop focusing on affordable work from emerging artists and designers in the Pacific Northwest. Check out Crites' rogues gallery on Petaline right here -- and browse the site's other offerings here.

Click here to see more of Crites' work (such as Breaking and Entering, above, and Stole Shoes and Polygamy, below).

Cool Stuff: THOUT HoleySTUMP

I've coveted one of these HoleySTUMPs from Toronto design firm THOUT for awhile now, but could never find them for sale anywhere. Happily, Design Public has just stocked them.

The 18-inch stumps are made from white cedar (a weed tree in northern Canada, where they're harvested) and finished with glossy, outdoor-safe paint. They'd make great little side tables (stash your magazines, remotes, or reading glasses in the bored hollows); provide novel seating when grouped around a dining table; or simply be interesting, organic-meets-pop plant or display stands.

HoleySTUMPs are available in white, black, aqua, and lime-green for $140 apiece right here.

Etsy Find of the Day: Art Rogue Prints

Gorgeous photo illustrations and photo montages from Etsy seller Art Rogue (aka Nashville, Tennessee fine art photographer Matt Mikulla). Above: Life, $35

River, $35

Woodnote, $30

Midnight Leaves, $60

See all of Art Rogue's Etsy offerings right here -- and check out more of Mikulla's work here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

More eBay Finds

eBay Find of the Day: Teak Salad Set

What could be more perfect for serving all those fresh salads you'll be tucking into this summer? (Though it's not like you actually need such a good-looking incentive to eat healthy. Right?)

This teak salad set was manufactured by Dansk and comes with a large serving bowl plus four individual bowls and two salad servers. Trust me, it'll look smashing on your patio table on a balmy summer evening.

Current bid: $15

Sunday, April 27, 2008

That's Random: My Favourite Dress

I'm totally dating myself here, but oh well ... This just makes me happy.

The Wedding Present: Yay!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Over and Out (and Happy Blog Birthday to Me)

It's my "blogiversary" today. More Ways to Waste Time is 1 year and 773 posts old.

So, um, yeah.

Anyway, have a lovely weekend -- hopefully one that includes cake!

The Artful Home: Hammerpress Gigposters

Band posters have come such a long way since I plastered every inch of my teenage bedroom with glossy images of sweaty, shirtless rockers (sorry, Mom).

These gigposters from Hammerpress, the Kansas City, Missouri letterpress studio run by Brady Vest and Lindsay Laricks, are a prime example. Subtle and beautifully rendered, they're truly frame-worthy -- and you still get to show off your favorite acts, like Elvis Costello, above, $50.

Neko Case (love her!), $25

Decemberists, $25

Yo La Tengo, $25

Camera Obscura, $25

The New Pornographers, $25

Blonde Redhead, $25

Low, $25

Funnyman David Sedaris, $50

Though gigposters are Hammerpress's stock in trade, their non-performance images are definitely worth a look as well. Above: Man Silhouette, $12

Merde mini print, $10 (I'm having one of those days, and may just have to snap up this one)

Hammerpress has several more signed and numbered limited-edition prints available from Portland's Office PDX, including 013 and 975, above, $100 each.

See more letterpress goodness from Hammerpress right here.

(Pssst -- if you're in the Portland area, Office is hosting a Hammerpress print show that will be up through May 24. Show details are here, and prints are for sale here.)

Mark Your Calendar: Mammalia at Relish at Home

Opening tomorrow at Berkeley's Relish at Home: Mammalia, a new solo exhibit from Brooklyn's Jane Buck (of Foxy & Winston), whose handmade silkscreened prints feature "woodland creatures great and small, abundant flora, and whimsical pastoral scenes."

The artist reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, April 26; get there early to receive a special limited-edition gift with any purchase. The show will be up through June 28 at Relish at Home, #112, 2703 Seventh St. at Pardee in Berkeley.

(Not in the area? Check out the Foxy & Winston Etsy shop.)

Etsy Finds of the Day: Modern Rugs

I'm continually amazed by the sheer breadth of handmade goods available on Etsy -- not just art and pottery and the like but, increasingly, major household items such as handcrafted furniture and even area rugs.

Let's take a look at some of the unique (and often eco-friendly) floor coverings currently on offer: At top is a 5-by-7-foot Grey Astrakhan Rug, made from six vintage sheepskin coats $2,500 from Ouno.

8-by-13-foot Felt Block Rug, available in a variety of custom-dyed colors, $1,875 from feeldesign.

4-by-5-foot Ramona Rug, made from hand-pieced New Zealand Merino sheepskin, $686 from Glacier Trading Co.

4-by-6-foot RAW Recycled Rug, made from carpet scraps discarded during the manufacturing process, $480 Union Eighteen.

5-by-7.5-foot Modern Pile Rug, made from hand-tufted 100-percent New Zealand wool, $449 from modernrugs.

5-by-8-foot Cafe Au Lait Recycled Rug, hand-sewn from strips cut from over 70 discarded t-shirts, $365 from TalkingSquid.

58-by-26-inch Green and Orange/Fuchsia Rug, hand-knit and hand-felted, $250 from Fafnir.

P.S. Speaking of Etsy Finds, I just wanted to point out the Etsy widget on the left-hand side of this page, which I update daily with five fresh Etsy finds. (If you use an RSS reader to stay up-to-date on your surfing, you'll have to click through to the blog to see it.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shameless Plug: My eBay Article for HGTV

If you visit this blog with any regularly, you'll undoubtedly notice that I'm a bit of an eBay addict.

A few of you newbie eBayers have asked for tips on shopping the auction giant, and I have just the thing: Click on over to the Home and Garden Television website to read my feature on surfing eBay like a pro. If I do say so myself, it's packed with great advice on hunting down the coolest stuff on the site as well as fresh ideas for decorating with your eBay booty.

You can find the article here.

Mark Your Calendar: San Francisco Decorator Showcase

So I finagled an invite to yesterday's press preview for the 2008 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. The annual event is a fundraiser for the financial-aid program at San Francisco University High School.

The four-story, 16,000-square-foot Italianate house, built in 1905 and later customized for the anticipated arrival of the Queen of Romania during the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expo, is breathtakingly grand. And the decor, for the most part, is sort of old-money fabulous (or high-end gaudy, depending on your tolerance for these things). Truth be told, it's not even close to my style -- nor, I would imagine, to many of yours. But it is a fantastic spectacle. The tilting parterre landscape, above, is by Surfacedesign. (As always, click any of the images for a larger view.)

It's easy to get discouraged about your own, much more humble abode after visiting a place like this -- after all, the Ann Getty-designed foyer alone is bigger than many homes inhabited by us mere mortals.

Very few of us will ever own an architecturally significant, multi-million-dollar mansion on San Francisco's Gold Coast. Nor do most of us have an unlimited budget, a small army of the city's top designers at our beck and call, or access to such exquisite art, furnishings, and finishes. The fountain above, for instance, was crafted from Tiffany glass tiles.

But inspiration and ideas abound here, in ways that even the most budget-conscious among us can emulate. You don't need a bottomless checking account to notice how a group of disparate objects can be arranged into a striking vignette, or the way a surprising paint hue or unexpected color combination brings a space to life, or how these designers play with scale, texture, and furniture placement to create something incredible -- perhaps even something we can try our own hand at, albeit on a much smaller scale. Design by MacCaul Turner and M. Von Hoppenyan, top, and Ann Getty, Thomas Bartlett, De Sousa Hughes, and Cecilie Starin, bottom.

As refined as the home is, there are dashes of humor throughout -- such as the trompe l'oeil rug in the Shirley Robinson-designed cloak room. Visitor after visitor tried to fix its upturned corner before realizing that the whole thing was painted onto the floor.

The lush stair loggia, with Asian, African, and Middle Eastern furnishings and textiles, was designed by Cecilie Starin.

This proves my theory that you can't go wrong with a fresh spring green-and-creamy white palette, subway tile, and carrera marble in a kitchen. The cake molds over the range lend a homely touch to the stately space, designed by Shelley Gordon.

Terrace design by Megan Van Linda.

The Elsie de Wolfe-inspired stairway landing -- capped by an enormous Tiffany skylight -- was designed by Ann Getty.

I think this was my favorite room in the entire house. In many ways, it's a traditional gentleman's library. But it's also full of unexpected elements -- including the almost-black of the walls, the rustic texture of the stacked firewood, the vintage Belgian hat forms on the shelves, and the industrial-chic light fixtures. The antique brass searchlight is from a ship's prow; room designer Will Wick sells similar, smaller-scale French maritime fixtures through his 1stdibs storefront.

My pictures don't do justice to the living room, designed by De Sousa Hughes. In person, the pumpkin-and-charcoal color combination is positively edible. The amazing chandeliers are from Jean De Merry.

Gorgeous silver-leafing is playfully accented with silk butterflies in the Marie Antoinette-inspired, Candace Barnes-designed salon.

The second-floor guest room, designed by Hepworth + Howard. The art over the desk is by Michael Rich, and the awesome man-lamp is from X21/Sultana SF.

Elegant understatement in the master sitting room, designed by Melanie Coddington.

Girlie-glam lighting in the master bathroom (left) and closet (right), also by Coddington.

The luxurious, traditional guest suite by Owen Design. The portrait over the fireplace is by the late California painter Otis Oldfield.

A feminine, preppy-chic bedroom by Massucco Warner Miller.

A classic bathroom gets the faux-bois treatment from designer Benjamin Dhong.

The view from the rooftop deck is gasp-inducing.

Modern-art statues take it all in.

I love the bright shock of magenta that designer Sean Weatherill used on the rooftop terrace.

Matthew Leverone took a spare and sophisticated approach to the home office and adjoining bath, clad in Cole & Sons' Woods wallpaper. I would kill for that custom-made mirror.

The family/media/party room, by Applegate Tran Interiors.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of other spaces I didn't include here -- so if you're in the area, don't miss a chance to see the house in person. The Showcase is open Tuesdays through Sundays from April 26 through Memorial Day. Tickets are $30 at the door. Click here for more info.


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