Friday, February 27, 2009

Over and Out

Spring is almost here ... I can feel it.

Have a lovely weekend!

Cool Stuff: ISAK Leaf Cups

Be still my heart.

These ISAK Leaf Cups from Swedish graphic designer and illustrator Sandra Isaksson have oak lids to keep your drinks warm, or so they can be used as petite storage jars. And when they're not covering your tea or coffee, the lids become handy coasters.

They're £9.90 (about $14) each from UK retailer Cloudberry Living.

The coordinating Bread Board (which I also have to have) is £24 ($34).

(Via Design is Mine.)

More eBay Finds

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cool Stuff: Photo Frame Clock

The Passe Partout Photo Frame Clock includes 12 small frames that you can fill with photos, tiny objects, pressed leaves or flowers, diminutive art, or interesting papers to create an intriguing assemblage

It's $65 from Dutch by Design.

Mark Your Calendar: Southern Exposure's 9th Annual Monster Drawing Rally

Friday night, February 27: More than 130 of the Bay Area's rising artists making art on the spot. Original pieces for $60 a pop. Music from Bo Derelict, tacos from El Tonayense, and beer from Trumer Brauerei, Bridgeport, and Nectar Ales. What more could you ask for?

Southern Exposure's 9th Annual Monster Drawing Rally is a can't-miss event for local art lovers looking to build a collection on a budget, and those who want an up-close look at the creative process. All proceeds benefit the San Francisco nonprofit arts organization's Exhibitions and Artists in Education Programs.

The participant list is a veritable Who's Who of the Bay Area art scene: Brett Amory, Lauren Anderson, Kathy Aoki, Chris Applegren, Seth Armstrong, Johnna Arnold, Mara Baldwin, David Becker, Pete Belkin, Bert Bergen, Elisheva Biernoff, Evan Bissel, Michelle Blade, Val Britton, Charlie Callahan, Michele Carlson, Deric Carner, John Casey, Constance Castillo, Alexander Cheves, Youmna Chlala, Serena Cole, Randy Colosky, Lisa Congdon, Jaime Cortez, Lauren Davies, Christian Davies, Veronica De Jesus, Tina Dillman, Nina Elder, Marcela Florez, Amy Franceschini, Adam Friedman, Matt Furie, Narangkar Glover, Pete Glover, Ariel Goldberg, Michael Hall, Liz Harvey, Chelsea Heikes, Eric Heiman, Queena Hernandez, Terry Hoff, Misa Inaoka, Ian Johnson, Kelly Lynn Jones, Kara Joslyn, Josh Keyes, David King, Tashana Kjelland, Sarah Klein, Mary Anne Kluth, Chris Leib, Justin Limoges, Kenneth Lo, Ivan Lopez, Marina Luz, Nathan Lynch, Paul Madonna, Minette Mangahas, Michelle Mansour, Kari Marboe, Vanessa Marsh, Corinne Matesich, Christina Mazza, Mike McConnell, Gaelan McKeown, Jeff Meadows, Jody Medich, David Muller, Carson Murdach, Claire Nereim, Jessica Niello, Andy Nizinskyj, Sandra Ono, Jennie Ottinger, Matthew Palladino, Lana Parcello, Erik Parra, Kamau Patton, Hilary Pecis, Stephanie Peek, Chris Pew, George Pfau, Ferris Plock, Mel Prest, Kyle Ranson, Lisa Ricci, Ricardo Richie, Favianna Rodriguez, Lordy Rodriguez, John Rogers, Veronica Rojas, Thorina Rose, Nat Russell, Zachary Rossman, Sham Saenz, Colleen Sanders, Zachary Royer Scholz, Andrew Schoultz, Emily Sevier, Ryan Shaffer, Jennie Smith, Deth P. Sun, Jiharri Terry, Tracy Timmins, Trevor Tubelle, Jessica Tully, Kelly Tunstall, Gina Tuzzi, Aiyana Udesen, Paul Urich, Adrian Van Allen, Jamie Vasta, Ben Venom, Marci Washington, Virginia White, Amanda Williams, Jenifer Wofford, and Michael Louis Young.

The Monster Drawing Rally runs from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday at San Francisco's Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St. at Potrero. A $5 (or more) donation at the door is suggested. More info here.

Etsy Find of the Day: Mr.PS Tea Screenprints

Why, yes. That sounds lovely.

Two, thank you.

The 17.5-by-25-inch, recycled-paper screenprints are $34 each from Etsy seller Mr.PS (aka Norfolk, England designer Megan Price).

See all of Mr.PS's Etsy offerings right here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More eBay Finds

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cool Stuff: Monaluna Fabrics for Robert Kaufman

Score one for the home team! A big congrats to Oakland designer Jennifer Moore, who recently come out with a fun new line of cotton fabrics called Monaluna for textile company Robert Kaufman.

These pretty, colorful patterns are making me itch to get going on some simple spring sewing projects: Whipping up a few cheerful cushion covers and stitching fabric cosies to hide the sewing machine and the TV when they're not in use. I might even attempt to add some contrasting bands of fabric to the bottom of a plain set of curtains.

One thing that's especially nice about the new Monaluna site is that Moore has put together trios of fabrics that work well together, so mixing and matching isn't such a guessing game. She's also provided step-by-step instructions for a few of the sewing projects pictured on the site, such as the quilted pillow above.

Some of my favorite combos:


Metro Market

About Town

Check out the entire Monaluna collection right here -- and see a list of online merchants who stock the fabrics here.

InLeaf ad

Mark Your Calendar: Sights of Sounds at Park Life

Opening at San Francisco's Park Life this Wednesday, February 25, as part of the citywide Noise Pop Festival: The third annual Sights of Sounds, a group show featuring original work from musicians who also make art.

The double-threats exhibiting their fine art at the store/gallery include Bomb Squad and Public Enemy's Hank Shocklee, as well as:

The Mission's own low-fi icon John Vanderslice

Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh

Operation Ivy's Jesse Michaels

Alissa Anderson

Joseph Arthur

CocoRosie's Bianca Casady

Les Savy Fav's Harrison Haynes

Murder City Devils' Nate Manny

The New Trust's Sara Sanger

Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky)

The opening reception for Sights of Sounds runs from 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, and the show will be up through March 9. Park Life is located at 220 Clement St. at Third. Click here for more info.

Etsy Find of the Day: Junquegrrl Abandoned Houses

I can't stop thinking about these wee, dilapidated houses from Etsy seller junquegrrl (aka Providence, Rhode Island "maker of stuff" Mandy Jordan). Each 3-inch miniature -- eerily beautiful in its ruin -- is crafted from cardboard, paper, paint, and mica with obsessive detail to evoke the forgotten domiciles that Jordan says she's captivated by.

"Have you ever found a forgotten house in the woods, leaning on its foundations, being practically swallowed up by the overgrowth?" she asks. "Underneath the spreading boughs of oak and maple, the house is in shadow. Ivy curls along the façade and moss grows in spreading carpets across the crumbling shingles, lichen and peeling paint combine to create new textures on the walls. With each layer of color and texture I lovingly apply, these little houses remind me more and more of those places: sad, sometimes spooky, always beguiling."

Seaweed and Celadon Abandoned House, $15

Abandoned House G, $15

Overgrown Abandoned House, $15

Ruined Abandoned House, $15

See all of junquegrrl's Etsy offerings right here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mark Your Calendar: Sketch Tuesday at 111 Minna

Photo from Flavorpill

Inspired by Southern Exposure's annual Monster Drawing Rally, San Francisco's 111 Minna Gallery began hosting monthly Sketch Tuesdays, during which a bevvy of hand-selected local artists gather for an evening of impromptu art-making and then sell the resulting work for a mere $5 to $30. What a great way for us cash-strapped art lovers to start building a collection!

Painting by Laura Ball

Papercut mural by Stephanie Leung

This month's event takes place on Tuesday, February 24, from 6 to 10 p.m. Guest artists include Laura Ball (whose recent Swarm Gallery show I blogged here), Annie Galvin, Becca Vershbow, Stephanie Leung, Sam Flores, Seth Armstrong, and more than a dozen others.

Painting by Annie Galvin

Illustration by Becca Vershbow

The gallery is located at 111 Minna St. at Second. There will be a DJ spinning and a full bar, so the event is 21 and over only. Click here for more info.

Design Dilemma: What Should I Do With My Boring Powder Room?

More Ways to Waste Time reader Harriet writes, "I'm hoping you can help me with my boring powder room. I'm looking for ways to add spunk, character, and style without spending much money.

The room lacks architectural details: There is no window. It's a five-by-five-foot square. And it's painted a pale green. There is a nice new sink and toilet, but I'm not attached to anything else in the room.

I'd definitely like to paint. Two people recommended pumpkin or terracotta, which I like, but I'm wondering if they would clash with the orange-y wood of the bathroom door. I love deep peacock blue-green, but have been warned against a cold color in a windowless room. I'd also like to change the light fixture, hopefully without moving the light box. Finally, I'm on the lookout for a small table or cabinet with more character than the white cabinet that's in there now. To me, a table wants a plant on it, but with no natural light, I haven't figured out what to put there instead. Any ideas?"

Photo from Point Click Home

I have one word for you, Harriet: Wallpaper. It's a great way to add color, dimension, and interest to a lackluster space. And it doesn't have to be prohibitively expensive, especially when you're papering a small room. You could even paper just the sink wall, and paint the other three walls a complimentary hue. Cole & Son's Woods wallpaper, shown above and below, is one of my favorites.

Photo from House to Home

Photo from House to Home

If it's in your budget, installing a wood or tile wainscot will add instant architecture to a space with none. For the look of wainscoting without the expense, you could even install a simple chair rail, then wallpaper above it and paint below.

Photo from Walnut Wallpaper

If matching the wood of the door is a stumbling point, be sure to test paint or wallpaper swatches against it to make sure they don't clash. Or consider simply painting the door. I don't have a strong opinion about warm vs. cool colors for your space. I think that as long as the lighting isn't cold (i.e., glaring fluorescents), it doesn't really matter.

Besides, it's just a powder room -- a space to go to the bathroom and wash your hands. Nobody's going to be spending a ton of time in there or doing anything other than maybe reapplying lipstick, so I don't think it's a big deal if the color palette is on the cool side. (But readers, feel free to say so if you think I'm wrong on this.)

Photo from House to Home

Design by Benjamin Dhong, photo by moi

Now about your mirror. It's OK, but you could add a huge dose of style and drama by upgrading. Again, you don't have to spend a lot of money. Keep an eye out on craigslist, in thrift stores, and at flea markets for a vintage mirror with an interesting shape or intricate frame. If you don't like the frame's color or wood finish, you can simply spray paint it.

Photo from Domino

Photo from Walnut Wallpaper

Photo via Desire to Inspire

For lighting, you could go vintage (or vintage-inspired), classic, or modern, depending on your preferences and the other elements in the room. Circa Lighting and Rejuvenation are great places to find a vintage or reproduction over-mirror fixture that will add a lot a character to the room. For more budget finds, don't overlook eBay or your local architectural salvage yard. A great old piece can often be rewired for very little expense.

A vintage side table or cabinet topped with fresh flowers, a shade-tolerating plant like a peace lily, a collection of small treasures, a basket full of rolled hand towels, or an interesting objet will complete the look.

The most important thing, I think, is to have some fun. Because a powder room is a space that's only experienced for a few minutes at a time, there's no better excuse to just go for it.

Readers: Any other ideas for jazzing up Harriet's lackluster powder room? If so, please leave a comment and share them!


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