Archive for ‘Art + Design’

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

tossed and found

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

That’s a pretty good adage when it comes to making the most of our possessions.  But what about the re-make aspect?  To me, that’s where the real fun lies.  I think the Wary Meyers agree.

They found not only the use-ability but also the humor in their used up stuff.  Their new book, Wary Meyers’ Tossed and Found Book is definitely on my Wish List.  I especially love the how-to sketches and behind-the-scenes planning pages.

By scrounging through flea markets and trash bins the Meyers have found items that lived a great life and given them a whole new existence.  Basketball hoop turned side table anyone?  From garden to dining table – ceiling?

If you’re inspired, check out a great article about John and Linda Meyers on Design*Sponge.

via Make

Monday, October 26, 2009

hang in there

I know I went AWOL.  This past week has shown me the true challenges of having small children.  It’s them or this.  I’m sorry, I chose them.  I don’t get on the computer when Toddler L is at home unless he’s sleeping.  When he sleeps I need Baby S to be cooperative and either sleep or sit comfortably so I can work.  That didn’t happen this week. 

Someday I’ll figure out how to work in my sleep.

On a completely unrelated note, check out this idea…


I have always really liked the look of an eclectic grouping of pictures.  Now that grouping can be useful as well as beautiful.

Grab some thrift-store frames, fiberboard and lovely paper.

Cabinet knobs and pushpins hold necklaces and bracelets. Earrings dangle from lengths of ribbon hung horizontally across a frame.  Brooches and pins slide easily into a corkboard backed frame.

I’m thinking yes. 

Now if only I could get my hands on that gorgeous bag too.

via DIYIdeas

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

industrial renovation: a new life for old things


Sometimes a story just works.  This is one of those times.  (No, not this story.  This story.)

The text is rather limited and bland but finding out that these old Viennese gasometers had been reborn as live-work-shop spaces made me nod my head in approval.



What else would you do with four 113 year old red-brick cylinders standing 230 feet tall and 197 feet in diameter?


– Over 70 shops, restaurants, bars and cafes
– A multiplex cinema with 12 screens
– An events hall with room for 4,200 people
– A daycare center
– The Vienna National Archive
– 11,000 square meters (118,403 sq ft) of office space.
– 615 apartments
– A 230-bed student dormitory

Works for me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

fashion weak

Angela, over at My Year Without Spending, wrote a post about The Skirt.  The skirt that tempted her to break her Compact resolution.  She didn’t do it.  But she did pose the question about how to avoid the temptation (and high price) of fashion.  Her closing comments included the statement:

“there’s no reason you can’t be stylish without spending tons of money. You can buy less trendy clothes and wear them longer. You can shop secondhand. Or you can eschew fashion altogether. That’s probably the most effective way to break the addiction.”

This made my head rear back in affront.  (Not really, but doesn’t that sound like a great effect?)  It did make me think though.  I am certainly not addicted to shopping.  Even when I could shop in any store I wanted I never really liked the act of it.  And I’m not sure I’ve ever really been in fashion.  But I do like to appear fashionable.  So the idea of eschewing fashion to save money just made me shake my head.  Nope can’t do it.

Lucky for me, the next blog post I read was over at say YES! to hoboken where Liz modeled this gorgeous tee.


Best of all, she made it.  I love the look and it affirmed my belief that fashion doesn’t have to have a price tag.  Although I won’t be making one for myself as I look ridiculous in ruffles.

If Angela is staying out of the fashion houses to ease her addiction I guess I’ll have to put away the computer because seeing pictures like this one


just make me crave a new camera lens like nobody’s business.

*no animals were harmed in the making of this post but I did take a portion of Angela’s post out of context.  That’s the way my head works.  And if it weren’t for secondhand I’d have no cashmere.

Monday, September 14, 2009

taking a stand

tv easel

We don’t have a TV.  That’s why we’re forced to eat at a favorite pizza place when the husband’s favorite football team is playing.  It’s a hardship all around.  But if we ever do decide we need a TV I’m definitely going to remember this idea.  I bet I could even find an old easel on Craigslist.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

concrete tumblers

concrete tumbler

These truly have my design wheels spinning.  Thick glass with a concrete base.  If any of you get creative and try this at home I’d love to hear about it.

via Charles&Marie

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

tin can alley

A soup can is good for so many things.


A necklace.


A telephone.

can soap

A soap dispenser?

Artist Jack Bresnahan created these useful lids for the everyday soup can.  Granted a can can (I love that dance) be a flower vase or a toothbrush holder without any help but sometimes a little design creativity makes it just that much more appealing.  And a little less Compact.  But at least they’re green.  Bresnahan designed his toppers out of biodegradeable plastic, giving the recycled tin can yet another life.  Or nine lives – as a vase, a soap dispenser, a sugar pourer, a toothbrush holder, a bank, a desk caddy or tea and coffee canisters.

The designer was quoted as saying ‘anything that ends up in landfill is simply poor design’.  I couldn’t agree more.

What else can a can do?  How about two cans?  (sorry, couldn’t resist)

can tea

can flower

can money

can pens

can sugar

can toothpaste

can plain

via Dezeen

Monday, August 17, 2009

vintage color & design

Until a couple of years ago I was using the stereo my mother owned since I was a child.  There is such an elegance about vintage goods.  It’s what keeps the flea markets hopping week after week.

Retro ribbon tins are a perfect example of that.  I think they are so beautiful, I wish more products were made today in such stylish packaging.

These babies are definitely worth re-purposing and keeping around.



via Make

And this image was just the “ahh, life can be simple, stylish and sweet” that I needed after dealing with some less than simple and sweet stuff.

via Make
Friday, August 14, 2009

friday forum

First up…


Food Waste

Thankfully that is not a photo of my waste.  Being out of town did limit how much food was thrown away in the kitchen.  I won’t dwell on how much food gets thrown away while staying in hotels and eating a wedding reception buffet.

Unfortunately though, I am not completely without guilt.  Before we left I did toss a quarter of an apple that had been in the fridge for about a week waiting for Toddler L to find it.  He chose that week to stay out of the fridge.  I guess he does listen to me sometimes.  I did also toss about a quarter of a loaf of bread.  I had sliced it after making it, which I normally don’t do.  Seems that wasn’t a good idea as it was showing mold within days.  That was a bummer.  But my new philosophy is that each week starts anew.  I have a clean slate come Saturday and I will do with it the best I can.


Now for something truly inspirational.  Amy Butler is an amazing designer and her newest venture is a beautiful line of rugs for Chandra.

How is this Compact?  It’s not.  Except that I’m not going to buy one, I don’t need a rug.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate their beauty.

Are they at least green?  Yes, and blue and red and brown.  Okay, okay, they are green by comparison.  Her rugs are 100% made from New Zealand wool and are semi-sustainable using no harsh chemical washes, the industry’s safest chrome dyes and natural latex adhesive.  The rugs are completely hand made, from the tufting to the sculpting.

So if they’re not used and not made from recycled materials why am I showing you?

Because they are beautiful.  And looking at them just makes my day brighter.  See for yourself.









Wednesday, July 15, 2009

refuse re-use

A little must share.  Okay, not so little but a definite must share.  ReadyMade Magazine (a great mag and site for all you DIYers) has a a great article about how to beat the summer heat.

dumpster pool

Pool Party!

If you have access to an industrial dumpster (or 3) and a really big trash bag this could be a fun weekend project.  Personally, I have nowhere to keep my dumpster so I’m keeping my eyes out for any installations by Macro-Sea that pop up in my neighborhood.  If you’re in Brooklyn be sure to check out the test site and grab your towel.