Archives For August 2009

I can not describe how things have been lately… formulating a cogent description eludes me. So I’ll summarize:
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I feel like I’ve been kicked in the teeth… And it’s my own doing…

Images: Me

Sight

21/08/2009 — Leave a comment

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Some times, it’s hard to focus on what’s right in front of you….

Image: Me

Just wondering…

21/08/2009 — 1 Comment

So, can I just pop over to Edinburgh today? Y’know take the afternoon off, go to a museum, stroll along and take some snapshots while window-shopping… and then meet my loved ones for coffee… more strolling and then a late dinner with a view?

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Internet, does that work for you? Can I? Can I, huh, can I?? Yes, I’m 12 today… it IS Friday, afterall…

Images: Me

For whatever reason, I’ve been looking at a lot of letterpessed work lately. I’d like to share the work of an Austin-based couple, Heather & Thomas hollifield, also known as Letterpress Delicacies. The precision and clean lines of their design style is exciting.

Taking a peek at their charming work available for purchase online via Etsy.

Images: Letterpress Delicacies

Building on an earlier theme of friends and former classmates, today I thought I’d share the fabulous work of another buddy from my college days at Carnegie Mellon. When I think about it, the CMU connection theme could easily become a feature unto itself on AmandaMuses, but we’ll just see, I guess…

Anyway, Josh Urso, another product of the Carnegie Mellon Design program, produces stunning furniture in his New Jersey studio. Since the opening of his design studio in 2002, Josh continues to produce items that explore the limitations of material and structure. His work, inspired by mechanical processes and new materials, inspires curiosity and a playful enjoyment of daily life.

I love his Ant Farm lights and Knoop tables, and of course the incredible Specter chair– I remember Josh’s prototype senior year in college watching the evolution of this amazing object come to life. He took limp cloth and made it live with resin and sheer inventive brilliance.

It has been many years since I have been in touch with Josh, but from the look of his Web site, he is doing splendidly.

Images: Josh Urso Design

Poppytalk Handmade has just launched their latest monthly online “street market.” Beginning today and running through Friday, September 18, this month’s theme is “School Days: A back to school market.”

If you haven’t already taken a look this month’s goodies, here is a peek at some of the things that caught my eye:

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Uncle Rutherford by Matte Stephens

Labokoff

eblouie 2 by Labokoff

Yardia

Leap by Yardia

Bueller

Number 16 by Bueller

Modernpop

Alphabet Soup by Modernpop

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Set of 12 postcards by Tricia McKellar

Tuttistudio

My Friend print by Tutti studio

Floridity

Branch necklace by Floridity

If you haven’t checked them out before, Poppytalk curates a monthly online showcase of international design talent; beautiful handmade items are available in this fun and diverse marketplace. Go check it out!

Images: Poppytalk Handmade

Lately, I’ve been on a French film kick. Ever the Francophile, it has been a nice change of pace to come home and listen to the soothing sounds of a language I know and love, acted beautifully as is so rarely seen these days. Recent favorites have been Port of Shadows (Le Quai des Brumes) and La Grande Illusion, both starring Jean Gabin and both made within a few years of one another (~1936-38, give or take).

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Whenever I bump into friends and neighbors these days, conversation inevitably turns to what one another has been up to lately. And for me, it is generally what work I have on my desk at home and what movies I have watched recently. Often times, my most recent movie viewings comprise of an odd assortment of detective stories and oldies but goodies from a bygone era. And very often the lion’s share of the movies I mention are a complete MYSTERY to my friends and neighbors. As such, perhaps it is time that I start sharing the movies I come across with you, dear readers, so that you may enjoy the benefit of a richer movie night.

And so tonight, I recommend you consider adding Port of Shadows and Grand Illusion to your list of must-see movies. Both are available on Netflix, so there’s no excuse. Not a Netflix subscriber? I could write a whole blog post on the merits of Netflix, but I’ll spare you– their service is fast, convenient and economical and they even have free trials, so give it a whirl.

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What’s so great about old, obscure, black and white French movies from the 1930s, you ask? They tell simple, beautiful stories which are acted by people who capture the tender humanity that is so often MISSING from contemporary cinema. This is not to say that there are not good movies coming out today, but the stories directors and actors told in decades past, like the 1930s, were different for myriad reasons than the ones we tell today.

Still need a reason to check out these films? Grand Illusion is one of the first prison-break movies and considered a genre classic, if you were moved at the end of The Great Escape, you should see this movie. Port of Shadows, like Grand Illusion is an excellent example of poetic realism and follows a single man’s journey through the lonely fog of destiny; rent it!

Images: The Criterion Collection

Charm City

16/08/2009 — Leave a comment

Today I miss Baltimore. There’s just something about that funny little town on the Chesapeake that cannot be found anywhere else in the world… Something about the people and the City’s strange little quirks that I will always love.

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Images: Me

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Flipping through old photos from my travels, this shot of the ruins at St. Karin’s in Visby struck me. And seemed like a good basis for a quick exploration… Makes me want to take a long weekend on the island…
Images: me

For the 34th year in a row, the American Craft Council (ACC) will hold its annual San Francisco show this weekend at the Fort Mason Center!

If you have never been to an ACC show, boy have you been missing out! This year’s San Francisco show will feature 250 national artists who have traveled to the Bay area to show and sell their latest and greatest– furniture, clothing, jewelry, decor (a list of exhibitors is available on the show page organized by medium).

Over the years, I have been to many of the ACC shows in Baltimore and seen an AMAZING range of work and art. By attending these shows, I have met artists whose work has enriched my life, enlivened my home and even inspired my own work.

    Details:

  • The American Craft Council Show in San Francisco
  • at the Fort Mason Center (vague directions available here— but if you’ve never been there, it’s a pretty walk along the water past Fisherman’s Wharf– the view from the hill above is gorgeous!)
  • Friday, August 14; 10am – 8pm
    Saturday, August 15; 10am – 6 pm
    Sunday, August 16; 10 am – 5 pm
  • Tickets are $12/person or $18 for a two-day pass. And since they’ve extended the Friday evening hours to 8pm, tickets for Friday night only are $5 after 5pm; a SCREAMING deal, if you ask me. OR if you know you’re going and want to save a few bucks, why not buy your tickets ahead of time at a slight discount here.

Not a Bay area resident? Fear not, faithful reader. There are other ACC shows around the nation throughout the year.

For the rest of the 2009 year the ACC shows are as follows:
San Francisco, CA Aug. 14-16, 2009
Charlotte, NC Nov. 6-8, 2009
Sarasota, FL Dec. 4-6, 2009

For 2010, the ACC shows are as follows:
Baltimore, MD Feb. 25-28, 2010
Atlanta, GA Mar. 12-14, 2010
St. Paul, MN Apr. 16-18 , 2010
San Francisco, CA Aug. 6-8, 2010

Hopefully, you can check at least one of the ACC shows in the next year!

Protected: Remember

11/08/2009 — Enter your password to view comments.

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As if the products of Papaya’s own designs weren’t fun enough, they’ve teamed up with artist Sabrina Ward Harrison whose work I’ve been a fan of for the last decade.

When her first book, Spilling Open; The Art of Becoming Yourself came out in 1999, it quickly joined the ranks of my favorite books and often travels with me, offering inspiration and encouragement. I have enjoyed that first book so much in fact, that over the years I have given it to numerous friends as a gift.

Papaya’s new collection featuring Sabrina’s work includes a fun range of note and post cards, sketchbooks and beautiful prints of her original works.

I love the sentiment of the Make a Job print; I might just have to treat myself…

Images: PaPaYa!

Papaya

11/08/2009 — Leave a comment

This morning I was thrilled to stumble across the new blog of card and gift design company, PaPaYa! For years I have been a fan of Papaya’s lovely products– ornate goodies dripping in texture and delicate color palettes.

And if all of the goodies available for purchase from Papaya’s Web site aren’t enough to delight your eyes, there is a photo tour of Papaya’s workspace featured today on Decor8. Go check it out!

Images: PaPaYa!

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This is a montage of snaps from my travels over the last few years… I’ve got workshops on the brain this afternoon… so it’s no wonder my mind is drifting somewhere industrial and scuffed up…

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! And don’t do too much heavy lifting 😉

Despite three 1000 mile plus moves in the last four years, I STILL have a stack of these that I really should get around to selling:

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Designed and produced in 2004, A wolf in sheep’s clothing was a winner of the annual Swedish National Paper Screen Printing Competition that year. It has been exhibited at Kultur Huset in Stockholm during the spring of 2004 and at the 100% Centennial Exhibition at the Miller Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA in 2006. It is a 2-color, limited edition A1-sized screenprint on clear plexiglass that was hand printed in Sweden while I was still living there.

Want one? I’ll be posting them on Etsy soon, I hope. But in the meantime, PLEASE feel welcome to comment or e-mail and I’ll be happy to make arrangements with you personally.

Ever the window shopper, I could not resist sharing with you this afternoon the jewelry of Sarah Hood. Based in Seattle, Sarah’s work is a soulful exploration of the natural world.

Sarah’s work is available for purchase online at her Etsy boutique.

Images: Sarah Hood

Today I would like share the work of Portland based, Mexican illustrator/designer, Alberto Cerriteño. Inspired by the pop surrealism movement, his work is densely packed with dreamlike whimsy.

Prints of Alberto’s beautiful illustrations are available for purchase online at his Etsy boutique. And for those as enamored of his work as I am, he has a blog here.

Images: Alberto Cerriteño

Believe…

06/08/2009 — 1 Comment

in an ocean of possibilities…

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Images: me