June 29, 2009

Funflicks : Everything's funny

I am so in the mood for fun. Yes I know it's Monday and it's illegal and whatever... but I've just had such a great weekend and MJ is still cranking from my laptop and the sun's out. I spent the day yesterday with my hubby, bro, sis-in-law and niece. Holy cartwheels it's fun to hang out with a two year-old. Everything's funny. High fives are fun. Dogs are hilarious (especially our staffie, naturally). Bumpy, bumpy bridges are a giggle-fest. So I had to post something that'll make you smile...

Meet Bob
, aka, bomobob, a Montreal-based photographer with an eye for happy.

What do you do for fun?
Fun, huh? Well, since I do this for a living, every day is kind of fun. As far as other things go, I love to travel, hike, design and build furniture, garden, cook, did I mention travel?

Who and what inspires you?
I can't say any person in particular inspires me, but more the collective of people, particularly on Etsy, who are taking the chance and following their passions, finding an outlet and an audience for their creativity. I'm also inspired by all the various arts and cultures in the world. Creativity and an eye for beauty are passions that are to be found everywhere in the world.

Pics from top: Crazy Legs, Krazy Klowns, Falcon Motel and Quack.

June 26, 2009

CharliesAngel : Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett

Such a stunning, sexy woman with real intelligence, talent and great hair. Her life and her battle with cancer were an inspiration to women everywhere. RIP Farrah x

June 25, 2009

Plaything : Crush me happy

I've decided there are two types of celebrities I'm fascinated by. First, there are the phenomenally talented, über charismatic, compellingly good looking people who you can't help but want to get to know. I'm nowhere near obsessed, just curiously curious. I have a few celebrity crushes in this arena, like Clive Owen and Simon Baker. Mmmm they're special. Twiggy Lawson (above) had her own quiet way of captivating the world... so ethereal.

The other type is the person who makes a difference in the world and you come to get to know them through celebrity channels. Like Harvey Milk (above) or Princess Diana. The world is enriched by their lives... yes that's totally different from making blockbusters but you see my point. It's in there somewhere.

Now let me introduce you to Christian & Hallie, aka, Autumn&Eve, the Pittsburgh-based, super fabulous creators of the designs on this page. Here's a line from their Etsy profile page: "We're in the business of good looks and illustration." Do you love it? It made me smile. As did the pic of the deliriously lovely Isabella Rossellini (above) and Audrey Tautou (below). Sigh.

Here's a bit about Christian & Hallie:

What makes you laugh?
So many things. We have the weirdest sense of humor. Most people think we're crazy.

Who inspires you?
Pretty much everyone that we do a portrait of inspires us one way or another.

What's the best feedback you've had on your work? We love all of the positive feedback that we get, but our favorite was when someone said this about us, "This is the best seller I have ever had a transaction with on Etsy... All [their] responses were very quick and helpful... the prints were not damaged during transport. Thanks so much!"

Need more good looks and smiles? Want a custom-made order of your grandma? Go here: autumnandeve.etsy.com

June 24, 2009

Designtreat : Following threads

I've inherited quite a lot from my mum, including a way of never really knowing where I'm going with a conversation. I'll get half way through a story and think "whoa four people are listening... what the hell was my point?" It gets even worse with jokes. I used to pay mum out all the time about forgetting the punch line, but guess what? Jokes on me.

When I saw the elegant, typewriter-chic Flocked Ampersand Cushion above, by Shannon Lamden, aka Aunty Cookie, I laughed. Not at it, mind you. At moi. It made me think of the way my friends say the same thing when I've finished waffling... "AND?" Ha. Perhaps I should scatter some around to remind myself to stick to the point. Not sure I'm capable (after all, it's genetic), but anyhoo, I could get cool and get shopping at the Cookie shop...

Shannon is a freelance designer based in Melbourne, specialising in fabric design and illustration. All fabrics are professionally heatset and are a superlush linen/cotton blend. The gorgeous wintery fabric above is Home Sweet Home linen in Raspberry on Birch. Sweet.

Look... they're holding hands: In the Garden in Pink, Lime and White.


June 22, 2009

Artcomp : Expressing an impression

I was chatting to a friend yesterday, who has just returned from a whirlwind holiday throughout America with his family, and I was reminded of how long it's been since I mooched quietly through an art gallery. He had seen some of the greatest paintings ever created and I felt an instant longing for the feeling you get standing before a precious work of art.

So although my usual obsession here in the cloudburst is illustrations and digital art, I thought I'd hail a cab to pure, paint-on-canvasville. Not that it's better or purer than any other form, but it makes a nice change.

The works here are by Linda Monfort, a California-based painter. Forgive me for describing her works in such layman's terms, but there's something so sumptuous about the colours and flow. Linda... over to you:

My style of painting has evolved through many years of exploration. Today I paint original contemporary abstract expressionist paintings, original contemporary abstract and impressionist landscape and floral paintings and original contemporary figurative paintings in acrylics on stretched canvas.

Some of my pieces have an oriental influence due to a period of time spent living in Japan during my impressionable childhood years.

I grew up loving to draw and design dresses for my dolls and paper dolls. I was always the best artist in my class and knew I would be an artist when I grew up.

The thing I love the most about painting is that the end result is always a surprise to me, usually a very pleasant one. It's also great that I can earn a living using this great gift from God.

Other creative outlets?... I recently designed my daughter's wedding gown.

So timeless, so so divine. So right here: lindamonfort.etsy.com

June 18, 2009

Talentcomp : Always in the mood

Oh joy joy joy... lookie what I found! All my favourites in one: birds, owls, cherry blossoms and magnolias. And a heron just for fun. It's pure serendipity. I clearly adore these prints by Hadley Hutton. She hails from Portland, Oregon, and somehow combines a real sweetness with subtle textures and magic details in her pieces. I do appreciate her long, detailed answers... I feel like I'm in her kitchen with a slice of her mum's apple pie and a mug of strong coffee while she spills her secrets...

Who inspires you?
Inspiration is such is an interesting topic for an artist because often we are not even cognizant of inspirations as we work. Artists are often sponges absorbing all kinds of influences, be it a feeling, a word, an image and then regurgitating it into a piece of art. So I find it fascinating to try to name and place these influences. One influence that seems to be a constant is traditional Asian art, for as long as I can remember, I have been influenced by Asian motifs. The first book I purchased for my mother at age 8 was a large 
Asian pattern book, called "The Grammar of Chinese Ornaments" by Owen Jones. I have spent countless hours poring over the gorgeous 
pages of this book. Somehow the book managed to make it into my library :) My love affair with Asian design is still going strong. I
 recently took a trip to Japan where I had the opportunity to see 
incredible woodblock prints by artist such as Hokusai Katsushola and Ando Hiroshigi. As a printmaker, the craftsmanship, beauty and style inherent in Japanese prints has had a profound influence in my work.

Who are your favourite artists?
I have many favorite contemporary artists who are a source of inspiration. I love to visit their sites, and see their latest masterpieces. Here are a few faves: Brian Cronin, Lisa Congdon, Christopher Silas Neal, Jill Bliss and Gina & Matt.

What gets you in a creative mood?
Creating is like breathing to me. So this question is kind of like asking, "What gets you in the mood to breath?". The obvious answer, I'm always in the mood to breathe and create. It would be a rare day when I'm not in a creative mood. Even in some of my darker hours like when I was bed bound for a year due to debilitating back problem from a sports injury, I found a way to create. During this difficult time, when I couldn't paint I discovered a secondary love - writing. (I primarily write children's books, which I hope to one day have published - that is if I can ever find the time to seek out a literary agent.) I have so many projects skipping through my brain, it is not a question of what gets me in a creative mood, rather how can I get more hours in a day to finish the multitude of projects I'm juggling.

What other creative outlets do you have?
I love to cook and bake. My mom is a force of nature in the kitchen. (I'm not just saying that because she is my mom.) Food is to my Mom what painting is to me. We love to make meals together, and share recipes. One day I would love to produce a cookbook with her. I would do the illo's, and mom the tasty recipes. Another project in the back burner is to complete an agave cookbook; I love agave. My daughter and I can't have sugar. Initially his was a real hardship because I love to bake, but now we are discovering all kinds of lovely substitutes, such as agave.

Prints from top down: In the Tree, Two Barn Owls, Between Bird Print, Bird Rising, Heron Shadow and Dripping Bouquet.


June 15, 2009

Funpark : Get giddy with it

Giddy: Frivolous and lighthearted; flighty.

Fun: A source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure. Playful, often noisy, activity.

Free: Not fixed in position; capable of relatively unrestricted motion. Liberal or lavish. Given, made, or done of one's own accord; voluntary or spontaneous.

Soar: To rise, fly, or glide high and with little apparent effort.

Merriment: High-spirited fun and enjoyment; hilarity.

Live as though you're at a fun park. Be free, soar, smile, laugh. Let the wind dive through your hair and your cheeks turn pink; eat fairy floss with abandonment; see others as a source of joy and companionship. In short, live as though the world will support any and every one of your dreams in full.

The whimsical, gorgeous prints above are by Washington, DC-based Linda Plaisted, Many Muses Studio. Each piece of artwork she creates is layered by hand with images she has captured in her photographs, drawings, paintings and collected ephemera to create collage pieces with depth and detail.

What do you love about mixed media? As a painter and photographer and lover of all things art supply, I enjoy the pure play of different media and juxtaposition of interesting textures, layers and forms.

What's your favourite subject to photograph? Nature, hands down.

What makes you laugh? My exquisitely wonderful children, ages 2 and 5. They're magic.

Pics from top down: Roulette, Carousel, Up Up, Luna Park, Send in the Clowns and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. All from the Luna Park series.


June 13, 2009

Frankiestyle : The world according to moi

Ahhh, Saturday morning. They used to be so rushed, especially if the sun was out. Get up early, go for a jog avec dog, make a big breaky, wash dishes, clean kitchen & bathroom, wash seven loads of laundry, shop for groceries, put on a slow roast for dinner, play on computer, call Mum... by the time I relaxed the sun had set.

These days I have the leisure of cleaning the house during the week, so Saturdays are much freer. Today I went for a stroll through Newtown, sipping a flat white, listening to Lenka on my iPod, shopping for fisherman's pants and padlocks. Upon returning to my (clean) terrace, I decided to flip through my favourite sites and blogs and soon I'm going to chill with my new Vanity Fair. We're out for dinner somewhere local tonight, so I don't have to worry about cooking or cleaning and it's so LOVELY.

Now it has occurred to me how much I ADORE learning about other people's fave blogs and sites, so today's post is about me and my faves. Here are my daily hits of inspiration and smiles:

Firstly, who can go past The Sartorialist. I'm no fashionista, but I so love looking at the most fashionable people in the world. It serves me much better than fashion mag as it's real people (ok most of them could be models, but they're not they're just super fab) wearing their most elegant/quirky/divine outfit of the day. I'm always inspired by their colour combos or even a cute hairdo.

Pic above: Style Profile... Sofia Hedstrom, NYC
Pic below: On the Street......Blue & White, Governor's Island

Next I head to another extreme of fashion: the hilarious girls at Go Fug Yourself. Honestly, they are beyond incredible. They deconstruct outfits and celeb insanity without overdosing on nasty gossip, and often leave me in tears. And craving twinkies. You just have to go there.

This is Jenna Jameson, former adult film star/entrepreneur extraordinaire. Ha. Tragedy. Need more? gofugyourself.celebuzz.com

Following the fashion frenzy, I check out what's happening in New York. Joseph O. Holmes started joe's nyc in 2004. His daily shots of NYC are so perfect and stunning and unique, I feel like I'm there for just a second. This shot is delightful. The colours, the light... joesnyc.com

For a hit of interiors, I pop into The Selby. These aren't just any homes, these are how the cooler half live. Some are slightly extravagant, some rock n roll and other messy chic. Together, they're raw and fun. All shots are by Todd Selby, I dig his style. theselby.com

The latest post is Jon Liu and Laura Rule at home in London, and these are two shots by Todd at their place.

When I'm done there, I skip through a few other blogs you see on the right here... lots of faves, so much inspiration, an abundance of creative people living their dreams and sharing it with the world.

Hope you're all having an amazing Saturday wherever you are. Soak it up any way you can x

June 11, 2009

Screenprincess : Take it with you

Cute. Seriously cute. I love me some cuteness. I love these colours! The randomness really appeals to me - the gun, key and bike seem, like many designs I've found, to come from nowhere. While the tree, tour eiffel and birdie branch are just clever and lovely and homey. I'm not a gun fan, could never have them in my home in any shape or form, but something about this one makes me smile. Like a bad Western on a Sunday afternoon.

Meet Sissy, creator of Two Poodle Press. She's created these marvellous prints from sunny San Diego, California... a place I'd love to visit again. Soon. Here she is...

I first started in design in high school, laying out the school paper and designing zines and stuff.
Travel is the number-one source of inspiration for me, I get so many ideas when I see new places!

How incredible is this quote (from the movie It's A Wonderful Life). Too true.

Prints in top pic, clockwise from top left: Vintage Bicycle, Vintage Key Welcome Sign, Bang Bang Vintage Pistol, Vintage Inspired Mod-Bird and Flowers, Vintage Paris Eiffel Tower and Peachy.
Pic above: Inspirational Vintage Film Quote in Greige.


June 10, 2009

Pageturner : Shady ladies

I'm listening to The Pretenders, feeling a bit rock n rollish today. So I've gone for some fittingly sexy prints for my post du jour. These black and white prints are by John Clark... here's a bit about him:

What gets you in a creative mood?
Drawing is very relaxing for me, almost meditative. I get in the mood to draw when I want to chill out.

What makes you laugh?
There's a few TV shows I can watch again and again and laugh every time. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Little Britain, Flight of the Concords, The Office, etc.
My girlfriend is pretty hilarious too.

What other creative outlets do you have?
I've been on again off again working on a graphic novel since I was fifteen. It will be epic if I ever finish it.

Brilliant, thanks John.


Prints, left to right, top to bottom: The Only Way, No Need for Gratitude, Without a Sound, That Divine Love, A Story of Your Own and A Thing So Simple.

June 9, 2009

Woodworks : Distressfully nice

Simple, cute, fun. Welcome to Tuesday peeps! Apologies if I'm getting predictable, but here's another beautiful example of wood meets art meets birds meets trees. These are a few of my favourite things...

Erin, aka Knotty by Nature, has a nice original touch that I likey very much. Her painted wood blocks, above, have a soft, raw feeling and quirky creativeness that I'm drawn to instantly. Imagine a whole bunch of them in a long line along an outside fence or kids play room.

What do you love about birds? I don't know, really. Birds and trees have been objects I have drawn and doodled for a very long time, it's a comfort for me.

What do you love about wood? I love how durable it is, it has a nice weight to it compared to a canvas. And when I distress pieces I love how I can manipulate the paint to get the look I want.

What other creative outlets do you have? I also sew, knit and make resin jewellery using original artwork.

Check out knottybynature.etsy.com for Erin's one-of-a-kind resin pendants and other stuff.

Wood blocks clockwise from top left: Purple Hummingbird Block B24, Black Bird Block B38, Pink Squirrel Wood Block B31 and Turquoise Swallow Block B35. (Bingo!)

June 8, 2009

Barkingmad : Trees and dogs

I'm a tree-hugger. Call me insane, hippy or lame, but I think trees are far more intelligent than we give them credit for - they've been around for about a hundred times longer than we have. Sometimes after a jog around the park with my dog I'll sit down under a tree and just be. It makes me feel better. Stronger.

I love the rawness of these pen and ink drawings by Tamara Garvey. They're a bit delicate, but they're still very definite. Like a tree.

What's your favourite subject? -- I love drawing trees and animals mainly, but recently have developed a crush on old-timey burglars wearing masks.

Tell me about your dog. -- Benny, a black lab/Australian Cattle Dog mix, the CUTEST dog in the world, if I do say so myself. He loves following us around the house (he's like velcro!), food, fetching, running, marshes, food, rough-housing with his best dog pals, sleeping in odd positions, watching the neighbours from the balcony, having his legs scratched, giving high-fives, and eating food.

Sweet. I'm off to do some painting in the sun. Under a tree and with my dog next to me. Perfection.

Prints from top: Chartreuse Sky with Birch Forest, Sapphire Sky with Birch Forest and Birch Forest.


June 6, 2009

Snapshot : The flower whisperer

'A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers
' (author unknown). I must be dreaming in full 3D colour... how beautiful is this bunch flowers? Amazing! This morning when I jumped onto Donna Geissler's Etsy page to collect a few pics for this post, I felt like a Supermarket Sweep contestant with 20 seconds on the clock in front of the candy aisle. I had to grab most of the flower pics and then I noticed how fabulous all her other shots were. That's right fans, Donna is no one-trick pony. Scroll with me as we learn about this talented photographer... Donna, over to you.

I first discovered that I loved photography in my last semester in college. I took an intro class in black and white photography and darkroom procedures. It became an immediate obsession. I used an old 35mm Nikon film camera with only manual settings and developed my film and prints in a wet darkroom. Although everything of mine is digital now, this beginning gave me true appreciation for art ... capturing a moment with your camera and watching it come to life right in front of your eyes... on paper. In this class, they taught much about composition. I realized that I might have some talent in photography as I received compliments on my images and questions on how I achieved or decided on certain composition. For me this came naturally - I would just keep changing positions of my camera until I saw it - then Click!

For years, I photographed my two dogs and son and got some great shots. But I have to say that my favorite subject is flowers. They don't run away or cry... and they stay very very still when you bring them indoors. They are perfectly behaved and beautiful subjects. Still finding the right angle can take some time. I have a black and white image of a Dahlia. I spent two full days trying to capture the best possible angle of this one flower. But I got it! This is the process that I love with floral photography - searching for the perfect angle and capturing it - forever.

I get bored with the same type of photography, so I use this creative energy to develop something new with my art. Right now, I'm having a wonderful time digitally mixing metallic paint with my photos. I love the texture and feel it gives. My sister took a look at this art and said, "Hmmm. That's kind of interesting." So maybe this look isn't for everyone. But that's what I love about art... Though I'm somewhat conservative...I can do whatever I wish. You hope that others may like it, but if they don't... I know that I got what I wanted - creating something!

Thanks Donna, love your work.

Top shot: 12 flowers from here
Other pics from top to bottom: Waiting, Summer Vacation and Waldo's Vacation