Archive for May, 2009

creston logo

Doing the guide to Burlington, VT last week on design*sponge (click here and scroll down to read) made me very nostalgic for my beautiful & cozy former adopted home town. It also got me thinking about all the excellent people that I got to know and love while I was there.  On that list are the very talented makers/artists that I had the good fortune to share studio space with.  I’ll be featuring all their work here over the next few months,  and am going to start things off with Creston Lea and his kick ass handmade guitars.  

Built from scratch, he molds, shapes, sands, & paints his way to feedback worthy perfection.  All of his work is amazing, but my personal favorites are the ones he does with local Burlington artist Sarah Ryan.  He makes ’em, she paints ’em.  And magic happens.   See for yourself.



To see all of his/their work (I’ve just shown you two of many) and to get the gear-head breakdown, visit his website by clicking here.  He also has what I think are the best ‘links’ and ‘about’ pages I’ve ever seen.  Really ever. So go. Do it. And buy them up. All the cool kids are already doing it!  Like James Walbourne, a proud owner who uses his Creston Electric when he goes on tour with The Pretenders and just about everybody else (Pogues, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kris Kristofferson, Son Volt, Pernice Brothers, Linda Thompson, etc).  I told you, cool.  

All images from the  Creston Electric website. (Thanks Creston!)

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I love all four of these 60’s fonts, but am just sharing my favorite.  I would definitely walk like an Egyptian if I was guaranteed to look this cool!


via: grain edit

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ferris main

Remember the scene in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off when Ferris’ best friend Cameron Frye sends his father’s precious 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder through the glass and over the edge of the über modern Frye family garage?  Well you now have the opportunity to relive this moment (or just sit there and imagine it) for yourself.  You need just two things: $2,300,000 & a desire to move to Highland Park, Illinois.  The Ben Rose home used in the classic 1986 movie, designed by 20th century architects by A. James Speyer and David Haid,  is available through Sotheby’s .   Now that would be a true testament to your love of all things 80’s…

ferris movie garageferris 4ferris 2ferris 3

via: this is a design blog, & additional image from: lucky warrior

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This time it’s the Province of British Columbia bringing you a handsome guide on how to make it in the wild.  First published in 1976, this illustrated gem packs a powerful punch of information for those who wish to get back to the (far out) land.  My favorite is “Navigating by dead reckoning”.  Can’t wait to become an expert on that.  


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[Julia’s ‘Electronic Chaos’ wall stickers for Diz Decor via: not beige]

German graphic artist Julia Wolf is not only a great designer, she is also a fearless explorer.  She and a friend spent 6 months traveling the world as dynamic graphic design duo, Twocollect.  This is what she has to say about the project:

“Twocollect is a self initiated work and travel program I realized together with Antonia Kühn in 2007. For half a year we sought out on a trip around the world visiting Hong Kong, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Based on the idea of a creative and cultural exchange, we worked as graphic designers for board and lodging in every city we went to. This way we met a lot of great designers, many of whom we got the chance to collaborate with in different projects.”


Her independent work is also very engaging.  There’s a lot going on, but in no way is it complicated or visually overwhelming.  I love how versatile she is, working her special flavor into all different mediums & formats.  I am officially a fan. 

julia press more

[Julia’s Gocco prints, Berlin/2008]

julia print 2

[Twocollect’s christmas card, Berlin/2008]

julia clockenflap_3

[Julia’s handmade paper project for the Clockenflap Mulitmedia Arts & Music Festival, Hong Kong/2008]

julia tc_ignacioinfante

[Twocollect’s website design for photographer Ignacio Infante]

To see more of Julia’s work, go to her website at:  www.juliawolf.info.  And for more information on the ideas, projects, and concept behind Twocollect visit: www.twocollect.com, or www.twocollect.blogspot.com. (I highly recommend checking out their adventures! Pure inspiration!)

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This morning, it was once again time for me to head to my local SPCA to volunteer.  I moved to the kitten room today and boy oh boy are they tiny. And sharp.  And fast.  (One tried to make a break for it but I caught it mid-gallop.)  I found I had to just go about my business of tidying up because I was pretty sure that if I looked directly at their cuteness for too long, I would melt – or just forget about the litter boxes and make them dance with the little sparkly wand toy.  Wow.  So much cute.  

And this will be my routine every Tuesday morning.  So I’ve decided to dedicate one of my posts today (and every Tuesday) to animals of the world.  Tiny or large, picture or product, I am open to all things beast and would like to start the fur ball rolling with this awesome bag I found on NOTCOT.   It’s called the Picnica Bunny reusable tote bag by Japanese design studio EDING:POST.   Both bag and friend (in it’s ‘stuffed’ form) in one, as a proud owner you would no doubt be the envy of shoppers everywhere you go.

Picnica Bunny Bagpicnica4

*And my apologies for missing yesterday afternoon’s post!  My roller derby team had the opportunity to check out a new practice space with polished concrete floors (= butter) and I just couldn’t miss it!  And for those of you that don’t know, this is what roller derby looks like: 

derby spat

And if you, or any Kelowna girls you know want a piece of this action, please let me know! (We’re also looking for refs & coaches boys…)

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Super(S)mart #007


Happy Monday Everyone!  

So after spending crazy (for me) amounts of time on the computer last week, I decided to touch the keyboard as little as possible this weekend.  I was mostly successful and am feeling quite refreshed, ready to bring you this week’s round of things that make me go mmmm… .  

Today’s super(s)mart  wisdom is without a doubt the best way to make someone feel good AND get some karmic brownie points for yourself.  A very win/win way to go about your business.  Can you imagine if the whole world could get together on this? For one thing, we’d have some very bored car horns…   I’ll be back later today with some fresh goods!

*Thanks so much again to everyone for their comments, cheerleading, & support last week while I was guest blogging for Design*Sponge!  I felt the love.

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Sorry I didn’t get any posts up yesterday folks. Guest blogging over at Design*Sponge used up all my blogging steam! I’d like to say thanks to Grace for inviting me to share with her readers. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you can see my ambassador posts by clicking here. The ‘how to’ for the above Green Space Travel Case is there too. And a big thanks too to Kelly & Tyler from Teal & Gold for being my high fashion case models!  I hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll see you Monday! xo


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xenia tiles

I am very excited to introduce to you, this week’s makers for our Meet the Maker interview series; Xenia Taler & Steven Koblinsky of Canada’s own, Xenia Taler.  Their work is extraordinary.  Very technical on the back end and fresh folk fancy on the front.  I’ve admired their work for years now ( it was VERY difficult to pick just a few things to show you) and am overjoyed that they agreed to answer my questions.  Warning! Don’t try to eat your screen, even though the yummy tiles make that seem like the right thing to do…


xenia tile stacks
1.  What is your favorite movie for visual/design amazing-ness?

I can’t just pick one! How can I show off my film knowledge with just one? Before you think my choice is unbearably pretentious I was a film production major in University(so was Steven) – I was /forced/ to watch these films.  “Solaris” by Andrei Tarkovsky , – the tunnel scene, the long hippie dresses, the sci-fi-ness, the long take with the Bruegel painting…..Don’t ask me what the film’s about, I have no idea, once in a while I try to watch it again to understand it but I always fall asleep.Also anything by Goddard.  For Steven it’s: Elaine May’s “Mikey and Nicky” with Peter Falk and John Cassavettes. We both also love Miyazaki.

2. What is your favorite music genre/band to work to right now?

Right now I’m listening to Ronnie Lane. I generally like more melodic folky music like Fairport Convention, Richard and Linda Thompson,  also any blues, Kevin Coyne, Allman Brothers, etc. But my favourite song of all time is ‘Rock n’ Roll’ by Motorhead. Steven is definitely the studio music source and  I wouldn’t even know all this music without him.  He also likes all of the above but tends toward more high energy pop/punk – Television, Wire, Stooges etc. We also like new music! Fleetfoxes! Hot Chip! Go-Team! Alps! I keep trying to come up with better playlists than Steven’s but he really knows music better.

(* Xenia I LOVE that you love Motorhead!  I sang for an 80;s hair metal band called Bone Cobra when I lived in Vermont and really got into the genre.  It’s my favorite music to work to at night when I’m at my studio.)


3. (for Xenia) Your designs are so playful and for me, have a strong sense of folklore-ness.  Are you inspired by any particular culture, or are there many sources you draw upon when creating your beautiful designs? (for Steven) What you do, creating the glazes and driving the super flat tiles, requires a level of technical mastery that I marvel at.  (I’m a lazy commercial glaze user)  Does this tech prowess spill out into other areas of your life, like executing difficult recipes in the kitchen or figuring out how to optimize kilometers per litre?

I have endless admiration for Japanese visual culture. But  I think my designs look more like European folk art. I don’t really do this on purpose. I  aim for that simple Japanese refinement and sophistication but my designs always end up looking more European. I am actually born in Romania so I guess it’s genetic.                                                                                    

Steven is so happy someone noticed his flat tiles. The “technical”  is seriously the hardest part of what we do. He definitely has a gift for things most people would be exasperated by. He reads 30 page boardgame manuals for fun.

Thanks you two for sharing your thoughts with my readers.  If you listen very closely you’ll be able to hear me singing you some gratitude filled Rock ‘n Roll from this other side…

*images from the Xenia Taler website.  To go there and check out more loveliness, click here!

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It looks like I have a bit of a tree theme happening here this week. Not a bad thing I think. This book, put out by the Canadian Department of the Environment in 1969, is a graphic wonderland. I could easily see some of these as wallpapers or stationary. The graphic design, layout, and production was done by a Mrs. Iris Gott and Mr. Bing-Lin Wong. I tried to find out more about these two and came up empty, so we’ll just have to enjoy this one juicy piece of work.



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