Monday, July 30, 2007

Out With the Old. . .

I have never been very fond of the standard icons you get on your computer desktop, but in a sort of subconscious, accepting kind of way. Why? Because until today, I did not even realize that putting up with bland desktop icons is a thing of the past, a pleistocene relic of the sorry days of dot matrix printers and WordPerfect.

I was looking for a new desktop at PixelGirl, which amounts to selecting a new, free, fabulous piece of art to look at every day. It's like buying prints on Etsy without the buying part. This one was done by Andrew Kingsbury.

Anyway, I was suddenly jarred out of my scrolling-induced trance when I noticed a little menu on the left. Icons (Mac) and Icons (XP), right there at the top. What was this? Oh, my friends, a treasure trove of uber-cuteness lies within. Proceed with caution, as a hard drive filled with icons often distracts from getting actual work done.

I luuurve my new custom icons by Jeff Dehut. I may never have to look at another manilla folder icon as long as I live. Ahhhhhh.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Other Job is a Ninja. . .

Such was the reaction to the bear bonnet that I have decided to share another of my favorite animal-themed headgear websites: Bunny Warez. Burning Man is getting closer by the minute, so all you playa-ites need to hurry up and get your orders placed. Then we would have an Invisible Camp of ninja bunnies. How cool is that?

I, sadly, am not going to be there this year, as I am saving my pennies for a trip to Noo Yawk. Yes, I can hear all of you gasping in shock. I know. Here are some pictures of my sojourn to the desert from 2005:

I luuurved my costumes, most of which you can't see because I am the one behind the camera. Oops!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Early to Bed. . .

I am deeply in lust with Modernica's Case Study Bed. It's so simple and pretty! But, of course, I don't want to spend $1500 on a bed frame right now. Solution? DIY! I found a lovely metalworker who will make you a custom Case Study bed kit. All you have to do is buy and assemble the wood bits. After much thinking, I came up with an inexpensive way to put it together.

(This is for a queen size bed. King-sizers, you're on your own with this one. Sorry.)
You will need:
Two hollow core doors (30" wide each)
Three 1" thick boards, 5" wide, cut to 50" long
Three 6" long steel connectors (flat pieces of steel with screw holes)
Washers and screws
Six hairpin legs and three metal brackets
One 1 1/2" x 18" wide board cut to 60" long
Paint/wood stain

So. Lay your doors side by side. See? This is your bed platform. Now take your steel connectors and position one across the middle, and one on each end (at the head and foot of the bed). Set these two in about 10" from the head and foot. secure the doors together to make one 60" wide platform. Then take the 1 x 5s and lay them across the bed over the steel connectors. Now, using plenty of washers and screws, secure the boards to the doors. Make it burly. This is what will keep you from ending up on the floor after, um, excessive movement in your bed.

(Note: if you end up on the floor anyway, don't say I didn't warn you.)

Okay, now that your platform is done, rest the head on a chair or something so you can attach the brackets. This is what holds up the headboard. From the side with the boards on it, screw one bracket into the middle, and one on each side, set in about 8" from the edge of the platform. Take your 60" board and mark where the screw holes will be on the bracket, and drill some guide holes. We'll come back to this in a minute.

Now it's time to attach the legs. Square them with the corners of the boards on the platform. You have 6, so two will go on each board, one at either end. Screw 'em in. Use washers. Now stand the bed up. Are your headboard brackets sticking up, ready to receive the bounty of your pillows? If not, unscrew them and put them on the right way. There you go.

Go ahead and attach the headboard itself. If you took my advice and drilled guide holes, this will be easy. If not, you will have to spend some time in purgatory or find a friend to hold the headboard for you while you mark the screw holes and do it now. Go it all screwed on tight? Great!
Take a step back and really look at the bed. Do you think it will hold your weight? If you have doubts you may want to give it a test run before you start practicing back flips on it. I know a couple people who use doors for platform beds and it seems to work pretty well, but be careful all the same.

You can paint it or stain it, or leave it natural. And you can go to sleep with the lovely, warm feeling that you just saved yourself over a grand. Pleasant dreams!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig. . .

Wow. Okay, I had some delusion that I was going to be able to post before today. HAH! Well, you may be happy to learn that I did not actually die in a plane crash on the way back from Jackson, although it was a close-run thing. They had to jump start our plane. I am so not kidding. I wish I was.

On a happy note, I just heard from Platypus Dreams that she is shipping my bear bonnet today. Hurrah! I will post a picture of teh awesomeness when it gets here.

Here is a very grainy picture of the view at dawn outside my hotel:

We had to drive through a part of Yellowstone to get back to the airport in the morning. I had never been there before. People, it is beautiful.

You should all visit before it explodes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Orbular Redux. . .

As you may remember if you are commiting this blog to memory, I did a post a bit ago on ceramic artists. Well, I must admit I didn't tell you about one of my very favorites, because I could not find her vases anywhere that would sell to the public. But now, Sara Paloma of Restoration Hardware cover fame is on Etsy, purchasable by even the least connected to the design industry. (Thank you, Madam Fabulous from Another Shade of Grey!) Aren't they gorgeous? I thought so.

Aaaaand since I cannot seem to visit Etsy without spending the next two hours poking around, I give you Askey:

Ah. I love marionettes.

Look at this beauty by Daniel Villela:

It reminds me of MirrorMask. Dave McKean is my favorite artist, hands down. Watching that movie was like walking into one of his paintings.

Of course, I always have an eye out for new prints. I found a beautiful watercolor print by Gilfling of Nottingham. That sounds like a really romantic place to live, but I understand from my correspondant overseas that it is mostly council flats and no forests. Oh well.

Speaking of forests, I am going to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a few days, so no post tomorrow. (Okay, I might post. But not till late, so don't wait up for me.)

It's for a work thingy, people. Don't give me that look.

Friday, July 13, 2007

If Alfred Hitchcock Could See Us Now. . .

Let's face it. We are a nation obsessed with birds on stuff. Like any trend, I am hesitant at first to see just how far people will take it. But, happily, most of these bird-themed items are surprisingly restrained and sophisticated. Like this owl pendant from Petaline:

She has several different iterations on this inlaid wood/engraved wood theme. Just lovely. I would wear this with everthing!

The best part is, all this avian accessorizing fits perfectly with the floral silhouette motif found on just about everything else. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean. I'm looking at you, Etsy.

I really love this bedding at Amenity. And if I ever get to the point where I would spend $400 on a duvet, you all will be the first to know because I will have won the lottery and be updating this blog from the south of France.

Now, if I could only figure out where this cephalopod trend is going. . .

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Speaking of Upskirts. . .

Have you ever noticed how many upskirt shots there are in Miyazaki movies? Not that I dislike it, I'm jusy saying it's odd. Especially for the younger audience they are aimed at . Kiki's Delivery Service has so many, you could turn it into a drinking game. Just a thought.

Aaaaanyway, what I really wanted to tell you about was this:
This belonges on Cute Overload.

It reminded me of Lain's bear pajamas, which is what got me thinking about anime, which led to the whole upskirt thing. . . you can start to see how my mind works. I haven't met a whole lot of people who have seen Lain. It's a 14 part series about the nature of reality and consciousness and how the internet interfaces with both.

Okay, so it's a hard plot to summarize. But it is really fun to watch, even when it gets a little weird, especially at the end. . .but I won't spoil it for you. If the the creation of the intarwebs is even vaguely interesting to you, you will love this. Then you can make your friends watch it with you and have those existential conversations that last until 4am. Or at least until the wine runs out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not Quite a Girl's Best Friend. . .

I meant to post about this earlier, as it is available through Black Chandelier. What do you think, eh? Makes you want to go out and buy a set to use as lapel pins, doesn't it? Yes, I can see you all rushing off. Don't all wear them at once, people will think you guys are in a gang or something.

This House is Clean. . .

After a week of debauchery with our lovely guests, I think it might be time for a bit of upkeep to the old mortal coil. I will be undertaking a Master Cleanse. What is this strange idea, you may ask? I'm sure you heard of the lemonade diet. It's not actually a diet, but more of a full system flush of toxins (the bane of natural medicine practitioners everywhere) that leaves you feeling like you've just come back from a week at Red Door. Sound nice? I thought so.

It was developed in the 1940s, and the same formula is still followed. It's pretty simple and you do actually lose weight, although the proponents of this would be scandalized if they heard people were using their detox as a way to drop those last five pounds. I have friends who do this once a month, because they are just that hardcore. One of my friends does it every few months for 25 days. That is somewhere beyond hardcore and into the valley of the very focused.
(Caveate: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. Fasting can be very hard on your body, so check with your physician before begining any diet, blah blah blah. Don't come crying if you do this and your legs drop off, or whatever.)

Want to follow along? First, go out and buy a bottle of organic lemon juice and a jug of Grade B maple syrup (Whole Foods carries this in the bulk section). You also need powdered cayenne pepper and some distilled water if you don't have a filter on your tap already.

Ready for the fun part? Mix up equal parts of lemon juice and syrup. This is your concentrate. To make the lemonade, pour a few tablespoons of this into a glass of distilled water and mix with a little pinch of cayenne. Okay, so it's not that fun. But it is healthy. You can't have everything.

On the morning of your first day, mix 2 teaspoons of salt into 32 ounces of water. This is the unfun part. Drink it. Yes, all of it. Now, for the rest of the day, drink lemonade (cold or hot) whenever you get hungry. You can also have distilled water or peppermint tea.
Repeat as necessary. Salt water in the morning, lemonade the rest of the day. You don't really stay hungry, since you are taking in quite a few calories.
By the third day, you will be feeling really good. The cravings stop and you feel energetic. By the way, whatever you are craving the most is the food that is the least healthy for your body. I'm not saying stop eating it forever, I'm just saying keep it in mind.

If you feel tired or irritable, go excercise. Do NOT just sit there. You will feel like crap.

You can go for up to 20 days, but I don't recommend doing more than 9 if it's your first time. When you stop fasting, go to juice for a few days before incorporating solids into you diet. Go back slowly. Don't eat pizza your first day off the fast. You will probably find that your craving for seriously unhealthy foods has gone down anyway. And there's always that delicious warm feeling of accomplishment which is why I suspect most people get hooked on this in the first place. It's like running a marathon without all that bothersome training. Or running. Hooray!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Back in the Saddle. . .

Oy, what a weekend! I have some friends in town from Noo Yawk, and we have been having quite a good time. She is a fabulous photographer, infinitely more so than your truly, as you can see.

These are some of her pictures from a visit to Joshua Tree. So pretty!

We went up to the mountains for a bit of a drive and a few photo ops.

We have had SO MUCH RAIN, so everything is very green up here, which makes a nice change from our usual drought-leached brown that creeps in around this time. I have a new photo style I'm experimenting with: the up-skirt flora:

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

C'est nes pas un Stitch 'n' Bitch

I love patterned fabrics. Even if I would never wear them, I love looking at them. For too long, the only fabrics available to home sewers have been of the "ducks on broadcloth" type, as my design teacher used to say. Now, we have a whole new generation of accomplished designers making textiles in modern colors and prints.

Due to the recent inescapable popularity of the empire-waist trend, I have been making a lot of my own clothes. My local fabric stores tend to stock fabrics with prints that look like the patterns you get when you rub your eyes to hard. Or floral chintz. I hate chintz. So, as usual, I poked around online until I found what I was looking for. The often blogged-about Amy Butler has, of course, a beautiful collection. I covered my desk chair in the blue and grey seedpod fabric in the bottom right corner. So cute!

Another designer I found is Anna Marie Horner, who I haven't heard much about. (Strangely, because she is fabulous, people. Fabulous.)

These are from her Chocolate Lollipop collections.

I also like Marimekko for skirts, even though it can be hard to find. You can buy most of the line here.

Sewing for the kiddos? Pixie Dust has some cute pattens that do not include licensed cartoon characters who will suck the soul out of your baby while she's sleeping. Wouldn't that make a cute baby quilt? Why, yes, it would.

I always stop by M&J Trims when I'm in New York to stock up on ribbons and buttons. For those of you whose travel plans do not include Manhattan as often as you'd like, they have an online shop with an enormous stock of trims and baubles for your projects.

Feeling a little more retro than your wardrobe? Follow the stampede to Reprodepot. They have all their reproduction fabrics arranged by decade and by theme, so you'll be able to find that palm tree and hula girl motif quickly. The even have pre-1900 stock, for those Holly Hobbie fantasies you don't like to talk about. Don't worry. I won't tell anyone.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Little Prince from Outer Space

Some of you may remember the Little Prince. I used to wish I had my very own planet and could fly around the universe with a bunch of geese on leashes. (Now I wish for my own planet and a rocket ship, as technology has advanced considerably, and my fantasies no longer depend on avian transportation.)

But, alas, it was not to be. At least I can re-live it in Flickr.

Go here for links to tutorials if you'd like to try it yourself. Thank you, Gadl!!