Feeling depressive in Detroit, eh?

This is one of the first things that showed up on the etsy main page today: The Cynic Collection by Lokness Press, a set of hand-stamped cards with something rather ornery to say.  I think they are hilarious, but pretty sad at the same time.

Product Description (from the product page )

I've been feeling very cynical here in Detroit with its depressing economy and lack of… a lot of things! So I had an extra amount of fun when I designed my Cynic Collection of "greeting" cards for Lokness Press. You pick the 4 cards for your own set! Oh the choices! Text made from vintage insta-lettering typographer's kit. Cards come with coordinating white envelopes.



None of these suit your fancy? Let me know what you want your cards to say! Each set is handcrafted upon order; fonts, poppy motif and card stock may differ from photos.  These cards are meant to be fun and playful in a joking manner, but if you are really pissed at someone, I think they'll get the message when they receive this one!

Design Thursday: Free-standing Coat Racks

There's a chill in the air, which means we all pull out the storage bins housing our fall/winter gear.  And after coming in from the bitter cold, what happens to all our hapless outerwear?  We need someplace to hang it, of course.

One thing I love about the free-standing coat rack is that it is absolutely open to interpretation and imagination.  It's possible to achieve a very wide variance in form while staying true to the original purpose.  They are structural and sculptural, and add such a striking design element to your hallway/entryway.  Here are some interesting ones I found, from the ultra-modern to the tastefully traditional to the wild and whimsical.  I think my favorites are 13 and 31.

Fancy plates.

I liked these the first time I saw them, and even better when they went on sale for like $3-4 each.  Handmade in Portugal.  Doesn't it look like something you'd get from Anthropologie Home?  Do you like 'em?  I love 'em!  I got 'em at Ross!  =P

It's time for Design Thursdays: A hit for the fabric junkie.

Something I'm very sorry to have put aside for a few months as I focus on other things is sewing, a craft I took up this past spring.  I even got a refurbished sewing machine over the summer, one of the best ways I've ever spent $150.  (More about my philosophy on sewing later.)

Every time I went to Joann's  for the past few months--usually for tools and things, because their fabric is generally pretty sub-par--I found myself wandering to the upholstery section for furniture-grade fabrics.  I loved the extra-large bolts suspended on tall wooden racks, impossibly generous portions of fabric with the prices to match.  I was bewitched by the black-and-white toile they had, as well as this gorgeous black-and-white paisley Waverly fabric that I could see on a darling accent slipper chair, or maybe a tri-fold screen bordered in black, or even just used to upholster the walls of a small powder room.  Each time, though, the prohibitive price--$30/yard--kept me away.

A couple weeks ago though, I went into Joann's for a black Halloween wig (crazy cheap--just over $3), I wandered back there and saw that all the Waverly fabric was 50% off and there was only a small bit of the paisley left.  I tugged on the loose end and the whole thing came pouring off the rack--to the amusement of the friends who were with me.  Shrugging, I picked it up and took it over to the counter to have it measured.  

It came out to 3.25 yards--at $45 for that last scrap of fabric, I had to take it. The whole thing.  I have no idea what I'm actually going to do with it--knowing me, it will sit in my fabric box along with all the other fabrics I've been collecting, for the next couple years.  Oh well.  I don't think I made a mistake, because just looking at the sumptuous stuff makes me happy.

Design Thursday (1 day late): Getting creative with wall art.

I've had this blank wall in my apartment for a year and a half now, since I moved in.  I could never really figure out what to put there.  I didn't want to put up more frames/art, because I already have a 5-part series of photographs on the other wall, and a bookcase on another.  I thought more frames would feel too cluttered.

So I thought about maybe a sunburst mirror, which I've seen lots of decorators use, and which I love for its classic design and structural element.  But cost more money than I currently want to spend.  So I thought maybe a wall decal in some cool graphic like the stuff they sell on etsy or Blik.  But the problem with decals is not only are they way more money than you would expect to pay for a piece of plastic ($50 for a chandelier silhouette?) BUT ALSO they are not reusable whatsoever, so when I moved, I would have to rip it off the wall and discard it.

Then I went to IKEA last week and saw these really cool, fancy paper plates with a punchy black and white floral graphic on them.  I think they were originally intended to be served at your holiday parties this year.  But I saw them and immediately knew I had the answer to my blank wall.  The cost?  Just $3.00/pack of 12 (or is it 16?)...AND with the added bonus that they are super lightweight (I used scotch tape to stick them up--no nail holes in the wall!), easily rearrangable, easily removable, easily stackable, and easily reusable.  They are so glossy that I've already gotten one comment from someone who was fooled into thinking they were made out of glass.

It's like a dream come true!  And so much fun to collage!

P.S. The white vases in the second picture are also from IKEA, and my beloved two-headed dog was a gift from Garry, purchased from melabo on etsy.

NEW! Design Thursdays...

...in which I share some wonderful element of design, either of-the-moment or, more likely, one that has captivated me for years.

This week: the Eero Saarinen Tulip Table.

I know most of you design-savvy, uber-cool early-adopters are unimpressed by this pick.  I don't care.  I just want to sing my praises of this example classic, perfect design.  Things I love about it:
  • Its stability.  Somehow the base is solid enough that you can try to press down as hard as you can on any side and it will not give or topple over.
  • Its simplicity: White on white, beautiful curves in every direction, totally unassuming and unobtrusive, which means it will get along with pretty much any style and pair with all manner of chairs.
  • Its roundness: No pesky legs to bump your knees against, and everyone can see each other when they gather round.
I can't wait for the day when spending $2500 on a table will not be a big deal to me, and I can outfit my breakfast nook with one of these tables, where my kids can dangle their feet and draw in their coloring books.

Ode to four-posters and canopy beds.

I have always had a thing for four-posters and canopy beds.  Call it a princess syndrome, but I think it's more to do with the comfort of curling up in a small space, a room within a room, or maybe a tent.  There is someting so giddily secret and safe about it.  Here are some outstanding, sleek and lovely examples I found while trolling around the internets.