Thursday, 30 October 2008

Decisions, decisions

Can't, for the life of you, decide on a colour scheme for your living room? There's only one solution: get your hands on the simply brilliant Rubitone (Rubik's + Pantone). Inspired colour mixes guaranteed!
Via: What's blogging my view

Cast & Crew

Artist Alex Hamilton's exhibition of 1000 stencil portraits of international and local icons of popular culture opens next week on Wednesday.

Read more about the Cast & Crew show at Alex Hamilton's website. We'll be there because the show includes a portrait of ELLE DECORATION's iconic editor, Karen Roos!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Report from NYC: Boo!

There is some sca-a-ry Halloween-themed décor around and if you live in the holiday-obsessed US of A, you'll know exactly what I mean. So I’ve been scouring the Web for unusually creepy décor for the Halloween party I’m not having.

My invitations would go out on this wonderful ‘Special Bites’ print, by Matt Cipov, and my guests would be greeted at the door by this bewitching wreath from Plumparty.

A creepy tone would be set by my dark and bizarre table centerpiece, which includes a black rose bouquet from Target, surrounded by a few black crows made with real feathers.

But the piece de resistance at the center of the table would be -- hold your stomach -- this alligator specimen, which I found on Etsy's Cabinet of Curiosities. (I have to say, this strange collection of items on Etsy began to creep me out for real.)

Around the table I'd intersperse some of these creepy colour-changing Dark Secret goblet candles with a skull tea light or two.

Time for a pre-dinner drink? How about a glass of merlot from a Black Diamond wine glass, or you might prefer a cocktail from the skull shaker, served in a raven acrylic tumbler (all from that emporium of high design again -- you guessed it, Target).

Dinner, of course, would be prepared and served with Tord Boontje's Witches' Kitchen set of cooking and serving utensils, recently launched by Artecnica. Creepy it may be, but it's all so very ethically right-on, having been handcrafted by artisans in South American countries, that we might even end up eating vegetarian!

And what would the mistress of the night be wearing? How about this rare Victorian mourning necklace made from vulcanite and jet, teamed with the black rose thorn earrings by Lee Hale, both from Erie Basin.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Scaling the walls, floors, bed...

Feeling all retro chic and bold? Then get your eyeballs all a-jangle by kitting out your apartment in the full suite of Color Scales accessories - all brand new at Urban Outfitters. You can have the zingiest walls...

...the most hyperactive bedspread around......and a rug that fairly ripples with grooviness underfoot too.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Ashes & Milk

Despite being a virtual space, Ashes & Milk provides the viewer with a strong sense of being in a quiet place - somewhere to take your time and feel the mood and texture of the exquisite things on offer.

This newly-opened online gallery is all about a reverence for traditional methods, and the belief that the things we bring into our homes should have a soul and a sense of history. Here are some of the things that spoke to me when I visited Ashes & Milk.

These Bamboo Spoons are made by Mori Kowa, master of the Japanese lacquer technique known as Urishi. Each carved spoon is dipped and polished repeatedly, building up the exquisitely smooth lacquer layer over time.

The ceramic Utsuro Ware mug with hollow handle by Taka Suzuki looks more like a sculpture than a household utensil, and just begs to be cupped in your hands.

These illustrated stones - or Pierres Graphiques - are each quite unique, as they're hand decorated by Yoran Morvant. These stones, in a group or just one alone, are perfect contemplative objects.

Visit the Ashes & Milk website to see what catches your eye, and keep up with the gallery's progress and plans by reading the Ashes & Milk blog by owner Nikko Moy.

Friday, 24 October 2008


This is the funnest way to spend an idle hour (or two or three!). Go to Polyvore and play stylist, selecting shoes, dresses, skirts, hats, earrings from a million colour-grouped options, to make up a perfect outfit!

I swear, my To Do list is out of control already, but still I sat glued to Polyvore, happily clicking and dragging together these outfits for Spring, Summer and Autumn. I drew the line at Winter, which I thought showed admirable restraint.

It's not just clothes. Polyvore also allows you to do the same with household items and furniture, from all over the Internet. I didn't dare go anywhere near that section though, but now it's the weekend, so...

Via How about Orange

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Fold your own

You'd be forgiven for mistaking these for origami Christmas decorations, but in fact they're all cardboard chairs for children by Foldschool!

Foldschool is a fun and generous website that enables you to download free templates to make your own stool, chair and rocker for children. The designs are by Swiss architect, designer and bike messenger, Nicola Enrico Stäubli.

In the tough economic times we appear to be expecting, folding your own furniture sounds like hot news!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Report from NYC: Museum roundup

New York City undergoes a cultural reawakening in the fall. A number of major new exhibitions have opened and some older ones are just coming down. Here are a couple that have caught my attention:

Exhibit A
Over at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, there's a show I'm dying to see, called Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton .

This show is a survey of Peyton's intimate, jewel-toned portraits of well-known musicians and artists over the past 15 years. The New Museum has a wonderful subsection of the website devoted to this exhibit, with an interesting interview with the artist.

Exhibit B
A master of a completely different style and subject matter, Giorgio Morandi, is being featured at the Metropolitan Museum right now.

This is the first comprehensive survey of these calm, contemplative works by "one of the greatest 20th-century masters of still-life and landscape painting in the tradition of Chardin and Cézanne," says the Met's website.

Exhibits C and D
Also on my must-see list are two major exhibits that are drawing huge crowds:

I'll be off to Central Park to see Zaha Hadid's Chanel Contemporary Art Container - a futuristic pavilion housing an exhibition of art inspired by Chanel's emblematic quilted bag.

And now that Van Gogh and the Colours of the Night has opened at the MoMA, I'll be jostling my way through the crowds to stand aghast before his fabled Starry Night.

With the weather getting chillier and more blustery as we inch our way into winter here in NYC, it's just as well there's all this fantastic art to keep me indoors.

Monday, 20 October 2008

A Plate a Week

Yesterday I stumbled upon a fabulous project called A Plate A Week.

Every Sunday, since July this year, the super talented Mignon Khargie has been documenting the plates that she makes. Some are experiments with glazes, some are hand painted, and others are handbuilt, but all of them are fabulous! I've chosen a couple of my favourites to show you here, but visit A Plate a Week to find yours.

And that's not enough ceramics bliss for you today, take a visit to (one of) Mignon's other websites, A Plate a Day, to check out the plates that she finds inspiring.

WeMade it right

I'm so impressed with both the products and the concept behind WeMade. This design outfit was started by two Dutch designers who work with crafters in Java to develop beautiful, stylish fashion and home accessories that fit with Western shoppers' tastes while still communicating the flavour and feel of Indonesia.

These Bambuster Vases of pressed bamboo have gorgeous colourful belts made with a traditional Indonesian style of crochet.

These pressed bamboo boards have traditional Indonesian patterns cut out by hand, while the holes punched in the hammered copper Listrik Lamp (below) cast beautiful shadows when lit.

Read more about the things designed and sold by WeMade right here.

Via The Style Files

Friday, 17 October 2008

Revo glass

Just loving this blown glass fruit, available for sale from Revo Studio. Mmm, delicious.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Exhibition: Periphery

I'm looking forward to seeing the joint show by Cape Town artists, Gabrielle Raaff and Tamsyn Lancaster, opening at These Four Walls in Observatory on Friday 17 October.

Gabrielle Raaff (above) uses the traditional medium of watercolour on paper, as well as technology like Google Earth, to explore contemporary urban experiences, reflecting on issues of intimacy and isolation within the urban environment.

Tamsyn Lancaster's paintings draw attention to the animals present in our urban environment, using them as a means of noticing in amongst the bombardment of sensory stimulation in our urban settings.

The show is entitled Periphery: observations of urban life in paint, and is open until 7 November. See more details at the gallery website.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Report from NYC: Green wrapping paper

With the recent explosion in wrapping paper design, there are more and more eco-friendly wrappers out there. I'm a hoarder of beautiful paper - like this eco-friendly design of Russian dolls that I found at Area kid's store on the weekend. It's part of the 'Good Life' range from NineteenSeventyThree, which went green this year.

This paper is made from 100% post-consumer waste, recycled material and pulp from certified forests with replanting programmes. They use vegetable-based inks and cellophane bags that are compostable and biodegradable. Now that you know the science behind the product, let me blow you away with some of their fabulous designs. Hold on to your Martha Stewart craftkit!

These bodacious computer graphic-inspired papers are made by eBoy, a graphics collective comprising Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital and Kai Vermehr.

eBoy has a number of other credits to its name: the cover artwork for Groove Armada’s new album Soundboy Rock and partnerships with Adidas, Microsoft and Paul Smith to name a few.

Catalina Estrada's papers are what you'd see if you walked into the woods on acid and looked through a kaleidoscope.

Catalina draws on the colours and patterns of her native Colombia. She also has a client list to knock the crocheted socks off any Hallmark card-buying granny (sorry, Gran!) - Sony Music, Nike, Custo-Barcelona...

The graffiti-esque doodles of Jon Burgerman could even stun a kid into waiting, like, maybe three extra seconds before ripping into his birthday gift. Jon's playful designs have also appeared on snowboards, cushions, colour-it-in wallpaper and toys.

I like to think the design above is a depiction of what ensues at the kid's party after all the presents have been opened: mad post-sugar mayhem!

There are a number of other eco-friendly wrapping paper options out there, including Fish Lips Paper Designs, which has a lot of info about recycled paper and even suggests the 'Top 10 Ways to Re-use Our Papers', giving new meaning to the term "it's a wrap!"