I was super excited to get the latest Art Jewelry Magazine in the mail. This highly regarded national magazine is always full of great articles and beautiful jewelry pictures. To get published is an honor, and on the July 2013 issue they prominently featured my Rings Ring. You can see it in the picture above. Close-up on the left. They also posted it on the online gallery for the featured work.
This ring made out of rings is symmetrical, balanced and perfectly proportioned, reminding us of a more ancient art of jewelry making. It is 3D printed stainless steel and gold plated.
Let's face it. When it comes to kids' ready made curtains, they are not fun. Even if you can get over the boring-factor and the why-so-weirdly-short-factor, the quality is often unacceptably bad. I have had simple roman shades give up in less than a month. Supposedly, they were made for kids' rooms, so I had ambitious expectations for longer usage. Oh, how wrong I was!
Living extensive periods of time without blackout curtains is not an option for an 8 year old who wakes up with the sun (and specially for his parents). After the roman shades gave up, I obviously really had to do something about it. After spending several desperate hours going through the available boring and ugly curtains, I decided to move from ready made to home made.
I knew my artistic and design savvy son would like to choose his color and pattern. So, first we surfed some fabric sites together. Surprisingly easily, we settled to two space themed fabrics from the custom printer Spoonflower. We decided to have a bit fun and have one of the windows decorated with a different panel. Because the fabrics were both by the same very talented designer, Jennifer Wambach, we were still able to create a cohesive look to the room.
If you can sew straight line, you can sew curtains. Basically, I sewed the panel and blackout fabric into a gigantic sack. Then I turned it inside out (right sides out) and overstitched. The only thing left was to cut the holes to grommets (my package came with a template) and snap them to place. Just a few hours later, I was done! Well, until I'll start again and sew some new curtain panels for the jealous little brother.
There are cars, and then there are fantasies on wheels. The new SLS AMG E-Cell from Mercede-Benz is a fantasy. Imagine a Prius soul in the ultimate sports car body. Yes, an all electric drive eco friendly road monster. What's not to love!?! Well, apparently the maximum speed is limited to only 155 mph. A little disappointing since it does accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds.
The documentation is all in German, so I can only guess what finer points of engine design, I would like to change to make it fit my specific needs. Design looks very spiffy, though. Not too muscular and kind of retro.
Unlike his cousins in the new SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, SLS AMG E-Cell apparently doesn't come with a spoiler ,which of course is a must item for those moments when you are zooming on the I-95 and your car just suddenly takes off and flies. Mercedes-Benz wants to separate the special people from the usual hormonal teen age car enthusiast and calls the spoiler aerofoil. This specialty wing also extends automatically at speeds of over 120 km/h. Really, I need one of those.
Obviously the only other thing missing is the real sports cars sound. You know, the kind of power engine roar that scares small children and makes old ladies seek solace behind trees that have matching ages. Fortunately, I don't have to feel like I'm traveling with the usual electric car crowd. 2XL Games has developed and app for the rescue. XLR8 uses the accelerometers of your smart phone to realistically respond to acceleration, braking and cornering forces.
Just kidding. I really don't want this car. And those who know me, already guessed that. Although...How cool would I look on my travels to local grocery store. And I would definitely make an impression flipping my yoga-pant covered legs out of this vehicle at the local YMCA.
Aaaahhh...spring - it never fails. Birds are back, daffodils are sprouting and every piece of furniture in my house looks tired. It's time to either redecorate or maybe buy a new house to decorate. Either case, I'm definitely drooling over interior design magazines and blogs. Like everything, this too will pass and I'll settle into comforts of outdoor living during summer months and lazy hibernation beginning November. Every year, some items may carve a permanent tiny nest into my heart. The new flat pack furniture from Wintec and custom designed fair trade rugs from node definitely made a lasting impression.
Form and function in flat pack beauties
While I think of flat pack furniture, I can't help but to think of a certain Swedish discount giant. Fortunately, Wintec has now diversified my thought process. These beauties from the new Skin line are made to be loved. I can see them easily fit into both traditional and modern homes.According to Wintec, they are made from imported Finnish ply over a locally sourced and sustainable Saligna frame. The result a sculptural, organic and comfortable armchair. Finland has a long tradition in producing beautiful plywood which has, of course, been also used by such legends as Alvar Aalto in their designs.
Traditional Methods - New Designs
Node aims to connect a worldwide network of designers and artists with traditional Nepalese carpet makers to create beautiful handmade rugs.Their rug makers, Kumbeshwar are a founder member of Fair Trade Nepal. Employees are taught literacy and skills. In addition to fair wages their work supports a school of 260 children and an orphanage of nineteen. Node's mission statement sounds idealistic, but the rugs are stunning and priced well.
Node produces their carpets entirely by hand using age old and natural Tibetan carpet making techniques. All their carpets are made from bales of pure Tibetan wool. It is hand spun into thread, hand dyed with natural and non-polluting dyes, and then hand-knotted on our looms into carpet. While the rugs have the traditional lustrous feel of a traditional wool rug, they look fresh and completely new, thanks to the great designers and illustrators, node is working with. More importantly, you can send in your won custom design which they will reproduce. So, watch out world, you may see some rugs designed by me soon.
New York Fashion Week in is full force. Yesterday, I got a chance to see the Ivana Helsinki Rotterdam A/W 2013-2014 collection live from the front row.
The venue, 450 studios, had exactly one working elevator and we had to line up outside for an hour. Pre-blizzard freezing wind from the Hudson River transformed my core into a rattling bowl of ice cubes and made me feel literally like a fashion victim. As soon as the show started, however, the bold prints and strong colors brought some spring back to my soul.
I have always found Paola Suhonen’s designs to be approachable, yet inventive. Some forms, such as Peter Pan collars and gathered puffy sleeves are definitely classic and familiar but pieces are often finished with little surprises. For example, the “Amber” dress had exaggerated Victorian era inspired sleeves, but the material was denim with hand made unique bleach. The same dress balanced the high neckline with upper thigh length, certainly a no-no in the puritan Victorian era.
Although, the prints had no floral cutesy, lot of the cuts and forms reminded me of a delicate bell flower, which quite nicely balanced the occasional austerity of materials. The bell flower form was especially evident with “Jessika” and other raita printed dresses.
All models wore thick tights, some of those shockingly white. It takes a special body type (that of a model?) to be able to pull that off. Luckily, come spring, you can leave your legs bare and let sun kiss them with that delicious golden color. This might help you hold off those tights a week longer? The whole show was also decisively not accessorized. I would have wanted to see perhaps some bags or jewelry. I don’t think that would have taken attention away from the strong pieces.
Unfortunately, my iPhone camera wasn’t quite up to the task, but you can see the full collection here.
The fans of MTV’s ingenious Pimp My Ride show can now liberate their inner rap master and pimp their own folded paper rides. With Foldify app for iPad, one can pimp also boxes and other figurines. However, as my boys and I fended off some flu infused haze, we opted for cars and buses.
You don’t need a garage filled with dude-types for these hot rods. You can paint with app’s brushes or use stamps that come with it. Every action you take in Foldify, is previewed in real-time 3D, without any delays or extra steps. Then you can print your figure using AirPrint or send as a PDF by e-mail. It is quite wonderful for the kids to use scissors and glue and hold the final 3D version in their hands. The app definitely develops spatial thinking and subsequent crafting helps with fine motor skills.
Quite honestly, after a while, I was tempted to bring the PDF to Photoshop and get those hubcaps spinning with real chrome. The stamps are limited and brushes a little clumsy. For now, I have resisted the temptation.