Monday, November 30, 2009

All Aboard.

Chris and I were hard at work this fine holiday weekend. As I mentioned, our Southern Exposure piece is all about an old train line that ran through the Mission. And since I love you guys (and apparently love talking about myself), here's a sneak peak of what this Saturday will look like.

The first thing I've been finishing up is the design for the vinyl markers that will follow the old train route. The markers will featured a little blurb about the history of the route and also tell participants where the next "stop" is. The final stop will be a train depot that my handy husband built.

Mock up of vinyl markers as installed.

There, Chris (dressed in a great old vest and tie combo along with a pocket watch) will greet the "passengers" and give each of them a ticket. Chris has been busy drawing old trains and stations from the route. I then scanned them into Photoshop and played technicolor wizard to make them look like old postcard images. They will go on the back of the train tickets with a nice little anecdote about the line. There will be four different ticket designs. Two of the original drawings are below.

The front of the ticket will be fashioned after old train tickets. Chris will write the passenger's name on the ticket and then punch whichever "stop" that they boarded the train. Each ticket will be numbered and lettered differently so each ticket will in fact be an original. Who has two thumbs and is super excited to print and cut out 125 of these bad boys? This girl!

Click on ticket to see more detail.

So that's where we are at today. I still need to finish up the research, design the last two tickets, finish the vinyl, get the vinyl cut, print the tickets, cut out the tickets and prep the vinyl for install. Oh, and Chris gets to finish the depot. You know what I'm thankful for this year? Caffeine!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Obsess Much?

Nautilus Cowboy.

Are you ready to say uncle with my current collage obsession? It's getting to the point where I should start a side blog, "The Wife of an Artist Who Loves Collage." It would probably be quite tedious to type that in all the time though.

I think my obsession stems from the fact that collage is something I think I could be really, really good at... it encompasses everything I love about design that I'm good at, but also allows you to create imaginary, impossible scenes. There's something about flipping through magazine after magazine to accumulate all of the components for your piece and then being able to arrange and rearrange and remove and add. It's like Photoshop...but in real life ;)

I wish I had the time right now to really foster this art form. And perhaps I should just set a meager new collage a month? That seems doable. But until I'm able to give it the attention it deserves, I'll just search for inspiration online. The work of Able Parris seems like a good place to start. I love how Able creates scenes that I know I would these elements belong together? But somehow he assembles them so that I can't imagine how the final piece would work if one of them was missing.

Sometimes I'm too practical for my own good. Maybe collage will help me find my imagination again.

Old Lady.

The Shapes of Numbers.


Hands of Creation.

The Future is Bright.
All collages by Able Parris.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Passive Aggressive.

Click on the image to see more detail.

I apologize in advance if my posts are few and far between for the next week. It's crunch time for next Saturday when Chris and I present the world (or the few folks that walk by) with our first collaborative piece for Southern Exposure's Passive/Aggressive Urban Intervention Day. Our public art piece is called "All Aboard." Here's a bit more info:
The train was once the main method of long distance travel that forced riders to sit, wait and take in their surroundings. This project follows part of route of the historic South Pacific Railroad line along Harrison Street with markers acting as “stations” inviting participants to "hop on board" while providing interesting facts about the railroad and its long history. The route will end at a train depot (NE corner of 24th and Capp Sts.) where participants will be greeted by a train attendant and given a uniquely rendered ticket, each featuring a different destination that the Southern Pacific Railroad served.
I'm going to be busy over the next week designing train tickets, printing and cutting said train tickets, designing vinyl markers for the sidewalk, installing markers and trying to keep myself from freaking out. It's going to be a ton of work, but once all is said and done it should be a fabulous project.

So if you don't hear much from me, that is why. I had to clarify so you didn't think that I got lost at the mall. I hope everyone out here had a fantastic Thanksgiving (or Thursday as it's known outside of the US). Thank you all so much for taking time out of your undoubtedly hectic schedules to stop by here. It means the world to me. And this little blog here will definitely be one of the best things I decided to do in all of 2009!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

From whorange via fabulon.

Wishing all of you a day filled with family, friends, fun and food (and football...if you are into that sort of thing)!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Watch. This. Now.

As the guy at Peet's so eloquently put it, Animal's existential crisis is just so evident in the way he says, "Mama? Mama!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Freaking Obsessed.

Le Monde des Livres.

To say I have a preference for all things collage, retro-inspired and absurd with a bit of Dr. Strangelove and astrophysics thrown in (I stole that from Julien Pacaud) would be an understatement. I think infatuation is a much better word. So my design aesthetic is a little predictable if you've been around these parts once of twice, but can you blame me?

Case in point...French illustrator extraordinaire Julien Pacaud. Sorry Chad and Mark, but I just found a new obsession. Is genius too strong of a word? Damn these illustrators leaving me at a loss for words. Here's the first four I could come up with: I want it all.

Good Girl.

Memories of Tomorrow.


World Construction Kit.
All images from Julien Pacaud found via Design Crisis.

About Inspiration at My Sparrow.

The lovely Christina Fluegge of My Sparrow recently asked me to answer some questions regarding what inspires me. Inspiration is such a hard thing to pin down. If you want to know more about mine, you can read it here.

After you finish reading that, make sure to check out Christina's beautiful eco-friendly online store, also called My Sparrow. She also sells her jewelry on etsy and I need every single necklace in her shop.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Dream Team.

Image from Dr Curry.

Chris and I often talk of becoming the next power art husband and wife team. Okay, we delude ourselves over margaritas, but it's still a fun conversation.

Last week, the world lost one half of the world's most prolific art couples, Jeanne-Claude, the woman with the orange-dyed hair and Christo's wife. The duo, having worked together for nearly 50 years, was most well known for their environmental works. From wrapping the coast of Little Bay in Australia to creating a 24 mile fabric fence that spanned from Sonoma County to the Pacific Ocean to wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin, their work is unique in that it lasts only for a brief period of time. Of this Christo said:
Do you know that I don't have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they're finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.

Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (1968-69)

Running Fence, California (1972-76)

Reichstag, Berlin (1971-95)

Rifle, Colorado (1970-72)

Little Bay, Australia (1968-69)
Images from the New York Times.

There has been much controversy about their work. Critics equally lauded and denounced The Gates in Central Park. But regardless of its aesthetic value, there is something about their work that does indeed represent courage. Artists aren't great because they make things that are particularly hard to make. Artists are great because they make things that are hard to think. They don't know the word can't.

An artist's mind constantly astounds me. There is nothing that Chris thinks is impossible. Any time he presents me with an idea, my mind starts a running list of the logistics required to make it work. This is why I'm not an artist. I instantly see the hurdles. Chris just sees the finish line. But who knows, maybe together we will make something great.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Lo Res Shoe by United Nude.

These shoes were designed by scanning an image of a shoe into a 3-D computer model and then re-generating it at a low resolution. Blah blah blah, smart people with computers, I don't really care how they were made, I just want a pair.

Hi United Nude, this is my plea to allow us to buy these beauties in the US. Thanks!

(I was worried that you all were getting tired of these shoe posts, but then I remembered nearly all of my readers are women and to us, there's no such thing as too many shoes. Phew!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Love to Wrap.

I'm a bit OCD when it comes to holiday gift wrapping. I have a gift wrap budget each year. Paper Source and I have been BFFs the past few years, while Crate and Barrel and I have been pretty buddy buddy. But this year, I think I'm ditching my old friends for someone much cooler (don't worry...this is something I now only do figuratively. I grew out of it in middle school).

I am so ready to exchange Best Friends necklaces with TapeSwell decorative tape. Get me some kraft paper or fun tissue paper and I am good to go! How did I not know about this before? Oh, and they have tape for all occasions. I feel an unhealthy obsession coming on.

All images from TapeSwell found via Design Crush.

Doing the Guest Post.

Today, you can find me over at simple blueprint with a guest post while the lovely Joanna is on vacation. If you've never been to visit her blog, stick around for a while as I'm sure you will find some amazing eye candy! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Inspiring Cargo.

Thanks to collective members like Chad Hagen and Mark Weaver, Cargo is my new go to whenever I need inspiration. I mean, look what I found over there today. Tanya Johnston is an artist, illustrator and designer. And I'm absolutely in awe of her "drawings" (this is how she describes them, but they look like so much more to me). I see influences of Chagall, Picasso, Basquiat and Miró. Thanks to her impeccable use of line and space, I think I'm in love.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Because Buying Handmade is Good for the Soul.

Have you made the Handmade Holiday Pledge over at Frenchie & Flea yet? The lovely lasses of F&F are encouraging their readers to buy handmade for the holidays this year. But beyond that, they are also offering 12 fantastic days of giveaways (I'm a little late posting this as days 1-5 have already occurred...Sorry!).

In honor of this fabulous giveaway and the pledge, I thought I'd share with you all a preview into some of my favorite Etsy stores. I went for variety here...paper goods, prints, vintage, housewares. I hope you enjoy and perhaps find that perfect gift for someone on your list. (By the way, how is it almost Thanksgiving already?!?)

fabulous paper goods by frenchieandflea

whimsical prints by laurageorge

sweet vintage finds from thebigheist

retro home wares from findingfabulous

amazing wood creations by naturedesign

perfects prints for the kitchen by evajuliet

gorgeous handmade dishes by atelierBB

Bon soir et bon shopping! (Look what 6 weeks of French does for ya!)
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