Wednesday, March 31, 2010

DAILY REMEDY FOR... Now


"You Are Here Now" Print by Farouche

HOUSE CALLS: Erin from Recovering Lazyholic

I want to introduce you to the vibrant, unique and energetic talent of Erin, from Recovering Lazyholic. It is impossible for me to adequately describe the work that Erin does as she really is a jack of all trades when it comes to creating images. And anyway, I know you would much rather here it from her. Erin, over to you...
Describe the work that you do. "I have two major interests. One is photography and it has been something I've enjoyed doing since I was a little kid. And I suppose in the last year I have also spent a lot time doing graphic design. I actually never felt comfortable with that label (graphic design) since I have absolutely no training and I figured calling it that suggests I know what I'm doing. But some other folks have said it's graphic design, and I suppose technically it is... so it's easier to just go with that than continue to say "it's some stuff I do". ANYWAY both expressions of creativity are pretty selfish. Photography feels like something I have to do to sort of charge my batteries (like food), to fill me up with happiness, as silly as that sounds. The designs are more like the excrement, except hopefully a little prettier than the kind one generally thinks of. I don't think I could stop making them if I wanted to. My brain would could get too clogged up with nonsense and crud."

"Ruination" Print part of Erin's "One Minute Photoshop Thoughts" series.

"Beyond that I'm a pretty big fan of typography, word association, color coding... things that connect other things to help make sense out of things that otherwise might not. It all probably sounds loftier than I intend it to. Again these are all sort of exercises for myself and if other people like it then that is a bonus"

Prints from Recovering Lazyholic's New ABCs series.

What was the career/education path you took to get to this point? "I studied photography in high school and a little in college. My mom worked for a local newspaper so I also had full access to their darkroom which I took advantage of. Beyond that nothing formal. I didn't finish school and sort of lost my motivation to make anything when I became more obsessed with working at my job. It wasn't until a relationship fell apart and I lost my job that I redirected my attention to my long lost love of making things. You can't beat that kind of therapy."

Where do you get your inspirations? "In no particular order... Sesame St., Little Golden books, 1001 blogs I have bookmarked in Google Reader, my parents, driving around, dreams, movies, hormones, bad habits, love and the ridiculous."

"Vista" Photographic Print

Describe the creative process in designing and constructing a particular piece. "Photographs are a generally and on-the-fly kind of thing... I see it and shoot it. The designs I make usually begin from an out of no-where thought that I doodle down as it's happening... if I'm upset, frustrated, really excited; usually an extreme emotion that I need to expel and it feels less melodramatic to make a quick diagram of sorts than to write "dear diary, ________ is ________ and I'm going to describe it a 1,000 words that will only make me tired and sick of my thoughts".

"Seating" Print

Where do you create your work? "Everything is done at my house. I have an office where my computer, scanner, and extra hard drives are. I'm surrounded by my Pez collection, my favorite movie poster (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso), novelty toys, camera collection, and tons of scraps of paper (including bills I'm afraid to open). I also have a back room with my work table, which is where I having my cutting board and other crafty type supplies. Both are a complete disaster and seeing them would only make people wonder how anyone can do anything in such a tortured looking environment, but I promise you if I make them look more respectable I will send photos."

"Reminder-Call Your Folks" Photographic Print from the Reminders series of photographs.

Would you share with us some of your favourite artisans? "I'm going to cheat and break into two groups... although I could list many many more. I love Jason Munn. His posters say so much with so little. Same goes for Olly Moss. Mark Weaver is also terrific."

Sonic Youth Poster from a selection of Jason Munn Posters

The "Make Something Cool Everyday" Project 2009 by Olly Moss

Editorial Illustration for The Sunday Times Magazine

"My current favorite photographers are Missy Prince, Allison V Smith, and Andrew Sea James"

Where can we find your work for sale?Etsy

"Fornication" Print

What/who are the things you love most in your life? "My family, my friends, my boyfriend, my dogs, sleeping, dreaming, travelling, watching movies, making things, eating beef jerky, and drinking orange soda on special occasions"

"Between the Sheets" Photographic Print

What would you do “in your wildest dreams”, if there were no restrictions (like money, or responsibilities!)? "My wildest dream is to get in my car and drive across the country taking pictures of everything little thing I could, and stay at the weirdest crappiest motels along the way (excluding any places that have dirty sheets or stranger's body hair). And obviously not have to work."

What is your greatest professional achievement? "Well it doesn't take much to feel like I've achieved much so what it an accomplishment to me might look like amateur hour to someone else. I was just in a Brazilian magazine and that was kind of cool. I made some posters and did the artwork for a musician's album (including slap bracelets) and that was a lot of fun and a bit of a departure since I don't often make things for other people (but I'm definitely up for doing more of that)."

Journal Of Doing with Pencil

What is new with you and your work? "I made a series of cards called "Symbolisms". They're little business card sized sentiments that include, well, a symbol and a sentiment. Probably not terribly practical but again playing around with imagery and words. I've been taking more photos with my old AE-1 and liking the results. I'm going to finally work on a photo series that captures what we are all lazy about. Who knows where that will lead though. And I'm going to Baltimore soon and really looking forward to having an opportunity to take photos of those surroundings."

Symbolisms

Do you have a motto for life? "It's cheesy but goes along with my Recovering Lazyholic persona, and that is "the prescription is doing", meaning keep yourself busy, do stuff, and life can be pretty fulfilling. It's a nicer way of saying "get off your lazy ass"."

As you know, I love a good Prescription myself! Check in on Erin's blog, to follow her exploits and creative output. It is a great read as well as a visual feast. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Thanks Erin for doing such a fabulous job of letting us into your creative world.

DAILY REMEDY FOR... Perspective

"Look On The Bright Side" Print by My Zoetrope

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DAILY REMEDY FOR... Purpose

"Your crazy emotional needs give my life purpose" Papercut by Owly Shadow Puppets

WEEKLY REMEDIES

Apologies everyone. I was foiled in my attempt to post this last week, as the promised second instalment of Weekly Remedies, but I am going to keep to my word and post twice this week with my favourite finds.
So, I better get busy! To kick things off this week I thought I would look at things a little differently when putting this together, and the result is that I thought we should take a trip! All of these fabulous finds are from Scotland, my second home in case you had missed that about me. Gorgeous stuff I think you will agree...

1. "Morning" Mixed Media Collage by Ae Fond Kis 2. Anchor Brooch by A Wooden Tree 3. Address Book Box by Margaret and Walter

4. "Seafood Medley" Linocut by Jess Lovell 5. Heidi, Hand Painted Egg Cup by The Night Owl 6. Felt Flower Brooch by Wee Bird Boutique

7. "Molly" Crochet Cushion Cover by Emma Lamb 8. Harris Tweed Cushion Cover by Life Covers 9. Lapin de Lune Rabbit by Lou Lou and Oscar

Monday, March 29, 2010

TECHNICAL GLITCHES

Just wanted to let you know that I am unable to upload images to my blog at the moment, but rest assured Blogger are working on this issue just for me...and you! Sorry, I promised you another weekly remedies last week and I have it all set up but can't post it.

So in the meantime, a little radio silence from me...

Friday, March 26, 2010

FOXY FINDS FRIDAY

Phew, what a week of Foxiness. These finds just keep getting better and better. And to add to my picks for the week, I have another Foxy treasure Chez Renard. This time, instead of a garden gnome we have this cheeky Fox, dressed for a Hunt. He looks rather pleased with himself don't you think?


This weeks picks are among my very favourites and I love how after we heard from Crankbunny, all these Fox puppets caught my eye!
Handmade Paper Fox Puppet by Furzechan

Fox Love Pin and Sticker Set by Black Forest Cake

Mr Fox Plush by Strawberries and Cream

Fox Y-Bracelet by Melissa Loschy

Handsome Fox Woodland Puppet by Royal Buffet

They just keep on coming...
Have a great weekend, I am off to Boston to look after our little fox cubs Oliver and Noah, and can't wait! See you next week.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

HOUSE CALLS: Adriana from drika.b

I am a tote kind of Gal, a clutch Girl too. I like practical fabrics, simple shapes and lots colour, and even more I adore a slightly altered version of a classic piece. All of these things exist in the world of drika.b.
Adriana is the one woman machine behind this brand. Based in California, she comes from a wonderful mix of cultures (Brazilian, Italian, Polish) that absolutely provide her with the passion she demonstrates for making gorgeous totes, handbags and pouches. I have long been a fan, and luckily Adriana has dropped in for a chat today to tell us more.

Shadow Ivory Basic Tote

Describe the work that you do? "I’m CEO, designer, photographer and model behind drika.b, a small independent business specialized in the making of limited edition handmade bags in a wide range of sizes and shapes, using a combination of bold fabrics and upholstery jute webbing."

Azure Antler Weekender Bag

Don't you just love the way she uses utilitarian jute to accent the gorgeous fabrics? This is exactly the style I adore.

What was the career/education path you took to get to this point? "I’m an Industrial design and Architecture graduate with a passion for sewing that started when I was a little girl. I still remember my grandpa taking me to fabric stores and buying me fabrics so, I could sew dresses for my dolls. After graduating, I put sewing on the side and began to work as a project manager in a construction company; I was also an interior design consultant on the side, until my husband was relocated to work in the US 10 years ago."

"During my first 2 years in this country I went back to school and studied English and French. The following 4 years, I worked in the corporate world as a fashion merchandiser and the year after as a language consultant for Google. It was while working for Google that I came across etsy and at the same time a dear friend gave me scraps of fabrics from her work and told me I should sew something with them. I combined what etsy had to offer with my love for sewing and created drika.b."

Enchino Blue Bird Pouch

Where do you get your inspirations? "It’s all about what catches “my eye”. It can come from a store window (love Anthropologie), magazines (Japanese Scandinavian especially) or from reading blogs such as decor8, OH Joy, Creature Comforts, regularly. Travelling also helps to get a different perspective on new trends."

Describe the creative process in designing and constructing a particular piece. "I sketch every single idea I have on paper first and, because if this, I have notebooks everywhere. After coming to a decision about a new design, I transfer it into a paper pattern in order to get the right proportion, and then I cut it into fabric, a very colourful fabric one because a white just won’t do. After that, I sew a rough version of the bag, hang it on a board for observation, take pictures of me wearing it, and adjust its proportions until it is just right. This process can take weeks. When I’m happy with the result, I cut the final pattern and start the production."

Are you ready to take a peak into Adriana's workspace? I could just LIVE in there, so organised, stylish and packed full of lovely things!

Would you share a few of your favourite artisans with us? "Kjoo's work shows a great way to mix colors and textures. I’m always inspired by her work. It’s so unique."

Textile Choker No.382

"Ninu‘s bags are so stylish. I love the origami effect they have"


"Erin Tyner photography makes my mind wonder! The way she plays with the miniature figurines is awesome."

"In Dreams" Print

Where can we find your work? "You can find me on Etsy and Supermarket"

What/who are the things you love most in your life? "Besides my family and my dog Cierra, I love a pair of pearl earrings that belonged to my grandma. I’m obsessed with French macaroons (especially the ones from LadurĂ©e) and have a passion for photography, swimming and jumping on my bed, especially when my husband is asleep."

Through the Forest in Teal Pouch

What would you do “in your wildest dreams”, if there were no restrictions? "Well, I live a very fulfilling life. I have a great husband, family and friends (including the one that corrected my bad grammar for this interview, thanks Monca), excellent health and have had the opportunity to travel to many countries and eat great food. But, what I dream about is being able to spend time with my nonno (grandpa in Italian) drinking wine, eating salami, cheese and bread. He passed away 2 years ago."

Flower Field Lily Basic Tote

What is your greatest professional achievement? "To be my own boss and do something I’m passionate about and also to have created a label that is well known by its quality and creativity."

What is new with you and your work? "I’m getting ready for my annual visit to Brazil to see my mom and grandma. I’m also working on my own website and new designs. Expect to be done with it and be ready to launch within the next year. I’m always sketching."

Do you have a motto for life? "“Love others as you love yourself” & “The purpose of design is to make the ordinary extraordinary”"

I so love those two sayings, what a wonderful basis on which to live a full and creative life! I am blown away by the skill, business savy and creativity she demonstrates in running all aspects of her business. What an inspiration!

Thank you Adriana for stopping by and letting us see into your wonderful world of drika.b!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FOXY FINDS THURSDAY


O.K., I know I am a day early, but I wanted to dedicate a whole post to the promised final peak at our mantelpiece where some of our fox treasures live.

Oh, and more cow bells too...

I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the Fox print hanging in the top right of this picture (my photo does not do it any justice). This is a Fox Portrait done by the superbly talented, singularly unique, dog obsessed and truly witty, Anna Dibble. I will say right off the bat that Anna is a great friend of ours, and her work under the title DibbleDog is extremely well known in this area of Southern Vermont.

"Juno, Muggs & Lester", Painting

"Cocktail Party 2", Oil on Birch

Anna is an illustrator/artist/cartoonist who has worked for the likes of Marvel, Hanna Barbera, Disney and Sesame Street prior to starting her own business. She currently specialises in prints, cards and paintings featuring Dogs. What makes this Fox cartoon/portait so unique is that it was done using a technique that Anna no longer uses, so I asked her to tell me more about it.

"The Fox was part of a long series - started in the 70s - of pen and ink animal portraits. I started with a pencil drawing, using a photograph for very general reference, on good quality water color paper, then went in with a pen. That piece was probably drawn with a Rapidograph pen, a pen I used a lot back then. They'd often get clogged, and you'd have to take the pen apart, run water through the tip, put it back together and shake it until the ink flowed again. After inking, I painted it with water color washes,leaving some of the white of the raw paper."

There is a lot of cross hatching in this drawing and Anna sites 19th Century children's illustrator, E.H. Shepard (most famous for illustrating Winnie The Pooh and The Wind In The Willows) as one major protagonist of this technique.

Apologies for not being able to get a great image of this Fox Portrait so that you can really get a sense of the detailed technique Anna used, and just how fabulously regal this fox is. He is so alert, like he is holding still waiting for the artist to finish his portrait!

So more Foxy Finds tomorrow...lucky you! In the meantime, check out Anna's work. If you love dogs, you are sure to love the wit and character she puts into these images, giving them human personas. As we all know, dogs really are human!

HANDMADE THERAPY UPDATE

PROJECT 2: FRAMED FABRIC !!UPDATED!!

I am not going to rehash the details of this embroidery hoop framed fabric project I did sometime ago. You can see my original post here. I will add to that post, that this time around I trimmed the fabric on the back away completely, allowing the hoops to hang flush to the wall. Much better.

I just wanted to show you my new additions to this collection, since I was feeling the need to change things up a little and introduce some new fabrics to my bedroom. And, even though I deliberately contrast colour and pattern when I accessorize/decorate, I felt that I could have done a better job the first time around.

I love this combo of more muted greens and pinks, and gingham is just too fabulous.

Oh yeah, and I decided to hang one of my patchwork quilts on the wall too! I swear your head is probably spinning from the amount of colour and pattern I have on my walls now, but I just love it.

HANDMADE THERAPY

PROJECT 5: FABRIC WALL ART

Watch out, I am positively BURSTING with creativity this week!!

Still limiting myself to No-Sew projects with maximum impact/minimum effort, today I created beautiful fabric wall art. Basically, I took some fat quarters of insanely gorgeous Heather Bailey fabric ($2.75 each...can't beat it!) and stretched and tacked them over artist's canvases I bought at Michael's for about $5 each. Simple!

It is basically like gift wrapping a book, tucking in the edges and tacking them down. I wouldn't say I was as neat as I could have been, but I figure no-one sees the back anyway! Just make sure you keep the right amount of tension on the fabric to leave the finished piece wrinkle free.

Don't you just love how simple this is and how easily you can add colour/pattern to a room using this technique? Total cost per framed fabric piece...$7. Love it.

Ta Da!! My newly decorated bedroom wall...notice the Liberty for Target candle? Yum!

VINTAGE FIND: Roger and the Fox

Lavinia R. Davis was an American author specialising in children's stories and teen novels (as well as a number of adult mysteries). She wrote predominantly in the 1940's to 1950's (40+ books in all) with 2 of her children's stories winning the Caldecott Medal Honor for their illustrations.

One of those award winning books was "Roger and The Fox", illustrated by Hildegard Woodward and published in 1947.

As you can imagine, this book is right up my alley, but the added bonus is that Roger is Pops' name. Isn't it weird how sometimes you can find something that is just too perfect for words? Well, someone else obviously thought so as I imagine this original copy was a gift to him, and I discovered it in his study yesterday.

The story line is as follows...Roger is a six year old boy whose family have moved to the countryside of Connecticut to run a farm. He is referred to as a "city boy" and hates it. Roger is fascinated with the wildlife he is discovering in his new surroundings and when Seth (his father's farm hand) tells him he saw a fox, he is a boy on a mission.

Woodward's illustrations are so beautifully subtle and paired down, using a palate of black graphite with red and blue watercolour to depict Roger's fox tracking adventures through the Fall and Winter seasons. There is a perfect description of walking through leaves in the Fall as making a “fine, dry, corn-popping, pie-eating, cider-drinking, fall sound”. Davis' descriptive language is punchy and captivating.

Once Roger masters the art of skiing, he discovers that he can move around silently, and that way eventually manages to sneak up on the fox and to his delight, and immense pride, he sees TWO!

You can just see the satisfaction he gets from telling Seth! Completely delightful in every way!
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