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April 30, 2006

crafty katie

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I Just came across a kindred spirit. I'm having fantasies of having enough superfluous money to commission her to design something for me, ah if only. She's a knitter, designer, crafter, illustrator and obviously loves bunnies and farm animals too. Yeah, I say five stars for Kate Sutton.

April 29, 2006

dig ladytron

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It's always novel to have a night out once you're a parent. However, I always have to weigh the difficulty of never being able to sleep in and likelihood of a hangover against the potential fun factor. Having said that, last night was a good time. I think I like going out with a bigger group 'cause there's lots of little factions to chat with and always someone who offers to get you a drink. We went out with a group of 14, on a Friday night, and with no dinner reservation. I think an ordinary host and hostess might have panicked, don't you? We ended up choosing the low key, cheap and delicious Osha Thai - their original divey location on Geary & Leavenworth. I admit it was rather stressful to coax the restaurant staff into making sure they saved the only two tables that could possibly work for such a large party until our whole party actually arrived. After that it was all a downhill slide, gulp gulp gulp.

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The above image is of the guests of honor Ladytron; Danny, Ruben, Helen, and Mira just after the appetizers arrived. If you look at the far top right hand side you'll see hubbies statuesque shnaz too. The image above that is from the sold out show at Mezzanine. It was packed and full of trendy club goers, lots of fun people watching. Being VIP only gets you so far apparently, so we ended up spending lots of time chilling on the smokers patio chatting with a really interesting guy named Ricky. His energy was pretty intense as he had lots to tell me about how I should be getting out even though I'm a new parent. The next morning boy bunny tells me that guy was the original drummer (and recently rejoined) for the Brian Jonestown Massacre. I want you to know — that meant nothing to me. So while Max was napping Saturday afternoon, he whips out a DVD from his recently acquired PALM Pictures collection called Dig!. At first I'm not feeling this 60s psychedelic revolutionary music vibe, but as the movie rolls on I got so totally sucked in. This documentary is amazing. For over seven years they followed the bands comparing and contrasting the successes, failures, and musical experiences of Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols. They interview so many poignant record industry people and delve deeply into the psychological issues of each artist, band dynamic, and the industry as a whole. And there's incredible comic relief by Massacre's tambourine man Joel Gion. Seriously, all fingers up, it's that good.

April 28, 2006

knit-osaurs

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by way of green dilly beans I've found xtreme knitting's dinosaurs patters. I'm thrilled to learn and share the news that someone else (other than the fabulous, but totally unresponsive to my plea to buy any of her knit toy patterns, Jess Hutch) is designing and sharing free patterns for cool knit toys. Yeah, thank you Jennifer Thurston! I must make one of these, they're so darling — just add these to my ever growing to knit list.

April 27, 2006

eternal essence of rabbit

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boing boing, lookie which rabbit hole I've hopped into...the essence of rabbit {darling you're salivating right now, aren't you?}

No other living creature features as heavily in contemporary character design and art as the humble hare. But what exactly makes bunnies so irresistible to artists, designers and illustrators worldwide? Depending on the viewers’ cultural context rabbits can symbolise anything from insanity, alertness, defencelessness, all the way to promiscuity, magic powers and utter innocence. By condensing the endless variations of the rabbit motif into one ultimate system - a perfect bunny mandala - the true nature of the beast emerges: the eternal essence of rabbit.

sadly, the rest of the world outside of Germany & Europe can't order a bunny mediation mandala, wah.

April 26, 2006

to the butterfly collectors

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Today's way to work entry is what I read rather that what I saw. Perhaps I'm expanding my own way to work parameters, but hey I write the rules in this little fiefdom. What I want to share with you is a really well said interview/rant that Dave Eggers gave via email to The Harvard Advocate. After reading the addendum I'm feeling overwhelmingly uncritical about other's successes (hoping I will remember to reference this entry when I get all bitter again). It's sooo worth getting all the way through it, so read the whole damn thing and then go sell out and do something good with the profits. Ray, thanks for pointing me to this. Here's the link to 826 Valencia in case you want to donate time or money, or just tell someone else about it.

While searching for an image of Eggers to post above I came across this nifty McSweeny-esque site (a friend of Eggers I assume) utter wonder filled with stories, images and of course a blog. Ok, this I also love, the McSweenifier. It's a site that will format your writing in the McSweeny's design style - making your writing look better than it is. Oh and I feel I should link to McSweeny's store and their jokes just because it's smart writing and, above all else, it's pretty.

Art made with mission statements is not art. — Dave Eggers

April 25, 2006

mini labo

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more inspiration! Check out this site with lovely illustration and adorably sweet plushie and paper products by an oh so french company called mini labo.

April 24, 2006

i see things

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by way of wee wonderfuls, I'm now feeling super inspired and tickled by Alex Noriega's fantasticly quirky illustrations. Enjoy.

April 20, 2006

mysterious miro

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There are many aspects of Google to admire, it's amazing breadth, depth and stark simplicity to name a few, but one of my favorite little features is the logo transformations they create on special days. Google's definition of a special day goes well beyond traditional christian holidays to include many birthdays of important people who've shaped our world history. I love Google for remembering to include the arts and encouraging their millions of users to look.

Today is Joan Miro's birthday, a favorite painter of mine. He's so beloved that I named my darling black kitty after him over 13 years ago. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Miro always started a painting with a black canvas rather than the conventional white one. I adore Miro's whimsical poetic surrealism and I especially adore his magical titles such as A Dew Drop Falling from a Bird's Wing Wakes Rosalie, who Has Been Asleep in the Shadow of a Spider's Web; Stars in Snails' Sexes; or Ciphers and Constellations, in Love with a Woman.

read about Miro | view his work | view the MoMa's Black & Red site

April 19, 2006

crow about it

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Rosson Crow appears poised to be the next art world darling, or maybe she already is? Considering I just saw a little review in March Vogue, I'm thinking she's it. And for all the jealousy I feel towards this 24 year old painting superstar, I admit, I think her work is utterly fabulous. Her painterly mix of spacious realism and layered abstraction, gorgeous palette combinations, and intriguing mix of interior, still life, and historical political content keep me wanting more. Her work combines an unusual cross section of ideas. It pays homage to many painting masters — I see a lovely mix of Francis Bacon, German expressionism and Matisse-like interiors (the colors alone make my eyes weak at the knees) and at the same time the imagery is a Ritz Carlton Versaillesque sitting room meets Monet doing waterloo while Napoleon does waterlilies. I won't be surprised to see her mise en scene dressed in haute couture spread across the fashion and art world magazines flitting about the Parisian gallery-scape. And then a few years later we'll see her reemerge married to some New York or euro upper cruster slash nouveau royalty. Good for her (jealousy raising it's ugly head again). She has a wait list for her fresh out of school $16,000 pieces, so I'll just be over here admiring my little blog posting.

see more of her work | read her words

street museo II

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Here's a follow up to a previous way to work wednesday...I just noticed this double billing of the Street Museo poster series, this time on Rondel Place, a small street off 16th near Valencia. I've done a little resarch (how I love thee web) and found the artist responsible for this fabulous bill posting series. There's only a few entries on her site (I don't subscribe to myspace so maybe there are more? -- ok evil aside, I had to join myspace to contact museo artist -- bluckie! I'm frustrated by how many sites require you to join in order to view content), I am going to write her and hope to get my hands on the 52 image street museo booklet. Here's a listing of what's happening around the city to commemorate the great quake centennial. Lots of the events run through May even though the actual quake-aversary was yesterday. And here are some good links to general San Francisco information. I had to include this historical image from lady museo's site, it's such a beautifully devastating shade of pink.

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April 18, 2006

plushy crush

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I'm experiencing a plushy crush right now. It's pretty weird for me to admit this. I've spent my whole life loudly declaring that the only things I really don't like are raisins and stuffed animals. So it's some serious back pedaling on my part to talk about my new crush and pretty much admit to myself that I'm having a super girly moment which I probably should have had when I was, say seven years old. Oh well, reliving my youth. I've just finished doing some serious research on plushies. Surprisingly there's not too much out there that's fabulous, but as you might expect in this day and age, there is a lot out there (plus some seriously kinky scenarios surrounding these adorable toys). Here are the sites I want to share with you. Please let me know if you know of others.

my paper crane
house of ingri
gruesli whiney
blobby farm
kissy kissy toys
monster factory
spasmodica
the schulzies
tsai-fi
creature co-op
grasshopper berlin
giant microbes

April 17, 2006

kenyan knit toys

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I'm always on the look out for well designed knit toys and I've just come across a darling selection. All are made by a company called Dwelling and are for sale through branch. It says they are handmade by artisans in rural Kenya using naturally-dyed wool. And while you are shopping at branch (nice site, gorgeous designs and all their products are eco-aware) check out their organic cotton german-made plushies they are so sweet.

April 15, 2006

more sf playgrounds

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I'm harkening back to my other entry about my favorite sf playgrounds. Last sunday the Chronicle's pink section ran a feature on the top playgrounds. I've just returned from KidPower on Hoff st off 16th in my hood. It is a fabulous park with excellent play structures especially for toddlers. But what's weird about it is there are no kids playing there. It's in a tweaked neighborhood where the average passerby is swearing loudly, dressed in rags, likely pushing a shopping cart, and probably drunk or worse. Oh yah that's great for kids to be near and to hear. Also on the their list is McKinley Square which I've been to and loved. I've heard of most of the others, I just haven't gotten there yet. I'm making it a goal to try to get to each before the end of the year. Pretty sure I can manage to achieve this goal. However, my memory being what it is — which is quite pathetic these days — I'm using this posting to remind myself which ones to visit.

Walter Haas — Diamond Heights Boulevard at Digby Street
Julius Kahn — West Pacific Avenue near Arguello (in the Presido)
Parkside Square — Vicente at 26th Avenue
Holly Park — Highland Avenue at Bocana Street
West Portal — Lenox Way between Taraval and Ulloa Streets

April 13, 2006

show me the monkey

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sweet and quirky inspiring illustrations by small and round.

April 12, 2006

graveyard glow

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Here's an on the way home from work wednesday image of the mission graveyard which I pass by each morning and evening. It had just stopped raining for the first time in weeks so this glimpse of light seemed truly spectacular. Several famous San Franciscans are buried in the mission's graveyard, including California’s first governor under the Mexican Republic and San Francisco’s first mayor. Also there are Belle and Charles Cora, the Gold Rush era's most notorious madam and gambler, they're an excting story to read about. Turns out that this is the only graveyard left in San Francisco, well other than all the veterans buried in the Presido. All the dead San Franciscans were dug up and relocated to Colma, a true city of the dead. All this exhuming and relocating happened in the 1930s & 40s. Check out the political graveyard's listings of famous San Franciscan's who were once buried here. Note how all the graveyards say "(now gone)." It also seems that though they say they got all the bodies out of the city, it may not be true. This article claims that 300 bodies were found beneath the Legion of Honor in 1993 while they were doing some renovation digging. It also says some believe there are thousands more still below. For SF history buffs here's a map of the old sites.

April 10, 2006

nose-picking

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So I'm standing by the color printer waiting for my print outs. Then around the corner walks Frank with his finger stuck way up his nose. He sees me seeing him in this taboo act. He laughs aloud and says "ah, you've caught me picking my nose." I smile and laugh too and then say in a sarcastic tone, "well you know I NEVER do it." And then he chuckles and says "well, I would know if you did." Huh, I'm thinking that's a strange reply. Meanwhile my prints were out and now Frank and I are quickly cruising down the hall in the same direction — both probably hoping this awkward exchange will end. Still puzzled by his last reply I say, "So what, are you psychic nose-picker guy?" and he says "No, I'd just know if you were picking my nose." Tee hee! Good one Frank!

Well, well, who knew there would be an entire wikipedia entry dedicated to the art of nose-picking? And such boogerish detail too.

April 6, 2006

discarded to divine

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Just back from a funsie fashion event Discarded to Divine a benefit for St. Vincent DePaul and a showcase for the Fashion Institute of Design & Marketing (FIDM). It was a local yokel type of thingee showcasing emerging talent in a cool architectural space. Gensler's office does rock. And apparently working there is the best thing ever if you believe the hall monitor spokesperson who said "they all get along all the time and they only hire people who work out." Uh ya, real life isn't so utopian, but glad YOU think so since YOU work here. Do you think they are drugging him? Anyway, the fashions were all over the map and most unwearable. But a few were truly inventive and well executed like the men's dress shirt collar and sleeve skirt bustle, the bleached until almost white blue jean and plastic grocery bag wedding dress, and the exquisite leather coat reconstructed with a delicate ruffle silk-like blouse and an amazing layered lining (you'd have to see it to appreciate just how chic it was). But what was most fun was the attitude of all the models. They pranced around the office in real style with absolute confidence and pride. And that made all the designers winners. Really, the energy of the students made it worth the visit.

April 5, 2006

missed train

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Don't you just hate running down the escalator, seeing the train doors are still open, and then right when you're about 3 steps from making it inside — the doors close. Happy way to work wednesday, go wait it out chickie. I have to say, that at least Bart trains come often unlike mo-fo Muni.

April 1, 2006

bugless in frisco

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E N T R I E S 03.27.06 — 04.01.06

We had a wonderful vacation week spent at Buckskin Manor, a.k.a Purcellville Virginia. Forgive me for not blogging whilst away, but who fucking cares about the internet, cell phones, work, progress, or anything else other than one's daily needs — such as a good laugh and a fabulous meal? Really! Truly! We had only days filled with wasted hours trying to solve soduko puzzles and a toddler's wish to visit the faux fish in the pond. I can't begin to describe the beauty that is country living. All I can say is damn, at all costs go get ye'self a bigass cottage and settle down into the art of doing nothing other than cooking; simple cleaning; a little news checking; (and by now the day is half over) maybe you run one simple in town errand such as the grocery store or the post office; then back to your spacious cottage to prepare dinner; next take a walk down to the pond to reflect on your day, your life, or the book you're reading; then eat, drink and socialize with whomever is there. If you're alone, watch a great foreign flick, read, knit, blog or do whatever floats your boat. Ahhhhh that's a perfect day. Sleep well and then repeat. This is perfection, happiness, and the zen of daily living. You've achieved it. Die happy.

But seriously, back to reality. Max had a perfect week, where he blossomed. I realized that I wished I could offer him a childhood in the country. Too bad, it won't happen. I'll be robbing of him of such sweetness by keeping him subjected to city pressure and confined to what litte sand and grass the nature in city parks has to offer. The only upside is the lack of bugs.

p.s. neither funding sources or fighting for world peace are issues in my art barn dreamland.