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December 31, 2008

ryden's rabbits

Ryden Giraffebunny
Ryden Bunnybee
Ryden Bunnybox
Ryden Tea
Ryden Bunnycart
Oh my gosh, I'm so in love with these paintings. They beautifully mix some of my my favorites" Frida Kahlo, Dutch & Italian masters, surrealism, children's book illustrations and darling rabbits! Mark Ryden's paintings draw you in with gorgeous color palettes and seductive realism while pushing you away with creepy juxtapositions of religious symbolism and childhood nightmares. What's best of all you ask? Well, the use of bunnies, fluffy rabbits and more bunnies, of course!

It is only in childhood that contemporary society truly allows for imagination. Children can see a world ensouled, where bunnies weep and bees have secrets, where “inanimate” objects are alive. Many people think that childhood’s world of imagination is silly, unworthy of serious consideration, something to be outgrown. Modern thinking demands that an imaginative connection to nature needs to be overcome by “mature” ways of thinking about the world. Human beings used to connect to life through mystery and mythology. Now this kind of thinking is regarded as primitive or naive. Without it, we cut ourselves off from the life force, the world soul, and we are empty and starving. I believe in letting imagination thrive in my art. I am not afraid of nostalgia or sentiment. I value taking the time to make a painting “beautiful.” I want to breath life into my paintings. — Mark Ryden [excerpt taken from his artist statement from Wondertoonel]

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December 30, 2008

technicolor kandinsky

Stark Two
Stark One
Stark Three
These are felt tip drawings on paper. Wild eh?! I'm wildly impressed. Art by Jen Stark.

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December 29, 2008

penny's pen

House Flowers
Caged Bird
Birds Wire
Wonderfully inspiring illustrations (design & typography too) by Penelope Dullaghan and fun blog too.

She co-runs illustration friday too, which I just signed up for. It'll be amazing if I find the time to draw anything let alone participate!!

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December 26, 2008

yummy yumi

Yumi Detail
Yumi Leaves
Yumi's illustrations are loose and rough while still warm and quirky. I like these a lot, they inspire me to loosen up!

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December 25, 2008

bunny films

Christmas Movie
30Sec Bunnies
Oh my gawd, these 30 second bunny re-enactments of major movies are pretty darn funny. Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2008

embroidery illustration

Tea Towel

Another direction I'm feeling pulled toward is embroidered and sewn illustration. I'm so happy when I come across examples (especially ones I've seen in Selvedge) The image above is by Creative Thursday [blog

Sad Girl

A sad girl by Ashley G by way of her Etsy shop. [blog kitty genius] Others to check out are Emily Eibel, found by way of Design for Mankind and Craft zine; Megan Whitmarsh, Kent Henricksen, Sandrine Pelletier, Mark Newport, Takashi Iwasaki [image above] by way of Nebo Peklo,

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December 23, 2008

cori dantini

in keeping with art and illustration on the printed page (I've been feeling pulled in this direction lately!) I found these lovely illustrations by Cori Dantini [blog]. I also read this candid and heart warming interview about her (all roads lead to Etsy!). Her line work is whimsically sophisticated and I love the white washing and subtle monochromatic color palette.

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December 22, 2008

zakka defined

Zakka Drawing
zakka: literally means “many goods.”
zakka. It's the term for everything and anything that spruces up your home, life and outlook.
zakka:- the things that make people feel happy and exist, like a comfortable air.
Cute is not enough. To qualify as a zakka, a product must be attractive, sensitive, laden with subtexts. It's the art of finding the savvy in the mundane.
Definitions taken from this Herald Tribune article and this one in the Taipei Times

Crafting Japanese — the ultimate diy zakka resource
cozy corner & blog
Zakka on Flickr
freakin cute sewing zakka
designer zakka
zakka zoo
zakka the movie

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Bhutan Take Me Away

These days I find myself very fatigued with economists. I am not interested in quantifying everything in the world and subjecting it to a cost benefit analysis. I shudder at the thought of economic forecasts and projections. When arguing with economists it’s really hard to win, because they use so much jargon and seem to rely on “the numbers don’t lie” type of thing. And then there’s the obsession with money, money, money. And we know where that kind of thinking has gotten us. Finally, because I don’t really understand, care about, or like economics yet it’s inescapable. GDP, recession, decline, numbers, bad news –everywhere! Can someone please ask NPR to run at least one less sorry state of the economy story?
Enter Bhutan. That lovely landlocked nation in Asia that’s oh so hard to visit, but is beautiful and Buddhist and cares about its citizens’ happiness. This entails valuing such things as: respect for all living things, nature, community participation and the need for balance between work, sleep and reflection or meditation. I am trying to imagine an American leader talk about the need for reflection and meditation in its citizens’ lives. Has anyone thought of bringing that up? Who’s not on PBS? Anyways check out the article about Bhutan and its quest to raise its GNH (Gross National Happiness).

December 21, 2008

recycled words

Experience Detail
I think this concept of using old texts to create visual poetry by singling out certain words is stunning. Then add in illustration and I'm totally in love. Art by Will Ashford, found by way of Dear Ada.

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December 20, 2008

happy shapes and colors

Jelly Bean Birds-1

Zukzuk Circles

I'm liking these jelly bean birds and sugar baby circles by ZukZuk. Her blog and etsy shop hold lots of inspiration.

These Japanese woodblock prints by Mariko Jess are so sweet. I love the soft textures and palettes, makes me feel happy. Found by way of Dear Ada.

And below is a quote that doesn't go with the above, but I wanted to save it 'cause it's so true and it will remind me to stay on my own path.

To be nobody but myself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. —ee cummings

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spinning right round

Max Spinning

December 19, 2008

bunny with an art blog

Abstract Nativity

Ok, it's so weird when you run across things that seem so like you that it freaks you out (nope, nothing to do with the religious scenes pictured here!!). But yes, this weird — is it me or is it you —thing just happened to me. I found this blog called "bunny with an art blog". This "art bunny" is my bunny-art-design-illustration loving blogger twin, so trippy!?@#$%! There's lots to like and find on his site, but I was caught today by his abstract nativity creation. It's so cool. Mr. C has a nativity scene from his childhood which I've recently realized that I really love it too. The dark wood shapes and bright, painted colors are so super 70s. It's truly, deeply, fabulous with a groovy walk like an Egyptian angel and some wooly sheeps and llamas too. (need to add bunnies next time!)

Nativity Left
Nativity Right

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December 18, 2008

floating rabbits

Bunnies Adrift
Look! What darling floating bunnies. I found this gocco print and quite a few other "i heart bunnies" items at Argyle Whale on that wish I had thought of it first 'cause I made it myself e-marketplace : : : drum roll : : : Etsy.
Buy Handmade

Take the "buy handmade pledge" and support the real deal. Like you need a reason?

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December 14, 2008

mai's party

Bella Mai Griffin-1
Max Johnny
Holding Pee
Max had a great time at Mai's birthday party. This was our first time to Acro Sports, and it was totally fabulous! Max is now brave enough to try everything and it was so fun to watch him thrive. He did the zip line twice, swung on the trapeze, bounced on the trampoline, walked the balance beam and rode the bouncy swing. Now if only we could get him to stop holding his "package". You'd think he had to pee — but no — if you ask him he says "I just like holding my penis, it feels more comfortable." Now what can you say to that?! So we've started introducing the concept of only holding his penis in "private." We'll see how that goes and report back later.
Green Cone

Blue Cone
Cone Eater
Meanwhile, Ms. Vivi doesn't miss a beat. She was so into it all and was desperate to be included in the big kid fun. She would have done anything they would have let her. She's been taking some serious steps toward walking on her own — every now and then she steps out and takes about five steps without holding on. It'll just be days now until she' s walking on her own. Watch out world!

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December 13, 2008

gingerbread extravaganza

Gingerbread Making
Max Gingerbread
It was a crazy cold and rainy day but we still managed to make it out and cross the bridge to the Bay Area Discovery Museum's Gingerbread Extravaganza event. Mr. C and Max spent the hour with Max's friends Griffin, Lila and their parents making delicious candy covered and frosting seamed homes. Max was in sugar heaven and Mr. C was loving the challenge (and wishing he could start from scratch and do it all himself!) Vivienne was jonesing to be a part of the action (see photo lower right). Now that the gingerbread house is home and living on the kitchen counter, Vivi walks to it daily and begs for a jellybean or candy corn — it's a torture treat!

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December 12, 2008

vivi loves paga

Vivi Glasses
Vivi Paga Horsie
Max, Vivi and I enjoyed a really lovely (but super cold!) afternoon at Yerba Buena Playground and Zeum with Maga & Paga. Max was enthralled with the big tube slides, garden maze, and all his favorite exhibits at Zeum. Vivenne is still waking up to the world, so each time we go somewhere anything and everything amazes her — and she gets so tired from all the experiencing. I mention this because of her little red eyeballs in the photo above with Paga. Oh, this reminds me, let me just take a moment here to document this for the record . . .Vivienne is absolutely crazy in love with her Grandpa. No joke, as soon as he's in eye or ear shot she's all about him, more than mommy, daddy and even Max. Boom boom Paga!

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December 11, 2008

ashes and snow

Elephant Empathy
Read Elephant
Angel Monk

The site Ashes and Snow is stunningly beautiful in its construction, experience and visuals. I'm blown away that the photographer states that these photographs have not been digitally composed or superimposed — really? Oh my god, that's wildly impressive! For me these images are dreamy, ethereal, poetic, and so unreal. See more from the shoots on the codex site.

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affection for each other


One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to. — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

December 9, 2008

draw me a bunny

Vector Bunny
Icecream Bunnies
Via best resources on the web christmas 08, I found this draw a cute vector bunny tutorial which led me to 70 cute and cheeky vector animals — and what do you know, this site led me to the amazing Octonauts book Yaya gave Max. The web is just one big bunny circle! Check out the Meomi Site/Meomi blog — it doesn't get much cuter than her illustrations (even desktops too).

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face your manga

Manga Us

Yaya sent me these portraits of "us"— the blank spot was for Mr. C. but sadly the site broke while he was in progress.
Manga Me-1
Tee hee, my "mangatar" self portraits — day to night.

Do it yourself at Face Your Manga.

December 8, 2008

lovely lines

Ruby Bloom
What a pretty illustration and chic color combination on this packaging, which I found on a friend's Ruby & Bloom shoe box.

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scribble in orange

Max Drawing12-08
Max loves to draw in Photoshop using the pen from my wacom tablet. Not only can he hold the pen fairly well, he can even change the colors and brush sizes on his own.

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December 7, 2008

wanna have a playdate?

Max Taylor
It was an instant attraction. Within minutes they knew each other's names, were calling for each other to hurry to the top so they could go down the slide at the same time, and even holding hands while sliding down together. Max and Taylor were digging each other in a big way. Even right now, Max just said "Mom, did you know Taylor is my friend?" While I was taking photos, I heard Max at the top of the slide asking Taylor "Would you like to have a playdate?" and She said, "Yes". It was so sweet, I melted. (too bad Taylor's mom wasn't into it!)

irish eyes are smiling

Always Happy
Vivi is a seriously happy baby. She cracks herself up and squeals over nothing and anything. She laughs, smiles and coos constantly. Here she is after I simply said "hey Vivi" and then voila she gives an adorable grin. I also love this photo 'cause it shows off the new buttons I bought (and Mr. C so kindly sewed on) which make this GAP sweater way more fabulous, loving it.

bunny suicides

Bunny Suicide1
Bunny Suicide2
I'm so slow to find these things. How funny these strips are! You know me, anything with bunnies. Turns out there's a book and a sequel and a fabulous knock-off too.
Suicide Rabbit

December 4, 2008

mission beach max

Missionbeach Max
Yaya has Dr'd up this iPhone image so it's now gloriously gritty and hyper cool. Oh, those blue eyes slay me. I feel the need to note here that whenever Max has a hoodie on he wears it over his head — indoor, or outdoor — any weather. Mr. C has started calling him "Kenny"!

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December 3, 2008

bunny lovers

Home Sweet
Sweet Pretend

By way of turtlebunnylove design, which is a divine site not only because it has bunny and design in it's name, but because I have found some amazing illustrations, embroidery, crafts and arts within it. Yummy! There's so much there to enjoy. I'll need to visit again, and often. Images above are from Sweet William, so lovely!

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December 2, 2008

dwell puppets & yak yarn

Dwell Puppets

I just got a notice about the Dwell Studio warehouse sale which runs for the remainder of the holiday season. I love our Dwell sheets (you can see them often in the background of my photos, all the ones with the brown stripes). I love them so much that they are getting holes in them, so a new set would be lovely. However, while visiting their site, I was totally distracted by these adorable felt and printed canvas puppets.

A note to self: Someday buy some Tibetan yak yarn by Shokay.

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December 1, 2008

project zero

Project Zero
While touring The San Francisco School today I listened to Maggie talk about their teacher enrichment programs and she mentioned a program started by Harvard in 1967 called Project Zero. Project Zero's mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels. She explained one application, for example, a thinking and processing exercise for a kindergartner or first grader might be something like : : see - think - wonder : : so you'd ask them to remember witnessing something, think about what they saw and then explain what it made them wonder. Sounds simple right, so just try to do it right now. How'd that go?

Next, she turned the teachings on us and asked this, "So, you just finished touring our school. Tell me something you saw, what you thought about it and what it made you wonder." It was a genius 'right back at you' move. At first I drew a blank. Seriously, I think I'm so used to processing everything in a nano second that I couldn't remember how to think slowly and reflectively. Yes, indeed, I really do have this problem. So like I said, I sat there feeling stuck (ok really it wasn't a total blank that I drew. I got stuck thinking about how my tour guide said the kids often hold and hug the geese who roam freely through the adventure playground. I was wondering if that was a health hazard — bird flu anyone?!) so, obviously I wasn't one to raise my hand and expose my random paranoid thought. However, the experience has left me with a wonderfully simple mental exercise which can help me slow my mind down and process my experiences more deeply — thank you Maggie!

weather vivienne

Weather Vivienne
Vivienne Bicycle
I was just cleaning out my bunny design email account (too full!) and found an old comment/email from Matte Stephens. I had inquired about a gouache print — that I still seriously want — called "weather Vivienne". Isn't it adorable?! She's so happy under her umbrella. I just revisited his site and his etsy store and there are more lovely illustrations of his daughter Vivienne — floating and riding her bike. I love his quirky retro shapes and 60s palettes. When my money flows more freely I want to get some and hang them in my Vivi's future bedroom (like when she finally moves out of my room, no one knows when that will happen?!).

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