Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dutch Design Week Part 1

I know it's been a minute but in my defense, I have been going nutty preparing to leave, doin' up the old business card, cementing my accommodations [which of course got shut down by the fire dept. sorry dudes no death trap tents. but I may go back for the tree. apparently the tree house artist wants to show me around the flat.]

Anywho. Point is,I'm back. And Dutch Design Week is kicking so much ass properly, I hardly know where to begin. Since I'm typing on a laptop so small, it's more like an 80's cell phone [in size and useability] I figure I'll show ya a coupleof pics and leave the heavy writing to the macbook pro pining away for me at home.

Lastly, if you're in the NL. Get your ass on 'ova here. The Film+ Design Fest is so rad [and you'll get some face time with yours truly, if you pop on over] not to mention all the great films and the stunning hostess Marijke. My new boss for the week, is well... hmmmm.....inspiring isn't right, gorgeous isn't enough, stylish, suave, accomplished, unbelievably kind. They're all true but none of my adjectives do her justice. Swing by for a film, stay for the company. You'll see what I'm talking about.

So with my previous accommodations condemned, I'm staying at a Hostel. Coed dorms. My 2 biggest fears [bedbugs & rape] a clear and present possibility. But sitting in the common area. sipping a glass of crapo white wine and looking around; at least rape doesn't seem like much of a clear and present danger.Lotsa innocuous skinny euro guys. Some goofy Italian is kicking it to me in broken English.

His english is better than my dutch but way worse than my french if that tells you anything. He's so awkward, he keeps giggling when he can't understand me. In a minute, I'm gonna turn you guys off and bust out my knitting and really get this party started! Enjoy the pics. Much more to come!

PS. I will do a proper report and properly credit all the designers in these pics. It's just, this keyboard sux,and je suis fatigue.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Things I liked this week...

A charming nursery.

Samuel Wilkinson's Vessel.

Jurianne Matter & Pink Ribbon Magazine.

100 Million handmade sunflower seeds.

Pics from the respective websites.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Facing my Fears.

Me, in the throes of a massive panic attack on the top of the Sacre Coeur. *Quick note: if you have Vertigo and/or Claustrophobia, do not climb the Sacre Coeur tower, or any other old tower for that matter. Narrow lightless winding stairwells that go on forever...shudder.
From reading my blog, I bet many of you imagine me as a somewhat brazen fearless monster. And it's true. In the right kind of setting; I can be charming, witty, gregarious and more than just a bit bawdy. Outgoing with strangers. Banisher of the awkward moment. I can do with the conversation ball what only the profesh soccer players can do with the real one. But the key here is...the right setting. The truth is I have lots of fears, tons really, but they often don't see the light of day because I am very clever at masking them and at keeping myself in the right place and in the right light all the time.

Enter Dutch Design Week. I am going to Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Not for a day or two to scout around, but I'm staying the week and will be volunteering with these lovely groups. Film + Design and Eat Drink Design. So what does this have to do with my fears? Well, I will officially be taken out of my carefully curated settings and thrown into the unknown. Here's a list of my biggest fears/upcoming challenges:

1. Fear of being unknown. I'll be going to a previously unforseen [for me] region of The Netherlands...alone. No support system. No cohorts to laugh at my clever witticisms. No fan club. No friends. Not even a mild acquaintance.

2. Fear of self-promotion. Part of my plan is to [gasp] network. Now here is where I really fall short. As conversationally fluent as I am, I fear/loathe networking. I feel so cheesy when I'm trying to sell myself, like having an agenda makes me dirty, conniving. It's a big stumbling block for me, but if my growing pile of rejection emails tells me anything, I'm going to have to get creative if I want to scare up an income in this place.

3. Fear of heights. I don't even like being in the Imax when viewing aerial shots. I get queasy, dizzy, terror-filled. Did I mention I'll be spending a night sleeping in a tree? Yeah, well I'm mustering my bravery on the sure chance it'll make for some great writing/photography. Now that I've put it out there with you guys, I can't possibly come home tail between my legs. I will climb that rickety ladder and I will sleep in that tree...alone. Hope I don't have to pee in the middle of the night.

4. Fear of small enclosed spaces. Claustrophobia with a capital C. Did I mention sleeping in the tree will involve a teeny tree house? What did you think? I was gonna tarzan out and recline on a couple of branches? No friends, there's an arbor abode, perfectly poised to test my moxie in it's distance from the ground and it's limited square footage. So yeah, I can feel the panic rising but I couldn't miss out on the opportunity to bed some really cool art; and prove to myself and anyone else who cares, that I can grow a pair when the situation calls.

So there it is, a week of hurdle jumping planned for yours truly. I can't say I'm not a bit terrified, but the chance to face my fears, meet some great new people in the creative fields, and collect some witty tales to tell, is all too tempting. I'm filled with a fear/excitement/anxiety cocktail.

So what are your fears? How do you combat them? Avoidance? Or do you like to face them head on?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guess who's going to see this?

That's right fools. I'm heading to Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven at the end of the month. And I'm damn lucky enough to be volunteering at the Film + Design festival which is also part of Dutch Design Week. So I'll be helping out, and at some point, I will be sitting down and watching this movie. I can't friggin wait. Herbert Matter was always one of my favorite graphic designers.

I'm also trying to scare up some interesting, cheap housing for the week. As of now, I've got 2 nights lined up in a crazy factory exhibition type deal, sleeping in the factory with 24 other strangers. No shower, but breakfast is included! Thus only 2 nights. And I'm sure I'll get a post or two out of it.

If anyone has any creative ideas on shelter, or knows of some cool arty types in Eindhoven that would love to put up a charming designer for a night or two. Lemme at 'em.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Aghast, is how I felt when a dear designer friend sent me this article. So have you seen Gap's new logo? Here's the old one.

Here's the new one.

Are you freaking kidding me? I actually gasped aloud when I saw this. I'm still a bit dazed by it. I mean...doesn't it look like something drawn up in powerpoint by an intern? Actually I have more respect and credit for my past interns, they never would have churned out something so...so...brazenly terrible. I know, I know I really need to learn to express myself sometimes. Thanks to Arjie for alerting me to this logo fiasco. [her words] So what do you guys think? Do you, like me, think this looks like some kind of April Fool's Day prank? Or do you like arbitrary use of squares and gradients and just can't get enough of helvetica? I would love love love to hear your thoughts and comments. Bring it on! The good the bad and the ugly...Well, we've already got the ugly.

*Update! Check out this hilarious interview with the Gap logo. [who happens to have a twitter account @gaplogo] This shizzle is making my weekend.

*Update part 2. Gap is even more despicable than just having horrifically bad taste. Now they're crowd-sourcing for new ideas. A despicable ploy for free design labor. Click here to read all about it. And be sure to check out my awesome friend Tim's take on the new Gap Logo here. Hilarity.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting me to read the news...

... is a mighty task. I am one of those people who would rather read shelter, design, culinary, even gossip mags/blogs before jumping on the news. I do however love the Sunday NY Times. But that's for the magazine, the style section, and the crossword oh and The Ethicist. Love love love him. So why am I so news averse? Frankly because there is much happier news I would rather be absorbing, new tart recipes, fun DIY projects for the home, checking out the new designs from one of my favorite letterpress shops. The news is, well, it's a friggin' bummer. And when I start to get into it, [I was in deep during Obama's campaign reading up all day everyday to keep abreast] I end up angered and frustrated by what's going on around me. The whole Palin thing blew my damn mind and made me quite bummed about the state of mind of so many American voters. How precisely did she get so far? I think Matt Damon put it best. In case you haven't noticed, the news ain't that happy. So I'm the Village Idiot. I know I know. You wouldn't believe the flack I would catch from my NY friends about my ignorance.

So let me be clear. I am not proud of being politically unaware, I'm more than a little embarrassed at my dumbassedry. I just find it difficult to force myself to read the news when there's so much more in the world of design and beauty that I would rather be absorbing. Enter Johnny Selman. He's got this BBCX 365 project where he beautifully graphically illustrates one BBC headline a day for 365 days. The man's got style and skills and more importantly, he's got me reading the news. Dezeen posted a great, insightful article complete with pics on the subject. Head over there to see how I got turned onto this project. Here's one I love. Reminds me of Herbert Matter. One of my all-time favorite graphic designers.

So do you read the news? Find it depressing or essential or both? And who's your news source?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day Bag Round-Up, under 50 all from Etsy.

So I'm not much of an evening bag person. Those precious little purses, while tantalizing, can never quite hold all the crap I wanna carry [specifically the flats/flip flops I bring along in case my heels be crippling, plus my camera, makeup, notebook, current read...you get the idea]. Generally my day bag is my night bag. But for those of you swanky femmes who can race down a cobblestone street full-tilt in 5" stilettos with nary a quiver to your gait, and at evening time need no more than your amex and lip gloss, and a svelte little clutch to carry it in; then for you this would be a day bag. But whoever you are and whatever you carry, you can't deny the awesome allure of these sexy satchels. Behold! An Etsy round-up of carry-alls, all under 50 smackers. Click on the pics to be taken to the seller/item. Enjoy.

ps. So I would like to clarify, in case any one has questions upon how I choose my etsy treasures.

1. It must be something I myself would wear/buy.
2. I try not to repeat sellers within a roundup to give the most varied seller coverage. This also means that the seller may have more than one awesome item, I only choose one. Which brings me to...
3. I choose sellers that have great shops in general. I look through their items, checking out the quality and variety to be sure that these are people/shops that I want to promote.
4. I try to keep the prices reasonable.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Speaking of red and purple...

Ok. Maybe I wasn't just speaking about red and purple but I was just thinking it in my head and "poof!" there it is. Holy Crap Frou Frouu! You take my breath away with your stunning photography, beauty, and supple lithe frame. I vow to never eat again.
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