Thursday, April 30, 2009

African Magic

Admore Ceramics in South Africa produces some of the most magical and exotic ceramics I have ever seen. Started in 1985 by Fee Halsted and later with her assistant Bonnie Ntshalintshali, within five years Fèe and Bonnie had jointly won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award and their work was being shown in galleries internationally. It also drew many more artisans wanting to learn the techniques and earn a living being part of the studios. The two studios Ardmore Berg and Ardmore Caversham provide the infrastructure for a large and diverse group of self-employed artists. They are given training, direction, materials, equipment, a place in which to work and a guaranteed market for every piece of artwork completed. The artists from the Ardmore studio have over the years won numerous awards and exhibited widely both in South Africa and around the world.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Vertical Landscaping

Here in Los Angeles we are officially on water rationing when it comes to our gardens. I already have many water sparing plants and have always been a big fan of succulents for their beauty and low-maintenance. When I saw what Flora Grubb is doing with drought resistant landscaping I fell in love on sight with these insanely graphic vertical gardens! Her latest vision is an installation at the LEED Platinum certified hotel Bardessono (shown in first two photos above) of vertical tillandsia gardens that are stunningly graphic and a vital design detail to the space. Also loving the framed succulent gardens they sell at their charming shop Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco. If you are lucky enough to live in the Bay area, check it out. I am very inspired to try some vertical gardening in my little yard this summer thanks to my new landscaping muse Flora. (Great interview with Flora Grubb at Design Sponge)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From the Earth

Creative Director Rhett Dashwood searched Google Maps in his spare time between projects and discovered this very green and beautiful alphabet in land formations within the state of Victoria, Australia. Just beautiful and a perfect way to remember how much the earth gives to us and how vital it is to protect it. (Click on photo to enlarge) Via: Swiss Miss

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ball and Chain

Loving this jack and carnelian ball necklace from Docent. Headed up by Creative Director Cora Thomas, her pieces are darkly humorous and playful. The jewelry is created from antique brass, enameling and custom-made materials.

Nothing to do With Design

If you want to play voyeur to nature, check out these live cams on Catalina island of two eagle nests with baby eaglets. It’s startling & such a privilege  to suddenly see an adult eagle fly in with fresh food for the babies and feed them. Part of the Channel Islands Bald Eagle Restoration Project conducted by the Institute for Wildlife Studies and made possible by generous donations. You can view the nests until dark every day and watch the eaglets grow up. The West End Nest has two very tiny chicks/eaglets and the Two Harbors nest has two bigger, very cute and clumsy eaglets. I saw the most action around dinnertime, PST. Way better than YouTube!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Dark and skillful paper cutting by artist Hunter Stabler. Shown here: Baba Yoga Misquotes The Face To Steeleye Span, handcut paper 2005

Thursday, April 16, 2009

When Worlds Collide

I love it when the worlds of architecture and graphic design collide and this stunning library in Alexandria is a great example of that kind of vision. Designed by Snøhetta, a Norwegian architectural firm that has been making quite a statement with their building projects. At the library in Alexandria, a huge cylinder with concrete plating is covered with typographical elements in non-western languages, mostly hieroglyphs. So beautiful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I've always been a sucker for great looking, exotic office supplies, often finding great items in Little Tokyo here in Los Angeles. Awhile back I saw Japanese Washi Masking tape available at Design Within Reach but it was sold out and then later discontinued. Now it's available at Happy Tape and their stock of tapes are vast and wonderful. In addition they have a wonderful Happy Tape blog showing creative uses of these beautiful masking tapes.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Altered Landscapes

I am so heading to the POVevolving Gallery this week to see this wonderful installation of recent sculptures/urban dioramas by Jeremy Mora and a collaborative installation with Robert Reynolds.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Bunny 2.0

Wishing everyone a colorful & happy Easter. Image from an installation by artist Benedetta Mori Ubaldini who creates these magical sculptures. Thanks again Krysta for sharing this! (Happy Bunny 1.0)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Tower of Santa Barbara

This building gives me good reason to drive up to Santa Barbara for the day just to marvel upon this tiny but tall structure, The Ablitt House designed by architect Jeff Shelton. It sits on a 20 x 20 square foot lot!! Rising 53 feet into the air, the interior boasts some serious tile work. The house is open for tours from time to time and will be available to the public to tour (for free) on Saturday April 25 &  Saturday May 30 at 11:00 am.

Urban Textures

As a graphic designer, I've always been drawn to textures from nature and the urban landscape. This very cool minimalist wallet from Porte Monnaie has a chalk colorway with distress marks which I just am in love with! It's almost looks like concrete as well — made with locally sourced leathers, natural dyes and a high density polyethylene make it completely recyclable. Check it out here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Nice Door

If I didn’t live in an 85 year old cottage, I’d so want these beautiful sleek Ergon rototranslating doors by Venetian Celegon, with their cool and clean design. The doors allow for both rotatory and translatory motion in one go and their spinning around the central axis ends up saving on 50% of space—otherwise consumed by the conventional doors as they open up. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dream Book

Breath-taking piece of typographic art for a book by designer Nina Jua Klein, The Dreamweaver. Check more about her wonderful design work here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Type in Motion

Pretty wonderful typography in motion and brilliant graphics grace this music video from Manchester Orchestra, “I Can Barely Breathe”. Design and direction by Destroy Rock Music.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poisson d’Avril

Today I learned that the tradition of April Fools’ Day originated in 16th century France. At that time King Charles IX decided that France would switch from using the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar thus shifting New Year's Day from April 1 to January 1. Not everyone jumped on the bandwagon and it was those people who became mocked as “fools”. In present-day France, people who are fooled on April 1st are called Poisson d’Avril, April fish. Why the fish, I do not know but this vintage Poisson d’Avril card is a hoot. Postcard: Paris Hotel Boutique