Sunday, October 14, 2012

Be Back Soon!

Sorry all - I've been SUPER crazy busy this past week, not to mention I pulled my back on Friday night (which is seriously the pits - wah!). I'll explain all soon, promise!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Artisan Spotlight: Harland Miller

"I'll never forget what I can't remember." 
-Harland Miller
The artist and writer Harland Miller is known for his large-scale, playful reworkings of Penguin book covers. Miller takes much-loved book jackets of classic works by Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe and others as his starting point. By rendering them in oils at poster size with quirky new titles, he transforms them into contemporary, often satirical commentaries on life and literature.

As with Californian artist, Ed Ruscha, it is words that set the tone in Miller's work. Whether ironic, nostalgic, or downright cheeky - "Dirty Northern Bastard," by DH Lawrence, or "I'm so Fucking Hard," by Hemmingway - the titles demythologise and amuse in equal measure.

Although a dedicated wordsmith, Miller is an irrepressibly painterly artist too: the bands of orange, or blue or green either side of the book's title that make a Penguin cover so instantly recognisable, become emotive, textural colour fields here. With their dripping paint and smudgy blurring, they have more in common with the aesthetic of Rothko than the uniformity of a mass-produced paperback.

Miller is attracted to books as objects - the more battered, stained and lived in the better. "I remember my parents' Penguin books. For me, they are about nostalgia for a by-gone era - that musty smell, those coffee-mug rings, the often heart-breaking inscriptions on the inside cover."

Miller has lived and worked in New York, Berlin and Paris. Born in the North of England in 1964, Miller's fondness for the drizzle and grimness of those northern towns remains a strong theme in his work. "I suppose mine is a very English sense of humour," he says.

In this rare display of his watercolours and drawings, Miller's Penguin covers are closer to still life studies, rather than two-dimensional posters. Experimenting with different paper sizes and angles, he occasionally shows their spines, and the shadows they cast. It is a celebration of books as treasured objects.

Many of Millers paintings can be found in his 2007 Rizzoli book:

What Caught My Eye This Past Weekend

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pinterest Wednesday

Happy Pinterest Wednesday!! Although I found a ton of amazing pins this past week, here's what I picked for my  favorite pins:

What an awesome question to ask yourself...which also had me thinking for a few minutes on what exactly it was and when. So go ahead, ask yourself. And hey, if it's been awhile, every day is a new day for an adventure!

This gave me a case of the giggles...I'm definitely going to have to pull this on my sister one day, haha!

This lace dish is so beautiful that you'd never guess that the process is so simple...

These totally adorable a set, these would make a super cute gift!


I am going to tie ALL my packages like this from now on!

Gahhhh....this is SO smart! Thinking of this would have come in handy on all those trips with tangled earrings...

This is a future DIY project:


Monday, October 1, 2012

What Caught My Eye This Past Weekend

Here are some of the fabulous things that I ame across this past weekend!

This gorgeous Artichoke Lamp

Gold Leaf Coral crisp and elegant.


The Sfelt Table


This awesome Tubular Burst Sculpture

Hello, October :)

I love the month of's the best month in the entire year. I wish this month would never end! I've never felt that fall really started until October. September in the mitten is still pretty warm, and you're still holding on to the last bits of summer...because the AC is still on. November is good too, but it marks the end of sunny days and a transition to the time of year when people hunker down and try to stay warm in their houses after work, and then pretty soon everyone starts getting busy with holiday stuff and disappears for awhile. October just started, and I refuse to let it go quietly!

Reasons why I <3 October:

1. It's my birthday month!! Hello to the big 26 on the 21st...eek!
2. The weather is absolutely gorgeous.
3. That fresh autumn chill in the air that brings around a certain smell…a cycle ending with beauty.
4. The colors of the changing leaves.
5. Halloween…duh!!!
6. Pumpkins…and pumpkin carving…and pumpkin pie... Which brings me to... 
7. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Need I say more?! 
8. Boots make their first appearance out of my winter fashion storage closet....yessssss :D
9. Snuggling under the fluffy winter duvet with the bedroom windows cracked open.
10. Limitless options for outdoor festivals....Oktoberfest, anone? ;)
11. Hockey season begins... GO WINGS!
12. Carmel apples, warm apple cider & doughnuts 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pinterest Wednesday

Happy Pinterest Wednesday!

So...I'm getting the itch to DIY. I want to paint/sand/bead something! I'm thinking of a wreath, since Fall's officially started and it's time to retire the one I made for summer...and I fell in love with this one (for the back door):

Then of course I go on Pinterest, and I see even more super awesome ideas (why didn't I think of that?!) that got my creative juices flowing...

How gorgeous is this tufted headboard? I could die I love it so much! It's such a gorgeous shade of blue, too....swoon.


These Pottery Barn Labrador bookends...

...can be made with wood blocks, 2 plastic dog toys, glue and spray paint. Ah-mazing.

How about these pretty gold tube bracelets? It even comes with the tutorial:


Easy to make snow globes (Carl's Aunt made me one of these Anthropology inspired globes las Christmas):


I'm loving this re-fabbed dresser!


How adorable is this Halloween wreath? This will be a project this weekend!


Errr....maybe this one instead: 

Such an great, pretty way of displaying flowers in the fall:


This DIY-er is right, few things smell better than coconut and roses:

Looks like I've got myself a couple of projects this weekend, and I couldn't be any happier!! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pull Up a Seat: Bar Stools for Every Style

They are tall, slim, elegant and sometimes more sexy than practical; I'm talking about bar stools, of course! Fit for every style from sleek contemporary to blunt industrial to classic country, they will help you cleverly save space in and add visual height to a room. All you have to do is choose the right one for you. Here's a helpful list to get you started.

Kasto Stool. Katso in Greek means "to sit." I love its carved, wooden, saddle-like seat.

Rustic Bar Stool. Simple and elegant.

OFFI - Jim Barstool. Is it just me or does this bar stool remind you of a bottle?

Industrial Tractor Seat. This is for you industrial chic lovers!

Danish Modern. I love the industrial form and especially love the turquoise color.

Cola Red Manhattan. This one is for the retro lover!

Constance Bar Stool. You can't get morte classy than the black 'x'. 

Noho Beige Linen Nailhead Trim Bar Stool

Emeco Stool. Sleek and contemporary.

Lasenza Aluminum Cafe Swivel Bar Stool. This bold '50s bar stool can transform any dull, lifeless kitchen into a color-pop paradise!

Troy Bar Stool. Modern elegance.

Conde House - Darby Bar Stool. This is a classic bar stool with a modern twist. The trained eye can see way beyond its ordinary lines!

What's your favorite?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Jointer & The Cabinet Maker

Rob Campbell can’t stop talking about the feel of wood. “It is almost impossible not to touch a polished wooden surface once seen,” says Campbell. “Try walking past a wooden kayak or perfectly balanced rocking chair without at least wanting to feel it — it is impossible for me!” Campbell, an IT consultant and dedicated dad, spends his extra time trying to master hand-tool woodworking. ”It is nothing short of amazing to transform a chunk of recently-living tree into a piece of furniture using just some steel edges and wedges,” he says. “I feel deep peace and joy when working with hand tools. And the smell is great.”

Campbell’s interest in the craft was piqued when he discovered The Joiner and the Cabinetmaker, an illustrated book written in 1839 that details the experience of Thomas, a fictional cabinetmaker’s apprentice. Campbell had fiddled around with hand tools in the past, but reading Thomas’ story changed his life. Campbell decided to follow in the footsteps of Thomas, building the three projects featured in the book: a packing box, a chest of drawers and a school box (see image above). With Thomas’s 19th century limitations in mind, Campbell decided to use local wood whenever possible, no electricity (save for a few lights if he worked late), and a bench grinder to adjust his tools.

Campbell devised his own creative approach to learning woodworking since the apprenticeship he craved was just not available. ”Where Thomas and his parents could walk down to the local cabinetmaker’s shop, that was not possible for me. I thought for a while about how to bootstrap a virtual apprenticeship, and my Kickstarter campaign was born.”

Rob Campbell’s replication of Thomas’s packing box

Campbell successfully raised nearly $7,000 for his endeavors, promising to give some of his wood pieces to supporters who gave the highest pledges. “The biggest challenge was living up to the expectations of my supporters,” says Campbell. “I’ve had a great reception but it is honestly a little harrowing to ask for funding and then hope that the result is pleasing to the supporters.” The Kickstarter campaign was a learning experience, and kept Campbell from taking out a line of credit. He has few regrets. “The only thing I would’ve done differently? I would’ve been more accurate in estimating shipping costs for my rewards,” he adds.

Now, a year since his Kickstarter campaign, Campbell has developed an even stronger understanding of woodworking by following Thomas’s project. “I almost think traditional woodworkers need the same type of concern and support as endangered animal species,” says Campbell. “Wood is a precious resource and needs to be put into the hands of those skilled in the craft of building enduring items. My perhaps radical take is that our society has developed a deeply unhealthy attraction towards cheap disposable furniture.” While he’s not totally comfortable assuming the reasons people chose to back his Kickstarter campaign, Campbell hopes that it was a sign that people want to move away from the mass-produced, and maybe even live vicariously through a craftsman. “I have received many messages thanking me for doing this, so that they may follow along, when it is my sponsors who really deserve the thanks. I suspect most of us have a deep sense of longing for parts of our heritage that are disappearing, and the need to protect this knowledge is intuitive.”

Rob Campbell

Campbell has now made woodworking a pillar in his life, and will soon spend three months doing full-time study at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, where hand tools and traditional methods are emphasized. “A goal of mine is to become involved in spreading this information, through a combination of writing and teaching. I have already received orders for commissions once my Kickstarter obligations are fulfilled, and I have had to even turn some down!”

For those who share his aspirations, Campbell advises starting with the basics, like whittling sticks with a pocketknife to learn about the way wood behaves. “Cuts will be much cleaner in one direction than the other — try to understand why.” If nothing else, strike up a conversation with a woodworker to demystify the craft and become more comfortable with the tools and effort involved. “Woodworking is not easy, but talking to woodworkers is,” remarks Campbell. “I get the sense most of them are dying to help someone else get started or at least to talk about it. Our friends and spouses have heard enough!”

Follow Rob Campbell’s journeys in woodworking on his blog, The Joiner’s Apprentice.
All photos found on Rob Campbell Flicker.

Saturday Afternoon Randomness :)

I have never been good at keeping a consistent to do list - at least not down on paper or in some digital form. Sure I put appointments + reminders + notes in my iPhone Calendar, but other than that I write these hysterical lists on scraps of paper (Find headphones!!!! Call the freaking eye doctor!!!! Go to Home Depot for xxxx!!!!!) which I then lose (god only knows where) and become more hysterical. I need me some Martha Stewart organizational skills considering how much I have going on right now. And no matter how many fancy-schmancy technology tools there are, I’ve always needed to write it physically down or else I feel like it doesn’t become imprinted in my brain. Seriously, I live off post-its.

Enter the friggin’ adorable May Books! Pick your cover, your monogram or title and the type of pages inside: graph/lines/calendar/diary, and there you have it. They aren’t pricey - $26 with shipping. Mine brand spankin new planner came in this afternoon, isn't it the cutest?!

Later, we made a trip to Petco to get Hunter a couple things. Of course, it's also football Saturday and our team (the Michigan Wolverines, of course!) are playing, so how could I resist this adorable jersey?! Now Hunter is officially ready for the game, lookin handsome as ever! GO BLUE!!

I'm ready for the game, Mom!

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