Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Great Idea + Coffee

Coffee Carriers by Tota $12
Ummmm..... why is this new? Why do I not have this? It's so much better than the flat carriers they give out now that are completely unhelpful and top heavy. Sometimes when we get something new and efficient it's just embarrassing that we didn't come up with it 5 years ago.

Speaking Of Chains

I'd wear these any day - by Sid Vintage $280

Friday, May 29, 2009

Overheard: An Actual Conversation

At Frida's
"I am sort of like the alternate future"

At Maduro's
"I'm bad at dating. But it's because I want to be bad at it."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Vendor Client Relationship

so funny....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You Must Hear This - Earworm

Mashup from San Francisco - It's so good!!!!
Artists: The Fray - Heartless (Kanye West Cover)
Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
The Police - Message in a Bottle
2Pac - Dear Mama
Alan Parsons Project - Ammonia Avenue

Why I'm Renting A Blowtorch Instead Of Reading How To's

via Le Fashion
I've been reading a lot lately on how to be a better ____________. Because everyone out there has tips for you to follow. I admit, it's a nice way to write a post or an article and a lot of the time I like/need some general direction to whatever ridiculous thing I've decided to do.
1) How To Apply Make-Up Like You Care About This Date
2) How To Create The Illusion That You Cook By Buying Things That People Have In A Kitchen
3) How To Exercise Without Looking Ridiculous Because You're Running To Nowhere With 50 Other People In This Gym.

That sort of thing.

Also, I know I write How To's sometimes too so I'm not even sure I'll post this due to its hypocritical content.
Now I'd like to weld. I've gotten it in my mind that I can make the perfect coffee table/chair / sculpture if I can figure out how to do this. This isn't news, I've wanted to weld for a while and I know it involves a blow torch of some kind and I've told lots of people about my new wannabe hobby and most of them have said things like "how are you going to do that?" "In your apartment?" and "what's wrong with you, there's a Pottery Barn a mile away from your house". I figured that either someone could teach me or I could look up a How To on the Internet.
This is when I figured out that How To's don't really work that well. A How To can't teach me to blow torch anything, or how to paint a picture, or how to have style, or how to do most things that are important. Sure, it can give me some steps but that's where I get a false sense of accomplishment. I planned to learn to blow torch months ago and have I done it? No! What have I done... well, I've sort of skimmed a few websites.
Because of the practice I've had skimming websites, I'm very good at that. In fact, I've made a career out of it BUT I have no skill in things I haven't done. Which means I'll be renting a blow torch soon.
It also works on the internet by the way. Want to write a better blog? Network online better? Network online at all? Read the How To's but don't forget to try it.

Now Is The Time For Neon!

photo via LA Times
I'm so glad it's neon time. I've liked it forever, my sisters have been making fun of me for it forever, people's boyfriends and husbands who don't get fashion have been laughing at me about it forever but maybe this summer I'll get some relief.
tips for neon:
1) Wear it with white. Head to toe neon can be ummmm.... awesome. But not everyone wants to do that. Wear white with neon trimmings to look super summery.dress - Topshop.
2) Put it on your nails. I love bright pink (not barbie, I'm talking neon pink here), my coworker is all about orange (think highlighter).
3) Cheaply get neon with jewelery. I go to Forever 21 in Chicago and load up on inexpensive jewelery. Dress and earrings Forever 21.
4) Don't half ass it. Neon is neon. Don't get a "lighter shade" to "tone it down". Just go for it.

Wine Labels and Movies To Watch Them With

All of these are under $20 and you can get them at just about any liquor store. Enjoy!
Wines are: Evil, Menage a Trois, Fat Bastard, and Franciscan.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How Cool Is This Kitchen?

By architect Bruce Bolander - Beauvoir Residence
I never considered a green like this in the kitchen but it's really fresh looking. The rest of the house will make you drool as well.
Afterthought: ok, now that I've gone through Bruce Bolander's entire portfolio I can say that I am obsessed with his work. What impeccable taste!

Monday Music... On Tuesday

Vega - No Reasons
You may need to get yourself going today with something other than the sheer joy of answering a hundred e-mails. Try this.

Why You Should Be Awake At 6 Every Morning

I've gotten into this weird habit over the last few months of getting up really early. Surely, this means that I'm old now. Surely, I'm moments away from wondering what's on 60 Minutes tonight and bingo. Except I kind of like bingo.
It boils down to competition for moments.
I allow my friends to compete with my alone time. In fact, I allow everything to compete with my alone time. grocery stores, errands, renewing my passport, phone calls, stupid television shows, listening to other people's conversations, anything that moves or makes a noise pretty much gets my attention before I do.
At 6Am, there is no competition. No one is up, no stores are open, and no one is calling.
6AM can be for making myself a cup of coffee and drinking it with my geraniums.
6AM can be for writing things that no one will ever read.
6AM can be for trying 2 new hairstyles.
6AM can be for staying in bed, but awake, and thinking.
Now, at first I thought, "this isn't productive, just sitting here like this", but then I realized that I've had some really great clarity during that time. I've carried it with me to work and accomplished more. Or I thought out a problem so that I didn't have to solve something important in the line at Target while I was digging in my purse for a credit card and wondering if anything was maxed out or if I should maybe start drinking more water.
6AM definitely makes you a better writer and a better thinker. Both take practice and while I imagine most people know that writing takes practice, I wonder if they know that thinking cannot be done really well while doing a hundred other things as well.
I like the idea of multitasking but it doesn't really work that well with all activities. The only way I can erase all the competition is to get up at a time when there isn't any.
Side note: I guess this doesn't have to occur at 6AM - I used to babysit for a woman that went grocery shopping at 2Am and I thought she was nuts but now I totally get it.

If You've Got The Money, Honey... MAC's Got A New Line

I'm a big sucker for honey and I'll buy it in products when it actually smells like honey. My favorite thing on the planet used to be the L'Occitane Honey lotion before they ruined it by adding Lemon Verbana to it. When they changed it, I may or may not have gone on an embarrassing tirade through several of their stores. I may or may not have insulted not one, but two employees and it's altogether possible that I wrote a long angry letter to their corporate office. Seriously, discontinue my favorite products at your own risk.
Annnnyway, I am pretty exited to give this line a smell, the packaging looks great. Comes out June 11th stateside.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Creative Person You Should Know About: Rosson Crow

This is Rosson Crow, she's a 27 year old artist from Texas. I was flipping through Vogue when I stumbled across her artwork - which by the way is already getting wildly popular enough that I cannot afford her artwork. It's really kind of morbid in a cheery way.
Endearing Factors: She loves to dress up (I love to dress up too so I totally relate. The New Jersey-ite saw a picture of me on my refrigerator with a pink wig on and said "oh, is this you on Halloween?" "no.... why?")
You can find a good look at her artwork here.


Friday, May 22, 2009

When You're Dating And Everything Is Separate. Is It Age?

via Le Love
This is one of those things that has literally driven me insane in the last year as I have repeatedly dated men that are slightly younger than me (insert future cougar joke here... go ahead....all my friends did it already).
Question: Does it actually make a difference if there is an age gap between you and the person you're dating? Does it make everything separate?
Now I know a lot of people would say: it doesn't matter as long as you have a lot in common, etc. and I guess I kind of agree with that. I mean, I started dating them after all didn't I? We have some things in common. The trouble occurs when we start getting into lifestyle.
So the person I'm currently dating and I do a lot of things separately and for the most part I think this is a good plan. Like for example, when he wants to do anything that I deem immature, I don't go. Or when I want to hang out with some of my couple friends, he doesn't go. Great. We both have lives. Way to be well rounded right?
Well now, we've gotten to this point where we have really separate things going on. All the time. And I don't know what's going on in his life in some areas and he doesn't in mine and I blame this on either a: an age issue or b: lack of proper balance. It also makes me totally crazy about the sections of his life that I am really not a part of since I had a set up like this before with a different boyfriend and when I dug into that separate piece of his life, I found really obvious cheating going on. So it's baggage city when it comes to separateness.
If it's an age issue, then why have I also dated men in their 30's that are hopelessly immature?
If it's a balance issue (which I kind of suspect) then where should the line be between your life and mine?
My friend in Brooklyn doesn't see her boyfriend for the whole week but then during the weekend they hang out for 2 days straight. It works for them. She does her thing during the week and he does his.
Another girlfriend suggested that we plan to spend one night during the weekend apart and one together so that we could plan to do our own thing during that night apart. But this sort of lead to to the current situation.
So now I'm attempting to integrate things the right way so that I don't feel suffocated by hang out overload or left out and separateness. What this likely means is: doing some things that I deem immature. This also means he'll have to do some stuff he doesn't like to be around me more. A few months ago I posted a photo of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's house (remember, the house was actually 2 houses with a bridge connecting them) and I keep thinking about it now that I am faced with this issue. If things are that separate, how can you have a decent relationship?

I'll Be There In The Blackout

These Shoes Stay On My Feet - Tiga

Happy Friday - Love this video! It's weird and fresh! Tiga's coming to San Franciso next Thurs and L.A. next Fri. Go see!!

Holy Installation Art - Thanks Canada!!

via Shape and Colour
This is the work of Ontario designer and artist Alex Mcleod. He makes fantastic, 3D,dreamy, installations that you can see if you happen to be near Ontario Canada anytime soon. I think they are just amazing! My first installation included a gallery and around 150 rolls of sod. Most work I've ever done, coolest show.

Bell Lamp

The Bell Lamp by Axo Light via Contemporist
"The most successful people are those who are good at plan B"
~ James Yorke

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Japan Has Everything Cool: Treehouse Restaurant

Naha Harbor Diner via Trendland
It's right in the middle of town and features a realistic looking Banyan Tree. How come Japan gets everything cool? Robots teaching school? Treehouse Restaurants? Tiny personalized showers? No fair!


Tellin' Time - Thanks Australia!

Clocks transformed from old records at a show in Australia. Of course, I feel like I could make this......
via World's Best Ever.


The Case For Facebook At Work or Do You Want The Good Talent Or Not?

Adobe Offices via Office Snapshots - this site is great if you want to see what companies are doing to make their offices a cool place to work.
Workplaces are changing big-time. Whether you are in one of the new guard or the old the truth is that the whole set-up of the workplace is not what it used to be. My college education didn't know it was coming, my parents didn't know, and a lot of my bosses didn't see (or want to see) it coming.
This is important.
Workplaces are becoming a group of individuals vs. a company entity.
A group of individuals that have LinkedIn profiles, Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter accounts. That can network more effectively in the online space than any other time in history. Individuals that don't want to work in any department specifically but want to be pushed on their strong points despite where the silos are in their office or what their job title is.
This idea is as scary for companies as getting into social media. Social media means that you have to LET GO of your message and let people do what they want with it. What happens after you let go of that is: conversations, connecting, sharing, and ideas. What also comes with that is a loss of power for the company (or the corporate entity in the case of the workplace). The same way that mass media with its one-to-many message is losing it's value is the same way that companies with a strong top down set up will lose their good talent.
Good talent and forward thinkers are looking for jobs in places that are going to allow them to use their skills. These skills, for the top talent these days, are in online networking. If the job in question isn't allowing Facebook because the CEO thinks it's about screwing around then your good talent is going to go somewhere else, I promise. Double that if you happen to have a cube farm and not ping pong tables and flat screens.
So should companies simply open the floodgates and allow online mayhem at work? No. Training should be used to educate employees on the best ways to network, what kinds of things the company is looking for in the online space, and some definite "dont's". Your new talent already has the tools to communicate online. Give them ideas on how you'd like to be represented and go with it. You'd be surprised how much new business you could possibly get from giving your company that many more online touch points.
Will people screw up a little sometimes? Yes. But for the most part it will be the equivalent of a typo and won't cause a huge scandal. The big scandals tend to come from the top down.

Bikes Out Of Bamboo.. Picture Me Rollin'

They are sustainable, gorgeous, and getting a lot of attention lately. check out the Bamboo Bike Studio for these bikes.
I'm going to look this weekend for a real bike though since all I have is a really great retro beach cruiser (it's bright pink, it has a basket plus strategically placed skulls and stars) but it's not really for bike rides per say, it's more for showing off at the Farmer's Market.
So.... I'm going to look at some bike shops that sell used bikes and pretend that I have even the faintest clue of what I'm looking for. My plan is to look for one that's nice looking and ride it around the lot. That's the end of the plan. If I like riding it, I guess I'll buy it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aye Aye Cap'n.... Clothes For Sailing or Pretending To

Remember Danger Mouse from Gnarls Barkley?

Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse have come out with a new album "Dark Night Of The Soul" with songs collaborated with The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, David Lynch, and The Shins. It's really, really good. Check them out on NPR - good luck getting it anywhere else.

With Flaming Lips

With Julian Casablancas of The Strokes

But Do Creatives Want MTV Representing Them?

I just found an interesting site. MTV has teamed up with Swatch and Behance Network. Behance Network, if you're not familiar, is a site where creatives can upload their work and comment on each other's, check out new work from new artists, connect with other creatives, etc. It's a really cool site and has tons of members. I've spoken with the guys at Behance a few times and found them to be really laid back and extremely cool people. The Swatch / MTV / Behance site is a spinoff for younger artists.
Here's the thing though, do younger artists want MTV involved in their artwork and their business?
I'd be nervous that MTV is going to do what they did in the late 90's with the VJ's. They like to really OWN their celebrities and I don't think they'll see the same eagerness to jump in with young artists. I know MTV is trying to do something cool so I'm torn between thinking "good for MTV -trying to stay fresh" and "yippy- guess we'll be seeing MTV exploit the hell out of young artists whom they won't pay yet will put their designs on sneakers galore".
Would you put your artwork on an MTV sponsored site?

Storm Drain Art From Brazil

These are by 6emeia and have gotten so popular that companies like Asics are asking them to do advertisements for them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Bike Is More Than Just A Bike

Plus, Cadbury is one of my favorite companies ever. via oneplusinfinity

Monday, May 18, 2009

When Your Career Starts To Scare You.

So I have to do a speech tomorrow and I told my boss that I would do it and that I was excited. Except I was more 50/50 of excited and terrified since speeches terrify me no matter how many times I do them.
When the coordinator called me this morning to get last minute items sorted out I asked a question that you should never, never ask if you are even a tiny bit nervous about public speaking. "How many people are you expecting?"
More than I have ever gotten in front of before. More than I can comfortably talk to one on one. In other words, enough to scare the hell out of me.
When your career gets scary it means that you are moving forward. It means that you are trying new things that other people might be too scared to do and it means that you are definitely breaking out of the "show up at 9 and go home at 5" routine. I try to keep this in mind while trying to remember if I still have any xanax at home.
Here's the advice I collected so far this morning:
"Just look at one person at a time - pretend like you're just talking to them."
"The people you are speaking to want you to succeed, not fail"
"It's only 45 minutes of your life - shorter than a Housewives of New York episode"
and my favorite one:
"You are NOT nervous! You're gonna be like Listen, This is how you market! You got that shit on Lockdown!"

Is It Geeky That I Want This?

There's a lot of these out there in all different shapes but this one's the coolest.


Nothing Says Nice Wine Like Brass Knuckles

How brilliant is this? Bourgeois Brass Knuckles by Chromoly.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Flea Marketing 101 and An Actual Conversation

I went to the mother ship of flea markets this weekend in Elkhorn Wisconsin. I was there all day long and I highly doubt that I saw even 75% of what's there. It's touted as an antique flea market but I don't think everything there was antique - some people try to sneak in newer stuff to get rid of as well (that Polly Pocket in with the old toys? Not fooling anyone). However, since I am a huge fan of late 60's early 70's decor I was in heaven at some of the booths and found an awesome white dinner table complete with green shag covered chairs and a grapes lamp.
Being flea market, garage sale, and estate sale season I thought I'd do a little guide for anyone venturing out.
1) Go to the big ones. If you're new to the whole flea market thing you should know that a lot of it is bona fide, class A, junk! To give yourself the best odds of finding cool things locate the biggest ones and go to those. Also, find the garage sales in the nice neighborhoods (they tend to get rid of nicer quality stuff) You'll spend more time at the big ones but it will probably yield more quality finds.
2) Get up very, very early. I complain and complain about this but it's truly worth it. Here's how it will go: you'll get up at an ungodly hour, Starbucks won't be open even though you see workers in the window refusing to take pity on your coffee-less self. You'll freeze while you wait in line until the mother-ship of flea markets opens and there will be coffee at this point but it will be like dirty water heated up. Here's the good part though, you'll browse around the nice stuff without competition and ultimately make most of your best purchases at this time. When the crowds come, you'll be carrying the good stuff to the car.
3) Have a plan. Do NOT show up not knowing what you want. Have some kind of plan even if you don't think you'll find it. For example: If you want to replace the lamp in your living room and maybe get something cool for your bathroom wall. Keep this in the back of your mind the whole time. It will keep you from buying junk you don't need and gives your search a purpose. If you really don't need anything - take my plan and look for picture frames to re purpose (more on that later).
4) Inspect. Make sure nothing is really broken or worn. Things you buy should be clean, working, and not totally worn out. If you can't fix it then don't buy it.
5) If you like it, buy it. But make sure and barter for it. This is a flea market folks and they price their wares expecting you to haggle. My grandfather is so good that he routinely gets things at around 75% off of the price. I am not that brave but I do my best to get a couple bucks off.
Also, if you see something and like it, get it right away! This isn't the place to think about it for hours and come back because if it really is a good deal on a nice item, someone else will snap it up.
6) If you're a creative - Get things that you can refinish or re-purpose. Look for a dated night stand that you can buy nicer hardware for or wooden boxes you can repaint and use as shelving. The easiest thing to start with is frames. I bought these: They were ugly and all kinds of colors when I got them.
7) Finish your project immediately when you get home. This is the hard part because I was totally exhausted when I got home. The New Jersey-ite and I had tons of frames that we bought to spray paint and I wanted to go to bed but he insisted that we finish and this morning I have everything totally completed. Generally, I set this stuff in my garage and "try" to get it finished and maybe a month later I will. Make repairs right away while your project is still fresh in your mind.

What I got: The stars above (I got 5) were metal gray but cool - I painted them gold and black. Total cost: $15
Frames: 2 huge ones and 3 small. I repainted them black. Total Cost: $35Bonus points: Flea markets provide some of the best overheard conversations ever. Here are a couple:
guy excitedly to woman " I mean, this is real Cedar Joanna, real Cedar!"

Over a walkie talkie from security "we're getting a lot of complaints about no paper towels and toilet paper in the restrooms"

In a HEAVY Wisconsin accent "If you don't like it, then why did you buy it?"
That last one my sister, the New Jersey-ite, and I decided should be the tag line for flea marketing.

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