{{One small change in the world a day}}

The art of the self-help book title: it's all about confuzzlement

self-help book covers
'Confuzzled' is what happens to you when you are somewhere in the middle between confused and puzzled, I learnt from Max in the lovely claymation Mary & Max (without a doubt my favourite movie of all times).

I have a friend who devours every self-help book written on this planet. Well, actually most of my friends read them. What I find most intriguing about these paper psychiatrists are their titles. They ignite my imagination beyond their actual content as I just don't get what they could possibly be about. Though somehow they always manage to leave me confuzzled: every aspect of my life seems to be utterly abnormal and in desperate need of change.

Ok, take a sip of your coffee and get ready...

Oceans, impressive new Disneynature movie

Disneynature Oceans
Shot at 50 different locations, it needed seven years to complete, including four years of photography, using a great team of adventurers and the latest high-tech camera equipment to capture state-of-the-art images. It is Disneynature's new movie Oceans.

Iranian photography

Accessibilty of a world that used to be invisible, that is for me the greatest thing about the web. Like the launch of an Iranian online magazine for contemporary Iranian photographers: Dide Photography Magazine. The Persian word 'Dide' means eye, glance, being seen.

Each issue of Dide will focus on displaying one project, along with words and texts by photographers and critics. This month' photographer is thirty-years old Mohammad Gazali and what I have seen so far has a Lomo feeling, with that typical yellow, orange, brown spectrum. I can see him wandering around Teheran with a Leica around his neck, capturing the quite life around him. Really interesting work and I can't wait till next month' issue.

Big smile,

I hate pristine looking walls: DIY wallpaper

wallpaper diy
I am restless. The walls of my house are so pristine looking, every time I am drawing or cooking tomato sauce I am drawn to accidentally drop some color on them. Am I the only one who can't resist a white wall? No, not all. And you don't need to get yourself dirty with paint or buy expensive wallpaper to achieve the coolest interior in the world. There are tons of ideas how to DIY walls.

It's great to be different

different ways of being an artist
Each of us can do something the usual way or his own way. Arent't we different beings after all? Maybe we all have one name for the thing we do best, which could be kissing, fixing cars, drawing just as well as dancing, taking pictures or animating. But it's up to ourselves to look at what we do from a different angle and do it from that same different angle. Just like...

Ode to the Bus Stop

bus stop
I once read a very sad story: in Germany, some nursing homes build imitation bus stops for patients who are suffering from dementia. The patients will sit at the bus stop waiting for a bus to take them to their imagined destination. After some time the nursing staff comes to escort them back into the nursing home.

Every time I think of this story, the Hollies' Bus stop starts singing in my head. It's a slightly gloomy melody just as waiting for a bus usually is.

Surprisingly something as ordinary as a bus stop has inspired many creative minds - just as those tiny plants sprouting from the arid sidewalk.

Travel diary of an imaginary day

travel diary
Today feels slightly boring, although I know the world is packed full with amazing things to do and see. If only I knew how to bake a take-me-anywhere-I-want cookie, all I would have to do is take a small bite each time I want to go somewhere. Today would then have looked something like this:

1} mmm, wake up after a long and lovely sleep in my soft bed of the cooler than cool Story Hotel in Stockholm. I have already taken a million pictures of its amazing interior before having...

2}... a 'kaffi' in Kaffismiðja Íslands, a small and cozy coffeeshop in the city center of Reykjavík. The Giesen coffee roaster they have in the shop (yes, inside!) is bright, Barbie pink. And the coffee is supposed to be really really good. To make...

3}... sure I won't get lost during my travel day, I have taken along my crumpled city map from designer Emanuele Pizzalorusso. How could I have ever lived without? It's printed on tyvek and designed to fit into the smallest of my bags. No more origami maps which never fold back!

4} Can you ever have enough photo booth pictures? No. Uhm, let me have a look at the worldwide photo booth locator... Ah, yes, my love, let's go to enchanting Paris. There we can find the first black and white photochemical booth to return to Paris after the replacement of all photobooths by digital booths in the last decade. I should not forget to take along my fake mustache. You need one on a photo booth picture. A carousel is singing its old-time automatic music in the distance and it...

5} ... makes me want to listen to some nostalgic live music now. Babylon Circus is having a gig in London and these ten guys do this ska-ish, reggae-ish, folk thing I adore listening to.

6} Gosh, is it that late? I have read about an old building in the old town of Zug, Switzerland, which has been renovated, filled with art, fireplaces and piles of books and named Vorstadt 14. It rooms can be let for special occasions and all look majestic...

Oh, I can't wait to dream about tomorrow! Or shall I make a move and simply go out on my pink bike?


Domestic meets industrial: a delicate shovel

Cal Lane
Lace is an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes. It's an ancient craft which probably originated in Belgium, just around the corner from Holland. The materials used for lace-making are usually just as fragile as its patterns: linen, silk, gold. Think of lace and you immediately think of underwear, napkins, curtains and religious ceremonies such as in weddings, christenings and funerals.

What would happen if you could combine its feminine, domestic element with something masculine and industrial? Just look at Cal Lane's work and you will see how this marriage would look. This gifted artist uses her torch to cut baroque, lace-like patterns into ordinary things such as shovels, old oil drums, wheelbarrows, car doors, and other pieces of scrap metal.

I own you - art made with paper and glue

As a child, I loved drawing little worlds inhabited by critters. It usually started with one creature living in a house made out of leaves and broken glass but this soon developed into a whole world on its own, with cableways between flowers for transporting honey and squirrels wearing glasses against the flying wood chips of a woodpecker. If my world didn't fit on the page anymore, I simply glued a new one on top and began building another layer on it, like in a pop-up book.

Somehow that memory hit me while watching the amazing “I Own You”, a clip for Wax Tailor featuring Charlie Winston. French studio SoLab seems to have created a little world out of paper and glue just as I did. Uhm, oh, well, they might have done a better work than I have ever... but still!

Wax Tailor feat. Charlie Winston " I Own You" from SoLab on Vimeo.

Have you ever heard about Russian stray dogs?

'Have you ever heard about Russian stray dogs?', asked my boyfriend the other day. No, I hadn't. So he began a unbelievable story about 35,000 stray dogs that roam Russia’s capital, especially its metro. These animals have evolved into a new and very intelligent breed. They are all medium-sized with thick fur, wedge-shaped heads and almond eyes. And they all behave in a strangely human way...

If they need to be somewhere, they hop in the metro and when it's time to get out, they simply get out. They recognize their stop by smell and their sense of time. They always sit in the first or last wagons, as it's always less busy there. Oh, and when it's dinner time, they look at all the people with food in their hands and asses who is going to jump and drop their sandwich if they start barking madly.

Most Muscovites love the street pack: there is even a website dedicated to them on which passengers post photos and video clips taken with their mobile phones. Everyone has its favorite and most stations have their regulars.

Where did they come from? Well, they are the 3 procent of animals that survive being dumped on the steet by his 'owners'. They are the fittest survivors. They are somewhere in the middle between domesticated and wild, living among humans without being owned.

have a lovely day,

(image from English Russia)

Matchbox card

One of my best friends is pregnant. We were supposed to meet for a lovely lunch so I had bought her and her love two small gifts: a vintage pinnard horn to listen to the baby's heart and a huge set of old-fashioned baby clothes hangers (like the one featured in Heather Bailey's blog) with deer shapes. After wrapping everything carefully in some kraft paper I realized I was still missing something. A card to wish the future mum and dad all the smiles in the world!

matchbox card

As I happen to be an Etsy card seller, this wasn't such a big thing to miss BUT I wanted to give them a bit more than just a card. So I wrapped one of my Ballerina designs around a matchbox cover, draw smiley faces on a bunch of matches, wrapped these smiling matches together with some japanese paper tape and addes a little note inside... et voilà! So easy and such a sweet result!

Have a lovely weekend,

Coffee, bikes & beards

A zillion things happened today in the world. Out of this zillion, there were a few I happened to stumble upon:

stumbled upon

{1} A striking image about prejudice, by French studio La Souris sur le Gateau (Didier Rossigneux and Knapik Bridenne). It screams at you without words.

{2} A fox got into the Helsinki zoo and killed 16 flamingos. Would this have been a news item if the flamingos had been roaming in the wild? I am still unsure about zoo's. Are they the good guy or the bad guy?

{3} This love filled latte made by my boyfriend in one my greatgrandmother's tea cups. With home roasted beans!

{4} The Porteur, A mostly handmade gentleman's bike, designed by Nicolas Yvars. The blue-gray color scheme, the leather details, the vintage liquor flask under the saddle... Nicolas found many components thanks to the help he got from the French bike community. I love craftmanship, people who want to deliver perfection by putting their soul in it, AND everyone who encourages that.

{5} Apparently worms are able to make group decisions like travelling in the same direction. They do that by touching each other. Just like when you are in love - the more you hug each other, the more you want to be close to one another and never ever let go.

{6} An article about beards. This made me realize that despite of it being a perfectly normal thing for men to grow facial hair, if you don't shave it off after an inch or so, the world around you will think of you as Roald Dahl's Mr Twit. I must admit that I am intrigued by moustaches (hence the name) but I like them more when they are fake, when made with cream or toothpaste (hence the mispelling)... PS The image is from Erin, the best fake beard maker in the world!

Have a lovely day,


The many faces of Little Red Riding Hood

The fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood is a well known one. But did you know that there are many versions of this story? It's not just storytellers and writers who have adapted the story about the little girl who, on her way to her Grandmother, is attacked by a wolf. Illustrators have depicted her in many different ways as well. She can be...

... childish and angry, Andrea Zuill
... unaware and bubbly, Raquel Aparicio (have a look at her site, this artist is amazing!)
... graphical like a twenties Vogue model, Kenneth Whitley (is that wolf wearing glasses like mine?)
...dark and sinister, Tyler Garrisson (his work is really really good)
... surprisingly complicated after the first sight, Noma Bar (if you ever get the chance to see an exposition, go)
... cheerful and unafraid, SkoLzki

Very inspiring for every artist to see it's the hand that makes something unique, even when you are using a zillion times told tale. It's all about finding your own thing and describing it with your inner voice.


Who is Mr Bunk?

Well, as a boy, people called him Jeff and apparently he was born on a lake inhabited by a giant mythical serpent, somewhere in Canada. And then one day, he had become a world acclaimed shadow puppeteer and people called him Mr Bunk. Mr Bunk creates amazing creatures with wigged buckets, giant puppets, a screen, a lamp and of course his hands. Oh, and he can sing. Oh, yes, he can sing. I love Mr Bunk’s 'handmade' version of Ne Me Quitte Pas even more than Jacques Brel’s:

Have a happy day,

(via It's Nice That)

Do you want these as much as I do? Retro camera's

Camera's are synonymous for traveling, success, creativity. They symbolize your lifestyle. Well, at least if you own the right one.
How does the perfect camera look? Retro, cool and classy. Oh, and easy to use...

{1} Polaroid SX70 original, legendary camera packed with style. Picture this: a Paris cafe', you dressed for success with huge glasses, a leather bag from hardgraft and coffee. On the table this camera and a french newspaper...
{2} Blackbird Fly 35mm, beautiful 35mm toy twin-lens reflex
{3} Ricoh 500 G, adorable camera - just imagine walking around with her wrapped around your neck!
{4} Lomograpy Fisheye Print Ryan Camera, Rob Ryan has that gift of making people happy instantly, like a polaroid. I saw a girl a few weeks ago with this camera and I couldn't keep my eyes off it!
{5} MINOX DCC Leica M3 5MP Digital Camera, everything miniaturized makes me want to want it. I just can't resist mini-things.
{6} Olympus E-P1, gosh, she is pretty, isn't she?

Have a lovely day,

Back to Back - Wolf Gang

Make yourself a coffee and listen to this wonderful acoustic version of Back to Back by British artist Wolf Gang.

Seven ways to celebrate Love Day

The sun is shining, the weather is nice and you are feeling happy, right? Great, then it's time to say I love you 100 times to the love of your life. It's Love Day! But there are at least six other ways to celebrate Love Day...

{1} A personalized love letter on a pillow, by Olive
{2} Good Time Ring for your cutest kissing picture, by Yellowgoat
{3} Mr and Mrs Scatter Pillows, by Idotakeu
{4} Not a paper cup + a black marker for porcelain and just diy that love note yourself, by ThinkGeek
{5} Custom silhouette prints of both of you (and your pet), by Ellothere
{6} My favourite: a personalized and handmade lunch bag for your sweetheart, tutorial by DesignSponge

Or you could cook his or her favourite meal tonight... put up a love note under his or her pillow... buy a bright yellow balloon and attach it to his or her bike/car... or... or...

...Happy love Day!

PS: Each of these gifts would make a lovely wedding present as well.

Happiness in bed: warm arms when reading

Don't you find it extremely annoying to get cold arms when you are reading (or browsing) in bed? I HATE IT. Every time I end up with blue arms full of goose bumps. Not a nice sight. A few seconds ago I was looking for a solution online and there it was. The Solution. A blanket with sleeves.

They named this slightly weird invention 'Happiness in bed'. I haven't tried it yet as it will be on sale soon but I think the name is totally appropriate. Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite...

Visual inspiration: delicate jewellery with a twist

{1} Tracy de Chevron Villette: pressed hydrangea flowers and leaves which have been used directly on to these silver earrings.
{2} Ambre France: cable tie rings, bracelets and earrings in silver and gold.
{3} Gabriella Kiss: butterfly earrings with carved horn wings
{4} Frances Wadsworth Jones: eternity ring with ant workers created with prototyping technology to replicate the insect world at its own scale.
{5} By Boe: New York based designer Annika Salame creates pure and elegant jewellery like this vintage inspired medaillon.
{6} Moon Young Shin: I love shadow puppets and I am completely in LOVE with her shadow puppet ring series in silver.

Visual inspiration: Streetstyle fashion blogs

Want some fashion inspiration? Stop buying Vogue. Fashion is what happens on the street. It's girls and boys like you and me with loads of creativity who love to dress up every day.

There are hundreds of blogs dedicated to 'street wardrobes' and several movements in its evolution. The first type of streetstyle fashion blog which really got an amazing amount of press was The Sartorialist {1}. After leaving a fashion sales position to take care of his daughter in 2005, Scott Schuman began carrying a digital camera around on the streets of New York City, taking pictures of people who had dressed in some way that caught his eye, and then posting them to his blog.

Then there were the themed fashion blogs, for example Cycle Chic for people on a bike {2}.

The third movement constituted city guides, not based on local food and shops but on style: Hoy Fashion for Liverpool, Facehunter for London, Streetpeeper for everywhere {3} and of course the magical Street Arena for Tokyo.

After this something shifted. People stopped taking photographs of other people and started taking pictures of their own everyday outfits. Amazing. There are thousands I could name here but my favourite must be The Hidden Seed of the lovely Elsa Mora {5}. Another favourite is more or less cheating...: weardrobe is an entire collection of private weardrobes of many lovely personal style bloggers. My favourite? Definitely Irene Adler {6}!

Tulip dress from You Must Create

You Must Create
London label You Must Create designs chic and stylish fashion for men and women. I have discovered them in one of my favourite London shops kj's laundry (if you happen to be in London - go there!!!) and I absolutely love this tulip dress. Just imagine this with bright red mary janes and a big bow in my hair...

Useful tool: Post anything online with Posterous

Posterous is a site that lets you post pretty much anything online. Things like your favorite mp3’s, photos, news articles, and phone pics. The best part is: you don't need an account! All you have to do is email your text and files (images, video, anything) to post@posterous.com and it will be posted to a site. It's even possible to share a site with other people, like your family or friends.
All Posterous needs is a bookmarklet a la Tumblr or imgfave for quick grab/post of quotes and content from other places on the Web...

Visual inspiration: Boxbird online gallery

Boxbird was set up in February 2008 by print enthusiast Alice Teague and illustrator Graham Carter. It's one of the premiere online galleries for new talent, showcasing some of the UK’s finest illustrators, printmakers and fine artists including Fiona Hewitt, Sally Elford and Ben Newman. They also organize offline exhibitions and one is soon to be opened: 'A to B', an exhibition of contemporary printmaking & Illustration inspired by travel and foreign adventures, from Friday 7th May - Thursday 27th May 2010.

The show will be jammed full of affordable limited edition prints and original art works all of which are hand made or hand printed. Anyone heading to Brighton?
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