Monday, December 22, 2008

Gift Ideas. I've returned at last.

Oh, its been so long. Christmas is already this week, and New Year will soon follow. I've missed posting over the last few weeks, mostly due to the preparation for the holidays. But it also means that I haven't been getting my healthy helping of design either, and I feel starved. So here are a few things that will remedy the situation.
I want to start with woodsy things. I love great accessories for the home, and they are that much more fun when made of a warm and appealing material. This JigSaw table from Smartistart Design was spotted on the british shopping websites. It is made from solid beech, actually the pieces are. So the owner gets to play with those puzzle pieces and assemble them into side tables (twelve large puzzle pieces each), or a coffee table (twenty pieces big).And what are wood tables without proper coasters for your coffee mugs. And those Bamboo Type coasters are definitely proper. Any lover of typography would be quite happy to get those as a present.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gift Ideas, 2nd installment

Rill is a sweet toy designed by Donna Wilson for the little people. It is lively, it is orange, and it is so cute. Can be purchased here.

Gift Ideas, 1st installment

So for the first entry we have adorable containers for pencils or smallish plants. I think they will look absolutely darling in the kid's room, or on the desk of a cubicle prisoner awaiting vacation. Containers come in several shapes and available for purchase here.

Christmas is coming

Yes it is. And this Christmas lets not forget that we need to stimulate world economy :) So starting today I will post gift ideas for dear friends and family with great design in mind. Happy shopping!

Illustrating childhood?

One of my all time favorite illustrators is Ray Caesar, and even though his illustrations almost always feature children, I wouldn't necessarily call them child friendly. I would really have liked to know what life was like for him growing up. Regardless of year's past he is a brilliant illustrator with an amazing style and great attention to detail. If you want to learn more, read about him an see more of his work here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How I found Fred

You know how sometimes you see something, and it stays with you, even though you never really think about it. So it was with this exceptional piece of jewelry I saw. The concept was absolutely perfect, and execution ... stellar comes to mind. So I decided to look around and find out who the "guilty" maker is. And it turns out its Fred. Fred Samuel is a jewelry creator, who founded label FRED in Paris in 1936, and since then had opened a number of boutiques around the world. Excluding a small hiatus during the WWII, when Fred joined the French Foreign Legion and fought with the Resistance, he spent his life designing, casting, and giving word perfect pieces of pleasure. And even though the company was sold to LVMH group 12 years ago, traditions of the FRED label continue to flourish. LVNH was picked exactly for the proximity of its values and sensibilities to that of Fred himself. Have you seen his work.... oh sure-- Fred is the designer of the "Pretty Woman" necklace that was so prominently featured in that movie, and more recently Bond girls of "Casino Royale" got to wear his work. I do hope that the good work they do in memory of Fred now will continue for many years to come.

P.S. Last year the company reached into the orient, and new boutiques in Beijing and Dubai were opened. I can only hope the next one will be close to me :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eye candy for the urban creature

Village Mayor over at Village of Joy had an awesome post about the most weird pieces of architecture that adorn our world. Beautiful, unconventional, and yet stunning and memorable. I like buildings like this, because they make every place a special place. You won't remember yet another piece of suburbia that looks just like many others in a different city or even a different state. Large gray apartment buildings of big cities are so much the same, that it makes me sad just thinking about them. Here are a few buildings that didn't want to be part of the faceless habitat, instead they entertain, and pluck that creative string in every one of us.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My baby is here!!!

Today, at LA Auto Show Lotus unveiled their US version of the Evora. In general it is the same vehicle as the one that was seen in Europe a few months back, but this time it is here, on the American soil, and so close, I can't sit in my chair. I loved that car from the time I saw the first concept sketches that were leaked into the internet a while back. It is an absolute beauty. But to top it off, looks like it got the backing too. This is a larger creation, as compared to Lotus Elise, and supposedly comfortably accommodates 2 American males up front with room in the back left for kids or gear (wait, did they just call us fat?!) But really-- this is a huge deal, when Elise is not an option for many people just due to its size. 0-60 in 5 seconds, top speed of over 160 at 30 mpg, plush interior with a touch screen multimedia system and full navigation and overall sweet design. Does it get better than that?! It is set to be available for purchase this time next year. So keep those piggy banks stuffed till then!

Dream of Doll

Not even moments after I posted about Small magazine I got an email from a friend about a doll company - Dream of Doll - that produces pretty exceptional dolls. Located in Seoul, Korea the company manufactures exclusive dolls, who are members of anime-type cast for a fantasy story. Dolls have a large number of movable joints, which allows them to acquire very complex poses. With custom eyes, hair, hands and even make-up they are made to please. Here are a few beauties from their website.

Small Magazine

A winter issue of Small Magazine was released today, and as always it is filled with super cute all things baby. I've been with Small since the very beginning, and I have to say that I really look forward to every issue. They always have cute clothes, awesome toys and clever book reviews. Check them out-- absolutely worth it.... even if you don't have kids, good design ought to make you smile.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stair Porn

Today I found stair porn, and I feel that it will become a new addiction for me. Maybe even big enough to push back love for fashion and cool shoes. Yep, you heard right, I did say Stair Porn. It is a super cool web/blog project that collects and shares nothing but stairs. Old, new, modern, antique... Stairs from all over the world get their share of spotlight on Stair Porn. Here are a few excellent shots from there:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Green shoes

Yes, you betcha! Shoes that are stylish and made completely of recycled materials. Industrial design student Camila Labra came up with this project after being assigned to create a daily object from unusual materials. She named it Dacca, after the city of Dacca in Bangladesh, where recycling is uncommon, and plastic bags create quite a problem for the environment. Some boots feature vivid prints still bearing the resemblance of what they were in their previous life to encourage a conscious effort at recycling, and yet offer jolly prints to complement stylish outfits. They are up for sale from Camile's blog. Go Chile!

Weaponry is an art

Museums in all countries around the world boast with extremely elaborate and beautiful pieces of weaponry from different ages, and so far 2000's have little to show. But there are a few artists, whose work is in museums and private collections, and quite rightfully so. Here is a collections of pieces by Russian masters of metal. They are extremely utilitarian, and yet artistic. A cornerstone of every piece is history, poetry and philosophy. I am very impressed.