Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Carmageddon and Crafts

Need something to do while avoiding the 405's upcoming Carmageddon? Why not surround yourself with crafts instead!? The Renegade Craft Fair could be the perfect escape! 

I've met Renegade crafters before through Etsy and other events so I'm super excited to go to my first Fair with so many in one place! Maybe I'll get my Christmas shopping done super early! It may still require driving (though I am hoping to stay with a friend that lives closer and bike) but at least its in the opposite direction of the what will probably be the worst day of driving in the history of Los Angeles. (My bf and friends are confident it'll still be horrendous though.) The event is free, delicious food trucks will be on site, music will be blasting and there will even be drinks to help you further enjoy the California sun! Some of the interesting crafts include hand-thrown ceramics, creative mobiles, 'historical' sci-fi cards and prints, and of course everything in between. So, who's in? Any Silverlakers wanna bike with me?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Word of the Day

You won't believe what today's Word of the Day is at
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.

  1. askew; awry.
  2. positioned diagonally; cater-cornered.

  3. diagonally; obliquely: We took a shortcut and walked catawampus across the field.
Also, cattywampus [kat-ee-wom-puhs, kat-uh-]

Catawampus arose in the United States around 1840, during a particular vogue in elaborate 
coinages. Cata-stems from cater-, a now-archaic root meaning "diagonal," while the source 
of -wampus is subject to debate.

Very circuitous, I must say- most sidelong and backhanded, cockeyed and 
skew-jawed, catawampus and wonky.
-- Candace A. Croft, Annalia's Simply Splendid Flight: From Another Side of Day

The only traditional touches are the catawampus walls and whichaway entrances dictated by 
Feng Shui, the art of placing things so as to ensure luck and not disturb spirits.
-- P. J. O'Rourke, Eat the rich

The word is available on their Obsolete American Slang flash cards. How funny!
Also one guy offered an alternative definition: "a fierce, imaginary animal, the sort of 
vicious critter that jumps you in the woods shortly before you're never seen again." Haha!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To Buy or DIY: Mason Jar Lights

I love the simplicity but statement making ability of these Energy Preserved lights found on Supermarket. They're sooo simplistic I thought I could create my own DIY version. I have similar power cords for paper lanterns and Mason jars are available at any regular grocery store, right? Not quite so easy - I had trouble finding any colored lantern cords. Color power cords are easy enough to find but I don't trust my electrician skills - especially since I don't have any! I would also be concerned about the large light inside the jar and any heat it may give off.
With the creative juices already flowing, I began to think of other lighting solutions using the Mason jars - either hanging from something or just sitting on a table or bench. Then I remembered a fun project I had always wanted to try - creating LED Throwies

The instructions are simple (basically taping an LED(s) to a magnet and a battery), the materials are small and easily found, it can cost as little as $1 a light, and will decorate anything ferromagnetic. Readily available LED battery packs often have 9 or 12 lights and  seem to be a bit bulky for this project. 1 or 2 lights should give off enough lighting to create a fun mood but you can always add more Throwies if needed. The batteries should last about two weeks but with certain mods like on/off tabs or auto on/off, you could probably extend their life. (Don't forget to recycle the batteries when they're all used up. Please!) There's even a Snaggie mod that could be helpful.
Hopefully I'll be able to try this project soon and will repost images of my results!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Foreign Film Posters

I saw these fabulous posters in all their 5+ ft glory in a conference room this week. Being an art and film buff, I just couldn't get enough of them. They reminded me of George Lucas' extensive poster collection that lines the halls of ILM. I'm so fascinated with the beautiful 60s illustrations, especially the women's eyes and lashes, and compositions. If I had more time on my hands, I'd try to dust of my artistic skills and create some faux movie posters of my own. As a film student, I saw several films by these directors but never these in particular. I wonder if they're available on Netflix?
More information on the films can be found here, here and here

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dreamy Eco Laptop

Industrial Designer Andrea Ponti has created an incredibly aesthetic and functional solar-powered laptop concept. The Luce ("light" in Italian) laptop was submitted to Fujitsu's 2011 design competition and boasts not one, but two photovoltaic panels! The first panel is located on the back of the OLED display while the second is underneath the transparent touch keyboard. The elegant clear polycarbonate casing allows sunlight to shine right through to continuously charge the battery while also making it ultra light (4 lbs). 

Although it's not market ready yet and still has some issues to be worked out (e.g. screen brightness while outside in the sun), the Luce upholds so many of my ideals and hopes that I truly hope a manufacturer sees the value in bringing this to reality. As Mr. Ponti points out, it is "not only an eco-solution for our environment, but a new way to think about laptop pc. No more cables, but mobile devices always connected to networks and powered by nature."

via inhabitat and techcrunch

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A New Kind of Moon Shoe

It's not often you would hear the words "outer space" and "DIY" together but that's the best way to describe these shoes...
“first ever flat-pack shoe, fit for outer space”
These beauties were created by United Nude for Spanish performance artist, Alicia Framis' Moon Life project. Asked to create a conceptual shoe suitable for space travel, Creative Director Rem D Koolhaas and team "thought the further you send or ship something, the more important the weight and size - so the idea of 'small and light' led us to the flat-pack idea." The carbon fiber shoes take about 10 minutes to construct, are made of about 20 pieces each, remain customizable and include instructions because UN doesn't "expect anybody to just genius the construction from out of the blue." The DIY shoes are only prototypes now but the purchasable version is in the works. I personally cannot wait!

More details and images at Vogueecouterre, core77, and Fashion Time Magazine.

Not feeling the heels? Try this DIY slipper from Unu Footwear instead!