December 28, 2010

The Spanish Art Village

We recently had friends over last week and while we were strolling around at Balboa park, we happened to get escorted by the flowering bougainvilleas and multi-colored cobblestoned courtyard into The Spanish Art Village
Patrons, art lovers or even just curious folks get an opportunity to discover demonstrations of art being made here in this little artist community that hosts over 200 local artists. The quaint buildings and courtyards that make up the Spanish Village Art Center were originally built in 1935 to depict a charming old village in Spain for the second California Pacific International Exposition. One will come across local painters, sculptors, metalsmiths, jewelry designers, clay artists, gourd artists, photographers, printmakers, fiber artists, basket makers, mixed-media artists, glass artists, enamel artists and many more arts all at this one little heaven. It truly was a treat to talk to some of the most beautiful artists and see them create some of the most enticing pieces of art. Although we were not allowed to click pictures of the finished art works, which i totally understand, sharing some images of the courtyard and an artist at work. 
Our youngest visitor and art enthusiast sat through one of the artists painting demonstration and bought his work for her own room. How thrilled she was about her shopping that day! :)
I think we spent about three hours right here that day. It was an enticing experience and i look forward to some of the classes they host to teach various forms of art to enthusiasts like me :). This artist here says that he has been painting since the age of 9 and has been living by it since!

December 21, 2010

Upscaling Wreaths Part Three

Idea 7 : Laser Cut Cardboard Wreaths
This chic wreath is made from 100 percent recycled cardboard, but you can hardly tell by looking at it. Assembled from laser-cut, leaf-shaped pieces, this clean white piece is far from destined for the recycling bin. We love it for a more modern addition to a door or hallway—plus, since it’s not made of boughs or leaves, you can store it away to use year after year—Leah Konen

Idea 8 : Using Fall Leaves
Add warmth to any home with this golden wreath -- an inspired medley of burnt orange, ochre and soft brown hues. Made with artful accents of Wheat and Acorns for an extra touch of texture. Buy it here.
Idea 9 : Wine Corks
 Don’t throw your wine corks away. Add pop to a dining room with wine corks wired to tiny red jingle bells. It's cute, cool and sustainable! Learn how to make these here

December 17, 2010

Design Feature : Ceramic Ornaments by Kylie Johnson

"If you have two loaves of bread sell one and buy a hyacinth"
Kylie Johnson is an Australian designer, potter and poet. She blends her talents into wonderfully organic, wabi sabi shapes made out of ceramic. On these she then hand imprints either her own composed poems or quotes those of others. Paper boat press, Kylie's store began as a boutique greeting card range featuring her one or two line poems. The company has now grown to include ceramic ornaments, jewellery, original illustrations and functional ceramic vessels. Like with every handmade product, all of her products might have small irregularities and quirks, which are a natural and an integral part of any handmade product. That's what makes it so intriguing and beautiful right? 

Found this poem on her  blog... HAD to share it :)

i am just dropping in to show you a couple of snaps of studio life . . .
week after week in this christmas lead up. . .
cups of tea and friendship
keep us happy in this space 
as we make and create
laugh, console, listen to music,
discuss our current favourite television viewing
and generally feel like it's not really work at all . . .

Some more of her ceramic projects for this Christmas

December 16, 2010

Upscaling Wreaths Part Two

Idea 4 : Tie Wreath
We spoke about Danny Seo yesterday, this wreath is one of his creations. It's simply made out of a bunch of spare ties wrapped around any cardboard circle or a spare bicycle tire or a foam wreath.
Idea 5 : Newspaper Wreath
Wreath made out of spare newspapers haphazardly wrapped around a circular base made out of a cardboard or spare wires or a foam wreath. 
Idea 6 : Mistletoe Wreath
Wreath made out of Mistletoe leaves. One can use any old magazines or cards to make this one. Enjoy!

December 15, 2010

Christmas Green Gift Wrapping Ideas by Danny Seo

Finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to wrapping paper, ribbon, gift cards and even the gift itself is not that hard if you get some cool inspirations from Danny Seo. This book of his called Simply Green Giving  is full of ideas that are ecological and truly gorgeous. There are several clever ways to recycle ribbon, cards and paper also from presents people give you. I am putting up some of my favorite ideas here, i hope you'd like them too!
This idea simply uses the brown parcel paper and some colorful electric tape lying around the house wrapped in different permutations and combinations. These tapes are available in green, red, blue, yellow, black, white and gray colors in any local lowes or home depot. Get creative!
Again, use brown wrapping paper or even any tissue paper received with a previous gift bag to wrap the gifts. The ribbons are made of random items lying around the house, like an old belt or the measuring tape, black wire or even wire with light bulbs on them. I thinks its quite cool, we just need to break out of the conventional notions of gift wrapping and see these ideas with fresh new eyes and perception! 
Who uses old cassettes now? My guess is almost no one. So what do you do with those still lying around the house, if any? How about using them for gift wrapping! 
This again is something i wouldn't have thought of myself. Clay pots are available at almost throw away prices and in all shapes and sizes. Quite apt for all small sized gifts. Nice idea eh!
Old globes. What do you think?
Danny has a natural instinct for 'simply green' living and he currently serves as the official Green Living Partner for JCPenney. He promotes eco-friendly living through his television programs, products, magazine columns, his lifestyle lectures and through his books. All these medias reflect an avalanche of the most creative and stylish looking ideas that can be easily incorporated in our daily lives and feel good about doing so. Visit his blog for some simple yet clever to-do ideas. Hope this post inspires you to innovate and be smart with reuse! :)

December 14, 2010

Upscaling Wreaths Part One

The history behind wreaths dates back thousands of years and much of the symbolism lies with Greek mythology, Roman tradition with the present day usage being focused on Advent and for festive d├ęcor. The circular shape of the wreath is seen as a common symbol of eternity. Wikipedia defines a wreath as an assortment of flowersleavesfruitstwigs and/or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring.
This section would be a four part series, where i would share interesting ideas to upscale this wreaths this season!
Idea 1 : Butterfly Wreath
One can use old greeting cards, plain card paper in combination with thick magazine covers to make this beautiful wreath. String them on a thing thread and wrap in winding circles around a circle made of wires, flexible wooden branches or around a circle made of cardboard. 
Idea 2 : Wreath made of Rags/Scraps
Take a recycled foam wreath and stick scraps available from old cloth pieces and stick them around the foam body in random order. 
Idea 3 : Wreath made of old newspapers or magazines
This one is the simplest. Just roll a square piece of paper from the vertex to make the cones and from the edge to make the base cylinders. Cut out a wide circle of cardboard and begin pasting the cylinders with any regular glue. Make two layers of the same and place the cones on the top most later. Place a colored paper disc in the center to cover the uneven ends. One can be innovative with this using a combination of colored papers with the plain etc. 

Isn't it cool and simple? It's GREEN too! Try these and flaunt your creativity. Enjoy!

December 13, 2010

Artist Feature : The Light Garden

Happy Monday Morning People! It's the second last Monday before the long holiday and am sure everybody has their clocks ticking away to countdown faster than ever before to be with family and friends for Christmas and New Years! It's going to be all Christmas on our blog for both these weeks so be sure to check in often for some cool stuff. 
Today I am featuring an Australian artist and illustrator Verity Heysen Kizek who totally changed the definition of pastels at least for me. Pastels, to me meant pale in color, but Verity's work shows how that can outdo any other media to make an art work look peaceful, pure and gentle. She draws her inspiration from her 2 year old son; his childhood wonder and innocence, from nature and from vintage illustrations. Verity works exclusively with pastels and her latest products include cards, gift tags, wallpapers, one can also find customized invites and prints.  She has recently put together a lovely card n tags collection using eco friendly paper. Here's presenting some of her beautiful work...
Gift Tags
Gift Tags
Christmas Card
Christmas Card
Personalized Print

Verity sells her work in her etsy shop 'the light garden and has a blog where she puts up posts of her latest work and about some of her favorite things including  books, food, chocolates and some excerpts from her daily life in Istanbul (where she currently lives). 

December 8, 2010

Recycled Product Feature : Ecojot®

Eco Work Books
I happened to bump into this site last night while i was surfing for something cool, fun and of course 'green' for my post this week. First i actually came across Carolyn Gavin's blog, no doubt it was really cool in itself but for some strange reason i thought it couldn't possibly have much to do with recycling when i see 'Ecojot' mentioned on her blog as 'my website'. I was very happily surprised and glad to have found them - they have some of the most colorful green products i've come across lately. 

Ecojot has a beautiful range of Canadian made 100% post-consumer recycled paper products which are perfect for today’s eco savvy user. Mark and Carolyn (brother and sister) work together on developing a range of stationery that is super fresh, fun and green. Their products are theme based ranging from cats and dogs to flowers fishes birds and so many other fun things. 
Green meaning, made entirely from waste material. They use acid-free, processed chlorine free paper & board. The inks and glues used are vegetable based hence biodegradable and no trees are used to make their paper. Even their paper mills are powered by biogas harnessed from nearby landfill. Quite wholesome isn't it?
Dog Ecojot collection

Cat Ecojot Collection

This toronto based company is one of the 7 exhibitors at the upcoming New York International Gift Fair  in January to be awarded Sustainability 3 status. 

Wait, that's not all that is good about them - there's more... Ecojot supports many great charities that help children, nature, animals and ofcourse the environment. To this end they support Canopy - a non-profit that is dedicated to protecting the world's forest reserves, species and climate by collaboratively engaging the business community and public to create a sustainable and innovative supply chain. Ecojot also donates $1 from the sale of each 'bou' journal to their cause. They have recently also started the 'Buy One, We give One' program to promote literacy in developing countries in partnership with Jane Goodall Institute

Eco Cards
Eco Gift Wrapping Paper
Eco Calenders
Eco Solids - Notebooks

Aren't they super cute?

December 3, 2010

Design Feature - Achyut Palav's Calligraphy Art

Today, we bring you Achyut Palav's Calligraphy art. 
Wikipedia definition of calligraphy says its a from of visual art often called 'the art of fancy lettering'.  

Ahyut Palav - Stiftung Archive 1

Palav has worked in diverse mediums and on different concepts. He works with various scripts & languages from around the world, his fondness leaning towards the Indian scripts mainly the Devnagri script. He is a graduate of Art from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai. His work has found place in collections with the likes of Stiftung Archive & A.G Art Gallery - Germany. 

Calligraphy Mugs
Moscow Paintings
The story of aesthetic writing has evolved many fold since ancient times. Back then calligraphy was framed within the limitations of technical skills, material availability, time and place. It was used to bolt certain sacred inscriptions or information of utmost value on mediums like palm leaves, stone, bamboo, cloth or anything that was conveniently available at that time. To much contrast, modern calligraphy ranges from functional hand-lettered inscriptions and designs to mere fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters. With the advent of technology, today there are no limitations that bind the artist - the results can be unimaginable and beautiful! 

Who can say black and white is boring? It's anything but that right? 
Now this is creative... Mozart in Calligraphy

Mozart Portrait using Calligraphy

December 2, 2010

Green Design Feature : Eco-Friendly Slippers

Satish and Falguni Gokhale, designers of this classic product and that of many other super creative products run Design Directions. The company recently won the prestigious Business World Design Brilliance Award for Design for the 5th time! This last award is won in the category of BEST DIGITAL DESIGN AWARDS. The company is committed to make sensible designs which not only appeal directly to the customers instincts and aspirations but also are technically sound, easy to manufacture and market. Currently, based out of Pune, they have a promising portfolio that speaks of their work!
Solemates are disposable footwear made from 100% recycled paper. The footwear is ideal for tropical climate. ‘Solemates’ is a good solution to be used in hospitals, clinics, software industries, religious places, meditation and wellness centers, spa’s, aircrafts with longer flying routes, hotels besides just to be used at home. 
Solemates are made from 100% recycled newsprint, Kraft and any other non-laminated paper pulp. It is completely bio-degradable. The manufacturing process is similar to any papier mache manufacturing process. Even the cord and the support tube are made from twisted unbleached Kraft paper.
It has a natural unbleached look. Vertical grooves along the length of the product create an interesting pattern and also help in creating the right stiffness and thereby increases the product performance and life.

An awesome product with very practical usage!
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