Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thank Hue, Thank Hue!

Rachel Perls is one amazing woman. Over the course of the last year, I was fortunate enough to discover her blog, Hue:
"I created this blog to catalog and share my color-related findings. From architectural interiors to marketing, color has a major impact on our lives, and I'd like to draw attention to it's importance. If you love color, I hope you'll enjoy this blog. Welcome!"

As a follower of Hue, I have learned, been awed, inspired, smiled and most importantly found not only a mentor (whether she knows this or not!), but an incredibly talented and gracious woman who is quick to share her knowledge, guidance and heart in each and every post, comment and email.

In anticipation of her firstborn, she reached out to fellow design bloggers to contribute guest posts in order to keep her blog current and on schedule. When she included me amongst her invitees, I was humbled and honored to say the least.  My background and experience pale in comparison to the others who contributed. Nonetheless I accepted the mission.

Thank you, Rachel!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Long Distance Relationships

Okay - I know exactly what you're thinking. Rest assured, I have not strayed into any kind of psychoanalytical personal development realm. At least not here in this blog.

My very good friend has had quite the busy summer, filled with lots of traveling to various states for family reunions, weddings, birthdays, graduations, know, family stuff.  Big family, big events. And a lot of them. We last got together for a gelato in June.  The next time we get together, the calendar will have flipped a couple of pages to September.  Until we are able to indulge in sinful desserts and laugh-till-your-belly-aches girls' nights out,  she surprises me with various electronic souvenirs from her travels. I just have to share with you her most recent one. Though these pics were shot with just her camera, they are no less impressive.

Can you guess what this is? Here's another close-up....

Reminds me of amoebas or something.  Well, here it is in its actual context....

This is the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The glass is an installation done by Dale Chihuly. So I did a Google search and found his statement about this piece.

"Steve Wynn started talking to me about the ceiling at the Bellagio long before construction even began. He wanted me to make a “spectacular” piece in the lobby of the hotel that would rival the aquarium at the Mirage, and generate more interest. Back in Seattle, we built the entire seventy-by-thirty-foot ceiling, full-scale, at my studio. The commission, as contracted, called for a whole new armature type and about a thousand new “flowers.” Steve visited several times, loved it, and wanted even more glass. Finally FIORI DI COMO was installed with over two thousand handblown glass elements.
 — Chihuly"
If you have a few moments, I urge you to visit Dale Chihuly's site. I guarantee you will get lost in a magical collection of color, form and architecture; each piece drawing you in more and more leaving you with a feeling of wonderment and just plain joy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm Still Here!

Hi Everyone!!!!

Boy, it's been awhile and I sure do apologize. Time flies when we're having fun. I would like to assure you that I have not gone anywhere. Life just needs me more than my blog does right now. But I assure you, it's all good.

September will mark a new chapter for my family. Therefore I have decided it will also mark a new chapter for this blog. I plan to mix it up quite a bit with some new formats, perspectives, projects and maybe even a co-author (if I can get her over her trepidation) who will (if she accepts this mission) add an ingenious and hilarious perspective on just about anything you can imagine. Not only is she brilliant and creative and talented, she's incredibly insightful. So, keeping my fingers crossed...!


Meanwhile, I promise I will pop in and out with snippets I find along the way, just so we stay in touch.  See you in September!!!  xoxoxo Karen

PS: I managed to lose the links to properly credit the above images. Should the owners visit this page, please contact me so I can publish your info.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Can I Quote You On That?

Over the years I've collected an assortment of inspirational quotes so I thought I would share with you just a few of my favorites about color. Which one is your favorite?

Color is but a sensation and has no existence outside the nervous system of living beings.  Nicholas Ogden Rood, American Physicist, 1831-1902

“Who told you that one paints with colors? One makes use of colors, but one paints with emotions.” Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, French Rococo Era Painter, 1699-1779  

“If we were to imagine an orange on the blue side or green on the red side or violet on the yellow side, it would give us the same impression as a north wind coming from the southwest.” Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, Austrian Philosopher, 1889-1951

“The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with bass notes or dark lake with treble…”  Wassily Kandinsky,  Russian-born French Expressionist Painter, 1866-1944  

"The only color I don't have is navy brown."  Yogi Berra,  American Major League Baseball Catcher, Manager, and Hall of Fame Honoree, b.1925.

'Yes,' I answered you last night; / 'No,' this morning, sir, I say. / Colours seen by candle-light / Will not look the same by day.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning,  English Poet, 1806-1861 

“For those colours which you wish to be beautiful, always first prepare a pure white ground.”   Leonardo da Vinci,  Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519  

"I know I can not paint a flower. I can not paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower of significance to me at that particular time."   Georgia O'Keeffe,  American Painter, 1887-1986 

Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone's eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too."
 Gladys Taber,    American Author, 1899-1980 

Some of us come on earth seeing – some of us come on earth seeing color.”   Louise Nevelson, Russian-born American Abstract Expressionist Sculptor, 1899-1988 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Simple as ABC

Life has been crazy busy - which is a good thing. The not-so-good-thing is that I'm struggling to find the time I'd like to devote to writing creative posts. Therefore once in awhile, I'll be doing a post where I'll be throwing out to you some stuff that is just plain cool.


I first saw this poster years ago in a friend's home. Love at first sight! Not only do these folks honor Mother Nature through their project, but the images are the most astounding I've ever seen.

They also accommodate customized orders. 

Here's the Nature Alphabet:

Check them out here.

I know what I am asking for this Mother's Day  ;)!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Very Cool Place

This morning, I stumbled across this site for Heath Ceramics

Wow. Beautiful, beautiful ware. Their pieces speak to form and function in a way that is so simple yet so seductive. ( And the design of their website is pretty amazing, as well.)

In my perusal, I also became incredibly sentimental. Now, I have never been to the actual facility or their cool, new retail store in San Francisco. So I wasn't remembering back to a specific time  or trip.

But a myriad of memories, sensations and emotions were nonetheless re-awoken. 

See, many moons ago I majored in ceramic art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, in Alfred, NY.  So maybe I was drawn into their site for a few reasons that differ with some other folks. But when you check it out (and I hope you do) , I think you'll be as inspired as I was. 

If I were to have a second chance at a ceramics-based life, I would be knocking on Heath Ceramics door to do whatever it took to be part of their operation. 

With each click of my mouse, I grew more and more impressed with who they are, what they do, how they do it and why they do it. Here's just a snippet from their History and Values page.....

Edith Heath (1911-2005) founded Heath Ceramics in the mid-forties when, following her one-woman show at San Francisco's Palace of the Legion of Honor, her pieces were picked up for sale at Gump’s of San Francisco. For the past half-century, Edith's life was dedicated to the craft of ceramics and the skill of the artisan. This passion, along with the legacy of her work in stoneware clay body and glaze development, gives Heath its unique place in ceramics today. As a result of Edith’s timeless and unique design sense - many of her pieces live in the permanent collections of museums such as the MOMA in New York City.

Edith Heath founded Heath Ceramics with a strong social point of view about the products her company made - simple, good things for good people. Today we are faced with new economic and environmental issues, business challenges and politics. We remain a small local manufacturer in order to be able to stay true to our values and the products we produce. As a privately owned company, our goal is to make responsible and holistic decisions for the long-term benefit of our customers and our employees, led by a focus on supporting great design and craft. ..."

Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey 
It was such a pleasure to visit Heath Ceramics today, albeit virtually. Hats off to new owners, as of 2003, Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey for keeping Edith's legacy alive and strong. In my opinion,  it is so refreshing and inspiring to learn about operations such as theirs whose success is built and continues to thrive on talent, integrity and a vision that is both local and global.

I hope you enjoy it as well!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Windows to the Retail Soul

In the era of online shopping, brick and mortar stores are, thankfully, still amongst us. Whether on a real, live, noisy, street with traffic lights, corners and sidewalks, or contained inside a mall,  it is still possible to actually WALK into a retail establishment.

I have a fascination with a store's front window display. A successful one draws me inside whether or not I need to go inside or not. In a perfect world, the promise made by the window is made good on and then some once I'm through the doors. The window should be a tease of things yet to come...and delivered with  merchandising successful enough that draws me to buy something whether I need it or not.  But I digress....

Here are some cool examples of what I'm talking about, in my opinion, anyway.

Figured I'd start out with one of the major players....Bloomingdale's Holiday Window 2008 

Of course, one can not even think about window displays without giving a huge ol' nod to Eddie Ross's big win of the Bloomingdale's Big Window Challenge of January 2010. And he's so darn adorable, too. 

Anyway,  let's go window-shopping at some "regular" stores both here in the U.S and abroad....

Who wouldn't check out what's inside at this shop?

Love the mix of modern lines and metallics with the soft, fuzzy fur rug. Somehow, when combined they emote such a calm but hip feeling.  

Nothing fancy at all. But the use of their existing space and placement of the mannequins is quite effective.

Fun, creative, crisp, modern and simple.

Great use of the literal and visual use of lines/planes.

Their use of color and accessories urge my inner party-girl to throw caution to the wind. Yet with the traditional use of symmetry, it feels more sophisticated and upscale so I wouldn't feel guilty for wanting to go inside.

The punch of no color. 

Just a plain mess?  Yeah, but it works!

This totally speaks to my love of vintage and techno combined. And is that a garden gnome??? Perfect.

Genius use of lighting!

Simple and provocative.

A magnificent display of art pieces, which, I imagine, would have been real easy to screw up. 

Wow. I don't know what they're selling.. But I don't really care...

This is a Lego window display in Disneyland for Syndy, Australia  I did not inherit the genetic material to even want to attempt a project like this. So I am in awe. 

This is the front window of a pharmacy in Germany. 
Their creativity in promoting a remedy for an obvious ailment certainly got my attention!

I could go on and on with pics. But how about you out there? Do you have any you'd like to share?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sh*t Happens

Frank Lloyd Wright's son's amazing carpet hits the auction block. Bummer?

To quote one of my fave blogs Dinosaurs & Robots:

"David & Gladys Wright's house in Arcadia, AZ has long been one of the major sites for the pilgrims of his father, Frank Lloyd Wright. FLW built it for them in 1951 out of concrete block, with Philippine mahogany built-ins and all the furniture, from the beds to the kitchen garbage can, to the massive, custom-fitted, abstract rug [above].

David died in 2006 at 102, and Gladys died at 104 in 2008, and the granddaughters sold the house for $3.5 million. The new owner has put the rug up for auction at LA Modern.

It's pretty spectacular, as far as rugs go. The design is apparently based on some early bubbly murals from the 1920s. The wall-to-curved-wall shape is so odd, you'd be tempted to leave it as is, floating in your even larger space. But actually, what you'd really be tempted to do is to cut it down to something more "manageable" that "works" in your [obviously architecturally inferior] space.

At which point you'd better hope the Cult of Wright doesn't have fatwahs or voodoo dolls or anything, because they would be even more pissed than they already are."

For more info: Read what the guy at the auction house has to say.

What do you think? Should historically significant pieces of art, architecture, and history be sold off in bits and pieces like this?

inspiration is all around even where we least expect it