Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kid Made Modern

Last week Todd Oldham's line of kid arts and crafts supplies, Kid Made Modern, arrived at Target and I was pleasantly surprised to see the full line represented at my local store! You can use everything in the projects outlined in his book of the same name, or of course come up with your own ideas. While I wanted to buy just about everything, I only picked out a few items (for now...I just received a coupon in the mail for a discount on another purchase...). Here are some of my faves, but you can view the whole collection here, and see Todd discuss the collection here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

35 Years of Geekdom

Every now and then my inner geekiness comes out and I get a little sentimental. It happens about every five years, on an anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars movie, which occurred here in the U.S. on May 25, 1977. I was seven years old then, and that summer my whole life changed. For the next six years, my world revolved around the Star Wars saga and all its licensing glory--seeing the movies multiple times in the theater, collecting every toy, book, magazine, newspaper clipping, even jotting into a notebook the times and dates when the themes were played on the radio (OCD)... My best friend at the time, Jim, lived down the street and was as obsessed as I was. We created a fan club for all the kids in the neighborhood and even put out newsletters (made on the typewriter with carbon paper for multiple copies).

So on this 35th anniversary (yes, can you believe it has been 35 years?!) of the release of the epic that started it all, here are some examples of posters that appeared in theaters around the world to promote the greatest movie of all time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Designer's Chocolate + Peanut Butter

Move over Brangelina. Step aside mac & cheese. There's a new power couple in my world! This week House Industries unveiled a pairing of two of my favorite things in the world: typography and AMAC boxes! I have been using AMAC boxes for organizing since the early '80s. They are stackable, come in sizes from 1" x 1" x 1/2" to about 4" x 4" x 8", and best of all, they're made of clear, colored plastic, and when the light hits them...oooh! Designed in the early 1960s, these boxes are part of the MOMA's Permanent Collection. You can buy them in all their colorful glory at the Container Store, but now House Industries has decorated a set of five with letters, numbers, and typographic ornament, which can be purchased online exclusively here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Fotos and Finds

Click on the photos above to check out my Instagram feed. Here are some goodies to end your week, including some DIY projects for any free time you might have over the weekend!

1. Upcycled miniature toy cloche
2. The emerging art of reverse graffiti
3. DIY ceramic monogram mugs
4. Make a color palette from any photo
5. Make a socktopus!
6. Washi tape cupcake flags


Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm Cuckoo for Fire King!

On this last day of Retro Kitchen madness, I thought I would post some pictures of the Fire King mugs that inspired my Koffee Klatch fabric design. The first four are photos from my collection.

Then there is a photo of what is probably the most sought-after Fire King advertising mug: the Stuckey's Coffee Club cup. I'm not sure why this particular mug is so popular, perhaps because Stuckey's was probably a good example of the kitschy road-side truck stop restaurant of the '60s, '70s and '80s. The Stuckey's mug is not necessarily rare--there's at least one for sale on eBay at any given time--but one in mint-condition still fetches upwards of $80 in an eBay auction.

And lastly, a photo of a fabulous display of Fire King and Pyrex glassware in all its colorful glory. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Koffee and Kawaii

Continuing the Retro Kitchen theme, today I take a quick look at breakfast, and the work of Mayene De Leon. I've always had an appreciation for Kawaii (quite often I would spend my allowance on scented pencils and erasers at the Sanrio store when I was a kid), but I think it takes an artist with a certain talent to create Kawaii characters, many times using only eyes to make them so expressive. Mayene is one of those artists. She works for a major San Francisco-based type house during the day, but at night she makes breakfast food come alive!

Here are a couple samples of her work: fabric featuring bicycle-riding waffles, donuts and pancakes; and plushie donuts and eclairs (yum!). Read more about Mayene and her Kawaii adventures on her blog, and check out her Etsy and Spoonflower shops for more sweet goodies!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Building Blocks of Nostalgia

My son loves to build things with blocks. Now that he has moved on to Duplos and Legos, and doesn't play much with the vintage wooden blocks that hid dad played with as a kid, I can display the old blocks...and have fun using them to "build" the displays myself! Here are some cool sets of blocks (vintage and new) that I've found and will probably have to collect now that I've seen them. Blocks aren't just for kids anymore!

Sources... 1:} vintage Halsam Alphabet Blocks via sushipotparts on Etsy - 2:} Fred XYZ Blocks via CMYBacon - 3:} vintage Japanese building blocks via sushipotparts on Etsy - 4:} Miller Goodman ShapeMaker blocks CMYBacon

Monday, May 14, 2012

Two Inspiring Kitschy Kitchen Books

In honor of the Spoonflower "Retro Kitchen" fabric-of-the-week contest, I've been posting pictures of retro kitchens on my Facebook page. On the blog I thought I would feature a couple of books that you may find as inspiring as I do.

First, the Kitchen Kitsch book by Jim Heimann. It features page after full-color page of mid-century illustrations and graphics of food, food brands, packaging, book covers, kitchens, and more, all gathered from old mail-order cookbooks, recipe pamphlets, and advertising. You'll discover something new every time you look through its pages!

The Fire King Mug Book was published in Japan and written by Satoshi Yamashita. I've had this book since 2004 and refer to it regularly. It is probably the best book available for Fire King collectors, but is hard to find in the U.S. (I bought mine on eBay). It contains pictures of over 850 mugs, from standard production designs to advertising and licensed characters. Each mug has a rarity ranking as well. And even though it's written almost completely in Japanese, it is designed beautifully and is still an awesome resource!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Fotos and Finds

This week found us in the typical toddler-happy places: the playground, the sandbox, the an emergency trip to IKEA and an outing to the mall to ride a selection of retro coin-operated rides. You can see some snapshot highlights here. In between I was able to find some interesting little tidbits for your free-time pleasure:

1. 39-page advertisement for Apple Macintosh computers in 1984 Newsweek magazine
2. Canned air from Paris
3. H is for Hamburger ceramic plate
4. The five weirdest fashion trends in human history
5. Modern cross-stitch patterns
6. Cute DIY decorated jars and bottles for flower vases

Enjoy! And have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Retro Kitchen Fabric Contest: Vote for Me!

This week's Spoonflower Fabric-of-the-Week contest theme is "Retro Kitchen". The only "rule" this week was to use a restricted palette of four colors (red e60040, yellow gold e3a933, tan d8cd95, and brown 5a4a42) plus optional white.

I have always wanted to do a design based on my collecting obsession with 1960s and '70s Fire-King mugs. I thought the Retro Kitchen contest would be a good reason to finally do it, and I'm calling this design 'Koffee Klatch'. If you like the design, you can vote for it in this week's contest by clicking here and following the instructions on the right side of the page. You can vote for as many designs as you like, which is good because I've seen quite a variety of yummy designs being cooked up the last few days!

You can also view the other Koffee Klatch colorways here. Coordinating fabrics, tea towels, and prints will round out the collection and will be available in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Speaking of Shoes...

About a month ago someone pinned a photo of a pair of Marimekko Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers on Pinterest, and I was obsessed. The one Scandinavian shop in downtown Seattle did not have the red Unikko ones I had my eye on, so I ordered them from the Marimekko store in Vancouver BC. The package arrived wrapped in logo paper and was adorned with a big red Unikko flower sticker. The shoes come with an awesome matching storage bag and even a pair of orange shoestrings! Here are some photos, complete with lattice laces (which I also learned from a Pinterest pin), and two friendship pins from my crafty gal pal Amy.

What's not to love?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I [heart] Shoes Made in Spain!

Several years ago I was taking a shortcut through the downtown Seattle Nordstrom store, but made the mistake of trying to walk past the shoe department without looking. It must have been fate, though, because I saw a pair of beauties on display that I just had to try on. It was a pair of boots from a company I had never heard of before, the *art company. Of course they fit perfectly, and were so cute and comfortable, so I ended up with a huge bag to lug onto the city bus home. Since then, I continue to find that most shoes I am drawn to are made in Spain. While I'd love to have them all, most are not practical for a mom with a toddler son, so I just collect pictures of them to adore.

Below is the pair of *art company boots I bought, though in a different colorway (the ones I have are chocolate brown with white trim), plus some Mary Janes from their Tate collection, and an Ibiza wedge. Next is a pair of KronKron Muted Turns Wedges from Anthropologie, followed by lots and lots of really cool Kron by KronKron shoes, with amazing colors, lines, and shapes. (Incidentally, the Kron by KronKron clothing reminds me a lot of late 1990s-early 2000s Custo Barcelona, another designer brand from Spain and one of my faves).


Monday, May 7, 2012

Down Under Cover

Okay, just so you know: this will not be the only time you read about Cat & Vee on my blog!

For the last couple months I have been emailing with Catherine, a great gal from Australia who, together with her friend Vanita, create all that is Cat & Vee. Catherine just happened to buy some of my Mix Tapes fabric to use on lovely quilted pillow covers and potholders. After seeing their work, of course I had to have one of each, and just recently I received the most amazing package in the mail from Down Under.

The stitching is amazing, and the craftsmanship is impeccable. Stunning! The pillow completes the living room, and the potholder...well, let's just say I won't be holding any pots with it--it will hang on the wall in the kitchen as a piece of art.

Check out the Cat & Vee Etsy shop here.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Fotos and Finds

I have a new obsession (running concurrently with my yen for Pinterest): Instagram! You can view my current photos here. Each Friday I will post some photos from the week, as well as six links of things I stumbled upon while browsing the Internet, and thought you might like.

1. Free Photoshop fabric textures
2. Collection of over 150 photos of vintage record labels
3. Make origami bows from magazine pages
4. IKEA hack: DIY hidden table vase
5. 18th Century spelling cabinets from the V&A Museum of Childhood in London
6. DIY Spice jar terrariums

Enjoy! And have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Graphic Delight: Old Milwaukee Bus Passes

One of my favorite Pinterest finds has been these amazing vintage bus passes from Milwaukee: collected, photographed, and posted by Kindra Murphy on her Flickr photostream. From the 1930s through the '70s, they have amazing typography and color, and are like mini of art! The tickets shown below are just 16 of the over 130 Kindra has curated for your viewing pleasure. See them all here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Distraction DIY: Newspaper Pots

Source: Urban Ecologist

Here's a fun little DIY project for getting some seeds started for growing this spring and summer: Newspaper Pots! All you need is some newspaper, masking tape (maybe even wash or deco tape?), and of course, soil and seeds!

  1. Cut a 6- by 14-inch strip of newspaper and wrap it around a water bottle (or a soda can or small glass), allowing 1 to 2 inches of paper to extend below the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Tape the raw newspaper edge to close.
  3. Fold the paper that extends below the bottom of the bottle and fold it in to the edges overlap and create a bottom for your pot. Tape this bottom seam and remove the pot format he bottle.
  4. Fold the top inch of paper down around the pot to make it sturdy.
  5. Fill the pot with potting soil, plant your seeds, and water lightly. Wait patiently for seeds to sprout!
  6. When your seedling is ready to plant, remove the tape from the side and bottom, and open up the bottom. Now you can plant the whole thing, pot and all, because the newspaper will decompose underground!
  7. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Flea Market Finds

This past Saturday I was able to get to my once-monthly flea market haunts in Seattle. Even though I missed out on a few things at the first show, the second one made up for it. Below are a couple of finds. The old, wooden Playskool sewing box is from the early '50s. I'm not sure yet what I will store or display in it, but it doesn't matter! The plastic alphabet templates were made by Hasbro, and I believe they are from the late '50s or early '60s. Wish the dealer had had the whole set, but I'll just have to obsess over finding the other letters. Can't wait until next month!

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