(Video link here.) Seeing this wonderful day in India makes us see our own day here a bit differently.
(There’s a lot of seriously wonderful-looking food… read more…
(Video link here.) Last year we bought a waxed-cotton knapsack from Dargelos that we LOVE because it carries a huge amount of stuff without looking like it. Gradually the wax finish wore off and we began to look into rewaxing it. Dargelos recommends a solvent-free paste wax you can rub onto your fabric bag to refurbish it (They have a free how-to pdf here). Another way to go is Otter Wax, a solid brick of beeswax and plant-based waxes and oils (no petroleum or silicone).
We discovered that you can it to wax just about any cotton item to make them waterproof, and give them a weathered sheen that can be akin to leather… read more…
“Rules are there to be broken” is one of our favorite operating principles. We’ve learned a HUGE amount from seeing what would happen if we “broke the rules” and did things differently from the norm. It’s a practice: questioning the rules with a big “WHY?” and then, when we have an idea, asking “Why not?” and trying it out.
About the time we found this great sign from Popular Lies About Graphic Design, we heard that our friend Tom Ashcraft’s artwork was chosen to be in the illustrious Outsider Art Fair in New York City, which was recently covered by The Wall Street Journal:
Free from the weight of academic study and art history, so-called “outsider artists” operate with a certain cachet: they create in whatever form and with whatever method that moves them. Trained artists may claim to do the same, but they can become jet-setting sensations by breaking rules. When outsiders break rules, they do it without knowing that rules exist.
(Video link here.) While walking in a nearby park one frigid day, I noticed that a sheer wall of ice had formed on the bedrock that rises up to make Mount Morris in New York City’s Harlem. It appeared to be alive. When I looked closely I saw its shimmering movement was due to water sliding down the stone face behind the ice, a rather astonishing “found” kinetic sculpture. (It’s a whole other experience with sound than without.)
This kind of thing happens all the time in the park, a hunk of nature in New York City. Ephemeral artworks appear and disappear all the time. All you have to do is look. read more…
When we started on our obsessive tree riff, hauling home huge logs to make into “furniture“, Pamela Hovland mentioned that Robert Frost spoke standing at lectern made of a giant tree. We’ve GOT TO SEE THAT, we wrote, and Pamela kindly went to the library to scan the image.
“Standing immobile throughout the day, these vivid objects, with their fantastic shadows on the wall behind them shifting and elongating hour by hour with the sun’s rotation, exuded a kind of darkness for all their color.” Cantilevered structures self-supported over the void. From: The Gormenghast Novels.
Who knows what the story is, whether the house is real or fake? Is it a fantastical image from The Gormenghast Novels? Comments on the flickr page yielded no info but lead us to a tove of images at The Cantilever Project, which got us thinking about cantilevers: A projecting structure, such as a beam, that is supported at one end and carries a load at the other end or along its length.
Ever since we moved in view of massive old trees in a New York City park, and witnessed first-hand the devastation wrought on some of them by Hurricane Sandy, we’ve been obsessed with trees. Sandy woke us up, big time. We’d always enjoyed trees, but seeing the 150 years of rings in a downed oak — the very same oak that neighborhood people had played chess and baseball, and had picnics under all spring, summer and fall— made us realize the many pleasures trees provide, how long they take to grow, and how much we need them (they provide nearly a third of the world’s oxygen…people heal better when they can see trees…among other things).
So not only have we been collecting ideas for things to do with logs and parts of downed trees, we’ve been tracking the mysteries of living ones. Below check out the world’s oldest tree, Steven Poe‘s beautiful motion control time-lapse film of giant redwood trees in northern California (Video link here.),and Elephant Journal’s 5 Simple Steps to Save Some Trees (that just take a few minutes and help A LOT). read more…
Recently, we were enticed to buy a travel-size-two-fer of Les Floralies Sniff Boxes: one to encourage sleep, the other “focus”. Sniff boxes are little vials of “aroma beads” infused with various mixes of essential oils designed to assist well-being. We enjoyed Les Floralies‘ scents and charming packaging — and found that opening a sniff box did provided a lovely, instant break. But we have to admit that as soon as we opened the intriguing little vials, we started thinking about how we could improvise some ourselves, with our own, custom-mixed blend of scents. What would be the medium that would hold the scent of the essential oils for a good amount of time, without being messy when opened? White rice, balls of infused wax, salt...? Suddenly, we realized we had ALREADY improvised a solution — years ago.
(Video link here.) Photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Ed Scholes journeyed into the remote jungles of New Guinea in search of crazy dazzling Birds of Paradise, whose wondrous plumage is the result of some wild evolutionary
development.…improvisation. Says Scholes:
The Birds of Paradise represent one of those singular events of evolution that stand out, that are extraordinary, that are something that is without precedent that evolved that is so unique, so exceptional, that you are driven to say “Why?” or ”How did that happen, how did that come to be?”
Want a closer look? Check out this slide show of photos by Tim Lamen for National Geographic. We especially love these New Guinea tribesmen, who have taken the Birds of Paradise (and some of their tail feathers) as inspiration: read more…
This has been QUITE a year and we’re taking this week to reflect and look back (while we look forward). We start with this image of Nik Wallenda walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls from The Big Picture’s The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2012; we often feel like that, in our own small way.
“Wake” by Michael McGillis is a 95-foot long pathway enclosed on both sides by brightly-painted cut logs; it’s on display at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota. Although the installation is apparently a commentary on humanity’s disruption of nature, for us (barbarians!) it’s an idea for embellishing the logs we hauled home after Hurricane Sandy, or still have our eye on out in the park…or a way to sparkle up part of a stash of fire wood. read more…
We LOVE gifs, and are amazed that a little bit of code that can animate an image, making it live. Lately, we’ve noticed gif artists applying the process to create new visions of things, like this fire hydrant that a gif-artist “saw” as voluptuous statuary.
Here’s a whole Tumblr-full of gifs from Moving the Still, an exhibition done in honor of the gif’s 25th birthday.
…And our favorite gifs from the past year:
moment of ocean and pink sky gif
banksy’s “no stopping” reimagined (twice)
an open door: gif for an improvised life
an evening gif: gratitude…
what have you been making today?
peep show gif: funny, risqué, slightly x-rated
(Video link here.) When commercial photographer John Dugdale lost most of his sight almost twenty years ago, he did not give up photography as one would have imagined. Instead, he started photographing in a new way, using a huge view camera and employing 19th century forms and processes. Life forced him to “see in a new way” and his art photographs became highly acclaimed.
Among his many commissions was the ad campaign for a revival of William Gibson’s play The Miracle Worker. This video gives insight into his unique process and the “lesson” he took from his blindness.
“There is an alternate world out there that is as powerful as anything one might describe as normal. Whatever it is that you think is your adversity is actually your strength.” read more…