July 31, 2006

Warhols on ebay

My ebay purchases never exceed more than $10-$20, but I do browse the fine art sometimes, just to see what is available. I love how you can go on ebay and bid for anything from a refrigerator magnet to an Andy Warhol print. The starting bid for this Campbell's soup can from 1968 is $18,000! I'm convinced that someday I will find an original Ed Ruscha art book that some unknowing ebay seller will be trying to get of for dirt cheap. In the meantime, I'll settle for the "vintage" Snoopy Sno-cone Machine that should be arriving any day now.

July 27, 2006

Penny Bridge

According to this Wiki-how article, "coin stacking is a fun hobby for everyone". It's worth checking out just for the step by step photos on how to make this impressive penny bridge.

July 26, 2006

For Knitting in the Dark

Just saw this on the Make blog and had to post a picture of these crazy light up knitting needles. Are there really that many people out there who feel the need to knit in the dark? Maybe I'd better not speak too soon- I might be pulling some all-night crocheting marathons in September if I don't get crackin' on my wholesale crocheted pincushion order!! I did see there is a light-up crochet hook available too, just in case....

New Stamps

I'm not a stamp collector, but I do get super excited every time new stamp designs come out. Why stick to the boring old flags when there are all these great stamps available? I'm loving these Sugar Ray Robinson stamps! And check out these other great designs:

Awesome superhero series from DC Comics.

While we're on a quilt kick, here is a set of Gees Bend stamps.

And since while we're on a motorcycle kick too...

A good tip I picked up while living in New York and HATING the long lines at the post office was to order stamps online at www.usps.com. They always have more styles available, and the shipping/handling is minimal.

I'm also excited about this year's holiday stamps, which will feature beautiful snowflakes. So much better than the Christmas cookies and Santa ornaments from the past couple years!

July 25, 2006

Pimp My Phone!

You'd think I was a 14 year-old girl with the amount of bells and whistles I've amassed on my cellphone (see previous post about my birdcall ringtone), but when I heard about a site where you can download a Shepard Fairey "wallpaper", how could I resist? There are a bunch of artists to choose from, but this is the one I had to have. Beautiful, no?

July 24, 2006

I Still Can't Believe It

We went to motorcycle school this weekend! This isn't something I ever imagined I would do, but somehow Derek convinced me to sign up with him, so we got up at 6 am (!) on Saturday and Sunday and set off to learn how to ride bikes in the parking lot of City College for 5 hours each day. This is the bike I learned on! Thankfully, we will be doing the majority of our riding on a scooter, which is more my speed (and size).

Now we're off to the DMV to get our official M1 licenses. I have so much new terminology in my head after taking this class, including all kinds of crazy acronyms like T-CLOCS and FINE-C, to help remember my "pre-ride checklist" and stuff like that. Not to mention a whole set of new vocabulary pertaining to bikes, like "throttle" and "chassis".

July 21, 2006

Official Soda of The Curiosity Guild

We found this bottle of Curiosity Cola at one of our local health food stores a while ago. The taste is a bit strong for me, (an acquired taste I'm sure) but I loooooove the bottle!

July 20, 2006

Holy Craft!

During our mini walking tour of San Francisco the other day, we stopped in at Grace Cathedral and were blown away by the beautiful needlepoint cushions on the benches in the cathedral sanctuary. Each one is different, and they feature all the flora and fauna that are native to California. Check out the flying squirrel!

July 19, 2006

Word Verification

Hmm. All of a sudden we're getting lots of "anonymous" comments on Smarts&Crafts, which seem to be junk, since it's the same message over and over. So we're turning on the word verification function for all future comments. Sorry for the inconvenience- hopefully it will work!

Hay There!

Seeing as though we're starting a business and are in need of a few things around the office, we've been checking Craigslist religiously for free or super cheap stuff. Today we found this (for FREE!!!) and I'm wracking my brain trying to come up with an excuse as to why we NEED it...

China On My Mind...

It seems that everyone I know is going, has just gone, or wants to go to China. Well, I may not have a China trip planned, but luckily I can have Chinatown any day of the week. During a little tour we took last weekend we stumbled upon my new obsession: accoutrements for the afterlife. I've found some conflicting reports about these amazing paper model creations, but I think they're meant to be ceremoniously burned to ensure that the deceased's spirit can make use of them on the other side. The shop was selling everything from Barbie-sized Mercedes-Benz's, to watches, cigarettes, and even rice cookers. We picked up a few things including this box of grooming and bathroom supplies with each item made out of meticulously cut and folded pieces of paper and cardboard.
And as if that weren't enough, my awesome friend Kate just got back from China and brought me this unbelievable needlepoint portrait of Chairman Mao. I love it!

I Wish

I wish we had an LA trip planned before the end of the summer, so I could see this Thomas Campbell show at Roberts & Tilton gallery.... I love those little houses on stilts.

July 18, 2006

Art Art Art

We spent the last couple days touring art galleries, going to openings and open studios, and getting a general sense of what type of art is being created and shown in and around San Francisco. Of course I didn't take notes as we were walking around, but some highlights that stuck out in my mind include:
Gee's Bend Quilts at Haines Gallery. (Excited to see the big Gee's Bend show at the De Young soon too.)

Clare Rojas and "The Art of Robert Pimple" at Gallery Paule Anglim. But of course.

"Peripheries of Narrative" group show at Patricia Sweetow Gallery. Especially loving the glitter paintings by Jamie Vasta.

Cosmic Wonder group show at Yerba Buena. Congratulations to Hisham for his massive wall painting! The security guard made me delete my photos but I still have this one...

Open studios at the Headlands Center for the Arts. An amazing place with a great sounding residency program. Saw lots of good stuff here.

July 14, 2006

101 Ways to Unwarp a Cutting Mat

None of which work! I guess I have set too many mugs of hot tea on my self-healing cutting mat over the past few years and now it is almost too warped to use....

I did a little research online and found that there are quite a few message boards that address this problem, which seems to be fairly common. The warping could also occur if you leave the mat in a hot car or keep it on a table that gets direct sunlight, so be careful with your cutting mats!

The first suggestion I tried was to put it between my mattress and the slats on my bedframe for a couple weeks, which made no difference at all.

The second was to soften the mat in a tub of warm water and then flatten it under a mountain of heavy books, which seemed to work! But a couple hours later the ripples were back.

I think the best idea I've seen is to salvage any usable parts of the mat by cutting it down and getting rid of the warped pieces, so I will try that next. Then I'm off to the craft store to get myself a new one!

July 12, 2006

3 Cheers for Mary Blair!

Here are 3 reasons why I am in love with the artwork of Mary Blair.

1) I just received a copy of a Golden Book called I Can Fly, (thanks Mom!) which was illustrated by Mary Blair in 1951 and has some great colors and ├╝ber cute drawings. I especially love these little corners of paintings. The colors on that tree are amazing!

2) Alice in Wonderland. Mary Blair worked on the animation design and color styling for this film (as well as Peter Pan).

3) It's a Small World in Disneyland is a perfect example of the world of Mary Blair. Look how perfectly she executed the design based on one of her original sketches.

July 11, 2006


Interesting, but not all that surprising I guess, that among the official new entries in this year's Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition are the words "supersize" and "gastric bypass". Also included are "soul patch" and "unibrow", though my personal favorite has got to be:
Main Entry: mouse potato
Function: noun
Etymology: after couch potato
slang : a person who spends a great deal of time using a computer
Sound Familiar?

Floating Weeds

Add the movie Floating Weeds to your "must see" list if you are a fan of beautiful cinematography, set and costume design. I could live in this movie! The bold color palette of black, white, red and blue is amazing, as are the graphic prints on the characters' kimonos, which change in every scene. Even the opening credits, a static shot of a burlap background with red and white type over it, is simple and beautiful, and each shot in the movie looks like a photograph, which I love. The film was made in 1959 by Yasujiro Ozu, who remade his previous (silent, b/w) 1934 version with cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa. The story is about a traveling theater group who comes to a small fishing village in Japan. The music is great too. And the DVD was put out by Criterion, so of course it is the best. Check it out!

July 10, 2006

Most Adorable Animated Video

I've been listening to the Of Montreal album a lot this summer, and I love this video! Kangaroo Alliance, the design firm who did the animation, have a great website with lots of other shorts to check out.

July 08, 2006

Interesting Read

In last week's New York Times Magazine there was a cool little article about Heidi Kenney and her site My Paper Crane. It talks about the burgeoning movement of (mostly) female "artist-entrepreneurs" and the socio-political motives behind their artsy-craftsyness. Interesting stuff. Read the article here.

July 07, 2006

Bedazzling the Art World with Beads

In my recent web browsing, I've come across a couple articles about artists who are working with glass beads in amazing ways. First I came across a posting and a follow up interview on the Make blog about an artist named Peggy Demciber who did an amazing version of a Candy Land board game, all in glass beads.

Next up was an article about some of the more popular artists at this year's Art Basel festival, and the accompanying photo was a beaded piece by an artist named Frances Goodman, who makes stuffed pincushion-like pieces that are covered in beads and have phrases on them like "Craving Attention" or "Exquisite Pain".

All this reminded me of another amazing artist named Liza Lou, who creates entire environments that are entirely beaded. See for yourself!

We Love Fairs! (part 2)

Last week we continued our quest to rock as many County fairs as possible this summer by heading out to Marin for food, fun, and 4th of July festivities. With the exception of a Demolition Derby, this fair had it all: greeeezy yum-yums, super-sweet treats, creaky carnie rides, arts & crafts, airbrushing booths, 4-H competitions, a petting zoo, food competitions, a Scientology "stress reduction station", awesome fireworks, and last-but-absolutely-not-least our favorite hard-rockin', leather halter top wearin', cult rock goddess Joan Jett! (Who, by the way, rocked us so hard we nearly dropped our funnel cakes.) She played alllllll the hits, from "Cherry Bomb" and "Crimson and Clover" to "I Love Rock 'n Roll" and "I Hate Myself For Loving You". Not to mention the theme song to one of our favorite shows ever Freaks and Geeks!
The gianormous ferris wheel.

Animal topiary and carnie rides: 2 of our favorite things!

Donkey ears!

A budding 4-H champ with her heifer and prize-ribbons.

Lauren fulfills a lifelong dream.

July 05, 2006

More Fake Food

I don't know what it is about fake food that I love so much! And I can't remember how or why I originally came across this site for clown props that sells foam food products, but for some reason I have it bookmarked and I visit it occasionally to look at the pictures. I still can't justify spending $15 on a string of foam sausages though...

Maybe this obsession with foam food has something to do with the fact that I was dressed up like a sandwich for Halloween back when I was three.