August 30, 2006

Best Idea Ever?!

Came across this sweet gem of a spot whilst riding around town to promote the art show. Much, much, much more pleasant than this stinky place.

August 29, 2006

Busy bees

Phew! We have been running around all day, dropping off postcards for an upcoming art show that we are installing at the Hardware Store Gallery, the new temporary home for the Red Sweaters Project. The miniature sweaters (over 2500 of them–one for every soldier lost in the war in Iraq) were originally installed in a tree here in San Francisco by Nina Rosenberg, until the city made her take them down in July. Now we are trying to find more venues to house the project for a few months at a time, after our show comes down at the end of October. Please let us know if you can think of anyone (stores, galleries, etc.) who might be interested!

There is more information about the project at, including patterns for knitting or crocheting your own sweaters to submit. Unfortunately, the number of American casualties in the war has increased by over 1000 since Nina began the project in December of 2005, and we are still in need of more sweaters.

August 26, 2006

Beautiful Blooms

Some amazing blooms from our recent field trip to a dahlia farm in Sonoma.

August 24, 2006

More pictures from YarisWorks

Our lovely friend Jennifer was kind enough to send us a few pictures she snapped at the YarisWorks event a few weeks back. For more pictures about more events happening around town, check out her blog on Fecal Face. And start preparing yourself for a Curiosity Guild glass etching class in October...

Tracie (who helped organize the event) shows off her creations. A table full of soap making madness.

An enthusiastic etcher prepares to get busy. Lauren explains the finer points of soap making.

Me proving that I'm sometimes willing to put safety before style. Lauren getting ready to pop some glycerine in the microwave, yum!

August 23, 2006

Just can't get enough....

When we moved to San Francisco, we let a few of our many many magazine subscriptions go, (although I think we still subscribe to a dozen or so) in an effort to distance ourselves from our media saturated NY lifestyles. But it's a hard habit to kick! We always manage to spend way too much time in the magazine section of every bookstore we step foot in, and we've recently discovered a handful of arty magazines that we are obsessing over:

We picked up issue #6 of Esposus Magazine yesterday, and it's totally amazing. The theme of the issue is "Process", and inside are a number of reproductions of peoples' notebooks and sketchbooks, all illustrating the artistic process. It's completely captivating, and I'm super impressed with the printing, the fold out posters, the different paper stocks, the die cut tear outs- the issue is a little work of art in itself and I'm going to try to track down some back issues to see what they've done in the past.

Another magazine we have discovered is Swindle, which we bought because of the Jim Houser art on the cover (the inside covers themselves are soooo beautiful!) Turns out the creative director is Shepard Fairey. There are lots of interviews with really interesting artists, and the design is quite nice.

Finally, we are taking the time to look over our back issues of ANP Quarterly (as well as pick up new ones) and it is fantastic as well. It's interesting to me that so many artists are working on magazine projects right now, (Ed Templeton is one of the editors of ANP Quarterly) and that they are able to survive with money from private donations or through corporate backing. Only one of these magazines has any ads in it!

These are the kinds of magazines that go onto the bookshelf instead of the recycle bin after we have perused them. They are also unfortunately the kinds of magazines that tend to fold after a couple years, so please grab some issues now so we can see more of them in the future!

August 22, 2006

We (Heart) Heath!

This weekend Lauren and I took a trip across the Golden Gate to take the Heath Ceramics factory tour in lovely Sausalito. If you've never been, we HIGHLY recommend making the pilgrimage. In fact, we may have to organize a Curiosity Guild outing in the not-so-distant future so we can partake is some of the workshops they'll be offering in the coming months. In addition to being chock-full of the most beautiful ceramics we've ever seen, the factory and adjoining store are so casually modern and cozy (which isn't easy!) we didn't want to leave. EVER! (There were coffee and muffins laid out for us when we got there for cryin' out loud!) It's such a great example of a time when simplicity, craftsmanship, and quality truly meant something. It's so encouraging to see places like that still exist.

Click here to check out a little slideshow of some of the pictures we took during the factory tour.

August 21, 2006

Mon Bloc Rhodia, c'est super!

These little orange notepads first caught my eye when I was living in Lyon, France, where they are made. I picked one up at a paper store this weekend that is perfect for my obsessive list making- it is skinny and long, and the graph paper is sooo French- I love it! Reminds me of when I was studying art history there, observing the students take copious notes on graph paper using different colored pens, rulers and those strange erasable inks. (I spent a lot of my time in class watching the French kids go crazy taking notes, and trying to figure out which of them might be willing to share with an American student who could only understand bits and pieces of what the teacher was saying...)

Maybe someday, the cult of Rhodia will overtake the current Moleskine mania that is sweeping the nation!

August 18, 2006

How to skip stones

I have a checklist a mile long of things I want to learn how to do, and skipping stones is one of those things. My dad was always able to skip stones really well (seems like one of those things that dads just inherently know how to do) but mine always seem to sink without a single bounce.

This article
explains that the secret is to toss your stone at the "magic angle" of 20 degrees. Aha! An excellent tip that I will try to remember the next time I'm chillin' by a lake with some perfectly round and flat stones in my pocket. (Not sure when that will be...) I know it will take much practice, but I'm determined to learn how to do this!

August 17, 2006

Reason I Love Libraries No. 1647

I've been doing some research in preparation for our first gallery show (more on that later!), and it brought me to the Library of Congress website. I totally forgot how amazing their shop is! Our friend Kate told us years ago about how you could order historic prints and photographs from the library's catalog. It's unreal! Lauren and I did some poking around on the site and were even able to download (for free) some hi-res images from one of our favorite photography books, "Bound For Glory". Check out some of the beautiful prints available for purchase...

August 16, 2006

Corporate Crafting

A few weeks ago, Lauren and I taught some workshops at an event sponsored by Toyota. They held a bunch of craft nights across the country in an effort to market their new ride to crafty, DIY-ers. Lauren taught soap making and I did glass etching. We'd done this sort of thing before with the Curiosity Guild, but we didn't really know what to expect at a corporate sponsored event. I figured there could be 3 people there, or 3000. Turns out it was somewhere in between. And people are really into etching glass and soap making! It was a ton of work and a ton of fun. We brought our camera along, but were so busy that we didn't have a single moment to snap a single picture. I found a couple shots online, though...

The crowd.
People etching away.
Making soap.


For anyone out there who is into paper crafts and does lots of scoring and X-acto cutting, here is a great idea for a DIY scoring tool that is easy and totally works:

Open up a paper clip and snip off the smaller rounded end with wire cutters. Lightly hammer the cut ends to flatten, insert them into the open chuck of a craft knife handle, and tighten firmly. Voila! A nice alternative to the bone folder, and really good for scoring heavy card stock.

August 15, 2006

Wire Topiary Sculptures

Look at these amazing wire sculptures! They are supposed to be filled with moss and turned into topiaries, but I think they look even more beautiful without plants growing all over them. This sad little dog even has an expression on his face, which I'm sure doesn't translate in plant form.

August 14, 2006

Ice Cream Social

Thanks to everyone who came to the Ice Cream Social yesterday! We're so excited to be relaunching The Curiosity Guild in San Francisco, and can't wait to hear everyone's ideas about what they would like to learn (or teach) in upcoming Guild events. We're putting together our event calendar for the next few months, so any input is welcome. (I'm trying to find a champion gift wrapper to teach a workshop around the holidays, so if you know anyone who fits the bill, please let us know!)

August 11, 2006

Candied Yams

Saw this lone yam sitting on a shelf in the candy aisle while we were at the grocery store this morning.

August 10, 2006

Who Knew?!

That Diet Coke and Mentos are such a unbelievably explosive combination??
Everyone but me, apparently. Which is strange, because back in New York I knew a lot of fashionista folks whose entire diet consisted of those two things. Well, I thank MythBusters for letting me in on that little scientific non-secret. I've become a bit obsessed with the show, but seeing as though it's totally SMART and totally CRAFTY, I guess my love of it should come as no surprise. Plus, they film it here, so I'm always seeing their van tooling around my neighborhood. Well, in the Mentos & Diet Coke episode they kept showing clips of a video where these two guys choreographed their Mentos and Coke explosions in such a wonderfully fun way I thought I'd share it with the 3 other people on the planet who haven't seen it yet. Click here to watch the video and check out their site.

Saving the world, one dimmer switch at a time.

We successfully installed yet another dimmer switch in our apartment today, although we went through the normal frustrations of not knowing what to do with our grounding wire (turns out old apartment buildings in San Francisco don't have grounding wires so you can just safely remove them from the new switch!) and feeling slightly sketchy about working with the ancient, cloth covered wires that were revealed when we removed the old switch from the wall.

But regardless of any installation challenges, we are all for replacing every light switch in your home with a dimmer switch. It makes such a big difference! Click here for a how-to on installing your own dimmers.

August 08, 2006


We are on our way out the door for Day 2 of our visit to the SF Gift Fair- off to buy tons of awesome merchandise for The Curiosity Shoppe! Here is a depressing photo from yesterday of the what I call the "lunch corral", complete with astroturf and picket fence. A great place to sit and sip your $2.75 bottled water.

August 07, 2006

Jim Houser murals

I know this is old news, but I was thinking about these awesome wall murals that Jim Houser did for the DWR kids catalog and thought I'd share a couple. We saw two of his amazing installations while we were living on the East Coast, one in Philadelphia at Spector Gallery, and another last summer in NY at Jonathan Levine gallery. Derek got me a beautiful painting by Jim Houser for my birthday last year that I treasure. Please click on the links to see pics of his work!

August 04, 2006

The best little scissors

Sometimes it is worth a little bit of a splurge to have really good tools, whether they are for crafting, cooking or building. And it is especially fun when they are shaped like animals!

I love my stork embroidery scissors by Gingher. They are super sharp and have the most lovely design.

August 03, 2006


I can hardly wait for the Alexander Girard font from House Industries to come out! It's sure to be amazing.

August 02, 2006

Slightly Creepy, Super Cool

I've been noticing these things on various blogs and tv shows for a while now, and everytime I see them I'm amazed out how beautiful they are. I still can't figure out exactly what they are. Inspired by Dali, and MC Escher, their creator Tom Beshara came up with them as a way to capture the likeness and spirit of his daughters. He calls his optical illusion, tripped-out, silhouette thing-a-ma-jigs "Pirolettes" and you can get one done of you or your baby for around $150.

They totally remind me of the gorgeous walnut stools designed by Charles and Ray Eames back in the day, right?!

Gocco-ing through the tears

I have always been one to sing the praises of the Print Gocco, the magnificent Japanese machine that makes small scale screen printing fast and easy. But somehow I always manage to forget about the frustrating Gocco days, when the ink is either too thick or too runny, the colors are bleeding together and I end up scraping off my screens over and over again. Not to mention, throwing away dozens of imperfect prints. What a mess! This morning I thought I would whip up a handful of Curiosity Guild business cards, which is turning out to be quite a project.

Even these little orange firecrackers on the back of the cards didn't turn out as well as I'd like, since the ink bled into the type and it's barely legible.

Still, when you have a Gocco success, it is the best thing ever- definitely worth the time and effort. (Just wanting to vent my frustrations a bit before I get back to work on these cards!)

Save Gocco update: Print Gocco machines are no longer being manufactured (stock up on screens and ink while you can!) and there is still no news on whether or not any US companies will be able to acquire the rights to make them here. Someone at our local art store told me that she heard there is enough stock left in the states to last a year or two. Check back at often for Gocco news! (The Gocco Photo Pool at flickr is interesting too- over 500 members!)

August 01, 2006

New Online Zine Launched Today

Everyone should go check out What You Make It, a new online art zine that launched today. It focuses on DIY culture and has lots of great interviews with crafters and designers, as well as some interesting original art.

The way the site is designed, it feels like you're actually reading a little book, as you click on the pointer hand to flip from spread to spread. I like this so much better than the never ending scroll-down pages on other online magazines. Looking forward to future issues!

This almost makes me want to go to the gym...

Our friend Christina sent us this amazing video for the band OK Go. So fun, so creative, and so wondrously choreographed!!