Friday, August 29, 2008

Organising Bug

A great use of Ikea's Expedit shelf from Flickr.

I love to organise. And then to re-organise, to re-stack, to re-fold, and to re-categorise.

It reminds me from that scene in Amelie, where the narrator says, "Amelie's mother liked to take everything out of her handbag, clean it out, and then put everything back inside it again. Amelie's father used to like to take everything out of his toolbox, clean it out and put everything inside it again". That really resonated with me - it's not that these types of acts are chores, but rather they seem quite meditative and calming.

There are pleasures (for some!) in conceptualising order and then enacting it within their home. In fact, I long for the day when I can build custom cabinets and shelves to fully perform organisation, as it were. This may, ahem, be a thinly disguised reaction to having no control over my study environment right now, but I'm no psychologist...

In the meantime, have a look at these deliciously organised spaces:
This kitchen is from the home of Chez Larsson - my soul-mate. She loves Ikea and organising things - I think we'd be good friends.

These are also from Chez Larsson - a craft space, and...
...a work hub. Swoon.

Match Made in Heaven

One of my favourite artists, Rob Ryan, has just done a series of book covers for a brilliant author, Louis de Bernieres. Aren't they delicious?

All images from Rob Ryan.

Thank you!

Just opened up my postbox to receive a lovely surprise from buttonbistro! After featuring their buttons, I very kindly got sent some of my favourites - The Little Prince, Bewitched and the Wizard of Oz - eeee!

To top it off, some lovely Disney stamps even graced the package - swoon...

Looking forward to putting them in lots of fun places - thank you for your random act of kindness!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Setzkasten Joy: Mini Ornament Shelves

Image via Flickr

Years ago, my parents gave me a 'setzkasten' or a small hanging unit to display little treasures. I used to hang little toys and things I collected in it, and now have a deep craving to re-animate it as an adult - perhaps by painting it white and then re-thinking what I will put inside.

A very clever friend told me that setzkasten derive from a 'setzmaschine' - a typesetting machine, so I guess these little guys would have been used to hold letters. Which in my book only adds to their innate charms.

I don't know if this is more of a European thing than an Australian one - but I am quite smitten with the idea and thought I'd show you a few that have given me inspiration.

Here's someone who loves owls, well, maybe too much. Amazing displays, though.
This one's from my favourite, Chez Larsson, and getting closer to what I'd like, with an all-white background.

These two are just collections of trinkets from Housing Works Auctions - they give some good ideas of what you could display.
This image is from my inspiration files - but I can't find the reference! I'm a bad blogger. If it's yours or if you know who uploaded it, please let me know! I adore the bright colours used here - would be amazing in a child's bedroom. (Or let's be honest, anywhere in my house).

I like the way the inside of this one is painted white, but the outside wooden frame is left natural. I might try this on mine - will keep you posted! Image from Flickr.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kareena Zerefos

Images from Kareena Zerefos.

Got some Sydney talent for you today, in the form of the lovely Kareena Zerefos. I think these prints are so unusual and striking. You can buy them as limited edition signed prints, but two are available as posters, too - very reasonable!

For an interview with Kareena, see Design*Sponge.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Books Alive!

Despite the heading for this post sounding like a 1991 Australian Book Week theme (and maybe it was...), these are some most fascinating books sculptures made by Brian Dettmer.
As an ardent lover of books, you might think I would shudder at the idea of cutting them up, but I adore both the collecting of books and the cutting of them. (Which is a weird phrase in perhaps any other context, I admit).

I would so love to watch him make these - the precision of the cutting and the imagination involved seems unbearably good.
These books remind me of Neal Stephenson's book, The Diamond Age, which is set way into the future. For some reason, I think the books might look like this!

Images all from Centripetal Notion

For more on Dettmer's work, have a look here, here and here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Matrioshka Lovelies

Images from Print A Day

The delightfully talented Yas has posted these beautiful Matrioshka to-do lists and labels. Aren't they delicious? If you're interested, download here and tell her what you make with them!

The Unknown

Image via lifeinvector

Just a quick (and possibly tres boring) PhD update. Many of you have been kind enough to ask what's happening, so here it is.

I am handing in a complete draft to my supervisor tomorrow. Hopefully, she will say it's almost ready for submission, in which case, I shall be very happy. The last draft I handed in needed substantial and tanty-inducing major surgery, so I'm slightly worried. There is a chance she may say, "Off with your head!" but I think that's only in my nightmares...

This has been a really tough and emotionally draining time, actually. I have really enjoyed most of my candidature, but lately everything seems to be that much harder. Having an entire book in your head, and trying to balance everything is just plain hard. I'm also finding it really hard being out with lots of people - they invariably ask (nicely, of course) where I'm up to, and I get anxious and stutter about PhDs being hard. It is one of those things I suspect only other PhDs really understand. I also have no good stories to tell, except "chapter one is looking better". It's like I'm a mother who can only talk about her child's progress, except the child is an inanimate object who is not nearly as cute as you'd hope for a three and a half year gestation period.

In many ways, I don't know how I expected anything different, but I think I hoped my OCD organisational skills might, like garlic to vampires, ward off this pain. Turns out there is no such thing as PhD-garlic. Nothing can ward off the end stages - it's like adolescence, or something. (The metaphors are getting weirder as the post continues. Sorry.)

Coupled with the immense stress of handing-in, there is also a crushingly awful, "but what do I do with my life now?"-feeling that is at best quite exciting, and at worst, really overwhelming. I know all the things I'm good at and that I care about, but am having lots of trouble seeing what a job would look like that used these skills and inclinations. I know I will find something (and look back on this blog entry with annoying smugness) and I know I should just trust that, but it is scary.

But the upside is that I can almost taste what freedom might feel like! After having worked every day (and a lot of nights) of this last month, I am looking forward to reading the paper on Saturdays, to meeting up with friends, to not having a knot in my stomach all the time, to starting a hundred new craft projects I've been thinking about and generally remembering how to relax.

And in excellent news, The Pal (who has been sensationally supportive and all-round lovely) received some great news on Friday. Turns out he has won the Uni Medal for being a good egg, so there's lots to celebrate. (It's actually the Uni Medal for Insanely High Marks for Years and Years, but same same, in my book.) It's also been a fun excuse to ring him and ask to speak to the medallist. Little things, right?!

So, thank you for your lovely words and support - I will hopefully be done in the next (ahem) few weeks. Will keep you posted. xx

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Agatha Christie Revamped

Photograph from Harper Collins

Since I was nine, I have been a huge Agatha Christie fan.

The Pal has introduced me to Agatha Christie like you've never seen her before - in super slick graphic novel form.

As a keen lover of both graphic novels and the queen of crime, my heart sighs (can hearts do that?) at the very thought of these.

Thought I'd share some of the cover love - swoon!

Images from Harper Collins

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lazy Crazy Craftevening


I am so happy right now.

Not to sound like a broken record, but you may know that I'm coming up to a deadline for my thesis and I've been quite stressy about it. On good days, I'm quite rational about getting it done, but on other days, I have that creeping feeling that the world is ending. Slowly.

Months ago, I used to have fun stories to tell about places I went to, people I caught up with and interesting things I read or listened to. I liked to think I was good with the old anecdote.

But now? Now, I'm all about the way the "t" key on my keyboard isn't as straight as the other keys. Or how my lower back is hurting from having sat in a chair for the last 21 days typing. Yes, 21 straight days is no good for anyone. I can't even write fun letters to anyone, as I really feel like I don't have any good stories to tell! Woke up. Went for a walk. Wrote. Minor panic attack. Wrote. Ate lunch. etc... YAWN!

Slightly blurry excited side shot.

So last night, I sat down with Juno (part of my awesome birthday present from the Pal) and a craft project. This is what I had been missing! It felt so good to let my mind wander off into calm places, while my hands were busy cutting and pasting. I don't think I stopped smiling the whole time.

This isn't the most revolutionary Ikea hack in the world, but I've had these ubiquitous Fira drawers forever and been kind of tired by their boring, plain wooden grain. Inspired by other people's attempts, I recovered them in some lovely old maps I've had for ages.

I used ordinary old craft glue and a paint brush as 'varnish', because I had both right next to me. I was having way too much fun to wash my hands and take photos along the way, but I think it's pretty self-explanatory. Apply glue. Stick paper on. Cut off overhanging edges. Slather more glue on top. Dry. Repeat.

In my bookcase beneath some of my many nerdy thesis books and my monster lights.

This unit holds some of my stationery and paper goods, stickers and maps. And now it makes me really, really happy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Love and Hate

Ever feel like telling a stranger that you love or hate what they're doing? A snarky waiter, or a lovely bus driver? A lovely waiter or a snarky bus driver?

There 'Unmentionables' come as a set of 20 cards with cute sayings that you can rip off and give to people around you. Despite loving the designs of the monsters above, I can't help but feel like giving someone a "thanks for being of no help whatsoever" card isn't particularly neighbourly.

Luckily, there are nice cards you can give, too! The 'Sweet Nothings' below are much more good karma-inducing.

Images from ShineBoxPrint via SwissMiss

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gallery Wall Love

Abbey has an amazing collection of gallery walls she has painstakingly scanned in and labeled. They are incredible, and make me want to rent a place where the landlord says, "Sure! I'd love 17 nails in that one wall!". One day...

Anyway, I am nowhere near as clever as Abbey, as I found these two images without labels in my inspiration folders. Thought I'd finally (and shamefacedly) show them off here. If you can help me out where they're from (or if they're yours!) I love them, and I'd love to credit them, too.

By the way, today is my birthday. Despite doing mammoth amounts of work again, I am having quite a lovely day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

ABC, It's as Easy as...

Isn't this the coolest thing? You can buy it here. Happy weekend, lovelies and see you on Monday!

Delphine Durand

I was lucky enough to find Delphine Durand from Tiny Candy, and I'm overwhelmed by just how cute and grumpy her little monsters and people are.

Images all via Delphine Durand