Apr 24

Handmade. Unique. Priceless.

Posted In Clothing, Decorating, Green Design, Old to New, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Uncategorized

There is something extra special about stuff that is hand made by artists, especially those that use and reuse old fabrics, textiles and furniture.  If it is stitched, embroidered, patched, quilted, or hand painted, so much the better! The final effect is new, unique and inspiringly fresh, oozing personality and soul.

I recently discovered (and fell in love with) these puffy blue pillows at  JUXTAPOSITION in Newport Coast. I first thought they were made of old blue jeans, but upon touch, could tell the fabric was much much softer and very fine. When I saw the price, I knew they must be something special indeed. (around $480 each)

They are made of “Boro”… vintage hemp and cotton fabric woven by Japanese farmers to make their everyday clothing in the early 1900′s.  Washed, worn and eventually torn, bits and pieces of  this fabric are now very rare… and valuable.  You can see more examples, read about it and even buy from this ebay dealer here…

Anthropologie does a great job of ferreting out the unique, especially considering they are a large corporation. MOST of their furniture is so distinct, especially that with hand stitched, quilted and patched together fabrics. These gorgeous pieces might not be one of a kind, but they are distinct and not something normally seen in other furniture shops.

I first saw this chair made of vintage denim bits and pieces right after seeing the Boro pillows at Juxtaposition, so they immediately caught my eye.  Such a casual, cool, and rough look for this a formal chair.  LOVE.

Beautiful fabric collages were everywhere… Anthropologie IS known for this sort of look.  How about this ottoman?

AND… sofa:

Mathilde Sofa, Dots

Anthropologie is currently showcasing the upholstery work of Serbian artist Draga Obradovic… unique, one-of-a-kind pieces created when she reupholsters vintage frames in coated-cotton canvas fabric that has been layered with rich pigment ,then screenprinted and hand-distressed.  The final product has a durable, leather-like finish. This is my favorite… I’ve always been a big fan of polka dots.

Prestino Sofa

Another example of Obradovic’s one of a kind, repurposed vintage pieces.

Partial Eclipse Armchair

I’m drooling now… time for some more upholstery classes!  What has caught your eye recently… anything unique or handmade?  Please share!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 02

Crochet Creations

Posted In Art, Craft, Decorating, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Styling, Uncategorized

I’m learning to crochet.  My requisite first project, a scarf, is almost finished, and already I am dreaming of what I could do with this newfound talent.  As is typical for me, I want to skip the whole part where I make afghans, beanies, toilet paper cozies and socks for everyone unfortunate enough to be on my gift list, and jump forward to the level of Dana Barnes, fiber artist extraordinaire. I am in awe of this amazingly talented woman and how she has turned the old fashioned gramma-style crafts of crocheting and braiding upside down, moving them to a fun new contemporary level. She and her staff create rugs, pillows, curtains, sculptures, chairs, even room dividers with crocheted, braided, knotted and fused wool.  Put on your glasses and take a look!

These pieces, shown in her NYC loft, double as floor cushions and rugs.  As you can see, Dana is not a huge fan of traditional furniture:

Dana Barnes floor cushions/rug

 

dana barnes

Below,  photos from designmilk show her versatility:

One of a kind knotted “floor cozy:” (also known as a rug… I just want to run my toes through this!)

dana barnes knotted floor cozy

 

Needlepoint lampshade:

dana barnes needlepoint lampshade

 

Braided rug:

dana barnes rug

 

Fiber Wall… perfect room divider for a loft-like space:

dana barnes fiber art

 

Knotted sculpture:

dana barnes sculpture

 

Bedroom rugs.  The rug on the left is crocheted, the rug running towards the tub is made with embossed felted wool that has been molded with interestingly shaped objects like bowls, large letters and sticks:

bedroom rug.. Dana Barnese

 

Now if only I could spend my days doing something as magical and wonderful as this… Someday!

Are you an artist?  I’d LOVE to see your creations!

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Feb 17

The OC gets Interesting!

Posted In Art, Clothing, Decorating, Food, Green Design, Orange County, Recycle/Reuse, Shopping, Travel, Uncategorized

There were two of us, with a few hours to spare, looking for good times in the OC.  A beautiful day, we itched for something different, unique and one-of-a-kind that would preferably be punctuated with yummy treats and drinks.

Our destination?

The OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa

Have you been there yet?  Ok, yes…it is a little tough to find… but what a gem!  It’s nestled behind the South Coast Collection of furniture stores (SOCO) which I’m sure you’ve seen from the 405, just north of Harbor. The OC Mart Mix is very similar to the LAB Anti-Mall and The Camp in that it is filled with wonderfully creative places to shop, eat and just hang, indoors and out.  You’ll find unique, one of a kind items… from clothing, old and new, to furniture, home accessories, organic body products, art made from salvaged items, jewelry, sports, cycle and surf shops, a spice store, even a sewing workshop.

 

 

The Mix houses a fantastic coffee shop, wine and olive bar, bakery, a new cheese shop and by now… probably more.  Each time I go, there are new places to explore… it’s growing quickly. Definitely worth the drive!

 

You’ll want to stay for a while….  The open air courtyard is gorgeously landscaped… a perfect spot to soak up that all important Vit. D and enjoy a treat.  Visit in the evening to bask under twinkly lights and in front of the firepit.

Go to the Mix on a Saturday and you’ll get to shop the farmer’s market and sample yummies from gourmet food trucks.  Line up!

The OC Mart Mix is a fun place to explore, meet up with friends and be inspired by creative people and things.  I’m ready for another fix….!  See you there next week?!

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