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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Feb 24

Reclaimed. Recycled. Repurposed.

Posted In Art, Budget, Green Design, Old to New, Recycle/Reuse, Styling, Uncategorized

Have a few thousand spare picture frames laying around? You could panel your ceiling with them like Dan Phillips has.

I admit to being more than a tiny bit impressed, even obsessed, with what Dan, of Phoenix Commotion in Huntsville, Texas has been building with recycled and salvaged materials.  Homes… entire homes, that are artsy, unique and just plain crazy-wonderful.

80% of the materials for these houses are salvaged… they are definitely one-of-a-kind. Look at what Dan creates with everyday items:

Like with wine corks… floors!

 

Bottle caps make beautiful floors too:

As do broken tile bits:

He uses thinly sliced logs (from the local Bois D’Arc trees… they grow like weeds in Texas!) to make floors and countertops:

Bois d’arc logs also make gorgeous rustic railings:

 

Even cow bones (must be quite a few lying around in Texas!) become super cool furniture, light fixtures, signs, even floors.

 

For roofing, Dan hits up the DMV for expired license plates. The thick metal reflects that hot Texas sun well and provides a roof that will last for 75 years.

Recycled asphalt tiles in every color make splashy rainbow-like roofs:

Glass… bottles, plates, pyrex dishes and lids, mirror shards.  All are put to good use:

 

 

Dan builds these homes with the help of apprenticed labor and the soon to be homeowners.  Even though the last few years have seen a large number of the homes going through foreclosure, they have since been snapped up by higher income individuals who appreciate the beauty of these artistic structures formed from repurposed items.

I’m taking notes…  and making plans for my desert house!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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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