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March 30, 2008

Jazzy Update

Weep is the name of my jazz band. I put the project on hold a couple of years ago because I wanted to focus on design work. However, keeping my graphic design business afloat has kept me from concentrating on much else. So now it's time to fight those barriers and get on with things. The Weep website has been updated, I am glad to say, as it was in sore need.

Jazz Band

A recent project with a musician led me to think about it more again. We all deserve the wonderful addition that great music brings to our lives, whether as listener or performer.

March 25, 2008

Spring Finery

Spring is flirting with us. Around here, it's just in sunshine, as the temperature is still a frosty 40s. But between the sun and great new designs sprouting up, the anticipation of a new season begins.

Gorgeous Spring Finery

Above are gorgeous spring designs by Kate Spade. The shade of green patent is even more striking in person. Lots of apparel looks better or worse on the body and in this case, these sandals look better on, always a plus.

One flaw in the small tote is that the bag closes with a snap over the top, never a good thing in a city where pickpockets lurk and when rushing, things could spill out. (Although I would think a thief would rather steal this for the bag than its contents, not to mention I think today's pickpockets are mostly online.) I wish the company didn't put a big logo on the front (not shown here); who needs that except the designer's mother?  The rope handles are beautiful but I wonder how durable they are and if they will show dirt too quickly. Kate Spade makes a larger version but it loses impact. The larger one is too tall and boxy, more of a regular tote, whereas the small one has a jewel-like aura. The clutch shown in the larger photo is usually shown folded over but works both ways. The company makes this model in many fabrications over the seasons.

Like us, most designs have strengths and weaknesses. Anything that gets you into the spirit of renewal and new beginnings is a welcome thing.

March 24, 2008

Tea Time in Tarrytown

Tarrytown is one of the pretty towns on the banks of the Hudson. I used to have fun driving there for sessions with a music hypnotherapist. I adore singing and sing with my own jazz band but have serious issues with performance anxiety. The hypnotherapy was really just relaxation therapy and it was soothing but didn't solve my issues completely. However, I loved the drive to and from historic Tarrytown.

Tarrytown, New York

Last week, I had the treat of another trip to Tarrytown to the Silver Tips Tea Room, an unassuming restaurant with great food and countless tea varieties. My sister made the suggestion that we meet there because it's around half way between where she and I live. The day was sunny and crisp, the drive as much fun as I remember, the food delicious and the company warm and welcoming. My sister has a new line of gorgeous original jewelry she showed me, about which I am very excited. I will be taking photos and will entice you with some of her great designs. Afternoon tea with a sympathetic companion is a delicious brew.

March 16, 2008

Four Leaf Clovers to You

Apparently, the Chicago River gets dyed green in annual celebration of St. Patrick's day, which is tomorrow, March 17th.

A green Chicago River

Since green is probably my favorite color, I can't help but commend them, St. Patrick's Day or not. Meanwhile, here's wishing you the luck of four-leaf clovers, with or without finding any. We all know that true luck comes from within, but just to hedge my bets, I have a hot date with a leprechaun tomorrow afternoon. He's a saucy little sprite, is he. And while I'm not Irish, I am half Scottish, although some Brits would probably tell me that that's way off. I have, on occasion, been told that I look "Black Irish," which I love because it's a striking look with very dark hair and very light skin, a combination I do have but since I went to an international school, I know what the "real thing" is and it's utterly captivating. There is a short road passage near me that looks enchanted at twilight where I know more leprechauns will be dallying tomorrow so I'll have to pass by there.

March 14, 2008

Design Great Verner Panton

By now almost everyone has seen the ubiquitous Panton chair designed by the venerable Verner Panton.

Verner Panton, the Great Designer

Even if you don't know the name, which design afficianados will, you have seen the chair in lots of catalog layouts and even in movies (it appears in Woody Allen's fantastic movie, Sleeper, as a future icon, in his predominantly white future). It's also in the permanent collections of many museums.

The Gorgeous Panton Chair

Doesn't he look like someone you'd like to know in the picture above? I have one of these gorgeous chairs in a limited edition fuchsia color from Design Within Reach — absolutely comfortable and beautiful. For those of you who care, besides its cool S shape, this chair is famous for being made from a single piece of injection molded plastic, is incredibly resilient and can be stacked, used indoors and out, fits with casual and sophisticated decor. Lots of cool design isn't comfortable but this is!

“Choosing colors should not be a gamble. It should be a conscious decision. Colors have a meaning and a function...”

— Verner Panton

Since its inception, the chair has been updated with even more resilient plastic and although vintage editions are pricey, the current model can be had for $245. A great source is hive modern

Designers like this got me hooked on mixing modern sculptural furniture with antique, gorgeous wood pieces. As I was taught in my religion major classes, ”The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” That applies to mixing old and new styles and to the Panton chair, whose parts happen to be just one single piece of polypropylene. I love it! 

“Most people spend their lives living in dreary, beige conformity, mortally afraid of using color. The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination and make their surroundings more exciting.”

— Verner Panton

March 10, 2008

Best Friends

Well aware am I that not everyone wishes us well and wants us to all thrive. However, life continues to be full of miracles and the unlikely, no matter how much horrible-ness also exists. Watch this great video to know that all things are possible.

Unlikely Best of Friends

March 5, 2008

Frozen Fun

Watch an original approach to art, life and fun that took place recently in New York's Grand Central Station.

Making Art Out of Life

Thanks to my friend, Jack, who told me about this. There's a talk about this wacky and well-planned event at the New Museum Friday at 7 p.m. for eight bucks. The museum just opened this winter on the Bowery — an area that used to be terrible and is now thriving, so appropriate and consciously chosen for this reason for the site. The New Museum is sponsoring art that goes in new directions. How great.