Expand Your Emoji + Emoticon Vocabulary …and make ART

Emoticons and emojis are being so widely used that we’ve been hearing news reports that they might possible become a new language: a sort of modern day hieroglyphics. Artists like Cindy Sherman have devised her own set of emojis which she’s offering as a free download. Although we love possibilities in the realm of emojis (see more below), we like the constraints of making emoticons using just keyboard symbols…

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The Reinvention of Normal (Dominic Wilcox)

(Video link here.) Over the years, we’ve published quite a few of artist/inventor/designer Domnic Wilcox‘s brilliant rethinking of ordinary objects, documented on his site Variations on Normal. We love that Wilcox constantly challenges “normal” because “normal” is often so terribly limiting. And as Wilcox shows, its FUN and illuminating to think outside the normal box.…

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Annals of Misleading Design: Chilewich Dahlia Coasters

Chilewich, maker of now-iconic, minimalist woven polypropylene floor mats we’ve admired, recently introduced their Dahlia Coasters. Their website shows icy drinks resting on the coaster (one with an ice bucket in the background), calls them “coasters” and claims “these functional designs will enhance and elevate your dining experience“. But at the end of the enticing copy is…

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A Hidden Pocket Door Surprises with Color

Pocket doors largely lay hidden UNTIL they are pulled closed. We love the surprise of this yellow-painted door: an instant volume of color to shift a space. Pink perhaps or dark dark gray?  The effect works best with a simple flat panel door. And then, of course, there are many possibilities for patterns and signs…

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Holly Soloman’s Kitchen: “A Painting I Can Walk Into”

In the annals of kitchen design, art collector/dealer Holly Soloman‘s has to be one of the most out-there. The dazzling, mind-boggling riot of colored mosaic was created artist Dorren Gallo as an on-site installation in the eighties.  Solomon said to the New York Times in 1984, “I don’t know how to find an egg in it. But for me…

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The Lunar Magic of Solar Lanterns + Solar Cell Stars

On the heels of our post about Staging a Summer Party with Modest Means, frequent contributor Susan Dworski sent this email about Shoji Solar Lanterns, an essential, inexpensive, mood-enhancing element that are, in her words “Pretty damned lunar at night”: Ironically, I just replaced my tattered red Shoji solars yesterday with the familiar bluebird ones. They are…

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Hair as Personal, Cultural, Historical Artform

Nigerian photographer J. D. ’Okhai Ojeikere spent more than thirty years traveling across Nigeria documenting hundreds of braided “Tall House” styles that appeared after Lagos gained independence from Britain in 1960. He took close to 1,000 portraits of different braids, twists, plaits and buns, each carrying a distinct meaning. For us, they are examples of personal expression taken to wondrous heights with the most elemental of materials.

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Time to Enjoy Blossom Showers and Petal Snow

(Video link here.) The dazzling last gift of cherry and other trees in-flower right now is the “snow” that falls once the blossoms begin to die. We find ourselves walking under lovely showers of petals and finding wondrous patterns of them on the ground… … We’ve been watching them fall…on people on their way to work, sitting…

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