Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hungry For Fly Dumplings

These superheroes for the foodies are from my friend Konkatsu's latest project Yummy Town. I'm not sure what super powers they all have but I really dig the flying dumpling spaceships. I can't wait to see more, Tonkatsu!

For Kids Only?

If Enzo Mari's giant apple poster can look chic in your home, then why not these products from Our Children's Gorilla? I so want the totem "Fellows" set of 3 posters and the 60's inspired piggy banks!!! The store is based in Stockholm but you can email them to see if there are stores near you that carry their products.images: Our Children's Gorilla

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Five Whats with Little Friends of Printmaking

I'm so lucky to have lfop for this week's Five Whats. Melissa and James are a husband and wife team that has a lot of fun making their super cool and witty screen prints together, and they are just as cool and witty as their work! I really enjoyed reading their answers and I hope you will too:
What did you have for breakfast?
James had a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, and I had a ham & cheese omelette with wheat toast. We went to the Harmacy, which is our affectionate name for the pharmacy down the street from us. It is maybe the only pharmacy that we've been to where you are allowed to smoke, hence "Harmacy." We only eat there once a week because we can't stand the smoke.

What is an average day like in the house of Little Friends'?
We usually wake up in the late morning, take some calls and at least try to respond to all of our emails. After breakfast we sit down to work and pretty much continue that way until evening. If we're doing any screen printing, we do it at night. I don't know why. It just seems to work better that way. Otherwise, we watch rubbish TV while we eat candy from a bowl. We usually have music playing almost all the time. We like to listen to WFMU, which is our favorite radio station. We bought a professional-quality FM transmitter so that we could listen from anywhere in the house. It's a bit of overkill because it transmits in one hundred yards in all directions, so if you want to hear what we're listening to just park your car one hundred yards or less from our house and tune into 105.5 FM. We have two cats that require a fair amount of cuddling. We almost never leave the house, except for our late-night candy runs. We usually end the day in bed, like everyone else, around 3 or 4 in the morning.

What are your inspirations?
We get a lot of inspiration from watching too much TV. Candy wrappers. Our cats and other cute animals that we see. Living in a dilapidated weird old city like Milwaukee. Traveling. Things you half-remember from childhood - those are good because the more you don't get it right, the more better it are.

What are the advantages of working with your spouse?
No one ever tells us that we need to quit this and get a real job or go to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a motivating factor that we are a rock-solid team and we want to really make it work out for each other. It's like the Jackson 5 - you really have to go out there and rock it. You can't just blow it off and be like "oh, I'm going to quit this and go join the Osmonds" or something. We are a family, dammit!

Do you guys go to a lot of concerts that you made posters for? What are you listening to these days?

We don't get to do this much anymore because most of the posters we're hired to do are for events outside our area. When we have the opportunity, it's something we really like to do. Although, there's no big payoff - it's not like people are like "oh my god, it's those guys I don't know who made the poster, I might maybe buy, maybe!" And then the crazed groupies chase us down the hallway, tearing at our clothes while security is like "MOVE MOVE MOVE." These are things that will never happen.

Listening to WFMU helps us find weird new and old stuff to listen to. We listen to a lot of Italo 12"s, which are kind of awesome because they are so stupid but also amazing. We're digging back into shoegaze music right now - there is a sort of weird musical cross-over between Italo and shoegaze, although I don't think the people making either of those kinds of music would recognize it. It makes us want to start a shoegaze band that covers "Diamond in the Night" and things like that, even though that is the exact kind of band that we hate.

bonus What: What is your favorite print/project that you guys have ever done?

The next one is always our favorite - full of promise and unspoiled by work we've done to it & future mistakes.
images: lfop, thanks Melissa for the wonderful pictures of your home and studio!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Green Gocco

My Gocco Arts - not so green

JoJo's Riso 265 - tres green!

I love my Gocco Arts and I've made lots of prints with it but I admit that it is not the greenest printer out there, almost everything is meant to be disposable, especially the light bulbs, it takes 2 bulbs to expose a small screen and 4 bulbs to expose a large screen, ouch!!!
My Flickr pal
JoJo has recently bought a RISO SP-265 that would flash a screen without the use of disposable bulbs! Instead it uses a xenon lamp (like you would find in a thermal imager). For about $70, you can produce over 200 screens with the use of a xenon lamp, compared to over $400 for 400 bulbs to produce the same amount of screens, that's a bargain and not to mention all those bulbs you'll save!!! It's extremely hard to find one of these printers and JoJo has gone through a LOT to get hers (months of researching and posting on Craig's List and eBay). I would love to be lucky enough to get one but it looks ginormous! Wonder if it is even bigger than my Gocco Arts???

Friday, April 25, 2008

What's Outside of My Home Office?

Chad and I live in an apartment that is part of a huge complex on the East side of Manhattan, we have a good view of the East River, and we're surrounded by lots of greens, beautiful flowers, and squirrels (as you know, I'm obsessed with these little guys). Here are some pictures that I took of our "park" yesterday.Trees waiting to be planted.

My favorite tree.

My favorite neighbors.


Today's green idea comes from Teresa who is my friend Zach's mom: (they have a great blog too!) is a site that also gets you off catalogs' mailing lists--it is fee-based ($34 per year), however, they also plant 10 trees, anywhere you choose around the world, with your "donation/fee"! so you're not only saving trees via saving paper, you're also planting replacements!

It has taken a full year, and, in some instances, i additionally had to call a few of the persistent companies and demand that they stop sending the catalogs, but....i am happy to say that i now receive ONLY the cataglogs that i WANT to receive (which is about 3 or 4). Yayy!!!! We used to get HUNDREDS a year.

Remember, when you place an order with a company online, you AUTOMATICALLY go back on their mailing list unless you tell them, in no uncertain terms, to NOT put you on the mailing list. If you go on their list, you go on others, for they share/sell/trade your info with others. The vigilance, however, is worth it.
Thank you, Teresa!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

$10 T-Shirt Sale

I posted about Good Shape Designs just the other day, and today I bought the 3 shirts I mentioned before plus this one (above). Better get them now before they're gone!!!
Thanks for the tip, Melissa!
image: good shape designs

Green Idea from Strath

My friend Strath sent me this simple green idea:
It sounds like such a basic thing—most good ideas are—but walking as much as possible is good for the environment and good for you. In New York we take the subway or bus, which is much better than driving, but sometimes just hoofing it doesn't take much longer. For example, it takes me 40 minutes to walk from Fort Greene to the Lower East Side (only 15 minutes longer than the subway) and I get to check out that relic of NYC grittiness, the Manhattan Bridge.

When my wife Emily and I bought a place in Seattle last fall, which we're currently renting out but will eventually move to, a major consideration was the neighborhood's walkability. There's a website called that can help you calculate just that: type in your address and it brings up a map with shops, libraries, bars, restaurants, and other services and businesses within walking distance. Best of all, it gives you a "walk score" (hence the name) so you can easily compare the walkability of different locations. Go here to try it out:

Strath has a very cool blog called Pacific Standard, check it out!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Little Friends

It's funny that all the art and design crews that I'm really into lately are husband and wife teams, and today I'm loving Little Friends of Printmaking, or lfop. Based in Milwaukee and trained as fine art printmakers, their dalliance in silkscreened concert posters quickly turned into a design career. I like this print they did for Poketo (above), it was letterpressed 3 times with Stonehenge 90 lbs printmaking paper with ink carefully mixed by hand. The indentation resulted from the print process makes the print so special! It also comes with a numbered certificate which is also letter pressed and so cute! They also have an Etsy shop selling mainly silkscreened concert posters, I prefer these non band-related ones (below and above top).images: Poketo,

Green Product- And Fun

My friends Mary and Chris from Maryink are big soda fans, but they don't drink the store-bought stuff, instead they make their own with this gadget from Soda Club. It is about the size of a blender and doesn't require electricity, it costs only 50 cents to make a liter of soda, and the best thing is you no longer need to buy bottled beverages anymore, all you'll ever use are those 3 bottles pictured here, great for the environment! The down side is you do have to order everything online. But since Chad prefers drinking seltzer and I am just an occasional soda drinker, we probably won't think it's a hassle.

Here is how it works: fill a bottle with cool water, screw it into the carbonator, press the fizz button five or six times, add the flavored mix to the bottle (or you could do without the mix if you're making seltzer), close the bottle and shake a few times, and within a minute, you have a home-made bottle of soda!

As for the mixes, they have lots of flavors available- all the fruity flavors, cream, vanilla, and flavors that are similar to Mountain Dew, Coke, 7-Up, and Dr. Pepper! You can also make egg-cream with it (seltzer and chocolate syrup). As a creative person, you know I'll be mixing flavors and experiment with other beverages like coffee and tea, wonder if I can make frothy milk shake or orange juice with it???

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Ideas from Erin and Zach

Erin and Zach are my dear friends living in Tokyo, they are both teachers at a Montessori school there. Because most people live in tiny apartments in Tokyo, they are experts in eliminating unwanted waste that would clutter their homes. (Note: The house below is not their home, it's a house near their apartment) Here are some of their great tips:
We have learned a lot from Japan. Here, instead of using paper towels, most people carry a small washcloth to dry their hands. Saves a lot of paper!!

Also, we carry our own bags to shops and if we do happen to get a plastic bag, we use it as a trash bag (instead of buying new trashbags).

Have a clothes trading party. Everyone brings their old (or new) clothes that they are tired of wearing/haven't worn in a long time/don't fit and puts them on a table or in a huge pile on the floor and then people just take what they want. The extra clothes get donated to charity.


See your CO2 footprint at one of these sites:

How many planets does it take for us to live like we do? SEE (My favorite):

Become a virtual marcher:

Check the happy planet index "Economics as if the people and the planet mattered.":

Watch the documentary Planet Earth. Absolutely amazing!

Or, if you still haven't seen it, An Inconvenient Truth.

Oh, and PLANT A TREE!!!! wooo hoooo!

Thank you, Erin and Zach!

Earth Day Special

To celebrate Earth Day, I asked some of my good friends to share their tips on ways to help save the earth. Keep in mind that we're city busy dwellers and we're not active environmentalists, so what we practice are easy and sensible for everyone!• Eliminate unwanted catalogs (basically all of them) sent to our home by signing up for It's easy, once you sign up, you can choose from a long list of catalogs that you wish to opt-out. You can also call the customer service numbers on the back of the catalogs and ask to have your info removed from their mailing lists.

•Turn the lights out when you leave the room for more than 5 minutes. and buy CFL or LED bulbs.

•Unplug electronics, rather than just turning them off, if you aren't using them regularly. vampire consumption adds up. anything plugged in draws electricity.
•Use environmentally safe cleaning products, recycle your trash at home AND at work. Treehugger has wonderful Buy Green Guides that will help you live healthier, live better and live more efficiently.

•Go vegetarian! Greening your diet is better for the earth than greening your car. Livestock production is not just cruel but is one of the top two polluters in the world.

Thanks: Chad, Gal, and Nicki

Benefit Show at Open Space Gallery

Open Space Gallery in Beacon NY has a wonderful Tote Bag show featuring over 100 artists' customized tote bags. Each artist was given the same natural canvas tote bag, and I am amazed by the caliber of the artists (shown here: Caroline Hwang, Dan Funderburgh, and Upso) that generously donated their time and creativity, and what amazing designs they came up with! Each bag is $100, but it is for a really good cause...
90% of the proceeds from the sales will go to the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a New York-based organization committed to environmental education and advocacy. Its mission is to protect the Hudson River, its tributaries and related water bodies, and to create public awareness of the estuary’s complex relationship with the coastal zone. A magnificent natural design blending the freshwater streams of the Adirondacks with the salt tides of the Atlantic, the Hudson is a prime example of an estuary’s ecosystem that, as a type, ranks second only to rain forests in biological productivity.

A good reason why you should go see the show- it's in Beacon, NY. What a good excuse to leave the city and while you're up there you could also go to DIA!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Have Fun with Design

It is every designer's dream when your client lets you design whatever the heck you want and actually have it brought to life. Here are a couple of great examples I found via The Design Files and ManyStuff.
Julien Vallée is a motion graphic designer/ art director from Montréal. A lot of his work are hand-sketched or hand-made with construction paper. He made this brilliant paper computer and cup for a blog called ManyStuff. It is a site that questions the relative roles of the computer and hand-made processes in design.
And from ManyStuff I found Michiel Schuurman's invitation he designed for a hotel in Amsterdam. I love how the triangle is made with just one long strip of paper and works like a puzzle. See how it unfolds below. images: Julien Vallée and ManyStuff

Great Summer Tees

I was never a fan of t-shirts, but ever since I got the I Heart Toys shirt from Kidrobot (above), I want to start wearing more t-shirts this summer. These tees by Good Shape Design (above top, and below) are just what I needed, I like the colors, the graphics and the cut of the shirts. One thing the site left out is a description of the t-shirts (American Apparel? 100% cotton?), so I am going to email them to find out. But judging from the pictures they look pretty soft and have a longer body for the women's tees.
Good Shape Design also sells cool screen prints and original artworks by the proprietor Wayne Pate and guest artists. I really want this one by Tyler Askew.
images: Good Shape Design

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Chad Has a New Blog!

Check it out!
Come see him speak at the Brooklyn Museum this Saturday.
Panel discussion-Envisiong Japan: Consuming Art in Japan/America
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
See you there!