Sofa Problems

One of the great things about my husband is that he is sort of a dandy; he can dress well and has an eye for design, generally speaking. He wouldn’t be caught dead in cargo shorts (or any shorts for that matter) and he can’t stand furniture that looks like it belongs in a dorm room. We have pretty similar taste, but unfortunately, it tends to be an expensive taste.

It’s taken a long time for us to get past furniture that wasn’t thrift store yuckies, hand-me-downs, or IKEA. So there other day he declares, “we are re-decorating this damn living room!”. Not that it is terrible, but we’ve had the same IKEA couch for over 12 years that has been falling apart, and it’s time to get a few things reupholstered. In general I think it has all gone ok being that we rent, and can’t do anything about the paint color, curtains, or the PLEASE, SPILL RED WINE ON ME carpet…

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He wants the books off the floor as well. Most people think it looks cool, but it is driving him crazy. So, I’m in the process of freaking out about what I can sort of afford and yet not be stuck buying cheap stuff — again. Buying a couch is my first world problem stresser right now. I always feel like if I buy a heavy piece of furniture, something will happen where I have to move suddenly. Then I think about how the cats will destroy it. The cats are really why I can’t buy nice things. Damn cats.

First things first is we decided we are getting this rug, no question!

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Initially he wanted this union jack loveseat, but I know the velvet fabric will be a problem to maintain, and I think it will engulf the room. I mean, aside from zebra what the heck kind of rug would even compliment it?

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So I was leaning towards this puppy. Except I heard these were sort of crappy, despite good online reviews…

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I may make a trip down to Parma to go over some of the newer furniture left at the furniture bank, but I don’t think I can stomach a used couch again. I won’t even begin to go into the ways I tried to salvage the infamous Alternative Press velvet couch that passed through at least 3 owners. I tightened the springs and re-stuffed the foam in the seat cushions. It was all futile.

I know the couch I’ve picked is boring, but it is well under $1,000 and my plan is to give my man his union jack, after all, with some pillows like this…

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But then I come across something like this, and also have found that I can order a custom mid century mod sofa from www.FunkySofa.com with jaguar print or faux black crocodile. Uuuugh. Both options out of my budget but then again, will it be worth it? And now, I think we finally decided on this because the legs match my dining room set… but it is a bit too long.

I have gone through every dang mid century modern sofa list on Pinterest, Apartment Therapy, RetroRenovation and more that I think I could find when trying to get something under $1,000. The site Design Within Reach? So not within my reach. Some places a good looking couch might have looked decent in photos but had really bad reviews, some shot up in price if you wanted a different color, some were just no longer available. I really don’t want to go through Ebay, either. I want something new new new. So if you have any suggestions or resources, leave it in the comments because I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger on anything right now!

First World Problems, I get it.

Update….

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Daft Punk art show in San Francisco

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The next group show I’ll be in takes place on May 31st @ Gauntlet Gallery in SF!

I think I’ve been more of a fan of the aesthetic of Daft Punk and not the music so much (all those nights dancing at clubs in Hollywood, I got tired of it) but we’ll see what I can do with the theme. I have to scramble and finished my piece this week, and of course I sketched something out on the panel to be painted and now I have ANOTHER idea. Ugh. Wish me luck!

Chic, and Somewhat Literate

My cats are chewing the spines of my books — uncle Milkshake (RIP) pre-chewed many and so they think this ok — however, rather than deal with another book shelf that bows or is ugly, I’m trying to come up with some stacking solutions that look nice but are practical. And, you wouldn’t believe how many books I sold or gave away in our last move!

I was going to sort them by color, but then the subjects are all out of place and I’d like the widest and heaviest on the bottom. I’m always told I have the library of an “old queen”, or a Drag Queen.  I guess either suits me just fine! Make no mistake, I’ve forged many friendships thanks to my library.

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Yes, I have a Joan Crawford problem! (not pictured: the Joan Crawford paper doll book)

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Here is my profile on Goodreads.com if you would like to see my ratings.

I don’t like writing lengthy reviews of any sort, someone can pay me to do that! Not to mention, I’m not a huge fan of fiction.

Object of Reality artwork

My “Blind Deviant” painting will be the artwork for the upcoming The Lucid Dream reissue/compilation put out on Elephant Stone!

The CD called “Object of Reality” will be a limited edition of 200, so fans of original art, as well as fans of psychedelic/post-punk bands like Echo and The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes will want to grab this up. Release date hasn’t been set, but looks like mid spring.

Sensory Overload Work Environment

I pull photos from magazines and books for various colors, textures, poses, inspiration, and such for my art — I have for years. It has gotten to the point where the catalog of touchstones has gotten out of control.

What I used to do was plaster said images over the walls of my studio so I’d never forget. Being that I’m the ‘anti-hoarder’ and hate clutter, I developed a strict regiment of taking the images I wanted and 3-hole punching them into a large binder. This works to a point, but over 15 year have gotten ridiculous to flip through. When I get good books or expensive Italian fashion  magazines, I keep them intact, and so, the bulk of paper gets stacked high in the studio.

Since I now have a studio for the first time since college, I think I’m going to have to start plastering the walls again. As much as I love them to be bare and white — it ain’t working. My books I’m still good at keep half at home and half in-studio; being that my studio gets dusty and dirty thanks to the industrial environment. I’ve been looking at studios and offices of some fashion personalities I enjoy….

I was once so tidy that this Cecil Beaton style “throw the crap on the carpet to loom over” worked, but no longer.

I’d love to have a curved desk, like this Lagerfeld one. It would solve so many problems! Good thing I don’t have the budget to buy as many books as he does — can you imagine? He has floors of the stuff, not including his apartment!

At least Nigella Lawson’s library is somewhat contained. We had a library growing up as a kid — so this looks normal to me…

Carmel Snow resorted to laying out everything on the floor too. Well, her desk is AWFUL! If my desk looked like that, I’d die — a Dorothy Draper nightmare it is. As much as I’d like to, concrete dusty floors in my studio won’t allow me to leave tear sheets on the ground when I need them…

Here’s a rare occasion Helena Rubenstein’s workspace looks…well, sedate…

In the end, I think — dare I say it — Diana Vreeland has the right idea. I’m just going to tape all my tear sheets up as I did in my studio at CalArts…

Although this does take away from space to hang my art up, I need it, I can’t flip through books and binders every time I must find an image I vaguely remember from a photo shoot or painting from a bazillion years ago because it might have a necklace design, fold of fabric, or position of a thumb I need.

New iPhone Cases!

For all you readers, you can use this code when you check-out for 15% off all my merchandise thru my ArtsProjekt store! This includes iPhone and iPad cases and is good through March 15th:

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I just did a few new iPhone cases, including “Duchess Varuca” and “The Immaculate and Fabulous Mary”. I’m actually getting myself a new mouse pad — may as well get one of my own, right? Or is that weird? I’m thinking the one of her…


Coffee Tables Books That Do and Don’t Deliver

I’ve had my eye on this new puppy, being that fits in perfectly with my art and design coffee table book addiction in subject matter and so forth. But until I can thumb through it, I am wary. What if it doesn’t live up to my standards? Granted my standards might not be everyone’s, but I expect a bang for my buck.

As an artist I expect good photos — lots of photos, but the writing has to be there too. Here are books from my collection I think were worth it, and some that fell flat in my expectations.

Happy Times. Oh Lee, you gloss over everything and the photos aren’t even that good or well produced. The only thing cute is the illustrations from the book you did with Jackie.

The Fashion Book. Odd choices of photos to represent various brands, models, and designers. Maybe the reproduction rights for certain photos were too much, but really, it tends to bore except for a few highlights here and there.

Dictator Style. Small, bad photo reproductions, and not enough of a visual sampling considering the subject matter.

Bright Young Things. You wonder why some of these people were chosen, let alone many photos don’t even show off their pad. There are a few good ones here and there, but it is spotty.  The profile on Serena Alschul, for instance, just shows her in front of a concrete wall because her apartment hadn’t even been finished yet!

A Privileged Life. Jayne Wrightsman is referred to as Jane — enough said.

Pad Parties. This one falls flat and has a bunch of things you’d probably never get around to actually doing, as opposed to the first book, where there was something for everyone.

Books that DO deliver…

Galliano. Need I say more? A good overview of his process, inspirations, important collections from school onward + part bio and philosophies behind staying true to the Dior tradition.

Over The Top. Just get it, even if you’ve never cared for her style or heard of her in the first place, just get it! Jewels, interiors, art collections, and old beauty treatments in gorgeous photos.

Design: Intelligence made visible. The motherload for any designer no matter what the product.

In the Kennedy Style. A good range of photos; Tish Baldrige writing in her usual style of name dropping that manages to be fun; anecdotes about various events, and recipes you can actually make at home that are easy.

100 Years of Fashion Illustration. Every kind you can imagine from every time period. A thick book with good reproductions.

Pad. A fun peek into various homes of L.A. creatives, it has resources and DIY projects as well. It makes me wanna do more stuff to my apartment every time I flip through it.

The Marchesa Casati. I talked about this before, but it’s a very comprehensive memoir and photo book of her and the art she commissioned from the days before she became what she was, and the inspiration she left after her death for designers of all kinds. The authors were clearly very passionate about this subject.

Coveting During Convalescence

When you’ve been banished to lounging in bed all day, you have a laptop, and you’ve nearly escaped a death sentence, getting bit by the shopping bug happens!

Admittedly this whole chances of cancer coming back in my life are 50/50 thing has me mildly freaked out. Granted it may not be until I’m 64 or something, but I had a nagging dread since this whole thing started that I’d have to deal with it again at some point in my life — it isn’t done with me yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad my oncologist was frank enough to tell me not everything is all unicorns and lollipops, but because of this diagnosis, I’m becoming a little more bratty about things I want. After all, my new motto is, “because you never know, you could get leg cancer!” Some people turn all spiritual rather than go for the material, but come on, this is me we’re talking about! Have I mentioned how excited I am about my new fabulous cane that should be arriving shortly? It is the best present from everyone, ever.

After I’m better and mobile I’m probably going to move to bigger diggs, although in the same neighborhood because I love my area. Having all this time on my hands to browse interior design blogs has me itching to redecorate, get a new wardrobe, apartment hunt, and so forth. So hey, here’s a list of fun crap that I am coveting.

A black chandelier

New curtain rods, because my cats keep climbing my damn curtains despite how heavy they are getting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fancy French writing desk for le office.

A Dodge Challenger. Not that anything is wrong w/ the Toyota, I’m just planning ahead.

The entire Burberry fall 2010 collection, especially the green dresses and bomber jackets.

Zebra rug, because it would look great in my living room.

Some real jewels. Nothing outlandish, but this video about the Duchess of Windsor jewelry auction makes me marvel.

Designer Retreat Classes in Chicago

The exciting news? I can now tell you that Shannon Okey and I will be taking our knitwear design and fashion illustration class to Chicago, IL on August 6th- 8th, for a weekend design retreat! If you are a member of Ravelry.com you can join the Hands-On Retreat group here and get all the info and updates. You can also go to the Hands-On site here.

Not only will you learn stuff about the business, marketing, designing and so forth of the knitwear industry, but we are both rather entertaining and totally not lame — or so we have been told.

UPDATE: This retreat has been canceled due to bizarre circumstances. I was only informed today. But, Shannon and I are currently looking at other options to teach our class as a weekend workshop, either in Chicago or Cleveland. More info TBA. Why waste a good lesson plan?