Tuesday, June 30, 2009

San Francisco Pride 2009 was particularly special.

With the whole Prop. 8 (ban on same-sex marriage) passing, people have been really angry, especially for those in the LGBT community. Pride was a day for celebrating rather than fighting. The whole thing was unbelievably overwhelming with so many people. Streets were closed off, so the day's events could take place. In San Francisco, when things are big, we go all out.

The parade was fun to watch, but after a while the excitement turned stale because all it did was advertise. The good thing is now you know what corporations/companies are gay-friendly.

Many believe that lesbians don't have style, but from what I saw, I think they did a fairly decent job.

I guess going shirtless, suspenders, wifebeaters and jeans are "uniforms" for gay men.

There were so many porn advertisers. Usually they get annoying, but they featured live models; you can't give that up.

There were many "fetish" booths, but you had to pay extra participate in/watch the action.

However, there were fun things to do that were free, like this jumpy house.

It was fun watching bears in their natural habitat. They were selling calendars; I wonder how much they made.

It was nice to watch shows that weren't all crowded. Apparently, Solange Knowles (Beyonce's sister) and BoA (K-pop diva) were performing, but I wasn't crazy about them enough to put myself in that sea of people. This lady named "Kentucky Fried Woman" performed, and as you can see, it was way more interesting and explicit.

Although it was a day of celebrating, some people were still hard at work. I bet they enjoyed what they were doing though.

For those who love to dance, some neighborhood clubs paved public dance floors. It was fun to "pop, lock, and drop it."

"Lady" Gaga performed, and so many other singers. There were at least ten shows going on at once. If I was watching one, I was missing the other. It's kind of like fashion week...you have to pick and choose.

Friday, June 26, 2009

There's some ceramic madness going on at Habitat.

Ceramics has been an art for thousands of years, but we continuously find new ways to utilize it. Ceramic hair straighteners, television sets, and phones are now a part of our high-tech world. As for dinnerware, people are really coming up with quirky designs and graphics.

White Porcelain Teacup Shaped Tealight Holder $8.21 $4.10
What a delightful spin on a traditional teacup or tealight holder. I'm sure you can also use this as a teacup if you're thirsty and come evening, have a romantic tealight lit dinner.

Set of 4 Tapas Dishes and Tray $49.28 $24.64
I don't eat Tapas or Banchan much, but I probably would if I had this set of dishes. I love the compactibility and how they fit perfectly, so storage won't really be a problem.

Peony Cereal Bowl $12.32 $8.62
Concetta Gallo is a young ceramic artist who specializes in tabletop. She is known for her eclectic graphics, and here a great example. There's the typical floral pattern and then you have the car. I guess it doesn't look odd because the colors are more or less the same.

Lila Dinner Plate $14.80
Chinese ceramics has been a major craft since the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD) and it's something that identifies the Chinese culture. The versatility of the blue and white is quite astounding because it never gets old. The twist to this plate is the asymmetrical floral arrangement, which is rare because Chinese philosophy is all about balance.

Arinya Set of 2 Tall Vases $73.95 $36.97
These vases are so odd-looking, but they're so interesting at the same time. They're like snapshots of the casting and molding process. Oh, and they're doubled up.

Pila Mug $6.59 $3.29
Here's a great example of having fun with ceramics. You have the function aspect with the mug, but there's a fun design element with the handle. You can drink delicately and seem elegant by pinching the handle instead of gripping it. LOL!

Chocky Fondue Set $19.75 $13.83
This is the perfect party item to bring over to a friend's home. The simple design makes it easy to carry around; it's pretty much the size of a mug. And the complementary stove stacks perfectly. At about 14 bucks, I'll try to gain back a social life.

Courtesy of Habitat UK

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I haven't gone on a vacation in years, and right now I really need one.

I kind of have my eyes set on the destination: Lisbon, Portugal. It's the perfect getaway from the turmoil and complexity of America. Lately, I've had nothing but stress due to school (no summer), work, problems at home, the country, etc. I want to miss all of that when I'm vacation, though I highly doubt it. Lisbon embodies the essence of simple living in a large city.

The Praça do Comércio looks absolutely beautiful with the old romantic architecture and yellow hue. It was apparently the location of the Royal Ribeira Palace until it was destroyed by the great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. I've never been to "palace" let alone any other square besides...Union Square, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Once you enter the Praça do Comércio, the other side is the Pombaline Downtown. It looks like an awesome walking tour because it goes into a whole other bunch of squares. I'm a pretty nostalgic person, so I get very excited when I see preservations of the past (tiled floors, local cafes, tailoring shops, etc). Oh, and did you know this area is completely earthquake proof?

I love exploring back alleys because they're not typical tourist destinations. However, these areas say a lot about a place because it's where culture comes from. The closest thing that I've seen resemble this was in Macau, except it was more Chinese.

The best places in the world all seem to have some kind of body of water nearby. I'd like to go on a ferry ride along the Tagus River and enjoy the beautiful sights of traditional Portuguese buildings in rows and rows.

Tiling is becoming a lost art in Portugal, which is quite sad. Throughout the years, they've come out with masterpieces that can be seen on the different buildings. I'm sure painting the tiles, and then having to piece everything together took forever; I could only imagine.

Lisbon has a very mild Mediterranean climate, which is just a bit higher than San Francisco weather; I can live with that. In that case, the beach is a must see. By looking at this picture, I can kind of already tell it's not the nicest beach out there, but it's better than nothing. Then again, Lisbon is not much of a resort town.

One of the most important things for a city to have is a night life, and it's happening down in Bairro Alto. It's the shopping district in Lisbon where people come to hang out after work and on the weekends. It seems very homely with the traditional buildings as a backdrop and people just mingling on the streets. As far as I know, I've never seen San Franciscans just mingling on streets unless there was some kind of special event.

After doing a ton of research on this place, I really want to go. I have a free week in August, but the thing is the cheapest plane ticket is still about $2,000. If the expenses aren't too much after that (couchsurfing, hosteling), I wouldn't mind too much. Still, that is a lot of money though. We'll see what happens.

Courtesy of Virtual Tourist, Galen Frysinger, Sights & Culture, Images.com, Picture Ninja, Kitsch Hostel Lisbon

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I love being high in demand at work.

It's makes my job easier and it stimulates my creativity. So this couple wanted me to help them with a botanical arrangement. Now, I could've gone all out and told them to go diarrheic with the design, but I tried to keep it clean because I realize that most people don't share my taste, which is fine. They decided to go with a basic clear glass vase with a blend of mulberry sticks. The waviness of the sticks keep the arrangement from being stiff and boring. The ceramic rocks gave it a pop of color.

Mulberry Sticks Coffee $9.95
Mulberry Sticks White $9.95
Cylinder Vase 19.5" $24.95
Glazed Ceramic Rocks Turquoise $7.95

They spent about $57.82, which isn't exactly a bargain. I'm sure they could've saved more money if they had their own vase or colorful objects, but I'm just glad I was able to help. Ironically, I sometimes surpise myself with the things I come up with.

Courtesy of CB2

When I learned about shadow art, I was like "why didn't I think of that?"

Ellis Gallagher (Ellis G.) is famous for his shadow art, which are common objects on the street outlined with chalk. It's a very simple concept with so much meaning that's really hard to describe. Perhaps it's because we all could've done it; we just did not have the eyes to appreciate everyday objects in the same way.

Because of Ellis G., I now look at shopping carts differently. They are so much more interesting than they seem to be. I think he got the outline right on, but I'm not sure he did such a great job on the nooks. But can you blame him? That would take forever to finish. Also, chalk is not the easiest medium to use because there's no real precision to it.

This picture reminds me of coloring that gets out of the lines. There's a style for that, but I'm not sure there's a name for it. Anyway, I like the effect and in a way, it sort of acts as a sundial.

I'm sure many bike enthusiasts are going crazy after this piece. It shows the timeless elegance of the frame and silhouette of the bike. I bet a newer, more modern bike wouldn't have such a impact.

This has got to be my favorite piece. It's pretty much art imitating life because the rails on the brick walls almost look functional. It looks great even without the shadow filling it in.

Looking at the drawing, it seems like it would've been the easiest to do, but because flowers are so unstable, I bet it was the most challenging. This proves that notion that simplicity is more difficult than complex.

Courtesy of Ellis G.'s Myspace

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How would fine art work well on a polo?

Now, I've played around with fabric paint before, but I never thought of using them to create beautiful paintings on polos. P.S. by Paul Smith attempted this way before anyone else, which is always admirable. Apparently, the print on the polo drew inspiration from a 19th century still life French painter and Lithographer.

P.S. by Paul Smith Floral Printed Polo Top $157.11
I would totally forget about this little D.I.Y. project if I had the money to buy the polo, but since I'm poor, I have to come up with more affordable ways to do "fine art." I would suggest using a cheap polo shirt because if you splurge on a Ralph Lauren or Lacoste, you're bound to make expensive mistakes. I'm actually a bit nervous thinking about it because I have absolutely no background in painting, so all of this is going to be improvisation. I would imagine that piqué cotton is a very difficult fabric to work with because of the pores, but I haven't tried it yet, so I don't exactly know. Oh, and here are some paintings I might be using.

Courtesy of Paul Smith, PVR Consulting

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I returned the flakey Raf Simons bag, but now I'm looking for a crazy accessory to replace it with.

Considering the insane design aesthetic in these accessories, they are incredibly versatile. I could see myself using these things everyday. It would definitely give me the edge I've been looking for lately.

Raf Simons Embroidered Derby Shoe $1,190.73 $719.401
These shoes amaze me in the best way possible. I love the illusional ombre effect. They're so intricately embroidered that from a distance, they look like something else. For about $1,000+, I'm assuming it's a couture piece. I could always mimic this by using a plaid canvas shoe.

Martin Margiela Mix Chain Bracelet $156.00
I like Martin Margiela's accessories more than his clothes because you can go crazy and not go overboard with them. This bracelet literally combines modern and antique pieces to make a beautiful fusion. Also the juxtaposition of the two sizes gives the bracelet some depth.

Alexander McQueen Zip Wallet $314.00
My Birthday is coming up, and this wallet would be the perfect present. The neon orange is so eye-catching and I've been looking for a zip wallet because things aren't exactly secure inside a traditional billfold. It's by my favorite designer and it's the perfect size and color. Where can you possibly go wrong? Well, I wouldn't pay 300 bucks for it.

Bernhard Willhelm Black Mask Sunglasses $165.00
Unlike most people, I don't wear sunglasses to look "cool." I wear them to hide from the world when I don't want to be seen. Unfortunately, I've still been recognized because my nose shows, which ruins the purpose of being anonymous. These sunglasses have the coverage and quirkiness needed to keep a low profile in this vanity and status obsessed world.

Alex & Chloe Mix Tape Brooch $58.00
Who wears brooches nowadays? I would if I could, but I haven't found anything I liked. This, however, makes the best statement. One of my favorite past times as a kid was making mix tapes from the radio. It was a crafty and creative time before the iPod generation. This brooch pays homage to that.

Courtesy of Oak NYC, Browns Fashion, Oki-ni, Alex & Chloe

Sunday, June 7, 2009

At work, this guy let me design his living room for him.

This is the end result. It's very neoplastic, almost like an old-school video game. I love the intricate silhouette and texture lines. The guy already knew he wanted the Track sofa because it's a good basic living room essential. The challenge really was working around it. He was a bit iffy about color overload, so we toned it down with neutral grays and browns. Oh, and he also wanted to do the carpet in blue and orange, which I thought was a terrible idea. I envisioned it and thought his living room was going to look like a 76 gas station, so I suggested he mix in the gray with the blue instead. I think he could've done without the coffee table because it's better as a piece by itself. But looking at it as a whole, I think I did a pretty good job.

2 Grid Lobster Pillows $24.95 $9.95
Track Sofa $999.00
FLOR Fedora Charcoal Tiles $7.95
FLOR Straight and Narrow Blue Tiles $11.95 $7.95
Midway Coffee Table-Bench $299.00

The gentleman spent about $1,546.58 total, which is an incredible deal for all this to furnish a living room. I had fun helping him, especially because work can be torturously boring when I'm just standing there watching people walk by. It's kind of an outlet for my creativity.

Courtesy of CB2