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Archive for Art & Design

OpuluxeLtd.com™ Latest Daily Obsession: Noelani Designs Hawaiian Jewelry!!! [#NoelaniDesignShop, #hawaiianjewelry]

I am unapologetically obsessed with the daily feats of fabulosity by total strangers.  No exaggeration; it’s my fuel for life. It’s usually an either/ or type of encounter. The fabulosity wielding person either directly  possessses  the “It” factor or is in possession of something tangible that conveys the coveted “It” factor for them as if they’re on fabulosity autopilot; so to speak.  As some of you know; we’re opening up second office in Miami and I’ve been bi-coastal for almost 2 and a half months now. That’s why it’s taking me soooo long to post updates. Well in Miami everything besides their insane reckless driving moves very slow. If it weren’t for the slowest elevator I’ve ever waited on; I might have missed out on the ever elusive double dip of fabulosity!  I met an absolutely beautiful super cool chick wearing  the most beautiful pair of earrings ever!  Besides “wanting” to instantly know ALL of her beauty and fitness secrets;  I very much “needed” to know EXACTLY where she got those Holy Grail earrings. OMG the picture I’m including doesn’t even do them justice! They are literally multifaceted goddess-worthy creations. I will order my pair as soon as I get back from my next trip. I don’t want anyone, not even Mr. OpuluxeLtd.com™ to sign for the package. These are gonna be all mine. I can’t wait ’til I get them, They look so versatile. I imagine wearing them throughout the day and at night for dinner or an event.  Anywho , I gave Ms. Fabulosity my business card and told her that besides needing to add a pair of those gorgeous earrings to my jewelry stash; I’d also love to interview her friend Noelani for OpuluxeLtd.comt™ in the  near future.  I went to nearby Lincoln Road Mall to jewelry shop and to specifically find a similar pair of earrings. I found absolutely nothing that compared to them.  I impulse bought a small chandelier for our bathroom to temporarily appease my “bling” envy. I doubled back and returned  it since the earrings are waaayy cuter. When I got back in I was checking my inbox and as promised I had received the  contact information of the creator of the covet worthy jewelry. Her nane is Noelani and she’s based in Hawaii. She is the owner of Noelani Designs Shop. Each piece of her jewelry is a masterpiece. I mean really they are “Oprah’s Favorite Things”  fabulous. If Oprah ever gives them out a big smack-down would break out on her show, because no-one wants “just one”. Obsession is the only word I have to describe my emotions after seeing the Noelani Designs collection. You can purchase her jewelry directly here. See below  the beautiful Noelani’s Bio as well as a sneak peek into her lovely online store. Noelani also has a very nice blog on her website as well. It’s called Noelani Love’s Blog.  Here is the link to her blog, right here. And a very special thanks to Ms. Fabulosity aka my newest fabu “friend in the head”. It was a pleasure meeting you. You have an impeccable sense of style and a great personality. It was very refreshing to find someone that genuinely supports and promotes her friend’s interests like that. Kudos! She was sooo proud a Noelani, and I’m pretty sure that Noelani is proud of her as well. Because Ms.Fabulous, –Okay her name is really Sherrin Bernstein and she has a lot of awesome projects of her own. She is the founder of  Touch Fitness Informative Bodywork and Attract Essentials. Guess what she has another highly artistic friend. Unbelievable, is Sherrin some kinda real life muse or something.  So check out her other very talented friend Lauran Childs. Click on the link to her website here. Lauran’s paintings are stunning. Her art work is my second newest obsession and it’s probably gonna be yours too!

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Tags: #melissakincaid, #sophisticatedhipstersdigest, #noelanidesignshop, #noelanilovesblog, #sherrinbernstein, #touchfitness, #attractessentials, #lauranchilds,


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Cheap & Chic DIY ecoLuxe Headboards via [lovely undergrad, copycat chic, curbly,and allthingsgd]

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One of the easiest ways to spruce up a boring bedroom is by dressing up the bed. But pillows, bedsheets, and a pretty comforter only go so far. Here are some diy headboard ideas so that you can give your bed a little extra ooomph!

Above: For this “Tall Order” headboard featured at BHG (Better Homes & Gardens), an inexpensive artist’s canvas was covered in fabric and propped behind the bed. I particularly like this project because the canvas could be re-covered if you want to change you color scheme or it could moved around the room if you no longer wish to use it as a headboard. I do think, however, that it should be fastened to the wall in some way to avoid falling on your head during sleep. Some kind of adhesive hooks might just do the trick?
Above: If you’re feeling especially ambitious or crafty, a diy-upholstered headboard may be just the project for you. Click here for BHG instructions on creating this luxe headboard using medium-density fiberboard, batting, and your choice of fabric. (Apparently it takes only three hours and no special tools are required!)
Above: This “Letter Perfect” headboard shown on BHG is dedicated to all you bookworms and future novelists out there. Collect new or vintage letters of varying sizes and colors flea markets, antique shops, and craft-stores… and put ’em up on the wall with some double-sided tape, poster putty, or adhesive hooks (depending on the material and weight of your letter).
Above: Hey, globetrotters… you may like BHG’s “Map Quest” headboard project. Simply use decoupage medium to adhere paper road maps to an old headboard. (Note: Do not, under any circumstances, decoupage the dorm-provided headboard… it will damage the school’s furniture.) For a dorm-safe approach I would recommend either doing this to a headboard you own and bringing it to school… or decoupaging a flat piece of plywood and temporarily attaching it to the headboard the school provided you with.
Above: Add some timeless romance to your dorm by borrowing the “Screen Star” idea from BHG. Simply place a folding screen between your headboard and the wall. Wrought iron is always gorgeous, but there are a variety of screen available out there. Plus, a vertical screen will draw the eye upward.
Above: BHG’s “Perfectly Padded” idea is a new take on the old upholstered headboard. I absolutely adore this idea. Simply hang a bench cushion by it’s ties from wall-mounted hooks. I think those adhesive hooks are pretty much ideal for this project. (Just make sure that they are all attached to the wall at the same level so that your cushion isn’t crooked.) You could also put a twist on this diy by hanging the cushion over the long part of your bed instead of at the headboard. It could give your bed a daybed like.
Above: Isn’t this BHG project pretty? This “Elegant Illusion” also happens to be a piece of cake. While you’re not allowed to paint the walls at school, vinyl decals are a great alternative. I’m sure if you shop around you’ll be able to find a vinyl headboard decal. Or you could stick other decals to the wall and create your own idea of a headboard. I think one of those chandelier silhouette decals would be quite eye-catching over a bed.
Above: So this BHG idea, called “Pop of Color“, is the easiest, most convenient, and easiest headboard project. So if you’re not crafty, on a small budget, or simply change your mind a lot… give this diy a chance. Simply drape a panel of fabric over the headboard. Then tuck the ends under the mattress to keep it in place. Yup… it’s that easy. With several pieces of pretty, patterned fabric on hand, you could change your headboard’s look on a whim.

Above: This “Paper Headboard” from I heart Norwegian Wood on Flickr is super easy and super stylish. The headboard design was simply drawn onto and cut out of thick, white poster board and stuck to the wall.

Above: This “Scrapbook Paper” headboard (also from I heart Norwegian Wood) is what I’m leaning towards doing in my own dorm room. I was first inspired by a $13 Paper Wall, but it took some surfing around to find a photo of what I wanted to do… which is to attach scrapbook paper in different colors and patterns to the wall above my bed. I think I may go all the way up to the ceiling though in my room. This can be done by simply attaching scrapbook paper squares to the wall with double-sided tape, adhesive strips, or poster putty. 

Above: I love the headboard in this bedroom belonging to Flickr user kimhas6cats. It’s a different take on using a screen as a headboard. It’s her screen that’s really the key. It seems that it was just made for hanging things… like scarves, artwork, etc. It’s really quite a fabulous idea. And considering I personally own over twenty scarves… I’m keeping my eyes open for a screen like this. Imagine all the other things you could hang from it! So many possibilities.

Final Word:

If you’re creative, crafty, and innovative… there is a variety of ways to customize your bed and your dorm in general. But I do stress over and over again that it’s soooo important to read your residence hall contract and handbook so that you know what you are allowed to do decor-wise in the dorm and what is prohibited. Every college has different rules. If you don’t understand something in the contract or handbook, e-mail your residence hall director or dormitory staff. Be informed, be safe, and be creative. 🙂

I’m going to call attention to a couple of my favorite blogger DIY projects. These ladies both made their own gorgeous headboards inspired by designer beds for a substantial savings! What’s not to love? I’m seriously considering making myself a new headboard, even though the one I have is less than a year old….lol.

First up, we have Freckles Chic with her awesome linen headboard with nailhead trim. Cost of making this headboard? Only $73!

Looks pretty similar to West Elm’s Nailhead Upholstered Headboard…King size = $449.

Next, Holly over at Life in the Fun Lane made a glamorous white headboard (directions here)in keeping with her unique clean cottage chic style. Just love it!

This is an easy and cheap way to get a headboard that looks like Williams Sonoma Home’s Fairfax Bed with out the pocket emptying cost!

Yeah yeah, we’ve all seen enough headboards, right? Well, imagine this long upholstered headboard with a queen sized bed in front of it and two sparse, but interesting side tables on either side of it. It would function as a headboad, of course, but also as wall art across a wide expanse of wall. That’s been on my drawing board for a long time, and now someone has gone and done it. As usual  Cococozy has compiled a nice little assortment of fantastic photos of  yet more headboard alternatives for your consideration.

created at: 06/03/2010



created at: 06/03/2010

Above: Decal Wall Stickers Headboard (those with patience could paint this)

Block of Blue Headboard

created at: 06/03/2010

Photo by Eric Roth

Wingback Headboard

created at: 06/03/2010

Photo: Richard Powers

Floral Screen Headboard

created at: 06/03/2010

Photo: Polly Wreford

I received a reader request from my fabulous friend Beth who’d like to see some DIY headboard options for her darling daughter Maya. Well ladies, here’s what I was able track down–hope you see something you like!

The first thing that came to mind is a DIY headboard made from a piece of picket fence. My mother-in-law did this in her guest room and I just love it. Nice and simple, and oh so cute. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from my mother-in-law’s house, but here is one from Better Homes & Gardens. I also found a slight variation at HGTV.com.


Another great idea is this simple DIY canopy, which would be so cute for a little girl’s room–and you could change out the fabric as she grows and her tastes mature!


The fun fabric and shape of this charming DIY upholstered headboard keeps it looking young and playful.


Another simple great idea–again from Better Homes & Gardens. This headboard is made from plain old bi-fold closet doors painted with stripes.


I love this chic suggestion from Domino–painting a faux headboard right on your wall using a color just a couple shades lighter than your wall color. Don’t want to buy a whole other can of paint? Just mix some white paint with your existing wall color paint and you’re good to go.


Although not necessarily what comes to mind for my friend’s daughter Maya, here are two more ideas from BHG that I just love–Pic 1 is made from a painted paneled door, and Pic 2 is made with weathered shutters.

As you may have noticed by now–Better Homes & Gardens is an excellent site for finding some beautiful DIY headboard ideas! To see these DIY headboard ideas and more, check out their slide show of 29 Cheap & Chic Headboard Projects.

And if anyone has any other great ideas for Beth’s daughter, we’d love to hear them!


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3d art, fashion

Banknote Jewellery

06.16.10 | 2 Comments

A graduate of London’s Royal College of Art Tine De Ruysser, Ph.D spends her days investigating production methods and folding patterns with a metal and fabric, a new material she invented while she was a student.

Banknote Jewellery” is a conceptual and even political piece articulating the relationship between paper money and gold. A timely piece during our world’s financial crisis, Tine explores the symbolism and relationship between the value of paper money and gold.

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2d graphics, 3d art

Flower of Life

06.15.10 | No Comments

A symbol of sacred geometry, the Flower of Life is composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles, that are arranged so that they form a flower-like pattern with a sixfold symmetry like a hexagon. The center of each circle is on the circumference of six surrounding circles of the same diameter. Because numbers carried symbolic significance in the Old World, geometric shapes became a visual representation of these symbolic numbers and was involved in the planning and construction of many religious structures, including churches and temples. (Read an article written last year regarding Islamic Architecture.) Natural examples of the Flower of Life include: honeycombs, sunflowers and rocks. And lastly, a contemporary example of the Flower of Life can be seen in origami tessellations. Below is a piece by Andrea Russo, titled “Stars in a Sky of Hexagons” – a perfect example of what the Flower of Life is.

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3d art, fashion

Geomorphology by Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana

06.09.10 | No Comments

Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana’s Professor Claudia Fernandez and Mauricio Velasquez Posada explores the use volume, space, and environment to recreate the meaning of origami and the human body. Learn more over here and here. It really makes me pause and say, “hey! whoever created this amazing piece has a truly unique mind!”

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2d graphics, 3d art, technology

Origami Maze Puzzle Font

06.08.10 | No Comments

Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, and Jason Ku over at MIT created an origami maze puzzle font, which is a template that shows you how to fold 3D letters of the entire alphabet.

(c) Crease Pattern of the Alphabet: Dark lines are mountain folds; light lines are valley folds; bold lines delineate letter boundaries and are not folds.

(c: Crease Pattern) folds into (b: 3D extrusion), which is an extrusion of (a: 2D maze)

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3d art, lifestyle & media

Paper Planes

06.07.10 | No Comments

Paper planes are so simple, yet it inspire admirers for different reasons. The act of folding paper planes and testing its aerodynamics is so satisfying and fun! Jamming to the paper planes song by MIA is pretty hip too.  May I suggest, the stylish flying paper plane wall decals by Mel Lim from Blik? And lets not forget Dawn Ng’s art installation “I fly like paper get high like planes.”

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3d art, fashion, origami paper

Modular Origami

06.04.10 | No Comments

Modular Origami created with paper (by H.W. guth) and one in a form of a necklace (by Claire & Arnaud)

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home & garden

Brooke Woosley’s Oru

06.01.10 | No Comments

Los Angeles based Environmental Designer Brooke Woosley is another amazing designer who challenged herself by creating a dynamic piece of furniture with a flat sheet of metal. In this process, she experimented with paper, basswood, light, and chipboard and finally concocted this awesome piece called Oru. It is waterjet cut, bent aluminum, painted in an auto finish: gloss white top with a matte blue underside. An excellent piece of furniture for a modern loft or studio.

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lifestyle & media, news & events

Memorial Day @ New York Times

05.31.10 | No Comments

It’s Monday, May 31st, Memorial Day and in today’s New York Times article “The Great Unknowns” by Robert M. Poole, he addresses the unknown fatalities of war and how lovely there are origami flowers to compliment this opinion piece.

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2d graphics

Bored? Make Love

05.28.10 | No Comments

After all the love making, sleeping and staring off into space, might this poster inspire some more love making activity? Lovely origami hearts that is.

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2d graphics

origami typefaces 2

05.27.10 | No Comments

graphics

Origami Typefaces

07.28.08 | 1 Comment

Fun origami typefaces from designers in USA, Germany, and Japan. My favorite ones are the the ones from Japan – it reminds me of my modern alphabet jewelry collection.

Click to continue reading “Origami Typefaces”

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lifestyle & media

Surface Magazine Origami Covers

07.25.08 | 1 Comment

Known for featuring top and innovative designers, New York-based design magazine Surface was inspired to use origami to grace their magazine covers!

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fashion

With a Shoe, Marloes ten Bhömer Influences What Beauty Can Be

07.24.08 | 4 Comments

London-based Dutch product designer Marloes ten Bhömer who studied at the London College of Fashion and the Royal College of Art produces the most eye-catching and swoon worthy shoes. What makes Ms. Bhömer’s shoes so different is that she researches and works with materials, forms and construction methods that are rarely seen in shoe design. What’s more is that she works with our favorite friend origami in creating some of her couture shoes. You can also visit her at the Virtual Shoe Museum.

The first special edition MARLOESTENBHOMER® shoe will be available to order very soon. If you would like to be amongst the first to know about the launch, please email her!

[left: Foldedshoe / Materials: Wood and tarpaulin / A single sheet of fabric folded once to create an abstracted shoe shape]

[right: Carbonfibreshoe #2 / Materials: Carbon fibre and leather / Shoes constructed from carbon fibre, cladded in leather ]

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lifestyle & media, origami paper, technology

Fold Loud by JooYoun Paek

07.23.08 | 1 Comment

New York-based artist and interaction designer JooYoun Paek created a musical play interface called Fold Loud which combines technology, origami, and sound to create an interactive experience of relaxation, recovery and balance.

While you fold classic origami bases from this unique sheet of paper, it simultaneously creates soothing harmonic vocal sounds. Each fold is assigned a different sound so that a combination of these folds create harmony. Click here to watch the video.

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home & garden

All That Glitters is Hanna Nyman

07.21.08 | No Comments

All That Glitters is Hanna Nyman

Swedish product and print designer Hanna Nyman lets her talent shine through in creating this beautiful lighting system. Plus it is also very origami and we like that.

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fashion

Leather Aligator Fold Clutch by Chloe

07.16.08 | 2 Comments

Chloe Leather Aligator Fold Clutch

Thanks to the awesome fold factor in origami, Chloe offers a new, fun and fashionable way to hold your most intimate belongings!

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home & garden

Nenen by Igor Marq for Corian

07.14.08 | No Comments


Architect Igor Marq designed an origami-inspired piece called Nenen for Corian. This innovative centerpiece is exemplary of form follows function; useful as a supportive base as well as a centerpiece for fruits and veggies!

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fashion

Elijah sports tank

07.10.08 | No Comments

elijah origami top

If I had a fabulous party to attend this summer, I would wear this origami sports top to go running so that I can fit into the beautiful Dior Dresses. The sports tank is on sale too!

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home & garden

no. 973, origami chair by James Dieter

07.08.08 | No Comments

( I know it was 5 years ago, but still very cool to feature )

no.973, origami chair by James Dieter

In 2003, designboom and 100% design organized an international design competition: 100% folding chairs. There were more than 1300 participants, from 84 countries, 470 prototype-entries received, and only one winner. On our blog, our winner would have been entry no. 973, titled Origami Chair from Brooklyn-based design studio founded by James Dieter.

no.973, origami chair by James Dieter

Constructed with polycarbonate and polyester mesh, the chair folds together from a single sheet into a three dimensional structure, strong enough to withstand the weight of an adult.

Check out dform –  you’ll find more James Dieter manipulating of flat sheet materials such as wood veneer or plastic and transform them into dynamic three dimensional forms.

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home & garden

Origami by Reflex-Angelo

07.07.08 | No Comments

Reflex Anglo Origami Wall

Matteo of Arredo blog was kind enough to comment on the cool origami wall entry, which led to the awesome discovery of Reflex-Angelo. These origami-inspired cabinets also double as shelving units, you will see the various shelf combinations you can create to fit your lifestyle.

(ps. They’ll also offer you a wonderful web experience when you click to their site!)

Unfolding Story: Origami Furniture via [modernluxury]

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By Carla Jordan | CS magazine

Modern manufacturers are interpreting the centuries-old Japanese art of paper folding with laser-cut slotted sheets of steel that can be bent, folded and locked into place. Or with three-dimensional fabric tiles that can be installed on walls or ceilings to form an endless variety of shapes. We say they’re a sweet twist of fate!

https://i2.wp.com/www.lyring.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Textile-Tile-Art-You-Can-Create-Kvadrat-1-470x319.jpg

>>Kvadrat’s Clouds fabric tiles, $445-$500/pack of eight, $1,120-$1,250/pack of 24, kvadratclouds.com

https://i0.wp.com/origamiblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/anglo-origami-wall.jpg
>>Reflex-Angelo Origami modular cabinet, price upon request, reflexangelo.com

https://i2.wp.com/s3files.core77.com/blog/images/MIOorigami.jpg
>>Jaime Salm’s Origami side table, $185, miocollection.com

https://i1.wp.com/www.pleatfarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/mia-cullin-POLYGON-cushion-1.jpg
>>Polygon cushion, $100, miacullin.com

https://i0.wp.com/www.unicahome.com/products/small/35459.5AEF53A9.jpg
>>A La Carte Origami three-piece bowl/plate set, $100, rosenthalusa.com

https://i0.wp.com/www.furniturestoreblog.com/image/2010/09/pleat%20table.jpg
>>Arktura’s Pleat table, $4,000, unicahome.com


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Vintage Fashion Mannequins are Repurposed into Glamorous Vegas Showgirl Lamps via [Las Vegas Sun]

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OPULUXE Lounge GroovesPlayList

Ladies of the light

Artist brings new radiance to vintage mannequins

ImageLeila Navidi

By Kristen Peterson

Two yeas ago Joe Clark, an antiques collector and longtime prop artist for Siegfried & Roy, was dressing a vintage mannequin with a vintage lampshade and flower petals made of abalone.

He added a light bulb. In walked Cindy Funkhouser.

“I have to have that,” said Funkhouser, an antiques dealer. “I don’t care how much it is, I want that. And can you make 10 more?”

The lamps that Clark made for his first show in the back gallery at the Funk House were a smash. Outlandish and topped with vintage accoutrements, the works came to be known as “art lamps,” functional artistic compositions of vintage wares, each with its own theme. The first lamps sold for as much as $2,000. Clark, a Massachusetts native who moved to Las Vegas 18 years ago, was launched as an artist.

Now he’s returned with another series, “So Rare II,” on display at the Fallout Gallery on Commerce Street.

In the sitting room of his 1935 Las Vegas bungalow, a dimly lighted and shadowy environment decked out with the finest rugs and antiques, Clark says he’s blown away by the reaction to his “ladies,” which were inspired by childhood memories of being dragged through department stores.

Built on his Moroccan coffee table surrounded by a 1930s sofa and chairs, the women still wear their original makeup.

They are sultry, sexy, vixenesque and glamorous, but not perfect.

“The chip on her chin. I don’t fix stuff like that,” Clark says. “There is something romantic about the flaws, the dings, the cracks; that all adds to the realness.”

But don’t expect a second-rate work. Clark puts all his love and some household appliances into crafting the sculptures. Like a dress designer who understands the line of a woman’s body, Clark understands his vintage mannequins and adjusts to their forms with strategically placed adornments.

A wedding cake lady lamp features a mannequin with a cake plate topping her head, a veil attached. Twinkling lights, Capodimonte porcelain roses and glass beads wrap around her body.

Another lady wears a Proctor Silex lighted electric coffee brewer atop a plate on her head. Dangling from the turquoise plate are matching coffee cups.

A 1944 telephone serves as the base of another lamp. The receiver, which Clark says still works, stems from her head. A ’50s desk lamp, screwed into the head of the mannequin, lights it from above.

Another wears a brass art deco chandelier with twinkling flamelike red lights.

Sitting amid the lamps last week, Clark played a recording of the lamps’ theme song, “So Rare,” written by John Rufus Sharpe and Jerry Herst, and humorously explained that the ladies sometimes seem to have a relationship with one another. Laughing, his friend Douglas Sargeant, who assists with the lamps, added, “It’s very loud sometimes in here. It’s a real hen house.”

Some come with stories. Many of the hundreds of shells (conch shells, starfish, coral and more) affixed to a lamp that sold at Clark’s last show hold a little piece of paper with a note. The woman who owned the shells received them from men all over the world. For the headpiece, Clark took his bathroom light fixture, mounted it on the mannequin and placed the shell of a large sea urchin, which holds the light bulb, inside.

Clark says his years working with Siegfried & Roy at their show and at the Jungle Palace helped him hone his abilities. He regards the magicians, who gave him advice with props at the show, as mentors, but he credits his childhood and Americana for the inspiration.

“It’s fascinating to pull up some of these memories and create work from them.”




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Floating City?! Futurist Ocean Frontiers & High-Seas Homes via [dornob]

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Fixed & Floating Cities: 5 Futuristic Artifical Island Designs

floating futuristic city design

From army forts turned into pirate radio stations and oil platforms converted into micro-nations, the notion of living full-time on the high seas is nothing new. However, these amazing award-winning designs from the recent Seasteading contest float in front of us five jaw-dropping possibilities for the future of urban life on the sea unlike any artificial islands you have ever seen (including this recycled floating paradise island).

fantastic future sea city

The winning design is a colorful and vibrant work of imaginative urbanism, depicting a world on the water not unlike life on land with winding paths, city squares, mixed uses and traditional architecture. Like a slice lifted from the heart of an old European town this Swimming City concept sits on four pillars with room to pass beneath it and the remnants of its removal showing on all sides.

futuristic floating city concept

Almost more a luxury resort hotel than a city on the sea, the winner of the best picture award certainly warrants its prize for the compelling visual cacophony of the above rendering. The image shows off tropical beach-like edges with premium condos jutting out to overlook the water and a dense core of mixed-use functions.

futuristic floating city idea

Deemed to have the most personality, this runner-up design is as much about change over time as it is about a fixed work of construction. The idea is a simple, modular mixed-use city-on-a-platform that has the freedom to evolve and expand as needed – forever a work of urban design in progress.

futuristic floating city design

In the realm of aesthetics this design was elected the winner, perhaps in part for the way it shows off its green design strategies in the look of the structure itself. Shaped to channel wind, bring in solar energy and passively cool (as well as feed) the residential population within, this enclosed city structure is eco-friendly in appearance as well as in practice.

floating city of the future

It may be no surprise that this last design won the peoples’ choice award. It recalls both the form of a modern city square as well as the oil rigs and other converted architectural remnants of the world’s oceans we have come to associate with creative conversions and liberation from the laws of society and government alike.

Floating City?! Futurist Ocean Frontiers & High-Seas Homes

In a world where almost every square inch of (non-freezing) land seems occupied, it is no wonder that our imaginations take us to the high seas when we think of adventure, freedom and new frontiers. The floating ‘Lilypad‘ concept above envisions a series of entire mobile, self-sufficient and off-the-grid ocean cities, but you do not have to look into the far future to see amazing artificial architecture for living on the water.

From former military stations to over-sized oil platforms, there are already many fully-oceanic structures sitting far from land and anchored into the Earth far below the waves. One of the classic examples is these sea fort towers off the coast of Britain that were deserted after being used to fend off air raids in world war too – and which have since been stripped of bridges but still used in a variety of creative ways both residential and commercial in nature.

active-reused-military-sea-forts

Other sea forts have been converted into entire micronations (in the case of Sealand – shown in the middle row of photos above) or resort hotels (like the large round ones at the bottom, closer to the English shores than the spindly army towers shown above). Some people have even gone out of their way to build an entire all-new floating home from free recycled objects for themselves.

adaptive-reuse-future-seasteading

The Seasteading Institute has been involved in engaging architects and amateur designers alike in conceptualizing water-based homes – both fixed-in-place and free-floating-  that range from houseboat-sized ideas to whole mini-cities.

So what is the future of floating urban life? It is hard to say. There is no shortage of interesting ideas for developing water-top real estate, but cost is of course prohibitive in many cases. However, as more and more oil platforms go abandoned – each of which could arguably hold up to hundreds of attached condos and residences of various kinds – there might be a new urbanism that arises out of the depths of our world’s oceans.





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Modern Terrariums Make A Comeback via [NYT] Date



Katy Maslow, left, and Ms. Inciarrano have created
many of their terrariums in glass containers they found at flea markets
and antique fairs. Within a year, the friends had amassed so many that
they decided to sell them under the name Twig Terrariums at the
Brooklyn Flea market in Fort Greene.

Credit: Robert Wright for The New York Times

Ms. Maslow’s apartment in Midwood, Brooklyn, is
filled with her terrariums, arranged alongside other finds from flea
markets and antique fairs.

Credit: Robert Wright for The New York Times

A magnifying glass helps Ms. Inciarrano work in a
tiny terrarium. She and Ms. Maslow often use figurines in their
creations, including this painter seated at an easel.

Credit: Robert Wright for The New York Times

Katie Goldman Macdonald, a designer for Old Navy,
makes terrariums in her studio apartment in the Mission District in San
Francisco. She sells them through local stores, and to friends and
coworkers.

Credit: Drew Kelly for The New York Times

She prefers to fill her terrariums with succulents,
which she plants in pieces that are hand-blown for her by the glass
artist Evan Kolker in Oakland, Calif.

Credit: Drew Kelly for The New York Times

One of Ms. Macdonald’s terrariums. She described
making one as a sort of science experiment, albeit one conducted with
color, texture and visual composition in mind.

Credit: Drew Kelly for The New York Times

Every day, customers come into Sprout Home, a
garden store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, asking about terrariums, said
Tassy Zimmerman, an owner. Sprout sells pre-made terrariums, as well as
all the materials necessary to assemble one.

Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

A hanging terrarium for sale at Sprout Home.

Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

A hallmark of Sprout’s terrariums are whimsical
touches like tiny birds.

Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

A little bit of greenery never hurt anyone – and from
what we’ve heard even the most die-hard brown-thumbed gardeners can do
pretty well with a small terrarium. It will add a touch of happy
hippie-chic to a modern room:
“They fit with the current infatuation with all
things old and scientific,” Ms. Macdonald said, “and this Victorian
idea of science as beauty and something you want to display in your
home.”

Just to put your mind at ease…terrariums have come a long way
since the 70’s. No more layers of multi-colored sand in the bottom!
And, please no gnome houses!!

Kangaroo Blue, Button & Frosty Ferns
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