July, 2009 | Manolo for the Home - Part 2

Archive for July, 2009

Watching Time Go By

Monday, July 20th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Who says time flies? Sometimes time just seeps slowly, as demonstrated by Spanish designer Oscar Diaz in an art exhibition called Sueños de un Grifo – Diseño con Alma de Agua that opens at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.

ink calendar oscar diaz

He created a totally boss calendar that uses the capillary action of ink spreading across paper to display the date. Every month, a fresh bottle of colored ink spreads across a sheet of paper embossed with numbers, coloring them in as it spreads.

ink calendar oscar diaz

Diaz says in the project description that “Ink Calendar make use of the timed pace of the ink spreading on the paper to indicate time. The ink is absorbed slowly, and the numbers in the calendar are ‘printed ‘ daily. One a day, they are filled with ink until the end of the month. The calendar enhances the perception of time passing and not only signaling it. The aim of the project is to address our senses, rather than the logical and conscious brain.”

ink calendar oscar diaz

Now the question is how can I DIY this?

Sticky Fingers, Homemade

Friday, July 17th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Remember those hot summertime days that seemed to stretch on forever? Joy came easily in the form of a fast-melting popsicle that dripped down onto fingers and wrists and the sizzling blacktop. Luckily, some things never change, and easy joy is still obtainable, at least on the weekends. I will, however, recommend that you leave the HFCS to the kiddies and make your own popsicles at home using body-friendly ingredients like pomegranate juice and muddled blueberries.

zoo pops

Forget secondhand popsicle sticks and paper cups — nowadays you can DIY up yourself an old school treat with Tovolo Rocketpop molds. Just like Rick the ice cream man used to deliver, and why were all the ice cream truck drivers named Rick, anyway? Or get funky with Zoo Pops molds, which I somehow doubt will look anywhere near as good as they do in the picture. Oh well! When it comes to drippy, delicious popsicles on a hot summer day, looks aren’t all that important, right?

Browse: The Conran Shop

Thursday, July 16th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Every now and then I highlight a shop here on the Home blog, though admittedly I haven’t done so for quite some time. Nothing, to tell you the truth, has caught my eye lately. Today’s seller of note, The Conran Shop, actually re-entered my field of consciousness when I found an advert I’d ripped out of the New York Times Style mag ages and ages ago. I loved the selection of products featured in the ad: multi-color headphones, a miniature electric guitar and amp, toy helicopters, retro iPod docks, and other stuff designed to add a little fun to life.

the conran shop

Here are a few things that just now caught my eye… Charles and Ray Eames succumbed to the charms of the elephant and in 1945 designed a toy version made of plywood. However, it never made it into mass production, until now! This adorable red one is plastic, but what can you do? And how about that spacey radio? Designed by Yves Malka & Pierre de Poucques, the Apollo AM/FM radio’s controls are integrated into the design, rather than relying on buttons and knobs. Have a blast watching your friends figure out how to turn it on! Then there is the cheerfyl Japanese moneybox, the magnetboard sheep with farmalicious magnets, and all of the gorgeous furniture sold by this store.

Seriously, go and have a look — it’s worth the time. Even if, like me, you can’t afford much, it is still fun to browser shop.

A Family Tradition? That’s One Crazy Family!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
By Christa Terry

I usually go in for nice hotels, unless I’m traveling by myself in a foreign country, in which case I usually like to check out the cheapest option. Usually that’s a hostel calling itself a hotel, and sometimes there’s a pool. Here in the States, my preference is for accommodations in which I don’t have to worry about touching the bedspread for fear of catching a venereal disease. (Seriously, don’t touch hotel bedspreads any more than you have to.)

Now the Madonna Inn on the Central Coast of California… does it fit my criteria? Well the thing is that I can’t figure out if it’s a nice hotel trying to look like a cheesy hotel from the 60s or an actual cheesy hotel from the 60s trying to market itself as a retro kitschy nice hotel!

Madonna Inn

JUST HEAVEN: “This celestial room is embraced by golden cherubs and kissed in shades of blue to create a little heaven here on earth. An enchanting staircase winds upward into a private viewing tower above the king bed…where gentle rays of sunlight filter through multi-colored glass during the day and soft touches of moonlight linger at night. Graceful French-style furnishings fashion an affectionate ambiance in this heavenly creation for two.”


Paint a Canvas Floorcloth

Friday, July 10th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Let’s say you don’t have a thousand or so bucks lying around to spend on the perfect rug. You can forget all about it or lust after the rug from afar. You can look high and low for a cheaper version of the rug you really want. Or you can approach your little rug funding problem with the DIY spirit.

canvas floor covering

While I don’t know how feasible it is to dye a rug or draw on a rug, an artfully painted canvas floorcloth can stand in for other kinds of floor covering and are easy for the novice to tackle. So, floorcloths… right now you may be saying “Huh?” Which is okay, because I wasn’t aware that floorcloths existed either. Here’s the skinny:

The floorcloth originated in France and became popular in American in the early 1700s. At that time the floorcloth was made from recycled ships sails and the use was utilitarian. In early American colonies they were used to cover bare wooden floors or sometimes dirt floors. After being used for so long as a necessity, they eventually lost their popularity with the arrival of linoleum flooring.

The floorcloth eventually made a comeback but with a revamped attitude. Today’s floorcloth is not for necessity, but rather as a piece of artwork for the floor. The design is only limited by the imagination. Floorcloths are usually made from a heavyweight cotton duck canvas. Despite the fact their beauty comes from water-based paints, floorcloths are durable. The paint is sealed with several layers of water-based varnish so the floorcloth can just be wiped clean.

How’s it done? First, you need to acquire a piece of canvas — it is possible to buy pre-cut rug sizes that are already primed. If it’s unprimed, you’ll have to hit it with a layer of gesso and then a layer of latex paint, allowing for a 2-inch hem all around. Note that you’ll still need to apply the latex layer even if you buy pre-primed canvas. The next step is painting your canvas floorcloth with whatever design you like. You can rock ‘n’ roll freehand, use a stencil, or have someone who’s a better artist than yourself sketch out a design before you paint. Then you’ll need to seal your canvas floorcloth with a few layers of acrylic (non-yellowing) matte varnish. Finally, apply paste wax for a nice soft sheen.

Descriptions of canvas floorcloths don’t do justice to them. Check out this gallery of stenciled floorcloths for ideas and inspiration!

(Again, via Sterlingspider, who is awesome.)

The Monsters Under the Bed

Thursday, July 9th, 2009
By Christa Terry

The stylish Sterlingspider wrote to point this totally sweet rug out to me. Monsters in the bed? Monsters under the bed? Tentacles, claws, and paws? What’s not to like?

Boogieman rug

Unfortunately, my dreams of owning it were crushed before I even saw it as she mentioned the price in her e-mail. How much are we talking here? A cool $1,400 will buy this 8′ x 10′ Boogie Man Rug, which is a tribute to all things that creep and lurk under the beds of wee ones. Jellio recommends placing it underneath your child’s bed, an idea that I imagine may lead to sleepless evenings and overnight luminosity. Of course, if you don’t have a kidlet who’s of the impressionable age where the Boogieman seems oh-so-real, you could display this scarily awesome rug right in your living room.

If We Could Hug Like the Animals

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
By Christa Terry

It’s hard to resist hugging Ross Menuez’s Fauna Animal Pico Pillow, which are made from organic cotton. I mean especially now with the baby in the house, as these have no ribbons or button eyes or any of the other embellishments that wee ones are apt to swallow when you’ve got your back turned.

Fauna Animal Pico Pillow

Aren’t they just the sweetest? What else can I say — they’re printed by hand and stuffed with hypoallergenic fill that won’t irritate noses or skin. Plus, they’re made in Brooklyn, NY, my very own post-university hometown.

Fauna Animal Pico Pillow

I like the rabbit, the terrier, the gorilla… and the rest of them. So what if I’m a sucker for animals and pillows and plushies? Call me a girl, if you must. Or maybe a mom. On that note, you should check out the Fauna onesies and baby tees!

With the Look of Real Wood, Because *It Is* Wood

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
By Christa Terry

Calling all wood enthusiasts! Designer Singgih Kartono, known for using green-friendly practices in his designs, takes tech green and pulpy with the Magno Radio from Areaware.

wooden radio

The knobs, casing and antenna knob in this delightfully retro AM/FM radio (with mp3 hookups, no less) are all made from uncoated sustainably-grown new growth wood, and for every tree used in production, a new one is planted to take its place. Did I mention that it’s handcrafted in an Indonesian farming village? That makes it cute and quaint, for those with first-world guilt. Sure, you have to rub it down with some oil now and again, but that’s a small price to pay for great design. Well, those periodic rub-downs and $250, the going price.

If, however, $250 seems a bit much to pay for a radio, may I recommend something somewhat similar that’s a tad less expensive but no less beautiful.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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    Christa Terry
    (a.k.a. Never teh Bride)


    Manolo the Shoeblogger