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Blog Archive July 2011

DeKalb Market opened last weekend, in downtown Brooklyn, New York.

Another inner city artist market? Well, maybe. But the thinking behind DeKalb has a little bit more to it.

Its fair to say Urban Space have been reinventing spaces for over 30 years now, both in the U.S and in the UK. Camden Lock, begun by Urban Space in 1978, is the fourth busiest visitor destination in Greater London. In the 90's it was my local weekend haunt. Many businesses I know, found their feet in Camden markets. Not least, The Body Shop founded by one of my all time greats, the late Anita Roddick. So, knowing Urban Space, in conjunction with local designers Young Woo & Associates are behind this initiative, is as good a place as any to start.

Brooklyn is known for its history in manufacturing, ship building, and as a commercial port, so it's only fitting that its latest community destination is made up of a collection of salvaged shipping containers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wallpaper Mandala

For those of you who missed out seeing this beautiful collaborative series the “Wallpaper Mandala” in 2010, a collection by body artist and photographer Emma Hack, and the team at Signature Prints, using Florence Broadhursts original designs.

Emma is a fine artist who has seamlessly applied her art to the body as a skin illustrator. In this series, painted nudes stand in front of Broadhurst wallpapers, the artwork flowing seamlessly between the two as if drawn by the same hand.

Here’s a look at  some of my favourites.... along with a fascinating short behind the scenes documentary video showing Emma at work, and interviews with David and Helen Lennie from Signature Prints studios in Sydney.

Just gorgeous.  A match made in heaven.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teardrops and Tiny Trailers

Call me sentimental, but I have been drooling over vintage Teardrop campers for years now....and having finally purchased my dream 1974 Citroen DS last year, I’m saving up for a Teardrop to go with it. I’ll be lucky to find one in pristine condition like this 1937 Gypsy Caravan Company original but my eyes are peeled and fingers crossed.

For those of you who haven’t seen them before, the Teardrop is the quirky hand made little brother of the flash Airstream trailer. First made in the U.S. in the 1930's, their popularity soared after World War II when family vacationing, with dads and husbands freshly back from the war, was all the rage.

The do-it-yourself kit Teardrop was easily achievable and affordable using salvaged backyard materials, and this added to its popularity. The "Popular Mechanics" and “Popular Homecraft” magazines published teardrop trailer plans enabling DIY enthusiasts on masse to have a go, and some of the most exciting mint condition vintage models still seen today were made in this way.  

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The curvilicious Villa Nefkens

Those of you who’ve seen this mama birds nest, will know I have a thing for curves. At my house, the walls are made from strawbales, so we were able to create long ambling organic curves with the bales and a chainsaw (see my blog post on our home from last year).

But the bottom line is....curves just do it for me. I think being a curvy kinda girl gave me a head start on appreciation for the non straight line. But when you put curves with architecture and a northern European aesthetic, well.... it’s enough to make me think I’ve died and am on my way to curvalicious heaven.

Enter Mecanoo. That’s Mecanoo the prominent Dutch architectural practice, not Meccano the children’s model construction system...although there are parallels across both brands. Both have a joyful approach to building. Both are the complete opposite of cool, abstract and minimalism. Maximalist might be a more appropriate term for their approach to building. But it’s creating that warm fuzzy feeling that both brands really have down pat.

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