October 31, 2011

My Halloween is on TV

Remember this post from way back when in August?   I had found an old shipping crate cage.  Well this is the project it got used for.  It airs today (sorry for the late notice) on HGTV.  I was called in as the "Ghost" designer for one of the on air designers.  It was a lot of work but a lot of fun.  And I got an interesting look at the inner workings of "reality" television (more to come on that topic at a later date)
Enjoy your halloween.

Bet you wish you had an amazing rat cake to help celebrate the holiday like the one my friend Karen, from Katana cakes, made for the show. (It's chocolate!)

October 28, 2011

October 26, 2011

High Design or Frivolity?

          It has recently occurred to this Recent Paterfamilias that, after last week’s column (see: tirade), it might possibly be construed by some wretched breeders of twisted slanders that the R.P. suffers from an inability to appreciate the design aspects inherent in a pair of red-soled ladies’ shoes and $4,000 kids fur coat. This is not the way the Recent Paterfamilias wishes to be viewed. And it is patently untrue.

         The Recent Paterfamilias appreciates design (and at almost any price, too, he might add). A good-looking chaise lounge by someone with the ostensibly ridiculous name of Le Corbursier for lots of money? Sure. An expensive elephant-shaped metal kid’s seat by some person (or persons) going by the name of Eames? Sure. A molded plywood chair by this same person (or persons) called Eames? Sure. (I like the cowhide-covered one nearly enough to get it as a tattoo, if such a tattoo wasn’t a tremendous cliché amongst design devotees). Egg-shaped sitting pods made by Dutchmen? Strangely shaped homes designed by Americans and Japanese? Patterned fabrics by firms in Finland? The Recent Paterfamilias can appreciate all these things (or pieces, or objects, or designs, or whatever you wish to call them).

An arc floor lamp for $2,500? Absolutely. It’s great. It’s design. A fabric lighting pendant for three grand? Absolutely. It’s great. It’s design. A German-manufactured internal combustion engine-propelled personal transportation driving device? Absolutely. It’s great. It’s design. (Or is that engineering?)

But still, a child’s coat crafted out of bunny skin or Bambi’s hair for four grand seems a little bit steep.

Maybe it’s just the stuff for kids. The Eames elephant chair for kids is great (and expensive), but it can also serve a second purpose: a fixture in a sculpture garden after its stint in the nursery. That’s something, I suppose.

Does the R.P. think that a pig-shaped piggy bank in a tacky metallic pink is worth three figures? No. Does he think a simplistic black bird by those mysterious Eames people is worth an equivalent amount? Yes.

And why is this?


Well…honestly, the Recent Paterfamilias can’t say.

As a Master of Opinion, the coin of the so-called realm is just that, opinion, and the opinion of the Recent Paterfamilias is presently stating these following things are, if not self-evident, at least “true”: red-soled ladies’ shoes = good; red-soled ladies’ shoes encrusted in ersatz crystals with an inflated price tag = bad; a molded plywood chair = good; a handmade molded particle board P.O.S. = bad; an Eames elephant = good; a real elephant = better.

And the R.P.’s newest opinion is consequently thus: this R.P. column = opinionated; this R.P. column = finished.

October 25, 2011

Skårt Spotting in a Lowe's Commercial

Have you seen the newest Lowe's commercial directed by Dave Meyers?  It is super fun and quirky with amazingly fun transitions from scene to scene. But you know what really makes it outstanding? They rented some Skårt pieces to use as background set dressing.  See if you can spot it:

Yes, if you blink you miss it and it's not even hung on the wall, plus it's actually UPSIDE DOWN!!!  But I found it and now you see it too -- right?    And although I wish I could have done the production design for the whole ad, I'm still honored that there is a hint of my design included in such a fun commercial. 

October 21, 2011

3 robots - 5 colors - 4 ways

all combinations and more available on Etsy

October 20, 2011

Skårt at Mindfulnest in Santa Monica

You can now find a small selection of Skårt pieces for sale at the adorable store/gallery on Main Street in Santa Monica.  And if you live in the LA area, the store is having a one year anniversary party this Saturday.  Come by, meet the artist and have some snacks.  3- 7pm.

October 19, 2011

1789 Redux

Marie Antoinette and Her Children
As a responsible parent, I naturally feel that it is my obligation to caution my offspring on the hazards of certain activities that might possibly cause a person to lose their head. Literally. Lopped right off. Clean from the shoulders. Chop, thunk, gone. This I see as the reasonable duty of any modern parent in possession of a caring constitution.

So…this is a candid note from the Recent Paterfamilias to his infant offspring on: Conspicuous Consumption.

History, that cruel mistress, will teach us that some people in this world are just begging to have their heads cut off.

But please, allow me to explain.

In France, there were the French. And these French people had multiple so-called “estates.” And a couple of these so-called estates were what we will label as “showy.” Overly showy. Ostentatiously showy. And then, in this same France, there were the newly moneyed, the so-called Nouveau Riche. And these Nouveau Riche were even more showy than the aforementioned, plain-old riche. And then this led to that, and that led to this, and one thing led to another, and then there was the general failure, or refusal, to adopt the common potato as a practical food source, and then, before anybody knew it, people were storming the streets and marching down the cobblestones and log jamming the Champ de Mars, and then they started lopping off rich, showy little heads. Some (not the headless, obviously) would even bring picnic lunches out to the fairgrounds so they might have a proper repast while watching the heads roll down the hill.

So…recently, my wife, my daughter, and I, for reasons which I am still a trifle unclear, frequented a…how shall I say it?…a superstore on 5th Avenue that caters to the über rich.

While transferring from one up escalator to another on the shoe floor, my daughter, who has lately become…how shall I say it?...well…rather grabby, reached out from the chest-born carrier in which she was riding and grabbed a shoe from a display.

Audible gasps were heard from all around, from salespersons and clientele alike.
It was a ballet flat. Encrusted in crystals. With a red sole. The price tag on the bottom, it must be assumed, covered the cost of the pair (for what is one shoe without another?). $2,300. I replaced the ballet flat back upon its table and we continued upstairs.

Ultimately, for reasons unknown (as has been mentioned previously), we found ourselves browsing on the Children’s floor.

One article stuck out from all the rest. I had to go and investigate.
It was a coat. In size 3T. In rabbit fur. From Gucci. In Italy. For four thousand dollars.

I had to admit—it seemed a little much.

We then continued our browsing.

There were little black dresses, for infants, for 425. Blouses for 250. Scarves for a grand-and-a-half (although, it should be noted, they were made from chinchilla, and, as everybody knows, chinchilla happens to be one of the harder rodents to come by on earth, unlike, say, rats).
At the time, I made an internal note to remind myself to mention to my daughter at some point in the future that this manner of ostentatious consumption is the kind of thing that ends up getting people’s heads lopped off, and therefore, in an act of self-preservation, should be avoided at all costs if encountered during acts of retail purchasing.

The lesson here should be clear: Showiness will ultimately culminate in a modern-day Reign of Terror, complete with whores and urchins and Jean Valjeans coursing up 5th Avenue on foot and via public transportation, wielding pitchforks and barstools and skinny jeans, out on the hunt for toddlers in rabbit hide fur coats.

One would assume that the modern parent would easily be able to express the hazards of wanting, and owning, a size 3T $4,000 rabbit fur coat. One would also think that such a conversation shouldn’t even be necessary. One would think that other people (those people who design kids’ coats), after briefly considering the idea of an authentic rabbit fur kid’s coat, for those children living outside of inhospitable environments (like Siberia or Iceland or the North Pole), would consequently reject the fur coat idea with a chuckle and a shrug and a “Wouldn’t that be quaint, or ironic, or a disregarding of good taste,” after which, the fur coat idea finds itself sent right down the metaphorical toilet, and off they, the idea makers, go, in search of a new idea Like how to design and manufacture a kid’s hat that doesn’t spin around on a kid’s head, cover her eyes, get caught in the her mouths and consequently drive certain unnamable long-suffering parents up the proverbial wall.

Not that the Recent Paterfamilias has any feelings one way or the other on kids’ stupid little hats. Or common public uprisings spurned by socioeconomic factors which he, admittedly, can’t entirely fathom.
Suri Cruise in her fur coat!

October 18, 2011

New Skårt: Flying Around The World

I'm so excited about this new piece, and not just because it's my biggest piece to date.  I'm excited because there is so much detail to the design.  It features the two hemispheres of the world surrounded by flying objects.  Those objects include a blimp, a balloon, airplanes, the space shuttle and even the Starship Enterprise.  There are 17 items in total that are Flying Around the world.  See if you can spot AND name them all!

It's available on skartshop.com as a single panel

Or as a triptych

October 17, 2011

Affaire in the Gardens, Beverly Hills Art Show 2011

What a perfect weekend to walk down 5 blocks in Beverly Hills and get inspired by art.  The husband thinks I should apply for the next show.  It would be fun to do a local show.  And being in Southern California, this would be the right place for an outdoor show.  It's a little intimidating because there were a lot of impressive artists and booths.

These were three artists that captured my eye:

1. Adam Stone
Amazing Whimsical and colorful paintings.  Also available in prints.  Love Love Love the elephants! I might need this one for my living room!
"Serendipity" Giclee print on silk paper 16" x 20" $85

2. Andy Anh Ha
I loved all of his work.  A lot of it was modern florals finished in a high gloss resin.   But something about  these paintbrushes really caught my eye.  Maybe it gave me an idea of what I can do with all those brushes I am too lazy forget to wash out.

I've seen his prints on canvas before, but to see the originals was outstanding.  The details and thought that goes in to sculpting the license plates into a design is quite amazing.  
NYC Taxi Cab 46" x 28"

October 12, 2011

The Proclamation

(sound of Medieval trumpets trumpeting)

“Hear ye! Hear ye!”

(trumpets cease)

“The Recent Paterfamilias is dead! Long live the Recent Paterfamilias!”

(general murmurings and exclamations of woe of the manner that are typically heard during such times when a great nation loses an irreplaceable light)

---Shh. The Recent Paterfamilias is not dead (not yet, anyway), but his charge (see: daughter) has been afflicted with a rather severe cold, which naturally has caused the R.P. to devote all of his time to helping his daughter mend, which thusly takes a toll on all of his artistic and literary and opinionated pursuits. But rest assured, ideas are in the works, cogs are turning (though they be rusty cogs), the Recent Paterfamilias will rise again, and the R.P. will do it with enthusiasm and a vengeance (or as much of a vengeance as might be mustered after going toe to toe with an infant’s cold virus that can be called nothing short of a son of a bitch). See you next week.

October 10, 2011

Inspiration: Modern Traveller Nursery for Girls

Modern Mini Metal Table Lamp available for $53.99 at Funky Lights.com
Airplane Mobile available for $36.00 at Cactus & Olive's Etsy Shop
Watercolor World Map availalbe for $25.00 at Jessica Durrant's Etsy shop 
Airplane Prints in Violets - $89/each at Skartshop.com or on Etsy
Set of 3 Mini Suitcases - $24.95 at Land of Nod
Chevron Roman Shade - DIY 
Goodnight Glider by Nurseryworks - currently on sale at Mod Decor
1001 Peeps Fabric by Lizzy House - You can purchase it yourself from Andover Fabrics or have someone like Nursery Dreams on Etsy make you a 6 piece bedding set for $215.00
Virginia Sky Print by Ciara Patruna
Matryoshka Plushie by Beaky on Etsy
Land Carpet by Florian Pucher

October 06, 2011

The Chair is Done! -- Was it worth it?

In case you don't remember here is a quick recap:

Over two months ago we began our chair search by going to every store in L.A.  and trying out every glider, rocker and anything in between to find the perfect chair for Sunshine's Nursery.  You can read about it here.

After narrowing down the search from all the chairs in L.A. to just three and then to really just one in the price range, I came across the most hideously comfortable chair.  You can see it here.

Three weeks ago I sent the most hideously comfortable chair in for a face lift which was supposed to be done in three days.   As of last week I had begun to lose faith in whether we would ever see it again.  But I got to share my super amazing drawings of what I was hoping it would end up looking like.  You can see those here.

And now.... I am happy to report the chair is DONE.  And it looks FANTASTIC.  Still has that vintage edge, still amazingly comfortable, but no longer hideous.

 Was it Worth it?  
Well, let's break it down and see.
  $20.00 - Cost of Chair found at thrift store
$234.00 - Fabric (I got 9 yards to have extra to do an Ottoman)
$440.50 - Cost to Reupholster
$125.00 - Cost of replacement part for the bottom of the chair

Total:  $819.50 

Price wise, it's not the best deal, slightly under budget, but we haven't found the ottoman yet. It took a lot more work than just ordering a ready made chair from a website.  Finding the chair in itself was luck then finding and deciding on a fabric was a bit of a chore.    However, now Sunshine has an amazing one of a kind furniture piece.  It's super comfortable, and by choosing our own fabric and really specifying the look it is the perfect compliment to Sunshine's Mid Century Modern nursery.  --- Now we just need to get to finishing the rest of the Nursery.

October 05, 2011

Chest-born Baby Carriers: Dashing or Douchey?

     As virtually everybody knows, or should know by now, a father with his infant daughter on a “date” is just about the cutest thing ever. Women, apparently, of all ages, creeds, and socioeconomic statuses, find this adorable. But the Recent Paterfamilias is not interested, today, in exploring why, exactly, this is so. Instead, the Recent Paterfamilias wishes to determine, when he’s out on the town and ‘round the neighborhood and off to the grocery store, with his kid strapped to his chest in one of the several chest-born baby carriers he’s got lying around the house, whether or not he, the Recent Paterfamilias, looks like a jackass.

     A little movie called The Hangover has done much to paint us child-wearing male caregivers as ridiculous looking douche bags. And who could argue after watching the husky Zach Galifianakis waddle about awkwardly while having a baby strapped to his prodigious man teats? Do all Recent Paterfamiliases look this ridiculous?


     So this Recent Paterfamilias would like to suggest the following to all the other Recent Paterfamiliases on the planet: Own it. Stick your baby-bearing chest out. Strut with confidence. Attempt valiantly to avoid being kicked in the junk by your maniacally flailing offspring’s maniacally flailing feet and boldly, proudly, arrogantly move down the street like that kid on your front is your very own (which, of course, she is). Certainly, it’s not attractive. How could it be? It’s a frontward-facing Swedish-designed backpack-like-device with an automatic drooling machine shoved in its gaping front. Certainly, it’s not dashing. Certainly, it’s an act of pure douche-baggery. But that’s your kid you got out front there, that squirming, squealing thing tied beneath your collarbones, and this Recent Paterfamilias has found that having his offspring on his person has actually proven to make him more testosterone-filled, more protective, more aggressive than he ever was before, causing him to take on a sort of mama bear mentality—for example: I’m just trying to run into Midtown and pick up some spray paint at Lee’s Art Shop with my baby strapped to my chest, bringing her along for the ride, and then there are people who want to try and shoulder check me on the sidewalk in an outlandish effort to convey their annoyance about congested Manhattan walkways, or simply to exert some kind of misguided self-confidence in an otherwise hostile universe, and, well, this makes the Recent Paterfamilias just about ready to murder someone before he’ll let his baby girl get bruised. And understandable mindset, I am sure, to the everyday American human, but probably not one that makes you all that attractive to many of those around you (particularly given what is probably a frightening, if inadvertent, sneer on the R.P.’s face, situated directly above the giggling gob of that four-month-old who couldn’t care less one way or the other what she looks like in this ridiculous, uncomfortable, chest-born infant-carrying contraption that transports her from one place to the next).

Douche bag or daddy?

Really, when it comes down it, what’s the difference?

October 04, 2011

Behind the Sets: Guess what the ice cream is actually made out of?

for an extra hint, here is how it looked as I was making it. 

October 03, 2011

Goofin' around at Disneyland

Had the best week last week shooting a short film starring Goofy.  The whole shoot took place in Disneyland which meant that we had full access to the parks before anyone else got there.

Kind of eerie seeing main street this empty!
We also got to see the behind the scenes area aka "Backstage" which was even more fascinating than the parks.  Characters walking around, Birds singing, Brooms sweeping frantically (or being controlled by a mouse in a wizard hat) you know the usual stuff you would expect behind the magic! 
They kind of frown upon people taking pictures of "the Magic", so I can't share with you visuals of ALL behind the scenes stuff --- at least not if I want to do more of these projects!.  

The best part about being backstage was never knowing who you would run in to.  I know they are not REAL, but it's still kinda neat seeing Cinderella on her lunch break or Woody just meandering about.  
And, no, we didn't really have time to go on the rides.  But that's okay, because my favorite ride was back at the Hotel -- The Water slide at the Disneyland Hotel!!! -- we made some time for that!