Got an invitation to make gingerbread houses at a friend’s. What fun! So many decorating options and so much pressure being the only Architect in the room. So I decided to just let my instincts and fingers do the designing and not think about the result at all. So here it is:
Constructing the house:
Decorating my ‘house.’ A fun and original way to express yourself, and have some holiday fun!
Today’s post is about ART inspired by engaged global citizens. Before I tell you about the art I want to tell you about these engaged citizens.
Our family has been involved with CISV (Children’s International Summer Villages), a wonderful organization, for over 12 years. I feel fortunate to have found it when my children were young enough to benefit from its incredible leadership and peace education programs. CISV educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.
CISV creates opportunities for all ages to experience the excitement and enrichment of cultural diversity through educational programs. It is founded on the belief that peace is possible through friendship – and that the real difference can be made by starting with children.
CISV has been around for over 60 years and has a presence in over 60 different countries worldwide. CISV is a charitable, independent, non-political, non-sectarian, volunteer organization promoting peace education and cross-cultural friendship and is a sub-organization under UNESCO.
I encourage those of you with children to find out more and give your kids this incredible opportunity to gain confidence, and become a global citizens and leaders. To learn more about CISV click here.
“We are the Roots of Peace,” by Artist Graham Smith.
Now back to the ART. We asked our CISV youth, called the JB (Junior Branch), to describe “what peace looks like” at a mini-camp this year. We then distributed these youth generated peace statements to emerging and established local artists. The only restriction was that the artwork had to be done on 10” x 10” cradle boards or deep canvases.
CISV is a peace education organization so it made great sense to call the art show, Peace by Piece (PxP). The pieces of art will be on display till April 30, 2012 at the Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. (5970 University Boulevard) on UBC’s Point Grey Campus in Vancouver. You can also find out more on the PxP website.
The sale of paintings, will enable CISV Vancouver to host an international camp this summer, and more importantly, will draw community attention to CISV and our Peace Education programs.
Here are a few pieces of the art works and peace statements. Again, to see more art pieces, and read about the PxP peace project click here.
1. “Piles of smiles will take you miles,” artist: Norm Shearing; 2. Peace is a dance with the rest of the world,” artist: Helena Carter-Huffman; 3. “Life is messy and life is beautiful,” artist: Victor Mironenko; 4. “Peace is never being afraid to step outside,” artist: Graham Smith.
“Peace will be accomplished when everyone understands its real value,” artist: Constance Leung
Just bought some vintage new Mid Century Modern Bubble Beehive tripod lamps made of white molded plastic and teak. I wanted to see if I could find out more about them and discovered some variations that are equally beautiful. Sometimes they are referred to as Tiki Bubble Lamps, and seem to come in a variety of colours.
In 1947, George Nelson became inspired by a self webbing material used to moth-ball ships in New York and he convinced himself it would be perfect for lighting. He made a metal frame, tracked down the source of the webbing material and by the next day he created a big glowing sphere and the Bubble Lamp was born. You can see two examples of the George Nelson Bubble Lamp below in white.
Something wonderful has happened to me, a total newby in the world of blogging! Lena from the blog, Mina Moka nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award for up and coming but still small bloggers this past week.
I am so pleased that Lena took the time to read my blog and think it worthy enough to list as one of her 11. Thank you so much, Lena! My blog is still very much a work in progress, but is sure feels nice to be noticed. This is so encouraging for me, which in turn makes me want to keep going.
In order to qualify for the Liebster Blog Award, I have to:
- Answer the 11 questions Lena asked of me,
- Post 11 random things about myself,
- Nominate 11 more up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers (not always easy to tell the number of followers),
- Notify them and link them to my post.
- Create 11 new questions for these bloggers to answer.
- Tag backs are not allowed.
To quote Lena at Mina Moka, “Of course it is nice and flattering that it is called ‘award’, but more than anything it is a nice chance to get small blogs a little more attention, to connect and to let your readers find out a little more about yourself”.
So here are Lena’s questions and my answers:
If you could pick any city in the world to live in for one year – which one would that be? London, England without hesitation. From its medieval roots to its innovative contemporary design, it is one of the most fascinating cities to discover and I would love to spend a year doing just that.
Coffee or tea? Coffee! I can’t function without my morning coffee.
Which sense is more important to you: sight or hearing? Sight. As an aesthetic person my pleasure comes from being able to see the beauty around me.
What is your most annoying habit? I can be bossy.
Pick a movie: Fiction or documentary? I must confess I like documentaries. I like to learn while I watch. Its part of my need to multi-task. One of my latest favourites is “Last Call at the Oasis.” A depressing, but ultimately uplifting account of the impending global water crisis.
What was your favorite book as a child? The books I seem to remember reading faithfully were the Nancy Drew series. I have always loved mysteries because I like to figure things out. I like puzzles too!
What is your favorite book today? I still love mysteries but I am not sure I could name one as standing out as the best. I like the author Elizabeth George, and now that I think of it, her stories are usually set in England. One of my favourite fiction books is, “Midnight’s Children” by Salmon Rushdie.
How many close friends do you have? Too many! Thank god for social media because now I can actually keep in touch with them.
Do you like questionnaires? I don’t mind them.
You have won one million (Dollars, Euros, whatever…) in the lottery- and now? My bags are packed, and I am ready to go live my year of exploration and discovery in London!
How are you today? I feel wonderful. I just spent an intensive week learning some new skills and I feel inspired to take action.
Wait there is more!!
11 random facts about me.
- I am a first born. (hence the annoying bossiness)
- I am a Leo (again, the bossiness – starting to get the picture?)
- I love spinach.
- I rarely take no for an answer.
- I brush my hair only once a day and that is in the morning.
- I love babies.
- I give monthly to Amnesty International.
- I belong to CISV, an organization dedicated to building global friendships, and to educating and inspiring action for a more just and peaceful world.
- I have 3 kids.
- My husband is also an architect.
- I like rain.
Here are my 11 choices for up and coming bloggers!
- Advo Kate
- no. 40
- sang the bird
- page thirteen
- blissful mediocrity
- stay basic
- meg melrose
- shambolic living
- finding the fork in the road
- life in sketch
Questions for my 11:
- Why did you choose the shoes you are wearing?
- What is your favourite colour?
- What sunny destination do you like best?
- If you could rethink your career path would you have chosen differently?
- If you were to eat out tonight what kind of food would you choose?
- Would you rather swim or run?
- Do you prefer country music or rock n roll?
- Do you have kids?
- How would your best friend describe you in one sentence?
- Where were you born?
- Are you a party animal or party vegetable?
I hope you guys are keen to participate because I can’t wait to read your answers! Ciao xo
Photo by Victor Mironenko
Photo Source: Time Photos
Artist Madga Sayeb, ‘bombs’ a bus in Mexico City. As you can see bombing takes time, concentration, and works around the artist’s design strategy. You can see many of her pieces are in fun but you can certainly see the socio-political commentary on some of her other pieces (see below. Photo Source: Time Photos). Look forward to hearing more about Madga Sayeb in future blog posts from tina + design.
The first 2 photos are from North Vancouver taken by Graham Smith. The Firefighters add knit cherry blossoms to a tree at Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, Canada (Photo Source: Time Photos).
The yarn bombed tree, above, on Lonsdale in North Vancouver bears message tags from its creators; proud of their whimsical creation and proud to be part of an artistic community. To me yarn bombing is a subtler, softer form of subversive art than grafitti. I like the randomness of the intervention contrasted with the detailed work to execute it. Unlike graffiti, yarn bombing’s anonymity is somehow personalized by the homespun warmth associated with wool and, in this case, by these hand lettered name tags. The contrast between public art intervention with the harmless whimsicality of location, form and colour elicits a nuanced, amusing irony.
What inspires you? One way to find out is to put together a collection of images that you like, and see where you end up. I did this as a course assignment for the Blogging Your Way Bootcamp, on-line blogging course I am taking. This is what I did and what I found out about my own design aesthetic.
This Inspiration Board defines my style, shows what I personally love, and what I would like to share on my blog.
This was a very interesting and challenging exercise for me. I have wide ranging, eclectic tastes so when I had to chose what I personally love and how it reflects my personal style I had to be very selective about what I picked. So here it is.
I would call my style ‘simple with a twist’. I love white interiors because they accentuate architecture and provide a clean backdrop to all objects of art, including furniture, paintings or quirky collections, allowing them to stand out and be articulated. I love the calm and serene feel of a white room but I also love a splash of turquoise. I love how modern architecture is about the relationship between inside and outside spaces.
I love mid-century modern furniture with its modern lines yet so evocative of the past. In that same retro spirit I adore vintage finds from depression glass to dresses from the 60s. I collect vintage Hermes scarves, because to me they are wearable pieces of art.
Through this exercise I found out, to my surprise, I love Chinoiserie – in porcelain, fabrics, fashion, and art. I think that one can be stylish no matter what their age. The key is to keep it simple but always throw in a bit of bling or a splash of bold colour.
To reiterate, my style is ‘Simple With a Twist.’
What’s behind the Sticky Fingers zipper?
Everyone from my generation remembers the original Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’ album. The photograph is of a male in tight jeans with a working real zipper that you could unzip to reveal a mystery.
Meet designer, Junie Osaki. Junie lives in a charming, and oh-so-fascinating cottage in the LA area. It’s the kind of place you want to spend some time snooping because everything she has collected, and has hanging on her walls, has incredible music history attached to it. Her place really resonated with me because I remember being a 14 year old obsessed with ‘rock and roll’ and Rolling Stone Magazine. Junie shared with me the story of the Rolling Stones, Stickey Fingers record Album.
Junie is a graphic designer who worked in the music industry in its heyday. She is an award-winning designer for the work she did on Art Direction and Design for TARANTELLA By Chuck Mangione for A&M Records. I met Junie through our mutual friend, Ann, and had an opportunity to connect with her on my last trip to Los Angeles. I have never met anyone like Junie. She has so much energy and has an incredible memory that can recount every detail of an event that happened years ago. Junie’s involvement in the recording industry enriches her stories as well her personal spaces as you will see. Before we take a tour of Junie’s place I wanted to share a very interesting piece of history I learned from Junie.
Junie is a close friend of Craig Braun, the Art Director who was involved in the design of the iconic Rolling Stones ‘lips and tongue’ logo and the famous album cover art of Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers in 1971. Craig Braun, Inc, created and produced an exclusive line of jewelry, and promotional items, that he named “LICKS” based on the album’s logo and was the official licensee for Musidor, the licensing company for the Rolling Stones. To coincide with the record’s release, an entire package of “Lips & Tongue”-based merchandise hit the stores.
Junie told me the story of the design behind the Rolling stones Sticky Fingers album. This is my interpretation of her story. I hope I have it right!.
The album’s artwork shows a close-up of a jeans-clad male crotch. The cover of the original (vinyl) release featured a working zipper and mock belt buckle that opened to reveal cotton briefs. Behind the zipper, the white briefs were rubber-stamped in gold with the name of American pop artist Andy Warhol. Junie informed me that while Warhol conceived the artwork, the design and concept was by Craig Braun, an Art Director in the music industry. Craig also developed the concept behind Alice Cooper’s School’s Out album, and a number of other concept albums.
The crotch shot was not Mick Jagger, but an artist from Andy Warhol’s Factory. The album was the first time the Rolling Stone’s used their new “tongue & lips” logo. There is some controversy as to who actually designed the logo but according to Wikipedia the logo was originally designed by Ernie Cefalu and it was this version that was used for much of the merchandising, and the design that was originally shown to the band by Craig Braun. The design used for the album was a further refinement, and was done by John Pasche, who Craig Braun actually credits for designing the logo. Craig does not endorse the idea that Cefalu was the logo’s designer. What is interesting is the coming together of talents in the production of one rock n roll artifact. Like rock n roll itself, it is not a one person proposition, it takes a team. The same can be said for ‘design.’
Junie’s design sensibility goes further than the recording industry. Her cottage is charming and so full of iconic American rock and roll history. Have a look for yourself.
Limited edition print of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ hand written out by Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary.
Limited edition print of ‘Our House’ hand written out by Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Junie’s cottage is an example of one of those hidden gems that are tucked in amongst conventional suburban landscapes all over North America, and especially in artistic communities like Los Angeles. I have learned that many of us have remarkable stories under seemingly conventional facades.
Ever have one those serendipitous moments where everything aligns beautifully? It was Mother’s Day and the thought of going to a busy café, standing in line, was too much pressure for me. G and I only had one child home to celebrate with me so we decided to do something different. Well truthfully, I, wanted to do something different. A small disagreement ensued as to where we should eat. A new place on the waterfront just opened and G was keen to try it. For some reason I didn’t want to go. I yearned for something simpler, low key and easier to access. My friend Ann, a major foodie, had told us about a little coffee place called Le Marché St. George, just off trendy, hipster Main Street, so I suggested we go there. Good Call. The place was a former corner grocery store converted into a delightful rustic French café. When we arrived, there were people sitting on the curb in mismatched chairs and more inside standing or sitting on benches. At first we were confused, as it appeared everyone might be waiting in line. But no, it was just a casual sprinkling of friends enjoying each other’s company, and sitting any place they could find.
The coffee was great, the pastries came on old vintage silver pieces and the whole experience felt just right. One would think this was enough - a great Mother’s day with my husband and daughter. But it gets better.
As we are sitting outside I notice this beautifully dressed woman. I introduce myself and we talked about her outfit and she mentioned that she and her daughters make the silk top, like the one she’s wearing and she then invited us to the exhibition upstairs. As it turnsout her daughters own and run Le Marché St. George and the three of them are all artists in their own right and upstairs was their gallery.
This is where it gets interesting. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Follow me on a tour of what was upstairs. Enjoy the designs of Patricia Larsen and her daughters.
Patricia Larsen is presently living and painting in the southern tip of the Baja, in Pascadero Mexico, In her words: ”Beauty is in the juxtaposition of things, its energies working together in harmony and disharmony. Sometimes beauty is in the resistance and the tension, and sometimes it’s in complete surrender.” PL
Watts is a working class community in South LA with a reputation as a violence-prone and impoverished area, known for gang violence and riots. In recent years community leaders have tried to give extra attention to museums and the landmark Watts Towers, hoping to bring visitors to the community, and help lift the negative stigma that Watts has had.
The Watts Towers have become a sculptural and architectural landmark that has attracted many artists and professionals to the area. Museums and art galleries have opened near the towers as part of a community revitalization strategy.
The Watts Towers, now a nationally recognized historical landmark in Los Angeles, is a collection of 17 interconnected structures. They were built by Italian immigrant construction worker, Sam Rodia in his spare time over a period of 33 years, from 1921 to 1954. The work is clearly is evocative of the work of Spanish Architect Antonio Gaudi.
The sculptures’ armatures are constructed from steel pipes and rods, wrapped with wire mesh and coated with mortar. The main supports are embedded with pieces of porcelain, tile, and glass. They are decorated with found objects, including bed frames, bottles, ceramic tiles, scrap metal and sea shells.
At the time Rodia’s neighbors did not appreciate his towers, and thought they were ugly. Others, thought it was some kind of secret government spy antennae. This resulted in Rodia being harassed, and the towers being vandalized. Sick of it all, Rodia eventually gave the property away, and moved to Martinez, CA never to be seen in Watts again.
The city was all set to demolish the Watts Towers, Rodia’s home had burned down, and it seemed like the end for the Watts Towers, but a Curator from LACMA and prominent actors, film editors, artists and architects formed the Committee for Simon Rodia’s Towers in Watts, and negotiated with the city to test the structure’s stability, and eventually were granted permission to restore the site. The Committee negotiated with the city to allow for an engineering test to establish the safety of the structures. (for more info).