Writing about style, design and all things that catch my eye!

Perfectly imperfect and casually luxe; these are a few of my favorite things.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jax Joon & Damsalfly

At Jax Joon find a pillow for every home!
Take one part successful business and move it down the block-
re-open in a bright new space dedicated to women's attire, plus items for baby.
A little bit later, add one part *surprise* by opening a new store in your remodeled original location and dedicate it to home decor and men's clothing. Perfect mix!

I remember being intrigued when Damsalfly was moving out of their longtime, charming location and down a few storefronts. This local shop has always been filled with affordable of-the-moment options. Luckily for those of us who also love vintage, owner Jenny Monroe often has a few select pieces lingering amongst the racks, too. Last weekend, while at the Ballard Farmers Market,  I noticed that there was a new store called Jax Joon that was open in her original locale. That's when I got the scoop from her:


Jenny's husband Jake Monroe will be the main presence here. He'll be crafting the custom bars and reworking other furniture pieces. As a matter of fact, the talented duo are each creating many of their own pieces that are for sale. All of the decoupaged and painted (resined) art is hand done, too. Get on down to Ballard Ave. to check both stores out. Tell me what you like. 

Jenny's mom Lynn works here and also sews some of the baby items.
The current image at the top of my blog is an up-close shot of a vintage dress that I found at Damsalfly last fall. It's a *WOW* kind of dress that I've worn only once. If I were to shrink the width of the dramatic sleeves though, it's probable that I would wear it again and again. 
Photos taken with my cell phone-- courtesy of the shop owners.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

evocative, intricately designed concert posters

 Grand Hallway Poster--All proceeds from this limited edition poster go towards the Red Cross and their relief efforts in Japan. The Stranger recently voted it Poster of the Week.

Utilizing colors reminiscent of softly muted dream memories, Seattle graphic designer Frida Clements creates the kind of concert posters that even the most grown up of music fans will want to hang in their homes. Luckily for those of us also raising kids on a steady musical diet of KEXPthese ones are still cool enough for the teens, too. Trust me-- I bought mine the Swell Season poster right after we painted her room a very dark eggplant color. It's perfect and it reminds me of some shows that we've seen them in.

As the senior graphic designer at Seattle Theater Group, Frida has the opportunity to create impeccable posters & ephemera* for local shows and events at the Moore & Paramount theaters (etc). Being a great friend to many indie musicians though, she has recently been doing more and more designs in her free time. See images of her work (plus keep watch for future pieces) via her drawn to the left site which links you to many of the clever things keeping her on her toes; and all of us both listening and looking on in a dreamy state of wonder. 

All images provided courtesy of Frida Clements Design. See her new Etsy Shop to order your favorite screen prints!  What kind of frame will you use?
ephemera |əˈfem(ə)rə| plural noun
 Items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones.
ORIGIN late 16th cent.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Captivating Chandeliers

Lighting fixtures can set the tone for a space, especially if they are chandeliers. My eye is frequently drawn to very large statement pieces that there would be no room for in my own home; yet finding them for others is nearly as good of a feeling.  Here are some stunners that have left me besotted* this year. Explore modern pieces designed by Tord Boontje, to antique classics from Italy-- finally forging on to the  artistically wrought wonders by Carolina Fontoura Alzaga, this is your time to be blinded by the light. 
*besotted |biˈsätid|adjective strongly infatuated
Icarus by Artecnica at Velocity Art & Design
Come Rain Come Shine by Artecnica at Velocity.

Murano crystal at Gracious House to Home
Crystal classic at Gracious House to Home

Rooted in Victorian design sensibilities with a modern focus on creating functional beauty from the least likely of objects. By artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga.

Read a full interview on the creativity behind these beauties here

All recycled bike chandelier images courtesy of the artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga, with the preceding ones provided by Velocity Art and Design & Gracious House to Home. Copyright applies to all. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Andie from Assemble's Adorable Apartment

Color coded books and objects anchor the bookcase and draw your eye to the vintage machinery. Artwork by    Dan McCarthy and the glass head sculpture is from Black Ink.
Imagine awakening from a dream in which you are the contestant in a nearly impossible reality game show premised upon being taken on an endless parade of homes over the period of one night. The host guides you there blindfolded, yet once inside, you get to explore. The catch is that these are people that you know, yet have never been inside their homes. There are no photographs to guide you, and the goal is to guess whose house it is based on what you know about them. Sound Impossible? Not if you've left your indelible mark through conversation like Andie Wurster, one half of the creative duo at Assemble Gallery and Studio with business partner and friend Emily Grosse. These two women have created a store with a strong art presence and an award winning bit of D.I.Y. Spirit. This mentality further cements their dedication to classes structured to teach you a multitude of skills to develop your own creative vision. 
But back to that dream!!!!!!   OK, here goes: I finally enter a condo where within 3 seconds, and with 100% certainty, I guess that it is Andie's home. The applause meter is off the charts. Take a peek around with me now and see how she mixes items from her childhood with hand painted dining room chairs, art from many of the artists who have shown at Assemble's monthly art walk, things she's made herself, music she loves, vintage typewriters and sewing machines, stacked books, plastic deer figures, a collection of the letter A... She's created her own little slice of heaven at home. Psst, I think it was the This American Life poster that got me from the start though. So, will I see you at Art Walk on Friday? I haven't missed a one since Assemble opened...
Grady the Chihuahua beneath an abstract painting that was done by her late grandmother (and is called  Florida Gate), the vintage sofa was found on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood and was later recovered. I am giddy for that pink with those pillows against it!
"Comfort & Ease" print by Lisa Congdon who will be March's Assemble Gallery artist with new works being shown starting this Friday at Art Walk, the deer art is by Elizabeth Soule (close up below).
One of the best stories is that this vintage fishing reel is from her dad after she told him she liked bakelite (she meant the jewelry, yet it was so thoughtful that she loves it).
Grab some chalk, friends!
A is for artistic arrangement. 
Andie sanded down these IKEA chairs to paint them the signature Assemble red. The table sits atop a Turkish rug from her Dad's time in the Air Force, and to top it off, she stitched a napkin set from Anthropologie together to make this graphic runner. 
The typewriter is a vintage 1960's Smith Corona coined the "love letter machine".
Just how funny is this Chihuahua pinup? Very!  Plus, I'm certain you'll all want your own glass animal collection after seeing them look this purposeful. As for the necklace/earring display? Perfect!  
"The artwork on the walls from left clockwise, Keep Calm Gallery, girl with mustache by Ashley G & Drew, two blonde-girl paintings are by a friend, Frida Clements, the painting with the birds is a piece I did for an old art show, the small portrait print is by artist/friend Caris Reid, the little dog is a cover photo of the book “Dirty Wow Wow” which is the exact replica of my childhood best friend, who I named Snoopy, the portrait of my Great Grandfather is a piece I made for my dad out of paper, and the giant wooden “8” was an address number I took out of our dumpster when it was replaced with metal. The quilt on the bed was made by my mother, and is an abstract interpretation of my bookshelf."  said Andie via her friend Maggie Rose who did a blog post on this home, too! Andie told me about it, yet I decided I wouldn't look at it until I wrote my text and imported all the photos I wanted. It's amazing how many of the same ones we chose. See her post for more quotes about this home.
Vintage globe and radio, take me away. I've got my books ready for Africa. All images courtesy of Andie Wurster. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How Artists See

Photo of How Artists See by Ryan Finnerty  borrowed from his original blog post on 2/4/11  

As the parent of a natural artist, I get to meet all sorts of skilled teaching artists in the Seattle area. Ryan Finnerty is one of these engaging, talented artists (that I met via The Gage Academy). When a friend asked him if, as a painter, he saw differently,  he says that he stared at his face and thought about it… “Yes.” he answered.  When designing interiors & wardrobes, I think that I subconsciously do that, too; yet it's in relation to the spacing of objects on a table, color & pattern choices and placement... you know, it's a canvas of a different sort.  I am easily distracted by the need to move an item 1/2 an inch to the left, and another one 4 inches forward. In the end, these are changeable things. However, when a visual artist translates what they see into new works, they create a new reality formed from their unique view upon the world.  
Ryan explained "Since drawing and painting are about shifting perception, it makes sense that artists will literallylook at the world differently. Thousands of hours spent drawing rewires the brain, training it to seek different kinds of information from the visual world. Even when I’m not painting, my mind is finding relationships, colors, shapes and proportions. During a conversation, I’ll be making broad generalizations about patterns and structures in your face. Hopefully, I’ll also be listening to you."

"I made this illustration from a photo by my friend Liz Phung. The lines indicate some of the special relationships I watch for: angles, latitudes, planes, and connections. I also tried to sample colors to illustrate how I observe them, but it’s not a great match. The way the mind interprets color is pretty mysterious and has alot to do with the artist’s materials. I was astonished by how much less color variety the camera found. By digitally sampling areas, I found none of the greens, violets, and blue-grays I usually find in the face. The differences between yellows and pinks in the face also flatten out considerably. Artists see differently from cameras, too, but that’s another discussion." wrote Ryan Finnerty. Take a peek at this shortened video of him painting Richard Webb over a four hour period. In a similar painting, what colors/proportions do you think would make you, you?

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