Monday, February 28, 2011

Calling All Textile Enthusiasts.

Ever been searching and searching for the perfect fabric and then come to the conclusion that it just doesn't exist? How many times have you had the best idea in your head and just wished a designer was producing it in their latest line? Welp. Now YOU can be the fabric designer and have that idea come to fruition.

A friend of mine, and avid seamstress, brought this great site to my attention! Spoonflower is a "community for people who are passionate about fabric, design and making things". Through digital textile printing, the company is able to produce your custom designed fabric in a variety of textiles. Spoonflower prints with eco-friendly, water based pigment inks on natural fiber textiles. Inkjet printers allow for infinite use of color and more finite details in the designs so you get exactly what you want!

You can upload, order and share your designs all in one place. You can even earn some money if your design happens to be what someone else is looking for and they order it. Weekly design competitions will test your ability to creative problem solve genres like 'leprechauns' or 'pointillism' and give you a chance to get your ideas out there in a new and fun way and maybe even become the fabric of the week!

Create your custom fabrics and see what other people are creating across the world. And while the name seems to leave something to the imagination, you can set that very imagination free with endless fabric possibilities at Spoonflower.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blueprints for Barbie. ?

Well they've done it. Mattel has surely out-down themselves in strange efforts to make Barbie appealing to all audiences...

Yes, I myself begged and pleaded for every new Barbie, with the latest and greatest accessories and hot little Ken to compliment at one point in my life. But babysitter Barbie and School Teacher Barbie are a thing of the past as Mattel looks to bigger and better professions with their "Barbie I Can Be..." line. From veterinarian to gym coach to racecar driver, Barbie is reaching for the moon now. Art teacher and computer engineer even appear to fall on her resume!

So it should be no shock that Architecture Historian, Despina Stratigakos joined forces with president-elect of New York state's AIA chapter, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, to campaign to bring architecture into the playrooms of little girls everywhere. In an effort to bring more attention to the opposition that is still met for females in this male-driven architecture field, even as the ladies take over undergraduate and graduate programs everywhere, the concept for Barbie I Can Architect was born.

And now she is preparing to hit the shelves Fall 2011, blueprints and all! Describing her get up as a simple dress and jacket being "symmetrically stylish with bold colors and clean lines", Mattel claims she will be ready for anything the day in a life of an Architect will throw at her with her blueprints and her hard hat. Throw in a paint fan deck and a some fabric swatches and hey, I might even buy those 11 inches of plastic. It's an interesting concept...a little wierd...and unnerving...but I'd love to know how Architecture Barbie pans out...

Photos from where you can learn more about the launch as well as in this article from the Design Observer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Painting for the Planet.

The sustainable living and green design epidemic over recent years is no big secret. A key player in steps towards less harmful design being low VOC paint? Again. No secrets there. Ohp. Did I just throw those letters out there? I guess VOC means nothing to some people. Don't worry. I'm not judging you. Lemme explain...

VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound. Volatile. Yeap. Anyone can derive that that implies something bad. Welp these can be natural or man-made and when it comes to design, these little buggers come to play mainly in paint due to the high concentration of solvents. Bored yet? Okay okay, I just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page. In a nutshell, VOC's are slow acting but attack allergies, respiratory and immune systems, especially in small children and are bad for any environment, especially indoor.

So where was I? Oh right. Low VOC paint. Great great. Less harmful chemicals. Mmm better for the atmosphere. Good stuff. But what about paint with NO VOC's? That's right. I said it. Anna Sova has recently released a healthier paint line composed of ZERO VOC's and food ingredients! With up to 94% composition of food ingredients, this paint makes for a yummy solution to environmentally friendly design.

Easy to apply, easy to clean and easier to eat? Well at least it smells like it could be easy to eat...for the first few days before the aroma fades away. With customizable tints and shades, stuccoes and textures, and a plethora of existing color options, this fun product makes for a breathable difference, especially for pregnant women, children and elderly with breathing deficiencies, oh and for the planet!

Paint is not the only place Anna Sova is saving the planet though, check out the site for a world of healthy paint, organic textiles and tips on keeping your home up to par with sustainable trends. I personally wouldn't mind my own set of these luxurious Eco Silk sheets. Sign me up!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Whoda Thunk.

I just spent the last 5 weeks in Waco, Texas workin hard for the money (soo hard for the money-couldn't resist) but I have finally returned! Which role was I playing this time in my creative ventures? That of a backdrop artist!

In the past 6 months I have worked with several Greek organizations at my own Alma Mater, Baylor University to help them succeed in a large production, called All-University Sing! The largest off-broadway production of its kind, in a nut shell, each competing group puts together a 7 minute act with choreography, costumes, singing, backdrop and props, the whole works! To see more about this competition, I encourage you to check it out here!

While the work I have done with this year's groups is still secret until performances start in a week, I thought I'd share what I did last year that earned me this awesome employment opportunity. I was a chair myself for my own Sing act, "A News Sensation". In charge of the props and backdrop, I was clearly challenged when we decided to include both the regular newspaper and the funny section, meaning TWO backdrops for me to paint.

Here are the 11x17" designs to the 26x58' final products:

I'll be excited to share what I painted this year in the next couple weeks as some of the designs even put my interior design skills to use. Hmm. Whoda thunk. Usin my degree...

So yes. My being MIA was for the sake of employment, new experiences and for sure freezin my hiney off in warehouses day in and day out to continue to be a part of something that was so important to me in my time at school. Just goes to really is who you know!

Now. Onto the next big always.