Here's the thing: Since moving, I have been incredibly busy with the new job, the new apartment, the assorted new people I'm meeting, the city I want to explore, and all the bloody food I'm eating. Not only have I not had the necessary time to blog, I haven't even had the time to trawl the internet for awesome things to blog about. So I find myself trying to schedule time here and there for rushed internet cram sessions to find the stuff to blog about and then schedule as many blog posts as possible...and that just isn't working. This is supposed to be fun, but it's become a chore for me and is probably uninteresting for my readers. So, until my life stabilizes a bit (which will happen eventually, but might take another month or two, I suspect), the blog is on hiatus.
Please continue to follow me on twitter at @punkpinup for design-related tweets, and/or at my personal twitter account, @kaitlen for all other sorts of random thoughts.
Let us not say goodbye, but, as the French have it, au revoir! (Nah, seriously—I'll be back.)
May 31, 2012
Jesus, I'm such a sucker for awesome lighting fixtures. These Ruskii + Ruskii Twist lamps are like the best parts of the Kremlin, right in your house! Okay, so that's not exactly how designer Enrico Zanolla describes them, but whatever. I know what I'm talking about. He, on the other hand, calls the series a "tribute to the beauty and uniqueness of the St. Basil cathedral in Moscow." Same deal.
Via MoCo Loco.
May 30, 2012
So several of you, my dear (few) readers, have complained that you want to read my Geek Crafts posts without actually following Geek Crafts. I don't know why, given that Geek Crafts is awesome, but hey, happy to oblige. Going forward, the plan is that, every Wednesday, when I post there, I shall repost here.
Anyway, check out today's post about how to make awesome 8-bit popup cards. They sit firmly at the intersection of dorky and cute.
Anyway, check out today's post about how to make awesome 8-bit popup cards. They sit firmly at the intersection of dorky and cute.
Posted by Kaitlen at 11:23 PM
May 24, 2012
May 22, 2012
May 21, 2012
I never thought I'd say it, but sharks are awesome, as evidenced by this Tumblr feed. Especially this ridiculous hybrid-vehicle-driving ("driving") shark. So yeah. Dammit. This is going to have to be another feed I follow daily.
May 7, 2012
May 4, 2012
Oh my god. I don't know if I can take the cuteness of KumaCrafts' jewelry. It is beyond adorable. My two favorites by far are the Maneki Neko necklace—I do have rather a thing for super lucky cats—and the Happy Red Panda necklace. Now my only question is: Are they too young for me? Can I get away with wearing such over-the-top preciousness? Or will I just look like a six-year-old (or a 14-year-old Asian girl)? And, for that matter, do I care?
May 3, 2012
May 2, 2012
Mmm, this Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler sounds like the perfect summer drink. There aren't enough whiskey-based summer cocktails, in my opinion. So yeah, I want this and I want it now. Well, it's actually muggy and gross right now, so I'm not sure what the appropriate cocktail is for weather that feels like soup, but you get the point. Sooner or later it'll get warm and sunny and I'll want this drink, probably in large quantities.
May 1, 2012
Apr 30, 2012
Apr 27, 2012
This may possibly be the coolest thing ever. Tyler DeAngelo, Renee Lee, and Ranjit Bhatnagar modified an '80s Frogger arcade console so that your frog is trying to cross against real traffic. Real traffic on 5th Ave. For real! It's like the responsible version of when George tried to play real-life Frogger. Poor George—it might have been the one time in the entirety of Seinfeld that I didn't feel like he deserved what was coming to him.
Apr 26, 2012
I don't know what the context is for this shot, but screw it—I don't care. It's awesome. And I know how the Prince feels. I have dreams about rolling up many things (including people).
Oh, and if you're curious, here's the view from below. You know, if this were anyone but the adorable little Prince of All Cosmos, it would look quite sinister.
Apr 25, 2012
This Cubby coat hook is exactly the sort of thing I've been looking for to store my keys, travel card, work ID, etc. by the door. It looks sturdy, stylish, and relatively compact...unfortunately, it's not for sale yet. I'll have to keep an eye on this one.
Via MoCo Loco.
Apr 24, 2012
I must admit I was a bit disappointed in the new issue of Domino; their "Quick Fixes," which I had assumed would tend toward the DIY—inexpensive, fast easy—included an awful lot of "hire a professional to install X" and the homes they showcased as inspirational were largely white. However, there were a few tidbits to be gleaned, one of which was that I like this Four Eyes USB Drive. Compact? Hell no. Cute? Hell yes.
Apr 23, 2012
Apr 20, 2012
I adore Hitchcock (especially his films which feature Cary Grant, of course). I am beyond crap at videogames, but I enjoy them (or at least the pixeltastic art involved). Basically, the upshoot is that I find these faux NES Hitchcock-themed videogames quite awesome.
Apr 19, 2012
These miniature rope bondage chairs walk (sit?) a fine line between adorable and erotic. Maybe that's the appeal of furries, huh? Yeah, things just got a little weird here. Backpedaling from the furries comment (fyi, not into them at all, despite my predilection for animal hats). But, um, yeah. Cute/hot miniature bondage chairs. C'est ça.
Via Cakehead Loves Evil.
Apr 18, 2012
I don't know if this proliferation of X-a-day projects have been as a result of Noah Scalin's excellent Skull-a-Day initiative or if that project just sorta jumpstarted the subsequent spate of projects, but there have been some great spinoffs. Case in point: Herbert Hoover's (no, not that one) Ring-A-Day, which is a bit like Skull-A-Day but comprised mainly of jewelry I want to own (a definite plus). Fortunately, he has an online shop, plus an Etsy shop...unfortunately, several of my favorites (the CMYK rings, the RGB rings, the laser diamond ring, and the laser graffiti ring) aren't available in either of his shops. Yet. Perhaps I shall pester him charmingly until he makes them available for sale.
Apr 17, 2012
Hm. I can't quite decide which of these bookends I like best. Because, frankly, I like most of them. I do have a certain fondness for the giraffe design. Also the UFO abduction. And the geek set. Yeah, so I guess that doesn't really narrow it down much, huh?
Apr 16, 2012
I have to say, Colossal finds some amazing things. This time around it's a photo I'm drooling over: this one specifically. Love a lot of Sofia Ajram's photos, it turns out. She has an Etsy shop, but it unfortunately only boasts two prints at present. Still, one hopes for the future.
Apologies for last week's absence, btw. Things got a bit busy. Poutine was consumed. Normal blogging recommences today.
Apr 10, 2012
The last couple of days have been a tad nuts, so today's post is a quickie but a good one. This text made me guffaw, largely because I can see myself doing something similar, like the time I drunkenly emailed myself a copy of my CV with the subject line "WHERE?".
Apr 6, 2012
They look like a cross between Cadbury Creme and real eggs, and I bet they taste amazing: cheesecake-filled chocolate eggs. According to Steph, the creator of these delectable-looking little noms, they're easy to make, too.
So happy Easter if that's your thing; if not...well, eggs are great at any and all times of year, so it stands to reason that cheesecake-filled chocolate ones would be, too.
Via Hanna, fellow Creme Egg junkie.
Posted by Kaitlen at 11:57 PM
Apr 5, 2012
As anyone who knows me at all is probably aware, I love me some Dan Savage. Sure, sometimes he's a little strident or overly flippant, but I think he's got good advice, is utterly hilarious, and is genuinely kind (even if he disguises it well sometimes). Anyway, the prolific bastard now has, in addition to the Savage Love column, the Savage Love podcast (dear god, check out the Ira Glass episode—it's fabulous), and his blog, The Slog, his own show on MTV, entitled Savage U. In it, he travels to different colleges, participates in Q&As, answers/grills students directly, etc. While none of the content seems terribly new—if you've been reading his columns for as long as I have, none of it seems novel—but it is surprisingly charming and funny nonetheless. Check it out. Prepare to be amused...and possibly educated.
Apr 4, 2012
Welsh artist Jessica Lloyd-Jones has created the most spectacular series of blown glass-and-neon sculptures called Anatomical Neon, which is "inspired by biological electricity, the presence of natural electrical activity in the human body." Which is kind of cool. And the sculptures are just breathtaking. Despite the inherent creepiness of having, say, a pair of neon lungs on your wall...well, I'd totally put a pair of neon lungs on my wall if they were this gorgeous.
Apr 3, 2012
Apr 2, 2012
Mar 30, 2012
As far as I'm concerned, this was the best thing on the internet yesterday: "Arrested Drunk Man Sings "Bohemian Rhapsody" In Its Entirety In Back Of Police Car". More info has become available about the dude in question, but I don't really care. I just love his impromptu performance in the back of the cop car...though it grates that some random drunk dude can remember lyrics and carry a tune better than I can.
Mar 29, 2012
I've always found walnuts delicious but vaguely creepy in their resemblance to tiny brains. Apparently I'm not alone in this thought—but Etsyers Ruth and Sira García Trigueros have put that uncanny resemblance to good use in the form of little chocolate skulls with walnut brains. How perfect would these treats be for an adult-type Halloween party? (Yes, I'm already getting ideas for this year's Halloween party. It's been a while—I'm allowed to get prematurely excited.)
Via Cakehead Loves Evil.
Mar 28, 2012
No, I don't have a dog, but if I did I would buy this cute-and-functional doggie barrel bag holder. I am a firm believer in scooping one's poop (or, more accurately, one's pet's poop), probably because I'm not the sort of jackass who thinks it's okay to leave dog crap on the sidewalk. However, that's another rant for another day.
Mar 27, 2012
You know you have a bit of a reputation as a Creme Egg addict when multiple people send you a recipe for deviled Cadbury Creme Eggs. And you know what? I'm okay with that. Because they look amazing. I mean, seriously—what could make Creme Eggs better than adding buttercream frosting and sprinkles to them?
Mar 26, 2012
Mar 23, 2012
So I read a fabulous review the other day—which is not to suggest it was in any way complimentary. Its genius lies in what appears to be a well-deserved evisceration of the product in question, which sounds like a vile whiskey-flavored vodka marketed exclusively to hipsters via nauseating ads. Ads that are guaranteed to turn off the very crowd they're striving to reach, given that most hipsters are a) already into whiskey and b) hate being marketed to. I think they're actually trying to reach bridge-and-tunnel clubgoers but perhaps aren't clear on the distinction. (FYI, the manufacturer apparently gets quite huffy if you call it a whiskey-flavored vodka, so it should be noted that it's technically a "spirit whiskey.")
Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that I heartily enjoyed reading the amusingly bitchy review...which reminded me of my all-time favorite print-based demolition, a review of "Dying in Stereo" by the blessedly defunct band Northern State. It comes via Pitchfork, whose reviewers have never found an album they couldn't deride, so I'd normally advise you to take it with a shaker of salt—except in this case every bit of venom and disdain is justified. I endured the experience of watching Northern State perform live when they opened for the excellent Tegan and Sara in '05 or '06 (why, Tegan and Sara, why?), and it was painful. Painful to the point of hilarious and then back around to painful. Reading the review will be a lot more fun than seeing the live show, I guarantee you.
As a final inclusion on my list of gleefully condemnatory reviews, let's return to Sex and the City 2. I know I already linked to an assortment of appalled reactions a while back (full disclosure: I've never seen it, have no desire to see it, found every one of the, say, four episodes I've ever watched to be utterly painful), but I neglected to link to the Wittertainment podcast review, which features one of Mark Kermode's legendary rants. (According to a reader who once wrote into the Wittertainment crew, Kermode's review of Angels and Demons was so vociferous that it roused someone from a coma. Not entirely sure I believe it, but it was entertainingly derisive anyway.)
It's absolutely worth watching the whole diatribe (which he prefaces by saying he's not going to rant—hah!), but it ramps up into a triumph of righteous anger and disgust from about 9:00 through the end. Here you go:
Happy reading, watching, listening, drinking, etc.
Mar 22, 2012
Dayum. Simultaneously gorgeous and grotesque, this 150-carat diamond ring, dubbed pretentiously but accurately The World's First Diamond Ring, is carved out of a giant diamond. Yes, that's right—the whole damn ring is a diamond. And correspondingly costs $70 million.
While it's a) spectacular and b) a cool concept, I think I'd recommend Swarovski's Nirvana ring, which is similarly lovely (I've kinda wanted one for years), less morally ambiguous, and more affordable by $69,99,810. See?
Thanks for the heads-up, Hanna!
*If you don't recognize the quote, go watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes immediately.
Mar 21, 2012
Tell me these aren't some of the cutest freaking mugs ever. Just try. The Morning Mug is ideal for folks who are not morning people, while the Monday Mug seems perfect for, well, anyone who needs coffee for their daily survival. So, basically, both are well-suited to me.
Mar 20, 2012
Yesterday I discovered why the internet exists. For Benedict Cumberbatch and otters and David Mitchell and koalas. I was greeted by the otters-n-Cumberbatch link in a message from Afshin first thing in the morning:
Afshin: it's like the best thing the internet has ever done
Kaitlen: oh my god
Kaitlen: i literally gasped
Kaitlen: it *is* the best thing the internet has ever done
Mar 19, 2012
I have no idea how it's possible I missed this back in 2010, but I did. In honor of Ray Bradbury's 90th birthday, comedian Rachel Bloom created this ebulliently vulgar music video: Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury. Since being introduced to this work of brilliance on Saturday night, I've probably watched it, oh, eight times. It's not only a funny concept, it's also incredibly catchy.
Mar 16, 2012
Is it possible to be physically aroused by fans? Because I think I am. Evidently Duvelleroy is fanmaker to assorted queens, and for good reason: their fans are freaking gorgeous.
Their shop is ici, and you might be surprised to see that some of the fans are actually affordable. Sure, it's $43 for what is essentially a novelty fan, but it's kinda awesome anyway. And I don't know how to make a fan, so I can appreciate spending money on one. But screw it—I'm holding out for one of the gorgeous fluffy feather ones.
Via If It's Hip, It's Here.
Mar 15, 2012
Mar 14, 2012
These Control Earrings are simple but clever, and very cute for mixing and matching. Would probably also look great in multiply-pierced ears.
I also must say that I love the shop name: Upper Metal Class. I almost want to buy something for the name alone. Oh, and if the aforementioned earring set isn't your thing, the designer is also selling Triforce earrings. Sure, they're called Kylee Earrings, but they're obviously Triforces.
Mar 13, 2012
If you've never been to B&H in New York, you really should drop by sometime. It was the most efficient technology-shopping experience I've ever had—but the really entertaining part was the series of conveyor belts that transported products around the store. The overall effect was that of an Orthodox Jewish Santa's workshop. And now we've got a product's-eye-view of the roller coaster ride...which just confirms my suspicion that it would be fun to ride the conveyor belts.
Mar 12, 2012
I know it's a bit old, but it's still great (and I feel like it didn't get much coverage the first time around): check out "House of the Rising Sun" as covered by legacy computer equipment and diagnostic machines. Surprisingly awesome.
Mar 8, 2012
Woohoo! Domino is coming back! Okay, so it's only scheduled for one special "Quick Fixes" edition in April and an as-yet-unspecified edition in the fall, but it's a start. I loved Domino—when I lived in a studio that was far too small for two of us, when I lived with a roommate and many cockroaches, even when I lived in the dorms in college, I subscribed to Domino. So many good ideas and sources of inspiration. And it didn't seem all poncey and pretentious the way so many design mags do, you know? So yeah, I'm excited. Details to come here.
Mar 7, 2012
I know, I know—it's one of those stupid "top x things on the internet" lists, but this one's just so cute. They're such happy little animals. And you all know (or should know by now) how I feel about cute, happy animals. Especially when you call them "little animals" with a terrible faux-Cockney accent, which comes out like "littow animows" and never fails to amuse me.
Mar 6, 2012
Mar 5, 2012
Mar 2, 2012
Okay, I confess (something you all probably knew anyway): I'm a total sucker for anything that lights up. Especially if it involves fiber optics. I was the only girl at the prom who had to change the batteries in her bustle. Anyway, I saw these fiber optic hair clips (stupidly named Glowbys) and I found them both ridiculous and covetable. I think it largely depends on how they're worn. Not crazy about the fiber optic pigtail look (it kinda screams "I'm body glitter-wearing jailbait! Vodka cranberry is the greatest!"), but I think the updo walks the line between funky and elegant rather well.
Mar 1, 2012
I'm doing a little better than I was, say, a week ago when I was singing this nonstop. But not a whole lot better. Still, it might be less irksome to be around me now.
Anyway, I don't know anything about Armstrong & Miller beyond the fact that they're an English comedy duo with a show (who apparently do characters such as "Vague Businessman" and "Reasonable Boss"), but this sketch alone may prompt me to check them out.
Feb 29, 2012
Sure, it's a little costumey (especially if you decide to wear one of the four masks that come with it), but I kinda love this TMNT backpack. Still, I don't think I was ever quite enough of a Ninja Turtle fan to warrant wearing it.
Interesting side note: For years I misheard the lyrics as "heroes on the half shell" instead of "heroes in a half shell." I obviously had turtles confused with oysters.
Feb 28, 2012
This is really shitty. Claire's, the cheap accessories chain beloved by mall-going tweens everywhere, has produced knockoffs of several of Tatty Devine's most iconic designs. I do understand the concept of the homage or the idea of drawing inspiration from another designer's work...but this is just blatant plagiarism. Tatty Devine's dinosaur necklace, for instance, is pretty damn distinctive. I don't believe the folks at Claire's just stumbled onto the same idea. Executed the same way (except mass produced in China instead of handmade in England). And at the same time that they produced another design suspiciously similar to one of Tatty Devine's products (the fishbone necklace). When fans of Tatty Devine and, you know, originality complained on Claire's Facebook page, the comments were evidently removed and the users blocked. Now that's customer service!
Thanks to this incident, I'm now sufficiently motivated to a) never again shop at Claire's (okay, not like I did much after the age of 14 anyway) and b) save up for a new Tatty Devine bauble. Maybe the gin necklace or the lobster necklace. Or maybe I'll go all out and get the rhinestone-bedecked lobster giant necklace. Although probably not. That one's awesome, but not quite so practical....
Feb 27, 2012
Feb 24, 2012
Pretty cool. Graphic designer Jirka Väätäinen has created a series of real-life Disney characters. The relevant images are scattered throughout her blog, but there's a slideshow of most of them here. They're in the same vein as those untooned characters that have been popping up all over the internets for a couple of years now, but look rather more realistic and therefore less creepy. Of course, I suppose it's easier to make a normal-looking Pocahontas when the animated character was intended to look realistic, unlike the highly stylized Homer Simpson, for instance. So yeah. Nifty. Still a little bit unnerving, but only a little. And it would be kind of awesome if she could turn a portrait of you into your favorite Disney princess or something. (Yes, I'm looking for any excuse to bust out the tiaras.)
Feb 23, 2012
Feb 21, 2012
Wow. Australian artist Sean Avery makes the most amazing animal sculptures from CDs. So cool. I love the shiny, polychromatic peregrine falcon, the adorable rat, and the steampunky squid, which seems to be comprised largely of circuit boards. And I completely appreciate the amount of work that must have gone into these creations—I've made some jewelry out of CDs before, and it is not easy. They want to crack and shatter most inconveniently. Dude is obviously both talented and patient.
Feb 20, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
Oh, how cool! In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the publication of The BFG, Royal Mail released a set of Roald Dahl stamps last month, featuring the whimsical Quentin Blake illustrations of six of Dahl's best-known books. How nifty. Unfortunately, these stamps are only going to be of use to you if you're sending mail from England. Still, everyone can appreciate them from afar, right?
Via NOTCOT. Now I want to go reread The Witches.
Feb 16, 2012
I'm totally not going to comment on the legality of this item (mainly because I don't know), but it seems like kind of a rad thing to own, even if you (hopefully) never need to use it: a handcuff key zipper pull. That's right. It's a normal zipper pull you can attach to any old zipper...or is it? Aha! It is not! For inside said normal zipper pull is contained a hidden handcuff key. Get it and feel just like James Bond, if Bond wore a parka instead of a tuxedo.
Feb 15, 2012
Of course I've heard Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" before (everyone and his brother's covered it), but I somehow had never heard this exquisite Jeff Buckley version until last Sunday. In a yoga class, actually. I liked it so much that I asked the instructor who it was. Hence I've been discovering Jeff Buckley. Admittedly, I'm not nearly as enamored of his other stuff as I am of his "Hallelujah," but he was clearly talented, and it's a shame he died so young.
Just had to share what is going to become an immediate addition to my "heartbreakingly beautiful" playlist.
Feb 14, 2012
This is a genius idea: a double-sided sleep mask that lets flight attendants know whether you want to be left alone to sleep or awakened for meals. With all of the traveling I've been doing lately, I feel like this would have come in handy many times over.
Via Better Living Through Design.