What did you think of the first episode of Design Star last night? Per the request of Becky and Paola, I’ll post a weekly open thread each Monday so those of you who are DS viewers can dish about the show. I struggled through last season, so I’m hoping that season 2 brings a bit more drama and decent design so we can at least have a little fun watching it and maybe learn a few things. I’m also hoping for a little character bonding to happen because if a viewer can relate to at least one finalist, it’s a good show (at least until that finalist gets canned).
I predict a lot more drama this season, a few cat fights coming on, and with the finalists being quite an assorted bunch (two words: Josh Sparkle), I’m thinking we’ll at least have fun watching it until Project Runway kicks off.
A few snippets from the bio of Mr. Sparkles himself: His favorite designer is Versace, if he weren’t a designer he’d be a Solid Gold dancer, and the boy knows how to clog. Pair him up with finalist Christina Ray, who adores the designs of Christopher Lowell, or with Neeraja Lockart who adores Muriel Brandolini, and you just may have the recipe for good reality tv.
(images from HGTV, photographer: Dennis Galante)
Okay one tiny post before I scoot, but seriously this couldn’t wait until Monday because I am so very excited for Lorena Siminovich (aka Petit Collage), the amazing way life works (so often the best comes by chance!), and the fact that she has such a killer gig going on with Anthropologie right now. I mean, this is the best story ever, especially encouraging to all the amazing indie artists out there.
See this picture? It’s a display inside of an Anthropologie store. Notice the collage works to the right of the mirror, you may recall them from this post, they are exclusive works by Lorena for Anthropologie. Can you stand it? They are reproduced on canvas, available in stores for a limited time only, $108 each.
Whenever I hear about indie artists getting exposure on this level, I always ask them how it all happened. I mean, do amazing things still fall into laps or does everything have to be via blood, sweat, and tears? You decide — Here’s what Lorena said when I asked her, “Basically I was hanging a piece in a local store (not Anthropologie), and the Anthro buyer walks in since she was in San Francisco on vacation, and asked me about the collages. Crazy lucky coincidence!”. Now how COOL is THAT people? Restores your faith, doesn’t it? Go, Lore!
Psst: This is the same artist who asked me to post this request to connect with stores and galleries. I guess that when you put your voice out there and admit that you need help, the universe hears you somehow, somewhere…
See you Monday!
(image from Lorena Siminovich)
Alison Brownrigg sent the sweetest email to introduce her online boutique, Petaline, a shop focused on presenting the talented works of Pacific Northwest (USA) artists. Alison is looking to expand to include the entire west coast, so if you are interested in learning more, try contacting her via her blog. Petaline carries a carefully curated selection of goods, everything from paintings to photography, fashion, and found items. As I browsed the store, not only did my eyes light up the moment I found the paintings and clothing, but I discovered the prices to be very affordable considering that most things are either one-of-a-kind or limited editions.
(images from petaline)
You are amazing. Do you know this? If not, here’s a huge pat on the back from me. I put out my cry for help the other day in regards to my upcoming vacation (leaving tomorrow!), and you replied with fantastic tips, links, even the owner of the Headquarters Gallery & Boutique in Montreal wrote in offering to be my tour guide. I mean, hello? And human kindness is hard to find? Whatever! Then reader Nicole commented about the current issue of Budget Travel featuring a story, My Montreal Is Better Than Yours.
Not realizing the issue was online, I ran out to perform pre-vacation errands (toothpaste, travel size shampoo, maps) and hit the local Barnes & Noble for a copy. I haven’t read Budget Travel in years. I can’t recall if I even ever read it. For some reason, when I thought of Budget Travel magazine, visions of articles featuring the top 10 hookah lounges in Amsterdam and the best hostels in Europe (not already featured in a teen horror flick) danced in my head. Was I wrong.
I couldn’t put my finger on why, but this issue looked different to me perched on the newsstand than when I’d passed it by before – I felt compelled to grab it this time, and to read it, which I did from cover to cover. Why hadn’t I given it a chance before? As I scanned the editor’s page the answer was revealed: It was JUST given a major makeover. No wonder! It looks prettier. A little like Cookie magazine (layout and design) mixed with Travel + Leisure (I’m a huge T+L fan), I loved the font, the format, the imagery, everything felt very fresh, hip, and young. But not too young. I didn’t get the impression that BT was only geared towards the college crowd, but us older girls can be proud of our quest for a good travel bargain, too. Above all, no peddling of hostels as a hip alternative to hotels and a very informative issue all around. There was even an article about hugging pandas in China. Hugging! Pandas! That was all it took for me to fill out the subscription card.
And Nicole, thanks for the tip because I found the best blog in this issue authored by two Montreal-based bloggers, Endless Banquet. I can’t wait to get up north now and check out all these great places! And everyone else, go read Budget Travel!
(some images from budget travel and the endless banquet)
Help a girl out. For our upcoming anniversary, we’ll be in Quebec City and Montreal. Any cool tips to share?
I’ve been to Montreal about 20 times since it’s only a 4 hour drive, but we’re always there visiting friends, not really as tourists. I’ve never ventured far out of their neighborhood (near Atwater market), Old Montreal, or the downtown area, but since we are spending the first two days alone, we’re going to explore a little so I’d love some help.
I’m looking for vintage and modern home stores, good eats, clothing consignment shops, Japanese shops (for zakka, magazines, books, CD’s), bakeries, sew shops, and fun little districts where there’s a heavy concentration of coffee houses, eclectic shopping and galleries to cruise. (I have a few city links for Montreal in my right column, but I’m willing to beef it up to benefit all if you care to leave links.)
Anyway, thank you in advance for any fun tips you may have. Oh, and we leave on Thursday and will be in Montreal for the first 5 days, then it’s up to QC until the following weekend. I’ve never been to QC, so I’m completely lost when it comes to what’s what up there. Of course, there are a slew of travel sites, but I’d rather hear it from my friends, so please share! :)