Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eye Eclectic Simplified

A visual representation of Eye Eclectic via Wordle. I could play with these beautiful word clouds all day!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Watson Twins

I loved the melodies of the Watson Twins when they were backing up Jenny Lewis on "Rabbit Fur Coat." An album full of sarcastically biting lyrics on songs like Rise Up with Fists and Run, Devil, Run backed up by these beautiful melodies and lovely voices.

I am very excited the Watson Twins are back with another album entitled Fire Songs. I especially love How am I to be which could be a dead ringer for a new single from Dusty Springfield. It definitely sounds like an album I will enjoy listening to on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eccentric Soul: The Tragar & Note Labels

If you like soul music and you have never heard of the Numero Group then you need to get yourself acquainted. I am not talking about the soul music you have heard on the radio. I am talking about the soul music issued on small mom and pop labels with very small pressings. The records that make collectors and DJ's just itch to find. The Numero Group works to uncover these forgotten recordings. Their collection is vast and growing. The latest compilation is from Atlanta's backyard from the labels owned by Jesse Jones on the Tragar and Note Lables

"Lost for thirty years among the kudzu and Coke bottles of central Georgia, the Tragar & Note labels are the latest Numero Group unearthings to join our landmark Eccentric Soul series. Spread out over two discs, Eccentric Soul: The Tragar & Note Labels is a ridiculously thorough survey of Jesse Jones' twin labels that operated out of Atlanta between 1968-1977. Ranging from southern to northern soul, classic R&B to modern, dancers to romancers, the 50 track collection chronicles nearly every sub-genre of popular black music being made at the time.

Researched with leading Georgia soul expert Brian Poust, the accompanying 32 page booklet features a dozen unpublished photos, memorabilia, label scans, and a 7000 word essay that gives a rich overview of not just these two labels, but the Atlanta soul scene as a whole."

If you are interested in learning more about the Eccentric Soul: The Tragar & Note labels listen to this interview on Just Off The Radar.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Design Spotlight: Eames Lounge Chair

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman made of interlocking molded-plywood with a Brazilian rosewood veneer frame and black leather was released in 1956. The inspiration for the chair was the comfortable feel of a well worn catcher's mitt. The final product grew out of Charles and Ray Eames pursuit to produce designs that both worked and looked good. The most recognizable and iconic chair that often decorates movies, television shows and commercials has been produced by Herman Miller for over 50 years.

Charles became interested in working with molding plywood after he and Eero Saarinen won "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" in 1940 from the museum of Modern Art for their chairs and tables. In 1942, Charles and Ray Eames developed molded-plywood leg splints for the U.S. Navy's wounded serviceman. The Eames product development on such a huge scale (~150,000 splints) for the Navy undoubtedly strengthened their abilities and spearheaded them to incorporate the resource into their lounge chair.

Of course, the Eames lounge chair and ottoman was not released until 1956 which was a full 16 years down the road from when Charles won his first award for working with molded plywood. Over those years Charles and Ray experimented with their personally designed machine they called the Kazam! for molding the plywood. Through their experimentation the team finalized on a chair made of three pieces of molded plywood. Various products came out of the molding plywood including chairs with wood or metal legs, table, and screen.

Today the Eames lounger and ottoman is available in various leather colors including black, ivory, tan, or chocolate on cherry, walnut, or a palisander frame. Depending on the materials chosen the chair is price is between $3,599.00 - $4,499.00 according to the licensed dealer Design Within Reach.

A few books about the work of Charles and Ray Eames:
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A Design Spotlight

I started writing here in order to document the things that inspire me. I have decided to begin a design spotlight in order to develop my own knowledge of the designers and their work. I thought I would do this on a weekly basis, but who am I kidding? I just don't have that kind of time! So I am writing this with the aim to promise myself to write a monthly design spotlight and see how this pans out.

My very first design spotlight is on the Eames Lounger. Charles and Ray Eames were a fascinating couple and recently have been honored with their own stamp series lauding their work. I am completely enamored of the synergy that came out of their collaboration.

The spotlight includes a short bibliography to further delve into the man and woman behind the work because there are plenty of amazing writers that can explain the whole story in great detail. I hope this will push me to learn more about them and other great designers.

Friday, June 13, 2008


The wishbone necklace by Jennifer Meyer peaked a friends interest. She quickly lost her interest when she saw the whopping price tag of $700! It is nice, but not that nice!! I mean sure any Hollywood starlit can drop that amount of cash on something that dangles around the neck, but we live in the real world with real budgets.

So what is any fashionable and budget conscious girl to do? Search Etsy! There are some great and unique wishbone charm necklaces available on Etsy. I think the one in the photo with blackened sterling silver is my favorite wishbone by ecdesignstudio. I have to say though searching and roaming on Etsy is addictive. I never know what great crafter, designer, collector, or artist I am going to stumble across next.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yasha Butler Ceramics

I picked up these lovely earrings at the Indie Craft Experience (ICE) outdoor market last Saturday. Yes, this past weekend a ton of great designers braved record breaking heat to show off their wonderful creations. It was just plain scorching, but well worth the trip.

These beautiful porcelain earrings are by designer Yasha Butler. She had bowls, dishes, necklaces, and earrings. I love the simplicity within her work and the use of a ceramic to make her amorphic jewelry.

If these earrings spark your interest please check out her etsy shop. Yasha only has a handful of pieces up now, but I hope she will continue to add her wonderful creations to the shop. I am looking forward to wearing these earrings often.