Key Art by La Clé Jewelry

Key Art by La Clé Jewelry

Key Art by La Clé Jewelry

The key is a symbolic icon…with tattoos it might signify opening up to a person through trust (at least that’s what I was thinking when I considered getting one), or something forbidden and mysterious. I also think of security, or peace of mind when I think of the key motif. It’s nothing new in the jewelry world at all, but I rarely see actual keys used to adorn the necks or wrists of the accessory-minded crowd. There’s always an appeal of vintage items, and I always love anything that falls into the repurposing/DIY realm too (I can be a bit of a hoarder…every little thing I find I just must keep to make it into something, even though that really…rarely…ever happens. You know once you finally toss something, you finally find a use for it anyway, right?) that makes me feel just a little better about my footprint on the planet. But I love the symbolism of a key. La Clé Jewelry followed me on Twitter one day, and I instantly saw a great blog post. Deanna Saracino is the Canadian designer behind the company, using repurposed vintage keys for a variety of hand-painted or printed pieces to wear around your neck. La Clé asks, “What’s Your Color?”, prompting customers to choose a color that represents them from a menu of colors and their meanings, to proudly wear it as a reminder to embrace its “colorful meaning.” As the paint on your key jewelry wears off over time, it symbolizes the positive energy you’ve absorbed from the meaning of your chosen color.

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Trippy 3D LED Lamps by Zinteh

Trippy 3D LED Lamps by Zinteh - Circles

Zinteh – Circles

Trippy 3D LED Lamps by Zinteh

“If you’re open to innovation, and want to avoid standard thinking, you will definitely like the idea of this 3D effect light.” I think that’s the best way to sum up these stunning designs by Bulgarian brand Zinteh…I couldn’t say it any better. I spotted these on Tough of Modern recently (unfortunately, the sale has ended but I’d bet it will be back) and I had to share them! These are LED strip lights mounted on acrylic, and are energy-efficient, lasting up to 50,000 hours without overheating…but perhaps the most amazing thing about these, is that they aren’t 3D at all, but rather flat! I want to see one of these in person! Zinteh lamps are all hand-crafted, made-to-order, and are available through an Etsy store.

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David Trubridge Lighting and Jewelry at A+R

David Trubridge Lighting and Jewelry at A+R

Images: A+R. David Trubridge Kina Pendant Light and Flax Pendant Light

David Trubridge Lighting and Jewelry at A+R

I was never much of a math whiz…but geometry was probably my favorite subject. I’m guessing because it had more of a visual aspect to it, and it’s definitely more appreciated in my world because of that because you see beautiful reminders of it in your everyday life, whether it be architecture, jewelry or home decor. In this case, it’s the latter two, in a beautiful collection of works by David Trubridge. I knew about A+R Store for awhile, when I first grabbed one of those self-filtering Bobble water bottles from them. I knew it was a shop I wanted to explore a bit more, but it got put aside for years, even though I was still subscribed to their newsletters. I just got one the other day that sparked my interest, as I was thinking about posting a bit more about art and home decor to vary things up a little as I had originally intended to do for this blog, and it featured some awesome geometric light fixtures and jewelry pieces from Trubridge. Check them out!

Trubridge is from New Zealand after dropping everything and traveled there on an adventurous whim with his wife and two sons. In 1985 he realized it was meant to be, and made it his home. He begin by building a home, and it all went from there. Before life took him to far away places, he finished Newcastle University in 1972 with a degree in Naval Architecture, and found his work featured in prestigious museums including the Victoria & Albert and the Pompidou Centre.

David Trubridge Lighting and Jewelry at A+R

Image: A+R. David Trubridge Manuka Pendant Light

All of these come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, and are easily-assembled bamboo pieces inspired by the world we live in.

A passion for the environment and earth drives the construction of all David’s work, primarily made of renewable bamboo and flat-packed to reduce freighting and packaging resources and the identical pieces make home assembly a snap, literally.”

David Trubridge Lighting and Jewelry at A+R

Image: A+R. David Trubridge Manuka Pendant Light

How pretty is that Manuka Pendant light above? I need this…actually all of them look so cool in all of their different colors, I’d put one in each room. Oh, and Trubridge also expands his artistic talents into jewelry as well. Each of these three comes in either a broach, necklace, or earrings (with the exception of the Adorn Jewelry: Koura, which has no broach version as far as I can see). I don’t really wear earrings (I just have body jewelry in my 6 ear piercings at all times), but loooooove necklaces! I’ll take all three…

Shop the entire David Trubridge collection at A+R here, and read up on the artist at his website here.

Thrift Store Window Artwork

Fred & Betty's in San Luis Obispo, CA

Fred & Betty’s in San Luis Obispo, CA

Thrift Store Window Artwork at Fred & Betty’s

This isn’t really a fashion-related post, pre-se, but I definitely have a crafty side that doesn’t come out much. It did a lot as a child, with summer camps and fun days at home with friends. I don’t craft or DIY really right now, although I would like to at some point, and I definitely appreciate anything original, crafty and creative. While I was on one of my long Saturday morning runs this last weekend I crossed by one of the thrift stores in town, Fred & Betty’s, and stopped to snap some photos of their current store window display! Normally when I run by I just see some items available to purchase in the store, but this time they did something different. There were skirts, flowers and other decorations created with newspaper, and I admired the fact that it obviously took some time to create! I also love any way to reuse and recycle something that otherwise would have been tossed. I suppose there’s a bit of a nostalgic bit to this also, since it reminded me of my few, earliest memories, probably when I was only five years old. It was around my birthday, thought I’d try to make a dress, so I took some leftover wrapping paper and taped one up! I never fit in it, but I enjoyed the idea. I love those little things here and there that remind me of some of my earliest creative moments. This struck a chord with me so well I thought I’d break up my usual blog posts a bit with something different!

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Surreal Artwork by Beth Hoeckel

Surreal Artwork by Beth Hoeckel

Beth Hoeckel: HOME

Surreal Artwork by Beth Hoeckel

I grew up in a pretty scientific family…my mom and dad both in the medical field, my dad and sister both being huge astronomy buffs, and several of my childhood friends introducing me to geology, microbiology, marine biology, entomology, botany…jeez, you name it. I thought I’d definitely be a scientist when I grew up. My dad introduced me to computers at a young age (with the internet and AOL supervised when it was a new thing of course) so that threw me into the tech field, to where I am now as a web developer. But my fascination with discovery and the natural world hasn’t died…not in the least bit! With life tending to get more and more complicated and challenging as we grow older, the childhood innocence and time we had to pursue those fascinations we had becomes more and more nostalgic…I long for it a lot sometimes. So, when I read my regularly scheduled email from Fab.com, I was immediately drawn to these beautiful art prints on sale by Beth Hoeckel!

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Motivational Typography for Your Walls

I am one of those nerds…I graduated in 2006 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Graphic Communication department. I never knew there was enough to know about fonts to constitute two whole classes. However, they were fun! I love typography, and I remember it was way too easy to get stuck browsing FontFace.com for hours looking for the perfect font for a project (even if you already knew what you were going to use). Our department also had (and still has) an awesome collection of old letterpress printing machines which we got to use for a project or two, hand-placing each letter one by one. I cannot imagine doing this for an entire newspaper. Oy vey. Typography and letterpress art is a huge market, and I ran across this cool little Etsy store not long ago, The Motivated Type. I wanted to get a little more into the design world apart from fashion on my blog, so here we go.

The Motivated Type is an English company that uses vintage typography and subway signs for inspiration, which I find neat because I have a huge affinity for vintage advertisements. It’s amazing the power just a few words can have on us, and how artsy and eye-catching they can be without any photos or imagery to back them up. I always am attracted to things that otherwise would be seen as boring, spruced up in endless ways to become appealing. Maybe that’s why typography and me stuck like peanut butter and jam.

Words have tremendous power. They can make us think, challenge us and inspire us. Words can make us smile, laugh and push us to our potential. One phrase can make all the difference between walking away and trying again. And one sentence can encourage us with a lesson that we never forget.”

These guys have already gotten a lot of attention from the likes of Glamour, HDTV, PopSugar and more! We all get a little sick of the crap life slings at us from time to time, so why not stick a bit of motivational eye candy around the house to help keep your chin and spirits up? Isn’t it crazy how, when put in simple terms, certain situations or thoughts seem to become much easier to handle? I think we all need these reminders in our lives from time to time, cliché or not clichés…

The Motivated Type also has a collection of artistic pillows. I would have featured a lot more of the typography prints above, because there are a lot more awesome where that came from. So lets take a break from the big names in this huge world and give the little guys some love.

A New Fusion of Art and Fashion by Sociale Revolution

A New Fusion of Art and Fashion by Sociale Revolution

A New Fusion of Art and Fashion by Sociale Revolution

Like the next fashionista, I love the large, established, tried and true seasoned brands. However, I also have an affinity for the little guys…it can’t be easy in this overly-saturated market. It’s fascinating to see how creative startups are nowadays, especially with Kickstarter projects like Barbell Jeans (previously featured on this blog) and now Art Wear by Sociale Revolution. Sociale Revolution is a collective aimed at making art more accessible and upfront by encouraging its use for social debate. The group states “We’re giving artists a grand state and making their art more accessible, all while giving back to our cultural roots.” This new Art Wear Kickstarter project is an extension of this vision, allowing artists to expand the influence of their work beyond the galleries and into the hands (or onto the bodies) of fashion-forward people everywhere for a truly unique movement of personal expression.

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Artecnica Home Accessories

Artechnica Jaipur Pendant in Blue/Red

Artechnica Jaipur Pendant in Blue/Red on Fab.com

The (urban) hippy in me is strong with this one. Or bohemian, whatever you call it. I’m always looking for fun ways to fix up my home, yet always afraid of just buying more…junk. I know I’ve heard of Artecnica (I have to copy/paste that ever time, despite my decent spelling skills) before…actually several, several years ago. I’m happy to see they are still going strong! I love how beautifully handmade these look. The cool thing is that Artecnica was created by Enrico Bressan and Tahmineh Javanbakht (husband/wife team) in 1986 in Los Angeles, but actually supports other artists (both seasoned and up-and-coming) by working with them to create these awesome home decor items you see here. Even better, in 2002 the brand went even further to support artisans in 3rd world countries by launching its Design w/Conscience program. Is it just me or does it seem like there’s an emergence of more and more socially and ecologically conscious brands out there? Or is the media just showing them more support?

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Innovative Clocks by Studio Ve

Studio Ve Clocks

From L to R: Lithe Clock, Manifold Clock, Perspective Clock (Photos by Studio V)

Innovative Clocks by Studio Ve

My hubby and I still don’t have a clock up on our living room wall, or anywhere in our house for that matter. It’s been a subject of conversation many times upon multiple visits to World Market and Target, yet the idea hasn’t actually come to fruition. Not that it’s a necessary staple of the household, but we know it would make a nice decor piece. The only thing that comes close is a clock I constructed in seventh-grade plastics shop class. I remember those days exactly…being mocked while I cut out triangles of various sizes out of opaque white, transparent neon yellow and transparent neon pink plastic sheets, promising that they would, indeed, form a clock in the very near future. It all ended up coming together (which made everyone eventually shut their traps), and it lives on today, sitting in my kitchen (although it does need new batteries).

I guess it’s things like that that catch my attention…the unusual, the creative, the things that were probably laughed at in their idea stages only to leave everyone in awe upon completion. I came across this brand called Studio Ve as I perused my usual morning inbox, as part of a newsletter from The Grommet. Now these are the kinds of clocks I’d see on my walls…pieces of art…items that don’t immediately look like clocks upon first gaze. Do want.

Studio Ve has three models right now:

The Manifold Clock

Studio Ve Manifold Clock

Studio Ve Manifold Clock

“Time repeats itself, yet it is ever-changing. The Manifold Clock is aimed to emphasize exactly this property of time – ever changing yet remains the same.” I’m not exactly sure how to better explain this one. It’s just cool and clever. Read more/shop for it here or shop the Grommet sale here!

The Lithe Clock

Studio Ve Lithe Clock

Studio Ve Lithe Clock

This one lives up to its name…and looks as graceful as a reed blowing in the wind or a ballet dancer. I could see this one above our couch! Read more/purchase here.

The Perspective Clocks

Studio Ve Perspective Clocks

Studio Ve Perspective Clocks

This one just looks freakin’ cool. There are several variations to this one in terms of this one, each focusing more on the hands than the actual face of the clock. Throughout the day, the hands form different angular shapes. See all the variations/read more/purchase here!

My favorite thing about all of these are the prices!!! At $64 to $124, they are easy additions to a household that will last for a long time. They are so perfectly neutral that they can fit into just about any environment, I think. I might just have to grab one of these (Perspective one, I think, once I learn to read it…it took me long enough to go from digital to analog to begin with!). I can’t wait to see what Studio Ve comes up with next.

The Traditional Rug Meets Sculpture Art

Bower Wooden Carpets

The Traditional Rug Meets Sculpture Art

When it comes to floor coverings, what comes to mind? Linoleum, carpet, wooden, tile…with maybe the occasional antique or woven rug here and there. I don’t like to consider myself too traditional…but I’m definitely modern…I like something different but basic, that breaks the mold or blends elements from several well-known, conventional concepts together into one (I was glued to watercolor and pencil drawing during my art class years, but mixed media was always my favorite). My eyes are always drawn to more blocky colors or geometry; I’m not really one for the antique, patterned, ornate look (I’m still trying to understand the current trend of flowery, printed jeans). So here we go with TouchOfModern coming to the rescue again, enlightening my eyes to the modern but awesomely unconventional from those who truly understand how to think outside the box…check out these carpets!

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