I’m not an artist, so I’m frequently left in awe of people with artistic talent. And when an artist uses some wacky materials in their work, so much the better, I say. Which is why I was so excited to discover the work of Malaysian artist-architect Hong Yi (nickname Red) via one of my favourite sites: designboom. One of Red’s latest projects is ’31 Days Of Creativity With Food’. Sounds good. Looks AMAHZING! Here are some of my favourites…
I like bags. And if they’re cute and clever and good for the environment, then so much the better, I say. And I’ve found these very cool canvas shopping totes on etsy, made by Pamela Fugate Designs, and I reckon they fit the bill.
Like this slightly more highbrow version of that famous Sir Mix-a-Lot quote…
Or this, for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey. Yep, really.
And for the bakin’ homeboy or homegirl in your life, there’s this bag.
There’s this classic Mom/Mum bag, which I’m guessing is meant to stop any pesky children asking too many questions. But I wouldn’t recommend bringing it along to your local farmer’s market as it feels in conflict with the relaxed, organic, herbal kinda vibe. Unless of course you are the organic farmer selling your produce. In which case, you might want to sell these bags in answer to questions like, “Why does that organic clove of garlic cost $32?” or “How do you know that heirloom tomatoes are worth 500% more than regular tomatoes?” or that sort of thing.
There’s also a range of customised wedding totes – I’m not really sure how they work though, to be honest. As a bridesmaid, I’ve never received a show bag of treats from the bride (not complaining, I have been lucky to receive much nicer gifts from the lovely brides I’ve maided for). And I’ve not been to a wedding that gave away a goodie bag instead of a small memento that you could take home in your handbag. But each to their own on their big day!
You can check out the range of bags (and shirts and baby outfits) at Pamela’s etsy shop here.
Yann is a professional photographer based in Paris. Yann claims to specialise in many things: portraits, products, landscapes, reportages… But today, I wanted to share some of Yann’s prints that are for sale on etsy. Because I really like what he’s done here and I really LOVE the thought that there might be a teeny tiny chap in a top hat doing his thing without us even knowing.
These are just a selection of Yann’s amazing work for sale in his etsy shop Photography Dream. I can’t decide between The Seed Gatherer, The Snail Tamer and The Shell Renter. Now if only Yann could find the guy who hides the socks in the washing machine, or the car keys when you’re in a hurry to leave, or your ringing mobile phone buried in your bag…
I had thought that the Samurai umbrella that I wrote about a while back (here, if you missed it) was the last word in umbrellas. Little did I know, there is a large umbrella industry across the globe, innovating and improving on what I would have mistakenly presumed to be a pretty standard design. At the risk of making a mockery of your humble floral number with its slightly bent spokes and unpredictable function, I present to you some whiz bang umbrellas from the good people at Hammacher Schlemmer.
Firstly, the English Umbrella Seat. Because we all know that English people like to sit on their umbrellas. No, really, it is allegedly modelled on “the ‘seat sticks’ traditionally used in England for watching cricket matches”. Quite. But why sit on a boring old stick when you can sit on an umbrella? My thoughts exactly – though I am sure you will agree it would look much funnier if this lady had a longer coat covering the seat. I am not sure that Lady Shrimp-Cattington and the croquet crowd are quite ready for the sight of ladies who appear to be staked in the ground…
Or perhaps you prefer to use your umbrella as a parasol to protect you from the sun’s wrinkling rays. If only there were such a thing as an umbrella that could shield you from the UV attack and keep you cool, without the hassle of having to wave a delicate paper fan…Fear not, delicate petal, here is an umbrella WITH AN IN-BUILT FAN. Battery operated, the fan is captured in a net, so there’s no need to worry about it going rogue and whipping your hair into a beehive.
Then there’s this tribute to Manhattan, in umbrella form. The outside is plain black, so to the world you might just appear to be another drone with a business umbrella – but on the inside, your secret New York cityscape reminds you that you’re really Carrie Bradshaw or Frank Sinatra or someone from Law & Order. Just don’t get so carried away belting out “Start spreading the news…” that you forget where you are and crash into other pedestrians. Or a bus.
And lastly, but not leastly, here’s a familiar image of an old lady under a plastic dome. The umbrella itself is of course old news, but I include it because I want to support this lady, who seemingly makes money by frocking up in brightly coloured suits and matching hats, donning some pearls and impersonating the Queen. Even if it is only to advertise an umbrella. Looking good, ma’am.
You can stay out of the rain while checking out these umbrellas and lots of other cool things online at Hammecher Schlemmer.
Chef Jimmy Zhang is a genius. The founder of Art Chef Inc. graduated from the Culinary Arts Institute in China in 1989 and it’s fair to say he’s slightly obsessed with the ancient art of fruit and vegetable carving. After winning many championship titles in fruit carving competitions in China, in the late ’90s, Jimmy took his show on the road and brought his talents to California.
You can choose from private classes with Jimmy (by yourself, or with a group of knife wielding mates), a special intensive week-long course, or a general public course. Dinner parties and school lunch boxes will never be the same again as you learn how to carve up your own fruit and vegies at home.
There are different levels of classes and, to be honest, I expected the Level 1 class to maybe feature some of those apple spirals that are really tricky to cut (without using a machine). Or maybe a star cut into a potato. But no, this bouquet of flowers in a melon bowl is apparently what you can do in the Level 1 class. Uh huh.
The pics from the Level 2 class move to the animal kingdom, featuring a lot of birds and fish (and an incredible giant bloom in half a watermelon). Interestingly, the seahorses seem to be made of a fruit or vegetable that looks very much like cookies & cream icecream, which is something I’ve always dreamed of, but never managed to find. Hats off to you, Chef Jimmy!
And then there are the Level 3 classes, which, quite frankly, make the other classes look as though children had been mucking around on a primary school excursion. The slightly scary bright orange bird on a branch is surely made from the world’s largest carrot. And then there’s the intricately carved dragon. They should really just call the Level 3 classes the ShowOff classes and be done with it. Incredible stuff.
If you are inspired to start hacking into your own groceries, or if you’d like an awesome display for your next family dinner or client function, you might want to have a look at the amazing website of Art Chef Inc for more ideas. Bon appetit!