everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Word up

I always love to hear new words or expressions and, although I don’t catch on too quickly to the YOLO, OMG, ROFLMAO kinda acronyms used by the kids of today, it’s interesting to hear another language and try to appreciate what it all means. Even more so when it is actually a real language, with culture and history attached. And although the English language seems to have quite a lot of words to choose from, sometimes you’ll hear a word or expression from another land and think: bingo! That really captures it perfectly – I wish we had a word like that. 

In honour of some of those types of words, artist Fuchsia Macaree put together an alphabet of expressive words that are missing from the English language. Here are some examples…

By Fuchsia Macaree

By Fuchsia Macaree

By Fuchsia Macaree

By Fuchsia Macaree

You can check out the rest of this clever collection at the Fast Company magazine Co. Create site here. While you’re enhancing your vocabulary, just remember that you can’t use these words in Scrabble, no matter how tempted you may be…

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Really short films

I love movies. From the classics, to quirky arthouse films, to those sort of pathetic teeny flicks where the smart, funny girl gets the dream guy when she removes her spectacles and takes down her ponytail and OMG SHE’S STUNNING. Yep, those ones. So I really like these prints, which I found on Fab.com. Here’s the story: Cooper Blacula, named for the great typeface and even greater movie, is a print series of classic films summed up in one brief and broken sentence and typeset in Cooper Black. These posters, sold exclusively through Fab.com, are museum quality prints on enhanced matte cover stock and printed with archival inks. All posters float in a quarter inch white border. Like so…

So much more than a handyman, Mr Miyagi.

And nobody puts baby in a corner.

Who ya gonna call?

Save Ferris.

And little Drew Barrymore screams.

Oh Maverick, you’re a goose.

You can check out the range of prints at the Cooper Blacula site here. And the collection makes me realise how many more dodgy films I have yet to see!

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Here’s looking at you…

I’m all for different creative ideas to liven up your walls with quirky works of art. And if you want to add a little science to your art, then so much the better, I say. And if you want to add a little bit of yourself – literally, in this case – to personalise your art, well then, go nuts. Which is kinda what the good people at DNA 11 have done.

Exhibit A: their DNA Portraits (TM) series. According to the website, here’s how it works: (1) Customise your artwork (choosing colour, style, size, frame), (2) Order your DNA collection kit, (3) Collect a cheek cell swab using your kit [uh huh], and (4) send the sample back and let the DNA 11 people work their magic. Whether you want your genetic code artwork to look like the sparkling lights of a big city, or perhaps golden rays of sunshine, there is an option to suit you. You can also get a print made of your pet’s DNA, if you prefer.

Or maybe you’re not a huge fan of DNA, incredible though it may be, but you still want some sort of personalised art on your wall. How about a fingerprint? Yep, there is a Fingerprint Portraits (TM) series. In a similar process to the DNA series, you purchase a Fingerprint Collection Kit and then print away til you’re happy with one, which you then send back to make your artwork with your chosen colours, size, style and frame.

And then there’s the KISS Portraits (TM) series. With this series, you get a gift with purchase – a lipstick, of course. Again, you order the Kiss Collection Kit, ‘apply the provided Revolution Organics lipstick’, then you ‘kiss the kiss sheets till you make the perfect lip print’, send it back and you’re set.

A unique gift idea for someone who has everything. A different twist on personalised art. A way to make sure that prints of you (well, parts of you) last forever. Whatever your motivation, this is definitely an interesting idea and the DNA 11 website is well worth a look. And don’t worry, they ship fingerprints, DNA and kisses all around the world.

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Pop Charts

Some people need charts and visuals to really make sense of the world. I see how it can sometimes be helpful to reduce the confusion of something big or complex into a series of connected boxes on an A3 piece of paper. In the corporate world, accountants have their ‘mud maps’, HR people have their ‘org charts’, management consultants have their ‘stakeholder maps’ and marketing people tend to have something brightly coloured and written in code, so that it doesn’t make sense to outsiders. But that’s just work. What if there were clever people who used their charting prowess to help us navigate and better understand the real world? Ta-da, here’s Pop Chart Lab.

The Lab began a couple of years ago, founded by a book editor and a graphic designer who joined forces with one modest goal in mind: to render all of human experience in chart form. Uh huh. Their range is amazing – they have tackled everything from beer to culinary devices to the story of a boy’s migration to a town called Bel Air. Here are some of my favourite prints (they also print their charts on t-shirts, in case you want to educate the masses).

(c) Pop Chart Lab

Oh yes, from Bill Haley in the top left to Lady Gaga in the bottom right corner, this is indeed A Visual Compendium of Notable Haircuts in Popular Music. It’s a signed, limited edition print that is sure to get people talking. And if you like this, you’ll probably like its cousin: A Visual Compendium of Notable Haircuts in Hollywood. (That one even includes Chewbacca’s impressive ‘do, along with several cast members of the Harry Potter franchise.)

(c) Pop Chart Lab

And here’s the chart that I think is my favourite – a collection of 13 pie charts about pies. Yep, they’re breaking down the ingredients that go into those delicious desserts and it is just as scary as you might imagine. All the old favourites are there – including Fig. 12, Peanut Butter Pie, which is full of gooey goodness: by my calculations, almost 50% peanut butter, around 20% Oreos and almost as much butter, with a fair dose of heavy cream, vanilla extract and bittersweet chocolate. God bless America, I say. (If pies aren’t your thing, you might like The Delectable Kaleidoscope of Candy Bars – a pretty, colourful and super-detailed examination of the common ingredients and textures linking a bzillion different types of sweet treats.)

(c) Pop Chart Lab

And finally, Constitutions of Classic Cocktails breaks down nearly 70 famous drinks into their constituent parts. Apparently, this is the most elaborate chart that the Lab folk have ever made – it is beautifully designed and unbelievably detailed. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to get shakin’, know a dedicated barfly with a birthday coming up, or just like the design, this is a good ‘un. I love it because to me it looks as though the cocktails are at the centre of a mysterious sort of galaxy. Or perhaps cocktails are like the Wheel of Fortune. And let’s face it, when the drinks are flowing, both of those statements are generally true.

If you’re thirsty for more info, you can check out many more educational works of art at the fabulous Pop Chart Lab site here.

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Aye aye, Captain

This isn’t a political post – I’m not flying the feminist flag and trying to rally the sisterhood or anything like that. But I recently bought a print by Amanda Visell and just got it back from the framing shop. And now it’s on the wall, with its shiny silver frame and its cute drawing and its awesome message. I am my own captain. I reckon it makes sense whether you’re happily coupled, or a single gal, or a self-doubting chap, or an indecisive kid, or a black cat in a sailor hat. Or anyone in between. Since I can’t seem to take a photo of it without some strange reflection of my head or the lights or the ghost of Granny May, I thought I’d go back to the source for a photo. Then I was reminded of how amazing Amanda Visell’s work is, so thought I should share some of it with you.

I also like I am a maverick, from the same print series, but since I am really more of a goose than a maverick, I didn’t think it was quite right for me. There is also a chick in chain mail on a horse, with the message I can save myself. And then a crazy looking hairy monster that says I am wild. I’m happy with my choice because I like what it says (to me, anyways) – essentially, you’re in charge of you.

But Amanda doesn’t just paint quirky stuff, she also makes quirky stuff, out of metal or vinyl or wood. Like this incredible sea horse (with passenger), which I love. Or everyone’s favourite pet, the pterodactyl (flying a kite). Or limited edition elephants or crocodiles, each with a BIG  personality and a story to tell.

Amanda has a website and a blog, but she sells her stuff on Switcheroo – it’s well worth a look!

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