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Friday Niche Blog : My Jello Americans November 12, 2010

Posted by dataduchess in Niche Blogs.
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Too fun not to share: My Jello Americans.
These women are artists who make lots of scrumptious-looking Jello treats… and lots of somewhat repulsive ones too. But whether you think they look delicious or disgusting, there’s no denying this: they are amazing!

Coconut Wedding Cake

Peach Iced Tea

Poppy Zeed Brite


Van Ghost

Neopolitan Ice Cream Sandwich

Monday Book Review: The Cheese Monkeys April 20, 2010

Posted by dataduchess in Book Reviews.
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Chip Kidd is a multi-faceted graphic designer who has turned his talents from designing the art around a text into designing and writing the text itself. The Cheese Monkeys is Kidd’s first novel, and a spectacular one at that. As if worked in paints or pencils, the characters are vividly drawn, and love ’em or hate ’em, you know exactly what makes ’em tick.

The novel has been accurately described as a coming-of-age tale, as our protagonist, Happy, has left the nest for his first year of college to major in Art. He quickly learns how to deal with roommates, professors, friends and dive bars, while struggling with where and how he fits into this new life.

I found the novel to be unique, witty and thoroughly enjoyable until the last few events which while fitting for the disingenuous Cheese Monkey universe, were just a tad too outrageous for my taste. This was a fascinating glimpse into the kind of friendships I imagine the competitively “artsy” people in college might have had, each day trying to be more creative than the last, no matter how off-the-wall they might seem. The kind of insincere creativity that is outrageous just for the sake of being more “artistic” than the others, and ends up being more phony than anything else.

Niche Blog Friday: PlayGroundology April 9, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Just for Fun, Niche Blogs.
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What is it about playgrounds that are so intriguing? A sense of nostalgia? A lost sense of innocence? A yearning for the simpler pleasures of life? Whatever the draw is for you, PlayGroundology is a blog you will want to check out. PlayGroundology is a blog dedicated to sharing “all things bright, beautiful and occasionally tarnished about the world of playgrounds. What I found most intriguing were [1] the awesome design of some of these structures and [2] the completely dangerous, now-banned structures. While many of the latter will make you wonder how these things were ever legal, one must also wonder if our overly-litigious, overly-protective society hasn’t killed the element of fun. Make sure to click links to the Flickr galleries dedicated to cataloging specific aspects of playgrounds.

From Hanami's Flickr Stream

From the Neato Coolville Municipal Playground (Set) on Flickr

'Helicopter' ride photo from the I Played at Dennis the Menace Park and lived Set

(Thanks to Matt Bucher for the lead!)

Two Amazing Sites for Graphic Artists March 17, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Amazing, Just for Fun, Technology can do anything.
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My husband, an art teacher and free lance graphic designer, showed me two sites last night that are definitely worth bookmarking. CoolIris.com is a graphic/image search engine that blows both Google and Bing out of the water. How annoying is it to find an image, click on it, be brought to the site containing the image, then click on “full image”, etc. etc.? Cool Iris takes away all these steps and streamlines image searching in an aesthetically pleasing, and helpful, manner. (Admittedly, the site works best on a mac.) My screen shots below show browsing the search engine, what a still frame looks like, and then how an image is enlarged. All of these are done simply and seamlessly without having to click through various pages.

Update: I kept playing around on Cool Iris and discovered that you can also search videos, movies, etc. this way and play them right from the site. In addition, you can load your own photos from your computer (instantaneously) and search them all this way.

The other site is more interactive and a great way to waste time at work! The experiments on Escape Emotions, by Slovakian artist Peter Blaskovic, are nothing short of innovative (and entrancing). With names like Fire, Flame, Magic, and Fields, just to name a few, these artistic experiments enable the user to create artworks based on the fluidity of motion. Flame is the only one that can be saved and exported, due to its static nature, but all are worthy of exploring. Here are a few screen shots of my experiments but make sure to try it out yourself!

My attempt to write "Infomavens" in Flame

Water Fluid Simulation

In this one, the user builds “walls”, adds animated water and air to blow the water into circulation.

Burning "Infomavens" in Fluid Fire Simulation 3

Have fun!

Shirts for Bibliophiles February 4, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
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Out of Print clothing company sells shirts that “feature iconic and often out of print book covers. Some are classics, some are just curious enough to make great t-shirts, but all are striking works of art.” Besides being awesome, a dollar is donated to Books for Africa for each shirt sold. The site has little more than a dozen shirts and only promises of women’s shirts to come. But it’s still worth a look (and a purchase). Can’t wait for the women’s shirts!


Can You Judge a Book by Its Cover? January 26, 2010

Posted by dataduchess in Uncategorized.
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We have a friend, J.S. who works as a youth librarian at a Public Library. Recently, she brought to our attention the age old question of, “Can you judge a book by its cover?”

In her experience, kids seem to have no idea what kind of books they like. When asked outright, “what kind of books do you like”, some children will reply, “paperback” or “hardcover.” Many of them are more focused on what their friends will think if they are caught reading the book, than on what is inside. In part, this adds to the popularity of movie-tie-in versions of books, with famous actors on the covers. J.S. says the movie-cover versions of The Lord of The Rings are far more popular than the editions with the original artwork.

As a librarian, and perhaps as a reader, this is discouraging, especially in cases where the movie has been changed from the original story in the book. J.S. cites Cheaper By the Dozen as an example of this. The classic novel was turned into a cute movie, and children that enjoy the movie and then seek out the book with the picture from the movie on the cover are sure to be surprised since the story is quite different.

J.S. points us to an amusing post she found while looking into book covers, which collects a series of books that have been egregiously disadvantaged by someone’s apparent lack of any taste whatsoever.

What do you think? Can you judge a book by its cover? Would you ever pick up that Sherlock Holmes book above?

A Lego Library January 4, 2010

Posted by pupfiction in Amazing.
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I had to share this awesome rendition of the Stockholm Public Library done in Legos! Legos have certainly changed since I was little. (From Minkowsky’s Flickr Stream, posted by MSauers on Twitter)

Check out all the pics here!

Music for the New World December 18, 2009

Posted by pupfiction in Amazing.
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Everyday I seem to find another amazing use of social media. This particularly fantastic project, Bb 2.0, is “a collaborative music and spoken word project conceived by Darren Solomon from Science for Girls, and developed with contributions from users.” Click on the link and then begin the videos one by one. Be sure to read the FAQs as well. It’s refreshing to know that there is no end to creativity even as the art form continues to change.

Crafty: Make a Paperback Picture Frame December 9, 2009

Posted by dataduchess in Crafty.
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In the spirit of our previous post on book art, here is a way to make some book art yourself! This HOW TO Guide to making a picture frame out of an old paperback book goes over the steps to create the frame as seen in this picture. From the website Craftypod and found via the Craft blog TweetUp.

10 Amazing Book Artists December 3, 2009

Posted by pupfiction in Amazing.
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Recently having made the incredible find of Brian Dettmer‘s artwork I began to search the web for more examples of art made from books. Here’s the top ten artists in no particular order.

1. Brian Dettmer

Make sure to check out his full Flickr stream here.

2.  Mike Stilkey

photo from i09.com

Check out i09.com’s interview and more works by the artist here.

3. Georgia Russell

both photos from englandgallery.com

More information can be found at England & Co.

4. Lisa Kokin

Find more information here, but the pictures of altered books are limited. A Google image search reveals far more wonders.

5. Abelardo Morell does both photographs of books and a fantastical collection of which this photograph is from entitled “Alice in Wonderland”.

Check out the whole collection here.

6. Carer Barer

from fosterwhite.com

Check out her web site here.

7. Robert The

Yes, that was once a book!

His site has some amazing works!

8. Olafur Eliasson works in a number of mediums, but his book Your House is relevant to this post as it is his own house laser cut into a book.

from iaacblog.com

Check out his site here.

9. Jacqueline Rush Lee

Make sure to visit her site. It’s amazing.

10. Ariana Boussard-Reifel is another artist who works in a number of mediums. She has created a work called “Between the Lines” (below) in which she cut all the words out of a book.

from fastcompany.com

You can check out her gallery of work here.

Know of any other good “book artists”?