Welcome to my world! I always thought it would be fun to be the ruler of my own place, and now I can be! I see it as an island within a big city full of life, culture and lots of laughter. Consider yourself a citizen.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Smart Ads or Just More Vandalism?

PlayStation is hittin' the streets hard with their latest grafitti inspired campaign. Here it is in NYC!

Today, an AP news story tells more of the story.

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 29) - Sony Corp. scouted out an unusual place to advertise its PlayStation Portable before the holidays: the side of an abandoned building in a gritty North Philadelphia neighborhood.

The black-on-white graffiti shows wide-eyed cartoon characters riding the PlayStation like a skateboard, licking it like a lollipop or cranking it like a Jack-in-the-Box.

But there's no mention of the Sony or PlayStation brands - nor any hint the wordless display is an ad.

The stealth marketing campaign has popped up in San Francisco, New York and other large U.S. cities.

"It's all about hip-hop, urban and all that. They're just trying to get into the teenagers' minds," said Eddie Torres, 29, who works at a nearby furniture shop. "I think it's sharp."

Anti-blight advocates think otherwise.

"They're breaking the law," said Mary Tracy, who runs the Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight, a watchdog group that fights illegal or ill-advised billboards in Philadelphia.

Tracy said Sony ignored the zoning process that regulates outdoor commercial advertising in the city.

Philadelphia Managing Director Pedro Ramos on Wednesday faxed a cease-and-desist letter to Sony Computer Entertainment's U.S. division in San Mateo, Calif. He could seek modest fines allowed by city code or sue to recover any profit the ads produced.

"My fines aren't going to scare Sony," Ramos said. "What will worry them is what the parents and their users will think. This really flies in the face of everything we've been trying to do with our anti-blight initiative."

The Sony division did not immediately respond to the letter or to a telephone message left by The Associated Press. However, Sony spokeswoman Molly Smith told an Internet news site earlier this month that Sony was hiring artists in seven cities - Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago were the others - to spray paint the pre-drawn designs.

"With PSP being a portable product, our target is what we consider to be urban nomads," Smith told Wired News.

In San Francisco, the ads were defaced soon after they appeared as word spread that Sony was behind them. "Get out of my city!!!" and "Fony" were written on one.

"I thought it was sneaky. Not cool," said Zan Sterling, who works at a bar near one of the ads, which has since been painted over. "I hope that they paid for the cleanup and removal."

Critics and supporters agree the campaign is designed to crack through the clutter of marketing that pervades daily life. Others have criticized its visual appeal.

"They hired artists to just copy this same figure over and over, which isn't too creative," said 29-year-old Jake Dobkin, a New Yorker who writes for the blog Gothamist.com.

That matters little to North Philadelphia resident Leslie Griggs, 39, who said the Sony ad is an improvement over the handbills and scrawls it replaced.

"I don't think that's graffiti," Griggs said as she paused beside the PlayStation ad. "That's art."

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Boxing Day!

The question is. . .What is Boxing Day? Not even my British friend is sure! The debate A. The day after Christmas there was a serious of pugilistic events that people went to, perhaps working out their frustrations from not getting what they had hoped for for Christmas. Or B. The day after Christmas when all boxes, wrapping and trim was collected for trash.

Anyone know the real story?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fun with Type!

Everyone knows I love type. And if you don't, now you do. So what could be more fun than playing with type?! Here are two sites, one for looking, Words At Play, and one where you can actually play, RoboType.

Have fun!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A gift received

You have to admire the ingenuity that went into this. Two office supplies, both requiring a turning mechanism and a container to catch the waste. BAM! Pencil sharpener AND mini shredder in the form of an elephant! Frickin' brilliant!

Of course to get your documents shredded you have to cut them down to either business card or Post It note size. But it does have suction cups on its feet for that sturdy desktop grip!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Better mousetrap?

No, just a cooler hanger! Yeah, $40 is a lot for a hanger, even aluminum, but it is so cool. I would be tempted to buy one for my favorite article of clothing.

I came across this while delving deep into a new blog I came across. It is all about design, art, cool stuff, books, you name it it is probably there.

Check it all out at joshspear.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

the bird machine

Jay Ryan is a friend and a kickin' hot artist! You can see his link for his print shop the bird machine in the links to check out his work, and you should.

But even more cool is his new book of his first 10 years making art/rock posters in his shop "100 posters 134 Squirrels" featuring posters for the Flaming Lips, Doves, Interpol and many others.

He even had a 100 foot tall billboard hanging in Chicago for Converse, commisioned by Butler, Shine and Stern also included in the book.

Check out this article in today's Chicago Sun Times called "Illustrations put Face on Chicago Rock Scene"

Sunday, December 18, 2005

First gift of the season!

OX, he is an Ugly Doll, that is not a statement as much as a fact!

What kind of name is OX?
No, not like the animal.
OX, as in HUG and KISS!
How can he hug you with such short arms?
OX uses his ears!

He's not a very good listener, but he puts his ears to good use in many other ways! Tuck them in your shirt and take OX on a stroll!

OX is great at magic, and his best trick is turning your stuff into his stuff.

His best buddy Wedgehead calls that stealing, but OX just wants to borrow things from you for a few hundred years. He promises to put everything back when he is done.

What he wants to steal most is your heart, and he promises to be your friend if you would lend him a hand, or an ear…or like two dollars.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Hostess Cake!

I love Hostess snack cakes! LOVE "EM!

I made a huge sheet cake sized cake for my birthday a couple years back. It took 32 Hostess twinkies, 24 Hostess Suzy Q’s, 60 Hostess Ho Ho’s, Hostess Ding Dong’s and Cupcakes to decorate, 4 cans Betty Crocker Fudge Frosting and some white cake decorating icing.

Several people have made their own version since.

Here is the cake I just made by request for a neighbors holiday party tonight. It is about a half size sheet cake. The addition of Snowballs for the holiday season was a must and really just took the place of the cupcake/Ding Dong decorations!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Stocking Stuffers

You may already have some of these charming little stocking stuffers and not even know it.

l to r: Dust Mite, Common Cold, HIV, Stomach Ache; front Bed Bug
Giant Microbes
Andrew Oliver, 2000

Snuggle up to one of these stuffed animals that are made to look like tiny microbes - only a million times actual size! Part of the SAFE exhibition at MoMA. Each 5-7" doll is accompanied by an image of the real microbe it represents, as well as information about the microbe. Made of polyester, PVC, and acrylic.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cut Chemist

Another new music act. But they have cool stickers like this one. I found it at school and the cool thing is when you turn it upside down it reminded me of a skull and crossbones.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Canstruction combines the competitive spirit of a design/build competition with a unique way to help feed hungry people. Competing teams, lead by architects and engineers, showcase their talents by designing giant sculptures made entirely out of canned foods. At the close of the exhibitions all of the food used in the structures is donated to local food banks for distribution to pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, elderly and day care centers.

While in New York I saw the latest installment at the Design Center.

These are a few of the canstructures!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

4 yards of fleece

Last week, I helped my sister make a fleece blanket/throw for a friend's child. It was easy and such a great gift. One of her coworkers wanted her to make one for her. So today, I helped my sister make another and I made myself one with my sister's help. They are so simple to make and are soooooo warm!

They are really cool if you have two contrasting solids or a pattern on one side and a complimentary solid on the other. I would avoid a Snoopy Woodstock pattern on one side and some pschedelic pattern on the other. Those result could be dizzying! Cutting all the fringe is the most time consuming. You can also tie the fringe which gives it another look. I like the floppy wider fringe so I cut them about 3/4 of an inch and left them loose.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Here's pretty!

Alvin Booth is a British photographer. “Corpus” is a series of 11 x 14 male and female nude studies. The images and book of the same name, are absolutely gorgeous, beautiful, sexy, some even say erotic!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pretty little things!

There was a debate over at Arngee's blog about everything is pretty in its own wonderfully god-created way. Well, here is my evidence that just aint true.

Behold! The beauty of the land slug!

I rest my case.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No. 7even of Murray Moss' favorite things

They are actually more of categories. Murray Moss, owner of Moss in NYC, presented his top 10 favorite things at the AIGA National Conference.

This piece fell into category 7 which consists of forms for the home that hold a personal message. In this case it is a decorative bowl which has been made from melted plastic soldiers. The artist is making a statement about war, but one can certainly bring their own interpretation if they are for or against.


Monday, December 05, 2005


This is what you too can get at Burberry for $60!

Why you ask? Well, sit back and I will tell you. A student, inappropriately, gave me a rather excessive gift at the end of last semester. It was a Burberry men's fragrance set. Well, if anyone knows me, Burberry aint me! I guess that says a lot about the student too. I said it was not appropriate but she insisted it is custom for students to present gifts to their teachers (She was Taiwanese). Who am I to argue with tradition.

Regardless, I aint gonna be using Burberry, and it doesn't really appeal to me anyway. So I returned it only to receive a store credit for $70 and some change! That price just added to the inappropriateness of the gift!

So, I have been carrying this credit around with me since then. So today, while downtown, I decided to go to Burberry and use the credit. Scarf? $125. Pair of socks? $40. A skully? $125. A cap? $135! Fragrance set? $65 and I was not going back there. Finally I saw the T-Shirt, I'm sorry, British Crew Neck $28 and the British Boxer Brief, $32! That was close enough to the full store credit to me! SO that and $5.29 ended the Burberry store credit.

Now I have a T-Shirt with some Burberry patterned piping around the inside of the neck, and boxer briefs with a Burberry patterned waste band! But best of all? I cannot wait to wear my new British Boxer Briefs with just a raincoat!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Word for the day

Premember verb: to recall something before it happens. Thank you for premembering my birthday which is not until NEXT week.

New word courtesy of Stefan Bucher and my premembrance of his American birthday.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dumpling Mecca

I made it to the holy land of dumplings!

LOVED 'em! In order of dumpling perfection, I would say, pork, vegetable, chicken and shrimp. Sauces were really good too. The monster is hot, and asian hot but good. Marco Polo sauce is marinara sauce. The regular dipping sauce was really good too. They had a yogurt cucumber special sauce which was good but did not seem to go well with seared dumpling. A friend had some pumpkin dumplings, a special, and said they were really yummy.

Make sure you stop by next time you are in the East Village in New York. And to really treat yourself, make a day of it and go to Yaffa Cafe right across the street for an equally great meal. Yaffa is open 24 hours!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A lesson in printing

Thank you Robert Morales and Merrill Corporation for the opportunity to teach my students the difference between printing and recycling.

Can you spot the printing errors?

Thankfully, Mark Oda of Midwest Graphics at 180 North Wacker, 312 641 2236 is stepping up again and printing the cards for the AIGA Student Group holiday fundraiser where proceeds will be donated to hurricane victims.