Monday, May 18, 2009

Dreaming in purple

It's spring. The sun is shining (ok, it's usually shining. This is, after all, Los Angeles) birds are singing, the tree outside my window is once again covered in beautiful green leaves, and I get the itch for flowers. I always try madly to ignore this itch: cut flowers live for a short while and then die. Which equals big mess for Dani to clean up, before my cat-niece gets to it. And as for potted plants ... well, I've long ago come to terms with the fact that not only do I not have a green thumb, I have a black thumb. I have even managed to kill a cactus. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, plants and I don't get along. If I have to take care of them, that is.

And still, I love flowers. Maybe it's my girlie side coming through, maybe it's just my aesthetic sensibilities and appreciation for all things beautiful. I haven't often received flowers in a romantic fashion, though I really appreciate it when I do (in spite of the afore-mentioned clean-up).

My favorite flowers - by far - are tulips. In purple, naturally. My tastes lean in the direction of clean, crisp lines, and of all flowers tulips deliver on this aspect. Tulips are flowers that don't need company in a vase. They hold their own, proud, unhampered and unencombered by such fussiness as baby's breath or grasses. They are simple, classic, and timeless. As for the color - there is just something about purple that makes my heart go pitter-pat every time I see it. There isn't a splash of it in my apartment currently, though my car is, indeed, purple.

Now I've waxed poetic long enough about the virtues of purple tulips, and the urge to hop on over to Trader Joe's and buy a bouquet would be overwhelming if not for the fact that I'm down with the flu. For curious parties, here's a great arrangement of my favorite flowers, as done by FTD. It can be purchased here. Happy spring!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Need inspiration?


Creativity is fun. Creativity is exciting. Creativity is joyful. Unfortunately, creativity does not always show up on demand. So what to do when you've got a great but vague idea for a background and need that extra little something to take that idea through execution?

Truth is, inspiration is all around you. From the way the rays of the sun shine through the leaves of the tree outside your window, to the way the magnet got knocked askew on your fridge, any visual can be that trigger that sends your imagination soaring. But for those times when you're really stuck the web is a treasure-trove of inspiration, if you just know where to look.

Want to design something fresh and new? Grasping for ideas to even begin designing a layout? Why not see some great examples of what's already out there. A great first stop is one (or both) of the sites that aggregate the best of Twitter background design: Twitter Background Gallery and Killer Tweets. Here you'll find examples of how to effectively break the grid for a Twitter background while making it work within the parameters of Twitter. Scrolling through the galleries you'll also get a feel for which areas of the design to concentrate on most, as well as some themes and styles for your potential design.

When I'm on the hunt for inspiration my next step is usually looking at more generic background ideas on one of two sites: Deviant Art's Wallpaper section has such a huge range of subjects - from tech to goth to pop culture - that something inevitably catches my eye. The stock website iStock Photo is another great resource. Do a photo/illustration search on "background" and you'll come up with some wonderful examples, from simple textures to incredibly ornate illustrations.

A selection of the wallpaper designs available on Deviant Art

By now you should have a fair idea of the style and rough layout for the background you'd like to design. It's at this point that I usually turn to some of my favorite Photoshop and Illustrator tutorial sites for ideas on how to create specific elements for my design. There are so many great effects that can be created with these two programs, I know I've barely scratched the surface of what's possible. These sites will provide you with not only ideas on what to do, but step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the effect you seek (err ... as is the purpose of tutorial sites, I suppose). Some tutorial sites that are great resources are: Abduzeedo, Color Burned, Tutorial 9, Photoshop Lady, PSD Fan, PSD Tuts, Vector Tuts, Vectips and Veerle's Blog.

End result of one of the great tutorials on Veerle's Blog

Now you've got the know-how, but what about the tools? The sites mentioned above are generally also great resources for various Adobe freebies - brushes, styles, actions, patterns, swatches. However, there are some other great resources that should not be overlooked. Check out Brusheezy, Vecteezy, My Photoshop Brushes, Deviant Art's Application Resources section, and Adobe's own Exchange and Kuler (a great resources for browsing, creating and downloading swatch libraries that can be used in all Adobe applications).

Still can't quite put your finger on that color/texture/pattern that's itching the back of your brain? One mustn't overlook the importance of more generalized design blogs. These sites that pull examples of great design from a wide variety of disciplines - interior, industrial, fashion, graphics, photography and more. Seeing a range of seemingly disparate things put together just might be that last element that polishes off your creation. Some of my personal favorites for inspiration are 100 Layer Cake, Design*Sponge, Decor8, and Oh Joy!

An example of 100 Layer Cake's idea board - great for adding details to a "feel"

Hope these resources help you materialize what you're seeing in your mind's eye. Most importantly: have fun designing!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New Endeavor

Thanks to everyone's support, I am now a featured (and paid!) Twitter background designer on Killer Tweets and Twitter Backgrounds Gallery. Check them out for my newest works, to read my articles (soon) and/or to hire me!

Freelance jobs have been sporadic at best of late, and so I'm exploring all avenues for making a bit of extra cash. I've fairly recently happened onto the phenomenon that is Twitter, and naturally commenced personalizing my profile. My Tweeps oohed and aahed my background, and I began designing customized backgrounds for them, as well. I soon realized I could be making some money from all this, and so I will be embarking on a mini-design adventure.

So far one of my designs has been featured on Twitter Backgrounds Gallery (all votes would be highly appreciated, just look for OhDaniB). They'll be featuring other designs and I'll be launching a blog to market my custom Twitter background service, but in the meantime you can see my works here:

Love Your Tile

One of the things that bug about living in an apartment and being a design geek it's that many times the built-ins are ... not quite what I would have picked out. Whether ugly, old, or just plain boring, it can be very difficult to modify certain apartment features to one's liking in a manner that is reversible (I may be an aesthetic snob, but I'd rather not give up my deposit for a bit of taste). Tiles can be the worst offenders: my good friends E&J decorated their spacious 2-bedroom beautifully. And still they were stuck with a bathroom that was tiled in pink and mint green. Plus the decorative tiles in their kitchen were actually installed upside-down!

Finally there's a remedy even for this: introducing Tile Tattoos. Available from Exclusively Home and Huset, these sticky-backed appliques can add interest to the boring and disguise the unattractive, while being completely removable. With design ranging from contemporary to retro, subtle to statement, there's bound to be something for everyone.

Mibo Tile Tattoos - Bembridge, Chessel, Loverstone, Shanklin, and Ventnor

Friday, March 20, 2009

And the Worst Logo award goes to ...

I try not to be a design snob. Really, I do. I do get frustrated sometimes when people who have access to professionals choose to go with "designed at home" items that are actually doing them a disservice, but I understand what I do is essentially subjective. As I'm currently pursuing my MBA, and as I'm a self-described Brand-Geek™ (blog in the works), it's something I'm actually actively researching.

I've spoken to some branding professionals who see graphic design as simply a commodity: a means to an end and nothing more. These same individuals – and many others – argue that with the omnipresence of design software everyone can be a graphic designer. I, of course, whole-heartedly disagree with that assessment. My personal belief is that the availability of these software programs allows anyone to design graphics, but does not make them graphic designers. Yes, there is a lot of bad design out there, and more is created every hour. But, unlike the previously mentioned branding professionals, I believe that this will only make good, truly professional and educated design key to differentiation and success. When there's a bunch of trash out there, the gems stand out all the more.

So, to all so-called graphic designers who are as unfamiliar with concept development, strategy and hierarchy as I am with brain surgery I say: keep on keeping on. The more of your work that gets out there, the better my work looks. Hopefully your work won't end up featured on this blog: At the very least, it could be a good resource for education.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Literature can be art in more than one way

I love books. I love art. These facts are not news to those who know me. I also love my homeland of Israel (yes, I was actually born there). And I've found someone who combines these three loves beautifully.

His name is Nir Golan, and he specializes in doodling in books. Yes, it may sound like something we all did during class, but in Nir's hands it's so much more. Nir finds old books - some with lovely inscriptions, which you won't be able to read unless you read Hebrew - and turns them into artistic masterpieces. His site can be found here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's old is new once again

Thanks to Mr. Stephen Fry via Twitter (@StephenFry), I've discovered these fantastic watches. As I looked deeper into them, I thought to myself: "These are quite cutting edge! Very cool! Very expensive. Would love to have one!" And then something caught my eye: "Original design: 1972". Say what??? Yup, these are (for the most part) resuscitated designs from the late 60's and early 70's. What was ugly is beautiful once again, in the cyclical nature of fashion. Here are some examples, so you can see what I mean:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Looking for logo inspiration?

Then look no further than Logo Gala. This relatively new site is a great depository of logo designs. If you're looking for ideas, you're bound to find inspiration here. Obsessed with logos and branding as I am, I was happy to discover that they are having a giveaway in celebration of their spectacular growth. From their site:

LogoGala has been online now for exactly two months. Its growth in that short period of time has far surpassed the expectations that I had before launch. In a short two months, LogoGala has quickly become a popular site for logo inspiration and is by far my most popular site.

To celebrate the success LogoGala has seen so far, I’ve decided to run a promotion which I hope will help get LogoGala even more exposure. Oh, did I mention that I’m giving away some great prizes? I didn’t? Well, in return for your helping me promote the site, I’ve got some great prizes to give away.

What are the Prizes?

So join me in celebrating Logo Gala and their endeavor, and maybe pick up some great design ideas in the process. You can see all the details here.

Classic silhouettes, updated

When trolling the 'net last year for decor for my apartment, one trend that really caught my eye was the flattening or reinterpretation of classic silhouettes. Generally speaking I definitely tend more towards modern and stay very far away from what I consider to be more busy or heavier shapes. However, I found that this new take on these forms pleased both my modern aesthetic and my girly-but-not-too-girly side. For this first collection of Internet finds, I present the following:

Clockwise, from top left: Silhouette pedestal side table, Trollsta side table, Vintage Shelf, Hemnes bedside table, Silhouette console table, Vika Hyttan/ Vika Fintorp Table

Clockwise, from top left: 3-D Chandelier, Ghost Candelabra, Bari Pendant, Calista Glass Cylinder Tealight Holders

Clockwise, from top left: Lost Cuckoo Clock, Fantome Clock, Illusion Champagne Flutes, Vintage Style Ivy Vinyl Wall Chalkboard Decal, Myrica Sir Elton Electric Headboard, Illusion Wine Glasses

And, last but not least (my friend A.S. actually proposed with these):
Acrylic Diamond Rings

Thursday, March 12, 2009

G-ma's Liptauer Cheese

I promised I would post this a while ago, but as I usually eyeball all the measurements (per g-ma's instructions) I had to make it again. So, I've now made it again (per requests from fam as well as J.C. & A.S.). At long last, here's my g-ma's recipe for Liptauer Cheese. I like it on toast best, but J.C. has been using it as a dip. Regardless, it's yummy & addictive. And no, it doesn't taste like anchovies, so buck up!

G-ma's Liptauer Cheese

  • 12 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste (can be found by the canned tuna usually)
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup green onion (scallions), finely sliced
  1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Stir in mustard, anchovy paste, paprika and cayenne.
  3. Fold in green onions until evenly disbursed.
  4. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours, then taste and adjust mustard/anchovy paste/cayenne as desired.
And that's it! I usually keep the cream cheese/sour cream containers for storage of the Liptauer.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let's make beautiful music together

One thing I absolutely love about the way the internet has developed it's that it has provided ordinary people with a portal to display their talents. Not everyone can get on American Idol, but with the right tools you can post your stuff on YouTube. If the ability is actually there, you could be catapulted into the fame stratosphere. People have gotten recording contracts after their videos proved hugely popular on MySpace (One Republic), gotten published - several times over - based on the strength of their blogs (Jen Lancaster), and now there's Thru You.

This feat of video editing and sound engineering will take your breath away. Pulling from all the assets YouTube has to offer (with all applicable credits given), Kutiman - a Funk/Afro Beat/Psychedelic artist from Israel (according to his MySpace page, here) has created brand new musical masterpieces that will amaze. I am SO impressed with what my fellow countryman has accomplished, words just cannot do justice (but I definitely will buy the mp3's, should they become available. I'm in love with #3). To see/hear/experience what I've been on and on about, check this out:


Get Nailed

With the economy down, and without a steady income (a situation more and more of us are finding ourselves in) we may find we put less of a priority on cosmetic services. After all, some things have to be compromised, and if it's a choice of manicure or food, the choice is clear, no? But it doesn't have to be an either/or. Home mani/pedis can be a bit of a pain. But there are two products out there that can have your piggies look professionally done, without the expense or the hassle.

The first is Sephora's Nail Patch.

Believe it or not, they're actually nail-shaped polish stickers. You just glue them to your nails, and you're done. You remove them just as you would any other polish. You can buy them at the stores, or here.

Are you a fan of nail art? Like the look of little flowers peeking from your flipflops in summer? The second is for you. It's a new product by Sally Hansen, designed to allow us non-professionals to decorate our nails to our content. For those of us who used to draw with Sharpies on our nails to add interest, these are for you.

These pens come in a great variety of bright colors. And the best part? If you make a mistake you can just correct it with water. You can buy these here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Brighten Your Day

Miss B.'s noble endeavor with this delightful blog is: bring you a little metaphorical sunshine each day, to help you stop for a second and remember that life is (still) beautiful and that there is goodness in the world and to build some fantastic exposure for those contributors that have been generous and kind enough to participate.
Wonderful prizes are donated and awarded to the most creative answers to the question of the day. Not only are the prizes fun, but the questions really make one ponder life with the intention of finding that silver lining. With the economy being what it is, and with no sight of an up-swing, having a break in the day to realize life is actually pretty good is a precious - and rare - gift indeed.

This isn't supposed to happen with Macs ...

Some bad news. Due to some severe issues with my MacBook Pro and my backup device (Time Capsule), I'm going to have to take a few days off from posting. I whole-heartedly apologize. I'm hoping to be back up and running by the beginning of next week, so please check back for new posts!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I've got a new toy

I discovered Twitter a few weeks back, and it’s now taken the place of most other web-oriented stuff I do. I’ve discovered that I can get a direct, person-to-person connection with a lot of people I find very interesting, and that, frankly, excites me.

What excites me even more, though, is that I’ve discovered a great tool that can help me combine Twitter with some really great type design. Wordle has probably been around for ages, but I’ve just now discovered it. Here’s what my Twittering looks like, thus far:

You can adjust the color scheme to your liking, pick from a selection of fun typefaces, and adjust the layout in a myriad of ways until you end up with something you find aesthetically pleasing. As soon as I feel I have enough posts on here I’m going to send this blog to Wordle and create some brand-spanking-new art for my apartment. In the meantime, have fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Infinite patience, infinite care.

Artiste Aoyama Hina’s paper cuts will blow you away. Words simply do not do justice to the intricacy and delicate beauty of these pieces, so I will let the pix do the talking for me. You can see her web page here (in French), and her Flickr photos here. (via black.white.bliss)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Now, THIS is what I call Yoga jewelry!

My friend J.C. and I have a running joke: every week, after our Wednesday night Kundalini Yoga class (at Yoga West), we go shopping. YW not only has a great collection of yoga accessories, meditation music and literature about Kundalini, but they also always have great selections of jewelry, clothing, and home accessories (specifically, fantastic candles I’m obsessed with by Pacifica). Anyway, it’s a great Wednesday night tradition, and always lots of fun.

And then I stumbled onto Paper n’ Stitch. In their words:

Papernstitch is an online exhibition space for talented artists, designers, makers selling handmade goods, and independent boutiques.

It’s here that I’ve discovered this great Lotus jewelry - kinda femmy, kinda rough, very beautiful.

From left to right: Lotus Pendant Necklace, Lotus Amethyst Diamond Hoop Earrings, and Lotus Blue Kyanite Earrings.

Sat Nam!

Note: For dream home.

I’m always on the lookout for great design in small places. One great example is my friends A.S. & J.C.’s place. It used to be a tiny studio apartment. Now they’re married, it’s still tiny, but due to changes created and built with the help of our friend N., it’s completely transformed and is beautiful. More details about this renovation in future posts. In the meantime, I’ve happened onto this gorgeous apartment design in Hyoshi, Japan, by Hiroyuki Tanaka Architects.

Now, those who know me are well aware of my weakness for books. I’m a self-described “voracious reader.” I read at every opportunity, and I always carry a book with me. So imagine my delight when I discovered a design that transformed a 300 square foot apartment into a book lover’s paradise. Not only is there ample shelving space defining the different living areas of the apartment, but there are benches and reading nooks incorporated wherever possible. Take a look at these pictures, and I think you’ll agree that this design is truly crave-worthy.

For more photos, and for the story, please click here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paradise Found?

An astounding discovery in East Turkey suggests that the biblical story of the Garden of Eden may have scientific backing, after all. While not a literal interpretation, the evidence is thought-provoking to say the least.

This discovery of standing T-shaped structures, similar to Stone Henge in England, has been dated to as far back as 13,000 BCE. In comparison, Stone Henge dates back to 3,000 BCE, and the pyramids of Giza to 2,500 BCE.

To read more about this astonishing story, as well as the theories about it being the “Temple of the Garden of Eden”, please read the full article here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

When work feels like a playground. In a bad way.

There are times when I feel like I’ve been given the total runaround, back-and-forth by my client, and I just say to myself: “My job would be so great, if it wasn’t for clients.” Of course, no clients = no money, but there are days when that feels like a fair trade-off. Enter Tiny Art Director.

Bill Zeman’s Art Director commissions various art works, and then critiques them. Some of the critiques sounded strangely familiar. Here’s an example:

And here’s the Critique:

The Brief: A Crocodile
The Critique: What’s he going to do to that bird? Is he going to eat him? That’s not what I want. You have to do it with him killing that bird.
Job Status: Rejected
Additional Comments: Killing Daddy killing! Can you do it killing him?

So, yes. The Tiny Art Director is Bill’s daughter, who is now 4 years old. Made me wonder about the state of mind of some of my clients. But, if you enjoyed this particular critique, please check out Bill’s blog for more.

And on a lighter note

I’ve decided to start posting my various shake/smoothie recipes. A while back I was on a diet that consisted primarily of low calorie-high protein shakes that came in only vanilla and chocolate flavors. As soon as I was allowed to incorporate fruit into my shakes, I delved into developing recipes with gusto. What follows is one of my favorites: it’s low-fat, low-calorie, and delicious treat that won’t go straight to your waistline.

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie


  • 1 serving vanilla protein shake powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. sugar free, fat free cheesecake flavored pudding powder
  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup ice

  1. Combine protein shake powder, water and pudding powder in a blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add blueberries, and blend until mixed.
  3. Add ice and blend until smooth.


On a serious note.

I’m a big advocate for seeing all sides of an issue. I firmly believe that if you can’t see your opponent’s point of view, you will not resolve your conflict. Having said that, I have long admired Amnesty International for their work. However, recently I have become aware of some practices that greatly disappointed me. I felt I could no longer stay silent on the issue, and so have written AI a letter. Here’s what it said:

To whom it may concern:

I have long admired Amnesty International for all the good work you do. There are so many people in the world who are being horribly mistreated, and no one would be aware of their plight if not for your efforts. However, since my membership - and therefore my periodic receipt of your e-newsletters - I have discovered something that I find very disconcerting.

While your coverage of many conflicts seems quite well-rounded, in the case of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict you seem to have fallen into the trap many of the world’s journalists have fallen into: that of making Israel into the de facto “bad guy.” I’m not saying I agree with everything Israel is doing. Far from it. But there are many elements I am quite surprised you have not mentioned, and as advocates speaking out against humanitarian crimes everywhere I believe you owe your members coverage of these, as well.

For example, I have seen no mention of the fact that the Palestinian government - as instituted by the Oslo Accord - has been corrupt and mismanaged since day one. Yasir Arafat, for example, spent millions of dollars on construction. Not of schools and hospitals, as was promised and as he should, but on casinos. To add insult to injury, he built a casino across the street from a refugee camp.

There is also no freedom of speech in the Palestinian territories today. Journalists feel that in order to truly practice their craft they must rely on the foreign press. Anyone who speaks out against the government is beaten, jailed or shot. Academics with ideas on how to improve the lives of Palestinians are either punished or simply ignored, considered to have no “street cred” if they have not been jailed by the Israelis or killed jews.

Why have you not raised an uproar about Palestinian children being used as human shields, by Palestinians? Why have you not mentioned that UN facilities, schools and hospitals are used as Hamas weapons storage facilities in Gaza? Where is your indignation at Hamas declaring victory when thousands of their people have died? Where is your outrage at the fact that in Lebanon there is a law prohibiting Palestinians from working in 62 occupations? Where is your anger at the fact that in some other countries Palestinians must abide by a 6 p.m. curfew? And no, none of these countries is Israel.

in fact, to this day Israel is the ONLY country that admits Palestinian cancer patients into its hospitals for treatment. And they do so on a daily basis. Israel is the only country that has provided Palestinian with consistent humanitarian aid over the past 3+ decades.

To reiterate, I am not saying I agree with everything Israel is doing. There are many people on both sides of the conflict that should be held to account for wrongs they’ve committed. But I am truly appalled that Amnesty International, as an organization purportedly focused only on fighting crimes against humanity, fails to cover the crimes committed by Arabs against Palestinians, and by the Palestinians themselves against other Palestinians. For more information on this matter, I would suggest you look into Khaled Abu Toameh (Wiki here: If President Obama saw fit to have a two-hour conversation with him to hear his point of view on the conflict, maybe it will be worth your while to hear him out, as well.

I sincerely hope my letter is read and not immediately dismissed. I hope that my faith in Amnesty International as an organization of real integrity and vision will be restored.

Thank you for your time,

The sad truth of the matter - as Mr. Abu Tomeh said in his address to UCLA Anderson students yesterday - is that the Western media just isn’t interested in a more balanced view of the conflict. It’s easiest - and most lucrative - for them to make Israel out to be the big baddie of the situation. He mentioned actually approaching journalists in cities such as Los Angeles and being told that they are simply not interested in covering a more balanced, comprehensive view of where the blame for the current Palestinian situation really lay. It’s a very unfortunate situation, and I hope that I, in some small way, can help remedy it.

Thanks for your support.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hamburger Stroganoff

When it’s for only me, I don’t usually get the urge to cook. However, I had promised the family I would make some of my g-ma’s Liptauer cheese (recipe to come next time I make it. I’ve been eyeballing everything, per g-ma’s instructions, so I need to make it again in order to get correct measurements). Somehow I got the craving for hamburger stroganoff - a childhood fave. Only when I made it along-side the Liptauer did I realize why: they have a lot of the same flavoring elements. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe, along with my first attempt at food photography.

Note: I’m also including vegetarian/vegan alternatives. Have made those, they’re delish.

Hamburger Stroganoff
(Originally from “My Great Recipes”)
Serves 4


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (v. option - substitute Boca or Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup beef broth (v. option - substitute vegetable broth)
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream (v. option - substitute soy cream)
  • 4 sliced green onions for garnish
  • Cooked noodles
  1. In a large heavy frying pan, saute the beef in the butter along with the garlic, onions, mushrooms until beef has lost its pinkness and vegetables are tender. V. option - saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the butter first. When tender, add veggie crumbles (they only need to brought up to temp as they’re fully cooked).
  2. Add the all purpose flour. Mix until blended.
  3. Add the beef or vegetable broth, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.
  4. Stir and cook until thickened. Blend in sour cream. Keep warm but do not boil.
  5. Turn cooked noodles into shallow casserole. Top with green onions. Serve immediately.

Bon appetite!

More bee art!

Continuing on the theme of bee art, here’s an artist that creates art using a childhood favorite - The crayon. Only Christian Faur doesn’t use them as his medium in the traditional way. Instead of drawing with them, he creates pixel art by stacking them! In his words:

For this body of work I have assembled more than one hundred thousand hand cast crayons of varying colors and shades to produce a body of work that, to the best of my knowledge, is unlike anything done before in art. These individual “pixels” of wax are precisely stacked into specific locations inside of wooden frames to produce a new art form that uniquely balances the qualities of both photography and sculpture. Further, I have developed a mapping system that translates the English alphabet into twenty six discrete colors and I use these crayon “fonts” to add words and language to each of the pieces in the show.

The product is a series of photorealistic landscapes and figurative images that are formed at the surface of the thousands of tightly packed crayon tips. The imagery that makes up this new body tends to focus on isolated elements represented as children, barns, water towers, etc. withinin determinate landscapes, which are intended to reference the individual crayon whose solitary existence, like that of the individual element, is rendered obsolete in the amalgamate. The direct representation of language in each piece further imbues the works with meaning and brings an aspect of color into each composition reminiscent of DNA coding. The alphabetic key at the lower left of each panel allows the viewer to interpret the individual words written throughout the various panels.

Going back to bees, here’s his bee masterpiece:

To see more of his amazing work, please see his website, here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Government Accountability At Last

A friend sent me this link today:

I’d heard a speech in which President Obama said that there will be a new level of accountability in the government, that the citizens of the United States will be able to see where every penny of theirs is going in the economic stimulous plan. Didn’t think it’d happen quite this quickly, but then if there’s something I’m learning about our new President it’s that when he says something will happen, it does. When has that ever actually happened in politics? Reliably? Couple of thoughts on this brave new world of government’s accountability to its people:

1) President Obama (and those working in his administration) are friggin’ brilliant. If there’s one thing that’s been missing in the White House for a very long time it’s some integrity and transparency. Where the Bush administration took the attitude of “trust us, we have your best interests at heart. Really” the Obama administration clearly understands that we’re tired of secrets and that they have to earn our trust. And they’re doing what they can to do just that.

2) As someone said - I think it was on Twitter - yesterday, “It’s been so long since I’ve been proud and not ashamed of my President, I think I’ve forgotten what it feels like.”

Mr. President, YOU GO!

And a little p.s.:
Also brilliant that this administration is using the internet, and in smart, well thought-out ways. You guys are just awesome.

Bee-utiful Artwork

I knew bees made honey (and in that are unique among insects. Thank you, Eddie Izzard). But as beautiful as the form of the honeycomb is, I had no idea bees had artistic inclinations, as well. Enter Hilary Berseth. According to New York Magazine online: “He constructs basic frameworks of wire and wax, then lets teams of tiny yellow-and-black art fabricators finish the job.”

Here’s a pic of the form:

To read the story and see the finished masterpiece, click here.


What is Dandelion Fluff?

Basically, everything that strikes my (Dani, a.k.a. OhDaniB, a.k.a. Dandelion) fancy. I’m someone who gets very (possibly overly?) excited about stuff I think is cool, and have a compulsion to share it with everyone I know. Turns out I’m not alone in this. Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, I discovered the term “Market Maven”, and its accompanying description and definition:

The word Maven comes from the Yiddish, and it means one who accumulates knowledge. In recent years, economists have spent a great deal of time studying Mavens, for the obvious reason that if marketplaces depend on information, the people with the most information must be the most important….

The critical thing about Mavens, though, is that they aren’t passive collectors of information. It isn’t just that they are obsessed with how to get the best deal on a can of coffee. What sets them apart is that once they figure out how to get that deal, they want to tell you about it, too. “A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests… They like to be helpers int he marketplace. They distribute coupons. They take you shopping. They go shopping for you…. They distribute about four times as many coupons as other people. This is the person who connects people to the marketplace and has the inside scoop on the marketplace. They know where the bathroom is in retail stores. That’s the kind of knowledge they have.” They are more than experts. An expert… will “talk about, say, cars because they love cars. But they don’t talk about cars because they love you, and want to help you with your decision. The Market Maven will. They are more socially motivated.”

So there you have it. When I read the passage above I flashed back to the previous week. In that week, I had visited an IKEA store with some friends. I had only been there once or twice before, myself. Yet when my friends J.C. and J.D. asked me where the bathroom was, I didn’t have to think twice. A few days later I went shopping with some girlfriends. Sure enough, within a few minutes of walking into Sephora they were all coming to me for advice on various cosmetics: “I’ve been looking for a mascara. Can you recommend something?” “I’ve been looking for a new brush. Do you have any ideas?” And the thing is, I DID.

When my dear friend A.S. introduced me to Design*Sponge - and consequently the world of blogging - I knew I found my outlet. I mean, yeah, my friends appreciated my input. But there were times (more often than I’d like to admit, I think) when friends didn’t necessarily want my research when they said: “I’ve been thinking of getting a …”.

So I present Dandelion Fluff. Stuff I think is cool, and stuff I think is worth sharing. Just so you know what to expect, here’s a bit more about me. I am a:

Design Geek
Food Geek
Techno-Geek (my friends have decreed I shall be known as “Tech Slut”, but I prefer the former)
Science Geek
Sci-Fi Geek
British Comedy Geek
But I’m creative, so that’s quite cool.

Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope my blog leaves you with a new little spark in your imagination.