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.