My hips don't lie

I have really been terrible about keeping up with posts lately and it's mainly because I took a break from everything while I recovered from hip replacement surgery. That's right, I am now bionic! I feel much too young to have gone through this, but it's a genetic thing and I've been needing a new one for a while. I'm excited to see what a pain-free life can bring me now. I love to walk outside for inspiration and I was greatly limited for a long while, but I will be back in action again very soon. In the meantime, I can post about a trip to a museum I made before the surgery.

I went to the teamLab interactive exhibit at the PACE Gallery in Menlo Park. It runs through December 18th of this year and is absolutely worth a trip if you are in the Bay Area. As stated on their website: 

"teamLab, the renowned Japanese art collective, recognized for challenging and expanding the digital art making practice, and Pace Art + Technology will present Living Digital Space and Future Parks. The large-scale installation will invite participants of all ages to immerse themselves in the multi-room environments spanning 20,000ft² and showcasing 20 digital works."

It is pretty incredible and I could have stayed for hours. Take a look at these videos for a peek at what's in store if you can make it.

 

Crystal Universe

Stitch Knit Weave

I've always had a love of needlecraft. At a young age, my German Oma and my Mom both taught me to knit, sew and embroider and I am totally amazed at the new modern twists I see everywhere now. Whether it's quilting a bold colorblocked dress, weaving fabric scraps to make a shirt, or embroidering on a photograph, it's pretty astounding how creative people are.

About ten years ago I took my own turn at a twist on classical embroidery and created things like cityscapes and birds on wires—here are several examples. I had a few shows back in the day, but my love of pattern design took over. I don't spend much time with thread or needles anymore but I still love to get inspired by what's out there now. You can see more on my Pinterest board Stitch Knit Weave.

(I still have stitched items for sale, feel free to email me if interested in seeing more of my private collection).

 © Katja Ollendorff

© Katja Ollendorff

Images Below Row 1: Emily Parkinson, Celeste Tesoriero, Chilise Patternson, Row 2: Gintare Pasakarnyte, Karen Barbe, Viktor & Rolf, Row 3: Gemma Beech, Kustaa Saksi, Laerke Bagger, Row 4: Liz L Payne, Marloes Duyjer, Maryanne Moodie, Row 5: Mina Perhonen, Sharish Shafiq, Hasta Mostly

Artist Spotlight - Ugo Rondinone

I came across an image on Instagram of these colorful stacked rocks in the desert. Anything this bright is bound to catch my eye. After investigating a bit further, I found Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone's website and on it he says he has made his site-specific installation, Seven Magic Mountains, "a creative expression of human presence in the desert...that  punctuates the Mojave with a poetic burst of form and color."

And that it does. It's hard to grasp the true scale in the photos, but these colorful boulders stand 30 feet high, which means the bottom rock alone, is taller than a person. Cool! They are located about 10 miles south of Las Vegas and are up for another year or so. Road trip anyone?

Watch a really cool video on how this installation came to be over a 5-year period HERE>

  All images are from Ugo Rondinone's website. Click through to see more.

All images are from Ugo Rondinone's website. Click through to see more.

Sebastopol

As a single person who works from home, I find that I spend a lot of time alone. That means I have to work extra hard to get out, see people, make plans with friends, go on adventures and find inspiration. I took a staycation at a friend's house in Sonoma last week so it's been a while since my last post. I love exploring that area as there is endless inspiration. Just getting away from the city is enough for me to feel inspired! The smells, the light and peace and quiet are pretty much heaven to me. 

I took a day jaunt up to Sebastopol, a town I'd never visited before—I loved the small town feel and friendly people. I visited the Luther Burbank Experimental Farm and Arnold Drive (basically whatever Google told me I should do there), then I had a yummy lunch at the Gypsy Cafe on the main drag, stopped into a great gallery and chatted with some friendly locals along the way. 

I don't think my sense of adventure will ever leave me, because these kinds of days feed my soul more than anything else. Having new experiences, being brave, doing things alone, connecting with others outside my daily realm, seeing new things—I will always want more!  

When was the last time you took a day trip by yourself somewhere? Try it!  And see what treasures it brings you.

Junk art is by local artist Patrick Amiot. Every house on Arnold Drive has one of his works in the yard. Kitty Hawk Gallery on Main street is owned and run by artist Grace Levine. The works here are hers. Floral images were taken at the Luthur Burbank Experimental Garden.

Unusual Beauty

One of my favorite boards on my own Pinterest wall is called Unusual Beauty. This is a place where I save all my favorite images of things that don't seem to belong anywhere else. They are beautiful, strange, mesmerizing and really make me want to linger longer. Click through to see more!

Please note: None of these images are my own they are for personal inspiration purposes only - please click through for sources.

Weirdly Wonderful

This is just too cool not to share. Zeitguised, a design company based in Berlin, Germany offers so many captivating things that are different from anything I've ever seen. Check out their website here. It's worth a look around.

Some info on the video below as described on their website:

“Void Season” is a simulated fashion project.

Part dreamlike theatre, part lateral cargo cult hustle, a quick succession of bold garment designs acts as an ersatz runway show. In a minimal set of solid backdrops, radiant colors and oblique choreography second the exquisite design of costumes that have been entirely artificially generated.

A wealth of custom procedural surface detail emphasizes the uncanny rift between the realistic presence of the guises and the abstract vacancy of the digitized human movements.

I find these clips weirdly genius. 

Overwhelmed by Offers ?

Are you overwhelmed by all the offers, courses, classes, DIY, Must-Do's! out there? I sure am. I have a hard enough time trying to get one thing in front of me done, without getting distracted by ads that scream "Skills You Need to Have ", "You've Got to See This", "You Must Try This!", "Learn How To Make Your Life Exactly What You Want It To Be With Zero Effort And Make A Million Dollars Doing It." Although many of the courses teach valuable lessons, most of them come at a high price. 

As a creative person, I'm always up for learning more. I love tutorials, marketing classes, instructional videos. However, I don't like spending money on every single thing I come across. I've found some great free PS tutorials through this site PHLEARN like these here. There are many ways to do the same thing, but I love finding a way that's more efficient. Even if something doesn't pertain exactly to textile design, you can still learn tips and tricks that are transferable. 

Here are a few I found pretty interesting. Do you have any favorite free tutorial sites?

http://phlearn.com/how-to-use-step-and-repeat-in-photoshop

http://phlearn.com/how-to-color-an-illustration-in-photoshop

http://phlearn.com/apply-wallpaper-to-walls-in-photoshop

http://phlearn.com/use-refine-edge-tool-photoshop

 

 

 

 

 

Les Ballet Russes

Have you ever heard of Leon Bakst? No? Well perhaps you have heard of the Ballets Russes, a dance company that was concieved by Sergei Diaghilev, that performed throughout Europe and North and South America between 1909 and 1929.

I did ballet for about 10 of my (much younger) years and I have always loved the world of dance and still go to the ballet regularly. The Ballet Russes has always inspired me because the costumes are so incredibly beautiful, and designed by artists who were very avant garde for the time—from Picasso, Matisse, Chanel and yes, Leon Bakst.

His costumes are bold and bright and I can really imagine that the simple shapes and vibrant colors would be perfect for viewing from a distance while moving across the stage. Here is just a selection of a few I loved in particular. How beautiful that must have been!


He also did set design, and created patterns for textile that were never put into production (as far as anyone knows). Here are a few incredible examples in rich palettes that I found here.

Artist Spotlight: Anna Valdez

I don't recall how I came across Anna's work, but when beautiful artwork is bright, colorful and full of pattern it will most definitely catch my eye. I love her still-life paintings depicting scenes in her room and studio—of various books, collected objects, plants and decorative fabrics. I like to say that they "make my eyes hungry". Hungry for more! 

Anna lives and works in Oakland, CA and you can read more about her artwork and process here. Any inquiries about purchasing her art can be sent to info@annavaldez.com.

All images shared are with kind permission of the artist.

Mandala Magic in a Cake

Stephen MacCarty Cakes
  All images via Stephen McCarty Instagram and mymodernmet.com

All images via Stephen McCarty Instagram and mymodernmet.com

Wow! I just read about these Sukhavati Raw Desserts here and they sure are stunners! I just know they've got to taste divine too. L.A. pastry chef Stephen McCarty makes these stunningly vibrant cakes using vegan and raw ingredients. He uses the intricate design of the Mandala to decorate his delicacies—which could be like the temporary sand mandalas created by Tibetan monks—fleeting beauty, soon to be swept away. I want to meditate on that, and then get rid of it (translation: think about how pretty it is, then get it in ma belly!). 

Justina's Jungalow Prints

  She had these printed on Shutterfly. How cool and so fresh!

She had these printed on Shutterfly. How cool and so fresh!

My homegirl has been on a crazy roll lately. Not only is Justina Blakeney's latest amazing book out, (check out The New Bohemians with photography by Dabito) but she has taught herself how to create patterns. I just love how she makes things happen. I mean, she got it in her head that she wanted to do this and then figured out a way. No formal training—just a vision and some confidence. How admirable is that!

Her patterns are a reflection of her jungalow lifestyle—full of lush greenery, palm fronds and flowers (and a lovely hint of Josef Frank). She not only painted the designs, put them into repeat, but then had them printed by Shutterfly and made into products that she can have around her home. To top that, she then did a collaboration with a local LA designer, Eva Franco to make a line of clothing. Now that's what I call an inspirational mover-and-shaker. 

  Exclusive Eva Franco dress with Justina's pattern.

Exclusive Eva Franco dress with Justina's pattern.

Images are via her website and Eva Franco.

June Instagram Fave - ihavethisthingwithfloors

It's no surprise that I adore this feed. If you haven't seen it by now, just take a peek and I'm sure that you will love it too! @ihavethisthingwithfloors is the most mesmerizing array of floors, tiles, carpets and ground surfaces and it's really hard to pull myself away once I start looking. Here are just a few of the 300,000+ followers already in love. Use hashtag #ihavethisthingwithfloors and add to the fun.

 

 @lucylaucht

@lucylaucht

 @sincerelyjules

@sincerelyjules

 @ihavethisthingwithfloors

@ihavethisthingwithfloors

 @sincerelyjules

@sincerelyjules

 @northern_daisy

@northern_daisy

 @marykalhor

@marykalhor

 @lilfoxx

@lilfoxx

 @olbapolivac 

@olbapolivac