I don’t know if anyone knows the magnificent signs of Paris as extensively as Louise Fili. For over 40 years the American-born graphic designer roamed the “City of Lights,” documenting and photographing the signs that bring life and expression to the streets of Paris. The signs that grace Parisian cafes, boutiques, hotels, patisseries, the Métro, etc. are spectacular works of art, from Nouveau and deco to modern and pop. Thankfully Fili has preserved the images of these graphic masterpieces, as already some of the signs in this book no longer exist. As an art student myself, Graphique de la Rue is a brilliant book of eye candy that inspires me every time I open it.
Graphique de la Rue
by Louise Fili
Princeton Architectural Press
2015, 264 pages, 6.8 x 9.5 x 1.2 inches
$26 Buy one on Amazon
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
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I’m 18 and still have so much fun sitting at my kitchen table doing arts and crafts. One of my favorite craft kits I own is an awesome and simple pin-making kit called the Sukie Button Factory. This kit makes it easy to create adorable fabric-covered pins. It comes with 25 pin backs and fronts, fabric with many different cute and colorful designs, a button-covering mold and pusher, a fun zine-like instruction book, and a template to help you cut the fabric (I added felt to my kit, which I’m going to experiment with). All you have to do is cut out the circle of fabric that you like and attach it to the button and pin using the mold and pusher. It’s super easy, fun, and addictive. Of course you can use your own fabric when making the pins. The finished pins can be attached to birthday cards, on clothes, backpacks, shoes, and anything else you can think of.
Sukie Button Factory
Ages 9 and up, makes 25 pins
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The Trumark slingshot is perfect for shooting targets, tin cans, or across the backyard. What makes it special is its very comfortable wrist brace, which gives me a lot of control while aiming. Holding the slingshot becomes effortless, and the wrist brace takes all the strain off my arm, making it easier to focus on aim, rather than struggling to hold the slingshot in place while pulling the pocket back at the same time. Whenever I use this slingshot I’m always surprised at how fast an hour flies by. I recommend buying some cool targets to practice on, such as the Zombie Spinning Targets, which is what I have (and have to share with my sister, who has banged it up with her BB gun). As for ammo, I've been using Trumark's 5/8" steel balls, but pebbles work fine and are more environmentally friendly (once I run out of these I'm going on a pebble hunt). Of course an adult should always be present while kids are using the slingshot.
Ages 12 and up
$9 Buy one on Amazon
Zombie Spinning Target
$15 Buy one on Amazon
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Beastly Verse is Joohee Yoon's beautifully illustrated children’s book of poems about animals on wonderfully thick, textured paper.
Each short poem, by classic authors such as Lewis Carroll, William Blake, D.H. Lawrence, and Carolyn Wells, is accompanied by a playfully silly illustration, many which pull out to create a three-page spread. And yet many of the poems, which are as whimsical as the beastly images, are also layered with a deeper meaning of nature and life itself. This is one of those books that adults will savor as much as – if not more than – the children who own it.
See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest
Inspired by the hilarious and quirky TV show Portlandia, The Portlandia Activity Book, written by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and Jonathan Krisel includes all kinds of Portland-related activities, tests and advice, such as a “Build Your Own Chore Wheel,” conversation starter cards, conversation stopper cards, fashion tips, bird stencils, silly word games, and more.
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[Video Link] I like the band Best Coast because listening to them makes it feel like a California summer no matter what season it is. They have a great new album out, called The Only Place.
Last week my friend Ava and I interviewed them at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, a couple of hours before they performed. Our friend Maureen Herman (the bass player for Babes in Toyland) shot and co-edited the video. Read the rest
Last weekend I went to Shag the Store in Palm Springs, California. A variety of art pieces by Shag were for sale, along with paintings up for a charity auction by artists who painted live at Coachella. Handbags, art books, home décor, and other items were also being sold. It was fun to walk around and view the art. You should definitely check it out if you’re in Palm Springs!￼ (See below for Shag swag giveaway details). Read the rest
On Saturday I went to the My Little Pony Project event at Toy Art Gallery on Melrose, and it was very fun! Check out the art gallery. Many well-known and pop surrealist artists painted large-scale ponies, and they were put on display. Read the rest