Deanna Dahlsad escapes Soviet Russia, sends her friends to Siberia, and braves the wicked Kommissar in this 1960s-era board game.Read the rest
I know this rubber band ball is durable because my wife ran over the box with her car without damaging the rubber bands. The manufacturer claims it has at least 270 rubber bands in it.
Rubber band ball ($5)
There are a handful of other books about African-American quilts, particularly quilts from Gee’s Bend; each have beautiful quilts to show, but this obscure exhibition catalogue remains my favorite. Whereas other books tend to position the quilts in the context of modern art and abstract painting, scholar and collector Eli Leon focuses on the connection with West and Central African textile traditions.
Leon’s thesis is that African-American quiltmakers, much like jazz musicians, were drawing on the aesthetic traditions of Africa when they began to make quilts to keep their families warm. “[Afro-traditional quiltmakers] favor ‘flexible patterning,’ in which the design is conceived as an invitation to variation; rather than repeat, the pattern may materialize in a sequence of visual elaborations.”
This contrasts sharply with the standard American quilt-making tradition and its attention to precise measurement and exact pattern repetition. Instead, afro-traditional quilters “maintain a generous attitude towards the accidental.”
What makes the essays so great is that Leon is a passionate observer of process, using diagrams to describe variations on a single block pattern and exploring at length the design choices used in specific quilts.
With the help of extensive interviews with African-American quilt makers, Leon creates a language to describe these design techniques. Subtitles like “accumulative creation,” “bimodality,” and “integration of accidentals” hint at what this book has to offer to designers and improvisers of all stripes.
Also worth checking out is Talking Quilts, a series of conversations between Eli Leon and quilter Sherri Lynn Wood about his collection. – Reanna Alder
Accidentally on Purpose: The Aesthetic Management of Irregularities in African Textiles and African-American Quilts
by Eli Leon
2007, 176 pages, 9.4 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches (paperback)
Perth, Australia. The first in-store pickup of the long-awaited new iPhone. The glare of the new day. The crush of the crowd. The crack of metal on concrete.
The phone was fine.
Ilan Stavans did some literary exploring in Cuba, and he’s sharing with us the fruits of his (and many others’) labors.Read the rest
Lewis Dartnell descends a kilometer underground to visit a laboratory where scientists have spent twenty years searching for the elusive particles that hold our galaxy together.Read the rest
Artist Mitch O'Connell recently had a baby. After making a pipe pacifier for his infant, he started a line of baby clothing featuring sideshow characters!
Step right up! The Fair has come to town!
From "The Prince of Pop Art," artist Mitch O'Connell introduces "Lil' Sideshow," a tent full of adorable carnival cutie characters ready adorn all your baby wear needs!
Have your wee one look fashionable on the midway as they turn over a prize winning plastic duck or ride high on the Ferris Wheel!
A circus parade of choices, including the cute "Lil' Mermaid" to mighty "Lil' Strongman" or the even spookier "Lil' Spidora" and mischievous "Lil' Devil Child" on everything from diaper bags to onesies!
If your heart can take it, see them all by clicking on the link
Automobile-Sized Refrigerator: When a cooler just isn’t cool enough. By Matt MaranianRead the rest