Karen Barbé is a fabulous textile designer from Santiago, Chile. On top of her immense talent for all things fabric as showcased in her shop, Karen has a great blog full of intriguing images and glimpses of work in progress. I’m not sure what project Karen is working on in these photographs but so far, it is gorgeous! Vintage-colours yet completely modern shapes. It’s safe to say my love affair with embroidery is far from over!
I am always on the lookout for colourful, intriguing patterns and lately it seems that most of my favourites have come from a studio named Suzie Q. Showcasing a fantastic eye for colour, line and shape, designer Julie Shalit is the talent behind the studio and her website is bursting with one gorgeous pattern after another. I have my fingers firmly crossed for Suzie Q textile and home lines in the very near future! (see more of Julie’s work in her portfolio)
I’ve spent the last year or so dreaming up reasons to buy a Cable and Cotton string of lights. Collecting the photos for this post has only given me more ideas of where I could use them! The natural, hand-dyed cotton-covered spheres create a warm glow of colour that looks gorgeous at parties and as part of interior design. The website has pre-packaged colour selections but you can also customize your own light string from a large palette of colour. It is a pretty addictive thing to play with! I also love that your purchase helps an entire community of women in a remote southern region of Thailand as those skilled workers create every single string of lights. How beautiful is the photo of the cotton wonders in a fireplace? Yep, I don’t think I can resist anymore…
I have always loved Papel Picado, a Mexican festive decoration that translates into “perforated paper”. Stunningly elaborate designs are cut from tissue paper or plastic using a template and small chisel, allowing artists to make many flags at one time. Papel picado with various motifs including nature, love and skeletons are strung up in vibrant rows of colour for festivals, weddings, baptisms and holidays. Such a beautiful handmade art form that brings rich colour and detail to a celebration. Time to try making some papel picado for an upcoming fiesta!
Oh and some fascinating information from wikipedia about the colours selected for papel picado:
“Sky blue or pink and white are commonly chosen for celebrations in honor of the Virgin Mary, yellow and white for parton saints, vibrant pink, orange, and purple are the key tones employed for ofrendas (offerings) associated with the Day of the Dead. Shades of purple are also widely used at Easter. The colors of the Mexican flag – red white and green – are set aside for venerating the nation’s patroness, La Virgen de Guadalupe, as well as for commemorating Independence Day, Sept. 16th. Rainbow hues are appropriate for Christmas and non religious festivities.”
The Indigo Bunting is a small seed-eating bird that migrates from south-eastern Canada to northern Florida to South America. That’s all very interesting but l can’t focus on anything but that stunning shade of blue! Living on the opposite coast, I have never spotted one of these natural works of art but I imagine they are gorgeous comets of brilliant blue as they fly through the air. Interestingly, female indigo buntings are brown year-round while males are brown in the winter and vibrant blue in the summer. If you ever needed evidence that nature makes the most incredible hues of all, indigo buntings are proof positive!
Insanely bright colours, hand cut leather and delicious geometry? Oh and some tassels? Welcome to the wildy imaginative jewellery of Boo and Boo Factory. Given the amazing compositions and inventive angles, it makes sense that an architecture masters student is behind the line. Christina Anton creates many different kinds of jewellery in her Los Angeles studio using leather, felt, feathers and a variety of other materials but I find myself particularly in love with her necklaces. True pieces of colour saturated handmade art. Wear one of these vibrant pieces to a party and you are automatically the most awesome person in the room!
Computer enhanced or CGI work dominates a lot of the visual effects we see in film these days. I love when designers and artists illustrate how much magic can be created using everyday materials and big dash of imagination. The Universe Is As Big As Your Mind by Eran Hakim creates an ethereal world of colour and shape using water, oil, alcohol, ink, energy drink and watercolours. A truly dreamy world of hues that looks computer generated but is completely created with household ingredients. Hoping we can make more films with this imaginative spirit in mind!
(ingredients used: 2 litres of water, 1/2 litre of oil, 1/4 litre of alcohol, 1/5 litre of ink, 50 ml of mana portion energy drink, 6 ounces of watercolours)
A brilliant fashion editorial photographed by Viviane Sassen for Dazed & Confused magazine. The vibrant work of colour-loving designers like Missoni, Diane von Furstenberg and Vivienne Westwood looks spectacular against the rich tapestry of Netherlands tulip fields. Don’t even get me started on the mix of textures! A beautiful fusion of colourful fashion and nature. (p.s. I previously did a post on tulip fields if you fancy a look)
The beauty of wood grain never ceases to amazing me. I love how each type of wood has unique characteristics, patterns and, of course, different colours. Vicky from Asher Jasper created these Hardwood Building Blocks to not only give children a natural toy to learn from but to teach what makes wood different from colour to smell to texture. Talk about inspiration imagination-wise. I love the design and the stamped wood name. I wouldn’t mind a set myself to keep as wood colour swatches and general examples of beautiful design!
You may have already seen this RGB Wallpaper by Italian studio Carnovsky. It received a lot of attention last year and I was reminded why when I was rifling through some inspiration folders last night and rediscovered the incredible project. I was inspired to post it here just in case it hasn’t been seen by everyone and because I want to make sure the genius colour-focused project is saved for prosperity on plenty of colour! The wallpaper contains overlapping primary coloured illustrations of subjects such as animals and sea creatures. When a red, green or blue light (RGB colour) is shone upon the room’s paper, one of the three overlapping patterns is visible and the other two are hidden. Such gorgeous illustrations and a real feat of colour theory. Months later, I am still in love with the innovation and beauty of this project.
This recently completed mural by artist Pastime might top my ‘favourite street art of all time’ list. The San Francisco piece packs a powerful punch of colour and features an almost subliminal artist name among the geometric patchwork of squares. But let’s get back to the colour – how gorgeous is that mix of hues? Guaranteed to brighten up even the greyest of days!
While making my nightly visit to the website of Room 6, one my favourite Vancouver stores, I spotted these gorgeous and colourful handwoven beaded cuffs by designer Julie Rofman. I immediately began to drool. Don’t they look like a chic, high fashion take on friendship bracelets? A mixture of matte, translucent, opaque and shiny glass beads, Julie uses a small bead loom to weave geometric patterns. Each piece is part of a limited edition and is finished with sterling silver clasp beads and ribbon ends. Inspired by global pattern and colour, each bracelet is named after brightly hued places in the world such as “Rio“, “Galapagos” and “Havana“. I don’t know if I can resist buying one of these bright and beautifully crafted designs. The only hard part will be picking which one!
Holy. The Orishiki Clutch by Naoki Kawamoto is more work of art than handbag. Orishiki is a union of the world “Ori” taken from the paper folding art of Origami and “Shiki” taken from the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth named Furoshiki. Created from a single piece of material with triangular origami-fold inspired segments, the vibrant magenta fold lines and glossy faced end result are stunning. I think if this was my clutch, I would have to carry it around empty as it would be next to impossible to stop folding and re-folding it!
Confetti System is a studio that creates the most incredible works of paper, mylar and fabric art. They have really revolutionized so-called party decorations by turning them into dynamic and modern stage backdrops, window displays, decor and fashion pieces. How gorgeous is that silk wall they created for a New York clothing store? (second image from the top). With clients ranging from fashion houses like Opening Ceremony, magazines like Martha Stewart, stores like Bergdorf Goodman or Urban Outfitters, events like The New York Ballet and bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Confetti System are constantly exploring new avenues for creativity. It is so refreshing to see this kind of well-designed handmade craft appreciated and used in so many arenas. Computers are amazing but they can’t make a giant wall of gold mylar! If designers Julie Ho and Nicholas Andersen asked me to move to New York as a Confetti System sweeper, I would be on the next plane tomorrow. Seriously.
Sometimes something so delightfully random and creative comes along that proves just how insanely awesome the Internet is. The Cosby Sweater Project is a site dedicated to cataloging and illustrating the crazy and colourful sweaters won on The Cosby Show. I love the fantastic interpretations of those patterns. Whomever is behind this site: I officially love you. (p.s. when I started this week, I had no idea there would be two Cliff Huxtable references by week end. You never know what a week will bring…)
Maya Hayuk is an artist with talent in a ridiculous number of design areas from painting to photography to absolut vodka ads. I particularly love her murals/installations as they are bold pops of colour on otherwise mundane or uninspiring urban landscapes. Just imagine how dull that barn would be without Maya’s colourful addition! Her newest piece was created in Brazil and is a mural woven in fabric. Can’t wait to see this unique idea develop…