Sunday, January 11, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things

I have been meaning to throw out a steady stream of great discoveries, but since I haven't started by now, I'm going to compress what would be several entries of that nature into one. Without further ado, here's a short list of favorite things.

Design Websites

I make the rounds of most of the popular design websites and blogs- and I find the following two to be indispensable.

First up is Print & Pattern, a blog devoted exclusively to current trends in surface design. The entries are great because they're so image heavy, with only the occasionally sprinkled caption. Its my first stop if I'm looking for quick bursts of inspiration. Its constantly loaded with international designers (the writer is British) that I've never seen before. Entries run the gamut from super-cute kawaii designs to intricate and subtle stationary and everything in between. Many of the images are photographs taken by the writer as she stalks out trends both home and abroad. Her entries around the holidays really juiced up our design process at work this year.

Some of the featured work is predictable and all over the design circuit, but a lot of puts a fresh spin on what's going on. The illustration above is a prime example. Birds and flowers in some combination are everywhere right now, but this designer's treatment of them is refreshing-- I particularly love the colors used.

This design comes from the wonderful Lucy Clarke, via Print & Pattern.

The second website is as specific as Print & Pattern is general. Grain Edit shares work with very specific mid-century aesthetic references, and if it happens to be your thing then you're going to think you've died and gone to blog heaven. The mix of old and new is awesome, and sorting by tags allows you to read entries specific to an era or style. Here's a sample of the delicious goodness they dig up:

I know, right? I lovelovelove everything about this little vintage hotel tag, especially the combination of sleek modern script with utilitarian sans-serif fontage. And the color, and the shapes, and the screen-print looking feel with the white outline...

The first movie I'd like to talk about is the worst movie I have ever seen. Ever. I'm discussing it simply because its so bad you have to see it. The Happening, starring Mark Walberg is about an act of airborne eco terrorism caused by plants. (possibly) This movie is so incomprehensibly bad from start to finish I wouldn't even know where to start-- the script is terrible, the directing is some kind of nightmare (made obvious by Zooey Deschanel's terrible performance despite the fact that she's normally such an amazing actress). It was so bad that the New Republic compiled a list of its worst moments here. I would highly suggest you watch it-- if for no other reason than to see people try to run from the wind and to cringe over the world's creepiest old doll.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I watched the pilot for Showtime's United States of Tara this weekend, you can check it out on Fancast. Toni Collette plays a mom with dissociative identity disorder and John Corbett of Sex and the City fame plays her sweet husband. They have a pair of highly dysfunctional kids, and a whole array of personalities that Collette plays with amazing hilarity. The Season 2 premiere of Flight of the Conchords is also available on Fancast, and is just as funny. I'm so glad HBO brought it back.

My storage closet is bursting at the seams, and I will be announcing a sale tomorrow. You might even go so far as to say it'll be a blowout. Its time to clear away the old so I can make the new-- I'm starting to think about what shows I might like to apply to over the summer.

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