500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form
“Contemporary and unique, these handmade creations range from representational to abstract, from skillful realism to provocative surrealism—and they’re made from every conceivable material, including beads, gourds, and polymer clay. Juror Akira Blount, a pioneer in the “art doll” movement, incorporates vines, twigs, and carved wood in her fabric dolls; with their expressionless faces and closed eyes, they appear absorbed by inner worlds. Dutch artist Marlaine Verhelst’s porcelain designs seem to have sprung straight from a medieval painting. Chris Chomick’s strange and slightly scary figures feature amazing detail and elaborate costumes. Dollmakers, crafters, collectors, and anyone who loves beautiful objects will love the amazing diversity showcased here.” → more info
Like so many fantastic discoveries, my finding of Dela Flamant was a complete accident. However, I knew I loved this art as soon as I laid eyes on it! The intense repetition of the lines of rain in the above piece is mesmerizing.
The shop owner write this about the inspiration for their art:
“I am inspired by avant – garde 1960’s graphic design, in particular Swiss, Dutch and Bauhaus design work as well as antique images and fine art including paintings and drawings.”
The sailboat and lighthouse print above would be welcome in my son’s bedroom any day. I’m sure he would love to fall asleep dreaming of sailing the sea. I love how the artist celebrates the hand drawn aspect in this print.
This last piece of art has a thick industrial feel. It’s strong without being too overbearing. I can see this hanging in a home with modern decor. Actually, it would like nice anywhere!
The artist states that all posters are printed using soy based ink. I am unfamiliar with this type of printing ink but definitely inspired to learn more about it. When I discover an artist I’m always interested in their process, supplies they use and their inspiration. It’s clear to me that the art at Dela Flamant embraces the creative process and creates outstanding end products!
A recent tweet on Urbanite Jewelry‘s Twitter feed reads: “Time to catch up on tour de tea…I’m behind like a mo fo! Life is crazy busy right now!” For Krista Leben, jewelry designer/event organizer/business owner/world traveler, “crazy busy” is an understatement. In the time that I have known Krista, she has never had just one thing on the go, and yet always seems to find the time to get everything done with style and grace. Keeping up with so many projects and still managing to make time for herself must be no easy feat, so you know that if anything gets added to Krista’s already-packed schedule, it must be very important.
Lovely repurposed vintage teacup bracelets by Stay Gold Mary Rose.
That is exactly the case with Krista’s “Tour de Tea”. A passionate foodie, Krista is on a personal quest to sample the 70 varieties and flavours of tea in her collection. To that end, she is drinking one per day and blogging about it. As she can’t share the taste experience with us, she provides dreamy Polaroid-style photos of each tea with a brief description of each. It’s almost as good as being there to taste for ourselves.
As I write this, Krista has sampled and logged 58 teas from her collection. Her favourites so far have been a stand-out Swedish tea called Soderblanding (a complex blend of black tea with floral, citrus and vanilla notes), which Krista picked up on a trip to Stockholm, and the Raspberry Ginger Zinger green tea from Edmonton’s Steeps. They haven’t all been winners, though; an intriguing blend from My Tea Mix turned out to be better in theory than in practice. With ingredients like Chinese Wolfberry, ginsing blossoms and rock sugar, it turned out to be more of a treat for the eyes than the tastebuds.
Upcycled vintage teacup pendant light by Mostaza Seed. Such a bright idea!
I asked Krista about her preferred method for brewing tea and she was gracious enough to share these tips with us:
Don’t Use Boiling Water: While this seems totally counter-intuitive, it’s actually bad to steep your tea in boiling water because it can burn the tea. Boil your water, then take it off the stove (or out of the microwave) and let it sit for a minute or two. Then add the tea to it after it’s cooled. You’ll have sweeter, more flavorful tea that’s less likely to get bitter.
Don’t Over-Steep Your Tea: Most tea only needs a few minutes to steep in water. If you’re brewing your tea more than 5 minutes, you’re likely to end up with bitter tea. Different types of tea need less steeping, too. In general, white tea needs the least amount of time to steep, with green tea needing a bit more and black tea needing the most. But even black tea doesn’t typically need more than 5 minutes, so don’t leave your tea in the water too long!
Do Use Loose Leaf!: While the quality of bagged tea has improved greatly in the past couple of years, the flavor and complexity of loose leaf tea can’t be beat. Loose leaf tea is more expensive than tea bags, but is still super affordable and is easy to prepare. Just buy yourself a tea ball or spoon from a kitchen store, put about a teaspoon per cup (250 ml/8 oz) in the ball/spoon and brew just like you would a tea bag!
Keep your tea hot to the bottom of the pot with this modern wool felt tea cozy by Argyle Street.
Krista also mentioned that it’s important to be aware of the shelf-life of your tea. Just like herbs, it’s best to buy your teas in smaller quantities, store them in airtight containers and, for maximum flavour, use them as soon as possible. While drinking “expired” tea won’t be harmful to you, it will taste stale and lack some of its original flavour profile, as Krista found out with some of the older teas in her stash.
One-of-a-kind vintage teacup ring holder by W.Ho Made It.
You can keep up with Krista’s “Tour de Tea” on her blog and via her Twitter feed. To see her stunning line of handmade jewelry online, visit the Urbanite shop. I am personally looking forward to the day when I can venture out to Ottawa to meet my dear friend in the flesh. Over a pot of tea, of course.
“York, England” earrings by Urbanite Jewelry.
It’s time to make something yourself, and yuki‘s shop is a great place to start if you want to make modern jewelry pieces.
While touring the aisles at the ABCkids show in Las Vegas last week, I came across these thoroughly modern, vintage style baby bonnets from Urban Baby Bonnet.
I love how these bonnets look, but I also love how they challenge my ability to classify and generalize as well. It’s like my penchant for Ikea got together with my love of Little House on the Prairie. Who knew? They are sweetly old fashioned, even as they are sleek and modern. Does this make them postmodern? Whatever you call them, you cannot deny that they are utterly adorable. The simple design is downright refreshing after seeing so much same old same old. We love new old!
Urban Baby Bonnets come in cotton, organic and fleece lined versions, for those in cold climates. Fabric choices are fun and funky and include masculine and feminine prints. Flip the brim forward for sun shade and back to change up the look.