Pack Rat is currently using the Sword of Omens’ Sight Beyond Sight function to suss out how long the lines at Target are
I am in love. I know, I know, you guys must get tired of me swooning every day over a new artist/blog/etc. But I can’t help it! There’s so much good stuff out there to see. Today, via Junk Creation blog (which I also adore), I came across Craftynest and the home stylings of Monica Ewing. Her low cost, recycle-based projects are the bomb diggity. (Remember when people used that phrase? Oh 1999. What were you thinking?) I was especially taken with her very smart, very chic modular bookcase made from salvaged drawers. It seems that I’m always passing dresser drawers in my many roadside scavanges, and this is an excellent idea for how to repurpose them. And she is not only inventive, but helpful–as she has supplied a how-to on her blog for copy cats like me. Take a gander at the before and after below.
It’s official: the financial situation in this country sucks hard. Like Werther’s Originals hard. It’s time for us all to tighten our purse strings and cut back on the many extravagances we’ve indulged in over the past few years. And even though I am the head Pack Ratter, I am far from guilt free when it comes to unnecessary spending. Sushi, for example, is my Achilles heel and as difficult as it is to admit, I need to start making it a “once in a while” treat, instead of an every month kind of thing. Another soft spot for me is decorating. As many of you know, we recently moved and opened up shop in Queens, NY and I am just itching to hit IKEA and Target and get this decorating show on the road. But even IKEA and Target are looking like extravagances these days. So what’s a girl to do when she wants her home to make a big impact, but only put a small dent in her wallet? Well, maybe I’ll take a page from the playbook of Charlie Kratzer. Cheryl Truman of The Lexington Herald-Leader recently wrote an article about Kratzer’s basement. Or to be more specific, his walls, which he has covered top to bottom, left to right, in drawings, thanks to the help of $10 worth of Sharpie markers. A catch-all for a few of his favorite things, Kratzer adorned his walls with images of Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, Picasso and Monet, and Rocky and Bullwinkle to name a few. With a little imagination and a lot of commitment, Kratzer turned his basement retreat into a one of a kind getaway for less than the cost of, well, a sushi dinner. (This no sushi thing is gonna drive me nuts.) Read the full article and view a video of Kratzer’s creation in its entirety and start planning your own 360 degree mural.
G’day mates. Here’s a link for your home decor. Check out Block Posters, it’s a free service that can change any high res photo into a poster for you. All you have to do is upload the photo and tell the program what you want the dimensions of your poster to be. It then takes the image and cuts it into a grid. Print out the grid, align it on the wall and as fast as you can say easy-peasy you have some awesome wall art. Buzz around the website gallery suggests that using spray adhesive can really flatten the paper images and give the poster a finished look. See for yourself with some examples below. We’ve got the Big Lebowski, somebody’s super creative screen decorated with Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and the last is maybe my favorite. It looks like someone just took a random photo from the 80′s and turned it into a poster. It just goes to show, anything can be art if you put it in the right context.
Okay this…this is pretty cool. Try to imagine this. You’re eleven years old and your best friend is spending the night in your family’s new apartment. You’re just hanging out in your bedroom, when all of a sudden your friend jumps up and points to your radiator. “It’s your name!” he exlaims. You think he’s a wacko because while the cover to your radiator is decorated with random letters, none of them come close to spelling out your name in any kind of combination. But, your friend explains, it is a puzzle. And then before you know it, your whole home has come to life as one big riddle waiting to be solved.
Sounds exciting, right? Well check out the article “Mystery on Fifth Avenue,” from yesterday’s New York Times. The Sherry-Klinsky family got exactly this kind of surprise a year after architect Eric Clough had finished renovating their new Fifth Avenue apartment. Steven Klinsky had asked Clough to put a poem he had written about his family into a bottle and bury it in the wall during renovations. Clough thought about it and did him one better. He, with the help of a battlion of friends and like-minded enthusiasts, devised an elaborate mystery without the family’s knowledge. Furniture was built with secret compartments, walls were left with hidden doors. Clough even coerced author Jonathan Safran Foer to write a novel full of clues that he hid in the wall and Canadian recording artist Kate Fenner created a special soundtrack for the home which was hidden in a secret compartment in the kitchen. There’s more, oh so much more. It seems like an Alice and Wonderland dream, that the home you thought you new actually has hundreds of small secrets right below the surface. Read the full article to find out more. Visions of sugar plums are dancing in my head after hearing this one.
Here are a few photos, but you should really go to NY Times website and get the full effect. What you see below is the radiator that son Cavan’s friend found his name in (each grate contains a poem for each child); the leather-bound novel that held the clues; the custom-built sideboard’s secret compartment; the hidden panel and pieces of a cube which, when assembled, became a sort of magnet. When the family ran the magnet over a panelled wall in the master bedroom, the panels opened, revealing the hidden poem written by Mr. Klinsky.
I was futzing around on the CB2 website (an odd offshoot of Crate and Barrel which, frankly, looks exactly like regular Crate and Barrel), when I came across a few wall prints that caught my eye. When I investigated further, I found that each was by the Finnish fabric gods at marimekko and it reminded me I wanted to check out their spring/summer line. If you’re not familiar with this design collective and you love big, bright eye candy then I recommend you check them out immediately. They hit the fashion scene in the sixties and while their aesthetic has evolved over the years, they’ve never lost their bold, graphic take on fashion. Intricate enough to hang on a wall, beautiful enough to dress you up from head to toe, marimekko is one of the undisputed rulers in the textile industry. If you can’t find their prints in stores, try Ebay.
‘Ello mates. Welcome to a lovely Monday morning. The sun is shining and the air is warm in Bean Town today, I hope you can say the same wherever you’re located. Today, we’re going on an open house tour. Please wipe your feet as you step inside the Scrap House. Built over the course of two months in 2005 by San Francisco based artists, architects, and designers, designed and built this single family home made entirely from reused and reclaimed material. I don’t know what I like most: the wall made from phone books; the chandelier made from assorted lamps; the other wall decorated with keyboards; or the bedroom decked out in street signs. And it gets so much sunlight! I want to build my own. Now, if only I had the slightest clue about architecture…
Today is a day for craft tutorials. It’s raining/snowing where I am and what better way to enjoy the gray weather then to say indoors with a project? An extra way to cheer up a gray day would be to paint an old pair of night stands or chests a bright lime green? If you agree, check out this fun tutorial from J. Caroline Creative. I completely adore the graphic fabric decoupage. It’s so…va-va-voom.
Hi kids! the Feb/March Issue is finally out and rarin’ to go. Click on the pdf link below! And remember, if you think you could do better, you’re welcome to show us what you’ve got. Submission deadlines for next issue will be March 20th. Happy reading.
Reading Pack Rat Magazine is easier than churning butter. And stay tuned for Issue #3, coming soon.
Art. It inspires, it provokes, and it sure as hell can brighten up a room. There are many great places to get affordable artwork, and here’s another. Check out The Art Farmer, a small collective of silk screening artists. There are six artists, all with vastly different styles and tastes so hopefully there is something for any buyer. The prices can be a weency bit more than what would be considered “cheap” but they are still pretty affordable (most things fall into the $30 – $66 range) compared to a lot of other places. And unlike, say, buying your art from T.J. Maxx or one of the home goods stores, here you can actually read up on your artist. Here are a few samples below.
Go sit on your credit card before you check out this site. Otherwise you’re going to give away the bank when you see these to-die-for home furnishings at Velocity. So modern, so sleek, so innovative. I could go on and on. Obviously some of this stuff is not very Pack Rat ($85 is not a reasonable “sale” price for a pillow), but they do have a few things $30 and under, like the smattering of examples I offer to you below. And like all great design, even the expensive stuff is inspiring, and some of it I’m sure you could replicate at home (including the $85 pillow). So consider this worth while window shopping, if nothing else.