Saturday, August 29, 2009

Artist Alex Couwenberg (and others)

I only just discovered these pieces by Alex Couwenberg. They really appeal to me.

They make me think of both the paper collages of Rex Ray...

...and the graphic works of the late Norwegian artist Gunnar S. Gundersen:

They also make me think of some illustrations by the great Charlie Harper:

(And by the way, I think this is the first really cute illustration I've ever seen of a baby inside the womb.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kurt update

Kurt has been with us for 3 months now, and we're slowly adjusting. Today he's been insisting on sleeping on my lap for most of the working day... And with those long legs, it's a bit akward. But I can't resist a dog cuddle. (My former dog refused to sit on the lap unless we were travelling). Bad news for our black floors though, as he's covering them with his shredding hairs. And hoovering is not my favourite pass time. He's also proving a handful during our walks sometimes, flopping about and chasing ankles, shoe laces etc. We badly need to take dog training classes again. So much to do...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday thrifting

Bargains of the day: an Egersund 'Sill' (herring) jar with wooden lid and a sugar bowl which make I'm not sure about. (I suspect the lid and the bottom part might not even be an item.) If you should know, please share.

I have a dish with the same onion pattern as on the jar. I like it a lot and use it a lot. I DON'T like herring very much though, and I will certainly never keep herring in this jar, so it's a good thing that the beautiful pattern goes all around so I can display it back to front.

I love the hanpainted brown swirl on this orange lid and the fact that I now have a nice sugar bowl to go with my Figgjo cups.

I did actually make a third bargain today, but it will be another little makeover project. For a later post. So do pop by again ;-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vintage stereo sideboard

That's what I think this is, anyway. Actually, it is more likely to have been mono than stereo, but you get the idea. It has vertical dividers which looks like they are designed to hold LPs. I found it last week at a flea market, and it was just the kind of thing I needed for my narrow hallway. The maker is Strømmen Bruk, Hamar (Norway). I am using it to store backpacks and tote bags etc. (we don't buy ugly plastic grocery bags any longer, do we?) I put the two white box drawers on the top shelf, but they are not very good, so I'm looking for something a bit better. Like these Orla Kiely patterned ones, for instance...

(Image from Desire to inspire via Inspiration Bubble.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Koolhaas HouseLife

I saw this film at the weekend and can only recommend it wholeheartedly. It's about a famous house by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas – seen from the house cleaner's point of view. Very funny at times, and certainly very interesting.

Trailer no. 2 for the same film...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Drawers makover, before and after

I found this old teak chest of drawers for nothing at my local flea market this summer. I really don't like painting over teak wood, as I love the color of it, but this one had so much surface damage that painting was the only remedy. The top plate was replaced by some nasty chip wood, so that needed covering. I was initially going to cover it with a special oil cloth, but tried out this self-adhesive fake rosewood instead. So, what you see here might not be the end result, but it will do for now.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday book tip

Friday again already. I've been busy catching up on my driving theory (I'm what you can call a mature driving student) and writing job applications this week, and now it feels like a cold is setting in. As long as it's not swine-flu, I will not complain.

I thought I'd tip you about a great book today, but unfortunately it's only out in Swedish... So, big apologies to all my non-Scandinavian readers, but I hope you might like some of the photos all the same. The book is called 'Daggs att renovera – Var rädd om detaljerna'. It translates to something in the region of 'Time to renovate – Be careful with the details'. It shows houses from the 1920s to the 1970s in existing villa areas (in Sweden), and deals with the different architectural and interior details specific to each decade, and talks about the importance of keeping with the original ideas, whether it's to do with extending a house, altering the facade in some way or just changing doorhandles inside. The book also has some examples where house owners have done just the opposite. There is a lot of that going on in my own neighbourhood actually, and I think it's a great shame as this whole area of houses (built in 1968) used to be very homogenous and 'clean'-looking. Anyway, here are some images from the book:

Oh, the horrors... What were they thinking?

I really love the sleek funkis-houses of the 1930s.

This is from the 1960s and in a similar style to the house I live in. I wish I had those long windows and the tiny balcony on the side of the house, though.

I really like the calmness of this interior. It's a beautiful house from 1963.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alexander Girard wooden dolls

I just realized what's missing on my new shelves... (oh, I can make room) – a couple of Girard's wooden dolls. Of course. In case you don't know anything about this guy, here's some info I bluntly copied from
Alongside Charles and Ray Eames as well as George Nelson, Alexander Girard was one of the decisive figures in post-War American design. The focus of his broad oeuvre was on textile design, and a key source of inspiration for him was his passion for the popular art of South America, Asia and East Europe. The Wooden Dolls, which Girard created for his own home in Santa Fe and made himself, are likewise inspired by his own extensive collection of works of popular art. Half decorative element, half toy, the Wooden Dolls were originally intended only for personal use. Based on originals found in the Girard Estate held by the Vitra Design Museum, the partly joyful, partly grim-looking company of dolls is now coming out as a charming enhancement to any interior.

Indeed. But: they are very expensive. And not very likely to turn up at any flea market, I'm afraid. Anyway, these are my favorites:

No more blank wall

The wall above our sofa has been blank for the 8 years that we have lived in this house. I bought 'Lack' shelves at Ikea years ago, thinking they should go on that particular wall. The intention was to have a space where I could move pictures and objects around when I feel like it, rather than to hang pictures there permanently. The shelves were put up yesterday, and I found that I had a lot of stuff I wanted to display on them... After a lot of shuffling around of paintings and vases etc. and hearing Luther Vandross humming in my inner ear 'Never too much, never too much...', I ended up with this solution. For now. (If you feel a bit seasick from looking at this image, it could be because the ceiling is actually slanting. Nothing to do with my decoration, I'm sure ;-)

The black lady figurine (formerly decapitated and glued back together, before I found her in a skip) has been residing in our bedroom. I wonder if she should go back there..? I'll let her sit on the shelf for a bit while I consider it. Francesca of Mrs Eliot Books might recognize one of her prints on the shelf.

The dog pencil drawing was done by a lady called Helene Klem and signed 1931. I picked this up at some junk yard so unfortunately know nothing about her. The oil painting is dated 1965 and is by Ansgar Leiten, a Norwegian artist. This was also a fleemarket find.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pernilla fabric update OR: I love Etsy

I think I have managed to track down my long-wanted Ikea fabric. On I am thrilled! Now - what to do with it... More cushions, perhaps?

Wanted: Pernilla Ikea fabric

In 2005 Ikea launched a series of patterned fabric by designer Linda Svensson, called Pernilla. I got some of these, but I SO regret not getting this one:

I'm therefore going to try my luck and ask you readers if any one of you should happen to have some of this fabric and would be willing to part with it (name your price) or if anyone knows where I could get some. I'd be most thankful! (I'm afraid this is a shot in the dark, but I have to try...)

Here are some of my other favorite designs by the same designer:
(Check out all her work here.)

Ikea Jorun cushions (2008) which I happen to have...

Table for Japanese company Askul.