Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fun and clever products! (that I really, really want!)

*Love* these products from multi award-winning German product design company, Ding3000. Really want all 3 of these, like for realz. The cake pan is such a freakin awesome idea! That really fat piece should have my initials imprinted on it.

"Everything under one roof. Lifestyle for the readers. Practical and ornamental. Magazin is a timeless and beautiful magazine stand in shape of a house. When disturbed while reading, just lay the open magazine on the roof of the house, and you can easily pick it up again to carry on reading, without loosing the page. Meanwhile your other favorite magazines can be stored under the roof."

"S-XL Cake is a baking dish with a new approach: The shape of the cake is inspired by the permanent issue "how to divide a cake?". S-XL Cake plays with our individual need for different sizes of cake-pieces in a decorative, provocative and ironic way by taking advantage of the new possibilities that flexible silicone baking dishes offer."

"Billy Wilder meets one's primary expectation of a shelf - to put everything in order. It is meant as a playful approach to the subject "our daily mess" and shall serve as an interim storage place for unsorted books, magazines and newspapers. The wildly growing rack makes Billy "wilder"."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Embroidered Clichés by Jilly Cooper, aka Lisa Bowen

"My work is kind of a celebration of failure: our faults, personal problems, and life's losers. I enjoy creating nostalgia around our funny quirks"
- via an interview with Lisa Bowen in The Spit Press, Issue 8

I love the quirky and crafty feel of this series by mixed media artist, Lisa Bowen...

"Once upon a time, I found a copy of The Penguin Book of Clichés and I got to thinking about these curious little collections of words and their origins.

I began to notice that I have a habit of dropping clichés into every single conversation. I began to “collect” these clichés as they appeared naturally in conversation, then I started preserving them - labouring over each letter as I stitched, then I framed each phrase. Every day more and more clichés pop up, and if I don’t write them down immediately, they’re gone. It’s like I’m catching cliché-butterflies, and stitching them down before they get lost!
We are so often told to “Avoid clichés like the plague”. Sometimes though, they are the only words that come to mind. For the verbally challenged of us, these words or phrases give us a voice and allow us to say - however clunkily - what we want to say."

Lisa was born in England, but recently moved to Australia. Check out more of her work on her site and her Etsy shop.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bureaucratic overreach not kids stuff- From the Washington Times

This is just one of those stories which must be shared. Since I can never hope to do as great of a job on this GAWD-Awful story on abuses by our insanely out-of-control federal government, I'm just opting to share an introduction, and a link. Please read and share this story. The USDA is being so ridiculous. What a nightmare this must be for this poor family. It's not so much the first story you read about here, which I hope to bring attention to (although also important) but the last story I hope you follow through on.
While 22-year-old Rory McIlroy was teeing up on June 16 during the first round of his historic victory at the U.S. Open, another drama was unfolding outside Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.

A Montgomery County inspector busted some kids for running a lemonade stand at which they were setting aside half the proceeds for pediatric cancer victims. The charge? No permit.

One of the dads involved got a $500 fine. After a TV station’s tape of the bust went viral, the county backed off, canceled the fine and let the kids set up on a side street. The children decided to donate the entire take to cancer kids.

Although it ended well, the incident became news because it illustrates how bureaucrats can abuse power and bully citizens - even kids.

Along the same lines, many Americans were outraged upon seeing footage in April of a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent patting down a 6-year-old girl at the New Orleans airport and of an 8-year-old boy being patted down in Oregon's Portland International Airport.

But wait. TSA topped that in Kansas City, where agents patted down an 8-month-old baby on May 7 after the infant’s stroller caused the scanner to beep. A pastor, Jacob Jester, who was in line, snapped a photo and tweeted it.

What got into those agents? As far as I can see from the picture, the baby was not dressed in a black burqa with a suspicious bulge, nor maliciously brandishing a bottle or pacifier. Mr. Jester, who said he respects the TSA for trying to ensure everyone’s safety, commented, “I’m not out to embarrass the TSA. But I do believe there has to be a line drawn. I do not believe that an 8-month-old constitutes a security threat.”

Stung by criticism, the TSA blog responded: “Our officers followed proper current screening procedures by screening the family after the alarm, who, by the way, were very cooperative and were on the way to their gate in no time. The child in the photo was simply receiving a modified pat-down. …” Oh, well then.

To cut the TSA some slack, its agents are more skittish than a hockey goalie in playoff overtime. They’ll be blamed if something - anything - slips by to bring down an airliner. And they know that Muslim extremists use children as suicide bombers. Of course, the kids in these American airports have not been dashing through gates with explosives strapped to them.

Public exposure and outrage is the best medicine for curbing overzealous bureaucrats. On June 22, the TSA said it would do less intrusive checks on children. This will reduce but not abolish such procedures. Wouldn’t want al Qaeda to get the green light to hot-pack the Pampers.

Another bureaucratic outrage is simmering in the Midwest, where a family has been threatened with a potential fine of $4 million for raising bunnies without permission from the federal government. Blogger John McCarty, who publishes on, has been following the story, abbreviated here:

John and Judy Dollarhite of Nixa, Mo., wanted to teach their teenage son about management...Go here for
the rest of the story.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Designer and illustrator, Thomas de Beer

Pecha Kucha!

Last night was the Durban
Pecha Kucha presentation event held at the Colombo Tea & Coffee Co. It was the fifth one to be held in Durban, but this was my first experience of it. If you didn't make it to this one, be sure you're at the next one, it is definitely something worth checking out. The speakers were all so inspiring, and all from various creative fields in Durban.
Unfortunately, these pics aren't the greatest ever, but they give you an idea of the vibe. It was an awesome venue and it was great to see such a great turnout.

Kyle and his peeps were kept very busy churning out gallons of their super coffee...

Speakers pictured below include Greg Daroll of Tokyo-Go-Go, Louis de Villiers a.k.a Skullboy, Kyle Fraser of Colombo Tea & Coffee Co and Dorin Bambus of Gorilla Creative Media...
The "I lost my virginity" forms, once filled in by the public, are going to contribute to an upcoming exhibition by Skullboy. It was great to hear about his creative process and the thought behind his work. Very inspiring, real, cool stuff.

And these are just coz I like them...

Check out more pics of the venue here, and Tokyo-go-go and Skullboy's last exhibition here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My fourth demotivational Find it funny, dammit!


I quite like these little Mook creatures from I Love Grey Skies Etsy shop, My Grey Sky.

She doesn't say much about herself apart from this:
I live in Florida because most people I love have chosen to live here. The older I get the more resigned I become to it but I really do love grey skies and brisk days. My life is truly about as good as it gets. I'm always working on something and sometimes get crabby when I can't.

Some of them come with little mask attachments and surrounding scenes... I just dig the whole whimsical, folky forest feel :)

Also enjoy the illustrations and the look of her blog...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Evil Good Chocolate Cake Recipe

If chocolate cake is in the order-of-the-day, then it should be done right. Whether you're throwing a birthday party, or you're just serving up a great treat for the family, these easy-to-follow tips will make this a chocolate cake you won't soon forget!

Time for chocolate cake!

This is what you get! Follow instructions!
Credit: Donald Pennington

Who doesn't love some chocolate cake so good, it's almost evil? Who doesn't find themselves wanting some cocoa-flavored goodness so much, they'd be willing to carry it around on their thighs for a month? You just better grab a saucer, fork, cup of milk, and a seat at the table when you see this chocolate cake. You just “gotta getcha some!” You'll see. This dessert won't last overnight in your fridge.

What you need to make some evil-good chocolate cake

Any chocolate cake mix or recipe
Up to a cup of the cheapest beer in the store.
1 tiny, little, bit of a pinch of chili powder
8 oz of chocolate pudding, any brand
1 small pinch of salt
(Per layer)

What you do to make some evil-good chocolate cake

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or whatever the original cake recipe calls for..

Prepare the cake as normal, with the exception of replacing any water or milk called for, with the cheap beer. Go with the cheap beer since what might not be worth drinking, usually makes for some delicious baking.

While mixing, add the dash of salt, and the tiny bit of chili powder. When it comes to the chili powder, you really want to try for just a few/less than a dozen little flakes of the stuff. The ittiest-bitty bit of it is what you want.

Once mixed correctly, add the 8 oz. Of chocolate pudding. Whip it in well, stirring more than you think you might need to. The frothier, the better, in this case. Scrape your cake into a lightly-greased cake pan, and bake according to the original cake recipe's instructions.

Cool before frosting. I leave the frosting up to your own creative genius (Hint: any pudding and powdered sugar, whipped together, makes an interesting glaze.)

Originally published on Wikinut.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Cat lady in the making...

So if you follow me on twitter, you might have noticed the abundance of cat-related tweets of late. It all started on a dark and stormy night a few weeks ago *dum dum duuuuum*...

Ok, it wasn't stormy, and it was just dark coz it was night, but it was rather cold. We heard a very loud high-pitched meowing outside, naturally ran out to go see what it was, and low and behold, a tiny little baby kitty witty all by his little lonesome selfness! Seemed pretty clear that she'd been abandoned. So of course I had to take her in and be her new momface :)

I've been wanting a kitten for ages, but wasn't going to get one because I've got 2 cats already, one of which (whom?) is very very possessive and jealous, so I didn't want to upset him. He's barely on friendly terms with the other cat, and they've been together over 5 years now! But this was a whole new situation. You could even call it a life and death situation, maybe. So I kept the new little critter, and called her Ninja because of her colour and her ability to blend into shadowy or dark-coloured spaces and unexpectedly pop up everywhere. Behold the glory of her unbearable cuteness below. I swear kittens could take over the world if they wanted, just by using their powers of cuteness.

Are you swooning yet? Just look at that crazy kitten-attack-mode face at the bottom! Love it! <3
I've learnt that it's pretty much impossible to take decent photos of all-black cats without flash, unless you wants lots of photos with vaguely cat-shaped empty black spaces.

Next up is Salem. (At this point I must mention that Salem is about 11 years old, so his name is an unfortunate remnant of a much younger, misguided me.) I love this cat so much, it's sometimes worrying. He is so beautiful, photos don't do him justice. I shouldn't have favourites, but I'd be lying if I said he isn't my favest cat in the world ever. His long fur coat is so thick and gorgeous, and he's got so much personality <3
Next up, Garfield. (Another poor li'l guy stuck with a lame name. Luckily, this wasn't my bad choice...) Garfield was one of those poor kitties who are rescued from the SPCA, only to be given to stupid kids as birthday presents, only to later be kicked out because it turns out that the household was full of moronic douchebags who hadn't thought through their wonderful birthday plan for their darling brat child. (I feel quite strongly about people like this, can you tell?) Aaaanyway, he joined my home (much to Salem's intense dismay) and lived happily ever after.

This is what Salem and Garfield thought about the arrival of the little Ninja orphan. I think those facial expressions say it all. But they're getting used to her... slowly.
So much cat love! The kitten is also my excuse behind the lack of posts lately :P

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Georgia Storm images, scenes, and pics, June 16th, 2011

Not only is the world shaking from earthquakes, bubbling and glurging from all the floods, and still smoldering after all of the military combat activity, but now Georgia is hit by tremendous thunderstorms yesterday evening. I just want to share some of the scenes with regular readers, as well as visitors.

With their work cut out for them, repair crews around Georgia are answering calls for jobs like removal of this tree from a home. It's not just a part of the tree. It's the whole tree, right on top of the house, itself. Not only does this speak to the power of last night's storms, it also speaks to the quality of old-fashioned construction craftsmanship.

Those repair crew personnel are just amazing! Three stories up, this gutsy, and well-balanced guy is tackling the removal ~ bit-by-bit ~ of another log off from on top of an unidentified house. Of course, all of the houses in these scenes are unidentified. Why should we add any risk of embarrassment?

Well, progress is made, one step at a time. Hang in there, buddy, and keep up the good work.

Some homes got off much easier, than others. Fortunately for everyone involved, they're living in one of the friendliest, most-caring states in the Union.

Still, others were just lucky to only suffer some minor roof damage.

Of course, few trees in these parts of Georgia were spared a bit of the storm's furies.

All images credit: Donald Pennington

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