Archive for design

My Bike is a Magical Pony

Posted in Adventures in Design, Dork Alert, Goof & Glamour, In Celebration of the Absurd with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2010 by alphabetfiend

I rode a horse long before I ever road a bike. Born in the nothern New Mexico mountains, I was riding bareback by the time I was 2. Too bare from the sound of it. “You were just like Lady Godiva!” my dad would boast, often in mixed company. The horse was Jack. My Dad had known him for many years and trusted him. Not one to spook, Jack was emotional, intuitive, gentle and wise. I was never afraid.

It wasn’t until we moved to Toledo that my grandpa gifted me with a sparkly Schwinn, presenting it to me like it was a Cadillac car (which it became.)  

The bike scared me way more than the horse, or at least it did for for one terrifying 1/2 hour, after the training wheels came off. I was still uncertain of the physics but my Dad wasn’t willing to mosey through the big-girl bike process. (Years later, when teaching me t0 ride a motorcycle, he employed the exact same “Now or Never, Do or Die” method.) 

Once I managed to stay up after he broke his vow and let go — WOW! A bike with training wheels is like an orgasm without a moan. The release that comes with speed or sound, mmm. The bliss of velocity, the rush of movement, oh I was hooked. I hardly missed horses after that.

And when I did, my bike became a rusty stallion; mane blowing in the wind, hooves hitting cobblestone.

A few of the roads in our little south Toledo hood were brick paved and ahhh that pompompompompom sound still thrills.

Wasn’t I just telling y’all about the furious pedaling that took place as I rode my bike home from the library?  The potency is undiluted by the years. The musty papery scent of library books combined with the snapzap of rubber & gravel.  Those memories are saturated by the heady oomph of freedom. I had a lipstick red convertible Caddy and a platinum AM EX  (cherry red schwinn, library card) It’s not surprising that I often find myself back there in my dreams, navigating those roads in a strange bike-car hybrid.

For a kid, a bicycle is always more than a bike.  To you, it’s a beater with a banana seat. To them it’s a Venice beach lo rider or a gondola gliding along the canals of the otherVenice. To you, it’s a crooked big wheel. To them, it’s a monster truck.

Kids are always peddling in a ghosty aura or otherness.

Which is why I’m madly in love with “horsey,” eungi kim’s entry in ‘seoul cycle design competition 2010‘.   Kim’s design entry was shortlisted from over 3000 designs. The designboom competition was organized in collaboration with the  seoul design foundation.

Kim’s clever creation turns any bike into a magical pony.

 

Kim describes the product thusly:
 

‘horsey’ is an attachable bicycle ornament/accessory which makes one’s bicycle look horsey!
the ‘horsey’ package includes wooden ornaments (horsey shape body), metal parts, and screws.
the manual is very simple so that anyone can easily arrange it according to one’s needs.
through this ‘horsey’ project. I wanted to give a special look to bicycles so that people would care
about cycling not only as transportation but also as a lovely pet.

 

I think “horsey” is a magical ode to dreaming. I have just two concerns.

1) Will this horsey actually be sturdy enough for the kind of galloping I’ve got in mind?

2) When will you be launching a unicorn version?

Cause I’d like to order one of those suckers in either black licorice or pink neon. Hmm. What do you think? Black unicorn or pink unicorn?

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Interior Design for Satanists: Aliester Crowley Wallpaper!

Posted in I Heart Steampunk, In Celebration of the Absurd, Sexy Bitch Steampunk yum, SPOOKY KABUKI, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Spooky Kabuki practically squealed when she saw these insanely lovely “Aliester Crowley” wallpapers.  Spooky Kabuki does not squeal. That’s for the other more easy, more breezy alter egos. 

Spooky Kabuki held in that squeal, swallowing it like a sip of Creme de Menthe where it tingled in her tummy and quivered in her hips. 

"leaf"

 

Aliester Crowley wallpaper? What craziness is this? 

Katie Deedy — clever dame, Brooklyn-based illustrator & designer — created the Crowley design for her company Grow House Grow. Grow House Grow “specializes in narrative-inspired wallpaper design.”  Gulp, gulp. Must swallow squeals. Gulp, gulp. How lit-cool pulp-past whip smart is that shit? 

 

“Our lifelong love of storytelling and affinity for pattern shapes every hand printed roll we produce.” 

Here at Cream Scene Carnival, we celebrate the storyteller. We’re elbows on the table and rapt. 

The whole storied idea behind Grow House Grow is filling us with lust and rapture, but these crazy cool Aliester Crowley papers are perfect for Spooky Kabuki’s dream house: 

 A haunted mansion, crows roosting in the rafters. Spider webs festoon the porch, hanging like festive garlands. Guests duck under the lacy embrace to reach the brass door-knocker — a steampunkish jumble of gew-gaws & gears. Clouds gather there like water-worn pebbles. Inky blue roses grow in tumbling thickets. 

 

A house with as many shadowy hallways as there are rooms. And there’s many a room. Bedrooms with crackling fireplaces and lush beds (for voluptuous bodies and voluptuaries alike.) Down pillows, violet linens, tiger-skins and fox-fur. (Faux.) The library over-flows with old books and clattery vintage typewriters. In the parlour, chow-pups wrestle on the tatty oriental rug as Roky Erickson plays on the Victrola. 

 

Spooky Kabuki’s dream house is that house from my dreams…. where I’m constantly stumbling onto some new wing or discovering some dusty basement full of forgotten treasures. The house of the secret subconscience. With its Jungian beatles and ghosty hues, the Aliester Crowley wallpaper in “Veil” was made for that ever-evolving house… that place that plumbs the psyche.  

"veil"

 

Even The Kubuki must confess that the pink delicacy of the “primrose” version makes for cheeky irony. It would also be lovely in a glamourous powder room — after all, Kabuki’s do a lot of powdering.  

"primrose"

 

The papers aren’t exactly cheap at $180 a roll or $48 a sheet, but it wouldn’t take much to make an impact and delight your senses. They’d be gorgeous in an entry way or other small spaces (like Kabuki’s powder room!) They’d even be great behind a bookshelf or inside a china cabinet.  

They’re a nice subtle way to salute your dark side. 

You’d also be supporting a unique talent like Katie Deedy who does more then design beautiful patterns. Deedy looks into the meaning beyond form. She tells the story behind the flourish. Deedy seeks to decorate The House Of Memory… one room, one wall, at a time. 

The bizarre stories surrounding the life of Aleister Crowley are anything but few and far between. Dubbed “the wickedest man in the world,” Crowley kept heads turning as an avid occultist, insatiable drug user and devoted hedonist. 

This wallpaper pattern stems from the summer of 1938, which Crowley spent in Cornwall. Some unsubstantiated sources site cultish melees involving dancing beauties, hard narcotics and evenings spent in black magic debauchery. My interest, however, lay with a woman also residing in Cornwall that summer: Katherine Arnold-Forster, nee Ka Cox. 

Ka, an intelligent and practical woman, was the ex-lover of writer Rupert Brooke, as well as a close friend of Virginia Woolf. She eventually married into the influential Arnold-Forster family, and had been quietly living in Cornwall with her artist husband for some years prior to Mr. Crowley’s arrival. 

The last night of Ka’s life is shrouded in mystery and rumor. As the story goes, a couple from town found themselves entangled in Crowley’s dark escapades and, fearing for their lives, approached Ka for help. Ever sensible, she took on their cause and made a visit to their cottage the following night. Her intention was to prove the dark arts they practiced were bogus, and it’s possible that a seance was held. Some even believe Crowley himself was present, and a heated supernatural confrontation ensued. What is known for certain is that Ka Cox inexplicably dropped dead that night, making headlines across England and reinforcing Crowley’s scandal-ridden infamy. (from Grow House Grow

There’s something very dastardly and delightful about the Crowley design which befits the source but there’s also a sort of steampunk romanticism to the pattern… antenna become rotors, bug wings become whirring zeppelins. The pattern is organic and mechanic at once. 

 

Hey, Ms. Deedy, be sure to call me when you design a rose-strewn paper inspired by Gilman’s classic  The Yellow Wallpaper. I’m thinking shades of buttercup and mustard, with wispy bits of cream & nudie peach. Mesmerizing, menacing, & liable to lead to mental-imbalance.  Yep. I bet you’re picturing it now, Katie Deedy. I bet it’s beautiful. I’ve been dreaming of that paper for years. Now that I know you exist, I’m waiting on the edge of my seat.  

 

Expect to see more of Grow House Grow’s amazing designs here on Cream Scene Carnival … especially an entomological ode to Mary Ward: a wonderfully creepy contrast of lady and bugs.

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