Marlies Spaan and Jolanda Muilenburg silkscreened patterns on beech wood cabinets and wardrobes.
I was also thinking, if you are tired of your old furniture and if your furniture is simply very boring and ugly, it is possible to achieve similar effect by adding some pattern to your furniture through using stencils or wallpaper. I do not know though if it is going to look as beautiful as the wardrobe on the picture above.
Simple and natural hooks from tree branches by Live Wire Farm. Is there a more universal hook? I beleive it is even possible to make one yourself from fallen tree branches.
Do you have a lot of old seaters that are unfashionable, uncool, shrunken or simply too old? Well, you can reuse them to make mittens. These mittens by Baabaazuzu are made from old sweaters. Each mitten is unique. Two images below are quilts made out of old wool blankets by Marlies Spaan, a textile designer from Netherlands.
Or, company called StitchT in New York City is making quilts out of old t-shirts for you. You bring old t-shirts and they stich them together into a nice beautiful quilt.
This ia a drawing of a tree by Amy Talluto. Amy draws and paints a lot of trees, forest and nature landscapes.
This is Kim Holleman’s study for her Trailer Park installation sculpture. Kim Holleman constructed a park with little paved road, a bench, a fountain sculpture and some greenery inside of a one small mobile trailer. Theoretically this trailer can be parked and be a functioning park anywhere it goes for everybody to see and enjoy. I saw this piece when it was parked in Williamsburg near Black and White Gallery. There is something exciting about jumping inside a trailer car and ending up in a relaxing atmosphere of a beautiful park. Of course, it does not always work this way.
*below: Inside the trailer
Boris and Kenny are my favorite artists with whom I went both to The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and La Guardia high school of Music, Art and Performing Arts in New York City. Their installations are absolutely stunning! The image below portrays one of their installations called “Below the Highline” and is a dying pocket park as they called it.
The installation took place in an old West Chelsea truck garage underneath the High Line Elevated train tracks. Boris and Kenny filled the space with torn grass and logs from cut down trees, dead trees, dead leaves, branches, dirt, bushes, paint and stereo system with bird sounds.
They made similar installation in the Summit High School, NJ and they called it ” A Tree Falls in Summit”. They created a forest classroom for students of the school to enjoy. Below are some picture details of this installation.
Speaking of houses with grass roofs…this peculiar boat-house is not only floating on the water but also has a green lawn backyard on the roof. It is located in Amsterdam and is a living example of the hippie times that swept through Holland in 60’s-80’s as one Dutch friend of mine pointed out. Not only you are not wasting any fertile soil for the ground of your house, but also multiplying the amount of oxygen released by greens by growing them on the roof. Some will argue with me that this is not too hippie. Then, how about the house below? I believe the owner is growing some very important kinds of weeds….
*above: This house with grass roof is starting to grow a small birch tree.
Is there is anything more green than these houses with grass roofs? Unless they are houses with forest roofs! ha-ha. They are called Icelandic Turf Houses. These photos are taken on North Islands of Scotland and Iceland. Apparently, these turf houses offer superior insulation compared to buildings made solely out of wood or stone. One of the reasons these houses started their existence is that there was not a lot of good timber in Iceland and it was difficult to obtain other construction materials. However, Iceland did have a large amount of turf..
*above: village with grass roofs:
Andrew Wyeth’s watercolors are so detailed and realistic. My favorite part about his paintings are the tiniest grasses and hairs that are visible. Not a lot of people can master this technique.
On January 16, 2009, Andrew Wyeth died in his sleep at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, after a brief illness. He was 91 years old
I love Ptarmigans. Ptarmigans are sedentary species, breeding across arctic and subarctic Eurasia and North America. The Ptarmigan is seasonally camouflaged; its feathers moult from white in winter to brown in spring or summer. Ptarmigan’s feet are fully feathered to maintain body heat and to act as snowshoes during winter.
NYC have lately been building more bike lanes that are bigger and brighter in color. This adds a completely new aesthetic to the city, which is becoming more sustainable. Recent studies show that more people are riding bicycles in NYC now than in the past 23 years. Biking popularity is steadily increasing every year. It is estimated that nearly 4,000 cyclists commute from the outer boroughs into Manhattan making up part of the 100,000 bikes that are on the street everyday.
Drawing of a naked tree in the winter. Watercolor, pencil and graphite on paper.
One of my my favorite drawings by Carson Ellis, artist from Portland, Oregon.
I like finding pine cones in the forest. It is fun to observe them, study them, bring them home - put the on shelves and tables or use them as Christmas tree decorations. These ceramic pine cones by Coe&Waito are a real masterpiece. “Each porcelain pine cone is meticulously hand sculpted capturing the intricate beauty of natural specimens” Ceramics pine cones available are black pine cone, white sprice cone, red pine cone and white pine cone.
I love Trailer Park furniture, accessories and home furnishings! Mostly Trailer Park carries handcrafted Amish and vintage (1950s-1970s) furniture.
Trailer Park’s Amish collection includes tables, kitchen hutches, bookcases, dressers, sideboards, desks, benches and more. Each piece is handcrafted using recycled wood from old barns! Amish furniture from recycled wood is made without electric tools, mostly by using hand-tools.
Manny Howard wrote a story which I read in New York Times called My Empire of Dirt in which he describes how he attepted to live off the land of his own backyard in the city of New York for one month.
He made a plan of where and what kind of vegetables and greens he will plant and what kind of animals he will grow in his 800 square feet backyard:
A cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers, heirloom tomatoes.
B Rabbit feed, chicken feed, six rabbit hutches, a slaughter station, a refrigerator, and four egg-laying coops.
C 1.Tomatoes, beets, celery, yellow squash, purple eggplant, a fig tree. 2 Collard greens, cucumbers, and callaloo. 3 Cabbage, eggplant, rhubarb, leeks, garlic, onions, fennel, rosemary, thyme, and mint. 4 Corn, broad beans, basil, bok choy, and parsley.
D A duck coop, a duck pond, and two wayward rabbit hutches.
E A high-rise high-capacity chicken coop.
F The potato crop: a raised bed technically known as a “drill.”
|Whatever came out of this project you can read here: My Empire of Dirt. I am going to ruin it for you: it did not end well. To live off the land one needs a much bigger backyard, maybe not in the city and maybe more the size of a real farm. Also, one needs to know well how to take care of plants well. I think to grow additional food for your meal, like tomatoes, strawberries,peas or chives is good in the city, but not a whole meal. Chicken are also possible to grow in the city but for such clustered city like New York, maybe quails since they are smaller?|
AuH2O is a sustainable clothing store owned by Kate Goldwater. All AuH2O clothing is made from recycled fabric from old shirts, dresses and ties. Kate sews everything herself at her store which makes her garments sweat shop free, unique and less carbon-dioxide emitting shipments are invovled. Kate alters garments you buy at the store free of charge to your liking - straps can be added to tube tops, skirt length can be adjusted and e.t.c.
Reform School is a store, web shop and collective based in Los Angeles, CA.
Billie and Tootie write about their store: “We definitely wanted to talk about how sustainable design is a huge focus for us, and that green living is important to us, not only in business but in our personal lives as well. We wanted to be eco-friendly without being too in-your-face about it. The last thing we wanted was to be another shop selling all things hemp & bamboo ( not that we don’t love hemp & bamboo)”
To visit: Reform School.
Me and Paul did not want to buy a salt and pepper shaker and decided to do-it-yourself one. We thought it would be an interesting idea to make salt and pepper shakers out of soda bottles. We used a bottle from ALE 8 1 (pronouncedA LATE ONE) - authentic Kentucky soda available only in Kentucky and JARRITOS - mandarin flavored Mexican soda from the deli in Brooklyn.
Ancolie (Aquilegia vulgaris L.)
36cm X 29 cm,1503-1533
The Great Piece of Turf
41 x 32 cm
This is a sculpture by Johannes Vanderbeek who lives and works in New York and
is represented by Zach Fueuer Gallery. (images taken from Zack Fueuer Gallery). I believe this tree’s leaves are made out of metal and wax. Looks very natural from far away but leaves are shiny and have small portions of unnatural blue pigment when looked at closely.
Chest of drawers by Wis Design made out of discarded drawers rescued from flea markets.
I saw this photograph on Sandbox Studio website. I really like the idea of using wooden shipping platforms and crates as a support for a mattress and as a bed frame. I always see thrown out shipping pallets and crates in industrial neighborhoods and construction sites and have been wondering about ways of reusing them.
Brie Harrison is a printed textile designer living and working in London. I love her patterns inspired by nature, traveling and children’s books.
Recently I found an old book by Konstantin Paustovsky called Stories and Tales About Forests. The stories are short, meaningful and sincere; filled with long descriptions of the morning dew in the forest, first snow or pine trees scent. The stories have this utopian idealism, kindness, sensitivity and and unity with the world which can be found in some soviet movies, ideas and literature. I wish I could translate some stories into English but the only one I found is in Russian. It is called A Farewell to Summer and it is about going to sleep, waking up and finding all the world covered in snow out of the window.
To read a full text version of A Farewell to Summer in Russian:
What is so special about Russian furnace? Answer: You can not only cook in it, warm the house with it, but also sleep on top of it! There is space on top specifically designed as a place for sleep. All the heat from furnace rises to the top of the house and furnace -bed becomes the warmest place in the house.
Taken by Adrien Casey in Massachusetts, near where he lives.
This photograph is by Andrea Galvani. Andrea Galvani was born in Verona, Italy in 1973. He lives and works in Milan and New York.
It looks like the rabbits were relocated to the North Pole or are trying survive Ice Age. I think this photograph can be about global warming and mass extinction.
Brooklyn parrots are wild Monk Parakeets (or Quaker Parrots) native to the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and the surrounding countries. The Monk Parakeet is globally very common as a pet.
There are many theories about why these parrots live in Brooklyn - from sinking ships, overturned trucks; Hurricane Gloria in the mid-1980s. The theory with the greatest credence among ornithologists is that a shipment of parrots destined for sale at New York area pet shops was accidentally released at Kennedy Airport in the late 1960’s . Anyway, there are lots of Quaker Parrots living in Brooklyn and for some strange reason they love it here. Maybe because the pizza crumbs are so good. Or the art scene. Actually, the reason these tropical parrots can survive cold winters in New York City is because they build giant commune nests in which about 10 - 15 parrots can fit in and warm each other during these winter months.
There is a blog dedicated to Brooklyn Parrots: brooklynparrots.com illustrating parrot life. You can even take a free Wild Brooklyn Parrot Safari in Brooklyn College.
Steve, the founder of Brooklyn Parrots website and blog, believes that Brooklyn parrots are not an evil “invasive species” but a welcome replacement for the Carolina Parakeet, hunted to extinction almost a century ago. ” The last wild specimen of Carolina Parakeet was killed in Okeechobee County in Florida in 1904, and the last captive bird died at the Cincinnati Zoo on February 21, 1918” -wiki. I agree with him Steve .
* Above: extinct Carolina Parakeet
The most important part of russian banya ( БАНЯ ) for me is jumping from hot banya heat into the snow or frozen river to cool yourself down. Another very important aspect of russian banya is beating yourself with hot white birch branches. I should not forget about drinking kvas ( russian root beer drink) in the banya entrance room, vodka and snacking on pickles, mushrooms, and etc after a good banya session .
It is a real authentic russian experience and I think everybody should try it. A friend of ours built russian banya in his backyard in upstate New York and apparently it is very easy and cheap to build.
*below: bania in upstate New York