Lucky Dip – May 6th – Six Cool Food Things

Unelefante-Chocolate-Packaging-Mexico-AChocolate inspired by Jackson Pollack? These beautiful pieces of edible art are from Unelefante in Mexico. [Via KNSTRCT]

Das-Kochbuch-0111Can’t keep track of your best lasagna recipe? How about this one that’s printed on the pasta? [Via BoingBoing]

The story of Sweeney Todd the barber and the little pie shop next door is just fiction… or is it? In the 1380s, Paris had an evil barber/butcher combo that were brought to justice because of a dog waiting for its missing master. [Via Messy Nessy Chic]

Cristina-Burns-photography-12The sweetness of death… skulls, candy and flowers by Cristina Burns. [Via Dangerous Minds]

dali_lesdinersdegala1Before that Surreal Gourmet guy, there was the real surreal gourmet. Salvador Dali’s very rare cookbook. [Via BrainPickings]

spoonsMore skulls and sugar, this time for your coffee – sugar skull spoons. [Via This Is Colossal]

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Lucky Dip – Wednesday, April 24th, 2014

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The installations of floral artist Rebecca Louise Law require a lot of patience and absolutely no fear of heights. Law has done a variety of work for companies such as Jimmy Choo, Max Mara and others, and most of her work involves suspending individual flowers from very high ceilings. Amazingly beautiful, particularly the cathedral installations. [Via This Is Colossal]

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You know when you bite into a persimmon and it makes your mouth all “sweatery”? Here’s betting that all of the food created by artist Jessica Dance does that as well. Dance works in set design and in collaboration with food photographer David Sykes has created a series of pieces reminiscent of classic meals including a full English breakfast and Christmas dinner. [Via This Is Colossal]

paris

How is it that Paris, regardless of the image in the photo, always looks so romantic and intriguing? Now, get a daily dose of old French flavour with Charmade – Vintage French Photos, a Tumblr full of rare vintage French photos. [Via Messy Nessy Chic]

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The Beautiful Alphabet

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They’re our earliest interaction with the written word – the letters of the alphabet are the building blocks of language, knowledge and self. And while graphic designers have created many lovely and interesting font sets over the centuries, these two sets of alphabets go one step further.

Basolis-Alphabet-19From 1839, Antonio Basoli’s lithographs of the letters of the alphabet are elaborate and detailed.

In Bologna, in 1839, the decorative artist Antonio Basoli published his Alfabeto Pittorico, ossia raccolta di pensieri pittorici composti di oggetti comincianti dalle singole lettere alfabetiche (‘Pictorial Alphabet, or, a collection of pictorial thoughts composed of objects beginning with the individual letters of the alphabet’). This was an album of twenty-five elaborate lithographs, each one featuring an alphabetical character cast in some fantastic architectural form, in a setting contrived to illustrate any number of figures and objects for which there were Italian words beginning with that same letter. A commentary in Italian and French explained the contents of the plates. Below are details from the lithographs representing the five vowels from this alphabet (plus one other additional image), scanned from a reproduction of the Alfabeto Pittorico issued in 1998 by Ravensburger, with translations of Basoli’s text into German and English, and with additional commentary and notes by Joseph Kiermeier-Debre and Fritz Franz Vogel. [spamula.net]

View the full set at Retronaut.com

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And for an alphabet with a sense of whimsy, look no further than this set of carved crayons by Diem Chau, with matching animals native to the Pacific Northwest.These are gorgeous, and quite brilliant. With everything from vesper bats to killer whales, these Crayolas are not for colouring with but for admiring with awe.

View the full set at Twisted Sifter.

 

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Lucky Dip – January 2, 2014

Yes, I’m trying this again. Shut up and enjoy the links.

octopus

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get this for Christmas, but I’m sure it was just an oversight. Hubby’s probably just saving up for it. Or trying to figure out where, at 4ft across, we’d put it. This one-of-a-kind piece by Mason Creations is sold, but there’s always next year.

vincentprice

If you didn’t already think Vincent Price was awesome, here’s another reason – he wrote a book about his dog! Illustrated by Hirshfield, of course.Via Dangerous Minds.

yearbook Olde Tyme high school yearbooks, just as boring as current ones, except for all that hair! Via Twisted Sifter

smashscale

Ditch that whole idea of standing on your bathroom scale and feeling bad about yourself this new year. Instead – get all “Office Space” on that tyrannical appliance and savour the freedom behind the idea that numbers are meaningless. Via The Militant Baker

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Steampunk? We’ve got your steampunk right here, Buddy. The beautiful nature sculptures of Edouard Martinet, made from spare parts.  Via Dangerous Minds

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Lucky Dip – Tuesday, September 10th

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This giant piece of artwork is made up of thousands of potted flowers and plants arranged on an massive staircase in Sicily. Photo by Andrea Annaloro, via [Twisted Sifter]

I’ve posted this to Twitter already, but it’s worthy of many repeats. WalMart workers in North Carolina stage an in-store flash mob. Fantastic. [Dangerous Minds]

That RuPaul, always coming up with some creative and fun idea to express himself. Like an internet series called RuPaul Drives where he drives around with various famous people, in this case, Henry Rollins. [Rocker]

New York Times food critics share their horror stories, and disguises. [Work Fails and Job LOLs]

And finally, two different takes on the world in miniature; the first a guy who makes dollhouse scale models of New York City; the second, miniature clay artworks on the outside of Altoid tins. [Messy Ness Chic] [Twister Sifter]

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Seeing Red

If you watched the last episode of Mad Men this season, you may or may not have noticed a trend towards the use of the colour red strategically throughout the episode.  An article on Slate works on the theory that the red, used at some point to costume each of the female leads, represents female power, as Joan, Peggy and Megan all wear red as they move on to achieve goals or more important roles in their respective careers.

Studies show, however, that the colour red works in a very specific way on men (but not women) to make them amorous. To men, red is the colour of love (which might explain the marketing machine that is red roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates on Valentine’s Day). Photos of women wearing red, as opposed to other colours, were thought by men in the study to be more attractive.

In the restaurant industry, female servers who wore red got better tips from male customers. There was no difference with female customers.

The initial study took place in 2008, and the restaurant study earlier this year. But the phenomenon likely started long ago.

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I Could Appreciate Art More if There Weren’t so Many People Standing in Foont of It

I guess I’m late to the party in posting Nuit Blanche photos. For those not aware, Nuit Blanche is an all-night art event in Toronto (copied from a number of European cities), where art installations, galleries and clubs are open from sunset to sunrise the next day, and it’s all free.

This year’s event supposedly attracted almost 1 million people over the course of the evening. The events were divided into three “zones” and since we live smack in the centre of one, we decided to stay close to home and only do what we could walk to.

It was an enjoyable evening, with only a few disappointments. We walked along Queen West, but didn’t go into any of the galleries that were open because they were all just too packed with people. We also didn’t stay out all night, although we did consider getting up early and returning to the nearby stadium for the mascot exhibit, just to see how many of them were still dancing 12 hours later.

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The New Neighbour

There’s a new guy, lives on the corner. He spends a lot of time outdoors. He’s pretty quiet, and has this aura of peacefulness that everyone in the neighbourhood is remarking upon.

The big Buddha is located at the corner of Dufferin and Melbourne, outside a high-end furniture store called Kuda. Kuda sells a lot of imported stuff from Thailand, Morocco, etc, and they’re big on Buddha as an icon, if not as a philosophy/spiritual path (they might well be Buddhists, for all I know, not making judgements one way or the other).

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When The City Finally Slows Down

Sometimes, this city just offers too much to do.

I’m not complaining, mind you. But it’s been an overwhelming summer. It’s said Toronto is a city of festivals and pretty much every weekend from late May until the end of September, there are multiple things to choose from. Just about every neighbourhood has a street festival now, there’s Caribana, Gay Pride Week, the Outdoor Art Show in Nathan Phillips Square, Doors Open, Taste of the Danforth, Taste of Little Italy, the Vegetarian Food Fair, piles of cultural events at Harbourfront, the Beer Festival, the CNE… it just goes on and on.

All of this culminates in one weekend of craziness. This past weekend saw two marathons (Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Run for the Cure), Word on the Street, the literary festival that takes over Queen’s Park, and Nuit Blanche, a 12-hour all-night art event that encompasses most of downtown. Pity the fool who tries to actually drive anywhere.

Nuit Blanche slipped under my radar last year, and I wasn’t super psyched about it this year, but as one of the 3 zones was in our neighbourhood, we wandered around to check out a few things. We watched parkour athletes climb and then descend the nearby train bridge, we wandered the Gladstone Hotel looking at the exhibits there. Then we headed east, stopping at galleries along the way until we got to the Great Hall where we stood amazed at what appeared to be a storefront filling with water and being taken over by giant fish. We picked up a chunk of carpet from where a group of artists covered a road on the CAMH property with the stuff, then headed to Lamport Stadium to see a giant inflatable locust. This was probably the most fun and interactive piece we experienced – kids were climbing all over the thing, crawling under it, bouncing against it. It was nothing more than a giant balloon, really, but people were truly having fun, including a group of drunk girls who repeatedly bounded into the face of the thing only to bounce back and end up on their butts on the astroturf.

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