Sunday, July 31, 2016

BEAUTY: Glass--Alexandra Keck

Alexandra Keck may have graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Industrial Design but she also takes some lovely photos and is a grand fine artist. Look at this amazing conceptual art piece she created: a glass book, seven sheets, each one etched with a continent. When closed, she says "the overlaid continents transform into an abstraction similar to broken glass."


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Just watched...

...the long-anticipated film version of "Absolutely Fabulous."

If you, like me, have been a fan of the cult British television show "Absolutely Fabulous" (previously here) starring the talented, hilarious Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, you won't want to miss this theatrical outing written by Saunders. She created the character of Edina Monsoon and her daughter Saffron with fellow comedienne Dawn French over 25 years ago. And through all that time, Edina and her best friend Patsy Stone (Lumley) have been chugging along.

Some of the criticism leveled at this film adaptation says there is nothing new here, that it's just a longer version of the television show. Well, yeah, that's exactly what fans want and expect. Why would we want something different? Saunders gives us classic Edi, and her chaotic, clueless, boozey mess of a life. It is who Edina is. Patsy here is classic Patsy as well. In fact nearly every series regular makes an appearance in the film and we delight in seeing everyone including Julia Sawalha as Edi's daughter, June Whitfield as Edi's mother, and the masterfully quirky Jane Horrocks as Edi's assistant Bubble. Oh, and a million cameos from the entertainment and fashion worlds ("Game of Thrones" Gwendoline Chrisite and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier are just two!). But if you do not have any prior knowledge or exposure to the series, like many critics who have savaged the film, I can see how you would not understand what is happening. It's almost like speaking another language...if you don't speak AbFabese, you won't understand anything at all.

Yes, this is a longer version of an episode of "Absolutely Fabulous" but something that occurred to me after I left the theater is: it was nice to have a full 90 minutes with the gals, and for a story arc to unfold rather than the 30 minute (or less) skits from the television series. The pacing was great and a longer format works quite well for Edi and Patsy.

As far as the story goes, that is classic "Ab Fab" as well. Edina is accused of murdering Kate Moss at a fashion event (she accidentally pushes her into the Thames) and she and Patsy must go on the run from the law. Hijinks, as they say, ensue. And all in Westwood heels! And the ending is a wonderful, deliberate homage to the classic Tony Curtis/ Jack Lemmon/ Marilyn Monroe film "Some Like It Hot."

The series was known for its over-the-top, almost cartoony atmosphere, with whip smart comedy but I found that the film version actually softened Edi in a few spots, and especially at the culmination of the film. It often does not work when a comedy decides to align itself with reality but in this case, it works perfectly. It did not feel incongruous or out of place at all. Well done, Jennifer!

Take a look at the trailer below.

Recommend? Like I said, if you are familiar with the show and these two characters, yes, of course. But if you are not, it might feel a bit like stepping into some kind of alternate universe...

Candy Illusions by Andie's Specialty Sweets

Andie Moore and her husband Jason are candy makers extraordinaire. In a fit of Willy Wonka-esque pique, they describe themselves as "Candy Tinkerers, Sweet Toothes, 'Dreamers Of Dreams.'" And I couldn't agree more. Look at the marvelous edible candy illusions they create!

Chocolate Scrabble tiles! How wonderful is that? Look at them on a wedding cake that was featured in Martha Stewart Brides magazines. It's incredible how real they look--the subtle wood grain on each tile is amazing.

Antique buttons were the inspiration for these tangy, fruit flavored treats made from real, organic juices. They come in Tangerine, Cherry, Lemon, Green Apple, and Boysenberry.

And they make some beautiful little morsels that would be fantastic to incorporate into some kind of dessert to be served after a tropical, seafood meal. Their hard candy sea glass drops look exactly like sea glass, but melt in hour mouth...

...and how phenomenal to serve a dollop of coconut ice cream in these oyster shells with a hard candy shell (one side calcified and the other smooth and shiny) wrapped around a layer of fair trade 72% dark chocolate!

You can buy all of these treats and more at their Etsy shop!

Friday, July 29, 2016

BEAUTY: Shoe--Puma BMW X-CAT Disc Sneaker

Puma and BMW's Designworks have teamed up to create a marvel of a shoe. Based on the BMW Gina concept car from 2008--a car which was covered with high performing fabric instead of metal, this shoe uses the Puma Disc technology, a twistable dial at the tongue to tighten the closure, functioning as laces. It's ironic how the car was modeled after fashion, and now the shoes are modeled after the car which was modeled after fashion...

It is sleek and beautifully designed.

On sale now at Puma stores and on-line.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Sleep" by 'fō

Here is a fantastic live version of "Sleep" by 'fō (the talented Josh Cooke), previously here.
Sounding and looking excellent, my friend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

BEAUTY: Illustration--Matt Dixon

Normally Matt Dixon is an illustrator working in the gaming industry, creating goblins and trolls, but in his spare time, he has created a world of lonely little robot children who valiantly try to find the joy in life. Of course his works are allegorical, showing the human condition and how we all are really, when all is said and done, like little kids, just trying to find something or someone to get us through.

His first collection of robot images, TRANSMISSIONS can be purchased here:

And Volume 2 of TRANSMISSIONS can be purchased here:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

In The Mirror, In The Mind

“We always feel younger than we are. I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings. The sum of them is me. The mirror sees only my latest face, while I know all my previous ones.”
--Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet

Monday, July 25, 2016

BEAUTY: Photography--Finn Beales

Welsh photographer Finn Beales likes to go to interesting locations for 72 hours and immerse himself in a milieu in order to photograph all the nuances he sees.

He and his wife recently came to my neck of the woods, Northern California, to photograph a road trip to Lassen State Park and into the glorious redwood forests. But first they flew into SFO to start their trip and of course had to visit the spectacular Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge (a favorite spot of mine). And they ended their whirlwind trip at the stunning, picturesque beaches in Mendocino County.

I adore my state...

Check out his 72 Hours series on his website to see other beautiful locations around the globe.

Print by Eric Rewitzer and Annie Galvin of Three Fish Studios.