Sweet Dreams.

The Internet is an amazing place.  Couple that with cool, creative people creating cool, creative ideas to use said amazing Internet and all kinds of baller things start happening.  One of my favorites is Dreame, a place where social media, art and your crazy ass dreams come together.  You tell an artist about a dream of yours and they make it come to life.  What?!  I know.  Baller. Egle Kazdailyte

Krusty Wheatfield

Here's how this awesome-sauce place works:

- Choose an artist you like.  You can browse their profiles and some of their work to check out their aesthetic, which is cool in itself.  Getting to see how different some people see the world is pretty incredible.

- Choose your package.  Do you have a dream already that you'd like to have created?  Do you want to buy a voucher for when you have a dream that you deem worthy of being turned into art?  Or do you want to buy a gift for a friend so they can have their dream come to life?

- Explain the dream you want turned into art.  You can tell the whole story, making sure to tell the artist about the characters in the dream, your feelings, the location(s), the atmosphere and the time it took place.  Give as much detail as you can and make sure you note the ones that are important to you.  If you want to try to sketch out the dream yourself to give something of an idea to artist, there is a place to upload that, too.

- Hit send.

Michael Leung

Munkyeong Kim

Natasha Kotsovska

For about $10 each, the artist will take the time to turn your dream into a piece of art.  This could be just a sweet little keepsake, or you could choose to have it made into a 19.5" x 27.5" poster for $30.  Soooooo basically the coolest thing ever.

Nathan Gotlib

Rachel Bennett

I want to try it desperately but the dreams I do have tend to be pretty weird and nothing I am super keen to see interpreted into art.  Working on it though.  COME ON, BRAIN, MAKE SOME MAGIC.

Yoyo

(All images c/o Dreame)

Nick Knight's Flora.

I've been thinking of what it is exactly I want to say about this series from photographer Nick Knight and I just seem to keep fumbling my words.  I keep wanting to use the word 'darkness' but that may be too over-the-top for a series that really showcases an incredible amount of beauty.  So maybe I'll just say that I have full-on fallen in LOVE with this hint of macabre that sits over something so perfectly stunning.  (Jeez, Kate, maybe you need to go talk to someone about this.)

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But seriously.  I'm obsessed with this entire series.  So if anyone has contact information for Mr. Knight and think he might be up for gifting one or maybe all of these pieces, please pass it on.  Curtsey.

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Or we could all just get his book Flora and flip through daydreaming about when we rich/creative enough to come up with these kinds of things.  That was rude.  You're probably all f**king brilliant and make beautiful things every damn day.

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(Images c/o Nick Knight)

Etsy Monday: Matou En Peluche. And Blogger Issues.

Let's start with blogger issues.  Because I've been so rubbish as of late, I want to just get that out-of-the-way and we can all carry on.  I've not been writing much at all recently.  And I feel like I'm in this flood of bloggers recently who are all going through the same thing...creative block.  I love writing.  I love writing Thrill of the Chaise.  I love writing for you and for myself.  But sometimes, it just doesn't flow like it should.  So instead of giving you a bunch of  half-assed posts, I felt maybe it was best to just take a step back for a moment and regroup.  Have I properly done that yet?  Not really.  But I'm getting there.  Life gets in the way sometimes and your focus is pulled other places.

enough sleep

I don't know if I have properly explained to you lovely people that I am back in the big kid work force with a full-time permanent position.  And it's writing.  A lot of writing.  So I think it's a combination of being a bit creatively exhausted when I get home and not being as used to writing in my own voice anymore.  The point is, I'm going to make an effort to change.  I miss you lot.  And I miss sharing all the things with you.  So I will be a rock star at work.  I will be a rock star for Thrill of the Chaise.  And I will get enough sleep (maybe).  Let's move on, shall we?

So Etsy Bloody Monday, eh?  How I have missed thee!  So let's jump right in.  With the delightfully darling Matou En Peluche.  As I continue to settle in my new apartment (which is coming along swimmingly, although not as quickly as I would like, which is 'all at once'), my focus remains quite steadily on decor.  I have a list of things I am really 'into', which are all a bit bizarre but, hey, we all have our things:

  • Sea urchins
  • Solving almost every problem with 'just spray paint it gold'
  • Agate
  • Skulls (oldie but a goodie)
  • and MERMAIDS

Some of these things are new fascinations.  But a couple are old faithfuls.  And, in fact, mermaids are something that I have quietly coveted since college.  BACK STORY ALERT.  I went to a small liberal arts school that had a mascot.  It was the devil.  Which I love.  But we had a bit of an unofficial (and historic) mascot who is the one who really struck my fancy.  Way at the top of our school's first building, Old West, was a beautiful mermaid looking over all of us, being adorable and majestic all that once.  Every now and then, I would be given a thoughtful mermaid token and now I have a bit of a collection that I adore.

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When I came across Samantha's work at Matou En Peluche, I was struck by her style that seemed to mix both Art Deco and Asian influences and created a depth to something seemingly straight-forward at first.  There are elements of fashion illustration, mixed with vintage story telling and a healthy dose of childlike wonder that comes out of each image.

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And then I saw the MERMAIDS.  I mean, come on.  How gorgeous!

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Check out all of the stunning artwork at Matou En Peluche here.  And make sure to stop by Samantha's blog here!  See where the creative genius is coming from...

(Images c/o Pinterest, Dickinson College and Matou En Peluche)

Etsy Monday: Julia Pott. And Hug.

I have written about the amazing Julia Pott over and over and over again.  Her work is so unique and touching, while still maintaining a sort of childlike whimsy.  Julia's sentiment cuts deeply and honestly...and sweetly even when it's painful.  She was recently commissioned by retailer John Lewis to create a Vine video for their 'What Matters Most' campaign.  So she created 'Hug'. [vimeo http://vimeo.com/72628072]

Don't you just die a little bit inside at how lovely that is?!  So simple, so sweet, so impactful.  I think it hits me the most right before the clip ends and you realize in this lovely hug, they are rubbing each others backs in a way that you only do when you REALLY care about someone.  SO DAMN SWEET.  And now you can have one of the original frames for your very own.  For $10, you can order a frame of the original drawings for the animation that is picked by random.  I'm having a little bit of a daydream about ordering a series...3 maybe...and framing them in succession.  Then you get a hint at the story being told without entirely giving it away.  LOVE.

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See the animation frames here and all of Julia's work here.

(Images c/o Julia Pott)

Celebrate My Birthday Month With Etsy Discounts!

It may not be Etsy Monday but there are some really lovely folks with some really lovely shops that wanted to help me celebrate my birthday month.  So for the month of June, you'll be able to get some excellent deals and treats from HHop and In The Early Hours! A great style and an unusual print always get me.  And when I first saw the work of Kathryn from HHop, I had both in plenty of measure.  You can see the influence of her home, Los Angeles, in her art.  Not only does the city feature quite literally in landscape and city scape, the very cool retro nature of the town is very present as well.  'I make loosey-goosey line drawings...and screenprint them by hand on recycled paper.'  You can peek at the behind the scenes process here:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/63496889]

'My silkscreen prints illustrate the showtime industriousness; the herky-jerky traffic; the architectural mishmash climbing tangly, jungle-y hills; and the bright, fast-fading colors of this singular city.'  Can we discuss how much Kathryn's vernacular about her work makes me love it even more?!  Her words are silly and sweet and dynamic and fun.  Just like her art.  I want to hang out with her.  Especially in her kooky cool cartoon world.  Looks like such a fun place to be.  You can see all of Kathryn's work for sale on her Etsy shop, HHop.  BONUS:  For my birthday month of June, Thrill of the Chaise readers will get free shipping and a surprise mini-print with your order with the code 'THRILLOFTHECHAISE'!  I LOVE SURPRISES.

Retro Decor 'Curios' Print

Cameo Bell Jar (aka 'my favorite')

The artist at work.

Southern Gothic Cameos

More cool cameos.  (I am not sure which one is my favorite anymore!)

Retro Castles Library Pocket Art

A Melbourne-based graphic designer with a mild case of self-diagnosed insomnia, Alexandra created In The Early Hours to share the art she would make while the rest of the world was sleeping.  Her work looks like something from a dream world, where reality is morphed into something a bit more mystical.  Her work is soft and calming but always demands examination.  What you first see may not be what is actually there.  'I find myself up at all hours of the night and morning creating moments that, I hope) are calm, quirky and lovable.'

That Barrow Boy Print

Having been featured at the Tate Gallery in Sydney, her piece 'That Barrow Boy' is a finalist in the Yen Female Art Awards 2013 and will be shown at the Gaffa Gallery in Sydney from June 27 - July 8 2013.  I love the retro subjects of this work, especially against the very modern usage of blank space and sharp shapes.  And to be able to see into the mind of an artist, as Alex has allowed us to do, is beyond cool.  See all of Alex's work at her shop, In The Early Hours.

BONUS:  For the month of June, Thrill of the Chaise readers will get 15% off any orders with the code 'THRILL15'! Enjoy!

Mabel Print

Marha Print

The Dreamers Print

Charmer Print

Lily Lady Print

Trophy Wife Print

I want to extend a huge thanks for both Kathryn and Alexandra for giving Thrill of the Chaise readers such a treat and for creating such amazing artwork!  Such incredibly lovely people  :)  P.S. Don't forget to enter our Cocosheaven giveaway for your chance to win a beautiful orange ombre canvas tote bag...a winner will be chosen next Thursday!  Enter here.

(Images c/o HHop and In The Early Hours)

Etsy Monday: Annechovie. And GIVEAWAY.

Welcome to Monday, ladies and gentlemen!  This past week has had us East Coasters very spoilt with proof that Spring has arrived without the threat of disappearing again.  Having been victim of some pretty rotten winter seasons throughout the years, I have to admit...this wasn't the worst.  But the tease of a beautiful day tricking us into thinking nice weather had arrived early only to be met with, literally, feet of snow the next day, was seriously irritating.  That being said, I am going through a pretty heavy phase of bright colors and fresh flowers.  Because I can. 1

Flamingo Abstract on Canvas

Which is why I am so excited to be sharing the stunning work of Anne Harwell, aka Annechovie.  While her prints and paintings strike a very excitable chord in my fashion nerve, it's the colors that really draw me in.  And for good reason too...Anne herself says, 'Color seems to define my style more strongly than any other element and I love to work in clear, saturated colors'.  And I love that she loves it.  Her combinations are striking and demand a head turn and a smile.  Anne's aesthetic brings together a mix of materials and skill with a sense of humor and passion that brings her work to life.  And her work injects a little bit of life into the viewer as a result.  It's amazing what a punch of color and a beautiful object can do to a girl.

English Roses on Canvas

Chanel No 5 Print

Ginger Jar on Canvas

Strike My Fancy Matchboxes

Working mostly with gouache/ink and acrylics, this self-taught artist found her talent as much as it found her.  'After school, I went to work for my parents who owned a home furnishings boutique at the time. I became interested in picking up a paintbrush and trying my hand at some watercolors and then I found I really enjoyed it. I took on a few commissions from customers and sold some pieces in the shop and then decided I wanted to pursue art more'.  For those of us trying to make careers for ourselves without the same level of formal training as others we may be competing against or working with, Anne is a real inspiration.  'As far as any formal art education, I have none (other than a 1 week art camp in 7th grade). I am pretty much self-taught. I've been through the school of hard work, close observation, long hours, trial and error and the passionate desire to create.'

Chanel No 5 Print

Queen Swirl Collage

Now if we really want to talk about inspiration, I think Anne's work screams about where hers lies.  'I am totally energized and inspired by color and living in a place where the light is spectacular and there is a great deal of natural beauty, Florida.'  As a fellow seeker of daily inspiration and beauty, Anne works to take in the world around her.  (If you need a bit of help in this, like I sometimes do, check out my post on this amazing book that works to help you 'be an explorer of the world', no matter where your own personal world may be.)  'I am inspired by everything around me, nature, books, travel, different cultures, interior magazines, design blogs, fashion and especially COLOR!'  Love it.

Chanel Chance Print

Hermes Bag Print

And now...YAY, A GIVEAWAY!  Anne is going to give one lucky Thrill of the Chaise reader a paper print of their choice from her Etsy shop!  Open internationally, all you have to do is click here to enter before the end of the day on Monday, June 3rd...and don't forget to visit Annechovie and leave a comment on this post letting us know your favorite item from the shop!  Look at all those exclamation points...I MUST be excited.  Good luck and spread the word!

(All images c/o Annechovie)

Hola. Here Ends My Knowledge of the Spanish Language.

I left the house at 3am yesterday.  I went through two time zones, got a little bit fussy on two very turbulent plane rides, had an awkward stare-down with a guy throwing back Bloody Mary's and chocolate chip cookies at 10am at Dallas airport, passed a pilgrimage or two on a long drive and BOOM, a mere 16 or so hours from our starting point, we arrived in the oasis that is San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. P1000633

While I settle in a bit today, unpack, get my bearings and relax just enough that I am energized again, I wanted to share some of my posts from my visit here last year...

P1000782

I bought some beautiful, handmade jewelry and had the pleasure of visiting the artist's studio to see not just her own work, but the work of her husband and her budding artist children here.

Forget Halloween.  If you want to see some adorable little ones dressed up in brilliant costumes, enjoy the parade on the first day of Spring here.  It's fast approaching!

P1000855

I like Mexican cuisine.  I like margaritas even more.  Here.

San Miguel is an artists' colony and has been for basically ever.  If you want to see all that's beautiful in the mix of culture, tradition, colors and skill, check out this post on artisan work in this creative little town.

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Or just get a little intro here.  Off to explore now! xx

New Obsession: Cate Parr.

What are the sayings?  Those who can't 'do', teach?  Those who need therapy become therapists? Those who can't draw obsess and buy?  Yeah...I'm one of those.  Much like the tap dance incident of 2011, I had very high hopes that when I attempted fashion illustration while attending Parsons (I was forced to take the class, don't get it twisted) that I would be naturally brilliant.  Pen to paper and LOOK OUT! Magic!  But as it turns out (again, much like the tap dancing), I was shit.  So the direction I decided to go was to completely obsess over those who are actually great artists and, as a consolation prize, hopefully one day have some ballin' artwork to hang in my future home.  I've written about the incredible Blonde Lasagne before here.  But I wanted to take a moment to really appreciate Cate Parr, who offers a completely different style with stunning jewel tones and soft watercolors.  Freaking love it.

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(All images c/o Cate Parr)

Being Tim Burton.

Sometimes I am totally ahead of the game and get to feel like a cool person 'in the know'.  Other times I am slow on the uptake and suddenly I am the last kid picked for a kickball team.  In the case of the amazing Tim Burton exhibit currently touring the world, I am the latter.  Which is super embarrassing because I am a huge Tim Burton fan.  Beetlejuice is one of the greatest films ever made.  Frankenweenie is a childhood Halloween memory for me.  And so on and so forth. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJc6A8tNgZI]

 

I missed this amazing exhibition in LA and NYC so was overjoyed when I found that it was showing at the French film museum in Paris while I was there.  The first day I had free after my course ended in the City of Lights/Love/Bread I dashed to see this show and it is one of the highlights of my entire visit.  Walking through the opening corridor with high ceilings painted in black and white stripes mimicking Beetlejuice's wedding suit, you feel like you're walking into the Burton brain and it's awesome.  Super creepy and super awesome.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mANsedYvsBs&feature=relmfu]

 

The exhibit is dedicated mostly to Burton's art, opening with a photography project he did out in a desert set-up like you've walked into an old stately home and are viewing their bizarre art collection.  It moves into a blacked out room, lit only by a flourescent light to show the colors of paintings done on black velvet on the walls around a central lit-up morbid carousel model.  I didn't want to leave that room.  I wanted it to continue on forever.  You felt transported and you began to feel like nothing more than a fly on the wall to the brilliance around you.  But you have to keep going and it just gets better.  The main art room has sculptures like the ones that come to life in Beetlejuice and the walls are lined with his artwork, sketches, models and animation.  There was one tear out of a notebook that struck me in particular...a poem about how much the writer loves his girlfriend until one day he notices a crack behind her ear and a pigeon perched on her head, realizing she is nothing but a statue.

It's dark but it's incredible.  The show opens with a quote from Burton explaining that he would always get upset that he couldn't draw the human form.  It wasn't until he finally told himself 'well, it doesn't have to be a properly human form' that he truly felt free and began to create the creatures we know and are introduced to through this exhibit.

Now, it isn't to say that his films are forgotten.  The second half of the show chronologically takes you through each of Tim Burton's films, starting with his 30 minute short through Disney, Frankenweenie, a dark ode to a boy's love for his pet dog.  Props from the sets and initial sketches and models of the characters are displayed.  Even notebooks flipped open to his original notes for a great idea for a film which will turn out to be Beetlejuice.  And at one point, you suddenly realize you're being overlooked by a huge topiary animal replica of those in Edward Scissorhands.

I'm sorry if it feels like I am giving it all away for those that will be going to see this show but I promise I'm giving away none of the magic.  Tim Burton is a master and a revolutionary on the way we look at life, death and the beauty of the unusual.

The show is running in Paris until August 5th and you can get all the information here.

(All images courtesy of Cinematique Francaise.)

'Kissed' by Julia Pott

It's pretty obvious that I have a lot of love for this artist.  I've featured her work on the blog before, I have some of her work hanging on my walls, I have given her work as gifts and I even had a gorgeous custom print made for one of my favorite people in the world.  Julia Pott's work is sweet and heartbreaking all at once and this newest print, being sold exclusively here, makes the grade.  If you're looking for an unusual, thoughtful and beautiful gift for someone this holiday season, please check out Julia's shop!

Land's End Canvas Preview

I had the pleasure of being able to attend a preview for Land's End Canvas the other night in NYC and wanted to share some of the looks with you.  I didn't know much about the Canvas section of the Land's End brand but I love what they are going for.  Launched two years ago, Land's End Canvas offers a more fashion-forward product for men and women who already love the casual wear of Land's End itself. The preview was a preppy mix of Parisian classic style and summers spent on a New England beach, neither of which I can argue with and both of which I quite enjoy.  I have to admit that I was much more taken with the menswear (though there was a blue and white stripe maxi dress I found myself circling like a vulture), just because it's not particularly my style and I love a man who can embrace a bit of stylish preppiness.  One of my favorite places to be is on a beach at night when it's just cool enough that you need a cozy cardigan and that is where this collection made me want to transport myself to (Or Paris.  I'll always take Paris if it's on offer.)

It is quite likely that this was magnified as I had to dart from my Fashion History Fusion class to this event (we studied the parallels between art and fashion and society) but I was really taken aback by the artwork being displayed at the event, so I wanted to share that with you as well.

The top image with the set of three paintings are all by Daniel Fishel who has some amazing prints for sale on his website (check out 'Winners + Losers' and then buy it for me).  The bottom two images are by Keith Negley and I just loved the colors used and the bit of dark whimsy.  Enjoy!

A video by the lovely Julia Pott

Julia Pott was one of my first 'New Obsessions' when I first started Thrill of the Chaise, so some of you may already be familiar with her print work (click here to read the post).  I am so in love with her work...it's quirky, sweet and heartbreaking all at once. So the other day on Twitter, I saw a post someone had put up that just stated 'It will take Julia Pott three minutes and forty-five seconds to break your heart'.  And this is what followed (they were spot on):

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/11891877]

Oh Miss Pott, you really know how to tug at the heartstrings.  In the most adorable ways possible  :)

Julia has a lot of exciting stuff coming up, so make sure to watch her space.  She'll be moving from London to NYC in October which is pretty awesome and as a build-up, she has some lovely offers going on (check them out here).  She also has another short film in the works called 'Belly', which won't be online for a while, but you can check out stills here.

In closing, please show Julia your support!  The girl deserves it!  Check out her Etsy shop here.

Boob Paintings. Beautiful Boob Paintings.

Megan Biram, from the wonderful blog Mimi + Meg, is an incredible talent with a huge heart.  Her abstract paintings are gorgeous.  The colours she uses are stunning and the paintings feel whimsical, an incredible addition to any room.  When looking through her work, the colour combinations actually inspire me to want to create rooms around each of them because that is what they deserve.

And yes, before you think I am just rambling on, I said boobs.  Megan paints with her breasts  :)  Combining her fascination of using the body as a brush, a real love of boobs anyway (who doesn't have that, am I right?!) and inspiration from family, friends and colleagues that have found themselves battling breast cancer, Megan decided to jump head (or breast) first and create art that both literally and figuratively exemplified the most feminine influences possible.

None of the works are titled until they are bought, when customers can name the pieces themselves after their inspiration for purchasing the art or commission a work from Megan.  And a percentage of the sale price is donated to a breast cancer charity.  Click here to read Megan's story in her own words.

And Megan doesn't JUST paint with her boobs...there is a lot more to see at her shop, so make sure to check it out!

I have a 'bitchface'

Seriously.  I have had this conversation more in my life than I can even recount: 'Kate, are you ok?'

'Yeah...why?  Are YOU ok?'

'You just look really upset/angry/devastated/pissed off...'

'Nah, that's just my face.'

So I loved when I saw Kris Atomic as a hot blogging topic the other day, and even more specifically, on trusty Triple Max Tons with this print.  How freakin' perfect  :)

There are so many more adorable prints by Kris Atomic, so make sure to check the website out!

Just Sayin'

My mother always says I will end up accumulating too many 'sayings' prints but there is something so sweet about them that I just can't resist. They are my way of being inspirational and of feeling inspired. I am not one for motivational chat. I took a spinning class today and it wasn't the constant pain from the seat of the bike that put me off, it was the 'you can do anything, you're strong, you're amazing, believe in yourself' meditations during and afterwards.  I don't have time in my life to hear that kind of crap from strangers.  But I WILL pay attention to a cheeky phrase framed on my wall.