I first encounter Tom Waits around age 12. It was a Saturday night, and I had just finished [secretly] watching my newest obsession, Saturday Night Live. I flipped the channel to what I now understand was Austin City Limits, and saw this single dude at the piano, telling some story about rum and making the audience laugh and laugh.
And then, he began singing.
I wish I could say I was some savant, and got what he was doing right away. But, I did not. I wasn't repelled by it, but I most certainly did not continue to watch beyond an additional minute or two, and even considered that it might be a joke, another late night comedy farce, a character he was playing.
The Studley Tool Chest, built by piano and organ maker Henry O. Studley is surely one of the greatest records of U.S. craftsmanship. Built in the early 20th-century, this masterpiece is only 39x20x9", built stows and organizes more than 300 hand tools.
Check out this video tour by New Yankee Workshop host Norm Abrams:
Unless you're ready to go full out, it's kinda hard to decorate for Halloween. Anytime I've tried, my house has looked like 1) a crappy, half-finished haunted house, 2) like the clearance aisle at the discount store on November 2nd, or 3) like a kindergarten classroom.
But, wait. Hold up. What about something that's Halloween-y, but doesn't resort to overplayed imagery, and even includes a bit o' nostalgia and pop culture imagery to boot?
Ten years ago. Summer of 2001. I graduated high school...(and no, Facebook friends, I'm not going to the reunion.) And that summer, as it should be, was a time of serious transition...getting ready to go to college, saying goodbye to the folks you know you'd probably never see again, and putting away, as they say, the childish things. That was also the summer that i gave pop radio it's last chance to...you know, not suck. This was before mp3 players, and certainly, our carshighschoolerscanafford didn't have CD players. This was the summer of Lifehouse, Good Charlotte, Creed, and Train. But, there was one record, one that was worth keeping on the Top 40 just in case, before switching over to 97x or all those mixtapes.
That record was the Strokes' Is This It, which celebrates its ten year anniversary this summer. What was interesting most to me, is that it represented the emerging garage rock/post-punk revival of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hives, The Vines, etc. We were all into punk rock in high school, so it followed that the music that first followed the original punk rock movement found a new energy after we all kinda grew out of mohawks and safety pins.
'Member when you were a kid, and you were about to go on a road trip or had to get your tonsils out, and you got those activity books from the grocery store magazine section with puzzles and word searches?
And, remember how when you're an adult, and the thought on going on a trip is so awesome, that you still head to the magazine section and get those activity books, just cause it feels like vacation?
Well, magazine section no more, my friends, cause I've spotted this awesome collection of design and typeography-themed activity books for creative types.
Veer, an awesome stock photography and illustration site for designers, offers these free desktop, iPhone, and iPad desktop that reimagine vintage drive-in B-movies with the language of typography.
When I launched ManMade a year and a half ago (today's the eighteen-month anniversary!), I wanted to have something to give to the online handmade community to say, "Hi."
So, I whipped up this poster (in three colors! Yahoo!), and it's yours if you'd like it. Hang it in your office, your workspace, your home, on a telephone pole, wheat paste it onto a mailbox....whatever you please.
Over the last few years, handmade pennant bunting has become a popular project in the handmade and DIY decor scene. And for good reason: it's fun, festive, and infinitely customizable.
But, to be honest, a lot of it is, well, girly, and quite ornate. Constructed from multiple patterns of fabric, often with loads of pink, a lot of the fabric bunting tutorials out there are awesome, provided you're hosting a party for your daughter.
So, in prep to throw my sweetheart a kickin' birthday party, I wanted to come up with a quick and easy bunting that looked handmade, but remained clean, easy to make, and gender neutral.
Here's how to do it:
At some point today, I snagged a Twitter link to record label Kill Rock Stars' latest free, downloadable sampler, aptly entitled "Best Sampler Ever." It's been blaring for the last hour or so, and it's gotten not one but two volume bumps. So, whatever that means.
Anyway, it's good and you should listen to it.
Lost Type Co-Op is a "Pay-What-You-Want Type foundry, the first of its kind. Founded by Riley Cran and Tyler Galpin, originally in a whirlwind 24 hour adventure to distribute a single typeface, Lost Type has blossomed into a full fledged foundry, distributing fonts from designers all over the world, with its unique model."
So, upon downloading, you're invited to pass along what you can, directly to the designer. If for you that's nothing, you can enter $0 and download for free.
April showers bring...May desktop wallpapers?
Sure, why not? It's officially spring, so its time to air out your house, give your closet and cupboards a good onceover, so why not update your desktop as well. To do so, I suggest these thirty awesome May 2011 calendar wallpapers from graphic design experts Smashing Magazine.
It's modernism month on Curbly, and to celebrate, we've been working on a collection of modern and mid-century classics silhouette clip art. We've put the finishing touches on it, and they are giving it away to anyone who can use it. It’s a full 25-page PDF or AI document, all royalty-free and available for use.
Feel free to use them in your own craft, art, and design projects. We hope you love them!
I'ma go out on a limb here, and say that knowing how to solder is an essential skill for any creative person. Make no mistake: I know nothing about capacitors and breadboards, nor programming or arduinos. In fact, part of the reason I founded ManMade was to complement that version of the maker/hacker website by bringing in less tech-heavy approaches to creativity.
But, regardless of whether or not I'm ever gonna build a robot (I'm not), I think knowing how to solder is super important for DIY projects. Making a lamp from plumbing pipes really benefits from knowing your wires are gonna stay together inside the thing; just this weekend, I retrieved my first "grownup" instrument - a Peavey Fury bass guitar in all its 1994 red/white glory - from a family member who'd borrowed it years ago, thinking it broken, and I fixed it just by soldering some ground wires that had come loose.
It is, as this free downloable comic book from Andie's Log states, easy.
In elementary school, I was a diorama master. Iroquois longhouses with tiny animal pelts and handcarved mini wooded bowls, the two-part Tantalos cooking up Pelops and feeding him to the gods/never being able to snatch the fruit or bend to drink the water, and my award winning scene from The Westing Game.
The South by Southwest Festival in Austin begins today, showcasing the best of contemporary music, art, film, and technology. In honor of the event, iTunes is offering a free 21-song playlist features artists performing at the event.
I'm listening to mix right now, and I gotta say: there's some stuff here that's gonna have a big impact in 2011. You want to know these groups. Now!
Kyle Hilton got a bit distracted from an illustration project that was due soon. And by distracted, I mean he did what the best of us have: he started watching an entire season of Arrested Development. Inspired by his choice procrastination, he started another illustration project: paper dolls of the show's memorable moments.