It's always very obvious when it's December in my house. I simply can't help but add a little bit of holiday cheer to each room.
But, there's not an inch of greenery, nor Santa Clauses, reindeer, or snowman. My home is really pretty modern, and the traditional Christmas vibe just doesn't match my stuff. So, I have an aluminum Christmas tree and metallic stockings, and to balance all that synthetic industrial-ness, I like to add plenty of handmade elements.
This year, in additional to my infamous paper snowflakes, I wanted more paper decorations that brought in a bit of color. So, I came with two easy how-tos: some mid-century inspiration paper ornaments, and a mod paper garland.
French design collective Paper Donut created "A Curious Breakfast" for a contest sponsored by Arjowiggins, which the paper company hosted to demonstrate the amazing things that can be done with their products.
American artist Brian Dettmer rescues trashed books headed for the landfill and creates unbelievable paper sculptures. "With the precision of a brain surgeon, he teases books into something else, graphic statements of an expressionist talent that is truly awesome."
Sliceforms are "are geometric models constructed from interlocking sets of planar pieces," basically a 3D model made of flat pieces, creating a grid. Mathematically-minded folks, of course, can create super complex structures with the technique, but it can be scaled down to make simpler structures, like this 3D Christmas tree.
Only the most virile of haters would be opposed to adding a little seasonal festiveness to your Thanksgiving table. It's just that most of us with tastes that lean towards contemporary have a hard time finding cool, modern-looking Thanksgiving decor items. Even the master crafters at Etsy haven't really been able to translate the aesthetic...Most of its harvest-y, country, or just straight dated.
So, this cool collection of modern, free printables from Hostess blog is a breath of fresh air. Yep, the orange and brown still abound, but do so in geometric stripes and dots. Includes: place cards, buffet labels, drink tags, dessert toppers, napkin rings, and bottle labels.
I don't think Jonathan Safran Foer is my favorite author, but whenever anyone asks me what they should read, I give them the names of his first two novels, Everything is Illuminated and a personal favorite, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His non-fiction work, Eating Animals, tops my Christmas list this year, so I was pretty fascinated when I spied his latest project: Tree of Codes
It was "created by slicing out chunks of text from Foer’s favorite novel, The Street of Crocodiles by Polish author Bruno Schulz. The result is a spare, haunting story that appears to hang in negative space on the page."
Chloe Fleury has creative a very watchable short stop motion animation film about...the history of stop motion animation.
Now, what do you think about that?
Illustrator, author, and artist Robert Sabuda provides these free, downloadable pop-up card templates and how-tos that'd be great for the upcoming holiday season. We especially like the new pirate ship design and all sorts of Star Wars models, including R2-D2 and a totally excellent Millennium Falcon.
We also love the "Pop-Up Basics" that show you how to create your own, custom designs.
I always sucked at paper folding. I would, inevitably, get a book/paper combo pack each year for Christmas, and I'd lie down amidst my new toys, trying to take on a simple star or boat. But I always had a hard time translating the step-by-step photos, and my creases were always soft and wrinkly, and could only master the "crumble."
So my respect for the work Eric Joisel is unyeilding. The New York Times recently featured Joisel's massive, collection-worthy origami efforts...unfortunately in the obituaries. Mr. Joisel died from lung cancer at 53.
The French artist is featured in the 2008 PBS documentary Between the Folds which I've had in my Netflix queue for months. It's available for streaming now.
Yes, of course we love these paper renderings of sneakers, perhaps even a bit more than the Shoeburger.
They're all created by Seattle-based artist Mike Leavitt, who says, "Everyday and urban objects are just my pallette for replicating modern landscapes of life, somewhere between a painterly impression and ironic conceptual art statement. I simply think of these as 'big kid toys', as if adults can still play make-believe too. Though each object is an original sculpture hand-made from scratch, each is somewhat functional and durable enough for even a bit of light 'play'."
There's not too many toys that make me wanna to live in them. Barbie's dream house is a definite no-way, and while I definitely wanna visit Castle Grayskull, it seems kinda dank and drafty.
But I might be convinced to enter a miniaturizing ray chamber if my ultimate destination were this: The Sunday Barbecue Cut Out Set by Argentinean illustrator Maxim Dalton.
The best books are those that aren't in display condition - cause they've actually been read, loved, and well-worn. But, of course, showing off the books you don't like is, just, well...weird.
So, get hip to this cool trick from OhDeeOh - recovering your favorite paperbacks with custom-designed artwork, which is, as we see it, brilliant.
Tor.com is a website devoted to science fiction and fantasy short stories and other writing, and they've long been identified by the site's logo, a rocket named Stubby. Recently, they enlisted master paper model maker Robert Nava to make a free, downloadable PDF so you can create your own Stubby rocket, which we think is pretty cool whether you get to reference to Tor or not.
The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of Narcissus like this: the mountain nymph Echo falls in love with the vain young hunter Narcissus, and follows him into the woods. When he hears here, she shouts "Who's there?" She's so afraid, she only repeats after him, "Who's there?" This continues until she rushes towards him, but he rejects her embrace. She's so heartbroken, she spends the rest of her life in the glen, praying to Aphrodite to right Narcissus' buff, and longing for her lost love until only her voice remains...hence, an echo.
Aphrodite heeds Echo's request, and punishes Narcissus by having him take a drink at a river, and fall in love
Bored at work with access to the office supply closet?
Well, then, you, my friend, need to grab a few sticky notes and whip up some of these Post-It note origami boxes. Perfect for storing staples, paper clips, thumbtacks, or just looking adorable there on your desktop.
"I Fly Like Paper Get High Like Planes" is an installation by artist Dawn Ng. She remarks, "[It's] core to my ongoing study of home. Having spent the past 8 years away, I have become obsessed by the notion of home and particularly intrigued by the origin of the word nostalgia which from two Greek roots, nostos, "returning home" and algos "pain."...Symbolic of travel, each paper plane carries this universal desire to leave or return home." [sic]
It seems to be a series of rows of paper airplanes that are not suspended from the ceiling, but attached like a horizontal garland of sorts from a single point of origin.
I'm sure standing in
Botropolis has assembled this massive collection of papercraft robots that you can download, print, cut and assemble. I love projects like this because they're active and crafty, but the inspiration is built-in and they don't require tons of materials and time.
Bots include everything from retro atomic imagery to characters from classic sci-fi movies to contemporary takes on mechanical mans - there's even one featuring President Obama!