Category Archives: Art & Design

Can We Get Outlets Off The Floor?

A while back, I put in a bunch of safety outlet plates into my home in the interest of baby-proofing, and got to thinking – why on Earth are outlets generally installed less than two inches off the ground? Beyond the baby electrocution issue, you have to bend over to plug in and unplug everything, and aside from floor lamps, I can’t think of anything that benefits from the toe-high location.

Given the opportunity to build or renovate my own home in the future, I’m going to install all of the electrical outlets 1/3 of the way up the wall (standard chair rail height, usually 32-40 inches above the floor), unless someone can give me a reason not to.

Benefits:

  • no baby zapping, and it will keep most cords out of toddlers’ reach
  • no bending over to plug in and unplug; great for people with limited mobility
  • no need for extra long cords when using appliances or charging phones atop a table
  • reduce need to move couches or climb under tables to access the outlets behind
  • no ugly cords dangling below a wall-mounted television
  • extra/open outlets could be used for lighting with a simple plug-in sconce
  • with plugs easier to reach, people are less likely to yank the cord, reducing wear

Problems:

  • Floor lamps would look funny with dangling cords
  •  Really short people might resent me

That’s really all I can come up with.  Am I missing a good reason to continue putting outlets on the floor? Is it just the risk that people would leave electronics dangling by the cord?

Fall 2013

I haven’t written anything in a while. Just in case anyone’s reading this, here’s the update:

Had a baby. Cute, right? J is amazing and healthy and happy and huge, and he has been an incredible source of joy and inspiration. I bounce all of my design, writing and other creative ideas off  him, he replies by kicking me and chuckling, and the ideas somehow grow stronger through the process. We’re working on our first collaborative piece, a children’s book called Hieronymus the Autonomous Hippopotamus.

chomp
Eating with zeal! Like father, like son.

Launched a business. I took those etched glass pieces I posted  last October and started selling them on Etsy. I’ve expanded to a range of glass pieces, hand-made bar tools, and kits to make your own bitters (hot sauce and coffee liqueur kits coming soon). I’m also hoping to sell my laser-cut plywood coffee cup cuffs, but product development has been slow. I’ve got a million other pieces in mind, and not nearly enough time to make them all, so feel free to buy a piece, and put me a few bucks closer to being able to design full time. You can also show support by “liking” us on Facebook!

shop
The Libation Lab Etsy Shop

Giving Tours. For a over a year, I’ve been leading culinary walking tours of different San Francisco neighborhoods with a local company called Edible Excursions, and they’ve asked me to design and lead the new Craft Cocktail Tour, which has been a lot of fun.

tour
My first day on the job as a Cocktail Tour Guide

 

 

October 2012

It’s the first of October and I just realized I still haven’t paid my rent.

I also haven’t been writing, here or elsewhere, so i thought I would post an update at least.

My August plan to be a hermit was a success:

  • I quit smoking on the first of August; still going strong.
  • I went to 38 90-minute yoga classes within the month of August.
  • I rarely left the house and spent little money.
Maybe I went too long without spending money, because I strangely stoked about a bunch of new stores opening in SF this month. First off, there is a Target opening two blocks from my office, which is the first in the city, to my knowledge. Most people might find this offensive, but I am thrilled to be able to buy the basics at a reasonable price without taking a BART train to the ‘burbs. The other two are Japanese chains, Muji for design-forward home goods that are unbranded and reasonably priced, and Uniqlo, which seems to be the Japanese equivalent of H&M with a cult following. All of their ads are for $10 jeans in every color of the rainbow.
I think I will go back to being a spendthrift hermit for much of October. I am deep into a number of new projects and really should be putting my energy there.Foremost is a new line of upcycled/upscale drinking accessories, mostly from reclaimed glass that I am designing and etching to make conversation pieces for the home bar. Below is the Drinker’s Dictionary Decanter and the Whiskey On The Rocks decanter and glass combo. I’m working on a number of different bottles, flasks and other curiosities that I will be posting soon, either on Etsy, or my own online shop very soon.

February 2012

Post holiday excess, I’m going to tone it down for a month or two and ramp-up my artistic production, because 1. I need to and 2. I’m toying with the idea of starting an MFA program in 2013, so I need to get my portfolio back on point this year.

Here’s the plan:

1. Build out my new Portfolio Website. It’s mostly photography at this point, but that’s a good start.

2. See more art (galleries, museums, installations, art walks, opening parties, etc.)

3. Make more art (photos, illustrations, sculptures, design projects, writing, etc.)

4. Stay in more evenings and spend as little money as possible.

5. Eat healthier.

In case you didn’t click the portfolio, here are photos I took from the plane on my way home from Denver:

January Fascinations

Here’s what’s held my attention of late:

While home for the holidays, I spent some time with my dad in the carpentry shop, where I made a french rolling pin for a dear friend who is starting her own cookie business, and a muddler for the guys behind the bar at Anvil Bar and Refuge in Houston.

Oh yeah, I drove through Texas over the holidays, starting with ten days in Vermont and 36-hours in NYC (one great night at Prime Meats and Bourgeois Pig). I was supposed to spend New Year’s in Manhattan, but I got a call at Christmas asking if I wouldn’t rather celebrate in the middle of nowhere, than attend the usual fete at Death and Co., so I flew to San Antonio, where I was driven through the night to a little town called Marfa.

We spent New Year’s Eve in a little honky-tonk called Padre’s watching Jimmy Dale Gillmore and Butch Hancock play to a sold out house of about 120 people, then David Byrne walked in around 11 o’clock. He seemed like a nice guy! He said hi to me when he walked in and waited in line for a drink like everyone else.

From there, we drove to Austin to see friends and Houston for a couple nights to visit the above-mentioned Anvil, to experience “Fancy Cocktails in Plastic Cups” at Fitzgerald’s and to linger well past closing with the gorgeous ladies behind the bar at Grand Prize.

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What else? I got a new glass water bottle from Takeya that I love.  Drinking from glass is great because it never tastes off, and this model is slim enough to fit in any cup holder and has a wide mouth.  I also think their glass tea makers would be great for infusing spirits and making liqueurs.

Caligraffiti
The Skitch clothes hanger design opens me up to the idea of a hangar that holds a whole outfit, but rather than the creepy punk skeleton motif, I’d like to see something classier that holds a pair of pants, shirt, jacket and even socks, boxers and an undershirt.  The idea of just grabbing one hanger in the morning seems amazing to me, and it would save space too, so I may prototype my own design soon.

 

 

 

Strelein Warehouse by Ian Moore Architects

I would like to live here, or build my own little modernist hide-away. I’ve been into very small homes of late and wish I had a tiny plot of land on which to build.


This video amuses me, even if I don’t wear scarves.

Lunar New Year Party Planning 2012

The year of the Rabbit is coming to an end and the Dragon is upon us, so I should throw another party.

I generally invite 20-30 people to my tiny apartment and serve 8-10 courses over the span of the evening. This year, I would like to get out of the kitchen, so we are going to shake it up a bit, but be no less ambitious.

 

1. Since it is a Water Dragon year, there will be several interstitial liquid courses, and by that I mean shots.  Between courses, we’ll have a palate-cleansing round of Red Dragon Shots, Golden Dragon Shots, etc.

2. All of the utensils and dishes will be compostable, because I don’t wanna do dishes.

3. Food will be prepped to the heat-and-serve level. Nothing fried, as it requires too much attention.

 

So far, the menu is looking like something like the following:

Braised Bunny Banh Mi

Red Dragon Welcome Shot

Dragon Roll (sushi with some combo of bbq eel, cuke, avo, tobiko and tempura)

Dragon Buns (steamed bao full of bbq gator)

Dragon Ribs (probably just my OMG ribs again, but grilled instead of pan-fried)

Potstickers

Green Dragon Shot

Noodle Bar with lots of customizing options

Golden Dragon Shot

Magic Dragon Puffs (profiteroles filled with something fun)

Orange Slice Jello Shots

 

Looking back at previous invites, I also realized that I must craft another absurd illustrated invitation.  Hmmm… something with dragons and current events… Occupy Mordor?

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions or suggestions?  Please comment below!

Got Bored, Re-Imagined Bar Codes

So, in avoiding other obligations, I decided to find more subtle ways to post a barcode.  The newly-ubiquitous QR codes are hard to miss, being all blocky and checkerboard-like, but traditional bar codes are easier to disguise.  I’ve got a fistful of ideas for how to do this, but here are the first three. After this, I am thinking of a ray gun blast, integrating it into a wood grain pattern, water from a shower head, and an urban skyline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can click on any of the above to get a larger image and which can be scanned with any barcode scanner app.

Mobile Docent

Along with CreateShareWear, my other 5 jobs and an active social life, another recent venture has been taking up a lot of my time, hence the lack of posting on this blog.

I created MobileDocent as a digital tour guide for gallery visitors to access to rich multimedia content (text, links, images, audio, video and more), enhancing their experience of the art and objects being exhibited in museums and cultural institutions through their web-enabled mobile devices (iPhone, Blackberry, etc.).

I’ve been working with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to test my project and we have decided to begin piloting MobileDocent with the January Icons of Attention exhibition of work by Kamau Amu Patton, so stay tuned for updates on the progress of the program, and mark your calendars for opening night party, January 22nd, 2010.

For more info on MobileDocent, visit MobileDocent.com.

Create.Share.Wear.

I’ve been neglecting this blog because I am deeply involved in a couple other projects, and this pesky day job keeps getting in the way, but I am very excited to announce that today is the official launch of the Picpoket, from CreateShareWear, a clothing/art/social media venture that I founded with a friend.  I’ve been coding like a madman all week trying to make the site perfect, and I am awfully proud of what I have built.

The premise is simple, but the overarching plan is exciting.  We are selling custom hoodies (and eventually other clothing and accessories) that hold your video iPod, facing out, so you can show your images and video to the world.  In conjunction, we will soon be launching a social networking site for our users to share their work with the Picpoket community to wear all over the world, and collaborate on collective arts and activism projects.

Check out the site, let me know what you think, visit our blog, and if you want to pre-order a hoodie now, we’re offering a special price, a bonus grab bag of art, and premier status on the social network!