Daily Design
Eurobad or Eurogood?
A friend sent me this recently... and I wanted to share. It's a little slideshow of European interiors circa 1974.

Be on the lookout for: Formica, a crafty plush mouse, a kitchen that connects to (what else?) a stable, bidets galore, green wood, an overexcited child, a Marilyn Monroe mirror, a circular stovetop island, and a very chic way to spell "Exclusive."

Honestly, at least there are risks here! Unlike the waves of beige and gray (something I vacillate between calling "greige" and "realtor pornography") that seem to be trendy, trendy, trendy today.

Prediction – Downtown Austin condos : today :: wood paneling : 1970s.

4:17PM Fri. Oct. 26, 2007, Andy Campbell Read More | Comment »

The Devil Is in the Denim
The humble blue jean has gotten waaay too big for its britches. Again.

Pricey denim is old news. A little piece of America died the day good old reliable 505s were torn asunder to herald the Gucci, Pucci, Fiorucci, she's-got-the-look / nobody-comes-between-me-and-my Seventies.

There were lessons. Some not learned.

To wit: Some of us lived through the Eighties the first time – and managed to dodge the acid- and stone-washed bullets back then. But with every generation, come new opportunities to separate people from their cold hard cash in exchange for some crappy distressed jeans.

1:57PM Fri. Oct. 26, 2007, Kate X Messer Read More | Comment »

Brow Watch
As the fuller, Eighties-era eyebrow has emerged from foreheads this fall, so has the predictable confusion between two very distinct looks. The celebrated Feral Brow, as it is often called, evokes Brooke Shields at her most hirsute, kind of a glamorous version of Eddie Munster with a dewy, presumably pre-fellatio pout.

There is another big brow, however, that is gaining a more subversive popularity on the street. It was first seen by most of us in its darkest glory on an otherwise pale Sienna Miller as Vogue's September cover girl; as it moves quietly from runways and glossy pages to the neighbor's bathroom sink, no one seems to want to name it.

I'll call it the Crawford Brow. Whether delivered via stipple brush and powder, proper pencil, or Sharpie, the Crawford Brow must be absolutely black, and of an unapologetically severe shape. This is not a tentative, ingenue look. It requires the iconic self-possession of, well, Joan, and seems to find its true calling on very pale coloring.

3:30PM Thu. Oct. 25, 2007, Anne Harris Read More | Comment »

Maker Faire: Happily Ever Crafter
Imagine, if you will, the ghosts of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla puking their wackiest dreams of science all over the Travis County Expo Center grounds. Puddles of the stuff, filled with wires and gears, wheels and capacitors, invention and obsession. Shining inside the outdoor tents, grinding away under a vast metal roof more accustomed to sheltering livestock, whirring and spinning inside the air-conditioned main building. This is grass-roots technology gone apeshit. This is Maker Faire, conjured as if fullblown from the head of O'Reilly Publishing, manifesting in a ragged and diverse collection of DIY euphoria and abetted by dozens of bigger-name sponsors who'd like nothing more than to successfully tap the Relentless Tinkerer market that's forever stretching, as if genetically driven, the boundaries of Good Old American Know-How.

I attended this Faire with my daughter Angelica, that we might improve the hours of our weekend with its diversions. And also, yeah, to have something to report for this blog.

Some of what we saw was pretty fucking amazing.

4:30PM Wed. Oct. 24, 2007, Wayne Alan Brenner Read More | Comment »

Cute + Goth = ?
I basically hate pink. When I was pregnant, I refused to find out the gender of my child so that, in the event it was female, I wouldn't be cursed with a cotton-candy explosion in the nursery.

Now that two years have passed, I have a fabulous, high-energy daughter. And I'm tired of fighting. I have flown the white flag/thrown in the towel/surrendered to glitter. Pink won.

4:25PM Wed. Oct. 24, 2007, Liz Osting Read More | Comment »

My First Etsy
When I was at the age when I had a lot of time to do crafty things, crafty things were not cool. The epitome of crafty things then, in fact, could be summed up in the Christmas present my best friend Kristi received our sophomore year of high school – a vest made by her grandma out of the butt of some worn-out jeans. From then on, arts and crafts were pretty much synonymous with butt-on-the-chest for me, and only in the past few years have I stopped feeling mild shame when lingering in the aisles of Hobby Lobby.

Obviously, things have changed. The craft craze at this point is hotter than a glue gun, so hot in fact that it lured a giant crowd of choppy-haired, vintage-clad types out to the Travis County Fairgrounds last weekend for nothing resembling live music. Instead, it was the Maker Faire, Make Magazine's ode to all things DIY, which you can read more about here. I missed most of the artsy stuff because I invited my NASA friend along (he does some kind of work involving the Space Station's "arm"), and he lingered so long in the robot area that I never even got a glimpse of the sewing-machine ladies and silk-screen T-shirt makers and other beautiful people of my dreams. Which means, tragically, that I missed the people from Etsy.com.

4:21PM Wed. Oct. 24, 2007, Nora Ankrum Read More | Comment »

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Les Freaques, Sont Chics
I don't know if you've ever attended a "real" fashion show. I know I haven't - at least not the kind that are in New York/Paris/Milan and feature celebrities and much pouting and frantic snubbing and all that Prêt-à-Porter stuff.

Even so, I know the fashion shows I have attended - the kind that take place in nightclubs, parking lots, and people's houses - are: 1) both less and more pretentious, 2) more creative, 3) smellier, and 4) fun.

Treasure City, possibly the best thrift store/social movement of the century (along with event co-throwers ilovemikelitt), met all criteria at Oct. 13's fashtravaganza, holding the torch for an Austin that is not so much "weird" as "freakish," in a good and not particularly mass-marketable way.

3:36PM Wed. Oct. 24, 2007, Cindy Widner Read More | Comment »

Newtral
By now, I'm sure you've all noticed that gray is the new beige. Those of us who overhauled our kitchens/bathrooms/wardrobes with various shades of umber/cocoa/toast are now going to be compelled to start again with this fabulous new shade. My theory is that this trend began when stainless steel became so popular; seldom can an appliance in a different hue be found at H.D.

So what are we to do with our plethora of fawn-colored items? Well, luckily, you can still work them in by pairing them with a warm-toned gray. Your jute rug and charcoal-colored side chair will look quite well together. So will your khaki pants and peppery sweater. If you want to keep the space light, try a dove or ash tone. Or pair a few grays together. Nothing's more elegant than gray on gray.

I've already started implementing this trend with my natural hair color.

3:09PM Wed. Oct. 24, 2007, Liz Osting Read More | Comment »

Aus Bat
Its stageside banners emblazoned with images of idyllic nature and iconic hipsterdom, the midway stocked with funky stores, her weed presumably smokable, the Austin City Limits Fest is truly a godsend to city-boosting, chamber-of-commerce types with a trace amount of 'tude. So who better to be an ambassador of this funky goodwill than Austin's Batman – easily the most gawked-about festival-reveler in Gotham City. Vampire-like, his image is elusive and hard to capture, hence this post out of festival season. While the camera captures the iconic chest tattoo and belt-buckle, AB's unfortunately missing his trademark leather-vest with the cut-out bat logo here. Also – and this is a testament to the level of detailing at work – when Chronique brushed up against him by the beer tent, it noticed the bat insignia also gracing the heels of his boots, like some charm-bracelet piece forged in the flames of hell. Austin's Batman – that's messed up!

3:00PM Wed. Oct. 24, 2007 Read More | Comment »

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