Friday, September 30, 2011

Odds 'n Ends • Fish Bowl

Oh this design made me smile!

What a beautiful hand blown glass mountainscape for the design aware goldfish! It certainly beats those neon plants you can buy in the fish store. But in reality, I've owned groups of gold fish over the years starting with three in collage (David, Larry and Dick), and then more with my daughters. I know what the bottom of a gold fish bowl looks like and maybe a layer of small rocks is in order!  Either that or you have several of these with water at the perfect temperature so the fish always has a pristine environment.

This whimsical design is by aruliden. It is available for purchase in the US at The Conran Store.

via Design Milk

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©2011, Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stone Lamp - DIY

While traveling, I had seen a table lamp made from smooth ocean stones, I loved it. My husband, David and I decided we wanted a floor lamp and we would make it ourselves. This really wasn't too extreme an idea because my husband had given me a rotary percussion drill for an earlier birthday to create a stone sculpture. When you live in a DIY household you get and give weird gifts. Together we tackled the project. The finished lamp is a beautiful blend of nature and design. It attracts endless attention from visitors. And it will never be moved assembled. It weighs hundreds of pounds.

Here is how we did it. It started with us lining up my rock collection. I've been collecting beautiful stones for a long time. We even travelled to the Rhode Island shore to supplement the collection.  I wanted a gradation in size but with a variety of colors.

We started by finding a larger base rock in our woods. We added 4 adjustable bolts to the bottom so we would be able to level it once in location. You can see those look like tiny legs on this turtle like stack.

We then used large wood clamps to hold each rock in place and drilled a 3/4" hole through the rock. Water was being applied the entire time to keep the bit cool. We tried a variety of techniques to try and prevent the rocks for chipping on the bottom side but were never successful. In the end it didn't really matter because they stacked together better as is.

Here the lamp is 4 stones high. In the back ground you can see the stone sculpture we had created previously.  It was for this sculpture we purchased this impressive drill. It really needed a second project!

Drilling was a very, very slow process. We spread it out over two days and enlisted the help of daughter, Karen as well. We estimate it took about 10 hours of drilling time to complete the lamp. We also learned that it takes multiple bits and goes a lot faster with a new sharp bit!

Progress is clearly visible. We placed a 3/4" brass pipe in the center and slid the drilled rocks over it.  We constructed it so it comes apart which is absolutely necessary for moving. There is no glue, just the stack with the internal pipe.

We had a major design problem in that we didn't have a shade that was the correct proportions.  I did a lot of searching online and couldn't find the proper size/color combination anywhere. It really looked silly with the undersized shade.

Finally, it was clear that I'd need to make the shade. Unfortunately I took no pictures of the process. I did buy a smaller, plain shade as a base and created a kraft paper mock-up on top. I purchased a beautiful but relatively stiff rice paper with natural chips at Jerry's Art-o-rama.  From that I crafted a shade with a beautiful texture. I could make it exactly the size I wanted. I cut long triangles and used double stick tape to hold the edges together creating a scalloped shade.  The end result is visually soft and natural.

It is a perfect addition to our home of eclectic fine American crafts, homemade treasures and found things from nature.

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This post has been featured on Completely Coastal

©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Odds 'n Ends • Coffee Filter?

Today I am starting a new occasional series titled "Odds 'n Ends". Here I will share with you the various interesting items that cross my screen worthy of remembering but don't necessarily fit into one of my series. (Or fit perfectly into one I have recently covered!)

This one made me smile!

I saw this advertised on and needed to explore further. Wow, a huge coffee filter! I loved the concept of altering scale to modify function.  What a whimsical planter.  Not to mention a great entertaining resource......

Or a puppy bed!

These are from the Dutch design studio Beerd van Stokkum. They see these containers as large cupcake holders which is certainly a better marketing direction than coffee filters! The first one that I saw was white so I thought, "coffee filter". I have previously posted a series on using scale in decor and design.

They have several other interesting designs as well.  Here is a shelf called Granny. Love the lace!

They have also created a series of embellishments that can be painted and easily applied to walls or ceilings. There are many creative applications pictured at their site.

Other posts about size and scale that might interest you:

©2011, Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Monday, September 26, 2011

Eames Century Modern Font in furniture

Charles and Ray Eames were American Designers that made major contributions in modern architecture and furniture as well as industrial and graphic design. The design world applauded as Herman Miller and House Industries came out with a limited edition series of tables based on the classic Eames Century Modern font collection.

via SwissMiss

The Eames team did not design a font but they did leave a clear philisophical template of their design approach and that was used to create this dynamic font. Check out the graphic beauty of the ampersand! As noted in previous posts, I am partial to the ampersand.

Also of note is the packaging. Stunning....

Here are a few classic designs from the Eames'.  You might not know their name but have probably seen their work.

Photo credit

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Huge Typography Furniture

I mean really huge letters in decor.  Check out these storage units by the Swiss company Set 26.  

And here is another shelf solution.

The site credits these units to Pottery Barn but apparently it was from long ago. I can find no current reference. It would need to be a DIY project.

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Punctuation in Lights!!!

When writing I add exclamation points to bring emphasis to my thoughts. (Yes, I know. I over use the exclamation point!) Last night a wonderful post appeared on Design Milk about  a lighting company that has created lamps for 20 different punctuation marks!

Great furniture arrangement for an optimist.

I also love the @ sign however the ampersand was a design disappointment.

Here is the collection.....

These lamps are from the French firm, Tabisso. They also have an entire alphabet in chairs.  Imagine the comments you can make hidden in your decor!

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deal on Pears

A while ago I did a series on pears. At that time I had bookmarked a silver pear available from Home Decorator's Supply.  I liked it - a lot. But I had finished my posts on pears so it just sat in my Evernote files.  This morning I got a regular email from Home Decorators and that pear was on a big special WITH free shipping. Bingo. It's mine. In fact I ordered three - two small and one large.

Looking forward to finding a nook for them.

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Lettering Illusion

Can't make up your mind? Take a look at this sculpture and then change your viewpoint and look again.

Definitely a conversation starter.

This sculpture is by Markus Raetz from Switzerland.  He works in creating illusions. This one fits nicely into my Typography series.  

via SwissMiss

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bird House Letters?

Okay, I don't really believe the letter concept needs to be used for bird house design but these do make me smile.

These whimsical bird houses are designed by Nishant Jethi and are created in all 26 letters plus numbers 0-9.

They can be used in groupings....

Or as a creative solution to house numbers.....

But I've had birds nest on my house. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the baby birds hatch and be fed but as they grew the wall beneath the nest was not a pretty site!

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ampersand Again

No sooner do you blog about a topic than a truly stunning example of the same appears.  I already posted about the beauty of the ampersand in decor but none of my examples were as stunning as this one.

What I don't understand is how it can be called a spring steel chair. Sculptural accessory, absolutely but not a chair.

But take a moment and study it.  I expect it would be fairly easy to figure out the flat shape this is created from and try a sample in a heavy black paper. Yes! A stunning simple sculpture for next to nothing and toss when your decor changes.  I'll have to give it a try.

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Monday, September 19, 2011

Words • Folded Book Art

Several years ago I was given a beautiful old book , dogged eared, tattered, and re-purposed into a geometrical folded work of art. I saw this example of the same craft and new it fit into my letters in decor series.

These are created by Isaac Salazar as a side project and he sells them through an ETSY site, Book Of Art. His designs are becoming more complex and you need to put your name on a waiting list for the next available book. He also has a flickr account with photos of past projects here.

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Terrific DIY Idea for Letters

Here is a simple yet hugely effective idea for creating your own lettered poster, unique to you and your home/office/business.

Using a fantastic collection of online letter photographs by Leo Reynolds and any page layout program ( I used Pages) you can create your own graphic design from letters of your choice. I quickly made the above sample for Ashbee Design. 

This ides is not mine.  I first saw it at Full of Great Ideas blog. She has a great tutorial there on how to do this using Microsoft Publisher. Stephanie took the time to frame and mat her sample before sharing. Visit her site to see how she has created many gifts using this idea.

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wanderings • TEDxBGSU • David Presents

When I started the Wanderings series here on the bog, my thought was to include my discoveries in the world of art, craft and design away from home. The past few days I have been on a trip that I had not imagined for this series. My previous posts explains about my husband's sculptures and his being invited to give a TEDx talk at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Yesterday was his talk and today as I await our flight home I'll try to share a little of the experience.

The TEDx series is independently organized TED events. It is local people trying to bring the TED experience to their communities. It is an effort to continue the goal of spreading "Ideas Worth Sharing". You can visit the TEDx site and search for similar events in your area. They are world wide. I recommend it. I found it to be thought provoking and inspiring.

This event was coordinated by a group of five students at the university. Just being on a college campus with its energy can be inspiring. Eighteen presenters from around the United States talked about a range of topics from urban gardening with kids, to changing the American perception of the perfect body, to developing an online database of healthcare facility outcomes to allow us to better choose our healthcare providers.

David hasn't spoken in public since the fifth grade so we spent a lot of time together crafting his presentation and then rehearsing. He did an excellent job and if you ever choose to do a public talk I recommend practice, practice, practice!

Here is a photo of David doing his TEDx Talk. It was a rush and moment of pride to see him on stage, with his work displayed in huge scale behind him, sharing our story.

I'll post the link when the video presentation becomes available!

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Traveling Plans

This blog has evolved in several different directions. I blog in related themes, or DIY projects, or items I love to share. I have been working on a great series about using letters in design but I am interrupting that because I will be traveling for the next few days.

My husband, David has been invited to give a TEDx Talk about his creative work and I will be joining him. If you haven't yet discovered the incredible world of TED Talks I encourage you to visit their website.  They have available, online, for free, videos of many years of TED Talks. Many are brilliant and speak to one's creative side. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.  What three words better describe a design blogger?

We have spent the past 6 weeks creating a dynamic presentation.And today we depart.  The final presentation will be taped and made available online. But for today I will just give you the link to David's website at Wood That so you can enjoy the incredible things he creates.

Here is a video of one of his recent sculptures.

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©2011 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy