Tiny Space, Magical Place

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Talk about making the most of a small space. Korean artist Jee Young Lee transformed her tiny studio in Seoul—measuring 3.6 x 4.1 x 2.4 meters—into incredible, dreamlike worlds…all by hand. She’s pictured in each image and the self portraits range from her own experiences, dreams, and memories, to traditional Korean folk tales and legends. Even though you’re just looking at a photo, don’t you feel like you’re inside each one?

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Enchanting and haunting at the same time, right? Chillllls!

{via demilked}

Underwater Photo Exhibit

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Photographer Andreas Frankes constructed his latest exhibit entirely underwater, within the remains of a shipwreck. And the best part is you get to go underwater yourself to experience it. Dive off the coast of Key West and swim down to see his collection of photographs, all depicting normal people doing everyday activities, from laundry to watching television–except they’re doing all of these things on the very ship you’re diving down to.  Crazy and awesome? Yess.

Whirlwind Weekend Ahead

U.S. Open of Surfing from Nikeblog.com

You guys, there are just too many fun things happening this weekend, especially outdoors. As much as I would love to get to them all, I just don’t think it’s physically possible!

Since my Summer Bucket List says so – and I must abide – I’ll definitely be making my way to Huntington Beach (probably via bike) to see the start of the U.S. Open of Surfing. While I prefer to catch the tail end of the event next weekend when all the pros are out in full, I have something ultra important to attend to for work: our rover Curiosity is landing on Mars! (If you’re not privy to all the excitement with THAT little chestnut, watch this. And I’ll post more on how to watch all the landing excitement next week.)

Here are some of the other fun, outdoorsy things happening this weekend – and beckoning me to do some major multitasking/commuting.

  1. Renegade Craft Fair – July 28-29, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Los Angeles Historic Park, free
  2. Cinespia presents The Big Lebowski – July 28, gates: 7:30 p.m., movie: 9 p.m., Hollywood Forever Cemetery, presale reservations sold out
  3. Eat | See | Hear presents The Princess Bride and band State to State – July 28, doors: 5:30 p.m., movie: 8:30 p.m., Brentwood’s Paul Revere Charter Middle School, $10-$20
  4. Downtown Grand Park partial grand opening and National Dance Day Celebration – July 28, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.,  Between Grand Avenue and Hill Street along 1st Street, free
  5. Shakespeare Under the Stars presents As You Like It – July 25-29, 8 p.m., VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center Campus, $12.50-$20 on Goldstar

Sounds fun, right? Which one of these events or others will you be attending this weekend?
{Photo via Nikeblog.com}

Summer Bucket List #24: Learn a New Skill?

Summer Bucket List #24: Learn a New Skill

You know that part in Project Runway when someone decides to go all out with their design and get super creative and suddenly it’s one hour till deadline and all they have is half-sewn dress that looks like something Betsy Johnson would design on acid? That was me three hours ago.

I’ve always considered myself a creative person. I’m pretty good at coming up with unique concepts, putting the odd ornament or piece of jewelry together, and I can take a decent photo. But painting and drawing have never been areas where I excel. Last year, I had this great idea to paint this amazing scene from a dream I had that involved a giant red horse. So I bought this huge canvas and spent the next month drawing horses that looked like what my mom used to put on the refrigerator when I was 6  (thus Summer Bucket List item No. 15).

So I figured why not make my summer bucket list skill learning to paint! I found a 2.5 hour “CRASH” course through Hands on 3rd‘s Culver City location. And — equipped with purposely paint-splattered jeans, a friendship bracelet and a tie-dye shirt — I was ready to paint. The inspiration: Pablo Picasso’s seated woman portraits.We started off with a charcoal drawing, and I must admit, I was pretty excited about mine. It had just the right amount of Picasso-inspired elements mixed with my own ideas. What happened over the next few hours is hard to say. I know that as soon as the first bit of paint touched the canvas and I realized I couldn’t hit Ctrl-Z, I had a deep feeling of dread. And it kind of went downhill from there. In the last hour or so, though, I channeled my best Tim Gunn “make it work” moment and turned it into something … interesting. Let’s just say that the final product looked a lot better than it did at 8:15 or so.

I think I still have a long way to go in the learning to paint department, but it was a good lesson in creative humility. Here are some of the things I did learn:

  1. If you’re new to painting, keep it simple.
  2. Never look around at other students’ work while you’re painting — especially if you have the feeling yours is starting to look kind of crazy. (I made this mistake early on in the class and I don’t think I ever fully recovered, but kudos to all the other students who created some really beautiful paintings!)
  3. Just paint over what you don’t like (the caveat to this, of course, is that sometimes, it takes a lot of paint and a lot of time, which you may not always have.)
  4. Keep your inspiration and maybe some color pallets nearby. I’ve become so accustomed to clicking around on the Adobe Illustrator color wheel that I was at a loss for what to do about color when I had to make it up myself.
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s all part of the learning process.

As for my future as a drawer/painter, we’ll see. I’m not giving up just yet. There still that red horse that needs painting …

Faces of the City

One of my favorite things about walking around Downtown L.A is eyeing all the impressive and often really beautiful street art. Here are a few murals in particular that I never seem to get tired of and wish I could somehow shrink to a size that might fit in my apartment.

Spring Street between 6th and 7th:

Mural by JR on Spring Street between 6th and 7th Streets - Photo by Julie Faith via Flickr

Mural by JR and VHILS on Spring Street between 6th and 7th Streets - Photo by Julie Faith via Flickr

After doing a little investigative work, I discovered a nice piece in Curbed Los Angeles about this street artist, JR. There’s a great video to go along with the article and it managed to make me even more enamored of his beautiful artwork and project, called “Wrinkles of the City,” which highlights the often overlooked beauty that comes with age. The mural in the first image was actually a collaboration between JR and another street artist, VHILS, whose work can be found here. {Photos by Julie Faith via Flickr}

Main Street between 4th and 5th:  

Mural by Claudio Ethos on Main Street between 4th and 5th Streets - Photo via Love and Hate Los Angeles blog

While there’s plenty to appreciate about the murals downtown, this one has always struck a chord with me more than any other. It’s sad and beautiful all at the same time and it makes me want to just sit and stare at it for hours. It took some searching, but I finally found its creator, Brazilian artist Claudio Ethos, whose artwork and murals can be found on his website, here. {Photo via Love and Hate Los Angeles blog}

Broadway between new 4th and 3rd (new location TBD):

Mural by Johanna Poethi on Broadway between 4th and 3rd - Photo by me

I took this photo during one of my first real walks around downtown a couple years ago and it was one of my favorites of the bunch. I just love the way the hands on the mural – called “Calle de la Eternidad” and created by artist and muralist Johanna Poethig — reach up to the sky, mirroring the buildings behind them and giving onlookers a wonderful sense of pride and optimism. BlogDowntown has an interesting article about how this mural is actually being moved and reconstructed piece by piece nearby to allow its current home to be restored. {Photo by me}

On Goofy Art and Giggles

Mountain Monster print by Chris McMahon

Land Narwhal and Young print by Chris McMahon

You guys know how I’m obsessed with goofy animal art – and, let’s face it, goofy art in general. Just the other day, I was this close [ ] to buying a gigantic blue oil painting of two bunnies in a field.

I can’t even describe the level of joy I found from these masterpieces by Chris McMahon, who, as I’m told by the ladies at Hello Giggles, paints these funny monsters into landscape art he finds at thrift stores.

I’ve already purchased the narwhal and the mountain monster pictured above. Only $10 including shipping! I couldn’t resist.

And while I’m on the topic, Hello Giggles is the best! How did I just now discover it? I especially loved this post by 13-year-old Mikaela Foster, who is already a much better writer than me and describes my junior high/high school sentiments to a “T”.

Summer Lighting

© Tulipanka Photography (Glowing Jar Project - From Panka With Love}

As silly as it sounds, there’s very little that makes me more excited for summer than the thought of sitting outside under a canopy of Christmas lights with a glass of wine and good company.

I’m beginning to think that these amazing little DIY jar lights from From Panka With Love might be even better. I stumbled across them on Pinterest this weekend, and I immediately had a flashback to the summers I used to spend chasing fireflies around my grandma’s neighborhood in Indiana.

The jars sound relatively easy to make, although like one commenter said, five hours for the larger jar seems like a bit much. Even if you just stick to the small variety, these would be such a beautiful addition to any evening summer hangout, don’t you think?

{Photo © Tulipanka Photography}

The Sketching Backpacker

I know so little about the Tumblr blog The Sketching Backpacker, but what I do know is awesome: this guy just travels the world, creating beautiful artwork out of the sights he sees. What a life, right?

Speaking of which, our very own Kim is enjoying the traveling life herself right now! She’s off to Jordan for the next 10 days (envious sigh), so I’ll be posting for her next week. :)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! It’s supposed to be over 80 degrees in L.A. for the next three days! Yessss. xx

{via sho & tell}