Saturday, August 8, 2009

Goodbye, and Thank You

If there's anyone out there still checking in on this blog, I wanted to take this opportunity to formally sign off. After a lot of thought and a fair amount of agonizing, I've made the bittersweet decision to move on from More Ways to Waste Time.

More importantly, I wanted to give my sincere thanks to you for reading, whether it's been for the entire two-plus years and 1,500 or so posts that have elapsed since I began this blog, or whether you found yourself here just recently. I've truly enjoyed highlighting the work of so many inspired artists, craftspeople, and independent retailers, delighted in every last one of your comments and emails, and cherished the many online friendships that have resulted.

All my best to all of you.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Object of Lust: Enzo Floor Lamp

Reminiscent of the vintage Kaiser Idell and European counterbalance task lights I often stalk on eBay, Anthropologie's industrial-chic Enzo Floor Lamp has me drooling.

It's $398 right here.

Etsy Find: Munstre Lightboxes

Loving these cool lightboxes from Etsy seller Munstre (aka Boston crafter Chris Elsasser). Each is handmade from Munstre's custom graphics or from vintage x-rays and medical lithographs and each is mounted in a ready-to-hang, solid wood frame with a pre-installed lightbulb and plug. Above: Follow Me to Heaven, $95

En Cloude, $70

However Long the Night, the Dawn Will Break, $130

Old Fashioned Bicycle, $95

Lift Your Skinny Arms to the Sky, $140

Anatomical Heart, $65

On a White Lake, $140

See all of Munstre's Etsy offerings right here -- and check out more of his lightboxes, prints, and other creations here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cool Stuff: Madison & Grow Eco Wallpaper

I'm smitten with this eco-friendly wallpaper from Los Angeles's Madison & Grow, launched last year by Connecticut transplants Teresa Grow and Erin Yasgar. Each design is hand-drawn and hand-printed with water-based inks, and the recyclable paper is harvested from sustainable forests. Above: Eleanor







Madison & Grow wallpaper is available through these retailers. See the entire collection right here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Etsy Find: New Prints From Hannah Stouffer

Wild new limited-edition prints from Etsy seller Grand Array (aka L.A.-based artist Hannah Stouffer). Look closely -- there's a whole universe in these images. Above: Black Roses Tell a Story, $12 if you order during July, $25 after that

Bonne Nuit, Crystal Cave, $12 until July 31

Leaving the Crusade to Fate, $12 until July 31

See all of Stouffer's Etsy offerings right here -- and check out more of her work here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Over and Out

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Artful Home: Art in a Box

North Oakland's Compound Gallery has devised a novel way to get affordable pieces from emerging local artists into the hands of collectors on a budget: a monthly subscription service called Art in a Box.

Here's how it works: Subscribe for the pick-up-only or nationwide-delivery packages, and every month you'll receive an 11-by-17-inch box containing a painting, print, photo, mixed media work, drawing, collage, ceramic piece, or sculpture from one of 11 Bay Area artists.

The art and the artist will be a surprise, but you can let the gallery directors know your preferences ahead of time and they'll do their best to send you something they think you'll like.

Participating artists include Ben Belknap, Jake Gillespie, Alissa Goss, Kerri Lee Johnson, Obi Kaufmann, Crystal Morey, Lena Verderano Reynoso, Matt Reynoso, Audrey Roy, Eric Sanchez, Tallulah Terryll, Adrian Van Allen, and YaChin Bonny You.

The service costs $30 or $50 a month, with a three-month minimum. Find out more about Art in a Box right here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cool Stuff: Criss Cross Lamps

I love a good Bubble Lamp, and am especially digging these new reissues of George Nelson's Criss Cross Lamps. They're just like the midcentury design icon's classic Bubble Lamps -- but, you know, fancier.

The Criss Cross Lamps, which run $359 to $405 apiece, are available from Modernica.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Etsy Find: Tine Wiggens Textile Art

Sweet and simple textile art from British Columbia-based Etsy seller Tine Wiggens. Above: Time to Bake, $24

Summer Rain, $30

Tea Time, $24

Two Tall Seed Heads, $25

Flowers in Watering Can, $30

Mini Rain Cloud, $15

See all of Wiggens' Etsy offerings right here -- and check out more of her work here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Set-Design Drool: True Blood

Are y'all watching True Blood on HBO? I can't get enough of this soapy, Southern-fried vampire series.

In fact, I'm a sucker -- so to speak -- for pretty much any well-done, intelligent vampire tale. Unlike seemingly half of the adult female population, though, I'm utterly immune to the supposed charms of the Twilight saga and its sparkling (non)bloodsuckers. I like my vampire fables complete with sex and blood, thank you very much. (As for what's behind our collective obsession with the undead, this recent New York Times article attempts to psychoanalyze the fang fixation.)

Anyway, there is plenty of sex and blood in Bon Temps, Louisiana -- the fictional setting for the show, which centers around clairvoyant barmaid Sookie Stackhouse; her 170-year-old vampire boyfriend, Bill Compton; Bill's newly undead "daughter," Jessica; shape-shifting roadhouse proprietor Sam; Sookie's formerly demon-possessed BFF, Tara; mysterious Maenad Maryann; vampire head honcho Eric and his tart-tongued sidekick, Pam; gay and fierce short-order cook, hustler, porn-site entrepreneur, and erstwhile drug dealer Lafayette; Sookie's dumb but sexy brother, Jason; and a collection of other odd -- and often oddly lovable -- characters.

Of course, being the design geek that I am, I'm nearly as fascinated by the physical spaces the show's characters inhabit as I am the steamy storylines they become entangled in. Let's take a little tour, shall we? (Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.)

Bill's digs -- no surprise -- are my favorite. Imbued with the sort of dark glamour and crumbling grandeur that makes me go weak in the knees, it's a fitting home for Bon Temps' resident Victorian-era vamp.

Bottom photo from

Bill's home probably looks much the same as it did when he last resided here as a human in the 1860s. It's all florid, peeling wallpaper, dark-stained woodwork, fine-but-threadbare rugs, flickering gaslight, and aged, ornate furnishings. In a word: Yummy. (And yeah, I think I'd find it hard to resist in such lushly Gothic surroundings, too.)

Bill plays the piano like any well-bred Southern gentleman, and doesn't seem terribly interested in current decorating trends. But he is starting to outfit his home with modern amenities like a Wii system, with which he rather heartbreakingly plays virtual golf on a sunlight-dappled course.

Daddy is no fun at all. But his sumptuous red velvet settee is pretty sweet.

Top and bottom photos from TrueBloodNet

This is where the magic happens, people. Though if I were Sookie, I think I'd quietly remove the portrait -- presumably of Bill's Civil War-era bride -- from the mantle. It might put a bit of a damper on their frequent, torrid make-up sex, after all.

Eric the Viking vamp kicks back in Bill's bathtub. Yes, please.

Sookie's family home, by contrast, is all warm, cozy Granny style.

Photo from TrueBloodNet

And I mean that literally. Sookie lived in the pleasantly dilapidated farmhouse with her late grandmother, and from the looks of it, she hasn't made many changes since her beloved Gran was killed in the kitchen during Season One.

Still, the Stackhouse home represents warmth, family, and normalcy in a world that's gone a bit mad. It may not push any design envelopes, but it's homey and welcoming, and that is as it should be.

Eric's bar, Fangtasia, is a redneck roadhouse-turned-tawdry, over-the-top vision of vampire cool.

Blood-red walls, flocked upholstery, and faux-goth accouterments complete a look that seems geared more to satisfying the leering tourists' idea of what an undead hangout should look like than a place that (incredibly hot) thousand-year-old Nordic vampires would call home-away-from-home.

OK, I guess what really completes the look is a floor full of gore from a messily staked vampire bartender. RIP, Longshadow.

Photo by jaded*mystery

Sam's restaurant and bar is the setting for much of the show. It's where the townsfolk meet and where many of the main characters work or play.

Can you smell the beer and burgers?

I can't tell you how despondent I was when it appeared that Lafayette had met his maker in last season's cliffhanger. Love. Him. (Anna Paquin may have won a Golden Globe for her grating, overly accented Sookie, but Nelsan Ellis brings it week after week. The man was robbed, if you ask me.)

Photo from TrueBloodNet

Oh dear, it looks like a thrift store exploded in here. That said, Lafayette always does the best he can with the tools available to him. Not surprisingly, he's turned a dreary little abode furnished with garage sale castoffs into a funky, colorful crash pad with attitude. Who knew that he had a Tiki Fabulous side?

Photo from TrueBloodNet

What is that on the wall -- some sort of Santeria shrine? Oh Lafayette, you are so ... complex.

Given the untamed bacchanalias that take place here, Maryann's stately spread is deceptively buttoned-up.

The classic architecture is accented with touches of exotica that presumably provide clues to Maryann's past and true identity. There's the fresco depicting Pan in the courtyard, for starters, as well as the tribal masks and the ancient fertility statue inside.

Come to think of it, the shape of that statue is oddly reminiscent of the horned, demonic-looking bull creature that attacked Sookie. (Get out of the house now, Sam!)

Overflowing trays of juicy, delectable food are ever-present at Maryann's. (Was that a human heart in the stew her houseboy was preparing for last week's poolside party-turned-orgy?) What is this woman up to -- and is she really a woman at all?

What other clues do you think True Blood's sets reveal about Bon Temps' residents and the town's supernatural goings-on? Any southerners out there with quibbles about how the region's architecture and interiors are depicted on the series? Most importantly, could Eric be any hotter?

If you have theories, thoughts, or opinions on the show, its set design, and/or Eric's hotness quotient, please post a comment and share them!

P.S. Tell me these opening credits aren't awesome.


©Copyright 2007-2014 More Ways To Waste Time and Leah Hennen. All Rights Reserved.