Monday, November 21, 2011

The Art of the Knock Off

I'm a sucker for a rehash. I'm intrigued by any cover song, no matter how suspect the original; just recognizing a melody or lyric re-imagined is exciting to me. 

I love the feeling of confused familiarity that creeps over me when I begin to realize the movie I'm watching is a re-vamped version of a classic.

It's a puzzle that's been set forth, and an inside joke between me and it's creator if I get it. It's like I'm one of the cool kids, in with the "in" crowd, more pop or literarily cultured than the next guy.

There is a science to theft in the design world. There are not just guidelines but LAWS, dictating the degree to which one can steal. In the fashion industry a "knock-off" is a copy, and it's industry standard to steal every season from the runway in order to make a piece for the masses.
You can steal whole-hog a silhouette (the shape of a garment) and not get sued. Prints and other artwork (like screen-printed tees) required you change them 30% in order to sell them and not get pinched for copyright infringement. How one determines that 30% can be mind-numbingly subjective. It's the old quandary of translating beauty into math, and back again; what percentage of this piece of art does the rose in the middle constitute? What about each petal? Leaf?

Here's a compilation of graphic knock-offs, homages and outright thefts of one of the greatest movie posters of all time (including my own flier made recently to promote recruits for my Roller Derby team The Boulder County Bombers):

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I don’t care what people say…

...My Pandora and I remain madly in love. 

Yes, it’s true that the algorithms are sticky and set in their ways. You canNOT teach it anything, you just can’t. 

Can you teach it the concept of Yacht Rock? You cannot. And I’ve tried. For YEARS. Nope, that station still plays Hall & Oates.

But '80s Jersey Roller Rink? Yes! 
Oh, those were the days….Kurt Zudema where are you!?! I’m probably spelling his name wrong. How can someone not be on Facebook in 2011?

We all lived at the rink, which was walking distance from our neighborhood. Those three years in Oakland, New Jersey I only took my roller skates off to put my ice skates on (when Crystal Lake froze over).
Nasty pizza, sad third grade crushes and Blondie. Before anybody owned a helmet. 

The DJ at the rink must not have been into stuff like Joy Division, The Smiths or the Cure…so I never even heard that stuff until I was older. It was all J. Geils and Billy Squier.

I believe we jumped the turnstile into the rink more than once…at least I don’t remember ever having money to pay. Sometimes I begged from boys in line. (Gotsta do whatcha gotsta do to get your skate on.)

This was also the time of shop lifting pages of scratch n’ sniff and other coveted glitter stickers from the drug store for our sticker binders. No. I couldn’t afford a trapper keeper. What am I? Rich? Sticker collection was a rich-kids pastime, anyway. I eventually gave up my life of crime and admitted defeat.

I made this station to skate to in my basement while I train for roller derby (I found a local team!)
Give it a listen if you want (it probably won’t hold up off of skates). 

Just remember there’s hope in designing a nostalgia-based station yet.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Blog slackage......

This blog suffers so another may live....

Here's what I've been doing while not doing this (quick, go there before this one bores you to tears with its lack of attention). You can also win a handmade fairy from Nepal....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Other Princess Diana

To commemorate my 100th post and one year of blogging, I'd like to pay tribute to our Amazonian Warrior Princess.

I was Wonder Woman for Halloween no less than 3 times in a row (during a non-stop growth spurt which resulted in my mom having to sew three completely different costumes). Of course, these years coincided with the three years in which the original show aired, and in my mind no one will ever be able to replace Lynda Carter (so thank goodness that whole Adrienne Palicki thing bit the dust, because I hate David E. Kelley, and her new outfit was stupid.)


I love the original comic book, the later comic books, the Nazi-fighting (70's spin on the 40's) TV version, the ultra disco TV version, weird fan art and any odd collectible, the creepier (and anti-sexy) the better. Because the princess is the goddess of truth, here to kick ass and save the world - NOT be ogled by mere mortals...and that's enough geekage. Maybe my mom will make me one more costume....
Super Mag Circa 1977 (with Peter Frampton center-fold!)
Buttons by Crab-Apple Designs
Fan Art By Rebecca Guay.
First Issue


Original Sketches

DC Direct Elseworlds Wonder Woman from the Prestige Format Graphic Novel Amazonia.

The copy on this is all kinds of dare they sully the vaguely appropriated image of the princess?

Nouveau Fan Art by Iamacoyfish

From the sketchblog of Ted Dawson and Wes Hargis

Original Nazi-fighting Carter
Bracelet at Rezin8

Limited Edition Vintage Style Statuette

Hip Baby Togs at Baby Wit

Ad for 1966 Aurora Model Kit

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Melon Salsa

I threw this recipe together quickly for my "A Muse Schmooze" get-together with the Longmontinas.

The group is designed to push each other to finish started projects (from knitting to novel-writing). Mostly we just  drink wine, eat cheese and make sarcastic jokes. So awesome.

Anyway...Melon Salsa!

Cantaloupes were practically being given away at Safeway today, so I picked some up and improvised something that would be bright and summery to celebrate summer's almost end.

What you'll need:
~1/2 Cantaloupe
~1 red onion
~1 small cucumber
~2 roma tomato (firm)
~1 bunch of cilantro
~2 serrano peppers
~juice of 2 limes
~1 can of  black beans, drained and washed
~Salt to taste

Dice everything (except the beans). Toss with  beans, lime juice and salt and refrigerate a few hours (to let the lime seep in).

Serve with blue corn chips. Should go well with a Mexican beer or an apple-y Chardonnay.

Makes two party-dip-bowl-sized servings.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Retro Girly Shopping Spree

Finding and collecting special little vintage-y treasures that make you squeal girlishly just to have them in your room doesn’t have to entail a long Sunday of flea markets, a lost weekend of yard-sale-ing, a pretention filled afternoon of antiquing or (God forbid) dumpster diving. 

Unless these things tickle your fancy (and I know they sometimes really do). But some days (like these last few weeks of grody, sticky heat here in Colorado) the furthest you can get from the air conditioning vent is your lap top. 

Here’s a little collection of girly, retro, cute but NEW items I assembled care of

Nanette Lepore Eau de Parfum Spray

Nanette Lepore's cute little line of toiletries take cues from old-timey Sailor Jerry tattoos mashed with french cartoon girlies.

Gypsy 05 peach tie-dye silk chiffon 'Haley' dress

Ferragamo's light sky retro flower and sun silk scarf

Ferragamo's retro-inspired silk scarves use fun geometrics in vintage pastels.

Nanette Lepore Shanghai Butterfly Eau De Parfum

Voom by Joy Han mint silk 'Crayon' puff sleeve shift dress

Joy Han's dress brings to mind Japanese Harajuku school girls.

Pour la Victoire aqua patent leather 'Irina' platform pumps

BCBGMAXAZRIA light peach floral silk 'Ingrid' dress

Chan Luu salmon coral and natural leather wrap bracelet

Dolce & Gabbana pink patent leather point toe pump

Ferragamo peach fruit print silk neck scarf

Chelsea Flower lizard silk twill beaded halter dress

This cool drink of water in dusty sage incorporates elements of Mod. See more Evening Dresses.

Robert Graham yellow floral print 'Attar of Rose' square cufflinks 

Leifsdottir yellow floral voile rosette detail blouse

Fendi Tote
See more designer handbags.