“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill


Golran (the company was formed in 1898), is based in Italy and specializes in premium quality antique and contemporary oriental carpets.  What caught my eye was their range of  Decolorised carpet:  Vintage carpets that are knotted by hand, and are then subjected to a decoloration process followed by re-dyeing with monochromatic vegetal dyes.  I wonder how easy this would be to do at home?

I’ve just spent $20 (I love the internet) and bought this sticker, which is about to go on the side of our toilet.    Now I am either doing this because I am a pretentious twat, or because it will make me smile every time I see it….

Actually now I’ve written that, I realise those things aren’t mutually exclusive :-)

Anyway, below is an image of the original (??).  Fountain is a 1917 work produced by Marcel Duchamp (yes – nearly 100 years ago). The piece was a porcelain urinal which was signed “R.Mutt” and titled Fountain. It was voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century (Wikipedia). Wow – big call.  Did you know that.  I didn’t.  Why is it important? I don’t feel informed enough to contribute to this discussion, but for me it challenges us to think about what is art? Is this art?  I’ve given you a hint if you’re unsure.

Cars have been around for a while.  Do you think they will change much in the next 20 years?  Have they changed much in the last 20 years?

I think we’re on the edge of a transformation, and our relationship with cars will change forever (and for the better).  I love Nissen’s concept car.  So much so I had to share it.  I’ve watched this clip a few times :-)  And by comparison; below that is a Nissen from 1995.  I’m certainly no petrol-head (and will that be an electric-head in the future?), but I’m really excited by the changes unfolding before our eyes.

PS:  I don’t’ know what industry you work in – but how much has it changed in the last 20 years?  How much is it going to change in the next 20?  I hope you’re in the midst of tumultuous change.  Enjoy the ride!

The Estwing Leather Handle Claw Hammer is a 16-ounce claw hammer made from a solid piece of steel.   It’s supposed to be beautifully balanced, and has a bound and lacquered leather grip.  It’s made in Rockford, Illinois, by a century-old company – Estwing.  If you’re tempted you can buy one from Kaufmann Mercantile where I first saw them (and have a look at what else they offer).  But a quick Google search will give you plenty of local suppliers.

Over the years I’ve bought quite a few tools – nearly always based on price.  But that was yesterday, I now want a tool box full of beautiful functional tools.  So I’m going to start upgrading – but not with new tools, I’m going to buy beautiful tools that already have a history, (give away my existing ones) and then one day in the future I can pass them on with pride to my grand-daughter.

Currently on Kickstarter and not looking likely to reach it’s target are these indoor observation honeybee hives.

What a great idea.  I’d get one for us (and I’m allergic to bees), because I know honeybees are vital to our global food system as pollinators, but unfortunately honeybees today face huge threats, disappearing in record numbers around the world due to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony Collapse Disorder has never been positively identified in New Zealand – something that looks likely to change.

Is anybody in NZ making something like this???

I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to post what’s caught my eye lately.  Here’s something I saw a few weeks ago that I think this is super-cool.  Google’s Project Sunroof combines Google Maps’ extensive database of aerial images with 3D modeling of the roof, taking into account shade offered by nearby objects likes trees, possible sun positions and cloud and temperature patterns in the area.

This results in a customized analysis of your roof’s solar potential. Project Sunroof then tells you how many hours of usable sunlight your roof is exposed to, how much of that is available for placing solar panels and the savings in store if you decide to go ahead.

Awesome.  It’s currently only in a few cities in the USA.  I asked Google when we could have it – I haven’t had an answer yet :-)

Thanks Auckland library and Zinio:  I love being able to freely access the digital versions of Belle and Vogue Living.  The April edition of Belle had an article on trend forecaster Philip Fimmano from Edelkoort Inc.  Apparently we can expect to see the bedroom emerge as hub of the home, (I think we’re already ahead of the trend here), artisan-made floorboards that are more fluid than straight, and shadow become as important as light.  Material will eclipse form (what does that mean??), and cuteness will make a comeback…  Also expect to see more pineapples, bromeliads and palm-tree motifs in prints.  As we move to 2020 there will be renewed interest in 1920’s style.

Now that you know that;  here is something more here and now from Edelkoorts  Trend Tablet: a safe and affordable alternative to kerosene lamps invented by London-based designers Jim Reeves and Martin Reddiford.

Did you know that there are still more than 1.1 billion people on Earth without access to electricity.  WOW.  That means when the sun goes down, they usually have to burn something to provide light, most of these people use kerosene lamps to light their homes.  Those lamps have damaging effects: 780 million women and children breathe kerosene fumes equivalent to inhaling 40 cigarettes a day.  The cost of kerosene is a poverty trap: amongst the poorest populations it consumes up to 30% of their income.  In India alone 1.5 million people suffer severe burns each year, primarily due to overturned kerosene lamps.

GravityLight uses a bag filled with rocks or earth, attached to a cord, which slowly descends similar to the weight drive in a cuckoo clock. This action powers the light for up to 20 minutes.

A couple of years ago I saw a photo of a kitchen and what really caught my eye was the wooden cutlery drawer.  And last week-end I finally got to take out our plastic cutlery divider and insert this one.  And it makes me smile every time I look at it.  To me it’s an unexpected piece of natural luxury.  It makes the mundane special.  Contact me if you want to get hold of Gavin at 4MFunxion (don’t know why he doesn’t have a website) who created this for us out of a single piece of kauri I bought some years ago from a sawmill up North.

PS:  My title isn’t original.  I stole it from author Malorie Blackman.

And here is what we replaced