Archives

Jun 20

2014

0

comments

Summer Solstice

beabd5c5f874e88d338ea6362b99e319

The Summer solstice, colloquially known as Midsummer, is the one time of year when the earth tilts on its axis towards the sun, allowing the sun to reach its highest point in the sky and creating the longest day of sunlight. Those located at the North or South Pole will have have sunlight all day. This year the solstice lands on June 21st.

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin terms “sol” (the sun) and “stitium” (to stop), which reflects the fact that the sun appears to stop on this day. There are many celebrations worldwide, as various cultures interpret the event with holidays, festivals, parades and rituals.

In Sweden, celebrants sing and dance around a “maypole” decorated with flowers, a tradition promoting fertility. Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, so it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse.
Maypole_in_Brentwood,_California

At Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, thousands of people gather at the monument in wild clothing, to celebrate the longest day of the year in a place that is believed to have been used as a religious site by Britons millennia ago.

summer-solstice-sunrise-at-the-stonehenge

Many summer solstice traditions include bonfires. In Greece, men leap over the flames, while in Bulgaria, a barefoot dance on hot embers .

However you choose celebrate, spend the day outside and enjoy the sunlight!

Jun 11

2014

0

comments

Father’s Day

Stop giving Dad the age-old neck tie and embrace the technologies of 2014. Try gifting a wireless set of headphones so dad can enjoy watching sports and listening to music without being asked to turn the volume down. Noise cancelling functions allow for a little peace and quiet in the most chaotic and boisterous of households.  Wireless, portable speakers also make a great gift and add to any family barbecue or day at the beach.

57e1bfa782b2d5b125a8b40d97cb9424

Beats by Dre offer a wide selection of colours and quality sound. My favorite is the cobalt blue.

May 13

2014

0

comments

Beginning Summer Gardens

Most people tend to have an aversion, or hesitation, to gardening because they don’t have access to acres of farmland or weren’t naturally born with a “green thumb”. But the truth is, those requirements are mere myths. Even in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, the novice gardener can easily start a small garden using a box planter for a window or balcony.

Inspired by a delicious Tomato and Basil Pie recipe courtesy of P. Allen Smith, today, I am focusing on vegetables. Growing your own garden can be very satisfying, functional and also sustainable, as you can literally reap the fruits of your (minimal) labor.

Tomatoes are a great vegetable for beginning gardeners, especially in Southern California as they require warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight. One could easily have a vibrant multicolored garden of solely tomatoes, as the different varieties reach upwards of 700. Ranging from Amana Orange to Black Krim and Green Zebra to Purple Russian, the myriad of tomato varieties will keep your salads vivacious and translate into bold design choices.

Carrots are another vegetable that often result with great gardening success and also come in a variety of brightly colored species. Starting with White Satin to Yellow Pak, and transitioning from traditional orange Hercules and Purple Haze, carrots are

Basil is also a for beginners because it can be grown from a sunny windowsill indoors. When the leaves are a desirable size, one can easily pluck them for use and the plant will continue to provide fragrant leaves. An added bonus is that tomatoes and basil are a great companion plants and can be used in a variety of cooking options.

Screenshot 2014-03-30 11.22.06

Apr 28

2014

0

comments

Colourful Expressions

Language is full of colourful expressions. I like to think that is because colour is so descriptive — so endlessly evocative. We often, without even thinking about it, use colour to describe a mood, a feeling, or a particular state of mind. Likely that’s because colours can instantly bring a strong, almost visceral visual to our mind’s eye. Think of Holly Golightly, the renowned character in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, who goes beyond just having “the blues” to what she dubs “the mean reds.”

Read more →

Apr 22

2014

0

comments

Shades of Slumber

With the 24/7 world we live in these days, many people have trouble slowing down and switching gears to get in the right state of mind for a decent night’s sleep. But of course, in this fast-paced world that has us all running around at full speed, a good night’s sleep has never been more important.

Thankfully, there are ways to help us sleep easier that don’t involve reaching for that colourful little bottle of pills. Using colour and light to create a restful environment in your bedroom can help you to transition more easily into sleep mode.  Read more →

Apr 08

2014

0

comments

Colourful Culture

In last week’s post, I wrote about synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that I and many other artists and designers experience. One of those artists is a man whose work I greatly admire — David Hockney, whose work is currently on show at LACMA. It got me thinking about art, which is so inextricably linked to colour in its many facets. So, in this week’s posting, I’d like to take a look at some of the more colourful cultural exhibitions and art shows taking place in and around Los Angeles. Read more →

Mar 31

2014

0

comments

Synesthesia: Colour Through the Other Senses

(Image Credit: David Hockney’s ‘Winter Timber’, courtesy of The Daily Mail UK.)

If I divulged the fact that David Hockney, Wassily Kandinsky, Kanye West and myself all had something in common, you might be a little dubious. But we do. It’s a neurological phenomenon known as “synesthesia.” Synesthesia, from the ancient Greek words for “together” and “sensation”, is when the stimulation of one sensory (or cognitive) pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory pathway. People experience synesthesia in different ways, but it is a phenomenon that enables some people to experience colours with more than just one sense. So, in addition to seeing different colours, synesthesia means that people can also smell, taste or even hear colours.  Read more →

Mar 24

2014

0

comments

Stained Glass is Having a Modern Moment

The words “stained glass” are certainly evocative, instantly bringing colourful images to the mind’s eye. But this unique and ancient medium has come a long way in recent years, and there is far more to stained glass than church windows or Tiffany lamps. Sure, many churches or houses of worship do incorporate stained glass, such as Gaudi’s famous church, the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, or the incredible Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran (pictured above).  Read more →

Mar 17

2014

0

comments

RE-ENTERING THE ZEN ZONE

In our last post, we entered the Zen Zone and talked about how elements of Zen Buddhism can be applied in the design realm. We also touched on the significance that colours can have on the spirit, the psyche and one’s general state of being.  Read more →

Mar 11

2014

0

comments

Entering the Zen Zone

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world.”
~Buddha 

The word “Zen” gets thrown around a lot in the contemporary design context. Designers in particular often appropriate the word “Zen” to describe almost anything remotely spiritual, New Age-y or Eastern in origin. “Zen dens” for stressed-out executives, “Zen-like” states of mind for spa clientele — the term tends to be bandied around to describe everything from bathroom tiles to yoga studios. Of course, the word Zen has a rich history that many folks today don’t take the time to appreciate.  Read more →