February 15, 2011

The scariest things alive.

Owls are my biggest fear.  There you have it. Ever since I was 17 and one hit the front windshield of a vehicle I was riding in, I can’t even look at one. When the “Legends of the Guardians” came out, and advertisements were all over the city, i found myself closing my eyes walking down the street.  ha.

So why you ask am I doing a blog on them? Well the truth is owl graphics are everywhere right now. I see really great illustrations & graphic interpretations  of them constantly.  Especially in childrens’ products.  I may hate owls, but I can’t deny/ignore an awesome use of their aesthetic.

Enjoy! And always remember how I took one for the team.  -xxamyk


Zoo Packs by Skip Hop

Skip Hop is one of my design heroes. I also included another one of their products in my White blog. Being a toy designer, I can’t help but say “awww” alot . These Zoo Packs are just plain cute – I mean, look at the leaf zipper pull.  I’ve always been a sucker for light blue & red colour combinations mixed with polk-a-dots. There are other animals in the Zoo Pack assortment, but the Owl is my fav. **Also, Skip Hop has a really cute new print on their website – Treetop Friends – and yes, you guessed it – owls included.

Jwlrymachine by Boucheron and MB&F

This watch is just seriously out of control. Talk about intricate and over the top…I mean, how much is this – atleast like $100,000? ha. Either way, this is a pretty awesome collaboration between swiss creative lab MB&F & Boucheron. But on a serious note, the French company Boucheron are old-school. They have been doing this for 152 years. Also, be sure to check out their website – its pretty intense. This luxury stuff though…its another world for me i’m afraid.

Hoo Hats by Charlotte Cooper

Its time to definitely switch gears from luxury super-rich-people watches to down-to-earth, awesome hoo hats!! As stated on the Hoo Hats website “Hoo Hats is a wee hat company owned by Charlotte Cooper & operated out of the dining room of her humble home in Southeast Portland, Oregon.” I love these stories. And I love these kinds of people!  Her cute felt hats for kiddies are so incredibly designed & sewn. Go Charlotte go! You can “Like” Hoo Hats on facebook. I already have. Spread the word!!!

Owlets designed by Harley & Boss

I purchased these about a year ago from Kid Robot. This plush is cute – but the illustrations on the package are what sold me. I like the colors they chose – as well as the simplicity of  the different owl designs. Their website is currently under construction, but I like looking at their Flickr account to see what is inspiring them – and also selfishly, to inspire my own work.

Small Owl Lithograph by Bernard Buffet

The selection of this ‘thing’ is very personal. This image is not new or famous.  I saw this lithograph for the first time about 6 months ago at a friends’ grandmothers home.  This grandma is particularily  wonderful, and has such interesting stories about growing up in Washington Heights, NYC. We are not sure where she picked up the Small Owl lithograph by Bernard Buffet, but it’s incredible to look at. Thank you grandma, we love hearing your stories. x


I hope some’thing’ you see today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow.  -xamyk


January 29, 2011


…covers the city, atleast for a little while before it turns into blown sludgey-sludge. In NYC alone, we have seen foot upon foot of snow fall in January.  I have been living here about 5 years now, and this is the most snow i’ve ever witnessed. Being a native Canadian, I LOVE IT, but many New Yorkers are grumbling at this inconvenient precipitation.

Happy 2011, 5 Things readers! Here is the first of many posts for the year. And to start the year off right, there is a bonus 6th thing if you look real close!! xx


Shower Timer
By Ripple

This is a very neat product. A timer you place in your shower, and you can measure how much water you use everyday. This is also a great way to teach children about water usage, and make them aware of it. It can be difficult to approximate how much water you actually send down the drain, so I welcome this device to help us make better decisions. One question though – how do you measure baths…anyone?

12 Watt Endura LED Bulb
by Philips

I took a trip to Home Depot on Friday to pick up a power strip (since I live in an apartment built in the 1930’s with only 1 outlet per room!) and saw these on the shelf. I love the concept, I love the idea of buying bulbs more as keep items than disposables – I really do…but for $40? I don’t know guys. If I was to put one in each fixture in my apartment – that would put me back atleast $200 – and I live in a studio. Some people just don’t have that sort of cash. I would rather spend that $40 to buy groceries for the week! Also, how long would it take for me to make back that $200 in my electricity bill? How many YEARS?  Many people live paycheck to paycheck…especially in this high-rent city. Come back to me when you got something EVERYONE can afford Philips. But – your on the right track for sure!

Cumulus Glass Blown Ornament
by CIAV (Centre International d”Art Verrier) in Meisenthal, France

When I first saw this I thought : what a different twist on a holiday ornament. Then once I started looking into the CIAV in France, I thought wow! This hand blown ornament and the place it is made has so much history. As sighted on Wikipedia, the village of Meisenthal has been making hand blown glass ornaments since the early 18th century and some say this is where they were invented. And by looking at some of their precious made items, I believe it.

Cell Phone Concept
designed by Stefano Giovannoni for Alessi & Iida

I love love love Alessi. I’m pretty sure I have talked about them incessantly on here before. So let me do it again. Ha. I feel like they made design fun and playful again. Especially Stefano Giovannoni. Have you seen his recent cell phone concept for Iida & Alessi? He makes the cell phone into somewhat of a living creature, and friend. All the basic cell phone functions (charging, plugging in headphones, turning off, turning on, docking-) is brought to life with Stefano’s design. It becomes a person, a life form. Which let’s face it, as much as we use our phones – they are pretty much alive already! You gotta check this out…LOVE!

designed by Skip Hop

While walking home one night, my boyfriend Phillip spotted this in the window of retail giant Buy Buy Baby. It’s funny how your loved ones always know what you will like before you do 🙂 Hare is a cute little bunny who’s ears come off as a hairbrush and comb for baby! There is also a mirror in the base. How simple and neat is this? I don’t have any babies, but i think I want this anyways. My bathrooms already looking crazy colorful with my Frog Pod shower caddy by boon & Merdolino toilet brush once again by Mr. Giovannoni. Ack!

Tubeless Toilet Paper!
by Scott

**This is the secret 6th Thing for the month…the toilet paper roll in my background! Did you hear that Scott is coming out with a tube-less toilet paper roll? C’est fantastique! I would definitely buy that. What a simple concept that took so long to happen. Go Scott go!


I hope some’thing’ you see today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow.  -xamyk


December 12, 2010

So it’s beard season – and tons of them are out in the city. So many kinds…so much quality.  I also figured beardom to be a rustic man type of thing, but all the kids in Brooklyn are proving me wayyyy wrong. Also, I am lucky enough to live with one of the greats! My boyfriend Phillips’ beard is getting off to a great start – I wanted to post his progress, but in lieu of his privacy, we’ve decided to keep it a secret.

Anywho – here are my top 5 picks for beard illustrations. Each of these artists brings something great and glorious to the depiction of cookie catchers. -xxamyk


Beardly Men from the ScaryGirl graphic Novel
illustrated by Nathan Jurevicius

If you flip through the pages of the ScaryGirl graphic novel, you’ll see these guys. This of course is just a snapshot of the one page, but these bearded beauties are the best part. Turning soup strainers into ski-slopes is a fantastic idea, and i love how smoke bellows out of the top of their hats like chimneys. It really makes me want to just sit at home and draw all the time. BTW – did i mention that Nathan works out of Toronto **YES! No wonder his work is so awesome.

Zach Galifianakis Illustration
by unknown!

I have many folders and sub-folders full of random ‘things’ I find on the internet for my blog. Over the years, I have collected thousands of interesting site links and images – and thus it helps me write this blog every month.  And when I save these images, I also name the file the author of the ‘thing’ and even the website I found it. But alas! How horrified I was to find out that I did not do this for the Zach G. image shown. I have NO idea who did this – and feel awful to not give them credit 😦  So if anyone knows the illustrator – please let me know!! However, this just had to be in the blog. I mean come on…check out the leg hair and Murakami flower reference. Great, Great, Great all over.

Portrait for the Dead Pirates
drawn by mcbess

Alright – so here I go into obsession mode. This guy epitomizes everything I love about drawing. I wish I had his right hand. This is someone who found a style, and kicks it’s ass every morning. As a huge fan of monchrome art (mine is clearly influenced by it…) and the first mickey mouse cartoon and steaks and plain old rock n roll: I could look at this website forever. He has dabbled in color a bit, but it’s not the same. Mcbess, let’s meet and trade sharpies and black ball point pens okay? x

Good William and the Eye of the Dead (portrait)
painted by andy kehoe

In my last post I talked about Rilla Alexander who I saw at Pictoplasma NYC. I also got the chance to hear Andy Kehoe at the same event. He wasn’t given his own full presentation like Rilla (which in my opinion – he should have!) but rather sat on a panel of Alumni from Parsons. This quiet, modest, calm man does the most surreal and gorgeous work. This is true work of the gut. Not only this, but I loved how he didn’t ramble on with artistic philosophies and explanations of meaning. This guy just loved to paint his characters. I feel reluctant to join the art world because of the pretention that it brings out in others. So thank you Andy for being so real.

El Dorado (1989)
painted by gina tuzzi

Long flowing beards do need flowers and upside down parrots in them, Gina’s onto something here. And neon beards are the next biggest thing, I can feel it. I love how she took a theme and blew it out to the max. She also does some 3D beard & moustache felt sculptures that are very wonderful as well.


I hope some’thing’ you see today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow.  -xamyk


November 15, 2010

For the first time in my *almost* 5 years in NYC, I am starting to feel connected to nature again.

I recently just moved uptown – to a part of the city called Washington Heights. This part of the city is home to Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters Museum. The entire neighbourhood is engulfed in trees, laughing kids and a community of New Yorkers that have lived here for their entire life.  I feel as if I’ve found my home.

So in honour of my new ‘hood this 5 Things is about the colours of Autumn. Thank you Washington Heights for showing me that yes – there can be trees and leaves to walk around in on the island of Manhattan without costing eveything I own 🙂 But shhhhhh don’t tell anyone. xx


illustrated by Rilla Alexander

I attended the Pictoplasma NYC event this month @ Parsons and sat in on Rilla’s presentation. What an inspirational lady – stating that she finds it difficult to finish what she started (exactly how I feel) but I found her very relatable and honest, a true artists heart.  Her presentation felt more like a story than a series of slides with her artwork on them. I had a great time listening to the tales of her life, and how this affected her passion for illustration. My favourite piece she completed is above, but I also REALLY loved her illustrations with Rinzen for the Prado museum.  I want one of those totes!!

Shredded Wheat Ad
Eco Advertisting by CURB Media

From Hello Kitty & Shredded Wheat advertisements cut out from field crops to snow and beach tagging, these guys are getting creative with materials for advertising.  This company is modest about their environmental impact, and don’t want to be seen as only ‘tree-huggers’ as stated on their website. I personally don’t have a television, and dis-like being bombarded with advertising. However – I can give props when a company is doing their job with thought. Check out the snow tagging, and clean adverts – I find these ever so clever.

Emergency Bra
by Elena Bodnar

Ha. When i first saw this I thought it was a joke! But then after reading a bit more about Dr. Elena Bodnar I found out she won the IG Noble Prize for her emergency bra invention. This thing is not a gas mask for all occasions – but it will help you get out of a toxin filled room alive. I mean, bright red isn’t exactly my color, but if you do a version in black we can talk….

designed by Anthony Duffeleer

I like these things! Buzziplants are these huge flat foam looking plants that you place in your room to keep sound from bouncing around. They also have a cool spikey waffle-like aesethetic happening on all the BuzziSpace product. It also reminds me of Cactus by Guido Drocco in the late 60’s – early 70’s. Now I just have to find (702 euros…or 930 USA bucks) – eek!

Fort Tryon Park
in Upper Manhattan

I’d like to finish this 5 things post with the inspiration it came from – Washington Heights and Fort Tryon Park. Seriously, I didn’t know places like this existed in NYC’s 5 boroughs, let alone the island. There are gardens in this park full of weird flowers i’ve never seen, and procession after wedding procession all year long. It’s also really neat to venture out to the river outlooks and see a full view of the George Washington Bridge. And yes, did I mention the Hudson River views? Amazing. It’s also pretty triumphant to stand at the tallest point of Manhattan. Come on up to the park and give me a call! We’ll go for a walk 🙂


I hope some’thing’ you see today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow.  -xamyk

Tooth & Bone

October 24, 2010

It’s that time of year when everyone wants to look scary!! (Or skanky depending on if you’re dressing up as a nurse or catwoman) Either way, the spirit of this month is all about playful death, blood & this year especially Vampires! (thanks twilight for that) I tried to get scary with this post, and it still came out cutesy. I mean, i’m a toy designer – i can’t help it!  – xamyk


Gold Tooth Brush
designed by Jorg Hundertpfund

So yeah – that is actually a real name. It’s german – could ya tell 🙂
This guy is great!
I love designers that do not take themselves too seriously. It shows in his work. If only I knew German, i could read a bit more about him. From all the websites containing his name one reads this statement describing his work: “Form follows Confusion”.

Human Tooth Jewelry

I have a wall at work that I post all of my ‘things’ on before showing them here. With that said, everyone that saw this jewelry was sicked out! That’s how I knew that it would be perfect for this issue of 5 things.
I personally find it comforting to keep my pulled teeth. But at the same time, when I got my wisdom teeth out – I didn’t want to wear them around my neck for everyone to see!

**Oh and did i mention that this Australian also makes human hair earrings?

Barney Tee Design
designed by Glennz

Glennz is hilarious, and anyone who doesn’t think so needs to lighten up -aka- buy one of these prints. I also like that they reach out to their consumers and ask for their design ideas. If you’re idea is good enough, you’ll forever be on a Glennz print. I wish i was that clever to think of something…Also, the design and artwork is done so beautifully and clear, it’s fun to just visit the site and have little chuckles along the way.
This particular design pokes fun at that large friendly purple dino…because honestly, who ever liked Barney!?!?

My Milk Toof
by Inhae Renee Lee

Okay, I hope your ready to visit one of my favourite blogs of ALL time. Seriously, get ready.
Picture two of the cutest tooth characters ever (ickle & Lardee) doing day-to-day things in a human-themed world. Not only this, but the sets that are created, and the photography used to capture these stories is wonderfully done. Go ahead, click on the link and smile a whole bunch! Thank you Renee for this whimsical world we can visit.

Fish Bone Cable Tidy Wrap
by Javoedge

This is a cute little thing eh? I definitely could use this when I am trying to juggle my ipod, cell phone, handbag & cup of coffee all at once walking around town. Just one less thing to get tangled in! And $10 bucks for a six pack ain’t bad – you can give the gift or tidi-ness to your friends and fam 🙂
One last question though (as every curious industrial designer should ask-) what is the material of this? Foam, plastic? Will it be durable enough for day to day use? Hehe…i’m always ruining things with my questions aren’t i**


I hope some’thing’ you see today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow.  -xamyk


September 13, 2010

So the fall is coming, and I am flooding myself with colors to try and ignore the impending doom of early darkness!

Colors, colors colors, save us from the cold weather – help us keep our memories of candy, sunshine, pools and video games from the summer.  – xamyk


BMW’s Latest Art Car designed by Jeff Koons

Art cars rule school. I mean, even Andy Warhol & Lichenstein have done one for BMW. (The Warhol car was lame but that’s besides the point…ha) I remember last year I was in Grand Central and stumbled upon a showing of the Art Cars. I sat for atleast 3 hours that day and did some of the funnest sketching of my life. So how do I feel about Jeff Koon’s rendition? It’s okay I guess…but i’d much rather see an artist like Takashi Murakami do an art car. Something a bit more lively next year please BMW.

A Drawing Among Many by artist Matt Furie

Just be warned – some of these drawings are a bit sexual and creepy…but I love love love them! These kind of non-plain, pencil crayon drawings are what I wish I could be so honest as to sketch. Nothing feels forced, and maybe he doesn’t care what we think? Or even what he thinks? It’s just happening! I am by no means an art critic, and would NEVER want to be one – but this guy is being real when he sketches. And thanks for the honesty man.

Paper Gameboy designed by Zim & Zou

This is the image that inspired me to do the multicolor theme.
I wish gameboys had these color schemes for reals. While I was growing up in rural Canada, a gameboy was the most technological piece of machinery I had on hand to amuse myself. (I usually confided in those smelly fruit markers and neon-color printer paper from my moms office.)
So I will always have fond memories of the basic gameboy and tetris. My mom use to also take turns playing the game, and we competed to get the highest score. Mom always won.

Vanilla Dip Donut by Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons, a Canadian staple. This coffee house is to Ontario what Dunkin’ is to middle america. Referred to as ‘Timmy’s”, “Timmy-Ho-Ho’s” or “The Horts” it is a necessity to Canadian life. Up until about 2 years ago, all Tim Hortons did not take debit or credit – only cash.  I remember scrounging through the seat cushions to find that extra dime, just so I could get myself a delicious double-double. (FYI: Double-Double is a Canadian term for double cream, double sugar in your coffee) They recently opened up a couple Tim Hortons in NYC, so give that vanilla dip a try.

Rose Wine under a Microscope by Bevshots

Thank you Phillip for this multicolor image submission. This image is of Rose wine at 1000 times  magnification under a microscope. Isn’t that incredible looking? Who knew? And there are tons more to look at at this link – wait ’til you see Margarita!


I hope some’thing’ you have seen today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow.  -xamyk

Keeping Cool

August 1, 2010

Keeping cool…

When I say cool i mean, temperature-wise, not meaning awesome- I am definitely not an authority on that one.
So yeah – it’s definitely summertime here in NYC!
I don’t know if anyone else is currently living in a 200 year old un-insolated attic, but it is HOT.

So with that said, here are 5 Things to Keep You Cool.

And please feel free to leave your own techniques that I may have missed out – hehe.
**Thank you Joanne for this 5 Things theme idea** -xamyk


Nordic Rock
by mocha.uk.com

Are you one of those people who’s ice cubes melt in their drink before they are finished?  I am definitely that person…and it drives me bonkers man! These stone ice cubes are great because they don’t melt the flavour of your drink away. Just place the Nordic Rocks in their own leather pouch in the freezer for about an hour & go for it! Also to boot – they are mined from ancient Swedish pollution-free base rock. And that’s just neat sounding…

Sailboat Popsicle Molds
designed by: Cuisipro

Okay so these are cute right? I liked the different twist on a popsicle mold shape. Usually it’s a rocket…or just a cylindrical shape – so I thought this was creative and classy. I also love how the bottom part of the boat collects the drippings. No more sticky fingers. My boyfriend Phillip and I LOVE to make homemade popsicles – we make them from Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, etc. And another tip for you – add a splash of Vanilla Soymilk to make it a creamsicle special!

Ice Tea Lemonade
designed especially delicious by: s-bux

I’m just gonna come right out with it – I love Starbucks. And I am not afraid to say it! In fact, when I first ordered this drink from there – I didn’t know they made these little numbers! Maybe this is a new thing this year? Either way – these definitely will cool you off. Thank you Arnold Palmer for helping to combine these 2 fantastic drink items in history forever.

Air Multiplier
by: Sir Dyson

Did you know that James Dyson is a sir? I mean what’s up with that? I don’t know the full biography of this man  & what he has accomplished, but that seems like a lot of hoo-haw for a ‘suction’ designer. And now he has revealed the Air Multiplier! Or should I say the debt-multiplier. Look man, this fan is cool as hell – really – it’s kick ace looking. But who could ever justify spending $300 on a fan when an AC machine is only $200? A fans a fan in this case…sorry sir.

Paw Cool-Off!
by: cat moms everywhere

As you read above, I live in a 200 year old attic – no joke! So by proximity, my cat does as well. My poor little kitty gets so hot up here, and as a new cat mom, I just feel awful. So my cousin Jenny gave me a some great advice! Drop some ice cubes on the kitchen floor or bath tub and watch as your kitty bats them around. This will be great to cool off her little pads & it’s also riduclously cute to watch.


Until next time guys! Stay cool. **snap snap**

I hope some’thing’ you have seen today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow. -xamyk


May 31, 2010

When I take in this colour, I feel…

Cautionary (a little….)
and of course like eating Noodles

From kettles to banana stickers, I can’t get enough of this exciting, pick-me-up, outta town colour.

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Corn Plastic Tableware by Dandelion

I really love the design of this flatware. Such basic and kind aesthetics. I also love the stitching pattern on the packaging.  As you may have noticed, its influenced the look for the blog itself this month – subconscious symbols prevail!

Bobble designed by: Karim Rashid

Okay okay, so i will admit that I am not a HUGE fan of Karim. And yes, it’s true – his spot in Objectified annoyed my quite a bit.  Especially all his little symbol tattoos. But this is my blog right – so it’s okay to share my most sacred opinions with you. However, I will say that a self-filtering water bottle is a grand idea. Especially when it’s made from recycled plastic. Well played good sir, well played indeed. ***One last question however – where do I buy the filter replacements once the time is up? Or do I throw it away all together?

Ettore Water Kettle 1.7 I designed by: Ettore Sottsass

Ahhhh! I love, love Memphis. It’s one of those design movements you either loathe or love and keep so close to your heart it hurts.  And I am currently in pain.  Mr.Sottsass is definitely one of my top 3 design heroes. I won’t get into the others today. Ha- Also – check out the FYRKAT grill for the summer time. (not by Ettore…)  Thank you Bodum is being so kick-ace.

Banana Stickers from Chiquita

What a neat marketing campaign. I started seeing this stickers on bananas a few months ago at A & P – but they still brighten my day. I was definitely one of those kids that was obsessed with stickers and stole them from the fruit in the supermarket. And look – you can make your own too…just visit the ‘Banana Stickers’ link above.  And if you’re really weird, they have a place where you can order t-shirts with your own personalized banana sticker on it. Here’s mine-ha:

LA 42 Tykho Radio designed by marc berthier

Marc Berthier and his eliumstudio do such simplistic cute designs (i think). I’ve featured him before – back in 2009. That’s when I was doing 2 blogs a month. Wow can you imagine 🙂 Where did I find the time!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I hope some’thing’ you have seen today will inspire you to create your own ‘things’ tomorrow.  -xamyk

IDSA Northeast District Conference

April 29, 2010


March 31, 2010