Friday, July 30, 2010

You Are What You Eat

Mark Menjivar's photo project, You Are What You Eat, is a series of refrigerator interior portraits. Each fridge was shot as-is, with no advance warning. A small description of the owner accompanies each portrait, and the result is a surprisingly intimate peek into their lives.

mark menjivar 2

mark menjivar 1

I can't help but love art that verges on the voyeuristic. Maybe it's an American thing to want to see into your neighbors house. And I wonder, would you let Mark shoot your refrigerator at this very moment? How would it reflect on you?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

TREND : Cats with Mustachios.


A: Mustachioed Kitten Ring by fancyjewels; B: Animals with Mustaches - Set of 6 pinback buttons by BarrelOfMonkeys: C: Kittens with Mustaches Button Set by scientificculture; D: Poppy Mustache Kitty Short Sleeve Womens Tee by Cathypeng; E: Highly Refined Cat-erpillar by Cordialkitten; F: Ophelia by RacecarApparel; G: Angus the Scottish Cat-erpillar by Cordialkitten; H: Baby cat-erpillar by Cordialkitten.

SO! I thought this was hilarious. I have been known to type in fun word pairings into search fields to see what happens (and for some reason I haven't quite learned my lesson with google. Thank god for safe search.) and in this case : Cat, Mustache yielded some amazing results. Etsy, like any other fantastic place, has it's fair share of cat-related mustache-merchandise. Maybe I'm not the only one who thinks this is amazing and hilarious. I want someone to come up with stick-on-mustachios for my cats.

...Anyone? ....


Okay. Still, even this chance find is super entertaining. Cats with Mustaches? Yes, please!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Anders Krisar

anders krisar_1

anders krisar_2

Anders Krisar work is a Swedish photographer and sculptor. He's got a lot of great work, but some of my favorite pieces are both beautiful, meticulous and almost violent.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

80's Tees.

I try not to wear shirts that would fall into the humor/novelty category, but there are some shirts over at 80's Tees that make me reconsider. It's not an easy site to comb through, but there's a few winners in there.

80s tees

I mean, c'mon! Kimberly from the Power Rangers? I'd be perfect!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Luke Jerram and his rings.

I love non-traditional wedding/engagement rings. Maybe it's a dude thing, but a diamond rings are boooo-ring.

But Luke Jerram knows how it's done. To celebrate his marriage, he custom made this Portrait Projecting Ring (with help from Tamrakar, his local jeweler). The ring contains a series of portraits that are projected through a lens when illuminated with a small light in a dark room.

Luke Jerram - Projector Ring

You can read more about it on his his site, even the sad tale of how it was recently stolen... Bummer.

Perhaps less flashy, but no less cool, is the Talking Ring he created with the help of vinyl record manufacturer Dubstudios. The ring, when inserted into it's own tiny record player, plays back his 20 second wedding proposal.

Luke Jerram - Talking Ring

Check out the video of the ring in action.

Oh yeah, and he doesn't take commissions.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

India : Color

I often look through Flickr to find amazing photos of places I only dream of visiting.
Here are some great photos of India - Everything is so bright and crisp.
Here are some stunning pictures I found especially exciting tonight as I was fumbing around people's photo streams.
Click the links to visit the photographers' work!

Screen shot 2010-07-21 at 2.12.15 AM
gorgeous green

Screen shot 2010-07-21 at 2.04.53 AM
colorful pigments

Screen shot 2010-07-21 at 2.10.37 AM
more amazing colors

Screen shot 2010-07-21 at 2.08.42 AM
stunning fabrics

These colors have little relation, but totally remind me of the book:
Tricia Guild Pattern

Screen shot 2010-07-21 at 2.07.06 AM

I've owned this book for a couple years now and STILL love every page of it. Besides the fact that the cover of the book is flocked, the inside pages are packed full of hand-rendered, painted, and intricately done patternwork. I wonder if some of Tricia Guild's inspiration comes from global influences like these?

I suppose if I actually read the excerpts from the book I might see where her ideas come from. Too bad I'm so distracted by all the pretty artwork! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Studio 360!

As I write this, it's well after midnight on a Sunday night. But here we are working ourselves silly. I don't think it's a stretch to say we spend a whole, whole lot of time at the Paper Bicycle studio.

Which means that we (or maybe more specifically, I) spend a whole lot of time away from my stable of video game consoles at home. It's a crying shame.

But fear not, I just picked up a shiny new Xbox 360 just for those late-night gaming breaks!

studio 360

Awww, it's business time!

(P.S. There's an official studio gamertag, PaperBicycle... although I have a feeling most of the games will be played on my personal account, Teenwolfdude, because... I got to keep those achievement points for myself! All MINE, Francesca!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Studio Dogs!

Say hi to Atari and Twink, our semi-regular visitors to the Paper Bicycle studio! They help make long days seem a little bit shorter, and give us an excuse to rip our eyeballs from our monitors every now and then.

Twink's the little one, Atari's the big one. They're best friends and love people and they always wear the most stylish fashions.

So if you visit Paper Bicycle Towers, remember to bring along a couple of dog treats! Just make sure Twink's is a diet treat...





Old and Rare

Francesca and I spent an hour or so looking at all sorts of design books at Barnes & Noble a day or so ago. Of all the books one caught my eye. I held it in my hand for about 20 minutes as I looked through some other decorating books, crafty books and all sorts of other things. I know it's bad, but I often try and see if Amazon can beat the price of Barnes & Noble (They usually can...) and if so, I'll get it there.

After some frantic and difficult searches I found this blog:
that lead to the book I had been looking for:
BibliOdyssey: Amazing Archival Images from the Internet
It is a compilation of a million different (and weird) images from old litho plates. Some medical, some just funny...

My searching the internet lead to a ton of other great places to view similar types of illustrations. I am a softy for these very technical, super intricate illustrations, so when I found a site that allowed you to purchase old plates for $30 and up, I wandered around the site and found some fun images.

At one point Francesca recommended the book Webster's Visual Dictionary - which is in the vein of all this other antiqued artwork.

Here is another neat blog I found that shares the same topic : Antique Prints Blog It seems this one is much more informative of where these prints are coming from, what topics they describe, and other fun information about the days of olde.

And finally, here is another fantastic book that should grace your coffee table at home. It's huge and expensive, but quite beautiful.
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: The Complete Plates in Colour, 1734-1765

Thursday, July 15, 2010

BLOGS: Urban Sketchers

Sketchbooks are among my favorite things. Keeping one makes me happy, and seeing that other people keep them almost even happier. I also love going to new places, so when I ran across this (rather popular) blog, it was a dream come true.

Urban Sketchers is a blog with many participants. The criteria? Life sketches, from all over the world. Scrolling through the entries is like taking an illustrated international journey. The drawings can vary from enormous cathedrals to an individual plate of food. The media is varied too–all kinds of paper with all kinds of ink, paint, and graphite.


It also has a Flickr group, which is easier to join than the actual blog (there's some kind of initiation process).
Oh yeah! For a little Paper Bicycle hometown pride , the Twin Cities has an Urban Sketchers spin-off blog!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Illustrator: Julia Rothman

DESIGNER_Julia Rothman

While scrolling through the ever fascinating website DesignSponge, I kept stumbling upon the work of Julia Rothman. Aside from being an absolutely fantastic Illustrator, she also is co-owner to a design company named Also.

What attracted me to her illustration work was her elegantly loose line work as well as her delicate, and limited choices in color. I also love how she draws attention the somewhat mundane aspects of the city, people or everyday objects. I mean look at those awesome sneakers!

These examples are, however, only her hand-drawn illustrations.
If you run over to her blog you can also take a peek at her gorgeous paintings and her digital work.

Monday, July 12, 2010

IAMPETH - calligraphy

Screen shot 2010-07-12 at 1.42.16 AM

A friend of mine, Zac Schauer, sent me a link to this amazing scanned library of calligraphic resource books. They've all been painstakingly scanned in and are free to review on the site
Already, even after sifting through one or two of the PDF books I can see there is a TON of amazing hand-done typography, most of which has lessons on how-to.

I read an article a while back that was complaining about the lack of attention paid to penmmanship in today's schools. People say that because kids these days have more reason to use computers for lessons and papers, that noone really focuses on using penmanship. I admit that even my penmanship (while it was never fantasitc) has definitely gone down the drain.
CBS posted this article about the topic.

I also remember reading that the height of one's ability to write beautifully is somewhere in your 20s - and from there it starts to diminish. I spent about 15 minutes looking for the source of that fact, and although I'm almost positive it was in the book The Thing about Life is that One Day You'll be Dead

If you put any number of phrases about penmanship into google, you'll end up with half a million results complaining about the fading purpose of good penmanship. I suppose those of us who appreciate it for it's aesthetic purposes are also probably the same people who like receiving a hand-written letter in the mail.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DESIGNER: KALLA by Hitomi Kimura


On one of my etsy binges I found this fantastic collection called Kalla by Hitomi Kimura.
She's a surface designer based in Japan who creates the most wonderfully graphic patterns and screenprints them onto fabric by hand. Her products are made with eco friendly inks. Many of her patters are printed on Cotton (whether they're in the form of a screen print or fabric for her home products.

Her color choices are super vibrant and happy - a fresh version of a "Brights" palette with some great limey greens and eggplant purples.

I love that all of her patterns are geometric with an organic twist.
I think that tea cozy belongs in the office. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


A: Spring Tea Towel by Claudia Pearson; B: Tea Towels: Men Design by Kalla; C: Hello Vase Tea Towel by Leah Duncan; D :Hand Printed Gourmet Flour Sack Tea Towel by The House of Bouton; E: Bottle Chrysanthemum Tea Towel by Flower Press; F: Batik Tea Towel - Wisteria / Trellis by 5 o'clock Crows

Here are some fantastic Tea Towels for your fancy kitchens! I love the unexpected teals, citron greens and dirty cool colors in these items. I would love to replace all of the crusty towels in my place with any or all of these pieces! They look really bright and airy - and a little summery! I love the drawings in Leah Duncan's collection quite a bit. I love the way she layers her elements and her colors are really sharp. I'm also liking how this whole group shares a really evident human quality to the patterns, graphics and drawings.


Magic Bookends!

arrow bookends

What? Are you a freakin' wizard? You'll look pretty magical if you've got these amazing, floating, Arrow Bookends from NeatoShop on your shelf!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mathew Albanese

Matthew Albanese creates stunning, emotive landscapes using unexpected, everyday items and forced perspective.

strange world tornado

The terrifying tornado above? Nothing more steel wool, cotton, ground parsley, moss and a lot of awesome.

strange world working

Take a look at the amazing project on Mathew's Behance profile, and if you want the illustion shattered, check out his Flickr profile.

Monday, July 5, 2010

OFFICE : Moving In - the Before Shots

Lets take a mini-tour! Here's the entrance, right off Lake Street

Moving our things in - surprisingly even the couch fit in this elevator

Our bright (green) and shiny new office space!

window 2
Looking out our 6th Story Window towards Downtown Minneapolis

window 1
Now, lets look toward Midtown. You can see St Paul all the way off in the distance

Here are a couple shots of our move into the new space in the Calhoun Building. Right now the space is a drab dirty light green on one side and olive on the other. It's on the 6th Floor of the building, a couple steps off the elevator. When we moved in we took a quick look around the floor to see who our neighbors might be. It turns out we have some wedding planners, a personal trainer, some programmers, an architect, and a hip-hop dance studio to share the floor with.

When we moved in, Melissa, the Land-lady, told us that the Hip-Hop Studio (essense of prodigy) was going to be loud.
Chris and I were a little worried about what that might mean. We were there late one night moving some more stuff in when we heard them start up the jams. They have great taste in music!

It's been about a month since we brought everything in and we're getting antsy to redecorate. I figure it'll be fantastic taking one of these weekends just to redo everything we can. Hopefully after the re-do, we'll post some pictures and throw a big opening party!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Trend: Campers
A: Set of 2 french caravan cards from Made In France; B:Laser Cut Acrylic Vintage Airstream Trailer Plastic Perspex Necklace by Action Jackson; C; Camper Vessel by Paige Russel; D: Recycled Lime VW Bus Lunch Bag by The Crafty Pantry; E: In it for the Long Haul - Anniversary Card by Paper Parasol; F: Cute Pillows from Tilly2Shoes

Here's a really fun new theme : Campers! Etsy is crawling with Camper-flavored items within home decor, stationery & accessories. Here are a few of my favorite pieces.
I especially love the piece by Paper Parasol. It might be my stationery obsession talking, but it's a super-cute illustration and such an awesome twist on the anniversary theme!

Last April, Chris and I went down to Austin, Texas for a day, on the way to my Grandpa's 80th birthday party in San Antonio. We had heard about how great the crafty community was and booked a hotel really close to one of their most popular crafty streets. As we were walking up the street we saw a bright silver, old fashioned camper with a HUGE cupcake on top.


It was a mini bakery called Hey Cupcake that only sold a handful of different types of cupcakes. THEY WERE AMAZING. If you're ever in Austin, They're located on the 1600 Block of South Congress. You'll see them set up in what looks like an empty lot - with a couple other food vendors. After you're done with your cupcake, go shopping at some of the cute stores they have nearby!

Updates on the Site


Besides all of the blog-making we did last night, I spent half the night updating our website. We've now got a couple new pages, a different layout, and links to a bunch of really cool stuff like our soon-to-be-big list of great art books / resources and our Packaging Gallery.

All of this site redoing is getting me excited to decorate our new office space. I've got visions of pale greys ( big surprise ), LOTS of white, and a ton of fantastic artwork hanging salon-style on the walls. Pretty much a follow-up to all the grey/white that we've got on our updated site.

Take a peek around our new-and-improved site, and let me know what you think!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

We've Switched Over!

After hours of planning and even more hours of fixing, we've finally created the skeleton of our new Blog! Here we're going to be sharing our work, freebies, favorite artists work, books, resources, and special finds.

It's been a long time coming - Thanks to Chris for helping me pour over the code, features and graphics! Hooray for New Projects!


Here is Chris, snacking on his fingernails, working very, very hard to get this up and running! You can see a little bit of our office here (mostly the mess I keep on my desk.)
It was pretty much a quiet frenzy last night getting everything together: between revising graphics, to uploading (and re-uploading), to scrambling to eek in and get a table at Fuji-ya before they closed last night.

We finally celebrated around 2am last night when it went up!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

OFFICE: Our office door is official.

Decal on the door! 1 Decal on the door! 2

We've been in our fantastic new office for about a month and it already feels official. We're all moved in for the most part, we've got a shelf full of tea, and Dean is back here to keep us company. Besides all of the regular move-in stuff, we've gone official with our Paper Bicycle Decal on the door!

We're now on Lake & Lyndale in the Calhoun Building! It's one of the only arts buildings in Uptown Minneapolis. We have a space on the 6th Floor overlooking some amazing views of one of the busiest corners of the area and have our pick of our favorite lunch places, coffeehouses and gelato.

Now that we've got the sign on the door - feel free to stop by and say hi and tell us how it looks!