Browsing Tag



What to Do this Weekend: The exhibitIKEA 2011 in Toronto

david dixon dresses exhibitikea 2011

exhibitikea 2011

I attended the opening gala of the exhibitIKEA last Wednesday night. It showed IKEA under another eyes. It is inspiring to see how four renowned artists transformed everyday products and furniture. I truly enjoyed three installations out of the four that are presented.

Bruno Billio’s Chair Columns

ikea fabrics and cushions on a bench exhibitikea 2011

As you enter the gallery space, you will notice the chair columns. Bruno Billio stacked 400 black and white identical IKEA REIDAR chairs under a big mirror to create his piece. Honestly, I only care for that piece because it created zones for the party. The nice fabric of the cushions on the long bench caught more my eye.

David Dixon’s Dressing Room

David Dixon's IKEA-inspired collection

The dresses created by fashion designer David Dixon were my favorite part. It is not surprising that he designs everything around a large dressing room.

david dixon dresses exhibitikea 2011

Dixon really demonstrates that, with a proper eye, you can take mass-market fabrics and produce a refined product. Like he does for his own collections, he selected a color palette for his installation. I never thought that they were as many fabulous grey and white fabrics at IKEA.

dress room exhibitikea 2011

It is also a nice lesson on how to match patterns to create an individual look. I might steal his fabric choices for a chair that I wish to reupholster with several fabrics. Grey and white is the palette of my living room.

art photos and dresses exhibitikea 2011

George Whiteside’s Still Life Photos

photography gallery exhibitikea 2011

Influenced by the work of Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, he layered vintage papers as his background and created soothing combinations with IKEA vases, pots and objects.

photography details exhibitikea 2011

His photographs were all framed in white IKEA ODBY frames.

Thrush Holmes Shack

rustic house exhibitikea 2011

Holmes built the outside with the nondescript IKEA flat boxes. The graffiti style exterior contrasts with the refined interior. He staged a cozy guy bedroom, that does not scream IKEA.

rustic bedroom exhibitikea 2011

There is still time to see it in person. exhibitIKEA is open to the public today until from 10am to 6pm and on Sunday,  August 21 from 12 to 6pm. It is located at 363 King Street West, Toronto.

Disclaimer: I was invited by IKEA, who paid for my flight from Montreal to Toronto and my hotel. Besides showing up at the media event, they asked nothing else from me. I wrote about the exhibit because I think that it is worth a visit.

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Fruit and Vegetable Carvings for Foodies

carved and sculpted watermelon by mia bureau of ephemere

This is post by my friend Nathalie, who is a true foodie and the blogger behind Foodies Emporium. Check out her post about the cutest Bento boxes in Montreal. You can follow her on Twitter as Indigonat.

carved and sculpted watermelon by mia bureau of ephemere

I visited “Saveurs & Tentations” trade-show recently in Montreal and I was mesmerized by Mia Bureau’s food carving creations. She really brings table decoration to a brand new level. Mia’s business, Éphémère is specialized in food carving installations for events, but she also gives workshops at her studio and at other venues.

I was so enthralled by what I saw that I started gathering information about this traditional Asian skill. Did you know that fruit and vegetable carving originated in Thailand during the floating lantern festival about 700 years ago? During that festival which happens every year during the full moon of December they thank the soul of water by decorating floating lanterns. The fruits and vegetable carved lanterns were so popular that it started a trend in the country.

fruit carving and sculpting at CTV programming launch

We now find stunning fruits and vegetable carvings at high end hotels throughout Asia. You can even hire a fruit carver, like Mia, to create unique table ornaments for special events or weddings, even in North America, but be prepared to splurge because carving takes a lot of time. For example, to carve a watermelon, it can take up to 80 hours of work. You can see Mia in action by watching a few videos (the CTV interview is in English and the other ones are in French). Mia’s skills are recognized around the world as she won some international awards.

If you are into craft and would like to learn fruit carving, some cooking schools and some carving artists are giving classes. You can also learn by watching videos on You Tube or by buying books specialized in Fruit and vegetables carvings starting with these two books:

+ Food carving books for beginners: The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving: Elegant Garnishes for All Occasions $16.47 USD at [affiliate link]
Complete Step by Step Vegetable and Fruit Carving $39.95 USD

+ Food carving lessons UK
+ Éphémère, Mia Bureau’s school and food carving business
+ first photo: @indigonat
+ CTV programming launch photo: Éphémère


Hermes’ Store Windows Go Comic Book Style with Fred Harper

hermes store windows on madison and 62th street in NYC

hermes store windows on madison and 62nd street in NYC

One thing that is fun when you visit New York City is to admire the wonderfully styled window displays. One that caught my eye is Hermes’ store windows on Madison and 62nd Street. Their agency, Twoseven Inc. asked Fred Harper, who was a comic book artist in early 1990s, to create the drawings.

details of F. Harper illustrations for hermes store windows on madison and 62nd street in NYC

The illustrations captures the spirit of Hermes. I like it! I was glad that I got my camera with me. There were not many pedestrians on Madison when we passed by last night but almost everyone stopped by to admire the store windows.

+ Fred Harper Illustration


The Luxury Paper Creations of Zoe Bradley

flower mobile by zoe bradley :: window installations for kate's paperie

silk pom poms and floral wall reliefs by zoe bradley

Based in London, UK, Zoe Bradley is a showpiece artist and display designer who works for upscale clients. Many brides would love to hang her exquisite silk pom poms at their wedding venue. Zoe definitely knows how to bring a theatrical element to her paper creations.

flower mobile by zoe bradley :: window installations for kate\'s paperie

Zoe Bradley mostly works on window installations, editorial displays and event design. Her signature paper sculptures include the wall reliefs, floral canvases and mobiles. You can admire and be inspired by her intricate floral mobiles. This photo showed a window installation she did for Kate’s paperie.

If you are looking for a rose bouquet that will last, check out her 12 long stemmed bouquet (£165). More party items are available at her online boutique.

+ photos: Zoe Bradley


Use Flower Installations to Decorate your Party

flourish art installation designed by the Canadian visual artist kristi malakoff

flourish art installation designed by the Canadian visual artist kristi malakoff

Art pieces can be a great source of inspirations for decorating a party. Take the flower installation that the Canadian visual artist Kristi Malakoff created in 2005. She did not use actual flowers to create her flower installations. Instead, she used 2000 photographed of flowers to write the word Flourish.

party decor inspirations :: flourish wall art designed by kristi malakoff

Her idea could be recycled for a little girl’s birthday party or a wedding. I would keep the word short to reduce the amount of work. It reminds me of Umbra’s Wallflower word graffiti I shown you last November.

+ Flower Installations by Kristi Malakoff


Easter Egg Painting

bob's artistic blowing technique for painting easter eggs

kim\'s painted and decorated easter eggs

Have a look at the beautiful Easter eggs we painted and decorated yesterday at a party organized by my friend Bettina Forget. I will share the food later.

bob\'s artistic blowing technique for painting easter eggs

We had fun painting and decorating our Easter eggs. As you can see, we created many styles from the Fabergé eggs to fun character. The winning technique goes to the fabulously blowing technique of Bob. His eggs are so artistic.

easter egg painting :: faberge inspired easter eggs

If you celebrate Easter, I wish you a Happy Easter!


The 7th edition of Nuit Blanche in Montreal

having fun with the exhibits at nuit blanche 2010

having fun with the exhibits at nuit blanche 2010

At this time of the year, Montreal hosts one big cultural night all across the city. Yesterday night event was as popular as ever. The event closed between 2 and 3 am. Last year, I walked for hours the underground exhibit with a few friends.

nuit blanche 2010 overall view of place des festivals

This year, we had other plans during the evening. Since it finished late, we stopped at the art gallery of our friend Bettina Forget to see her Change vs. Forever exhibit. Then, we walked to the Place des Festivals. The place was transformed so that people can dance, create, imagine and immerse themselves in a visual and auditory experience.

nuit blanche 2010 :: acting a scene from the prisoner

My husband and I had fun playing with the exhibits. My husband did his version of scenes from the Prisoner TV series. The sphere garden was gorgeous. It changed colors.

interactive image table at nuit blanche in montreal

There were a series of interactive exhibits that we did not try. On one installation, you change the image by moving your hands. There was also a drawing screen on a building facade. People had fun doing it.

drawing screen at nuit blanche in montreal

Finally, lights were displayed all over the surrounding buildings.

multimedia art and lights on buildings at nuit blanche


Watercolor Arts of Caitlin McGauley

new-york based watercolor artist Caitlin McGauley

new-york based watercolor artist Caitlin McGauley

NYC-based watercolor artist Caitlin McGauley likes to collaborate with her clients to create custom art piece. Her clients often give her photos as the starting point. Then, Caitlin will reinterpret it in her own style. I think it is a great way to commemorate an event.

The Daily Candy did a short video interview with Caitlin. She seems to be nice.

+ watercolor: Caitlin McGauley
+ via A Design Affair


Baked Exhibition during Dutch Design Week

baked exhibit during dutch design week

baked exhibit during dutch design week

This is baking as an art form. During the Dutch Design Week in October 2009, one exhibit was an homage to cooking and baking. Baked was inspired by a Sicilian folk event in Salemi, where a flour based material is used to create architectural decorations.

baked exhibit during dutch design week

One element that I like is how the belts allow to customize the vessels with food decoration. The containers and vessels made from ingredients such as flour, coffee, cocoa and spinach, mixed together with salt, shellac and spices to make the objects durable.

+ photos: formafantasma


souk @ sat is next weekend

souk @ sat

Next week-end, from December 11 to December 13, see you at the SAT for the annual craft fair the souk @ sat. This annual event offers Montreal artists, creators and designers a marketplace to showcase their recent work to the public. The place is organized in sections: living-room, kitchen, bedroom, walk-in, bathroom, etc. For the exhibitor line up, it seems that there is less things for the home but I will probably stop by.

photo: souk @ sat