30 May 2012 3 comments

Gaming for Klout

I finally took the plunge and decided to join Klout.com. This web application encourages you to interact with your online communities as a way to earn influence.  We do this everyday and some of us spend a considerable amount of time in our online communities, all for the love of our hobby (or hobbies) collecting and making miniatures.  Of course, there's a healthy dose of crafting, design,  sewing and photography added to the mix.  

From the Klout.com webpage
I quickly realized while navigating my way through the site, that the creators by using the principals of gamification gave me the incentive to interact with my online communities while simultaneously promoting their application.  Yes, you can skip prompts to tweet or post to your Facebook timeline but sometimes these actions are wrapped into earning rewards or accomplishing certain tasks.  There's a mixture of positive and negative opinions about Klout.com.  For those of you who have used it, I'd love to hear your opinions.

From the Klout.com website
I see it as worthwhile because as your Klout score increases, you become eligible for some nice perks in the form of access to various products or services without any obligation to promote them.  Yes, Klout gives you the option to do so with a recommended disclosure statement.  However, receiving the perk is not contingent upon promotion.  I have only received 2 perks so far.  They include 1) a pack of co-branded (you can pay to remove their brand) business cards for the cost of shipping ($5.00 US) from Moo.com and 2) an invite into a beta-testing group for a new web application. Simply by doing what you love, blogging and interacting with other miniaturists, you could be earning perks that might interest you.  Something to consider, at least.  Cruise on over to Klout.com, it might be a good fit for you.

Note: This is my second post to mention Moo.  Their cards are truly little design gems and if you want to really stock up here's a link to a discount just from me and Moo...http://www.moo.com/share/tcj6qc 
27 May 2012 5 comments

Will You Have Some Tea?

I added another area to my livin' easy scene. While sitting on the couch enjoying the cool breeze blowing through the open French doors, here's what I see as I look back towards the interior of the house. A bistro table and credenza make a great place to prepare that perfect cup of tea.

Details: credenza, white vase and tea set by Dolls House Emporium; tray is the top of an AMAC box from The Container Store; orange vases are Kaleidoscope House Accessories by Bozart Toys; chairs by Reac Japan; tabletop is from a coaster set; table legs are napkin rings by West Elm; mat underneath the table is a sample from The Rubber Flooring Company; and the mug on the table is an eBay find.
23 May 2012 5 comments

Create A Virtual Business Card

I recently attended a conference where Victor Hernandez, a producer and journalist at CNN gave a talk about various social media tools and communities.  One in particular really stood out, About.me. This application allows you to create a sleek virtual business card.  You can upload a striking background image, write a bio about yourself and then link all (or a few) of the online communities in which you participate. This has so many applications.  I created an about.me page primarily for my professional life.  Then I did something I'd been thinking of doing for a while.  What is that you ask?  I purchased my name as a domain.  I'm no politician or celebrity but why on earth would I want anyone else to own my name online, ya know?!  Anyway, I registered the domain name and then immediately went in and pointed it to my about.me url.  Voila...business card online!

As seen on the home page for http://about.me/
Back to our tiny corner of the social web world, here's a scenario for our hobby (or cottage industry) as miniaturist. I can see a striking background photograph of one of your favorite dollhouses or miniature scenes.  Many of you have a fabulous eye and take the most beautiful photographs.  Yes, Shopping Sherpa and Mini Dork I'm talking to both of you. And after all that hard work why not show off your prized dollhouse creation before you sell it off on eBay, right? *Wink to MadforMod* Write up a quick bio (maybe you'll just copy and paste your Blogger profile) and you can add an additional smaller picture, similar to an avatar or company logo. *Nod to callsmall*  Then link your blog, your Facebook profile or page, your Etsy, your Pinterest, and your twitter accounts.  As you add accounts, it will identify your friends, fans followers from other communities who have created About.me pages so you can add them to your favorites. When you share your About.me page as a part of your email signature or your twitter profile, there are analytics to track how many visitors and from what locations are coming to check your page.  There's also a mobile app for your iPhone so you'll have your favorites with you on the go.  Activation of the auto locate function will even allow you to find out what contacts are near you. Now, I know I began this post talking about a virtual business card but as a bonus for signing up with About.me, for the price of shipping ($5.00 US) you can order a set of Moo.com cards featuring a QR code to your About.me page. How cool is that?!

I'm enjoying the application so far and thought I'd share it with you guys in case you had not discovered it already. How fun will it be taking your About.me profile and QR code cards to the next miniature show or meet-up? Check it out and tell me what you think, perhaps there are other applications, I have not considered.
18 May 2012 14 comments

Livin' Easy

One of my contacts on Flickr, MurderWithMirrors often uses magazine pages as backgrounds for her miniature scenes.  I've decided to try this technique myself.  My inspiration---the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is fast approaching. This has me thinking about carefree outdoor living.  I envisioned an airy room that with grand doors that provide for seamless indoor-outdoor living.  I used floor tile samples from Lowe's and The Rubber Flooring Company.  Add in a few standard furniture pieces then sprinkle with an accessory or two...voila!  I think it turned out nicely.  What do you guys think?
Setting up the shot.
Details: flooring from Loew's; rug from PRDminiatures; table made from West Elm napkin rings and The Rubber Flooring Company sample; sofa and vases from Kaleidoscope House by Bozarts Toys,  and wire basket from Etsy.
13 May 2012 5 comments

Mid-century Modern Kids

Little Nest thinks moms would love to attend a tea
party tricked out with these modern diggs. I agree.

Lovers of mid-century modern design have discriminating taste and work hard to curate and express their design aesthetic in their nests.  Once the nest begins to fill, there's no reason the nursery design should stray too far from the chic style found throughout the remainder of nest home.  There are more and more resources like Dwell Studio and Little Nest to help parents remain faithful to their modern design roots.  The result can be some pretty sophisticated children's spaces.

With that in mind, here's my version of a modern kid's room. A Panton "floor cloth" matches one of two modern prints.  A bed with fun sheets at little people height against a bookcase headboard that has storage for everything. The lil' one has outgrown those building blocks but why throw them out when they make great decoration.

Details:  Bookcase and storage inserts are from Doll's House Emporium; bed is Kaleidoscope House by Bozarts Toys; Rocker and table are ReacJapan; and wall prints are gift tags from an old issue of Domino Magazine.

04 May 2012 1 comments

It's Keith Haring's Birthday

Google's take on Keith Haring
Today's Google doodle was a tribute to Keith Haring on what would have been his 54th birthday.  I was a college student at Howard University when I first became familiar with the work of this artist.  A street vendor on Georgia Avenue had one of his posters boldly displayed along with several other items touting the conscious messages of the time: Free South Africa, No Gold, +ve Blackall for his own bootlegged financial gain.  Ah, the beauty of capitalism. Forgive me for digressing, but you get the idea.  
Free South Africa, 1985 poster from offset lithograph, 48" sq.
I purchased the oversize poster and managed to get it safely to my dorm room without any damage.  It maintained a place of prominence on my wall until sadly, it no longer worked with my color scheme the vicissitudes of youth.  I really like Haring's aesthetic.  His use of bright bold colors and simple forms that are somehow figural and abstract at once really appeal to me.  Here's the final contrast, his figures have a child-like, coloring-book quality about them because they are heavily outlined but sometimes the content is more adult than child-like. Hey, that's art!

Untitled, 1981 acrylic on canvas, 120" sq.
Keith Haring died in 1990 at the age of 31 from an AIDS-related illness. There is still time to support someone participating in the AIDS WALK New York on May 20th. The executive director of the Keith Haring Foundation speaks eloquently about the artist, his work, AIDS and the foundation so click on over to Google's blog on it's doodles and read Julia Gruen's words for yourself.  Let's all give a hat tip to Keith Haring and the legacy of his art!

02 May 2012 6 comments

Do You Like Treasure Hunting?

Charles & Ray Eames fabric and furniture.
Blue in Green
Black, white and red
Just a few pictures from three shopping expeditions.  I can't believe I stumbled across these fabric samples from mid-century architects and designers at a consignment shop!  Aren't they awesome?  These are heavy duty upholstery fabrics, so it will be a bit of a challenge to put them to use on miniature scale. I'm up for it.  The Eames elephant tables and rocking chair all came in the same Reac Japan limited edition set. The miniature artist model and the jar with cork stopper are from a favorite what-nots shop in Durham, NC. I've purchased the brass bamboo tables with the thought of giving them a makeover Shopping Sherpa style.  Who knows? We'll see what comes out in the mix.  You've seen the little birdies (although you didn't see these two colors, in particular).  They are a set of six Perch Glass Charms by Umbra designed to stick to your wine glass with a little suction cup.  Cute, no? These are the most recent items I've picked up while treasure hunting with my miniatures lens in place.  Now let's see what inspiration strikes me.