Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ben Franklin's 13 tips for happiness

Repost from Apartment Therapy:

Benjamin Franklin knew what was what when it came to mindful living. In addition to his more well-known scientific and political works, he wrote about cleanliness, order, finances, and domestic life, and indeed, it was his success in these areas that he considered the root to his happiness. When it comes to mindful living, some things don't change, and the eighteenth century can still give us some words of wisdom. In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, the 79-year-old reflected on what it was that made him so successful, and one of his main pieces of advice was something that he called his set of moral virtues. These were the principles that he deemed most important to happiness, human relationships, and creativity.
Here they are, in all their glory:

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
To read the rest of the post on Apratment therapy, click here

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Logo!

Picking a logo is a lot like picking out a band name. It has to be eye catching, creative, professional looking, and basically say what you do and who you are. It can be really hard to nail that down sometimes. I had really been thinking about this for a while, and I finally settled on one that I liked. I read an article a while ago, I wish I could find it again, but it was basically talking about how prevalent the use of the branding "X" has become in graphic design as a tool for creating a fake sense of being established and reputable. LOL I wanted to kind of poke fun at that notion and have a logo that was modern, yet colorful and not too sterile or too serious. Something professional and cross cultural. Many of my designs are sort of multi-functional, so If you didn't notice, it's an "O" and a "T" and you can turn it upside down too!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Black Lung!

"The Black Lung"

Having grown up 6 blocks from the beach, bicycles have always been a big part of my life. I grew up in Santa Monica, California, just a few blocks from where the "Chuck's Bike-O-rama scene was filmed in the movie "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". That movie changed my life forever.
Bicycles have always been a good source of fun, comradery and self expression for me. I can definitely say that tinkering with bikes paved the way for me to get into hot rods and old cars. Born from the gritty Streets and the Smog of Los Angeles, with an 1800's coal miner vibe...I present to you, "The Black Lung" Boneshaker!

While building my latest hot rod project (a '29 ford model A roadster which I'll do a separate post about eventually) I started to get a little discouraged since things weren't moving along as fast as I would have hoped. I literally started with a left over rim from my last hot rod and a dream! I've been collecting the parts piece by piece for the last few years, and I still have a long way to go. As you can imagine, it can get discouraging at times.

Since none of my projects are running yet, and summer was in full swing I decided to pick up this old Boneshaker, Penny Farthing Bicycle I found on Craigslist. I mostly just thought it looked cool, and I later found out it was made by a company in the Late 60's-Early 70's that was making these Boneshaker reproductions using modern type parts. Anyway, I figured it would be a good way to get something fun on the road pretty quickly, and I was right. This thing is a blast to ride once you get the hang of it, (if you don't fall on your face and give up). Your center of gravity is almost in the middle and you are pretty high up, so it definitely takes some getting used to!

It needed a lot of work, and since it wasn't an original from the 1800's, I didn't feel too bad about customizing it. The design is really straight forward. I started off by flipping the handle bars, I fixed the stem/forks which had cracked, and tightened the spokes. I also found a better seat for it from Rideable Replicas in Northern California, and some old pre 1920's style wood grips from eBay. I also found this neat old brass acetylene lamp that's over 100 years old! I welded some tabs on the front to mount it. I have an LED light inside the housing. I debuted it at the Ciclavia Ride two rides ago, at the one that took place on Wilshire Blvd., and it was a big hit even before it was finished. It had no brakes, so it was kind of sketchy going down hills and at stop lights. I almost ran over a cop that got in the way! haha.

I would have to slow down using the pedals and just jump off, or walk down the big hills. I decided it was time to add a rear brake to at least help me slow down, and I was glad I did that! I had an old lever and caliper off of an old 60's bike, and an old cable housing from the heater cable in my old '50 chevy that were in my junk pile so I was able to modify them to use on the Pennyfarthing. The local bike shop helped me with some of the little parts I needed to get it working good. I also found a cool little simple brass bell at the bike shop too. I also wanted to add something cool for a rear step plate, so I used the foot pedal from an old turn-of-the-century era sewing machine. The bike had a really cool looking rusty-patina from having been left outside for years, and I really debated on whether or not to paint it. I finally decided to just paint it flat black with a rattle can. It looks more sinister this way, like an old steam locomotive or something. So finally after adding the hot rod fox tail, I was ready to go! It was an even bigger hit at this latest Ciclavia ride in Downtown L.A. Lots of people were taking pictures and stopped to talk to me about it.

The only other plans I have are to maybe add a small leather tool pouch under the seat, and maybe a speedometer, but other than that. I think I'm done.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Snow Day!

I Found this picture in some dark corner of my hard drive. It was taken a while back by my good buddy Patrick Connor up in the mountains near Las Vegas New Mexico. Good times!

I've been really bad about posting regularly, but I have lots of things to post now :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Pope of Trash, The Sultan of Sleaze...

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So I'm not really one to get star-struck very easily, but I got a cool opportunity to meet Director John Waters and Tracy Lords in person the Sunday night at the Cinespia Cemetery Screenings. They do these every summer inside the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and they project movies onto the side of the Mausoleum.
A friend heard about it at the last minute and got us tickets. I'm glad because it turned out to be a pretty cool night. It was the 9th annual memorial for Johnny Ramone, the drummer of the punk band "The Ramones" and director John Waters was there to introduce the screening of "Cry Baby". One of my  personal favorite cult movies. The soundtrack is amazing, and the  rest of the movie is so bad that it's good.
The cemetery was packed with punk rockers and all sorts of characters, and they were blasting punk, garage, and rock n' roll music on the loudspeakers all night!
Dita Von Tease was there to introduce the question and answer panel, which included Tracy Lords, John Waters, James Intveld (who did the music), Ricky Lake, and Johnny Depp even made a surprise appearance. I got my photos signed, and these babies are getting framed and going in my hallway!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Moth Chair, aka Flutterby Chair. Mid Century, Modern Inspired steel and Canvas Sling Chair!

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One day while staring at my vintage B.K.F. Hardoy (Butterfly) chairs that I'd owned for many years, I started to think about how I could cut them up, reconfigure them and make something new, yet that would still have a familiar vintage mid century vibe.
I sketched out the various configurations on paper, and eventually decided that the best way to truly know if it would work was to just start cutting! I didn't have the heart to cut up an original, but was able to find reproductions.

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*Disclaimer: No real butterflies were harmed in the making of this chair!

The shape is a hyperbolic paraboloid, in which the user straddles the seat, almost like a
chopper motorcycle or vintage banana bicycle seat bicycle (which were major influences in the design) Anyone who's owned a BKF Hardoy butterfly chair can tell you that it's actually quite
comfortable to sit "crooked" in it. The pockets are great for storing books, magazines, newspapers, TV remotes, phones etc.

Check out a cool mpeg 360 view (Thanks Patrick!)

This chair is perfect for an industrial artist loft, Atomic mid-century house, outdoor lounge, or as a reading chair. Stay tuned for a matching lamp and a pillow attachment! Please let me know if you plan to use it outdoors, and we can do a powder coated finish and water resistant canvas.

I live in Los Angeles,CA near the garment district. I can basically make any color combo you would like. Please contact me and we can discuss it.

Available on Etsy, or contact me directly.      

Monday, June 3, 2013

Strut Coffee Table, my take.

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It's been a few weeks since I've posted, so I thought I would share this coffee table I made for a friend this last week. It's made of steel angle and square tubing with oil rubbed bronze painted finish, and walnut plywood with a clear satin finish. We were going for simple and clean, with a warm-modern feel.

Send an email if you want one built to suit you, thanks!