Thursday 31 March 2011

Source of inspirations...

Today, while I was flipping the pages of an art book during lessons, I've fallen in love at the first sight with a wonderful painting. It took me a great inspiration and, as soon as I was back at home, I tried to re-interpretate it... here's the outcome:

Artistic Re-interpretationArtistic Re-interpretation

Instead of to write the name of the artist and of the painting, I open a public contest here for guessing them: if you are able to recognize the source of my inspiration, write it in a comment... the competition is now open!

Monday 28 March 2011

Timeless vintage brands #2 Mr. Peanut

Paper bags with Mr peanut

I stumble upon Mr. Peanut while I was looking for another timeless vintage logo to be featured on this special column of my blog. More than to be caught by its design, which I love for its simplicity and imaginary, I have to say that I was also very impressed by the history behind this brand. The founder of Planters was an Italian immigrant in US, named Amedeo Obici, who was run away from poverty of his country at the end of XIX century. When he was only 11 years old he moved from Italy to US to reach an uncle who lived in Pennsylvania after the died of his father. Once he arrived in US he did not find his uncle for a misunderstanding about the date of his arrival and he started to cry desperately because he was not even able to ask for a help in English... a policeman, according to his history, offered him some peanuts in order to calm him... Some years later Amedeo founded the first firm in US to sell toasted and salted peanuts in small packets, and he raised an economic empire upon this snack.

Mr Peanut hand carved rubber stamps Paper bags with Mr peanut
Paper bags with Mr peanut Mr Peanut hand carved rubber stamps

But also the logo has a surprising history that merits to be told. After having been founded, the Planters needed a logo to improve its image amongst customers. And, in order to find the right logo to attract more buyers, Planters launched a public contest: this contest was won by a schoolboy, he too Italian, named Antonio Gentile who imagined a Peanut with spats, white gloves, top hat, monocle and cane, a kind of aristocrat gentleman of snacks. These original intuitions of two Italian young boys produced one best example of timeless logo in world advertising history... and maybe the most Italian of international snack brands!
And I hope you like the rubber stamp that I carved with this logo, with which I produced some little paper bags that you can find on my etsy.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Good chance. Contemporary kawaii amulets


Even if I do not believe too much in superstition or in lucky charm, I think that our world obliges us to find constantly shields against troubles of contemporary life in order to improve our feeling of security. To each choice that we have to take or to each turn our life has, we accumulate insomuch as a stress and an uncertainness that we always desire to find a way to feel the master of our destiny. Or, at least, to reach a more relaxed being. And, while some time ago I was looking for a special "amulet" able to have these effects on me (or simply another cute stuff to put on my desk), I have found these two wonderful items: the wise Unazukin and the "trivial" Mameshiba... and now I want to introduce them a little more in detail:

Unazukin Unazukin hand carved rubber stampsMameshiba hand carved rubber stamps Mameshiba hand carved rubber stamps

The Unazukin, more than being a kind of cute middle way between a kokeshi and a matryoshka, is an "advising" fairy doll. You can ask her everything, concerning your life and your doubts, she will answer you with a "no" (shaking her head) or with a "yes" (nodding). Sometimes it is unbelievable how this doll gives the impression to really follow your telling and to interact with you with her head movings...
Mameshiba, on the other hand, are unconventional anti-stress toys, a hybrid between a bean and a dog that appear out of nowhere and offer random bits of trivia whether you asked for it or not.... for having an idea of what I'm saying, you can take a look to the Mameshiba's trivia in this video...

And in order to show my love for two these loving stuffs, I carved some stamps, a Mameshiba and an Unazukin, which you can find on my etsy, I hope you like them!

ps. As both Mameshiba and Unazukin are Japanese, I want to seize the opportunity to show my solidarity to Japan, a country that I love very much and that is a source of inspiration for me, which now is suffering a tremendous tragedy.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Treasures of Paris #2. L'Ecritoire

L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris

For this second issue of our little guide to hidden treasures of Paris, I'm proud to introduce here L'Ecritoire, a delightful stationery shop close to the Centre Pompidou. This amazing little store is an authentic wonderland for all people who loves (as me) letter sets, pens, papers, paper-toys, ex-libris, bookmarks and stationery in general. But the thing that has caught mainly my attention in this shop is the wax seal art. Indeed, I have found here a wonderful tin seal with which I started to experiment the ravishing world of wax melting... as you can see in the photo above. At the Ecritoire you can find a wide range of seals and one of greatest collection of high quality wax for sealing...

L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris
L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris

The Ecritoire is born in 1975, when two sisters, Sophie and Laurence, inherited the shop of their grandfather; at that time this district of Paris was deeply different to the actual one: the Centre Pompidou of contemporary arts was not yet opened, and in the place of the near Forum Des Halles there was the older food market of Les Halles, called by Zola "le ventre de Paris" (the Paris' belly). This town is continuously changing, and sometimes new places replace the older ones, but some good things rest: such as the romantic and retro atmosphere that you can breathe at the Ecritoire, where the love of corresponding with a feather pen, vintage papers and, of course, wax seals on envelopes can be still cultivated and even improved, revisiting it with a touch of fun!
You can find L'Ecritoire in Paris, 61 rue Saint Martin 75004, from Mon. to Sat, 11 h. - 19 h.; Website:

L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris
L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris L'Ecritoire. Little treasure of Paris

Thursday 10 March 2011

Make me droll stamp sets

Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set

I don't know you, but one of my favorite pastime while I'm waiting at the doctor's, the dentist's or the hairdresser's is to scrawl onto those glossy fashion magazines that we can find with ease in every waiting room... it is sufficient a trait of pen to turn serious and improbable portraits in funny and odd compositions. By this way, all wonderful and sexy girls have mustaches, Adonis-like boys have ridiculous hats on their heads, and generally both wear nerd style glasses or bow ties on their neck! And my inspiration for new stamps was that: why do not carve special stamp sets to put forward our hilarious side, why don't find a way to make droll our photos?

Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set
Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set
Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set
Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set Make me droll hand carved rubber stamps set

I called these stamp sets "Make me droll", using a word anglicized from the French drȏle that means something like "amusingly odd", and I've purpose made them to make more humorous and comical the world that surrounds us. You can find them on my etsy, I hope you like them and that you can find them droll as me!

Friday 4 March 2011

My favorite illustrators # 1 Gemma Correll

As you maybe have stated, I started with the new year some new columns on this blog, which I'd like to establish as periodical fixed appointments. For the moment I began with a first column dedicated to wonderful places that I found here in Paris, while a second one is about timeless logos of vintage brands. Amongst these new initiatives, it was impossible for me to not include a further feature about my favorite illustrators: and the first one that I want to introduce is Gemma Correll... I discovered Gemma and her amazing illustrations some time ago, while I was browsing on the net, and since them I feel authentic love for her cute and funny style. In the pic above you can see one of her draw from her huge portfolio, in which it is also represented her main inspiring muse: Mr. Norman Pickle, a sweet pug who live with her and who is also a celebrity on the net thanks to his wonderful fan club's blog...
In order to show my love for Gemma's draws, I took decision to carve a rubber stamp using a draw of her pug (sometimes ago I've done a first attempt, but it was not totally satisfying for me) that you can see here below... it is a little thanks for Gemma for all times her draws made me smiling...

Gemma Correll's pug hand carved rubber stamp Gemma Correll's pug hand carved rubber stamp
Gemma Correll's pug hand carved rubber stamp Gemma Correll's pug hand carved rubber stamp

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