Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Swearing with style

Before I launch into some random thoughts, I first wanted to make a push for the latest Calamityware project on Kickstarter, the Classy Curse Kit. Each element of the Classy Curse Kit includes a colorful and typographically refined, all-purpose curse in a socially acceptable form—the euphemism graphic ($%*?&!, which starts off with a lightening bolt). The kit contains 2 mugs, 2 decals, 12 note cards, and 12 calling cards with customizable Banner-Hulk scale. I really hope it funds, because I look forward to raising my coffee mug during boring meetings where someone says something annoying. I especially want to place the decal on the back of my car with all the jagoff drivers in and around the Burgh. And it would be pretty nice to slip a calling card with a personal, pointed note underneath the windshield of a car that parked stupidly. If you are like some of my friends and most of my coworkers, $48 may be a bit steep. But I encourage you to talk to a friend and split the kit. What do you need two mugs for anyway?! :-)

 Now on to a few other random things:
  • I still don't know whom I am voting for. If I had to do it today, I would vote for Gary Johnson, who appeals to my libertarian side. I could and probably will change my mind by November. In the first presidential election I was able to vote, I voted for Ross Perot. Not for very good reasons, but I did not like the other choices. In all seriousness, I am scared for this country no matter who gets elected (but, for the record, I am much more scared of what happens if the Donald gets the nod)
  • In a few weeks, I will be the parent of a teen. Some days are really challenging now. I can only imagine how much harder it will be in a couple of years. 
  • I have developed a bit of a negative attitude over both local and national events. But I still am trying to make the world a better place, in whatever small way I can. Locally, I pick up litter, just about every single day. And, as often, I get frustrated. I am almost ashamed to admit, as I pick up my 10th cigarette butt during my daily dog walk, I often mutter something like "I hope your lungs turn black." Or, when I pick up my second McD's bag of the week, I say something equally as awful as "I hope your arteries clog." A part of me wonders if I should not just stop picking up the trash, if that is going to be my attitude. But seeing litter lie on the road makes me even more frustrated. 
  • I hate that I live in a slight and "odd" fear about some things. I am not really concerned about my driving through one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city every weekday, a neighborhood that has had shootings in broad daylight, yet I would not drive there in the later evening. Similarly, there are places I go to only in daylight, such as the movie theater and the mall. I won't stop going to some places that have had shootings, but I am trying to minimize my risk, I guess. I am sad, however, that I was too afraid to go to a "dance with/for Orlando" event a couple of weeks ago. It came on the heels of police/civilian shootings, and I was just too afraid to be a part of that, even though it was in the middle of downtown, in broad daylight. 
  • The Pens are still the Stanley Cup champs. :-)


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Calamityware

About a month ago, I embarked on a freelance gig spreading the word about Calamityware—quirky porcelain, paper, and fabric projects that my friend (and former boss) retired graphics designer Don Moyer has come up with. I am charged with trying to find newspaper and magazine people as well as bloggers to talk about these fun, practical, and (sometimes) beautiful items.

The Calamityware series started in 2011 when Don inherited a traditional, Willow-pattern plate and decided to redraw it and add the excitement of a pterodactyl. Over the next few weeks, he drew several more plates—each with a different calamity. When he posted his sketches to his Flickr site (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36106576@N05/), people encouraged him to reproduce his drawings on porcelain, and the first in a series of successful Kickstarter projects, a plate with flying monkeys, was born. Since then, Calamityware has seen 10 plates, a mug, a set of small plates and bowls, a puzzle, 4 bandanas, and 2 letterpress prints. Just a few days ago, Don launched the Sea Monster Jamboree Shower Curtain, based on his letterpress print of sea monsters. Kickstarter named it a "Project We Love." It has 28 days left to fund, and is already almost 3/4 of the way there. 

I never really followed Don's projects until I was asked to do this. But since then, I have an appreciation for them. If you are extremely traditional, Calamityware might not be for you. But if you like looking at things a little differently, if you have some specific or unique tastes (poodles, frogs, robots, sasquatches, sea monsters, pirates, volcanos, skeletons, space worms, etc.), or if you just want to liven up your china closet, wardrobe, or handkerchief or puzzle collection, chances are good you can find a calamityware product for you or someone else.  

Below are a few pics of the products. If you are already thinking about the holidays and gift-giving, consider backing the shower curtain on Kickstarter (or checking back next month for another launch; you can view the past products here). Or visit the online store at calamityware.com.

Bad Neighborhood puzzle (750-piece jigsaw puzzle with bonus "warm-up" puzzle)




Calamityware Plate 5: Pirates

BADBandana 1: Angry Paisleys