Designer Creates Modern Persian Rugs Using Google Earth

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Using images from Google Earth, German designer David Hanauer was able to give a contemporary twist to the ancient craft of Persian carpet making.

Hanauer first began working on his “Worldwide Carpets” project in 2008, after finding himself fascinated with Las Vegas’ uniform, top-down suburban planning. After he got the idea of using aerials images of the city as prints for a modern Persian carpet, he needed to find the best aerial views, and what better alternative than the free-to-use Google Earth? And since our eyes are used to a horizontal view, rather than seeing things from above, at first most people assume it’s just an abstract pattern, instead of a Las Vegas building block.

Persian rugs are arranged around a central point and are always symmetrical, so after David Hanauer finds the right sections from the 3D satellite maps, all he has to do is mirror the images in four directions, which automatically gives the carpets a Persian look. But instead of being hand-knotted, like the original carpets, these contemporary interior design accessories are printed on polyester using colorfast dyes.

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Tokyo’s Baby Café – Where the Cool Japanese Kids Hang-Out

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Tokyo – probably the only city in the world where toddlers have their own hang-out spot, where no childless adults are allowed.

Japan may have one of the lowest birth rates in the world, but that apparently only means the few babies that are born here are given everything – even their own exlclusive café. Located in the Omotesando neighborhood of Tokyo, the Nendo-designed Baby Café is the perfect place for children under seven to chill out, and play in a safe environment, while their parents socialize over a cup of coffee. No more having to listen to mommy telling them to “sit up straight”, “don’t play with your food”, “don’t run through the restaurant”, at the Baby Café kids can do as they like. But there are monitors all over the place so parents can keep their eyes on children while giving them the illusion they’re free to do as they please.

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New York Steampunk Apartment Can Be Yours for $1,750,000

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One of the coolest homes in new York City, film-maker Jeremy Noritz’s steampunk-themed apartment is now for sale for the “modest” price of $1,750,000.

It sounds like a lot of money, I know, but keep in mind this is the Big Apple and we’re not talking about your average apartment. Featuring a beautiful steampunk interior complete with submarine-style front door and colorful zeppelins flying down from the ceiling, this truly is a geek’s dream home. Noritz, and American film-maker, bought the open-space loft in 2006, for $1,3 million, and even though it was in good condition, it was just too conservative and compartmentalized for his taste. Inspired by steampunk design and photos of zeppelins, he set out to turn his pad into a unique experience for visitors and himself.

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Woman Converts Old Caboose into Comfy Home

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When she bought a 1909 Soo Line caboose in 1975, Marcia Webber never thought she’d end up living in it full time, but she’s now happy to call this collector’s piece home.

Marcia and her husband bought the old caboose from the Turnerville Station, in Whippany, New Jersey, after responding to an ad in the Wall Street Journal that said “wooden cabooses for sale”. At first, the couple used it as a vacation home, but after a going through a divorce and losing her job, Marcia had to move into the caboose permanently. Electricity had been installed a few years back, but with no indoor plumbing and heating, going through the first winter was a pretty rough experience.

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Rie Hosokai – Japan’s Balloon Dress Designer

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Japanese balloon artist Rie Hosokai uses latex balloons to create unique dresses that can only be worn 24 hours before they deflate and change color in hot weather.

The latex balloons are inflated and hand-woven in different directions both vertically and horizontally, creating a texture similar to fabric. The amount of air that goes into each balloon is pretty hard to estimate when adjusting the size and volume of the dress, but the 35-year-old artist has been working with balloons for 10 years so she has everything pretty much figured out. She started  her career as a florist, before switching to balloon art and opening her very own studio, Daisy Balloon, where she creates all kinds of inflatable artworks.

Although her “fabric” is very inexpensive (just ¢0.09 cents a balloon), the dresses Rie Hosokai makes sell for thousands of dollars. They last only 24 hours before starting to seriously deflate, must be kept away from sharp objects and change color at high temperatures, yet these designer balloon dresses cost between ¥150,000 and ¥300,000 ($1,930 – $3,860). She has even sold a full set of balloon-made wedding dress, headpiece and bouquet for ¥1 million ($13,000).

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German Designer Uses Wood as Textile Material

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Elisa Strozyk, a young designer from Germany, is able to turn blocks of wood into delicate paper-like material. So far she has created wooden rugs, bed covers, table cloths and is working on a line of wooden clothes.

Most people are familiar with the feeling of walking on wooden floors, touching tree bark or wooden furniture, but young Elisa Strozyk wanted to take this hard material and turn into something completely new – wooden fabric. She spent months working on her original idea, experimenting with different types of wood, until she settled on wood veneer. The slices of wood she uses are about 0.6 mm thick and very flexible, an essential property for her wooden textiles. But not all types of wood can be used to make wood fabric; oak, for example, is too brittle, so she prefers to use cherry and maple.

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Indian Optometrist Creates Gold Plated, Diamond Encrusted Contact Lenses

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Inspired by the jewels in his wife’s teeth, Chandrashekhar Chawan, an optometrist at India’s Shekhar Eye Research Center has created gold plated, diamond encrusted contact lenses that will bring that special twinkle in your eyes.

If you’re looking for the most extravagant trend in eyewear, look no further than the over-the-top contact lenses of Chandrashekhar Chawan. His wife had diamonds planted on her teeth recently and that made the optometrist realize people love jewelry everywhere and anywhere, so he decided to develop a series of diamond encrusted, gold plated contact lenses. He uses Boston Scleral lenses to hold the jewelry in such a way that it doesn’t touch the cornea, thus making the fashion accessory “very safe”.

Chawan says his invention got mixed responses; some people thought it was scary, but most of them loved it, and the optometrist believes this will be the next big thing in Bollywood. He admits his jewel-studded lenses are an accessory, not a necessity, but thinks they’re a must-have for people who want to attract attention. “We always talk eye to eye,” he told TODAY.com, “and if your eyes are sparkling with diamonds, no one can look away; their eyes will be glued to you and  your personality.”

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Paris Museum Displays Skateboarders’ Dream House

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The PAS House, a skateboarding living environment concept thought up by French pro skater Pierre Andre Senizergues and designer Gil Le Bon Delapointe, has finally been brought to life at the La Gaite Museum, in Paris.

Pierre Andre Senizergues has been in love with his skateboard ever since he first discovered it, as a teenager, and has pretty much built his life around the board. He’s ridden it to five world skateboarding championships and built a successful skateboarding shoe line called etnies, so you can see why he felt a little reluctant to part with it every time he went inside his house. But then one day, he had this crazy idea: “I began imagining a city of the future where skateboards are used as the primary form of transportation and recreation — in and out of your home.” the skater told the Toronto Star. “A utopia city for skateboarders would mean that a skateable path, like a ribbon connecting everything together, links each building in an unending ability to keep in motion on your board.”

So, in the early 2000’s, Senizergues partnered with etnies designer and fellow skateboarding fanatic Gil Le Bon Delapointe to create a perfectly skateable house on Senizergues’ Malibu property. They came up with a few great ideas, and even managed to build a miniature model of this skateboarder’s dream house, but after 10 years and some run-ins with the Coastal Commission, it was still in the project phase. But, La Gaite Museum, in Paris, somehow learned about their original housing idea and presented them with the opportunity of building a prototype for their skate-culture exhibition, running this summer.

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Submarine Enthusiast Converts Small Barge into U-Boat Replica

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Richard Williams may be 51 years old, but he still has the dreams of a young boy. Sure, he’s not the only one, but unlike others he set out to fulfill them. I guess it’s true what they say, better late than never.

As a child, Richard was a big Star Trek fan, but never got the chance to be on the bridge of the Enterprise, so ten years ago he converted one of the rooms in his apartment into the bridge of the iconic spaceship. It wasn’t the best Star Trek replica ever created, but it made our man happy. “Every boy wants a spaceship, but I got to 40 before I could have mine”, he says, but that’s not the only childhood dream he managed to fulfill. The idea for his U-boat replica, came around his 50th birthday, when his father bought him a barge, so he could enjoy life at a more relaxed pace. But as soon as he laid eyes on it, the former mobility scooter salesman began devising a plan to turn it into something more exciting.

At first, he wanted to transform his barge into The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, but after he finished converting the hull, he learned the specialist yellow paint would cost him £4,000 ($6,500), so he settled for black, which was considerably cheaper. When it was finished, his wife Laurel said it looked a lot like a German U-boat, and since he had always been interested in naval history, he decided to take it to the next level. With the help of a company that supplies props for the Star Wars and James Bond movies, Richard Williams decided to turn his U-boat into a floating museum.

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Designer Makes Jewelry from Real Human Bones

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Columbine Phoenix is a talented jeweler with a taste for the macabre. She makes unique jewelry from human bones collected from medical schools and museums.

We’ve covered some pretty bizarre jewelry collections in the past, some were made from insects, others from nail clippings, and even human hair, but Columbine’s “Churchyard” line is the weirdest one yet. She uses various human bones donated for educational purposes and transforms them into unique pieces of jewelry that actually celebrate life rather than death. “Death is a part of life” the designer says in an interview with Vice Style “You can’t die unless you’re alive, and if we weren’t going to die eventually, a whole lot of us would never get around to living.” Strangely enough, that makes sense.

As a child, Columbine Phoenix loved shiny things, and she remembers playing pirates with her brother by stealing her grandmother’s rhinestone button collection from each other. Later she tried making embroidery-floss friendship bracelets and seed beads woven on a loom, but quickly lost interest in things everyone else was doing. She started making jewels from seashells, feathers and other stuff provided by nature, and when a friend from medical school asked her if she wanted to buy some small human bones for her work, she decided to give it a shot. His department was consolidating the bone collection and when he showed them to her for the first time, she knew they were just perfect. Human ivory she called them.

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Jeweler Immortalizes Pet Snouts and Paws into Fashion Accessories

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Jewel artist Jackie Kaufman has sniffed out a way to help pet owners keep they’re beloved companions close even after they’ve left this world. She creates beautiful sterling silver jewelry based on molds of animal snouts and paws.

Jackie creates all kinds of beautiful accessories, all of which you can see at her Etsy shop, but she’s best known for her unique series of animal mold pieces. She got the idea after she was approached by a client who owned a terminally ill dog, and has been creating them ever since. First, Jackie sends her clients special molds with which they can take highly detailed impressions of their animal’s noses and paws, and when she receives them she hand-casts them in sterling silver rings, pendants, bracelets and other accessories. The pet’s name or a special message can also be engraved on the back.

Owning such unusual jewelry is definitely a sign of love for your pet, but how does one get a dog or cat to wear a mold on its nose, even for a short while? My dog barely lets me touch his nose, let alone grab it and cover it with something. And how does the animal breathe when his nose is covered?

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House from Disney’s Animated Movie Up Recreated in Real Life

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A full-scale replica of the iconic house from the movie “Up”, complete with small details from Disney/Pixar’s animation, is being built in the city of Herriman, Utah.

Utah fans looking to feast their eyes on some real-life Disney magic won’t have to take the trip to California anymore, as a real masterpiece starts to take shape a lot closer to home, in Herriman. Blair Bangerter, one of the three brothers in charge of Bangerter Homes – a custom home building company – said: “I was just watching the movie, and thought, ‘We build houses kind of like that, ’” So after getting the go-ahead from Disney, they started recreating Carl and Ellie’s house from “Up”, while making some modifications of their own.

While the laws of physics may not apply to cartoons, they do apply in real life, so in order to make this house safe, the Bangerters had to make some changes: the house is now a narrow rectangle rather than a square, and the chimney and fireplace have been modified so they actually match up in real life. But, according to Adam Bangerter “ff you see it in the movie, you are going to see it in real life here”. The outside is painted in sherbet shades and there is even a replica of Carl and Ellie’s hand-printed mailbox and custom-made garden hose reel. And the movie details continue inside: the upstairs nursery has the same mural Ellie paints in the film, her and Carl’s armchairs have been custom ordered to match those in the animation, and there is a painting of fictional Paradise Falls over the mantle and a custom-made fireplace.

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Cheap Chic Wedding Dresses Made of Toilet Paper

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As you probably know, weddings these days aren’t cheap, and a big part of the budget is reserved for the bride’s wedding dress. But for the last few years, the guys at Cheap Chic Weddings have organised a contest to show a beautiful dress can be made from the simplest, cheapest materials, even from toilet paper.

Almost 1,000 toilet paper wedding dresses were designed and created for the 7th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest, many of which were so well executed most people would have a problem telling them apart from expensive fabric creations. Participants were allowed to use as much toilet paper as they needed, as well as glue, tape and sewing thread. Dresses were judged on creativity, originality and the use of toilet paper.

This year’s first place went to Sussan Brennan, from Orchard Lake, Michigan, for her nature-inspired gown. She used just 4 rolls of toilet paper, hot glue and packaging tape, but managed to snatch the $1,000 grand prize.

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Designer Creates Furniture from Thousands of Puzzle Pieces

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Devon-based artist Rupert McKelvie has used thousands of discarded puzzle pieces to create a stylish table complete with a lamp.

If you’re wondering what inspired the 27-year-old artist to create pieces of furniture from a weird medium like broken puzzles, it was the frustration of spending hours of patient labor assembling a puzzle, only to see them wasted because of a missing piece. Apparently, charity shops get a lot of puzzles handed in these days, only most of them are missing at least one piece, so he decided to use these incomplete artworks to create something new and complete.

McKelvie has put in hundreds of hours painstakingly assembling around 4,800 puzzle pieces into what looks like a functional and stable table, from popular jigsaw puzzles featuring the Taj Mahal, the Arc de Triomphe and Winnie the Pooh. It must have been a pretty tedious process, but it beats searching everywhere for that one missing puzzle, only to find it under the couch, years later.

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Metropolis II – The World’s Coolest Miniature Car Circuit

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Every little boy who has ever owned a Hot Wheels miniature car remembers how fun those things were to play with, whether you owned a circuit track or not. Artist Chris Burden has spent the last four years working on Metropolis II, an awe-inspiring miniature car circuit that will spark the interest of even the most mature grownup.

It’s called Metropolis II because Chris built another cool Hot Wheels circuit back in 2004, but compared to his first one, this latest project is superior in every way. It really lives up to its name, measuring an impressive 10-feet-tall by 28-feet-long and featuring 13 toy tracks and a gigantic car circuit with 18 lanes, winding around in a loop, around 30-40 skyscrapers. There are a total of 1,100 modified cars moving around Metropolis II, at any given time. Chris and his team inserted a small magnet on the underside of each car, so when they reach one of the circuit’s three conveyor belts, which also have magnets placed underneath, they get picked up and transported to a high point from where they are released and flow away.

According to Chris Burden, Metropolis II is ten times bigger than the original Metropolis and was conceived as a miniature representation of Los Angeles. Just recently completed, Metropolis II has already been sold for millions of dollars, but Burden says is also cost millions to complete and refine. Over the next few months it will be taken apart and properly packed in steel cages, where the parts shouldn’t move more than a 32nd of an inch, in order to keep everything running smoothly.

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