Saturday, September 30, 2006

Library Of Dust

I first saw David Maisel's photography through another blog Super Hero Designs a few months ago. Intially his work called Asylum was the one that caught my attention. His photography of an abandoned mental asylum in Oregon was haunting and troublesome to me, probably because of a family member that has been institutionalized [I'll explain later] but after going through his site and reading a bit more his work entitled Library of Dust this series has stayed with me for months now. This seemingly uneventful photography of copper cans in the state of various decomposition is actually part of his asylum series.

according to his website:

Inside a dusty room in a decaying outbuilding on the grounds of a state-run psychiatric hospital are simple pine shelves lined three-deep with thousands of copper canisters. The canisters hold the cremated remains of mental patients who died at the hospital from1883 (the year the hospital was opened, when it was known as the Oregon State Insane Asylum) to the 1970’s, and whose bodies remained unclaimed by their families. The copper canisters have a handmade quality; they are at turns burnished or dull; corrosion blooms wildly from the seams of many of the cans. Numbers are stamped into each lid; the lowest number is 01, and the highest is 5,118.

This story left an empty space in my heart for all the people who have gone unclaimed and probably unloved for their entire lives. Now the remains of their physical bodies speak through color and decay in these photos, each one being as unique as I'm sure that individual was when they were alive. At the time that this asylum was functioning, I'm sure there were people who needed to be there, and many who with modern medicine or modern love would not [down syndrom children were often left at birth at places like these]. What if one of these people was a family member of yours? how would that make you feel?

Back to my families story...My eldest uncle [in his late 60's now] suffered oxygen loss at birth that caused mental retardation. My grandparents kept him at home for as long as possible [into his teenage years] before placing him in a home. They were both very involved with his care and development [my grandmother still is as much as possible]. But just as you hear in stories, things happen in these places that I'm sure none of us want to know about. A few years ago he was beaten by an orderly and had massive head injuries that placed him in the hospital and nearly killed him [he recovered]. My knowledge of the situation is vague, as of course I don't know the full story, but still... there was this incident. I'm sure he is not the first, nor the last. I pray that people in these systems find love in their own ways with their friends and hopefully sometimes a caretaker. I also hope that those who are brave enough to be caretakers for these people realize that they are human beings and show them dignity and respect.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I *heart* punk rockers

My friends sometimes call me the Grandma because I'm so square, but I love punk rock--or really punk rockers. They stand for everything I'm not: outrageous, loud, crazy, angry-- all with crazy hair mind you. I loved them in school [Jr. High] I would listen to their conversations in the halls, me in my little preppy sweaters and penny loafers. Inside, I was the girl with screaming pink hair and black eyeliner. I would pay attention to the kids with the band names on their jackets Circle Jerks, Bad Religion, Fear, Black Flag and wonder what they were like.

In highschool, I took art with some of these kids. They are really talented and misjudged as a whole. They slowly let this square, little girl into their circle and told me stories of parties and shows from the weekends prior. They always said they would come pick me up if I wanted. Somehow I knew... my parents who already had me under lock and key, would not find it humorous when 6 punk rock boys in a beat up VW van came to pick me up for a saturday night on the town. I never got to go with them. I know that they would have taken care of me had I gone -- they appreciated my innocence or took me on as a pet project, I'm not quite sure which.

Still, Punk Rock holds fond Jr high and Highschool memories for me. Henry Rollins is in fact my ever steady punk rock boyfriend. I emailed him while he was djing his radio show a couple years ago to tell him I still had a crush on him after all this time. He actually replied and I have it somewhere stashed. Because you better know that when I got that I jumped up and down and ran through my office yelling Henry!! ahhh school girl crushes never fade.

American Hardcore opens this week documenting the Hardcore Movement that began in Los Angeles during those years [1987 grad- thank you]. Just think about it my mom had Elvis and the Beatles as her era. I got to have Black Flag and Fear as the music that changed everything--OK, I'll throw Madonna in there too for the Grandma in me.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

So cute you want to pinch it's fenders

How incredibly cute is this Fiat 500? If I had an extra 7k I would take this in a hot second. If you happen to have the extra cash, it's available on Ebay currently. Cutest Fiat 500 ever

I have a fondness for vintage cars and motorcycles-I am my father's daughter by this notion clearly. I owned a 65' vespa for a few years that was mint, I loved riding it around town. It commanded alot of attention, and people always stopped to talk to me about it. I always joked that my girlfriend's got boob jobs and I bought myself my Vespa [her name was Audrey]-I could put my attention in the garage if I desired ... or take it on the town. I had two options; they carry theirs around with them all the time. It worked out well for all of us, surgery or not.

I sold the Vespa this year because my spine is vintage as well and kick starting it began to do harm to my back more than I was willing to deal with. We had a good run Audrey and I, but I do miss her.

rats...someone took the buy it now choice. $6500 of pure love.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Holy Grail opens Thursday in Pasadena

For those of you not familiar with H&M...picture this---Ikea for clothes--- on crack. I'm serious, it's INSANE. cool, cool stuff & dirt-ass cheap. I'm sure I've employed many a child laborer buying from them [kidding people!] I'm not sure of the space they've dedicated to the Pasadena store but NYC's locations are 3 stories tall. If you are a fashionista you may feel faint at the site of such glory. This is not for the amateur shopper, you will need to battle for space and hang on tight.

Now I warn you....their sizing is horrible [small and inconsistant] you will need to try on 500 pieces of clothing to find 2 that fit. Blame it on those damn Europeans who don't eat they just smoke and drink wine.

Expect complete chaos, lines to the dressing room for days, crabby employees who can't keep up with returning items to the floor and gobs and gobs of the coolest sh*t around.

Yes, they carry great men's clothing as well. Sizing runs small for you too honey-- the men smoke as well.

I have to say I'm a little bit sad they are here. I have traveled to NYC just to shop at H&M and felt like it was my LA secret shopping place. All good things must come to an end I suppose. They have a location opening at the Beverly Center later this fall. Shop on!

Peter Som Spring 07'

More highlights from NYC's Fashion Week. Peter Som's line is realtively new from what I remember reading about him. I believe he worked for a few of the big dogs [Oscar, know those sorts of folk] before launching his own line. I've been noticing his work for a while now and this show in particular was very lovely. For whatever reason I'm having a thing for white right now, even though I never wear it [not slimming/gets too dirty]. It just seems so fresh. That first, pretty little 3/4 length jacket is just IT.

Luca Luca Spring 07'

Yes, I said Spring 07' for those paying attention. New York's fashion week is in full swing. I haven't had a chance to post anything because of travels but this one is especially yummy. Thinking of getting out the sewing machine and see if I can copy that silver, high waisted skirt for myself. a little wife beater and cheap jewlery from Target. I'm so all over it.

Monday, September 11, 2006


It's support the arts around richie's home these days. I finally got organized enought to photograph and post all of my work for the past 7-8 months on-line. it's all available for sale starting at $20-and going up to $150+.

Unfortuntely, fine printing is an expensive and time consuming art form, I've kept pricing low because I just want to recoup my costs [and have a latte to keep me going] so that I can continue to work in this medium and grow as an artist. There is a bunch to choose from. I hope you find something you like.

Everything shown on the site was hand carved on linoleum blocks and hand printed at the Otis College Print Lab in the past 9 months.

I'll be taking some time off this semester to recover physically from the carving... my shoulder and hand have rebelled! stay tuned for more art in early 2007. Unless I just can't stand it any more and cave to the pain. Art=Pain right? not in my house.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Belamar Hotel * Great Graphics

The Belamar Hotel in Manhattan Beach gets it. A wall that could have been very forgotten, facing a parking lot, got a really lovely graphic treatment. I've been wanting to photograph it for some time...finally remembered my camera today. *Gold Star* for them for thinking outside the box. I didn't get a chance to go in but based on the exterior, their renovations a year + ago are on the money. I thought I was over the whole blue and brown color trend, but they changed my mind.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

DWR's Vega Sofa

I received my new DWR catalog in the mail today. Sometimes I think they send me a copy just so that I can dream of the life I don't have. I could spend 10k in that store in a matter of minutes - no questions asked.

I've been obsessed with sectional couches since the seventies when my good friend Sherri [really her parents] had the most amazing L shaped burnt orange/brown sofa. Sherri and I use to move the pieces around to build forts, giant beds to watch tv or to jump on them. Thinking back on it, the sofa was in the Ligne Roset quality that I'm not even allowed to breathe around these days at my income. Sherri's mom has amazing taste, and I recall many situations that I promised myself I would have as equally as nice things as an adult. What a wacky kid to want a couch, fluffy towels & good toilet paper [I kid you not] at 11!

The Vega Sofa is reasonably priced [for DWR] $1898/$1298 and has a main with a chaise and ottoman. The coolest part is that the edges fold down to make a extended bed for company, or watching TV with your sweetheart. I think I would add two ottomans to my order [we're dreaming here right?] I might possibly be talked into all Moss Green if we're really getting crazy here.

Skin Care Whore

Here's another random leak of personal information. I'M A SKIN CARE WHORE. I admit it, I am....have been since my early 20's when I became petrified of the possibility of wrinkles. You already know that I subscribe to every fashion magazine on the planet. I routinely cut out articles and research skin care products [and for the past few years plastic surgeons for when the day comes] that they review. I also worked in hair salons for over 9 years which is the Mecca of narcissm and a "cream for every part" mentality- which I have, and use every day.

I have been loyal to Clarins [still am] since introduced to the line while living in London. The pollution was so bad in the city that my acne free teenage years decided to rebel. I gave my lunch money to a woman down the street who cured me of my "spots". since then, I have skipped grocery shopping, omitted clothes shopping and other credit card abuses to keep my regimen up. I think it's worked... At 37, I still get carded buying alcohol, have boys in the 20's say hello [sweet, but no-thanks], and for the most part haven't had too many "oh-my-gawd-where-did-that-come-from" moments [although I can't say the same about my ass].

I recently got sucked into another product though which I think I might buy by the case now. SKII a line available in Japan for 20+ yrs before this. Developed by all people, a monk, who according to the site, "He was surprised to discover that the brewery workers [from a Sake brewery] had extraordinary soft and youthful hands. Even an elderly man with pronounced wrinkles on his face possessed the silky smooth hands of a young boy."

I've used the eye patches and most recently the facial masks and the facial treatment serum. All I can say is run, don't walk to your nearest Saks 5th Ave for it. Skip a few Lattes if you need to pay for it. it's worth it. I've tried A LOT of products this stuff is amazing!

Just wait for the boyfriend/hubby/or roommate to leave before applying the paper mask [soaked in the serum] you look like a total freak...but for great skin I'd stand on my head if they told me to. speaking of...humm wonder if it would help that ass problem?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cutie Pie Kit™

So, I've had some requests for the Cutie Pie Kit this weekend...[some very bad photos to view. I definitely need to take some lighting classes-- having good equipment wouldn't hurt either.]

Housed in a paint can with 4 tees [long sleeve were requested for a winter baby this round]
$50+ shipping.

contact me [silva_richele [at]] if you're interested in buying... or you work for Target and you can't live without 100,000 units of each piece. I'd be happy to manufacture for you at a wholesale price ;)

Tees in this version:
I'm a little cupcake short and sweet,
Darling, I'm a lady who lunches,
A chic woman is born in high heels,
Grandma's purse

There is a boy version as well called the Little Man Kit™

© all rights reserved Richie Design

Friday, September 01, 2006

steaming with jealousy

Am I mad? Am I jealous? Gawd darn it these are good. Art Bastards! how dare they take my beloved neon and do something so good.

Seriously..... really damn good work—wish I had thought of it first—the digital plates, the three colors, the letterpressing of my favorite, favorite subject matter. Sorry I may need to use this idea. Don’t hate me because I copy.

Athenaeum Press