Sunday, April 15, 2012

House To Die For

House To Die For
Fun with Sizzix dies and a Vagabond.
This started as a test run to create a set of cards inspired by the decks I had as a kid, that were designed by famed California designer Charles Eames. I used an ATC die to cut the shapes out of double-sided patterned cardstock, then hand cut identical slots on the ends of each card. As an after thought, as long as I had the Vag out, I cut some more shapes using the Artful Dwellings die from leftover paper as I hadn't tried it yet. I started putting the cards together to form a structure to see if my slot measurements would work. Losing myself in the fun of it, I had built a new modern "house of cards" complete with arch and steeple shapes before I knew it.

As a child, these two card sets, one large and one small, were probably the single most influential creative "toys" I played with. They imprinted my young brain with patterns, colors and aesthetics that have contributed to forming career and design choices all my life. I have my Mom to thank for that due to her interest in Eames and selecting these for my playthings, young and uncoordinated as I was.

My memories of them were recently refreshed when Mom and I went to the California Design, 1930–1965: "Living in a Modern Way" show at LACMA. Our main purpose that day was to see In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, where works by Frida Kahlo and others were on display. The CA show was a real bonus featuring furniture and textiles by Charles and Ray Eames and other iconic designers as well as interiors, graphic design, housewares, appliances, Barbie & Ken with the first Dream House and even a full size Airstream trailer! Alas, the gift shop was sold out of the medium sized reproduction set of cards but they can still be ordered online from LACMA or Eames Gallery.

The gears in my brain have been whirring ever since though about making my own custom set. The possibilities are many... think of a custom set of photos for a family member separated by distance, a set with images and words of encouragement, an artist's portfolio, limited edition sets. The proportions of the ATC shape may be slightly different but worked well. While I can't publish the exact measurements of the slot locations due to possible copyright infringement, it's easy enough to Google images of the cards and figure out something similar.

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