Submitted by: (via StevieMac1234)
Selecting from Banksy favorites and classics, this series of brick-based fan art both replicates and expands on familiar two-dimensional works.
Professional photographer Jeff Friesen is known for staging LEGO creations around Canadian provinces and American states, the latter having since been compiled into a book: 50 States of LEGO.
The Bricksy series includes some degree of whimsical interpretation, often putting existing Banksy art into an expanded physical context. The photographer is selling prints of these pieces for $20 each.
A bit more about the artist: “Jeff Friesen’s photography has gathered worldwide recognition for an uniquely diverse collection of work. His awards include the most prestigious in the photography world, including an Award Of Excellence from Communication Arts and a winning image in the PDN Photo Annual. In 2009 Jeff’s work was among the most repeatedly honored by the International Photography Awards”
Hey, Hoopy Froods! Don't look now, but it's Towel Day!!
(By CakeCentral member JenLGAJ)
But Don't Panic!
Even if you forgot your towel, we've got you covered:
(By I Dream in Icing)
So you'll be safe from any Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal.
Now, let's fire up our electronic thumb and take a spin among Douglas Adams' stars!
We'll look for land masses with lovely, crinkly edges, and we'll never, ever use the word "Belgium."
(At least not gratuitously.)
I promise, we'll have a whale of a time!
(By Gelly's Cakes)
Um, maybe I should rephrase that...
We'll flollop, willomy and glurry on Sqornshellous Zeta with Zem,
...and his friends Zem, Zem, Zem, Zem, Zem, and of course, Zem.
And maybe we can figure out where all the dolphins went.
(By Crunchies & Munchies)
It's been So Long...
Let's ask the mice, or Marvin the Paranoid Android!
(By Annica's Cakes)
Heck, he has a brain the size of a planet, so he ought to be able to figure it out.
And I'm sure we'll run into Agrajag again!
(By CakeCentral Member Ladybug Lady 13)
Really sorry about that, Dude. We didn't see you.
(You remember Agrajag, right? That poor creature who is continually reincarnated and then unknowingly killed -- every time -- by Arthur Dent? Of course you do...)
We'll stop at Milliways and dish with the Dish of the Day, before sitting down to a nice meal of...
(By Debbie Does Cakes)
(By The Sugar Syndicate)
You don't mind traveling by Chesterfield sofa, do you?
(By CakesDecor member Coocakecachoo)
Any other mode of transportation is most definitely not Krikkit.
(Extra geek cred if you get the sofa reference -- I even managed to stump Jen!)
(Shhhhhh... Don't tell her I ratted her out...)
I promise we'll get you home in time for tea.
(By Cakes by Lorinda)
Or something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike it.
And maybe some cookies.
(By Cookie Cowgirl)
Because even though the mice have assured us 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, a couple of Sweets couldn't hurt.
Be sure to check out our Sunday Sweets Directory if you want to see which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets!
Time for the second half of our Sweets Alphabet!
N is for Nursery Rhymes:
(By Sugar Creations)
...read from a book.
O is for Owl:
(By Cake Whisperer)
Such a piercing look!
P is for Pinwheel:
So fun when it whirls.
Q is for Quilling:
(By Bella Cupcakes)
They do it with curls.
(By Richard's Cakes)
He cooks with renown.
S is for Steampunk:
(By Andrea's Sweet Cakes)
See, it's not all brown.
T is for Turtle:
(By Art2Eat Cakes)
Discworld on his back.
U's Ursa Minor:
(By Viva La Cake)
Countdown: Cute Attack!
V is for Violet:
(Submitted by Caroline H. and made by Cake Woman)
These cake builds are tough!
W's Wibbly wobbly...
(By Artisan Cake Company)
X marks the spot.
(By Man Bakes Cake)
What? You thought xylophone?
Y is for Yoda:
(By Cakes by Beth)
He fought with a Clone.
Z is for zebra:
He knows that he's cool.
Don't you wish they taught Sweets Alphabet in your school?
Be sure to check out our Sunday Sweets Directory if you want to see which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets!
London-based Lix Pen has just unveiled an all-new 3D printing pen that's touted as the world's smallest. Similar to the 3Doodler, you doodle in the air via melted plastic, which quickly cools so that 3-dimensional structures can be built up from the bottom. After some practice, you could use Lix for prototyping, making custom jewelry, freestanding decorative sculptures, or eye-catching art pieces. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Reclining in the space between the extremes of sped-up, movie-style GIF files and traditional, immobile paintings, this artist brings lazy scenes of everyday reality to life.
Rebecca Mockam is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comic artist whose cinemagraphs move only as much as needed, a different kind of visual artist’s takes on medium most often associated with photography.
Note that these reduced-sized examples don’t do justice to the detail and seamlessness of her originals, so it is worth looking more closely at her portfolio for these and more.
Her work is peaceful and contemplative, lending itself to a lot of potential comparisons, including Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell. At the same time, much of the subject matters is definitively contemporary, including all-too-familiar ringing phones and tablet swipes. Still-life Americana revisited, this approach (in the age of portable computers, tablets and phones) uses a medium that makes sense with its era.
Mockam has worked on everything from art exhibits and comic covers and is currently drawing a graphic novel titled Four Points, set to be released in 2015. She uses a Wacom tablet for most of her illustration work, sketches with a pencil and ink with various brush pens, and a nib & ink when it comes to drawing comics.
No smoke-and-mirrors or post-production here, just fleeting vignettes swiftly staged on steamed windows and set against natural outdoor backgrounds.
Jim Osborne is a self-taught landscape artist who typically works in watercolor, acrylic and oils. He describes himself as being inspired by his surroundings, light and the weather. Recently, however, he has begun working in a new direction with water condensation on glass window surfaces.
His Steamy Windows Collection represents a bit of a departure for him in terms of tools and approach – the work is necessarily fast, drawing on organic backdrops, lighting conditions and perceptual cues. Each piece is shot quickly as well, and prints can be found for sale on his website.
With the need for speed, every little gesture counts – the results are simultaneously planned but ultimately uncontrolled, a mixture of simple figures and hasty grounds that somehow manages to look like more than the sum of its parts. The approach seems like a a great way to train oneself to think in an agile fashion and be nimble in execution.
Charlotte, may only be 7-years-old, but when there's something that angers her, she always expresses how she feels, and this letter to LEGO voices her most recent concern. Let's just say that she wants more gender-balanced Minifigs thrown into the mix. Click here to view the first image in this week's demotivational poster gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of an amazing mid-air skydiving rescue.
When I was younger, I read somewhere that having peacock feathers in the house was bad luck. Something about the "eyes" on the feathers being evil.
Now, I don't know about you, but if I could gaze into these eyes all day, I'd consider myself downright lucky.
Especially if I had a fork.
In fact, I'd feel pretty fortunate if I had any of these cakes around.
(By Sweet On Cake, sub'd by Paul M.)
Who could dread such a perfect fall of feathers?
And this little birdie would be welcome in any season:
(By Tasha's Tasty Treats)
Especially with all that intricate Mehndi-inspired piping! Wow.
Here's another pipe(ing)-dream:
Look closely. See the peacock?
(And wouldn't those piped feathers make a lovely tattoo?)
Check out how this next one manages to convey "peacock" without a single beak or feather:
(By Fleur De Lisa Cake)
And another modern take:
(By The Royal Bakery)
That crest on top is too perfect.
Not that I'm dissing feathers, mind you!
(By McGreevy Cakes)
I want these as earrings.
You can even have a gorgeous peacock cake without a hint of their iconic blue:
(By Sweet Little Morsels)
So soft and sweet! I like the blush of pink in the flower buds.
Or for a real statement, how about white-on-white?
Fingers crossed the bird was the ring-bearer.
Think we can eat the cake out of the middle of this and turn it into a lamp?
(By Vinism Sugar Art)
Eat your heart out, Tiffany.
And finally, if you've got it, flaunt it!:
Well, it seems we've run out of peacock Sweets.
Do you shop Amazon? Then how about clicking through my affiliate link to shop? Visiting Amazon through that link will help support the site, and costs you nothing. Thanks, guys!
Most people with single-family homes are used to pulling up into their driveways and then ascending flights of stairs to get to the living spaces. But in this case, a ground-level driveway leads directly to an open-air rooftop terrace, and to enter the home, you go down.
‘Car Park House’ by Anonymous Architects takes advantage of the hilly Los Angeles landscape. Built on a steep plot of land just off a winding road, the home makes the most of a challenging site, maximizing views from every level. Local building code requires the home to have two parking spots.
A steel frame and a series of concrete pillars support the modern house as it projects out from the hillside, with two separate terraces looking out onto the San Gabriel mountains from the kitchen and master bedroom.
Calling it a ‘car park house’ puts the emphasis on the least attractive part of the home, but perhaps it’s appropriate considering Los Angeles car culture. But it’s a lot more than just a driveway with a view.
Inspired by the belief that amber jewelry tends to be “strictly defined and conditioned by tradition,” Emilia Kohut created Superfine Jewelry to break that trend. The collection highlights and emphasizes the individual characteristics of amber.
To create this collection, Kohut used an unusual combination of materials and re-imagined uses of more well-known objects. Contrasts are created with indeterminate shapes and are visible through the used plastic. By combining wood, amber, synthetic and resin, Kohut provides a modern and unprecedented effect.
Here's an amazing look at paramagnetic paint, which allows you to change your vehicle color using your smart-phone or built in controls. Simply put, prism-shaped metallic pigments are rotated based on the voltage frequency dispersed throughout the vehicle body, giving you the ability to change your cars color. Continue reading for the video.
Now this is one great way to start off the new year. Two of our favorite ladies of Sci-Fi, Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer, of Battlestar Galactica, created the charity Acting Outlaws, which raises and donates money to good causes. One might say they do it for the
Bonerment . . . I mean BETTERMENT of Mankind . . . This latest project is a 2014 calendar featuring the two in various states of tastefully artsy undress. We’ve got some of the stills and a behind the scenes video of the making of the calendar. If you were already sold on the title alone and want to buy the calendar, use this link. The calendar is a mix of new black and white photos and some of last years, but we don’t mind.
Here’s the behind the scenes video:
tnitnetny (aka Quiltoni) has really outdone herself this time. This quilt is amazing. She says, “I finished my masterpiece. It is a queen sized quilt made with Batik fabric. The backing is an awesome Star Trek fabric. I am really proud of it and think this is my favorite quilt I have made so far. I can’t wait to display it at Magfest and see the look on the couples face that ordered it.”
All I know is that I WANT.
Photographer Christoffer Relander combines nature and human faces to create preternaturally beautiful portraits. The double and triple exposures blend aspects of the natural world and the grace of the human form.
More than a few artists have compared the grace of nature and the beauty of humanity, but Relander’s interpretations imagine a world in which we, the animals, are as delicate and fragile as nature.
Many of the artist’s portraits add an extra dimension to the humanity of the subject. There are others, however, that all but erase the human portion of the composition. Leaves, branches and blossoms take the part of skin, veins and muscles.
The truly amazing part of Relander’s work is that he doesn’t use Photoshop to create these masterpieces of multiple exposures. He creates them all in-camera using a Nikon DSLR.
Did Stuart Heritage keep it together when he cooked crumble for his longtime crush on her new TV show The Taste?
Things are not going to plan. After harbouring an intergalactically huge crush on her for longer than I care to remember, I'm now sitting in the same room as Nigella Lawson. This would be the greatest moment of my life, except she's sitting next to a surly Frenchman, and I'm pretty sure he hates me.
Nigella and the Frenchman – a chef called Ludo Lefebvre – are, along with Anthony Bourdain, the judges on Channel 4's upcoming new cookery competition The Taste. Already a moderate success in America, The Taste is best summarised as one part MasterChef to one part The Voice. Contestants cook dishes, and are judged on a single spoonful. Eventually, presumably, someone wins something.
I'm here on a press day, seeing how the format works by trying it out for myself. These things are usually enjoyably zero-stake affairs, where nobody tries because nobody wins. But this time, the stress of meeting Nigella – not to mention the angry Frenchman – means I'm cacking myself. And that means I've started babbling.
"Why are you staring at me?" I gibber at Ludo. "You're very intimidating. Has anyone ever told you how intimidating you are? Why aren't you blinking? Do you have a condition? I like your tattoos. Where did you …" Ludo cuts me off by silently pointing at his temple. This means he's either thinking or that he wants me dead. It's hard to tell.
I've made them an apple and loganberry crumble and custard. As they are visitors to this country, I wanted Bourdain and Lefebvre to try something traditionally British. Also, the recipe is quite easy and I only had 45 minutes. The cooking itself was quite stressful – the counter was too small, the scales and timer didn't work, I hadn't worked out how to get any of it on to the poxy spoons – but it was nothing compared to the judging.
My heart beating in my chest, I sat down in front of Nigella, Ludo and Anthony. They stared at my slate, splodged with dodgy custard and molten fruit. They put the spoons into their mouths. And then …
And then they were quite nice, actually. Nigella, repaying my years of infatuation, was the first to compliment my crumble. Bourdain – who, for all his famed edge, has basically softened and aged into Elliott Gould – told me that he didn't like puddings, but that he'd happily eat mine in a restaurant.
And then Ludo. I have a feeling that Ludo will be the breakout star of The Taste, given that he is singularly the most intimidating man who has ever walked the face of the Earth. He'd only eaten half of the crumble. But after a moment's contemplation, he nodded and ate the rest. He asked if it was my own recipe, then displayed aggressive disbelief when I told him it was. He complimented the state of my custard. "Do you want more of it? I made loads. I can go and get some for you if you want. I can put it in a glass. Would you like a glass of custard?" I babbled. Apparently, Ludo did not want a glass of custard.
Nigella explained the show's format. Like The Voice, she explained that the judges are also mentors. If only one of them liked your food, they would become your mentor. If two liked your spoon, they would duke it out to mentor you. Nigella explained that I'd found myself in a threeway. "If this was the real show, we'd now have to convince you to join us."
"Do it!" I bellowed. "Fight for me!" So they did. Bourdain, polishing up a monologue he'd clearly used before, leaned across the table and told me he could see into my soul. Nigella declared herself to be a champion of good food like mine. Ludo muttered something indecipherable. With a predictability that sickened even myself, I chose Nigella. "We could make such beautiful food together," she cooed. I turned bright red, shouted "Fhrhrfhrhfrh" at her and ran away like a bloody schoolboy.
So The Taste, then. If my experience is any indication, it's just like MasterChef, except you get to spectacularly blow it with people you fancy.
For the filling
300g braeburn apples
30g unsalted butter
30g golden caster sugar
Half a lemon, juiced
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp cinnamon
For the crumble
120g plain flour
60g unsalted butter, softened
60g demerara sugar
For the custard
150ml whole milk
150ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
25g caster sugar
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
Peel, core and chop the apples. Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan until it just starts to form a caramel. Add the apples and cook until they begin to break down. Add the loganberries, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon. Cook for another five minutes, pour into ovenproof dish, then set aside.
Mix the flour and butter with your fingers until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, mix it together, sprinkle it on top of the filling and then bake for 20 minutes.
Pour the milk, cream and vanilla into a saucepan and heat until simmering. Remove from the heat.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar with an electric whisk. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture over the egg and whisk hard. Return to the saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, until it thickens.
• The Taste begins on 7 January on Channel 4.
The legacy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer lives on, with hundreds-of-thousands of fans still out there singing its praises, cosplaying its characters and spending their nights marathoning the seasons. And as we pass the 10-year mark on when the show officially ended, the folks at BBC Radio 4 decided to do a half-hour special. They gathered up some famous faces, including Joss Whedon, Anthony Head and even the well-known writer and Buffy fan, Neil Gaiman, and interviewed them on their opinions about the show.
In addition to going over the basics of how the show got started, they focus on the role of Buffy as a strong female character and give Gaiman – another author who has been praised for writing strong female leads – a chance to voice his opinion on why he thinks Buffy fits the bill. At one point Gaiman has this to say:
“It’s worth pointing out that people, unfortunately, misunderstand the phrase ‘strong women. The glory of Buffy is it was filled with strong women. Only one of those strong women had supernatural strength and an awful lot of sharpened stakes. And people sort of go ‘Well yes, of course Buffy was a strong woman. She could kick her way through a door.’ And you go ‘No, that’s not actually what makes her a strong woman! You’re missing the point.’”
There are also plenty of other fun tidbits about the show in the interview. Buffy fans should make their way to the BBC Radio 4 website and give it a listen.
Thanks to blastr for the heads-up.
Do you value friendly relations with your colleagues? Are you proud of being a nice person who would never pick a fight? Unfortunately, you might be just as responsible for group dysfunction as your more combative team members. That’s because it’s a problem when you shy away from open, healthy conflict about the issues. If you think you’re “taking one for the team” by not rocking the boat, you’re deluding yourself.
Teams need conflict to function effectively. Conflict allows the team to come to terms with difficult situations, to synthesize diverse perspectives, and to make sure solutions are well thought-out. Conflict is uncomfortable, but it is the source of true innovation and also a critical process in identifying and mitigating risks.
Still, I meet people every day who admit that they aren’t comfortable with conflict. They worry that disagreeing might hurt someone’s feelings or disrupt harmonious team dynamics. They fret that their perspective isn’t as valid as someone else’s, so they hold back.
Sure, pulling your punches might help you maintain your self-image as a nice person, but you do so at the cost of getting your alternative perspective on the table; at the cost of challenging faulty assumptions; and at the cost of highlighting hidden risks. That’s a high cost to pay for nice.
To overcome these problems, we need a new definition of nice. In this version of nice, you surface your differences of opinion, you discuss the uncomfortable issues, and you put things on the table where they can help your team move forward.
The secret of having healthy conflict and maintaining your self-image as a nice person is all in the mindset and the delivery.
To start shifting your mindset, think about your value to the team not in how often you agree, but in how often you add unique value. If all you’re doing is agreeing with your teammates, you’re redundant. So start by telling yourself “it’s my obligation to bring a different perspective than what others are bringing.” Grade yourself on how much value you bring on a topic.
Here are a few tips on improving your delivery:
1. Use “and,” not “but.” When you need to disagree with someone, express your contrary opinion as an “and.” It’s not necessary for someone else to be wrong for you to be right. When you are surprised to hear something a teammate has said, don’t try to trump it, just add your reality. “You think we need to leave room in the budget for a customer event and I’m concerned that we need that money for employee training. What are our options?” This will engage your teammates in problem solving, which is inherently collaborative instead of combative.
2. Use hypotheticals. When someone disagrees with you, don’t take them head on—being contradicted doesn’t feel very good. Instead, a useful tactic is to ask about hypothetical situations and to get them imagining. (Imagining is the opposite of defending, so it gets the brain out of a rut.) If you are meeting resistance to your ideas, try asking your teammates to imagine a different scenario. “I hear your concern about getting the right sales people to pull off this campaign. If we could get the right people…what could the campaign look like?
3. Ask about the impact. Directing open-ended questions at your teammate is also useful. If you are concerned about a proposed course of action, ask your teammates to think through the impact of implementing their plan. “Ok, we’re contemplating launching this product to only our U.S. customers. How is that going to land with our two big customers in Latin America?” This approach feels much less aggressive than saying “Our Latin American customers will be angry.” Anytime you can demonstrate that you’re open to ideas and curious about the right approach, it will open up the discussion (and you’ll preserve your reputation as a nice person).
4. Discuss the underlying issue. Many conflicts on a team spiral out of control because the parties involved aren’t on the same page. If you disagree with a proposed course of action, instead of complaining about the solution, start by trying to understand what’s behind the suggestion. If you understand the reasoning, you might be able to find another way to accomplish the same goal. “I’m surprised you suggested we release the sales figures to the whole team. What is your goal in doing that?” Often conflict arises when one person tries to solve a problem without giving sufficient thought to the options or the impact of those actions. If you agree that the problem they are trying to solve is important, you will have common ground from which to start sleuthing toward answers.
5. Ask for help. Another tactic for “nice conflict” is to be mildly self-deprecating and to own the misunderstanding. If something is really surprising to you (e.g., you can’t believe anyone would propose anything so crazy), say so. “I’m missing something here. Tell me how this will address our sales gap for Q1.” If the person’s idea really doesn’t hold water, a series of genuine, open questions that come from a position of helping you understand will likely provide other teammates with the chance to help steer the plan in a different direction.
Conflict — presenting a different point of view even when it is uncomfortable — is critical to team effectiveness. Diversity of thinking on a team is the source of innovation and growth. It is also the path to identifying and mitigating risks. If you find yourself shying away from conflict, use one of these techniques to make it a little easier.
The alternative is withholding your concerns, taking them up outside of the team, and slowly eroding trust and credibility. That’s not nice at all.