Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Off the Charts

These prints from Pop Chart Lab are a lot of fun and surprisingly informative. There are diagrams of all kinds of things, from pop star haircuts to varieties of pasta. I think they'd make a great Father's Day gift for your already well-informed dad.

Monday, July 7, 2014

An Diary entry from the Murdered Streets of Kolkata

I landed last night from New York into Mumbai and took a connecting flight to Calcutta or Kolkata – As a film maker and a newsmaker I always have to be diplomatic. But Last night, I lost my cool. I have come here with my small team of “Bengali Detective”. I had to re-schedule my entire interviews schedule thanks to a lost baggage scenario. My film is based on the documentary directed by Phil Cox, Searchlight acquired the remake rights at the Sundance festival. In all honesty today I am frustrated and could actually use a Bengali Detective to search my bags through this tumultuous journey ! I am jet lagged and have no clothes ! I was lucky enough to have the scripts in my check in bags which I have guarded with my life all the way here !
I made a few calls to Sabyasachi, he is a friend of a friend. For as much as I would love to float around the murdered streets of Kolkata in a bridal lehenga, I need to be Monsoon ready and Press-Interview Chic for tomorrow. He put me through his Stylist friend Anjali from StylistCriacker fame who suggested if I want a brand experience from the comfort of my room then I need to go Internet Shopping ! I laughed, this woman cracked me up ! In her words I am boho-chic and to find my style in Kolkata is going to be difficult. I did not need another difficult experience so I plugged in my laptop and tapped away !

The screen popped – a black shot ! Shop now, I went clikety click ! The only relief after this hectic 12 hours was that the website www.baggout.com was navigation friendly. I clicked Women and there …. I have some perfect style samples to choose from. And what’s more, for a celebrity like me, I am not big on brands – but I cannot wear a nobody and walk into a press interview. Nothing would be worse than that.

I quickly put together my thoughts and took a call. I selected a kurta, which is patent Mira Nair style. A chunky necklace to go with it. Some earings and a bracelet to complete the look. I may Money-Wise and was just happy to see competitive pricing from various other websites. It was like shopping with my friends from back home. Each time you pull something – they will quickly jump in to say the shop down the street has an offer of 2 for 1 on it. I chuckled… my friends Irene would be just do pleased that I thought of her. She must be on her way to our Yoga Class… Urrgghh… My bag also had my yoga mat.

Would it also give me a yoga mat deal.. ?? with a little back and forth I found a Yoga Mat , a book to go on my night stand. Of course I had a dinner with Govida too, my lead actor. Should I go with a different look ? I don’t think I will be able to match a style icon like Govida ! That’s too much pressure. But I do find something interesting. A red kurta, with the right styling I can totally own upto it !

Ofcourse… it has a cash back offer. The website is pretty clear on the way the mechanism works ! Atleast somebody is clear with their basics unlike the airlines – who have till now given me all vague answers. It almost makes them sound like an answering machine. “Madam, we would like to apologize for …” Nobody is dead ! But I will gun them down if they don’t get me my stuff back.  Thanks to Baggout, I at least have the essentials and toiletteries in place for the next two days.  I am tempted for some more… but more on it post the big interview ! 

PS : This post has been written as a contest entry for baggout.This post is not to demean any celebrity in any sense.Topic - Choose any interesting personality and write about his/her hypothetical experience of Shopping through 

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Marco Khalil and Caroline West bought the bus in 2012 after returning from an Oregon buying trip with their VW bus. Marco was disappointed that he could not fit a large vintage railroad sign within, so they decided to hunt for a larger vehicle. A quick search on Craigslist Vancouver turned up a vintage school bus for a bargain price. Because they wanted the bus to be a multipurpose truck, pop-up shop venue for their company Eight Inch Rule and an open-plan mobile cabin, they removed nearly everything in the bus – the seats, stanchions, heaters. They first recovered the floor in an utilitarian vinyl tile. Then they added a timber daybed and a cubby unit comprised of vintage wood crates – both of which are easily removable when the bus needs to fulfill its cargo-carrying role as a truck. The full renovation took ten days. Now the bus, which they call Riley, serves as the backyard cabin on their property. Marco and Caroline regularly use the bus as a mobile cabin and, whenever they can, they book their favorite seaside site at a local RV park that provides everything they need – a firepit, BBQ, coastal beach walks and a modern bath facility. This summer they plan to take the bus a little further afield to the American San Juan Islands for a little summer retreat. 
Photography: Caroline West
Image above: “Our 1979 GMC / BlueBird school bus, 36 passenger shortbus version. We named it Riley, as in ‘The Life of Riley,’ which pretty well sums up the contented quality of life aboard.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A wide angle view of the interior and a view of our favourite seaside campsite.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek

See more of the school bus after the jump!

Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “The handmade cushions were made by Caroline using graphic vintage cereal sacking as appliqué. The handmade canvas window blinds feature magnets to secure them to the bus’s steel shell.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “Vintage American boys’ adventure story books set in a Libby’s roast beef packing crate with a metal fire engine toy.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “Wood toggles and canvas are components of the handmade cushions by Caroline using vintage boat signaling flags as appliqués.
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A 1950s cautionary street sign was a San Francisco vintage shop find. An industrial design classic by American Seating Co., the streamlined school chair dates back to the 1940s. The window blind was made from a portion of an Adelaide, Australia tram destination blind from the 1930s. A real ‘barn find,’ these were discovered in a hayloft in the Australian countryside and purchased for a trifle.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “Caroline’s handmade cushions are made with vintage grain sacking.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A vintage school house chemistry lab stool used as a side table.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A simplified globe by Denoyer-Geppert, c.1950s is favoured for its two-tone palate
– a numerical transit bus number identifier sits in the background.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “We have a vintage collection of mugs from the Boy Scouts of America (1970s); they have vibrant graphics and are virtually indestructible at the campsite.”

Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “An old canvas yacht club pennant acts as our ‘house flag’ as well as a handy window prop.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “I built the timber daybed with convertibility in mind; quick release for complete removal or left in place without upholstery as a product display deck when Riley is in pop-up shop mode. The vintage suitcases tuck neatly beneath for stowage of our camping kitchenalia.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “The antique shipping trunk in an unusual cube format sports a construct of leather, cane, canvas and brass, all with a wonderful patina and makers mark from Croydon, London. The C. M. initials are original and a happy coincidence. Placed alongside the settee, it acts as end table and blanket box. The vintage lamp has been wired into the bus’s 12 volt power system.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: The original bi-fold door actuator.
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: The magnetically secured window blinds made by Caroline have labels made by the same company that made her school uniform labels when she was a schoolgirl.
Design Sponge Sneak Peek

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Above: Sweden 1958
I’ll be the first to admit that, when it comes to any kind of sport, I pretty much know next to nothing. I know that most of them involve running and balls and cute little spandex outfits, but that’s about it. Still, as little as I know about the intricacies of baseball, basketball, hockey, football (American), and football (European), I love me some sports culture. Baseball hats, basketball shoes, vintage trophies, varsity sweatshirts, Cracker Jacks? I am SO DOWN (seriously, though, any excuse to accessorize—I’m there). 
This year I saw the first of my friends put up their World Cup ticket and tagged a million people on it, talk about being subtle ! Followed by a whole bunch of my Brazilian friends going ga ga over their favourite venues . Followed by friends from other Latin American countries trying to connect with those travelling to Brazil. JEALOUS MUCH ! I hate Facebook for many such reasons. 
This year, the twentieth FIFA World Cup is taking place in Brazil and, as such, all of my significantly more sports-savvy friends are all abuzz with it. Never one to miss out on such a huge cultural event, I’m appreciating the occasion in my own way—through World Cup posters! Since its establishment in 1930, each FIFA World Cup has had its own poster and advertising campaign—and most of them are pretty dern awesome, fabulous examples of modern graphic design. I’ve chosen a few of my favorites, so come join me for this fun trip down World Cup memory lane! 


Above: Italy, 1934
Above: Uruguay, 1930
Above: France, 1938
Above: Brazil, 1950
Above: Chile, 1962
Above: Mexico, 1970
Above: Germany, 1974
Above: Argentina, 1978
Above: Spain, 1982
Above: South Africa, 2010


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