Unique LA [http://uniquela.com/] is like a crafts fair on steroids, and perhaps multiple doses of the NZT Clear Pill (ref to Limitless the movie, booyah!). It was loaded with all sorts of quirky, fun, and artisan/ home made goodies, all of which for some awesome cosmic reason made sense. Some of the brilliant minds which struck home were:
Se_arch+resQ [http://www.searchresq.com/] with their fun handcrafted, laser-cut home accessories and furniture with a conscience. I suppose as an architectural designer, laser-cut wood and recycled materials gets my mind spinning into a creative frenzy. It brings back memories in the wood shop trying to laser cut pieces of my design projects, and raster images onto the recycled card stock of my portfolio. The smell brings me back too. Love love love lasers.
Love Nail Tree [http://www.lovenailtree.com] and their compassion towards the forgotten stories of today's underdogs, as noted in their website:
"LOVE NAIL TREE IS A COMPANY MOTIVATED AND FUELED BY A DESIRE TO PROVOKE CONVERSATION ABOUT TOPICS NEGLECTED AND OFTEN IGNORED BY OUR CULTURE. WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF STORY AND THINK THERE ARE MANY THAT NEED TO BE TOLD. WHETHER IT BE THE TRAFFICKING OF HELPLESS CHILDREN, THE DEVASTATION OF ADDICTION, OR THE HIGH RATE OF DIVORCE IN AMERICA. OUR HOPE IS THAT THE STORIES WE TELL WOULD MOVE PEOPLE TO ACTION AND INSPIRE A DEEP CHANGE WITHIN THEM".
I would say "yes, I'm an underdog", but when I hear stories about domestic violence and divorce, I can't help but think that maybe humanity has to turn awry before turning right. I'm thinking Love Nail Tree sees this pattern and is taking a step up to vocalize it. Let's swing back and turn it right. Thank you.
Oh! SNAP Studios [http://ohsnapstudios.com/], with their oh-so-quirky photo booths. The concept? It's simple, be "Unique"! Just be yourself. The very theme of the day.
The four of us found ourselves behaving like children in the frame, which was quite the idea! John was Mickey Mouse in a picture frame threatening to strike my sister with a ukelele as she aimed a rifle at my clone Lesley Ann the Aviator's Crow minion (and his friend Owl). You see?? Even Mickey Mouse knows it's not right to kill animals. While all of this is happening, Mary the Viking Queen snuggled up with a blanket by the fireplace, daydreaming of the real Mickey.
Yes, much grinning was had. =)
Other types of uniqueness happened thereafter, such as the crafting of our awesome DIY bow pins.
Left: Bow pins made by someone else, but still looks cool.
I decided I wanted to be different and make an ugly monster fabric doll, but due to much distraction and mismanagement of time, I didn't finish it....SO, I, along with my brother, decided to be accessory models for the pieces Mary and Ate Anya made.
Left: Me and my sisters cute stripey pink [ok, ok, it's SALMON!] bow pin.
As we finished the last 2 hours at the Unique LA convention, we spotted a few jewels and interesting concepts such as wooden men's ties, button collars (not collar buttons), and a crowd that wanted to be there to speak out, to live, eat and be part of the scene.
To me, we were there to scream:
"No, we refuse to NOT have fun!" and....
"Yes, we decided to get off our @$$es to burn some calories because there's some cool stuff to see in the REAL world too; and besides, it would make us feel less guilty for eating these yummy mini-cupcakes! Om nom nom!"
The "Food Court"
Mary, who found you were with mini-cupcake goggles.
After four hours of snapping away at pictures and gorging on free samples of artisan food and visual candy for the idea boxes in our minds, we decided to have dinner at Veggie Grill [http://veggiegrill.com/] at the Grove. It was delicious, deeelish! I'm sorry I don't have any detailed food photos, so we'll have to skip to the next shop we went to which was the World Market. It was our way of burning off some of the food we ate while being, yes you can guess, a motley crew taking illegal pictures of merchandise. I have no guilt, and I'm seriously contemplating buying the "No Worries" girl, which somehow found her way out of a dastardly evil piece of porcelain! She will be our mascot for future urban treks.
Fiiinally we ended the night at AU79 Teahouse in Arcadia [http://www.au79teahouse.com/] to satisfy our need for some bubble tea and some crisp California winter air.
Lesley Ann Malapit