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Service for 6 only $111,600.00: Diamond Studded Flatware

Talk about a formal place setting!
At Christofle, sterling silver takes on a whole new allure. Knives, forks and spoons, with handles trimmed with diamonds of exceptional quality. Front and back, they embellish silver in a way as never before.

The diamonds are hand set, and the creative process requires six months of hand work. Malmaison Castle near Paris, was a favorite place of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine.

Sterling silver and diamonds. Knife has a stainless steel blade.

Diamonds are set by hand in France.
Set includes one of each: dinner fork, dinner knife, soup spoon, salad fork, and teaspoon.
Price? A measly $18,600.00 per place setting

You can order yours here.

The Bouroullec Bros' Floating House

The Floating House designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec.
Conceived together with Jean-Marie Finot and Denis Daversin, architects

Achieved mid october 2006, the Floating House is a studio for resident artists in the CNEAI (Centre National de l'estampe et de l'art imprimé) located in Chatou, France.

floating house : by night ­ 2006

Floating House interiors:

Length : 23m
Total surface: 110m2
CNEAI - Centre National de l'estampe et de l'art imprimé

all images courtesy of the Bouroullec brothers

More underwater and floating residences for you!:

•The Underwater Poseidon Resort & H2Ome

•Floating Hotels and Offices

•The Silverfish Floating Home

•Houseboats of The Future

My New Favorite Photographer: Eugenio Recuenco

As an advertising art director for many years (how many would give away my age), I've had the good fortune to personally view some of the finest photographer's books. But I recently came upon one photographer in particular whose range of talent simply awed me.

CA Boom 4: West Coast Independent Design Show

Exhibitor Reservations for CA Boom 4 Now Being Reviewed

CA Boom 4: March 30 to April 1, 2007 at a new and larger location, Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Airport. One hundred plus participating exhibitors will showcase what's next in how we live and how we work. Specific areas in the show include: prefab, fine furnishings, indoor/outdoor living, surfaces and finishes, and modern parenting.

2/8/07 CA Boom 4: THE WEST COAST INDEPENDENT DESIGN SHOW registration and tickets now on sale.

What else is new this year?
Dozens of national and international manufacturers are joining CA Boom’s core lineup of boutique design exhibitors. CA Boom 4 majors and mini-majors include Herman Miller, ducduc, Fleetwood Windows & Doors, Neo Metro and Nana Wall Systems, Inc.

This year, our show floor is divided into distinct zones including Prefab, Fine Furnishings, Materials, Surfaces & Finishes, Modern Parenting, Giftware & Accessories, Indoor/Outdoor Living and First-Timers.

Special Prices on Santa Monica Hotels, Airfare & Airport Shuttles. Travel & Housing

For the first time, Friday will be a “trade day” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., open to qualified design & building trade members.

The famous CA Boom Opening Night party moves to Friday Night, 7:30 - 10:30 p.m., with an open bar, DJ's and full access to the show floor ($45).

Don't miss the debut of the “Modern Parenting” zone, spotlighting sophisticated furniture and accessories for children of design-conscious parents. Participants include Scandinavian Child, Inc., ducduc, Elevate Home and Nurseryworks.

Returning this year is the overwhelmingly successful PREFAB ZONE, the only place on the planet where prospective buyers of Modernist Prefab can actually comparison shop prefab manufacturers who are ready and able to deliver product. Participants include Living Homes, Clever Homes, Marmol Radziner Prefab, Sander Architects, kitHAUS, and Alchemy's weeHouse.

Don't miss our Design + Architecture Tours, where architects actually give tours of 15 cutting edge projects, 5 per day ($75 per day, includes Expo Hall admission).

Santa Monica: Friday March 30th • Venice: Saturday March 31st • Mar Vista/West LA: Sunday April 1st.

CA Boom exhibitors are invited to participate because of their innovation, design sensibility and category leadership. Each year, we also invite a select group of noteworthy up-and-comers. Many of our exhibitors are showcasing World and North American debuts at the show.

CA Boom 4 still has space to accommodate a few additional exhibitors who are a good fit. Interested? Go here.

79th Annual Academy Awards Promo
Shot & Directed by Spike Lee

Directed by Academy Award®-nominated writer-director Spike Lee and shot throughout New York City, the 79th Academy Awards trailer features passers-by reciting famous movie lines from the past 70 years.

Go Ahead, Lick Penelope Cruz's Face. Celebrity and Oscar Cookies.

Elenis of New York makes cookies that are art you can eat. These are her special limited edition cookies for Sunday, Feb 25th, Oscar Night. Available to order online at
It may be the closet you ever get to licking a star.

The nominees for the the 79th Annual Academy Awards are: Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet.
• 16 hand-iced sugar cookies in a gift box -price: $58.50

The nominees for Best Actor for the 79th Annual Academy Awards are: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, Peter O'Toole, Will Smith and Forest Whitaker.
• 16 hand-iced sugar cookies in a gift box, price: $58.50

best picture
The nominees for Best Picture for the 79th Annual Academy Awards are: Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen.
• 19 hand-iced sugar cookies in a gift box

Famous Hollywood Quotes
Packaged in our New Medium Gift Box.
Test your movie expertise with these memorable quotes: "Show me the money", "I see dead people", "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn", "Life is like a box of chocolates"and "Supercalifrajalisticexpialidocious"
• 9 sugar cookies is a gift box
• Cookie Sizes: Quotes 2.5" x 2.5", Stars 1.5" x 1.5", Director's slate, 1.5" x 2"

It's All About Oscar. How The Statuette Is Made.

How An Oscar Statuette Is Made, Step By Step:

above: close up look at base

Oscar Fun Facts:

• The official name of the statuette is the Academy Award® of Merit

• Oscar is 13½ inches tall and weighs 8½ pounds

• The First Recipient was Emil Jannings, named Best Actor for his performances in “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh” in 1929

• Number of Awards Presented to date as of 2010: 2,701 statuettes

• It was designed by Cedric Gibbons, chief art director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and sculpted by Los Angeles artist George Stanley.

• The Oscar statuette depicts a knight holding a crusader's sword, standing on a reel of film. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy (actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers.)

• How Oscar received his nickname is not exactly clear.
The most popular story is that Margaret Herrick, an Academy librarian and eventual executive director, remarked that the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar, and the Academy staff began to refer to it as Oscar. Although the nickname was used with increasing frequency during the late 1930s, the Academy didn't officially use the name Oscar until 1939.

• The Oscar statuette hasn't been altered since his molten birth, except when the design of the pedestal was made taller in 1945.

And the Oscar winner for Best Poster is....

The Official Poster of the 79th Annual Academy Awards

This year's Oscar Poster is finally one someone might actually want. (I do wish they'd have kept the abc logo and showtime off of it, however). So, here's what is takes for you to get your very own Official Oscar Poster:

Poster Price -79th Academy Awards posters are US $25 each.
Online orders may be placed using VISA, MASTERCARD or AMERICAN EXPRESS. Orders placed in person may only be paid for with a check, money order or cash. All sales are final, no refunds.

Shipping and handling is included in the poster price for domestic orders. International orders will be charged US $15 for every five posters ordered.

For example, an order of 10 posters being shipped to the United Kingdom would total US $280. (An international shipping charge of $30 plus the $200 cost of 10 posters, at the rate of $25 per poster, for a total cost of US $280.)

Shipping will be handled by FedEx. You may contact customer service at 1-800-99-FILMS for any shipping and fulfillment information.

Please allow 7 business days for domestic delivery. International orders may take up to 14 business days or longer. No P.O. boxes are allowed. No rush or overnight shipment option is available.

How to Order a Poster (There are four ways to order posters):

* In person
Monday - Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Academy Gallery, 4th Floor
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
* By Mail (send a check or money order payable to Academy Foundation)
Academy Awards Posters
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
* Telephone 1-800-993-4567 (option 3)
Monday - Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (PST)
* Internet -

Could you live without your computer for a day?

It is obvious that people would find life extremely difficult without computers, maybe even impossible. If they disappeared for just one day, would we be able to cope?

Be a part of one of the biggest global experiments ever to take place on the internet. The idea behind the experiment is to find out how many people can go without a computer for one whole day, and what will happen if we all participate!

Shutdown your computer on this day and find out! Can you survive for 24 hours without your computer?

See who can and who can't at

Product Pick Of The Week: The Swiveling MediaCentre by Porada of Italy.

The Mediacentre designed by T. Colzani for Porada is a piece of furniture that does it all. The swiveling stand functions as a display for a flat screen TVs, storage and shelves. Attached to the floor and ceiling/wall by a singular pole or set on a swivel base, the modern piece does not take up much room yet provides a modern and functional addition to your living room or bedroom.

The Porada mediacentre

The piece is available in various colored finishes or woods.
Porada of Italy has many amazingly beautiful products. This is just one of them.

Where The Hip Call Home

Tiger Woods paid 38 million for his Jupiter Island Home, pictured above

Real Estate Feature
Star-Studded Neighborhoods
by Matt Woolsey

"...There are all sorts of reasons why celebrities cluster in exclusive enclaves--beachfront property, good schools and extra-tight security to name a few... [and]
'They want to move to where all their friends are,' says Susan Breitenbach, a Bridgehampton, N.Y.-based Corcoran real estate agent, of the stars who flock to Long Island's East End. That also seems to be the case on Jupiter Island, Fla. In January 2006, Tiger Woods joined fellow golfers Nick Price and Greg Norman on the exclusive island when he bought a $38 million, 10-acre compound....

The Hamptons, a collection of quaint villages boasting the million-dollar second homes of dozens of A-listers, lies just 75 miles outside of New York City. Look out for Martha Stewart on Georgica Pond, Gwyneth Paltrow and Alec Baldwin in Amagansett, and Paul Simon in Montauk--a neighborhood so exclusive that Jimmy Buffett tried to buy a trailer there for $430,000... '

Paltrow and hubby call Amagansett home

For people hubbed in New York, there's really no other choice,' says Breitenbach... Back in Manhattan, stars huddle in several distinct neighborhoods. Robert DeNiro, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and model Gisele Bundchen call Tribeca home, and Bono, Liam Neeson and Madonna reside on the Upper West Side. In both areas, spacious lofts or multilevel townhouses run into the tens of millions...

Deniro has always been a big fan of Tribeca
Recently, A-listers such as Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger have answered the bohemian call of Brooklyn, plopping down $3.5 million for a four-story brick house with a three-car garage in Brooklyn Heights... At the Southern tip of the country, in Miami Beach, big shots flock to appropriately named Star Island, where Lenny Kravitz, P.Diddy, Hulk Hogan and Gloria Estefan all have multimillion-dollar mansions...

From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive and up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, Southern California has the highest celebrity concentration of anywhere on our list... Living in gated Beverly Park, where one home is currently listed for $38 million, would put them closer to Santa Monica's First Presbyterian School, where the Spielberg kids went, while living in Bel Air would place them closer to the Brentwood School, which Arnold Schwarzenegger's children attended.

Sean Penn and Robin Wright prefer Ross, in Northern California

Indeed, many celebs enroll their kids in private schools, though Sean Penn and Robin Wright-Penn--as well as Barry Levinson, who lives in Ross, Calif., outside San Francisco--send their children to one of California's best public schools, Ross School... Privacy in all regards is a big part of the celebrity real estate game. When it comes time to buy or sell a home, most celebs do so through limited liability corporations (LLC), which keeps their names off property records and sales listings, even if publicizing the sale might boost the selling price... 'Using their names would help the sale, but they're private people...'


Photojournalism: Value Keeps On Rising

Above is Robert Doisneau's most well-known photo

Art Market Insight [Feb 2007]
Art investment
Photojournalism - Collective memory and photography [Feb 07]

The above graph is from

The photojournalism market is booming.
Turnover at auction has risen by more than 250% in 10 years, and the trend is strong in the USA, France and the UK. For many years photojournalism was considered a secondary form of art, much like scientific or ethnographic photography. Since the 1950s however it has become well established, partly thanks to World Press Photo, with its annual contest celebrating the year’s best journalistic photographs, and a number of exhibitions underlining the news photo’s dual role as documentary testimony and aesthetic artefact.

The great names of photojournalism, Cecil BEATON, Henri CARTIER-BRESSON, Robert CAPA, Raymond DEPARDON, Robert DOISNEAU, Walker EVANS, Dorothea LANGE and Marc RIBOUD, all documented their times through sensitive images of undeniable cultural significance. Many of these are now finding their way into cultural institutions, prized for a combination of the iconic value of the shots and the photographers’ commitment, as well as aesthetic considerations (definition of the image, framing, etc.).

In the 1930s, Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange were hired by the US Farm Security Administration and produced a magisterial record of rural poverty during the New Deal. Their index has outstripped that of the French photographers in an astonishing rally: Walker Evans’s index has more than doubled since 2005 and Lange’s has tripled since 2004.

Dorothea Lange's White Angel Breadline

The highest priced photojournalism picture ever is White Angel Bread Line by Lange (see above image), which captures the depth of America’s crisis between the wars. On October 11, 2005, Sotheby’s NY knocked down the print for USD 720,000 (nearly EUR 600,000).

Another print of the same subject was offered at New York’s Phillips, de Pury & Company sale on October 19, but this one, from around 1955, failed to command the same interest and sold for its high estimate of USD 45,000 (EUR 35,897). Prior to that, the highest price paid at auction for a photograph was a relatively modest USD 120,000 for Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (October 22, 2002, Christie’s NY).

Despite these record sales, though, around half the Lange and Evans pictures that come up are later prints and can be bought for less than EUR 5,000.

The above photo by Robert Capa is one of his most famous (Picasso and Francoise Gilot)

Naturalised American Robert Capa, joint-founder of the Magnum agency along with Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour and George Rodger, carried his camera through the Spanish civil war in 1936. There, he captured live the Death of a Republican Soldier, an image that was picked up and reprinted worldwide and came to symbolise this war in the collective memory. Despite the picture’s fame, subsequent prints are often bought in. Photojournalism collectors are highly selective and would rather pay EUR 5,000 or EUR 10,000 for a contemporary print than bid up a print from a later historical period than its subject.

Two years after that, Capa reported on the second Sino-Japanese war for Life, before going on to record the allied landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944. Mingling with the soldiers, he took 119 pictures of which 108 were accidentally destroyed by an unfortunate Life lab worker. Auction houses regularly put up D-Day images printed between 1960 and 1990.

These tend to find buyers for an average EUR 3,000 to EUR 7,000. Oddly, Capa’s records at auction were not set by images stemming from his committed journalism but by two self-portraits taken around 1938 that went for three times their estimate at EUR 15,000 to EUR 17,000 in April 2003 (at Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg, April 25, 2003, New York).

The above photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson now sells for roughly $15,000.00

Cartier-Bresson prices have risen sharply since his death in 2004. Enthusiasts rushed to buy his pictures and the rate of bought-in prints fell from 50% in 2002 to 10% in 2004.

While the majority of transactions range between EUR 1,000 and EUR 5,000, his work generated record sales at auctions in 2005. Christie’s sold On the banks of the Marne for USD 110,000 on October 10, 2005 (EUR 90,827). The photo depicts a picturesque picnic scene along the Marne River and shows the changing French society of the 1930s. It dates from 1938, just two years after the French won the right to annual holidays. The print itself is a later version (1955), and collectors – who are demanding about print dates – tend to prefer vintage prints dating from between 1930 and 1950. Prices fall steeply for 1970s and 1980s reprints to between EUR 4,000 and EUR 7,000.

The Luxembourg-born American emigrant Edward Steichen was director of aerial photography for the allied forces during World War I. However, he spent most of his career working on portraits of well-known figures (Garbo, Churchill, etc.) and genre scenes. He is popular among Americans, and most of his works were selling for between EUR 1,000 and EUR 10,000 even before his index began a spectacular rally in 2005 (+240%). On February 14, 2006, his photo of Rodin’s Balzac reached USD 550,000 (EUR 462,330) setting a new record at Sotheby’s New York. Steichen's photo engravings are less popular. Collectors can buy a “piece of history” for less than EUR 1,000.

Today, the boundaries between photo-reportage and art photography are becoming blurred, as visual artists such as Sophie Ristelhueber, Paul Seawright and Jean-Luc Moulène move onto what was previously considered journalistic territory.

Some Kewl New Finds

laurasweet's recommendations at ThisNext

(Pictured clockwise from top left):
The stand up tissue box, a really unique pair of wedding rings inscribed in latin- hers fits within his,new Ross McBride timepieces for Normal, The amazing collaboration between LG washing machines and the UK's Designers Guild, Anomorphic reflective cup and backwards graphic saucers, and Grooveware: utensil indented ceramic plates.

Just click on the item above to learn more.

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