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Newest Architectural Jewel To Join Lower Mill Estates Is A $382,000. Doghouse

Yep, it's true. The modern dog palace has been commissioned by an unidentified female surgeon, for her pampered pooches, two Great Danes, at the exclusive 550-acre Lower Mill Estate on the Cotswolds Water Park, near Cirencester.

Lower Mill Estates (above) is a collection of landmark homes designed by various architects and includes the unusual and amazing Orchid House, Watermark House, Sundance Villa and more.

Now, a $382,469.oo USD dog house will join these.

architect Andy Ramus
Andy Ramus Design Studio

It has been designed by leading British architect Andy Ramus and will be built from materials such as zinc, glass and limestone. When completed, it will be a quarter of the size of the main three-bed house.

Inside, the dogs will sleep on sheepskin-lined, temperature-controlled beds, soothe their aches in a specially built spa, howl along to a state-of-the-art sound system and watch dog-friendly programs on a 52-inch plasma TV.

Automatic dispensers will ensure that chilled, filtered water and deluxe dry food are always available.

The two dogs will each have a bedroom with large windows which overlook their own private playground.

'Dog-vision' webcams allow their owner to monitor their activity 24 hours a day, while climate control ensures they are kept warm.

There will be a sophisticated retina scanner installed at the front door to stop any other dogs getting in - something the Great Danes may view as a bit of a party pooper.

Click on the above image to enlarge

Plans for the kennel, and for an adjoining house for the dogs' mistress, have been approved and building work is to begin at the Lower Mill Estate in the spring.


The work is expected to begin on the main three-bedroom house near Cirencester in spring. The dogs will have some unusual neighbours on the 500-acre estate in the shape of 12 beaver kits, which appeared after three pairs were successfully reintroduced more than 13 years ago.

Lower Mill's publicist Dee McCourt said today: "It's amazing. This lady obviously cares an awful lot about her dogs. We offer a bespoke service but it is the first animal request we've had.

"We've got outline planning permission and the dogs' quarters have been designed with all their needs in mind."

Estate owner Jeremy Paxton told the Gloucestershire Echo: "It's a very interesting house with fabulous architecture and unusual requirements. "Most houses are built with human specifics in mind then animals fit in around that, but this is the other way round."

The Great Dane Adoption Society said the breed was demanding and should not be left alone for more than four hours at a time.

Lower Mill is a sustainable housing complex with homes designed by 30 of the world's leading architects.

Here are some of the stand-outs:
The Orchid House (This year a mystery bidder paid £7.2 million for the Orchid House - a world record for a country home.):

The Watermark House

The Boat House

See more Lower Mill Estates Landmark Homes here. 
special thanks to The UK's Mirror and Daily Mail for info and images

If they need a dog crate for their 'unruly dog friend visitors', may I suggest the modern and pricey (at $11,000.00 USD) Gilded 22.5k Gold eiCrate Designed by Peter Pracilio?

Bear Your Love Inside Your Chest: Tattoo Your Heart

I wrote a long post about the fun, viral phony product launch of the Pomegranate Phone a ways back and am still amazed at the number of people out there who think it's a real product.

Chances are, same thing will occur with this entertaining phony 'medical tattooing of the human heart service' to launch the music video of "Some People" by the pop band Vikunja.

They promise to tattoo the actual human heart, complete with staff, price list and medical procedure video... as a rouse to launch a pop band and their latest music video. Below is the clever packaging in which the DVD was sent out:

Packaging is great, site design is great and the whole concept is unique, if not a little nauseating.

By creating a company that performs the medical procedure of actually 'tattooing' the human heart, they have managed to pique the interest of the ink loving audience while simultaneously launching a music video for a fairly obscure band, Vikunja.

Above: Vikunju
visit their myspace page here

Here's their hilarious welcome letter:

True love tattoos offers you a brand new way to really express your love for that special someone.

Don’t ink your skin like everyone else, ink your heart. or as we refer to it, your soul-canvas. so, do you really love your partner as much as you say?

Here's your chance to prove it.

dr. valentin vikunjevski

and their phony medical 'staff':

Even their phony FAQs are fun:

Q: does the ink fade with time?
A: there are case studies indicating that falling out of love may have a slight fading effect on the ink, apart from that, this baby is for life.

Q: can i still be a heart donor?
A: yes you can. however, be aware that research suggest that the new owner of your heart tend to get an unexplainable crush on the person whose name is tattooed on the heart.

Q: how will i prove to my loved one that i hounered him or her with a true love tattoo?
A: you will recieve one (1) polaroid picture of your tattoo on place, and also a video recording of the whole procedure. by the way, this video comes with a great soundtrack from new amazing rock band vikunja.

Do not get a tlt if you have a weak heart, are ink intollerant or if you’re not sure you’re really in love. avoid getting a tlt if you have a newly broken heart. let it heal for at least 3 months. laser erase surgery is available but not recommended. we also supply a special divorce discount if you can prove your partner cheated on you. in some cases we recomend you cover up your old tattoo with a new one, we are especially skilled in making football team crests.

Here's a behind the scenes shot of the music video shoot:

Vikunja's music site.

And finally, here's the music video the site was created to launch:

The viral site.

Advertising Agency: Le Bureau
Art Directors / Copywriters: Jonas Wittenmark & Tobias Carlson

The 2009 Artist Beach Towels Are Here!

It's that time of year again. And no, I don't mean Christmas, I mean the release of the latest collection of artist beach towels from the Art Production Fund and Works On Whatever.

Once again, the four limited edition beach towels will be carried by Target (online only) and also available online in two other places. Links to purchase are at the end of this post.

This year, 2009, the collection features contemporary artwork by Karen Kilimnik, Raymond Pettibon, Julian Schnabel and Ed Ruscha reproduced on large soft 100% cotton, 50" x 60" beach towels.

Karen Kilimnik:

Raymond Pettibon:

Ed Ruscha:

Julian Schnabel:

The new beach towels will be on view at the Raleigh Hotel and at the Standard Spa during Art Basel Miami Beach, Dec. 4-7, 2008.

About WOW (Works on Towels): Artist Towel Series 2009 is part of Art Production Fund's WOW (Works on Whatever) project. a unique collection of everyday items designed by artists. APF invites artists to experiment with the latest commercial materials and techniques to bring art off the walls and into homes as everyday objects. WOW introduces contemporary art to a larger community with revenues from sales supporting our non-profit mission. WOW works conceptually with APF's program of expanding art audiences and helps fund additional major civic artworks.

To see the artist towels series from 2008 and 2007, click here.

To purchase them (and they go quickly) you can buy each of the $50.00 USD towels at:
• the Standard Hotels online store here. (plus shipping)
• Or at Target online here. (free shipping now)
• Or directly from WOW -(10$ shipping) where you can find some of the others from 2007 and 2008.

100% of the profits go to support public art and they are so much fun, they make a fabulous and worthwhile gift.

Some Of This Weekend's Hippest Online Coupon Deals: W Hotel, Apple, DWR & Calvin Klein

Here are a few awesome deals for your online shopping at some of the hippest stores this holiday weekend:

40 % off at The W Hotel online store, use coupon code L9TCD

20% off the Calvin Klein online store, use code EEP4K88

15% off Design Within Reach, 4 days only, use code DWRFF8

Apple's 1 day shopping event

The 15 Best 2009 Calendars: From Pentagram To Pirelli

Every year, several wonderful design blogs do round-ups of the best and most beautiful yearly calendars. Many of them are the lovely artful letter pressed and silk screened calendars made by talented artists available on etsy. In addition to those, individual artists and photographers sell their own calendars on 'make your own' sites like Zazzle, Cafe Press and Australia's Red Bubble, many worth checking out.

The 15 calendars I've chosen to share with you today are all either beautifully shot, designed, illustrated and/or produced. Most are available for sale, but some were produced by companies only for their clients and large account holders, like the well-known and highly coveted Lavazza and Pirelli calendars.

In any case, they are all worth looking at. Please note due to some artful nudity, this post may be considered NSFW (Not Safe For Work) depending upon your place of business.

Annie Leibovitz's Lavazza 2009 Calendar:

Another phenomenal calendar by Italy's Lavazza who, for the past 17 years, has put out one of the most respected and sought-after calendars.
Not for sale.
See my complete blog post on this amazing calendar here.

Peter Beard's 2009 Pirelli calendar:

The 2009 edition of the Pirelli Calendar, cult object for more than forty years among connoisseurs of photography, beauty and cultural evolution, was shot by the legendary Peter Beard. Known for his wonderful African wildlife shots and his portraits of beautiful barely-clad women- he combines both of these genres for Pirelli.

The calendar features many outtakes and much of Peter's collage style.

The setting for the 36th "Cal" is the landscape of Botswana, where famed photographer Peter Beard spent ten days immortalizing seven internationally renowned models. Beard, who lived in Kenya for thirty years, is one of the world's greatest interpreters of the mystery and charm of Africa.

Above: Peter at work in Botswana

The final result is a calendar/diary that Peter Beard describes as "a living sculpture". The 56 plates of the new Cal are a rich collage of images, quotations, observations by the artist on the environment, climate change and global warming, overpopulation and the depletion of natural resources. "My real concern", says the photographer "is the destruction of nature on a global scale. We've totally lost track of what evolution is based on, and how important diversity is in nature. This concept is the very foundation of survival ".


Throughout the shooting and production of the Calendar, a number of measures were taken to minimize its environmental impact. In keeping with Peter Beard's message, the Pirelli Calendar and the gala presentation of the 2009 edition will be Zero Impact®.

Pirelli, in cooperation with a LifeGate initiative, will contribute to the creation and protection of a forested area in Costa Rica capable of absorbing the same quantity of CO2 emissions generated by the production and printing of the Calendar and by the presentation gala. Additionally, the Calendar will be printed on natural, lead-free paper.

Models include: Daria Werbowy, Emanuela De Paula, Isabeli Fontana, Lara Stone, Mariacarla Boscono, Rianne Ten Haken, Malgosia Bela
Not for sale.
See all 56 images here.
See Peter Beard's site here.

Germany's Top Model 2009 VW Scirocco calendar:

The new Volkswagen Scirocco calendar, a spin-off of the German automaker's link to Germany's Next Top Model TV show, is one hot property. And while Volkswagen dealers are giving it away in Europe, it's not coming to these parts.

"There are no plans to get the Scirocco or the calendar (in the U.S.)," Volkswagen of America spokesman Keith Price told Inside Line.

The calendar is one of the fruits of VW's relationship with the Germany's Next Top Model show, featuring Heidi Klum. The winner of the German version of the popular TV show, Jennifer Hof, got a new Scirocco sport hatchback as part of her prize package. In an interesting footnote, the runners-up got Volkswagen CrossPolos.
Beautifully composed, shot and art directed, I have no idea who to credit. If you know, please tell me. The VW Scirocco went on sale this past summer in Europe. Already Sold out. Try ebay.

Not For sale.

42° Hot Car Wash 2009 from Christ Car Wash Systems

Christ Car Wash Systems customers, business associates and friends can look forward to rising temperatures in the fourth version of the "Hot Car Wash 2009".

This year's Calendar motto is "Splish, Splash". The perfect motto for photo shootings in sunny California. The photographer, Christian Holzknecht, lives and works in Los Angeles - just the right background for the Rock`n Roll style artwork created especially for Christ's Hot Car Wash Calendar 2009.


His flashy style of portraying people has risen the eyebrows of media majors such as the German Playboy for whom he is currently working on a photo shooting. Not to mention the several lifestyle magazines: GQ, Maxim and Playboy, as well as, diverse TV formats such as Pro7, Sat1, RTL and VOX who are avid appreciators of his artwork.

What began as a gift for business clientele has become a cult object. Each new Hot Car Wash Calendar edition is handled as a much sought-after collector's item. This not for sale calendar is bestowed to customers, company associates and friends. An additional 2000 calendars are available in Auto Jet wash tunnels (Germanywide) and can be obtained in a promotional activity by purchasing a 10er wash card. There is a total limited edition of 7.000 calendars.
Photographer: Christian Holzknecht Production: Otto Christ AG, Memmingen
Not for sale.

Mike Stimpson's Classic Lego® 2009 Calendar

Artist and photographer Mike Stimpson is known in certain circles for his fun photographic reproduction of classic color and black and white photographs made with Lego characters. Now he has made them into a 2009 wall calendar available for sale at Red Bubble (where the individual prints are available for purchase as well).
Below, I have placed some of his images next to the originals (however, the calendar does not depict the original photos after which Mike's were designed):

Buy it here.

Kitsmumma Limited Edition Fine Art Photography Calendars by Sylvia Baxter:

These themed calendars by Kitsmumma feature a wonderful collection of fine art images. These high quality calendars are printed on an HP Indigo 5000. Each page is a satin-coated prints on 170gsm high quality art paper. The calendars have a hanger and white wire binding with satin-coated prints on high quality art paper. They’re A3 size (that’s 297x420mm, or 11.69x16.54").

See them all and buy them here.

Artist Camilla Engman's 2009 Wall Calendar


Artist Camilla Engman's illustrative works always make a beautiful wall calendar, and this years is no exception.

Size: The calender is 6,3 x 11,7 inches (16,3 x 29,7 cm). Paper: Inlay - 0,28 Ib (130g), Munken Lynx. Cover - 0,66 Ib (300g), Munken Lynx. Wirebinding for wallhanging. Offset printed. Cardboard back. Price: 28 $
Buy it here.
See Camilla Engman's site here

Taschen's Julian Shulman Calendars; wall, desk and book:
The Day To Day Desk calendar

above: Shulman, Modernism Rediscovered - 2009
Pad on plastic tray, 13 x 11 cm (5.1 x 4.3 in.), 640 pages, $ 13.99
ISBN: 978-3-8365-0617-5
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
buy it here

The Wall calendar:

Shulman, Modernism Rediscovered - 2009
Laminated cover, 30 x 30 cm (11.8 x 11.8 in.), 24 pages, $ 13.99
ISBN: 978-3-8365-0619-9
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
buy it here.

And hardback bound calendar:

above: Shulman, Modernism Rediscovered - 2009
Hardcover, 17.4 x 22 cm (6.9 x 8.7 in.), 128 pages, $ 29.99
ISBN: 978-3-8365-0616-8
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
buy it here.

Classic Design Favorites: Stendig, Pentagram & Calendreco:
The Classic designer favorites from Stendig and Pentagram always make my list and this year I've added the Caledndreco perpetual calendar.

The Stendig wall calendar was designed by Massimo Vignelli in 1966 and remains a classic. Measures 3' x 4' and the pages alternate between white on black and black and white pages:

buy it here.

The Typography Calendar by Pentagram

The Pentagram calendar features 12 different typefaces chosen by 12 of Pentagram's design partners. The calendar is available in two sizes, a supersize 33-by-23 inch version suitable for wall hanging and a smaller 18-by-12 inch version appropriate for desk use. Both versions are available at museum shops across the US and at Ken Knight. Supersize calendar is $38 and the smaller desk/wall calendar is $24. Please note that prices do not include shipping and currently Ken Knight will only ship to the lower 48 states. Buy it here.

The Calendreco Perpetual Calendar

Calendreco™ is printed on a premium brilliant white, double-thick, alkaline pH* cover paper, buffered for longevity**. It is made with responsibly sourced pulps, 100% renewable electrical energy, and clean water. Manufactured carbon neutral and chlorine free, this paper is one of the most chemical-free papers available today. The inks are non-toxic and vegetable-based. Finally, the calendar is 100% recyclable.

buy it here.

Lotta Jansdotter's fabric wall calendar:

2009 fabric calendar, 19 x 19", 100% linen. Lotta's fabric calendars are without a doubt lovely collectors items, and sell out in lightning speed every year. Available in three colors, buy them here. $28.00

Four Seasons Calendar by Elum Designs:

Size: 6"x9"
our Four Seasons calendar is letterpress printed on 270 gm 100% cotton rag archival paper. each quarter celebrates the beginning and end of the season; Winter 2009 - Fall 2009 (January - December). the set of four calendars is packaged in a clear sleeve and includes 4 stand up adhesive easel backs.

$20.00, Buy it here.

Contemporary realist painter Patricia Chidlaw's wall calendar.

Although not printed on heavy stock and I wish it were larger, it's nice to see a collection of her fabulous paintings as a calendar. The 12 paintings are part of her wonderful exhibit happening now at Terrence Rogers Gallery:

Order the Patricia Chidlaw calendar here

Another lovely calendar is this wall one from Paper Source:

Twelve exclusive Paper Source designs make this monthly calendar a distinctive and elegant addition to any wall. On the back of each beautiful page are templates to cut and fold creating wonderful pillow boxes, hang tags, gift tags, bookmarks, and file folders. 100% recycled with 30% post-consumer waste and completely reuseable, this calendar is about as earth friendly as you can get.

Size: 13 1/4" x 19 1/4" , $26.00, buy it here.

Be sure to check all the lovely letter press calendars by various artists at Etsy.
At the beginning of this post I mentioned the numerous Calendar round-ups done by other bloggers which tend to feature indie art calendars. Rather than duplicate their efforts and posts, here are links to some of the best 2009 calendar round-ups online.

BONUS Calendar: I almost forgot the Bubble Calendar you can pop! Second year available, this one is addictive:

horizontal or vertical formats are available:

Bubble 2009 Calendar. Just like everyone loves to pop the bubbles in bubble wrap, every day gets marked off this wall calendar with a "pop". Black Helvetica print on thick acetate. Weekends are in bold for easy identification and major holidays are also marked. Handmade in the USA.
Dimension: 48 in. W x 18 in. H

Buy it here.

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