Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I'm featured on Mental Floss: 17 Skeuomorphs That Show Retro Is Always In

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In 1889, H. Colley March noticed that some ancient artifacts had a retro look. They imitated—just for show—elements from older objects. Bronze axes had “thong-work” like flint axes. Pottery bowls had patterns resembling basket weaving. March coined the term skeuomorph(SKYOO-uh-morf), from Greek skéuos (container or tool) and morphḗ (shape), for these design throwbacks. But skeuomorphs aren’t confined to museums. Look around and you’ll find them everywhere.

1. ELECTRIC CANDLES

Whether they’re gleaming in chandeliers or flickering on a restaurant table, electric lights masquerading as candles are skeuomorphs.

2. MUSIC SYNTHESIZERS

Electronic synthesizers can emulate anything from a piccolo to a double bass, or produce electronic peeps, booms, and jangles. They may be no-nonsense boards with sliders and knobs, but they often skeuomorphically take on the look of traditional instruments like guitars or piano keyboards.

3. AUTOMOBILE WHEEL SPOKES

Wagon wheels and bike wheels need spokes. Car wheels don’t, but for some reason they look cool with them.

4. WOODIE CARS

The “woodie” cars of the 1930s and ‘40s skeuomorphically featured wooden passenger compartments echoing the look of horse-drawn carriages. In fact, the components were sometimes crafted by coach-building firms. Later model woodies with fake wood panels were skeuomorphs of skeuomorphs.

5. WOODEN CASH REGISTER

In another twist on wooden skeuomorphs, Lindsay Zuelich handcrafted an “antique” cash register for her booth at the giant crafts market, Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. The drawers work, but calculations are done on an iPad and a Square Card Reader accepts payments.

6. IMITATION LEATHER

Pleather, Ultrasuede or the “hyde” of the wild Nauga—if it’s fake leather, it’s a real skeuomorph.

7. DELETING FILES

When computer manufacturers decided to move their machines from the clutches of techies into the jittery hands of the general public, they thought skeuomorphic graphical user interfaces would make them comfortingly familiar. That crumpling paper sound is very satisfying.

8. SAVING FILES

It's unlikely you're still using floppy disks to save your documents.

9. SHOPPING CART ICON

What could graphically represent the process of gathering items to purchase online better than the familiar supermarket cart?

10. CLICKS ON CAMERA PHONES

Sounds can be skeuomorphic too. Camera phones don’t have mechanical shutters, but the electronically produced click reassures users that they’ve “snapped” a picture.

11. OLD PHONE RING TONE

Amid the cacophony of chirps, croaks, and pop tunes emanating from cell phones, the sharp brrring! tone out of a 1930s movie is a standout.

12. EVEN THE PHONE ICON ITSELF

13-16. MORE FRIENDLY COMPUTERS

Apple
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs loved the red-curtained “photo booths”...
...the contact lists that looked like leather-bound address books, and the simulated yellow legal pads for note taking.
But after his death, the anti-skeuomorphists at Apple won out. With the introduction of iOS7 last year, the wood-grain bookshelf was tossed into the virtual landfill.

17. COMPUTER TOOLS YOU MANIPULATE LIKE PHYSICAL ONES


Don’t play “Taps” for the skeuomorph yet. The Human Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon just announced an iPad app that lets users employ virtual tools with familiar hand movements from the real world. They can enlarge text by gripping and moving a virtual magnifying glass, highlight as if holding a digital felt-tip marker and erase with a real-looking pink eraser.
And besides, without the skeuomorphic envelope, how would you represent an email app?
All images courtesy of Thinkstock unless otherwise noted.
June 3, 2014 - 12:35pm
Check out more cool stuff like this at Mentalfloss.com

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Diane's Vintage Zest!: Wood Brain feature, GIVEAWAY & promo!

For this week's Shop Small Saturday Showcase feature, I am featuring Wood Brain, a fun shop that I first saw at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles.  I love how creative Lindsay is with all of her work and how unique each wood piece is!  In fact, if you want to see some of them up close and personal, join me in coming to the 3rd Annual Etsy Craft Party at CRAFTED on June 6th.  The event will be so much fun, and you can pop in on lots of the regular shops, including Wood Brain!

Until then, take a look at the interview below packed with lots of fun info and both a giveaway and a promo for all of my readers below!  Yes, you can win a 6 oz. wood flask by entering the contest at the bottom of the post.  And for everyone, Lindsay is offering 20% off all Etsy purchases.  That means that you can get a flask just in time Father's Day and a few other fun items for yourself!  Yay!


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Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!



Tell me a little bit about yourself!

I’m an only child who was raised by a single father. My dad has a great deal of knowledge when it comes to building and creating with wood. As a small child I started out as his little helper on projects. I grew into an apprentice learning my father’s tricks of the trade.  I then went to school for interior design and Architecture which lead me to building intricate scale models. Even now I continue to add knowledge and experience to my woodworking craft.


Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Where did the name of your store come from?

I look at all of my potential creations through wood eye goggles and power my creativity with a wood brain, hence the name Wood Brain.


Why did you start making goods for Wood Brain?

I love working with wood and creating eco friendly accessories and I wanted to make a career out of it. I started out with my online Etsy shop and as I received positive feedback about my products I gained more momentum. Then branched off from there into my current storefront at CRAFTED in San Pedro. I really enjoy my time at CRAFTED, it allows for more personal interaction and feed back with my customers that I feel is sometimes hard to get online.


Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!


What is your favorite item?
I’m constantly trying to recreate the wheel using wood. I strive to continue to create new wooden accessories to grow my line of wooden goods. My favorite item constantly seems to change to what ever is the new creation of the season. I think the thing I like most is the process of making something out of wood. I like to find the right shaped branch that feels like it should be a necklace with a matching set of earrings. I like cutting the wood and seeing what the rings inside look like. I really get in the zone working on my products and lose track of time. Time flies when you’re having fun and I’m having fun.


Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!


What is your most popular item?

My wooden flasks are my top seller right now. They’re great for men or women and great for any occasion.  Birthdays, retirements, weddings, bachelor gifts, father’s day, you name it. I sell them in a variety of solid or striped woods in 2 oz, 4 oz, 6 oz and 8 oz.


Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!



Where do you get the inspiration for your work?

I’m constantly looking at everyday items and objects and envision how they would look and function if they were made from wood. Then I research to see if its been created or invented yet. Usually in my research process is where I really start to get ideas. Seeing other people who have created amazing and functional products out of wood gives me a huge boost of inspiration.


What makes your store unique?

I use reclaimed and recycled wood for creating my products and displays.  I customized my shop at crafted and even built my own cash register.  I don’t let any materials go to waste.  No trees are ever harmed in the making of my products.  A proceed of my sales are donated to planting trees around the world with the Trees for Futures Foundation.


Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!


What is the toughest part about making your goods/your artistic process?

The finishing process is the toughest part of making my wooden products.  The hand sanding and polishing is usually the most time and labor intensive part of creating an item.  The polishing process can sometimes take up to five days and it’s always worth it.


Do you take custom orders?

I often receive requests for custom orders.  The most common request I get lately is to personalize a flask with some laser engraving. I offer laser engraving for an additional $15-$25 depending on the size and complexity of the engraving.  The engraving can take up to a week to complete. I just did one for Angles Gate Roasting Company that was really cool. It has the Angles Gate lighthouse that’s in San Pedro on it and it really looked great on the eucalyptus wood. I also receive custom orders for weddings and five-year anniversary’s quite often. Five-year wedding anniversaries are customary to give a wooden gift, so naturally a wooden flask or wooden necklace works out perfectly.


Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?

Website:  www.Zuelich.com
Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/LinzZuelich
Blog:  http://zuelich.blogspot.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WoodBrain
Twitter:  @Wood_Brain
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lindsayzuelich/wood-brain-by-lindsay-zuelich/
Instagram:  @Wood_Brain
Flickr:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/linzzuelich/
Other:  http://craftedportla.com/wood-brain-by-lindsay-zuelich/


Wood Brain feature and GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest!



Where can I see your work in person and say hello?

You can come and visit my store at CRAFTED in San Pedro Fri-Sun from 11am-6pm year round. CRAFTED is free to the public. For more info check out their web site at: http://craftedportla.com/wood-brain-by-lindsay-zuelich/


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Awesome stuff, right?  Also, don't you just adore her store front with the wooden cash register.  Remember, if you want to check it out in person (along with all of the wood creations, of course), come on down to CRAFTED and maybe even 3rd Annual Etsy Craft Party on June 6th!

Now, it's that fun time for all of the goodies that Lindsay is giving to my readers.  First of all, to take advantage of the generous discount on Etsy orders, use the code VINTAGEZEST to receive 20% off!

Next, the giveaway prize is a 6 oz. wood flask, which is totally amazing!  And if the winner wants to personalize it, laser engraving can be added for just $20.  The hard part will be to decide what to engrave on it!