Folk Art Plushies by cartbeforethehorse

cartbeforethehorse is a group of two impressive artists that make “folk art”.

“We are a mom-and-dad business, a two-person company of artists. We make the kind of art we like, then we open our doors to you. All of our creations are made one at a time. We make them with our own hands, since these are the only hands we have. We call ourselves Cart Before The Horse because we’re always getting ahead of ourselves.” say the artists.

Their art is quite impressive, their online shop in etsy tells about how they make these creations, for example, the description for Alice and the Cheshire Cat is:

“Alice and Cheshire Cat is an original, hand-crafted work of art by Dylan and Jo–signed, dated, and numbered by the artists. Like each of our creations, it is entirely hand painted.

Alice is made of quilter’s muslin that has been
painted and sanded, then painted and sanded
again, giving the fabric a rich patina that
feels like old leather. Her arms and legs are jointed,
allowing her to be posed. She has our signature wooden bottom, giving her a nice flat surface to sit on.
She can also be posed in a standing position
by placing her on her wooden stand.
Her Cheshire Cat pull-toy is made of hand painted wood.

Not intended for children.”

The prices of their completed plushies range from $90 to $220. Their shop is here.


Grid sample exercise for VA 302

I’m really not sure where this will go, but the first homework from VA 302, my new Project Studio course, is making 8 grid layouts as a proposal for the menu left over from the VA 301 course.

So, while doing these I realized I use a very strict grid, which is not something I really like, but I am not sure how being random will be suitable for the Çubuk Chinese restaurant menu, so I tried to use the grid instead of breaking away.

I was mainly influenced by Chinese screens and screen doors, so some of these might seem too simple, but that was deliberate. My favorite is the 3rd from the top on the left side, because that was my – in my opinion – most successful attempt in making something that could be used in a menu, applies to the grid, has clear hierarchy and moreover has a look like a Chinese screen.

Moving on.

Left side

First from the top:

The most simple layout I made. The middle square has the most hierarchy, so the most important food – like main dishes – would have to be written there. The left and right panel have more or less the same importance. The upper and lower rectangles are meant for photographs of delicious-looking dishes of Chinese food.

Second from top:

I initially thought this like a featured specials page because it looks quite simple and will only require photo and text of the specials that are recommended by the chef with their slightly lowered price. The page is promptly divided in three to feature appetizers, main dishes and desserts seperately.

Third from top:

Thought as the main page of the menu – I mentioned this above. Normally the eye traces a menu from the middle, then top right, and later left, so I think this should contain most of the information on the menu. Main courses smack in the middle, upper right noodles and rice, below that menus and desserts, left side appetizers, soup and so on.


I thought this page as a menu and beverages page, the checkered-like part could contain one photo that is only visible from where the boxes are, or individual photos of menus, right side contains different menus. The left side would be a long list of beverages.

Right side

First from the top:

Photo – text page. Each box which contain a pair of horizontal or a pair of verticals have one box of text and one box of photography. I think illustrations will do better, because considering this is a menu, the group of text will signify a group of food.

Second from top:

This is a more flexible layout since it has both square and rectangle parts. The four squares on the upper right side should contain photography so that the eye trail would linger on them before moving to the upper middle part.

Third from top:

Simplistic layout for take-out menu. Looks more friendly because of the space between the elements. Critical information such as address and telephone numbers should be on the bottom right where the emphasis is maximized.


Thought exactly like the second from top on the right side, but with chunkier boxes of text.

Magnum Gold ?!

I ate a new ice cream yesterday called Magnum Gold ?!

Seriously, with the ?! part.

The ice cream is a product of Wall’s, or more common as Algida in Turkey, by the company Unilever.

I recommend you to try it. The usually chocolate cover of the ice-cream is a gold color. So even if the taste of the ice-cream is average, you will enjoy looking at the color of the ice-cream and will want to buy it again.

Jerrod Maruyama

When I saw the cutest Woody and Buzz illustration in fresh characters, I just had to find out about more illustrations by the same person. Jerrod Maruyama has a range of very cute illustrations and Disney fanart as well.

Sandy Skoglund

I was looking for interesting stuff about fish bowls for a project, when I stumbled upon Sandy Skoglund‘s installations. “Wow” was the first and only thing I could think of.

“Skoglund creates surrealist images by building elaborate sets or tableaux, furnishing them with carefully selected colored furniture and other objects, a process of which takes her months to complete. Finally, she photographs the set, complete with actors. The works are characterized by an overwhelming amount of one object and either bright, contrasting colors or a monochromatic color scheme.”


I haven’t been online for awhile. I am in London!!! It’s so exciting because I can get to see my dear friend Iris (she says meow) whom I met during a Buddhist university chinese summer camp which included a lot of sports, language classes, “voluntary” work, and the lousy dorm where we were roommates with cockroaches. And of course, to see London –  a lot of paintings, sculptures, buildings, clock towers, bridges etc etc to die for! Sooo. I’ve been to the British Museum, Madame Tussauds, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts (where they have a very interesting exhibition at the moment – the Real Van Gogh: the Artist and his letters), the Houses of Parliament (and Big Ben), Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the Chinatown at Leicester Square (like 3 times – Asian food!), London Zoo, the Aquarium, Harrods.. I love London so far and I find the metro/subway – which they call the tube (officially Underground) very amusing.

I will update with more photos I took when I go back home, which will be like after the 9th of February.