Artist’s Clever Pop Culture Mash-Ups

We love the idea of our seeing our favorite pop culture icons in real life; it’s why theme parks and cosplay are so popular. French photographer Francois Dourlen loves it as well, and this idea – of incorporating fictional and often fantasy characters into everyday, boring life – is the inspiration for a lot of his art lately. He doesn’t need Photoshop or After Effects to assemble his photographs, however, he simply uses his iphone!

Francois uses the iphone to search for the correct photo he has in mind, then simply holds it up and snaps a photo with his other hand. “It is really simple. I just see something that reminds me of a movie, an animated movie, a character… I search the image on Google and take the pictures.” They may be simple, but these images pack a punch because they’re so spot on!

The project started as a bit of a joke, but once Francois started posting the photos he was taking to Instagram, he realized he really had something here.

The iphone is the perfect way to view what Francois has going on in his head, because it’s often one of the vehicles through which we access pop culture. And that’s often where his ideas come from. “I am inspired by pop culture — the things that everyone, me included, have seen and seen again,” he explains. “Sometimes I can be inspired by something else; you just have to ask me.”

We’re super impressed by these playful and clever images, especially how they incorporate everyday items that aren’t usually used for art. Perhaps the most impressive thing, however, is how steady both of Francois’ hands are!

Grandpa Gets Stood Up, Goes Viral!

The dating scene certainly isn’t what it was before the internet, and one 73 year old grandfather is learning that the hard way. Jim Moroney isn’t exactly what you’d call tech-savvy, but at the insistence of a neighbor he decided to create a profile on Match.com and see what all the fuss was about. As a widower, Jim was ready to get back out there, and when he got his first connection, he was very excited to make a date.

Jim put on his best sweater (adorable), bought the lovely lady roses and chocolates (double adorable), and got in the car to drive almost an hour to meet her (TRIPLE ADORABLE). He waited at their agreed-upon meeting place for a long time, but the woman he had connected with never showed up. Instead of getting angry and going home, Jim took it in stride and headed to his 16 year old granddaughter’s house to give her the flowers and chocolates instead! Gabby was touched that her grandpa had been so brave as to start dating, not to mention the lengths that he had gone through for his date, only to be stood up. She tweeted a photo of Jim and the flowers, with the story and a frowny face.

Little did Gabby and Jim realize that the tweet would take off, getting 8,000 shares and 29,000 likes! The responses varied from people offering Jim support to offering to go out with him themselves, but they were overwhelmingly positive. Jim, for his part, looks at the incident with his characteristic optimism. “You know what, this is the way the dating scene is,” he said. “I hope I find someone truthful, loving and that has compassion. I’m looking for that special woman.”

SAVING TIME: The Key To Happiness

There are some tasks that you are simply going to hate, no matter what! Instead of suffering, science says that you should pay someone to do them for you.

We know, it sounds obvious. But studies say that the key to happiness lies in saving time, not money. If there is a task that, just thinking about it fills you with dread, then it is time to figure out if you can afford to buy your way out of it!

The studies of more than 6000 people found that people who paid others to do those hated tasks reported greater satisfaction in life. They compared this to individuals who spent the same amount on material goods, and still had to do their dreaded chores.

Participants were given $40 to spend on a service or a personal treat such as clothes or shoes. Those who outsourced their hated tasks reported feeling more bang for their bucks than those sporting new heels.

Of course, paying for those services is not something everyone can afford, but if you can put money toward chores that reduce your stress, it can seriously pay off in the end. Study participants who did had a better mood at the end of each day than their counterparts.

So, if you can do without that expensive coffee once a week and instead pay for someone to clean your bathrooms, go for it! You will be glad you did!

Genius Ideas for a Panty Upgrade!

We often spend a lot of time decorating and redecorating the places that guests see the most, like entry ways, living rooms, and bathrooms. These are good places to start, but we can often neglect other rooms in the house in favor of constantly sprucing these areas up,which is a total mistake on our part. Guests don’t just stay where you want them to, and having a well organized and (dare we say it) chic pantry can impress more than coordinated throw pillows on the couch. Redoing your panty can be tricky and expensive however, and those are two words we don’t like when it comes to makeovers. In order to avoid some of the more hairy or costly mistakes, we have a few suggestions that will make the pantry look like a million bucks (for less than $100!).

For starters, there’s no need to go tearing out cabinets and installing custom shelving. Try your darndest to work with what you have, organizing and tidying where you go. If shelves are out in the open, try storing your dry products in airtight mason jars or canisters. Also, you don’t need to mess with grout and tile to get a textured look for a pantry backsplash; you can create the same look with removable wall paper at a fraction of the cost!

 

While we’re on the subject of faux finishes, spray paint is definitely your friend. You can make some very cheap looking fixtures look super expensive and matching with a can of chrome or even gold spray paint from the hardware store! And if there’s money leftover in the budget, you should absolutely create an accent wall. Bright paint, a funky kitchen-themed piece of artwork, or even a whole chalkboard wall will really bring character into this often used (and often) overlooked room.