Spring Cleaning in the Chickpad: New Products to Help Keep Your Home Looking Great!

Tools Display View
All Photos By Gail

If you live in a NYC apartment, then you understand that the phrase Spring Cleaning doesn’t so much refer to a yearly ritual as it does to an ongoing process. Some type of deep-cleaning in one room or another is really necessary every couple of weeks in order to combat the dirt and grime that sneaks into the home from the street. Because it really is a jungle out there. Ugh. Don’t even get me started on the Sisyphean task of keeping the dust off of every interior surface even if you have the best best air purifier for dust it´s still a pain in the butt.

The upside of tackling the dirty jobs — which exist everywhere, not just in the kitchen and the bathroom — is that the dirtier things get, the more satisfaction there is to be gained in seeing them return to their natural, albeit too brief, state of cleanliness. And nothing makes cleaning easier (and dare I say, even a little bit fun) than having the right tool for the right job. Recently, I attended a Press Preview for the IHA-sponsored International Home + Housewares Show, and came home with bag of gadgets, cleaning tools and home products that might just give you the inspiration you need to get started on your own Spring Cleaning — before summer hits!

Tools Display View
Check Out All of These Goodies I am Going Tell You About.

Sink and Tub Shroom Packages

Rug in Packaging

Bliss Gloves and Package

When it’s time to clean up from meal prep, I never put my hands in water without wearing a good pair of dishwashing gloves; but honestly, nearly all household chores should start with protective gloves to keep your hands safe from chemicals, minor cuts, or burns from hot water. Mr. Clean (a trusted brand for decades) has introduced Bliss latex-free gloves, which are ideal for all types of household cleaning, and safe for individuals who are allergic to natural rubber latex. Bliss gloves maintain the feel of latex, so they fit great, and they are lined with a pillow-soft plush material that helps to keep your hands soft and dry. Take a look:

Glove Lining Detail
Pillowy Softness

Bliss gloves also have an embossed palm grip, to help you hold on to soapy-wet, slippery dishes — because who hasn’t chipped a plate or broken a wine glass because it slipped from your grasp and dropped back into the sink?

Cleaning Tools in Basket

Another new tool for dishwashing time is the Dawn Scrubtastic Duck!

Scrubtastic Packaging

This uniquely-shaped scrubber has what is called a Thermal Scrub Technology for customizable cleaning. When used in cool water, the scrubber becomes firm. In warm water, it becomes softer. Amazing!

Hints for Scrub Duck Use

Its shape is also extra useful for cleaning utensils and drinking glasses. The wing cut-outs are perfect for cleaning dried food off a spoon, and the area behind the Duck’s neck folds over the rim of glasses and bowls to clean with ease.

Dawn Saves Wildlife

Not mention, but you can see I am about to, the Duck shape pays homage to Dawn’s longstanding efforts to help save wildlife!

Scrub Brush Package Detail

Hands down, my least favorite household task in clean the shower. Here is an are where have an excellent scrub brush can really cut down on clean time. Sometimes it seems you need at least two different types of brushes to get at both the flat surfaces and into corners, so this new Clorox multi-purpose Flex Scrub Brush provides an excellent cleaning solution!

Scrub Brush Handle Removal Detail

First of all, it has an easily removable handle, which lets you move the brush into difficult to reach areas.

Scrub Brush Package Detail

The brush fibers are also made from an antimicrobial material, to protect against odor, mold, and mildew, which love to lurk in the bathroom!

Scrubber with HandleScrubber without Handle

Tile Before

The bristles on this brush are excellent for scrubbing mold out of grout. They get right in there!

Tile After

Look how clean! I want to take a shower right now!

Sink and Tub Shroom Packages

Now that the shower is clean, let’s move on two two areas you might not think much about . . . until you have a clog; those areas being your tub and sink drains. I have very long hair, so when I have a slow running drain, a hair clog is usually the culprit. Why not save yourself a call to the Super or, worse, the plumber, by using the TubShroom or SinkShroom?

Sink Shroom Ad

The TubShroom and SinkShroom strainer / drain stoppers (from Juka Innovatios Corporation)  are a revolution in drain protection. Unlike regular plugs that go over there drain, the TubShroom fits inside, neatly collection hair around it. Like This:

Sink Shroom

Just remove the SinkShroom, clean it off, and use again and again. It’s easy to install in seconds and comes in a variety of colors and finishes to match any decor! You can find them in any home improvement or hardware store!

Lint Flip Display View

Here’s something else that comes in lots of colors, that you need for your purse or desk drawer right now; the Lint Flip compact lint roller (from Evercare)!

Lint Flip

Lint Flip is super compact, so it’s perfect for traveling, and always there when you need it to keep your clothes free of hair, pet fur, lint and fuzz.

Lint Flip Open

Just Flip, Roll and Go!

Rug in Packaging

And now, let’s talk about a way to maybe keep more dirt from getting into your home in the first place: with a stylish entry way rug. My apartment door opens right onto a busy street, so it’s absolutely necessary to wipe your shoes on the mat I keep outside the door before entering the Chickpad. This year, Spring Cleaning meant replacing that well-worn mat entirely with a gorgeous new multi-colored Hearts-patterned Studio 67 Designer Floor Mat!

Hearts Patern Detail

This rug is a real dirt magnet! Its plush nylon fibers brush and trap dirt, moisture and allergens, so it’s are perfect for the variable weather we have here in New York City. Studio 67 Designer Mats and Rugs come in a variety of patterns to complement your decor. This one is so beautiful, I almost hate to wipe my shoes on it! Fortunately, it is machine wash-and-dry-able, so just pop it in the machine with a Tide Pod and you’re good to go. Each rug or mat is backed by a five-year warranty.

Flipside of Rug

A skid-resisitant rubber backing keeps the Studio 67 mat in place.

Rug from Inside

Check it out: the mat fits perfectly in the space between my security door and front door, and it has a low profile so the door closes smoothly over that extra inch of mat.

Rug from Outside

Welcome to the Chickpad! I just cleaned up for you!

Thanks to Butler Home Products, Studio 67  Designer Mats, TubShroom / SinkShroom and the IHA for the Products Reviewed in the Post!

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Eye On Design: Ziggurat Black Stripes Storage Boxes By Oeuffice

Ziggurat Black Stripes Storage Boxes
Photo By Gail

The research laboratory called Oeuffice was estalished by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Jakub Zak to develop innovative objects in limited editions. The designers met in Milan after studying in their native Canada and attending university in Berlin. Like Ettore Sottsass, they share a vision of a contemporary utopia in which they refashion architectural design on a domestic scale. The Ziggurat, an iconic architectural form that Sottsass revered, provided inspiration for this stack of Wooden Storage Boxes inlaid with acrylic and solid stained wood (2012). The ziggurat’s form and masterful wood inlays originate in the Near East and were executed by Lebanese artists specialized in the technique.

Photographed in the Met Breuer in NYC.

Artist Kevin Champeny Creates Mosaic Portraits of Hillary and Trump From 1,000s of Tiny Middle Fingers

Dump Truck Full View
Dump Truck (All Photos By Gail)

Do you hate Donald Trump? I sure do. Dump (which is what I call him exclusively, with a rare exception being this blog post) sucks ass wildly, and he is destroying our country in ways few, if any, of us could have heretofore imagined possible. Dump’s outrageous suckitude inspires many artists to create art out of his likeness, because it makes him easier to mock. Yay! That being said, I was recently pitched a story on Kevin Champeny, a comntemporary artist whose medium is creating sculptures made up of other tiny sculptures that are related to whatever the larger image is all about. Watch a video on Kevin’s practice at This Link to see him in action and get a better idea of what I am talking about, because he is truly amazing. Even better, Kevin cites Kris Kuksi (one of our favorites) as a major influence. Awesome.

Staying with his favorite medium, Kevin’s most recent project includes two mosaic portraits, Defiance (Dump) and Fair Game/Defiant (Hillary Clinton), each of which are comprised of 4,000 hand-cast urethane Middle Fingers. Just being serious. Even though I am a huge Hillary fan (#StillWithHer), I knew I had to check out these artworks in person, and fortunately that this was not hard to do. A week or so ago, Kevin (with assistance from his friend, glass truck owner Chris, who formerly ran the pop up Sock Truck out of the mobile glass unit) launched the Defiance / Fair Game Glass Truck Tour in New York City. Over the course of four days (May 3rd – 6th) the truck made stops around town, targeting highly foot-trafficked areas like Union Square Park, The Oculus/ WTC, Madison Square Park, Bryant Park, Times Square, and Pier 94 (where Art Fair NY was taking place). I caught up with the truck while it was parked on Seventh Avenue, just across the street from Madison Square Garden / Penn Station at 5 PM on the Friday evening.

Dump Truck
Defiance Portrait

Dump Fingers
Defiance Portrait, Surface Detail

Gail and Kevin by Dump

Here I am with Kevin in front of Defiance. Please note that I was originally posed flipping off the portrait, but this is the pose that the photographer sent to me, so, whatever. Kevin looks great and so does the art!  While I am unsure of Kevin’s political leanings, he remains completely nonpartisan when discussing the artworks, and I believe this a smart move. It allows for greater freedom of interpretation by the viewer in experiencing each piece, which is what art is all about. Art!

Hillary Truck

For example,  I support and voted for Hillary Clinton, and I still wish she was our President, because that could have prevented so many horrible things that have come to pass since November of 2016.  Sadness. I hadn’t planned on including her portrait in the post, but then Kevin explained to me that he co-titled the piece “Defiant” because of how she stood up to all of the haters and endless bullshit that was lobbed at her. And, when you consider it from that perspective, it also reminded me of this meme, which was created during the campaign by my friend Beth.

Clinton For America Meme

*Sigh* She is my Hero.

Kevin Champeny’s work is unique, intricate and thought provoking. Get more information on Kevin and his various projects at This Link and follow him on Instagram at @kevinchampeny.

Post Card

Modern Art Monday Presents: Triathlon (Scenario) By Robert Rauschenberg

Triathlon (Scenario)
Photo By Gail

After suffering a stroke in 2002 that left his right arm partially paralyzed, Robert Rauschenberg (19252008) was no longer able to take photographs, nor was he able to transfer and arrange them into new compositions, as he had been doing since the early 1950s. As Triathlon (Scenario)  (2005) shows, these obstacles did not prevent him from making art. Relying on the sorts of collaborative processes that had fueled his work for decades, Rauschenberg invited his friends to take photographs with digital cameras that he provided. He then selected from the images they produced and instructed one of his studio assistants at the time, Kevin Pottorf , in the transfer and arrangments of these imgaes onto two panels

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Video Clip of The Week: Arthur Buck, “Are You Electrified?”


Singer / Songwriter and fine artist Joseph Arthur and former REM guitarist Peter Buck are a couple of guys who don’t need a little blog like The ‘Gig to give them press, because they are both hugely successful in their own rights. But this space is never about obligation, but rather it is about what is desired in the moment when I go hunting through my ridiculously clogged in-box to pick out your Sunday Jam. Because I love Jospeh Arthur to pieces, and R.E.M. were a band of  immeasurable importance to me back in my college days, so it is my pleasure to turn you on to their new thing, Arthur Buck, and the paisley-powered-powered video for “Are You Electrified?”, which is all kinds of crazy great. In addition to live-action footage of Joe and Peter, the video also feature Joe’s original artwork!

The Arthur Buck collaboration was established after the pair met up in Mexico near the end of 2017. They wrote eight songs in three days and on the fourth day, performed them for a handful of Baja locals near Buck’s home. Arthur says, “My first thought was, ‘Hey, I’ll get Peter to play acoustic guitar on some of the stuff I’m working on!’ So I started showing him songs. But he was like, ‘That’s cool. Now check this out.’ And he started playing chords and whatnot. So I put my guitar down and began singing over his changes, and it was magical. It was easy. And these great songs just started popping out.”

Since their initial meeting, the pair have been steadily working on their debut with basic tracks being recorded at Type Foundry Studio in Portland, OR with Arthur producing at his studio in Brooklyn, NY. The vibrant collection captures the spontaneity at the heart of the project – right down to the 1-2-3-4 count off from Buck that begins the proceedings – with sounds and styles mashed together in a unique and interesting manner. “It was all new songs, and it was spontaneous,” Buck says. “And the great thing about working that way was that it didn’t have to be anything in particular. It was liberated from any expectation. It was free.”

The two musicians have a history that stretches back decades; among other pairings, Arthur opened many shows for R.E.M. in the early 2000s, while Buck has backed Arthur on numerous occasions. Both Arthur and Buck have said that these songs differ from their other recording projects and while speaking with Rolling Stone last month, Buck said “It was really spontaneous and kind of magical in its own way, as [being in Mexico] we were kind of disconnected from everything.” Arthur added, “All of a sudden it was like I had this musical partner and friend, and that relieved the music of the burden of the self, if that makes sense.” Of his new bandmate, Buck stated, “Joe is going through that searching period we all go through in life. And those experiences he’s having make this a very forward-looking record, lyrically. The music has a questing kind of feel. We were making it up as we went along.”

Arthur Buck will be released  on June 15th, 2018 via New West Records. Enjoy!

Arthur Buck 2

Pink Thing of The Day: Cherry Blossom BMW

Sakura BMW
All Photos By Gail

Over the final weekend in April, Geoffrey and I went on an urban adventure to the Cherry Blossom Festival (aka Sakura Matsuri) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and we had all kinds of crazy fun being outdoors in the beautiful nature, and taking many, many (read: too many) photos of the gorgeous flowering trees and other flowers and plants. Super fun!

Sakura BMW

As a tie-in with the festival,  event sponsor BMW (The Ultimate Driving Machine, as it is known) created a Sakura-themed car with a custom paint job covering the car in a cheery cherry blossoms design! Spectacular!

Sakura BMW Detail

Here is a detail of the finish, up close. If you have been around an assortment of cherry blossoms before you will observe that they have many different blossoms represented, just like they did at the Garden!

Sakura BMW Detail

Sakura BMW

I didn’t think to look inside the car to check out the interior, since the ground was a bit damp from rain the previous evening and I was trying to stay off the wet grass as much as possible.  Point being that I can’t say whether the floral design carried over to the car’s dashboard and upholstery.

Sakura BMW

A Sweet Ride, indeed!

Peanuts Street Art Mash Up By André

Snoopy and Mr A
Photo By Gail

Swedish graffiti artist André (André Saraiva, AKA Monsieur André or Mr. A) revists a classic Peanuts comic strip scenario as Snoopy interacts with  Saraiva’s signature stick-figure doodle, Mr. A, on the wall of a downtown parking lot.

Part of The Peanuts Global Artist Collective, This Piece was Spotted at 304 Hudson Street at Spring Street in SoHo, NYC.