October 18, 2012 § 6 Comments
As my housemate and I have vastly different schedules, it took a few months before our new apartment felt like home. A box unpacked one day, rearranged furniture another day, whenever we were in the same space together. It wasn’t until one very late night that we tackled decorating our walls.
It took us a ridiculous amount of time, measuring, and second guessing what we were doing (neither of us “get” math), so of course our first decision was to make this momentous event a time lapse (the first video I’ve ever made!). Enjoy, and welcome to our home.
September 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
It’s Thursday afternoon, but to me it feels like a Friday. The empty water glasses around the house, clean and dirty clothes across the bedroom floor, and paper piles on multiple surfaces are all indicators that I have had a busy week. I came home today from my day job and laughed at myself about how ridiculous my room looks. It’s pretty embarrassing.
A prettier sight is the finished wall at Redamtè Coffee House.
Earlier this week, I mentioned sharing some life changes and recent adventures. I’m a student of art again.
I’m enrolled in a watercolor class after being inspired from my first visit to Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago. I decided that I need to devote more time to exploring the creative part of me. In order to do that I had to step away from some responsibilities that were good, but not soul worthy. My energy and time was being split among too many things that took more out of me than I originally thought. Although, it was hard to step away, I think everything will be okay.
I’m sure I’ll be sharing some watercolor creations in the near future, but in the meanwhile enjoy your weekend. Happy Weekend!
September 17, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The air is a little cooler, the sun sets sooner, and cozy sweaters are becoming more of my everyday wear. The fall season is making its entrance and I have returned with it to the blog. I’ve missed it and you, dear Readers.
The past few weeks have been filled with many transitions, changes, and projects. One of the projects I have been working on is the mission wall for Redamtè, a local coffee house in the city. Collaborating and trying to interpret someone else’s vision while balancing my visual aesthetics was harder than I thought it would be. I put a lot of time and energy into this project and am quite proud of it. Most of the objects we used for the wall were found or thrifted to keep with the idea of repurposing items. Below is a quick snap shot of what I worked on in August and September.
A friend and I found 10 picture frames for $10 at a thrift store. I decided to paint them all with the Redamte colors: blue, green, and brown.
For the first time and with some help from a friend I did some pyrography, which is mostly commonly known as woodburning. This process took a lot longer than I thought it would – two letters for every Cosby show.
We painted old door knobs black to use as a ledge for the wood signs.
Here is the layout of the wall before we started to install it together. The three circles are old bicycle wheels we found from a local bike store. They were so kind in giving it to us for free.
If you are in the area go and take a look. There’s much more that has happened in these past few weeks that I want to share so come back Thursday for the complete look of the wall and a little life update!
August 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
July was a full month of adventures and great moments. Traveling home, family reunion, birthday celebrations, and gatherings of all sorts filled up my time. It was quite difficult to complete this month’s craft projects but I was able to fit it in. I’ve been spending more time with my sewing machine and very excited to share what I have been working on.
Bowties are back in style folks. It’s on gals and guys. I turned an old tie into a bowtie for a friend’s birthday and this is how it turned out. Follow this link to make your own.
My summer list to do included visiting a street side lemonade stand. However, Abi and I decided to have one of our own. I made Pa’cookies (my chocolate chip cookies) and this sweet banner for the lemonade stand. I think it turned out pretty well.
I have been practicing yoga for almost 10 months. This practice has been so good for my body and soul. Right now my favorite kind of yoga is yin hot yoga. I love breathing into each pose, learning to let it go and having my breath carry me. As I thought about the heat created in me and the heat around me I decided to make a heating pad using lentils and loose leaf tea (plum oolong). Follow this link to make your own.
It’s much easier to take public transportation or bike to a yoga class with a yoga mat bag. For my birthday this year, my dear roommate gave me One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects by Rebecca Yaker. I followed the yoga mat bag instructions to make a bag of my own. Here is the completed project.
Thanks for letting me share with you all. Sharing with you has really kept me accountable and I appreciate that so much. Any suggestions on what craft project I should pursue next?
July 2, 2012 § 2 Comments
June was filled with remaking and reworking with items that just needed a little something else.
1. After cleaning up from the school year I found this plastic and metal chair in the hallway with a sign that said, “Please take.” So, I took the chair and repainted it white.
2. To send my roommate off on her African adventure I decoupaged a handy little notebook for her travels.
3. Almost every weekend this summer I have gone thrifting. I found this mail holder for $2. I decided to make it a bit more personal with some homemade name cards I made out of paint swatch paper and a Sharpie pen.
4. This green purse has been with me since my graduate school days. I decided to add some floral to it. Inspired by this post I made my own version.
Half way through the year and crafts are filling up in my home. July is my birthday month and I’m thinking about giving my crafts away. So, if there’s a need or desire you have let me know and it may just show up on your doorsteps. Thank you, dear Readers, for letting me share with you.
June 11, 2012 § 3 Comments
Whims are dangerous things. They can lead you down disastrous, time-wasting trails or they can completely alter your life. And wardrobe.
On a whim one Wednesday, my friend Grete (who’s guest posted for us here) and I decided to dye some of our clothes. I in particular was inspired by the upcycling and thrift savvy New Dress a Day blog, where the author manages to turn out some fabulous outfits with just a bit of cutting, sewing, or dying. But since I need help just sewing on buttons, dying clothes seemed a much easier DIY project.
(The last time I visited my friend Anna, I told her it was because I missed her. Really I just needed her to sew these buttons on my jacket.*)
(*This is only semi-true. I did miss her. I did need a button sewn on. The two just happened to coincide on the same weekend.)
Grete’s project was a white lace dress she wore for college graduation but couldn’t wear to any other formal occasion without looking like she was showing up the bride.
Mine was a plain khaki dress that I picked up at a thrift store. It was cute, but the khaki color made me look washed out. So after some iphone finagling, we managed to find the nearest place that sold RIT dye and followed our hearts. And whims. Here’s our process.
1. Hem and haw over colors. This could take up to six hours. It’s good to do this right before dinner so that your decision-making time is curtailed by hunger.
2. Fill a bucket (or plastic trash can) with 3 gallons of water. Wear cleaning gloves. Add about 8 tablespoons total of liquid RIT dye (check out RIT’s color formula here). It’s better to err on the side of too much/too dark. When they dry, your clothes will significantly lighten up.
3. Wet your clothes and add them to the dyed water. Stir for 10 – 30 min using a broomstick handle. Crack jokes. Take photos. Pass the time of day.
4. Transfer your clothes from the bucket to the bathtub. Rinse and keep rinsing.When they dry, iron them to soften.
5. Before you toss out the dyed water, throw in random clothes you hadn’t thought about dying in the first place. It’s good to have your friend keep you in moderation. Friends don’t let friends dye everything they have.
6. Clean your trash can, tub, sink, and everything else. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. With a bit of soap and arm power, all the dye came out. But every activity is so much better when done to Pearl and the Beard’s “Douglas Douglas.”
5. Show yourself off.
(Remember? This was khaki and white before.) We are so stylin’.
What whims have you followed of late?
May 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Around my house there are corners with little piles of paper, string, and craft tools. It’s been five months of crafting in this little home of mine and it’s showing. Here is a review of crafts I completed this past month.
1. I love to thrift. I love the feeling of finding something excellent for a great deal. My friend found a matching white wicker stool to add to her bedroom furniture. The only thing it needed was a little love in the form of a new coat of white paint.
2. Recently, my roommate and I hosted a brunch. To add a little more sunshine to the meal I added some colorful flags to the scones using paper, toothpicks, and double-sided tape.
3. I was really excited to use my new set of stamps. I decided to make my own wrapping paper using old shopping bags. I think it turned out pretty well.
4. I have been looking for everyday napkin rings. Inspired by this post I decided to make my own using jute. This is probably one of my favorite crafts yet this year.
5. This was a very quick and easy way to make a super cute napkin ring. After making this, I realized how much I like using felt. Maybe it’s the texture or how easy it can be turned into almost anything. I made a leafy garland napkin ring to add in my home.
Readers, what have you been creating, making, or editing lately?
May 4, 2012 § 1 Comment
There is a pause in the scattered pounding thunderstorm. Just a long enough pause for me to take a few pictures (with my new camera!) of my craft projects this month.
1. Polaroid pictures are collecting on my shelf and I wanted a way to put them on display. I used some wire, an embroidery hoop, and paper clips to create a wall collage.
2. Inspired by this post, I thought I would add my own vintage twist to some glass votives I found at the thrift store. I think it was a success.
3. It took me a whole movie to design these cards. Some old magazines, scrapbook paper, modge podge paste, scissors, and color pens and a new stationary set was made.
Readers, what should I create next? Do you have an idea to share?
March 7, 2012 § 2 Comments
When I reflect on February, my completed craft projects seemed to be done in a haste and the process seemed heavier. Could it be the winter blues? Or a cold that has called my body home for a month? Or the daily to-do’s that can zap the creative energy out of me? Whatever it was, I have learned that even if it’s a simple sketch, it’s worth creating, worth crafting, and worth sharing. The extremely mild weather these past few days has been a great reminder that a new season is near. This, dear Readers, makes me hopeful. Below is a documentation of February’s 29 days of craft projects.
1. I wanted to send a special message to my students. Instead of a valentine, I made a heart banner with sight words for them to read. It was great to see their expression when they read, “You are loved by me.”
2. Yesterday, I walked in a light cardigan as the 60 degree weather melted what was of winter away. To welcome spring at school I made these bird-cage lanterns to hang from the ceiling.
3. In addition to the bird lanterns I made a green pom-pom to hang from my tree.
4. The library has been such a source of inspiration to me. There’s always a little skip to my step when I walk through the doors of the library to take that one book off of the “hold” shelf. A book on hold just for me. The library pile in my living room floor has yet to be nothing but a pile for months. The library is like an endless treasure chest. One book I recently got is Sachiko Umoto’s book titled Illustration School: Let’s Draw Happy People. I was inspired to illustrate and I think these characters would lovely on a set of cards. What do you think?
5. My bedroom furniture consists of a lot of white: white dresser, white tall mirror, white short mirror, white candle chandelier, and white earring stand. I decided to add a little color by decougpaging a small white box that holds a very sentimental necklace.
What have you been creating lately or wanting to create?
February 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Guest post by Grete Bauder.
Since I was nine, it’s been my job at family gatherings – i.e. Thanksgiving and Christmas – to make the table’s floral centerpiece. I use whatever flowers Mom has picked up at the grocery store, evergreens from the yard and nearby arboretum (Shhh! Don’t tell!), and oasis from my stash under the sink. Every year I try to top the years before in creativity and beauty.
This year Mom bought a bouquet of just-opening roses in all shades of pink. I thought they looked delicate and Victorian, so I wanted to create an arrangement in the same vein. As I pulled tapered candles from the top sideboard drawer, the lace coasters and doilies caught my eye. What could be more romantic and Victorian, well, other than puffed sleeves? I had to find a way incorporate them, so here’s what I did.
1. Pinch a lace doily, coaster, or hankie at its center. A round one will work best, but squares work too (as pictured here). Bunch the sides together and hold tight.
3. Fluff your flower, arrange its petals, and voila! A lace doily and pale blue, lace-edged coaster among the roses.