Bike Animation

Very cool idea.



The GND show was a great success. Whew! And always more work than I anticipate.
I had an ambitious list of new creative endeavors to accomplish before the date which stressed me out a bit. But this is what it is for, to push me over those hurdles that I am intimidated to try (or too lazy to carry out). This time I was determined to silkscreen. Enough of the daisy dreams! So I did it. I may have talked to myself a lot during the process in an encouraging voice, and it obviously worked. I have groovy dishtowels to prove it. In neon pink, no less!
I also wanted to play with enamel paint so I painted some jewelry and vintage keys. You can get the overview on the site here.
Now I've got to post what's left on my Etsy shop at some point. Maybe some fools will think my weird stuff is as cool as I think it is. If not, these are the gifts you'll be getting over the coming year.
Since I have been on this wave of makingmakingmaking, I still have some cool things up my sleeve that weren't finished in time so I'll try and get them posted soon.
Though the holiday season is upon us and I have Christmas cards to make.
Which may utilize my new screen printing skillz. Ohhh!



October was a really busy month. I haven't had much time to put toward projects but I did a little. I am using what time I have to put things together for the upcoming GND show at the end of this month. I'll post some of that work then.
In the meantime, what I did do was:
Finish those Chevron pillows I started in, oh, July? I am loving this deep magenta/orchid color right now so I put it on the back.

Played with more geometric shapes. Look at my nonsense.

I saw this watercolor on Etsy and it gave me an idea to paint one of my own.
Turned out alright. Mostly I just had fun painting again. I purposely left all my supplies out to see if I can do a few more things while the motivation lasts.

What I really want to do is make a quilt like this. I think it would be easy (ish). Simple triangles, simple colors and in the end have a modern design. It makes sense in my head. Which means trouble for reals. Bah.



It's a fuzzy pic but a little preview of something I'm working on. Cool, right?
Also, these are some random shots I took one morning on a bike ride recently. Such beautiful clouds! That middle one is what they looked like right above me.
Not bad for an iPhone anyway...

Freak Nature Out

You all know I love Halloween and amid the busy month we have had, I am still trying to accomplish some projects. One of which was this, that I began last year. Shocker.
Do you recall the vintage makeover I did with these bottle brush trees for Christmas?
Well, it's no surpise I've wanted to twist this technique into Halloween, so here is how I 'hauntified' a batch. It was really easy and they look great all tucked around my bookcases.
Take a bag-o-trees (they are cheapest at Home Depot) and bleach them (these instructions are more specific in the Christmas version, here). Btw: Those little flecks of happy snow clinging on the branches will be gone when you dye. Bwaah-ha-haaaa.

Dip them in yellow, orange and black dye. They only need to sit in there for 2-4 minutes, depending on how strong you concentrate it. I did it pretty concentrated.
Also, I played around with blending the color on the trees so keep that in mind before you start dunking. Most of them were yellow so I could then blend the tops or bottoms in orange or black.

And wowza. You'll have your very own haunted forest of unnatural trees.

If you want, you can play with the glitter after (again, like the Christmas trees).
I did it to a couple of them here and put them in front of this marvy haunted house that I made with some gal pals.

If you feel like trying this, it was super fun and done in around 2 hours. Much cheaper (and cooler, imo) than many of the store bought Haunted Houses. Get these paper mache houses here. It's $20 for three! The other two are smaller and nest inside this one. Those are being saved for a Christmas makeover.
Hopefully this year. :)



I was in Laguna a couple of weeks ago with some friends and among our shopping I snapped a few things I wanted to remember.
This was the floor in a thrift store on PCH. The ENTIRE floor was covered in old magazine images. I know it's not novel, but it befitted the setting.

In another thrift shop, I looked up and saw some string art! Tacky? Sure, but after playing with this, I didn't want to forget the technique here of sectioned color, intentional shapes and the outlined lettering. Hm.....gets me thinking....

And Jonathan Adler never fails to move me. I so love his stores. He always offers great design and this simple pillow of the states makes me think I could try some needlepoint and not get bored. Maybe.


Um... Happy October! I've had a few projects in the works, most of which are a bit boring to share and involve more sewing. My mother-in-law has been loaning me her serger off and on, so I keep trying to get some things made in the time I have it.
One was this skirt I made for Elliet. I confess I think she is starting to get a little old for 'skirts made by Mom', but until she protests, I'll keep trying. I bought this fabric probably a year ago. Ugh- so me to get it done that much later. Anyway....what I experimented with was trying to hide as many seams as possible to make it really clean inside. Turns out I hid every inseam! I didn't need the serger afterall.

And onto bigger fish. My friend and I bought this pattern on Etsy and made these in a weekend. It was a great pattern and super easy. I found this great teal fabric remnant for about $20! Not bad for a test run. Project Runway is getting into my head!

More traffic to come here. The holidays are approaching and I want to make some gifts. Plus, Girl Next Door is on this year- so I have to start creating pronto!


More Designs

Well, amid some sewing projects I have been working on (and will show soon), I have been doing some design work on the side. This is another guest post coming on the Bake It Pretty blog and thought I would also offer it to anyone who reads here.
These are all gift tags for treats or goodie bags but you can experiment with some of them. The flags can be hung on a string for display, taped around a cake plate for a party, put in your mouth like fangs... whatever. Personally, I like the eyeball. :)
You can download the PDF here.


Powell via Diana F+

Here are the results of my Diana F+ camera exploration. I think half of the shots I took were fuzzy or over exposed. I remember figuring that out as I went along and it shows because the later rolls looked the best. I really wanted to leave my camera out all night long one evening and see if I could capture the stars slow arch cross the sky. Next year.


Reduce & See Through

I've had this in my phone to remember here forever.
French artist Regis Mayot salvages used plastic containers and makes art out of them. I think it's such an interesting transformation!

And further down, David Edgar's 'Plastiquarium' is amazing.


Almost Back

I am! I promise. One week of summer left, then I have oodles of creative ideas I need to get out.
Until then, I was in CA last weekend and we stopped into the new Jack Spade store, which had such a cool style, I snapped a few images to remember.
It was such a primitive, guy style- most the shelving was bare wood with random nick knacks and my favorite aspect were all these old printed images, postcards or magazine ads, taped inside the shelves with colored masking tape. Very man-ish. Simple, untidy, functional, brilliant.

I also thought this cube art was cool. I am into these eighties geometric prints and graphics right now... don't ask me why. Shapes are hot, right? :)
And look; pegboard has a new style level presented in here.

Seriously. Check out those mugs. There is no way I would ever come across those at a yard sale and say, "Hmmm... maybe in this or that setting these could be cool and kitschy."
Nope. Never would have said it. Luckily they have a place now.

And PS- I found some awesome vintage dresses that I'll share at some point. Some new patterns to copy in my sewing ventures!


Here, There, and Everywhere

I've been around but just not on here.
The good news is I have been creating but half of my efforts have been of the mothering kind, like making Gryffindor robes and felt ties for the kids, or making stuffed animal party decor for the kids, or making cardboard box forts... for me. But amid these sophisticated projects, I have had a chance to get in some of my own like
* Have my good friend help me make a pattern of a blouse I love and sew a duplicate which actually kind of worked great! Ghetto sewing reigns supreme.
* Buy that striped fabric @ Ikea and attempt my own chevron pillow covers. I'm half way done with that.
* Finally took some rolls of film using my old school lomo Diana F camera. Now to get them developed!
* Made some tea towels. Thought triangles would look cool but they ended up just looking boring so I made the balloon & stitched a cloud. Not too shabby. I'll let you know how they wash.
On the side, I have recently discovered how to navigate the cooler goods on Etsy (thank you, vacations!) and have found some really cool work that has blown me away with inspiration. This poster is one thing I came across and had to share. Hope you enjoy and are having a fun summer!


Mobile #2

Here is my second attempt at the mobile balloon. I made this one for my new little niece, Penny. My sis-in-law said neutrals were the default colors for the nursery so I was excited to make this in muted tones. I used the Silhouette for cutting the tiny baskets, flags and trims. What time that saved me!
Hopefully she liked it. I know it's not as 'fun' as the previous colorful one, but I am happy with the results.


Tanlines. Not Deadlines.

I think I must admit that I don't think it's possible to maintain a weekly project, but I am working on things.
One new toy I am learning is the Silhouette cutting machine that I got for my birthday in January, yes JANUARY. Five months ago and I only just opened the box. It is going to be everything I dreamed. :)
Hope to have pics of some things up here soon. Until then, keep enjoying your summer!


Week 7

Well, this was the last week of school so my creative time was shared with my girls doing something that I bought supplies for months ago and haven't yet done. We made rings from old buttons. Groovy, right?
Easy and fun.
Now that summer is here, I'm hoping to take on some bigger fish!
But first, this next week I have something cool to show you.


Week 6

I went out of town on Thursday for a weekend cycling event (my first century!), so my creative time was cut a tad short.
But I finally put together some logo samples for a friend. That counts, right?
While away, I picked up this cool lamp shade frame that will turn up soon. Stay tuned.


Week 5

May is always a crazy month so I fell back on an old idea for this week. I saw an embroidery similar to this a long time ago and pulled the old, "I could do that" and yet never did.
I finally did. Thanks, weekly project!
Created the artwork in Illustrator and digitized it for my embroidery machine, then stitched this onto felt and sewed it on the sleeve of a shirt I bought for Luke for this very purpose (weeks ago, of course). I thought it needed a little more something so I added some random orange satin stitching along one of the front pockets. Kind of goes along with the distressed military look going on here.
Despite having the tools to embroider a patch outright, it is not necessary. Keep your eyes open for cool embroideries on old clothing items, even silk screened artwork that you can cut & applique onto things. This extra step can take something as simple as this grey shirt and make it grey-oovy! (sorry- had to)


Week 4

My first pass card!
This is why I was unable to execute some creativity this week. Poor little one broke her arm but all is well and mending.
Perhaps I'll make up for it this week with two projects? :) We'll see.


Week 3

I decided that this week I would finish something I started at least two years ago. At least!
How pathetic is that! Wait, I should hold back that criticism of myself because I know I have more projects in that stage lurking within my office.... so, to focus on the positive... I am going to complete one soon!
Once upon a time, I traced the shadow of a beautiful eucalyptus tree in our yard onto this canvas and that is how it has stayed. Empty and wanting. So instead of starting a new project, I decided to bust this baby out. Alas, I was not able to complete it, but I think it still counts that I worked on it. Perhaps this coming week I can finish it.
A flaw in these long project lapses is that I can't really remember anymore what end result I had in mind so I am just playing with colors and layering and hopefully it will turn out worthwhile in the end. So far I kind of like the paint by numbers look.


Week 2

The project this week was to get my tangled necklaces hanging up on something once and for all. It's not the coolest thing I have seen to do, but it is the most ideal for my space (and how many I have- I didn't realize my granny stash!). I needed a way to see them and reach them easily so I decided I needed a long cork board of some kind. Then I changed that idea to particle board so it would be more sturdy.
Enter Home Depot.
For $5, I bought this perfect width, long panel and a tiny package of tooth hangers.
Wrapped it in grey canvas and stapled it with a staple gun, nailed on that hanger and I was done in 10 minutes.
Beautiful, right? Just kidding. But it's functional.

I had these wood push pins I bought at Container Store forever ago and used them. I ended up hammering them in (with the heel of my boot, no less- how apropos!) as I went depending on where/how I wanted to display everything. Bonus- purge items you don't wear anymore.

Ta-dah! Now I have a visual display for inspiration (i.e. reminder of what I own) and no more tangles.


Week 1 Results

Well, I did it. I kept my goal for the first week, at least. Hopefully I won't get behind on posting my results. I did end up finishing this on Thursday to give as a baby gift for my friend.
I have wanted to make paper maché hot air balloons and thought a little mobile would be good testing ground.
As seen in the previous post, I used strips of paper on water balloons. They turned out well enough but I already want to make another one with some improvements.

I painted them (masked areas w/ masking tape) + embroidery floss and twine for the ropes + little cardstock flags... the more I tried to incorporate ideas, the more I realized I should just stick with the current medium so I stayed with paper. In retrospect, some glitter would have been really fun.

As always, I share these things in hopes to inspire. I'm happy to give further details if you want to try some yourself. Do ask. :)
And I've already recognized one lesson from my experiment in forced playtime...
By giving myself 'permission' to create, I already feel a sense of peace knowing I will be accomplishing items on my to-make-one-day wish list. I've made that day happen. What took me so long? I've been waiting for circumstances to accommodate me but perhaps it has to be the other way around?
(It's also frightening to think that if I can't make it work, if I do fail, then I will prove to myself that I should never have tried. I typed this in parenthesis to keep this doubt from my conscience. I really do hope I prove myself wrong in that regard!)


Phase One

So far, it's working! :)
My first project is something that's been in my head for a while.
It's not making eggs, I'll give you that hint. But it is paper maché. I want to have one done by Thursday so results will be up fast.


Let It Begin

Dear Academe readers,
If there are any! I really am not sure. But if there is anyone out there, I need your help.
I have decided that I need more creativity in my life so I have made a new goal for myself to create something once a week. It may be big or small, but I am going to force myself to make SOMETHING.
I know it may sound silly because why would I need motivation to do something that I love?
It's because I have a problem: I talk myself out of it because I feel like there are other things that I should be doing before doing this for myself OR I question the purpose and ask, "Why? So I want to make that, but then what do I do with it?", like I need some kind of validation before I even begin. See? Excuses. And I am sick of it. I have emotional needs to make messes again and ignore common sense.
So I'm going to do it.
I'm starting this week.
This is where you come in. I think a little feedback/accountability will do me good. So if you see something you like or think it should be a doorstop, comment and tell me. Then I'll remember that my promise to myself is public and I can't make another excuse.
Thanks. Here we go.


Scary Maché

Aren't these awesome?
Made by Sebastian (here is his Flickr group) for a horror experience show. I think they are perfectly executed. Simple, classic and pretty darn spooky. These would make an awesome Halloween decoration.
Or to wear late at night at Walmart.

Found via PumpkinRot


My Hands Hath Wrought

I gathered a few designs together for a freelance portfolio and thought it would be fun to throw them up here.
I don't know why. Maybe to remember them? My work is usually spread across so many different places that I never see it once it leaves my hands. It's fun to look back.


Union Jack Pillows

This was one of the crafts that I've been meaning to do for a long time. I finally bought a few colors of fabric paint, got some friends together and we painted Union Jack pillow covers. They were a snap to do - motivating me to try some other designs. I think I got a little carried away with the distressed look but couldn't help myself- it was too fun. I purposely kept the color rough and hollow in areas, but you can apply the paint rather evenly, getting pretty professional results.
I'll post the pic when I get it all sewn up and completed. Maybe I'll get a 'new' looking one painted in the meantime.