Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 27: Break out the Origami!

It's time to pull out all of your third grade paper folding skills. I got this Origami book from the neighbor girl and thought I'd give it a whirl, this would be a great way to send thank you notes or make a cool mobile. If you want to learn how to make the butterfly let me know...I've likely forgotten the steps already but I'm sure we could figure it out. My assignment for you is to think of a creative way to fold paper for a functional purpose! Then show me of course.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 26: Glitter and Gold Records

Betcha can't guess what this it made out of...give up? It's a iTunes gift card! I have so many of those things from past birthdays and holidays and splurges and have been trying to think of creative ways to use them. I'd like to use some of the more graphic ones on a collage or something. This one I simply cut into this star shape with scissors, super-glued a jump ring on the back, covered it in glitter and glue then attached a necklace chain to it. You can do this with earrings too. My assignment to you is to think of a creative way to reuse a gift card! Then show me so I can do it too!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 25: I get paid to use my imagination

At work I've had a few illustrative side projects arise and it has been a great exercise in watercolors. Those pencils that Aunt Peggy gave me 11 years ago have really come in handy! I still remember in grade school when my friends and I used to do "fashion drawings" and sketch our little ideas for our dream outfits. My assignment to you is to break out the art supplies and design an outfit. If you need inspiration just watch some Project Runway! That show is addictive!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 24: 15 Minute Drawing

I haven't been drawing as much as I did in school, sadly, we used to have to keep these sketchbooks and do hundreds of sketches. I need to keep drawing to keep from getting rusty so I made it a point today and spend 15 minutes on a drawing. So my assignment to you is to don't think, don't worry, don't doubt yourself, just draw something.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 23: Recycle, reduce reuse

I've had this pair of flip-flops and this pair of really cool vintage wood flower buttons for a long time and finally put them together. It's a simple and easy fix to make something your own. So my assignment to you is to make something your own, take something homogenized and bring it out of the mundane. Go crazy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 22: T-Shirt Revamp

 A friend gave me this shirt but it was rather large and made me look...frumpy. So I whipped out my trusty Generation T book, which I highly recommend by the way, and went to town on this. There is no sewing involved in this transformation, I cut off the sleeves and scooped the neck and back, trimmed the sides and bottom. Then with the strips that were cut, I laced them through holes in the sides and Ta Da! I look like a lady again! My assignment to you is to revamp a tee that you don't wear any more. And let me know if you want help!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 21: Compact Makeover

 I've had this mirror compact for a while, I'm not even sure where I got it, but it's a little outdated so it was time for a makeover. First I spray painted it olive green then with art paint and a hexagon stencil I made a pattern on the surface. Now I think I will actually use it instead of it sitting in a junk drawer somewhere. My assignment to you is to take an everyday object that has lost it's impact and give it a makeover!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 20: Seed Beading

So sad that Borders is closing, that was my favorite book spot, I went there the other day to partake of some of the sales and happened upon a fabulous bead book full of all sorts of fun and intensely intricate projects. I thought I'd give this mandala design a try, perhaps I'll make it into necklace or a ring. My assignment to you is to try out a skill that you haven't used in ages, it may yield some interesting results!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 19: The Case of the Painted Staircase

While on vacation, I'm tackling my more ambitious projects and my staircase was a dirty tan/mauve sight to be seen. I couldn't take it any more, it always looked dirty, so I pulled out the white paint for the rise and a cloudy morning gray for the steps (to hide some future dirt!) and they look so crisp now! As soon as I locate a "before" pic I will post it but those of you who've been to my house can say this is definitely an improvement. So my assignment to you is to rethink a part of your dwelling that could use a fresh coat. I may still do something crazy to the rise but I can't decide, so many options!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 18: Placemats!

So I finally unwrapped my baby, a brand spanking new sewing machine!!! I got it for Christmas and this year has been so crazy-busy that I hadn't had a lot of time for sewing. But today is my vacation day and I decided to finally tackle those placemats. This fabric had a great neutral graphic pattern (if it looks familiar you can also see it on my couch pillow slip covers!) I think this just ties the table together. Is your dining room table looking tired? Spruce it up with a new flower arrangement or a runner, then show me, I love new ideas!

This Singer sews like a dream!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 17: Custom Gift Wrap

A few months ago my friend Becky and I exchanged Christmas gifts ( I know...Christmas in April right?) Well what impressed me was the care that Becky took in wrapping the gift, she constructed a bow out of strips of brown construction paper and then used turquoise for the body. It was beautiful and very difficult to throw away. Tonight I used old book pages, some craft paper, an old button and some glue to spice up a boring brown gift box. Now I have to think up a gift to put inside :) My assignment to you is to come up with a creative way to wrap a gift, for once forget the lazy thrice re-used bag and crinkly tissue and get your art on. It's the little things that make all the difference.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 16: A Softie for Milo

Milo is my pet rabbit and he doesn't have any bunny friends so I thought I'd make him one out of fleece that he could cuddle with. Stuffed animals are so easy to make and really fun because you can personalize them. I once made my some for my friends for Christmas two years ago. This little guy took an hour from start to finish. My assignment to you, make a softie for someone who holds a soft place in your heart. (I know that sounds sappy but who cares!) I will let you know if Milo likes this:)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 15: Bookmaking 101

Well we are half way through, and I haven't given up! I'd say that's a good sign, although I still have to think up 16 more projects :) Tonight I thought I'd try my hand at simple bookmaking. Finding some leftover watercolor paper from a past project and some craft paper I measured and cut about six pages along with a front and back cover, scored them with a bone folder, pierced them with my needle tool and used binding thread to tie the signature. And Viola! A mini watercolor book that I can fit in my pocket and take on excursions. My assignment to you, use scrap paper and make a recycled book, they are great for spontaneous sketching or for gluing photos in.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 14: Wear your words

 I found these great window pane pendants at Hobby Lobby that you can fill with anything, be it pictures or art or butterfly wings, whatever you fancy. I thought it would be interesting to include a word collage, so I pulled out my trusty aged disassembled book that I use for such projects and started cutting words. I then arranged them on a piece of colored vellum with a glue stick and slid them into the frame. Viola wearable words! It was great fun taking someone else's words and making something original. My assignment to you, make a word collage! You might even find a story hiding amongst the chaos.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 13: Beaded Cuff

Looks like I'm on a bit of a beaded kick this week! I started making these cuffs for sale after I was deluged with a mass of donated beads, both new and vintage. The fabric is repurposed from a man's old suit jacket. Year's ago my Aunt Cyndi, a seamstress, gifted me a large box of her remnants for my birthday! It was a treasure trove of tapestry, linen, canvas, upholstery and other various kinds of wonders that I still use to this day. My assignment to you, embellish something with beads or buttons--perhaps an old cardigan, or a pair of shoes or head scarf...then of course show me! I heart new inspiration.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 12: Hair Art

I was a bit of a child hoarder...just ask my family. I saved all kinds of things that I'm just now finding a use for like this vintage handmade swallow pin. I'm not exactly sure how I ended up with it but my money's on my Mom. I attached it to a headband and started wearing it. This is a great way to use old brooches or pins that you never use but never part with. So my assignment is to recycle an old pin--put it on a ponytail holder, scarf, or bag. And then show me!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 11: Found Object

I love going for walks on my parents' farm, it's bright and serene, and as I child I usually walked with my eyes down looking for bits of treasure beneath my feet. My usual finds included bits of glass and a penny or two, but a few weeks ago while I was walking I found some discarded shells, and not the sea-loving kind. Our neighbors shoot targets for fun and this brass shell was left behind. I thought it would make a great piece of jewelry so I had my dad drill a hole in the tope of the casing and wired a large black vintage bead through it and attached it to a necklace that I built. My assignment to you is to make something incorporating a found object, I really want to see what you come up with!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 10: Edible Art

Tonight I went down the cookie aisle at the grocery store and didn't buy anything, remembering I had all the ingredients at home. So I thought I'd try a recipe that I found in this great old 1970 United Nations cookbook that I found for $1 at a garage sale. Under "Egypt" were these decadently simple shortbread cookies called Grabie: 1cup butter, 1cup confectioner's sugar, 2cups flour. (I like simple recipes, especially when the cupboards are bare). Oh my, they taste like pie crust, so rich and easy. But I thought I'd take them one step further and broke out the food coloring and my paintbrush. I don't particularly like frosting but I thought I shouldn't let these little cookies run naked so I they became little round canvases. My assignment to you: make edible art. Food can be a medium to express your creativity too!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 9: Button, Button, Who's got the Button?

Button, Button, Who's got the Button? was a game that my cousins and I used to play with our Grandpa when we were young.  Well, I've accumulated quite a collection since those days. But like any collection, there is rarely a functional use for it ha ha! I spray painted this dollar store frame that I've had for years over the weekend and decided to do some button art! Arrange them how you like and then glue or sew them into place on stiff craft felt, very easy. Plus the possibilities are endless, you can do colors, make pictures, and it will be cute as a...button! So my assignment to you is do something creative with buttons and show me if you do :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 8: Swanky Storage Solutions

I really like bacon. I know that's a strange segway into this post but it is relevant. The brand of bacon bits that I like comes in glass jars and they are so handy I just can't seem to toss them so I've decided to put them to good use and use them to store things like beads, spare change, matches, and odds and ends. My cousin Carrie at Swanky Lady Vintage suggested I think of cute storage ideas. To add a little visual sizzle I broke out my colorful shiny and fuzzy metallic scrapbooking papers, cut them to fit and glued the seems! Viola, cute storage devices for all your tiny objects. These could also be used for gifts, fill with candy or other bits and baubles, plus this only took like 20 minutes. So my assignment to you is think of a creative way to store an object!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 7: Revamp your shoes

I started these when it was too cold to spray paint outside, after seeing the movie TRON, I was adamant in making an inspired pair, so I found these classy $5 heels at Goodwill and went ape with the painters tape and a can of robin's egg blue spray paint. I recommend using black shoes because when you make a mistake you can cover it up with black Sharpie. The taping took over an hour, the actual painting was rather quick but it took about three light layers; the hardest part was matching the lines on the shoes. So my assignment to you is revamp a pair of shoes that are just sitting in the back of your closet, make them so you want to wear them again! And then send me a pic :) (Bonus points for those of you who make movie-themed shoes). And if you are stumped send me a pic of your neglected kicks and I will gladly give you some pointers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 6: Slipcovers!

At long last I finished the slipcovers for my couch pillows, they were originally all blue but I though it needed some added visual interest so I found this great canvasy type fabric at Joann's (they have a pretty fun selection) and sewed simple covers, it's just like sewing a pillow but instead of stuffing it you just sew strips of velcro on the last seam. My assignment to you, take a good look at your furniture, is it to your taste or is there something that you could do to tie in a pop of color or break up the monotony. Maybe you could simply even move your furniture around a bit for a change of scenery. My mom used to do that when I was at school, then it was like coming home to an alternate reality home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 5: Make Up Your Own Recipe

I know I have two food related projects close together, but I do have some exciting artsy things in the works that aren't quite ready yet. My groceries are getting low, which gives way to more improvisation in my mind. Tonight I just winged it and didn't measure and came up with this Chicken Caesar Alfredo Linguini concoction. I used a leftover chicken, a partial box of linguini, a garlic salt, pepper, caesar vinagrette salad dressing, vegetable oil, half a jar of alfredo sauce and some parmesan. I challenge you to scrounge around your cupboards and crannies and make something uniquely delicious! (PS thank you Aunt Jeanette for the handmade kitchen towel, it gives my kitchen just the right touch!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DAY 4: Nail Art

I don't always have time to paint my nails, what with life and all, which explains having bottles of electric blue and reptile green polish that date back to 1998. Tonight I thought I'd get creative and try more than one color to mix it up a bit. Tonight I'm feeling Black Ice and stripes. What colors are you feeling? My assignment to you, paint your nails, it will make you feel like you're in high school again, ready to gossip and swap colors! (Sorry to the few guys who happen upon this blog, maybe you can paint your girlfriend's nails as a treat!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DAY 3: Try a new recipe

Being that the last few nights I've been eating either ice cream and or pizza for dinner, I thought I'd get adventurous and try a new recipe! Panko and Pecan Crusted chicken! And guess what, I didn't screw it up! It's really good, and although I didn't have all of the seasonings called for I improvised a little and it turned out great. It has a crunchy nutty and garlic-y flavor. My assignment to you is to try a new recipe this week, spice it up literally and figuratively. And do let me know if you do, I may have to try it too. (PS if you want this recipe just let me know, I'll hook you up!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 2: Make a Greeting Card

A friend of mine just celebrated her birthday and I thought I'd make a greeting card for her. I like making handmade cards, they are economical and personal. This one I made out of watercolor paper and some watercolor pencils and it only took 30min. Why not for the next birthday or holiday make a card! Also I noticed that I'm on a bit of a spectrum kick. It just brightens my day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

DAY 1: Create something Rainbow

Jewelry making is one of my many hobbies and this design stemmed from the desire to use up a lot of my beads that didn't match. I will be finishing up the last few links this evening. Isn't it fun how you can take seemingly disparate objects, arrange them according to spectrum and all of the sudden they go together. My assignment to you today is to arrange something in your life according to color, perhaps your bookshelf, your closet, your souvenir shot glasses....who knows, and send me a pic because I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

31 Days of Creativity

I apologize to my few but very important readers that I've been rather lax about blogging, I have been tied up with three projects at work and various creative endeavors in my free time. But I recently saw a poster that said "Do something creative every day" and that is my plan for the month of August. I am going to buckle down, do something creative and post it here for all 31 days, from the simple to the complex I see it as an opportunity to catch up on some things and hopefully inspire you to color outside of the lines of your and my monotony. Until Monday, enjoy this fashion illustration that I recently did that will be featured in a magazine in August!

Monday, June 13, 2011

When life is a whirlwind, bring a kite....

It's been a whirlwind of a year thus far. I need to do more journaling. I'm trying to do better at it. I recently heard of a man who passed away this week and when his son was taking care of his affairs he came across his notebooks, where he had chronicled every day of the last five years of his life. What a true gift to leave your heirs, a strange and unique window. There is so much going on this week what with the 175 Anniversary Bash in Kickapoo, IL, painting the float with Uncle Phil for the parade, my freelance, going to press on the latest issue of Numéro and family from Kansas City coming home, Father's Day, Mom and Dad's Anniversary, and printing Christine and Nick's wedding invitations.

Strangest thing that happened to me today: Getting carded when I went to buy sparklers.
Most exciting thing about today: I got to interview Preston Jackson for an article.
What did I eat today: Cheerios, Chips and salsa, Chocolate ice cream, and BBQ Chicken Pizza
Daily regret: Not throwing that drifter my box of cereal.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A last hurrah souvenir!

Well our beloved Illinois Antique Center closed last weekend :( My mom informed me that they were having a flea market there at 8am on Saturday, I'm not an early riser but I made myself this day and boy I'm glad I did. I usually don't get to shop with my mom like I did when I lived at home, so this was really nice. I didn't find anything at the flea market, but I took a gander at the dealer booths as they were having some really great sales for the last hurrah, I turned a corner and there it was!!! A cyber-retro plastic lampshade! It's like Charles Eames and Tron had a love child, it was really filthy but I washed it off. Only a few flaws but nothing major and the best part is that it cost a grand total of $4.87!!! Then Mom and I fell down the slippery slope of thrifting and hit a myriad of stores, where I proceeded to get the milk glass for 99cents and the fabulous retro resin grapes for $1.49. I also bought the movie Rushmore for 99cents and a cookie jar for a friend but I can't show it b/c it's her Christmas gift and she sometimes reads my blog. Mom and I should do this more often, he he

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My first album cover job!

Often we find that the old ways are the good ways, and that can definitely be said when it comes to music and how we absorb it. There is a local musician who is doing something rather decidedly different these days--releasing his music on vinyl. Jared Bartman, local indie musician and songwriter, chose to release his two song EP on vinyl just last month and it is being received with open arms. It's time to dust off that turntable! Not only was the method of recording a throwback, but the printing of the record sleeve as well. Jared employed a certain Numéro designer, me, for the cover art and chose to have them printed via a vintage Vandercook letterpress--talk about old school. Not only do you get a sweet piece of vinyl and limited edition work of art, but also the download codes so you can take his songs anywhere you please. To purchase a record, see Jared live or visit his website

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If I had a million dollars...

My mom and I made a brisk trip to St. Louie this weekend for a wedding that I will gush over in a later post and we happened to stop at the quirky pink elephant Antique Store on our way back. My mom's radar instantly goes up at the mere tinge of the word. There is an eclectic array of carnival ephemera populating the former school's yard, great for photo-ops. The junk is kinda pricey inside but fun to look at nonetheless.
Had I had the kind of change that floats in and out of a popstar's pocket I would have taken this gem home, a working Tetris arcade game. I even have a techno remix of the classic theme song to this game! Oh Tetris, Moscow never looked so appealing.
 PS the Martians have landed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just a typical day at work...

On Tuesday evening my boss and I had to photograph this guy named Doug Smith for our magazine. He's a balloon artist and can literally make just about anything out of balloons, after that we got to taste the drink of the month. Also comical, I don't drink but I allow myself to taste so I'm reminded at how much alcohol ruins a drink for me (I'd take a milkshake over a cocktail anyday). It was funny because for a photoshoot it doesn't matter what the drink tastes like as long as it looks right, so we had a few crazy substitutions and the thing tasted like fermented candy peaches instead of...well...whatever it was supposed to be ha ha. If we had drank it all our eyes would have bugged out like Mr. Octopus here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hobby #2 Alterations!

My motto for art and life is "Don't look at things the way you're supposed to, look for what they can be and not what they are." I am always making things and fixing things up and one of my favorite things to fix up is SHOES! They are wearable and so fun to put your own spin on, and let's face it, it's cheaper than buying brand new shoes. I found these little numbers for $3 at Salvation Army and with a little glue and a little bottle of magenta glitter-PRESTO! Instant life-size Barbie Shoes.
This other pair I had grown tired of and they were getting scratched so I dosed them with some 1960s vintage glitter and big sparkly acrylic beads and wire. Oh yeah, I think I just found my party shoes! Check back in a week when I have my TRON shoes completed. :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Multicultural Munch and Movie Night

Once again, yes it's that time of the month again, Carrie my cousin came over the other night and we lived it up with nachos GRANDE! First we put tortilla chips on a baking sheet and smothered them with shredded cheese, then stuck that in the oven for a few minutes. Once the cheese was all melty and the chips uber crispy and warm, we stacked them with homemade guacamole, homemade salsa, refried beans, black olives, jalapenos, and sour cream...then we devoured them...mmmm... I will partake of the leftovers. She also got to meet Milo!! The latest edition to my family, my Holland lop-eared rabbit. He warmed to Carrie really nicely, and thankfully didn't bite her...even though he bites everything else.

It was a rather multi-cultural night, as we ate Mexican food, beneath the light of our festive Chinese lantern lights, then dipped into some Italian ice made in Canada, and drooled over all of the beautiful British people in Gosford Park. We ended the night in a fit of giggles over practically everything in my house coming from my MOM, and the saucy Mean Girls movie, and whether or not Carrie should adopt Clive Owen and whether or not her husband would get along with him...Good times, no, correction...GREAT times.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Meet Milo!

I've had cats, my best friend hates birds and my cousin says fish are boring...Hence I got a rabbit. His name is Milo, although my dad likes to call him Rosco, also I think his back looks like the inkblot test so maybe his middle name can be Rorschach! He is 12-weeks old and very friendly, not yet litter trained but I hope to remedy that. His interests include chewing on his bed, tossing toilet paper rolls, chewing on my old jeans, and leaving black jelly beans where ever he goes. I'm looking forward to teaching him some tricks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

If you can't tell from this photo, I'm Irish on both sides of the tracks. So how am I celebrating this fabulously lovely day, I'm sporting my green and spending the evening picking up my new pet!!! (photos to come) Plus I don't drink so I will probably eat my pistachio ice cream and watch the new episode of Bones. My Grandma and Grandpa on the other hand go all out and throw an all green, card-playing, corn-beef eating kind of party for their friends in the 65 and up club. Today everyone's Irish!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This is where I work...just kidding, but I actually work in a building that shares its alley way with this gem right here. I believe a building was demolished and this gigantic amphitheater of a hole was left, complete with tire and cushionless sofa. My boss thinks it would be a great outdoor venue for music, however a lot of our audience might be a bit a shady. I'm itching to trespass some weekend and take more photos of this forgotten corner.