and then look at the mess her zine caused.
You can get your very own IDEAS zine in her etsy shop along with some fabulous paper packs.
Well, another thing for the home, but I promise this is more of a designy-crafty-DIY type of a thing than home renovations. I’ve been seeing these large Debbie Carlos prints around for years, online and at renegade. I learned that blowing up your own pictures really big can make for some great artwork from all my years watching early Trading Spaces. A year or so ago people started posting about how you can get your own images blown up, in black and white, cheaply at copy stores, by just asking for blueprint or engineering copies. Brilliant!
Then a little bit ago I saw this great pin about making a life size photobooth strip from Today’s Creative Blog. I think that tutorial just pieced together 12×12 prints to look like they were all one strip, but I thought “why not take it a step further and just blow up a real photo booth strip?” I called up a local copy store and they said the largest size they print is 4′x3′ for only $5. The print is like a very large xerox and the paper is pretty similar weight to a nice copy machine paper. 4′x3′ is much wider than just one strip so I figured why not do a few strips side by side.
While looking through my strips I realized I liked some pictures from a lot of the different strips and decided to piece together some of my favorites of Matt and I from over the years. I scanned 3 photobooth strips to get the background right, and then scanned all my strips for the individual pictures I wanted to place over the existing pictures. They are all real photobooth pictures, just not from the same strips. You could easily just scan complete strips and have them printed as is.
Once again, I’m not a home decor photographer, but COME ON! Look how I was able to get two adorable kitties in the shot AND both are looking at the camera! I may have missed my calling to be a pet photographer. It’s like a family portrait of sorts above. Matt and I in the print, and the cats below. I said “too bad I didn’t remove the laptop from next to the couch” and Matt said “well, that’s part of the family too!”
A few extra ideas I had while doing this project:
I scanned the photobooth strips in at resolution of 1200 so that when they were printed out that huge they would still look pretty crisp.
The print is just stuck to the wall using wall tacky, which I’m not crazy about for the long run. I doubt I’d just find any picture frame that large that is in range for a $5 print. I need to look online for some framing ideas.
Think about what else you could print large. What about a face, Chuck Close style?! You aren’t limited to enlarging photographs either. It would be really cool to scan an object (fern leaf, needlework, heirloom lace, seeds, sequins) or photograph a sentimental object (wedding rings, baseball, keys, handwriting) you have and then blow up those images really big to display in your home.
You could get an even bigger impact by dividing your image up into parts, getting each piece printed out on the largest size paper and then piecing all the prints together on the wall.
Many years ago I remember finding the site rasterbator.net, and this project reminded me of that. I was glad to see the site is still up. Rasterbator allows you to upload a picture and then set the specifications (image dimension, as well as paper size) and the site will create a multi page PDF with your image blown up in half-tone. You can then print the pages from home and piece them together.
Last minute addition. I love this idea that MyCakies shared where she blew up a print of the Eiffel Tower and then let her children go to town painting it with watercolors. Instant Art!
I’ll preface this blog post by saying I have a pet peeve when reading other people’s posts where they post a picture of something and then state “please disregard the mess”. Then, for the life of me, I’m looking at the picture and can’t see a single thing out of place or even a spec of dust. Those people will probably be repulsed by this post because, as the header states, I’m no home decorator and this is no home decor blog. I don’t have fancy wide angled lenses, professional lighting and a staged home. I have a (probably) decade old, used digital camera, minimal winter lighting and a very lived in home. So yeah, today I’m going to be one of those people… Please disregard the mess. Also, I just remembered about when I was renting and had no prospects of home buying it used to really annoy me when people would do these type of posts. I was reading their blogs for their craft or design or artwork, not junk about their house. I apologize to anyone that might feel like that, feel free to skip past this post and please return later to our (semi) regularly programmed material.
We bought our home in August 2011. I can’t believe it has been that long. We have been living here for over a year and a half and until recently have done very little to it, other then fresh coats of paint to a few of the rooms. It takes me a long time to feel settled into a new place. I actually felt at home right away, but I’m realizing there is a difference between feeling at home and getting to the point where I feel like I can make adjustments to suit my own needs rather than just live with what I have. That being said, I’m still not even to the point where I feel like I can confidently drill holes in my own walls and hang things. 3M pull tabs, you’ve been a life saver!
In the last month or two we have made a few minor changes that have succeeded in making the house feel more and more like OURS. The before pictures are ones we took at the inspection or closing. I wish I had thought to take pictures right before we made these changes, so I didn’t have to use the closing pictures (all empty and well lit), but naturally, it wasn’t until each of the lights were down that I thought about it. Also, big props go out to Matt’s parents who helped us with each of these changes.
The house originally had those brass and glass light fixtures, as seen above. I knew I wanted to put in lights of my own before we even settled on a house. I really had my heart set on the Ikea Maskros. It wasn’t until we bought the house and took a trip into Ikea that I saw them ALL.OVER.THE.STORE and immediately I got cold feet. I’m sure they knew they were a hot item and felt like they were trying to shove them down my throat. I didn’t want an item that would look super dated in 5 years and I started thinking that in 5 years that light would feel more like “oh yeah, I remember when those were super popular and everyone had one”. I still really love it, and props to those who have it, but I know myself and I wanted something I’d be keeping up for a longer time period.
I wasn’t sure what kind of light I wanted. I shopped online, in local hardware stores, and we checked out the habitat for humanity store, where we found a sea of our same style lights. Seems like everyone else wanted them out of their houses as well. One of the things I’ve tried to keep in mind for our house is “when in doubt go simple”. I have a tendency to get cluttered. I love collecting things and have tons of display type stuff. So when putting things in the house I’d rather go simple on the larger things while the other display items become the accents. This way everything isn’t overwhelming, cluttered, or competing for attention.
I was tired of waiting for the just the right light to be placed in my arms. I hunted online and finally found the Crate and Barrel Large Finley pendant light in white. 1. Our walls are all painted bright white, despite what the pictures may look like. I liked that the Finley is also white, plain, and simple, and has a bottom, so that when you are sitting below it you can’t see up inside of it. 2. Picture disclaimer: Yeah, I know I said I’d like everything I put in the house to look SIMPLE, but this really only applies to things we buy new. Our house is currently such a mishmash of items. Pretty much everything is thrifted, handed down or picked up for free. Beggars can’t be choosers. The only things in this picture that don’t fit into that category are the two lights (the floor lamp, and the new pendant light) and the TV stand. The coffee table (which you can barely see), the couch, the other couch out of view, lazyboy, chairs, dining room table, and even the TV all fit into the first category of previously used items.
One of the things I first loved about our house was that it had a foyer. My original idea for the space was that I wanted a bench, baskets for mail, mittens, etc., and a large mirror to check myself before heading out the door. We hunted and hunted for a bench before I just gave up and found a narrow table that worked just right. Sure enough, since then I’ve been seeing tons of foyer benches. We still have not hung a mirror (see above for fear of hanging things on the walls). Then, within the last couple of weeks we took down this brass and glass (complete with fake candlestick) light in the space and replaced it with the Ikea Knappa. Because it was hard to see how the displays were wired in the store and the packaging didn’t explain, we were a bit surprised to find that the light is actually just a plug light with hooks to hang it by. We ended up having to cut off the plug and strip the wires to have it hang like a true chandelier light.
I don’t think I previously really paid attention the light in this space. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t an eye sore either, maybe because it was high enough, out of sight out of mind. It wasn’t something that I was dying to change. What did that for me was one evening while walking down my street I happened to notice that I could see through my neighbor’s window transom, over their front door, and see their foyer light. I don’t even remember if it was anything special, but just that I realized If I could see theirs, then people could see ours that same way. We don’t really have front windows, but we do have this transom window. I thought it would be really cool if there was something interesting to see there. When hanging we took care to make sure that it was visible through that transom from outside. I am thrilled with the way it looks from the street and sidewalk. From the inside, the space doesn’t have too much going on, so I wasn’t worried about it looking too cluttered, by choosing a busy light. Also, it is something that might get boring soon, but for only $25 we can easily replace it with something different in a couple of years. Something also new, fun and interesting to look at.
Definitely the most functional update are these shelves above the washer and dryer. There were some rickety shelves there when we bought the house but they were taken down when we were painting. For a Christmas present, Matt said he would get shelves and install them. Up until then I was frustrated, living with a laundry basket filled with soap, bleach, dryer balls, stain remover, tid bits from our pockets, what-have-you, and just moving that basket from top of the washer to top of the dryer to the floor and back again.
Now I have the shelves and I’m relieved that things in this space can finally be “put away”. Also, we don’t have a linen closet per se, so I am excited that I can get some baskets to go up on the top shelf and put things away in there.
These are the major changes. We’ve done a few small things here and there that aren’t too much worth sharing. You don’t want to see replaced toilet seats, do you? hehe. One last thing though, something I wanted to do way before we bought the house and that was to get an air plant to hang in the kitchen. I bought the vase at Micheal’s for a couple dollars, and the air plant from Acorn Design Source at the Kane County Flea Market. I’d really like to add more greenery to the house, but I have to be creative with two cats that will destroy any living plants within reach.
Okay, that’s that. Since we are slow movers when it comes to home improvements this will probably be the last home post until next year.
This is part IV of 100 Things About Me. I’m breaking it down into smaller digestible pieces. Part I can be read here, and part II here, and part III here. Okay, I think this is where things start getting tough. It’s hard to think of new things, and I worry about repeating myself. Here it goes:
61. I’ve never smoked a cigarette
62. I’m a Mac and a PC. I’ve always used Macs for all my design work (schooling and professional) and and have a PC at home.
62. Pet Peeve: When I get my daily Pinterest digest and I see a person has gone through an entire board of mine and repinned almost every item to their own board. It’s quite a compliment. BUT, when I visit their board to see if there is anything in it I’d like to pin to my own board and I see it is only my pins, yeah, that’s not so cool. They have basically just recreated my entire board.
63. I have over 950 posts on my blog
64. I saw the Big Lebowski first run in the movie theater, and watched Freaks and Geeks on television from the very first episode on. I’m proud of that because these are things that apparently very few people did (a box office disappointment and a cancelled TV show), but have now become huge cult hits.
65. I’ve never had my earlobes pierced. I do however have my cartilage in my right ear pierced.
66. If I ever win the lotto BIG, I’d buy my sister, brother, sister in law, Matt and myself Segways and we’d start a segway gang. Only, I actually need to start playing Lotto to win.
67. Fall is my favorite season, followed by Spring. I’d be perfectly happy to live in a world where we only had a SOLID month of summer and of winter.
68. As a girl I was a girl Scout and would have loved to continue being one if only our troop could never keep a leader. We had to disband in middle school because we had no leader. I would love to be a girl scout leader if I had a partner that would do it with me.
69. I cry easily. When I see other people cry, I cry, even if I don’t know what they are crying about.
70. Someday I want to run a 5K. Like run the whole thing, not walk at all.
71. I learned photography shooting black and white film in a vintage SLR Minolta and developed my own pictures in a dark room. Now most of my pictures are taken on my ipod.
72. One time my sister in law had the brilliant idea of organizing a Pirates Vs. Ninja Protest. We stood on opposing street corners downtown, opposite where political protesters demonstrate weekly in our hometown.
73. My sister in law is my garage sale, thrift store, estate sale-ing partner.
74. I used to want to work with runaways and/or throwaway kids.
75. When things get intense I start shivering, and my teeth chatter. Kind of like when you are so cold, but I’m not cold, it’s almost like I’m going into shock. It doesn’t even need to be huge. Just seeing a friend that I haven’t seen for a long time can cause it.
76. My first job was a paper route when I was probably 11-ish. I split a large, 6 day route with my friend Regina.
77. I have a chicken pox scar where the bridge of my nose meets my brow. When I was little it was a very defining thing about me physically, not in an embarrassing way, just that it was an important characteristic. That was because every kid I met would look, point and/or ask me about it first thing. As I got older I realized people asked about it less so I thought about it less, but then I realized it’s probably still just as noticeable, but as people grow they become more polite and don’t mention it.
78. I’m a middle child and I think that plays a big part of who I am. As my brother often says about me “I’m torn”.
79. Matt and I are both homebodies. We have the above art print by Ashley G.
80. I also like adventures, which comes back to the whole torn thing, because that means I have to venture out which is hard for me.
Recently I was thrilled to see I sold one of my alphabet posters. Glancing at my stats I noticed views up on that poster. I did a bit of sleuthing and discovered that my poster was featured on the blog for Swedish magazine Hus & Hem! I’ve been thinking that I should make some more pieces like these, maybe one with numbers and some with phrases. You might remember this piece stemmed from the series of Polaroid Pogo prints I did in 2009. I can’t wait for spring to arrive so I can scout out some moss and get going on more posters.
I love Art-o-mat. It’s no secret. I’m thrilled to announce that my collection of Art-o-mat artwork (pieces that I have purchased by other artists at various Art-o-mat machines) will be on display at Kishwaukee College. Once I get them out to the school, they will be in a display case in the brand new Student Center through the end of the semester, near Kish’s Art-0-mat machine. Once they are at the school I hope to get some pictures and will share them here. I also hope that this display may spark an interest in art collectors from the community to visit this very special diamond that we are so lucky to have nearby. Who knows, maybe this post will inspire you to check and see where your nearest Art-o-mat is and visit it. Did I mention that it is also a great time to be a contributing Art-o-mat artist? Artwork to fill the machines is in high demand!
I will be selling again at the Na-Da Farm Spring Sale this year. I’m especially excited this year, having one year under my belt and knowing a bit more of what to expect. I’m also REALLY excited because my friends Courtney of She Always Loved Larking (Etsy) and Ann of A Beautiful Party (Etsy) will also be selling at the event. We are going to have so much fun! If you like fun (and who doesn’t?) then you should come to the event as well.
This weekend I took Matt to his first (and probably last) flea market. 30 seconds in the door and he says “My complete nightmare”. All that aside, I happened to find 3 things that I had been wanting. Just the day before I had been hunting for a replacement smiley face mug on ebay. Lo and behold, I walked into a booth and there is a whole collection of them, for only $6 a pop. I’m not kidding when my eyes just about teared up, I couldn’t believe it. What luck! About $20 less than what I’d probably end up spending on one (shipping included) if I had bought one online.
We’ve been drinking a lot of tea lately and that got me wanting to do a post on my favorite mugs. Have you ever seen Flight of the Conchords? If you haven’t then than trust me, watch it, you will love it. There are so many endearing things about Bret and Germaine, but one of the things I love about them is their thrift store style. These penniless musicians are always wearing random shirts and drinking from odd mugs. Watching the show made me realize I never wanted a matching set of mugs. Sidenote: my dad collects diner mugs, ya know the kind with businesses advertisements on them.
So, here it goes, my current favorite mugs.
A vintage McCoy smiley face mug. I actually had a smiley face mug, but I think it was just a teleflora mug (came as a planter). I can’t remember if I got this mug from my grandpa’s place after he passed away, or if I found it thrifting and bought it because it reminded me of him. Anyway, I had this mug and I loved it. My grandpa worked for Calumet City which has a smiley face water tower. Eventually the handle cracked off. That’s probably what happens when mugs are really meant to be used as flower pots and not hold hot fluid. I wanted to replace it and that was when I looked on ebay and found that my teleflora mug was a rip off of the vintage McCoy smiley face mugs. They must have been pretty common because you can always find them for sale, but the shipping is what kept me from ever buying one. It was complete serendipity that I went to the flea market and that there was a booth with a whole collection of mugs.
The next mug is one I found thrifting and I just liked the way it looked, plus someone put a bird on it.
Then there is another thrift store mug for the company that I work at, or rather a previous rendition of my current company. I just thought it was hilarious to find a mug for the company I work at so I bought it.
Remember back in the 90s when the internet was all woooooooooooo! Well, as a kid in the 80s I had this book about how to get free stuff and most of the instructions were to write companies and sometimes they’ll send you free samples. I remembered that and thought “wonder if it works the same on the internet” so I did a search for free stuff and somehow how found the coffee company Papa Nicholas. They had a survey and said if I filled it out I’d get a free sample. Little did I know they’d send me a free mug AND a huge bag of coffee grounds! Even after I told them I don’t drink coffee. The 90s were awesome that way.
This is probably my most Flight of the Conchords mug. The hot air balloons are just to remember my trip in a hot air balloon and I got the mug at Salvation Army.
Seagulls and random blue stripey mug are also thrifted. I love the shape and size of the seagulls. The blue one I got just because it reminded me of a handbuilt mug I bought at salvation army, but realized when I got home it somehow didn’t make it into my bags with me. I was so broken hearted I went back for it and it was already gone. oh well.
So, there ya go. My favorite mugs, mostly thrifted, loved a lot, and rarely used for coffee. I have to give props and inspiration for this post to Manda Townsend for her recent mention of a favorite mug she stole back from her parents, and then Carrie Anne at the Little Big Blog for all of her thrifty posts, as well as featuring a mug on Friday that looks very similar to my seagull mug.
If you have some fun mugs and want to do a post, please share!
41. I’m the self professed Yoyo Queen. I first started making yoyos when I was 15 or 16 with a quilt using mostly scraps from my mom’s quilts. Since the beginning I’ve probably made thousands of yoyos and my framed yoyos have been featured on many blogs and the front page of Etsy.
42. I love the girls’ names Jane, Wendy, Allison, and Casey
43. I LOVE popcorn, my favorite being cheese caramel from the Popcorn Palace.
44. The majority of my socks have been black and white striped since about 2001.
45. I have seen the Smoking Popes perform tons of times (in their many variations and incarnations) including once where I saw them 3 times in a 7 day period.
46. I am a contributing artist in cellophane, meaning, I am an artomat artist!
47. I took several anthropology classes in college. One was a forensic anthropology class where I got to work on facial reconstruction on a skull and work on a skeletal remains dig in a yard.
48. I love documentaries, especially crime docs and watch the dramatized Investigation Discovery Channel like it’s my job. Funny though, I would never really watch any of those fictional CSI type shows.
49. We have 2 cats, but I don’t think of myself as a cat or dog person, but an animal lover all around.
50. I love everything paper related, from the huge press rolls of newsprint, padding paper, stationery and notecard sets to little scraps of ephemera and vintage papers
51. I LOVE the snow, much to the annoyance of pretty much EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON.AROUND.ME. Everyone accept for Dacia (high five, girlfriend!)
52. My cat just stepped on the keyboard and somehow caused a long long line of lololololololololololololololololololololololol to appear, which then made me really LOL.
53. I love grass. Lawn grass to be specific. I love cutting it with a lawn mower, I love the smell of it, I love the feel of it under bare feet, and I love the color, and image. To me grass is nature, it is beauty, it is freedom and leisure. A lot of my artwork uses the image of grass blades and I have a whole flickr set devoted to it.
54. My favorite directors are Cameron Crowe, Tim Burton, Jean Pierre Jeunet and Michel Gondry.
55. My favorite color is green, but not any particular shade of green. I even love that “eww, puke green” that people seem to always detest. I especially love when lots of shades of green are next to each other. It makes the color so much more rich.
56. I used to know a good amount of sign language. I haven’t used it in ages, but I bet if I took a quick class or picked up a book I could get back into it fairly easily.
57. I like to make art and leave it out for people to discover and keep. See Found Art Tuesday.
58. White dudes all look the same to me. Honestly, I do have a hard time following movies where the characters are all Caucasian men because unless they have unique characteristics I can’t tell them apart. For example that actor Tom Hardy, I wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a line up if money was on the line. It’s only after reading his names so many times that I looked him up and realized I had seen him in so many movies and never knew he was the same person.
59. I’m kind of obsessed with everything Peter Pan. It started as a child listening to the Disney Peter Pan soundtrack (on record). Then I read the book kind of late in middle school or high school and realized it was such a great and creatively written book and renewed my obsession. Then when I was in college my best friend and I stayed at a hotel in London that by chance was just across the street from Kensington Gardens. The gardens are the place where Peter fell from his pram and lived with the birds before flying away to Neverland. The picture above is one I took of a sculpture in the gardens.
60. I’ve never been to Disneyworld or Disneyland and really don’t care to go either. There was a time when I was a kid when I would have loved to have gone, when all my friends’ families were taking them, but now as an adult I could think of a dozen places I’d rather go than Disney.
This weekend I was really excited to make a bunch of little journals. They are similar to my little book that I purchased at an art show in 2009. The pages are even smaller though, at 3″x2.25″
When I was in college I took a bookmaking class and have since made a few books that I’ve sold through my shop. The above image is a hardcover book I made and one of the first items I ever sold in my etsy shop back in 2006. Below is another hardcover book in my shop currently.
and I’ve made many super teensie tiny handbound books like below
I even used to make tiny books on earrings, but I don’t have pierced ears, so I always felt kind of weird about offering an item that I couldn’t even enjoy myself. I love making tiny things so I wouldn’t rule out ever making them again, and well, now that I have even brought them up I’m sure to want to make some more.
I still have my book cradle that I made in college. One end fell off and so I craftily cut up an old book cover to replace the missing end.
Since that first bookmaking class I’ve pretty much only ever made hardcover books on my own. I really do love my little book and so I thought “why not try and make a little softcover handbound journal of my own.” I brought out my old college textbook for a refreshener. Everything went well on the first one, and so I made several more!
Similar to the hardcover books I’ve made, the new ones have a variety of papers inside, including graph, drawing paper, vintage papers and some lined paper that I’ve made myself.
They were fun to make and I hope to make some more in other sizes.
While looking for a link to my college text book I saw this awesome looking book on making mini books, and I think I’ve seen this one at our local Barnes and Noble and have heard good things about it.
Also, I realized while composing this post that as soon as a book has a leather cover (whether hardcover or soft) it automatically becomes a journal in my mind. Even if the pages don’t really lend themselves to journaling. Why is that? The leather that I used to make these little books were bought in a bag of remnant leather scraps, thus the small size of books.
It has been way-way too long since I’ve added a brand new product to my online shop. If you follow me on instagram or flickr you may have seen some sneak peeks of this new product, vintage photograph circle-cut garlands.
I’ve had this idea in my head for so long and I’m so thrilled with how they came out. I went into my studio earlier this week with the intentions of working on something else, but next thing I know I’m whipping up these pretty babies. These garlands (color, or black and white) are made from actual, real vintage photographs. I know, gasp! Rosa ;) The pictures in these garlands came from a HUGE bag of pictures I scored at a flea market a couple of years ago. As beautiful as these pieces are though, I do believe future garlands will be made from prints made from the collection, rather than actual vintage pictures.
Reaching into the bag while I worked, I kept pulling out pictures that I just couldn’t bring myself to cut up. Here are a few, and you will see what I am talking about.
That girl in the middle saved this picture with her adorable hat alone!
I couldn’t cut apart this grade school picture, but it did inspire me to make future garlands from vintage year books, which I have a good collection of as well.
That face. Really? Heart melting.
And last but not least, this bathing beauty. A stunner, right? There are actually A LOT of pictures of her in the bag so I wasn’t so protective of each. Good news, that means she’s featured in some of the garlands.
These garlands are now available in my etsy shop. Please stop by to see them and many other pages of my handmade products. Thank you!
Matt’s mom picked up a couple of Polaroid cameras for me at a Goodwill to add to my collection. One of them had film still left inside. I didn’t really have too much hope for it so I was quite surprised when it actually turned out. Afterward I was kind of kicking myself that I didn’t take more time trying to find a better subject or composition. Oh well, at least I caught this little film. This is something people won’t get to do much longer… developing instant pictures in daylight, as Impossible Film must be developed in the dark.
I made this video in Vine, but it kept giving me a “failed upload” message. I kept it there for days trying over and over before it finally just disappeared on it’s own. I read this post where apparently I’m not the only one to complain about this issue. I hope that can resolve this issue and have been keeping my eyes peeled for an update. At least, like the coloring book/zine upload, it was saved to my photo album and not lost entirely.
sidenote: I need to look into why flickr is adding a black box at the top and bottom of my vine videos, making the video out of scale. My vine videos are square formatted, the videos are uploaded are square, but when they are published to flickr the black boxes appear and the scale is all wonky. I ended up just posting the video to Vimeo and sharing that version instead.