Creative Envy

Thursday, October 30, 2008, 10:52 pm
Filed under: design envy | Tags: ,

It’s been a very long and stressful week for me. But darling images like these lower my blood pressure and make me breathe easier. They come from artist Zee Longenecker. She is owner of Pixie Blossoms.

Hello, My name is Zee. I am originally from Rio de Janeiro – Brazil. I live in Arizona since 2002. Pixie Blossoms is a collection of things I really love: photographs, crafts and a little bit of life, because I do love my life as well. If you like what you see, get a cup of tea a generous piece of pie and enjoy!

These last two shots are my favorites. Yeah, I know. I’m pretty predictable (hello, thread).

Zee has an Etsy shop here and you can view and purchase prints of her photography here. Lovely stuff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 7:23 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: , ,

Last night while I was being stubborn (and shivering) by refusing to turn on my furnace for the first time this season, I decided to do a Flickr search for “warmth”. I picked my favorite images from the bunch and created this mosaic. I guess you could call it sensory visualization. “I’m NOT freezing. I’m NOT freezing.”

Photo credits:

1. Warmth of the Sun, 2. i’ve always liked the time before dawn because there’s no one around to remind me who i’m supposed to be, so it’s easier to remember who i am, 3. Cheon_C_PHT103_Warmth_1, 4. no longer a source of warmth for anyone, 5. warmth, 6. Seeking warmth, 7. Warmth, 8. Warmth, 9. Warmth ., 10. Warmth in wilderness !, 11. warmth., 12. Warmth

Apparently I was unsuccessful in my exercise because today I fired up the furnace. After all, wearing a winter hat indoors is not my thing.

Monday, October 27, 2008, 9:45 pm
Filed under: abode envy, projects | Tags:

About a month ago I emailed my landlord inquiring about a little yellow cabinet on the balcony above my apartment that appeared to be abandoned through two cycles of tenants. I couldn’t see it in its full glory but knew instantly that it would be perfect in my kitchen. He told me that the new tenants had just moved in and had “already seen it” so he wasn’t sure if they’d be willing to give it up. I figured since the newbies were a couple, a couple that includes a girl who looks around my age, that the cabinet was theirs, no question. That girl was going to be all over it, right?! WELL….contrare, monfrare! Tonight whilst making my Stouffers french bread pizza, my smoke detector started beeping intermittently, which prompted me to go out on my back porch to retrieve my ladder, which led me to…..THIS!

That’s right, the little yellow cabinet was sitting out there waiting for me! I almost felt like one of those yuppy women in the Christmas Lexus commercials who comes outside and her new car is bejeweled with an enormous red bow. I squealed with delight and immediately dragged it in. Well, that’s a lie. I had to attend to the smoke detector first, but that doesn’t sound as romantic! I love it so much. It could use a new coat of paint but quite honestly, if I do repaint it, I think I will keep it yellow. That, or possibly a kelly green or light blue. I could mix it up through the years.

Here’s a little collage of the set-up and what I’m thinking:

1. The cabinet matches the limey yellow that’s in my most favorite table cloth I’ve ever owned. I lusted after it at Anthropologie for months and then one day it was magically on sale.

2. This is my attempt at a tabletop vignette. Those two cookbooks date back to my Nana’s days in the 30s and 40s, and contain choice excerpts such as “Time and your oven await the occasion and the man.” Ha! They are currently serving as decoration but I, of course, have big project plans involving scanning some of the inside pages and doing an original art piece for the wall above.

3. This pig is the cookie jar I grew up with and it now has the perfect perching place. Many a cookie was sneaked from it and my mom was this close to giving it away. No way! It’s mine! For both sentimental value and all around lovely kitchy-ness.

4. The inside view. I plan on keeping my old school Corning Ware pieces in here and some mixing bowls. Those little hooks will be great for hanging up potholders and all the aprons I plan on making (big wink).

5. Surprise, surprise….another project waiting to be finished. This was once an enormous decoupaged canvas I did and I eventually tired of it so I peeled all the paper off and it ended up having this awesome textured, aged look. So now I want to paint something great over top, using the texture as a background. We’ll see how that goes down.

This little cabinet definitely made my day (happy dance).

Sunday, October 26, 2008, 10:40 am
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

A couple weeks ago Holly over at decor8 posted about inspiration overload. This post really resonated with me because I feel the same way on a daily basis:

Do you ever feel like there is too much going on out there that you’ll never catch up? There are soooo many things you see, want, love, are dying to make, dying to do, but often feel overwhelmed by it all? Yeah, me too. I totally do. I was thinking today in the craft store as I was trying to find candles for this project I’m working on that it’s important to pause and not run yourself absolutely into a hole trying to get “it all done”. I think that we as women can easily turn inspiration into this twisty vine that chokes us called competition.

yet another project waits to be completed

yet another project waits to be completed

I’m constantly overwhelmed by all the projects, ideas, and inspiration I’m back logging. Throw in “real life” and my day job, which is obviously a necessary part of living, and it all seems insurmountable. Here is the comment I left on Holly’s post which sums up my daily self-imposed “torture”:

okay, my neck is sore from nodding so much while reading this post! i share every single sentiment you expressed. (i’ve been sitting here catching up on all my blog reading for the last hour and a half…my stomach is growling for breakfast but i must. keep. absorbing. ideas.) subscribing to all these great blogs i read just makes my situation even worse (but in the best way, of course). i get one idea in my head and then i see 5 more that are even better. it’s a ridiculous cycle that overwhelms me on a daily basis until i become literally paralyzed and end up laying on my couch watching my dvr for 3 hours straight. ahhhh!

i guess my only “techniques” to handling inspiration overload are 1) lists (like most of the above comments) and 2) my blog. i use my blog to literally hoard all those ideas that i don’t ever want to lose. i have a virtual stickie note on my mac that says “ideas for posts” and it is quite long. i may have to start another one once it takes up the real estate of both my monitors! another thing i do is save favorites on etsy. i figure i can always reference things later…at least they’re saved in my virtual file system.

in general, i think it’s a double-edged sword. on one hand, it’s so great to be a member of this group that is continuously inspired by our peers and on the other hand, there’s never enough time to execute all that we want to do (especially with a 9 to 5 job thrown into the mix). i think we all just need to clone ourselves a la michael keaton in multiplicity and then delegate.

really, i AM going to eventually pick a paint color for the bathroom and hang these kick-ass wall tiles

no, really. i AM going to eventually pick a paint color for the bathroom and hang these kick-ass wall tiles.

And here it is, already Sunday and I didn’t accomplish half of what I wanted to this weekend. Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to squeeze another full-time job into the timespan of 48 hours. Anyone else feel this way?

Don’t get me wrong…I do realize that in the grand scheme of life that such things are relatively insignificant. But for me it’s the fuel that keeps me inspired and excited and makes me, well, me. I just need to find that balance of not just work and life but work, life and inspiration.

Saturday, October 25, 2008, 5:22 pm
Filed under: design envy | Tags: , , ,

I don’t know how the girls over at The Scoop do it, but they’re always finding the most wonderful little gems of design out there and they’ve done it again. Yesterday they posted about Garamond Powerline, a type study from Danish graphic design firm, 0c/0m/0y/0k. I got so excited when I saw it I had to re-post it myself so it would be forever saved in my hoarded virtual inspiration journal. I’m in love.

You can view the entire alphabet here. I saved a few critical letters and have the ‘C’ as my computer desktop. I think this one’s gonna stick for awhile. So great!

Saturday, October 25, 2008, 11:53 am
Filed under: fashion envy | Tags:

Oh, to have an unlimited amount of disposable income…the damage I could do on a site like Stewart + Brown. Not only is their clothing beautiful and earth-friendly, but Stewart+Brown donates a minimum of 1% of all sales to non-profit, non-governmental environmental and social welfare organizations.

I currently have a self-imposed fiscal diet but today I allowed myself to live in a fantasy land and take a virtual inventory of all the items I would purchase if I had, let’s say, the wardrobe budget of a certain VP candidate (tee hee). Here are some of my top picks.

I would love to be able to knit sweaters like these. Items I will actually wear and not cast aside because they turn out big, boxy and bulky. Better learn how to do shapes other than rectangles first. Baby steps.

Thursday, October 23, 2008, 7:21 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, projects | Tags: , ,

I’m a big fan of Jordan’s blog Oh Happy Day. She posts some great stuff but I think her recent entries about the Dinner Party in the Middle of Nowhere take the cake. I’m so envious (of course) of not only the idea of said dinner party but check out what she came up with for the invitations. Brilliant.

First I used my typewriter and I hand typed the party information on a small strip of paper. I said lots of things like “make sure no one follows you, wear disguises if necessary, this message will self destruct in ten seconds.” Then I rolled up the strips of paper and tucked them in these cheap old little glass capsules with a cork lid. I got them at the flea market, their original use was to hold spare watch parts. I typed the attendees name on the card and affixed the capsule with twine. Then I left the invitations on the doorstep and doorbell ditched.

Even the delivery execution is priceless! I would flip if I found this on my doorstep. How inventive and charming, right? But it doesn’t end there. Check out how gorgeous this table set-up is. And it’s literally, in the middle of nowhere.

And the guests dining….

The party was set up smack dab in the middle of the Aquatic Park pier. There was the Golden Gate Bridge on one side, Alcatraz behind us, and all the lights of the city and Ghiradelli Square on the other side. We rented the linens and chiavari ballroom chairs and then I bought battery operated LED votives so we could still dine by candlelight. Keeping the food warm was tricky but we had four courses, soup we kept hot in thermoses, salad, homemade macaroni and cheese served in individual ramekins (these were baked immediately before then covered and put in a cooler.) And for dessert we had pot de creme served with thick drinking chocolate served in cappuccino cups.

(Read the entire post here.)

What baffles me is that this looks like a staged photo shoot or something but she actually made this all happen! Mad props, Jordan. Thanks for the inspiration.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 8:36 pm
Filed under: music envy | Tags: ,

[mixwit_mixtape wid=”bb6fc6c94d3ba5d8a25dd38be79fe6d9″ pid=”8156d058dde791bfdf509066e60c9a11″ width=”426″ height=”327″ center=”true”]

Mixwit lets you make your own virtual mix tapes and share them with your friends. It’s super easy to do. You just search their library for the tracks you want and drag and drop them into a playlist. You can even customize the look of your mixtape but I decided to pick an old school template because you can’t have a shiny new looking mix tape. IT’S A MIX TAPE!!! Represent!

Here’s my playlist if you are interested in the songs you hear:

  1. Theresa Andersson – Birds Fly Away
  2. Those Dancing Days – Shuffle
  3. Peter Bjorn & John – Young Folks
  4. She & Him – Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
  5. Joshua Radin and Ingrid Michaelson – Sky
  6. Feist – Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)
  7. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – Falling Slowly
  8. Adele – Chasing Pavements

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 6:25 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

I finally finished the little apron for my niece’s 2nd birthday present. It came out pretty cute! The fabric is actually from an Urban Outfitters bedspread I got on clearance for $9.99 about a year ago. It’s a queen size so there is plenty more to make myself a grown-up version.

Kimi, if you’re reading this make sure you cover Emma’s eyes! I will send it soon. Just need to finish part two of her gift!

Monday, October 20, 2008, 7:39 pm
Filed under: abode envy, art envy, projects | Tags: ,

Wow. Just, wow. Charlie Kratzer of Lexington, KY is my new hero. Using just $10 worth of Sharpie magic markers, he decorated all of the walls in his basement rec room.

Says Kratzer, 53, the associate general counsel for Lexmark: “People are amazed that with something as simple and inexpensive as a Sharpie, you can decorate a whole basement.”

I can only imagine all of the possibilities! Amazing. You can read the entire article here.

(Via ReadyMade blog.)