Creative Envy

Saturday, November 29, 2008, 11:50 am
Filed under: design envy | Tags: , , ,

Today is my last full day home for the holiday. As always, my time off has gone by way too quickly but I’m making the most of it. It’s 11:30 and I’m still in my pajamas and I don’t plan on getting dressed for at least another hour or so. I’m finally catching up on some blog reading while I update my parent’s computer and I’m overwhelmed by all the ideas that apparently surfaced while I was busy eating turkey. I’ll post them in the coming weeks but for now here are a couple of images from the portfolio of stylist Tanya Goodwin that I love (from mer mag via Desire to Inspire). Probably because they are both of seating and I plan on sitting on my butt for most of the day today.



I could use another week off, quite honestly, but Christmas vacation will be here soon enough. If someone could just deliver me a hot chai, I’d be set.

Monday, November 24, 2008, 8:57 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: , ,

Despite my frustration last night, I really have made a lot of progress on my list over the past week. I said I would post pictures of the things that are semi cool so here are the most recent victories. First up, one of the best inventions ever: FLOR carpet tiles.

The new FLOR area rug in my bedroom

The new FLOR area rug in my bedroom (chartreuse)

The FLOR runner in my hallway

The FLOR runner in my hallway (dusty turquoise)

Beck seriously considering the new rugs

Beck seriously considering the new rug situation

Next up, my chair project. While I don’t have any finished products to show, I made progress in the supplies department. I got the foam for the cushions as well as some special order fabric and everything was a steal thanks to sales and coupons at Jo-Ann’s. I probably saved around $100 total. So exciting. I plan on tackling this right when I get back from Thanksgiving.

The giant piece of foam that I wrestled into a shopping cart (I don't think anybody was watching)

The giant piece of foam that I wrestled into my shopping cart

I also bought and spun yarn around the antique spools I got about a month or so ago. I’m not sure I love the look of this. Jury’s still out. For now though, it’s fine.


I like the yellow but I'm not sold on the brown or cream

And here’s how the typesetting drawer turned out.

The letterpress tray I got at a Clintonville antique shop

The type tray I got at a Clintonville antique shop

My friend Christina suggested painting one of the cubbies

My friend Christina suggested painting one of the cubbies

One of my little bird figurines has a new home

One of my little bird figurines has a new home

So that’s all so far. Definitely making baby steps of progress. Posting will most likely be spotty for the next week as I am heading home for the holiday and will be busy eating, napping and playing Barbies with my nieces. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008, 10:10 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags:

After my earlier frustrating incident with the wall tiles, I became obsessed with getting them up successfully tonight. I figured that if I could somehow bracket the tiles together and THEN hang them as one piece, that would work. Here’s what I MacGyvered out of some nails and wire:



And here’s the finished result.




I’m pretty happy with how they look despite the underlying bitterness. I’m just fully aware of the disaster that lurks on the wall underneath and am afraid to breathe too heavily nearby because they will probably fall down. Lesson learned for the future (because I have 4 silver ones that I need to hang in the bathroom): heavy duty velcro will work just as well and will take a total of about 10 minutes, saving me both time and my sanity.

Sunday, November 23, 2008, 6:38 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

I have just spent the last hour attempting to hang these tiles I got from Brocade months ago. I am beyond frustrated because I’m trying to hang them so they are flush edge to edge like this:


This is the current state of my tiles:

tiles in disarray

Tiles in disarray

It’s just not happening. Mostly because I don’t have a level. I had gotten two successfully hung, they looked okay close up, but when I backed up I realized they were completely slanted. Grrrrhhhh. So now I have over 8 holes in my wall and because I live in a very old place, the walls are made of plaster. Therefore, every time I drill into them I make an enormous hole (I’m using plastic anchors but that doesn’t really matter if you don’t get the holes exactly right).

This is where I'm attempting to hang the tiles.

This is where I am attempting to hang the tiles

Did you ever see that episode of Friends when Monica can’t figure out what the power switch operates and she ends up making gigantic holes in the wall? That’s what I feel like I’m on course for.

The holes

The holes


Oh, the gigantic holes

I decided to take a break, a deep breath, and document the experience so that I can later laugh about it. Riiiiiiggghhhhht. Or I may just ditch these tiles and find a rather large poster to put over the wall damage I just caused. The reason I’m even more pissed off is because I am trying to cross off a bunch of “little” things from the list and this was supposed to be a little one that would take a half hour tops. Oh, contrare. I’m gonna go walk Beck and come back with a cool head and try again. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 20, 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: five faves | Tags:



1. I love this soap packaging from Anthropologie for Savon soap. Not sure how good it smells but it sure is cute. (sorry, the link for the soap doesn’t work anymore)

2. Lorena Barrezueta is an artist whose porcelain pieces are modeled after tin foil containers.

3. Gwen Verdon Fosse Original 60 set to Walk it Out by DJ Unk. Brilliant.

4. Paper + Cup’s line of silokids notecards. These silhouettes are darling.

5. ABC3D is a wonderful pop-up book with each page showing a different letter of the alphabet. I ordered two of these today. One for me and one for some lucky kid.

Thursday, November 20, 2008, 12:02 am
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

Special thanks to Spool for posting about the new Stitch magazine that is now available. I think this will require a special trip to Barnes & Noble this weekend to pick up the November issue and add it to my stack of Thanksgiving vacation reading materials.

From Japanese craft books and Project Runway to classic designer fashion and modern home décor trends, from fiber art to, vintage to fashion-forward—our focus is on contemporary sewing that celebrates the handmade lifestyle.

And how great is that skirt on the cover? Apparently it comes with patterns inside printed on real pattern paper so you can get started immediately. Sounds lovely.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 9:35 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: , , ,

Since my chair hunt is looking pretty close to finished (pending the refinishing and cushions), I am now on a mission to find a coffee table for my living room. I really love the peekaboo clear table from CB2; however, I don’t want to spend the money on it. I realize it’s not SUPER expensive but I know I can find something for less that’s just as cool.

CB2 peekaboo coffee table

CB2 peekaboo coffee table


My other thought, which is vintage me, is that I can fashion something out of a selvaged piece. Here are two examples that I’m extremely envious of. This first one is made out of an old card catalog, which provides added storage space.


Then there’s this kick-ass table, made from an old apartment building’s bank of mailboxes. I adore this.


Another option is to just make one from scratch. Granted, I’ve never built anything before but I have it in my head that I could pull it off. I found this really cool plan on one of Make magazine’s digital editions. Perhaps I can bribe my dad or brother to help me with it when I’m home for Thanksgiving or Christmas since they have power tools and know how to build things (grunt grunt). It’s completely made of plywood and there is no hardware involved. It all connects via wood cuts and pegs.


So the new hunt is on.

Monday, November 17, 2008, 8:08 pm
Filed under: art envy | Tags: , , , ,

Like a lot of designers, I’m a big fan of Charley Harper’s illustrations of wildlife. Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life is on my wish list and while I would love to own a large print of one of his works, I just can’t afford it. So being the thrifty (or cheap, you can say it) person that I am I’m trying to find creative ways to have Harper’s work in my home.

I was really excited a few weeks ago when one of our paper reps came into Ologie with a bunch of samples, among them being this piece by Monadnock, A Field Guide about eco-friendly printing. Harper’s illustrations are throughout the book so I swiped an extra one so that I can cut out the drawings and frame them, either all together or separately in smaller frames.



Then, yesterday I was at Old Navy and come to find out that they have a whole line of kids items all with Harper’s illustrations on them! Board books, peg puzzles, coloring books, a matching game….a whole bunch of stuff. If I had a kid of my own, I would have cleaned them out. I did, however, purchase these flashcards for $14.50.




They are obviously super cute but if you turn them over, they form two over sized floor puzzles each with one of Harper’s illustrations. I plan on framing the one with all the animals on it and putting it in my kitchen (I think; that’s the only room with available wall space and a bright color palette).



In the future, if I have children I can disassemble the framed puzzle, flip the cards back over and decorate the nursery with the individually framed flashcards. I think Harper’s work would make the perfect, gender neutral décor for a kid’s room yet still be cool and artistic enough for adult appreciation.

So there are cost-effective ways to get Charley Harper work for your home. But I do still want the book (hint hint).

Sunday, November 16, 2008, 6:52 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: , , , ,

I’ve decided that this year for my Christmas shopping I am going indie. I am pledging that all the gifts I purchase for my loved ones will be obtained from independent shops, not chains. I’ll be looking to places like Etsy and local Columbus retailers in addition to making things by hand myself. There’s not really a deep-seeded reason behind this other than wanting to support small, local businesses as well as DIY-ers who are trying to make a living, especially in this crappy economy.

There’s a great website called Buy Handmade where you can sign your name pledging to only purchase handmade items and requesting others to do the same for you over the holidays. I would love to sign this; however, in good conscience, I don’t think I can totally commit to ALL handmade items (I do have men to shop for and I feel that can be a bit more challenging). But I still think it’s a great idea so if you want to make the pledge yourself, you should check it out. Plus you get to put this cute little banner on your site.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Saturday, November 15, 2008, 6:41 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: , ,

Today and tomorrow Tiny Canary is taking place here in Columbus. I went this morning (yeah, I was the first in line….well, at least at first but that’s another story) and browsed around for a little over an hour. It was pretty great but I do have to say I think last year seemed to have more vendors. Or rather, more vendors that had items I was interested in. We kinda breezed through all the tables pretty quickly which was a bummer.

This tote was my only purchase today but I absolutely love it and am satisfied even though I thought I’d do some more damage. It’s from Basho Apparel and while I realize I could probably make one myself, I had to have this one. And as C pointed out, I already have enough stuff on my to do list so just go ahead and buy it. I love the color combination and it’s made of this heavier wool felt material There were only two left and this was the only one with the fun patterned handles so I had to snatch it up. I think it will eventually become my knitting bag but over the next week or two it will serve as my purse. I may have to sew a snap into it though.



I have seen Basho before. I purchased this and this from them when they were here for Craftin’ Outlaws a few months back. They are based out of Yellow Springs, OH and their stuff is pretty great. They also had some scarves for sale that were calling my name but I held off. Hopefully they’ll post some in their Etsy shop soon.