Creative Envy

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.

Thursday, November 13, 2008, 8:36 pm
Filed under: five faves | Tags:



1. My Columbus Metropolitan Library card. It had been so long since I used my local (ranked #1 in the nation) library that I wasn’t even in the system anymore. I had to reapply for my card and am currently on a probationary period of 30 days and therefore limited to 10 checked items. I have already used my card three times in the last week. It’s a ridiculously great resource and I intend to be better about using it from now on.

2. HBO’s new mockumentary series Summer Heights High premiered this week and I am definitely hooked. From

Summer Heights High spotlights the piercing comedy of Chris Lilley, who portrays all three main characters in this high-school mockumentary. Already a hit with Aussie fans, the show is sure to strike U.S. audiences with Lilley’s incisive observation and flippant wit.

I’m pretty sure that Mr. G is my favorite character played by Lilley although Jonah has quite a mean toprock that I can obviously identify with.

3. Racer Navy shoes by form & fauna. I love the color combo and I REALLY love that circular wooden heel.

4. Olio United AfterAll postcards. The set comes with two different patterns but this one is my favorite because it reminds me of peacock feathers.

5. Anthropologie’s online holiday Glee slideshow. As always, Anthropologie has found an innovative way to display their products and communicate its aesthetic. I was particularly drawn to this because of how they manipulated simple wire to create the environments. It also has me thinking that this might be a great idea for some Christmas decorations; forming that wire into different holiday sayings or even making nontraditional garland out of it would be pretty cool. Filing that one away to revisit in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 9:29 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: , ,

Since I’m apparently one of the only girls my age who does not read Real Simple magazine, I’m a little behind on the sensation of paper sculptor extraordinaire Matthew Sporzynski. This man is super talented. His work is featured monthly on the section dividers of Real Simple.

Matthew Sporzynski

Matthew Sporzynski

The meticulousness involved with his sculptures is crazy. Everything you see in these photos is made of paper.








I think this one might be my favorite (from HOW magazine):


From Simply Stated:

Matthew usually has about two weeks to create his paper sculptures before they have to go in front of the camera, and he works until the very last minute, even while the sculptures are being shot. “You have to keep working on them until they don’t look like garbage anymore!” says Matthew, admitting that his sculptures are “far better received than I perceive them myself. I see the flaws.”


Tuesday, November 11, 2008, 11:10 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags:

Yeah, I realize that sounds like the spot where 1960s teens would go to make out but it’s actually one of the projects I just crossed off the list tonight. I painted a corner in my bedroom where I like to post inspirational items. Whether it’s a cool hang tag, a fortune from a cookie that I want to come true, pictures of loved ones, or literally my “board of dreams” (Oprah style) this is where it all lives in a somewhat organized fashion. On the left side I have magnetic strips and on the right I installed cork tiles. I had all this up awhile ago but it was bothering me the way it was. It needed some color to section it off and unify the two walls. I’m pretty happy with how it came out although these pictures make the blue look a bit more smurfy than it really is.



Here’s a collage of some of the items in the corner.


I’m really gung-ho to get the items in my bedroom finished since it has been the room most in need of an intervention plus it’s where I spend most of my time when I’m home because it’s where my computer is. It also gets the best heat flow during the colder months. So I’m scoping out some chartreuse FLOR tiles right now and my next undertaking will involve that which used to look like this…

My beloved Anthro bedroom quilt that was a surprise Christmas gift from my parents a couple years ago

My beloved Anthro bedroom quilt that was a surprise Christmas gift from my parents a couple years ago

…but, thanks to this oh so innocent, neurotic, must-scratch-before-he-lays-down canine,….



…now looks like this.



In case you can’t make it out, here’s a closer look.

disaster detailed

disaster detailed

Don’t worry, he’s still alive although it was touch and go when I returned home from an awesome She & Him show to discover this catastrophe. Let’s just say there were tears. And they were mine. This happened a couple months ago so I’ve cooled off and feel I can now be proactive and actually fix the thing. Wish me luck!


I am in awe of the woman that is Annie Coggan. I stumbled upon Annie’s blog Chairs and Buildings through Bloesem and she is quite extraordinary. Annie recently opened a local sustainable eatery called Little Building Café in Starkville, Mississippi.

Little Building Café in Starkville, Mississippi

Little Building Café

Of course I love the fact that Annie has chosen to go green in her building materials but can we just talk about the chairs she made for the café? Oh the chairs!!! Here is one of Annie’s sketches for what she had in mind.


And here are 10 of the chairs that resulted.

Unreal, right? From Bloesem:

Annie has been working in her home of Starkville, Mississippi on these chairs for her own café, which she will be opening in July, she told me that the chairs are are part of a method of making that she cares deeply about, using resources from “within arms length”… all these chairs were bought for less then 20.00 or were found … the pieces to stabilize the chairs she got from junk shops..very nice! It looks so simple but you need to have some creative talent to come up with the idea to give the chairs these funky twists…

And here is a shot of said chairs in the space. Don’t you love how some of them hang on the wall and serve as art when not in use?


Annie did a great job on the interior of Little Building. I love the light blue color scheme combined with bright pops. And any time anyone uses those tiny hex floor tiles? Sluuuuurrrp. The table tops are made from tiles in which each quadrant is a part of the map of Starkville! Gotta love that local flavor.


I can’t say enough things about what Annie has accomplished. This kind of imagination and inventiveness makes me giddy and inspires me to stay true to my long-term goals.

If you’d like to see the place in real life, of course you can visit Starkville, or you can watch this news piece from WCBI TV. Also be sure to check out Annie’s blog which she refers to as her “notebook/sketchbook and visual food for thought”. Some great posts on there about, yep, chairs and buildings. Thanks, Annie!

Photos from Chairs and Buildings