Creative Envy


FIVE FAVES, VOL 5.
Thursday, December 11, 2008, 10:28 pm
Filed under: five faves | Tags:

12.12.08
five-faves-5

1. Felted bowl by Etcetera Media. I’m a felt fan and this bowl is reversible to boot.

2. This cupcake canister by Barbara Thompson is adorable. I think it would make a great gift for a kid or an adult. You can find this smaller pink one as well as a larger brown one at the MoMA store.

3. To go along with the cupcake, these are porcelain NY milk bottle replicas by Alyssa Ettinger. These would make wonderful vases. Ettinger is also the artist responsible for these knitware bowls that I love.

4. Want to do some good this Christmas or any other time of the year? Go to Malaria No More and buy some bed nets for an African child and protect them from the mosquitoes that spread the disease. $30 = three nets = three lives saved. (Thanks to seibuone for the tip).

5. I have been listening to Christmas music nonstop since Thanksgiving. I can’t get enough. Pictured here are The Waitresses, the recording artists behind one of my favorite songs Christmas Wrapping. Check out this animated Christmas light display set to the tune. And a little something extra for anyone out there like me who LOVES Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas (Is You), here’s the video. And to clarify, I am not a Carey fan by any means but this song just gets me every time I hear it this time of year. I blame one of my favorite holiday films, Love Actually.

P.S. While Carey and her dancers look slightly ridiculous, those back-up singers are brilliant.



GREAT GIFT GUIDES AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 9:28 pm
Filed under: art envy, design envy, projects | Tags: , , ,

Be sure to check out some of the awesome gift guides that are out there via your favorite bloggers on ideas for unique Christmas presents. Several in particular that I have enjoyed come from design*sponge and DesignWorkLife.

gifts for $25 and under by design*sponge

gifts for $25 and under by design*sponge

Here are a bunch to check out:

design*sponge
$25 and under
$50 and under
$100 and under
bloggers’ wish list

DesignWorkLife
gift guides for each kind of horoscope sign: fire, air, earth, and, for your beloved Pisces like myself, water
typography
New York

Also, I came across this picture (also from design*sponge) of artist Maria Vettese’s living room (check out the entire home tour here). She uses a skinny bench as a coffee table. Hmmm….yet another idea to keep in mind for the coffee table quest. I love the look of it but also like how it doesn’t take up much space yet still serves its function. Plus I’d feel better about putting my feet up on a bench than a traditional coffee table. Thoughts?

livingroomtable_bench



GROSGRAIN.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 9:01 pm
Filed under: craft envy | Tags: , , ,

A blog by an artsy craftsy, penny pinching, party planning, playdating, fashion finding, sci-fi loving, stay at home mommy who always keeps her sewing machine plugged in and loves all things cute!

This is how Kathleen Dougherty of Grosgrain describes her awesome blog. Kathleen is an amazing seamstress and is constantly making clothes for her little girls. Beyond that though, she actually GIVES her items away FOR FREE to lucky readers who directly link to her posts! I can’t even imagine; I truly admire that but am not sure I would be able to part with these creations. Look how lovely and darling they are (not to mention this woman knows how to take some wonderful pictures).

recital frock

recital frock

downtown holiday jacket and pant

downtown holiday jacket and pant

Marie Antoinette gown (!!!!!!)

Marie Antoinette gown (!!!!!!)

make believe frock

make believe frock

garden party frock

garden party frock

African safari shorts

African safari shorts

And my personal favorite:

summer by the lake swimsuit

summer by the lake swimsuit

Kathleen has also started a small online shop to start selling some of her fashions. These reversible skirts are really inspiring me to come up with something similar for my nieces for Christmas but in a heavier fabric for the winter in upstate New York. You know, within the next week. Oops!

Reversible Bird Seed Skirt in Lemongrass by Grosgrain

Reversible Bird Seed Skirt in Lemongrass by Grosgrain

You can read more about Kathleen and Grosgrain in the latest issue of Small Magazine.




DECKING THE HALLS.
Sunday, December 7, 2008, 4:37 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: , ,

The amount of time I’ve spent over the past week on decorating my apartment for Christmas is kind of ridiculous, especially considering that I rarely have people over nor am I hosting any kind of holiday party. I do it for myself to enjoy because Christmas is my favorite time of year. I’ve been listening to Sounds of the Season on my digital cable nonstop. I’m sure Beck is ready to strangle himself with garland. I’ll most likely have a couple more posts around this subject both having to do with decorating and gift wrapping.

First up, my tree. It’s fake (as you can probably tell from the skinny exposed pole at the bottom that will eventually be covered up by presents). This year I didn’t want to use the same boring ornaments so I decided to take a stab at replicating something I saw in September when I was in NYC. My inspiration came from a window display at (shocker) Anthropologie.

Anthropologie, Manhattan 9.08

Anthropologie, Manhattan 9.08

Anthropologie, Manhattan 9.08

Anthropologie, Manhattan 9.08

Anthropologie, Manhattan 9.08

Anthropologie, Manhattan 9.08

I love this display because they’ve taken a bunch of simple paper products and turned them into something truly unique and pretty breathtaking. So my scaled down version uses coffee filters, baking cups in 3 different sizes, and the bottoms of Dixie cups.

img_0848

I used mostly white baking cups but mixed in some of the foil ones. I also sporadically colored the inside bottoms of some. They’re strung using a needle and thread which, yes, was extremely tedious, but I thought using a stapler might make them tear and I wasn’t sure if it would give me the ability to manipulate them as much.

img_0838

img_0840

Although it may look like it, this isn’t one continuous chain. It’s a bunch of different sections because after about two feet of stringing them together, it would get extremely awkward to work with. Plus the paper is so delicate it’s easy to rip them. While it would have been nice to have a real tree, it was definitely advantageous to have a fake one so I could bend the branches to accommodate the chain and tuck certain portions in. I decided that since the garland is such a focal point and takes up so much space on the tree, I don’t need to add any ornaments. I do want a tree topper, which I’m working on so I’ll post more pictures once that’s on.

While I’m okay with no traditional ornaments on my tree, I was kinda bummed not to put up the ornaments I love or that have special meaning to me. As a solution, I decided to string them up as garland on one of my mantels.

img_0858

img_0849

I have another Anthropologie-inspired idea I will be starting this week as well as the crocheted snowflakes I’m almost done with. I know, I know….it’s a sickness that I have. I think I’ll have to keep all this stuff up until February given all the time I will have spent on it by the time Christmas rolls around.



FIVE FAVES, VOL 4.
Thursday, December 4, 2008, 7:37 pm
Filed under: five faves | Tags:

12.5.08

five-faves-4

1. Hemp blossom bag by infusion on Etsy. Infusion is one of the many EcoEtsy shops who practice conscioius crafting. (discovered via the red thread)

2. How About Orange’s lacy snowflake tutorial. These are beautiful. Jessica claims they are easy to do. I’ll have to try one and see. But these would be so pretty on a window, strung together as garland for a mantle, or as ornaments.

3. I found about benfloeter’s Etsy shop from HEYSUSY* of SUSYJACK*. Among other items, they also make these yo-yo’s from various sustainably harvested woods from their own tiny forest. This is the birch one. So creative.

4. The campaign for the Greenville (SC) Literacy Association’s annual book sale done by the bounce agency blows my mind. Check out these stairs that are made to look like a stack of classic book titles. Read more about it and view more images here.

5. I discovered this dresser by Aoneko via mer mag. Such a clever way to re-invent an old dresser and so simple to do.



SHOP GOOD, DO GOOD.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 8:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

If you’re looking for some unique items for your loved ones this holiday season, consider doing some shopping at Nest. They have awesome stuff but more importantly they are making a difference for women.

Nest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of women in developing countries. The mission of Nest is to support women artists and artisans in the developing world by helping them create sustainable entrepreneurial businesses. To do this, Nest provides micro-credit loans to be used for the purchase of the supplies and materials necessary to begin and/or maintain art or craft-based businesses.

Nest carries clothing, jewelry, home accents, stuff for kids, and much more. Items are made by domestic designers or by loan recipients themselves. Here are some that caught my eye.

Vintage Creations cashmere wrap

Vintage Creations cashmere wrap

vintage red spiral lucite earrings by Cara Lyndon Jewelry

vintage red spiral lucite earrings by Cara Lyndon Jewelry

the Escape necklace by susan marie designs

the Escape necklace by susan marie designs

Angie wrist bag (graphite) by aster+sage

Angie wrist bag (graphite) by aster+sage

Ribbon of Flowers pillow by Elle & Evans

Ribbon of Flowers pillow by Elle & Evans

Gothic Rose hostess apron by Sommer Designs

Gothic Rose hostess apron by Sommer Designs

Field Guide Riverbank by (one of my favorite artists) Dolan Geiman Inc.

Box Print: Field Guide Riverbank by (one of my favorite artists) Dolan Geiman Inc.

delft. letterpress note cards, bamboo paper by Smock Letterpress

delft. letterpress note cards, bamboo paper by Smock Letterpress

Chloe Dress by Nest

Chloe Dress by Nest

Iznik Buttons by loan recipient Intarsia Concept

Iznik Buttons by loan recipient Intarsia Concept



THE OXFORD PROJECT.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 7:10 pm
Filed under: book envy | Tags: , , ,

Last night I picked up my reserved copy of The Oxford Project at the library. I had read about Peter Feldstein’s undertaking via GOOD’s Very Short List weeks ago and was immediately intrigued. Feldstein set out to photo document every member of his Oxford, Iowa town back in 1984. Almost 25 years later, he photographed as many of the same people as he could for a second time. With the help of writer Stephen G. Bloom, there are now personal stories to accompany each individual’s two photographs taken years apart.

oxfordproject

From the back cover:

The town of Oxford, Iowa, lies just outside of Iowa City but you’ve probably never heard of it – until now. Its population hovers around 700; the same Mayor has presided since 1974; it’s hard to spot on the map. But take a look beneath the surface of this Midwestern enclave, and discover a community of people that are as fascinating, complex, and surprising as any you might ever meet.

The Oxford Project is a living time capsule that challenges assumption and shatters stereotypes as it reveals the extraordinary true tale of one seemingly ordinary American town. Its power is grounded in a captivating series of then-and-now portraits of Oxford residents – taken in 1984 and again today – and in the confessional first-person prose accompanying each pair of photographs. In these pages, the story of two decades unfolds before your eyes. You will be moved and riveted by the truths and secrets, fantasies and flaws, the profound differences and shared histories that define and unite this unique community.

Calvin Colony with his pet lion in 1984 and Calvin today

Calvin Colony with his pet lion in 1984 and Calvin today

The layout is beautiful and the photography and stories are just plain honest. The people of Oxford are regular Americans at first glance but they have some pretty fascinating life stories to tell. The authors note how a lot of the people posed in the exact same way after all these years. It’s even more fascinating seeing as how both in 1984 and for those taken recently, Feldstein only took single frames of each resident.

I may have to purchase a copy of my own to leave out on top of my (soon to be acquired) coffee table. Read more about The Oxford Project here.



POM POM.
Monday, December 1, 2008, 6:49 pm
Filed under: craft envy, projects | Tags: , ,

Along with my effort to buy all Christmas presents from independent retailers, I am also trying to “go green” in my gift wrapping by using the existing stash of paper I have as well as re-purposing other items like paper bags, etc. I had been thinking of creating some kind of bow out of a Target bag because of the fun red bulls eyes on it but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Well, my idea has been validated by Creature Comforts (via Design Sponge). I found this post last week that gives step-by-step instructions on how to make a pom pom gift topper out of a plastic grocery bag; more specifically, one from Target.

pompom_target

I’m one of those people who keep most of my plastic bags just in case (I do have a dog and no backyard, after all, but let’s not go there) so I’m sure there are plenty of different patterns/colors to pick from. I love when other people figure things out for me!