Creative Envy

Monday, December 15, 2008, 8:42 pm
Filed under: art envy | Tags: , ,

My friend Jeff emailed me this link today and instead of getting started on tackling my Christmas tasks for the night I’ve been busy looking through the paper-cut illustrations of artist Yulia Brodskaya. Wow. These speak for themselves. My favorites:






WOW, right?!

Saturday, December 13, 2008, 10:10 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: , , ,

There comes a point when I start to get a little over ambitious when it comes to projects and the time frame I hold myself to in order to complete them. Case in point, these Martha Stewart crocheted snowflakes from a 2002 edition of Living that I have held onto for the past six years (wow).


I have been crocheting them in my free time here and there since Thanksgiving in an attempt to make a garland for my mantel. I have 9 done and figured I could rock out another 6 or so to at least have some semblance of a chain. The crocheting has gone swimmingly. It’s tedious but relaxing. After the crocheting is done, the next step is blocking the flakes with fabric stiffener. Sounds pretty straightforward but holy crap! It took me about an hour to block three (just three!) snowflakes and my fingertips are numb from sticking the little pins into the cardboard. Not to mention the snowflakes are crooked to boot.


I can't even tell you how many pins are in this one.



Suffice it to say, this Christmas project is getting the kabosh. There’s only so much I can do and this one is at the bottom of the totem pole. I’ll make it a 2009 project and hopefully have a whole bunch to put up for next Christmas. I’m also already resolving in the new year to say “no” to things, but more specifically, saying no to myself. Lower the standards and finish those half-done projects before moving on to the new (more exciting) ideas.

Kind of a relief to let this one go…..

So bring on the 10 other things I need to finish before next Saturday!

Friday, December 12, 2008, 8:40 pm
Filed under: design envy | Tags: ,

I’ve been reading a lot about Poladroid on various blogs and have been meaning to check out the application that turns regular digital photos into authentic-looking Polaroids. I adore the look of this (now becoming extinct) format. I downloaded it tonight and have only put a couple of pictures through it but I’m already completely impressed. Here’s one of Beck. LOVE.


I think the best part of the application may be the fact that you can actually shake the polaroid using your mouse to accelerate the development process. And each time you open the application you only get 10 shots, just like you would with a regular pack of Polaroid film.

Thursday, December 11, 2008, 10:28 pm
Filed under: five faves | Tags:


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.

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:

$25 and under
$50 and under
$100 and under
bloggers’ wish list

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


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.

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.


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.



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.



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.