Creative Envy

Sunday, June 21, 2009, 12:21 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

My front porch has been looking pretty pathetic lately with last year’s dried out plants still in their pots, fall leaves stuck in the corners, and a swing that’s functioning but not comfortable to sit on for more than 5 minutes. Since I want to start spending more time out there I decided to spruce it up this week.

porchmakeover_1I swept up the mess, got some new plants, made some cushions for the swing, and put down a utility mat so Beck can lay out there with me (yes, he is the neurotic dog that won’t lie down on cement). Unfortunately, the cushions have already been broken in with the torrential downpour of thunderstorms we had the other night. They got pretty wet but looks like they can take a beating.

porchmakeover_2It’s probably the fastest I’ve ever completed a project. Sewing the cushions has gotten me back into the groove and I’m going to get back to my chairs today.

Monday, May 18, 2009, 8:54 pm
Filed under: art envy, projects | Tags:

Thought I would share some additions to my kitchen that I put up yesterday. The first is a painting my friends brought back for me from their vacation in the Dominican Republic as a thank you for watching their cat. The colors go perfectly with my yellow cabinet and other brightly colored decor and I love the local flavor of the piece.



The second piece isn’t necessarily art. It’s actually an abandoned canvas that has been taking up space in the corner of my kitchen.


The story: years ago I thought it would be cool to do some random decoupaging on a big canvas as a project. I did it, it was just ehhh, and later decided to peel all of the decoupaged material off so I could reuse it. The big idea still hasn’t come (yes, years later) and in the meantime, it’s been gathering dust. Christina suggested I hang it up because it looks kinda cool the way it is. I agreed it was cool looking but didn’t know if it could pass as wall art. Yesterday since I already had my hammer and nails out, I threw it up on the wall above my kitchen table. Not bad. I realize it’s not amazing or anything but it fills the space nicely and will do for now. It’s a better storage spot than on the floor and when that brilliant idea does come to me, I can just swap it out.

What do you think?

Monday, May 4, 2009, 9:56 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags:

I’m very excited to tell you all about a new monthly feature coming to Creative Envy beginning at the end of May. Although I should apologize since this is literally just the announcement. You’ll have to wait for a full rundown on 5/31. The idea here is that if I introduce it here today, you know, IN WRITING then I’ll actually follow through on the delivery. I’m psyched to get started on it, so please stay tuned.


Sunday, April 26, 2009, 8:17 pm
Filed under: design envy, Etsy, projects | Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been back home from Disney since Thursday night; however, I’ve been taking full advantage of my remaining hours before going back to reality tomorrow morning. I’m not looking forward to that alarm going off at 6am. Disney was great mostly due to the fact that my brother had a kick-ass itinerary that we stuck to. My advice: do it. It makes it so much easier and prevents those grating conversations of, “What do you want to do next?” “I don’t care, what do you want to do?”. Ugh.

I’m bummed about returning to work tomorrow only because I’ve been so productive over the past few days with my personal projects. I sanded the chairs down (they already look 10 times better) and I got a great start on my Etsy shop (masthead designed and stocking the store has begun).

Friday gave me a lot of time to catch up on all my favorite blogs and thanks to Roadside, I came across Missed Connections by Sophie Blackall. Another amazing idea that I wish I had thought of; although I do not have the amazing illustration skills that Miss Blackall posesses. Sophie brings missed connections ads to life through her own illustrative interpretation. Here, she describes it better than I can:

Messages in bottles, smoke signals, letters written in the sand; the modern equivalents are the funny, sad, beautiful, hopeful, hopeless, poetic posts on Missed Connections websites. Every day hundreds of strangers reach out to other strangers on the strength of a glance, a smile or a blue hat. Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I’m trying to pin a few of them down.

Here are two great ones:



In case you can’t make out the second one:
Monday, March 23, 2009
-m4w (Harlem)
Remember? Uptown A train. Sunday at around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski’s Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I’d like to see you again. The flatulence wasn’t a turn-off.

Ha! So unbelievably clever. I love it.

Monday, April 6, 2009, 9:44 pm
Filed under: abode envy, projects | Tags:

Some great ideas on Do It Yourself (via How About Orange) for unique wall decor. These are my favorites.









Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 8:37 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

I’ve been meaning to share pictures of some murals I’ve done. The first one was completed a couple weeks ago while the other two have been done for over a year now.

First up, the tree for Christina’s little man’s room. This had been on the list for some time and Christina and I knocked it out over a couple of weekends. She did the lion’s share of the painting after I sketched it out. It’s based on this wall decal from Ferm Living; however, Christina wanted the branches to look slightly more organic and with more leaves so I made some changes.


For all of these murals, I first designed them on my computer in InDesign or Illustrator. That way I could figure out the scale of each on the wall. Next, I made a grid on top of the design as well as a grid out of string on the actual wall. To scale it, you would just figure out your equivalent measurements (i.e., 1 inch = 1 foot). If you tackle one square at a time, it is relatively easy to sketch the design from your printout on to the wall. Obviously, this is easier with shapes that are more organic so that if you do mess up, you can improvise off the cuff.


Here’s the finished product:



She bought a white paint marker and plans on making the trunk into a growth chart for Nathan. So cute! Check out the rest of Christina’s tour of Nate’s room here. She’s got some great ideas (my favorite is using mason jars as frames).

These next two murals are ones I did in the front room of my apartment.

First up, the tree:


I came across this amazing photo on Flickr and thought it would look awesome silhouetted. I did take some artistic license with the bird feeder and did more of a lantern.


The greatest thing about these is that it’s a great low-cost option for making your room truly unique. Other than my time, these projects involved purchasing one tube of acrylic paint. Much better than spending hundreds of dollars on wall decals or wallpaper (not that I don’t love those things).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 7:23 pm
Filed under: projects | Tags: ,

I made a decent amount of progress on my chairs this past weekend. Well, not a ton of progress, but seeing as how this is the first time I’ve worked on them and I actually accomplished something, I’m calling it progress. I was able to cut all the foam down and I completed one top cushion.

Cutting down the foam. I'm still finding random pieces scattered about my apartment.

Cutting the foam down to size. I'm still finding random pieces scattered about my apartment.

An enormous thank you is owed to this post on Sew, Mama, Sew! for Autum’s step-by-step cushion instructions that have worked out amazingly. They were so easy to follow that I even made my own cording!

One cushion complete + the inspiration

One cushion complete + the inspiration

I’m pretty happy with how it came out; however, I do wish it was about a quarter of an inch shorter in width so it isn’t squeezed in on the sides, though that’s kinda minor. The inspiration for these chairs and the look of the cushions is from the Urban Outfitters chair above. I love it.

One down, four to go. Plus sanding, staining and straps. Oy! One step at a time.