Tag Archives: DIY

Paint chips: the art supply that comes free evolves


I love paint chips. A lot. Really. In case you hadn’t noticed. I’ve been using them to decorate in a number a different ways since 2005 or so, but I had not thought of using them like this:

Veronica Diago, (via)

John “Eric” McGrew of Amidst Blog, (via)

Peter Combe

Peter Combe

The “blop” lamp created by emocja studios.

Definitely interesting to see paint chips used in a different but still recognizable form. With all of the recent love of both paper as a medium and paint chips used as decoration ( you’ve seen the rampant posting of paint chip walls and pixelated-esque murals on the web, no doubt) and not just for their intended decision-making function, it makes sense that the two would eventually merge into a hybrid. The idea makes me excited. And it’d certainly be fun if it caught on. Especially since paint chips are free. 0:)

DIY craft evolving into art = yay

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Wooden blocks & polka dots


I’m rather enjoying this “Unbreakable” necklace as created by Kristina of the popular blog Kris’s Color Stripes. I love the colors, and the variety of sizes. How it’s large but not overwhelming, and how it doesn’t look too contrived. I like how they bump and smush against each other a bit. Pics of the process excited me even more:

All the little wooden balls seeped in color look so jolly. And then it struck me! They look kind of like polka dots. I’ve always been a fan of polka dots. I’d love to get my hands on those beads! Kristina’s site informs that she’ll be selling something similar soon in her shop, which is exciting. But also makes me think about making big funky necklaces myself. Especially when I remembered this:

This fun and colorful little ditty was created by artist Merrilee Liddiard while playing with her son and his educational lacing beads. I wholeheartedly agree with her “inspiration can be found in the oddest of places” sentiment, as expressed on her lovely blog Mer Mag. I can’t lie. Getting a set is kind of tempting….

And/or figuring out other fun large things to use to make fun, kooky, chunky, lovely bold jewelry that doesn’t take itself too seriously. :)

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Anatomy of a dress


In the closet of my studio, I have a large bag filled with many 2 gallon sized Ziploc bags, each of which contains the pattern pieces to one of my design projects in college. It seemed like a good idea to save them, considering how much work I put into their creation; but, I’ve never been quite sure what exactly to do with them.

In addition to being a saver, I’m also a fan of putting strange things on my wall as decoration. Always have been. I’d buy a box a pretty notecards, and hang them on the wall. I’d buy old records, not necessarily for the music (until I got ahold of a record player, at least), but because they were pretty. And onto the wall they went. Purses. Clothes. Paint swatches. Old sheet music. A period where I was obsessed with aluminum tape(…). Pennies. And an endless stream of etceteras. All standard fare in my decoration handbook. So, of course I’ve pondered decorating my wall with all of those dear, lovingly handmade patterns of mine. But I wondered if it’d be too odd. Or something? But! Then I saw the lovely above photo by Italian fine artist Maurizio Pellegrin and I smiled. Because it looks oh so intriguing and classy. And I love how he incorporates the dress and other elements. The chaos is organized. It has a nice visual texture.

My pattern paper, though, is stark white and splashed with numbers and letters and x’s in addition to my hand jottings. Not sure how it’d look up against my already stark white walls (which I ought to do something about anyway…). Also, being fond of somewhat complicated garments (considering, at least, that I barely knew how to sew upon entering design school) and very full skirts, a lot of the pattern pieces are very oddly shaped. Could be fun though, to have them all jumbled up. I could have a party and play a game with all of my design novice friends called “Guess what part of the garment this piece belongs to !!!!”.

Could be practical, too. Small pattern pieces can get lost and misplaced very easily. Don’t ask how I know.


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Simple Singular Sensations


There’s something about this dishware that strikes me as brilliant.

Artist Paola Navone was given white porcelain “seconds” from the famous Tuscan crockery factory of Richard Ginori which she subsequently gave new life with her free form swatches of color. Merci Gallery has turned them into one-of-a-kind pieces for an exhibition, after which the pieces will be sold.

I’ve always thought there was some unique sort of beauty about the surfaces (paper, napkins, etc) that artists/designers/etc. use to test out colors. You can still get a sense of colors incorporated into a final piece, but there’s also a hint of the thought processes behind those choices and the sometimes perhaps interesting in the nature and style in which some one just sort of throws the color down.

It’s really interesting to see that free nature of color swatching tossed onto formal dishware. Pieces that when they do have designs on them, are usually on the formal and well-thought-out side of design. This is somehow the equivalent of wearing both high and low priced clothes at the same time,  of that one slightly “off” thing that makes an outfit interesting. There’s something mildly audacious about it… Like a grown-up version of the coloring on the walls that got you in trouble as a kid.

more on designboom

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Take me to the Bed Cave!


Would you believe that this intriguing bookshelf/igloo not only stores books, but also a bed?!

It would be like a cross between one of those forts you created as a child by tearing apart the couch and making your own little play nook cave, and your own personal library. Truth be told, the Uroko bed (by Point Architects)was actually intended for children, but it seems like a pretty swell grown-up double duty bed. I know I certainly need a bigger bookshelf, and this one is handy since it stores your books, reading materials, knick knacks, etc. and also puts them all right within arms reach. It would make a great room divider should you live in an extra large multi-purpose room/studio type scenario and it would be pretty darned swell in one of the many loft-style apartments here in Brooklyn. One of those places you walk into and they pull a curtain aside point in and say “hey, this would be your room”. True story, it happened to my friend. Naturally, she said no thanks and ducked out of there quickly as possible. The idea of a curtained off room, or room with little to no privacy is certainly unappealing, but I’d certainly ponder it if I could have a little book cave of my own.

Imagine all the ways you could decorate it! While it’s shown with the all of those felt shingles, it’s essentially a basic curved sort of bookcase room which makes the decorating possibilities fairly endless:

You can create your own little world.

At the very least it would be an interesting idea to have bookshelf walls. If I remember correctly, in Jonathon Safran Foer’s book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, there was an outdoor study where the walls were made of books. Holy guacamole! I found that one bit with only a moment of searching:

“The first time Anna and I made love was behind her father’s shed, the previous owner had been a farmer, but Dresden started to overtake the surrounding villages and the farm was divided into nine plots of land, Anna’s family owned the largest. The walls of the shed collapsed one autumn afternoon – “a leaf too many,” her father joked – and the next day he made new shelves, so that the books themselves would separate inside from outside. (The new overhanging roof protected to books from rain, but during winter the pages would freeze together, come spring they let out a sigh.) He made a little saloon out of the place, carpets, two small couches, he loved to go out there in the evening with a glass of whiskey and a pipe, and take down books and look through the wall at the center of the city. He was an intellectual, although he wasn’t important, maybe he would have been important in life if he had lived longer, maybe great books were coiled within him like springs, books that could have separated inside from outside.” (126)

Spotted on Inhabitots

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The Writing is on the Wall


Paint your walls with IdeaPaint, and you can doodle to your heart’s content all over your walls with dry erase markers!

Imagine if you used magnetic paint as the primer! I was super ecstatic about this idea when I read about it on Sara’s blog because I hang a LOT of random stuff up on my walls (*ahem* paint swatches), and this looks like a pretty handy way to do it. The sticky putty I often use seems to make things fall down when the seasons change drastically, thumbtacks leave little holes in the wall, and using foam tape has only led to big holes in the walls when I try to rip them off when its time to move (sorry mom). Magnets seem like a nice alternative. Amber does a pretty neat job with them:

Imagine how fabulous it would be if you could hang things up magnetically and doodle all around them. And you could so easily shift things around and/or change the look entirely whenever you pleased! I’m a little bummed at how easily the dry erase work would rub off, so it might not be perfect everywhere, but it’s a nice option – even just to test a look out before you go all permanent like this guy who drew all over his walls with Sharpies:

Magnetic paint + Dry Erase Board Paint + crazy doodles + awesome posters and wall doodads = kickass cheap, easy, creative, and changeable decorations = fun reactions from landlord (I’m imaging a bit of eyes bugging out and a stammered out “What Did You Do To The Walls?!?!”)((remembers the reaction to the time I decided it would be a totally Awesome idea to paint my studio upstairs a dark plummy magenta sort of color)).

Yes. Some things are better in theory than in practice. Lesson learned.

(merci Apartment Therapy)

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If you don’t have a field of flowers to run through…


Make a pair of flower covered shoes and you don’t need one, because the field is on your feet!

A friend directed me towards Weardrobe.com: A fashion/personal-style oriented social networking sort of site where you take pictures of your clothing ensembles and post them online to share. You can tag all of your clothing articles so that you and others can see how you wear a particular item in different ways. It’s also fun to just dig around and look at other people’s style.

Doing just this, I spotted one user’s do-it-yourself flower shoes (view her page). Created by hot-gluing some fake flowers onto some thrift shop shoes and adding a ribbon. I think it’s a pretty darned cute idea! If you don’t like this particular iteration, you could always tweak it to work for you. Add flowers to a different style of shoe like some boots (!) or mens style shoes (!) or just a sweet little pair of sandals (!).

You could buy really high quality silk flowers, vintage-y velvet flowers, beaded or rhinestone-y flowers, or hey you can paint them too. In any different colors you wanted!

Personally, I think it’s a super amusing idea, and it would be lovely to prance around in them come springtime (which, as I always mention, can’t get here soon enough for me). Granted, I’ve always had a thing for flower-y things, including shoes. In facts, as soon as I started this post I was reminded of a pair of boots I saw at Anthropologie last fall:

Personally, when I tracked them down a few minutes ago I thought that they weren’t quite as pretty as I had remembered. But, still, I like the idea. I think I’d like it better if the boots were flatter and didn’t have that western tinge to them… maybe if they were a darker brown, too. In my search for images of the Anthro boots, I (re)discovered:

The Doc Marten vintage flower boots. Then I remembered that my cousin had a pair when she was a teenager. As a kid, I always hoped she’d grow out of them and that I’d inherit them, like I had some many other cool clothes (yeah, I’ve been a second-hand rose most of my life). Alas. If I want them I’ll have to track them down, illusive like my additional post of my ideal boot. My mind all thoroughly aflutter with flower-y shoes, I then thought of:

Prada’s Spring 2008 Art-nouveau flower heels. I fell in love with them immediately. In fact, I loved and lusted for the whole collection. I don’t wear heels much (since I do a ton of walking), but if I had these babies (any of their flower heeled shoes) I would have teeter-tottered between wearing them to death and worshiping them as the most loveliest shoes ever. Of course since I was googling flower-y shoes I also stumbled upon:

These gorgeous heels are by Mai Lamore and are quite luxurious: The heels are 18k gold, the silk for the petals is hand-dyed, and the little bee is made from gold, onyx, and agate. They ring in at a whopping $27,945. Just a tad expensive, but you can use some of the details as inspiration! I personally love the way the rose cups the heel.

Use them all for inspiration, use your imagination, and your hands and create something yourself! It’ll likely be a whollllle lot cheaper and you get to have the really awesome feeling of telling people you made it yourself when you get stopped by admirers. As a designer who proudly gallivants about town in my own creations, I can assure you it’s a nice feeling.

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