Thursday, August 30, 2012

DIY scallop paint sample canvas wall art

This wall art is another great one for those extra paint samples you have lying around!

Here's all you need.  I used my cricut machine to cut the circles just because it was easier for me.  But you could also easily trace a circles and cut them out, or use another circle cutter that you may have for scrapbooking.

First I spray painted my canvas (no pictures for this step, but I did several light coats like always).  If you want clean white edges, tape them off during this step!

While the paint is drying, you can cut out your circles.  I cut as many as I could with the samples we had left over from painting some rooms in our house when we first moved.

Next, you need to decide on your arrangement.  I spent a while playing until I had one I loved.  Okay, let's be honest... I had my circles cut for about 2 weeks before I finally decided how I wanted the layout.  But that's just me... I'm particular sometimes.  This was one of those times.   

Once I had my arrangement, I headed out to the garage to spray glue it all together.

Then I came back inside to trim the parts that went off the edge, and put a layer of mod podge on top just to give it a nice shine all over.  You can skip that step.  Actually, I forgot to include it in the supplies... whoopsies.

And there you have it!

Here are all my recent canvas wall art projects.  We're planning to hang them together as part of our basement project that's in the works.

In case you missed these projects...
DIY chevron wall art
DIY quote canvas

Fun projects for the holiday weekend, right?  Hope you have a good one!  

Linking up to:
Simply Designing
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Chase the Star
AKA Design
Homemaker on a Dime

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Etsy Love: Blue Ombre Treasury

I think I'm in love with the sewing machine photo, the camera painting, and the typewriter... and I might want them for myself...  

Don't you love the trend of using a brooch bouquet for your wedding?  How pretty is that blue and white one?  Love it.

And what a cool moose print!  The silhouette is made with the moose DNA code.  What an awesome idea.  

Don't you wanna go check out these great Etsy finds?  Which one is your favorite?

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Monday, August 27, 2012

elephants, asparagus, & jason bateman = a good weekend

It all started with a sketch of this fun little setup in drawing class Friday morning....

and continued at home with some colorful thumbnails for my first type and digital layout project... 

and then I dragged myself into the kitchen to make a simple meal of veggies...

and we ended the night with some hilarious episodes of Arrested Development.

Then on Saturday and Sunday, we began work on this guy!  Off came the doors, out came the shelves, and on went two coats of primer.  I'm so excited to finish it up and show you all how it turns out!

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Hands off my Crayons

This week's contest theme is school supplies!  I'm so excited to check out all the fabrics and vote for my favorites.... because, well, I love school supplies!  Especially crayons.  Those were just the best things to buy and use.  I mean, come on...

They're beautiful.  They're colorful.  They're organized.  They come in huge boxes which hold approximately one million of them.  They have cool labels.  They have a distinct smell.  If you get a big enough box, the colors will have amazing names.

How could I NOT choose to create my fabric based on these little guys?

Now, go vote!

And don't forget to... 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Prints in the Shop

I really wanted to say hizzous instead of shop, but I restrained myself.

Here's what I have new in the shop!

Peace Amidst Chaos

Be Joyful
Love Conquers All

Don't you just wanna go take a looksey?  It'll be fun, I promise.  It's never too early for holiday shopping, that's what I always say...

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

a few pictures from my first day

A few things:

1.  The weather on my first day was perfect and beautiful.
2.  You just can never escape construction around here.
3.  Those comfy chairs line the hallways surrounding the art department.  Amazing.
4.  I have 3 of my 5 classes in the lab, where the computers are big and beautiful.
5.  I sold my left kidney on the black market in order to afford all my art supplies.
6.  We scored the old t.v. armoire for a mere $13 and are going to fix it up nice and purty for office/ craft storage in the basement!
7.  College feels way different the second time around.  It just seems to make sense now.
8.  When I got home after a long day, my first thought when I got out of the car was I get to do this again tomorrow.  And that, my friends, was the happiest thought of all.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Guess Where I Am?

You guys!  I'm at college today!!!

Today I have my first 3 classes:

Foundations of Design
Type and Digital Layout


I have been ranging from only very slightly nervous to really extremely nervous for the last week in anticipation of this day... so... WISH ME LUCK!!

What if I get lost?  Who do I sit by?  What if traffic is bad and I walk in late?  What if I'm the oldest person and everyone thinks I'm weird?  What if my drawings are stupid?

Oh gosh you guys...

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Friday, August 17, 2012

a weird thing happened, and then i bought this

I had a weird dream last night.  Actually, it wasn't the dream that was too weird, it was what happened this morning.

Typically I have these really crazy dreams that go on and on and on... and then I usually tell my mom about them in full detail, and she's like whoa you have the weirdest dreams, how do you remember all that?  It's just a gift, I guess. 

So last night, I had a dream that something plastic (I don't know what it was) flew across the room and hit me accidentally in the mouth.  Then when I went to take out my invisalign trays (yes, I have super cool adult braces... read more about that here) they were all broken.  That was just a short piece of the entire dream, so I definitely won't bore you with anything else about it.

But here's the weird thing.

This morning in the shower, I was taking the cap off a bottle, and it flew off full force, out of my hands, into the shower wall, ricocheted off the wall, and hit me in the mouth!!!!!


Then that part of the dream came flooding back to me... and I swear the feeling of it hitting me in my dream and the feeling of the cap hitting me this morning was the exact same.  Now, if I were always accidentally hitting myself in the mouth with a piece of light plastic, I wouldn't find this too weird.  But I can't say that's ever happened before....

Weird, right? 

At least it didn't break my invisalign...

Okay, you're probably yawning by now and thinking the only reason this is weird is that you think it's weird...  Yeah, I know. 

Well, once I got over the fact that my dream came true, I bought this!

Yes, I went out and bought this beauty that I originally saw a few days ago at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  I couldn't stop thinking about it!

I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with it yet, but with a small price tag ($22) and it's huge size ( 25" x 46"), I didn't want to pass it up.

So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

a photo tour of some of my favorite stores

Hi guys!  So ever since painting the basement, I've been heading out to local discount stores every day to see what's out there that we could use to complete the space.  We also took a day trip to Ikea and found a few things. 

One of the first finds at Ikea were these curtain wires that were displayed as photo hangers.  We thought this would work as kind of a modern bulletin board to be hung above our desk.  Two wires with clips came home with us!  Aren't they cool?  I'm sure you could DIY something like this pretty darn easily, too. 

I loved this purple painted cabinet- my photo isn't great- it's much much prettier in person. 

We've been wanting a new office chair and I'm pushing for white.  This one is from Staples.  I think it would help to brighten the basement and be a nice contrast to our dark wood desk and bookcases.

Next up, Gordmans!  I am so in love with Gordmans!  They have amazing discounted items, and tons of home decor.  I love browsing around their vases and artwork especially.

Here's some art I covet.  We're looking for two long canvases to flank the curtain wire from Ikea that we bought.  Most of the long skinny canvases were 3 ft. by 1 ft. and cost $20- $30. 

I love this heart sculpture so much.  I think it's only $15.00.  So.... I should get it, right?

There are also always lots of chairs available, each around $100.  Some day, I would love to own a cool chair like these, or like this one from Pier 1.  

Next up are the lamps.  I love the shape of this big floor lamp.  I think it would look awesome over a desk or in a reading nook.  And the orange one would be an awesome color pop on our desk.

Here we have the vases and owls!  Oh, the vases.  How beautiful is this colorful selection?  I would take any of them in a heartbeat.  Then there were two whole shelves of owl sculptures!  I know owls are in right now, and I'm glad because how cool are they?  I think the tootsie pop owl really started it all... it just took a few decades to catch on.  

Last up is my trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.   I love browsing around there.  We really want a big armoire or old media cabinet to convert to office storage in the basement.  I would love to paint this guy white or even a color like light blue, add shelves, and use it to store our office and craft supplies.  It would be perfect.

And look at the beauty of that old frame!  It it only had a mirror in it, I would have snatched it up, but I'm just not sure what I would do with it.  Any ideas?

Our office desk is in the basement, so it's a big open space, next to a living room/ t.v. area.  There's also a ledge that goes halfway up the wall on 3 sides.  It's an awesome space to have, but a bit awkward, and pretty long and narrow.  

What do you do for office/ craft storage?  Do you house it all in a big cabinet?  Open storage?  Bins and baskets?  Shelves?  Any ideas for me? 

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New fabric design: camping

Hi everyone!  Time to share a new design!

This week, the Spoonflower fabric contest theme is camping.  I love me some camping!  We used to go pretty often growing up.  Many of our best family vacations were spent at campgrounds around the U.S.  And we were tent people.  No RVs here.  

My dad also invented the best breakfast ever once while we were camping.  It was put together with a hodge podge of ingredients, because I think it may have been our last morning there, so he was using up all the food we had left.  I think it may have had potatoes, eggs, cheese... and the secret ingredient of pasta sauce maybe?  Who knows.  But it has yet to be recreated!  Every once in a while, we're like oooo dad, try to make the best breakfast ever.  Haha. 

So here's my initial simple sketches, with the colored images I made in Illustrator. 

Then I focused on my sun, which  needed some work.  I wasn't sure if I wanted night time, with a moon and stars, or a sunset.  But I'm glad I decided to switch it to an early morning sun, because that let me use pretty soft colors that remind me of peaceful mornings while camping.  I still can perfectly remember what it feels like to climb out of the tent and sit at the picnic table with my parents and sister.  We would usually read or play card games.  The best.

I also fixed up my trees a bit, and decided on their arrangement.  Then I added in my new sun, and finally added the wind wisps in the sky.  

And here's my final design!  I think I love it.  You can see the whole fabric design, titled peaceful mornings, at my Spoonflower shop


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Monday, August 13, 2012

today I am not a teacher. part two

Today I am not a teacher.

This morning I didn't know if I was happy or sad.

But today, I was happy.  Only happy.

So today, I know I made the right choice.

I drove by school and saw the parking lot full of cars, and I was thankful it wasn't me.

Today I didn't feel the pressure of being responsible for little lives.

I didn't feel worried or overwhelmed.

Today I felt free, knowing that my responsibilities for the next year will not include students, parents, administrators, the school district, or state.  

Today I was filled with anticipation and excitement for a new year.  But this year it will be for me.

Today I went to campus and bought my design books.

And even though I was surrounded by people a decade younger than me, I didn't care.

I ate lunch while reading about designing with type, and I was so excited I thought my heart might leap from my chest.

Today I drove all around town searching through thrift stores for my next project.

Today I went to the library to rent season two of Arrested Development, and when we watched it tonight, I laughed so hard.

Today I read magazines at the bookstore and treated myself to Starbucks.

Today I created a new fabric design.

I loved today.

Today I  know that being a teacher isn't the only way to be a good person.

I know I will find other ways to be helpful and caring and to make a difference.

I can still be who I was as a teacher.  I didn't give up myself when I left that career.  I am still me.

Today I am happy.

Because today, I am not a teacher.

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today I am not a teacher

School started today.  And today I am not a teacher.

Today I did not wake up before 7:00 a.m.

I did not pick out my first day of school outfit.

I did not pack my lunch.

Today I am not filled with excitement and anticipation for a new year.

I am not meeting my new students.

I am not introducing myself.

Today I am not surrounded by kids.

I can not see their smiles and hear their laughs.

I am not helping to label folders and organize lockers.

Today I am not explaining schedules, routines, or rules.

I am not memorizing names and faces.

Today I don't know if I'm happy or sad.

I don't know if I will miss it.  

Today I won't be able to explain how I feel.

I don't know if I have lost a little bit of myself, or if I am now free to be myself.

Today I am still me, but today I am different.

Because today I am not a teacher.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

DIY Quote Canvas

You're probably getting the feeling that I like making wall art.  If so, then you're right :)  I also love sharing it with you so that you can try it yourself and make it fit your family!  Here's my easiest wall art yet, and the best part is that you can change it up any way you want.

I originally saw an idea like this from pinterest last winter, and we made some little canvases with Christmas tree stickers and little stars and created winter scenes.  I can't find that pin right now, I apologize.  But if you search something like "paint and sticker canvas" you'll probably find some other great ideas.

The quote I chose is from my hilarious husband, Andy!  I wanted to make a surprise for him so bad, and the original quote I wanted to use (Charlie's hit song from LOST "You all everybody," read more here if you don't know what I'm talking about and want to know... it's pretty funny I think) wouldn't fit on the canvas, so I had to regroup.  I also didn't have enough Ys in my letter package.

The story behind this quote is that Andy has a very funny sarcastic sense of humor.  MOST of the time, you'll find me cracking up at everything he says, but every once in a while, either a joke falls flat or I'm not sure if he's joking or not.  That's when I give him the look, and he says "That was a joke, you know?  Jokes are funny?"

Cue my laughter.

His other line is "The best jokes are the ones you have to explain."  But I didn't have enough letters for that either.

Anyways, please choose a quote that is meaningful/ funny for you and your family!  It's so easy, so let's get started!

First, I coated my canvas with some nice bright white spray paint.  I think this step helps the tape and sticker lines turn out crisper.  Crispier?  Nice and crispy.  What does that remind me of?  McDonald's fries or something?  (Side note:  I just googled the word "crispier" and was given the definition "a pleasingly firm, dry and brittle surface" and the example phrase, "crispy fried bacon."  Ha... that's funny to me for some reason.)

Okay, back to the canvas.  The next step is to stick on your letters.  I wanted mine straight, so I marked a faint line with a pencil and ruler, making sure to stick my letters above the line so it would disappear when I spray painted over it.

If you want stripes or another pattern, tape that off now too.  Now is also when you should tape off the sides, if you want them to remain white.  Or you can make the stripes continue over the edge- it just makes the spray painting part slightly more tedious to make sure you get all around.  I actually forgot this step and ended up going back later and covering the whole front to repaint the sides white. 

I painted several light, even coats and then let it dry before peeling off the tape and stickers.

Here's where you can see one of my mistakes (see the next photo)- I bought felt stickers.  Some of the fuzzies got plastered down to the canvas when spraying, and those parts remained fuzzy white.  I didn't like that.  Cue my crazy perfectionist attempts to touch up the letters with a tooth pick.  I also had a chunk of semi-dry purple paint fall off onto the white stripe and make an ugly purple spot, so I touched that up with white paint and a Q tip.

Actually, touching up wasn't a big deal, and I'm glad I spent the time doing it.  No, it's still not perfect if you inspect it close up, but it looks great from a few steps back. 

But I hope I'm saving you the trouble- don't buy felt letters!  There are lots of other kinds that will work.  Those thick foam ones might be nice because they're smooth but can be gripped easily when pulling them off.

And you're done!  Easy, right?  Especially if it all comes out crisp and clean the first time.

Has anyone else tried the old tape and sticker spray paint canvas trick?  I LOVE it!  Please leave a comment with a link to your project if you've done it before, or if you decide to try it!

Linking up here:
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
AKA Design
Chase the Star 
Simply Designing 
Homemaker on a Dime

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Etsy Love: Turquoise and Red

This is such a fun summery color combination.  It was one of the top choices for my sister's wedding.  

I especially love the vintage turquoise fan- how cool is that?  (pun intended)

Check it out here

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

so we painted. for days.

I'm so excited to say that we finally decided to paint the basement!  Look at how many choices we started with!  We just can't get enough of paint samples, apparently. 

We were all set to go with something different and choose the yellow.... but in the end, we just couldn't do it.  I was afraid it was too much like a nursery and we would regret it.  We picked the light grayish green on the right.

I used to think that we would have one of those homes with nice rich cozy wall colors in every room, but so far we've chosen light and bright.  Kind of surprises me, but so far we've been really happy with our choices.  (Except for one bathroom debacle, a super light mint green shade that we couldn't stand.  Andy repainted it a cool blue- my hero.)

Can you spot the leopard print Snuggie?  It's my one true love.  Best Christmas present ever- thanks mom!  You know those commercials with the people wearing their Snuggies out at a soccer game?  And they're all cheering on the bleachers in their Snuggies?  I remember seeing that and thinking who would do that... ever?  But I'm here to say, I've worn my Snuggie to a parade on a cold night, in the bleachers.  And I was totally that person.  No shame here.  It was awesome.

I had no idea what an undertaking painting an entire basement was going to be, or we may have never started.  We spackled, sanded, taped, and painted for most of the weekend.  Our house has quite a few small dents and dings all over the walls and baseboards.  So handy Andy is fixing up everything before we paint each room.  We're about halfway through the house now. 

On Saturday we worked from 11:00 -6:00 straight!  I'm talking no lunch break.  This was serious business.  I was so glad we stuffed our faces with McDonald's breakfast, and that I had this little guy to help me through.

Thank you, iced hazelnut coffee.  You were sent straight from heaven.

I'm also thankful that it all only took one coat!  Oh halleluia.  Oh my Lord, two coats would have sent us over the edge.  We usually go with Behr paint and primer in one, and we've been happy with it, especially this time.

You can see how much of a help the kitties were.  I mean, honestly, look at these two.

Must be rough.

I swear, I'm coming back in my second life as a pet cat.  What a life!  Andy and I always ponder what they think about all day.  Do they worry?  Do they dream?  Do they have thoughts?  Maybe some psychology majors out there can clue me in.  I heard once that cats don't have a very good memory... but I've also read that they can be trained to do tricks, so who knows.

Ah well... I'm so glad the basement is done!  We rearranged a bit, and now it's time to decorate (the walls have been bare for over a year... sad, I know).  We may even run over to Ikea on Saturday!  Love.

Any other painters out there?  Which paint do you swear by?  Or the bigger question:  which animal would you be?

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Spoonflower Excitement

Last week, I got some exciting news from Spoonflower!

This is a screen shot from the Olympic themed contest results, found here.  My gymnastics fabric snuck in at spot #10!  I was so shocked when I saw it I think I may have stopped breathing for a minute. 

Here's a screen shot from Spoonflower's flickr page that shows how it looks printed.  So exciting!

After getting the news, I decided to finally open my shop and put some of my designs up for sale.  Here's what my shop looks like right now.

The first 5 designs have been entered in weekly contests:  Olympics, stars and stripes, retro kitchen, pomegranates, and motorcycles.  I love entering the contests because it makes me create designs that I wouldn't think of otherwise. 

Creating fabrics is so fun... but I think I need to work on my titles.  I mean jeez, blue circles?  mod red and tan?  grey branches?  I guess my creativity runs out when it's time to name my designs... 

Oh well.

I love you, Spoonflower. 

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Monday, August 6, 2012

that one time we got lost in a maze

Today I thought I’d share a memory with you guys.  The theme for today’s photo challenge at Mercantile Muse was retro groove, and lookie what gem I found in my photo archive?

And thus I find that today is the perfect time to share the story of the Dole Plantation Maze. 

The setting:  Oahu, Hawaii, 2010
The characters:  Me, Andy, lots of smart kids, lots of snails

Andy and I took a big trip to Hawaii two years ago (best vacation ever).  One morning we decided to be touristy and go to the Dole Plantation.  Well, we got there and decided to be even more touristy and bought tickets to do the maze.  I mean, it was the world's largest maze!  How could we resist?  Sounded like an okay idea.   

But approximately two hours later, we found ourselves covered in bugs and dripping with sweat and frustration and lost in that stupid maze!  A maze that tiny children were happily running around in and escaping from left and right.  But oh no, there we were.  I’m talking honest to goodness lost, and feeling trapped!  We realized this wasn’t some ha-ha-fun-times -oh-golly-gee-a-maze maze.  (Maybe we should have taken a look at these photos before we decided to try it.) 

This was serious.  We could see the exit but couldn’t get there.  Time continued to tick by and we started to mildly panic (okay maybe that was just me).  Not like {ahh we’re gonna die!} but more like {we’re on this beautiful vacation and yet here we are wasting hours in a maze?!? A MAZE?!?! WHY???}

Did I mention we were surrounded not only by happy kids finding their way out in 30 seconds flat, but by no fewer than 200 snails mating in the bushes at every turn?  You heard me.  Snails.  Mating.  This was how we chose to spend our once in a lifetime vacation in paradise? 

Oh yeah and see that fun little card I'm holding?  You were supposed to find these little hidden booths and get the stamp or something at each one.  See how mine is blank?  Yeah, we weren't very good at finding those.  We totally failed at this maze.  I mean, honestly.

Well anyways, long story short, we made it out alive, saw some gorgeous flowers, snapped a few photos, took a train ride (Andy loves trains… LOVES TRAINS), ate some pineapple whip ice cream, bought a bag of chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and called it a day.  

In summary-   Hawaii: good.  Mazes in Hawaii: bad.

But I can't really complain, because it was beautiful there.  Hawaii is exactly how you expect it to be.  Everything is just as beautiful as the pictures, it's just unbelievable.  Best place ever.  If you get the chance, you should go.  Just don't try the maze.  

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