October 31, 2012

craft flashback: Halloween felt board!

My mom dug this creation out of the basement and gifted it back into my life. Once upon a time as a teenager, I made this lovely Halloween felt board for my two younger sisters. During the month leading up to Halloween I would wait until they were in bed and then I would "tap tap" on their door and leave behind a new felt piece and a notecard with instructions. Even though they caught on quickly to what I was doing they still waited in eager suspense every night and startled at the tapping noise. All three of us had great fun with it. Apparently I started it without a concrete plan as my mom recalls bringing me back to the store for more felt more than once!

Now that it is thoroughly documented I am going to turn it over to my daughters to play with!

October 29, 2012

one phrase two ways

One of my tasks at the library is to fulfill sign requests. The most frequent requests are signs for book displays. Sometimes the person putting up the display will clarify what the display is about. Other times I just make my best guess.

The request for "Carve out time to read" came in October so I took this sign in two very different directions and sent both along. It reminded me fondly of my days at the Kent Career Technical Center where we would start our days by sketching logo designs for a fictional business. Often enough you could take the name of the business in more than one direction.

October 26, 2012

consider the cattail

A recent scientific experiment at our home resulted in a cattail being pulled apart seed by seed. Notice the amazing and efficient design and how many millions of soft seeds are packed into the "tail," ends tucked in those yellow yellow bristles. Such a strange and alien looking plant.

October 24, 2012

Renegade Craft Fair – I loved it!

More from Renegade Craft Fair! I didn't buy from any of these vendors (yet) but I would of... so many lovely and interesting things!

Earrings by Foxglove Accessories

Foxglove Accessories
Each of these teeny tiny little treasures was created using vintage postage stamps. The back of the card would tell you what era and what country the stamps were from. Fascinating.

Sword Fern Cuff by Wonderlust Jewelry

Wonderlust Jewelry
Breathtakingly gorgeous stainless steel jewelry. The designs are made using actual bits of nature so every piece is unique. I overhead the artist explaining her process – it has to do with chemistry and reminded me of how photographs are developed. At the point I came across her booth I had just bought myself some other jewelry so I was trying to slow up my self spending for a bit. Otherwise, I could have easily made a purchase here!

FoundRe: Furnishings
I love and adore the texture and the mystery history of layers of peeling paint. There were some gorgeous tables whose tops were pieced together with different colored narrow pieces of wood salvaged from New Orleans (trim maybe?). They were lovely and reminded me a bit of quilts. Sorry I don't have a photo!

Bat mobile kit from Owly Shadow Puppets
Owly Shadow Puppets
I think these cutouts would work equally well as creative playthings and home decor items!

October 22, 2012

Halloween mantel & mirror

I figured I better post this early enough for someone to do something with any inspiration they might derive from seeing it!

The mantel features a few new things for me: 

The round mirror
I bought this mirror at IKEA with grand intentions of putting it in my garden like this. Well, I never really felt like I had the perfect spot and it hung in my garage for an embarrassingly long time. I was getting ready to put up Halloween things and I thought it would like nice, especially with the black frame. I actually like it a lot in this spot and it certainly feels good to make use of something I already own!

The ceramic pumpkins
Only 50¢ each at a garage sale this summer! They have such lovely expressive faces. They are hollow in back so I think they originally served as planters of some kind. I am going to keep my eye out for more of a similar size as I especially like how they look sitting in a row.

The little ceramic ghostie
I picked up this little cutie just a few days ago at a thrift store for 99¢. I think I am particularly fond of ceramic holiday items because I grew up with them. Once upon a time my mom took ceramic classes and finished and painted various items that populated our home around the holidays.

The greeting cards and the framed monsters are things I use every year. Both are easy and inexpensive and very flexible as they can be placed on virtually any surface. I focused on using the card with black silhouette designs to play off of the black edge of the mirror

October 19, 2012

fabulous fungus!

Long-time readers will know this is not the first time on this blog I have expressed my delight with mushrooms and their kin. Well, I am back at it. Take a closer look and you too will be impressed!

Just so you know I am not alone in my appreciation for our fungal friends of the forest, just look what my favorite blogger-artist Gennine featured on her September desktop calendar!

October 17, 2012

Renegade Craft Fair – I had to have it!

Long ago in September I flitted off to Chicago to go to the Renegade Craft Fair. Renegade is done annually in select cities and has a very specific vibe. Things there are perhaps not for everyone but they do fit my style. A friend of mine and I had been talking about going for years and we finally made it happen. I am so glad we did! The mix of artists was great and the 3-hour car ride flew by as we talked up a storm. Funny how you can do that with someone you talk to on a regular basis anyway!

I did not take photos at the fair because it was super crowded and I did not want to be mistaken as an idea-stealer. However, I have three different posts planned highlight my favorite artists. Due to the magic of etsy you too can shop Renegade!

Today's posts will show you where my own money went.

About a year ago I went short with my hair (again, it has been done before!) and since then I have been trying to freshen up my long earring collection. So I indulged in some earring purchases:

Gem Junkie
Amazingly enough her earrings were only $5 a pair. Someone must be getting a steal on the bead costs to sell them priced this low. I bought pairs featuring trees, perching birds, and planets (for my space-loving sister – Happy Birthday!).

earrings from Overdue Industries
earrings from Overdue Industries

Overdue Industries
Everything these guys had for sale was made from old books. Being that I work at a library and love books, I could totally appreciate this! I bought two pairs of earrings for myself. They are punched out of the ornate covers of old Reader's Digest condensed books. So cool! The earrings were even hanging on a backing that looked like an old school check out card where you had to write your name and the date you checked out the book. You know, in the days before barcodes. I have a long teal and white pair and a circular red and white pair. They also had necklaces and nightlights and coasters.

There were a lot of vendors selling stationery and posters and prints. Be still, my heart! As a graphic designer, my skills and my love fall squarely within the realm of print design so it was lovely to see that paper isn't dead. Nothing beats a heartfelt and hand-written note now does it?

For my home I indulged in art from two different artists:

Autumn Cardinal by Strawberry Luna

Strawberry Luna
I bought all four of the cardinal prints. One for each season. I love little birdies, I love birch trees, I love nature, and I love silk screened illustrations in this style. Of course I had to have these little sweeties. I haven't decided how to frame them or wear to hang them so they are laying flat and waiting for me to figure that out!

Shade of a Tree by Thimblepress

A lovely thing to remember –gratefulness for those who came before and an eye toward leaving "shade" for those to come. Soon to be hanging in my sunroom. And such a lovely design – the kind of thing I aspire to do.

Lest you think this trip was only about me, I will have you know gifties were purchased from these artists:

The cutest felt animal masks. Something I suppose I could have made myself but nothing wrong with supporting an artist and stuffing a stocking all in one fell swoop. I can't find a business card for this booth so I cannot report to you who it was. Apologies!

Circa Ceramics
I loved these ceramics. They came in a range of cool colors and were printed with black illustrative line art. They seemed bright and cheerful and functional. What more could you want? I couldn't decide on a piece for myself – or a safe location in my house – so I ended up buying a piece as a gift.

Tree Hopper Toys
I was super in love with the "Match Stacks" memory games made with flat wooden disks and simple, symbolic art. Cute!

October 15, 2012

simple summer mantel with pretty Petoskeys

Ok, it is just a titch embarrassing to be posting about a summer-themed mantel in – ahem – October. But here you go anyway!

After I gushed about our fossil finds from our summer trip to Petoskey I just had to tell you what I ended up doing with them. Short answer – I did the easy thing and dumped them into glass jars full of water. It really is a very lovely way to magnify the fossils. I have moved on to a different mantel design for Halloween (coming soon to a blog near you) but took these same jars and displayed them on a shelf in the bathroom. So the prettiness lives on.

October 14, 2012

I am still alive and well and crafting!

Hello there, my dear blog friends. I am sorry I dropped out of the blog world for about a month there. Thankfully, I have had nothing serious happen to prevent me from writing. I have been puzzling over what has been my reason for not writing. Some of it is just the fuller fall schedule.

But mostly I have fallen out of routine with writing. I need to figure out a day and time that I always sit down and write. Only then will it actually happen!

I've got lots to tell you! I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago in September. The annual insanity of ArtPrize has come and gone in my fair city. Both have left me intrigued and inspired by all I have seen. And I have been crafting it up just a bit. Mostly Christmas gifts so I cannot reveal too much here on the blog.

So bit by bit, I am going to catch you up on what's been fueling my creativity these days. Thanks for your patience this past month. Glad you're still reading with me!

Detail from "Bridging Humanity" by Edward Casagrande in ArtPrize 2012