Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mosaic work from a warm weather friend

The temperature here in Belfast, Maine, has not sauntered above freezing even once during the month of January. We've had record lows, record snowfall, and even an ice storm. It's encouraging to look at the pretty mosaic work of K. Elisabeth Loring, owner of a custom mosaic and tile studio in Albuquerque called The Hands of Man. Just looking at her work makes me long for warmer days, and makes me wish I could place my hands on these outdoor pieces which I bet are super warm to the touch. 

View more of her work here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Valentines Day: handsome finds for big man and little man

I think Valentine's Day is just about off the radar for most guys, but gifts are so fun to give. It's also fun to tackle the challenge of finding gifts for the allegedly more difficult to shop for gender. 

I can't help it. I'm posting another print from theblackappleCurious Birdplane Boy would be really nice in the kids room. Or just get it for yourself.

My paper crane makes sweet softies. I think this fortune cookie is perfect, especially because it comes with a little fortune, too.

I just discovered L.L.Bean's Moonbeam Alarm Clock in a post by the whip-smart angrychicken, and I'm smitten. It glows brighter as the sun rises and then beeps if the glowing isn't enough.

History Shots sells all kinds of information graphics that are beautiful and really interesting to look at. I'm partial to the Genealogy of Pop/Rock, but check out their site for sports, politics, military and more.

moxieandoliver's stainless steel flask with tooled leather is super handsome. I know that the man in this house has wished to have such a vessel, and always appreciates when someone pulls one out on a cold winter night after stacking bonfire wood or marching until your fingers freeze.

Thrift Store find: now what?

I snapped up these two french fairy tale books from the free bin at the thrift shop. The were published in 1978, and seem to be screaming out for me to do something with all the deer and fairy illustrations. So far, I've cut one photo out and wrapped a can with it, and it's filled with all the different decorative edge scissors that the girls use, but what can I do with the rest of it? I need ideas, and so I ask you. What would you suggest? 

Tonight's creatin'-time playlist

One Crowded Hour, Augie March
Be OK, Ingrid Michaelson
Set Me Up High, Martha Scanlan
All I Want Is You, Barry Louis Polisar
Shambala, Three Dog Night
Gotta Have You, The Weepies
Lay Your Heartbreak, Winterpills
Chick Habit, April March
Bullet and a Target, Citizen Cope
Clemintine, The Decemberists
I Feel Just Like a Child, Devendra Banhart

Was She Pretty? Leanne Shapton's most amazing words and illustrations

Leanne Shapton makes beautiful illustrations, and wrote this fabulous book that stands out in the relationship section of your local behemoth bookshop. I've read, reread, and then reread Was She Pretty? I have photocopied pages of it and wrapped gifts with it, I look to it again and again. Something about how the ex's in our men's lives is super intriguing. But how interesting is that to say? Better to let Leanne walk you through it with dreamy illustrations and snippets of who they were. They were sexy, smart, creative, alluring, odd, us. Maybe you knew  them, maybe you imagined them, but curious they remain, and they are a tie that binds. A good one, too. Without them, where might those men be instead? 

Tutorial: button down shirt to girl's dress

This is the mens-shirt-to-pretty-dress that made me finally learn how to use my sewing machine. The tutorial is really easy to follow, and even if you are terrified of the sewing machine, you can do this. I know it, because I did. I will post pictures of the three dresses I've made so far from this tutorial, but this picture is hopefully enough to dare you to try it for yourself. I had a great time at our local thrift store during their $5/bag of clothes sale, picking out lots of men's cotton shirts for playing around with.

pretty, yummy, twirly cookie

How will I keep my girls from eating these cookies before they are baked? These are the times that try (wo)men's souls. Visit Sassy Priscilla for her Lovin' Color Playdough Cookie recipe.

Valentines Day: pretty things for big and little girls

Valentines Day may be silly, but giving pretty things to the girls in your life never is. Here are just a few lovely options from I will do another one of handsome treasures, too. Ladies first!

Like chocolate and peanut butter these two things go together perfectly --  matroyshka doll+  locket by SeaUnicorn.

belleandboo has many lovely things to choose from. But, Eskimo Kisses!!

I have a crush on everything theblackapple makes. The Little Hedgehog Goes Fishing print is really sweet. I really need these shiny story time drop earrings by hottoffee.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

tape: roundup

Tape is great for making art, sending cute packages, and nerding out on crafts. Here are some of my favorites.

apply generously

This house loves tape. This was done by the resident 2.5 year old, and reminds me of work done by another person in the family

needle and thread

I have wanted to find a way to keep some of the drawings I really love that the girls make. It occurred to me that I could just trace them onto some fabric (in this case it's unbleached muslin) and then use some embroidery skills tucked away from my old girl scouting days. I am filling in the stems and leaves on this one with more green, and will post the finished project when it's ready.

sticky fingers

Another project I stumbled on recently were these cute japanese-looking paper beads, made from security envelopes. I immediately opened all the bills lickity-split and started cutting and gluing. No bills were harmed in the making of the beads. 

it's magically delicious

I saw many posts to the glorious and ghastly poisonous rainbow cake, and had to let the girls make it. I know, I know, it's not fit for human consumption, but it's really pretty. Oh, and it tasted so yummy from the chemicals. 

Excited but unfocused

Lots of inspiring people out there. I find myself poking from one blog to the next, reading about how to do certain things with needles and thread and glue or paper, and feel a little overwhelmed about how to make the most of it. Lately I find myself incredibly excited by everything, even the white sky against the white snow cover against the pink cheeks of my two year old. Even the soup cans are being meticulously washed so I can cover them in old pages of books, which pleases me. Bear with me as I tame my enthusiasm and try to actually organize some fun pictures from the internet land and my own projects. I think it will be pretty to look at.

I am going to attempt to post some pictures, and links now. You'd think I'd be good at that by now, but the old is new to me. Stand by.

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