Monday, June 30, 2008

Decorate that blank wall!

Even a crafter like me has been guilty of having a house full of blank white walls. The task of decorating can seem overwhelming at times and it's hard to come up with a good color scheme and there are so many options that you end up just giving up and staring at it for hours trying to find the right solution.

Well there are a lot of other options out there instead of hanging artwork and finding a piece big enough to fill in that odd blank space. Here are a few I found.

Mariana Leung submitted this wall mural felt project to Design Sponge. It's a great way to recycle those odd pieces of leftover felt. I did a similar project like this with flowers cut out of colorful posterboard and taped it to the wall. You can experiment a lot with shapes and colors and create a pattern. It just takes a lot of patience to cut out all the flowers but the cool thing is in the end it's re-positional and not permanent so you can re-arrange as much as you want!

Lilybee posted an Instructable on how to create wall art with electrical tape and colored acetate. If this was going to be up longer than a few months I would suggest using painter's tape and choosing a wall that doesn't get that much sun. The sun and heat makes the tape fuse onto the wall and also will fade it. I learned that the hard way. This would be fun to try in a garage, basement where you need some art to liven it up but don't entirely care about the paint on the wall.

For those of you that have access to Ikea they have some fabulous fabrics for good prices. On the How about Orange blog there is a tutorial on how to make your own wall art out of fabric. Very clever and worth a shot. Perhaps for the space above your couch? (That's a super cool blog by the way) Also in the comments for that tutorial one reader mentioned she used pieces of foam instead of a frame and staples it on the back. That way would be more 3-d and lighter. Great way to re-use foam? Old frames? Goodwill run?

I was so blown away by this idea because it would be an AWESOME way to hang artwork in a gallery (I'm still planning for my first art show) and also it would be just so friggin awesome to have a wall of photos/postcards/art that you can change out when you feel like it. Read the tutorial here. Brought to you by Curbly

Monday, June 23, 2008

Name this Squirrel!

So I finally finished up my little Squirrel softie. I based my pattern off of soto softies little squirrels. I loved how they looked and I wanted to try my hand at that. It came out interesting indeed! It was a little bit hard to sew up the triangle body and I kept forgetting which direction the legs were supposed to go. I haven't attempted a softie in so long! I think he came out pretty swell though.

But this little guy needs a name. What do you think?

Also this ceramic feet bowl is an old project of mine from Highschool. I keep it here at work as a candy dish and now it is his new home. He also is fond of the cd sleeve boxes we made last week.

Plastic Bottle Awesomeness

found this here. um.. wow! I have to make one. Such a great idea. More ideas from Ryter Design.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Re-use Slim CD Cases!

Look what I made at work today! I am currently going through things to try and throw away junk and prepare for mega yard sale. In my digging I came across my collection of slim CD Cases that I have NEVER used but rescued from my brother a year ago when he was going to throw them out. Now in this digital age CD's are becoming obsolete as well as CD cases. When you buy an album the case usually gets ditched and the cd goes in a CD booklet. Or in my case everything is digital and I only buy albums when I really want to support the artist so I don't even use CDs and I transfer the music to my computer when I get a new one! I also got rid of my two cd players and all my VHS tapes (who even uses these anymore?) It's all better off being donated to someone that will actually use them instead of taking up my storage space.

So I opened up this box of slim cases and I checked for a recycle code which I didn't find. So I did a little web searching and looks like your recycle options are limited and there is companies you can send them in to but you have to mail them in and large quantities are best. Websites also suggested maybe donating them to a small band that is trying to save on costs and trying to get an album out and maybe can use the extra cases.

Well of course I was curious what the crafty solution would be. What can you make out of a slim CD case? I held it in my hand and turned it around. I didn't have a clue. But with a little bit of web searching I found someone people that have some GREAT ideas. Wow.. now I'm going to hold on to these little guys and re-use them.

Idea #1) Jewel Case Pen Holder w/Tape Transfer by Amy Ybarra Murphy of Craft Chi. This first Idea I actually did try out and It made a pretty solid box. We made a few at work and my workmate made one as well and even has a little tutorial for it. I was thinking it could be used on it's side as mini shelf and maybe take a few of them and stack them on top of each other (maybe tape more or glue for reinforcement) You could even drill or use the hole in the middle to attach them to the wall for some handy shelving. The possibilities are endless! It makes a really cool box because of the multi colored sides. It fits together pretty snuggly. I strongly suggest trying this out. I'm sure anyone can attempt this and impress all their friends. hah!

Idea #2) The folks over at Photojojo found a great way to use cases as wall art. I found another similar version by instructables. It would be easy to print images out from your inkjet printer, cut the out and slip them into the cases. Back at my old apartment I made collages out of magazine clippings and postcards I found This would be a great way to make that more permanent and easier to take off and move to another location. My way was taping it to the wall and took forever to remove and destroyed most of it. By the way there has to be another way other than using Velcro to attach these to your walls.

so dig through your boxes and find those old cases you dont use and create some cool storage boxes and wall art!

happy crafting
- Mary

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Q's Got Pride!

This year I helped design the mascot for the new Q-Center here in Portland, Oregon. Q-Be was introduced to the community on Family Pride night where the kids made their own shirts and customized versions of Q-Be. He was a really fun character to design and I put a lot of my heart into it. More about the Q-Center:
The Q Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to increase the visibility of and foster connection within metropolitan Portland’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning (LGBTQ) community. The center builds public awareness and support, and celebrates LGBTQ diversity through art, culture, and programming. In 2003, an effort was launched to explore the feasibility of a LGBTQ community center. More than 1600 individuals and 30 organizations weighed in on the question. The end results were clear: Portland needs, wants and can support a LGBTQ Community Center!

I was happy to be a part of this and this is the first time that my artwork has really been applied to something bigger than myself. I feel that I created Q-Be and gave him life but they will give him his personality. I'm glad he has such a happy home!

And look he's life size!
Tonight the Q-Center is hosting "Wig Out" a evening of over-the-top coifs where you can show your Pride with friends, enjoy a glass of wine, and bump bouffants on the dancefloor with some of the community's backcombed best!

It's free and I'll be there tonight shaking it on the dance floor.

Welcome to the world Q-Be!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Squirrel Fever!

I have always had a strong kinship to the friendly squirrel. They are cute, feisty and obnoxious and most homeowners hate them. They defy cats, dogs and steal whatever goodies they can. I think in a previous life I must have been a squirrel.. that would explain a bit.

I just about had a heart attack when I stumbled upon the Sugar Bush Squirrel - The superstar of the internet. Talk about CUTE OVERLOAD!! ahh!! So this inspired me. There just HAS to be a good pattern for a squirrel plushie that I can make. Shouldn't there be? So the hunt was on! Here is what I found. Fire up your sewing machines and bring out the fabric scraps.. it's time for squirrelly action!

by soto softies

also by soto softies

Now this is a clever fellow crafted by futuregirl. I just love the fluffy tail and the ears! *squee* be sure to check out his friend Werner the Squirrel.

I'm going to work up a squirrelly friend tonight and see if I can come up with a pattern to share! Anyone know of any good ones to link to?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Sew Cute!

I believe the little thread guy really pulls this together. I'm in love with all of Yummy Pancake's creations and especially this little sewing machine plushie. She has a ton available on her etsy store as well as patterns for sale to make your own! You can never have too much cute crocheted happy treats!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Happy Doughnut Day

To celebrate here are some Doughnut plushies. No calories and zero fat!

scrumptious creations by sewdorky.

The one the only, mypapercrane.

Hungry yet? How about trying your hand at making your own doughnuts? 101 Cookbooks posted a great recipe for baked doughnuts that is simple and delicious. Baked doughnuts is a bit different but doesn't require the mess and the hot oil (do they use oil or fat?).

How about some doughnut earrings? Fashionably sweet from plasticpearl.

And if you are looking for the perfect gift on Doughnut day how about surprising your friend with a Doughnutmatic!

"This, my friends, is a poorly named product. But you know what they say; you can’t judge a donut making machine by its ridiculous hyphen-happy name.

Aside from the name, the Dough-Nu-Matic can have you shoving a delicious miniature donut into your mouth in less than 60 seconds. You’ll have a whole pile of them in under six minutes — a dozen, to be exact. “Just add dough and the Dough-Nu-Matic does the rest.”

I don’t know much about how donut dough is made or if you can just buy a big fat sack of donut dough at Sam’s Club, so any extra effort on that front might be a deterrent. Still, if you have $130 to spare and easy access to dough, this is the gift that keeps on giving."

Dough-nu-matic via (Crunch Gear)

Now my friends.. I really need a doughnut.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I (HEART) This blog

Genninee's Art Blog

I'm wordless... speechless.. in awe. It's a birdlover's dream!

Craft Finds and Projects

It's been a slow day today at work. I still love the day job and today I'm feeling particularly crafty. Last night I worked on this little guy and today I was finishing him up with some spots.
He started out as a cupcake but looked more like a mushroom.

Mushroom gets some luuve.. not so tasty!

Now for some weird projects I found today. First one up is the Space Invader Cookies by Flickr user . Fun with cookie dough and The Play-Doh Fun Factory, the must have tool for the budding cookie artist. Check out the behind the scenes action. Nabbed from Craftzine blog.

Also a project I LOVE found on my new favorite blog Design Sponge. This crafty Cork lamp is handy for those late night bursts of inspiration. Cheap and fun to make. Be sure to check out Design Sponge for more fun projects and also the Craft Magazine blog.

Tin Can Wall Garden


I'm thinking of actually applying this to my boring wooden fence in the backyard. The dogs run about all over so it's not a great place to put pots that will most likely get knocked over or become marked territory. Attaching them to wood will most likely be easier than brick. Also they can be watered by the rain! It doesn't seem to be letting up here in Portland even though we are moving into June now.

Apartment Therapy LA posted about SleepyHappy's inspiring wall garden, made from spray-painted repurposed tin cans. As she notes in her photostream:

Pizza restaurants go through dozens of these cans every week, just ask.

Painted with rust paint these looked pretty good for two years, the third year I did touch ups on the rust that was showing.

Kinda toxic process - not recommended for edibles, but oh so gorgeous for flowers. Rust paint comes in a dozen colours these days!

I have loads of smaller cans (from olives, pineapple chunks and beans) that might make an interesting arrangement. Another handy way to re-use your trash!

found on Craftzine.

SO many projects so little time...