Thursday, August 30, 2012

Head In the Clouds

1.  Installation by artist Dietrich Wenger
2.  Hot pads from designer MasamiAkatsuka

3.  Polymer stud earring from Ku Ki Shop 
 4.  Wallpaper by designer Amiee Wilder

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DIY // Chic & Discreet Prescription Containers

It’s called the medicine cabinet, but experts say that’s the worse place to store your pills.  The heat and moisture generated in the bathroom can break down medicine and make it less effective.  So, where do you keep all those prescription bottles where they will be out of sight, but still convenient to access?

Tea tins provide a perfect cool, dry, and light proof environment for storing your meds.  After you’re done with your favorite bag or loose leaf tea, keep the container!  I prefer ones that come in a square shape because I can fit at least four pill bottles in them.  Round containers give you space for about three – and if they’re tall containers, you can always stack them.

All you need for this project is a nice tin and your favorite roll of washi or deco tape.  Most tea tins already have fancy package design, but I still like to deck mine out a little.  Find a cute tape that compliments the tin and use it to line the top and bottom edges.  If the container has a label, border your tape around it.  Put a little tape around the rim of the lid, or across the top, for a unified appearance. 

Once your new container is decorated you can transfer your pill bottles into it. Now you can store your meds on your bedside table, kitchen cabinet, or shelf without having it looking like a mini pharmacy.  This also keeps nosy house guests and visitors from checking out your prescriptions.

For meds that you need to take on the go, you can create a mini version of these containers by cleaning out lip gloss or other small cosmetic tins.  Since these are so small I just put a little washi tape around the lid.  Transfer the pills you need to take with you inside and pop your new pill case in your bag or purse.

Don’t have the kind of containers you want at home?  This is a great project for thrift store or flea market finds.  Hunt down some small vintage tins and aluminum containers.  Japanese candy tins also work great for this.  As usual, you want to keep all prescriptions out of reach of children and pets.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DIY // Color & Texture Swatches

I’ve never been the type to keep a sketchbook.  The writer in me always takes over and I end up jotting down lots of tone words and long descriptions of my ideas.  Visually, I rely on color and texture instead of sketches.  Both have always evoked strong emotion in me, so when I’m planning out ideas I try to match up different textures with pallets that speak to my written descriptions.

As a result, I end up keeping every scrap of paper or fabric, small or large, which inspires me or holds my attention.  You can imagine the mess I create when I pull all of them out and spread them around the floor, sorting and selecting.  Besides being a hassle to pick up, it also becomes difficult to store so much stuff when I have to keep taking it out again. 

To make this whole process easier I recently made my own color and texture swatches.  They’re super simple to make and great for creating color and mood boards for projects.  You can also scan them to use for design and digital scrap-booking.  All you need is a stapler, some sturdy backing paper, scissors or paper cutter, and a selection of your favorites scraps.
Here’s what I did:
Step One:  Gather materials.  You can see that I used a wide variety, including tissue paper, different fabrics, ribbon, vellum, vintage book pages, handmade paper, and various ephemera.  Don’t be afraid of bold patterns or textures.  Candy wrappers, various textiles, and found items are all fair game.  Use whatever jumps out at you and gets your wheels turning.  Have fun with it.

Step Two:   Prepare the backing paper.  It’s best to keep them on a light solid color that will not compete with your swatches.  I used perfume sample cards and also cut up a few blank index cards.  You can also use card stock.  Whatever you chose, make sure it’s sturdier than the materials you will be attaching.  The next thing you’ll want to do is cut them down to size.  Most of mine are about 2” x 3.”  They don’t have to be systematic, as long as they’re easily handheld and sortable.

Step Three:  Cut out your materials.  This is the fun part.  You don’t want them to be much bigger than 1” x 2 ½” or they will start to overpower the backing paper and contend with your other swatches.  If the color or pattern is not the same all over, cut out the area that you like best, or cut out several areas for a mini set.  For sheer and transparent materials I sometimes cut two pieces or longer strips, then fold or overlap them to show the change in opacity.

Step Four:  Assemble your cards.  Center your swatches on your backing paper and staple them at the top.  I used staples instead of glue because I wanted to be able to lift the swatches and drape them over other materials to see how they interact together.
All that’s left to do is to find a convenient container to store them in.  I’m still looking for something small and cute and might go thrift store hunting for some vintage tea tins.  Now you have your very own swatch set to help visualize all your creative thoughts.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Head Back to School

Each Monday I will be bringing you my favorite finds from around the web.  This week’s picks are all about heading back to school.  Whether going to middle school, college, or getting ready to tackle that Masters, these unique supplies will be great for you or someone you know. 

Omoi, a Philadelphia, PA based zakka shop, is now offering these stylish eco-friendly Decomposition Books.  With college and gird ruled pages made completely from post-consumer waste and soy based ink, these notebooks are sure to keep you green in the coming semester.  

While back to school shopping with my sisters last weekend I saw lots of great canvas backpacks everywhere, but most of them had leather trim or accents.  That’s why I love this Neon Trim Denim Backpack from TOPSHOP made from cotton and polyester.  It’s a wonderful alternative for vegans and others who like to keep leather-free.

No matter what you’re studying, pencil bags are a must.  Even if you don’t carry around writing tools, this pouch from Skinny laMinx also makes a great cosmetic bag.  The Cloudbirds pattern pops in all three colors, and also provides a nice graphic escape from the ever-present chevron pattern.

You can’t go wrong with anything from Cavallini & Co. and these scenic white erasers are no exception.  It’s like having a little postcard in your pencil bag to correct all your mistakes!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

At Last, Strawberries!


This summer I planted some Chandler strawberries.  My mom bought me three plants and I transferred them into some small planters on the stoop.  Two of the plants were completely dried up by the intense heat wave we had, but this little one hung in there.

The first harvest was very small and the berries died before reaching full ripeness.  I did my best to protect them from the harsh afternoon sun during the following months and added more soil conditioner.  Finally, three little berries produced this August.  It was so exciting to watch them change from bright green to ripe red.  It happened so quickly!  Unfortunately, the smallest of the berries started to rot on the vine.  Looking back, I think I should have picked that one sooner.

Nevertheless, these two made it!  I picked them for my breakfast, diced them up and ate them with a drizzle of honey.  They were very juicy and a touch on the tart side, but still worth the wait.

Here’s hoping for a third harvest!

Ready. Set. Go.


My name is Lauren and I am an artist and writer, currently taking a pause from pursuing my BFA (art school is expensive!)  I love cats, art history, and working on my stamp and postcard collections.  Not being immersed in the art community has been difficult, but I’ve been trying to make an effort to keep creating while I job hunt.  One good thing is that I finally have time to focus on some of my other passions like making stationery and hand bound books.  I look forward to sharing all the beautiful things I use, create, and am inspired by with you all.