Saturday, June 29, 2013

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Traveling to Puerto Rico to conquer the waves in Rincon should be on your bucket list.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Feel Good Poster for Someone Special

The last of the "Love" posters. My Niece just had a milestone birthday. 21! I remember when I turned 21, unfortunately, that conversation isn't appropriate for this blog. * wink, wink *

And here they all are, in their shining glory:

Yarn Wreaths

I told you I made a bunch of these. And I wasn't kidding.

Here we have "The Peacock" (for my sister):
 Winter Frost (for my sister-in-law): 
Purple Plume (for my other sister):
 Go Pack Go (for my mom, the biggest Packer fan I know):
Cozy Sweater (for my aunt):
 Bird's Song (for my mother-in-law):

30 Things I Love (cont...)

6. My iPhone 4S. How did I possibly survive for so long without it?

7. Mad Men marathon. I recently purchased seasons 1-4 at a very nice Black Friday discounted price. My last 2 weeks off of work have consisted of me squeezing in episode after episode between the mandatory Holiday shin digs. 'Shin digs', that's possibly a term I've never used before. I'll have to thank Mad Men for expanding my retro vocabulary (either that or Words with Friends).

8. Mozzarella cheese balls soaked in Italian oils. If you've never bought a tub of these. You should. They're delicious.

9. Speaking of's a few things I love from Trader Joe's: angel food cake, potstickers, yogurt, orange chicken, chocolate croissants, mochi, wine, cheese, dried cranberries, their free samples, and friendly Cashiers. What do you love from Trader Joes?

10. Sleeping in until 1:00 P.M. There's not a lot of chances to do this but if you find an opportunity, do it! And please, don't feel guilty about it.

More to come in the new year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

30 Things I Love

1. I love my latest incarnation of a "...Things We Love About..." poster.

2. That I get to keep making these posters (I have another one in the works).

3. Speaking of posters, I love my newest set of prints by Ryan Berkley, which I scored at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair.

4. Christmas is coming. And I ordered a bunch of cool gifts on ThinkGeek...

5....this is one of them.
Size does matter.

6.  ...

More to come later.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Yarn Days!

My house is covered in every color yarn that you can think of! Green, yellow, purple, red... my head is spinning just talking about it.

Some lucky family members will be receiving hand-made yarn wreaths this Christmas and I've been as busy as a St. Nicholas elf making them. My inspiration started with a quick Google image search for "yarn and felt wreaths" (try it and you'll see!). I attempted a yellow and purple one for myself first, and was impressed with the result.

This was quickly followed by a smaller, red version (which will be given away during the annual Holiday Ornament Exchange at the office).

Unfortunately, or fortunately for some, I'm addicted and have already made 3 more (with another 3 in the next couple weeks). My fingers have the hot glue gun scars to prove it. But, now I'm experimenting with different felt flower shapes, feathers, birds, and glass ornaments! I even found perfect 16"x16"x5" bakery boxes to store them in.

Stay turned until after the holidays to see the rest and in the meantime, make one for yourself, or a friend. You'd be surprised at how fun it is (aside from the burns)!

So you're serious about making a wreath, huh. Here's how to do it:
1. Gather a lot of inspiration images of other wreaths online. It helps to have something to go by the first time around.
2. Pick your color palette. Keep it simple at first. I did yellow and purple but added different shades of each for interest. Don't worry, your color palette can get "crazier" on your next couple wreaths.
3. Go to a craft store to buy your supplies. I started with a straw wreath because I liked the size and it was cheaper than the foam wreaths. And picked out the yarn color, as well as a few colors and shades of 8.5"x11" felt sheets, and some embellishments (picks, fake foliage, sprigs, pieces of garland, etc. will do just fine).
4. Now start wrapping your wreath with the yarn. (Tip: don't remove the plastic wrap from the straw wreath. Also, don't worry about keeping the yarn perfectly lined up. It looks more interesting when you have pieces overlapping each other and helps to cover the wreath better.) This step takes the longest. I recommend doing this while watching TV. You should be able to get through an episode or two of Dexter per wreath. Once it's completely wrapped tie the ends together and tuck to hid the knot.
5. Start cutting circles in your felt. All different sizes. The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower. Once you have circles, then start cutting them into spirals (with a wavy line). Confusing yes, so go here to see visual step-by-steps.
6. Plug in your hot glue gun because you're about to do some gluing. Per the instructions on the above link, leave a flap at the end of the spiral and glue to the back of the flower.
 7. Once your flowers are finished, arrange them on the wreath, as well as the embellishment. Keep rearranging until you like what you see, then glue them down permanently (Tip: add an optional ribbon to hang it).

Cost of project:
Straw wreath - $3.99
4 sheets of felt at $0.30 each - $1.20
Embellishment - $0.99

Total - $6.18 (assuming you already have the hot glue gun and glue sticks like I did)

Wrapping yarn - 1 hour, 30 mins.
Making and gluing flowers, embellishments - 30 mins.

Total - 2 hours

Difficulty Level:

Yes! I guarantee you'll be proud of yourself, and everyone you know will want one.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Out with the gold, In with the cold

Goodbye Fall. You'll be dearly missed. It was nice while it lasted but Old Man Winter is knocking on my door. Until next year...

Au revoir! Auf Wiedersehen! ¡Hasta maƱana!

Shot this fall while vacationing on Lake Winter. * sigh *

March of the Penguins

Get your office talking about these dishes at your next Holiday potluck. Bonus: they are quick, easy, and impressive.

For the body: Cut a wedge out of a large black olive. Fill with flavored cream cheese.
For the head: cut carrots into coin shaped slices. cut a small triangle-shape wedge out of each carrot coin. Poke the wedge into the tiny hole (not the large hole) of a small black olive.
For the base: Using the same carrot coins, cut the wedge even larger to create feet.
Assemble: stack the stuffed olive on top of the wedge, place the head on top and pierce with a tooth pick until all three parts are secured together.

This doesn't take as long as you may think. It's simple and also very delicious. Would go great as a sandwich side. And your friends/family/coworkers will be blown-away!

Marshmallow Snowmen
For the body: dunk the top of a marshmallow in frosting, and then dunk in your favorite sprinkles. (I used shredded coconut, candy-coated mini chocolate chips, nonpareils, crushed nuts, and crushed candy canes.)
For the face: Just use simple cake decorating gel or pipe frosting to draw the face. It's fun to show a variety of expressions and feel free to play around with different colors, too.
Assemble: Stick a cake pop/lollipop stick (found at specialty bake stores or Michael's) through the top and you're done!

The kids will really appreciate this one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Word Warrior to the rescue!

This post is one big shout-out to my friend, Aubre. I'm proud to announce that she's just launched her professional website, with me as her web designer and Aaron as her web programmer. I must say the three of us make a good team because her site turned out wonderful (I especially had fun creating the roll-overs; play around on her site and you'll see what I mean). It's been months in the making but it's now finished so all she needs to do is wait for the jobs to come rolling in. And I'd bet money that she's going to be a very busy woman!

Congrats, Aubre on the official launch of your freelance business. May the Force be with you!

Check out her site here, her blog here, and like her on Facebook while you're at it. Pow! Bam! Kaboom!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Big 5-0!

I would probably say that one of the most exciting projects for a designer to work on is a poster (especially a screen print). So when this little gem was presented to me a few weeks ago I jumped right on it. I don't even know Scott, but after designing this poster around him and all his amazing qualities, it made me want to wrap my arm around his shoulder, clink mugs of beer, and start singing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow..."!

Words can not describe the fun I had with this, but can I just say, I fit 50 reasons on one poster! That's a lot of copy, and I miraculously got it to fit. Round of applause, please!

Oh, and a great big happy birthday to The Man!