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Tiny Gallery For A Tiny Person

17 Mar

Today’s SNOW DAY Morning Mission: creating a gallery wall in my son’s bedroom!

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As almost all parents-of-preschoolers do, we usually have about 600 pieces of kid art laying around the house. It just so happens that this weekend we went through and culled that down to about 100 pieces, which we put in a desk organizer on a bookshelf with the intent to work through it monthly and keep, scan, purge, or mail to grandparents. So naturally, this morning after a marathon game of Chutes and Ladders (did you KNOW how long that game can go on???) I grabbed the art organizer, called over my artist and assistant curator, and we got to work.

First we picked out about 20 things my son wanted to see up on the wall. We also found and printed some photographs. I let him choose about six rolls of washi tape for the “frames” (I love this Etsy shop for fantastic, fairly inexpensive tape). We also used a few existing frames and mats; by the way, I love these 2-pack NYTTJA frames from IKEA for kids’ rooms.

After about half an hour of “curating” we started the assembly. I’d love to say this was carefully thought out (as a client’s wall would be)  but we just started tacking things up and filling in the holes. I was careful to hang the actual frames a little higher than I thought he’d reach or hit while playing.

This is what we got:

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A few of the highlights are the origami dinosaur and crane, which are essentially “seat-belted” the the wall…

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Some of his early writings…2014-03-17 02.27.06 pm

 

And this ice cream cutout, which is paired with a “menu” he recently gave me as breakfast suggestions (nice try). 2014-03-17 02.27.24 pm

If the tape doesn’t stick very well or comes unglued, you can hit it with a hot hairdryer to gum it onto the wall a little bit more. But don’t worry, it won’t damage your wall (that’s the beauty of washi-tape). It will also keep your paper free of rips if you remove it (just pull slowly and carefully).

Now if tomorrow’s another snow day, I have NO IDEA what we’re going to do!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

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5 Things I Love RIGHT Now.

21 Feb

1.  Marbleized Anything

marble paper(source)

I love the idea of framing a piece of marbleized paper.

marble paper

I acquired a DIY marbling kit for Christmas so I might be trying this soon. Hopefully I’ll spring for a marbling tray so I don’t stain my bathtub, but I’ve been known to be a less than careful crafter when I’m struck with an urge to make something.

 

2. Making Candy

gummy candy

I experimented with chocolate and toffee and truffles during the holidays, but I’d never made gummi candy before. Until a few weeks ago. And the thing is, it’s SO easy! You just mix a large box of Jell-O with 3 packets of plain gelatin and 2/3 cup of water, let it sit for 5 minutes, then boil it until the crystals dissolve. Then you pour it into little silicone molds (it makes about two molds since there is so little liquid involved), let it sit for half an hour, and they pop RIGHT out. Easiest thing ever. Totally gross and artificial, but who am I to criticize that. I love candy.

 

3. Nurturing A Creative Soul

My son is really coming into his own as a tiny artist. He is not one to receive instruction or take direction often or with ease, but he has been asking for drawing lessons lately, and I oblige. He even added some…umm…”flair” to a rough sketch of mine. I’m not sure that it needed purses or Christmas trees, but he thought it did.

Collaborative Sketch

 

4. Rocks

A few weeks ago I rediscovered my childhood “100 Rocks of North America” chart, and it brought back awesome memories.

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It’s hard to tell from my picture, but they really are super colorful and cover a wide spectrum of neutrals. They remind me of these agate platters from LEIF ($50 – currently sold out, but they should be back in stock soon).

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5. Free Stuff!

I’ll be doing a GIVEAWAY on the blog next week! Look out for it – it’s a good one!

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Original Fabric Designs from Spoonflower

19 Dec

I just wrapped up another semester with my graduate students, and as usual, much of their work was very impressive and my creativity is recharged from being in the classroom.

One of the projects that my students engaged in this fall was the creation of a series of original textile repeats with digital design software. After they made tweak after tweak, we had them produced in the flesh by Spoonflower. Spoonflower is a textile company based on North Carolina, and they allow users to upload original designs and have them printed onto one of the many fabrics they work with for a pretty reasonable cost: it is a fantastic tool for me to use in the classroom, because it makes the designs that my students work so hard on come to life in a way that is motivating and full-circle.

We ordered a sampler, which is 30, 8” x 8” inch samples of fabric printed on one yard (for under $40 – can you believe it!?). Each of their original repeats appears 4 times, as they were uploaded at a 4” x 4” size. This was the sampler before we cut it, all laid out in its colorful splendor on my living room floor:

Spoonflower Sampler

Spoonflower Samples

Here are some of the details of the samples, after I cut them up and pinned them up to create on-the-spot coordinated collections in class. For those of you who have used Adobe Illustrator, you will appreciate that it is no small feat that many of these students had no prior experience with the software, and in about 15 weeks, they became masters of the Pen Tool. I am very, very proud of them.

Spoonflower Samples

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Spoonflower Samples

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When I was in graduate school, one of the most magical things was seeing your work come to life, which isn’t always possible when you’re working with buildings and rooms and furniture and fabric. So obviously,  I’m really elated that the students I work with in digital design can see their own textile designs take shape so easily. Now they can design fabrics and order them by the yard if they wish to!

If you’re interested in any of their creations, send me an email so that I can put you in touch with the designer: Spoonflower sells any public users’ fabrics by the yard, however, to protect their privacy, I did not upload any of the designs used in class as “public” designs.

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

DIY Paper Fortune Cookies!

26 Nov

I posted a picture to Instagram a few weeks ago of some DIY paper fortune cookies that I made. A few people have asked how to make them.

DIY Paper Fortune Cookies!

The good news is, they could NOT be easier to assemble! If you have paper and a glue gun, it’ll take you less than 5 minutes to make a few.

Here’s a how-to…

DIY Fortune Cookies!

Didn’t I tell you that was easy? If you don’t have a glue gun (Wait: how can you NOT have a glue gun?) you could use a dot of regular glue, but I can’t stand holding paper together until glue dries so I use hot glue. I also glued a lot of the “prizes” to the inside of the “cookie”; folded paper (messages, bills) tends to stick just fine, but other things will fall right out.

We’re going to have them as part of our place-setting for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait!

DIY Fortune Cookies

If you find my paper choices gaudy, I should explain that I chose patterns that correspond to certain family members’ interests. I am MUCH more fond of fun than formality.

Enjoy this super easy and festive craft!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Happy Monday!

25 Nov

This weekend was a good one. I’ve been pretty sick (cold, cough, more coughing, bruised or cracked rib from coughing, horribly painful coughing, more coughing…) but am finally feeling MUCH better, and it was nice to have a break from a month of feeling yucky.

I wanted to share a few pictures from the weekend that I thought were fun. First of all, I was inspired by this DIY paper-bow tutorial I saw on Pinterest. It’s not in English, but it’s very easy to follow via the pictures, which are below.

DIY Paper Bows

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We made a few bows, and then we put one on the cat. Because why not.

 

Cat Bowtie

 

On Sunday, a long-time client of mine had a rug show at her gorgeous home. I snapped this photo of some of the rugs and a guest’s perfectly color-coordinated shoes.

rugs

 

Colors make me so happy. And so do bespoke cat accessories.

Enjoy the week!

 

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

You Do What You Can With What You Have: Holiday Decorating Edition.

20 Nov

Many of my friends and most of my neighbors are aware of the ever-present, pretty annoying, long-lasting construction project going on in my condo right now. To make a long story short, the building has some issues with waterproofing that are a result of not very detail oriented initial construction, and we’re in the midst of what we’re hoping is the final fix. Also, Pro-Tip: When installing window flashing, you want to position it so that it directs water outward, toward the facade, and not inward, toward YOUR HOUSE.

So now that we’ve covered that, let me explain…

About a month ago we were graced with this lovely tent.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

Not only did it compromise the lovely light that we get through this hugely awesome window, but it upset my son because it exists in his “play station.” He came home from school and charged it like a linebacker. Not good. Though I can attest that it’s a pretty sturdy bubble. 

After about a month, they realized the existing windows will no longer work, so the search is on for new, custom, apparently very hard to find windows. I am no stranger to custom items, long lead times, and construction hassle. But ugh. And it was getting cold in here. So in this windowless hole, they put up a temporary insulated wall, which will grace our condo with its presence until the new year, when the new windows are finally here. It’s heinous.

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

My first thought was: MY HOUSE IS GOING TO BE SO UGLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  My second though a few seconds later was “Can I paint this?” So I asked a guy standing around and he said I could. Before he had time to go ask someone who could say “no” I painted it. With chalkboard paint. Bear with me here on this big black box…

Do What You Can WIth What you Have: The Holiday Decorating Edition!

I had about 1/3 of a quart left, and I used every single bit of it. The best thing about chalkboard paint is that one coat is enough, and if you do a spotty job, you’ll never know because the first time you use it you create an imperfect, cloudy/chalky finish.

I strung up some lights, and then my son went to town with the chalk.  The first thing he did was get a chair, climb up on it, and draw a sun and clouds. “Because they’re up high.”

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I’m really liking this “new” look. We’ll “Christmas-ize” it in a few weeks, and I think it will be a lot of fun. I might even miss it when it goes. Maybe. I might. We’ll see. I have to admit my craftsmanship is at 75%, but hey, it’s fun.

Just wanted to share this fun project, which turned a disaster into a fun, temporary installation!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Cardboard Box Crafts: Never Too Old For This.

16 Aug

I’ve have been known to get a little *too* into crafting (and constructing train tracks, but that’s a different story).

By “too into crafting” I mean that it usually goes like this:

My son asks me to help him with something like making a gas station out of a big cardboard box. Wonderful!

I say “OF COURSE!” and immediately get an idea for what I want to do.

I ignore him while I go round up craft supplies.

I give him a snack to get out of my way while I create templates and brainstorm.

I give him more snacks/start a show on the tv/repeatedly tell him to leave me alone so that my ideas can be fully realized in their cardboard greatness.

Then halfway through, I feel bad and realize this is about HIM, ask him to help me, and he dutifully does.

…Then he gets bored five minutes later and I finish the project. In the end, we complement each other.

A few weeks ago I came home with a few huge boxes and he wanted a house. So we made one together, with him dictating the elements and me making most of them (a rug, working shades, flowers, a mailbox…). He fetched and handed me supplies. This boy has really mastered the art of safely handling heavy duty scissors, an essential skill in our house. This is what we made:

Cardboard Playhouse

Oh, you thought I was just going to display some photograph? No. Not how we do it around here. You can click on the image for the full-sized version, which should be to scale.

Here is another box craft we made was when he was barely two years old. He wanted a car he could drive, and who am I to say “no.” He got his car, which we called “The Beck Mobile.” I was just getting started with the box crafting here, so things are a little out of proportion. But the steering wheel did work, even if he tried to eat it the second day.

Cardboard Box Crafts

Around the same time he became obsessed with my computer, which as any work-at-home parent knows, is a personal hell. So I made him one. It stood up pretty well. Notice the interactive velcro “icons,” which are pictures of our cat, our wedding, and foods he likes.

Cardboard Box Crafts

I can go on…but I won’t. (But I would if I had pictures of the gas station we made because WOW was it that good.)

My husband isn’t exempt from this craftiness gene. Here I give you “box firetruck.” This was made approximately three months ago, and is still going strong. We even adapted the top to fit a Playmobil flashing police car light, ’cause you know, we aim for realism.

Cardboard Box Crafts

If you’re interested in other box crafts, see 15 of them here (via Apartment Therapy).

Enjoy your weekend!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.