Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lemons into Lemolade

Yes Lemolade.  That is how my 2 year old cousin says it and it is so cute.  I swear the day she learns to speak correctly I'll have absolutely no use for her.  Kidding, obviously, but I'll still be sad.

Anyways, here my friends, is our lemon.

Image via
This Pebeo Porcelaine (porcelaine, really?) Paint Marker.  I bought this little guy at Micheal's with grand plans to turn some dollar store plates into something interesting and cool.  I got the bullet tip version of the marker and set up to try it out on a plate (one of the cool things about the marker is that your design isn't permanent until you bake it, so you can just experiment and if you don't like it you can wash it off).  I pumped the marker quite a bit to get the ink flowing and after a significant amount of pumping I started to draw my little patterns on my plate and imagine my sadness at what I saw.  Instead of dark glossy lines, I got sad little gray streaks.  Not unlike when you're trying to write with a marker that is pretty much dead. It was so sad I didn't even take a picture.  Dejected.  

Basically, it seems that instead of flowing through the tip of the marker, the ink flows around the tip, and it doesn't flow that readily, so what you get is a stiff brush that is sort of dragging through some ink, and it doesn't make a very pretty line.  More like a streaky streak of streakness.  Not cute, but I washed it off and tried again.  This time I tried pumping the tip of the marker even more to encourage the ink to flow.  It still wouldn't flow well, but by pumping the ink over and over on a piece of cardboard I realized that the pen made very lovely little black dots.  Not unlike....
image via
This awesome Marimekko Rasymatto pattern.  Now this bowl will run you at least twenty bucks, but a little DIY inspiration is always free.  I used my not-really-a-marker marker to stamp my way around the edge of my plate, and we had a craft failure averted.  

All in all, I think it turned out okay.  I'm still not really happy with the marker, but if you're looking to do this specific craft it gets the job done.  I actually think the pattern is a little bit small for the plate and would have done more rows of dots, but since the plate tapered in it would have ruined the pattern to do another line.  If I were going to do this again I'd try to find some cups or smaller bowls that don't taper in at all and cover the whole thing so the pattern stands out.  There are also other colored markers to choose from.  So there's that. 

I know this isn't the best picture ever posted on a blog, but I really wanted to eat that sandwich.

So there you go.  Lemons into Lemonade?  Not exactly.  But Lemolade?  I think so.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Our New Fake Mayor

Are you guys following @mayoremanuel on twitter?  If you aren't already, some mysterious person is running a satirical account of Rahm Emanuel as he prepares to dominate the Chicago Mayoral election, and it is seriously my favorite. What I love about it is that the author blends Rahm's notoriously expletive filled personality with a surprising pathos. He also has filled his world with hilarious supporting characters. Including a duck name Quaxelrod.  It is so popular that fake Rahm Emanuel actually has 20,000 more twitter followers than real Rahm Emanuel.

I wanted to make a campaign button for him to add to my collection of vintage political buttons, and modeled it after the Chicago flag.  I never knew that each of the stars stands for some event in Chicago's history.  One is for the Chicago fire and another is for the Columbian World's Fair.  If Chicago had gotten the 2016 Olympics there was a proposal to add a fifth.  The more you know...

Monday, February 14, 2011

The V Word

Some hearts I hung from our ceiling.  While these are technically Valentine's decoration, it should be noted that this is totally the type of thing I would do anyway.


Not so bad, was it?  Seriously, when did hating on Valentine's Day become more cliche than some of the stuff that people do for actual Valentine's Day?  That is not fun at all.

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all about shmoopy kissy face love if you don't want it to be.  It can be about anything.  What do you love?  Your boyfriend? Your best friends from college? Your dog? Yourself?  Just pick something that makes you happy today and take a minute to be happy about it.  Yes we shouldn't need a reminder to do that, but sometimes we do.  So there.

Besides, being randomly hostile to one holiday is super weird.  Except for Arbor Day.  Don't get me started on that fascist celebration....

Image Via

Last year I sent some really cute eCards from the Kate Spade site to my friends scattered across the country.  This year she has a new gallery from lots of great designers.  Check them out and send some here.  And feel the love, people.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This cracks me up.  I seriously have the bird tray in that store.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sparkly Shoe Clips

A little while back I noticed a minor internet tizzy over these:

Cute yes, but twenty five dollars worth of cute?  I'm not so sure.  See, the thing is when we were younger, my friends and I used to make shoe clips all the time.  In fact, we also used to make shoe snaps too, which involved the liberal application of hot glue to your shoes, I bet our mothers loved that.

So anyways, to make your own cute and decidedly much less expensive shoe clips you will need:

hot glue gun (plus a magazine to catch any glue drips, sorry nic)
clip on earring backs (from any jewelery or craft store)
scissors and pliers
a small piece of felt
heart sequin appliques (I got mine here)

So really this is so easy it shouldn't even be considered a project.  Basically you're going to hot glue the clip onto the back of the heart and then clip in onto things.  Done and done.  There are just two minor steps to this that veer it into project territory.

The first is this:  See how one part half of the clip on earring is perfectly flat and the other part is curved?  You're going to want the smooth flat part to go inside your shoe so the metal doesn't rub on your foot.  So you need to make the other part flat too, so that your heart doesn't sit up all wonky.  Do this by taking your plier and bending the part that sticks up back and forth a few times, it should just break off.

The second thing you need to do before you glue is to cut two little scrap pieces from some felt.  You are going use this to protect your shoes from the little metal bit.

Now that you have your felt, open up your shoe clip and using a dab of hot glue, glue the felt to the inside of the clip as shown.  Next close the clip and glue the metal part to the heart.  Kind of like the metal bit is in the middle of a felt-heart sandwich.  Squeeze them so they adhere well.  And you're done.

You can put your clips on anything. They even look cute on the back of boots. But since the slushy weather here has sort of put the pause on any cute shoe wearing, I've been clipping mine onto my scarfs.  (A little tip, depending upon the size of the thing you've glued your clips to, it can be a little difficult to open them up all the way.  It is better just to open them just enough to slide them onto what you want to clip them too, this will keep them secure.)

I love this project since you can basically apply it to anything that you want.  You could try some silk flowers or rhinestone buttons, whatever you want, a great way to use leftovers from other projects.