Monday, April 30, 2012

Delicious and nutritious - or just delicious!

Yesterday, I decided to just have strawberries and Nutella for dinner. I'm an adult and that makes it okay.
Plus, my son was asleep and will never find out. But as I was eating the Nutella (with a tablespoon straight out of the jar) I kept thinking about how it is definitely the best thing in the world. What's awesome is that I am not the only person who thinks this, and others even come up with fancy recipes. Here are some of my favorites:

Nutella Fudgesicles


















Nutella Pastry Pocket


Nutella Meringues 














Friday, April 27, 2012

iPhonography

I didn't believe that you could take good photos with an iPhone, but I've changed my mind. In the past, I used my phone to take pictures only when I was forced to, but recently I discovered that you really can take great photos with a phone. I use Camera Genius to take my photos and Tilt Shift Generator or Photogene to edit them. Taking pictures with a phone gives me a different perspective on my photography. Things that would look pretty average as a normal photo, look a lot more interesting once you pump up the color saturation. But keep in mind, that a bad photo will never look good, no matter what you do to it. Trust me, I've tried it.

I've read a few posts from professional photographers and many of them hate filters. They feel that people use them to hide bad photography, and in some cases, I agree. So for a long time I avoided filters all together, but lately I'm falling victim to the trend. In this post by Natalie Norton, she discusses how you should never have to post process your photos. This upsets me since I always have to do a little post processing. It might be because I prefer contrasty saturated photos, but I wish I liked my photos straight out of the camera. I always feel the need to make my photos more graphic.

And here is the opposite perspective. John Curley is a professional photographer who loves to use his iPhone for his photography. In this interview he explains that he enjoys the unexpected results you get from running photos through different apps and how difficult the process is to reproduce. He also gives a list of apps that he likes to use to process his photos. In the end of the interview he says "the best camera you have is the one you have with you." I love that! 

Anyhow, here are some of my favorite iPhone photos. (the plate is from cb2)




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Old and New

These homes are full of contrasts. Dark and light, warm and cool, modern and traditional, and I think that makes them some of the most amazing homes I've ever seen.


Black Victorian | via Portland Monthly

This black victorian home (above) is located in Portland, Oregon and owned by Stephanie and Phil Dickinson. The owners preferred modern design so they went ahead and gave their old victorian home a modern twist. The interiors are also modern. So, from the front, the home looks victorian, but the interiors and back of the house are modern. I really love the black paint against the warm wood texture. I can't stop looking at it! See more of this house at Portland Monthly.







Turn-of-the-century black villa | Dwell

This home (above) is located in Hamburg, Germany and owned by Ehlers and Katja Winterhalder.
They were shopping for a minimal, modernists house, and instead they bought this tiny 1907 villa. They asked for the assistance of Berlin-based architect Frank Drewes and 6 months later they moved into this home! Here is more of that black paint against the warm wood. If I had the funds I would do this to my house today! See more of this house at Dwell.


Villa Rotterdam by Ooze | Arch Daily

This home (above) is located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The architects are Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg. The owners wanted a new home, while preserving the spirit of the old home. This was the solution. I love the blend of the modern geometric shapes and traditional elements of the home. It's a seamless blend of old and new! See more of this house at Arch Daily.

Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY :: Wooden Art

I was at Home Depot the other day and saw some precut, presanded pieces of poplar wood. I wanted to see if I can come up with something cool for the walls. Each piece was about $1.50 or so, so I grabbed 7 of them and had a Home Depot employee cut them in half for me. When I left Home Depot, I still wasn't sure what I was going to do with them.

When I got home my initial idea was to glue them together and just give each piece a touch of color, but as I was arranging them I realized they looked much better staggered. So I went with that.



I'm on a paint dipped kick lately so I went with that same idea for this. Here is what I did.

  • I taped off the part I wanted to paint and then picked random spots to paint yellow. I wasn't sure how I was going to arrange them when I painted them.
  • I added a coat of matte varnish to seal the paint and make it look a little more finished. This step probably isn't totally necessary, but I like the sheen the varnish gives the paint. 
  • I started gluing the pieces together, randomly. My first thought was to go with wood glue, but that took too long to set, so I used a hot glue gun. Poplar is very, very light weight, so the hot glue held it together fairly well.
  • I added 3 pieces of wood on the back to act as a brace and hold the whole thing together. I used the wood glue on the braces in the back to make it a little bit stronger.
And that's it! I did the whole project in about 2 - 3 hours. I think it looks really good against the gray background, but I'm still not sure about the location. I plan on living with it for a while and I'll see how it goes from there.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Favorites - Illustration Edition

I'm sure you have noticed that hand crafted, drawn, lettered and painted things are totally in style now. From wedding invitation art, to books, to store signs and even fashion - art work is being created by a human! It's so refreshing to see these works of art popping up among the millions of digitally produced designs.

Here are my absolute favorite artists:



Artist: Stina Persson


Artist: Jessica Hische


Artist: Dana Tanamachi


Artist: Yellena James


Artist: Raphael Vicenzi

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The sun is out - let's party!

We are well into Spring and the weather is gorgeous (well...it is here in the bay area). And you know what that means? It's party planning time!

A couple months ago I posted about planning my son's first birthday party. Now I will go into the DIY part of it and show you how to make a really fun pennant banner that can be used for any type of party (or just for fun).

Materials you will need:

  • scrapbook paper or any other somewhat heavier weight colorful paper.
  • colored vellum or any other kind of translucent paper
  • standard hole punch
  • 1/4 - 1/2" ribbon in the color of your choice
  • 1/8 or slightly thicker ribbon in a contrasting color
  • paper cutter, x-acto knife or scissors
  • printer (to print my free template on the back of your paper!)


Let's begin:

  • Print out the template called "banner_back.pdf" on the back of your translucent paper
  • Print out the template called "banner_front.pdf on the back of your colorful paper
  • Cut out the triangles using whatever cutting tool you prefer. (My favorite is the guillotine cutter)
  • Arrange the translucent (larger) triangles behind the smaller triangles and punch 2 holes at each of the top corners. (about 1/2" - 3/4" down)
  • Once you have all of your triangles punched, get out your ribbon.
  • Arrange it so that the thick ribbon sits on top of the thicker one and weave through the holes.
  • Be sure that the ribbons come from the back into the first hole, go over the front of the triangles and then exit out the second hole. This way you can see them on top of each triangle and the become a decorative part of the banner instead of just what's holding it together.
  • Don't forget to use stencils or creative embellishments to add a personal touch to the banner.
  • Hand over a window and the light filtering through the translucent paper will make you banner glow!



Monday, April 16, 2012

Printable :: Foxy Ornament

I was creating some patterns a few years ago and as I was working, this fox materialized. The only thing I added, after I discovered it looked like a fox, was the ears. I thought it was a pretty cool accident, and I currently have it up on my wall. The PDF is 11x14 in. The download link is at the bottom of this post.



Friday, April 13, 2012

Dinnerware

Dinnerware wasn't really on my radar until recently. I love all these sketchy patterns appearing on plates and mugs! They're too nice to eat out of! If I had open shelving in my kitchen, I would own all of these!


LEFT: West Elm, Dotted Dinnerware Set RIGHT: Poketo, Bono Monochrome Cup Set



LEFT: Crate and Barrel, Gemma Hatch Bowl RIGHT: Poketo, Yarn and Needle Plate Set


LEFT: West Elm, Modernist Mugs RIGHT: West Elm, James McNally Neighborhood

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DIY :: New Legs for our Couch

A few days ago I came across Pretty Pegs. This site has gorgeous replacement legs for Ikea furniture. My favorite is the Aldor in Ash/Mint!

This site got me thinking about how much I hate the legs on my Karlstad. They needed to be spruced up!
Karlstad, Ikea

I've seen quite a few people stain the legs and make them a darker brown, but I kind of like the natural wood color. So I didn't want to repaint the whole thing. I settled on masking out the leg and and painting the bottom portion of the leg a glossy white!



The DIY is pretty straight forward, just mask out the legs, give it a coat of primer and then paint. Here are a few pictures.




Now the legs match our little white table from West Elm. It's a small update, but I think it gives the legs some interest.





The legs from Pretty Pegs are still much better. But these will do for now.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fontastic Monday!

As you all know from my previous font post, I am obsessed with fonts. Well, here is another sampling of some of my favorites along with some freebies I found.

Peoni Pro: Brand new font from Emily Lime. Love the friendliness of this calligraphy font.

Filosofia: This is an older one, but definitely still one of my favorites. I just love the attention to detail that the Emigre designers show.
Veneer: Love the clean shapes in contrast to the rough stamped look.


And here are some freebies!


Paris: Ok, so technically this one is not free, but for $5, it might as well be!


Sketch Rockwell:

Quicksand:

Friday, April 6, 2012

DIY :: Office Desk

We were shopping for a way to include two workspaces in a little 10x10 ft room. We also wanted to have a desk that looked as if it was custom built for the room. So we bought 2 of everything below, cut down the Vika Byske to size and now we have a built in desk!



I think it looks pretty good! It looks like it was custom made for the space.


The Galant Legs hold up the left and right side of the desk and the Micke holds up the middle. We decided on Galant legs, because the height is adjustable, so the height of the drawer unit wouldn't have to match the height of the legs.

We wanted to get one single piece for the table top, but they didn't carry one that long. I suppose we could have bought a longer piece of wood somewhere else, but we were worried about the price, and the two pieces look fairly seamless anyway. We also made a large hole in the back left and right corner for the wires.

FYI I despise the chair on the left. It's on its way out, I just haven't found a replacement for it yet. I'm also looking for a place to keep the printers. There isn't enough room under the desk, so I need to come up with something else. I'll update if I happen to find a solution.

UPDATE: Normally the Micke comes with casters attached to the bottom of the cabinet, but we didn't want the casters. So we removed them all together. The only problem was that the bottom drawers would scrape when we opened it. because there is no space between the bottom of the drawer and the floor. So we added Heavy Duty Felt Strips on the left and right side of the cabinets, and now the bottom drawer opens perfectly! It just needed a tiny bit of space to be able to open. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

freebies :: Counting is the new black!

I have been working on adding art to my son's nursery walls, and have been looking for a fun numbers poster that's unique, modern and not too babyish looking. I have not been able to find exactly what I want, and since I recently realized that I can create things myself (see post about the beginning of Project Me) I decided that I'll just design it. After all, I did spend a good chunk of my life studying graphic design. Might as well put it to some good use and create a poster for my son.

And, since I'm in a giving mood, I decided to give out a free printable of a slightly modified version. The download link is at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!



Monday, April 2, 2012

DIY :: Non Permanent Ways to Hang Art

I've been wanting to try and non permanent way of hanging art and I was inspired by these two solutions.


LEFT: Ladies & Gentlemen Studio | RIGHT: dwellinggawker

I love both of these ideas, but I couldn't really make them work in my house. I don't have a big enough wall behind the couch to create a structure like Ladies & Gentlemen Studio and I wanted to avoid making holes in the wall, like the example on the right. Holes are fine if you have the patience to patch them up when you change your mind about the location, but I don't have any patience, so I avoid holes all together.

I typically use 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips to hang all my art (except for the very large stuff, I make holes for that kind of stuff). I still add a small nail for extra support, just in case, but the 3M strips have held up very well. I'm very happy with them. Here is a post from Apartment Therapy about those strips.

Anyhow, I really liked the idea of not having to go out and buy a frame for every piece of art. The more expensive stuff, that should be in a frame, but for most things, I don't think it's necessary. So I came up with this idea. A magnetic wood strip. I'm sure this can by DIYed, but I just bought mine from the Container Store on sale for $9.99. They're called Woodnetic, magnetic wood strip bulletin board. The bamboo one's aren't on their online store for some reason, but they usually have them in the store.

I bought 3 of them and stacked them using the 3M strips, instead of the screws they came with. I've already changed up the art a few times. I'm still wondering if I like the hangers better, but we'll see. Who knows, I might change my mind again in a month. What do you guys think?