03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 | How About Orange

March 30, 2007

The Museum of Hoaxes

Sunday is April Fool's Day. And my birthday. (Let's try not to think very long about what the significance of that might be, okey dokey?) So in honor of me, I direct you to The Museum of Hoaxes. Here you can read about the top 10 worst April Fool's hoaxes that backfired and the top 100 best April Fool's hoaxes of all time. And we're talking about significant hoaxes perpetrated by foreign governments, national news publications, and corporate leaders, among others. Be sure to take the hoax photo quiz, too. Enjoy. Browse. Find something to try out on Sunday.

March 29, 2007

Quiz: Mod or Fraud?

Think you know your Eames from your Ikea? Take this fun design quiz and decide whether each fashion item or furniture piece was designed in the past or the present.

March 28, 2007

Make a paper bamboo plant

Friday night while my hubby was away on business, I was home alone feeling introverted. So I watched Will and Grace reruns and cut out paper pieces to make this lucky bamboo plant. It's from Epson's Hong Kong site, which I found via Paper Forest. I like how it turned out. I think it's cute and funny, the same way I think our fake fireplace video is funny. I'm a nerd. Oh, and if you decide to download the PDF, don't be daunted when you discover that the instructions are in Chinese. You won't need them.

March 26, 2007

Good for a laugh

This website makes me laugh out loud. Mary and Kimberly post kooky vintage clothing patterns at Threadbared.com and write snide captions for them. Enjoy a tour through the decades of fashion (the 70s is especially nice, I think) and start snickering.

(Image from Threadbared)

March 22, 2007

Website in the works

I'm in the early stages of putting together an online portfolio that will show my professional work and tell a bit more about what I do. Although it's great fun to decorate my living room and play with glue and scissors, I spend most of my time working as a graphic designer. Stay tuned... I'll let you know when it launches!

March 21, 2007

How to make decorative thumbtacks

A few people have emailed asking how to make the little fabric-covered tacks I posted previously. See step-by-step photos below, going from left to right.

Start with a pack of "Wedding Gown Size" (size 20, 1/2") metal buttons to cover (available at fabric stores for about $1.50). Pull the loops off all the button backing pieces with a pliers or wire cutter. Cut your fabric scraps into circles slightly larger than a quarter, or use the circle template printed on the back of your button package. (Since the edges get tucked in under the metal backing, you don't have to be a careful cutter.)

Following the package directions, use the "pusher" tool that came in the pack to cover your buttons with fabric. This step is easy and the most fun! Then use a generous amount of hot glue to attach a tack to the back of your button. A standard tack should fit perfectly. Your cork board will thank you.

UPDATE: You can buy buttons to cover that have flat backs so you don't have to yank off the wire loops! I didn't know this when I made mine. Shoot. Could have saved myself some work. (Update to the update: that link is expired now, but I bet you can find them elsewhere.)

March 20, 2007

Crafty projects you can do

Take a look at these tutorials...

Placemats from a Japanese craft book, posted by One Hour Craft
Totebag made out of a cute dish towel, found at I Have To Say
Fabric flowers from Wise Craft
Paper origami vase by Philip Chapman-Bell
Hair bows made of ribbon, lovely for little girls, from J Caroline Creative
Decorated light switch plate cover from Spazztic Crafts
Tips for making terrariums from Mighty Girl

March 17, 2007

Photo mosaic generator

Here's a fun online tool. Upload any photo, click a button, and presto! Your image is converted to a mosaic made of tiny photos from Flickr. Above is my original photo next to the finished product, shown at 10% size, followed by a full size detail. Very cool. Try it here!

March 16, 2007

Ready to grow things

I just got these ceramic pots from Ikea for a couple bucks each. I LOVE them, esp. the one on the right. It looks Orla Kiely-esque. I shall grow herbs in them.

March 15, 2007

Old magazines put to good use

I love all the patterns and textures you find in magazines like Domino or catalogs like West Elm. So I cut out tiny scraps from photos of pillows and tablecloths and people's shirts and made them into magnets. Some sets I sold, and some became small gifts. Materials: glass marble thingies from Walmart or anywhere; scissors or round punch; gel craft glue to stick your paper to your marble; round magnets; glue gun to stick your magnet to your marble.

You can also glue a tack to the back and use them on your bulletin board. Recognize that wallpaper from the Brocade Home catalog?

March 13, 2007

Not so visual or intuitive

Take a quiz here to find out if you're right brained or left brained.

"Left brain dominant individuals are more orderly, literal, articulate, and to the point. They are good at understanding directions and anything that is explicit and logical... Right brain dominant individuals are more visual and intuitive. They are better at summarizing multiple points, picking up on what's not said, visualizing things, and making things up."

My results, shown above: "Overall you appear to be Left Brain Dominant." Hmm. This does not bode well for my artistic endeavors. And apparently 2% of my brain cells are just plain missing.

[Don't be alarmed by the "Who's your perfect lover" link at the top of the page when you click to take the test. That's an ad for a different test, apparently. Feel free to take it, of course. And do share :) ]

March 10, 2007

Graphics in the bathroom

A fun way to spice up your bathroom (or any other room): put patterned paper behind glass doors to hide any unsightly unmentionables. I change the paper regularly for variety. And these are some tub decals Megumi and I installed. They make for happy showering. These are from Hangar 18 in Chicago. And those cute feet are not mine. :)

March 09, 2007

Some big shoes to fill

So my good buddy Megan was moved by my shoe size angst and felt inspired to find me some websites listing celebrity shoe sizes. In case anybody wondered (unlikely), the following ladies also wear size 11s: Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, Heidi Klum, and Paris Hilton. Oprah's a 10.5; not bad. And I believe all of this, because the internet never lies.

March 08, 2007

How to's: embroidery stitches

Here are references I wish I'd had when starting the napkin project. Thanks, Flibbertygibbet, for the suggestion. The following tutorials are from Primrose Design's stitch school.

Learn how to choose supplies (needle, thread, hoop) here. Fortunately all this stuff is really cheap. Also pick up a fabric marker to use for drawing your stem and leaf shapes on your napkin. Choose a "disappearing" marker that fades away later.

Use this stem stitch to make stems. It turns out it's the backstitch flipped over. I'm so pleased to find I accidentally used a real, bona fide stitch! (For the most part.) I divided the embroidery floss to use 3 strands.

Use this satin stitch to make leaves.

Good luck!

March 07, 2007

Fruity button napkins

My cool downstairs neighbor Elizabeth suggested we embark on a project she saw on TV: embroidered napkins. So we gathered our supplies and set to work, only to discover that neither of us knows how to embroider. After great confusion, here's my first attempt. Which only took... 2 hours? Don't laugh. I followed stitch directions I found online here, but decided I liked the stitching on the underside of my fabric more than I liked the stitching on top. So I ripped it out and figured out how to do the stitch "upside down." All you embroiderers out there will probably scoff, but I don't care. I'm happy with it. Now I only have 3 more napkins to go. Sigh. We hope to be done by Christmas.

March 06, 2007

Color personality quiz

I first saw this when Jamie at Insidesign posted it awhile ago. You can take a super quick online Colorgenics test, designed to reveal your mood and emotional state based on colors you select. Alex and I were pretty surprised when we read my profile, which fit amazingly well. I became skeptical, though, and thought maybe all the profiles would fit equally well because they're rather general. Not so. I put in "fake" choices I wouldn't pick, got different results, and they weren't a good match for me. Tell me if your profile fits you!

March 02, 2007

For your reading pleasure

I ordered this edition of Jane Eyre, one of my favorite books, from Amazon. I couldn't resist. It's one of the new mini Gramercy Classics with the tiny patterned print on the cover. Just $5.99. How could I pass it up?

March 01, 2007

Cheap framed art

I found this graphic wrapping paper at Old Navy awhile back, and the guy on the bike is an illustration I bought from istockphoto.com. My printer wouldn't print large enough, so I traced him onto white sketchbook paper and colored him in with a Sharpie. Instant art.