Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Can Make That!

So many of the hot design motifs are big, bold and right smack on the front of a tee or sweatshirt. Simple designs like hearts, stars, skulls, anchors, etc., and yet they demand attention! I don't know how many times I've seen something worn by a celebrity or found some pricey fashion item in a high end retail store and said to myself, I can make that! So I decided to start sharing some easy-to-make projects that you can create yourself using products from iLoveToCreate. My inspiration for this project is the sweatshirt worn by Jennifer Lopez and Taylor Swift. I love the big glitter heart, but the red makes it seems a little too much like a Valentine's Day shirt. I wanted my heart to go from blue to green. That's the beauty of making your own--you can change it up and make it however you want! Here's what you'll need to make this:

a tee shirt

a tee shirt form or a piece of cardboard to place in the middle of your teea heart-shaped template (I used the lid from a Valentine's Day box of candy)

a paint brush (I used a soft flat brush about 3/8" wide)

a chalk pencil or a #2 lead pencil for tracing

Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint (I chose Blue, Teal and Lime)

Here's how you make your tee:

Place a shirt form or piece of cardboard inside your tee shirt. Pull your shirt so it's taut - it's easier to paint. Secure with masking tape in back if necessary.

Place the heart template where you want it and trace it using your pencil.

Begin painting the top of the heart with Shimmer Blue. Next, paint the middle with Shimmer Teal, and the bottom of the heart with Shimmer Lime. Let dry. Repeat, blending the Blue into the Teal into the Lime. It's super easy and fun!

These paints are fabulous because you get the look of loose glitter without all the mess! The glitter is contained in the paint and you only need two coats for solid coverage. Look for Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint in craft stores this month.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Design Evolution Seed Cups

I have to share this with all of you because I thought it was so fitting after my last blog entry. I don't mean to dwell on garden related trends because I think of myself as more focused on pop culture, fashion, and just general items that I observe. I don't even have my own garden yet. But this is important because it goes beyond gardening. It also speaks to the trend of eco-friendliness and creativity. So here's the story in a nutshell: the author of this blog entry on Design Evolution told of how they received a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas, which they loved, but they hated throwing away the plastic cups the coffee came in. It felt, well, not good. The solution: the author used them as seed starters for the garden! Great recycling idea! Very earth-friendly.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Urban Farmers, Gardeners and Bee Keepers

( This photo is taken from the Greenhorns blog, an organization serving young farmers across America.)

I've been reading so many articles lately about twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings getting into farming, gardening and even beekeeping. It's a trend born out of many issues: the dismal economy, the desire to support one's local community, making wise choices with what you put in your body, saving and supporting the environment, and making a living when the job market is closed up tight. What's interesting is that many of these people aren't land owners or even living in the country. Many are city dwellers just looking for a more authentic way of living while trying to make ends meet. While stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's offer fresh, naturally grown foods they can be unaffordable for many. Urban farming and communal gardens aren't a new concept but they are definitely expanding within communities. Cities are offering classes and workshops on urban farming through farm incubators.

Many gardens are going vertical when there is no horizontal space to plant. Apartment balconies and even a window with sunlight will do to grow your own vegetable garden. Creative containers like plastic soda bottles, shoe compartment hangers, and even cement blocks are being used to house herbs, veggies, and flowers (used for healing aromatherapy).
(Photo by Stefano Paltera) Large vertical garden by Smith & Hawken
Beekeeping is often forbidden within city limits, but many cities are changing their laws to accommodate these bee-friendly entrepreneurs. Because of growing reports of colony collapse, Urban beekeeping has gained popularity in major cities. Even the White House has a beehive and an official beekeeper who tends to a hive of over 70,000 bees.
I have a section of my big backyard that I've often wished to turn into a veggie garden. I haven't done it so far because I've made excuses about lack of time and being tired from work. But the more I think about the need to be self-sustaining and be financially resourceful, I am thinking maybe I can't afford to NOT garden. Perhaps a small container of herbs or a hanging container of tomatoes. Starting small is better than not starting at all.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I was driving to work this morning listening to talk radio. Here's what I learned: In Dublin, Ireland, they celebrate St. Patrick's Day for an entire week--starting yesterday; they refuse to serve green beer (they would not dream of doing THAT to their Guinness!); they aren't into corned beef and cabbage like we are--they prefer spring lamb; and half a million people pack into Dublin to attend the parade and festivities. Here in America we celebrate by doing things like dyeing the Chicago River green each year; we decorate with Irish Clovers (Shamrocks); wear green in order to avoid being pinched; and, yes, we drink us some green beer! In fact, it's practically a prerequisite for choosing a restaurant or bar to celebrate. Have a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To Disneyland and Back!

Last Friday my husband and I did something we've never done before, at least not together. We went to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm. Our boys have let us know since they were old enough to talk that they wanted to go to Disneyland. Of course, they told us, they were the only children in their entire school who have never been to the 'Happiest Place on Earth.' I'm sorry, but the 'Happiest Place on Earth' was unaffordable for us when the boys were younger. Plus, I wanted them to be old enough to remember the experience. So last weekend was our first time to go. We all loved it! We conquered the Matterhorn, flew through Space Mountain, experienced the Pirates of the Caribbean, and did pretty much most of the stuff you're expected to do at Disneyland. At the end of the day we took a quick visit to Downtown Disney. Here's Darth Vader and my son at the Lego store. At The Vault 28 I found a lace Tinkerbell tee. I like the very simple image. I want a dressing room like this. It feels very loft-like with the bricks and the huge beveled mirror, mirror on the wall.
These cuffs had a pop art to feel to them, and I'd never seen license plates made into cuffs before. I think they were at Fossil or Something Silver. I can't remember!
Here are some images from Knotts Berry Farm. That was super fun, too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Feather in My Hair

I went to get my hair cut tonight after work at The Beehive. Just a trim, really, and Ali always has something extra or cool for me to try. Tonight it was a feather. I decided to channel my inner Steven Tyler (am I obsessed???) and add a feather to my left side where I usually have a streak of purple in. It's fading, so I thought a teal feather would perk it up! Thanks, Ali!

The Seventies

It's definitely spring here today, with a beautiful sunny day of close to seventy degrees just outside my cubicle door. I love it when we're in the seventies. Yum! Perfect, coastal weather -- except we're not at the coast. I don't like heat but I do love the sun. I am not really a summer person because I am light-skinned with blue eyes and prone to sunburn. I spent my youth chasing the must-have summer tan so that I could look tolerable in my uniform skirt when returning to my private school each fall -- my tan was the real thing, not the spray-on kind. But that was many moons ago, before full-time jobs and evil UV rays, and I have since embraced my pinkness. is my view of the world when I get up, walk out of my cube and open the door. Above the rec park is the bluest sky I've seen in months!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Steven Tyler Rocks It!

I must give a quick nod to the beautiful Steven Tyler for combining my love of feather accessories with my love for American Idol. He is also rocking a fabulous tie-dye scarf! L.O.V.E. him!


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