Woven bench tutorial.

Our bench project was featured on Design*Sponge today and received a lot of wonderful comments and compliments! I'd like to say thanks, it definitely put a smile on my face. There also seems to be a number of people asking for a tutorial. I didn't document this process with photos thoroughly enough to be able to explain it completely, so, I'm thinking that I will work on a smaller project in this same technique with step-by-step photo instructions. Look for it here in the next month or so!


Suzie McGinness - My Bear Griz.

Attending art school for five years gave me the chance to meet some incredibly talented people and I am so, so thankful for that opportunity. One of my friends from that time, Suzie McGinness, has been an inspiration to me. She is one of the most imaginative, determined, hard working people that I know. I think that it's awesome that she really followed her dream and achieved what she wanted to do as an artist. So, I'm really excited to share that one of Suzie's books, My Bear Griz, has been published and is now available for pre-order through Borders! Being a huge fan of children's books, and of Suzie's work, I'm definitely going to get a copy and I encourage you to take a look.  


Charity Shop Challenge: March.

This outfit really shows off the nerd in me. It's also pretty thrifty. The belt was the most expensive item, but it was absolutely worth it. It's the perfect accessory to add to an outfit that's lacking a little something. Plus, I think it's great to support handmade. 

Cardigan: American Eagle from resale shop - $6.99
Star Trek t-shirt: from resale shop - $3.99
White leather bow belt: Darlingtonia - $40
Orange skirt: Vintage from Etsy - gift from dad
Polka dot tights: Target


The bench project.

Back in January I mentioned that Andrew and I were starting a little makeover on a wooden bench we had found in our basement. We thought the shape and size of it were great, but the top of it was covered in layers of paint splatters and glue so it needed more than a fresh coat of paint to make it nice again. We had come across a little inspiration at Anthropologie when we stopped in there at Christmas time and decided to try a similar technique on our bench.

We cleaned up the bench with a damp rag and sanded off any loose bits. I took a couple good looks at the construction of the piece from Anthropologie and then just went for it. I chose to weave a chevron pattern through it which I thought was a little more interesting than diagonal stripes. We are really happy with the results, and I'm happy that I could finally put some of my fabric scrap stash to use. And now we have a really awesome, unique piece of furniture for our home. 



Some thoughts on nuclear power.

Before recent events I can't say that I knew much at all about nuclear power. I had heard that it was a clean source of power, I knew that a lot of people were pushing to build more stations as a way to deal with global warming or climate change, and I knew that there was one station within 100 miles of where I live. 

Over the past week I've learned a lot more about nuclear power. Nuclear power isn't "green" or clean by any means. There's the issue of radioactive waste, which is basically hazardous for 240,000 years. And no, I didn't accidentally add some extra zeros in there. The argument of nuclear power vs. coal power seems like it could go on and on. Either way, the truth is they're both extremely harmful to the environment and there are renewable alternatives that will do the same job without any pollution and minimal change to the environment. 

I came across a link on NPR which led me to this report of people and communities affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.  I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing and reading. The effects of radiation are incredibly severe and last a long, long time. There are arguments that the technology of nuclear power has come a long way since then, but seeing what has been happening on the news lately, it's clear that it is far from being completely safe. 

I had known about the Davis-Besse nuclear power station in Northwest Ohio. I see it all the time when we go up to the islands on Lake Erie. I never thought much about it, but was a little terrified about what I learned from the Greenpeace website. This PDF explains more, but basically that nuclear station has had numerous "near misses" of a meltdown. And as you can see from the charts, it's definitely not the only station that has had problems. The life span of a nuclear power station is 30-40 years based on it's design. Davis-Besse came on line in 1978 and is scheduled to run until 2017. Just days ago another incident happened. And then I found out that we live within 50 miles of yet another nuclear station.

So now I would like to state that I am 100% against nuclear power. I'm not trying to force my opinion onto anyone and I know there are people that would argue my point of view for days. But the thing is, I didn't know any of this until this week and I want other people to be aware.

Oh and also, read this.

(Davis-Besse image found here)


Bowie's favorite spot.

The linen closet of course. Sometimes it seems like he senses that I'm going to open it before I even do because the next thing I know he's jumping into it. He's been like this since we first moved into this place almost two years ago.


We're all here together.

It's terrible what has happened in Japan. What continues to happen, and what could happen. I find myself continually checking the NPR website throughout the day to read the latest news on the power plants and aftershocks. I can't imagine actually being involved in an event like that. I mean, yes, the truth is that we're all here on this planet that it's happening to, but seeing these images and hearing the stories can sometimes seem like nothing more than a book or movie to me. I guess that's a bit sad. Those of us who weren't involved are lucky, to say the least. I think it's important to keep that in mind. 

I saw this map on Pinterest this morning and thought it was just too beautiful not to share. Letterpress and watercolor. From Design Ahoy on Etsy. I don't often buy artwork, but if these were to go on sale again I would love to have one. 


Currently reading, just read.

As I had mentioned before, I started reading another book by Frances Mayes last year and didn't particularly care for it. Under the Tuscan Sun was a different story...no pun intended. I thoroughly enjoyed Mayes' descriptions of the adventures of buying and repairing a dilapidated old house nestled in the Tuscan countryside. She and her husband learned how to live life in a foreign country and how to make a home there. It was one of those books that can really take you to another place which was something I greatly welcomed in the middle of this cold, snowy, grey Cleveland winter. Once I was done I decided to rent the movie that was based on the book. A lot of people had told me that it was good. I suppose that if I had never read the book I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It was a romantic comedy based on events in the book, a little too comical and predictable for me. But, I did enjoy how it brought particular characters and places from the book to life. 

I'm currently a little bit more than halfway through This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. If you like David Sedaris, you will like this book. It's a funny story about a quirky family that spends the week together sitting shiva after their father's death. It makes me laugh out loud and the characters are well written. 


The raccoon in my sketchbook.

Another sketchbook page. Another preliminary drawing for my upcoming show at Phoenix. Watercolors added in Photoshop afterwards since flimsy Moleskine pages don't take to liquids very well. I'm excited to start working on the final pieces soon. 


Love, love, love.

I guess it's probably a little late for this post, but I realized I had forgotten to post some of the Taylor Swift cards that I worked on for Valentine's Day of this year. These few are my favorites. Unfortunately, the glitter doesn't scan very well.


Commodore VonKeepsie's whimsical poster extravaganza.

I just finished up this poster for my friends at Standard Recording to advertise their SXSW showcase for this year. They wanted something eye-catching and whimsical. I think I delivered that. Also, I'm really digging this color palette.