Saturday, 29 September 2012

wedding post #3: mason jar centrepieces!

I know designing our centrepieces is not exactly the most important thing to think about during the first stages of planning a wedding, but Mr. Potatohead and I were going over our budget the other day and we ended up thinking about decorating our reception tables. haha! To go along with our woodsy vintage theme, we decided to use mason jars as our centrepieces. We immediately went on Craigslist to look for them and lo and behold! The first link we clicked on was a listing for 35 small ones (250ml), 50 medium sized ones (500ml), and 12 big ones (1L) - all for $50!!! It just so happened that a couple who recently got married had also used them for their centrepieces and of course, post-wedding, now had boxes of unused mason jars stored at their home. So of course I made the hour-long drive to retrieve these babies!

Oh how I love Craigslist. The previous bride had meticulously glued lace trim on all the jars. At first, I wasn't a big fan of the lace but when I saw the jars in person, the lace fabric actually looked really cute and dainty. I must say, the bride did a great job putting the DIY lace on these jars.

So, Mr. Potatohead and I now have part of our centrepiece display! Mason jars are so versatile. I think they would look great with a bloom of peonies, a simple bundle of baby's breath wrapped with twine, or romantic tealights to make the jars glow in a darker venue. Here are some of the inspiration pictures that I absolutely love. By the way, I love the floral tablecloth in the first few pictures... perfect for a garden wedding!

So many simple yet gorgeous DIYs!!! Now the hard part is choosing which look to go with! ;) What do you think of mason jars? Which centrepiece is your favourite look? 

Oh and by the way: I was truly ecstatic to get so many comments about CRAZY MONKEYS in my last post. haha. LOVE IT.

Friday, 28 September 2012

My new job!

Oh my goodness! I had SUCH a sleepless night yesterday because I've been way too excited, so I might as well share the good news... I got a job!! :) And, even though I haven't even started working, I have a good feeling that this is a job that I'll love. 

I feel so blessed because it's a job teaching children at an art studio! I just want to share a little about how I even got the job because it was such a learning experience for me... in taking the risk to try something new. 

My degree is actually in Education but after my first year of teaching, I felt like something was missing. I did enjoy some aspects of teaching in a classroom environment (for example, eating "candy chalk" and fooling all my students into thinking it was real) but my mind was constantly thinking about what it would be like to have a job related to art. Of course, I didn't want to be too picky because I know the purpose of a full-time job is not necessarily to "have fun"... but I've always thought that if I'm going to dedicate so many hours of my life to working, I might as well work at something I am passionate about - something that I honestly, truly enjoy. It was tough though to even think about attempting to "change fields" because I have a wedding to save up for next year, but Mr. Potatohead and I talked it over, and we agreed that if there was any time to consider different job options, that time would be now. Honestly, knowing that I had his support helped so much in giving me confidence to start looking for jobs outside my comfort zone and not just jumping at the first random job I got (I actually first applied for a teaching job and got the position, but declined it). So, even though I didn't have an actual Art degree and I still had a whole lot of self-doubt, I started applying to art-related jobs instead of more teaching jobs.

Another thing you should know is that I'm a Christian, and for me, I have experienced so many clearly-defined moments in my life where I felt God had provided opportunities for me even when I doubted that any opportunities even existed. So this time, I just trusted that God would provide and during this period of job uncertainty (and a potential change in career!) I felt strangely at peace. I can get discouraged pretty easily and become self-critical but this time around - even though I wasn't even qualified for 90% of the job postings I looked at - I wasn't disheartened. I knew I just had to be patient. Finally, I found a posting for this particular art studio and applied. It's actually a miracle I got the job because although I seem to have a natural inclination towards art, I definitely didn't have the techniques and post-secondary art training that other candidates did. But after three interviews where I got tested on my painting and sketching skills, I got hired!!! I'm so glad they took a chance on me, and I think part of why they chose me was because of my teaching experience (IRONICALLY).

It's amazing because this job is a combination of both teaching AND art. As pictured below, in my  mind this somehow turns into a crazed psycho art teacher covered in paint holding a stereotypical teacher wand. HAHA. But really, that IS probably what I'm going to look at my new job, minus the teacher wand. I stayed up late to draw that cartoon because I couldn't sleep anyway! :)

This post has been quite long but I've actually already shortened my whole ESSAY OF A RAMBLE into this abbreviated version! Honestly though, I'd love to share with you in more detail if you're interested, so send me a personal email if you have any questions or if you want to know more... about anything, really! 

Or, just leave a comment below to say hi! It would totally make my day if you commented below with the phrase, "You're one crazy monkey!" That will prove to me that you are super awesome for having read this far, and it will confuse everyone else who only skimmed over this entry. HAHAHA. DO IT. Please? :)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Art Inspiration: Rifle Paper Co.

 So after about 4 days of on-and-off room cleaning, it's looking at about 25% done. You may think, "oh gosh Laura, that's it?" but for me, this is already a mini victory and one step closer to conquering the clutter! I stand by my word that I won't post any more DIY projects until I'm done cleaning, but I am allowed to post some ART right? haha.

While browsing nonchalantly on Pinterest - a highly-dangerous pastime for soon-to-be brides - I came across Rifle Paper Co. and totally fell in love with Anna Bond's cute yet elegant stationery. She creates all kinds of paper products for different occasions, and if you're a bride looking for some gorgeous invites, she can even do custom illustrations!

Now I'm pretty set on designing my own invites, but I'm not opposed to taking inspiration from others. I decided to try my hand at one of Anna's coaster designs since I had just found my tablet pen after a YEAR (room cleaning comes in handy after all!)

Even though her designs are carefully hand-painted and I just drew mine with a tablet pen on Adobe Photoshop, I think it turned out pretty nicely! After my drawing was done, I used the texturizer tool (filter >> texture >> texturizer) and selected the canvas option to create that textured paper look. As a finishing touch, I added a part of one of my favourite verses about LOVE from the Bible (to read the full passage, see 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). 

I'm so happy to have found my tablet pen!! Now I can start drawing more on the computer! :) 

Just as a side note: I'm not trying to copy Rifle Paper Co.'s designs - it was more of an art exercise for me to see if I could replicate their hand-painted style using online tools. This was just for personal practice and that's why all the creativity credit goes back to Anna Bond! :) Even though I love how my version turned out, I wouldn't ever print it out to give to people because it's not my own design. 

I'm still learning so much about art. So... JOIN ME in celebrating the amazing work of other artists, and follow me as I develop my own style and journey along the road of artistic self-discovery! (Now if you said that last line in a deep, manly movie-trailer voice, it would sound so much more epic).

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

wedding post #2: colours!

From my last wedding post, I asked you all to guess what my wedding colours were going to be... (the hint was 2 "warm" shades, and one "cool" shade). The answer is: coral, peach, and mint green! Here are some random items from around my room that inspired me to create this colour palette.

And... here are some more inspiration pictures that I collaged together. All of these pictures below were found online. The whole look is so soft, romantic, and rustic. I especially love all the gorgeous peony bouquets, flowy chiffon dresses, and delicate lacy details. 

However... I'm not totally sold on this colour combination just yet... for some reason, I feel like something is missing (oh how indecisive I am). Don't get me wrong - I think these colours are beautiful together - but for me, it seems a little too "typical". I do like shabby chic elements to some extent, but when it's too much I feel like I'll drown in the girliness and end up fainting, teacup in hand, with my pinky in the air. 

So I suppose the quest for wedding colours continues. haha. In my mind, I'm envisioning a wedding that's still got that rustic, vintage feel but I also want to choose colours that are more bright, vivid, and "fun". I've always loved bold colours and maybe that's why I'm so indecisive! I should just have a RAINBOW wedding... (or not).

So, what do you think? Do you like this colour combination, or do you agree with me that it's too girly?! If you are already married, what were YOUR wedding colours? And even if you're not married, do you have any colour suggestions? Let me know!! =)

Friday, 21 September 2012

DIY: doily lights

I love the twinkle of fairy lights and if only they were slightly more energy-efficient and less of a fire hazard, I would fill my entire room from floor to ceiling with them. But when used in moderation, they still look good and definitely add a warm glow to any room. So, here is my little craft idea that I use as decor in my own room - DIY doily lights!

You only need three materials: 1) a strand of lights, 2) paper doilies in different sizes, and 3) scissors! 
First, hang up the lights in the area you want them. Use your scissors to cut a small slit or hole in the middle of each paper doily. Then, simply place the doilies through the lightbulbs and secure with clear tape if needed. For an extra touch of whimsy, you can glue tiny paper hearts to your garland or write your favourite quotes on the doilies.

My doily lights are hung along the top of my white vintage dresser. If you noticed, I only took close-up pictures because my room is ABSOLUTELY CHAOTIC (as usual). Yesterday, Mr. Potatohead looked around my room and said... you know, on your blog, your room looks so clean and vintage... BUT IN REALITY... (exasperated sigh). Poor guy. He's put up with over six years of my mess and I think it's time to get my act together.

In order to motivate myself, I've decided that I will not post any more art or DIY projects until I thoroughly clean the piles of miscellaneous objects I'm currently drowning in. Perhaps this blog is actually a source of procrastination since the time I spent writing this post could have been used to clean. (oops)... 

So dear readers, be patient with me! Maybe I'll post quick room updates in the meantime so you all know the dust bunnies haven't gotten to me yet. And when I finally finish cleaning, I'll post pictures so you can all joyously celebrate with me because I think this room-cleaning business is going to be the hardest DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECT that I will ever undertake. HAHA. Seriously. I'm not even going to show you "before" pictures of my room condition but if you've ever seen an episode of HOARDERS, then you get the idea. =P

wish me luck!


Thursday, 20 September 2012

bookmark doodle

Today's doodle is from a bookmark I drew for my students this past year. Yes, I was a high school teacher for a year in Hong Kong (crazy!!!). I found some extra bookmarks lying around inside my still-unpacked suitcases so I thought I'd show you all. The school system in Hong Kong is so different from the one here in Canada. In my Grade 7/8 classes, there were 40 kids in each class! FORTY hormone-filled kids all experiencing the start of that wonderful stage of life called Puberty. Anyway, to keep them all entertained and attentive, I would often draw cartoons or comics on the whiteboard and on all my worksheets. At the end of the year, I printed 400 copies of this bookmark and gave it out to all my students. Mine were just printed on blue & white marbled cardstock, but you could definitely use brighter colours or even patterned paper. Bookmarks are so easy to create and reproduce in mass quantities but it's still a nice gift that can definitely be personalized. Plus, it's useful (at least for people who read!).

Speaking of reading, I am currently re-reading The Hobbit. Yes... my obsession with Middle Earth continues.

And in case you were wondering, yes, that is Lego Gandalf telling you to read more books. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I got bitten by the blog bug...

This week, I was nominated by Tara from Fashion-Burger for a Blog Bug Award! Tara is from New Zealand (which is actually my #1 place to go visit... because of LORD OF THE RINGS!!!) and even though I haven't met her in person, I like her already since I am obsessed with burgers and anyone who names their blog "Fashion-Burger" is instantly amazing in my books.

Anyway, here are the rules once you are nominated:

1) You must answer the questions below in a post titled "I got bitten by the Blog Bug"
2) You must give the link of where you originally got this award, and you can nominate other bloggers for this award by linking their pages to your post.

So... here are the questions that I feel morally obligated to answer =) haha.

1) When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging around a year and a half ago when I was in university. My friends noticed that I always drew doodles and cartoons all over my school notes um.. i mean... random scraps of paper... and so they encouraged me to start an art blog. I thought that was a pretty good idea so I started posting random drawings, which slowly evolved to include DIY ideas, crafts, and the hilarious happenings of everyday life.

2) What do you love to blog about and why do you like it?
I like to write mostly about my art and craft ideas. When I first started blogging I remember saying that my blog was an online home for all my little doodle monsters to live. And that's why I like it - it's a place to share my ideas and learn from others as well.

3) How did you get your blog name?
I am known to be a little bit of a daydreamer so I always have my head up in the clouds when I'm supposed to be down on the ground. I suppose that's where it came from, really.

4) What do you think is your best post yet?
Since this blog is pretty new, my most popular posts are actually on my old blog. I recently "abandoned" my old blog because I wanted a new layout so I just figured I would start fresh with this one. But actually, I will most likely be posting some of my previous popular posts on this blog (especially when I don't have time to upload new stuff!) HAHAHAHA.

5) What is your inspiration for blogging at present?
Right now, my biggest inspiration is THRIFTING. I love going to thrift stores and finding old treasures that I can "refurbish" into new items. So look out for more posts about my thrift store finds in the future!

6) Message for your readers: 
Um... I guess I will just say... THANKS for reading my blog! It helps to know that I actually do have people reading what I post because I would feel a little crazy just rambling to myself. I appreciate every single one of you loyal stalkers out there! :)

And now... I would like to nominate these new followers and fellow bloggers for the Blog Bug Award:
Hues that Girl for her savvy fashion ideas
Borderline Basic for her fun DIY projects
Eau de Violet for her stylish outfit compilations

If you've received this award before, then sorry in advance for BUGGING you (ha... ha...)... If not, then you've just been bitten!!! Share the love and post your answers on your own page. =)

So... this award seemed a bit more like a virus that I felt compelled to pass on, or one of those chain letters I used to get in my email inbox but anyhow, it was fun and I hope you at least got to know a little bit more about me and my blog. =P

And by the way... yes, I did make that bug on a stick out of scrapbook paper just for this post hahaha. Oh how sad I am.

Friday, 14 September 2012

DIY: coloured pearl earrings

One of the joys of my life is to go thrift store shopping and find old treasures that I can refurbish and reuse. This past week I found a pair of gold faux-pearl earrings and took them home for $1. I actually liked the earrings as they were, but the pearlescent paint was slightly chipped. So, I decided to repaint the earrings in a subtle cool-mint shade. All you need for this super simple DIY is a pair of old earrings and nail polish of your colour choice!

I've actually seen a lot of tutorials online where bloggers use bright neon nail polish to paint over silver rhinestone jewelry. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the neon necklace trend... it reminds me too much of those oh-so-cool neon tracksuits from the 80's. Using this subtle minty shade of nail polish on these earrings suits me better.

Anyway, let me know what you think! If you decide to try it out, I'd love to see pictures of your projects!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

DIY: coffee cup knick-knack holder

This DIY idea is actually brought to you by my brother, Lawrence. He's great at recycling objects and putting them to a practical use. Since he doesn't have a blog of his own (although he should), I thought I'd feature his idea here. This project costs a cup of coffee (just make sure you keep the actual cup!) and it's perfect for people who always lose things... like me.

3 Simple Steps to your own Coffee Cup Knick-Knack Holder:

1. Drink your coffee, then clean your cup!
2. Use scissors and cut around the cup (about 1/3 from the bottom)
3. Place the small section into the larger section...

...and now you've got a reusable container to store all your odds and ends! My brother uses his to keep important receipts, cards, and loose slips of paper. I would probably use mine for earring studs, buttons, and paperclips.

Mr. HairyLegs likes it too.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

wedding post #1!

We're getting married!

So my fiance, who shall forever be referred to as Mr. Potatohead, had the brilliant idea that I should include some blog posts about our upcoming wedding next year featuring some of our ideas, decisions, and possible DIY wedding projects. Since a lot of the stuff will be craft-related, I thought it would fit the rest of my blog anyway.

Just to let you know though, I'm not one of those girls who has dreamed out every single detail of their wedding since they were young, so all you wedding-savvy people out there need to help me out! We'll do this together, okay? (please... help...) haha. Fortunately, I have great friends who know way more than I do about wedding planning... so I'm not totally helpless. Also, I've got this AMAZING wedding planning binder that my friend Angel put together for us (you can obviously tell she is a talented scrapbooker). So in theory, I've got all the tools and resources to keep me organized... in theory... 

By the way, our wedding colours aren't yellow + mint green + teal anymore. I think those colours would be perfect for an outdoor wedding but since both our venues are indoors, we decided to go with different colours. But Angel's wedding binder still shows the same vintage vibe we're going for. (I like birds, lace, and wood!)

Can you guess our current wedding colours? (If I've already told you, don't guess - that's cheating!). I'll give you a clue though - there's one cool shade and two warmer colours.

 Don't be lazy now. Leave a comment below with your best guess and I'll reveal the answer in the next wedding post! 

DIY: white vases

When it comes to flowers, I really like the look of a few wildflowers placed in a simple white vase as opposed to ginormous bouquets and fancy flower arrangements. So I decided to try out this cheap and easy way to make white "porcelain" vases.

All you need is an empty glass bottle and white spray-paint. I used a white gloss spray-paint but you could also try a matte finish. After washing and cleaning the bottle, spray a couple coats of white paint on the bottle and voila! You're done! 

To be honest, I was thinking of using these as part of our wedding centrepieces next year, since it's pretty easy to ask all my friends for empty bottles and mass-paint them all in one go. But we're still deciding on the style of the wedding (probably because of me, the indecisive one! haha) so we'll see what we actually end up doing. I still wanted to try this DIY though and I think it turned out nicely. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

i refuse to believe summer is ending.

I've been struggling with INSOMNIA all week (which resulted in maniacal doodling at 3AM and the urge to start this new blog) so I guess you can thank my sleeplessness for that. For me, it's always during the late hours of night when my mind buzzes with the most ideas. During one of these evening escapades, I stumbled upon a quote by A. A. Milne (author of Winnie the Pooh!) and after inhaling Sharpie fumes for over an hour, I came up with a little doodle I was quite proud of.

Yesterday, it was a beautiful lazy Saturday afternoon so I took my artwork out for a stroll (along with my fiance Mr. Potatohead) and went looking for pretty weeds in the grass. I've always loved dandelions, thistles, and buttercups even though they're considered weeds... but I think weeds are just rogue flowers anyway, and I like how they pop up rebelliously in the grass (gardeners would disagree). 

Anyway, it was glorious to be in the sunshine... I love spending time outdoors and I only wish that Vancouver had a few more sunnier months. In the end, I got more "nature" than I bargained for because my carefree prancing ended with me stepping in dog poo. But on the bright side, I'm just glad I didn't lie down in the grass!

Here's my obese bunny Mikey making a cameo... and trying to make a getaway. 

We usually don't put him on a leash but when we do, it totally makes him look like a dog. When my grandma first saw him, she was so confused because when she was young, bunnies never had floppy ears pointed downwards (a characteristic of dunlop bunnies). She kept asking me, "are you sure it's a bunny?" because she was pretty convinced Mikey was a dog. hahaha. 

Anyway, I hope your weekend was as good as mine - enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

:) Laura