Ribbons, beads & a lampshade.

Instead of resuming the 30 day project, I switched gears to creating a project for the nursery (among many others to come, I’m sure).

Last year I stumbled upon a wonderful vintage lamp. The lampshade fabric was in need of an overhaul, but the lamp base was really cool. Unfortunately, the lamp was knocked over and the beautiful base broke! I knew I could find a use for the shade, so I kept it. Low and behold, I’ve found a use for it! I must admit, Pinterest is one website I truly enjoy. Thus, the idea for this project was inspired by a few different things I found while pin surfing.

These are the steps I took to create this whimsical decoration:

  • I spray painted the frame with Rustoleum. After I removed the rust-stained fabric, I cleaned it up with a wire brush and then painted it.      
  • To gather supplies, I found vintage beads at a local antique store. Then I gathered fabric from shirts at a thrift store. Finally, the ribbon I chose came from Michael’s.

          

  • The first step from this point was prepping the fabric. I ripped the shirts into strips. Then, I covered each lamp frame ‘prong’ with the fabric strips by wrapping them. A hot glue gun was used to fasten the hold (and for everything else to0-the ribbon and beads).
  • From here, I began to string and wrap ribbon around the frame. This was a trial and error process. I eventually removed the original ribbon and restrung it around the frame for a better hold and a cleaner look.    
  • Using the vintage bead strands, I restrung combinations of them on stretchy jewelry string I have on hand and tied the strands to the frame.
  • Then, I embellished the corners with buttons and beads and draped some fabric over some of the sides of the frame to alter the look.  
  • Finally, I finished with tying the leftover beads in the center of the frame so that when it hangs like a mobile, it’ll have dangly fun colors and shapes to show off.
  • The very last step is to string the lampshade to the ceiling, which I have yet to do. I’ll post a grand finale picture when the rest of the nursery is set up.
  • There are no pictures of applying the ribbon because that process is entirely up to you and the particular look you’re going for. I didn’t want an entirely ‘shabby chic’ look, so I mixed it up with ripped fabric, but polished ties of ribbon. The colors used create some uniformity, but otherwise, the repetition of the ribbon is primarily random. So are the beads, buttons and draped fabric!   

Thanks for reading! I’m getting my groove back as my puppy becomes more behaved and my body returns to normal (except for a growing middle)!

-Kalli

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What pregnancy feels like.

It’s time to stare down the elephant in the room and explain what has gone on around here.

When I started this blogging thing back in October, I thought I had established a pretty good posting schedule. The content was evolving, and has taken on a new direction. This seems like a natural course as you discover what it really is you’d like to share with others. I’m brand new to blogging. There’s a lot more I need to learn to polish up what I’ve shared as well as to keep improving.

Once our puppy Dottie arrived, things got a bit hectic. I was still able to post regularly, but completing my projects for the challenge I assigned myself (the 30 day project) became trickier. About a week into Dottie’s arrival, I noticed I was very tired. Assuming the fatigue was a result of this new puppy, I didn’t think too much of it.

Well, things were about to change again. Pregnancy greeted us just as our new puppy had two or three weeks earlier. Wow! Little did I know, the effects of pregnancy would hit me like a ton of bricks. Literally.

Pregnancy is like nothing I’ve experienced before. It’s an odd thing that can give you feelings of accomplishment and excitement, yet loneliness and frustration at the same time. For weeks I beat myself up for not being able to accomplish hardly anything I used to on a daily basis. Forget posting on the blog, updating DottietheDoodle.com, in addition to babysitting the pup, doing chores and going to work…and everything else in between. I couldn’t even make it to the gym anymore. My routine slowly unraveled until I had no routine anymore. It’s not just that my routine had disappeared, I felt so sick that some days it was a triumph to move off the couch and take Dottie for walk.

Although I know at the end of this arduous string of 9 months (oh my gosh, that’s scary) we’ll have another spectacular addition to our family, it is hard to get through each day at this point. Some days are better than others, but it is never easy. I think adding a puppy to the mix makes things extra difficult. In fact, I know it does. Again, there is light at the end of the tunnel, however, in the present it is still the trickiest situation I’ve ever had to deal with.

There are probably many things people don’t tell you about being pregnant. Just know, you aren’t alone and there are fellow pregnant women that feel the same way you do. Not all pregnancies are difficult. It depends on the person. Let’s sum up some pros and cons, from this pregnancy in particular:

Cons:

  • fatigue
  • sickness, for sake of clarification, morning sickness is non-existent, it’s ALL DAY sickness
  • depleted energy levels
  • painful breasts
  • ligament pain from the stretching of the uterus & other inside changes
  • hormone fluctuations
  • acne due to hormone fluctuations
  • …mood & attitude changes due to hormone fluctuations! Need I say more about hormones?
  • difficulty doing & completing regular activities you’d normally not have issues with
  • the desire to exercise isn’t there
  • food aversions & cravings
  • loss of appetite, especially with nausea & vomiting
  • catching a killer cold; creates more mucus & makes you feel more sick
  • inability to take most medications
  • inability to swallow pills due to an increased gag reflex

Pros:

  • creating & growing a person is a pretty neat thing!
  • adding a new addition to the family
  • planning your future & growing with your family
  • feelings of excitement for what awaits
  • the ability to get ample rest really helps
  • people who see you everyday are very understanding and helpful
  • some people can’t get pregnant, it’s good to be thankful
  • people all around you have done the same thing, ask for help if you need it
  • they say, typically after the first trimester, things get better
  • this list doesn’t catch up to the con list, but I bet after pregnancy is all said and done, the pros are infinite!

I expect that within the next few months I might be able to make it back to a somewhat regular schedule. I hope to resume my projects as well. I included a picture of my supplies, not getting any use. Sometimes life gets in the way. Isn’t that the beauty in it though?

-Kalli

Whoa, it’s been awhile!

It kills me to not have posted in so long. It’s about time to get back to it.

The last place I left off was beginning to work on project #3. My timeline is off by quite a bit. I projected that by March I would have completed my 30 day project. It’s probably time to push that back. My pace is slower these days, so we’ll just work one project at a time. Maybe I’ll be done by August! Good heavens, I hope before then though!

Project #3 incorporates a snazzy vintage blazer & belt.

Sketch Vintage blazer + belt

Stay tuned for steps on placing everything together.

-Kalli

January is not such a fun month.

Feeling ill? Me too.

I’ve fallen off the wagon the past week and a half. I haven’t felt good at all. I have a feeling there are plenty of people who haven’t been feeling good. I know some people I work with haven’t. This is the best excuse I’ve got: no energy, feeling sick and the sniffles. This concoction = not a very productive me. I’m working on the ideation for project #3, but have yet to put it into action; hope I’m feeling better soon.

Pinterest remedies for illness

-Kalli

Jewelry vignette with a twist.

So, project 2 varies a little from the previous vignettes (clothing collages) I’ve made. This one incorporates materials that aren’t strictly clothing or accessories. It’s more like what you see when you think of the word collage.

One big goal I have is to always try to eventually incorporate my digital work into things I make, if they aren’t already digital. With this project, I’ve added some other elements, such as digital aspects and items & pieces that aren’t clothing or accessory related.

This time around, the photographs don’t depict step by step. This is what I did and the items & supplies I used:

Supplies:

  • large doily
  • lace trim
  • vintage, fake costume jewelry*
  • needle & thread
  • thumbtacks
  • drawer pull
  • digital image
  • Modge Podge
  • E6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive
  • frame
  • black acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • Q-tip
  • canvas backing

Steps:

  1. Fit the doily and lace trim to the frame backing, decide on a layout for every element in the collage
  2. Adhere canvas backing to the frame backing
  3. Paint the frame w/ black paint
  4. Glue down all pieces with E6000
  5. Print and slice up the digital image to fit the collage, adhere & cover w/ Modge Podge
  6. Place thumbtacks and thread, use a Q-tip to fasten thumbtacks with glue if needed
  7. Pop into the frame and wha-lah!

*I did some research about costume jewelry to try to place the necklace in this piece to an era. I gathered that it was most likely made in the 60s as part of a revival of Victorian style (most likely revived from the 1910s). The Victorian Revival jewelry is typically in the form of plastic, resin or engraved & antiqued metalwork and other hardware. Now, when I mention fake costume jewelry this is what I mean. You’ve got cream of the crop jewelry such as diamonds, gold and silver. Then you’ve got costume jewelry, very upscale-looking replicas that are highly collectible. However, many costume jewelry movements stemmed from other jewelry types such as plastics, color, cameos & figures. Lastly, there is jewelry made very cheaply and falls below the class of real costume jewelry. This jewelry is probably the most common kind, found in department stores (outside of the glass case) or mall shops.

Some information about costume jewelry courtesy of a book titled, “vintage jewelry design: classics to collect & wear,” by Caroline Cox (2010).

Doily & lace trim Stapled canvas to frame backing Digital imageJewelry vignette/ collage

-Kalli

Slowly, but surely.

Project #2 of 30 is underway.

Stay tuned for the reveal, which will hopefully be on Tuesday! I do apologize for the pace I’m running at the past few weeks, I’ve felt a bit under the weather. I suppose freezing winter temperatures and lack of sleep due to puppy sitting can do that to you pretty easily.

Anyhow, slow and steady wind the race, right? Have a good start to the week and don’t forget to look at the day with an open mind.

-Kalli

Retro tie on the wall.

The retro tie piece is finished.

Although, I’m not as pleased with the execution of this piece compared to the others I’ve done. This is the result:

Retro tie on the wall

The issues with this piece include:

  • the fabric backing isn’t taut enough
  • the frame didn’t take well to the staple gun & staples

I tacked the fabric backing to the frame itself. I have done this before with the very first clothing collage I made, but the frame it’s in is rock solid. The frame for this snazzy retro tie is smaller, thinner and not as hefty (cheaper). The staples sort of bit through the frame. I have a feeling that had I stapled the fabric to the very outer edge of the frame instead of the inner edge (where the glass sits), it would have taken better. We’ll try it different next time, after all, I’ve got 29 more to go!

I borrowed one of my husbands vintage tie clips to complete the look.

Retro tie & vintage tie clip

After all is said and done, this piece doesn’t have many elements to it, is simple, the colors pop, but it’s not quite ready for display because of the problems encountered during the process.

Psst, this is a picture of my favorite piece yet.

Belt & tie

Take a peek at some of the research I’ve done. A goal of mine during this project is to accurately represent vintage pieces with other elements from the same time period & trend period. I know fashion, but not really anything this deep yet!

Pieces & parts Vogue

-Kalli

Retro tie.

Project 1 of the 30 day project had commenced. I’m not yet finished with it, but here is what I’ve got up to this point.

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Primary list of supplies:

  • retro, clip-on tie
  • neutral background fabric
  • frame
  • black paint
  • other supplies used, but not pictured include a staple gun and needle & thread

First steps:

  1. take the backing and glass out of the frame, paint it (there is no need to sand the wood, just be sure to use acrylic paint)
  2. cut a swatch of fabric to fit the dimensions of the frame (with a 1/2″ to spare on either side)
  3. iron fabric to eliminate wrinkles and creases
  4. adhere tie to fabric with needle & thread (you could use glue if you wanted)
  5. staple fabric to inner part of frame

We’ll complete the process when I finish. Apologizes for being slow, I promise I’m working on it though!

-Kalli

30 day project.

Set a goal. Accomplish it.

I’ve begun to realize lately that I’m struggling a bit with the blog. Not because the holidays rolled by and everything became ten times as busy as normal, but because there are so many things to cover and discuss, that I’m lost as how to narrow it down. When the subject of creativity is concerned, deciding how to channel my thoughts in the best way possible to inspire others is sometimes challenging.

So far on these boots, this is what I’ve dealt out:

  • ways to discover what you like & what defines you, in hopes that this will help formulate your creativity, your something good
  • exploring the idea of collage-perhaps one of the easier ways to exercise artistic creativity (as opposed to painting, drawing, etc…collage is forgiving and exploratory)
  • writing exercises to work both sides of the brain
  • unique places & things that inspire me, hopefully they can inspire you too
  • steps to a boot makeover; yep, a boot makeover
  • Halloween costume ideas
  • ways to look at things differently
  • deconstructed how I made certain pieces of artwork (the idea generation, the process & reason for making each piece)
  • ideas for a Thanksgiving table centerpiece
  • caulking baseboards, let me just say this-my husband and I purchased a fixer upper last year; there are many projects to be finished!
  • images of a storm on Lake Superior
  • my process for making ‘clothing collages,’ or as I like to call them, ‘vignettes’
  • how to apply your skill sets in the real world
  • great websites worth looking at
  • Dottie the Doodle & a brief description of how to start a website
  • the importance of organization

Every item in this list has the intent of helping creativity; drawing out the creative senses. Granted, most posts thus far have been geared towards artistic creativity, there are many other uses for creativity, no matter what you do or what you like. Some topics discussed are directly related to delving in and making things while others focus on the opposite, focus your thoughts and energy on something not directly related to a stereotypical ‘creative’ task. This will help open your mind to be more accepting of new, different things and to change in general. This can be integral if you’re trying to be more creative.

A logo for 'creativity'

A logo for ‘creativity’

It boils down to the fact that creativity is a broad thing. Anything and everything can be applied in a creative sense. Because blogging is new for me and I’m learning every step of the way, I’ve come up with this: instead of attempting to teach you how to find your creativity through various activities (& odd, but good ones at that), I’ll focus on things that I do daily as a creative individual. This will still foster the growth of creativity, but in a more concise, less broad, way.

To do this, I’m kicking off with a 30 day project. Here’s how it will work:

  • 3 days 1 day each week I will make one clothing collage (vignette), as seen in this post
  • I will create a post for each of the 30 pieces I make
  • This project will span over a few months, it will take me into March (trust me, I wish I had enough time to complete one a day)

Full disclosure: for the remaining 4 days of the week, I work Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. When I come home I usually make dinner, sometimes go to the gym and then relax. That leaves Tuesdays and Thursdays (plus weekends) for blogging. Now, we’ve got Dottie too. I can get things done when she naps. Otherwise, she goes outside about 20 times per day and we work on training for probably about an hour or two each day. I know some days will be tougher than others, but I’m determined! I challenge you to do something similar. If it isn’t artistically involved, that’s perfectly ok. Try something new each day for 30 days. Or, try picking up a book such as ‘The Trickster’s Hat,’ by Nick Bantock or ‘Creative Block,’ by Danielle Krysa ( & her blog) for exercises and projects to try.

Here’s to a new year with big goals!

-Kalli