20 5 / 2013
My sister clued me into something called a Rainbow Garden. I had never heard of this before but thought it sounded cute. Liam and I went to the “plant store” and picked out our rainbow flowers. My original thought was to have him pick out the colors but my design side started to weigh in once we got there. It’s not an exact ROYGBIV, but an interpretation that still makes you wonder of there’s a pot of gold at the end of it.
What I really like is that it’s fun to do with kids (even though it’s sort of lost on Liam at this age), but what I like even more is that it looks pretty. I think this is a good go-to when you’re lost trying to pick out a variety of flowers that will look good together.
19 5 / 2013
Did you know the ladies at A Beautiful Mess have a brand-new photo app? It came out last week. After I saw on Instagram that our crafter-illustrator friend Emily was having fun with it, I had to check it out. And thus I almost titled this post “Look at Me, Being All Designer-y.”
For 99 cents you get 6 filters, 16 borders, 4 fonts, and a handful of doodles and pre-written phrases that you can apply to pictures on your phone, iPad, or iTouch. Of course, there are extra filters, fonts, frames and doodles you can buy as add-ons, but because I’m frugal (surprise! see multiple previous posts!) I was able to have a lot of fun using just what I got for my 99 pennies.
The filters are disappointing. Instagram has more of them and they give much more differentiation. But the borders, doodles, and phrases in Beautiful Mess have the fun, hand-drawn feel of the blog images and are really sweet.
I know font addicts will be disappointed in having just four fonts to work with—even I will probably spring for extras. And while you designers have methods of doing more elaborate trickery with your photos, for me, this app was quick, easy, and fun. I anticipate playing with it quite a bit for a while. Oh: the app also has a handful of backgrounds you can mess around with, like this library card image.
Beautiful Mess isn’t a social media app in the sense that whatever you create is automatically shared, like it is on Instagram. I prefer that, because frankly I don’t think the world needs to see everything I do. But if you do want to share your creations to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, Beautiful Mess lets you do so with the touch of a button.
I definitely had more than 99 cents worth of fun with this!
Images by Therese + A Beautiful Mess
18 5 / 2013
This guy got a lot of attention on the Web last week, but I liked the idea so much I thought I’d share it here in case you missed it. This dad has been drawing on his kids’ sandwich bags with Sharpies every day for years. He has thousands of these on his flickr
I like this idea so much. There’s the challenge of doing it every day and having to come up with new ideas for the same format and media (Sharpies and sandwich bags). I like how sometimes the sandwich is incorporated into the drawing and sometimes it’s just a backdrop. You can’t beat a little extra fun in the lunchbag.
Also, I am mesmerized by just seeing thousands of sandwiches. Then I get lost thinking about the time spent making them, and how much food we eat in a lifetime. It kind of blows my mind.
image via Quipsologies
13 5 / 2013
I’m posting late! And it’s a boring one. Wah wah. Sorry, everyone. My brain is fried from all the house and wedding crap.
But if you’d like to see what it’s like to garden in the city, this is it. We have a front patio that is slightly sunken with a very limited space for plants and a very ugly wall that we’d like to cover. Here’s our before:
And here’s the after:
Hopefully those boxwoods will grow larger and help cover the wall. I’m tempted to get a lattice thing and try to grow ivy on that wall. Don’t know if that would look good. We also used black mulch - crazy!
We planted dianthus, lobelia, alyssum, and lemon slice superbells in the boxes and snapdragons and ranunculus in the hanging planters.
Flower boxes and hangers were found on super sale at Crate and Barrel. The patio table and chairs were found at Costco ($40 for table and $20 for each chair) and the umbrella is from Target ($40 on sale with $10 stand on sale). Everything has to be cheap in preparation for when someone steals it. Notice I didn’t say “if.” Oh, city living. PS That weird thing in the corner is a fire pit that our realtor gave us.
I’ve been working out here which is really fun and pretty. The flower boxes also double as a fence to keep out this neighborhood cat from jumping into our patio.
I hope our plants survived the 35 degree early morning weather from yesterday and today. :-( Spring, come back!
13 5 / 2013
Trix and Cali made me breakfast in bed. So sweet. Literally.
I was happy to share.
My gifts from Beatrix, artfully arranged, of course.
Hope your day was great, ladies!
13 5 / 2013
I had a minute and I played around…
The lights are from Rejuvination. How I love that site.
I can’t wait to see what you do with the space, Aubre!
13 5 / 2013
I was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this weekend and hit some antique stores. Here are five ways I saved boatloads of money, or at least $41.
1. I didn’t buy this 1960s-era Jim Beam bottle shaped like Chicago’s Marina Towers.
2. I didn’t buy these sunrise-colored cocktail glasses.
3. I didn’t buy this charming rhumba-dancer figurine. (One factor: I couldn’t decide if it was a man or a woman.)
4. I didn’t buy this Jac-o-Net hairnet, even though it does “fit like a human hairnet.” (What does that mean? It is a human hairnet, isn’t it? Or were there hairnets made from REAL HUMAN HAIR, which people knew were clearly superior to nylon hairnets?)
5. And, alas, I didn’t buy the Carol Heiss paper doll with 70 costumes and accessories. (This is where I am reminded that I am the oldest by far of all of the Spark contributors, because I remember Carol Heiss-Jenkins from the Dick-Button-hosted Olympic figure-skating competitions. Sigh.)
I saved another $15 by not buying the cast-iron John Deere wall-mounted bottle opener that I really wanted for the basement. I had it at the register with my wallet out … but I thought it was only $5. When the store owner said it was $15, he looked at my face and said, “I’ll just put it back.”
Ah, well. I’m cheap, but I didn’t come home with more things to dust, and I had fun looking! And Jinger, if you see any cast-iron wall-mounted bottle openers at garage sales this summer, I authorize you to buy one for me. I promise I’ll pay you back! (But it has to be less than $10.)
11 5 / 2013
Ever wondered what it would be like to have a big trust fund? Or what it’s like to be a single mom of three kids living on $40,000 a year? Even if you haven’t, I think you’ll enjoy getting sucked into the stories at The Billfold. There are interviews with real people about how they spend their (plentiful or scarce) money, and I find them utterly fascinating. There is also a section called “How to Do Stuff” that covers a variety of financial situations in an entertaining way. But it’s the personal content that I like.
Sorry for the weird graphic of Thomas the Tank Engine fake money. I was struggling to come up with a visual for this late post, and my child caught me looking at “play money” images on Google. Ergo, it turned into a group project. Anyway, don’t let it stop you from checking out The Billfold!
image via http://thomasthetankenginefriends.blogspot.com/2011/03/fake-printable-play-money-for-kids.html
08 5 / 2013
Today we are hopping in the car and driving 80 miles north straight up the coast to Jacksonville to see the HGTV 2013 Smart home. I’m super excited! The home is move in ready and can be yours if you choose to enter the 2013 sweepstakes. The home boasts the latest in home technology and green living. It’s nestled in the beach community of Paradisde Key South Florida which is described as pedestrian and bike friendly and just 5 blocks from the ocean. Peppered with wooden walking bridges and footpaths. Prepare to fall in love. I guess that’s why it’s called paradise. Right? It’s also just a short car ride from downtown Jacksonville, one of Florida’s most vibrant communities. Yowza!
I’ll report when I get back. Love the color palette and the kitchen.
-all photos HGTV
07 5 / 2013
I don’t have anything epic to post. But I figured when all else fails, we can always use another video showing more ways to tie a scarf.
Image and video (and scarf!) via ToryBurch.com
03 5 / 2013
I saw both of these artists this week on Colossal, and I realized how much I like seeing liquid in motion. See if you agree.
High-speed photography of waves by Pierre Carreau. I think these are so incredibly beautiful.
Instagram photos of drinks tossed skyward by Manon Wethly. These just make me happy.
All images via Colossal. It has a lot of cheerful, fun stuff up this week including the world’s largest rubber duck installation and a brain made of toothpaste—check it out.
02 5 / 2013
Y’all missed out on some fun crafting and inspiration sharing last night. Here is a peak at a local graphic designer Emily turned us on to. His name is Alex Perez and his style is clean, whimsical, and Wisconsin inspired from the selections I chose:
And BTW, how many of you listen to WSUM (UW Student Radio)? I must say it rocks the radio waves at certain times of the day…and of course only public service announcements that are most of the time HILARIOUS.
01 5 / 2013
I’ve been looking for a landscape design app that lets me design with pictures of my yard AND has a great database of plants. I finally found iScape (stupid name. “i” anything is so 2002). You upload your picture, draw in textures (grass, mulch, pavers, hardscape) then pile on the plants. Here is some fun I had with Nicole’s yard:
It’s been useful for me to proof out some plant rearrangements in my own yard, too.
I love thinking my house could look like this! I only need about a grand to make it happen. And a crew of 3 hard-working non-family members who care more about plants than Legos.
The fully-loaded app costs $10. Fine. I gave up 2 Vanilla Roobois Tea Latte’s and I had the money. Plus the app lasts longer.
The app would be solid gold if you could view your garden/variety of plant at each growing season. All the plants are shown as blooming at the same time which does not happen. So the dream and reality may not meet up. Still, it’s the best app I’ve found so far for garden design fun.
01 5 / 2013
Sometimes when it’s sunny, and it hasn’t been sunny in a long, long time, and I’m walking somewhere and listening to music on my headphones … I break into some dance moves.
And then I keep walking.
Have any confessions of your own to share?
28 4 / 2013