Thursday, February 25, 2010

1,001 Uses for Paper Doilies

For anyone who doesn't know this about me, I love love love lace, filigree, and all things art nouveau (and tasteful, I should add). So, it's only natural that I have accumulated (and for some reason continue to buy) quite a number of paper doilies throughout the years and Valentine's Days. In light of my trying to recycle more things more often, driving less and bussing more, and buying groceries from local farmers, I figured I should stay consistent and find new uses for my beloved doilies.

Sure, they make great decorations, pretty yet ineffective coasters, and classic adornments for kids' valentine bags, but what more could they possibly be used for? The answers I have are surprising and admittedly accidental. For a Valentine's soiree I recently hosted for some of my gal pals, I had everyone decorate a Valentine's-themed reusable canvas bag (I'm a big fan of party favors that people can use and keep long term).

To recreate this bag design, you'll need:

-canvas bag (widely available at all craft stores- we got the extra big ones so the straps are long enough to carry on you arm)
-doilies (heart or rounds or both!)
-fabric paint
-paint brushes and sponges
-fabric craft glitter

1. Lay paper doilies down in the desired pattern for your bag.

2. Dip your sponge brush in the fabric paint and sponge paint the inside of the doilies. For full colored patterns, use a generous amount of fabric paint and make sure everything inside the doilies is colored (no canvas showing!).

3. If you would like to incorporate the scalloped edges in your design, use a broad tipped paint brush to paint the outline of the doilies. If you want a design that more closely resembles Day of the Dead paper silhouette decorations (i.e. shown above), only paint inside the doilies and once you're satisfied with the level of color saturation, peel the doilies off the bag.

4. For added bling, shake the craft glitter over your painted design while the paint's still wet (instant natural adhesive!).

Once you're done shaking off your glitter, voila! New bag to take to the grocery store! Personally, I think the Valentine's design is toned down enough to use year-round. What do y'all think?

In addition to being used as handy stencils for bag decorating, doilies make great add-ons for personalized valentines. I prefer cutting the hearts in half or quarters and using them as border filigree design in order to make them look a little less garish paper doily. One of my favorite alternative uses for doilies is home decor, and a perfect and unexpected example is shown here in This is Glamorous, an awesome blog Apartment Therapy recently introduced me to.

So, that's 3 down, 998 uses to go, right? Do you guys know of other great ways to extend the life of doilies or other favorite seemingly one-life/one-use everyday items? Let me know! In the meantime, hope to see everyone tonight at The WonderCraft's Grand Opening from 6-9pm at The Art Pad.

Action Jackson out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Still Keepin Warm and Stayin Crafty!

Hello fellow hibernators!

I hope everyone's staying out of the cold and is keeping warm and toasty! I spent part of last night distributing flyers for tomorrow night's Grand Opening of The Wondercraft, and that short time in the dank cold was enough to convince me to stay in tonight! In addition to the feather clips featured yesterday, I made these simple lil bling studs for their goody bags available to the first 25 attendees.

Another way I'm keeping warm is by making new jewelry for the lovely local Austin boutiques. Just took a batch over to Parts and Labour on Monday. These rockin pieces will be available through mid-April. Just be sure to stop by if you see something you like before SXSW because there's no telling if they'll be there after the big rush. One of the newbies I took over are the Secret Garden Earrings which incorporate art deco fans, vintage white rose cabs, and light rose Swarovski crystals. At first, I didn't know how I'd be able to use the fans, but if I may say so myself, I think the earrings turned out pretty well!

In the next edition of Keep Warm, Stay Crafty, I'll show y'all some further creative uses for paper Valentine's doilies once you're done using them as coasters/table dust collectors for the month of love. However, in the meantime, I'll leave you with a teaser picture of what you can expect to find in your goody bags tomorrow night!

Action Jackson out!

Currently Listening: Source Tags & Codes-...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, various interviews of Jello Biafra

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Keep Warm, Stay Crafty!

Brrrr. It's officially cold in Austin (as if it hasn't been off and on for the past few weeks/months); I'm taking the liberty of declaring it so because it snowed today at home and work for me...oh, and because work is opening a few hours late tomorrow. With the arctic winds set to full blast and me being on my third sick stint (yep, third) in less than two months, I'm not taking any chances. The heater is on and I'm only venturing outside for work and emergency trips at the convenience store (hot cocoa, etc.). This, of course, allows me more time to do a few things: read, watch everything on Netflix instant/Amazon Video on Demand that I instantaneously want to veg to, and craft.

For starters, I whipped up some bejeweled feather clips and bling earrings for The WonderCraft's Grand Opening Party, which is going on this Thursday at The Art Pad from 6-9pm. The Cupcake Bar, Blue Note Bakery, and Apothecary Cafe and Wine Bar will be providing the delish dishes, the WC ladies will be teaching screenprinting and embroidery mini-classes, and a few of the lovely Etsy Austin ladies will be selling their fabulous wares all night. And, if you're in the market for some DGAJ gems, don't fret! There are several crystal-encrusted Diamonds and Guns pieces available in The Wondercraft's boutique airstream trailer! Also, be sure to get there early so you can snag one of the goody bags (and subsequently a DGAJ feather clip or bling earrings) reserved for the first 25 attendees.

Stay tuned for more ways to keep warm and crafty (and reading) with DGAJ!

~Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death- Dead Kennedys

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love is in the Air

Before you say it, I know. You can't get a more banal post title than this one, but this is my last Valentine's post for the year (I'm not one of those kitschy people who think Christmas in July is awesome). To kick off celebrating, my roommate and I turned into baking fiends and made more cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate covered strawberries and cherries than you can imagine (pics soon to come so you can see how little I'm exaggerating). Said sweets were then contributed towards a mini Valentine's party with close friends-fun games, delicious food, and lots of crafting (painted canvas bags, handmade valentines, and edible cookie valentines). Said party was followed by *cue awwws* dinner date and watching horror movies. On a side note, I thought my boyfriend and I were especially clever for thinking to watch horror movies on Valentine's Day (and it's fitting in a way considering the way of St. Valentine) because who would think to do that? However, this is Austin and we were so not the only couple to do that. Go figure- our city is chock-full of nerds, movie buffs, and fanboys (and girls).

For today's Etsy artist Valentine feature, I am sharing the work of one of my absolute favorite Etsy artists, Art All Night. Above is her Be Mine Valentine Sparrow Necklace, which features two Americana sparrows facing into a full glitter heart. Although it's the perfect feature piece for any Valentine's Day outfit, I can see myself wearing this rockin necklace year-round. Based out of Pittsburgh, Art All Night creates colorful classic Americana and Japanese tattoo art jewelry that could pass as the real deal. And, the cherry on top is that some of the pieces are painted with glitter, like the one above. Her work is perfect for anyone who has a deep appreciation of bright colors and tattoo art or someone who would love to have some ink but isn't ready to take the plunge. In addition to jewelry, AAN sells some of her own framed artwork that ranges from pin ups to dragons to pirate ships. For the extensive time and work that I imagine go into making these inspirational pieces, Art All Night charges an insanely fair price and makes it easy for everyone to own some great art. So, if you haven't already, go check out her shop and get inspired.

So how did y'all end up spending Valentine's? Did you find my mini (and unintentionally abridged) guide helpful? Let me know what your favorite feature was while you're at it!

Action Jackson out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For All the Show Lovers Out There...

Continuing on yesterday's post, one aspect of Austin that I genuinely love are the shows. Now, I realize that might be semi-vague as the casual use suggests an ever-changing context-adaptive definition: arts and crafts, comedy, theater, music (because as one of my favorite tv writers put it, "we don't go to concerts; we go to shows"), etc. This post is no exception to that culprit behavior. Getting to the point, I did some digging for my loyal readers to find more happenings for Happy Hearts Day, and I found way too much. In fact, it was too much to post. So, if you don't see something you like on here today, check out what else is going on. For now, here's some cool artistry, freebies, and shows that made the cut for me.

Today's featured work comes from Etsy Austinite, Kristen Pumphrey of Pommes Frites. This trusty Valentine's Day book safe is so cute and clever- and not to mention, the perfect gift for any beloved neurotic in your life. Even better, this salvaged book could be a two-for and double as a gift box and later serve its intended safekeeping purpose. Kristen also has several of her classic ever-popular flask book safes in her shop. And in all honesty, who can't see something like that coming in handy? So, if you know someone who has to keep the fire water (as a driver's ed instructor of mine called it) close and concealed or have someone near and dear who's working to beef up their impressive all mahogany two story library- and simultaneously home security, send 'em over to Pommes Frites.

For those of you aiming to avoid the disappointing trip to the store where you reluctantly choose between the lesser of evils picked over valentines that are inevitably: football, Bratz, and Sponge Bob, I have good news. You can stay in your pj's and snag valentines that put all the store boughts to shame- for free. Beth Hempton of Snuggle Herd is offering up some retro punny valentines on her fabulous blog. The ingenious part about the print-ups is that you'll have just the right number to give to your friends. And, while you're printing up and addressing your chic cute valentines, be sure to post on here why you love Austin for a chance at a freebie from me!

First up for the V-Day shows this weekend, we have the "Love is a Funny Thing" performance at Hideout Theater on Sunday at 8pm. The tag reads, "Flowers, chocolate, and thoroughly lampooned cupid included with admission". So, if you have a tinge of hate for Valentine's Day, this may be the perfect fit for your outing. For everyone looking to celebrate a day early or late, The Highball is hosting a Sweetheart Burlesque Showcase on Saturday evening at 10:30pm. I still have not made it over to The Highball, but this seems like as good an excuse as any to do so. Not particularly romantic or conventional, this also seems like a good event to hit up if you're not all about Valentine's Day.

See something goin on for Valentine's you want to share? Let me know, and I'll be sure to post.

Action Jackson out.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Love Austin

Over the weekend, I went home to Houston to help my dad around the house. Overall, a pretty calm weekend, but whenever I go home, I come to the same realization: I love Austin. Rest assured, my roots are firmly planted in Houston whether I like it or not. The creature comforts of Austin just can't be matched by what suburbia Houston has to offer. To show my love for Austin, here are a few artists, happenings, and ideas to remind you why you love (or should love) Austin too!

First up, we have yet another Etsy Austinite artist, Beth Albrecht of Paired Hearts. In her shop, she has a sweet "Even My Hands Love You" valentine as well as an anti Valentine's "This is Not a Valentine" valentine, which could be perfect if you're Anti V-Day or if you find yourself in a Lisa Simpson-esque predicament where giving someone a valentine makes them think you're up and ready for dating/marriage/whatever fits the scenario. However, my favorite is the custom greeting card listing (one of the samples shown above). The owl card is adorable and has my friend, Bethany's name written all over it. So, this year, forget Hallmark and go with handmade.

In other news, Rare's February issue is out and is all about Valentine's Day! Can't find a copy at a provider near you? Check out the free issue online. My favorite features are the photography (artist of the month) and the Rare Dating Guide. I guess I fall under the hipster category (though reluctantly labeling myself as such) since I got the Kim Gordon/Thurston Moore reference. Speaking of which, anyone check out 'The Eternal' yet? Been meaning to pick it up along with a few other albums on the next trip to the record store.

Finally, the Austin happenings for Valentine's Day. Alamo Drafthouse will be dishing out their delectable annual V-Day feast. Gone with the Wind will be playing at 6pm at The Ritz. If you want in, get tickets now because they are already sold out for Amelie at The Village and Charade at South Lamar. Woo! They go fast!

Why do you love Austin? Let me know for a chance at a freebie Valentine's Day themed piece from DGAJ.

Action Jackson out.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wait, Where's the Wagon?

That's right. Who's got two thumbs and fell off the wagon (the wagon that is the daily pre-Valentine's Day posting)? This gal. It's with good reason, of course. I've been a busy little bee the past few days-part having fun and part stepping it up. Hit Le Garage Sale up on Saturday with the roomie, and we both snagged some fabulous finds. I picked up a white billowy tank dress with fringe detail and a pewter-colored suede bolero jacket from The Dress Shop, which I encourage you to check out if you haven't stopped by yet. I've also been putting time back into guitar- put in some practice and jam time on Sunday and then went to open mic night at Trophy's on Tuesday. I also finally got around to making those feather fascinators that I keep gabbing about; pictures will come as soon as Austin decides to not be a wannabe Seattle.

To kick things off, the featured Valentine's Day goodie of the day comes from another Etsy Austinite, Tracy Owens Chasteen of Polished Two. The Lovebirds Earrings (shown above) are the perfect gift for your bff or even to yourself- won't break the bank and it's the classy non-cheesy/non-romantic version of Valentine's. To me, they're part rockabilly part Americana classic tattoo art, which y'all know I'm a huge fan of. And, Like Tracy points out, if you want to ease up on the Valentine's aspect for year-round wear, you can take the heart off and sport the sparrows solo. Like what you see? Search 'valentine' in Tracy's shop to find more pieces to keep you looking good for Valentine's Day. For year round feathery friends jewelry, search 'sparrow'.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The WonderCraft's Anti Valentines and Valentines Making Class. You'll walk away from the class with not only the knowledge and tools to make rubber stamps, embroider, and craft envelopes but also a valentine for that special someone (or that not so special someone). The price of the class is $36 + $18 for supplies, and there are still a few spots left. So, if you're free on Saturday from 1-4pm, you should hit up The WonderCraft for some crafty fun...and then send me a valentine when you're done. ;) More news and fun to come later, boys and girls!

Action Jackson out.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...