Monthly Archives: March 2012

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DIY – Floral Origami Paper

Hello again readers! Today I’m sharing one of my favorite Spring time crafts: making floral origami paper from recycled flower catalogs. To participate you will need: a ruler, a paper cutting device, and some old flower catalogs (preferably printed on high-quality paper stock).

floral origami object

a floral origami creation

Some of my favorite nursery catalogs to recycle for their vivid pictures and high quality printing  include Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm and White Flower Farm. Usually by the end of March I’ve made my garden selections and have exhausted the catalogs commercial purposes so what better way to enjoy their colorful contents than by turning the inside out?

For the paper cutting device I use a 15″ paper cutter manufactured by X-acto; I personally don’t like the alternative rotary or slide cutters because I can’t be as accurate with them. You might not need such a serious paper cutter yourself, but do keep in mind when selecting a cutting device that its accuracy will probably effect the quality of your end product– ie. unless you can make perfect squares, you won’t get good origami paper.

Start by taking your ruler and measuring a few key photos that you would like to use for your paper.  I have found that focusing on a common size image helps to narrow down this process. Now that you have your measurement (I came up with 2.5″ square from the Klehm’s Song Sparrow catalog) you can move your catalogs over to your paper cutter.

 

Line the image up on the paper cutter using the built-in ruler as a guide— this will allow you to account for the amount of the image that gets lost under the paper cutter handle. Cut once you have insured that you have the paper lined up on the correct image with the correct measurement.

Once you’ve made the vertical image cuts, turn  the paper strip 90 degrees on your paper cutter and line the images up once again. Try to maximize the number of cuts you can make on this strip— all the while respecting the image borders and the fact that your horizontal cuts must result in squares.

 

Voila! Floral origami paper! I love to use these papers in multi-piece models to create little blooming decorations. Or you can use the origami paper to make paper cranes or other traditional origami shapes; the choice is yours. I’ll be posting paper crane instructions on Notsokitty soon— stay tuned for more paper-folding fun!

Disclaimer: This post contains links, some affiliate, some not. I am not paid by any company to use or promote their products; my doing so on this blog is of my own free will. Just in case you wanted to know 😉

 

Office / Workshop Decor Status Update– Part 3

We’re going on my 2nd week of the office/workshop re-do project and I’m making good progress. Who knew I could stay interested in such a big project for so long?  I accomplished many of the goals that were laid out in my 8 Ways to Decorate my Workshop  post I made last week, but I still have a bit left to do— mainly in the wall decor department. I did manage to procure the following within the last seven days; an  imac, some plants, and (my favorite) the Louis Ghost Chair!

Ah, the Louis Ghost Chair! To understand what I feel about this chair, you would have to understand first my relationship to shopping….. I shop for everything, but the items that I deprive myself of  the longest offer the greatest of delayed rewards—and I restrained myself from buying the Louis Ghost Chair for 10 solid years! I first saw the chair  in a room designed by Sheila Bridges for a show on the now-defunct Fine Living Network.  I thought the Louis Stark-designed chair completely transformed the space Sheila was in, but I had two problems in getting the piece implemented in my own life: A) cost and B) nowhere to put it where it made sense.

My Louis Ghost Chair

But alas— both problems have been  fixed! Temporarily, as if by fate, DWR put the Louis Ghost Chair on sale. Whoo hoo! And I had just the spot for it in my new workshop design. Perfect! So now it lives here and I couldn’t be happier!

Also new in the workshop  are some plants— some from Ikea, some from the Boston Flower Show. I absolutely loved these topiaries I got from the C N Smith Farm stand at the latter. Hopefully I can keep them alive! The cats, for one, are doing a number on them whenever I am not looking. I’ll have to get them some more kitty-plants of their own!

Indoor topiary

My imac and Adobe CS 5 Design Premium arrived this week as well. This computer is just amazing— I sit in front of it almost awestruck  at how good the glass screen looks. Never fear! I’ll get finger-prints all over it in no time 🙂 Adobe lessons at Lynda.com are still in order… I can’t wait to start using Photoshop, Lightroom, and all the Flash tools this weekend!

Here’s a list of new ideas for further decoration:
-shelf to side of monitor with under-lighting
-origami decorations of some sort
-more work on mobiles and hanging structures
-more wall decor projects are in the works

Well then, that should keep me busy! Thanks for checking up on me and my workshop progress. I’ll be sure to let you know how it all turns out in a bit 🙂

Selling Out

Cat hats over at the Notso Kitty Shop  have been selling like crazy this week! On Tuesday someone purchased the Birthday Cupcake Fascinator (seen below modeled on Fluffy) and Wednesday somebody purchased not one, but two!!! Princess Beatrice Fascinators! But I have a confession to make: the latter two hats are being designed for dogs….. Yorkies to be precise.

Fluffy in his Birthday cat hat

I’m not sure how I feel about considering marketing more to dogs. Dogs have been 1/2 my clientele so far—- it almost physically hurts me to admit that in writing! I feel like catering to dogs would be completely selling out— I had previously declared myself “half-cat, half-person” and enemy of all things dog. I feel like a hypocrite even pretending to be excited to make dog hats…. DOG HATS doesn’t even rhyme— CAT HATS are just so much better!

But how does the old adage go? “Beggars can’t be choosers”…. Oh yes, that’s right! I guess I can’t be fussy about having dog clientele when I have so little clientele to begin with! Dog people simply buy more shit for their pets— that’s the truth! So I guess I should just suck it up and get back to the workshop and churn out a couple more “Princess Beatrice Cat Fascinators”— even if they are for a species that barks! And I admit, Yorkies are kinda almost cute…. for dogs 😉

I would like to give evidence that I am not a complete sell-out before signing off though; last week I was contacted by someone on Etsy wanting me to design hats for humans based on my cat hats. I declined…… Money may be money, but I have absolutely no interest in re-designing a hat so that it could be not-as-cute on a human as it was on a cat.  That’s the line I will not cross 🙂

Book Review #4: Lady Gaga x Terry Richardson

Okay readers— this week I admit I’m cheating a bit. I have read and reviewed a book per week (well, I had a few of them already read) for the last three weeks— and discovered it’s not always easy to review a book you read a while ago. Also it’s not always easy to read a new book on demand for a weekly blog schedule. But fear not! I have found a loophole…. Since many art books don’t have too many words they will be an easier review for me from time to time! I promise to still do some real reading in the meantime, but for this week we have our first “art” book review: LADY GAGA x TERRY RICHARDSON.

I first saw this book in the San Francisco Airport on my way home from a conference in December and it immediately grabbed my attention. LADY GAGA x TERRY RICHARDSON features a portrait of the singer’s side profile and a “Gaga” black leather jacket as the cover artwork. I picked up the hardcover book with the intention of purchase, but upon handling I noticed it would add considerable weight to my journeys. I found myself still rapt by the book though– standing, mouth agape, thumbing through the beautiful, stunning, sometimes shocking, caption-less pictures. I made a mental note of how gorgeous it was and put it back on the shelf. It was time to catch my plane!

My creative Xmas present--- from the hubby

Once home I told Todd about the book that I just had to have– he often appreciates a  be told a few  Christmas gift hints. So along with my previously mentioned Felix Rust  photography lessons, Todd got me the wonderful LADY GAGA x TERRY RICHARDSON book that I admired so much. And after I unwrapped it I was able to immerse myself in the book and it’s amazing pictures more thoroughly. There are hardly any words anywhere in the book; the introduction has writings by Terry and Gaga, and there is also an acknowledgement section by the two— but that’s about it for words. The pictures span the “Born this Way” tour that Lady Gaga put on and help show the reader (yes, I’m still turning pages, so I’m a “reader”) what a crazy “Day-in-the-Life” is like for the “Queen Mother Monster”. Holy cow— some pictures (ie. “Gaga eating pizza”) I was like “wow, she’s just like us”. Others (ie. showing details of her getting ready in a meat outfit) just remind us what a true artist Lady Gaga is.

Terry Richardson, you could love or hate him for his bizarre antics with ‘unsuspecting’ models. I’m not really sure who I believe in those cases…. Terry is a strange dude. But one thing is for sure— he managed to capture Gaga at her best… her worst… her most perfect….. and her most unhinged. And for those feats he deserves to be respected as an artist at the same level as Lady Gaga herself. This book is an amazing reminder that the best pictures are indeed art, and the truly artistic photos can be the most captivating things ever. I highly recommend LADY GAGA x TERRY RICHARDSON— it’s rare that artists of such great proportions collaborate with such amazing results!

 

Blue: The Color of Creativity

I love the color blue, it must be my favorite! Almost always I am drawn to it— my freshman year of college was when I first noticed that I didn’t own any other clothes in any other colors  (a situation I soon remedied by a color-coded shop-a-thon 🙂 ). Since then I have gone on to purchase everything in blue; from my car to my nail polish….. I just can’t get enough! If it’s blue, I’ll buy it 🙂

But my love of blue is not a bad thing— perhaps it has been unknowingly giving me the creative boost I have needed for years. Why, you ask? Well, it’s been proven recently in scientific studies that blue is the color that gives a boost to cognitive creative processes! Red, on the other hand, gives a boost to detail-oriented computations, but not creative processes. Interesting that I tend to have an aversion to red— perhaps sub-consciously?

Upon hearing the news on blue I was absolutely ecstatic! Nobody probably tries to incorporate more blue in their life than I do— and I love that this probably has given me the best shot I have at being creative. Throughout my life my love of the color blue has been the one thing that has held steady no matter what my tastes happen to be— I’m glad to know that my brain will stick with the occasional thing that works every now and again in spite of my desire to change everything all the time.

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