31 July 2012

Art with Bubble Wrap

We're still painting and today's craft is something you're familiar with -- bubble wrap.

via alisa burke
 Did you know that it can produce pretty polkadots?

via preschool theme ideas
Just apply paint with a brush or dip a piece in a container of paint.

via i heart crafty things
Lay painted side on a sheet of paper. 
Repeat if necessary {to fill the page}, 
and allow paint to dry.

via i heart crafty things
Decorate with drawings, stickers, and other fun cutouts
to create a scene.

via skip to my lou
Or use the technique to add some patterns on
a brown paper bag...

via family fun
...or even an Easter Egg.

via parents.com
You can also use the paper as gift wrap!

30 July 2012

Paint Projects

Did you have a beautiful weekend? I hope your answer is yes. Painting has been on my mind lately. I think it's because of the gorgeous days of summer we've been having. This has led to a desire to collect all the colors I see and preserve them in some form of artwork. Or could I be feeling some envy?

I saw this set-up along the High Line. The master behind the brush captured versions of the New York skyline and sells them to visitors. Now, my painting skills aren't up to par, but that's what we're doing this week. Let's paint!

Everyday this week, we'll explore different ways to play with paint, beginning with this craft I ear-marked from the Martha Stewart Living Magazine {July 2012}:

via Martha Stewart
It teaches us how to make our own fabrics using a technique called block printing. Traditionally, block printing makes use of wooden blocks with carved patterns at the bottom. Imagine a giant stamp that's dipped in paint and then printed on cloth repeatedly. 

via  Martha Stewart
But this project caught my attention because instead of block prints, it makes use of everyday objects like a potato masher, a trivet, buttons or numbers glued to a piece of wood! Door knobs, mini tart tins, and yarn wrapped around a block are just some of the other options. Very blah to TADA!, right? 

via Martha Stewart
Lookie here! They're using a berry basket -- who knew that it would make for a graphic print? I'm still gathering my fabric, paints and objects before I can begin, but if you're ready with yours, you can find the instructions here. Once dry, you can turn your very own printed fabrics into hand towels, pillow cases or tote bags!

27 July 2012

Nature-inspired Necklaces

Still at the "Schiaparelli-Prada:Impossible Conversations" exhibit at The Met, this time let's check out some necklaces:

via rhondabuss
These necklaces were designed by Elsa Schiaparelli {shoes are by Miuccia Prada}. Notice that many of them have nature influences:

via labelholics.com
 Leaves turning color

via yeoldefashion.tumblr.com
Stylized leaves

via thecultureconcept.com
Pretty rosebuds

With these as pegs, I present to you today's blah to TADA! craft...

...A flowery collar necklace!

I started with a piece of felt {remnant from a previous project}.

Then I folded it in half.

Fold again.

Cut to look like a collar {it's a double layer with the center still connected}.

Make flowers out of the felt leftovers.

Attach the flowers to the face of the collar with hot glue. Two strips of ribbon work as the closure mechanism -- glue this in between the two layers, then glue both layers together.

Wear this with a t-shirt or a dress to 
add some TADA! to your outfit!

Here's to an enjoyable weekend, everybody!

26 July 2012

A Parade of Hats

"Where do they get inspiration?" is a question I often ask after seeing a designer showcase, especially fashion where designers are required to quickly {and regularly} come up with fresh seasonal collections. It's the same question on my mind after I attended the "Schiaparelli-Prada: Impossible Conversations" exhibit at The Met.

Yesterday, we dug around to find where Miuccia Prada gets her inspiration when designing her collections. It turns out that she will use anything from an era, a car, to festivals from all over the world, and turn out a spectacular set of outfits and accessories.

Today, let's investigate where Elsa Schiaparelli gets hers, especially when she designed her outrageous hats.

via People.com
Remember the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton? Guests were dressed in their finest and the ladies wore hats. Princesses Eugenie & Beatrice came in these over- the-top hats. These were not designed by Miss Schiaparelli, but I'm quite sure they're right up her alley.

You see, Miss Schiaparelli loved to shock people with her fashion. This allowed her to be different. Here are some of the hats she designed: 

via metmuseum.org

A cocktail hat made of grapes and leaves.

via metmuseum.org

A hat that looks like a thatched roof from an 
exotic location or a gold Christmas tree. 

via met museum.org

A hat made of feathers that closely resembles hair. 

via ironingboardcollective
A lamb chop-shaped hat. 

via thecultureconcept.com

Her popular shoe hat.

At the beginning of her career, Miss Schiaparelli worked closely with other artists like Surrealist painter Salvador Dali. This collaboration could have sparked her out of the box thinking, inspiring her to create her most memorable pieces like this shoe hat and lobster dress.

So the next time we're in a rut, going through creator's/writer's block or feeling uninspired, maybe a collaboration with another crafter/artist/writer is in order? We might just come up with our best work yet.

25 July 2012

Head-turning Footwear

Today, instead of crafting, let's talk about inspiration, specifically, where does one gather it? And once you've found it, how do you translate this to your work?

As a crafter, I find my inspiration in visual media like magazines and blogs. I like taking "inspiration excursions" -- just a few hours at the flea market or the museum. "Finding inspiration" was my mission when I visited The Met where I popped into the "Schiaparelli-Prada: Impossible Conversations" exhibit.

via fashionologie.com
One of the highlights of the show was a wall of selected hats/necklaces by Miss Schiaparelli paired with shoe designs by Miss Prada. Miss Prada makes normal, everyday shoes like heels and sneakers, but boy can she make attention-grabbing ones, too! 

I spent a lot of time in this part of the exhibit marveling at the details and craftsmanship, each shoe begging the question, "What's the story behind this?" Naturally, a Google session was in order once I got home.

Let's take a look at Miss Prada's S/S 2012 shoe collection:

via trendland.com

via trendland.com

via trendland.com

via trendland.com

via trendland.com
Bright, shiny, with flames at your heels, right? Well, this collection was inspired by classic American cars, 1950's hot rods, complete with spoilers, wings and flames.

via the stylist.com
This is the "Smoking shoe", surrounded by controversy because people asked if it encouraged smoking {which we all know is blah for your health}. I'm not sure about the back story of this shoe, but it's faithful to Miss Prada's {as well as Miss Schiaparelli's} desire to be different and therefore, producing rebellious fashion.

via anothermag.com
This multicolored woven sandal is drawn from the carnivals of South America. 

via anothermag.com
via standard.co.uk
These ones meld three designs into one shoe: wedges/brogues with espadrilles and sneakers. My first impression was, "Cool, these add height but must be easy to wear since espadrilles and sneakers are associated with comfort," and again, '"What possessed Miss Prada to design such a shoe?"

via en.paperblog.com
I happen to like these whimsical heels. The shoe and sock combination are derived from school-girl outfits.

via shoerazzi.com
These leather platform pumps with hidden heels and Mary Jane straps is a nod to the 70's.

via districtofchic.com
And finally, these confident pair of pumps are inspired by Roman centurion helmets.

In these examples, Miss Prada presented literal translations {no subtlety} of what inspired her {which she found everywhere}, resulting in much-talked about, highly-coveted pieces. Isn't that what fashion is about? To set trends and to make a sale?

I'm not certain if I can pull off this look, but I'm pretty sure these shoes can turn a simple attire from blah to TADA! And if anyone turns a critical eye, simply say, "It's Prada!"

24 July 2012

Plastic Fringe

One of the things on my bucket list is to see a show during New York Fashion Week. I still don't know how to get a ticket, though. This is the reason I like to visit special fashion exhibitions at The Met. This year, it's all about two Italian designers, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada.  It's the closest I can get to seeing haute couture up close, and indeed, the dresses are mind-blowing -- talk about well thought of and well-crafted.

At the "Schiaparelli-Prada: Impossible Conversations" exhibit, these are some of the dresses that caught my eye:

via idiosyncraticfashionistas
This dress by Miss Prada is made of nude silk organza embroidered with orange and dark red plastic pailettes. It reminds me of fish scales.

via idiosyncraticfashionistas
This skirt, also made by Miss Prada, is made of silk twill and black felt with plastic fringe and orange feathers at the bottom. It's plastic but doesn't look cheap at all.

via labelholics.com
Miss Prada's focus on many of her designs is on the back. Her coats and dresses have something protruding like this brown-orange ombre' wool cloquet with orange feathers and plastic fringe. It's very dramatic.

I thought the plastic elements {pailettes and fringe} were quite quirky. It's the inspiration for today's blah to TADA! craft:

blah: plastic boxes that once
contained salad greens

Cut out the curved sections in favor of flat sheets. Then cut them into 1/2 inch-wide strips in varying lengths. {Just be careful, the edges might be sharp}.

Make holes at one end with a craft punch. 

Attach the strips to a necklace chain with jump rings. You can put 2 to 3 strips {use different lengths} on each jump ring to create several layers.

 TADA! A fringe necklace!

It gives the illusion of lucite pendants.

But only you and I know what this 
necklace is really made of!