31 March 2014

Joyful Jewelry

Ah, the promise of spring! It's that time of year when the dark, heavy winter coats are slowly put away in favor of lighter, more colorful frocks. Add to that, cheerful accessories.

That's why I'm in the mood to make necklaces!

I'm using these as materials. They were blah handles from paper shopping bags. Aren't the colors attractive?

To take them off, just remove the knots and slide them off the shopping bags. The crazy ends have to be tamed, though.

Cut these off and apply some glue to the ends to prevent unraveling.

Line up the cords and trim them to the same length. After choosing this alternating color pattern, I sewed the cords together with a needle and thread.

I sewed them tightly from end to end.

Look! It's shaping up to look like a necklace.

Gather the ends and insert them into these gold caps {add some glue inside the caps beforehand for a sturdy grip}. 

Here is what the ends should look like.

I'm adding a few rhinestones because a little bling is always TADA!

First, I decided where they should go. Once I was happy with the placement, I used some glue to keep the rhinestones in place.

Then I sewed them on with needle and thread to keep them secure.

I finished off with a gold chain that I attached to the caps. The length can be adjusted so the necklace can be worn like a choker or as a bib.

Presenting...a cute necklace that went from blah to TADA!

Using the same technique, you might want to make a knot bracelet, charm bracelet, bead necklace or barrette.

See you back on Wednesday for another necklace idea.

26 March 2014

A Spring Arrangement

Re-purposing glass jars is this week's theme.

Glass jars are one of the easiest things to recycle. It's no surprise why I have a cupboard filled with empty jars that I use for storage and crafting.

I found another version of this jar cover at Target. It has a grid top turning the task of flower arranging from blah to TADA!

Add some water to the glass jar.

Secure the lid and begin adding your favorite flowers.

This nifty grid keeps the flowers in place.

It makes it easy to create depth.

And adds volume even with only a few stems.

 And whichever angle you look; on top...

Or on either side, there's symmetry!

An easy and charming floral arrangement using an old jar and blooms from the supermarket. TADA!

You can also try looking at craft or garden stores for a product like this. Or you can try an onion sack like I did here.

Add a greeting card and it's instantly a hostess present or birthday gift.

Enjoy the rest of the week...see you back on Monday!

24 March 2014

Jar Transformations

Hello there everyone!

This week, I have two posts to share and they involve turning empty glass jars from blah to TADA!

The first step is to remove any labels on the jar and then clean it with soap and water.

I found this jar lid at the dollar section of Target! I'm pretty impressed with this line and suggested project ideas.

Just screw it on the jar, pop in a straw, and we have an adorable beverage glass. TADA!

I can't wait to set-up a bunch of these for outdoor gatherings for the spring and summer! 

See you on Wednesday for another crafty jar idea.

17 March 2014

Pour Easy

Hi there! I hope you guys are doing wonderful. I'm not sure if I've told you before, I'm a sucker for pretty packaging. Case in point:

This handsome bottle of cold brew coffee. Now Stumptown, in my opinion, creates some of the best caffeinated beverages. I love how the brand presents itself in its products and cafe branches -- cool, confident, uncomplicated, well thought of.  

These would be the same words I would use to describe this bottle.

I've kept this empty bottle. It's too good-looking to throw away.

After a thorough cleaning, I added a pouring spout.

I now use it everyday as an olive oil decanter, turning it from blah to TADA!

11 March 2014

Japanese Young Artists' Books Fair, Part 2

Thanks for stopping by today!

I chanced upon an inspiring book show called the Japanese Young Artists' Book Fair in Manhattan's Kinokuniya Bookstore.

A small section of the store had all these books on display. They can be flipped through and even purchased. These are the work of Japanese contemporary artists.

Here is a write-up about the exhibit:

With the development of digital technology and machinery, bookmaking has become unthinkably easy compared to the past. The genre of artists' books, primarily made by young artists, is spreading globally. This project focuses on artists who are taking the book, a conventionally public medium, and turning into a private one. Today, the book form is an important communication medium for artists and it is possible for artists to produce multiple books of interest in small editions. This shift signifies the possible transformation of bookmaking from the realm of publicity, which privileged circulation figures to a private medium that emphasizes personal expression.

Hooray, books are here to stay! Don't you agree that self-publishing and self-expression are TADA!?

Here are my favorites:

The "Hakoneko" series by Yohiyuki Maeda. "Hako" means box and "Neko" means cat.

This particular one is interactive, allowing you to make a family of cats!

This "Cooler Hakoneko" tells the story of a cooler {the covers are made from Styrofoam} and its life in the fish market.

This "Carton Hakoneko" is about the life of a shipping box. Notice that the cover is made of cardboard with mailing labels like "fragile" on it.

This one's cover is made of aluminum, just like the "Savings Hakoneko", a piggy bank.

This book by Chihiro Tanaka, made of felt, is just right for little kids. I'm now thinking of turning scraps of felt from blah to TADA! this way. 

Suzumi Arimura's "Sign Book" Series is a collection of sketches on cardboard, laminated, and bound together. It doesn't have words in it, perhaps encouraging the reader to interpret it in their own way. 

Here is one of the pages, where blah objects like a soda can tab and a silica gel package are elevated to some importance. That or it could remind you of evidence from a crime scene {yikes!}.

This is Fumiha Tanaka's "Little Drawer".

Inside are colorful square-shaped cards that teach the alphabet.

Yuriko Katori keeps it old school with handwritten notes on folded paper.  I have certainly made one of these in the past.

How's that for book ideas? Whether you're making a travel journal, a collection of your kids' artwork, or a memoir, may the book you author be the next TADA!

Enjoy the rest of the week!

10 March 2014

Japanese Young Artists' Books Fair, Part 1

How are you dear friends? Where I live, we're back to Daylight Savings Time and spring officially begins on the 20th. I'm hoping the weather will quickly warm up for us winter-weary folk.

Anyway, today let me tell you about an artist/book fair I went to.

It's called the Japanese Young Artists' Books Fair, on-going until tomorrow at the Kinokuniya Bookstore, Printed Matter and Book Court.

This is an annual book fair highlighting the works of Japanese contemporary artists curated by a Tokyo-based gallery called Pepper's Project.

On display {and also for sale} are these handmade books in limited quantities.

They showcase photography...

Colorful drawings...

Fun artwork...




Collage and assemblage.

I really enjoyed the mythical drawings from this book.

I also liked "Taberu" which, when translated, means "to eat". I love how a small fork is enclosed with the book!

Tomorrow, I'll share my other favorite books from the fair. Have a beautiful day!