24 June 2019

Treasures from the Trash: A Chalkboard Easel

Hey guys, look at what I found in the trash:

It's a chalkboard easel!

One side has a chalkboard 

The other side has a whiteboard 

On top there's room for a roll of drawing paper and there are shelves to put all the drawing materials one could possibly need.

It just needed some cleaning up. Sadly, I didn't take it home -- I just don't have the space for it. But if I did, here are some ideas to turn this chalkboard easel from blah to TADA! 

How to turn kids' playrooms into creative spaces to maximize their ingenuity and stimulate their artistic ability.
via Popsugar
Clean it up and paint it in a new color. Use it to dress up a small corner as a child's creativity space.

IKEA Hack, Kids room IKEA hack, paint an IKEA chalkboard with chalk paint
via Pinterest
Use the chalkboard easel as an inspiration board in a craft room or a vision board in a home office. 

via Pinterest
Use it to welcome guests at your next party...TADA!

Menu chalkboard easel for a wedding
via Pinterest
Turn it into a menu board for your next potluck. Decorate the shelf with flowers that guests can take home afterwards.

via Pinterest
Here's another menu board idea for "Taco Night".

Creative use of a child's chalkboard easel as signage (painting it red and adding silk flowers are a great idea).
via Pinterest
Use it to invite potential customers into a local shop or booth at the craft fair...TADA!

via Pinterest
Or use the chalk board easel to display your merchandise at the farmer's market or craft show.

Maybe you have some furniture that need a new lease on life? Turn them from blah to TADA!

17 June 2019

Shopping in my Closet : A Summer Outfit

Hi guys! Today I'm introducing a new section in my blog called "Shopping in my Closet". I got this idea from a beloved aunt of mine. She lived next door from my parents' house and she would have lunch with us every Sunday. After lunch I would always ask her, "What are you going to do this afternoon?" and one of my favorite replies from her was, "I'm going shopping in my closet!" And she did have a magical closet -- I would run to her every time I needed a cute party outfit!  

Shopping in my closet. Isn't that a blah to TADA! idea? We tend to accumulate a lot of stuff and sometimes we forget what's in there. 

Let me show you what I found: 

This is a kimono made from sheer, light fabric.  It doesn't have any buttons or closures so the front drapes gracefully. 

It was a gift from a dear friend of mine. But I've never worn it. Eeeep! Not because I don't like it but because I don't know how to wear it. 

But with a little more digging in my closet, I came up with these combinations:

Kimono + blue tank top + jeans = an outfit for movie night or brunch with the gang that I can wear with sandals and a straw bag...TADA!

Kimono + white top + denim cut-off shorts = I can wear this to a backyard party or a day at the beach...TADA!

I'll wear it with my favorite hat and a pair of sneakers or flip flops...TADA!

Maybe I can also wear the kimono with a plain sleeveless dress or as a bathing suit cover-up. I would love to know if you have other suggestions, too.

I hope this post has inspired you to shop in your own closet and turn your everyday fashion from blah to TADA!

16 June 2019

Happy Father's Day

I love coloring books because they remind me of childhood and at the same time, I am able to create something and enjoy moments of mindfulness.

Today I chose this tranquil lotus pond with a few golden dragonflies.

The lotus flower grows in muddy waters but rises above it and blooms beautifully. Dragonflies, likewise, are symbolic of overcoming times of hardship.  These kind of remind me of dads and fathers -- the ones with lots of love to give and who go out of their way for their family.

So to all the Dads out there, THANK YOU for everything! Happy Father's Day!

10 June 2019

Sketching Faces like Jane Davenport

I first heard about Jane Davenport at the craft store. She launched a line of paints and travel sketchbooks that really caught my fancy. I checked out her work and was truly impressed.

She draws these whimsical and dreamy portraits: 

I love the femininity of her ladies, her endless imagination, and her creative use of mixed media.

She has this beautifully written (and illustrated) book where she teaches her style of portraiture.

The book starts with a compilation of materials.

And each page has an easy step-by-step process on how to build the elements of the face.

Then she demonstrates how to use colors and layer materials.

Because I want to incorporate people in my watercolor paintings and travel journals, I read the book from cover to cover and practiced along. I have a long road ahead, but here are a few photos tracking my progress:

Trying out scale and balance. And sketching eyes and lips.

Practicing noses and ears.

Adding color and trying to get skin tones right.

I sketch as often as I can (here on old date books; it's a good way to recycle...TADA!) Practice makes you better!

And here are few attempts at mixed media: 

Next time, I hope to show you new, more colorful, and improved portraits. 

03 June 2019

Car Plate Crafts

Well hello there! Thanks for stopping by today.

Whenever I go to flea markets, I stumble upon a box of old car plates and it makes me wonder what uses there are for them. Unless the country or state printed on it has specific meaning to you, then maybe you'd go collecting them.

Recently, I've seen several creative ways to turn these car plates from blah to TADA! 

Let me show you:

Car plates are cut up to spell words or names.

Why not frame car plates for sentimental or motivational reasons? As a souvenir of your first car, the place you grew up in, or the city your future self would like to live in.

A group of car plates dresses up this restaurant wall -- a nod to well-traveled owners.

star made from car plates, Urby Jersey City, interior design
Several car plates molded to form this star...TADA! 

star made from car plates, Urby Jersey City, interior design
These last two photos were from a New Jersey hotel that had really hip, but not too precious, art work. I think these car plates highlighted the creative vibe of the hotel and showed off some state pride.

How about you, what would you do with old car plates?