Inspired by Free People

Yesterday was a busy day full of possible adjustments and future decisions. Change is hard for some of us, but at the end of the day it's important to realize that the most important things in life are still the same and we can do hard things. Luckily, I had a project to take my mind off the big choices. 
My husband and I went on a drive the other weekend to enjoy the changing fall colors in the canyon. I convinced him to let me bring some wooden sticks home (despite the bugs and dirt). 

If you haven't checked out free people's blog - you need to. This 'dried flower and pink duct tape' display is simple, adorable and right up my alley. I recently decided that my dream job/internship would be as a visual display artist at one of urbn's stores. 

I also saw these lovely painted driftwood sticks from design for all mankind while I was planning my own display (that will be used in the future when I get to work at free people or Anthropologie). It's good to be prepared right? Can't you just imagine them hung on the wall or from the ceiling, or used as drawer handles or really long ones to hang merchandise on? 
Well, I had to practice.

All you need are some beautiful sticks about a foot long, some colored paint, a large piece of drawing paper so the paint doesn't make a mess and a paintbrush. First thing's first. You have to wash the suckers. If you don't, the brush will get all dirty when you try to paint and then it will be a messy process. (Speaking from experience). After that... Do whatever you want! 
Side note: I mixed a lot of normal, 'blah' colors with white to get lighter, creamier, earth-ier looking tones.


Terracotta Pots & Glass Vase get a Makeover

Summer may be ending, but now is the time to plant bulbs so they'll be ready for spring. Aren't winter months long enough without staring at a brown pot full of dirt, waiting for a flower? So we decided that while we wait for the flowers to come out of the pots, we would put flowers on the pots. Our inspiration came from this cute website and this blog.

Its super easy to decoupage fabric onto almost anything with two ingredients. Equal parts water and glue is the magic mixture. We tried the technique on terracotta pots and a glass vase. The pots worked out best, but even a dollar vase from the thrift store can gain a new life. Right now our pots are home to grass, but soon they will have beauuutiful flowers!

We thought it would be easier to cut up small pieces and mod podge them on. But from the results, we found that it's easiest if you can use one big piece of fabric and cut slits so that it will fit snugly around the container.


Inspired by Macaroon Art

If you haven't tasted a French macaroon, you haven't lived. These two-bite pastries are going to be the next cupcakes. Macaroon art is a website that creates these delicious morsels and then transfers photos of whatever the buyer wants on top. If you can read French, you've got to check out their website.
You've probably heard that macaroons are the soufflé of pastries. They are very difficult to master... But very worth it. Before we could get to the point of turning macaroons into art, we had to learn how to make them. Disclaimer: they didn't turn out the way we hoped. But they tasted great! We are here to testify that any average American living at high altitude can make our version of a macaroon.

It was hard to convert the recipe from grams to cups but here's as close as I could get:

3 large egg whites
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup finely ground pistachios
2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter
2 tbs heavy whipping cream

1. Finely ground pistachios and almonds in a food processor (I mean, teeny tiny) and mix with powdered sugar. Set aside.
2. Whip egg whites until foamy and then add granulated sugar and continue mixing until peaks form.
3. Spoon mixture into pastry bag and squeeze quarter size circles on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook at 280 Fahrenheit for 14 minutes.
4. On medium low heat, mix condensed milk, butter and vanilla until it bubbles and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Add whipping cream.
5. Once cookies cool, spoon about 1/2 tsp onto cookie and top with another cookie.

 You can find more instructions on the website where we learned how to make them. We were disappointed that the foamy foot didn't form on our macaroons. However, once we tasted them, it didn't seem so bad. Enjoy!


Inspired by Whitney Smith

Whitney smith is a ceramics artist from Oakland, California who sells her food-safe dishware on etsy. Her items would be adorable for a wedding, tea party, or any excuse you can find to eat a piece of cake.

One of her great ideas is for a 'cupcake stand'. She describes them as the perfect size "for people who can't quite commit to a whole cake."

One of my favorite pieces of hers is the nesting lotus bowl.
All pictures of her pieces were found on her website.
Her work gave me the idea to try my own hand at creating a bird-inspired cupcake dome. However, while hers are simple and elegant, I decided to explore the inspiration a bit more. Why have a white stand, white dome and white bird... When you can add some color? I really do like her monochromatic style, though, so maybe next I’ll try a simpler version.
Here's the result:


Hiding in the City

Can you see the artist in each of these crazy pictures? Liu Bolin paints himself to blend into the background of whatever he's standing infront of and takes a picture. i don't know how he does it, but it's AMAZING! In a few of these I had trouble finding him...

I love the precision he uses to maintain the spacing and depth of each item behind him - he is able to copy the typography perfectly... On his body! I can't even imagine how difficult this would be. It makes me daydream of walking through the grocery store and suddenly an 'invisible man' pops out.
It would be great to be filmed. You need to see the rest of his work here before he disappears for good.

... Now here's the question: how in the world could we create a piece inspired by this artist? I'm thinking... Complex Halloween costume? Oh well. Sometimes its good just to post some great art!