Wednesday, December 26, 2012

T-shirt Time

This last semester my friend Anna Sabatini and I had the wonderful opportunity to design a long sleeved t-shirt for our friends in the frat BYX (Brothers Under Christ/Beta Upsilon Chi) at KU. Anna and I designed the shirt with the help and tweaks from their t-shirt designer and we came up with a really cool design. Their winter date party was an ice skating theme and they told us they wanted it to say "Melting hearts since 1985" on the back. With this information, we designed away. Below were the final results.



Saturday, December 22, 2012

'Tis the Season

Christmas break is already a week and half in and between my mom's birthday present and smash booking with friends I've already done a pretty good amount of crafting. One of my favorite parts of being home is being a night owl and crafting in the kitchen when I have it all to myself after my family members go to bed. And of course with Christmas around the corner and being in the crafting mood I wanted to make homemade tags for the presents I am wrapping. They were so easy and cheap, you should make some too!

// DIY Holiday Gift Tags
My mom always keeps old shopping bags, which came in handy for this craft. Here's a list of the supplies I used:
An old brown shopping bag, DIY feather stamp (see how to make it here), craft paint, paint brush, glitter, and spray glue.
I'll apologize at the start because I was lacking in photos for this project as the first half of the process I didn't take pictures of. But it's so simple hopefully photos aren't necessary to understand.

// Step one:
To start off I just cut the gift tags out of an old brown paper shopping bag. It's a great way to re-use these instead of throwing them away. I also mixed red and white acrylic paint to make a hot pink and put some water in it to create a paint liquid mixture.

// Step two:
I crinkled up the cut out gift tags into a ball and dipped them into the liquid paint mixture in order to give the bag material a little color with a cool paint effect. After dipping them once into the mixture I unwrinkled them and set them on a paper towel to dry. After they were dry, I used a hole punch to make a hole on the top of the tag.

// Step three:
After these had completely dried I took the feather stamp I had made from my mug DIY and used the same process to apply the paint and then stamp it onto the tag. I also found some loose gold glitter in my craft supplies that I tried out on one tag to see if it would make them look cheesy or classy. You can see in the picture below that just the tag in the middle has glitter on it so far.

// Step four:
I liked the way the glitter looked so I used spray glue as adhesive (you could always water down Elmer's glue and paint it on the tags for the same effect) and glittered the rest of the tags. These tags were so easy to make and turned out so well!

// Step five:
I used white tissue paper to wrap the present and a twine ribbon to tie on the tag.

I can't wait to wrap the rest of my presents! Make these tags for yourself and put your own mix on it, and I promise you'll have the most creative and beautifully wrapped presents at your Christmas gathering.

// Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Let there be Light

The semester is finally all wrapped up and my final project completed and turned in. Part of the project was creating a PDF process notebook with 20 photos of your light fixture. Luckily my dear friend Grace let me take photos in her adorable room in her senior house, which you can see below.

How cute is Grace's room?! I love it.
One of my favorite parts of the light fixture is how the different layers of the folds create different shades of light when the bulb inside is turned on.

One of the innovative concepts of my light is that it can be installed as a hanging fixture
 or siting on a surface as a sitting fixture.

I love this photo because I love Grace's bedspread.

I learned a lot more from this project than I thought I would. Since it was scheduled during the three weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, I was already checked out at many times during the project and found it hard to be inspired when I was ready for break. But once I got my concept down I really liked making the lamp (although measuring, cutting, and gluing can only happen so many times). My least favorite part was during the preliminary process when the tape and glue I was using was not working and I came back to my lamp at one point and it had completely fallen apart. My favorite part was getting to photograph the lamp in a room setting and see it completed. It all turned out ok and I ended up liking my final concept a lot more than expected. I might even hang it up in my room back home! Or set it on my dresser. Or both!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Design within Journalism

I know I have been blogging almost every day this week, but so many projects have been coming to a close that I'm excited about finally sharing with you. This one, for example, I have been working on for weeks and am so excited to finally turn it in today. For my Journalism 300 class (Visual Communications) we were asked to design a poster for an office called "IOA" The Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access. A representative from the office came into our class to explain what they were looking for for the poster and about their office. Basically we were told to make a 11" x 17" poster for the student body of KU just telling students about the office because it's very unknown right now. They don't have a logo or a tagged saying, so we were given free reign in that aspect. Basically the office is for students or faculty who feel they are being discriminated against or harassed and they can come to this office for a confidential investigation.

Here is my final poster:

People from the IOA are coming to our class today to see all of the poster and then are going to choose a winner (probably not in class, but sometime soon) to give either a gift card to the bookstore or KU basketball tickets to. So I'm really hoping they like my design!

Musical Musings:
If you haven't already gotten into the Christmas spirit you really should by listening to She & Him's "A Very She & Him Christmas" album on Spotify. I've been listening to it all week while working on my lamp project and they do a fun mix of their own stuff along with typical Christmas songs. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's All About the Process

Light is a key part of this project and process, so when photographing some of my initial paper objects I wanted light to be a big part of it. Luckily there are big windows in Chi Omega that let in an ample amount of natural light. I wanted to share some of the photos I have been taking in process of this project.

Above are some of the examples of the initial experimentation with paper models. For class we had to make at least 25 and pictured are some of my more successful attempts.

Seeing how these models reflected with light is a key part of this project.

The next step was making larger models out of the more successful paper manipulation techniques. I really liked how on my first large model the different layers played with the light to create different shades within the lamp. I also noticed this when testing the model with the light bulb, which will be seen later.
I am now in the tedious process of constructing my final light. Right now I am working with bristol board and working out the kinks that proved true in my last bristol board model. Depending on how this next one goes, will be if I have to make one two or three more. So the cutting, gluing, and designing will continue.
Of course the break ahead has caused my brain to wander and dream of traveling and when scrolling through Pinterest I found this quote that I absolutely love:

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine

Happy wednesday!

Monday, December 3, 2012

project #4 is underway

In seven short days I will be traveling home for Christmas break but until then, there is another project to be completed. This is my fourth project for my BDS 101 class and it's the last of the semester.

Project #4: A light fixture
For this project, we will be creating a light fixture using bristol board (a thick paper that comes in multiple weight options) as the structure material. We started out by experimenting with regular computer paper and seeing what happened when you folded, cut, twisted, tore, ripped, etc. to the paper. After many mini examples of paper manipulation, we were asked to bring in larger models of what our structure might look like. For these models, I continued to use printer paper as bristol board is more expensive and I did not know the direction I wanted to go yet.

This was one of my first paper models, made by cutting strips from the rectangles of paper and folding them over to meet up with each other in the middle. I thought this one was a promising idea.

This idea was good in theory, but ended up looking like a sad dying flower in paper form. I still liked the way the holes and wrinkles looked like lace, but I didn't know if I could find a good place to put the light bulb or if I could make it more structured and less flabby.
I have now been experimenting with the bristol board. I have not taken pictures of these examples yet, but I am planning on soon as our process notebook for this project is in the form of 20 photos we will turn in showing our progress, and 5 of them have to be of the final lamp. This was a HUGE relief when I found this out. I love making process notebooks, but they take lots of time and with the end of the semester fast approaching I was worried about making one for this project. So now I can just focus on the photography aspect of it, which will end up being really fun.

In other news...
We finished up our final drawing projects in BDS 103 which as been a huge relief, and a rewarding process. I was very nervous about this drawing class as I had no previous experience but I have grown a lot in my drawings. I am by no means a pro, but I could at least handle sketching and attempting way better than before. Our final drawing today was to sketch a self portrait, as this was also our first assignment in the class. I thought I'd share my results so you could see how I have improved over the semester in this course.

My final self portrait from class today. 
Here you can see my improvement over the semester.
Left: my self portrait from the very beginning of the year (8/21/12)
Right: my end of the year self portrait (12/3/12)
And just for fun, here's my drawing paired up with a picture of me from today.
For this activity we looked in to mirrors in order to complete the self portrait.
We also recently made books in drawing class of drawings we did from the Natural History museum on campus. I decided to do an homage to owls, and did all five of my drawings of owls. Here are some examples:

I covered my book in a very cute feather print that I made, so hopefully once those are graded and turned back to us I can post some pictures of the final book for you to see. While I am no means the best drawer in the class, I am pleased with my improvement and who knows, maybe I'll take another drawing class in the future.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

keeping things creative & crafty

Being home for Thanksgiving break has been so nice, and I was really craving some rest and relaxation time while I was up at school. Along with that, I was really excited to craft in my kitchen back home. So today when boredom struck, I scrolled through my craft board on Pinterest and was inspired to decorate a coffee mug. I had a plain white one here at home I could use, and I found inspiration from this blog to make my own stamp to stamp on feathers onto the mug. So I can't take credit for thinking of how to make the stamp on my own, but I just decided to use it in a different way. Check out my process below.

Materials used: ceramic mug / paint brush / foam paper with an adhesive back ($1 at Michael's) / Martha Stewart Glass Paint in Glass Opaque Shade: Vanilla Bean (approx. $4 at Michael's) / scissors / note: download the Michael's app on your phone for coupons. I got my foam paper and paint for 20% off with the app.
I ended up buying this paint because it supposedly was dishwasher safe on glass once you baked it or let it dry for a certain amount of time. I couldn't find any ceramic safe paint so after consulting my crafty friend Abigail we decided the shiny ceramic surface should hold the paint much like glass would. Results on that to come.
My first step was to practice drawing a feather on paper and then when I got the look I wanted, I drew on the foam with a ball point pen.
It was convenient that the foam paper had an adhesive back because then I just cut the feather out of the foam, cut squares around the feather, and stuck on the squares together to make the base of the stamp. I then stuck the feather on top and the stamp was complete.
Before stamp painting on my actual mug, I did some trial and error stamping and painting on paper.
I found that lightly coating the paint onto the stamp with a paintbrush was the most successful application process for dipping it into the paint caused the paint to be in globs on the stamp, which distorted the feather when stamped.
Making multiple different feather stamps would have created a cool look, but I decided to just flip the feather upside down a different parts to create a different look rather than making a whole new stamp.
I thought about writing a verse or song lyrics on the mug, but I ended up just applying my name to it because sometimes when you live in a sorority house with 75 other girls, it's nice to label your stuff.

After painting on the design, you set the mug in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. After its fully heated, you keep it in there for 30 minutes. After that time is up, turn off the oven and let it cool for an hour. (Instructions per the Martha Stewart website).

I'm really happy with how the mug turned out, and after baking it I smudged some of the paint with water and it did not come off! So I'll let you know if after washing it the design is still in tact or not. I'm hoping I can keep it as perfect as possible by hand washing it. The process was not difficult at all to make the stamp, and I'm hoping to try it again over Christmas break perhaps on a shirt or tank top.

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you ate lots and lots and lots of food.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Intensity is over with

My third project is due tomorrow morning in BDS and although it was nice to have the deadline pushed back a little bit, I'm ready to move on from this project. I finally finished my book this last week and printed my process notebook at Jayhawk Ink today so everything is officially ready to be turned in! Which is a great feeling. Check out my work below.

Through the photos above you could probably tell that my book included a fold out poster inside in which the pictures became more intense in size as you unfolded the paper. I also used the idea of the intense angles in cropping the photos, taking the photos, and using intensely angled orange lines throughout the book. The cover even was cut with intense angles.

My process notebook was done a little bit differently this time. I decided to make it 8.5" x 8.5" to mix it up with the size a little bit and I got it "perfect bound" at Jayhawk Ink. Here are some screen shots of the book from InDesign:

This is the cover of the book in which I made the back to mirror the front cover

I am really happy with how this process notebook turned out and it caused me to want to try more "risks" like changing up the size of the book in the future. This project overall taught me a lot like the importance of trying and failing and trying and failing (which I did many times while making my photo essay book) and also the importance of using your inspiration throughout the whole design.