Pinterest: Through the Lens

On Pinterest this month, we are finding a lot of great photography on the subject of...well, photography.  Check out our "Through The Lens" board for April and see the breadth of craftsmanship out there, from uber creative photographers to hobbyists of the medium creating camera-related jewelry, housewares and paper products.  

Favorite Photographers

We've been really taken in by a particular genre of photography this month.  I'm not sure what to call it, (or even if someone who knows what they're talking about would call it a "genre"), but I'd describe it as photography that is elaborately staged, rather than capturing candid moments as they happen.  The photographers who create fantastical, amusing or disturbing settings for their shots have a specific vision they want to see realized.  This kind of creativity is incredibly appealing to us.  Below we share the work of three of our favorite photographers.  We'd love to hear which particular photos you like best in the comments below!

xoxo Zandra

Kisa Kavass

Photography Courtesy of Kisa Kavass

www.kisakavass.com

 

Karen's Favorite: "Moments de curiosite" - Girl with Fox and Clock

Zandra's Favorite: "Down the Rabbit Hole" - Girl Holding a Mirror in Front of Her Face

 

Aaron Ruell

Photography Courtesy of Aaron Ruell

www.aruell.com

Karen's Favorite: Boy on Christmas Morning

Zandra's Favorite: Two Men with Painted Horse

 

 

Jennifer Thoreson

(formally Jennifer Hudson)

Photography Courtesy of Jennifer Thoreson

www.jenniferhudsonfineart.com

Karen's Favorite: "Flora" Girl with Mechanical Leg

Zandra's Favorite; "Experimental Work" Man Resting His Forehead Against the Wall

DIY: Photo Booth Film Strips

This DIY came from a short brainstorming session Karen and I had regarding how to use the photo booth film strips she collects.  Whenever her family spies the opportunity to duck behind the curtain of a little boxed room, they jump in and make funny faces at the camera.  And I know she's not alone!  Who can resist the silliness of a photo booth?  But what to do with the pictures?  At best, they end up on our refrigerators for a few months. At worst, we forget about them completely.  Here's a sweet way to get a little mileage out of those memories.  

xoxo Zandra

 

Materials:

  • Photo Booth Film Strip
  • White Card Stock
  • Film Strip Washi Tape
  • Wooden Spool (2" width between ends)
  • Paint
  • Foam Brush
  • Packing Tape
  • Glue
  • Bakers Twine
  • Glue Dot
  • Button

Directions:

  1. Paint your spool any color you like.  We chose a mustard-y yellow in subtle reference to the Kodak logo color.
  2. Trim your film strip on either side until it fits within the width of the spool.  We actually copied and printed ours onto photo paper to preserve the original.  But this is optional.
  3. Tape one strip of Washi tape onto white card stock from top to bottom and then cut out around the outline of the tape.   It will be longer than your film strip.  
  4. Glue your film strip onto the Washi taped card stock from the bottom of the strip up.  You want the bottom of your film strip to match the bottom of your strip of Washi tape with some left over at the top.  
  5. Use your packing tape to tape the top of your completed Washi taped film strip to your spool.  Because your card stock is thick, the tape helps hold the strip in place as you complete the next step.  
  6. Start gluing your strip around the spool until you get to the photos, which you will leave unrolled.  We used Weldbond glue but any strong adhesive will work.  You'll have to work slowly as you will only be able to glue a little at a time, holding your strip in place while it adheres.  
  7. Thread your bakers twine through the spool (we used black and white to compliment the black and white photos).  
  8. Use a Glue Dot on the back of a button to stick the finished product to the wall or anywhere you'd like!  

Shopping List: Camera Decor

We are excited to be spending the month of April at Little Yellow Couch, looking "Through The Lens".  We are downright OBSESSED with all things camera related and felt inspired to curate a collection of items perfect for the home.  Of course, we want every last piece!  Even better, all of the goods in our shopping list are handmade by artisans as inspired by cameras as we are!  Check out their inventive shops below and snap up some of these finds.  

If you make a purchase from one of our favorite artists, make sure to let us know.  We want to send some love back your way!

xoxo Karen June

 

  1. Upcycled Vintage Suitcase via Stacey Creek Designs
  2. Vintage Camera Lamp with Picture Slide Lampshade via Refunked Junkies
  3. The Flapper Lamp via Speakeasy Lamps
  4. Capture Life Wall Clock via Monochrome Studio
  5. Tower of Cameras Wall Art via Lola's Room
  6. Retro Camera Tea Towel via Natalie Laura Ellen
  7. Six Camera Photo Coasters via Sarah Galasko Photography
  8. Vintage Video Camera Cork Trivet via Lisa Marie Style
  9. Kodak Instamatic Nightlight via Light and Time Art
  10. Vintage Camera Applique Wall Hanging via Hello Camellia
  11. KESS Original Camera Pattern Duvet via Kess In House
  12. Kodak Lens & Antique Kitchen Canister Lamp via Secondhand Shiner
  13. Vintage Rolleiflex Camera Printed Pillow via In The Seam

Arranging Flowers: Vintage Camera Edition

For our "Through The Lens" theme I thought it might be interesting to incorporate a vintage camera into a flower arrangement.  With this Twin Lens Reflex camera, you look down into the viewer.  We were able to cut some floral foam to set on top of the viewer, held up by the metal flaps.  Secured with floral tape, the foam stays put when you poke your stems into it, creating a pretty display ... if I don't say so myself.  

Flowers used: Bells of Ireland (the green one); Ranunculus (the white ones)

This post is our first in a new column we'll do each month on flower arrangements.  Neither of us has any training in this area, but, well, what has that got to do with anything? The important thing is that we both believe that regularly treating yourself to fresh flowers is like buying chocolate.  You don't need it, but wait...actually, you do.   So, from now on, we're going to share our attempts at flower arrangements based on our theme for the month.  And if you are diggin' our theme (get it?  flowers?  digging?  gardening?)...anyway, if you are inspired by any of our themes and have arranged flowers accordingly, we'd LOVE to share your photos with other LYC readers!  (Just let us know in the comments section below). 

xoxo Zandra
 

Vignette: Through the Lens

For our vignette this month, we wanted to incorporate a few of our vintage cameras into the scene.  Old cameras are fun to collect and the prices range from fairly inexpensive ($12 or so) to highly valued (upwards of $1200), depending on their condition and rarity.  Take a wild guess as to which kind we own.

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I also pulled out some old film rolls and collected them in a cloche.  I mean, what else are we going to do with them now that we're all using iPhones all the time?  

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Mixed in with the old equipment are a few of Karen's tin types, the forerunners to modern photographs.  You can sometimes find these at antiques fairs and flea markets, or, you could showcase a few old black and white postcards, which are easier to find.  

Finally, I've used a couple of larger black and white shots of my family, which makes the vignette feel personal to me, rather than an attempt to mimic a museum display.  And of course, we believe no vignette is complete without a natural element, which a few stems of flowers take care of beautifully.  

Send us a picture of your photography-inspired vignette and we'll share it with all of our readers!  

xoxo Zandra

Quick Idea: Polaroid Installation

We love the nostalgia of Polaroid snapshots.  I remember when I was young and amazed at the instantaneous development of the film, right before your eyes as you held one corner and gently fanned the photo back and forth.  Seemed so futuristic back then!  

Polaroids have an iconic look, with their white frames, a little bit bigger along the bottom where you could write a date, place or names of the subjects in the shot.  For this project, we decided to create one big polaroid frame out of 26 regular sized ones.  We didn't actually own any old Polaroids so we made the frames out of card stock and edited the photos to give them a vintage-y look.  

To recreate our installation, cut your frames so that the outer dimensions are 3.5" x 4.25" and the inner square that's cut out for the image is 3" x 3".  You'll want to trim your photos to 3.5" x 3.5" so you can glue the frame right on top.  We also cut out a plain 3.5" x 4.25" rectangle to paste to the back, giving it extra sturdiness.   I happen to have a grey walls in my house which ended up being the perfect backdrop to use for the interior of the large polaroid.  If you don't have a grey wall, you could paste all of your photos onto grey poster board.   

All in all, this was a quick project that only required card stock and a color printer, yielding very happy results!  We hope you have fun with it!

xoxo Zandra

 

Mixed Media Photo Artists

THROUGH THE LENS: PHOTOGRAPHY RE-IMAGINED

We not only love photography, we love the ways in which some artists incorporate photography into a vision that includes other media as well.  Here are three of our favorite artists who have deeply influenced our theme this month.  "Through The Lens" refers not only to the act of looking through a camera, it's also about what happens when you look through a variety of viewpoints and see something wholly new.   That's how we feel when we look at the work below.  

Deborah Noyes

Deborah Noyes of Storied Eye 

Shop Deb's work here.

I love how Deb describes her work as her "little cabinet of curiosities."  Her collages are often reminiscent of that dark Victorian style where people collected oddities found within the animal kingdom.  Deb is also an author and she seems to use that expertise to create multi-layered stories for her visual creations.  Many of her collages seem to reference archetypal characters which she recasts as narratives from made-up, modern fairytales. Her artwork leaves me feeling both haunted and delighted.  It's that fine line she walks that really resonates with me because I don't necessarily want to be spooked by an image but I do want to feel pulled in.  In my view, Deb is really brilliant at this!  

Deb has kindly offered a special discount to Little Yellow Couch readers!  Use coupon code "LITTLE YELLOW" in the Storied Eye Shop to RECEIVE 20% OFF your purchase.  Valid between now and May 15th.

 

Miranda van Dijk

Miranda van Dijk of Purr Anders

Shop Miranda's work here.

Miranda's work is truly breathtaking, especially once you realize what it is you're looking at. She transposes vintage photography onto flowers and leaves she's made from cotton or cheesecloth.  The printed images have an ephemeral quality to them, reflective of our fragile of memories, which she is preserving through her work.  Since she takes commissions and uses photos provided by her customers, she describes these pieces as keepsakes, but I think they are much more than that...they are works of art in their own right . In the slideshow above, there's one example where she's transposed a painting, rather than a photograph, onto one of her flowers.  It's part of a really fantastic project she's doing with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam called A Woman's Herbarium (and so we had to include it, even though we're supposed to be talking photography!). You must check it out!  

 

Muriel McDonald

Muriel McDonald, Watchful Crow Arts

Shop Muriel's work here.

There's something so charming and disarming about Muriel's photo collages.  She is a self-proclaimed "outsider artist," which means she is self-taught and working outside the constraints of the established cultural art scene.  If, like us, you have an inexplicable love affair with animals dressed up in clothing, you'll be sucked right into Muriel's work!  I love how she uses a very formal portrait style from another era to situate her animals.  They look like they really belong in long gowns and sporting bowler hats.  But there's something else besides humor in these pieces.  I think the absurdity of seeing the animals in human settings helps us laugh at the absurdity of our own man-made cultural norms.  

 

Hope you enjoy these artists as much as we do!  Let us know what you think or if you have any of your own favorite artists working in mixed media photography, please do share!

xoxo Zandra

DIY: Felt Camera Pin

Last month, we found a vintage brass pin that read "Library Club," perfectly fitting for our "Bookish" theme.  We thought it was pretty sweet and decided to create one out of felt that you could make using our template or buy one, ready-made from us.  We love wearing quirky little accessories...it feels like you've got a private joke going on between you and yourself all day long.  

Our library pin gave us the idea that we'd get a kick out of making a few more "club" badges.  Because let's face it, as an adult, it's collecting those iron-on patches that's the best part about being a Girl Scout.  This one doesn't actually say "Photography Club" but when you sport this little camera, we think it'll be clear you'll have earned your membership as an LYC Shutterbug.  

DIY or BIY Here!

DIY Camera Pin Directions

Supplies:

  • Felt (4 Contrasting Colors)
  • Printable Pattern
  • Scissors
  • Small Hole Punch
  • Craft Glue
  • Thread & Needle
  • Pin Back

Directions:

  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Cut out felt pieces using pattern.
  3. Glue felt pieces together except for Piece A. 
  4. Whip stitch around pieces A, D, and G using contrasting thread.
  5. Stitch piece A to back using a whip stitch around entire piece.
  6. Sew pin to back.

 

Off The Shelf: How-To Books on Photography

We thought it might be helpful if we reviewed our how-to faves at the beginning of our month long excursion into photography.  We really want you to feel inspired, compelled and empowered to take the kind of photos of your daily life that you love seeing whenever you are home.  Here are four of the best we've found.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book
by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

"A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book" will inspire you to take photos like someone who has fallen desperately in love with their camera!  The book is reflective of the vibrant blog that it comes from, also called "A Beautiful Mess," brought to you by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.   Your copy will quickly have little stickies coming out all over the place because it's jam packed with idea after idea that you'll be itching to try.  It offers ideas ranging from creating backgrounds and props, to displaying your masterpieces beyond that ugly frame you bought at your local drugstore.  What's really interesting is how these ladies present the more technical stuff like lighting and depth of field.  Instead of just explaining those terms, they talk about them in the context of particular projects you might want to tackle.  Their photos alone are enough to get you snapping away but the writing makes the book truly accessible to anyone.  You'll come away with a do-able list of ideas that you can try right away, probably making you break out into Broadway show tunes with all of the success you're going to have.  This book makes me that giddy!  

Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera off "Auto" and Photograph Your Life Like a Pro
by Rachel Devine and Peta Mazey

For an easy-to-use, pleasure-to-read guide to all of the technical stuff, I really like this book, "Beyond Snapshots." Rachel and Peta are passionate about convincing you that you can master ISO, shutter speed and aperture, even if you've tried before and given up.  The way they break down the lingo makes you want to look in the mirror and proclaim, "Yes!  I CAN do this!"  (Seriously.  I need this sort of pep talk).  Part One focuses (get it?) entirely on getting comfortable with all of the variables that go into taking great photos.  There are plenty of example shots to visually explain differences in setting, light, choice of lens, etc.  This section is wrapped up with a chapter on photo editing and organizational software.  Part Two shows the kinds of camera skills you might use for a variety of different settings and events.  It's both a great reference guide where you can dip in and out and look something up quickly as well as a step-by-step DIY course on getting the most out of your camera.  It's a gotta-have-it kind of book, people.  

Sixty Tips for Creative iPhone Photography
by Martina Holmberg

I love this little book!  In "Sixty Tips," all of the ideas, tips and tricks are presented in a no-fuss style that you can quickly absorb and get on with whatever it is you're supposed to be doing (rather than messing around with your iPhone).  Flip through the book, choose a photo that you like, read about how it was taken and then go take one yourself.  It's really encouraging to see something come out the way you intended it to!  You can slip this baby in your bag and read one tip in 5 minutes while you're waiting in line for something.  The book shows some terrific examples of artistic shots by professional photographers, too, and you'll be surprised that they were taken with a camera phone.  

The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos
by Heidi Adnum


Ok, this one probably seems geared only to the handcrafted business crowd...well, I guess it is mostly that...but if you're interested in any kind of still-life photography, "The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos" is for you.  (But truthfully, I'm including it in this round-up because there are a lot of people out there trying to sell the wares they've painstakingly made, only to not sell them because the photo of the thing doesn't come close to representing the product).  Now, back to how this is a super helpful book for both crafters and still-lifers.  What I like about it is that the author focuses (no pun intended this time) on how to develop your unique visual point of view.  It's this kind of purposeful photography that make some photos look like they could be in a magazine, rather than pasted into your grandmother's photo album.  The point of a product shot is to tell the story behind it.  Conjuring up a feeling in a potential customer is the first step toward helping her connect with your piece so that she ultimately becomes a buyer.  Yes, photography is that important if you care about making any money from your labors.  Another awesome feature of the book is that it's broken down by craft medium (jewelry, pottery, stationery) so you can really see what the author means by "point of view" for your particular needs. This one definitely gets our seal of approval.  (As if we had an actual seal.  Wait.  I would LOVE to have my own seal.  Hmmm....I feel a DIY coming on).  Anyway, go buy this book.  

Happy Snapping!

xoxo Zandra

Shopping List: Photography Inspired Jewelry

This month at Little Yellow Couch we are being inspired by all things "Through The Lens". We are out and about snapping our own pictures, scouting out vintage photographs and equipment and immersing ourselves in the works of professional photographers.  We are loving and experiencing the accessibility of this artistic form of expression.  And, what better way to express oneself than through photography inspired jewelry.  We've rounded up a shopping list of a few of our favs ... make sure to snap (ha!) these up before they are gone ...

xoxo Karen June

  1. Wood and Leather Camera Necklace via Strangely Yours
  2. Retro TV Brooch via VectorCloud
  3. Route 66 Resin Instagram Bangle via Buy My Crap
  4. Camera Shutter Pendant Necklace via Michael Stephens' Art
  5. Tintype Assemblage Necklace via Age Before Beauty
  6. Tintype Assemblage Medal via Salvage Art Sweetheart
  7. Beauty Bar Doors Polaroid Necklace via Vivi Dot
  8. Vintage Camera Lens Pendant via Expressions Jewellery
  9. Polaroid Camera Collar Clips via Ladybird Likes
  10. Holga Camera Illustration Brooch via Helena Carrington
  11. C'mon Get Happy Photo Locket via Dearest Mine
  12. Steampunk Camera Ring via Bella Mantra

Enter April

ASTRONAUTS FIND REMNANTS OF CHAMPAGNE AND VELVET FIBERS ON MOON

(We couldn't resist a little April Fools Day photo humor).  

 

THROUGH THE LENS

4/1/14...Let's get to it!  It's (finally!) Spring and we are ready to soak up all that is picturesque around us. Our theme for the month is "Through the Lens" and we are using photography to remind us that it's time to wake up and unshutter our eyes.  Our favorite artists in this medium will be our inspiration, not just for taking photos but for encouraging you to use photography as an extension of yourself.  This April, as we shed our winter skin, we'll be waiting for little moments of serendipity when we happen to catch the light coming through our lens at just the right angle, sharing our impressions of life as it returns all around us.  

Happy Spring!  Happy Snapping!  

 

Bookish Wrap Up at Faneuil Hall, Boston

One of the things we love about running Little Yellow Couch is that we pretty much have to go on interesting excursions.  We're forced to dress up, try new things, talk with strangers and photograph it all.  It really is worth it to actually do (most of) the activities we take on and we highly recommend taking that last step between "oh, that would be so much fun," and "wow, I'm so glad I came here!"  That's how we felt when we took this shot in historic Faneuil Hall in Boston.  We're history geeks at heart and so it was pretty cool to be sitting in a chamber where Samuel Adams spoke about the revolution.  

To close out our celebration of bibliophilia, we loved the idea of releasing a book into the world, not knowing who would find it but hoping it would travel into many new hands.  We have to admit we didn't come up with this on our own...we stumbled upon the idea at BookCrossing.com and knew it would be the perfect ending to our month-long story.  

Simply put, go to BookCrossing.com, register and tag it and leave it somewhere you think someone will find it.  Then whomever finds it will see your tag and hopefully go to their site to say they've "caught" it.  So far, there are over 1 million people registered across the globe and over 10 million books making their way around it.  

Here's the tag we created for our books.  You can create your own or borrow ours!  

Book Tag Printable

Happy Reading and we'll see you in April!


xoxo Zandra & Karen June

Vintage Librarian Social

You may know that we host some kind of event almost every month at Little Yellow Couch and we had a blast with this one!  For our "Bookish" theme we decided to make up a party that we hadn't heard of before....and here it is: our Vintage Librarian Social. "What the heck is a vintage librarian?" (I could hear our guests muttering when they received our invite).  Well, we knew she'd be smart, classy, and have a great sense of humor when she's with her other librarian friends.  Oh, and she'd be wearing a perfectly suited ensemble including sweater clips, to any social she was attending! 

We simply wanted to have fun, which to us means creating an excuse for dressing up in fab vintage clothing, sporting our retro glasses and talking books, books, books while sipping on tea (with a nip of brandy of course).   

We created a library reading room for our gathering.  Here are a few shots of how we set it up, complete with library posters: 

We each brought five books to share, giving each of them a short review and then trading amongst ourselves.  

A group of librarians, vintage or otherwise, can get a bit rowdy so we had to do a little shushing whenever we got overly excited about a particular storyline. 

All of our guests went home with a Library Kit, featuring due date cards and their envelopes we created with Smock paper, a date stamp, stamp pad and perfectly sharpened #2 pencil.  Oh, and a stack of new books to read, which was definitely the best part of all. 

We loved channelling our inner vintage librarian and we highly recommend you do so, too.  It's a great way to infuse a little humor into your next book club!  

xoxo Zandra & Karen June

Bookish Cocktail - Steinbeck's Jack Rose

As this "Bookish" month draws to an end, we want to offer up a toast to librarians, writers and the Dewey Decimal System.  Cheers!  

This month I set my mixologist husband, Jason, to the task of creating our very own writer inspired cocktail.  As our theme was "Bookish", it seemed only right to head to the library for inspiration.  We came across two new favorites for our bookshelves ... "Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers" and "Tequila Mockingbird".  The latter had me at the title!  Even my local librarian got a good chuckle out of that one.

"Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers" is a clever book allowing a two page spread for over 40 classic authors.  The reader is given a short synopsis of the writer's life, accomplishments, an excerpt from one of their greatest works and of course the recipe for their favorite cocktail.  As I reached the end of the book, I came to my favorite writer of all time, John Steinbeck.  East of Eden was the first book I read of his and it captured me in a way no other book has.  I have since devoured his other novels and now it only seems fitting that I should make a toast to John Steinbeck with his favorite cocktail, the Jack Rose.    

As we did a little more research about the Jack Rose, we learned that the bar staple Grenadine was originally made from pomegranate.  Unfortunately, today's bottled version is made not only without pomegranates, but without any actual fruit!  So, we were inspired to make our own handcrafted grenadine with concentrated pomegranate juice. 

To John Steinbeck and writers everywhere!

Cheers!

Karen June & Jason

Homemade Grenadine

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate Juice Concentrate
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar

Directions:  

  1. Add ingredients to a saucepan.
  2. Over low heat, stir until sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Store in refrigerator for 1 week.  (A small amount of vodka can be added to prolong freshness.)


Pomegranate Jack Rose

1.5 oz. Applejack Brandy
1 oz. Grenadine
1 oz. Fresh Lime

Fill cocktail shaker with ice.  Add ingredients.  Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.  Enjoy!

Library Kit: featuring SMOCK paper

As giveaways for our guests at the Vintage Librarian Social, we thought it would be fun to put together library kits for everyone.  They included the old-fashioned library due date cards we all remember from before Kindles existed.  

We then made envelopes to hold the due date cards using paper provided for us by Smock. We particularly like Smock's line for this project because most of their stock is made with printing on both sides, two different designs that coordinate beautifully, and you'll want paper that's double sided for this project.

The idea is to paste these onto the inside of your book covers and actually keep a record of who is borrowing the book.  Not to be uptight about due dates, but to have a record of friends who've read the book and hopefully left some thoughts written on the card.  It's a nice way to remember the effects the book has had throughout it's lifespan.  Finally, we had to also include a date stamp and ink pad.  I mean, who doesn't want the satisfaction of checking out a book with an actual "kachunk" of the librarians' most official desk accessory?  

Below is a template of the due-date envelopes we've made using Smock paper.  We hope you get a kick out of this quick project!  We're certainly having fun with it!

xoxo Zandra & Karen June

DIY: Sweater Clips from Clip-On Earrings

In case you hadn't noticed, our theme for this month is "Bookish," and we're channeling our inner "vintage librarian" in preparation for our upcoming social.  We think you'll agree that every classy librarian sports a clip to hold her cardigan in place.  We love bringing back an outdated accessory and making it fresh and modern.  We're really digging these clips because they dress up a sweater in a fun, unexpected way.  Take a look: 

Each set is made with clip-on earrings, a chain or two, and some beads.  All you need are basic jewelry tools and our DIY instructions to make your own. 

If you don't have the time or inclination to make your own, then you need to hear about our newest endeavor...  Most of the things we're making for the Little Yellow Couch blog will now be on sale in our SHOP!   Limited numbers, (we're only making enough for the posts so these are truly unique items).  You can now have a piece of LYC and all of the storytelling behind everything we're doing.  We hope you're as excited as we are!  

collarclips3.jpg

xoxo Karen June & Zandra

Clip-On Earring Collar Clips Instructions PDF

Supplies:

Pair of Clip-On Earrings with Holes in Clip (Many are designed this way, but some are not)
7 mm Jump Rings (We love Supply Pusher for our findings)
4 mm Jump Rings 21 gauge Eye Pins 
Beads (We love Beads 'N Supplies)
Needle Nose Pliers with Wire Cutters
Round Nosed Pliers

Directions:

  1. Gather materials.  
  2. Add a bead to an Eye Pin and cut the end leaving about 3/8" at the end.  
  3. Using round nosed pliers, create a loop at the end of the wire.  Your bead will now have a loop on either end keeping it in place.  
  4. Create a number of bead links and connect using 4mm jump rings.  Our chain is approximately 5 1/2" long.
  5. Attach the beaded chain to the clip-on earrings using 7mm jump rings.  We chained three together on each end to avoid any beads being covered by the earrings.  
  6. Clip onto any collar or cardigan!

Vintage Librarian Social: An Invitation

invite1.jpg

If you've been following us for a while you know that we usually host some kind of event each month that captures the spirit of our theme.  For "Bookish," hosting a book club seemed to be an obvious choice but we figured most people were already either in one, done with one or have no interest in joining one.  We eventually came up with the idea to do a "Vintage Librarian" party, both of us were immediately excited about the idea and completely on board...even though neither of us really knew what a "Vintage Librarian" party was.  But you get why we wanted to do it, just going on the name alone, right? Whatever it was, it was going to be pretty awesome!

It turns out, the main purpose of the party was to have an excuse to put adorable ensembles together.  Check out our shopping list and you'll want to start dressing in vintage-inspired librarian clothes tomorrow.  We also decided that the tools and accessories sported by librarians of years gone by are satisfyingly collectible.  So we made a "Library Club" badge (which you can purchase here), created a "Librarian's Kit" which we'll show you later this week, and scored some remade library posters to add to our decor.  

And finally, since we really do love books (and not just shopping for bookish clothing), we wanted our guests at the party to share their favorite books with each other.  Karen made this bookmark invitation, which you can download at the end of the post.  We also sent our guests five extra bookmarks that left room for writing things about each book that they were sharing with the group.  At the end, we all traded books, everyone going home with five new ones that have come highly recommended by our fellow "librarians."  I have to tell ya, It was a HOOT!  

xoxo Zandra

DIY: Book Spine Art

Karen and I love books (obviously, since we're doing a whole "Bookish" theme this month), we love using books as objects d'art, and we love silhouettes.  I decided to put them all together to create a very personal reflection of who I am using the book titles I love best in the world.  

Book Spine Silhouette DIY

Directions:

1.  Gather your favorite books (they can be hardcover or soft).  You'll need 20-30 titles. Stack the books together and place spine side down on a color copier.  (You'll need to do this in batches since all of your books won't fit at once. 

2.  Make copies using a few different size reductions.  For this project, we copied the images at 60%, 70% and 80%.  

3.  Have someone take a photo of you in profile.  Enlarge it and print it out so that it fills most of a regular 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper.  (We traced ours in Adobe Illustrator, but you can work directly from your photograph.)

4.  Cut out your profile, keeping the paper around the profile intact.  You can then either use the cut-out profile itself as a template and trace it onto another sheet of paper, OR, you can use the edges around the profile as a stencil.

5.  Cut out the book spines individually.  Start playing around with how you'll layer them.  Make sure there is no white space showing and tape down the spines with clear tape.  

If you're using a template of your profile, you've traced it onto another sheet of paper.  You then fill it up with the book titles and photocopy it again.  After you've got the copy, you'll cut around the edges of your profile.  

If you're using the negative space around your cut-out profile as a stencil, arrange the book spines on a sheet of paper and place the stencil of over the titles.  You'll be able to see how it's going to look once it's cut out.  You then tape the stencil to the paper with the book titles and photocopy it.  Cut out around the outline of your profile.  

6.  Place your completed silhouette on top of heavy black paper and frame.  Voila!  


Bookish: Pinterest

This March, we have been burying our noses in all things "bookish"!  Here's a link to this month's Pinterest board reflecting on our "bookish" theme.  We've pinned everything from vintage librarian style clothing to DIY projects utilizing books and even inventive ways to display our literary collections.   We love gathering inspirational shots all on one board for our monthly theme.  What does "bookish" look like to you?  Make your own board with this theme and we'd love it you would share it with us!