Now these are special. Hand crocheted hearts ready to mount on your wall. At Happy Happy Joy Joy toy store in Reno.
I've had some experience creating kid's hospitals, But this is amazing! This is why details matter. You can't help but feel better. Bravo to London Royal Children's Hospital. This is some royal treatment. Please read the details on the fabulous site, www.boredpanda.com. Oh, and now I think I'm developing a rash...and an odd scar on my forehead.
We are coming up to our 1st anniversary on the Juvenile Hall Design Blog. The last few months have been very hectic and exciting. I had no idea when I started my blog that it would result in a full circle of my art career. Having the opportunity to teach and inspire others to live whimsically has not only given me fulfillment, but has revealed a dormant piece of me that I haven’t explored in quite a while.
Before this journey began designing children’s spaces and décor, I was an illustrator.
At the beginning of my career in the early 90’s, those were two very different jobs in the art world. Interior designers focused on spaces. Illustrators, for the most part, designed for either the children’s book market or editorial publications. But in the last 20 years, I have found ways to express the whimsical storytelling of illustration through my kids’ room designs. My passion has always been to take a clients story, their interests, their dreams, their inspirations, and transform it into a living-breathing environment.
Many of my clients have had me design custom bedding, décor items, painted surfaces, furniture, paintings and even architecture for their homes. I love the challenge. But I don’t want to limit myself to only those who have the resources to hire me one on one.
Having had the chance to meet a whole new generation of makers, bloggers, and manufacturers has rekindled my interest in not only illustration, but has added, surface, textile and product design to my new list of obsessions.
For the next 5 weeks, I am thrilled to be enrolled in Lilla Rogers “Make Art that Sells course.” I will give you more details about the assignments and challenges as we move forward. But I welcome thoughts and ideas from my current readers, and my new followers. Time to muster my creative courage. Time to learn some new techniques, expose myself to new markets, and push the boundaries of my current routines.
After nearly 20 years in the business of designing kid's spaces and decor, it is not often that something makes me gasp. But this, hand-made AT-AT rocker created by Jen at Epbot.com, has succeeded. Jen, I love you. Readers, please jump over to her site and give her some love.
Jen, may the force be with you.
The phrase “A picture is worth a Thousand” Words” is a visual artists motto. An image that tells a story without having to speak a word is an extremely powerful tool. Some possibilities are photographs, drawings or paintings. But a more un-common example is the shadow box.
Creating a visual story involving 2 and 3 dimensional objects, hand crafted elements, original keepsakes and multiple materials allow the artist to create a one of a kind piece from a one of a kind point of view. Take the time to hunt down the coolest, most interesting materials. Choose what inspires you considering color and texture.
If you are looking for a project to work on with your child, the shadow box not only allows an opportunity to experiment with new materials, but when complete, becomes something to display for years to come.
Last year at this time, I took on the awesome project of making a shadow box for a dear friend who won an Oscar. Now, if that’s not an event to build a shadow box around, then I’m not sure what is.
My friend’s name is Brenda Chapman. Brenda is an incredibly intelligent and creative woman who won the Oscar for directing the animated feature, “Brave.” As I’m sure many of you with kids have seen this movie dozens and dozens of times over, like at my nieces’ house, you have to agree it is powerful, passionate and gorgeous! Brenda recently gave 2 TedX talks that every woman should see. So take some time to check them out. This was her latest in Berkeley.
I decided to take the moment that Brenda won her Oscar, in her custom designed blue gown…
…And infused it with the esthetic of the main character, Merida, with hair flowing, standing on the hills of Scotland.
I used a nice variety of materials including paper, burlap, ribbon, thread, linen, paint, branches and foils. Starting from the back, I created a landscape for the entire piece.
Several layers of different colored linen were cut and mod-podged in place. The threads you can see are frayed on the edges, which add to the wooded look of the landscape. Don’t be afraid of imperfection. Sometimes it becomes a gift.
When picking details of the story you want to tell, be sure to keep your mind open to the possibilities in every detail. My “dress,” was made of layered, wired ribbon keeping it effectively in place at every curve.
My face was done simply with a set of perfect pretty lips delicately sewn by hand in red thread.
The hair was a graphic shape cut from a gold metallic piece of paper, topped with thin curly branched that I sprayed gold and glued in place.
The corset was sewn in one piece of royal blue glitter paper.
And for the Oscar, no need to be literal and cut out some pre-printed picture of an Oscar. A minimal graphic version is all anyone above the age of 5 would need to recognize its identity.
Then each completed element was added to the environment, one at a time.
As a final congratulatory wish, my sentiment was printed in reverse on a printer and taped on the front. Then with a gold paint pen, I simple traced the letters from inside the front window.
I could barely wait to give it to her. And when I did, I don’t think she ever expected anything like it. So no, maybe it will never top being handed an Oscar. But it succeeded in telling her that I was right there with her in spirit when I watched her do it.
Celebrate special moments. Document them. Revisit them. Be creative…and remember to think outside The Shadowbox.
If you enjoyed this project, please share.
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During his single days, Ethan would literally swing from the chandeliers. Elves are crazy! Just to prove my point, I have searched high and low to find out what some of the boldest and most playful elves have been up to. And let me just say, shelves are almost never where you find them. This is my top 20 favorites…the finale of which is our own, reliable guy, Ethan. Twinkle, you’ve made him a new man.
If you have been wondering what Juvenile Hall Design has been up to for the past two weeks, here is your answer. This weekend we proudly launched a collection of Hand-made "Vintage Industrial" Holiday Ornaments. All are made from an unusual collection of materials: linen, paint, fur, buttons, ribbons, hardware, jewels, wire, ropes, feathers, canvas, glitter, paper, zippers, metal…you name it, it's probably in there.
The holidays are officially here. It’s time for "Elf on the Shelf," lists to Santa and 20lb. turkeys. Creative energy builds and the twinkling lights are shining. Last year at this time, I had the honor of teaching a very creative, spirited group of girls the process of finding your voice through art. With on location photo shoots, and sketching, fabrics, ribbons, collage, tubes and tubes of paint and just a bit of unorthodox trinkets, these four young creative ladies brought creative expression to new heights. As I learned many years ago, to find truly unfiltered, courageous, innovative inspiration, turn to the kids.
Please take some time to meet these inspiring young ladies, VIEW THEIR GALLERY and experience their enthusiasm and zest for life. Then SHARE IT with others, and carry it with you throughout the Holidays. It will keep everything in perspective.
…Miss you girls.
In several stores last week, I witnessed the boxing up of the last bits of Halloween decorations, and the arranging of new Christmas décor displays. Mind you, this was before Halloween actually arrived. The commercial aspect of it all bothers some. But you can’t deny most of us dive right in. I love the holidays…the music, the lighting, even the crowds. But what I love most is searching out the perfect gifts for my family and friends. Giving a gift gives me much more pleasure than receiving one. A gift for me represents my affection and the acknowledgement of the person I choose to give it to. And if I could, I would make everyone’s gifts. I cherish a hand-made gift. Receiving something from my kids with their heart and soul poured into its creation just melts my heart. So today, we are going to take some quick peeks at some gift ideas that your kids can make themselves.
This past June, I went to the Martha Stewart headquarters in NYC. During a conference there, Martha came out and spoke to the attendees. As a gift, she offered each person a copy of her brand new book, “Martha Stewarts, Favorite Crafts for Kids.”
This book has 175 different projects ideas for kids of different ages to choose from. They vary in their level of difficulty, so whether your children are just getting their hands dirty in the craft world or are well seasoned masters having collected boxes and boxes of scrap materials from all of their previous projects, there is something for everyone.
I am VERY discerning about kid’s art and craft projects, but this book is absolute eye candy for its reader. It offers extreme diversity in its variety of styles and different materials. Plus the directions are easy to follow through step-by-step tutorials.
When I handed it over to my youngest daughter, I asked her to book mark a few projects she might want to try. By this picture, I’m sure you can tell that it sparked a lot of enthusiasm.
These are a few of my favorite projects. “The portable cubby” and “artful accessories” offer some great ideas for inspiring organization and planning. Not only are these helpful for kids who need to learn to manage time, but I could also see this at an office station in a kitchen or family room. Yay for executive functioning skills! I have a 10 and 13 year old. I will take advantage of any creative tricks I can get. Is anyone with me on this?
The hand drawn stuffed animal is absolutely incredible. How excited would your child be to give or get an actual stuffed animal of his or her own design? This could easily be a keepsake for generations. As this project is a bit advanced for the typical 3 to 8 year old, here is an opportunity for some one-on-one bonding time with mom, dad or maybe even an older sibling.
My husband was an animator for many years. The basis for the concept of how animation works is easily taught through making a flipbook. This can be done inexpensively or more elaborately depending on how long your child can focus. For the budding artist, the satisfaction level of a completed flipbook is remarkably rewarding. Want to take it a step further for the techy kids? Scan or photograph each page when it’s completed, and transfer this simple flipbook into a digital movie.
Do you have a nature enthusiast or an animal lover? The “Stone frogs” or “Safari Terrarium” bring the outdoors in. The frogs would be a great little gift for a teacher’s desk. The safari terrarium involves a bit more time. I would love to display this on a toilet bowl…hilarious! Every piece of art has its place…and so much more interesting than a bowl of wrapped hand-soaps…yawn!
On to the gifts. Felt pins and barrettes are adorable. These have a holiday vibe, but the basic process could work for any season or theme. I definitely see this as personal “little somethings” to offer friends. If you know their favorite colors or interests, even better. School fundraisers are another venue for these. Or maybe just turn a lazy afternoon into a productive craft workshop.
This just barely scratches the surface of possibilities in this book. Plus, it also includes, supply lists and where to buy them. It has pages of templates to follow. And in the back, just scroll through the index to find a project based on your needs or interests. To Martha’s editors and the talented photographers who made this book so charming, I say, “Bravo. Well done.”
In your Halloween candy bowl today, which is there more of, candy or empty wrappers. If anyone has figured out a way to teach their kids how to dispose of the candy wrappers instead of just tossing them back in the bowl, please step forward and accept your award. Ha. I still haven’t figured out if kids do that because they’re trying to fool us about how much they’ve eaten, or is it to fool themselves into thinking there is still that much left!
But now that we have all of these colorful little bits of paper, what can we do with them? It seems a bit of a shame just to toss these colorful little morsels of sweet memories away. Well, after poking around on Pinterest, I found some excellent solutions from some other creative recyclers. The first being this awesome DIY candy turkey from Housing a Forest. Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
Bebelambs has made the art of the candy wrapper into her own brand. Visit her etsy shop. Give your size and candy favorites to order a beautiful gift for any little princess at the holidays. These are so adorable!
Here’s a little challenge. How about some tiny doll clothes for your little garden fairies. The details of this Mary Jane Dress from Andrea Mai Lekberg
OK. Hold on to your hat for the overachievers. I just love you guys! These are something to either strive for or just stand back and slowly take in.
The first is from “The Sweetest Temptations.” A prom dress designed by a young girl and her mom for that once in a lifetime memory. This is definitely a once in a lifetime dress. Beautifully done ladies.
And finally, for the craziest of hardcore recycled fashion designers, it takes two to Tango, and about 2000 wrappers if I had to guess. This is why I love the art. Gorgeous. Designed by Montalvo for the "Cease & Desist collection"
Do you have any great candy wrapper creations? Please send them along for other readers to view.
And PLEASE brush and floss!