shades of blue

0
March 4, 2013 // Color love

I was trying to come up with an interesting color post to put together for all of you, and when I went to my etsy favorites, I realized it was full of blue items. They weren’t necessarily all in the same family of blues, but still. I thought I’d do a blue inspired post. Showing you some of my favorite new blue items that I’ve come across recently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do love blue! What about you?

bubblegum

1
February 27, 2013 // installations, wild

When I first came across this amazing piece of installation art over on one of my new favorite sites, Plenty of Colour, I was instantly reminded of the some of the Chihuly installations that I’ve seen.  That’s what initially drew me to it, but upon further inspection, I have fallen in love with this installation titled Bubblegum by artist Merijn Hos  in collaboration with Renee Rejinders. Located in Almere, Netherlands on the Weerwater, these 50 balloons are roughly one yard in diameter, and are in constant motion. Basically, no two photos will ever be the same, because the balloons are always moving across the water and creating a new piece of art over and over again. At night, LEDs within the balloons light up, to create a magical ethereal backdrop for all those walking along the Weerwater. Check out some of these awesome images.

 

 

 

 

 

Remind me to go to the Netherlands and check this awesomeness out. I LOVE this. I wish there was something like it around me, so that I could go enjoy watching the bubbles float about. What about you? Are there any unique installation pieces near you? Anything you would like to see featured? Send me an e-mail at allrainydaysarentgray@gmailDOTcom and let me know!

And don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Time is running out! Share to win! Thanks guys!

obsession

0
February 26, 2013 // Color love

I am obsessed with this painting by Claudio Malacarne.

First of all, it’s of a monkey. Who doesn’t love monkeys!

Secondly, it is so bright and colorful. You can clearly see all of the different colors that go in to creating this monkey’s fur.

Thirdly, I love the texture created by the varying length of brush strokes. The short choppy ones up around the face that transition down to the longer ones around the chest and neck.

And lastly, I love the expression on the monkey’s face! Doesn’t he just look like the happiest monkey ever?

All I know is that this painting has made me happy, and I hope it has done the same for all of you.

FRAGILE: glass

0
February 25, 2013 // Artists

Today is my 300th post!! YAY!! And I think you’ll like what I have on tap.

Polish artist Marta Klonowska creates amazing works of art from what some of us may consider refuse. What is her medium of choice? Shards of broken glass. She uses these pieces to create beautiful sculptures of animals. By using glass, her animals have a unique luminescence to them. Marta creates wire frames with mesh netting for the main structure of the animal and painstakingly puts each piece of glass in to place. And all of her effort pays off when the piece is complete! Enjoy!

How amazing are these sculptures?!

What do you suppose it means that she chose glass as her material? Do you think it is a comment on the fragility of mother nature? The sharpness of wild animals? The surprising strength of animal life? Or do you think she just liked the way it looked? The way it made her animals appear to be glowing?

I want to reach out and touch them! But that might be a bad idea!!

DIY pom pom curtains

2
February 21, 2013 // DIY

I know that lately the DIYs I’ve been posting have been from other places, but today’s DIY is one that I actually tackled! Pom Pom curtains! When I first saw these in a photo online in some nursery somewhere, I knew they had to be a part of my life. My guest room has two closets with those awful accordion doors, and I decided to eliminate one set by hanging curtains over the door. Enter the pom pom curtain. I knew I was capable of sewing some pom pom trim on a pre-made curtain panel, but being cheap, I didn’t want to spend the money on a panel, especially if I messed it up somehow. So I decided to make my own. Here is where the wonderful world of the internet comes in handy. Tutorials!! I’m personally not a fan of the rod pocket curtains. There is something about the grommets that just get me every time, so I decided to look for a tutorial on how to create that look. I came across this awesome and incredibly helpful tutorial by Alison over at Deuce Cities Henhouse. What I did is pretty much what she did, so if you get lost hop on over there for a more detailed explanation.

So to get started, gather your materials.

image

  1. Fabric. I decided to use plain white muslin. Because it is cheap, and since I was using these over a closet, I didn’t want them to draw too much attention. Just the little bit that the pom pom provides. I decided to do my curtains at the standard 84″ height. But you’re welcome to do whatever height you want. I also used the standard width of the fabric as the width of my curtain. So that being said, I needed about 5 yards of fabric.
  2. Pom pom trim. Because I went with 84″ curtains, and I didn’t want the pom poms on the bottom, I needed 14′ of trim, went with 5 yards for the sake of round numbers.
  3. Grommet kits. I found them at my local fabric store in the curtain section. I was actually very surprised they had them.
  4. Pins (in my super Mario mushroom container. Don’t judge.)
  5. Measuring device(s)
  6. Seam ripper (you might not need this..)
  7. Washable marking device
  8. In the picture I show thread matching my pom poms, but I quickly scrapped this because I can’t sew anything close to a straight line and I didn’t want everyone seeing that terrible mess.
  9. Not pictured: sewing machine, scissors (obviously), iron and patience.

First things first, cut your fabric to length. What length would that be?! Well. Fortunately. Alison over on Deuce Cities Henhouse figured that out for us. She said to use the length from rod to floor plus 10.5″. That 10.5″ allows for half inch seam allowances, 4″ for the bottom and top, and for the fabric above the top of the grommets. I just spent 10 minutes trying to make it all add up. Go with her numbers; it works. P.S. While you’re cutting your fabric, go ahead and start heating up your iron. It is about to become your BFF. P.P.S. Feed him water. He likes that. He appreciates that and will perform better for you to show his gratitude.

Now for the real nitty gritty of curtain making!
Once your fabric is cut to length, you want to start folding it and pressing it to get your seam allowance nice and ironed in. Start with either the top or the bottom, they are going to be the same. So start by folding your fabric over half an inch, and pressing it in place. Try to make everything good and straight and pretty.

DSC00068

Once you’ve got half an inch ironed across the whole bottom (or top) fold it over again 4″, and iron it flat.

DSC00069

DSC00070

Once you’ve gotten that done, pin it in place.

DSC00071

Repeat these steps for the top (or bottom) of your curtain.
(NOTE: When making the second curtain, it is at this step in the process that you should make sure the two panels are similar lengths. You know, before you sew it and one is 6″ longer than the other.)

Now you’re going to sew. Sew a straight seam across the top of your curtain, along where you pinned, the 0.5″ folded up. You’re going to kind of create a 4″ pocket at the top.

DSC00075

I used the longest stitch that my sewing machine would allow. Do the same thing for the bottom edge. Alison suggests using a blind hem stitch for the bottom edge of your curtain. I don’t even have time to be learning what that is, so I just did a normal straight stitch using the longest stitch length my sewing machine would allow. So there you go. You just sewed the top and bottom of your curtain! YAY!

Now the fun part. The sides of the curtain. The long, 84″ (or something like that) sides. You’re going to do the same thing you did for top and bottom. A half inch fold first, but this time instead of a 4″ fold, do a 1″ fold. This is where I started to lose my patience. (You knew it was coming, right?) There was so much ironing and folding and ironing and pinning! (NOTE: This went much quicker withe the second curtain.) Start at one end, fold everything over half an inch and iron for the entire length of your curtain. Then once you get to the other end, you have to go back the way you just came folding everything over one inch for the entire length of your curtain. Pin while you go. It saves time. Do this for both sides of your curtain.

Sew. Again, I used the longest stitch my little sewing machine had in him.

BOOM. YOU JUST MADE A CURTAIN! Pat yourself on the back and take a break.

Next up. The pretty pom pom trim! Disclaimer: this was my first time working with pom pom trim, and for some reason, we did not get along. AT ALL. It started out simply enough with me pinning the trim to the curtain. I don’t like how some of the examples I saw showed the trim on the outside, so I pinned it to the back of my curtain, so that just the pom poms peeked out.

DSC00076

This was all fine and well. Except the fabric and the trim do not have the same stretchiness rate and things kept getting all out of whack and going haywire. Anyway, I got it all on there, and decided to use the color coordinated thread and do a zig zag stitch to attach my trim. Go ahead: laugh. It was WAY too ambitious of me. If you are capable of sewing a straight line while keeping everything in place, removing pins, and making sure your trim does slide off your fabric, then do this zig zag thing. It could potentially look really cool. On my curtain, it was so crooked and even looking it wasn’t even funny. It was just sad. So I ripped all that out, repinned it (using more pins spaced closer together), switched back to white thread, and started again. Without a zig zag.

DSC00078

This went much better. The trim still kept sliding off the top of the fabric, though. It just kept slipping down the side. I couldn’t seem to keep it in place. I’m pretty sure my trim looks like a snake slithering its way up the side of my curtain as opposed to a straight line, but whatever. It’s on there. They’re pom poms. It’s whimsical. Roll with it. (NOTE: on the second curtain I made, I decided to leave the pins in and sew over them. A major no-no, but I was tired of the trim sliding all over the place. So I made sure I had some replacement needles, and just kept on sewing.)

So now it’s time to put on the grommets. I was incredibly worried about this step, but it was actually probably the easiest step. Lay your curtain out flat. Get the little marking template thing that comes with the grommets, and prepare to draw out your grommet placement. Again, Alison has a handy formula for figuring this out. Saving all of us the trouble of having to do math. Take the total width of your curtain subtract five, and divide by 7. My curtain was roughly 40″. So 40 – 5 = 35. Then 35 / 7 = 5. So my grommets are going to be 5″ apart. TA DA. She does include the disclaimer that her math only works if you start 2.5″ from the edge of your curtain. So measure over 2.5″ from the edge and place your template. The left to right spacing of your grommets does not need to be as precise as the up and down spacing. You want your grommets to be 2″ from the top of your panel (that’s what we accounted for earlier), so use a quilting ruler, like Alison suggests, to make sure everything is nice and even. Center up your template, draw the circle, and move on down the line.

DSC00081

Here’s where things got scary. Cutting circles out of the beautiful panel I just sewed. But don’t panic. It’s going to work out. You just take a little snip out of the center of your circle and cut around the circle you drew. Then you put the grommet in place. The grommets have two halves. One has little sticky pokey looking things, and the other has rings within rings within rings. And also a raised center circle. You take the ringy grommet and place it on the right side of your curtain and settle the circle you cut around the raised center section.

DSC00082

Then you put the pokey grommet on top and press firmly into place. WHAT! THAT WAS SO EASY AND IT LOOKS AWESOME! (That’s what I said, anyway.)

DSC00083

Continue doing this until you have all 8 grommets in place.

YOU’RE FINISHED!!!!! But now, you must immediately find a place to hang it so you can admire your work and take pictures to send all of your friends so you can “ooo” and “ahh” over it. All of this before ever starting on the second curtain. Alison suggests if you are doing more than one curtain, to do them simultaneously. You know, one step on one, then again on the other, etc. That way you can make sure everything is nice and even and equal. I didn’t do that, because I needed to see some immediate results, and I had to cook dinner, and I didn’t have time for all that. So curtain number two was tackled on a different day. It went pretty much the same as curtain number one, aside from the few things I noted above.

So. Finished curtains: (Hung for demonstration purposes only. Not in their final location or even on an actual curtain rod. Also, before they had a thorough ironing.)

DSC00084

Can you believe I actually have a white wall in my house? Me neither!

DSC00086

And there you have it! Pom pom curtains that can be completely customized to match any room of your choosing! I had a lot of fun making these, and I was really surprised with how easy they were. If it’s something you are thinking about tackling, don’t be afraid. I know it seems daunting: making curtains. But it’s really not that bad! I can’t wait to get a real curtain rod hung up so I can put these curtains in their final resting place. Maybe I’ll use my leftover pom poms to create some curtain tiebacks next. What do you think? Is this something you’re going to try? If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you know how to get in touch with me! Best of luck, y’all!

balloony

0
February 20, 2013 // wild

I know I’ve talked about my intense love for balloons before, but I’ve just been so taken aback by so many images of them lately, that I had to share some with you all. Browsing through the photography section of etsy always puts my mind at ease, and stumbling across so many pictures of balloons just inspires me. The pictures always make me think of long ago days. I remember when we used to release balloons at the end of Bible School, or when I got the giant Mickey balloons at Disney World. I remember all the bunches of balloons that were put up to mark houses of birthday parties, and the never ending games of keep the balloon in the air that my sister and I would play. I love the mixtures of shiny and matte, the wide variety of colors, and how two balloons are never shaped the same. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do, and I hope they bring you some fond memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day, I hope I get a giant balloon bouquet! Wouldn’t that be amazing?! What’s your favorite balloon associated memory?

apricot

0
February 19, 2013 // Color love

When someone says name a color any color, what is the least unexpected color? Apricot. Is it even a color? I know it’s a fruit.. I’m pretty sure there’s a crayon called apricot. But here it is: actual apricots.

While these apricots are a really pretty color, they are not the color that comes to mind when I think of the apricot crayon. What I think of is a bit lighter and more pastel-y, but at least now we have a starting base. Actually a really pretty color, it could probably be called a dozen other names, but today we’re going to call it apricot. It’s sort of a springy color, so it’s perfect for the mood I’ve been in lately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wouldn’t some sherbet this flavor be delicious?! I sure think so!

P.S. I’ve been saying “sherbert” my entire life.. I had no idea there wasn’t a second R. Life discoveries via blogging.

matt molloy

1
February 18, 2013 // Artists

Happy President’s day! Who else is excited about having a whole day off? How are you spending your day off? I’ll be enslaved by the washing machine, catching up on TV shows I missed last week, and as always, crafting! When you get a break from all of your Monday excitement, I hope you’ll enjoy this most recent artist I’ve found to share with all of you.
Canadian photographer Matt Molloy has come up with an awesome idea to create photographs unlike any other. His technique is to use a time lapse camera to capture skies, landscapes, seascapes, fields, whatever, and then digitally alter his images by stacking 100s on top of each other. The result of each “stack” is movement filled photograph with an effect that is almost like a brush stroke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s interesting that the effect is applied to the entire photograph, but can be most clearly seen in the sky. And also in the wind turbine photograph. They almost look like dandelions waiting for the right breeze to come along and disperse their seeds. I think the last one is my favorite. Those clouds are incredible. But I don’t think this one has as many stacks as the rest. Look at the birds above the sea. There can’t be that many layers of clouds. I think the clouds were just awesome that day! I wonder if he varies the number of photos in the “stack” for different parts of the picture, or if the number is varied from one photograph to the next. How cool is this idea? And how is amazing is the final result?!
Be sure to take the time to enter my giveaway for a chance to receive $25 gift cards to art.com and etsy.com. All you have to do to enter is share my content! You can get full details here

DIY circle garland

0
February 15, 2013 // DIY

I know what you’re thinking. What is she doing posting on a Friday?! Well. I got so excited to announce my giveaway to all of you that I forgot to post Thursday’s DIY! So here you go. Better late than never!
I have been seeing these adorable circle garlands all over the place.

 

They are perfect for any occasion Birthday party, holiday party, everyday kids room decor, cubicle decor, etc. I just ran across this tutorial on how to make them over on CraftGawker. It took me to a blog called The Chronicles of Home, where there were step by step instructions for creating an awesome and beautiful circle garland! It seems pretty easy, and something I can’t wait to tackle. Here are pictures of her finished result:

 

Head over there to check out the tutorial to make your own!

P.S. I’m going to use this as a good excuse to go ahead and purchase one of those circle punchers. I’ve been wanting one for awhile now, so garland making is as good a reason as any, right?!
P.P.S. Make sure you enter my giveaway for a chance to win some awesome goodies!

Giveaway!

7
February 14, 2013 // Uncategorized

It’s time!! I’ve decided to host a giveaway for all of you: my favorite readers! The contest will start tomorrow, February 15th, and it couldn’t be easier to enter! All you have to do is share my content. You can share my posts on Facebook, mention me or retweet me on twitter, or you can mention me on Instagram. I’m trying to get my name out there right now, and I need your help! You can enter once a day from each of these three places. So up to three times a day until March 1st. It’s going to be a drawing, and the more you share the more you can get entered. Check out the official rules at the bottom for all the details. If you aren’t already connected to me on any of these social media outlets, get on it so you can share and be entered to win! Curious what you could win? Well here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • A $25 gift certificate to art.com to snag yourself some awesome artwork.
  • A $25 gift certificate to etsy.com to get yourself a pretty present of your choosing.
  • A copy of The Repurposed Library, an awesome book with DIYs on how to upcycle old books.
  • Various other small goodies to be determined at a later date.

I forgot to mention that if you are not currently following me on any of these social medias, but start doing so once the contest is underway, send me a message or mention me so I know, and that will count as an entry, too. However, you will have to wait until the next day to start sharing.
Tell all your friends! The more people you tell and encourage to participate, the more chances you have to win!
Winner will be announced here on March 4th, so be sure to check back!

Official rules:
When?
Contest begins February 15th at 6am EST, and ends March 1st at 10pm EST.
How?

  • Facebook: share my content on your page once a day. Be sure to comment to make sure I know you shared. This will count as one entry. Each new “like” I get that mentions your name will count as another entry. So lets say that you, Jane, shared my content. Then your friends Sally, Bobby, and Pedro all like my page and mention Jane’s name. Jane just got 4 entries into the drawing. Boom. And Sally, Pedro, and Bobby all get one. Jane can do this everyday the contest is open. Jane must make sure to send me a message each time she shares just so I can keep track.
  • Twitter: each tweet you retweet will count as one entry. Or each tweet you tweet telling people to follow me will count as one entry. But you can only retweet one tweet per day OR one original tweet once a day. Not both. Any new followers I get linking back to your twitter name will count as an additional entry. So if @hotmama26366 retweets my tweet and @craftylaughty starts following me mentioning @hotmama26366, then @hotmama26366 gets two entries, and @craftylaughty gets one entry.
  • Instagram: mention me in a comment telling people to check me out and get an entry. Once a day. If two of your friends start following me and comment on one of my photos saying you mentioned me, that’s two more entries for you, and one for each of them.

Other things?
Anyone in any country can win, as long as they can provide a valid address to receive the goods once a winner has been announced. Both gift certificates can be distributed electronically.
Winner will be selected using a random selection website.
Winner will be announced on my blog Monday, March 4th.

Start sharing!!

UA-38995888-1