art+learning+beauty: gryphon design collective

 i know i promised some big news, so here it is! i’m very excited to announce my newest venture- gryphon design collective. i’ve been working with michele slobin apprille for a number of months now with the development of the collective.

gryphon recruits world-wide talent in the field of graphic design, fine art, and creative writing. all of our products are printed in the usa and made with recycled materials.

one of gryphon’s proudest accomplishments thus far is the introduction of our customized children’s books. we’re one of the only companies out there to offer image capture technology, which allows the child to be painted right into the story. these books are beautifully written and illustrated by designers from our collective.

gryphon also produces learning language games that inspire kids to learn while they play. pretty cute, right?

in addition to making reading and learning more fun and creative for the kiddos, we also strive to promote our wonderful collection of designers. we’ve got fine art cards and notebooks for every aesthetic taste.

designers from left to right: jenikah joy, usa / juan milewski, argentina / gregery miller, usa / david faust, usa  / yuriy ratush, ukraine 

this has been such a fun and creative adventure for me- i’m proud to be a part of something so beautiful. if you think these products are as lovely as i do, please support us by making a purchase! you can even use promo code rhx10 to save 20%!


diy: festive felt fall garland

despite blogging so highly about my favorite season last week, nature has been a bit cruel, as i’ve been under the weather for a week now. one advantage of staying in is that i’ve had time to work on some projects! first up, this adorable fall garland from a beautiful mess that i was ogling during my last post:

source: a beautiful mess

luckily i already had all the supplies- twine and felt- in my craft cabinet. after a few hours of cutting and stringing while watching a saturday morning movie, i had completed my first fall craft project. what do you think?

now, on to my halloween costume! can’t wait to share with you guys (assuming it actually comes together. fingers crossed!)


diy: beach towel beach bag

since my discovery of pinterest a few months ago, my to-make list has increased infinitely. my free time unfortunately hasn’t increased, but i was able to squeeze in one project before i went t to the beach this summer. one of my pinterest finds was this beach towel tote bag from martha stewart:

i didn’t really understand the instructions though, so i decided to make my own version (read: i kept trying to follow martha’s instructions but still ended up with a completely different bag). also, i’m just learning to sew. i’ve gotta say that deciding to sew towel material as a novice wasn’t the best idea. i think i broke four or five needles! proceed with caution!

materials you’ll need:

  • a full-size towel; i used a really giant towel. pick a smaller one if you want a normal-sized bag!
  • a hand towel that’s the same length as the full-size towel is wide
  • leather strips for the straps
  • leather or burlap to reinforce the straps (not pictured)
  • sewing machine

1) fold the big towel in half (inside out) and pin the hand towel down to make a pocket. sew the hand towel on the bottom and two sides. also sew up the middle to make two pockets.

2) turn right-side out and fold in half. fold down the tops a few inches and pin the whole thing together. turn inside-out again and sew the sides together. beware: the fabric gets super thick!!

3) braid together leather strips for your handles. i used six strips per braid. then sew the handles to the inside of your bag.

4) cover the base of the handles with burlap squares. my bag was feeling heavy and i was worried that the handles couldn’t handle the weight (bahaaa), so sewing these squares on added some much needed reinforcement.

and there you have it! now for some awkward photos of me modeling my new bag on the beach!

tut tut, it looks like rain

it’s a stormy, stormy day in nashville and i am getting over a little sickness. so instead of being productive on this gloomy day, i’m laying in bed looking up happy things online while my little doggie burrows under the covers (she’s so scared of storms). while perusing my etsy favorites i realized how many rain-related things i’ve had my eye on. here are some of my favs:

i’m in my late 20’s and i still have a thing for stuffed animals- or in this case stuffed clouds. that’s ok, right? i definitely want to hug this cloud.

source: goodbyebluemonday on etsy

such a pretty little rain cloud necklace. i bet my dog wouldn’t be scared of this sweet storm.

source: exodesign on etsy

if i had a baby, it would definitely have a rain cloud mobile. this was my inspiration for my latest yarn wreath.

source: babyjives on etsy

these are rain drop necklaces, but i’d love to have them hanging all over my condo just like this!

source: Kosmika on etsy

now that my sewing machine is easily accessible, thanks to my craft space, sewn paper rain drops like these might be on my to do list.

source: kategreiner on etsy

the name of this necklace is “big rain drops on my tiny umbrella”- so cute

source: plasticouture on etsy

lovely, lovely rain drop print. the colors are perfect.

source: PrissDesigns on etsy

and for your viewing pleasure, here’s my favorite, winnie the pooh, being a little black rain cloud, of course {{sidenote: i think i’ve posted two videos ever on my blog and they’ve both been from winnie the pooh. weird? awesome? who’s excited about the upcoming pooh movie?!}}

project art.craft space: complete!

i spoke of an unveiling last week– the time has finally come! i’ve been dreaming about my own art.craft space for a while now. in fact, i’ve been brainstorming for months. well, my dreams have finally come true! i started looking for the perfect piece of furniture a few months ago. thank you craigslist for this awesome find:


it was a beautiful piece of furniture before, but i wanted to transform it into my dream space. this was my first major furniture refinishing project, and i didn’t completely know what i was doing or how it would look when i finished. with a nervous hand i sanded, painted, sanded again, and stained.

the fun part started once the refinishing was complete! i installed my mason jar chandelier, attached my favorite fabric to the back, and added pegboard, fabric-covered cork board, and mason jars for organization.

one of my favorite parts is the chalkboard. i’ve been wanting to find a use for chalkboard paint for a while now! i painted a purple frame on one of the doors and filled it with chalkboard paint. a perfect place to keep my ideas! and now i’ve got a whole can of chalkboard paint to spare. maybe i could use a chalkboard wall, too?!

i finally have a place to store my fabric. one of my favorite things to do is to raid the sale sections of fabric stores. scrap of fabric for 25 cents? don’t mind if i do!

and the organization continues. everything has a place now.

what is your dream art.craft space? how do you like mine? my favorite reaction so far: “i want to crawl in there and live in it.” me too, me too!

this post is linked to:
The DIY Show Off Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap   up           party!

diy: mason jar chandelier

i’ve been working on a very big, very exciting project (hint hint), but the big reveal will come later- hopefully sometime this week. in the meantime, here’s a mini project within the big project.

i’ve been dreaming about a mason jar chandelier for a while now. they’re all over etsy as well as the blogosphere. the diy blogs i kept finding were a little too complex for my simple abilities. i don’t really want to get into wiring and all the dangerous stuff, so i had to figure out another way to make my vision come to life. this chandelier plugs straight into the wall, so if you have a way to hide the wire, then this is a really easy and safe project for you to recreate!

here’s what you need:

  • mason jars. i used three of varying sizes because it was going in a small space. use as many as you desire, though!
  • lamp kits. you’ll need as many as you have mason jars. i found mine at world market.
  • heavy gauge aluminum wire
  • scissors
  • ice pick, or something else sharp to make a hole in the mason jar lid
  • low wattage light bulbs (i’m using 11 watts)

{step one} using your ice pick or other sharp item, punch a whole into the lid of the jar. make the hole as large as possible because you need to get scissors in the opening (warning: i know i don’t always do things in the most sophisticated way possible. i basically make things up as i go, so feel free to make a prettier hole than i did. maybe using a drill? dang, why didn’t i think of that earlier).

{step two} using your scissors, make the whole big enough to fit the end of the lamp kit through. once i had made a significant hole, i cut slits in the circle so i could fold the metal down as needed.

{step three} slip the end of the lamp kit through the rim of the lid and into your newly created hole. if you used the slit method, the metal should be somewhat flexible. screw the plastic stopper that came with the lamp kit on. insert the light bulbs and screw on the jar.

{step four} wrap each of the lamp kits in aluminum wire.  i did this for merely aesthetic purposes, so change this out with another material if you’d prefer. i wrapped all three of the cords, arranged them like i wanted them, and then wrapped the three cords together with the same wire.

{step five} hang the chandelier in your desired spot and plug it in.

{step six} turn it on and enjoy!

{step seven} stay tuned for the unveiling of the location of my mason jar chandelier!

have you attempted one of these? i’d love to see how yours turned out!

this post is linked to:

DIY Club

The DIY Show Off

diy: tin can pencil + note holder

whoa, it’s been a while since i’ve blogged. just when i get into the habit, life comes along and acts all hectic. i’ve been sitting on this diy post for over a month now- my new job is keeping me busy, busy!

speaking of jobs, i wanted to do something nice for my coworkers when i left my old job. they threw me a lovely going away party and made me the perfect gift. i wracked my brain- and the internet- trying to decide on something that was crafty, functional, and that i could make in bulk. i finally decided to make pencil holders out of tin cans and cork board.

here’s what you need to make some, too:

  • tin cans. i ate lots of canned veggies for a few weeks. my coworkers also helped me out, though i wouldn’t tell them why they were bringing me cans.
  • spray paint
  • roll of cork (i got it at michaels)
  • hot glue
  • scissors

for the pushpins you’ll need:

  • thumb tacks
  • assorted fabric
  • felt
  • needle
  • thread
  • hot glue or fabric glue

and here’s how i did it (sorry about the lack of pictures. not sure why i didn’t take many, or if i did take them, i don’t know what happened to them; it’s such an easy project though- i have faith in you!):

first, spray paint the bottom of the cans and let them dry completely. i used a couple of coats of paint.

when dry, turn the cans over and paint the inside of the cans and the rim. i ended up painting the whole outside, but this isn’t necessary since you’ll be covering it.

cut out pieces of the cork roll that are the same height as your can. glue one end to the can and then start wrapping the cork. i wrapped two to three times around because the cork was so thin. otherwise, the pushpins fell right out. glue the end down and voila- you’ve got yourself a pencil holder!

i wanted to make the pencil holders a little more special, so i decided to make fabric pushpins as well. for some of them i made tiny rosettes (my rosette diy is here) and for the others i made pinwheels according to blair’s instruction (the first few of these i attempted were disasters. props to you, blair). after i had completed a whooole bunch of them, i cut out little circles of felt, popped a thumb tack through them, and then glued the felt to the backs of the rosettes/pinwheels. i swear i took pictures of this process but they are nowhere to be found (huh).

what a cute way to keep both your pencils and your notes-to-self organized! are there any other diy office supplies i should know about?

p.s. still speaking of jobs, don’t forget to check out krush. be a trend-setter and win prizes by rating upcoming lines of clothes, shoes, and accessories before they hit stores. seriously, we’ve got some cool things in the works, so you need to jump on the bandwagon now!

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Catch As Catch Can Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap   up           party!