Monday, April 29, 2013

Tip of the Day: Mini Grilled Cheese

Have fun with your Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and make them out of baguette slices for a miniature version.  You can now say you had five whole sandwiches.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Easy Paper Bunting

Need party decorations and short on time? I whipped this up in 30 minutes or less, for my cousin's baby shower. These are also really cute in a baby nursery.

Start with a selection of coordinating scrapbooking paper. For one-sided paper bunting flags, you can get two flags from one square sheet.

Create a pattern out of a piece of scrap cardboard. Draw a line down the center. Then measure an equal distance out from one end of the line and mark two points which will be the corners of your triangle. Draw lines to connect the points to the other end of your line. Cut out the triangle.

Place your triangle on the paper. You can position the base of the triangle against the edge of the paper. Use a roller cutter and mat to quickly cut the triangle out.

Flip your pattern piece and cut a second triangle from the same sheet. Repeat for all of your sheets of paper - you can cut 2 or 3 sheets at the same time to go faster. I used 6 sheets of paper for 12 total flags.

You need string and a sewing machine for this part.

Place your first flag pattern-side down. Using the widest zig-zag stitch and a length of about 3, stitch along the top edge of the triangle, keeping the string under the zig-zag so your stitches land on either side.

When you finish, the flag will look like this. Stitch the rest of the flags in a row, leaving a couple of inches between each flag.

When you are done, string them up and party on!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gears Coffin Trinket Box

This box mixes Steampunk with Art Nouveau.

My inspiration began with the woodwork in this Art Nouveau hutch.

I spray-painted the box flat black (after covering the hardware with blue painter's tape), penciled on the details, then added metallic purple paint and finished it off with highlights in silver.

This coffin box is the perfect size to fit a little Justice League Superman action figure.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Steam Kei Goggles

I wanted to make some steampunk goggles, but there are so many wonderful works already out there. How can I separate mine from others?  How about mashing the concept with some Fairy Kei or Visual Kei concepts?  Let's call it something new, Steam Kei

Steam Kei (Country Lolita crossed with Steampunk)

Steam Kei (Visual Kei crossed with Steampunk)

Steam Kei (Fairy Kei crossed with Steampunk)

Steam Kei (Cyber Punk crossed with Steampunk)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bouquet for Newbs Part ColoUrs

Ever get overwhelmed with choices?  Where it's a simple way to pick flowers for a bouquet.

Pick your desired colour, than pick different flowers of the same colour.  The contrasting textures and slight tone differences will stand out.

And if you don't think that's too boring, just pop in a small bit of colour.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fantasy Forest Nursery Design

I'm expecting a baby this summer! So my latest project is working on putting together a nursery for my baby girl.

I decided to go gender-neutral with the overall design and all the major purchases because this is our first child, and who knows, there may be a boy using the same nursery in the future. I am calling this design "Fantasy Forest".

I already had a few items I wanted to work into the design: the crib, my white dresser (for a changing table), the yellow night stand, and the white tree curtains.

The "BEFORE" picture of the mostly-empty bedroom, from several angles.

My design and color inspiration began with these Mary Blair pictures, and I decided I wanted to go for a fantasy-style forest, not something "realistic":

I came up with this design concept for painting the walls...

Then at Emerald City Comicon I found this amazing illustration by Brittney Lee and had to buy a print for the nursery. It coordinates perfectly!

"Lagoon Love" by Brittney Lee @britsketch

To solidify my color palette, I found a picture of a nursery that used the green, blue, yellow, and turquoise colors very effectively in a gender-neutral design.

I love how the yellows and pinks pop against the light blue wall. Who says light blue has to be a boy color? So I ran with it. Isn't it pretty? The room is so much brighter now.

The room is painted!
My dad did most of the work because he knows what he is doing. I helped!
The room is still a work in progress, I've got three months to go!

Finally, I can move in some furniture...
Want to know my entire design process in a nutshell (sort of)? Here you go...

Ava's Advice on How to Go About Designing a Nursery:
  1. Create a "Nursery" board on Pinterest. Do a search for "nursery" and start pinning everything you like. Eventually you will be able to spot trends on themes and colors that really speak to you. Create 1-3 new boards for the themes that most appeal to you and move those pins to those new boards. The two themes that spoke to me were woodland/forest and Star Wars (and other nerdy nurseries).
  2. Add inspiration images to your themed nursery boards (keep generic "nursery" pins in your "Nursery" board). These inspiration images could be color palettes, scenic photography, artwork, or merchandise, anything that fits your theme and potential colors.
  3. Decide on general theme and color palette. Expect that your theme and colors may get more refined as you purchase items, so this may need to be flexible.
  4. Purchase/pick out the big items (crib, changing table/dresser, glider/rocker chair). An unexpected sale on an amazing crib may throw your color palette off, so if you can get the big items early, this will help you tweak your design as needed. Don't know where to start? Create a "Nursery Furniture" board on Pinterest and start pinning pictures (including the price and linking back to the item). When you find one you like or plan to purchase, move that pin to your themed board to see the image alongside your inspiration images.
  5. Copy images of your furniture and decor items from your Pinterest board to Microsoft OneNote* and organize your furniture around the room layout. If you have a picture of your room, add it to help you visualize the space. Use the Online Room Planner by Urban Barn to figure out your furniture layout (don't forget to copy a picture of your layout into OneNote as well).
    * OneNote is great for organizing text and images all in one place. You can copy and paste from your browser, and can resize and drag things around easily. I created several OneNote pages, including design images copied from Pinterest (to help solidify the color scheme), a visual layout (above), color scheme details with paint color names, and even a list of furniture items with measurements.
  6. Pick out your paint color and paint the room! This color should be influenced by your inspiration images and should coordinate with the furniture and decor you have picked out already.
  7. Lastly, move your furniture in, set up the crib, and pick out the rest of your decorations. Curtains, crib sheets, storage baskets, a pouf, toys, and other small coordinating items can be added to your Baby Registry.
You can find my Pinterest Board here: Fantasy Forest

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

SakuraCon 2013 Cosplay Pictures

There year there were some amazingly creative outfits.  So here I'd like to showcase a few.

During my time at Sakuracon I also learned a few new cosplay tricks I'll share with you in future posts

Mash Up

Ronald McDonald meet Vocaloid Miku

Kubey gone military style

Spartan Rainbow Dash (My Little Pony)


This guy was just freaking accurate when modeling the face piece.  Just impressed ... Kadabra from Pokemon

Snooty girls from Wreck it Ralph.  I just like the pink hat,  It just impressed me that it was so correct.

Super geeky me just stood there shocked when i saw here, side character's avatar from The Guild.  Very well done

Little Added Humor

The boss level in Super Smash Brothers game

This get lots of points for humour.  Exeggutor from Pokemon.  With the most funny/stupid faces.  Cracks me up

 More Impressive Craftsmanship
Portal (Video Game)

Impressive that this girl make these giant hands and could lift them.

Cosplay accents through Signage

Celestia Bless.  This got lots of attention

Hmmm, a map of a single country would have been more accurate, but it was still a great idea.  For those who dont know Hetalia is a anime in which each nation of the world is personified into a human, and the characters play out real historical events as if they were interactions and conflicts between friends.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Office Kidnapping Prank

I swiped a toy from a former coworker's new office, and emailed him a random note of the most obscure demands.  

Than proceeded to take pictures of kidnapped toy with different people who he used to manage.  Yes their faces are blocked so you font know who they are.  You sooooo can't tell who they are by their office decor.

A week later he came by with cheesecake for us.  Yum-o