Saturday, July 18, 2009

Start Your Week Off Right: Deadline

Ok, so this video was making the rounds on the internet a few weeks ago, and rightfully so, in my opinion. It is a well composed piece of stop-motion animation (can you tell that I like stop-motion animation, yet?!) using one of my favorite things on the planet as a medium: Post-its!(to be read in a high-pitched, sing-song voice) More on Post-its in the future, but come on, what's not to love?!?! (And if you want to see some more Post-it awesomeness, I strongly suggest that you check out The Post-It Project.)

Anyway, back to the video: Post-its serve two purposes in this short film (a senior project at the Savannah College of Art and Design by Bang-yao Liu). First, they serve to set the mood; to give the back story. And then, once the viewer understands that there are things to be done, he gets to take a peek into the mind of the main character, hard at work...or not. The Post-its transform into pixels on a computer screen, showing us exactly what he is "working on." A very cool piece, and worth the watch!

There's also a really interesting making-of video which gives good insight into the labor and preparation that goes into making a stop-motion video.

Well done, Bang-yao Liu, Well done!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Don't Miss Out!

Hey all,
I just wanted to let you know that Urban Threads is offering an awesome free design, but only until the 26th of July. For those of you who aren't familiar with Urban Threads, it's a great source for unusual embroidery patterns (for both machine and hand embroidery). Plus, it has some good tutorials and the occasional freebie. So,you can head on over there to download the pattern for their sugar skull pin cushion. There's a sweet little tute to help with the construction. So, Come on! What are you waiting for?! Go get it, I mean, just take a look at it:

Who wouldn't want one?!

Start Your Week Off Right: Oren Lavie

The internet (let alone the world) is a vast place, filled with beauty and oddity. Some of the things you find out there are just so incredible that they make you stop in your tracks. They make you sit back and say "Hmmm." They make you think, and they make you want to make something beautiful and incredible yourself. Thus, I give you my little homage to the incredible with Life is Phantasmagorical's first weekly segment. Here I'll show you some of the things that I've found that have stopped me in my tracks. Here, I'll give you a way to start your week off right with a little inspiration.

And so, for my first attempt at this whole inspiring blogger thing, I give you this amazing stop motion music video for Oren Lavie's Her Morning Elegance:

This video has it all, as far as I'm concerned. First, there's the song, which is quiet and simple with a haunting melody (Man, I can't even tell you how many times I found myself humming this one after I first heard it!). Then there's the film behind it, complementing the lyrics and perfectly matching the tone and tempo of Lavie's song. Plus, it has a sock fish, which is totally adorable and gets me every time. Perfection!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kickin' It Old School, Banner Style

As you may have noticed, my blog has recently recieved some much-needed spiffing up. Namely, I've finally gotten around to creating a banner. And, even though using a scanner and Picasa might not exactly count as doing it old school, I did make the banner by hand.

Seeing as I haven't posted in a while, even though this isn't a particularly crafty topic, I thought I'd create a blog post for it. So, in case you want to create a similar banner for your blog, this is how I did it:

What You'll Need:

  • Creativity

  • Time

  • Paper (I used a recycled paper bag for mine to get the look of craft paper)

  • A Pencil, for sketching purposes

  • A Pen or or Marker, to trace over the final design (I recommend felt tip)

  • Colors (Everything in color on mine was done in colored pencil, and the white portion was done in crayon)

  • Scanner

  • Photo touch-up soft ware (I used Picasa )

Ok, so once you've gathered together all of the stuff you need, you're ready to begin. the first thing you want to do is develop an idea for your banner. I knew I wanted a ghost with some flair to be a part of my banner, so that's where I started working. And frankly, what says "Fabulous Diva" more than a feather boa. So, once I had a plan, I began sketching out my design on scrap paper and experimenting with different fonts. When I found a layout that I liked, I transferred it to the paper with my pencil, and when I was totally happy with the look of it, I outlined the text and the design in pen.

Now it's time to bust out your crayons and colored pencils and go to town. I wanted my banner to be bright and rainbow colored, so I started with the lettering to make sure I got the desired effect. Then I moved on to the little ghosty. I first drew in the part of the boa that would be seen behind his body, coloring rather lightly. Then I filled in the ghost's body with white, making sure to leave the part where the boa would drape in front of him uncolored, to provide a good work-surface for the rest of the picture. I finished coloring in the boa, and proceeded to the scanning portion of this project.

I wasn't sure whether I'd like the banner better flat or crumpled, so I scanned it in both ways, giving the paper a good crumple in between scans. Then, I imported the picture into Picasa and cut it down to size. To get a good banner size, I had to shrink the picture by about seventy-five percent. This step takes a bit of trial and error on the part of the blogger.

Once that's set, just upload your spiffy new banner picture to your blog, sit back, and admire.

Et Voila! A recipe for a blog with a little more flair than it used to have. Have fun, blogophiles!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm an architect...sort of :)

Well, I just declared my major today, and that's pretty awesome. I've declared course 4, which is code at MIT for architecture, and I'm really happy about it. I know that it doesn't mean that much, and it doesn't really make me any different than I had been like, oh, say, yesterday, but it's still unbelievably cool to be able to say that I'm an architect in training. All of that, and there are only like 20 of us, out of the 1000 freshman at MIT. That's only 2%, assuming that they don't change their majors, which I'm sure some will. It's pretty cool to be in the minority like that.

Anywho, I just wanted to let you know, and I might be posting pictures of my first project soon, seeing as we just completed it last week...we'll see. Anyway, for now, I've got physics on the brain, oh how I hate physics. Exam tonight, and I should probably stop procrastinating.

Adios for now,

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break Dollar Store Crafting Challenge

Ok, so, my first college Spring Break has officially come and gone, and what did I do, do you think? If you're thinking Cancun, you'd be VERY wrong. I went home, where I hung out with my family, did some shopping, and of course, did some crafting (and a little bit of homework, too...)

Well, like I said, I was planning on doing the dollar store crafting challenge listed on living with lindsay (link to the challenge in the sidebar...and probably here, too, later, once I get some more work done :) )

Well, I did like I said I would, and here's my entry for the Five Dollar Challenge:
A nice, springy, decorative doormat...after all, what better way is there to welcome spring than by meeting it at the door with a nice welcome mat?
From 2009-03-29 Dollar Store Craft Challenge

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, and I did it on the cheap, as the challenge specified. My materials were obtained at my local Dollar Tree, and consisted of two coordinating placemats in bright colors/patterns (a nice spring green in my case), a roll of rubber shelf liner, a package of decorative buttons, and a stem of "silk" flowers, all of which are pictured below:
From 2009-03-29 Dollar Store Craft Challenge

After I procured all of my materials, I got my hands dirty with a little floral stem massacre:
From 2009-03-29 Dollar Store Craft Challenge

I also sliced the placemats into three inch strips using my handy-dandy rotary cutter. I ran the strips through my sewing machine, alternating placemats, and when I was done, I had a nice doormat size. That whole process took maybe thirty to forty-five minutes, but could even be faster, as I did it while watching TV.

Once that was done, I ironed out the fabric to make a nice flat doormat. Then I grabbed my needle and thread, and began to sew the buttons and flowers onto the mat where I wanted them. I used a stack of (in this order) 2/3 of a leaf piece, two staggered petal pieces, and finally, the button.

Once everything was all attached, I grabbed my slip-proof shelf lining. I cut a piece to the desired size (In my case, I cut out two pieces for extra padding.) and attached it to the back of the mat. I used hot glue for this, but the mat could just as easily be attached with a needle and thread.

Then, finally, I stood back and admired my handy work. I think it turned out pretty nice for only about an hour and a half of work, and FIVE dollars. Hope you like my mat, and if anyone else tries it, I'd love to see some pictures of your handy work!

Best Wishes,
(Nerdfighter reference, w00t!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Handwriting from your Keyboard

Ok, so here's the link , as promised. Have fun with it.

Also, if you're not having success, you can try
Fonts for Peas
... There's no guarantee that she'll make your font, but if you're just in the market for A cute handwriting font that isn't necessarily YOUR cute handwriting font, there are tons available for download.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Crafting Challenge

Hey All!

Ok, so today, while I was perusing the craft websites like I usually do, I stumbled upon something sweet. That's right. It's a crafting challenge, courtesy of the Dollar Store.

Now, if you ask anyone who knows me, they'll gladly tell you how much of a cheapskate I am, and I won't argue. I happily shop thrift stores, clearance racks, and, of course, dollar stores. In fact, last summer, I was watching the Today Show with my Dad, and they had this segment on about America's cheapest family. Now, the subject of clothes came up, somehow, and my Dad asked me how much I'd pay for a pair of jeans. Without hesitation, I replied $7 (the price of a good pair from Good Will). No less than a minute later, Merideth Vierra was asking the same thing of one of the daughters, and what was her answer, you ask? She said $9. That's right, I am even cheaper than the cheapest family in America.

But, more to the point, when I saw this challenge, the wheels started spinning. It combines two of my favorite activities in the world: crafting, and bargain hunting. Needless to say, I'm definitely in for this challenge.

Well, now I know what I'm doing on MY spring break...

Check it out!

99 Things ~or~ Everything You Never Needed to Know About Me

Ok, so this isn’t the first blog that I’ve started, and I haven’t posted religiously on any of the others that I made, but I have been wanting to start a crafty blog for aeons. So here it is… Life is Phantasmagorical! Ok, well anywho, since this is my first post, I figure that I had better introduce myself to you all. I really like the idea of posting 99 random things about myself as an ice breaker, so I’m stealing the idea (insert props HERE to whoever deserves them for coming up with this idea). Well anyway, here goes:

1.) Right now, I’m a freshman in college
2.) I want to major in Architecture…maybe.
3.) That’s because I love math/science AND design, so it seems like a good plan.
4.) I’m actually taking my first studio class this semester.
5.) …It’s amazing so far.
6.) I go to MIT, and the work load is insane there.
7.) I do crafty things, and I lurk on crafting websites to prevent myself from losing my marbles.
8.) I’m not entirely sure that I had marbles to begin with.
9.) My name is Kim.
10.) My gangsta name is Kimminent Danger, which explains many of my screen names on crafting forums.
11.) My sister gave me my gangsta name.
12.) Hers is Pamthrax, in case you were wondering.
13.) She doesn’t use it as a screen name, though.
14.) I’ve only got one sister, and she’s awesome :)
15.) She’s always my partner in crime when it comes to crafting.
16.) I consider myself to be generally crafty.
17.) I finally found my niche, but I’ll still try my hand at anything crafty.
18.) My niche is crocheting, but I love knitting, too.
19.) Some of the crafts that I’ve done are: Knitting…
20.) …Crocheting…
21.) …Sewing…
22.) …Beadworking…
23.) …Painting…
24.) …Scrapbooking…
25.) …Quilling…
26.) …Origami…
27.) …And a little macramé, among other things.
28.) I also like to dabble in HTML web design, but I’m not very good.
29.) I’m a craft store addict…
30.) …and I have WAY too many skeins of yarn in my closet.
31.) (Oh, and a lot of UFOs* to boot!)
32.) I’ve always wanted to sew my own clothes.
33.) Especially a fabulous ball gown…how cool would that be!
34.) (With beading and rouching, of course!)
35.) I’m into design.
36.) …So, I like making things that will help me to decorate my space and make it my own.
37.) I’ve made stuff to decorate like bulletin boards, magazine boxes, small shelves, shadow boxes…
38.) I’m also a HUGE Harry Potter fan.
39.) (My Dad calls me a Gryffindork.)
40.) The Harry Potter thing explains a lot about the kinds of things I make.
41.) I made Potter Puppet Pals finger puppets once…and it was AWESOME!
42.) I love to make things for other people.
43.) …especially my friends.
44.) I keep to myself a lot, but once you get to know me, I’m really loyal.
45.) If you’re a friend, I’ll go to the ends of the earth to make sure you’re happy.
46.) …oh, and I’ll agonize over what to give you as a gift…correction: what to MAKE you.
47.) For graduation last year, I worked for five months preparing gifts for my five best friends.
48.) My friends are geniuses, by the way :)
49.) One is going to UPenn, one to John’s Hopkins, another to Bryn Mawr, one to Bob Jones, and one to BCC.
50.) I absolutely love the holidays and big events that require a lot of planning.
51.) They’re stressful, but Oh-So-Fun!!!
52.) And that’s a GREAT opportunity for making gifts!
53.) I also like cooking/baking…especially for those big occasions.
54.) Let’s see…what else? …I’m running out of things to say here.
55.) Oh, I know. I love bright colors.
56.) My dorm room (or at least my part of it) is decked out in bright rainbow colors.
57.) I think that fact might kinda annoy my roommates.
58.) My comforter has a loud and obnoxious rainbow fireworks pattern on it :)
59.) My sister even made me some amazing art to go along with my stuff.
60.) (It was rainbow…duh, and it had dragons).
61.) Umm…Ninjas totally beat pirates. (…Hello, stealthy!)
62.) …and to prove that fact, I crocheted myself a ninja.
63.) Like this one, but better.
64.) My dad made the weapons for him from an old coffee can… a saber, a dagger, and a few throwing stars.
65.) I’ve been knitting since I was 13 and crocheting since I was 15.
66.) A few of my role models are crafting super-stars like Debbie Stoller and Nikki Epstein.
67.) Oh, and Martha Stewart, too.
68.) I don’t care if she went to prison, her empire is still remarkable.
69.) Umm, strangely enough, two of the three essays that I wrote for my MIT college application were about knitting…It’s a tech school, and they still let me in. Imagine that!
70.) When I’m not studying, or crafting, or just vegging out with my sister, I do a lot of volunteer work at my local library.
71.) I work in the children’s section.
72.) They put me to work setting up crafts for the little kiddies, so that’s fun :)
73.) I get to cut stuff out of felt and glue stuff together, all while learning some of the library gossip.
74.) I also have to draft up fliers for a bunch of library events.
75.) The children’s librarians LOVE rainbow colors, so my fliers always end up being insanely tacky.
76.) (In my book, tacky is a compliment.)
77.) My favorite movie of all time is Singin’ in the Rain.
78.) That doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but I just wanted to share.
79.) My AWESOME sister bought it for me for Christmas this year!!!
80.) I love old Hollywood.
81.) They were all classy, with such amazing style, and killer talent…unlike most of today’s stars!
82.) Here are some of my uber-big crafting goals: -knit a sweater
83.) (preferably some kind of cardigan with a pretty lacework pattern)
84.) –Make my own shoes
85.) (…and they must be cute. I don’t want any ugly sandals :( )
86.) –Umm, Design and sew my own clothes
87.) (in particular a ball gown, as I’ve already said)
88.) –Finally finish this horrible baby blanket that I sarted.
89.) (It’s made of 1.5” granny squares, and I’ve been working on it for an eternity.)
90.) –Try my hand at Quilting
91.) –And MANY more (smaller) goals that I won’t go into at the moment.
92.) –Design my own house, but what future architect doesn’t want to do that?!
93.) Other than that, I like baking.
94.) I don’t know if that counts as crafty, but it sure is creative.
95.) I actually considered going to culinary school for a long time.
96.) Cooking is cool, too, but I don’t do enough of it.
97.) We don’t even get microwaves in our dorms, so that’s kind of out.
98.) I actually did a lot of preparation for dorm cooking before I actually got to college, and I’m a mean microwave chef.
99.) I even had a short-lived blog about it, but my sister took it over because, like I said, no microwave, so go on over and check out Riding the (Micro)Waves!

*UFO= Knit-speak for Un-Finished Object, that project that's been on your hooks or needles for an eternity.