More Photo-Framing Tips: No Matte? Use Fabric

Maker Faire PosterYou may have noticed from previous blog posts that I like framed artwork. You may have also noticed that I often use pre-made frames and pre-cut mattes. They’re less expensive and less time-consuming than getting a custom frame made (or cutting the matte yourself). What if you can’t find a matte in the right size or just want a different kind of look for your framed art piece? Why not consider fabric? Fabric can be a relatively inexpensive material (you’ll need less than a yard for most projects), and once ironed or steamed flat, it looks great in a frame. Bonus tip: A steamer is a great way to flatten out a poster too. Just be gentle and don’t over-apply steam. You want to smooth it out, not to dampen it. Once flat, let it dry for an hour.

For this Maker Faire poster, I used a contrasting polka-dot fabric that was leftover from another project. I love that the lime green color picks up on details from the print. This is a print from my first Maker Faire, almost 5 years ago.

Bust Craftacular 2012: My Finds

This past Saturday, the Bust Craftacular took place in Soho. I headed down with Michelle to check it out and pick up some hand-crafted goodies. I picked up some “Magic Unicorn” salt (a paprika, lemon, sea salt blend) from Beautiful Briny Sea, along with a gorgeous little necklace from We See Stars.

I also saved cards from Super Great Greetings (seriously sassy greeting cards for the snarky urbanite), Jazz Brownies (boutique-y brownies presented like high-end chocolate truffles), and Zoa Chimerum (other-worldly, yet organic-looking jewelry) for future reference.

This is one of my favorite things about NYC: the abundance of markets for small crafts operations to show off their stuff. Be sure to keep on listings in Time Out or on Craft‘s website for events throughout the year.

Terrific on Tuesdays: Where NYC Fashionistas Go for Hats

Those who know me, know that I love a good accessory. I adore shoes, love a great purse, and truly relish a great piece of jewelry. In the blazing sun that’s currently upon our fair city though, my go-to accessory is a big sun hat.

That’s why this week’s pick is Artikal Millinery. For those of you who love accessories of the headgear persuasion, Artikal is a wonderful millinery studio based in Brooklyn that makes wonderful men’s and women’s hats. Sure, there are lots of sidewalk stands selling inexpensive hat options, but for the truly one-of-a-kind, worth-investing-in piece, you’ll want a well-made hat of high quality stock. This past winter, I bought a lovely hand-blocked felt hat for my mother that featured stylish pleating and a cloche silhouette. This summer, I’ve stopped at their Brooklyn Flea stand more than once as I peruse options among their straw hats. I’m sure I’ll pick one out soon.

If you’re in the NYC area, you can find Artikal at the Brooklyn Flea, as well as various major handmade fairs throughout the year. You can also find them online.

Happy hat hunting!

DIY Upcycled Wine Rack

Usually, I like to keep a few bottles of wine at home. They’re useful for cooking, as well as for the last minute guests coming to dinner. Unfortunately, in my small NYC kitchen, I just didn’t have the space for much of a wine rack. However, I believe that with a little elbow grease, you can solve most any problem.

DIY Wine Rack |

Lucky for me, I had a shipping tube in my recycling bin, from which I decided I could create a small microwave-top-sized wine rack.

You’ll need:

  • 4″ or 5″ inch diameter shipping tube that’s at least 16″ long
  • craft sealing tape, masking tape, duct tape, or gaffer’s tape (not painter’s tape) or hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • pencil

First, measure, mark, and cut the tube into 8″ lengths.

Next measure, mark, and cut the tube into to halves.

Lay out the tube halves on a table next to each other, bowing up. Tape each tube half to the ones next to it, along the entire length. Flip the entire piece over and apply tape on the back.

Optional: You could paint it (I’d recommend a fast-drying spray paint), but I think it’s nice unfinished, plus it’s more eco-friendly. The kraft sealing tape, being the same color and papery texture as the tubes, will give you the least contrast, but you could also creatively apply colored duct tape for interesting looks.

Enjoy your wine rack! It will hold 4 bottles of wine in the rack (you could extend the concept to a longer length if you want), as well as a second layer of 3 bottles on top.

Update: Because of the website reformat, I’ve lost some of the photos on the site including the ones that used to be above. 

Terrific on Tuesdays: Two Blogs I Love

Something I love doing is sharing with others the discovery of something wonderful. On Tuesdays, I’m going to highlight blogs, stores, websites, and other things that catch my fancy. Today, I highlight two blogs.

A design blog I love: Inhabitat
With a motto of “green design will save the world,” Inhabitat features articles on green architecture, technology, furniture, fashion, and more. In addition, their store is loaded with great gift items for those who are eco-minded. I’ve gotten some fantastic items like a recycled denim bag from their shop.

A cooking blog I love: Simply Recipes
I discovered Simply Recipes a number of years ago because it was the add-on cooking blog of choice for your Google home page. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite places to go for simple, straightforward recipes. Sometimes, you just want something tried and true, nothing fancy. That’s when I turn to Simply Recipes.

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