Sunday, October 5, 2014

announcement time, announcement time!

hi, friends!

i have a very exciting announcement to share with you all. a couple weeks ago, i discovered the website, darby smart. darby smart is a craft website with individual materials but also kits for projects created by DS designers. in the kit, you get everything you need to complete the project - some of the projects are very simple, and some require more advanced techniques. complete with competitive prices, free shipping, and a pretty user-interface, i was sold!

after perusing DS for awhile, i decided to apply to be a designer. and yesterday i was accepted! this means that i will be creating some crafting kits to sell on darby smart - you may see some familiar projects on there, lifted from my nailed it series on this blog. i'm also planning on spending the next couple days coming up with some new projects, so expect to see those too (hopefully)!

i'll keep the updates coming as things happen, but in the meanwhile, let me know if there are any projects you've seen here that you would like to see made into a DS kit!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

west coasters

i should be working, but it occurred to me that i made something and then didn't tell you all about it which means i need to fix that tout suite.

this is a ten-minute craft, max. not counting drying time, but no one counts drying time because you can instagram a craft while it's still wet, and that's when it's real, right?

this is what i made:

this craft has four amazing steps:

1) find and purchase birch coasters. i mean, if you're super ambitious and you've recently cut some dead branches off a birch tree outside your house (currently happening at my home), you could cut some cookies off of that and sand them down. your call.
2) purchase washi tape. i opted for two kids: straight and chevron. 
3) attach washi tape semi-haphazardly across the birch. i wanted each one to be a little different, so my washi taping was a little intentional.
4) mod podge over the top. this seems to protect it from things like condensation from bottles, so i wouldn't skip this step if i were you.

one thing i did that i would not recommend is i put little felt disks on the bottom (three on each). this would have been key if i were using these coasters on glass, but i'm using them on a slated wood coffee table which means the felt has the opposite effect i wanted, and makes the coasters wobble a little. 

give it a try! wood cookie coasters are popular and there are so many ways to make them your own. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

it's 4:45 in the afternoon, also known as when i'm a waste of space

so let's take this opportunity to talk about something really awesome that i made.

keen insight: ikea both sucks so much and is so great at the exact same time. i recently moved to los angeles (more on that another time) and i tried really hard to avoid ikea. because i'm a grown-up now, with a salary, and i should buy my things from west elm and pottery barn.

but then i started browsing ikea hack sites on pinterest. i won't bother posting any here because there are so many and i don't want to take attention away from the one i'm going to show you that i made.

first i bought this dresser (except in white...somehow i can't find a picture of a white one online). in case you're wondering, it's the three-drawer hemnes:

before i even got it home, i went to target. fun fact, target now sells wallpaper. and paint! i don't care how long they've been doing this, i just figured it out so it only just became important. there are so many great wallpapers. i'm not sure how i settled on this one...i think it's because i already have a lot of chevrons in my room decor and didn't want to overdo it. this one has the same angles but mixes it up a bit, plus the color is lovely:

Devine Color Diamond Wallpaper - Horizon

i also bought a set of new knobs, because i'm no longer on a graduate student stipend so i can do things like that.

with the help of some wine, bollywood music, and my new roommate, the dresser became assembled. BUT: before i put the knobs in, i covered the face of each drawer with this wallpaper (pro tip: it's removable and repositionable. that was really important). it's like adhering any other have to be careful of air bubbles and all those things. but overall it's remarkably simple.

then, i used a little awl to poke holes in the wallpaper where the knobs should be (not hard, since the dresser already had space for knobs so it was just a matter of finding them through the paper). instead of using the ikea knobs, i used my own, and VOILA:

i'm so proud. i thought about putting the wallpaper on the top too, but took the coco chanel approach and decided that would be overboard. i have a lot of the wallpaper left over, so i'm excited to see what else i can use it for...i'm thinking so far about using it to line the shelves in my bathroom...and then see where it goes from there!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

lettering for life

i don't know how it started, but somewhere along the way, i got really into fonts. it was probably around three years ago when i started hanging out with design-oriented kids that i figured out that other people were really into fonts, beyond a universally accepted hatred of comic sans. my interest in lettering has taken two roads: computer-based typefaces and fonts, and hand-drawn lettering. in this post, i'll talk about the former - in a soon-to-be-written second post, i'll delve into lettering of the hand-drawn variety.

my favorite fonts seem to fall into a couple categories. i understand that serifs are easier to read in blocks of texts, but overall i prefer sans serifs, either very light or very bold. i like well-placed, creative, and non-gratuitous flourishes. here are some examples of beautiful fonts:

this is avenir. i like using this one for simple posters. also my resume uses this font.

this is brandon. i don't love the weathering on this one, but i do like how bold and simple it is. 

this is carolyna pro. i love the interplay between line widths, and also it's just really pretty to look at:

lastly, this is true north. a really sweet and clean cursive that's not too overwrought:

being really into fonts is fun but can get really expensive. i love getting my font newsletters and reading blogs, but balk at the prices of downloading the actual products of my desire. if you want to and can invest in nice fonts, is a good resource. but if that's not in your budget, there are websites out there that allow you to download some great fonts for free. a lot of them are not necessarily in my taste (i won't say they're bad, necessarily, just something i wouldn't be caught dead using). but there are some gems in there.

i'm going to skip because it may have some good things but the user interface is just unworkable.

i do like these sites though...

Font Squirrel because if i'm turning to a website for help with aesthetics, the website itself better be pretty - which font squirrel is.

da font is not as pretty as font squirrel, but they do have a lot of fonts that i like.

lastly, this blog has compiled a list of 100 great fonts for the design-inclined.

i'm sure there are a lot of other good font sites out there, so if you have a favorite, please let me know! in the meantime, go forth and type beautifully...

Monday, August 18, 2014

sorry for leaving. in return, here's a quality nailed it.

so i accidentally went and finished my phd and in the midst of that i forgot to post anything here at all.

but luckily, i'm back (now as DR. KATHAYOON) and i have lots of crafts and style observations to share. in lieu of doing a massive brain spill where i convey everything i've thought and made in the past eight months, i'll take things slow and start with a craft i did recently! ready? let's begin.

yesterday i embarked on the task of concrete heart necklaces. i got the directions from here but true to form, i only sort of followed them and did a lot of things my own way. let's begin.

first, i gathered my materials. these included:
- a plastic knife
- really old petroleum jelly
- leftover concrete from our house remodel
- water
- three paper cups
- a fondant mold in the shape of the pendant (a heart)

the fondant mold i got was clutch because it has a spring mechanism so you can push the concrete out without messing it up. so first, i lined the mold with some petroleum jelly:

next, my dad helped me mix some concrete. just a little bit because it hardens pretty quickly. and not too watery - the perfect consistency was like that of cold butter. 

then, i used the knife to fill the mold with the concrete and level it off. we really packed it in there to make sure there were no air bubbles or holes. 

removing the concrete too quickly ended up messing up the pendant, so i let each one set for as much time as it takes to play one game of candy crush.

then, i removed the pendant from the mold by pressing the little trigger at the bottom of the mold and set it on a bag (smeared with more jelly) to set in the sun. i made about 10 of these. 

on some of the pendants, i used a small stick/piece of wire once the stick broke to make a little hole for hanging. i didn't do it to all of them because i wasn't sure i was going to like it when it was dry. 

after the pendants dried (i left them overnight because the drain from our air conditioner maliciously sprayed them all with water, preventing them from drying in the normal amount of time), i sprayed them all with a touch of gold spray paint. i thought about being more adventurous with my painting, but i kind of like the look of the raw concrete, with just a little bit of sparkle.

now here's the part where things get tricky.

at first, i followed the directions from the site and flattened out some bails to stick to the back. i used jump rings and hot glue to fix everything up and ended up with a necklace that looks like this:

pretty okay, you might say. except gluing the fixture to the back of the pendant caused it to lean forward annoyingly. so i took that off. and then i used hot clue to stick just the jump ring to the top of the heart:

this looks much better! i made a whole bunch of them:

then i took my prototype to my bff and it broke in about 10 seconds. hot glue was not the right choice. so this is where we're at right now - i used gorilla glue to set one of them in the same way. i've taped the jump ring to the pendant to allow the glue to set. we have about one more hour of that before i can say if it's the right choice or not. if gorilla glue doesn't work, i'm going to hop out and get some epoxy or superglue. STANDBY.

but otherwise, so fun! modifications for the future include sticking a headpin into the heart while it's still wet to avoid this whole glue fiasco. and also adding shiny things like glitter or crystals while it's wet to add a little pizzazz!

aren't you glad we're back?! next time i'll either post something about making my own birch coasters, or spray paint. or something else that's a surprise!! unknowable. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

sock envy

happy december!
now that that's out of the way, let's talk about socks!
some people are really into socks. you know - they really enjoy warm fuzzy socks, like getting socks for christmas, etc. i'm not one of those people. i would actually prefer not to wear socks. but in the wake of the arctic blast that has hit pretty much everywhere in the country, i've had to change my tune.

not too long ago, coincidentally, i came across sock it to me, a portland-based (shocker) sock company that has the most delightful socks i've ever seen. it's better to show than tell, though, so let's look at my favorites.

first of all, elephant socks:

second of all, dinosaur socks. i really think i need these.

third, french socks.

fourth, oregon socks. i mean, really, there's a sock for everything i love.

while i like repeating pattern socks, my favorite ones are actually the ones that have one big pattern up the whole sock. like this:


somebody call kristen bell.

i definitely purchased these. the loch ness monster is real.

and last but not least, a unicorn poo-ing a magical rainbow.

i've already purchased some of these as xmas presents for friends, so act surprised if you get one. 

in conclusion, it was really hard not to make a lot of sock puns in this post, but i'll leave that to the experts. if you're wondering what to get me for christmas, look no further (unless you're looking to buy me a computer or nike fuelband, then definitely look further). 

have i become a newly converted sock obsessor? no. but if i can get socks with magical unicorns on them, then i think i can get excited about winter weather just a little bit more. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

like i never left

So...sorry I left for kind of a long time. It turns out writing your dissertation, applying for jobs, teaching piano lessons, traveling for business, traveling for pleasure, training for a half marathon, working for your advisor, stress-eating, and grief-recovery-sleeping (seriously, it's a thing. 10 hours a night) doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging.

But don't you fear, because I've been thinking about you a lot, my cherry amours. I have loads of great ideas for new posts to write. You want a sneak-peek? Of course you do.

Things I some day plan to write about, probably pretty soon:
1) How to make your own earring holder
2) Guided painting classes: so fun!
3) Holiday gift guide, particularly useful if you're buying a present for me
4) Getting in touch with your country side (Luke Bryan not included)
5) Cyanographs: the most hipster art project I can think of
6) Birchbox: how do they make it so awesome?

In the meanwhile, to tide you over, look at what I'm obsessed with right now:
(okay it's nail polish, don't judge me)

Sephora recently came out with a new line of nail polishes and they're kind of great. They have every color and effect you could possibly want, and they last a long time. I put one of the Xplosive top coats over a L'Oreal nail polish and it lasted a whole week, which is a huge deal for me. And they dry SO FAST.

So far I've only gotten two:

I got this neutral for job interviews, because what if I don't want to wear neon yellow to a job interview? I may not. And so I can wear this:

And I got this one to put over my other nail polishes. It looks like splatter paint!! I think it's so cool.

But of course, I already have plans to get others. Like these:

Or pretty much any of them. At $10.50 each ($12.50 for the special ones), it's enough of a splurge to keep me from buying all of them at once, but cheap enough to use as treats (like, say, for not biting my nails...). Thanks, Sephora! For taking all my money.