Better desktop wallpaper

For some lovely free wallpapers from talented artists, check out Bunshine and Push Me Pull You Design.
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Desktop wallpaper



Here's a cutesy desktop wallpaper image I made. Help yourself! (Image is for personal use only, not commercial.)

Download widescreen bird

Download standard bird
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When you can't afford the real thing

Design Within Reach, although a lovely store, does not carry many products that are within my reach, at least. So I had to giggle when I found this website: Design Without Reach, where you can find a few ideas for making knock-offs of your favorite high-end pieces. Like this Nelson clock made from Tootsie Pops.
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Paper ornaments

I saw these easy instructions for making paper decorations and had to give it a try. It would be fun to make a bunch out of multi-colored Christmas wrap and hang them on your tree. (The backs are white, unless you use two-sided paper.)
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Famous walls

Well, it's not up there with the Great Wall of China yet, but our wall has definitely hit the big time. See it on Blik's website.
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Fun with wall decals

Voila! Our weekend project is done. Alex gave me this set of wall decals from Blik for our anniversary a couple weeks back. Good thing his installation help was included :) We love it.
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What to do with a big blank wall

This topic came up in a conversation with friends this weekend. It's a problem, all right, especially if you don't have big bucks. And that's pretty much everyone I know. So here are some ideas. If anyone has more, let's hear them!

1. Stretch fabric over a wooden stretcher frame and hang as art. A good way to cover up that canvas you goofed up. If you don't have something already goofed up, get something from a thrift store or purchase supplies from an art store. Choose fabric with a large-scale print; Ikea is a cheap place to find interesting ones, and some of them are really huge. (I went once thinking the polka dots I saw online were the size of quarters, and when I got to the store, I found they were as big as my head.) Wrap the fabric around the frame and staple gun it to the back. Here's how to do it using inexpensive stretcher bars from an art store.

2. Decorate with hanging wall panels. Put up a few sets of these funky room dividers from CB2 to add some color and texture. Or try a couple of curtain panels from Ikea and use one of their rail systems.

3. Make an interesting configuration of wall boxes and put something decorative in them, like this. You could also paint the boxes or add a giant rectangle of color on the wall behind the whole grouping.

4. Paint your own huge canvas. Yes, you can do it! Pencil some simple geometric shapes or dots on it and fill them in with acrylic paint. You can make something clean and modern and very cool. Browse here for some inspiration. Or make a lace painting using this tuturial. The nice thing about stretched canvas is that it's really light and easy to hang.

5. Hang a series of posters.
Use hangers like this for a more grown-up look. Goodbye, college dorm room. Check out design*sponge's affordable art guide to find something to display.

6. Make an arrangement with these Wallter "paintable wall applications." Could get pricey, but it would look really striking.

7. Stick on some wall decals. They're easy to put up, and removable when you're sick of them. We just did this, and it was SO much fun. Blik is a good place to start. You can also get some from Domestic right here.

Good luck, friends!
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Alien life in the living room

I made a bigger (30" x 40") frog-legs-cauliflower-lotus painting to hang in the living room. Might be a little too polka dotty for me, but I'll wait and see if it grows on me.
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A history of Crayola colors

Learn about the history of Crayola's color names, starting with the original box of 8 in 1903. You know--back when calling a color "blue" was good enough. Did you know that in 1962, "partly in response to the civil rights movement, Crayola decided to change the name of the 'flesh' crayon to 'peach.' Renaming this crayon was a way of recognizing that skin comes in a variety of shades." Good move.
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A break from sewing

I was going to make some bird coasters, but I got sick of stitching around curved shapes on fabric during my last sewing bout. So I cheated and made a design with fake stitching in Illustrator. Man, that's a lot faster. This is one of those cheap plastic photo albums with a sleeve on the front where you can insert a picture. Now, wouldn't it be nice if I got around to printing some photos to put in it...
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Stuff you can make

These are links to instructions for making things:

Lined tote bags (this works! It's how I learned to sew bags.)
A skirt made out of old pants (haven't tried it, but I want to some day)
Decorative picture frames with clips (ditto)
Glass marble magnets (tons of fun, and you'll be so proud of yourself because they'll look great)

Anybody want to recommend other projects?
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Imported hippos

I made these out of fabric that my friend Megumi sent from Japan. They're destined to be tacks on my bulletin board. So adorable!
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