Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Retro Fake Ad Mini-Notebooks

Last year, I created mini-notebooks based upon my Retro Fake Ad Calendar. So in addition to the six fake ads I already had: Mad Cow Burgers, The Rabid Robots from Outer Space!, Princess Purge Dishwashing Detergent, Apollo Cigarettes, Candi Doll and Tasty Sucker, I created two new fake products: Spiked Punch and Mocha Mayhem Cereal.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Retro Fake Ad Calendar

Fall 2009. My two designer friends and I decided to continue our one-year tradition of “Make Something Present.” This year, it was going to actually be “make something” (rather than the previous year of everyone specifically making calendars). But I decided to make a calendar anyway because it’s one of those useful things to make and giveaway. This year I wanted to make something more amusing (because I like to amuse myself).

While watching Mad Men, I got inspired by their fake ads and wanted to make my own. So I thought of not only plausible products from that time period, but also how I could incorporate some humor into it (since I love a bit of cheekiness). I took into consideration what housewives, teenagers and kids might buy and narrowed things down to six products:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chinese Zodiac Calendar

Back in the fall of 2008, “Make Something Present” came into being. Two designer friends and I bought 100 jewel cases to be split between us. That year we were all going to make calendars as Christmas presents (and of course give them to each other as well).

So I had to figure out what the topic for my calendar would be, and only one idea popped into my head: Chinese Zodiac. I not only thought it could be a fun theme to work with, but with twelve animals, each month could easily correspond to an animal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DIY: Button Ribbon Pin

I had some inexpensive ribbon and some cute buttons and thought I could use them together to create a pin. This pin could be used as a bow for packaging (instead of those plastic-like ones). They’re not too difficult to make and reusable.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Check-the-Box Card

Birthday. Anniversary. Valentine’s Day. The year is full of events (granted some are more important than others) but forget one of them and suddenly that’s the most important event. Because isn’t it the thought that counts? People want to be remembered. They want to feel special. Forgetting someone’s “momentous day” (whatever that day may be) is a slight on them, because basically, you just weren’t thinking of them at all.

So I made this all-purpose card so I can just check off whatever holiday/event I want it to be used for (so for those lazy/forgetful moments, I can at least pretend to have remembered that special day).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I’m a Tweaker

Unavoidable in designing is tweaking. The devil is in the details, so you move an image over a smidge, change a word here or switch colors there. It’s an ongoing process of trying to get every element to work together to create a layout that satisfies you. Yet any satisfaction you have is often short-lived, because you see the flaws. This may sound overly negative, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being critical allows you to question what you’re doing and can help push you in a direction to fix any problems you see. So you tweak to fix those flaws, and even after tweaking, you want to tweak again. It’s almost compulsive, and sometimes you just have to let it go and tell yourself, “I’m done.”

However, I just can’t seem to help myself. Even when I’m done with a personal design project I’m not really done. If I take another look at something I’ve created, I inevitably find something that I want to tweak. I’ll find discontentment with the color, font, image or the layout and want to fix it. Many times it isn’t anything dire that I want to change, it’s just that I think things could be improved.

It’s somewhat frustrating to be dissatisfied with a “finished” project (because usually by the time you’re done with a project, you’re sick of looking at it and never really want to set eyes upon it again). Yet given time and fresh eyes discontentment generally comes, and how can it not? Over time our ideas and perceptions and experiences change us, so what was once fine may not be so fine any longer. So perhaps it’s not so bad to be discontent because it shows that you’ve changed (and hopefully grown) as a designer…at least that’s what I like to tell myself.

Friday, August 12, 2011

DIY: Rubber Band Bracelet

I like using items I see and use every day in different ways. I had quite a few rubber bands and thought they could be tied together to make a quick and easy bracelet.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

DIY: Tassel Embroidery Floss Earrings

Embroidery floss comes in a bunch of colors and isn’t terribly expensive (usually under 40 cents for a regular color, more for metallic). I had some embroidery floss and thought I could use it in creating earrings for a simple burst of color.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pleated Change Purse

My old change purse was dying a slow and painful death. I had used it for many years and filled it to the brim with change; it was fraying and filthy and far from its once cute state. So instead of purchasing a new one, I thought I’d create one with some of my fabric scraps.

I had a basic idea of what I wanted to do: a small purse with a zipper closure. Simple enough. I didn’t really follow any directions because what I needed to do was fairly straightforward. I selected a sturdier cotton fabric for my change purse (left over fabric from my navy skirt). Instead of doing the bare minimum of using two flat pieces of fabric to create my change purse, I decided to use inverted pleats as a design element. It wasn’t that much more difficult; I just had to use a bit more fabric for the width, measure where my pleats would be, press the pleats down and then baste the pleats in place. It’s simple but I think it adds some nice visual interest.

The second thing I did to make this change purse a bit more interesting was using a contrasting zipper color. I happen to have this cream-colored zipper and thought it would match well with navy. It was my first time shortening a zipper (which turned out to be super easy). As usual I made mistakes along the way, but it was a good small (and necessary) sewing project for me. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

DIY: Glitter Pin

Glitter is not to be ignored—it screams, “Look at me! I’m here!” As a child I had a great appreciation for glitter, but with time tastes change, and now I prefer matte to shine. Yet there are times you might want the bright sparkle of glitter to bring a sense of fun. Glitter is celebratory in nature, so I thought a glitter pin could be a nice accent in wrapping a present.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Doable Retro Dress

My resistance is low when fabric and supplies are on sale. I admit, it’s my own fault; not entering a store would be the correct step in avoiding getting more stuff. Sadly, I choose over and over again to go into a store to “just take a look” and inevitably find something I want.

I like to rationalize and think that as long as it’s not full price, I’m getting a good deal. This time it was a 1950’s retro dress pattern that was on sale. I do like vintage style items and the pattern had a sewing rating of “very easy” (which I thought was doable with my limited sewing skills). The pattern required quite a bit of fabric (which despite my growing collection of fabric, I didn’t have the required yardage at home) so I decided to get some cheap fabric.