It’s already May, and I’ve been a planting fool! But unfortunately, I’ve also already been sunburned once. Despite my daily layer of sunscreen, I’m realizing I need something more – like an gigantic hat to protect my face, neck, and scalp. (Having super dark hair and a flaky scalp do not mix.) I picked up a wide-brimmed straw hat for the job, but decided it needed a bit more personality. A few geometric shapes and three primary colors later and now I’ll be wearing it all summer long! Bonus: this one is foldable, so it’ll be easy to tuck into my bag on the go – no excuses.
• wide-brimmed straw hat
• craft paint
• flat-tipped paintbrush
• palette or paper plate
• paper towels
Start out by making some simple cutout templates using the cardstock, pen, and scissors. I used objects from around the house – a salt cellar for the circle, a sticker for the square, and the corner of the cardstock for the triangle. (Of course you can opt to use any shapes you want, I think black and white squiggles would look great!) I recommend using a pen to trace each shape because a pencil didn’t seem to be dark enough.
Lay out your shapes and trace as you go, making sure to avoid placing circle next to circle, etc. Now get to painting. I chose a primary color palette because it’s bright and fun for summer, but I think a black and white scheme would be just as striking. Layer of paper towels or newsprint on your painting surface before getting started because it will come through a bit. After putting some paint on my palette, I went around and made a small daub of color on each shape as a guide.
Carefully line the edges of each shape using your flat-tipped brush before filling in the centers, using the brush in an up and down motion to get all the nooks and crannies where necessary. Allow your new hat to dry thoroughly (of course) before strutting your stuff and protecting your mug!
Posted In accessories, create, living, make it, style, wear it
My default decor for Easter is fresh flowers and dyed eggs, aside from a big meal with family I don’t have a lot of tradition surrounding the holiday. Maybe that will change one day if I have a child, but in the meantime I love the few things I know I can count on being present. But if you’re hosting, looking for creative ideas to decorate eggs, or curious about treats for baskets check out the nineteen ideas we’ve rounded up!
Posted In downloads, easter, food, grow it, holidays, living, make it, recipes, series
Last month was a whirlwind, so we’re doubling down on DIY art projects in April – here’s the first. I want to bring the joy and carelessness of art class back with these projects, in other words nothing complicated and lot of free spiritedness. We can all remember using a pencil’s eraser to create a stamp, but today we’re using one to paint!
I love using household items to create, and with a pencil there’s no worry about messing it up because you can simply throw it away when finished if you’d like. Like all of our art DIYs this one is fast and loose, stick to a pattern if you’d like or be more abstract. Go monotone with one color or use the whole rainbow.
• canvas panel, I used an 8″ x 10″
• craft paint
• pencil with fresh eraser
• palette or paper plate
I started by eyeballing the center of the canvas and creating the middle square that’s twelve dots wide by twelve tall, but if you’re not the greatest at visualizing measurements just get out your ruler and measure to find the middle. All of the other squares were built off of that initial shape and the number of dots used. With each dip of my eraser in the paint I was able to create about three dots before having to reload, so some of them are more opaque than others. I didn’t pay too much attention to keeping super straight columns and rows, and in hindsight I actually wish it had turned out a bit more carefree. This DIY was really cathartic because I loved the mindless repetition.
Posted In create, living, make it, painting
Rhubarb Curd // Mary Lauren // Claire Brody Designs // Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies // French Toast Granola // DIY Easter Foliage Eggs // The Glitter Guide // Anna Remarchuk // Avenue Lifestyle // Breakfast Polenta with Salsa Verde // Kimball Colorblock Macrame Sling Chair // Yasmine MeiPosted In easter, food, furniture, holidays, house and home, living, make it, outdoors, recipes
What better day to fight back than President’s Day? (Trick question, every day.)
I haven’t talked politics here because I haven’t had the words. If you follow Design Crush on any social media platforms you likely have a very good idea of my beliefs and thoughts on the current administration, it’s just been easier to put my thoughts and emotions into 140 character bursts than a post. It’s taken me over three months to get to this point and even now I feel fragmented. I was with her, I was emotionally and mentally devastated, I was sick to my stomach. I marched, I called, I wrote letters. And I needed my first ever political post here to be proactive, not just all of the above angst.
Last weekend I had a germ of an idea and acted on it, thirty minutes later I had emailed a few dozen artist and designer friends asking for their help. I wanted to create a post – this post – full of inspiring art in postcard form that you could download for free, print out at home (or wherever), and mail to every political representative you want to get in touch with. I can’t thank these friends of mine enough for making time in their already busy schedules to stand up for their beliefs and contribute to a project that I hope will be spread far and wide.
Each download has two postcard fronts per letter-sized page, you can download the universal postcard back here. It goes without saying that these are for personal use only, each artist and designer retains the copyright to their work.
‘Persistent’ is part of a series of artworks that illustrator Lisa Congdon is making in response to the new administration and posting on her Instagram feed. She has been struck by the perseverance, not only of Rep. Elizabeth Warren, but also by other women – both women in power and regular women who are resisting the new administration with fervor. Lisa was inspired by the imagery of a renaissance warrior in armor, which was the inspiration for this piece. The woman holds both a weapon and a dove, representing both the struggle and the fight for peace and inclusion.
It’s our government. We get to resist.
I’m always drawing, it’s my way of thinking and reacting to the things around me. These days I can’t help but react to the insanity of the Trump administration and the GOP working hand-in-hand with him. So many outrageous things are happening daily, these are my attempts at bringing a bit of clarity to a blur of chaos.
Download additional postcard designs by Chris here.
“Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding” (Albert Einstein)
I attended a magnet school for most of my childhood. The student body was comprised of all different races, economic backgrounds, and sexualities, but instead of dividing us, our differences were celebrated. We were encouraged to embrace our unique stories and share our experiences with one another in order to become more well rounded, compassionate, and informed individuals. It was our diversity that strengthened us. When I sat down to create this painting, I knew that’s what I wanted to show. That despite how different each bloom is, each one is beautiful, strong, and worthy of being part of the overall bouquet. There is a lot of division is our country right now and I feel that all stems from a lack of understanding (which then breeds fear and hatred). So let’s fix that – let’s talk.
All of us, especially politicians, forget the simple concept of treating others like you would want to be treated.
I designed this “snowflake” badge – which is also being turned into a pin as I type this! – as a response to all the folks who use it as an insult. First of all, snowflakes are beautiful, and second, when millions of snowflakes get together, you end up with an avalanche, or a blizzard, or a deadly snow tornado, so WATCH OUT, you regressive, hateful shit-gibbons. I love this on a postcard, because I picture it as part of an avalanche of mail overwhelming the White House daily.
Persist – continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure. An important word to keep in mind as we rally together to resist and stand up for what we believe is right. While it’s not an easy road, we must persist to make our voices heard.
I have been actively writing postcards to our elected officials for the last several weeks as a way to engage and speak up about policies and Executive Orders that I do not agree with and/or that I think are harmful, hateful, or detrimental to humans and our planet.
It’s been a serious challenge to connect with some of our lawmakers and representatives. As constituents, our voices should be important to the elected officials who are representing us, but in many cases, this is not the situation.
From disconnected phone lines, full voicemail boxes, turned away mail, and lack of town hall meetings; it’s been difficult to access some elected officials to even have the opportunity to share one’s voice. In some cases, the only available way to communicate has been via fax. And yes, it is 2017.
These postcard designs reflect a general sentiment of: Please listen up: the people have something to say and we want you to hear it.
I created this piece to represent the frustration and chaos of our political climate, but I am hopeful. #resist
My quote is taken from a speech Obama gave way back when he was campaigning before the 2008 election. It’s still so relevant, especially now that so many of us feel like we’ve lost an adult in charge and dart our eyes around for someone. It’s us, guys! I’m so proud of the resistance movement in our country and how we’re all holding people accountable and standing side by side. When I was in college in the early 2000s in Seattle I went to many anti-war protests, and my friend Steve used to whisper as we took a deep breath and stepped out into the streets of oncoming traffic: “safety in numbers, safety in numbers” and I whisper that to myself a lot lately.
Even when there are blockades in the road and insufferable people running the government, it’s our job as patriots to fight back. To stand up for what we believe in and what this country stands for. To persist.
We started doing these as merit badges for adults (there’s a small collection up online now) and as we started putting together ideas for more we stumbled upon Kate Greenaway’s book about the meanings of flowers. We just found so many that seemed like messages we want to share, and the nasturtium (for patriotism) was so perfect for the struggles so many of us are going through right now, it felt like a way to connect with others that are feeling the same way. We’re really excited to get to share it even sooner than it can be ready in its embroidered form!
Beastess does not mess around. She channels her steely lioness heart with a mighty headdress and a wild attitude. She will not be deterred and while she can be intimidating, she is also wise and loyal.
Abstract cityscapes are one of my favorite things to paint. I decided to create a city of red, white, and blue because while we’re different in lots of ways, we’re all Americans. I hope it reminds the recipients of this postcard that no matter how they personally feel about the message on the back, that it is being sent to them from a fellow American. WE’RE the people… all of us. And we deserve our voices to be heard.
I’ve been looking to the Statue of Liberty as an icon for this era. She’s a strong, confident woman who welcomes the persecuted into this country. She represents the greatest parts of America. The parts that seem ignored by the current administration. I know if she could, she’d pick up a sign and lead us all in an attempt to remind this country of what she stands for.
Creating these was definitely cathartic! I’m a fan of super bold color, and it felt especially suiting to pair slap-you-in-the-face hues with the bold statements I wanted the cards to make. Couldn’t resist throwing in a little humor, because these days, we all need some!
Download additional postcard designs by Natalie here.
I’ve had to stop looking at the news and at Facebook constantly because it is so overwhelming. This terrible thing is happening! Oh wait, here’s another terrible thing! And another! There’s just so much to be outraged about it’s hard to know where to start.
The United States is SO fragmented right now. I believe there’s strength in that passion – it means we care about our nation, our communities, friends, and families… but if we are going to heal from this divisiveness, we must hold our government accountable for their actions regarding the population they insist to represent. We might be fractured, but we aren’t broken; and we aren’t going away.
It’s funny, when you said resistance postcard I immediately went to the WW2 resistance posters that had the sun rays on them. I did that part and assumed I’d make a cloud in the front. I tore blue paper and grey paper to look like a cloud but nothing seemed right. Then I cut an angled piece of grey paper and I thought “AH! it’s an abstract cloud but also like a WALL”. I am trying my best to project positivity but feeling very weighed down by reality.
Based on something called “dazzle camouflage” that the navy used to confuse and disrupt targeting systems: “Unlike other forms of camouflage, the intention of dazzle is not to conceal but to make it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed, and heading.” Seemed an apropos metaphor for the movement. Keep ‘em guessing!! The other intended goal was to stand out dramatically in piles and piles of US Gov’t correspondence. I thought it would help these little missives get noticed. Third constraint was keeping the design B&W so the printing could be cheap/ubiquitous (though I bet it would work best on glossy stock).
Good communication is always a positive. However, good communication is a two-way process. In this time of engaged citizenry and heightened awareness of the role our elected officials play in millions of Americans everyday lives, I find myself frustrated with the lack of open channels of communication to my elected officials. And I know I’m not alone. Don’t give up! Keep making those calls.
In the midst of this shock and awe campaign of “governing” I feel that RESIST is my go to word to keep up my own fight against EVERYTHING that is happening. It’s an umbrella term that covers not normalizing this administration and its actions, not accepting the racism and xenophobia that runs rampant, not accepting the avoidance and/or silence of our elected officials, and trying to hinder the forward march of fascism.
As I carved the art I pulled prints at various stages to track my progress and to see what was actually happening on the block. In the end I scanned a few of the proofs and then layered them to create the final digital piece.
The past few months have left me heartbroken. I’ve struggled to find the words to share because there is so much emotion. I realize I am privileged to feel heartbroken like this for the first time. I like to look for the silver lining–that hopefully this time will spark more change and more love. To me, so much of this comes down to putting ourselves in the place of others and trying to see the world a bit differently. This year, more than ever, I want to spread more love. It’s hard to open yourself up. To consider others needs–even if it’s something as simple as opening the door for someone or smiling at them. To stop a gut reaction to snap when that response has nothing to do with the other person. Let’s all try and send out more love.Posted In create, do good, downloads, graphics, illustration, living, make it, mixed media, painting, paper, round up, series
My infamously non-functioning fireplace felt like it needed a little pizzazz after the holiday decor came down last month. I’ve left a strand of battery-powered mercury lights up for the rest of winter and a dozen prayer candles in the firebox, but it didn’t feel like enough. So then I relocated a plant (that I brought all the way home as a carry-on from Palm Springs!) to the hearth and that helped a little bit more. But then whole time I knew what would really perk it up would be art.
Plexiglass is one of my favorite surfaces to paint on, a little unusual I know. But you can’t beat the way the paint effortlessly glides around the surface and I love the way it feels so light, whether placed on the floor or hung on the wall with a large bulldog clamp.
I flipped through a few of my Pinterest boards for inspiration, and settled on an asymmetrical design using three colors – pale pink, soft grey, and olive green. After peeling off the protective film all plexiglass should have, I began in the southwest corner with the pink and worked my way up and out, making curved swoops with my brush and leaving plenty of space in between. Sort of spastic motions really. After the pink dried I went back in with the grey and did the same, filling in about half of the gaps and when that dried I filled in the rest with the green.
As always with our DIY projects, this is just a loose idea of what you could do with these materials. I love creating abstract art because it helps me get my emotions out, but maybe you like landscapes or portraits. Go with it.
(If you missed January’s project, check it out here.)
Posted In create, living, make it, painting