Friday, July 22, 2011

penguin classics

Sometimes, I daydream about illustrating book covers like these, from the Penguin Classics collection.

This one, for Huck Finn, is my favorite. I love the sunny color palette and the quartered layout, which neatly divides the cover. But the line drawings are just charming, and that's what sells it for me. I've already read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I already have a copy, but this is one I'm thinking of picking up for the kiddo because of the cover art. See? Cover design is important!

Here are a few more lovelies from the series:

Monday, July 11, 2011

lampshade re - do ( with upcycled milk jug )

Awhile back, one of the cats knocked down my very tippy lamp, breaking the amber glass bowl shade. I never could find a replacement with a properly sized hole, although I'm sure they exist somewhere.

I thought about getting a bowl and a glass-cutting hole bit for the drill and just cutting my own to fit. WIth cats still on the prowl, I figured at that point I was probably just begging for another broken shade. Instead (inspired by THIS article), I decided to use the translucent plastic of a plastic milk jug to make my own.

I didn't create a polygonal shade like the article describes, but drew inspiration from the use of materials. I really thought that my lamp needed to be a glowing flower (the stem!).

Here's how I did it: From a piece of the milk plastic I cut a petal shape that was approximately the size I envisioned for the lamp. My petals vary in size from 4-7 inches long and from two to four inches wide (but yours could be narrower and longer for a daisy or chrysanthemum!).

By tracing the nut that held the old shade in place, and with some trial and error, I cut one end of the petal to fit in place around the lamp socket.

Keeping this template in mind, I cut 12 petal shapes from milk jug plastic (from two milk jugs). I avoided the sections with hard edges, but cut a nice combination of flat and gently curved pieces.

Using my template, I traced the socket-compatible end onto one end of my petals. I used a hole punch to start the center holes, then cut around them with scissors.

I fit several of the flatter petals over the lamp socket.

As I worked around the center, building my flower, I added the more-curved petals so that the flower would cup upwards toward the center.

Lastly, I replaced the nut to hold all of the petals in place, and put in a new (very low wattage) bulb.

Ta-dum! A lamp that looks like a flower!

After the fact, I noticed how strongly it resembles a book cover I designed awhile back at Wipf and Stock:

Funny how an image can stick to your subconscious.

If you use these directions to create your own lampshade, I'd love to see!

I think this project would also work really well for small pendant shades; just make sure to use very low-wattage bulbs. Materials used in commercial shades are rated for use near lightbulbs, but when you make your own, from whatever material, things can become questionable. That said, I've had a milk plastic shade on my lamp for over a year, without incident, because I use a teensy little low-wattage bulb. Enjoy!

Linking up to:


Friday, July 8, 2011

spoonflower love

A really cool e-mail came the other day from another Spoonflower user named Julie, who recently purchased some of my Mums-Red print. Seems she made a nifty little handbag from it, and wanted to know if I'd like to see a picture! I did! She agreed to let me share it; I'm always so pleased when someone makes something cool from one of my designs. Thanks again, Julie! You rock!

Sunday, July 3, 2011