nism: Hi, I’m Nathan Stapleton-McKinzie. I’ve always loved to draw and paint. I studied painting for a while in Carbondale, Illinois. From there I spent some time Upstate New York where I was represented by the Varga Gallery. At the moment I am working as a Freelance Designer/Flash Animator and living in the Windy City of Chicago. I love coffee and working on art late into the night.
Are you missing the hilarious Crafting with Lotta column? Me too… But instead of Lotta’s humor, check out her creativity. (Don’t make me use the word “craftivity” — just go look at her shop.)
Tanya Svoboda is a local Chicagoland artist that creates one of a kind jewelry. Whenever possible, she uses vintage beads, charms and buttons. She loves a good story and tries to find pieces with a unique history to incorporate into her work.
Tanya’s studio is named the “Mom O Matic” in a cheeky nod to the Automats of the early 1900s. Where women sat behind vending machines and dispensed treats to patrons day and night. As she herself frequently dispenses goldfish crackers to her two smallest patrons.
The theme for this gift guide is driving. Specifically, a summer night’s drive. The windows are rolled down in your car and your left arm is hanging outside. A warm breeze is rushing over your skin as you move your fingers through the resistant air current. The collective neighborhood smell of charcoal barbecues, fire pits, fresh cut grass and the occasional cigar enjoyed on a porch fill your inhalations.
Maybe you went out for milk, or are driving home from a night with friends. Either way it is driving weather and you are so glad to be in motion. As you pull up to your house the perfect song comes on the radio. The one that makes you feel 16 and wise beyond your age at the same time. So you smile and press your foot on the gas, pass up your house and circle the block one more time to listen to it.
Snowowl’s lino letterpress art captures the perfect marriage of music, driving and memories.
Sometimes if we didn’t have to be home right away, my dad would keep driving and time it so we got there right when the song was over. And we always had to have the windows down for the full effect.
Father’s Day is coming up and this personalized hammered copper and sterling key ring by ChipmunkHollow is the gift for fathers who stare longingly at the car keys when the fireflies come out to play.
TheBugGirl has a beautiful collection of art cards created from a found lot of 1960’s trading cards in her attic. The colors are rich and rubbed out, with great detailing. Buy them individually, or purchase and frame a set. Then stare at them wistfully when summer ends and winter forces you to roll your windows up.
Slide this ring onto the finger of a loved one that would rather road trip than fly, who prefers to cruise instead of hurrying to their destination. An abstract wood grain, tire tread patterned ring made by JewelrybyJohan.
It’s summer, it’s gorgeous and it’s fleeting. So turn the radio up, lean your seat back a bit, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.
In the far back reaches of my closet, where my good intentions gather dust bunnies with my long lost dreams of “creative time”, there lies a pile of abandoned felted sweaters. I’d intended to make magical, whimsical longies & garments for my baby out of these. That was three kids ago. Current score? Kids: 4, adorable mom made felted garments: 0. I am a girl with sweaters in her closet.
I’m not sure what I was thinking. After all, I live in Southern California. On the one day each year when it is finally cold enough to wear a felted wool garment, I dig the ol’ sweaters out, do a feverish late night google search for free pants patterns, stay up till 1 am sketching out a design and make great plans. The next day it’s 85 again and I’m too tired to get out of the car for my coffee. The detritus from my late night creativity fest enjoys two weeks on my nightstand before the sweaters migrate back to the corner of the closet for another year while I berate myself in print.
Yes, I am not ashamed to admit it: I am a Harry Potter fan! So much so, we have saved up to take the family to Harry Potter World in Florida later this year, and we simply cannot wait to see the next film in the series next week. We have been the family who have queued up outside the bookshop at midnight when the new books have come out and read them non-stop; we bought the Hogwarts scarves, the wands, the wands the following year when the newer edition had pretty lights, and and we have also been the ones (husband excluded) dressing up to go to the cinema on the opening night.
Unfortunately this year my daughter’s still on her school camp on that first night, so we have to wait a whole 3 days! Now we are completely used to being accused of being very uncool as far as the Harry Potter thing is concerned (they either haven’t read the books or are jealous of J K Rowling’s success), but even I had my doubts as to whether dressing up not on the first night, is too much. Those doubt were quickly quashed though, and we are now busy planning what to wear!
A quick internet search reveals some amazing fan-made costumes, but sadly they mostly aren’t for sale. On Etsy, I absolutely love this one above by Bbeauty Designs of Bellatrix lestrange’s outfit. Evil and nasty though the character is, there’s no doubt that Helena Bonham Carter always gets to play the most interesting people and wear the best clothes.
The detail by limebarb that has gone into re-creating the uniform of the Beauxbaton students is amazing! It is just like the ones in the films.
Lastly I love this charm bracelet by 1luckysoul. What a fantastic idea. It has kind of a steampunk edge to it too and is so original.
The only sad thing is, this is the very last film!