10/13 Update: Guys–I have a cameo on the Design*Sponge website!  I DIE! Check out Lis and I in three shots here (scroll all the way down) or right below:

Happy Columbus Day, everyone! While Columbus Day is, honestly, a non-holiday, the federal government has it off. So I’ve had a busy day running errands and taking advantage of the glorious weather.

One of my errands was to run to a framing gallery up in Bethesda to pick up a finished product. Lis and I had, about a month ago, attended a really cool book signing slash craft session at Politics and Prose up the street from my apartment. I have recently become OBSESSED with interior design, rushing to buy Elle Decor when it comes out and aggressively stalking Craigslist and Eastern Market for unique furniture finds. One of the sites that I now check compulsively is Design*Sponge, a sleek and sophisticated design blog edited by an adorable William & Mary alum named Grace. Well, Design*Sponge came out with it’s very first book, Design*Sponge at Home, recently, and Grace went off on a book tour to promote it. I was SO EXCITED when I saw that she was coming to Politics and Prose, and literally harassed Lis into buying a ticket so I could go without being friendless. We payed $40 for a signed copy of Grace’s book, coffee and donuts, and a step-by-step DIY crafting project!! I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. (Guys, Design*Sponge is like blog royalty. Hanging out with Grace Bonney is equivalent to having tea with Kate Middleton.)

Lis and I showed up to P & P earllyyyyy on a Sunday morning, hung over and very unattractive from our Saturday night out. We were surrounded by crafting gurus, who looked like they had stepped out of an Anthropologie photo shoot and never stopped chatting about Etsy and their favorite sources for mid-century furniture. Lis and I were in way over our heads.

Luckily, the morning was so great. Grace taught us how to make our own stamps, and we both left with cool souvenirs (in addition to the book!). I liked my finished project so much that I got it framed!

A bunch of stamp ideas were provided to us when we sat down, and for some reason this little italic “hi” called to me from the very beginning. I cut it out, and then simply traced it onto some foam board that has adhesive on one side.

Then I cut out the foam “hi” and stuck it on a small piece of cardboard. Voila! Could not have been easier.

There was a legitimate artist sitting across from me who had extra pieces of canvas spilling out of her bag, and she kindly donated a strip to me. I knew immediately that I was going for a pop art-y feel, with bright colors and repetitions a la Andy Warhol, so I grabbed some hot pink paint and got to work.

Luckily I had drastically reduced my hangover by scarfing down eight donuts, so I was able to line up all my “hi”s appropriately. There was something really calming about the whole crafting process–a gentle hum of chatter from 35 girls all working at the same time, the simple paint-stamp-repeat routine that we were all following.

The best feeling was actually liking what was taking shape on the canvas in front of me. I am not a very crafty person, and I am so impatient that when I do craft, I never read the full directions or wait the appropriate time between steps. Some girls had really cute towels and purses that they were stamping, but I was content with my happy little canvas scrap that was developing a personality before my eyes.

And here is my final product! I’ve gotten mixed feelings from people I’ve shown it to, but for me, it’s bright, fun, and completely unique, which makes me happy. I had a sleep-deprived vision on the way home that Sunday morning to get it framed and hang it in my entryway, so I did.

I went with a simple white frame so as not to steal attention away from the “hi”s, and hung it so that it will be the very first thing I see when I walk in my door. It actually reminds me of the seagulls from Finding Nemo–“Mine!” “Mine!” “Mine Mine Mine!”–and I’m worried that after a few months I’m going to be so sick of my wall screaming “HIII!” at me that I’ll have to take it down. But for now, I really love it.

[P.S. You can see my Missoni for Target vase there–and let me tell you, it is THE WORST quality. I love zig zags and chevrons of all kinds, so from far away I adore this vase, but up close, it looks like it was made by a 4 month old. The white zigs are just stickers, and they’re already peeling off in some places and don’t line up with each other. The black comes off if you put your fingernail against it. Very disappointing, but I only paid $30 for it; I think it’s up to a couple hundred on eBay now. Not worth it, guys.]

I’m really happy with my final product. I feel like it’s going to be a cheery greeting during the upcoming long winter, but we’ll see. The morning with Design*Sponge and Grace was so wonderful, and it inspired me to give crafting a chance. (Also, the book is outrageously amazing–I devoured it in one sitting, with coffee in one hand and a stack of page makers in the other. The DIY I’m most excited about–Grace’s very own headboad. We’ll see if I can tackle that challenge sometime in the future.)

personalized book!

Up next for me: starting in a new office tomorrow (EEK!), and counting down the seconds until UVa Homecomings this weekend. Get me on the Lawn asap!


2 Responses

  1. Jen, from the pics it looks like you dressed for the event and that you are quite happy with your creation. I’m glad you are taking advantage of things like this. Dad

  2. […] drew my “inspiration”* for my framed hi print from Andy Warhol’s Campbells soup cans.  […]

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