Valentine's Day Welcome Wreath


A smile is the universal welcome. -- Max Eastman


 The history of the wreath dates back to Ancient Greco-Roman times the first being worn as a crown.  They were worn to represent rank, status and achievements. While these original wreaths were made of ribbon or fine metals, bay laurel branches were later fashioned into the shape of a circle.  Laurel was associated with the Greek God Apollo and became symbolic of victory and therefore the winning athletes in the original Olympic Games wore laurel wreaths.

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free pattern :: Crocheted T-shirt Yarn Rag Rug


My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

I love my dogs.  They protect me, watch over me, and provide endless amount of joy and amusement.  Their favorite perch in the house is in the bench window seat of my studio on the second floor of our house.  They love to watch all the action on the street, barking their warning of approaching dogs and humans.  The bench seat was getting a bit torn up by their claws, so I need to add some protection and with my ever growing stash of t shirts, I decided to upcycle them into t-shirt yarn that I could crochet into a rag rag.  I wanted the rug to be substantial, machine washable and yet a  soft spot for my dogs to hang out.  As you can see above, Josie loves her new spot.  Miss Toony was jealous and decided to move in on Josie's territory.  Missing from the pic was their ensuing dog spat of snarling and snapping at each other.  Josie wanted the rug to herself.  

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embroidery :: a pillow inspired by antique crewel work textiles


A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  --  Chinese Proverb

Lately, I've been tidying and organizing my studio.  I don't believe I have previously shared this pillow
I made.  Inspired by traditional American crewel work of the 18th century, I blended embroidery stitches
on a scrap of wool fabric with some needle felting.  Crewel work is a form of free embroidery as 
opposed to counted embroidery such as cross stitch.  Linen and cotton fabrics are typically used, but
I thought this tartan was especially festive. 

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Valentine's Day Door Decoration using a Smoothfoam™ Disc


"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein

 My favorite holiday is soon upon us!  All that pink, red, lace and chocolate - what's not to love about the holiday of love!  This sparkly door adornment let's everyone know exactly where your
sentiments lie. 

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CHA Summer 2012, my booth

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012 booth

"Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off."  - Author Unknown

I'm slowly making progress.  It's taken 4 shows to finally get a handle on how to develop a collection of ideas that fully show off my range of skills and ideas.  This is my table display at the CHA Summer 2012 Designer Showcase.  I decided to go for a theme, specifically DIY wedding.  

I had so much fun making everything, especially all the work with paper as my diecutter is a rather recent acquisition (ie - toy). I used it to cut out hundreds of paper flowers that I then snipped, bent and twirled into scores of flowers for the initials in the background. I considered different letters "I do," "We do" "Love" etc, but I settled on my own initials to advertise my business, LBO Studio, while also giving the impression that they are the monogram of a newly married couple.   

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer my CHA Summer 2012 Designer Showcase
There is a beaded bridal headpiece with matching groom's boutonnière and bridesmaid barrette. The French beaded daisy bridal bouquet is gorgeous and a great momento of the big day.  The flowers are among the easiest to make, so a great project for those just learning the art.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012 booth

I carried the beaded flowers onto embellished boxes for the safe keeping of wedding notes and cards.  As I grew up with cornucopias as table top favors filled with candies and nuts, it was a nostalgic trip for me to make my own versions for the display.

I start several months in advance of the show researching trends and thinking about what resonates with me and my design sensibilities.  The hardest part is settling on one concept and then carrying it through different mediums.  I want to do everything, but have learned that without a bit of editing, I tend to confuse folks.  Feedback has been that editors aren't sure how to market me and my work. Thankfully, that's no longer a problem.  I am finding my niche.  To anyone wanting to enter this business, I have to say - be true to yourself, be patient, and keep making!  

CHA Summer 2012, Crafty Ideas Galore!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012

The Possible's slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
-- Emily Dickinson

The Craft and Hobby Association's (CHA) 2012 Summer trade show was full of crafty inspiration. This was my 4th show to attend and I finally got smart about it. I scheduled my time so I could fully walk the floor and enjoy as many make 'n takes as possible.  Time to relax and play really helped me to learn more about the materials and see what they could do.

This holiday curmodgeon can't wait to start preparing for Halloween.  Don't you love the owl I made at Floracraft!  You can make one too.


These beaded trantulas  from Blue Moon Beads are craftabulous!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Summer CHA 2012  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012

I also love the other displays from the DCWV / Blue Moon Bead booth.  This company never fails to dazzle with their displays. I must find a skeleton to bling out for my porch this fall.  The neighborhood kids would flip out.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012

And talk about a freaking clever use for old lace tights and bits of broken chain!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012

Of course, Halloween isn't the only holiday.  There was plenty Christmas fun too.  This little wire tree with paper cut ornaments is so simple and so cute.  I also like this use of acrylic board and paper.  A great gift tag that doubles as an ornament.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012

The annual Crafty Couture display by the CHA designers group has inspired some fantastic booth displays. Check out the paper and crystal sparkle of this dress!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012

Here's a detail.  See what I mean?  Incredible!  I also love the Hello Kitty bike.  It is over the top cute, but in a way that works. 

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer CHA Summer 2012

I always leave the trade shows utterly exhausted and yet refreshed.  There are so many ideas to consider, new materials and tools to explore that I can't help but ignore my tired feet and head to the studio.

"To Mom" Box

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer To Mother Box

"Creativity is just connecting things." -- Steve Jobs

Mother's Day I got to thinking about Mom and created this box in her honor.  I wanted a container to collect the bits of paper by which I remember her - little notes and cards she wrote me, photographs of her, etc.  I kept thinking of a box she made with bits of Dresden papers that she used for her make-up.  I wish I had saved it despite its ragged appearance, if only to have freshened it up with a new collage.  Hindsight is always 20/20, as Mom would say.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer To Mother Box
I'm pleases with the result.  I used an inexpensive box I found at JoAnn Fabrics, sanded it and gave it several licks of gesso, followed by acrylic paint. I used my zippy new Westcott paper trimmer to accurately cut the larger patterened papers.  My inability to cut a straight line has been cured! I've been doomed since kindergarten when I received my first "Needs Improvement" for scissor skills. All I did was measure the size I needed, line up the paper with rulers on the trimmer and cut.  Magic! Dresden foil papers trim the box while single motifs were added to the lid.  The buttons and ribbons are from my bottomless stash.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer To Mother Box
Not to let a surface go unfinished, I had to embellish the interior of the box.  The base is a silk that I fused to a piece of cardboard.  It's lightly padded and has a lovely sheen as you open the box.  The inner lid has a Japanese paper for the base and is collaged with Dresden reproduction scraps along with a few gold foil paper butterflies.

I'm now addicted to this process and have nearly completed another box with 2 more in line.  I wonder if this is the sign of a new series starting to work its way out of my head.....

kitchen organizing

Tilt-out-wood-trash-cabinet_0-1 from
"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it,
it is not all mixed up." -- A. A. Milne.

Now that I'm committed to renovating my kitchen, I am looking at websites and how-to projects pertaining to it.  I've fallen in love with the website  Ana White, homemaker which features hundreds of DIY projects such as this Wood Tilt Trash Can Cabinet.  It's also a great way to add some counter space. Her simple drawer organizer is also ingenious.

Marie Claire Maison via Apartment Therapy1_03.24.09_Kitchen_rect540

This kitchen has similarities to mine with the lovely wood drawers.  I have a set in my pantry.  What if I moved them to the kitchen proper?  Too much fuss? I love the pops of color like the yellow chair.

I found this kitchen on Home Decor Concept.  Anyone who ever shopped at my old yarn store knows I love wood.  I think it makes a great neutral background for showing off yarns and in this case one's pottery colletion.  With the rest of my house featuring the orginial 1920's woodwork and stained glass, perhaps a kitchen leaning more toward wood and copper would increase the sense of continuity between the rooms.  I'm not so sure about the open shelving. It would certainly be a less expensive alternative to cabinets, but the thought of all that dusting.....  DIY kitchen chandelier

From Hutch Studio comes this light fixture and one I could definitely make.  It won't solve all my lighting issues, but would certainly add a whimsical touch! 

yes, i think we can do that. really?!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Kitchen
"Home is home, be it ever so humble." -- Proverb

Another kitchen drawer broke.  I caught it just before the knives tumbled onto my feet.    My reaction was to have an old fashioned temper tantrum, grown-up style. There was no stamping of the feet, but the swearing was loud enough to send daughter and dogs scrambling from the room.   I bought my house 13 years ago and considered the vintage kitchen to be quaint.  What was I thinking?!  I finally replaced the stove and fridge, but the floor tiles have come unstuck, the plaster walls are cracked and the wallpaper is peeling.  The countertop is borderline unsanitary and why anyone would decorate a kitchen with plastic tiles the color of Pepto Bismol is beyond me.  So when that drawer came undone, it was the last straw (fork, spoon, and knife).  

Now what?!  My budget is limited.  One of the reasons I have put off remodeling the kitchen is the cost.  I start to work the numbers, add 10% for emergencies, and then freak.  But with two drawers out of commission, plus everything else, something needs to be done.   So like billions of others, I sent out an SOS on Facebook.  

Enter JB Daniel, fellow artist.  You have to see his website I Think We Can Do That.  He repairs and renovates homes as conceptual art.  Genius!  He charges relatively little by the hour and even less if you do the work with him.  Yep, he shows you how.  I missed the whole high school wood shop and dad-in-the-tool shed experiences, so my handylady skills are at a minimum.  I can change a plumbing fixture, take apart a vacuum and unclog a drain, but forget fixing a drawer.

JB stopped by last week.  No problem.  He's also going to help me out with all the other repairs, plus help me find a cost effective way to renovate my kitchen.  YEAH!  Now I'm in full dream mode. Butcher block countertop? Restored oak floors?  A dishwasher that sterilizes? The dishwasher is a 2nd tier dream as I really only want it to help sterilize dozens of jars at one go when I'm canning. Then again, it would mean more countertop space, hmmm.  Oh yes, and a wall of cabinets that house my small convection oven and microwave, plus extensive cookbook collection.  Yes, I own a cookbook with recipes for every dish mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories. Oh, dream, dream, soon to be a reality.    

crafty yummy thai food, sticky rice

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer umbrellas suspended from ceiling
"The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through
the mystic realm of color."  --  Hans Hoffman

Restaurants are often trapped in decoration cliches, such as sombreros for Mexican and red checkered table cloths for Italian.  Viewed as setting an ethnic ambiance, they do the opposite, these cliches come off as predictable and boring and are almost always a guarantee of a lack luster meal to be served. 

Sticky Rice, specializing in Northern Thai cuisine, is one of those delightful exceptions to the usual Chicago Thai restaurant.  I started with the deep fried bananas wrapped in wontons.  Normally I'd think of this as a dessert, but it was perfect as an appetizer.  The wonton wrappers were crispy while the inside was warm and soft to the bite.  It was followed with the Pad See Ewe which was beautifully spiced. I love it when restaurants add vegetarian sections with appropriate warnings of which dishes may contain dairy, egg or fish.  LOVE it!  

Sticky Rice is bright and cheerful.  The dining room is painted yellow and orange and filled with crafty touches.  I adored the ceiling with suspended open umbrellas adding dots of color.  The wall by our table had these sweet paper flowers made of tagboard, yarn, styrofoam and glitter.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer paper flowers wall decoration

Even the lamp shades were clever. I'm thinking of a version to update my front hallway.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer paper lantern at Sticky Rice
Sticky Rice hit all the marks for me to return - great food with a good vegetarian selection, fun environment and under $10 for an entree.  They receive extra bonus points for providing crafty inspiration.