Friday, May 25, 2012

Vintage maps and Mr. ZIP.

I haven't had much time for thrift shopping lately, but lucky for me, my mom has! She found a vinyl folder (the kind you would keep in your glovebox) full of vintage U.S. road maps. The graphics on these are so cool!


"Roads of the future built with asphalt." Isn't that great? Just look at those pristine roadways and that attractive clover. :)


I love the redwoods and the couple with the cool car.


How about some camping, 60's style?


I know I would have a "pleasanter trip" if I knew where all the clean restrooms were along the way!


Smokin' Conoco ad on the back of one of the maps. The artwork on this one is really nice.


There was also this little booklet of postcards instructing mail users on how to use the new zip code system! After some quick research (thanks, Wikipedia), I discovered that this little cartoon's name is Mr. ZIP and he was the official mascot of the ZIP Code System that was rolled-out in 1963. ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Program if you didn't know (I didn't). You could fill in the cities you need on the postcard, mail it in, and they will send it back to you with the codes filled out for you. Pretty neat!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I'm hoping to get a lot of printing done (I'm working on a bunch of new items!) and spend some time with my family, too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ombre photo frame how-to.

diy painted ombre photo frame - vitamini handmade

Since I just had the pleasure of moving less than two months ago, I am fully aware of almost every one of my possessions. I'm trying hard to really get a sense of the things I love, the things I need, and everything else (ideally, so the everything else pile can go straight to Goodwill). And maybe this project was an attempt to move this little frame from the everything else pile into the things I love pile. :)

diy ombre photo frame - before

I've had this frilly gold frame for a few years. It's cute, and I love gold, just not this combination. It just always seemed to fussy, which is probably why I never put a photo in it. I knew I wanted to tone down the contrast of the applied design and modernize it a bit. I decided on the perfect technique: ombre! It's a popular style right now from hair color to furniture (you can't open up Pinterest without seeing SOMETHING ombre). So I broke out my craft paints and a paint brush.


I used plain white acrylic paint, and Martha Stewart high gloss paint in "beach glass". I roughed up the edges a little bit with some fine grit sandpaper, wiped it off, then painted the whole thing white to provide a good base coat. I think I gave it about 3 coats of white to make sure all of the gold was covered.

diy ombre photo frame - steps

 I divided the frame in my mind in 3's. The top would remain white, the bottom would be the deepest aqua color, and the middle would be the faded transition area. With this in mind, I mixed up half white paint and half aqua paint. Using vertical brush strokes (and a somewhat dry brush) I painted the middle transition area.

diy ombre photo frame - painting

Since the ombre design is vertical and I wanted to make sure the paint color blended and almost disappeared into the white, I made sure not to do any horizontal brush strokes. When I was satisfied with the faded edge, I painted the rest of the frame to the bottom with the middle color.


Then, using the full-strength aqua, I painted the lower transition area again using dry brush strokes. Then I painted all the way to the bottom of the frame. Don't forget the inside and outside edges! After it was dry, I did a little bit of touch-up here and there, and refined the faded area.

ombre painted photo frame - vitamini handmade

I popped in a landscape photo and I'm done! I love it! It'll look great on the white dresser in my bedroom (as soon as the stack of boxes on top of it are unpacked...) What do you think? Do you love the ombre trend?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday finds. 5.11

Happy Friday! Here are a few of my favorite things from around the web this week.


1. Cute paper box template from Cherry Plum.
2. Wonderful vintage luggage labels via Grain Edit. I love the colors!
3. Frozen Mojito Melon pops via Design Sponge. I've made these and they're so good! I'll be making a batch of these for Mother's Day, too.
4. Incredible lighting from West Elm and Jonathan Adler for Lamps Plus.
5. Staghorn ferns with driftwood mounts by Far Out Flora at Flora Grubb. Check out the Far Out Flora blog for some incredible examples of succulents and cacti (my favorites!), and other cool plants.
(All photos are from their respective sources.)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. And Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas! :)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New design!

Starting back up with my shops has been a slow process since my move last month, but I have a brand new design card and art print design! Inspired by mid-century glassware and pottery from companies like Blenko and Heath, this design features vases in all shapes and sizes.



Blank cards in avocado green and teal, listed in my vitamodern shop.


I also have art prints on lovely 100% cotton rag paper. It would be a perfect little gift for the retro enthusiast!

I've got lots of other designs in the works for my new shop, so keep your eye out.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday finds.

Happy Friday, friends! Here are a few things from around the web that caught my eye this week.

1. Wonderful vintage wallpapers from Retro Villa. They are a Danish company but they ship world-wide and have a great selection to choose from. It's fun to peruse for some graphic inspiration, too!
2. Interesting discussion about the String Shelf on Retro Renovation. Turns out, the creator is the same guy who thought-up the Elfa system. One (or many!) of these are definitely on my "someday" wishlist.
3. How clever are these Urban Plant Tags from the Carmichael Collective?! As an LA who works on a LOT of streetscape plans I got a real kick out of these.
4. Check out the Wander Postcard Project. Nice examples of graphic design on a travel theme.
5. Lovely mobiles from Renilde Depeuter.

Do you have plans for this weekend? I'm still setting up my new place so I'll be tackling a few projects this weekend. I'm excited to get these curtains up in my new workspace:


I snagged these vintage floral panels on Etsy. They're triple pinch-pleated at the top and the teal matches my countertops! They even came with the original magazine ad from 1972. I'm just hoping Lowe's has the curtain hooks that I need so I can get them up tomorrow!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things I'm afraid to tell you.

Last week, there was a blog post bouncing around the internet called "Things I'm afraid to tell you" from the Makeunder My Life blog by Jess Constable. There was a little discussion on Twitter about how bloggers in general only share the best and most shiny/glamorous parts of themselves and their lives on their blogs and how this could be cultivating a feeling of inadequacy among readers. I know I've read many blog posts and thought to myself, "her wardrobe is so much nicer than mine" or "my desk is never that tidy!". So the idea for this network of posts today is to share some "real" information about ourselves, to gain some authenticity and help make some human connections. Cause really, a fancy pair of shoes and a neat desk aren't really that important in the big scheme of things.


I know I've shared some of the history of my Etsy business and my start in screen printing. That I was in-between jobs and had a bit of time on my hands and it was something I always wanted to try. All of these things are true, but I never revealed the reason I was unemployed and had lots of time to myself. The truth is I was suffering from an autoimmune disorder that was pretty debilitating. It can be compared to multiple and continuous allergic reactions, only I wasn't allergic to anything. It initially popped up when I high school. It lasted a couple of months, then went away, for almost 10 years. This time, though, it was much worse. It wasn't life-threatening, just painful, exhausting, mentally taxing, and isolating. I tried to keep my job, but as my condition continued to worsen and I wasn't responding to medications, I decided to leave my position and my little apartment and move back home to focus on getting better. It was a long process and I was in pretty bad shape for about a year and a half. The medications made me very tired (and didn't help most of the time) and I didn't have much energy. But during that time, I had a chance to think about who I would be and what I would do when I got better. I finally realized that I shouldn't be denying or hiding my creativity like I had been for years. I also realized that I needed to try to live a life that was more true to myself, because no one was going to do it for me. My priorities changed and so did my perspective.

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Today I'm pretty much back to normal. I'm not taking any medications and haven't had any flare-ups in a few years. Even though this happened a while ago, it isn't something I like to talk about because it doesn't define me. It did change me, though, for the better I think. Right in the middle of all of that grief, I taught myself how to screen print, started my Etsy shop, and made my first sale within something like 4 days of posting my first items. Something about this battle with my health gave me courage to go after my goals with more energy that I think I would have had otherwise. For that I am forever grateful.

Even though this story has a somewhat happy ending, I'm still worried that this thing will come back, and it could at any time. I could be ok for 10 years (like I was before) or I could be sick again tomorrow. Of course this scares the bejesus out of me. I just have to take it one day at a time.

So, even if no one reads this, I hope it will be a good written reminder to myself: To get some perspective when the little things get to me. Because, when it comes down to it, a day you wake up healthy is a day when the world is at your feet (even when you're not wearing those super-cute shoes).

*If you'd like to read other honest, personal posts from many other lovely bloggers out there, click here to see a full list of other bloggers participating in this "Thing's I'm Afraid to Tell You" challenge. Thank you to Ez from Creature Comforts for organizing this challenge!



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