a look inside the life of Whitney

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It’s like Christmas ALL OVER AGAIN!

l-HallelujahI had a monumental break-through last night!

I am currently working on a project for a friend’s wedding. She asked me to do a really intricate design that would definitely take a good chunk of time. Suddenly as I was working last night, I remembered a Christmas present that I go two years ago. It was a Bamboo Wacom digital drawing tablet. The idea was as if I was drawing with pen and paper like normal, but it would instantly be on my computer instead of scanning and tracing with mouse clicks like normal. Well when I first got it, I tested it out a little, but for some reason didn’t understand and became frustrated with how to use it. So unfortunately it sat on the shelf, rarely used until now.

Fast forward to last night, I broke out that little gadget as I faced the daunting task of tracing vines. Two years of constantly working on Adobe Illustrator has obviously taught me something, because I suddenly figured out how to use that little gadget perfectly with this program and traced those vines in no time!! I was so excited I nearly wet myself!

I just had to share this because my mind has now flooded with new ideas thanks to this “new” tool at my disposal. And it seriously felt like Christmas because in that moment it was like I had just gotten it  yesterday! And this tool is going to be the key to expanding my products beyond the MINI Cooper theme, and improve my freelance projects as well!

So a huge thanks to my Mom and Dad for getting this wonderful gift for me, and sorry for it taking so long for me to put it to good use!


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Custom Headboard

Once upon a time when I prepared to move, I began the search for a headboard. When I couldn’t find one within the time I had to move, I settled on a lift-top coffee table (which turned out to be a smarter and more practical decision) and decided I would design a headboard for myself that my dad could build for me sometime. Because let’s face it, when it comes to designing my own space, I’m very picky. I bet other designers are too. Thus, my solution is just to design it for myself. Haha.

So of course I did a bunch of sketches to brainstorm some ideas based on what I had liked when I was looking for one and I’ll be sharing those today. I also saw a few more different headboards while on my trip this weekend that got me thinking about it designing one again so I’m sharing those today to.

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Basically, I want it to look simple and modern. I want mostly a dark wood but also want to mix in another material like glass or metal. I also want there to be built in lighting so I don’t have to worry about buying table lamps (because I am also planning to design night stands to go with the headboard). I think adding a natural element as seen in some of my sketches would be different, but I don’t know if I’ll stick with that idea.

There’s still a lot of brainstorming to be done, and it needs to be something that I will like enough to keep for a long time.

Question for the day: Have you ever spent months shopping for something thinking “I’ll know it when I see it?” What were you looking for?

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Paint Stick Pendant Shade

Once again, I reveal my obsession with light and light fixtures because today’s idea is another one of these.

I once saw on the Nate Berkus show (I think) a way to construct a simple outdoor walkway light from paint stir sticks and a pipe/tube clamp. I always have a few paint sticks lying around so this idea has always been in the back of my mind.

Well, in studying pipe clamps a little closer, I became less fond of using one for this idea. So lately I’ve been trying to come up with a similar concept. I have seen in my research, that others have painted and attached paint sticks to basic lampshades and hang it as a pendent light. Or even deconstruct a chandelier in some fashion and attach paint sticks.

But, I wanted to do it a little differently and try to use something that wasn’t already intended to be a light fixture. Eventually, I found a paper-mâché box at hobby lobby that would make it easy to attach paint sticks. It was a simple solution. Below you’ll find some sketches that helped me figure out how I wanted to put this together and how I wanted to fashion it decoratively.

I really wanted to make it so that light would shine up, down, and out of small punctures or openings in the sides for maximum luminosity, but figuring out how to construct it in that way with only a limited number of ideas and resources was becoming frustrating. So for now I may simply settle for cutting a hole in the bottom of the box that is small enough to allow my plug in pendant cord through and allow the constructed shade to simply rest as the base of the bulb casing.

Basically, it’s simple, it uses the concept of the original idea, and inexpensive. I plan to construct it for this month’s project so be on the look-out for the project completion post!

Happy Tuesday!

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Metallation Extravagation!

(yeah, made-up words for the title today)

Welcome to Double Feature Monday!! Actually it’s not all that exciting and no, this will not become a regular thing. It’s only because there are two ideas that I love on one page from the DIY magazine I bought.

May I direct your attention to the wall art and beaded window curtains in the picture below.

From the DIY Magazine, Summer 2011, by Better Homes and Gardens

Ok, I will tell you right now that there are a few elements from design, nature, and life in general that I am instantly drawn to. I have already mentioned one, light, in the post Bottled Light. I am naturally drawn to light in any form. So another one is metallics. Anything that is a natural metal, looks like metal, or has a shine to it in general, instantly catches my eye.

So of course when I saw this in my DIY magazine, I instantly thought, “I have to try/have this,” since I have wanted to add a metallic element to my bedroom. So these two ideas are easy and fairly inexpensive ways to accomplish this.

First, the wall art. This is just roof flashing tape (or metal tape that looks like strips of foil), laid out on a white canvas in decorative patterns. The expensive part would be the canvas, and I was thinking what a waste it is not to paint the canvas. I mean, if you’re going to spend money on a canvas, why not paint the background to coordinate with the flashing. A fun color perhaps, or even an abstract composition with the flashing mixed in. There are plenty of ways to spice up this simple ideal.

Second, the bead curtain. These, as you hardware savy people may have noticed, are just metal washer strung together. Simple! And the effect is quite pleasing for something so ordinary. I’d like to see what other little things I could tie in with these washers. Maybe beads, or even nuts and bolts, haha. Maybe use colorful ribbon or string. Plenty of ways to personalize this idea too.

I might as well mention the few other metallic things in this room picture. The pillow has washers sewn onto it like buttons to tie in with the bead curtain. And the coffee table is actually a water heater stand. The room comes together nicely. A little flashing on that lampshade would be fun too.

So that’s my inspiration for the day; sharing my obsession with shiny things and finding a way to easily add this element to a space. Can’t wait to try it!

Anyone else share my affinity for the metallic side of life? Share your comments or thoughts!

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Outdoor Lounge Spaces

Ok, one of the things I really want in my future house is an outdoor lounge space. I’m a couch potato, I love lounge furniture. But I also like being outside and would probably be outside more if I had a lounge space to enjoy it in. Or I could get off my lazy but and just go outside more, haha.

Anyways, I thought about this space that I aspire to have as I came across two pictures today. The first is from Dwell Magazine, one of my favorite design magazines.

From Dwell Magazine

Here’s the link for the full article and other pictures:

Though I prefer a screened in area myself because of the bugs, this is a beautiful open space. And lets face it, they saved a bunch on flooring by using the natural, God-given grass. I also am fan of the light fixtures and of course the lounge seating. Its a very simple space that doesn’t take away from the surroundings but seems to expand on them.

I also found this, which is a simple DIY way to add a resort-like feel to your existing back yard space.

From A DIY way of bringing a breezy feel to your outdoor space

Here’s the link for the article:

I just wanted to share this too because of it’s DIYness and because I also like the airiness that fabric can add to a space. I kind of wonder if this is in a desert part of the country because there is no grass, but it could also just be in a well landscaped back yard.

Do you have an awesome outdoor space?


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Wood,Glass, and Metal Console Table

Once upon a time I lived right down the street from a crappy flea market. Once upon a day I drove by and saw a discarded desk in good shape but in pieces, sitting in the parking lot all by its lonesome. Being a Good Samaritan of dilapidated furniture (or least that day I was), I decided to save the only piece in good enough shape to survive reuse, the desktop. So, Once upon an idea, I give you the first of my designs that is developed from re-using this desktop piece.

Brainstorm <—–click here to see the sketches

a quick 3D drawing to help myself visualize the idea better with color and dimension

I’ve been wanting some sort of thin console table from my bedroom. Something that could be a fashionable desk in a sense, but thinner and possibly serve as a vanity as well. Anyways, here are the sketches of my initial brainstorming, and a 3D view of my favorite design. In the top right corner of the sketch page is the approximate size and shape of the desktop. I would cut it length wise for an 18” tabletop and use what’s left for part of the base. Then add in some metal and glass for support and interest. The tabletop would then be painted black and plastered with magazine pictures of some of my favorite interiors, furniture pieces, light fixtures, and other interior design pictures I’ve collected over the years. I think it could make a very interesting piece that’s both modern and personalized. Almost eclectic in a way. That’s why I also did a 3D drawing on it too see how it might look more realistically.

I’m already having other ideas of how I could use this good piece of wood. I’m needing a pair of nightstands after all, so who knows what I’ll actually end up doing with it.

Have any stories of repurposing furniture, or pieces of it? Creative reuse of materials, old furniture, and other random things is one of my favorite aspects of design.

Keep cool readers, it’s hot out there!


Area Rug from the River

I think today is one of those moments where I try to create an idea from something that has inspired me and it doesn’t always work out.

On my way to work everyday I drive over a large river. Today as I was driving, I glanced over and saw the river had churned sections with smooth as glass areas cutting through it. I love seeing that because it looks so unreal. I don’t know if you understand what I’m trying to describe but either way I find it beautiful.

In the distance you can see a smoother part of this water view. This is the best picture I could find to show what I saw this morning.

So I thought maybe I could come up with a design that would be inspired by this natural occurrence. Thus, I came up with an area rug design that was an attempt to recreate and interpret it into a piece of décor.

I used photoshop to apply the colors I was thinking of.

As I was writing this, I thought of other ways to use this inspiration for a design of either another piece of décor or even a whole room. But, sometimes it can be forced when I focus too much on it so I’ll let this sit for a while. So I’m not too proud or excited about this area rug design but maybe I’ll come up with a  better design or something new entirely.

Hope you enjoy either way. Feel free to comment and offer improvements.