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Record Time

Step 1: Find a friend! I found Kimberley, she’s my go-to crafting buddy. If you have a friend named Kimberley, use her too. Go to your local thrift shop and find cake molds, bowls, or anything circular that is oven safe over 300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Our bowls were only $1.99. This object will be used to mold your record bowl.

Step 2: Continue shopping at your local Goodwill, or thrift shop to find inexpensive records. Ours were $0.99 each, however many places sell classical albums for $0.25 a pop. Be warned! Sometimes the most AWESOME covers actually have the least attractive records inside. Don’t judge a book (or record) by it’s cover. The inside is what counts (in life, and in record shopping), so open the package and the sleeve and see what the record inside has to offer. This is what will be on display in the end product.

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 250-300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Wipe down your record so it does not have extraneous dust – this will melt into the bowl. Make sure the record is dry. Place your record centered on an oven proof bowl. Place in the oven for no more than five minutes (it starts to let off toxic gas if left in too long) at a time. Open a window and ventilate. At five minutes (but sometimes sooner, use oven light to check if corners are dropping, melting, and bending) take out of the oven using oven mitts! Safety first! Remain calm! Don’t fret!

Step 4: As soon as you take the record out of the oven (it will be hot) work quickly (less than 20-30 seconds) to shape the object. You can use the bowl as a mold, and press the record inside. You can also roll the record as you would when making a megaphone out of paper (lower left hand corner). If you are sculpturally inspired, you can even freehand mold the record into different shapes, or stamp the melted vinyl with pattern. If an object is not folding or forming to your liking, place it in the oven to soften it again for another minute or so. The vinyl cools and dries EXTREMELY quickly – usually in under a minute.

Step 5: Place and show off your object. Here I am planning on using the bowl to hold candy near my bar! Kimberley is using her rolled record (in the previous image) as a sconce or a plant holder mounted to the wall. These bowls can be used as planters because of the hole in the middle makes automatic drainage! Since the item is so inexpensive to make, and takes such a short amount of time to form (some would say RECORD TIME, har har), I would recommend making a ton of them and giving them away to people you love as “just because” presents! What a unique and retro way to decorate.

P.S. All photographs by me.

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Call a Spade a Spade

When I was younger, one of my absolute favorite books was called “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”. It outlines two children who take up residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Claudia Kincaid is almost twelve, a straight “A” student, only girl and eldest child of four, who decides to run away to somewhere beautiful, comfortable, and preferably indoors. She brings her brother Jamie along and they use the public restrooms by day and snuggle up to their favorite statues by night. I have always imagined sneaking into a museum and living amongst the tapestries and tea gardens!

Certain stores also fill me with a sense of yearning – to sleep in the confines of a small boutique, covered in fashion, design, and beauty! Case in Point: Kate Spade, replete with floral walls, microphones hanging from the ceiling, faux tour posters, drum kits, matchboxes, colored extension cords, and rococo ottomans! (The best part? You can buy much of the interior decor HERE, even down to the wallpaper used in-store.) Kate Spade’s new motto is “Live Colorfully”. The Spade aesthetic relies on bright, bold, and geometric shapes. Color is always accented with black. Punky meets Preppy!

(Images photographed by me, except for the Kate Spade catalogue design cover and Signature Spade pattern, done by 2×4.)

A sketch of the Kate Spade store on Fifth Avenue in NYC by Caitlin McGauley – who also designs some stationery and iPhone cases for the brand.

Kate Brosnahan Spade (born Katherine Noel Brosnahan; December 24, 1962) is the namesake designer of the brand Kate Spade. Although most known her for her boxy handbags, bow accents, and bright stationery, Spade has won numerous awards for her bedding and linens, as well as interior design. Kate’s interior designer, Steven Sclaroff, mixes his own style with Kate and Andy’s finds. Andy is Kate’s college sweetheart, they first decided to move in together while she was working at Mademoiselle. Andy is David Spade’s brother, but also a designer, advertiser, and publisher! They are long toted as one of the most creative power couples of the 20th century.

Let’s take a gander at the couple’s fabulous and timeless NYC Apartment:

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Department Store Decor (2)

In which I try to do Scandinavian Maximalism and brilliant white interiors with objects only found in an inventory from Target Stores, 2012. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Scandinavian decor (being rooms from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and sometimes also of Iceland, Finland, and the Faroe Islands) is largely admired for its unpretentious, understated, simple, edited, and elegant interiors.

One Third Shabby, One Third Cozy, One Third French Provincial. (Here.)

One Third Conservative, One Third Rustic, One Third Glamorous. (Here.)

One Third Modern, One Third Eccentric, One Third Crisp. (Here.)

One Third Bright, One Third Clean, One Third Fanciful. (Here.)

One Third 19th Century, One Third Cottage House, One Third Curiosity Cabinet. (Here.)

One Third Young, One Third Playful, One Third Bold. (Here.)

One Third Clean, One Third Calm, One Third Collected. (Here.)

1/6 Open, 1/6  Bright, 1/6 Elegant, 1/6 Stately, 1/6 Dignified, 1/6 Achromatic. (Here.)

These rooms are designed to maximize the possibilities of the sun – letting in air and light. The spaces are uncluttered paradises wherein vintage finds befriend modern shapes and local designers. Natural wood, in light pines, soft maples, and clean balsa, are to be admired in their natural state. Above all, the rooms exude a sense of natural calm.

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