Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pencil Me In!

As long as I can remember I have adored pencils and pens. I have vivid memories going into the Sanrio store at the mall in the early '80s and not being interested in anything but the center kiosk filled with colorfully designed pens and pencils, organized by character, color, and even smell. And then there's a memory of viewing the Andy Warhol Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago and then visiting the art supply store just a block down the street, its shelves filled with every kind of colored pencil, mechanical pencil, drawing pencil, marker, ballpoint pen, calligraphy pen, and fountain pen you could dream of. How to buy just one? And then there were the character pencils from the '80s, like Garfield, and pencils with rainbows or unicorns, shiny pencils... *sigh* So today I pay homage to the pencil, on this National Pencil Day, with some pages from the 1897 A. W. Faber Lead and Colored Pencil Catalog, and some fun pencil facts:
  1. The pencil has been mass-produced since 1622.
  2. On March 30, 1858, the first U.S. patent was issued for a pencil with an eraser on the end.
  3. 75% of all pencils are yellow.
  4. A single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words, or draw a line 35 miles long.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pysanky: Traditional Ukrainian Patterned Eggs

Pysanky (pronounced "PIH-sahn-kih"; singular is pysanka, pronounced "PIH-sahn-kah") are Easter eggs intricately decorated using wax resist and bold colors. The Ukrainian tradition of decorating eggs has been around for many generations, and their design motifs date back to pre-Christian times. The amazing sample of colored plates below are from a book illustrated by Erast Binyashevsky in 1968. You can view even more of the plates on the Traditional Pysanky website.

Monday, March 25, 2013

22 DIYed Easter Eggs

Just in case you're like me and haven't decided yet which method or methods you'll be trying this year for making Easter eggs, here are some ideas!
Dyeing Eggs the Natural Way from Two Men and a Little Farm (what a color palette!)

Ombre Easter Eggs from Sugar & Charm

Gradated Tints from El Hada de Papel (reminds me of paint sample chips!)

Neon Dip-Dyed Eggs from Oh Joy!

"Airbrushed" Eggs from Ashbee Design

Silk Tie-Dyed Eggs from Our Best Bites

Chalkboard Eggs from Oleander + Palm (A more permanent version could be done using black dye and white crayons.)

Off-Register Graphic & Type Eggs from Martha Stewart

Huevos de Pascua from La Receta de la Felicidad (Instructions are in Spanish, but photos are pretty self-explanatory.)

Gilded Eggs from Pencil Shavings Studio

Pantone Chip Easter Eggs from How About Orange

If you want to skip the dye and do something different:

Decoupage Easter Eggs from By Wilma

CMYK Dot Easter Eggs from Martha Stewart

Origami Flowered Eggs from Family Circle

Embroidered Eggs from Design Sponge

Photo Print Eggs from A Subtle Revelry

Washi Tape Easter Eggs from Lovely Indeed

Fabric-Covered Eggs from Better Homes and Gardens

Three different Sharpie ideas:

Doodle Eggs from Alisa Burke

Black and White Eggs from Obviously Sweet

Journaled Eggs from Alisa Burke

And if you don't want to use real eggs at all:

Pappersägg (Paper Eggs) from Craft and Creativity

Find any you might try?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Never Judge a Book by Its Dust Jacket

Swedish Flickr user Book Cover Lover has compiled images of beautiful, hardbound book covers that were at one time hidden by dust jackets. There's just no room for me to show all these amazing works of art to you here, so I present her beautiful rainbow ombre thumbnails. Click here to see them all up close and personal.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thank Geek It's Friday: Calculator Color Palettes

Color inspiration can come from anywhere, right? That's why I thought these calculator palettes were so cool. I never really thought of how colors might be used on calculators to make them seem more appealing or superior to other calculators. But when the colors are taken off the surface and put together, they really are very modern, techy, and for the most part, masculine. Here are some images from the collection I found on tumblr (where you can find even more). However, the last image (the Texas Instruments TI-30 SLR) is my own calculator from 1987. I was so excited my senior year in high school to finally be in math classes that required such a "sophisticated" instrument. Do they still use calculators in schools?

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