inspiration » Archive

We’re in the process of buying our very first house. I haven’t written much about it (don’t wanna jinx it), but I just have SO many ideas and plans running through my head I need to get them out! Get ready for all-house-all-the-time around here, for a year at least.

I started putting together flickr galleries and even started a tumblr all about home workspaces.

But today I have dining room tables on my mind.

Since moving to Phoenix 4 years ago we haven’t really had much of a dining room. Our plan is to really work on this one and make it a comfortable place we want to hang out and entertain in. Here’s the space that will hopefully be ours in t-minus 18 days, I used a photo from the MLS listing and did a little before & after in photoshop!

Dining Room before and after

First things first, LOTS of paint – I daydream about paint almost every waking moment. Dear awesome folks selling the house, can I just go over there early and start please?!

The table is the Big Sur, of course it is. But who can afford it? I mean, we could, but who wants to spend all their money on one piece of furniture when there’s a whole house to work on? We’ve searched craigslist too, but guess what? People don’t get rid of awesome furniture – they keep it.

Ikea hack and diy table made of wooden pallets

I was looking around on flickr and came across an amazing IKEA hack by Something’s Hiding in There (above right). The colors and warn-out-ness are exactly what I was picturing for our dining room. The look reminded me of the recycled wood dining table tutorial by ReadyMade last month (above left) – hmmm, how about we combine the two!

Table of wooden pallets painted in shades of blue

Once the table is put together it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out how to make a Big Sur style bench to match. Then thrifting for some sturdy mismatched chairs, more paint and Voila!!

More inspiration

dining room table with cool painted details
Almost There by Yvestown

Pallet love!
daybed made of wood pallets
DIY Project: Pallet Daybed from Apartment Therapy

In fall of 1997 I took my first graphic design class at New Mexico State University.
I wasn’t totally sold on pursuing graphic design as a profession. I was leaning towards it because it was more practical than being an artist but, being totally clueless at the time, I thought that graphic design was very boring and lacked emotion.

It so happened that the main design professor had the year off and a guy called Ronnie Garver was taking his place. He was a young guy who had just gone through the same program himself. Ronnie’s style was heavily influenced by Art Chantry and the Seattle grunge movement.

I instantly fell in love.

We had to keep an inspiration journal, as part of the class. For the first time I was looking at magazines as an artist and not as a silly teenager.

Buying my first copy of Raygun (above, cover by Chris Ashworth) cemented the fact that I was not only choosing graphic design, but I was BORN to do graphic design. I spent the whole semester creating projects in the middle of the night at Kinkos. Making copy after copy, with my scissors and glue stick ready to chop it all up and paste it back together again. I’d rip it up – run outside and scrape it against the asphalt till it was barely readable – tape it back together and make another copy.

A few months into the semester Ronnie announced that Art Chantry was actually coming to the campus to give a talk. The whole dept. would also be designing posters for a Von Zippers show that Chantry would see and discuss. (The poster to the left was designed/printed by Ronnie Garver & Chad Ballard for the event.) The talk Chantry gave was amazing and incredibly inspiring. Later he came into our classroom where a hundred posters were tacked to a large wall… one of my top five proudest moments of my life was when he pointed mine out!

And 13 years later, I just found it under the bed and scanned it in!

Anyways, that’s my story. Shout out to my mentor and the spark to all of this, Ronnie Garver. You rock dude, thank you.


Meet Rebecca, handmade by Ann Wood. She was my Christmas present year before last from Sam!

Visit Ann’s website to see more birds, ships and owls – all gorgeous! If you want to purchase something though you should subscribe to her RSS, email list and twitter. And be prepared to drop everything and buy RIGHT AWAY when something new goes up. It’s gone fast, for good reason.

Two months ago she did a Vintage fabric give-away on her blog, out of over 100 people to enter I was one of 5 winners! I was shocked to find this huge box of fabric outside my door –

fabric from Ann

So nice. Still trying to decide what to make, I’ll keep ya posted. xo

Ann Wood’s website :: blog :: @annwoodhandmade


Try not to be TOO jealous, but I own the two collages above… along with 3 others. It’s true! I met Velleity Pie (J. Martinson) back in 2005 on livejournal and was lucky enough to do an art swap with her! Check out her Journal Set on flickr, she’s absolutely amazing.

Links: Candy Eye Factory, Flickr & Livejournal

About a month ago I downloaded a trial version of Little Snapper ($39 to buy) to organize screen shots & links to tasty sites I run across. I had links scattered between gmail, google notes, google reader, delicious, evernote & starred in twitter! Now they’re all nice and neat and ready to quickly scroll through when I’m in a creative rut – Perfect!

I had this big plan to do a post of only craftily designed craft sites, I search high and low and only found three! (Well, four if you count Design Sponge which everyone’s seen). Unfortunately, most crafters seem to use blogger or blogspot and only design their headers. Same goes for illustrators – how bizarre, how bizzare! Seems like lots of artists use 100% flash, which you’ll notice is not present in my list (no offense, I’m just WAY too impatient!). (editor’s note: Long load times have been found to drive users away from your site.)

Please let me know of wonderful sites that I shouldn’t miss!


Decor 8
Little stitches and notebook paper, that’s all any crafty blog really needs!

Poppy Talk
Here’s a blogspot that went all out – love the paperclip and little stamps!

Okay, I guess there’s a little bit of flash involved! Collaged papers, pencils and masking tape though, yes! This site was designed by Also, who also designed Design Sponge.

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Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins

Take care of little humans,
stare at tiny computer,
scribble on paper,
Maker of DIY Planners and 🎨 artist; front-end web developer and designer well-versed in CSS & WordPress. Make music with RBK & as Love Morris. Check out if you're interested in hiring me for WordPress dev. Subscribe to a newsletter I never send out. Connect on Instagram & Twitter.

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