THE TIME IS NOW
Just a heads up that December 14th will be the last day to place your order to guarantee domestic shipping in time for Christmas.
NEW! EXTENDED FAMILY
Okay. So it's not quite Autumn or the holiday season yet, but we definitely are ripe into back-to-school season. Please welcome our newest kids to the block, Fred, Ombrello, and Jack! A little deja vu, perhaps? That's because we had so much fun creating one of last year's Halloween projects, we made him real.
NEW! DRESS THE PART
New in our shop — two exclusive T-shirts designs featuring our Shadow Magnets cast of characters! It's something that we've wanted to make for ages, and we finally found a local printer to make it happen. Like the characters themselves, the shirts are gender neutral. Grab one today!
CAUGHT IN THE ACT: SUGAR PLUM FAIRY
It's that time of year for holiday parties, so we whipped up just the thing for Vino to wear for evenings of merriment.
There's always something really satisfying about seeing something and being able to say, "I made that!" It's a reminder of the value of a little time and effort that simply cannot be bought. The following are a couple quick and simple DIY projects that bear the spirit of the season in fresh and modern ways:
HOLIDAY SHIPPING DEADLINES
Please note the following deadlines on orders to ensure delivery by Christmas:
Domestic Orders: Friday, December 11
International Orders: Friday, December 4
COZY MANTLE PIECE
So we went a little pumpkin-happy around these parts. 'Tis the season, right? After creating the large sweater pumpkins to accompany our perishable ones, we kept going and made more, this time using the sweater sleeves. These came together fast. We made fat ones and tall ones and itty bitty ones. Add a few leftover stumps and a couple evergreen branches from the backyard to the mix, and we have a fully decked out mantle piece!
The children had big plans when we made our annual pilgrammage to the pumpkin patch last month. They all declared that they want large pumpkins, not small ones. Yet, when it came time to make the selection, they steered clear of all of the plump options that I tried to point them to after realizing that their little arms can only carry so much. And that is how we came home with diminuative pumpkins this year. Cute, certainly, but not much material to work with when attempting to decorate a fireplace.
My kids love skulls. They once saw a neon pink one in a trendy decor catalog, and they've been obsessed ever since. I even once overheard them calling Skull on their play phone to see when he would be coming over to play. Kids are weird. It goes without saying that they love these skull lamps that currently adorn our mantelpiece. They're quick to make and provide dinner conversation for the toddler set. And maybe adults, too?
SNEAK PEEK: CARDBOARD TIME
Designed by Noah Or and Mark Segal, Cardboard Time is the first in a line of products that use 70% recycled cardboard to create everyday objects.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT: JAZZ
It all started with the little guy wanting to jazz up his sax. Then came the leg warmers. And tube top. And might as well add the headband at this point. Let's get physical!
PRINTABLE 03: SET THE STAGE
Halloween has always seemed like a funny holiday to me. An adult walking around in costume would surely raise eyebrows. Yet, on this one day each year, anything goes. But I digress. Shadow Magnets don't have boring grown-up social norms to adhere to. For Dancer, cosplay is a perfectly normal choice of activity. Help him with our Halloween printable.
WALLPAPER 07: EMBRACE THE SEASON
It's officially autumn, and it's barely a month till our first major holiday of the season. Time to put on our festive garbs!
We're on a roll! This time, it's line dancing monkeys. Please vote for or fabric design!
GALLOPING TO THE CHALLENGE
We love minted for its amazing collection of unique prints, stationary, and home decor, so we jumped at the opportunity to submit to its Child's Play Fabric Challenge. We opted for a gender neutral design that should appeal to a wide age group. We'd be overjoyed if you could vote for our first submission!
BLANK SLATE NO MORE
We've been a little busy around these parts working on a project that I've dreamed about for the last year or so. A can of white paint and 30 or so hours later, I completed my first mural. Did I think it would be so time-consuming or physically grueling? Nope. Yet, I can't wait to start working on the next wall.
MEMORIES BY THE BOOK
Back in my younger days, I used to look through old family albums and ask, "Hey Mom! What happened during my first 6 months of life?" Being the second born, the parents apparently forgot to take pictures in the madness of everyday living. These days, smart phones have transformed how we document much of what used to exist only in memory. I, for one, intentionally limit the number of apps on my phone in order to maximize space for photos. They are my prized possessions. Yet, they are, for the most part, stuck in the digital world. With the recent proliferation of online printing services, however, there really is no excuse to perpetuate the imprisonment of beloved memories. The following are a couple of my favorites:
WALLPAPER 06: TASTES OF SUMMER
Maybe it's the fact that we're in the midst of California's historic drought. Or perhaps it's just the long hours of golden sun. Nothing screams of summer like cool, chilling refreshment. And a juicy burger. Because dinner on the grill beats stovetop cooking any day.
INSIDE THE STUDIO: ELEVATED LIGHTING
Here in the Elements2 Deign studio, we're constantly making things. Only a rare few every actually make it into production. This lamp is currently sitting in my living room. It's sometimes just easier to make something ourselves.
LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE DADS
At 27 months, the husband and I find ourselves frequently repeating the refrain, "They grow so fast!" Since we have neither space nor inclination to hoard, photos are our principle means of collecting memories. And we have TONS of them. For this Father's Day, I thought it would be fun to release some images from the digital domain by making them into mini Polaroid magnets that are so popular on Pinterest. Most tutorials require at least one trip to the craft store in order to gather all the materials. We tried to simplify the steps because, really, who has the time?
The other night as we were prepared for bed, our youngest asked, "Where's Dad?" She looked very concerned when I told her that Dad wasn't home yet, so I explained that if she fell asleep quickly, she could see him again when she opens her eyes. Her little face relaxed, and she went back to play. When her siblings asked the same question a few moments later, she matter-of-factly reported that he was working late and that we would all see him tomorrow.
The children have always loved their father, but toddlerhood has recently equipped them with the skills necessary to express this sentiment. They're sad when Dad leaves for the day. They're bundles of excitement when Dad's car pulls up the driveway. Throughout the day, they remind us of how Dad has to work in order to make money to buy them trains. Given how much they receive from their father, it's befitting to actually make something for their dad this Father's Day. And since Mom will be doing most of the work, it better be something easy. The Sharpie mug has been something that has made the internet rounds and plays to their love of doodling. Fingers crossed that creativity stays contained on the mug.
LARGER THAN LIFE
Cupid's Span • San Francisco, CA
Here at Elements2 Design, we generally focus on things that brighten the desktop in a convenient size. That said, we also harbor dreams of making big things. The bigger, the cooler. We're not alone in this sentiment. Scale creates instant impact. A quick Google search brings up all sorts of everyday items that artists have blown up to unreal proportions.
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT 01: LOCHLANN JAIN
Lochlann is one of those people who intrigues. A quick Google search clearly highlights her academic accomplishments in studying how stories of injuries get told and what that means to a society. Very heady stuff. I, however, first came to know Lochlann through her Things That Art series of small illustrations (each painting is approximately 5'x7') that are at once quirky and profound. She would be a lovely person to chat up during cocktail hour. Till that time comes, I hope you enjoy our first Artist Spotlight with Lochlann Jain!
WALLPAPER 5: IT MUST BE SPRING
It's that time of year where my black thumb itches to be a green thumb. For the sake of plant life, however, we will stick to our strengths. Enjoy!
GIFT OF DELIGHT
The little residents around these parts look forward to the parcel trucks that regularly stop by our house to deliver packages that may or may not be for them. It's like Christmas every time. A package with contents unknown is a canvas for imagination. As adults, these moments of anticipation and surprise are much harder to come by. A recent slew of subscription services, however, aim to change this. The products offered certainly are lovely, but the promise something cool showing up regularly throughout the year is something that even those who already have it all will appreciate. We've rounded up a couple recommendations that we think any fan of good design will love.
A VERY HIPSTER EASTER
Growing up, Easter was all about bunnies and flowers and all things pastel. It was all a little too much pretty for me. And all that dying with food coloring or onion peels and vinegar –– so messy. That said, I love the shape of eggs, not perfect geometrically but iconically recognizable. After scouring the internet for some inspiration. we decided to break out our trusty black and white markers to attempt some artificial enhancement using stereotypical hipster motifs because eggs are cool that way.
Hey...when did this become a baby blog?? We celebrated a milestone birthday this past month, so instead of shopping for themed shirts, I decided to make our own. I've always prefered coordinating outfits for the kids rather than identical ones.
EYE OF AN ARTISTE
We look at an object and see it for what it is. An artist looks at the same object and sees what it ould be. Wish we knew the artist behind the creativity in these following pieces, but unfortunately, we don't.
2015 CALENDAR ROUNDUP (for procrastinators)
Not sure about the rest of you, but I blinked back in November, and it's now already 8 days into the new year. Selecting the perfect calendar to welcome the new year used to be a beloved annual tradition that used to take months of agonizing to narrow down to that one special piece. Then life happened. Thankfully, those of us who are a little behind the ball no longer have to resign ourselves to picked-over clearance bins. The following are a few calendars that totally work for us procrastinators:
DAILY MOMENTS PERPETUAL CALENDAR
I love the idea of having a calendar that lets us document life one day at a time and can eventually be passed down as a family heirloom. Imagine the stories that these cards will tell even when memory fades. Sends shivers, huh?
"Happy New Year! I am happy to report shadow puppets are happily roaming McKinley Middle School! Thought you would like to see some new adventures. It always amazes me that after 10 years with a shadow puppet in my room kids still come up with new ideas! "
WALLPAPER 04: BRRRRR!!!
Happy new year! It may not routinely snow here in the Bay Area, but we love the nippy chill that elicits cravings for hot chocolate. This one may be our favorite yet.
PRINTABLES 02: A CARD FOR ANY OCCASION
Sometimes, the best laid plans fall short during the hectic holiday season. We planned on ordering all presents months in advance to ensure that everything would arrive and be wrapped in time, but the mailman must have fallen asleep. That's where easy to whip up homemade cards come into play.
PRINTABLES 01: IT'S A WRAP!
For something that will eventually ripped and tossed in about two seconds, gift wrapping sure takes a lot of work. Between choosing the paper, selecting the gift tag, and coordinating the packages, the mind can only handle so much. We're here to help. The Shadow Magnets gift wrap is designed to be wrapping paper and gift tag rolled into one using supplies that you should already have around the house.
WALLPAPER 03 : BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE
'Tis the season to spend a little extra time with family and loved ones to take the chill out of the cold winter days.
WALLPAPER 02: THE NIGHTMARE
Dancer and Cavallo share Jack Skellington's dream, with more promising results.
WALLPAPER 01-1: A HOLIDAY BONUS
WALLPAPER 01 : THE BIG DATE
A little something to spruce up the desktop as the countdown begins.
The Kennedy Center recently premiered "Little Dancer," a world premiere musical inspired by Edward Degas' Little Dancer Aged Fourteen.
"Part fact, part fiction, and set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet, this world premiere Kennedy Center musical is inspired by the story of Marie van Goethem, a young ballerina who posed for Edgar Degas and became, inadvertently, the most famous dancer in the world. Torn by her family's poverty, her debt to the artist, and the lure of wealthy men, she struggles to keep her place in the corps de ballet–a girl on the verge of womanhood, caught between the conflicting demands of life and art."
"I am a music teacher. I keep dry erase markers for my students to draw adventures for my shadow puppets. I keep pictures in photo albums."
As someone who frequents d.i.y. blogs, we've noticed a recent proliferation of postings on using paint to give new life to upholstery that's past its prime. Not ambitious enough to tackle a project of such grand scale, we thought that we could start a little smaller. The Re•pose chair has good bones, after all, so why not use it as a blank slate to see where we can go?
We first started off by spraypainting the Re•pose chair in glossy white. As it turns out, the material of the chair reacted with the paint, so instead of a smooth white surface, we got bumps and bubbles. Quite the dissapointment at first, but the texture quickly grew on us.
IT MUST BE AUTUMN
Snow may already be falling in some parts of the world, but here in the Bay Area, we're only just starting to feel the crisp autumn chill that spells the end of summer. Nothing spells autumn like the warm oranges and browns. And pumpkins. What's best about them is how they go on sale after Halloween even though they can last for months as seasonal decor.
We started by painting our pumpkin using a high gloss can of white spray paint (since that is what we had on hand). Now, if we had planned things better, we could have simply purchased a white pumpkin and saved ourselves the extra work, but there's something really satisfying about making an organic object appear inorganic simply by changing its color.
DANCER GETS FANCY
Inspired by Alisa Burk's beautifully painted pumpkins, we set out to give our very own Shadow Magnet Dancer a little extra flair. We first found these paint pens from Michael's that we thought would do the trick.
As someone who's built a career out of making things, intent is an assumed part of my process. That said, art is everywhere around us, and the beauty of the unintended is sometimes so...well...effortlessly cool, one can't help to marvel. Take the spray booth in our studio, for example. Yes, it is a functional workspace, but it really is also an ever-evolving installation piece. Take a look at a couple recent snaps:
Shadow Magnets environmental sculptures are art pieces that have been auctioned at charity events and can be custom made by special order.
ANNA HALPRIN'S "INTENSIVE CARE"
Dance legend Anna Halprin, now in her eighties, has spent more than 50 years challenging the conventions of modern dance. In January 2006, she brought a group of dancers to the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco to perform some of her work, including the two well-known pieces "Parades and Changes" and "Intensive Care."