Tuesday, 22 July 2014

// Artist Feature: Lola Donoghue

Pastel Abstracts

In the first of my 'Artist Feature' series I will be sharing the wonderful works of art from the talented Miss Lola Donoghue, who has the pleasure of calling Galway, Ireland her home. Having come across Lola whilst on my usual peruse of Etsy, I have since discovered that she has collaborated with my two favourites, West Elm and One Kings Lane and has even featured in House and Home Magazine and on the A Beautiful Mess blog. She has sure been making some waves recently!

Lola's work combines soft pastel hues with striking abstract designs, often incorporating a mixture of different materials, from acrylic paint to oil pastels and fine liners, which has made her art so very difficult to tear my eyes away from these past few days. (Not even joking. I've been unable to close the tab up to her Etsy page and website for the past three days running. I'm trying to stop myself from buying one of the larger prints for my living room. My heart is saying "YES, YES, YES!" but my bank account is saying "NO, NO, NO!" - the prints aren't actually too pricey, I'm just seriously broke.)

So without further adieu ladies and gentleman, feast your eyes on the below. You won't be disappointed.

If like me you have been tempted to purchase some of her art then check out her Etsy page for a selection of prints and originals. Lola also takes commissions if you have something specific in mind.

Do you know of any artists with a similar style to Lola's? If so, please comment me below. I'm always on the hunt for new art to get lost up in.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

// DIY: Marbled Phone Case

How to create a marbled phone case

I love swapping up my phone case every now and again, and there are endless options out there these days to choose from. But there is no better feeling when someone asks you where you got your amazing phone case from and you get to reply "I MADE IT!".

This DIY marble phone case is easy-peasy, can be done within minutes and allows you to use up all your old nail varnishes that you have hanging around. 

DIY Marble Phone Case Instructions //

1. Container big enough to fit your phone case in ( I used an old Indian Takeaway box...yum lamb bhuna)
2. Cocktail stick/BBQ skewer
3. Assortment of nail varnishes in your fav colours
4. Nail varnish remover (to dilute your nail varnish if it isn't runny enough)
5. Disposable gloves
6. Clear or plain phone cover in colour of your choosing

First off, cover the surface you are working on with a protective sheet or newspaper. Fill up your container with enough water to cover the phone plus a bit extra. 

Next unscrew all the lids off the nail varnish bottles and line them up in the order you want to use them. This is going to help speed up the pouring and swirling process (the nail varnish hardens on top of the water really quickly so you have to move fast!).

Now I know I'm not wearing gloves in these pictures. But that's because I learnt the hard way. You WILL get nail varnish all over your hands doing this, so if you want to save an hour scrubbing your fingers with polish remover then I would definitely recommend buying some disposable gloves or putting some marigolds on.

Before you start pouring test how runny your polish is. It needs to be viscous enough to pour easily out of the bottle. If you think it's a bit gloopy then simply pour a tiny bit of your nail varish remover into the bottle (I recommend doing this over the sink..I learnt the hard way) and give it a good shake.

Now start pouring your nail varnishes one on top of the other (like in the picture above) and they should start spreading out over the water.

You need to ensure you pour enough out to cover the whole of the water surface (any gaps will show up on your cover).

Remember, you need to move quick at this stage.

Now grab your stick and drag and push it through the varnish until you have a pattern that you are happy with.

*Excuse the mess*

Once you are happy with your marbled pattern simply take you phone case, hold it close over the water and then carefully drop it into the container.

As you can see from the picture, the nail varnish covers 'sticks' to the surface of the phone as it moves through the water.

Either use your stick, or grab a piece of kitchen roll and skim off the remaining nail varnish from the water.

Carefully take out the phone case, trying not to touch the sides or bottom too much as you may smudge the pattern, and place it face up on a surface to dry.

When you take it out, you may see some water drops left on the surface of the phone case. Try and shake or blow off as much as you can as soon as you take it out. As the cover dries these water drops will make little indentations in the pattern.

If you do notice any gaps in the pattern, just use a bit more nail varnish to blend it in whilst it's still wet.

 I thought I'd try marbled nails too. Idiot....

So there you go. A really quick and easy DIY phone case to try at home on a rainy summers day. 

You can pretty much marble anything using this method. Just up the size of your container for bigger items and use more varnish! I might try some marbled note pattern next.

I'd love to hear and see how you attempts went! Please comment or send me any pictures via email or twitter (designaesthetic@hotmail.com or @helenaoverton) and I will upload them on to the bottom of this post.