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Sharpie Edition Ducati

    What do a duck, nuclear power plant safety inspector and a walking-talking robot have in common? Other than being famous icons in pop culture, each of these figures hold a prominent place in a very unique design. 
    Jody Whitsell not only rides motorcycles, she customizes them, creating unique works of art – and with Sharpie markers no less! Incorporating various shapes and patterns into her designs, Whitsell cleverly integrates iconic characters including Daffy Duck, Homer Simpson & C-3PO into her designs.  Well known for her colorful dog portraits, Jody went for a classic black and white theme when customizing her bike and motorcycle helmets.
    Whitsell has always felt an incredible passion to create and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon.  Take a seat Sharpie fans, you’re in for a wild ride with today’s featured Sharpie artist!
 

Sharpie Edition Ducati

  

Tell me about yourself:  

My name is Jody Whitsell and I live in Warwick, N.Y.  I’ve never been called “average” or “normal” and I like it that way!! 

How did you get started as an artist?  What kind of experience do you have? 

I use to always color and draw as a kid – especially animals.  Here’s a quick story.  In third grade I had an assignment to write a report on an animal of my choice and draw the animal on the cover of the report.  I had so much fun doing the report that I did 7 animal reports!  Fast forward to Ramsey High School (N.J.) where I get the Senior Art Award and then go to William Paterson College (N.J.) where I majored in you guessed it. Art!  Getting a job at a picture framing shop introduced me to lots of artwork, but I wasn’t ready to do anything but my framing job, as I had 2 sons to raise. Once they got out of high school, I got the itch to get out the paints. I guess being an artist or a creative person, you can’t stop yourself from doing creative things.  Sometimes I feel it’s a CURSE as I am always looking for “projects” especially around the house to appease these creative impulses. I have large murals and faux finishes in EVERY room of my house. “PUT DOWN THE PAINT BRUSH!” I sometimes have to say to myself! 

Describe your personal style: 

I’d have to say it’s a really fun style, and I like to make myself and others SMILE!  They say that artists paint what they know, and I know animals and especially love dogs, so I decided to paint my dog in crazy colors, and everyone just loved it because it was so different.  That’s how I got my start in the “paying” art world. 

But I do have a very realistic, tight style of painting too, which I like to do between the doing the dog portraits. Like I said… I am COMPELLED to paint or create! 

 
 
 

  

 

What does black & white achieve that a broader array of color would not on these particular canvases? 

With the black and white, it’s more graphic and I really loved taking my graphic design courses in college, but that was a LONG time ago!  I like the crispness of the design, and using only the black and white, I had to really look at the balance of dark and light, patterns, text, and drawings and how they related to each other, which was challenging.  My husband laughed at me and said “you spend more time LOOKING at the helmet than you spend DRAWING on it!” and that’s because I was always analyzing the design! 

What is your process like?  How long did it take you to customize the Ducati? Helmets? 

Well, I start with a list of things I want to put on the helmet/bike.  I then choose the best place on the helmet for the most important item that’s going on. I then work around that item to fill in the space as aesthetically balanced as I can, with the design items that I choose.  I like to use dots, arrows, stripes, and stars, in my “patterns” that I repeat as “fill in” between the text and images that me or my client wants. 

My helmet took me 20 hours, and my bike took me 75 hours (because I got better and faster at it!!) 

 

  

 You sell custom Sharpie helmets on  www.bigdawgzsquared.com.  What’s the strangest/funniest request you’ve had from a customer? 

It’s interesting for me to see the things that mean a lot to my clients and hear their story.  You never know what’s behind someone’s smile – both good and heartbreaking.  I think the “Iron Butt Association” logo was something funny someone wanted on their helmet! 

Your typical Chicken vs. the Egg question: Which came first the bike or the helmet? 

The helmet.  I got such a great price on my white Arai helmet that I couldn’t NOT buy it, but once I put it on, I felt like a Star Wars “Storm Trooper”!! I knew I had to do something about THAT, so my son suggested I “Sharpie it”.  Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep all night thinking about what I wanted to put on my helmet. In my mind, it was like a white canvas just crying out to become something interesting and different!! 

 

  

How do you use Sharpie markers in your art?   

I first have to scuff the surface of the helmet to more readily accept the marker, and make it easier for me to pre-sketch the important and complex images (the pencil shows up well).  I love the feel of the marker sliding across the surface and how nice and black, and crisp it is against the white of the helmet, so I guess it’s kinda tactile too for me as well as visual! 

Favorite Sharpie?  Why? 

Fine Point – definitely!! I love the pointy-ness (is that a word?!) of it. It kinda looks like it might make a thicker line than it actually does.  It gives me great control both drawing, and filling in.  When the point got a little “mashed down” to where it wasn’t pointy enough, I would take a blue sharpie and mark THAT marker with a blue dot so I knew that I was only to use that marker as “fill in”. When that marker got even more flattened, I would mark it with a pink marker, and use it as a larger area “fill in”, so I had quite the “marker system” going on!  So even though I was working in black and white, it was also blue and pink I was looking for! 

  

You incorporate some very famous characters, Daffy Duck & Homer Simpson, Stewie from Family Guy, C3PO… Is there a specific reason for these characters? 

 

Their “smile” factor!!!  For me… I AM Daffy Duck, and I put Daffy on ALL my stuff – he’s completely out of his mind! 

The rest of them just make me smile and laugh, and what’s better than THAT?  With all that’s going on to look at and read on my Ducati,  I got really playful and thought it would be fun for people to look for a specific character, and who better to hide amongst all the madness, but Waldo?  People get a kick out of trying to find him!  

What are some of your favorite drawings or written sayings on the Ducati?   

Stewie from Family Guy holding Sharpies in each hand saying… “Do you realize what the deuce you’re looking at? A MARKER I tell you!” has got to be my favorite drawing with text.  So many are my favorites as they were chosen by me very carefully!  They are personal, and tell the story of who I am.  On the back of my front fender it says… “Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube” and I agree totally! 

Proudest accomplishment to date: 

I could say having my bike shown in Cycle World magazine, or being published with my paintings, but I really am proud and thankful of my gift of making people happy (while having fun myself ) doing what I truly love to do. 

Motto to live by: 

WHATEVER  you do… make YOUR mark.

Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about?!  

I have orders for helmets and paintings, but I have a few ideas rolling around my head as how to out-do my bike,  but it AIN’T GONNA BE EASY!  (and YES, it DOES include just a few Sharpie markers!!) 

 

 

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Meet the 2010 Sharpie Squad!

Introducing the 2010 Sharpie Squad! (cue music: ”Eye of the Tiger“).  With a fusion of innovative, resourceful and unique talent, the Sharpie Squad, in its second year, aims to inspire people around the globe to “Uncap What’s Inside” and get creative with Sharpie markers. 

Showcasing inventive and inspiring ideas from some of Sharpie’s most passionate fans, this year’s Sharpie Squad is comprised of 20 bloggers, artists, fashionistas and creative gurus.  As Sharpie ambassadors, Squad members get the exclusive inside scoop into the world of Sharpie.  They will also be among the first to learn about promotions and campaigns and will receive all of the latest and greatest Sharpie innovations before they hit stores.  Each member will collect some sweet Sharpie swag throughout the year, including t-shirts, personalized Sharpie markers and one-of-a-kind Sharpie avatars designed in their likenesses to use on their own social media sites.

As we are so passionate about the talent this group has to offer, we’ll be shining the spotlight on each individual Squad member throughout 2010 on our own social media sites, so keep an eye out on Sharpie Uncapped, Facebook, and right here on the Sharpie Blog.  You can also stay up to date on all things Sharpie via Twitter with SharpieSusan & SharpieWhit.

Get to know the Sharpie Squad!

Though brand new to the Sharpie Squad this year, you may recognize this next member as she was a brilliant asset to Sharpie during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC last fall at our DIY Sharpie Bar!  

Erica Domesek is a distinguished lifestyle, design and style expert, living and creating in New York City.  She is also the founder of the innovative DIY brand “PS-I Made This…” With a keen eye and ability to make everything from fashion accessories, home décor accents and provide a vision for creative soirees, Erica’s work has been featured in publications such as Teen Vogue, Glamour, Vogue Nippon, Domino, GQ, among others.   She has styled and designed campaigns for international brands such as Kate Spade, Tumi, J.Crew, Anthropologie, Roxy, Sigerson Morrison, and True Religion, Helmut Lang, and has hosted Alloy Entertainment’s Teen.com TV’s Craft Club.

Follow Erica on Twitter. Fan her on Facebook. See all the DIY inspirations from P.S. – I made this…

Erin Moore of Things Moms Like, a popular review and giveaway blog, is the mother of two (7 and 14).  A 2009 Sharpie Squad veteran, back for more in 2010, Erin has worked as an event planner as well as a promoter.  She frequently speaks at parenting conferences all over the country and loves to travel!  Erin enjoys offering fun contests and honest reviews to parents everywhere with her blog.  And Hello?!! Of course she uses Sharpies on a daily basis!

Erin is on Twitter and Facebook!  ThingsMomsLike.com 

Alex Poli, better known as Man One, is a leading urban muralist and artist.  Involved with the Graffiti Art movement since 1987, Man One began his artistic journey in the streets of Los Angeles tagging and leaving his trademark of bold, colorful aerosol strokes, in search of his artistic purpose. He may be new to the Sharpie Squad in 2010, but his artwork has already been showcased in over 40 group exhibitions domestically and internationally, 10 solo exhibits, and displayed at several museums and high profile galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Getty, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana, and Parco Museum in Tokyo. 

Commercially, Man One’s commissions include murals, designs and concepts for MTV, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Sony, Ubisoft to name a few, as well as scenic visuals for feature films, music videos and TV commercials and ads for Microsoft, Target and Ford. His artwork has been profiled and featured in a number of international magazines, newspapers and books including the Washington Post and New York Magazine. He also owns and runs Crewest, the only L.A.-based gallery dedicated to the upliftment of Graffiti Art.

Man One is on Twitter and FacebookGet more Man!

Kristin Lesney is the mother to Kai, 5, and Brooklin, 1.  She’s a busy full-time college student living in Oregon and a veteran Sharpie Squad member, returning for her second year!  Kristin chronicles the daily life of just another Ordinary Mom.  Kristin is the owner of Our Ordinary Life, a blog where she talks about her journey through life as a mom and college student. She enjoys keeping it real and always has an opinion about something!  Kristin shares what her family finds useful and if she doesn’t seem busy enough, she also involves herself in several projects around the blogpshere. She’s one of Frito Lay’s Fab 15 moms as well as a Frigidare Test Drive Mom.

Catch up with Kristin on Twitter & Facebook and take a peak at her extraordinary website, Our Ordinary Life.

Linda Ellett is a professional artist who specializes in decorating pottery with Sharpie markers!  Residing in upstate New York, this new Sharpie Squad member is celebrating 31 years of extraordinary tile-making with her shop, L’esperance Tile Works found on Etsy.   Every one of Ellett’s tiles is handmade and hand-glazed in her upstate New York studios.

Find out more about Linda through Twitter, Facebook and visit the amazing L’esperance Tile Works.

Brand new in 2010 to the Sharpie Squad, Corine Ingrassia is a suburban stay-at-home mom of two — a boy, 4, and a girl, 1.  Corine blogs from Central New Jersey where she talks with an audience of other “Complicated Mama’s” who are seeking balance in their full-time, permanent stay-at-home mom jobs. Corine is also a contributing writer for the NYMetropolista blog and NJ.com/parenting.

Find out what’s so complicated by chatting with this mama on TwitterFacebook, and on ComplicatedMama.com.

Welcome back Jon E. Nimetz, second year Sharpie Squad member!  Based out of Venice, California, Jon is a producer, marketer, advertising producer, and the talent behind SuperFineArt.com.  He is known for his loud personality and passionate style, which he emphasizes through his art. Jon uses a combination of acrylic paint and Sharpie paint markers to create nature-inspired paintings that are both unique and self-expressive.

This Squad member is Super Fine! Find him on Facebook and Twitter too.

Linsey Knerl, the endearing voice behind Lille’ Punkin Reviews , is always on the lookout for the next best thing when it comes to making her life easier.   Who isn’t, right?! As a free resource for parents and friends of parents, Knerl offers regular, unbiased opinions on a variety of family-friendly items.  This is Linsey’s second year on the Sharpie Squad!  This punkin is a must-have resource when it comes to parenting!

Check out Linsey on Twitter, Facebook and her website: Lille’Punkin

Lauri Harrison is founder of MomToBeDepot.com and is a blogger for several media sites including Working Mother magazine and Examiner.com. Not only is Lauri a second time Sharpie Squad member, she is also the mom of a tot (no, not tater-tots, silly) and a teenager, informing parents about great new products (as well as the classics, eh hem… Sharpie)!

Connect with Lauri on Twitter and Facebook. Also be sure to head to the Depot!

Cheeming Boey is a California-based artist using Styrofoam cups as his chosen canvas.  With artistic creations that seem to go viral on a weekly basis, this brand new 2010 Squad member uses Sharpie markers to create intricate designs on cups, selling them online at iamboey.com. Boey has attracted tons of attention with his mini masterpieces and has  been featured in the OC Register and maxim.com.

Flip some cups with Boey on Twitter & Facebook  You’ve gotta check out IAmBoey.com.

 

Laura Kelly is an official Sharpie guru and second year Squad member.  Using Sharpie markers, Laura creates bright, bold and simple designs that uplift the human spirit.  Surrounded by people who share her aspirations to generate joy, happiness and empowerment in a vibrant, organized environment, she fills notebooks with playful Sharpie drawings inspired by everyday images when suddenly, a new collection is born.   Laura currently licenses her work to companies in a variety of industries including gift, stationery, gourmet food and home décor as well as bank products.  She also owns her own wholesale company, Laura Kelly Designs, which manufactures stationery products for stores around the country. When she isn’t working on her licensable portfolio, you will find her painting, baking, gardening, playing with clay or making stuff out of recycled stuff.  She is also a active member of the Greeting Card Association, Craft and Hobby Association where she serves on the Trend Team and as a delegate to the National Stationery Show.

Laura’s Facebook and Website. Shop Laura Kelly!

His second year on the Sharpie Squad, Travis Todd creates Sharpie art on everyday objects from lunch boxes to automobiles.  He even carries a Sharpie on his key chain just in case he is overcome with an urge to create “instant art!”  Travis has built a great name for himself – he is especially renowned in online automotive forums for his amazing Sharpie Art Car creations, one of which was recently featured on womansday.com.  He has developed his own blend of elegant scroll work and graffiti-style art and claims that  people tend to see what they want to see in his artwork.  You can find some of his works on his Flickr page @ www.flickr.com/spdu4ia.

Click HERE to see what Travis’ Sharpie Art is all about.

Say hello to Alli Whitmore, the brains and beauty behind One Pearl Button.  This Sharpie Squad newcomer is an archaeologist and crafter, striving to do something creative everyday!  She blogs about fashion, design, crafts and photography and has had work featured all over the internet as well as in print.  As an archaeologist, Alli is naturally drawn to the history of objects and has a feminine, slightly quirky style which is strongly influenced by the past.  Some of her current loves are crocheted afghans, clothes that are way too big, and Polaroid photography.  And of course, Sharpie markers are considered invaluable tools in her creative arsenal! 

Tweet with Alli and then check out her website OnePearlButton.com.

Derek Benson of San Diego, CA takes lunch time to a new level using Sharpie markers.  A second year Sharpie Squad member, Benson uses Sharpie markers to add intricate drawings of cartoons, super heroes, characters and more to his childrens’ brown paper lunch bags – and he does it every day!  During his lunch breaks, Benson conjures up his unique designs, all which can be seen on his website lunchbagart.tumblr.com.  His drawings have been featured in Parents magazine and can be seen on his Tumblr or via his twitter account.

Have lunch with Benson on Twitter and Tumblr!

New to the Sharpie Squad, Debbie Bookstaber is editor of Mamanista.com, a site dedicated to pointing out the fabulously chic and irresistibly practical–shopping, making it easy for the hip mama on a budget to compare products.  Debbie is currently the Director of Strategy at The JAR Group, holds a postion on her local school board as well as gives her time to serving serveal charitable boards. 

Follow Mamanista on Twitter, join Debbie on Facebook.  take a look around Mamanista.com & see what fab finds are out there!

Mark Rivard is a well-known skateboard artist, covering a wide variety of genres and designs. Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rivard is a returning 2009 Sharpie Squad member, whose work has been seen in exhibitions around the world, including shows in Belgium, Denver, Detroit, Seattle and New York City. Rivard takes his Sharpies with him worldwide, teaching and inspiring through art. 

Connect with Mark on Twitter & Facebook.  Ride on down to Mark’s website MarkRivardSkateboardArt.com.

As the creator of If it’s Hip, It’s Here, Laura Sweet has always had an admiration for art, design and craftsmanship.  Her blog is an outlet to share what she admires as “hip” with her 30,000+ readers every month.  Currently residing in Beverly Hills, Laura has lived and worked in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Detroit and Seattle. Living in these assorted locations has exposed her to a variety of diverse attitudes, styles and values. For more than 20 years, Laura has been on the creative side of the TV and print advertising business. She has produced work on several major accounts from luxury cars to IKEA. Laura holds degrees in both Fine Art and Art History from UC Berkeley. She also has a degree in Advertising from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, where she was an instructor for eight years.  This is Laura’s first year as a Sharpie Squad member!

Get a quick hip from Laura on Twitter and Facebook.  Satisfy your Sweet tooth at If It’s Hip It’s Here

Hanna Agar is a 2009 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography and a minor in Spanish.  For the past few years, she has been creating a lot of artwork involving the use of recycled paper to create sets, costumes, and props that then are photographed.  A returning member of the Sharpie Squad, Hanna uncaps her Sharpies all over the paper with her camera on an interval timer so that she can photograph the whole process.  She considers her work “documented performance art.”  In addition to her love of Sharpie markers, Hanna currently works as a studio photographer doing assignments for Volume One Magazine (an arts and culture magazine in Eau Claire, Wis.) as well as some freelance work. Hanna has recently returned from Southern India where she was working as a product designer for the women’s organization, “Blue Mango.”

Check out Hanna’s work! She has a wonderful section on her website dedicated to Sharpie!

Tali Buchlar, a fresh face to the 2010 Sharpie Squad, is a stay-at-home mom, raising her kids in the most creative way she can.  A mother of two girls and blogger of  www.growingupcreative.com, Tali shares her experiences and research about raising her girls to be innovative and imaginative.  Upon graduating from Massachusetts College of Art from the Department of Architecture, she gained four years of training at an innovative architecture firm. Since then, she has opened her own firm with Kristen Giannattasio in Watertown, Massachusetts.  Tali recently moved back to Israel from Santa Monica, CA.

Learn more about Tali & Growing Up CreativeTweet with her and check her out on Facebook.

Welcome Heather Batts to the Sharpie Squad!  Heather is a mom of two boys who writes about her journey as a diva on a budget at thedomesticdiva.org. for.  Her blog has been recognized as one of the “142 Resources that will Save you Cash” in 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget by the writers of Wise Bread, for being a part of one of the “Best Personal Finance Blogs.”  With such a successful blog, Heather has even been able to has interview celebrities including daytime talk show host Kelly Ripa and Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin.

This Diva can be found on Twitter & Facebook! Be sure to browse around on her DomesticeDiva.org too!

  

To follow the entire Sharpie Squad’s tweets follow the Sharpie Squad Twitter List. 

Don’t forget to Tweet with the #SharpieSquad hashtag on Twitter!

 

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If Walls Could Talk

When moving into a new home you are more or less handed a blank slate – A lot of empty space that is just yearning for color, texture, shapes, personality.  This new place gives you the opportunity to convey who you are through design.  You may not see it this way, but I feel that decorating your personal space is an outward expression of your inner self through lines, colors, furniture, and art work.  Think of it this way, home decor is like your wardrobe but much larger in scale, more expensive and for most, if you don’t like what your home is “wearing,”  tough, you can’t simply change the outfit in a snap.  

A few weeks ago, I moved into a new apartment, my first and I’m all on my own.  I have free range to decorate how I want.  So now, I’ve got this blank slate in front of me and I really do not want to screw it up – I want my place to scream who I am!  I have all the furniture but the walls…well, they are still bare as a bone with no art displayed upon them. 

The problem is, I do not want to, nor can I, spend a hefty chunk of change on artwork.  I have concert posters (Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Flatstock) that I plan to frame and hang but that’s not exactly doing it for me.  I keep coming back to what I preach every day of the week – SHARPIE.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the pictures of the “Sharpie basement” and all sorts of Sharpie wall artYES! I do love these but also YES, my landlord would have fit if I attempted them.  So what else can I do to bring in that unique, urban, DIY, Sharpie-esq element?

I think I’ve found it…

Several stores I’ve bought furniture from have a similar theme going on that I can only describe as a ”paper-recession motif.”  In other words, using paper, card stock, cardboard, etc… to build make inexpensive, yet tasteful art.  While none of these stores necessarily have incorporated Sharpie, I do see an appropriate place for the markers & pens. Using Sharpie to add details and personalize the following examples would be a fun, easy and inexpensive way to make it your own.  If these don’t necessarily fit your style, try taking the ideas and interpret them to fit your personality.

 Here, pictures from magazines and books and pieces of card stock were cut out and hung with clothes pins on a long piece of twine to add some color to a pretty neutral corner .  Another idea would be to hang actual post cards and greeting cards that you’ve either collected or bought for this purpose.  On new cards use a Sharpie to write inspirational quotes, music lyrics, anything you’d like.  Or keep a Sharpie and Polaroid camera nearby, next to bowl of clothes pins for when you have company.  Take pictures with friends and family, write a little note and hang the pictures up.

Using corrugated strips of cardboard, this store built HUGE murals shaped into daisies.  These pictures do not even do justice, this honestly was amazing and I stood in awe for a good five minutes.  Imagine building these to fit your wall(s) and adding little touches with Sharpie markers - rain drops, lady bugs, veins on leaves, details on petals… Oh the possibilities.

Use patterned paper or gift wrap to cover old books and bring new light to a book shelf.  Use the same paper in similar patterns and colors to make flowers (or in any shape for that matter) and hang in place of a framed picture.

Tear out pictures from magazines, books, newspapers, or trace new drawings with a Sharpie onto paper to make your own wallpaper collage.  Don’t be afraid to overlap, we’re going for a sloppy, yet put-together feel here.  Hanging plates as shown here, is a great way to pull everything together.

This wall was really interesting…  Sheets upon sheets upon sheets of white paper were stacked to cover the entire wall.  To add a pop of color, flowers were made using wired twine and rolled up colored pieces of paper.  Add any details you want with Sharpie to achieve your unique vision.

 

 It just goes to show how creative you can get using inexpensive materials, a creative eye and your own individual style to make unique pieces that will easily brighten up any room.  I’ll send an update once my apartment is all set up to show you what I’ve done with the place. 

 What unique ways have you decorated your home, bedroom, locker, or office?

Try some of these things out and let me know how it goes!

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Made with Sharpie, This Was.

I came across this blast from the past while cleaning up my computer desktop this morning…

Created by Jon Burgerman, this custom helmet derives from aaaall the way back to 2007 and made with a  Metallic Sharpie Marker for The Vader Project for the ’07 Star Wars Celebration Europe exhibition held in London at Excel.

"Armed with a silver Sharpie, I scrawled and colored my way over the helmet, dropping in little Star Wars references as I went…." - Jon Burgerman

Recently,  Jon has been traveling the world creating murals for AOL.  Here’s a time-lapse video of him creating a mural at the AOL headquarters in Manhattan, New York.  Check out Jon’s London agents, Debut Art for more of his designs and photos from his “mural travels.”

(That is one awesome sweater! The fact that he turns it around so that we can see it’s awesomeness, wow…what a guy!)

Be sure to take a tour of Jon’s work at on his own website: www.jonburgerman.com !!

Inside, Uncap What Is

 

 

 

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Unwrap What’s Inside this Holiday with Sharpie

Sharpie Holiday ImageIn the spirit of the season, throughout the month of December we will be showing you how Sharpie makes its mark on holiday gift-giving,  decorating, organizing and more!  Through all sorts of how-to videos and pictorals, we will take you through the step-by-step DIY process and show you the tools you’ll need to add a personal touch to the holidays!

Below you will find a list of 25 ways to utilize Sharpie markers to put a creative twist on all of your gift giving, decorating and organizational needs.  Come back and visit to see the how-to videos and pictorals all month long!  Happy Holidays!

1 Think Beyond a White (as well as Red and Green) Christmas – Holiday décors are getting a colorful makeover this December.  Mix it up this year with unique Sharpie marker color combos.  Re-vamp ornaments, paper goods, tree trim and more using Sharpie markers in Magenta and Lime, Turquoise and Red, Berry and Pomegranate.  Kick it up a notch with color and let Sharpie transform white to bright.

bells2 Tacky Times TwoThrow a tacky-themed holiday party, encouraging guests to come up with their most ridiculous holiday outfits.  Customize holiday sweaters, suspenders, ties, socks and more with Sharpie markers and create a look distinctly your own.  Get twice the tacky with Sharpie Twin Tip markers offering both fine and ultra-fine tips in one marker. 

3 Green-A-Ling– Create your very own flower pot bell ornament for the tree using Sharpie paint markers. Color small terra-cotta flowerpots (available at your local craft store) and let dry.  Personalize the pots with stars, bows, berries and other fun holiday designs.  Thread ribbon (or wire) through the drainage hole to make a loop for hanging.  Loop another ribbon inside the pot and attach a bell.

4 My Tube Choose from among Sharpie’s 34 bold colors to decorate a roll of solid-colored wrapping paper (tissue, crepe, foil, vellum, craft paper – gift bags too).  Use a stencil or cookie cutter and trace a hand, shoe, leaf, key or other object to create a personalized motif.   Tip:  Use the wrapping paper tube as a gift box to hold kids’ artwork; wrap the tube using your new Sharpie “signature” gift wrap and ship to packagesGrandma.

5 Sharp Cookie Give the gift that won’t get lost – Sharpie personalized markers imprinted with the name and icon of your choice on the marker barrel.   Smart shoppers give personalized Sharpie markers to friends, family, teachers, postmen, milkmen, hairdressers, receptionists, babysitters, pet walkers, Girl Scout troops, Bunko groups, golf buddies, favorite baristas and more!  For a stocking stuffer with a personal touch, go to www.mysharpie.com to order. 

6 Sharp Bookie Sharpie-created bookmarks are a good bet for gift-giving.  Make your mark by doodling the usual suspects – dogs, stars, hearts, swirls – or exercise your inner artist and take a stab at recreating art from one of the masters (go online to download inspirations).  Tip:  Use the Sharpie marker itself as the bookmark.  Just clip to the page! 

xmas tree7 Keeper Cards Design your own “keeper card.”  Use Sharpie markers to create personalized greeting cards, the kind that won’t wind up in the waste basket.   Kids can create personalized cards for classmates.  Kids tip:  Whip up a mod mosaic in minutes by holding a bundle of Sharpie markers in your hand and drawing circles on circles.

8 Card Jar – Keep track of cards in a holiday-themed box or jar decorated with Sharpie markers.  Use a glass or acrylic box/jar and decorate with these holiday-inspired themes in mind: candy canes, twinkly lights, mistletoe, silver bells.   *Make smaller containers for gift receipts and recipes.

9 Tree Hugger – Write your child’s name in Sharpie marker on a small silver or gold bell.  Help them find a spot on the tree and let them give the bell a ring each night before bedtime to make a holiday wish.  This will become a favorite holiday tradition.

10 Table That The Stay-cation travel trend is continuing into the holidays.  Use time at home around the table to create one-of-a-kind holiday gifts with Sharpie markers. (2011 UPDATE: Check out Stained by Sharpie fabric markers to make your mark in your festive fanfare)  Embellish socks, t-shirts, sneakers, headbands, belts, backpacks, aprons, picture frames and more.  Kids can make special keepsakes for mom; teens can get creative and add their favorite expressions.  Mom tip:  Create a family of matching tees or sweatshirts – one for everyone in the brood.    snowflake

11 A+ in Gift Giving Send your kids to school with a present teachers can really use – school supplies!  Place an assortment of Sharpie markers in a large soup can covered in plain white paper and decorated with Sharpie markers.  Wrap it up, top with a festive bow and take your seat at the head of the class.

12 Santa‘s Sharpie Make a list and check it twice with the Sharpie Pen.  The newest addition to the Sharpie family, the Sharpie Pen doesn’t bleed through paper and is perfect for all your holiday writing needs – and it’s now available in a retractable version!  Use it for list-making, note-cards, gift tags, journal writing, work and school – and don’t forget that important letter to Santa!  Make your mark with the Sharpie Pen in black, blue, orange, red, green, or purple (2011 UPDATE: NOW available in Coral, Turquoise, Clover and Hot Pink!).stocking

13 Stock Up Instead of paying to have names embroidered on holiday stockings, this year buy some white felt and create your own colorful, unique version using Sharpie markers.   Stock the stocking with Sharpie markers to make a permanent impression.

14 Draw The Line – Pick up a copy of your favorite holiday classic at a used book store and carefully remove a page.  Sketch or trace an image right over the print to make a beautiful greeting card, wall decoration, or holiday embellishment.  Laminate or frame your page to preserve for next year. 

15 A Little Flakey Create a cost-saving winter wonderland by making do-it-yourself snowflakes. Decorate paper with the colors of the season or stay monochromatic with Sharpie Metallic Permanent marker.  Color then fold and cut into snowflake shapes.

16 Made Not Manufactured Show family and friends how thankful you are for their gifts with homemade, colorful thank-you cards. Design one card with Sharpie markers and make copies to save gingermoney on store-bought versions.

17 Tag You’re It Let loved ones see how truly personal the gift they are receiving is with a one-of-a- kind gift tag.  Liven up your present by adding your own unique way of stating “To” and “From” on a square of card stock.  Tie a Sharpie MINI marker to your tag for the gift tag that keeps on giving.

18 Take A Shine What better way to top off the perfect holiday gift than with a Stainless Steel Sharpie Permanent Marker.  Add a little extra sophistication and shine to your gift by attaching the Stainless Steel Sharpie with its refillable cartridge and etched logo on the barrel to the top of the package — the perfect complement to your Sharpie Metallic Permanent marker custom-designed gift wrap. 

19 Ring in the Bling Use a Sharpie Metallic silver marker to ring in the New Year.  Add some bling by creating a silver celebration of party ware – decorate glassware, placemats, votive holders, candlesticks, party hats, favors and more.  Tip:  Use a paper tablecloth and give guests a pack of Sharpie markers as table favors so they can write their resolutions as they count down the New Year.  sleigh

20 Wax PoeticThinking about throwing out those old candle sticks?  Why not bring new life to them with Sharpie markers.  Use a Sharpie marker and cover them with script writing of your favorite poetic verses.  Combine with Sharpie Metallic silver accents and display year-round. 

21 Holiday Calendar Countdown – With a ruler, cardstock and Sharpie markers, draw out a calendar.  Find small holiday ornaments and trinkets around the house (buttons, pins, last year’s holiday card cut-outs – any small embellishment) and stick magnets onto the back of each.  Hang your calendar on refrigerator and use your magnetic ornaments to count down the days of your holiday season!

22 Pen The Perfect Present Assemble a gift box full of Sharpie Pens (in all six colors – black, blue, red, green, orange, purple).  Top the gift off with several sheets of pretty stationery, perfect for the art enthusiast with a penchant for the age-old art of letter writing. 

23 You’ve Been Framed Bring life to a plain white picture frame by doodling inspiring words around the edges in black Sharpie marker.  Insert a black-and-white photo for an elegant holiday gift.  Attach a matching hand-made gift tag with a thoughtful message.  Write your note in red with a Sharpie marker to give the gift a little pop!

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24 For Keep Sake! Start a holiday memories book.  As the holidays wind down, pass around a book of blank pages and have your family take turns writing a special holiday message.  What was your favorite moment or memory?  Best present? What are you thankful for?  Build a collection of wonderful memories and create a keepsake that can be shared for generations to come. 

25 Ahead of the Pack Once the holidays are over, it is important to organize all of your decorations, ornaments, lights, etc. so things don’t get lost or forgotten.  Label boxes with Sharpie markers and store them away neatly.  Pack smart with Sharpie and spend time with family and friends instead!

Share your Holiday sharpie creations and tips with us too! What are your favorite ways to use your Sharpie markers during the Holidays?

Become a fan of Sharpie onFacebook!

 

Unwrap What’s Inside!

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Go ahead, Uncap a Sharpie

“Uncap What’s Inside” … We throw it around a lot but what exactly does it mean?

I’m not going to give you Webster’s version, instead, here’s my own… To Uncap What’s Inside means to let your true colors show; to express yourself, to let your personality and creativity out and embrace what makes you, YOU!  At Sharpie, we believe that these markers and pens can help people express themselves creatively, turning the everyday into one-of-a-kind works of art – something uniquely your own! 

Here is a perfect example of a 12 year old girl who has taken this phrase to heart and has done just that – she Uncapped What’s Inside of her!

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12 year old Maddie Chaffer of Grand Rapids, Michigan is an avid Beatles fan and wanted to stand out from the crowd when entering 7th grade.  With an assortment of Sharpies, she “Yellow Submarined” her trombone and will certainly stand out from the crowd with her MaddieC. Original musical instrument! 

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Thanks for sharing your idea with us Maddie! Way to Uncap!

Get out your Sharpie and see what you can do!  

Upload your pics to the Gallery at SharpieUncapped.com

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BIG Sharpie Art

Looking At North Forty One West Eighty Seven Milky Way Galaxy Solar System Earth Northern Hemi America United States of America Illinois Chicago Six One Six North Rush Street Six Zero Six One One Exact Point You Are Looking At North Forty One West Eighty Seven Milky Way Galaxy Solar System Earth Northern Hemi North America The Lovely United States of America Illinois The Corrupt City of Chicago Six One Six North Rush Street Six Zero Six One

No, this is not gibberish and don’t worry, we haven’t lost our minds over here at Sharpie either.  These words are in fact a work of Sharpie art and the newest permanent fixture at Jbar, a well-known Chicago hotspot neighboring The James Hotel

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“Everything inspires me.  Some artists paint pictures and shapes, I paint using words.  Words create images in my head, but I like the way words look when they are placed next to and on top of each other, taking on a form of its own.”  “My technique allows the viewer to think simple letters form complex words, serving to create language as a form of art.”

-Brian Graves

Local Chicago artist, Brian Graves made his Sharpie mark on the bar’s walls with Jgrooves I & II and Jposition I & II, installations from the Jbar Project.  For this project, Graves drew inspiration from different areas, including famous one-liners from popular club songs that have been fixated into his own mind.  The words above are from a portion of the installation, stating the precise location of Jbar itself; beginning with outer space progressing to its exact coordinates on Earth.bac 7

*I would like to take this moment to thank you, Mr. Graves, for cursing me with the musical mash-up that is repeating in my head, consisting of Madonna’s Hey Mr Dj, U2’s She Moves in Mysterious Ways, Tina Turner’s Proud Mary and P!nk’s intellectually stimulating, Get this Party Started.*

Graves focuses on the development of self-taught expression of both feeling and emotion in his own form of abstract painting. Letters, words, everyday expressions and emotion combine and collide with color and texture through layers of acrylics, oils, pastels and yes, Sharpie markers!

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Artist Brian Graves (second from left) and friends at Jbar

Artist Brian Graves (second from left) and friends at Jbar

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Trust me when I say that you need to see more of Brian Graves’ artwork. Absolutely incredible!  BigArtChicago <— Check it out

Hey, why not see his work up close and personal?!  Grab a cab and jet on over to the JBar at The James.

*A BIG thanks goes out to Raul Ruiz, Sharpie Highlighters Brand Manager for suggesting Brian’s Jbar project for the Sharpie Blog.  Follow Raul on Twitter! (He has a great profile pic)

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The Writing’s On the Walls at Urbane Apts

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Urbane Apartments celebrated the grand opening of their new Michigan location in a unique way.  On October 22nd, owner Eric Brown hosted the Sharpie “Draw on the Walls” contest by opening up the space to the public and inviting 12 local artists to create innovative and eccentric designs on the walls of the building’s Co-Work space’s meeting rooms.

*The Co-Work space is designed for small to medium sized companies needing a trendy office space, as well as for Urbane residents’ use of office machines and desk space.

 The winner of the Sharpie “Draw On the Walls” contest and $750 was Urbane resident, Ryan Gardner.  I think that the best way to describe Gardner’s creation (this pun just happens to fit perfectly) would be this:  Uncapping What’s Inside of an imaginative mind. Now, I know that you think I’m just plugging the Sharpie campaign, but seriously, look at the pics and tell me that’s not a pretty accurate description!

1st place Winner, Ryan Gardner

1st place Winner, Ryan Gardner

Gardner, Writing on the Walls with Sharpie!

Gardner, Writing on the Walls with Sharpie!

Spotlight on the Winner!

Spotlight on the Winner!

With about 100 attendees, the event was a success.  Taking place in the Co-Work space, the 12 artists drew live on the walls with an assortment of Sharpie markers.  The outcomes are pretty amazing! (See pictures below.) I don’t know about you but I get nervous writing my name on a nametag with 1 person watching, let alone 99 people watching me draw on a wall –Talk about pressure.  I have to give big props to the artists.  Great work guys; you’ve made Sharpie proud!

In addition to live art, Urbane Apts. also provided drinks & appetizers, gave property tours, hosted a live raffle, all the while, moving to the beats of DJ Terry Hall, with photographer Rachel Wade capturing every Sharpie moment!

Here are some pics of the artists drawing at the Urbane Apt. event!

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For more on the event check out Urbane on Facebook and their blog.  Of course get the scoop about Urbane Aprtments at www.urbaneapts.com

 

Sharpie? Yes, please! www.sharpie.com

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Sharpie If You Dare

Add frightful flair to your monster mash this Halloween with Sharpie markers and pens!  Using Sharpie to create costumes, liven up lanterns, decorate pumpkins and personalize accessories,  you will be able to trick AND treat your way through a Happy Halloween.

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Now crank up ”Thriller” and let’s put those Sharpies to work!

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Jack of All Trades This year, think beyond your traditional Jack O’ Lantern! Take it a step further and use Sharpie markers as your #1 pumpkin decorating tool.  After picking the perfect pumpkin, draw Halloween images, spooky sceneries and creative designs with all different Sharpie markers.  Stencils are also a fun and easy way to copy your favorite images.  Take a look at Stencil1 for cool Halloween stencils and tips. While you’re there take a peek at other stencils for more holiday craft ideas!  In the mean time, here are some ideas to get you started…

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images from: Random Ramblings, House of Thrill and Homes & Gardens

It’s Tricky to Rock a Rhyme That’s Right on Time It’s Tricky… It’s tricky tricky tricky (or TREAT!) A fun activity for kids is to customize and decorate their own Trick or Treat bags!  Pillow cases, paper bags, and buckets are all great options.  Supply them with Sharpie markers to decorate their “loot sacks” in any way they please!  Decorate to match a costume or stencil names in a spooky font, either way your little goblin will be ready to rock n’ roll and make the rounds on Halloween night!

Are You Afraid of the Dark? Don’t get caught wandering in the dark on Halloween night; you never know what could be lurking past midnight! Light the way with these ghostly Sharpie lights and lanterns.   Use recycled milk jugs and buckets, like these, to brighten the pathway for Trick or Treaters, or get plastic flashlights to carry around with you. 

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images from: Family Corner and BrokenSteps.com

How about a faux lantern for day time? Image from Country Living

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Think Outside of the Box The budget is a little tight this year and I don’t have a ton of cash to throw out for a Halloween costume.  No way, not another ghost costume again this year (I can’t spare anymore white bed sheets)…   With a few Sharpies you can easily cook up great Halloween costume and save a bundle! After looking at pictures of costumes, I came to this conclusion: Sharpie + Cardboard Box = Endless possibilites!  In literally seconds I thought up all sorts of costumes to make with a box and Sharpie markers: Robot, Phone Booth, Zack Morris’ Cell Phone :) , Skateboard, iPod, Movie Theatre Box of Candy, Go-Kart, Dart Board, Refrigerator, Rocket Ship, a SmartCar.  (Look at me getting all creative!)  Here are some pics that I like of “Lego people” costumes.  Round up friends and you could be an entire group of Lego people!!

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images from: FamilyGo and DavidBau.com

Know Your INS and OUTS Can’t last all night wearing a bulky box? I hear ya partner!  Plus, I’m pretty sure that wearing a box, my “Thriller” dance would look more like a scene from “March of the Penguins!”   Well here’s a clever idea that I thought up to get a 2 for 1 deal out of a Halloween costume and a sure fire way to be the life (or death) of the party!

Choose a costume theme, such as a Race Car or Computer, design your box accordingly.  Next, on a solid colored onesie or a t-shirt and pants, draw your “insides” with Sharpie markers (Race Car: driver’s suit/Computer: inner wiring)!  Let me explain: Say you are a Refrigerator - Draw items that are found inside of a refrigerator all over your shirt and pants.  Or how about you are a Casket or Grave site- draw a full skeleton on a onesie with Sharpie.  *Don’t stick to black and white either – the 80′s are back baby and I want to be a hot pink skeleton this year!) By wearing both, if you want to take off the box you are still sporting a killer costume that will knock those zombies right off their feet!

(Final Thought) *4 out of 5 Dentists Approve: Instead of handing out candy, give Sharpie markers to your trick or treaters this year!

Send in pictures of how you incorporate Sharpie markers this year and they will get posted on the Sharpie Blog and Facebook page!

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The ‘SHARP’ in ‘SHARPWOOD’

Looking to add a little color into your home?

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…Take a tip from Karen Edwards, a wife, mother, and full-time college administrator who has taken her hobby to a whole new level! Making old things new again, Edwards is the chief operator of SHARPWOOD, a line of re-worked home décor, musical instruments, utensils and more, all of which are designed by hand!  Her very first designs can be found on basement pipes, switch plate covers, old dresser drawers, however since then Edwards has graduated to front doors, table settings, even guitars! Check out how Karen Edwards uses Sharpie Permanent Markers to turn drab into fab!

“SHARPWOOD products have been salvaged from their misguided fate because of their inherent beauty and potential for re-design!”

Where does the name SHARPWOOD come from? SHARP refers to the Sharpie markers that I draw with, and WOOD refers to the medium I usually work on.  In our household, “SHARPWOOD” has become a verb!  The other day, I was wearing a dress with a lot of detailed designs in the fabric and my 6 year old asked me, “Mama – did you SHARPWOOD your dress?”

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Where do you salvage these items from? Do you stick to your hometown? Stumble upon them?  Travel to find pieces?  Most pieces were found at second-hand shops or garage sales. I have a hard time driving by either without making a quick stop. My extended family is also in the habit of noticing treasures when they second hand shop. Sometimes when walking into a 2nd hand shop I feel like a kid in a candy store, how do you decide among pieces that you want to re-design? I’m picky about the pieces I buy. I look for unique shapes and features. If the piece doesn’t inspire me, it just sits in the basement and gets passed by as I pick the next thing to work on.

How long have you been “re-designing” items? I’ve only been doing this for a couple years. I picked it up when I was between jobs. I’ve done at least 60 pieces… I started with a pair of candle sticks – I just looked at them and thought “I could make those look better!” The next thing I knew, I wanted to draw on everything in the house!

SAharpwood CUpYou mentioned that SHARPWOOD is your hobby, what other things are you interested in? I’m a wife and the mother of two active boys. I’m also a full time administrator at a selective liberal arts college, working to support our international student population. I love culture and travel and my art is inspired by my interest in ethnic arts, designs and colors.

What is your favorite piece that you have worked on? A number of favorites are in my home – chairs, light switch covers, even my front door. My favorite piece on my site is the Masai Chalis – my father-in-law found this very unique piece at a sale in Minnesota. In the end, though, my absolute favorite project was a guitar that I decorated for a friend.

I LOVE the SHARPWOOD Treasure cup! What kind of treasure would you fill this vessel up with?! I like that one too. I imagine it holding unique stones or coins from someone’s travels…

 Your designs are beautiful, so detailed! Where do you draw inspiration from – A certain culture or era, perhaps? I notice designs and patterns in things – fabric, wrapping paper, stationery… I love ethnic food, clothing, art, and culture – especially with South Asian or African origins, so some patterns come from that. I can’t really trace a specific source.

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What is the design process like? Give us the play-by-play! I don’t usually plan a piece, I just start working it and the design develops. Sometimes I find myself working with the wood grain, to trace a line in the wood or in the workmanship, but usually it is very random. I like to leave negative space so the color of the wood comes through, but that doesn’t always happen either. One design or color determines the next. I like to cover the surface, and then add texture and layers with dots and metallics.

Where do Sharpie Markers come into play? What kinds do you use? Favorite Sharpie? I’ve used a variety of permanent ink pens, but Sharpies are the most vibrant, last longer, maintain the tips, and offer great color variety. I tend to use deep colors, metallics, and a lot of black. I mainly use fine point markers, though the ‘big boy’ version works well on larger pieces (like my front door). I also like to use brush tip pens – but they are very hard to find.

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At a dinner party, let’s say, do you ever find yourself having to hold your hand back from snatching up the salad bowl? YES! I’ve actually snagged a few pieces that way! One day I was in a meeting with a colleague and actually asked him if I could SHARPWOOD his lamp. It was an old ugly thing, heavy wood, and I was just sitting there distracted thinking “That is an ugly lamp that COULD be made really funky!” He didn’t let me take it, and I was bummed and slightly embarrassed. I also find myself wanting to do more inside my home, which was built in 1904. I would LOVE to SHARPWOOD our old oak banister!

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 Is there any item that you haven’t been able to find or would love to work on? The guitar turned out really well – I’d love to do another.  It would need to come as a custom request, though, so I suppose that isn’t too likely. I also love to tuck words into the designs, so I enjoy custom pieces that can have meaning for people. 

Are you working on anything new at the moment? I usually have several pieces going at once. My front door is a work in progress, and I’m also working on a drum shell, a pair of book ends, and a headboard right now. Yesterday, I ran across a figurine of a mother pig with 2 baby pigs – I might start working on that one tonight (it will be very fun)!

You can Find & Purchase SHARPWOOD at etsy.com The full internet address is http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6051638

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These pieces will not only liven up your own space but this is a great gift idea too! 

 Head on over to your local second-hand shop to see what you can find.  Better yet, take a look around your house – go back into your crawl space, climb up to the attic and pull out a piece that can be given a new life! 

For more DIY check out www.sharpieuncapped.com