Archive for December, 2010

Just Like It… That’s Why

December 27th, 2010

Why not use an old book to make a “pop up” forest from it?   I know people think books are sacrilege, but what if the book you’re upcycling is just some trashy novel or something you found in the ten cent bin at Goodwill?   Then it’s cool to upcycle away….

Yep, that’s my post of the day folks.    I’m on a break until the New Year, but saw this and wanted to share it…

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

December 23rd, 2010

Christmas is almost here, so I want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all of you.

Every year, I take the time between Christmas and New Year’s to slow down, re-energize and spend time on “non-business” type projects.   It’s a time I look forward to and I’m sure you’re all doing the same thing, too!

So, posts here at Daily Danny will be either non-existent or sporadic during this time (likely sporadic), but will be up and running on January 3rd in 2011.

Can you believe 2010 is almost over?   

Enjoy this time and again, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

All the Best,


Light Brite and Paper Pinecones

December 22nd, 2010

Whenever I find myself with a chunk of free time (we’re talking an hour here, folks), I’ll park my car and just walk around a neighborhood in whatever part of the country I might be and just explore.    I get lots of ideas and inspiration for new books, projects, TV segments and product lines this way and I’m always sure to have my digital camera on hand to take snapshots.

In LA, I loved these Lite Brite pieces of artwork in the windows of the Tory Burch store.    The idea of taking a child’s toy (albeit, an oversized version it) and using it to make modern pieces of artwork/visuals was incredibly intriguing to me.

A close up pic shows the intricate detail that went into inserting each lite brite color “peg” to make this stag head piece of art.   love it.

Inside an Anthropologie store, I hopped in to pick up a quick gift and left taking photos instead.  Typical.

These pine cones were intriguing and looked really complicated to make, so I started to visually deconstruct one.

You can see it’s a flower pattern, bent in the middle fo each petal with a hole punched in the middle for threading.     So what does this inspire?   A: is there a hole punch large enough in this pattern at Michael’s to make these?   Probably not.  B: could I upcycle a grocery store paper bag into making these?   YES.   C:  Do I just make a template, trace it on a stack of paper bag squares I pre-cut out and cut out multiple “flowers” to speed it up?   YES WITH REALLY SHARP SCISSORS.      And is this something you might see an improved version of in a new book I might do called The Upcycled Holiday?  Well, ask my editor and you’ll find the answer.  

Inspiration really is everywhere.    Now off I go to a business meeting to talk about business stuff and where everybody but me is in a suit talking about “synergy.”    Trust me, I’d rather be crafting right now.

The Palihouse Hotel in Los Angeles

December 21st, 2010

I travel to Los Angeles quite a bit for work and I usually stay at my home away from home, the Sunset Tower Hotel.   But I found a too-good-to-be-true deal on for the Palihouse Holloway Hotel and couldn’t pass it up.   Not only is this a great little boutique hotel that’s centrally located, but each room comes with a fully equipped kitchen that makes you feel more like a local and less like a visiting tourist.

The hotel was decorated the holidays and I thought I’d share some pics for you, like this fresh pine decorated entrance to the hotel.

The lobby has less of a hotel feel and more of a Parisian, boho-chic, relaxed vibe.  Antiques filled with books, stacks of books everywhere, random candles, plants and curiouis things just dot the place with plenty of places to sit, have a drink and relax.

It would be great if this hotel existed in NYC, because on a cold, blustery Sunday, it would be nice to meet friends here and take part in their unlimited $25 promotion: brunch and unlimited drinks.   Not sure I want to push binging, but–hey—it is the holiday season and those Bloody Mary’s or Mimosas can add up!   

Anyway, I love this oversized piece of art in the lobby that features vintage Polaroids all neatly framed together. 

Cork covered walls here and there feature “inspiration” photos, tear sheets and visuals that somehow work.  Kinda reminds me of my craft room at home with all of my inspiration photos.   This might be way I’m fond of this place….

Anyway, off to work I go and here’s what I see in LA:

Chik-fil-A is opening their first LA restaurant and celebrated by having workers dressed like cows bulldozing down the place.    At Sunset and Highland, naturally.      The signs “eat more chik’n” were everywhere and crowds watched a cow bulldozed down an old burger joint to make way for the new place.    Here’s my thought:  how about “eat more vegetables” and not any chicken or beef?

Only in LA, folks.   Only. In. LA.

Trash to Treasure Christmas

December 20th, 2010

From last week’s Access Hollywood segment, I thought I’d share some step by step instructions on making the upcycling Christmas projects featured on the show.

First up: why not upcycle an old carboard box into a gingerbread house?   Correction: a great, big, reusable gingerbread house?

Just cut out everything with a box cutter, use Post-it notes for shingles on the roof and have the kids decorate with office supply stickers on front.   Easy!

Have one of those fake fireplaces in your apartment?  Or maybe your fireplace is sealed shut?  Or maybe you  just don’t feel like lighting a damn fire today.

Grab those LED string lights and wrap them around some firewood.  Plug into the wall and illuminate for an energy-efficient glow.

An oldie but goodie:  smash open a VHS tape and use the shiny black ribbon inside to make curly bows for your presents.

Yes, those shiny silver wrapped gifts are actually potato and other snack food bags.   Step one: eat the snacks.   Step two: regret that decision.  Step three: rinse the bag out with soapy water.  Step four: dry thoroughly and invert and wrap away.

For the label snob, wrap a gift by upcycling a grocery store paper bag and using electrical tape to recreate the iconic Burberry plaid pattern on the outside.