Duplicating Danish design: The colour palette clock

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I adore all things colourful, crafty and creative.

This project combined all three while ALSO tossing in my love of all things European-design. Bonus!

Ever since returning from Europe, I’ve been dying to recreate some of the neat, interior designs I saw. The city that inspired me the most was Copenhagen, and the place was packed with interesting, unaffordable boutiques, design museums and specialty stores.

Even I became more colourful in Copenhagen! (for the record, this ice cream was delicious)

One of the coolest things I saw was from Illum, a trendy department store found at the heart of Strøget, the city’s pedestrian shopping street. Everything in Illum was stunning and inspiring, from the woven rugs to the chic kid’s furniture. It was like IKEA on drugs.

I wanted it all. But since Denmark is already severely overpriced and I am but a mere, nearly-broke student, I decided that putting my own homemade spin on the store’s products were as good as it was going to get.

Here was my inspiration:

As soon as I got back from EU in September, I started trolling Saturday morning yard sales and Value Village aisles in search of a cheap, decrepit clock. Success came on the morning of the Old Ottawa South porch sale.

Two dollars for this baby.

Ah yes, keeping the price low was key, and this project cost all of $3 to complete. I used a plastic container of black paint I had purchased last summer at IKEA and carefully cut out coloured rounds (using a glue stick as a stencil) from my very extensive collection of paper.

The end result was, I think, even nicer and more sleek than the original. I’m proud.

Make sure you force your roommate to hold the clock and make funny faces at the camera

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Hi, my name is Hilary, and I’m a colour addict (an end-of-summer arts and crafts project)

Subtitle: I will blog about whatever I like, please and thank you.

As far as decorating my bedroom goes, I’m pretty big on colour. Want to know how big? Here’s a picture of my room at my parent’s house, painted circa grade 10.

This was also the time when I took embarrassing, myspace shots like this in said bedroom. You know you did it too. See that green blazer? That’s my high school band jacket. See the purple scarf? I wore that yesterday. Coolest kid in school, clearly.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME EVER.

The one perk to moving halfway through high school? I got to paint my room two different colours. My brother picked black and red. Logically, I did what any colour-crazed teenage girl who had been living in a baby blue bedroom for the last seven years would do, and selected pink and yellow to go along with my already-lime green laden future room. Bless the girl who lived there first for picking such an atrociously bright colour.

So back to my first statement: I like my room full of colour and creativity. With such, you can only imagine my excitement when I discovered this frame at a design boutique in Vienna. I knew that the second I got home I would recreate it.

My inspiration

And it was so easy. This was all I needed.

This craft project was also simplified by the fact that I had in my possession a decently sized saw. It was in the toolbox my dad bought for me in second-year. This being said, shouldn’t every 20-something girl own at least one saw? Craft projects must be taken into consideration.

Now, since pencil crayons and their resulting shavings come out looking quite artistic, ensure that you take several pictures of both during and after the crafting process.

Then base the front of your future business cards around one of the photos you take. This is very important.

Before you know it, voila! You will have a ridiculously childish, Viennese inspired frame to help brighten up the already ceizure-inducing colour of your room. Admire for hours.

In total, this frame took about 2 hours to make, almost all of which was spent lounging out on the porch in the end-of-summer sun. I’ll post the extremely-simple instructions down below, in case you every have a desire to make a frame which will most definitely make you look like a Kindergarten teacher or teen mom. Ugh. Who am I.

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Tie-dye cookies

Please forgive me for what I’m about to do:

These cookies were absolutely tie-dye for.

See?  I told you it was going to be bad.  Now, if you can move on from this disastrous display of attempted wit, please continue to read about these colourful cookies.

I figured such colourful cookies warranted the use of my homemade placemats as an appropriate backdrop.

The rekindling of my creative cooking self was partly inspired by my passionate love of colour.

These cookies saw me, once again, utilizing the ever-strong powers of my gel food colouring (well technically, it’s Brittany’s food colouring, but she was kind enough to let me use it for the summer).  The recipe for these cookies was inspired by two different blog postings, one by The Cooking Photographer, and the other by my new favourite baking blog, Diamonds for Dessert.  I’ve only made “icebox cookies” once before.  To make icebox cookies, all you do is refrigerate the dough and slice it to make the cookies.  For me, this refrigeration time lasted for two days, since I had absolutely no time to make them earlier in the week.  I finally got around to baking them while I waited for my portobello pesto pizza to rise.

Due to poor planning on my part, I decided to knead the gel food colouring into the cookie dough, rather than mix it in pre-flour when it would have actually been easy.  As a result, the dough wasn’t completely dyed, creating this sort of cool tie-dye effect.  It also meant that my hands were dyed with pink, green, yellow and purple dye for three straight days.

Hulk-like

Gel food colouring – it’s powerful stuff. (PS: in my recipe below I’ve changed around the instructions so you can get solid cookie colours…unless you want to make them look tie-dye, that is, in which case add in the food colouring last).

My favourite part of photographing these cookies, was that a little girl strolling along the street with her mom stopped and stared for a bit.  Something about rainbow-coloured cookies make kids coming running. I gave her a her mom a cookie and snapped their picture just because the kid was so damn cute.  I also happened to be a fan of her pink colour scheme.

I already have a few tricks up my sleeves for the next time I make cookies like this.  I’m thinking of making two layers mint green and adding in peppermint extract instead of vanilla.  The other two layers will then somehow have oreo crumbs mixed in, making them either (a) like a girl guide cookie or (b) like the best Dairy Queen blizzard in existence.  Stay tuned.

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