ZUMBA for japan

wow...long time no post =) these last two weeks have flown by! i figured i better get a post up, and what better to post about than my latest project?! 

we all are aware of the earthquake / tsunami tragedies in japan...the amazing group of women (and men) that i am proud to call friends and fellow ZUMBA instructors and students have been working their tails off to throw the biggest seattle ZUMBA fundraiser of the year. when they asked me to design the poster/banner, i jumped at the chance. it has been my pleasure contributing to this event with my artistic side! 

i wanted to create something more simple and bold than i usually do for a ZUMBA poster. here's the finished product:

the same simple concept was also used to create the banner:
please join us on SATURDAY, APRIL 9 - 2 to 4 PM at HIGHLAND COMMUNITY CENTER in bellevue washington to raise money for JAPAN DISASTER RELIEF. 100% of proceeds go to japan through PEACE WINDS AMERICA. this is going to be an amazing experience - we are expecting a huge crowd and around 20 instructors are donating their time and talent to put on an amazing event! 

thanks for reading! i hope to see you at the event!!


end of quarter celebratory goodwill trip!

phew! i am officially done with my winter quarter!! feels so good to be done, it seems like that 3 months dragged on and on (mostly due to the horribly gloomy weather). what better way to celebrate than a little goodwill extravaganza with my girls!?! 

and, lucky you...i'm going to share pictures of all my goodies! are you as excited as i am?! i hope so -- because i made out like a bandit this time =) let's jump right in shall we?

i found an old recipe converter, and vintage general electric wall clock (which is in much need of some t.l.c.) the turquoise, polka dotted back drop is actually a roll of vintage vinyl wall paper. here are some close ups:

don't you just love the charm and texture of the clock!? moving along...
here are my other vintage finds. two cute 70's mugs - i'm a sucker for mushrooms!! i also found a vintage sewing box, and a roll of beautiful vintage, scarlet-red, velvet ribbon with lace edges (the picture above does it no justice, trust me!). i cannot wait to stash my sewing tools and supplies in this box, it is perfect!

as i mentioned in the last post, i always stop by the fabric section while thrifting. it pays off every time. this trip i found 2 vintage fabrics, the coral is polyester, and the teal is cotton. i couldn't pass them up...and there are several yards of each. ahh, the possibilities!

below are some newer items i found in the clothing and accessories areas:

j crew navy striped cardigan, green dress, brown leather belt, the cloth belt is vintage (had to sneak that one in there!), and a cute pair of sunnies that are mossimo brand (usually found at target)

yellow and brown graphic printed dress

i know it's a good trip when i find an owl:

and last, but not least...this strange, old, coral dress that i have big plans for (think project REstyle). but i won't spoil the secret by telling you my'll have to wait and see what is in store for this old dress =)

i wish i had my camera out to take a picture of my friends' faces when i stuck this one in the shopping cart! trust me, this dress has hidden potential...

the price tag for all of this stuff........under $70!! what a deal! 

what do you think?? my next series of posts will review my first year at the art institute of seattle. see what i've created this past year!



project REstyle #5: apple print maxi-dress

happy st. patty's day! today is one of my favorite days to go to work...everywhere i look i get to see one of my favorite colors. it's a beautiful sea of green. i absolutely love colors! the thought of living in a color-less, dull environment gives me an anxiety attack =) not only do i need to be surrounded by color, i must have LOTS of color in my wardrobe, probably more than the average person (especially in seattle!).

my next project REstyle has one of the more classic color and blue. 

sewing is one of my biggest passions...i learned to sew when i was 15, and i immediately fell in love. the fabric that i have collected over the years has grown into quite a collection - but there is ALWAYS room for more! the beauty of fabric is that you never know when or for what you might use it, but it doesn't have an expiration date. i have had several lengths of fabric that lay dormant for many years, but then put to use the moment that perfect idea came along.

while out thrifting, i have to stop by the fabric section. it is an absolute must. you never know what gems will be hiding there, and the prices are amazing! my favorite is when i find a vintage piece of fabric. vintage fabrics are beautiful and it feels like an honor to be the first person to make something out of a piece of fabric that was never used after all those years.

BEFORE: blue, bubble hem dress (from forever 21), vintage apple printed fabric

i removed the body of dress, and attached the apple fabric underneath the bodice. i added a pleated detail to go with the draping of the bodice.

AFTER: apple print maxi-dress

 i love that this dress mixes old school with new school! i also love the contrast of the fabric satin and smooth, the other cotton and casual. and of course, the color combo.

i will post an outfit pic of this once it warms up some more...along with the t-shirt REstyle. come on spring!!


p.s. i will not post tomorrow, there is a blogger's day of silence for the earthquake/tsunami victims in japan. more info to follow.


project REstyle #4: REusable corduroy cup sleeve/cozy

i am an avid tea drinker. some people have to have their coffee/ latte/espresso to help them rise and shine...for me it's tea. preferably green tea. and lots of it.

i also like to be responsible when it comes to the amount of waste i create and send out into the already over-filled world. each time i would grab a disposable cup sleeve in the deli at my work, i'd cringe and a little piece of my conscience would wither away...which is why i was determined to make a REusable cup sleeve/cozy! 

i have to admit i am guilty for waiting so long to actually create one of these things, considering how simple they are. i was holding out for that perfect one! and then one day - with project REstyle fresh on my brain - the perfect storm of events took place to give me the inspiration for my dream cozy. 

i was altering a jacket purchased at the goodwill (of course), and as soon as i removed the piece of fabric that was on the back above the pleats, it hit me! this was the perfect shape, size, and fabric for a cozy! my mind started racing with possibilities...and here's what i came up with:

BEFORE: scrap corduroy fabric from jacket alteration, scrap red cording, vintage patch

i measured the shape/fit of the fabric around a cup i had handy, then hand-sewed it in place. then i took the scrap red cording and hot-glued it around the edges for decorative purposes. last, i hot-glued the vintage patch to the center for a finishing touch!

AFTER: REusable corduroy cup sleeve/cozy

i LOVE the finished product, i use it daily! the corduroy is thick enough to protect my fingers from the hottest cups of tea =) added bonus: i get to display the vintage patch that i had hiding in my craft stash for about 10 years!!! i have gotten so many compliments on this around the office and at simple, yet SO useful.

how do you like it?



project REstyle #3: framed corkboard + traveling journal update

i would like to start this post off by saying how honored i feel today to be part of a wonderful blogging community! i am new to the game, but already i am feeling the love!

over at The Vintage Valley, ally did an entire post about the pages i contributed to her Traveling Journal project! go check it out! i am so flattered, thanks ally!!

also, julie over at Mint & Mellow just posted her completed pages of the journal...they are beautiful! she captures the essence of seattle so perfectly. and she was kind enough to give me a little shout-out =) julie has sent the journal off to the next girl in illinois ~ i wonder what her pages will be filled with??

my third project REstyle was another random, vintage find from the goodwill.

i was ending a mildly-successful trip to the goodwill and heading up to the registers...when out of the corner of my eye i spotted an abandoned, vintage, brass frame. it had been discarded under a desk in the furniture section - so i grabbed it up! the shape and detail were perfect, and so was the price tag: $0.99!! the only thing missing was the glass and the backing. no worries! i had the perfect idea for it...

BEFORE: vintage, brass frame (i didn't take a before picture of my frame, but here is what my frame would have looked like in it's original state - minus the glass and backing)

i gave the brass a good cleaning, primed and painted it, cut out a used piece of cork from an old corkboard, and recyled some cardboard for the backing.

AFTER: REpurposed, vintage, corkboard

with some simple changes, a forgotten frame is now the focal point of my cube wall at work! it goes to show you that something that may not be complete or broken can still have a useful purpose =)

have you ever revived a broken / incomplete piece?



project REstyle #2: vintage book box

tonight's REstyle project is the perfect example of how you can find inspiration from any object.

while searching through the romance novel section at the goodwill (with the hopes of finding some awesome covers to turn into tacky valentine's day cards), i stumbled upon this vintage, hard-cover romance novel. i immediately fell in love (pun intended)!

i couldn't justify bringing it home to sit on a shelf and grow dust, so my REpurposing instincts kicked in and within seconds i knew exactly what i needed to do.

BEFORE: 1950's hard-cover, romance novel, along with some scrap pieces of cardboard, fabric, and a few vintage buttons.

i gently cleaned the cover, and removed the pages along the inside spine (yes, i saved the pages - either for reading, or another project!).

next, i measured and cut the scrap cardboard to make the frame of the box, then attached the fabric and cardboard to the inside of the book. i cut a hole in the front cover to super-glue one of the vintage buttons in, and used some scrap yarn to braid a strand for the loop closure.

i put a quick coat of paint on the inside cover to mask the worn interior, and voila!

AFTER: vintage book box, which i am using to store my drawing tools for my figure drawing class!

what do you think?



project REstyle #1: t-shirt revival

this week i am going to dedicate my posts to one of my favorite hobbies...REpurposing.

let me start by coming clean: "hi, my name is kara. i am addicted to thrift stores." phew! i feel better now that i got that off my a thrifting junkie, i have an ever-growing, abundant collection of odds-and-ends that i have purchased from second hand stores. every item i purchase has a hidden potential that i am compelled to bring out.

not too long ago, the wonderfully talented elsie over at a beautiful mess started project REstyle, an online challenge "to ReStyle damaged, unwanted or unusable goods into fresh, beautiful pieces!" as soon as i heard the words RE-STYLE how could i resist?! i couldn't believe there were so many out there with my same passion! i have since REpurposed a few pieces that i'd like to share with you...

over the next week, i will be posting my project REstyle projects that i have already completed. starting with my first...

BEFORE: an old mock-turtleneck t-shirt that i have held on to for about 3 years, but never wore once!

i kept this around because i loved the fit and the quality of the fabric, yet didn't find the neckline flattering.

AFTER: with a new scoop neck, and some fringe around the neckline (to add some stability and cuteness)...a new shirt is born! 

as soon as the weather warms up a bit i will post an outfit pic with my new-old t-shirt!




welcome to karabou-creations!

my name is kara and i love to create! this blog will follow me on my journey to pursuing my passion for art and turning that passion into a career.

i am currently attending the art institute of sea
ttle for graphic design, working full time, and filling my (practically non-existent) free time with projects!

i have to admit, i am slightly intimidated trying to fill this first post =) so, i'm just going to jump right in!

the lovely ally over at is hosting "The Traveling Journal", an art journal that 10 ladies around the globe are filling with original works of art! she was so kind to let me take part in this wonderful experience...and what do you know...i was the first to receive it!

here is a look at my pages in the journal:

this octopus was done using ink on paper.
the peacock was done using various fabrics (dupioni silk, denim, cotton, vinyl, and corduroy), along with sequins, glass beads, and real peacock feathers.

here's me with the finished product:

i sent the journal off to the next lady today, and i cannot wait to see what the others will put on the pages! thanks ally for putting this together!!

i have so much more to share with you, stay tuned for more karabou-creations! thanks for stopping by =)