May 18, 2015

Free Graduation Card

Dear Chicago House,

As school comes to a close the world will become populated with lots of fresh graduates. Miss Chicago teen has another year to go in high school but judging by how fast the last three years have flown, I know it will only be a blink of an eye and she will be off to university.

So in celebration of those new graduates, I have for you today a free graduation card.

free graduation card
and whats more I have two colors to chose from

Download them here(pink) or here(blue)

Print them on your desktop printer and you are good to go!


Love from Creative in Chicago


Apr 17, 2015

DIY Coastal Art: A Fun Octopus

Dear Chicago House,

I watched a video the other day about an octopus that has been taught how to take photographs ( check it out here)

It inspired a sudden desire to draw an octopus but I took it a little further.

Want to make one of these yourself? on!

DIY Coastal Art: A Fun Octopus.

You will need
  • A piece of stiff cardboard - used the back cover of a notebook 
  • School glue- I used Elmers
  • Heavy duty foil
  • Shoe polish
  • Oil Pastel sticks ( optional)
  1. Start by sketching out a basic octopus shape...I kept things simple
  2. Squeeze the glue straight from the bottle onto your design. Some of my dots bled but I thought it added to the design.
  3. Let to glue dry completely, I left mine overnight. The take a piece of heavy duty foil and stick into onto your cardboard. I used a glue stick but any glue would work.

    Now you need to really work the foil around your design elements. I used a q-tip and my fingers. Once you are happy wrap the foil edges around the board.

  4. Next apply several layers of black shoe polish using a soft rag

    I also added a bit of subtle color using oil pastel it is before I blended it it.

It made a nice addition to the coastal theme shelf I have in my home office

Love from Creative in Chicago


Apr 3, 2015

DIY Decorated Easter Eggs

Dear Chicago House,

You know by now how much I like color and spotting the first colorful peep of a daffodil in the garden this morning was something to Spring finally on it's way?

Just in case the daffodil is a big Spring false alarm here is something colorful you can make for your Easter table.

Painted Easter Eggs

sharpies easter eggs

I made these with sharpie markers and they took me all of five minutes, you can't really go wrong, a few squiggles here and blobs of color there and hey-pretso a pretty egg.

sharpies decorated easter eggs

sharpie decorated easter eggs

Now Miss Chicago teen took a little longer on her egg and used watercolor paints...but take a look at this beautiful Rose Egg

watercolor rose painted easter egg

watercolor rose painted easter egg

Happy Easter!

Love from

Creative in Chicago


P.S. For more Easter Egg decorating ideas check out these posts

Polymer Clay Decorated Easter Eggs

Pattern Dyed Easter Eggs

Mar 29, 2015

How to Make Bath Bombs

Dear Chicago House,

Winter is never ending in Chicago...March is always such a disappointing month because for the 4 years I have lived here I have assumed it will bring signs of Spring...the greening up of the grass, bulbs poking their noses through the soil. But NO! Instead the days continue to be freezing and we still get the odd 6" of snow.

I don't like the cold, which is a bit tough when I live in such a prolonged cold place. My solutions..baths...lots and lots of hot lovely soaks in the tub.

And to jazz up those long luscious warm moments I have knocked up a batch of bath bomb.

Chuck them in the bath  and they fizz and splutter infusing the water with whatever essential oil you have used to make my case peppermint.

How to Make Bath Bombs

You will need

  • 1 3/4 cups Baking Soda
  • 2 cups Cornstartch
  • 1 cup Citric Acid
  • Gel Food coloring (optional)
  • Baby oil
  • 5-5 drops Essential oil
  • Molds
Mix together the dry ingredients and tint with food coloring (optional)

Add enough baby oil until the consistency of the powder can be shaped and packed tightly. Then add your drops of essentials oil.

Pack firmly into a mold,  I used a novelty ice cube mold.

let set up for a couple of days then gently remove. Store in a glass jar.

Lets hope Spring arrive soon,

Love from

Creative in Chicago


Mar 12, 2015

Getting Creative with Sharpies

Dear Chicago House,

I have been doing some house keeping on Creative in Chicago this week, and it seems only when looking back on past posts themes pop up. In the past we have had coastal decor projects, string and rope projects, to name just a couple.

One of my more recent obsessions have been using sharpies, so today here is a fun round up.

getting creative with sharpies

Make your Own Fabric

I have not one but two tutorials on how to make your own fabric, with a handy deign chart. Check them HERE and HERE
shapies fabric design

Create a Driftwood Fish

This fun little fish was made using a paint sharpie, lots of ideas for different fish HERE
driftwood fish

Cool Zentangle Coasters

Full instructions on how to make these colorful coasters HERE
zentangle coasters

Pretty Sharpie Shells

Even dull boring shells can look stunning with a bit of Sharpie action >> HERE
sharpie shells

Free Greeting Card

Download this greetings card...suitable for anyone and whenever!
free card

Mar 10, 2015

Breaking out the Paints

Dear Chicago House,

I have had so much work recently that it has been hard to find time for any extra curricular creative fun....but as a self employed web and graphic designer the last thing I want to do is complain!

I used to paint quite a bit but really haven't picked up my paint brushes for quite a while...which is a shame because I love the peace painting a picture can bring.

But I did break them out one weekend and had a real desire to paint something green. Lets face it it, here in snowy Chicago we really can't guarantee seeing anything green outside until mid April. Even as the snow melts this week what we are left with is brown sludge everywhere. Yuk!

This oil painting of a succulent might not be a masterpiece...but it is green and will have to tide me over

oil painting succulent

oil painting succulent

Miss Chicago teen has just finished a painting class at school and this is one of her oils where is had to incorporate a pattern into her painting. She also painted a set of hands which were amazing but she has not had them back yet so I can't share...apparently they are on display at school!

abstract pattern poppy


Love from

Creative in Chicago


Feb 12, 2015

Pink Panther Birthday Cake

Dear Chicago House,

So, Miss Chicago teen had a birthday yesterday and in a throw away comment last week, she said she wanted a Pink Panther cake for her birthday.

Now I am not one to pass up on a challenge.

pink panther birthday cake

I made a simple sponge base and iced it with a tasty lemon icing. Then I got crafty with a box of white fondant, making quite a mess of my hands as I tinted it with food coloring.

pink panther cake

She was nicely surprised when she got home from school and I got a big hug!

Lots of love

Creative in Chicago