Happy International Artists Day!

Hi friends! October 25th is International Artists Day. As an artist and avid traveler/ former expat, I love me some good international artists.  To celebrate this day I am showing some of my favorite artists from around the globe:

Clare Elsaesser USA - illistyle.com

USA -Clare Elsaesser

Coco de Paris prints on etsy - illistyle.com

France – Coco de Paris

Peled made in Israel - illistyle.com

Israel - peled

Andrada from Canada on Etsy - illistyle.comCanada – Andrada

Mexcalline artwork Poland - illistyle.com

Poland – Mexcalline

Love Above All - USA - illistyle.com

USA – Love Above All

Characters By Julia UK - illistyle.com

United Kingdom - Characters by Julia

Brittney Bennett Roatan Honduras - illistyle.com

Honduras - Brittney Bennett

(This is the illistyle home office)

Grace McClymont The Art house - illistyle.comAustralia – Grace McClymont

Made By Manos UK - illistyle.com

United Kingdom -  Made by Manos

Karin Grow - USA - illistyle.com

USA – Karin Grow

Tush Tush artwork made in Israel - illistyle.com

Israel - tushtush


Rusty Fish Roatan - illistyle.com

Honduras – Adam @ Rusty Fish

zen drawing the netherlands - illistyle.com

The Netherlands – Zen Drawing

EvArtStudio Poland - illistyle.com

Poland – evartstudio

Do you have any favorite artists? Please share in the comments below so we can see their amazing work!

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

Painted shoes - illistyle.com   Animal Masks - illistyle.com   20+ Spice Mix recipes to save you money - illistyle.com

DIY Painted Shoes     DIY Animal Masks      20+ Spice Mix Recipes

DIY Soundwave Artwork Tutorial

August 2nd marks 10 years of marriage to my wonderful hubby. I adore him. He is fun, funny, hardworking, and an amazing daddy. (And since he reads all my posts: Love you babe!) I have had the idea for months to make a very special art piece for him. My husband is super techy. He is can do anything on a computer. I like to say he is the brains behind illi style and I am the beauty. I know, I am witty. So I wanted to get him something sweet and romantic, but since the he is not the kind of guy that appreciates the traditional mushy stuff I decided to geek it out a bit. I created this awesome Sound Wave Artwork for him. It is actually the sound wave of my “I do” and his “I do” from our wedding ceremony (Woot!) It was actually super simple (there are a lot of steps, but they were easy steps) and you can personalize it for who or what ever you want. Favorite song lyrics? Vows? Inside joke? Child’s laugh? Check, check, check, and oh heck yes – check!I knew exactly what I wanted to make, but I had to figure out how to do it… and since I am a little bit of a determined personality type I went ahead and figured it out. Below is the full detailed tutorial on how to create your own DIY Wavelength Artwork from a DVD (like I did), CD, or MP3 recording.

DIY Wavelength Artwork Tutorial - illistyle.com

If you are wanting to create some awesome art for your home or a loved one, here’s how you do it:

*For this project you will need to have some form of the audio. Either a DVD or mp3 file. I had a DVD of our wedding that I stole the audio from. If you have the audio clip in mp3 format, skip to step 4. If you have a CD or DVD of the audio, start at step 1.

1. Download the Audio Record Wizard and Audacity programs. (I do not vouch for these sites but I can say I downloaded them months ago and have had no problems with my laptop, so I feel they are legit… but I could be wrong.)

2. Open your CD or DVD on your computer’s audio/video player. Que the disc to the beginning of your desired clip (i.e. press pause right before the sound you want to record.)

How to create soundwave artwork - illistyle.com

3. Open Audio Record Wizard, press record on ARW and then play on your media player to record your desired audio clip.

How to create a wave image from a DVD - illistyle.com

3. Save audio clip to desktop or desired folder – I kept mine on my desktop to find it easily.

4. Open Audacity software.

5. In Audacity, open the previously saved audio clip.

DIY Soundwave Artwork - illistyle.com

6. Edit clip as desired (compress the visual clip, cut of the unwanted silence at the beginning or end, etc). I just played around until I figured it out… it was pretty easy.

Create Soundwave artwork tutorial - illistyle.com

How to create a wave graphic from a DVD - illistyle.com

7. Once you have the clip you want take a screen shot of your desktop. (Ususally CTRL+PrtSc on PCs)

How to create soundwave artwork from a CD or DVD - illistyle.com

8. Using photo editing software, like Photoshop, paste the screen shot onto a canvas that is the same size ratio as your real canvas (rectangular, square, etc.)

How to create soundwave artwork from a CD or DVD - illistyle.com

9. Resize the screenshot as needed to fit the canvas of your photo editing software.

DIY Sound wave art tutorial - illistyle.com

10. Save your work now, k? Because you do not want to have to do steps 3-9 again.

11. Prime or paint a background color onto your canvas.

12. Once dry, hang your canvas on the wall.

13. Pull out a projector and project image on a large canvas. ***If you do not have a projector handy you can always print a large image at a printers or create a rasterbation at home (get your mind outta the gutter, it’s a huge poster you can print from your 8.5″x11″ sheets on a printer… geez.)

enlarge images with a projector - illistyle.com

14. Lightly trace your wave length(s) onto the canvas.

How to create sound wave artowrk - illistyle.com

15. Now using a small flat or filbert brush, paint the upper outline of your wavelength, then the bottom outline. Fill in the middle.

Flat paint brush - illistyle.com

Sound wave artwork tutorial - illistyle.com

16. Stand back and marvel that your voice/child’s laugh/favorite song lyric is staring back at you.

DIY Wavelength Artwork Tutorial - illistyle.com

What sound would you want to see everyday?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.comGluten Free Snacks that kids love - illistyle.com How to make a blog editorial calendar - illistyle.com Posterized Washi Tape Feather Art - illistyle.com

GF Snacks Kids Love How to Make an Editorial Calendar Washi Tape Posterized Artwork

Shared at: Thrifty Decor Chick, Cherished Bliss
The 36th Avenue, House of Hepworths, Live Laugh Rowe, DIY Showoff, Skip to My Lou


Posterized Native American Washi Tape Art

I love posterized images. Here’s one you might recognize:

Regardless of your political stance, most people agree, it’s a pretty cool poster. Artistically speaking, this is a great piece. So I created some posterized art in honor of Gregg Deal. Gregg is one of my current favorite artists & an American Indian. I follow him on instagram. He is preparing for his upcoming performance piece titled, “The Last American Indian on Earth.” He has graciously included all his IG followers as he creates his clothing, props, and artwork for his show. I feel like I am witness the birth of this show via social media… oh technology, how you have blessed us. So in ode to Gregg’s work I have created these posterized washi art cards which I hope to be able to send him… do you guys think he will be willing to provide me with his address so my stalking of him can be complete?

Washi Posterized Art feather - illistyle.com

Washi Tape Artwork - illistyle.com

Washi Tape Art Native American Headress - illistyle.com

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com


DIY Giant String Art

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.comHola amigos. Today we are going to talk about BIG artwork. Like huge. Cuz sometimes you need to cover a giant space. At camp we have ginormous walls that needed to be covered, so we took the awesome approach and made some giant string art.

Giant String Art - illistyle.com
These are ginormous. Each is made from two pieces of plywood… so they are 4′ x 16′ each. We also made some smaller 1″ x 12″ x 4′, which would be the perfect size for your home. Check it out:

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

Here’s how you do it:

1. Using a word processing program, choose the wording and font you like. Then print as a rasterbation (like our April Fool’s prank) click here for more information on how to do that. Place your print out on your board. (If you use a 1″ x 12″ board the 11.5″ x 8″ paper fits perfectly.)

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

2. Nail the corners of your letters to hold your print out in place.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

3. Add nails at equal intervals around the perimeter of your letters.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com4. Once you have nailed all the letter outlines, remove the paper. This will destroy the paper printout… but it was just a means to an end anyways.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com5. Grab your yarn… it is important to use yarn as opposed to other types of string (say, kite string for example, cuz we tried that, boo.) Yarn stretches and will make your life easy. Other string could be difficult to work with and cause frustration.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

6. Tie off at one corner and begin wrapping your yarn from one nail to the next in a random pattern, making sure each nail is included. It’s also a good idea to make sure you outline the letters, since it helps to define each character.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

7. Repeat step 6 for each letter. Then look at the awesomeness.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com

8. Check it out… so awesome!

Also, as you see in the night shot at the top, our HUGE piece on the right of the photo, we left the letters as negative (empty) space and the background is all yarn. We accomplished this by placing a nail boarder around the perimeter of the board and then using the string in the same manner (tying off, stringing from one nail to the next in a random pattern) but making sure to leave the letters open and free of yarn.

I am not gonna lie. It’s pretty epic.

What would you say in string?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

summer cabin style - illistyle.com   Lemon Ball Drop New Years Eve Cocktail - illistyle.com   How to Pack Carry On only - illistyle.com

Summer Cabin Style    Lemon Drop Cocktail Recipe   How to Pack Carry-On Only



Fall Mantel & Easy Abstract Art Tutorial

Happy Thursday, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, one week away in fact!

So if you are still prepping and planning here’s the help I can offer:
1. Easiest Pumpkin Dessert Recipe Ever
2. Simple Fall Mantel

Fall Mantel - illistyle.com

My philosophy: Keep it Simple.
Pumpkins, Candles, cute little rag swag, and some custom art.

I know what you’re thinkin, “Custom Art does not equal ‘simple’!”
Oh, but it does, my math is correct… here’s what you need:

How to Make Custom Abstract Art - illistyle.com  How to Make Custom Abstract Art - illistyle.com

Canvases – $2/each at Hobby Lobby clearance section, different shades of teal paint

How to Make Custom Abstract Art - illistyle.com

Using one brush, alternate light and dark shades onto canvas, this is sloppy (read: fun) work

How to Make Custom Abstract Art - illistyle.com

Let dry, and boom, you have abstract art. YOU CAN DO IT!

Ok, so I went ahead and added some rad arrows to mine… you can too. Seriously, you got this!

Now, go get your decorating and your abstract art on. Your mantel will thank you.

Do you decorate for Thanksgiving or just for fall in general?


DIY Rag Garland - illistyle.com   Candy Corn Coffee Spoons - illistyle.com  Candy Corn glitter bowl - illistyle,.com

DIY No-Sew Rag Garland   DIY Candy Corn Coffee Spoons    DIY Candy Corn Bowl

Color Block Pumpkins

Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com

Color Block Pumpkins! I enjoy taking two things I love and marrying them. Look at what this union produces:

Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com

I love them. I might name them. I am that attached.


So here’s the way to go about getting your own:

Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com


Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com  Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com

Use your painter’s tape to mask off your lines. I do not suggest using a pen or pencil, just eyeball some straight lines. This can be difficult because you are trying to make straight lines on a sphere that has ridges. Just do your best. Make sure you press done firmly on the tape to ensure there will be no paint bleed.


Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com  Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com

Since I painted the underside of my pumpkins I made this nifty little pumpkin holder. I took the bottom of an old egg carton, flipped it upside down, and pressed straight pins through 4 cups and into the bottom of the pumpkin. My pumpkins were held steady and I was able to apply my color, top and bottom, all at once.

I chose colors that I liked together, and then went to town. Each color took about 4 coats, but they dried quickly. All in all I probably spent about 30 minutes on the project in actual hands on work, I let them dry over night.


My daughter was so excited to play along with me:

Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com

I love my Tiny Crafter.


Color Block Pumpkins - illistyle.com

And look at how awesome they turned out. They are so stinking cute. Did I mention that I love them?

What colors will you paint yours?



DIY Temporary Chalk Board Wall - illistyle.com      DIY Chalkboard Wreath - illistyle.com   the easiest fall dessert ever - illistyle.com

DIY Temp Chalkboard Wall     DIY Chalkboard Wreath   Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe

Featured on:

HoHnew1 copy  Making Home Base

 Linked to these great parties:

Home Stories A to Z, Skip to my Lou, Uncommon Designs Online, DIY by Design, Live Laugh Rowe, House of Hepworths, 52 Mantels, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Thrifty Decor Chick, The 36th Ave, The Shabby Nest, Not Just a Housewife, The DIY Dreamer, Sugar & Dots, Cherished Bliss, Sand and Sisal, The DIY Showoff

How to Carve a Perfect Pumpkin {part 1 – Pumpkin Stencils}

Hey guys! So fall is in full swing over here at illistyle.  The hubby has a special series for you guys this week.  Yep, that’s right, my husband is posting today through Friday with his very own series: How to Carve a Perfect Pumpkin.  Since he is the King of Carving, I will let my man take it from here:


How to Carve a Perfect Pumpkin - illistyle.com

2006. Gizmo, Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, and Lightening McQueen


This is illi’s husband.  Like most husbands, I don’t craft, I don’t DIY, and I don’t sew.  I do manly stuff like hunt bears, wrestle crocodiles, and build castles.  However, I do get crafty once a year, and that is with Pumpkins.  Ten years ago I found a site that had some cool pumpkin stencils.  I hadn’t carved a pumpkin for years, they all looked the same, what was the point?  But these pumpkins I saw online looked really cool.  So my wife and I invited two friends over and had the first of many “Pumpkin Carving Parities”.  I have now developed a “patented method” of Carving (patent application pending)  and I am known by many as an expert carver.

But let me tell you a secret, the true beauty of carving is that anyone can do it.  We have a contest every year, at one point we had 50 people enter, and we had a first-time carver win.  The secret is less skill and more patience.

Over the next few days I will have a series of posts on how to have the perfect pumpkin carving.

The most important part of carving is to use stencils, they will give you a clean, detailed image with shadowing and depth. Pretty much: your pumpkin will look awesome if you use a stencil… and there are lots out there.  You do get what you pay for, but for the cheap… wait, bloggers like the word “thrifty”… there are still thousands of free ones.  I have a two hundred page PDF I print out every year with all my collected stencils, to that I add a dozen or so more to every year, to keep up with the newest trends.  Below are my favorite sites to get stencils.

How to Carve a Perfect Pumpkin - illistyle.com

Godzilla attacking the City

Zombie Pumpkins  This is by far the best site in my opinion.  It is the cleanest and simplest.   If this is your first time doing fancy carving, I recommend this site.  Their stencils are made in a way that just make your pumpkins look the best, and they have a great collection of movie, television, and video game themed stencils.

Stonykins    One of the largest stencil sites.  Where else are you going to find a stencil of Anne Frank?  You can buy credits for multiple stencils or buy individual stencils, so you have to decide what you want ahead of time, but they have many unique ones.

Ultimate Pumpkins    Stencils are sold in sets, but would be great for a family project.  Last year they added Angry Birds, a very popular set.  They also have lots of famous series not found elsewhere, including Harry Potter, Shrek, Simpsons, Twilight.

Disney Stencils My daughter truly believes she is a Disney Princess, so odds are this year I will be getting my newest stencils from Disney.  They are not my favorite stencils to carve, if you can find a great Disney stencil elsewhere you might be better off. (and please let us know too!)

 Extreme Pumpkins  These are very creative stencils.  This site has more flammable instructions.  Gross, strange, unique creations, not the most family friendly, more on the scary side.

Pumpkin Pile    Cheaper Stencils, with hundreds of free ones.

HGTV Basic Free, but simple boring stencils.  These are the same stencils you would get at the grocery store for $4.  Be more daring and choose something a little more fun.

Spookmaster  Lower end stencils, but a lot of them are free.  One year my friend carved “The Last Supper” from this site, it was spectacular.

How to Carve a Perfect Pumpkin - illistyle.com

It isn’t the skill, it’s the patience. I did the T-Rex, but Michael Jackson (the year he died) was done by a first timer.

The pay sites require a form of payment (like a credit card) and then you get to download a PDF.  Make sure to save the PDFs for years to come, my favorite method is to just email them to myself.  That way next year you don’t have to pay for what you already have.

So if you are ready for it, start planning a party.  My next post will be the patented method for carving, with full instructions.  So start the Facebook invites and be the cool neighbors on the block.  

Ladies, remember since this is an activity with knives, your husbands will craft with you!


-The King of Carving



{Hey guys! It’s illi again, if you are still not convinced of how great this is: check out my man’s step-by-step instructions on how you can make pumpkins that look like the ones we have made in years past, see below – yes, those are really ours! And Tips for Throwing a Pumpkin Carving Party}

How to Carve Perfect Pumpkins - illistyle.com

What will you carve this year?


This is not a sponsored post. We are just helping you find the coolest stencils around. Cuz we love you.

Carving-a-Perfect-Pumpkin-part-2-illistyle.com  Fall Mantel - illistyle.com  Candy Corn Coffee Spoons - illistyle.com

How to Carve Pumpkins 2                Fall Mantel               Candy Corn Coffee Spoons

August Photo-a-Day Challenge

Photo A Day August - illistyle.com

This month I did it. I actually participated in the FatMumSlim.com.au photo-a-day-challenge. She assigns a topic or prompt for each day and then you take a pic and upload to Instagram. I heart photography and having an assignment everyday has been fun and challenging. Some days I thought, “This will be so easy to photograph” and others I thought, “What? I have no idea what to shoot for this!” Check out the list for August:

 August Photo-a-Day Challenge

Here’s illistyle’s photo-a-day challenge shots for August:

photo a day challenge august - illistyle.com

If you love photography, have a smart phone, and/or are on instagram I suggest you join! It is so much fun to see everyone’s photos at the end of the day. Sometimes I would check and think, “That’s so smart!” or “Haha! That is exactly like mine, how cool!” I feel so much closer to the instagram community too. Check out the September challenge:

Are you game?

If you are on Instagram follow me @illistyle so we can play together

and if you want some sweet iphone app photo editing software, check out this guest post from Kimberly of ANightOwlBlog.com