Kelly Lynn Jones is an artist and curator living in Oakland. She received her MFA in May 2010 from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her blog, Little Paper Planes, was launched in 2004. After graduating from art school, she wanted to create an online platform where she and her friends could sell the pieces they were making to help support their individual art careers. Little Paper Planes assists artists in their careers through prints, publishing, curatorial and licensing projects. LPP ‘s intentions are to facilitate dialogues and awareness around contemporary art between both the artists and public alike. The mission is to provide the connections, engagement and momentum of collecting art ephemera in all areas.
Making forts was part of my daily life when I was child. My brother Bryan and I would go into the garage every day and work on our other home. Here, we were in charge. All of our secrets were stashed deep within the nooks and crevices we created. My parents had a three-car garage, though not a single car ever lived there. Instead the garage was home to old tables, chairs, blankets, pillows, clothes, fabric, photos, lamps and other discarded materials of our past. There were no doubts, no questions — just dreams. We stitched clothes together and stuffed them with quilting and added a pumpkin mask to make a body. I would sit in the corner, writing on old greeting cards all the possible ways to discover the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Past the sewing machine there was a bridge of chairs I hid under. There was a sense of safety in this private world where I was untouchable. We would put our ears to the base of my mom’s shell collection, hoping the shells would whisper something to us, but instead we just heard the low murmur of the dryer, reminding us we were still in the garage.
I think we should always live in a state of imagination. Here are the updated versions of my childhood forts.
Nesting and Collecting
Before you can day-dream about all the possibilities in life, you need to set up your fort! Find items that inspire you and tell a little story about how you view the world.
[1. Fine art photography of Lake Michigan from alicia bock photography; 2. Teepee tent from moozlehome; 3. Scrap and found art mobile from enhabiten; 4. Vintage Bambi book from Scout vs. Scout; 5. Home Sweet Home recycled book pages banner from saratops; 6. Bits of summer photo from Miles of Light; 7. Antique machinist's chest from Daily Memorandum; 8. Silver moon clock from CyberMoon; 9. Vintage ship print from hindsvik; 10. Origami lampshade from Studio Snowpuppe; 11. Vintage globe chalkboard from Hunt and Found; 12. Drawer pullers from Pigeon Toe Ceramics; 13. Vintage French folding camping chair from Chic Frangine]
1. This photograph by Alicia Bock shows how vast the ocean is.
2. Instant teepee with a beautiful silkscreen print.
3. Creating mobiles of found objects was fun then and is still fun! This makes a lovely decoration.
4. Books like Bambi still warm my heart.
5. Everyone needs a banner saying “Home Sweet Home,” right?
6. This print captures the essence of being a kid, collecting bits ‘n’ pieces of our surroundings and turning the vernacular into treasure.
7. In our garage we repurposed old furniture to use as a place to draw on. This antique machinist’s chest reminds me of that.
8. Love this moon clock. For me, the moon encapsulates the idea of the unreal — even though I can see it, I can’t touch it.
9. This vintage ship print reminds me of a painting my grandma made that I found in the garage.
10. These origami lamps are so creative and bizarre in the best kind of way.
11. Why have a real globe when you create your own world?
12. Perfect little objects to spruce up any drawer.
13. This vintage camping chair is perfect for when you need to have an instant seat. Look at that amazing orange!
Make Believe/Believing in Making
When you’re inside your private oasis of imagination, it’s crucial to have a supply of tools to keep the creative juices flowing.
[1. 1960s German craft book from Sandshoe Vintage; 2. Vintage "Where the Wild Things Are" book from Moonkitten's Timeline; 3. Wooden triangles geometric puzzle from Timber Green Woods; 4. Toy arrow display 5. Little collection of objects from johnny vintage; 6. Vintage kaleidoscope from ethanollie; 7. Mini spirit bear figurine from Royal Mint; 8. Vintage brass and glass display case from ethanollie; 9. 1970s Smith Carona typewriter from Lovintagefinds; 10. Wood pencil holder from Less & More; 11. Vintage Polaroid camera from Tom Laurus]
1. This photo visually describes my childhood perfectly.
2. Where the Wild Things Are — where dreams happen.
3. Games are for everyone and any age.
4. I’m in love with these arrows just as objects.
5. This collection of random objects and animals would be perfect in a shadow box.
6. It’s always important to see things differently.
7. This little painted bear is sweet and so well crafted.
8. Collecting rocks was a huge part of my childhood. This case is perfect to showcase them in.
9. Use this 1970s Smith Corona Galaxy typewriter to write your stories down on paper.
10. Everyone always needs pens and pencils.
11. This Polaroid camera is great to capture instant moments.
Properly Suited for the Adventure
To be properly dressed for your self-made hideaway, I think it’s key to be comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable.
[1. Live photo from tamgutlitch; 2. Hand-printed leggings in black and white from thief & bandit; 3. Vintage wool and leather backpack from Santoki Vintage; 4. Bracelet made of cotton thread and leather from orange is the sun; 5. Starburst lacehole sweater from Micaela Greg; 6. '70s blanket poncho from StrayCatBooth; 7. The kaleidoscope locket from Verabel + Fox; 8. Papier mache cat mask from Jevgeniamasks; 9. Extra long mittens from Evelda's Neverland; 1o. Mimic dot silk tee from byrachelrose; 11. Hand knitted women's socks from RGideas; 12. Cashmere coat from FM908; 13. Extra-chunky cowl from goodnightdayknits]
1. This photograph by Tamara Lichtenstein illustrates a carefreeness that I try to find in my daily life.
2. I love the graphic yet painterly print on these leggings.
3. This backpack is perfect for toting around art supplies, extra layers of clothing and a camera. Also, the Southwestern pattern is pretty much amazing.
4. These are like the updated versions of those jelly bracelets I once wore.
5. This sweater is the kind of thing you can lie around in all day but also wear out with some heeled ankle boots. As an artist, I need versatility.
6. This poncho will definitely keep anyone cozy.
7. Lockets hold secret moments.
8. Cat mask! Do I need to say more?
9. These mittens are perfect and functional for the cold winter months.
10. Painting and fashion? Yes please!
11. It’s pretty important to have thick cozy socks on when inside your fort.
12. I’m loving this wool cape. It’s like a grownup version of the capes I made when I was young.
13. This is the kind of scarf you can hide your face in and transport to another world.
Cozy ‘n’ Comfy
I grew up with both my grandma and my mom making blankets and quilts. I would often use these to create the coziness inside my hideaways. This collection of seven pieces highlights my current interest in patterns and colors.
[1. Fog print from fieldguided; 2. Vintage Moroccan rug from French By Design; 3. Vintage Navajo rug from Cellar 1237; 4. Handmade Pendleton wool pillow cover from littlebyrdvintage; 5. Sukan handwoven Turkish kilam pillow case from sukan; 6. Vintage quilts; 7. Turkish kilam pillowcase from sukan; 8. Primary colors Afghan from VintageQuiltsandCout]
1. This photograph by Fieldguided makes me want to have a ton of blankets wrapped around me while sitting on a boat watching the fog drift by.
2. This vintage Moroccan rug is beautiful.
3. This vintage Navajo rug is beautiful.
4. How can you not love Pendleton, especially these patched together Pendleton pillow covers?
5. I love neutral prints like this pillow cover by Sukan.
6. I have a weak spot for vintage quilts like this one.
7. Another Sukan pillow cover.
8. This Afghan is almost identical to one I had as a child.