felt wall hanging - birch print

i decided to take it 3d. it was fun & really quite easy.

what you need:
1 large piece of dense fabric or felt, 11" x 13" in blue or background color of choice
2 felt sheets (9" x 11") - white, charcoal
thread (black, white)
staple gun
stretch frames (8" x 9")

1. cut 6 varying birch trunks - between 3/4" to 1.5"
2. cut small arching triangles
3. using a straight stitch, attach triangles randomly on each birch trunk (you'll only need to do one side of trunks 1 & 2) with black thread
4. pin each detailed trunk on background fabric (should be centered on the fabric with 1.75"+ on the right & left side of the fabric, branches should extend from top to bottom)
5. using a straight stitch, attach 2 or 3 background trunks tight to background piece with white thread
6. stitch the left side of trunk a
7. leaving some space for batting, stitch the right side of trunk a. for example - if trunk a is 3/4" wide, stitch a 1/2" from left side. leave top & bottom of trunk open
8. continue through trunk d
9. fill trunks a-d with batting (i used a pencil end to push it through)
10. assemble your stretching frame
11. wrap felt collage around frame. use the staple gun (one side at a time) to attach.

helpful tips:
1. make sure to have your background fabric extends well beyond your stretch bars when assembled. my felt had to be attached at the outside of frame instead of back.
2. you could you an adhesive to secure the charcoal details before sewing.

etsy wednesday

i really enjoy the neurasthenia shop. she has a lot to choose from - cuffs, clutches, skirts & leggings; but i am loving her high-waisted skirts & pants. great details & cute stylings. her prices are completely reasonable: $45 for most skirts, around $15 for vinyl clutches, $11 for cuffs.


craigslist finds

i just bought a couple great chairs from craigslist, but i can't resist looking some more. here are 4 that i love, somebody snatch them up.

turquoise rocker $55, olive chair & ottoman $99, patio chair $85 (wish i had a patio) & french wicker chairs $75 each

add it to the blogroll

this is going to be a new weekly event - as long as i keep finding new resources. if i don't find anything that makes my heart pitter patter, i'll just highlight ones that have been there from the beginning.

here is print a day. she has a great collection of repeat patters & beautifully detailed illustrations.

hula seventy is written by andrea, a portland resident. she is a photographer, dance educator & blogger with an incredible energy & spontaneity.


blue bottle gallery

this weekend was warmish so on sunday afternoon i headed out to see what was new at blue bottle on pike. a sweet little space with a small exhibit loft is run by husband & wife duo andrea & matthew porter; they sell everything from limited edition prints to jewelry, tea towels to belt buckles & paper goods to original artwork. i definitely recommend stopping in the next time you are out & about in seattle.

more pics


new cards in the etsy shop

i have some new notecard sets in the etsy store. i'll be posting a couple new ones every day today through wednesday.


iva jean's jewelry

i was 10 when my great grandma passed away. it's funny because i still feel close to her. i'm sure it has something to do with all of her things that make up my apartment & jewelry collection. here is the latest of iva jean's jewelry, it arrived as part of a birthday package from my parents a couple months back.


prints i want

girl in the flowers by michelle armas

giants series by pietari posti

03 in the print series by tim degner

1971 print by iso50



another item off the list. a few weeks ago i started taking boxing classes at cappy's on capitol hill. the circuit classes are to die for & sometimes you feel like you might; it's the best workout i've had since taking up spinning with shawna at my gym. the atmosphere & people at cappy's are great & the fact that they played kanye & biggie at my last class is a definite bonus. i plan on going every week & possibly starting to take lessons.

etsy wednesday

jess gonacha does great work. her aesthetic is feminine & whimsical with a lot of color. most items listed are prints of original mixed-media paintings on wood, priced at $15.

you can also visit her blog & portfolio.

UPDATE: i bought the print & it arrived yesterday - hurray! now i have to head to ikea for a new installation of ribba frames.


the perfect mason

inspired by the ball jar sitting on my dining table with lovely drumstick flowers (i guess that is the technical name) - i created my own.

add it to the blogroll

three new blogs that i am loving.

i've been led here before, i've read it before, but today i fell in love with design for mankind. a great collection of products, photography, clothing & art.

a fellow crafter, blogger & etsy seller. check out make it.

a midwestern artist & designer, an etsy seller. amy at things that make my day has a great eye for beautiful things.

rabbit loves piano

so disturbing - check.
great flickr photostream - check.
random blog post - check.

homako has a beautiful collection of pictures.


apartment pics

just some fun detail & big picture apartment images. ohhhhh home.

anda dress

cross it off my list - i made a dress from a pattern. maybe i didn't print it, or pin it to the fabric, maybe i didn't really use it. but i downloaded it, read the instruction & eyeballed it. it's half from the anda pattern by burda. i used a bright purple, mid-weight linen.

a couple of things about my version. i didn't do the drawstring or the casing; i knew i would wear belts instead. i did make a belt with matching fabric & brown buttons. pre-wash your fabric, i never do this - i always regret it. i also cut the back panel too big, so i did a couple of darts in the back.

to see more pics check here. i just posted a year of projects.



my latest fader podcast discovery, estelle. i just bought the 18th day album (only $6 on itunes) & have her new album's release marked on my calender. one review said it best - m.i.a. meets lady sovereign; she also reminds me of floetry. i can't tell where i've heard the song 1980 before. pick it up!

etsy wednesday

betty turbo makes me laugh. that's why she's my etsy shop of the week. based in east nashville, her work includes hand-printed cards, prints & stationary ranging from $4 to $30.

what to do

it's almost tormenting. we've all heard about the quarter-life crisis, the kids of baby boomers, gen-yers; many of us are experiencing it ourselves. i have friends that have started their own companies, are moving across seas for the experience of living in europe, have traveled for 8 months straight in unfamiliar territory & others that have, in general, taken their time figuring out exactly what they'd like to do in life.

in the last couple of years, more so in the last year, i've found myself wondering what to do. i love my 9-5. the people are great, the work is meaningful, i'm learning & i'm right in the center of urban development & design in seattle. it's all the other stuff that whispers in my ear - sewing, interior decorating, graphic design, product design, paper & printing, color theory, pattern & textile development, pattern & tutorial website, creative management, retail, etc. how do we know where to turn or when to take a risk? should we try to do freelance & sell other design on the side? should we open a shop, start a website? should we buy a dress form or a gocco machine? should we get a better screen printing system at home? maybe we'll intern or work part time at a screen printing house. maybe we should take a class?

decor8 has started a series titled what to do. it focuses on the struggles of many creative types (i hate using that) deciding where to go next. i am enjoying reading this & falling further into my internal debate.


i'm so fired - etsy wednesday - a little late

jacob's eye sells a variety of self titled "afro-centric" goods. i love the big, exaggerated vintage styling; originally from kingston, jamaica he now lives in fort greene, brooklyn - a small art centered neighborhood. he sells bags, clutches & other accessories. prices are high, ranging from $100-$300 for his handmade goods. yeah - that's erykah badu.


owl plushie

this is my first attempt at making something plushie - felt & stuffed with batting. i love him because he's my first, but i learned a couple lessons along the way & am looking forward to making another.

here is a rough tutorial:

1. i cut out each felt shape based on the vector work that i had previously done (2 of each). i decided to use a blanket stitch & found this great tutorial.
2. the wings were the first pieces i did; originally i thought that it would be cute to have a contrasting color thread (ie white), but decided heavily against it once both were done. i redid them with a matching thread.
3. i moved on to the feet & eyebrows. in an attempt to make the owl stand i used bent earring hoops (the cheap kind found in craft stores) & slid them between two stitches so that the feet had a platform & there would be some wire in the body as well (exposed wire coming upright from the foot).
4. i then did a blanket stitch around the eyes (just for looks, it was only one layer of felt) & attached the googley eyes. that whole piece & the eyebrows got attached to the front half of the body piece.
5. i lightly stuff the wings & sewed them onto the back half of the body piece.
6. now that the amenities were attached (besides the feet), i began the blanket stitched around the body. i did a stitch through the wings that looked similar to the blanket stitch but would let that section be more secure.
7. once there was only an inch or so open, i filled the body with batting & closed it up.
8. last, i inserted the wire from the feet to the base of the owl & stitched the back of the feet one the base of the owl.

i'll do a more detailed pattern later, but for now i'm just happy to have him. thanks to bart for indulging my nerdiness & being part of the owl/birch photoshoot.

UPDATE - click on image for 8.5" x 11" pattern


lemon repeat

nothing too big - just some of the graphics i've been working on from the comfort of my fully fitted home office. i think that i would love an apron made out of a heavy linen with this print. mmmm yummy. i may turn this into a summer greeting card or kitchen print - we'll see.

can you tell that i'm having a yellow issue lately?



i just converted to a three column layout. big ups to tips for new bloggers for this great tutorial.

it took me longer than it should of because i needed to update my first minima template to the new blogger format (it took me a while to realize that this is what i needed to do), but i couldn't be happier.

wine cork trivet & board

inspired by this feature, i took a new approach to using leftover wine corks. below are two tutorials for using sliced discs of wine cork & you can find images here.

the cork trivet - this project was much more tedious than i had expected. slicing the cork was not an easy task. i ended up using a standard chef's knife to cut the cork & found that it wasn't that bad. once i had them sliced, my hands were kind of sore & pushing the needle through was not simple. i gave up, sat back & drank wine while natalie made dinner. a couple weeks later (yesterday) i decided to try again.

what you need:
leftover wine corks (5 or 6)
sharp knife
sewing needle
wire brad or nail
mod podge

1. using your knife, cut the corks into 1/4" discs
2. using a nail & hammer, create 2 holes on opposite ends of the discs for ease of threading.
3. thread your needle & tie a large knot at the end
4. thread 6 discs into a hexagon. the first thread should come up from the bottom of disc 1 & down through disc 2, up through the opposite side of disc 2 & down through disc 3. this continues on until you have a complete shape, coming down through the open end of disc 1.
5. move on to add the second hexagon by coming up through disc 7 & threading through another 6 discs. add the third hexagon in the similar fashion.
5. now that you have 3 hexagons threaded into one shape, you'll add the connecting discs. starting with new thread, come up through the a new spot on disc 2, down through disc a, back up the opposite end of disc a, down through disc b & finally back down disc 8. tie off the end.
6. continue to do that for the other 2 openings.
7. carefully flip the discs over onto a protective surface. apply a small amount of mod podge or adhesive to create a more stable base.
8. let dry for 2 hours.

helpful tips:

1. the nail holes will be hard to find, but definitely easier on your hands
2.make sure to carefully pull thread to create the right tension after each hexagon. this is really touchy, so make small pulls.
3. use a piece of wood or wax paper as the protective surface when applying the mod podge as paper may adhere to the cork & thread.

the refrigerator cork board
- this one is very simple, especially if you have leftover cork discs.

what you need:
leftover cork discs (wine corks & chef's knife)
hot glue gun & glue
small sheet (8" x 5") of galvanized steel (available at home depot)
strong magnet or magnet strips

1. heat up glue gun
2. apply small amount of glue on bottom of a disc & place in the top left corner of the panel
3. continue placing the discs snug to each other in a row, the second row will lie in between each disc in the first row & so on. i made 5 rows of cork, for a half & half magnet & cork board.
4. adhere the magnet to the back of the steel panel using hot glue unless you have self adhesive magnet strips.

UDPATE - abigail's full tutorial here


burdastyle - to sew

while doing some research for an upcoming project with natalie, we stumbled upon burdastyle (actually natalie did). i've spent some time there lately, mostly looking at it from a format standpoint; burdastyle is a place where users can upload/download sewing patterns, comment & review them & post their own takes a pattern. i've looked past some of the really clear, simple & gorgeous patterns they have available, many for free.

on my 2008 to do list i mentioned sewing a dress with a pattern. maybe that will change, maybe it will be these pants (chris don't throw up) or the skirt pictured above, but of course - it could be this very simple dress (i think i'll add a thick waist band or corset).


etsy wednesday

please be still sells prints on high quality archival paper for $20-$25. based out of tampa, fl, she paints beautiful women & high-design furniture. it seems like a strange combo, but after reading, i love the story. besides longing for my own eames rocker, i was drawn to her work because i really enjoy the colors that she chooses.