Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Gold Bug

The Gold Bug in Pasadena is just the greatest kept secret in Old Town. Every time I go in it is like stepping into an alternate world and I'm sucked in by the amazing art and Entomology. I just want to live in this store. I think this is #2 on my favorite stores list (The Paper Source is #1).

Did you know....

You can read the full text of Edgar Allan Poe's, "The Gold Bug" HERE.

Someone please buy me these 3 things :-)

Chalcasoma Atlas




18K Gold & Sterling Silver Lotus Pod Earrings


And this weird seahorse thing with butterfly wings. This is not the actual piece of art but if you go's in the window and it's AMAZING!!!!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crafting Bug

Once the craft bugs's all over. I have the crafting bug. I've been non-stop with with making different things, totes, scarves, cushions, pillows. My next mountain...a dress. We shall see about that one.

Aren't my puppies just so cute?!?!?!?

This is Nora! She's chihuahua and Italian greyhound.

This was a super easy DIY project and much much cheaper than finding and buying a cushion to match decor and our likes.

Well. With the same fabric that I used for Michelle's tote bag (see last post) from Ikea's Cecilia collection I made a set of cushions for the bench by the window. It looks directly out onto the street so it's definitely a hot spot for our two chihuahua mixes and my cat, Atwood.

This is Elphie (named after Elphaba from the book Wicked). She's chihuahua and we think dachshund.

I found a piece of soft foam at JoAnn's Fabrics that measured 2"x 17"x 15" . This meant that I needed 6 different pieces of fabric to cover all the sides of the foam. I allowed a 1/4" seam allowance. For your custom cushion sizes just add a 1/2" to all your measurements. I also put a zipper in so that the covers can be taken off and washed if they get dirty or a doggie bladder accident happens :-)

2- 2.5" tall x 17.5" wide
2- 2.5" tall x 15.5" wide
2- 15.5" tall x 17.5" wide
1- zipper

Sew the zipper on first to one of the 2.5" tall x 17.5" wide sides. Sew on all sides with right sides together to one of the 15.5" tall x 17.5" wide sides. Sew on remaining side. Super super simple. And there you have it! A fabulous custom made cushion. If anyone has questions feel free to send me a message :-)

Happy Crafting

Friday, August 21, 2009


My sister, Michelle, is leaving for Copenhagen, Denmark in a couple of days to present a group project, which you can learn more about at . She needed a cute tote bag to carry around when she is site seeing. She found a cute sewing pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing . The whole project took me just a few hours including cutting the squares out for the pockets and lining.

The fabric I used for this tote was from Ikea from their Cecilia collection just $5.99/yard! Love that place. They have great fabrics there for all sorts of projects.

Great front pocket and side pocket, great for holding water bottles (reusable of course).
Complete with a sewn in key ring holder.

It came out looking great! This project is super simple and just by changing the fabric you can change out the whole look. You can embellish this tote super easy by adding a tassel or a few well placed buttons! Super easy and great for a beginner sewer.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hot Weenies!

I was recently commissioned to hand craft a pillow that would be an accent to a bedroom. The client wanted the pillow to have printed dachshunds (she has the cutest wiener doggie, Friday) on it in a color to match her master bedroom, a sort of fresh blue green. This is what it ended up looking like and a peek at my processes.

v. Some of the materials that I used.

^. Initial printed design.

v. Testing out what a few sequins would look like.

^. Finished pillow with an invisible zipper.
v. Just look how cute that it on a window sill.

Like I have said plenty of times before. How you present anything, from a gift to a product for a client, it needs to be presented neatly, professionally, and free from errors. As always, it needs to reflect yourself and be creative.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tord Boontje

I absolutely adore this artist. He is so creative and I love everything that he does. His designs are incredibly intricate and a little bewildering in some cases. I worship his ability to connect nature with his art work. Watch this video here.

This is one of my favorite installations called Happy Ever After, Milan 2004 (above photo).

The designs are just so damn complicated and freakin' cool!!!

Check out his awesome website here.

One of my own...

Here is a gift that I wrapped for my sister's bf for his birthday. It is wrapped in a soft gold wrapping paper from Pier 1 Imports. I decided to stay toned down with neutral ribbon colors. The actual gift is a box set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Curse of the Golden Flower, and The House of Flying Daggers, and Jet Li's Fearless. So, in keeping with this awesome set I chose three different colored ribbons, gold green, brown, and beige. 

I topped it off with a neutral matching tag that I made myself.

GORGEOUS! (remember...keep it neat and clean.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wrap It Up!

So like I said before the way you wrap a gift is CRUCIAL! It is a physical representation of yourself. It can be simple to elaborate but however you complete the wrapping part it MUST be well crafted and must be clean.

Some helpful tips for wrapping the best gift ever!

1. If you have an awkward shaped gift such as a pair of headphones in those annoying plastic packages. You have one really really skinny side and a really really fat side. PUT IT IN A BOX! You can go to The Container Store and buy, for relatively cheap, a great box. Make sure that it's the right size too.

2. Don't over do it on the wrapping paper. If you use too much then you use too much tape which makes the gift look messy and rushed. Cut just enough wrapping paper to cover the gift. 

3. Don't use too much tape. When you first stretch that bit of paper over just ONE piece of tape will do. 

4. Work on a hard surface. Don't wrap on the bed or carpet. It just doesn't work.

5. Use quality wrapping paper. Cheap wrapping paper tears easier and makes it harder to make clean lines. The Paper Source (one of my absolute favorite store) has gorgeous paper as well as, sometimes Target has good stuff but be careful their paper is kinda thin and flimsy, Martha Stewart! (one of my idols),  The Container Store.

6. Make sure that the cut edges of the wrapping paper is straight. You can line up the box with the edge. Once you have cut the paper fold over the edge so that you have clean lines. Do this with all the edges.

7. Elaborate with some gorgeous ribbon, raffia, or interesting fabric or lace. If you don't want to use ribbon, it better be some damn good looking wrapping paper with a hugely bold pint. Be creative when choosing ribbon. Having a stash of assorted colors and sizes of ribbon, especially the staple, grosgrain ribbon is an absolute essential. For god sakes...don't use cheapo christmas ribbon! (The kind you can curl unless you have taken that ribbon to a whole new level)

This is a serious NO NO! (unless stated above)

 8. Your gift tag is just as important as the ribbon and paper you use. This should match the entirety of the gift and not overwhelm the gift. Again, I love these tags from Paper Source!

I will post a video on How to Wrap the Perfect Gift very soon. This should be a good one.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Very Merry Un-birthday to You!!!!!

This week is everything about gifts!!!!

A gift you give is a direct reflection of yourself. If you give a tacky gift or give everyone for every occasion (especially women) a basket full of bath/spa stuff that's been pre-shrink wrapped it's not creative. It shows that you have no thought for the person and it's very uninventive. You don't have to go totally elaborate and you don't just have to give a gift on birthdays and during the holiday season. It can be small and meaningful.


There are many reasons to give a gift: 
Here are my top 10 reasons! ( I might think of more later)

1. Birthday (of course)
2. Anniversary (no brainer and this doesn't have to be yours...maybe your parents, best friend, co-worker, marriage, so many years with a company...)
3. Thank you (for something nice someone did for you, helping you move, dinner, doing a great job...this can be for virtually anyone)
4. Hostess gift (bring a great bottle of wine, truffles, dessert such as a pie, fresh cut flowers, home grown vegetables or fruit)
5. Promotion (a bottle of liquor, flowers, a well written note...more to come on that)
6. Thinking of you/ appreciation (my personal favorite...this can anything and or anyone)
7. Good Luck ( this is a little tricky and it depends on why you're saying "good luck")
8. Going away (a funny picture of yourself :-) hee hee,  a city/state/country guide, a disposable camera)
9. Graduation (something inspiring like a book...not a 'survival guide on how to avoid your naked roommate' book, unless they really truly do need a book like that)
10. I'm sorry (if you must give an "I'm sorry" better be pretty damn good!)

Think of the person you're giving the gift to:
The obvious question....What is the recipient's likes and interests? You wouldn't give a die hard Steelers fan a Cowboys jersey. Think about the person. Are they going on vacation soon? You can NEVER GO WRONG WITH A BOOK!!!!!! or fresh cut flowers from the farmer's market. Get them a city guide and map to wherever they are going. The gift is much more appreciated when you put thought into it. The person can tell.

Next post...How to write the perfect handwritten note to go with your well thought out gift.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Anyone can make too.

For three weeks now I have been teaching art, with a group of other Art Ed majors, to kids who are a part of Path Ventures. It's been quite an experience. There were times where I wanted to rip my hair out by the roots and other times where I truly enjoyed myself and the company of kids from a whole other culture. 

They were great kids to work with and I definitely learned a lot from this. These pictures are from the final event that we put together for the community. We made a garden for the families to appreciate and keep for at least a few weeks but the kids wanted to take their flags home and stepping stones. It looked fantastic for about 30 minutes....oh well. 

It felt really good to make sure that these kids were introduced to art and see how art can affect their lives. Most of these kids have no idea what good art is and what they are truly capable of. It was a powerful experience for me and I hope that it was for the students as well.

The FABULOUS group of ladies I taught with. I think we did pretty damn good for I first real experience of teaching. Taken on our first day of class.... we had NO IDEA what we were in for. 

Me, teaching.

Some of work that the kids completed. 
Circle Painting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gettin' Good

So my sister, Michelle, found this awesome top at Anthropolgie, which you can see here. We decided to try and recreate this with a grey, stretchy, knit fabric from JoAnn's. It's super simple to make. Everything is very geometric which makes pattern making easy and non-stressful. So, here it is. It's still in progress...I have to serger the edges. Then....PRESTO!

She's pretty goofy.


Friday, July 17, 2009

I Bleed Sequins!

 I said that I would post some of my own art work so, here it is! 
A very neutral interpretation of an abalone shell.

My colorful interpretation of an abalone shell. Like I said before this does not even compare to the brilliant work of Amy Gross. Her art is spectacular!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Amy Gross

So, I recently found this artist, Amy Gross. Her work is absolutely beautiful. Much more beautiful than anything that I have ever done.  I discovered her work in the current issue of Fiber Arts Magazine.

I really love the idea of a micro/macro set up. A lot of my personal artwork has to do with the concept of finer detail such a stitching, beading, and paper foldings that make up something that is much larger in scale. The concept of micro/ it large scale? Small scale? I love fine fine detail that makes up something much larger. I find it quite fascinating.

I did two pieces of artwork that looks similar to hers. I took an abalone shell and interpreted it in my own creative way.

I also have a few pieces that have a similar theme where there are hundreds of smaller individual pieces that make up a larger whole. 

I'll post those later. Maybe at the end of the week.
Happy Hump Day

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