Blog Archive for January, 2010

I’ve been working with the stationery company Mara-mi on a new line of office products, and the collection got a very kind mention on Bowie Style’s Print and Pattern blog today. Thanks, Bowie! I haven’t even seen the final samples yet, so it was fun to see the photos she’s posted. The line will be coming out this spring.

dream studio


I’m still – still! – reorganizing my studio, and slowly sorting through all the stuff that got jumbled together during the move (and, let’s be honest, wasn’t all that organized before the move). It’s starting to look better, but now I’m lusting for some new studio storage. New office furniture isn’t really in the budget right now, but a girl can dream, right? I’ve been loving the rustic, vintage and farmhouse-y look of a lot of what’s out there now, and have been pulling together some images for my “someday, maybe, dream studio” inspiration board. Most are from a back issue of Art & Decoration magazine, and from Restoration Hardware. Check them out:

from Substance
cool lighting from Abaca Antique, Marchand d’Ambiances, Le Passe Recompose and Melange d’Idees. All images above from Art & Decoration Magazine.
I would love some flat storage for artwork like this piece from Restoration Hardware
This is a warm take on the steel bakers’ rack that I use for most of my art supplies. From Resto.
I love this work table – if only it were adjustable for cutting fabric! Also from Restoration Hardware.

As I’ve mentioned here before, one of the things I’m really excited about with this new house is having a nice, big garden. We’ve also been really trying to live in as low-impact a way as possible, recycling everything we can, shopping at the local farmers’ market and trying to use less unnecessary packaging. After spending Christmas with my mother, a big proponent of composting and worm composting especially, we decided that now that we have the space and the yard, there’s no reason not to have our own colony of little composting worms. They accomplish two tasks at once: prevent organic scraps from going in the landfill, and supply wonderfully rich garden compost and “worm tea”, which is supposed to be amazing for plants. Although making a worm farm would be a perfect DIY project, I decided I just didn’t have the time for it right now, so I went searching and stumbled on Happy D Ranch, purveyors of fine worms and worm products. An easy mouse-click later we were on our way to being worm farmers! Well, the little guys arrived yesterday, and we got their new home all set up. Now we just have to be patient while they get settled in, and then we can start giving them our used coffee filters, apple cores, eggshells and junkmail (yes, junkmail!).

this is their bedding material, a mixture of ground coconut shell, shredded paper and dirt.
home, sweet home!



… the very image of. How am I supposed to get any work done with this bad influence lounging about?? *sigh*

Happy Monday, everybody!

I was so inspired by Holly Becker’s post on Decor8 last week that I bought some flowers for the house this weekend. My little hangup is I feel like the house needs to be clean if I’m going to invest in fresh flowers, so I had a fabulous Saturday evening of housecleaning while Dave recovered from minor surgery. I bought some tulips, because all this rain is making me long for spring, and another flower that I don’t know the name of, but which looks like a muscular heather. Anybody know what it’s called? When I put the tulips in the vase they were a little too droopy, so I tried the old trick of dropping a penny in the water. Within an hour, they were standing straight up. I googled and wikipedia’d the phenomenon trying to figure out why this works so well, but the only straight answer I could come up with is that the oxidation of the penny reduces algae growth in the water. That doesn’t seem like the right answer. So it remains a mystery, but if you ever want to get your tulip stems to stand at attention, try a penny.

One of the things I love most about my job is seeing all the amazing things that people make from the Monaluna fabrics. I get these nifty little alerts from google (sometimes) when people post stuff they’ve made with my fabric on the internet, and I love seeing the variety and creativity. I thought I’d post some of the images today – so fun!

re-usable sandwich bag from RosyUndPosie’s shop
baby sling from SmallWish’s shop
baby ballerina booties from Cazhoffy’s shop

new kitty!


I have a little dilemma this morning. I can’t make the bed because our new kitty has decided to sleep in, and I simply can’t make her move. She’s just too cute. And she looks too content for me to disturb her little nap spot. And can I just say I am SO excited she’s joined our family? We got her on Sunday from a kitty rescue group called Community Concern for Cats, a non-profit organization that rescues stray and feral cats, and she is just the sweetest thing. I’ve never actually chosen a cat before – they’ve all come to me one way or another – and we were a little worried about how she’d adjust to her new home. Well, as soon as we let her out of her carrier she was purring and exploring and basically establishing herself as queen of the castle. Of course, the ladies at the adoption facility were very persuasive about the benefits of having at least two cats, so she may not be an only cat for long…
Only one problem: we’re having a little trouble with her name. She was named KitKat at the shelter, but it just doesn’t seem to fit her. Anyone have ideas?

Dave and I spent some time today listening to some of Martin Luther King’s speeches on youtube, as we do every year. Still so relevant and beautiful. Here are a couple of links:

Happy Friday, everybody!
Today’s project seems almost ridiculously housekeeper-y, especially for me, since I’m not a very good housekeeper. But we’ve had these sloppy plastic bags of rags lying around and getting in the way since we moved in – I’ll put them in a cupboard, and they just slump all over and make a mess. So I finally got fed up and made some bags to hang on the wall in our laundry room and hold the clean and dirty rags. I have to say, they work pretty well! You could use them for anything, really, but I labelled mine with stamp letters, so now they’re pretty specific.

I started out with a bunch of scraps – cotton canvas for the bags, and a variety of cottons for the patchwork. The main body sizes were 13×18″, for a finished bag size of 12×16″.
Next, I cut fabric patches and arranged until I liked the way they looked. I made each bag a little different, depending on how much fabric I had and the proportions I liked. I pinked some of the edges, and cut others straight to be satin-stitched.
I used alphabet stamps to label the center patch.
Once I had the patch decorated, I stitched the patches to the front of the bag, and then sewed them:
1) Iron a 1/2″ fold at top edge of bag, and then fold over 1″ and iron again. Unfold carefully, keeping crease.

2) Put the two 13×18″ pieces together, right sides facing, and sew sides and bottom with a 1/2″ seam. (Make sure top edge is not folded at this time – the sides should be sewn together with no fold). Iron seams open.
3) Turn bag right-side-out and refold top edge, but do not pin. Find the center of the front, and mark a spot for two 1/2″ vertical buttonholes 1/4″ to either side of center, centered between the top of the bag and the lower edge of your 1″ fold. I also added a horizontal, 1″ buttonhole at the center back to hang the bag, also centered between the top and bottom of the 1″ fold. This is optional. Unfold top edge gently.
4) Sew buttonholes.
5) Turn bag inside-out, re-fold top edge and pin. Stitch close to the bottom of the fold, 1″ from the top of the bag. Turn bag right-side-out.

6) Cut a ribbon to the desired length (mine were about 32″) and attach a safety pin to one end. Feed through one buttonhole and around and out through the other. Cinch and use!