Friday, July 30, 2010

Embroidered Greeting Card DIY!

I am so thrilled to announce that I will be participating in the Museum of Folk Art & Craft's Craft Bar next Thursday! This month's Craft Bar is centered around paper goods so there will be about 3 local artists teaching people different bookmaking projects and I'll be there showing people how to embroider their very own floral post card! The tutorial I am teaching at the Craft Bar has been simplified a little due to time constraints, but you, my lovely blog readers, will get the full tutorial and then you will know all my little greeting card secrets. I have been planning on sharing a DIY embroidered greeting card tutorial for some time on the blog, but it got postponed when I was invited to participate in the Craft Bar. Well, next Thursday I will be publishing my first DIY tutorial (if all goes well)! You will get to learn first hand how to make your own "You Are Awesome" embroidered greeting card.
Pretty cool huh?

Also, if you are in the Bay Area, you should come by to Craft Bar next Thursday.
6-9pm at MOCFA in SF. There is beer and free food. Only $5 for a great time!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rupert is definitely the kind of dog that you just want to put stuff on, whether that be a flower, or a metal mustache. I'm already thinking of costume ideas for Halloween.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My crafty space

I never thought that I could bring myself to share my little crafting room on my blog. Maybe because I am slightly embarrassed by my small, plain space. But then I thought, what the hell! I'm not the only one with limited space, time, and money out there crafting so maybe I should share my space just so people can see what I have done with what I've got. It may not be super cute or filled with fun design ideas, but I can proudly say that everything is now organized! If I had more time and money, I would make/look for more appealing custom storage units to replace the plastic ones, paint the walls and try to install a few bookshelves too. I use every free inch that I have to store stuff. Underneath the benches are my display supplies for craft fairs, shipping supplies, and more fabric. I also finally went through and organized all of my scrap fabric and leather. At first I was tempted to throw all of it out but I just couldn't do it. I'm still not too sure what to use my scraps for but I do have a couple of ideas. I was thinking I could make a sort of basic patchwork dog bed for Rupert or maybe even some patchwork coin purses too.

What do you do with all your scraps? Do you hold onto them? Donate them? Or just throw them out?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Doggy Update

The doggy is now safe at home. I picked him up yesterday from the vet and even though he has a pretty bad cold, he's settling in very well. The little guy is so easy going and a total lap dog. His name just sort of came to me yesterday after I brought him home and got a chance to spend some quality time with him. Although it wasn't on my original list, I think Rupert fits him really well.

I also found this great little grey sweater for him to wear. Even thought it is summer time, it is still pretty cool in the Bay Area, and he tends to shiver a lot. I can't wait to embroider a little design on it! I also plan on making him a snazzy bow tie for him to wear at my craft shows.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Adventures

I spent most of my weekend doing some major spring cleaning but I did have a chance to stop by Indie Mart. It was really nice taking a break from vending at the event and just going to browse. I love discovering new vendors and seeing people's displays. It's so inspiring!

Here are a few photos from the event.

I have a weakness for purses so as soon as I saw this amazing wicker basket purse I walked away. Far away. How great is Little Weird's table display? Perfect for someone selling screenprinted car shirts. I'm stealing this display idea from Hello Sisters! Who knew that wooden window shades would be the perfect display for a windy outdoor event? This little wood barrel miniature is so cute! I'm wondering why I didn't buy it. Bird Mafia was my favorite vendor by far. I bought a super cute packet of screenprinted bee patches from them. Their screenprinted felt goldfish plushies are at the top of my wish list.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I'm picking up my doggie friend tomorrow, which means I will most likely be blogging doggie photos all week long.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good News!

Say hello to the newest member of my family! This little guy will be coming home to us next Tuesday. He is a 3-4 year old pug mix and has to be the most mellow dog I have ever met. I'm pretty sure he was a zen master in a past life. I was having so much anxiety over adopting this dog this week that I was having trouble sleeping or eating. Ridiculous, I know. Since I found him at the Oakland Animal Shelter, I was really worried about not adopting him in time. The shelter recently had a Horrible Article written about it and it's treatment of dogs. Supposedly there is some debate and suspicion about this shelter's euthanization policy. They claim to not euthanize any animals that are adoptable (i.e. don't have aggressive temperament, bad health, etc), but past volunteers, witnesses say different. It was clear when I first might this little guy that he needed a home right away. The poor dude has a really bad kennel cough, is pretty malnourished, and there is not enough money or staff at this center to help him recuperate. So generally, I was concerned about what would happen to him after reading this article. But yesterday I submitted the paperwork, paid the fees and he is now all mine! I have to wait 5 more days for him to get neutered and then I get to bring him home. He's is definitely a little on the shy side and I have no idea what kind of life he had before he was at the shelter. But I'm hoping that with a good, loving home, he will come out of his shell a little bit.

I still haven't decided on a name, but these are my top four right now:





Which name do you like?

You can also go HERE to see a little video of him.
It's not the best quality but you can still see how cute he is.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Embroidery Artist: Lauren DiCioccio

All I can say about Lauren DiCioccio is that I am thoroughly impressed. Her artwork is amazing, her website is amazing, and the woman has actually taken the time to write clear, well-rounded artist statements concerning her work. I know some artists don't believe in writing statements about their work but I feel like when they are well written they are extremely helpful and allow the viewer to possibly make a deeper connection to the work.

(I'm in love with this stitched book but I'm sort of kicking myself in the head, and saying to myself,
"Man, I wish I'd thought of that.")

There was a certain feeling I had when first viewing Lauren's work, but I couldn't quite pinpoint what it was. After reading her general artist statement, I was able to discover why her work struck a cord with me. Using fabric, needlework, and other craft related methods as tools to fabricate her pieces not only communicates her initial goals with her projects, but also, allows the viewer to pursue an even stronger connection with the work. Not only does it emphasize her interest in "the physical/tangible beauty of commonplace mass-produced media-objects," but it highlights how handmade work falling under the category of "craft", serves a different function today in the modern world and not just in the art world. (Yes, these cards are made from fabric and hand stitched. Stunning.) In general, I love it when I come across work that invokes contemplation of the concept of craft in today's world and reminds me of its long reigning history and role in human creativity. So a big thanks to Lauren DiCioccio for bringing these themes to life for me in a beautiful way. To see more of this marvelous work, go HERE. Don't wait. Check it out now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

For the kids in Spain

I mentioned earlier this week that I was working on some hand embroidered post cards to be sent to some children in Spain. They're finished and I have to say I love the way they turned out! It was so nice to take some time out and work on a little personal project. I hope they make it to Spain safely and the kids enjoy them. I definitely plan on recreating the California state ones and putting them in the shop sometime soon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weekend Recap

The weekend was filled with: A wonderful trip to the Alameda Antique Fair with my good friend, Alison. We saw lots of fun stuff and walked away with a few new goodies. My stash included a new wire basket for my craft display, the most darling ceramic owl, a funny little "Teach Yourself to Swim" book, a very purty floral print dress, and a lovely 100 piece needle packet with the neatest illustration. (One of the many quirky little illustrations from "Teach Yourself to Swim." I like her pincurls!)

Drinking strong English Ales at Beer Revolution.

(Photo by Jesse from

Watching my cat, Bianca, clean her toes and lick her lips.

Making handmade postcards for some young students in Spain.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reading List

My day job has been a little busier than usual and I decided to finally take some time to read a book this week. Sitting outside on a nice summer day during my lunch break is much more appealing than staying inside the office to work on my store/blog. So now I am working on a little reading list. Most of it is pretty, well not trashy per say, but let's just say there are no great pieces of literature on the list. Here is what I have so far: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

I have been reading the Sookie Stackhouse series waaaaaaaay before True Blood ever came to life on HBO. The last two books ( the 2008 & 2009 publications) weren't that great. Since I have been following the story for so long I sort of had to read them. I unfortunately heard this new one isn't much better and the plot doesn't really go anywhere. And just for the record, I am an Eric fan. Always have been. I think it's because I have a thing for vikings.

Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Another not so sophisticated, mystery novel. I mainly decided to pick this up because I started watching Castle about 2 months ago. I love Nathan Fillion and have enjoyed the show so far even though I find it to be pretty predictable. I just started the first chapter but the book is proving to be identical to the show, which is slightly disappointing.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My friend, who has suggested many a great books to me, recommended this novel a while back. Although it is considered a young adult book, I am really looking forward to checking it out. Some of the best works of fiction I have read have been young adult books.

Books you might want to check out this summer: The Host by Stepenie Meyer

I read the Twilight series but it was Stephenie Meyer's The Host that really won my heart. It's labeled as a Sci-Fi novel but I consider it to be more of a love story and I'm not talking about some mushy romance novel, but an actual story about love in a variety of forms. I hope Hollywood never makes this book into a movie because they would pretty much slaughter it.

Heat by Bill Buford

I didn't finish the book but what I read was good. Really good. If you are a foodie or a fan of Anthony Bourdain, this book might be worth your while. It essentially explores the author's experience working at one of Mario Batali's restaurant's as well as describes Batali's culinary history. Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen already offer us some insight into the daily life of the culinary world, but those shows have sort of glorified it for T.V. This book really exposes the gritty side of the kitchen, much like Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations".

Do you have any books you'll be reading to pass your time at the airport or maybe while tanning at the beach this summer? Let me know. I'm always looking for new titles to put on my list.