Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to all! I had the best week ever celebrating my birthday, spending time with my family on Christmas, and best of all having time to finally clean my craft desk. I'm all organized and ready to go. I received some great gifts, but I think my favorites are the Alicia Paulson book and the blue ceramic egg crate that I'm using to sort my buttons. I am determined to work on a doll pattern in the next couple of days before I head out to Chicago...but before I leave, here is one more holiday photo with the chicks! See you in the new year! Here's to health, happiness and lots of crafting and creativity!

Holiday Crafting

I rummaged through my box of stamping supplies this week and was able to find some clear stamps to make these quick and simple holiday cards. I used two separate clear sets (both from Hero Arts), some gray felt, cream cardstock from Paper Source, embroidery floss and some gemstones for that extra holiday bling! Stamping cards is just as fun as designing the stamps themselves!

Next up, I dusted off my Gocco B6 printer and made some blank notecards to give as gifts. I scanned in some old shoe drawings I did almost two years ago and printed them up. Since Riso, the manufacturer of the Gocco stopped making the supplies for their machines, it has been really hard to find bulbs and screens at a reasonable price. However, I managed to get some online at marlenewatson.com. She shipped them to me overnight and apparently always has supplies in stock.

Last but not least, I made an owl pendant for Yamuna, new born daughter to Rance's friends.  I only had one night to finish these, but they turned out quite nice...I especially like the orange, purple, and brown combo. I have one more day at work, then I'll have two weeks off to sew and craft! Yippee!

Cookie Exchange

Second annual cookie exchange this past Sunday was so much fun. Thanks to sisters and friends for making it a huge success!

Mini Elves!

This afternoon, I ran over to Ikea in Emeryville during my lunch break to pick up some holiday napkins, and I found these little guys. Aren't they cute and a little strange? Especially with their long, twisted, gray beards? $2.99 for a pack of 10, complete with the little basket. What a steal! Happy Friday!


I finished these two pillows just in time to give one to Audrey, the beautiful little girl of my friends Tommy and Phuong. She has the sweetest, little button nose I've ever seen! The other panda goes to my nephew Nolan, part two of his Christmas gift. Out of all animal pillows I've made, I think these pandas might be my favorite.

Camilla Engman and Gothenburg

I pre-ordered the Uppercase Gallery book about one of favorite artist/illustrators, Camilla Engman a couple of months ago...and it arrived in the mail yesterday! Along with the book came a bunch of little goodies. A little booklet about Morran (Camilla's dog), 4 postcards, a 2-color print for those who pre-ordered, and a  cool little travel tag. I think I first came across her work a couple of years ago, and like most people, instantly fell in love with her playful, lighthearted drawings, as well as her strange characters. Camilla is based out of Gothenburg, Sweden. And so many of my other loves originate from there...especially when it comes to music like Jens Lekman, Air France, jj, The Tough, Jose Gonzales, The Knife, and Little Dragon.

Eggs or Chickens?

I shipped off a dozen chickens on Friday to Massachusetts. They are for Anita, Rance's mom. I wanted to find a cute way to package them, and it was Rance who suggested using an empty egg carton. Clever, don't you think?

Divine Twine

Just read about this awesome bakers twine on the How About Orange blog. I'm in love! This will be my gift wrapping go-to this Christmas. All the colors are yummy, but I ordered the lime green. Can't for the postman to deliver it! Get yours here. Photo credit: Divine Twine.

I Am Thankful For...

...my friends, family and especially this long weekend to finish up all my little projects. Besides cooking and eating a smorgasbord of amazing food on Thanksgiving, I was busy sewing and here is everything I made.

I didn't really think about the gender of these tooth pillows, but I guess if you were a little boy getting one of these pillows, you wouldn't want one with a bow on it. My friend Paddy saw them this weekend and he coined the name Marcus the molar and it stuck. Going to finalize the design of the tags this week.

I made a bunch more pillows with the remaining shirts I had lying around. Hoping to hit the thrift stores again soon to stock up on more shirts!
And finally the project I've been wanting to work on ever since Lisa sent me the  link. The pattern is from the Moonstitches blog and you can find it here. The instructions are really easy to follow and you can crank out a bunch in one afternoon. I ran out of the blue buttons I used for the eyes so I need to get down to the fabric store this week so I can finish them up. This will be a Christmas gift for my six-month old nephew Nolan. Going to make a few more as gifts and one set for myself!

Edamame Friends...

Last week, Lisa was in town for a work meeting so I got to hang out with her for the day and we had tons of fun. After a full day of shopping and eating, we even made these little felt edamame beans! Lisa took these photos of them...aren't they the cutest? She turned me on to Mameshiba, this Japanese cartoon series featuring beans and nuts that talk, each time telling you a funny piece of trivia. You gotta see it...too funny!

More Shirt Pillows

Eunice's Pillow
Close up
It seems like I've been on a roll lately....I cranked out a bunch of shirt pillows and gave away three of them. One went to Rance's grandma Eunice to brighten her day. And the other two went to friends of mine who share the same birthday. Happy Birthday Andrew and Matthew! And the last one I kept for myself!

Spring Chickens!

Chick No. 1 My two favorites. I gave the green one to Lisa because the mushroom fabric was a gift from her when she went to Japan.

Stripey with a huge beak! This one went home with Rance.
A couple of weeks ago when I was in San Jose hanging out with Peas, we stopped at her mom's house to visit. In her kitchen, was the most adorable, little chicken/birdie ornament. She told us that it was handmade by her friend Simone. We all loved it so much, Mrs. P organized a craft day and figured out the pattern to make them. After an entire afternoon of  sewing and stitching, I went home with a little coup of my very own chicks!

Lil' Viv

Lil' Viv's Invitation Lil' Viv
Last week I finished this baby shower invitation and pillow for Lila's friend Molly. She's having a little baby girl and naming her Vivian (Lil' Viv)...so cute! Lila picked up the pillow on Wednesday and I forgot to take pictures of the pillow when it was completely finished...but I do have a work-in-progress shot of it.

Hanky Invitations...What the What?!

Photo via Design*Sponge
The first thing I do every morning after I check my work email is read Grace Bonny's blog, Design*Sponge.  It's a great blog full of inspiration, tips, diy projects and all things cool. Today's post details her April wedding in Savannah, Georgia...can you say fairy tale wedding? Every single thing was impressive but what blew me away were her invitations! I used to work at an invitation boutique but never have I seen anything more clever and unique...silk screened invitations on vintage handkerchiefs! You can see more photos here and also on the Martha Stewart featured weddings page here. Photo credit: Design*Sponge.

A Tooth Fairy and Shirt Pillows!

The pocket in the back...where to teeth/money exchange happens!
I had another great sewing weekend with my mom. She drove up early on Saturday morning. After a breakfast of chicken noodle soup (yum!) at Turtle Tower, we spent the rest of the afternoon sewing away. We finished the prototype for my tooth fairy pillow. Mom taught me how to create an invisible pocket for the back of it. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

 Striped men's shirt with blue buttons. Pillow cushion is lined with yellow and white polka dot fabric.

Here you can see the yellow and white polka dots peeking out!
We also finished up the two men's shirt pillows!

NYC Trip Highlights

Three mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa on Spring Street in Soho.Last weekend, Rance and I spent 5 days in New York. It started off with two days of wedding festivities and then we were off to do as much as possible with our short time there. The weekend's highlights:

• Staying at the super cool Ace Hotel.

• Mini cupcakes that were cute and yummy! My favorite was the peanut butter cup.

• A walk through The High Line in the Meat Packing District.

• Shopping in Soho and the East Village. I picked up a mini stencil set at Kiosk, a unique curated shop of little goodies from all over the world.

We went to the Folk Museum to see the Henry Darger (one of my favorite artists)  exhibit, but realized we had just missed it and they were closed for renovation. :( Other than that little bummer and one crazy cab ride from the airport, we had a great weekend.

Pillow Talk

mom serging the edges of my shirt pillow
front of shirt pillow
I've been meaning to get this blog thing set up for weeks now. Figuring out how I want my blog to look, etc. was keeping me from actually posting on this thing, so for now all that stuff will be on hold... I will adjust the template and look with the help of my friend Lisa when she gets back from Japan in two weeks. For the past month or so now, I've gotten back into sewing. My mom came up on Saturday to spend the day with me and we worked on a few projects. She is such an amazing seamstress (I guess sewing for 40+ years helps!). She helped me sew a few shirt pillows I had already cut...

elephant is hand embroideredback of pillow
And here is a pillow I finished for a friend's baby boy named Ishaan. I am working on a pattern for a new pillow and doll...more on that as I continue my journey on this blog. Stay tuned...