Friday, January 21, 2011


So there's this little place in a corner of the internet called Pinterest, and I've been hanging out there lately. A bunch of cool people that like pretty things post photos so that other cool people that like pretty things can see them too. And I watch them do this and sometimes add a few photos of my own. See?

The creators explain it better:

What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a social catalog service. Think of it as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can post collections of things you love, and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.

How do I add a pin? You can upload a file using the Add a Pin button in the menu bar. We recommend installing the pinterest bookmarklet (in the yellow bar above). It's a special button that lets you pin images from any website.

What is 'repinning'? Repinning re-posting a pin to your own collection. When you repin we credit the person who first pinned the item. We let you see all the different collections a pin is part of.

I like that you don't have to stick with any pre-determined categories and can use the site as it works for you. I also like that the people that originally post a photo are credited. This way you can remember where you saw something and you can also find people that like the sort of things you're into.

Does Pinterest sound like something you'd be interested in? Or are there other awesome sites I should be checking out? And what's the prettiest thing on the internet that I should be sharing with the other members of Pinterest?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Garland Packaging

After making garlands, I needed a way to make sure that they shipped without getting tangled or otherwise destroyed. I also wanted to be sure that people would know what it was, since it wasn't exactly an ornament. Lastly, when my friends look through the haul of ornaments each year, they always ask who made what. I wanted to help the others out with keeping track of where their ornaments came from. And so here's what I did:

I started with a piece of cardstock cut to size so that it measured just thinner than the width of a paper bag. I wrapped the garland around the cardstock to keep it from getting tangled (I'd love to hear from one of the ornament exchange participants about if it worked). So now I better label these suckers:

Labelled. And then, since at least one person gave me a blank stare when I said I was making garlands, a little helpful visual:

Pretty cute, right?

The garland-wrapped cardstock slips right inside the bag when it is laying flat. The garland is explained and protected and organized. This is extremely relaxing and satisfying to do amid the Christmas craziness. I highly recommend needless organization.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Letterpress Garland

I don't talk about my job here often because, well... it's generally accepted to be a bad idea. But if I were to tell you about work, I would tell you that I love it. And besides all of the fun people I see and things I do related to work, I also get to see a lot of letterpress projects being printed. Because I work for a letterpress shop. (And you probably know by now how much I love letterpress.) Yay!

We recently printed some posters designed by an extremely talented artist. They look sort of like this:
As part of the printing process, we ended up with several prints where the color wasn't quite right, or the two colors weren't quite lined up. Since these sorts of prints can't be sold, they were headed for the recycling bin.

But have you seen how cool that poster is? I couldn't let them be thrown away. And so, I must confess: I dumpster-dove. Okay, I didn't truly dumpster-dive because I'm not that hardcore. But I did grab a stack of paper from our studio assistant before she got to the recycling bin. But now what to do with that stack of mis-prints? Wallpapering my house would be... weird... so I came up with:

I decided to go crazy with a big circle punch. Well, more confessions: I conned Jennilyn into punching out circles of poster for at least an hour or two. Then we went after the remnants with a smaller circle punch. Add glue and string and some time basking in the glow of Netflix Instant and I made garlands for our ornament exchange over at Two Loose Teeth.

I strung up the first prototype on my chandelier, along with some silver bells (I love those silver bells and bought silver polish shortly after taking this photo. Mom, never mind those tarnished bells in the background.)

I made some tweaks to the construction of the garlands because sandwiching them around the string like that took so long. And then I was into production mode.

My camera and I are fighting right now, but I love the closeup: each circle makes the image awesomely abstract.

Scrap paper turned garland success!

And a rare photo of the garland in its natural habitat:

Up next: the packaging for the garlands. I usually am late and burned out by that point in the ornament exchanging process, but this year worked out nicely.

And one last confession: My Christmas decorations are put away, but the garland is still on my chandelier. I couldn't resist.

Want more garland-y goodness? Check it. Click here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Inspired by the incredible Yulia Brodskaya and motivated by Michelle's nice work and my own 2010 New Years resolution to try new paper crafts, I decided to give quilling a try.

And I loved it. My house was covered with tiny scraps of paper and my hands were covered in Elmer's glue. So basically, it was a Thursday.

So if you're like me just a few months ago, you might be wondering: what in good heavens is quilling? Quilling is the process of curling, folding, and shaping paper, and luckily it's covered in Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts. I read this section of the book one night to give myself an idea of how quilling starts, then made up the rest. I'll be posting a tutorial soon (though no promises that I did it right).

I kind of love them.(Though I'm noticing that my camera has stopped focusing, which is a bit concerning.)

In the end, I made several Christmas gifts for friends and family. They seemed to like them too.

Now I'm hoping to have more reasons to twirl little strips of papers into different shapes. And so, along with my typewriter valentines, I'm selling them in my shop.

They're clean but unusual, small but substantial. I think these would be perfect Valentines Day gifts. And I'm hoping sometime soon I'll have time to make one for myself.