Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moo Mini Mini Cards.

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few nights coming up with some Mini Cooper patterns for my new Moo Mini Cards. I decided to turn them into gift tags. My Mini patterns are printed on the front, and my website is printed on the back, with plenty of room to write "to" and "from." They are going to make great little freebies for my etsy orders. I plan to punch holes and tie them with my new black and white baker's twine. After an agonizing few days wait (so impatient) they were waiting for me in my mail box last friday. I'm thrilled with the way they came out!  I'm having a hard time picking my favorite. First, here are my MINI Argyle cards in candy colors:

Here are my Little MINIs cards with all sorts of sporty MINIs lined up to race!

Ok, fine. I think I know which are my favorites:
Mini and teardrop trailer cards printed in fall colors!  These all came out so cute!
The tiny Mini and trailer doesn't hurt, either. I'll take a full-scale version of each, please.

Friday, September 24, 2010

New MINI Products

I've got a few new products in the works including these new Boot and Bonnet MINI Cooper tea towels. I'm printing them in teal, velvet red, and black and they're coming out great! I'll have them up and listed soon.


I also just found out that my new business cards and gift tags are waiting for me in my mail box at home. I can't wait to see them! I had the tags printed with 3 different Mini designs in so many different colors. I'm ichin' to get home - is it 5 o'clock yet?

*Update: I've listed the black Boot and Bonnet Tea Towel. The other colors are on their way!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kitchen Plate Wall

I've been planning for a while to put up a plate collection on my big blank kitchen wall. The problem was I didn't have a plate collection. I had a few cool plates that I picked up here and there, but nothing worth hanging up.  So I decided to really buckle-down (and by buckle-down I mean go to thrift stores as frequently as possible in the search of cool plates worthy of my wall). All of this laborious hard work paid off and now I have a pretty decent bunch. 
 I went with mostly a green/blue color scheme with some gold mixed in. One I found a couple of weeks ago says “Carmel By The Sea, Monterey, California.” I grew up in Monterey County, so I had to have that one. The little gold one is Japanese and has a cool landscape scene with Mt. Fuji in the background. There’s a tiny souvenir plate from Reno, a little Limoges saucer that I got for $1, a sweet starburst plate with a big, gold “50” that says “on your golden anniversary.” Here's the wall:
Wow. When I see it like this I wonder why it took me an entire year to put something on it. I think I just got distracted by the rest of the apartment. Yeah...that's what happened...
I started out by laying all of the plates out on the floor in different arrangements. I took pictures of each of them, so I could keep track of all the different combinations I had tried. It also made for a good reference when I was starting to hang the plates up - I could just check my camera and make sure they were all going in the right spot. I ended up choosing the bottom left arrangement. It is balanced, but not totally symmetrical, and is almost mirrored from one side to the other. I measured and marked the centerpoint of the wall with tape, and marked the top and bottom limits as well.  
I started with the dancing coffee plate in the middle and worked my way outwards. I used plate hangers on the large plates and 3M removable picture hangers for the rest, since they are pretty lightweight. Here's the finished product! I'm really happy with the way it came out. Maybe it will keep me from sticking emergency pieces of tape there while I'm screen printing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Anniversary

It just occurred to me that this weekend marks the one year anniversary of my move into my current apartment, so happy anniversary me and my home! Aside from the silly no dog rule, I've really enjoyed living here. And I love being able to see the sunset from my 3rd story living room windows.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Plate of Mystery

Over the past few years, I have been amassing a small collection of decorative plates. I always had the intention of hanging them on my big, blank, white kitchen wall, but didn't have a real focal piece to go with the rest of the bunch. Enter this bad boy:

It's a hand-painted wooden plate that my grandmother brought back from Sweden for my great aunt a long time ago.  She had it hanging on her brick fireplace for as long as I could remember.  It's about 16 inches in diameter and is going to look great in my kitchen.  So, I brought it home and, for the first time ever, I started wondering what the phrase meant. Here's a close-up.
I was REALLY hoping it wasn't some dated phrase about holy matrimony or "the woman must do the dishes at the end of every meal" sort of thing.  So, nervously, I turned to the internet. I typed in a few words, but didn't really find anything helpful.  The painted letters are pretty hard to figure out, too.  I looked around for a little bit and almost gave up. Then I figured out the first big letter is a K and that really helped. Turns out, it's a line from an old Swedish song and means "Coffee the best of all earthly potions is." Wha?! It's saying coffee is awesome?! Cool! I don't know why these people are frolicking around in a circle, but ok.

I guess coffee makes me want to dance sometimes. Why is this girl the only one facing forward? I guess I'll never know. This weekend I will be attempting to hang this plate and 11 others on my wall. And I will document the process for your entertainment. On an entirely unrelated subject, I got these sweet shoes last weekend.

Yay for Pumas!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thrift Store Score

Last week I decided to stop by the Salvation Army on the way home from work.  I try not to expect or hope to find anything in particular because a lot of the time I come home with nothing, but it's the thrill of the hunt that makes it fun!  Anyway, after a particularly difficult time trying to find a parking space in the 400 square foot parking lot and encouragement from one of the donation collectors to squeeze my mini into a rather unorthodox spot, I walked in thinking I'd BETTER find something good.  Well, sure enough, the first thing I laid my eyes on was this little beauty:

Well, it didn't exactly look like this.  It had a bit of 20 year old masking tape on it and had a good layer of dust, but as soon as I saw it I recognized it as the almost exact replica of my mom's machine - the one I learned how to sew on.  There were a couple of recent scuffs in the paint, but other than that, seems practically brand new. It works great, just needed some oil and a good cleaning.  I recently started making these little bags with my own screen-printed fabric.

I've been using my mom's machine for all of my sewing so it's going to be really nice to have one of my own, and I already know exactly how it works! Here are a couple more shots of my workspace in the kitchen.




Here's my little set-up, or, as they say on Cribs, "this is where the magic happens!" I do all of my screen-printing on the the buffet table.  All of my inks, supplies, and papers are stored below and I do my layout work on the table.  See that big blank wall?  Stay tuned, that will be my next project post! I'll be hanging up my little plate collection.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Blog!

A little bit about me: I’ve been a maker of things for the better part of my life and a few years ago started channeling my creative energy into a little shop based on my favorite little cars: Mini Coopers! I do lots of other projects and have many other interests, but the Minis are just what kicked everything off for me. When I first got mine (almost 4 years ago, October 28th, to be exact), I was so excited to finally get some cool MINI stuff to go along with it. Unfortunately, nothing I came across was quite as cool and creative as I had hoped. A Mini is based on awesome and innovative design – where’s this cool design in Mini-related gifts and products? I found myself with a little bit of extra time on my hands (read: unemployed), taught myself how to screen print, and my Etsy shop Vitamini was born!

Maxwell, my muse.

I intend to use this blog to document everything from my creative process, projects around my apartment, neat thrift finds, Mini news and events, and my constant pursuit of a mini dachshund.




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