Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Have a spooky one.

"Whooo went the wind, and out went the lights, and away ran the jackolanterns, Halloween night!"

Happy Halloween!

Some of the words from the song "5 Little Jackolanterns", at least how I remember them from grade school. :) I hope you get lots of treats this Halloween! 

*photo of Halloween Jeannie from Kitschy Living.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

6 years.

Six years ago I brought my MINI home, and what a ride it's been!!

MINI collage

1. Day one. At this point, I still didn't know how to drive a stick-shift (eek!).  I had to make a 2 hour solo drive back to my place that night, so I learned pretty quick!
2. Taking in the art scene in San Jose.
3. MINIs all in a row for a Club run through Carmel Valley.
4. Another club run to Big Sur, Hunter Liggett, and the Mission.
5. I had just opened my Etsy shop (early 2008) and printed this hoodie to wear for the event. A logo is born. :)

To celebrate, I think a set of new wiper blades are in order. Thanks for inspiration, Max! Here's to many more years of fun to come!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hooked.

With the cooler fall temps starting to roll in, I'm finding my dining table and chairs covered with various jackets, cardigans, and scarves that I wear during the week and shed when I walk in the door. While this jumble keeps all of my favorites handy and nearby as I head out in the morning, it doesn't look so great. I need some hooks! So last week when I was in the Container Store I snagged this  cool one from Umbra.

Umbra Sticks wall hooks

It's called Sticks and I love it! It looks great when things are hanging, and when it's not in use, you can flip up the hooks and it looks like a piece of wall art. Here are some other cool hooks/racks that I found around the web that would be great for holding all of those fall scarves and coats.
Modern coat hooks
1. Whirled Metal Hook Rack, 2. Retro Coat Hook, 3. Soda Fountain Hook, 4. Wooden Coat Rack, 5. Eames Hang-It-All (I'll get one someday!)

(photos via their respective sources)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Today, in 1989.

October 17th is an important day in Bay Area history.

Loma Prieta Earthquake 1989
Today, 27 years ago, the San Andreas fault shifted and created the 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake that changed my life (and thousands of others') forever. My hometown of Watsonville was hit very hard. Most of the historic downtown buildings were destroyed. In fact, I was in the bakery shown in the bottom photo just 20 minutes before it hit. That entire building was later demolished due to major structural problems. The department store, Ford's was also damaged beyond repair.

Thankfully, besides a big mess and lots of broken dishes my family was ok. My dad was stranded in Santa Cruz and had to hitch a ride home in the back of a pick-up truck! We didn't have power for a few days and spent the evening of the 17th camping out in the backyard with neighbors and our grandparents. Needless to say, October 17th conjures lots of memories.

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New products in the shop!

I've been working hard creating a few new exciting products for the Vitamini shop!

Baby it's cold outside. MINI Cooper HOliday Card Mini Cooper Snowglobe Cards screenprint vitamini
New holiday card for 2012! Baby it's Cold Outside featuring a MINI in a snowglobe featuring snowflakes and a snowman! I've had this design in the works for a while and I'm so pleased with the way it came out. Hand screenprinted on white flecked and kraft brown French Paper, these cards would be a stylish way to send out your holiday greetings. I think the black and white color combo is my favorite. Classic Mini Cooper Stamp from vitamini mini cooper union jack rubber stamps vitamini
Rubber stamps! Available in both a Classic and New MINI design, and mini heart and Union Jack designs. They're made in America and designed by me! Check out the new stamp section in my shop.
Mini Cooper pins and magnets MiniCooper Lasercut pins and magnets
Lasercut wood pins and magnets in in Classic and New MINI designs. These would make a really nice little gift!

MINI Cooper holiday gift tags red and green
And new gift tags in festive shades of red and green, in time for the holidays! I hope you enjoy these new pieces as much as I have had creating them. Everything is available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three-ohhh

Happy birthday to me! And yes, it's a big one....

Happy 7th birthday to me! :)
Well, I was only turning 7 in this photo, but the family dynamic is just about the same today as it was then. It looks like I just barely got to blow out my own candles that year!

I'm taking the day off to do a little shopping and enjoy the day. Wishing you a happy Friday and a great weekend!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween paper luminaries

Halloween votives
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love making simple, handmade decorations to liven up my living room and front porch. So, when I saw this idea on Pinterest for heart shapes sandwiched between wax paper as a wrapping for baked goods I decided to give the technique a Halloween twist and make batty Halloween luminaries.

Here's what you'll need to make your own:
  • Scissors
  • Black paper, both text-weight and cardstock
  • Wax paper
  • Paper towels
  • Iron
  • Scotch tape, satin or invisible finish work the best
  • Hole punches, I used a hand punch and drill punch
  • Glass votive holders
  • Battery powered tealights
  • Other Halloween props for your display

Starting with the lighter-weight black paper, cut it into rectangles about 1.5-2" wide by about 1" tall. When I'm cutting paper shapes I find smaller paper pieces easier to manage.

Halloween luminaria

Here's how I cut mine. With 4 cuts of the scissors, I have my bat! You can draw out your design in pencil before-hand if you prefer to follow lines when you're cutting.

Halloween votives

Cut a bunch of these guys out, at different sizes. Punch some holes in the same paper to get the dots.

Roll out the wax paper and tear off a piece large enough to wrap around your glass with about a 2" overlap. Fold it half the short way.

Halloween votives
Halloween votives

Lay the wax paper on a paper towel on an ironing board. Arrange your bats and dots on the lower half of the wax paper in an arrangement that you like, then fold the top piece over it, so your paper bats are in between two sheets of wax paper. Place another paper towel on top of the sandwich, set the iron to medium heat, and lightly run the iron over the paper towel until the was paper fuses to itself.

Halloween votives

Don't worry about bubbles in the wax paper - you won't be able to see them when they're around the candle holder. Trim it down so there's only a 1/2" overlap. Cut a zig-zag border in the top, roll it around the votive holder and tape it together. Drop in a battery powered tea light.

Halloween votives
For the black luminaries, cut a piece of the black cardstock about 1/2" wider than the circumference of your glass and randomly punch holes all over it. Tape a piece of wax paper on the back of it, roll it around the glass, and tape together.

Halloween votives

I made 5: two of the black polka-dotted ones and 2 bat designs at different heights. I also made one with a spooky dead tree and fence, so get creative with it! You could try witches, cats, spiders...

Halloween votives

I turned my luminaries into a centerpiece feature. To do this, I used a black and white striped bowl, turned it upside down, and added a dinner plate with a white doily to the top. I arranged the luminaries on the plate and added some black silk flowers and glittered spiders that I already had in my stash. The tealights flicker, so they cast some spooky shadows. 

Halloween votives Halloween votives Halloween votives

I hope you try making some of these yourself. Happy crafting!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Washi tape as home decor.

MT Casa Decor tapes

Washi tape has been spreading through the crafting world for the past few years and it shows no sign of slowing down. If you're unfamiliar with the product, it's a lightweight paper tape that originated in Japan that comes in tons of great colors and patterns. Most of the tapes have a somewhat transparent finish so they're great for layering. Their coolest trait (I think) is the low-tack adhesive that leaves no residue behind. This means you can tape things up all over your walls with no fear of taking up the paint or having to clean up a sticky mess later. You could easily create a wallpaper design with the narrow tape, but it would be a fairly labor-intensive process. The manufacturers at MT Casa in Japan have taken this idea to the next level and have introduced a line of wide width washi tape rolls specifically for home decor applications! (photos from MT Casa website)

MT Casa Decor tapes MT Casa Decor tapes

And thankfully, there are bloggers in Japan like Hello Sandwich who documented their visit to the MT expo in 2011.

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These photos show almost every surface covered in tape, but in the real world I can imagine these would be great to jazz-up drab cabinetry in a rental apartment. Or to make a colorful "backsplash" in the kitchen where there currently is none. I'd like to cut out retro-style metallic stars to tape up on my bedroom walls. Guess what else they had taped up at the expo...?

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A classic Mini! So great! The van is cool, too, but you guys know I'm partial to the Minis. Here it is again again during a tour of the MT factory. So fun! (photos from Hello Sandwich)

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MT announced these products back in 2011, but they just now seem to be showing up in shops in  Europe, specifically at Top Drawer in London. I haven't yet heard of when these wider-width tapes will be released in the U.S., but it's just a matter of time. I can't think of a bunch of projects I'd like to try with it. My little hallway could use some color.

If you're looking for where you can buy the narrow widths online, check Etsy. I've purchased tape from this seller before with great success.
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