Friday, May 31, 2013

handmade pompoms
Oh my, it's the end of May already? Summer is upon us?! How did this happen?  I feel like time is whirling right on by and leaving me in the dust lately. I'm looking forward to a point where I have a little more of that precious time to formulate my thoughts, come up with action plans, and really and go after those goals that I've been contemplating for what feels like forever. But for now, I'll keep jogging along in the dust cloud, keeping up as best as I can. Slow and steady wins the race...right?

Shop updates: I'm working on some new MINI stamp designs that I'm VERY excited about. I've also got a couple new fabric designs in the works. I sketched one out before my trip to London and surprised myself the other day when I found it in my sketchbook. I had totally forgotten about it! Love it when that happens. I'm also hoping to get more sewn fabric goods listed if my dear old Elna decides to cooperate. (Seriously, the bobbin tension on that thing is all over the place sometimes.)

*The pompoms in the photo above I must have made 3-4 months ago. They're still sitting in my mental TBD project zone. Good news is I think I've finally decided on the perfect use for them! In the meantime, they're super cute piled up in my vintage pink teacups.*


That's a MINI of a different color...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I received a new fabric shipment today and couldn't resist color coding my new stack!

mini cooper fabric by vitamini

My Little MINIs fabric print, available in (almost) every color of the rainbow! Red, pink, orange, yellow, green, teal, bright blue, dark blue, and black. If you've been interested in a larger piece of fabric from my Etsy shop, send me a convo. I have all the colors in stock and ready to ship! No pesky wait times! :) Check out the fabric section in my Vitamini shop.

If you're looking for an idea for how to use your new Little MINIs fabric, check this out. I made a couple of these fun color blocked zippy bags this weekend with a scrap of the black pattern and a bright blue solid.

MINI Cooper color blocked zipper bags
MINI Cooper color blocked zipper bags

The great thing: each bag only uses 2, 3" x 8" strips of the MINI print fabric. So you could make a few with just one fat quarter. So fun! Solids fabrics are a natural choice to pair with the prints, but I'm excited to experiment with a few other print combinations. Stripes, dots, plaids... I can't wait to sew up a few more!

MINI Cooper color blocked zipper bags


Hoping things are OK soon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm sure everyone is fully aware of the massive tornado devastation in Moore, Oklahoma by now. For those of us who are too far away to lend a hand in person, there are lots of donation opportunities popping up. You can donate directly to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation and specify OK tornadoes.

Shop Good Tornado Relief Tee

There are also other small businesses jumping up with goods for sale benefiting the Red Cross. I just purchased a few of these Moore Tornado Relief Tees from Shop Good. It feels good to support a small Oklahoma business and all of the proceeds will be donated to Red Cross tornado relief. Win, win. Order a few and give them to your friends.

*Shop Goods tweeted earlier this evening that they've raised $6500 and counting for the Red Cross through their t-shirt sales. Awesome!


Travel jewelry wrap.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fabric jewelry wrap
Before I left on my trip to London, I had been thinking about things that would make my life a little easier when I'm traveling and realized that I didn't have anything to hold my jewelry! I had just purchased a 1/4 yard of this great fabric and thought it would be perfect for a jewelry wrap! I found this great tutorial from Sew Crafty Jess but altered the steps to fit the materials I had on hand and the style I was going for. Here's what I did and the materials I used:

Fabric jewelry wrap

1/4 yard outside fabric
1/4 yard felt or batting
Embroidery floss in coordinating colors
Embroidery hoop
1/4 yard inside fabric
1/4 yard clear vinyl
3 zippers
1 package double fold bias tape
2 buttons
Yarn or twine for the tie
Beads for the tie ends

I used this tutorial as a guide, but altered the process a bit to fit my materials. Finished dimensions of the wrap are 8" wide x 18.5" long

I basted the felt onto the outside fabric and did some embroidery using floss in coordinating colors. You can skip the embroidery step, but I thought it gave the fabric a little more character and special detail. The felt also gives the wrap some extra padding.

Fabric Jewelry Wrap

Cut a 4" x 9" strip of fabric for the zipper ends. Iron it in half lenthwise. Open it up, and fold the outer edges inside to the center fold and press. You'll end up with 1" x 9" strip. Cut it into 1 1/2" pieces to go on e

After I had my outer fabric all ready, I cut the inside fabric to size (8" x 18.5"), and then just followed the directions from the tutorial. I also altered the size of my pockets a little bit since I only had 3 zippers instead of 4. 

Fabric jewelry wrap Fabric jewelry wrap Fabric jewelry wrap
What I learned:

Vinyl can be difficult to sew! I used 4 gauge vinyl for this project and found it to be very slippery and stretchy. As I was sewing, it would shift under the pressure foot, making it difficult to keep straight and aligned. Fortunately, there were only a couple small spots on the inside of the pockets that bunched up. Maybe thicker vinyl wouldn't shift as much? I'll have to do some experimenting.

*Here's a little tip that I heard somewhere years ago: Vinyl can stick to your sewing machine's pressure foot if your foot isn't non-stick. To fix this and make your vinyl glide under the foot while you're sewing it, just put a piece of scotch tape on the underside of the foot, cutting out the space where the needle passes through. Voila! No more sticking!

Since I used metal zippers, it was better to use larger zipper ends so I wouldn't have to sew over the actual zipper when I added the bias tape. I cut 4" x 9" strips for the zipper ends, followed the steps in the tutorial for ironing, and cut it into 6, 1.5" pieces. These larger zipper ends also made the bias tape lay flatter than it would if I had to sew over the zippers.

Fabric jewelry wrap All in all it was a fun sewing project to try out and was so useful on my trip. My jewelry was easy to see and was nice and safe when all wrapped up. I'm planning on making a few more soon. I think they'd make great, useful gifts! 


New Classic: Arne Clausen Collection

Monday, May 13, 2013

Arne Clausen Collection from Lucie Kass

I'm always on the hunt for authentic mid-century housewares and decor at thrift shops and garage sales. Some things are difficult increasingly difficult to find, so it's great when designers re-release popular products. One item I've never had the pleasure to come across in real life is the coveted Catherineholm Lotus Bowl. Originally issued in enamel, the design is being re-released by Danish design company Lucie Kass in ceramic for the Arne Clausen Collection, named for the man who created the popular design.

The name Arne Clausen might not sound familiar to many people, nevertheless, the Norwegian artist had a very influential role in one of Scandinavia's biggest design successes in the 1960's. Arne Clausen was employed as a decorator at the Norwegian factory Cathrineholm and he is behind the world famous "lotus" pattern which adorned many of the most popular products from Cathrineholm. Other than being used to decorate products from Cathrineholm the "lotus" pattern also found its way to Denmark where it was used to decorate porcelain items from Lyngby Porcel├Žn. The iconic "lotus" pattern is by many considered one of the most powerful examples of timeless Scandinavian design.
In collaboration with Arne Clausen's family we have launched a collection of ceramic bowls where the beautiful "lotus" pattern again comes to its right.

Arne Clausen Collection from Lucie Kass Arne Clausen Collection from Lucie Kass

Aren't they beautiful? I'm eyeing the white and aqua one. I think it would look great in my kitchen on my teal countertops! The list of stockists doesn't show any retail US locations yet, but I'm hoping they make their way to this continent soon.

Images and quote from Lucie Kass.


Cutting flowers out of felt or paper.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cherry Blossom Wreath

I shared this Cherry Blossom Wreath project last year, and recently received a request from a reader for more detailed information on how to create the felt flowers. I've outlined the process with step-by-step photos. I hope it helps!

Cherry Blossom Wreath

I'm demonstrating this technique with paper, but the same process works with felt.
Start with a square of your material. I used a 2" square in these photos.

Cutting flowers out of paper or felt

Draw a simple flower with 5 petals onto the material. I usually skip this step and just go for it with my scissors, but it's easier to keep your cuts organized if you have some lines to follow.

Cutting flowers out of paper or felt

It's best to cut from the outside of your material inwards, instead of trying to turn the scissors in tight spots. This image shows the directions of the cuts.

Cutting flowers out of paper or felt

Cut along the lines and remove the excess. That's it! A simple flower.

Cutting flowers out of paper or felt Cutting flowers out of paper or felt

To add a little more cherry blossom flower detail, cut v-shaped notches out of the ends of the petals.

Cutting flowers out of paper or felt

For a little more detail, cut strips out of the center of each petal.

Cutting flowers out of paper or felt Cutting flowers out of paper or felt

To do this with felt, fold a petal back in half, and cut two small parallel lines. Then just snip out the strip on both ends with the scissors.

Clearly, this technique leaves crease lines on paper. To add these cut-outs to paper with no creases, use an Xacto knife on a cutting surface instead, and just remove the skinny rectangles.

Cutting flowers out of paper or felt

Make a bunch and make a wreath of your own!


Long lost London Tube art.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

London Tube

I'm fresh off the plane from my trip to London! I had SUCH a wonderful time with my dear friend (hadn't seen her in about 7 years) seeing the sights and taking in the local culture. I'm home now with a bit of a new perspective, as international travel usually gives me, with lots of creative ideas and some new inspiration. International travel also gives me jet lag, so I'm dropping by today with a quick link to an interesting read.

London Tube
I became pretty familiar with the London Tube system during my visit. I even took a couple ambitious trips all by my lonesome, one to Notting Hill. This morning I was excited when I stumbled across this article about the a secret poster "museum" in the Notting Hill Tube Station. Seriously, I was just there 2 days ago!

Disused passageway with vintage 1959 posters, Notting Hill Gate tube station, London, 2010
Anyway, the interesting thing is, when modern escalators were installed in the stations, many old passages were blocked off. This one at Notting Hill has a great collection of vintage posters that have sat in the dark for over 50 years.

Vintage 1950s advertising posters in disused passageways at Notting Hill Gate tube station, London - photographed in 2010 Royal Blue coach services poster by Daphne Padden, c1959 c1959 vintage Pepsodent Toothpaste poster found in Notting Hill Gate tube station, 2010 Chain Garage, Hanger Lane, London - car hire poster, c1959

I love the graphics on these! Unfortunately for us (but probably fortunately for the delicate posters) the passage was resealed, but you can see all of the photos on Mikey Ashworth's flickr account, and read more about the story on this Messy Nessy Chic article.

*All poster photos by Mikey Ashworth, via his Flickr account. Tube photos by me. :)

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