Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweater Bunnies!

I love this one! Definitely on the list of 2010's favorite projects. In early December my friend was talking to me about gift ideas she was hoping to have me make for her niece. She described a toy her grandmother had made when she was young: A family of small plush bunnies that lived inside a zippered carrot. This had awesomeness written all over it, and I was super pumped when she decided to go ahead with the order.

The original bunnies were made of terry cloth or fleece, but when I found a men's cable-knit cashmere sweater vest in a thrift store, I knew what had to be done. The adult bunnies are about five inches tall, and the tiny baby is about an inch. Tiny soft pillows of cuteness! I think my favorite part about this is the dad bunny's shirt and tie. I cut the skinny end off of a vintage tie I found, then rolled and knotted it. I did consider that putting the dad in a tie might be a little heavy on the old fashioned gender role side of things, but I decided in the end that 1. the re-making of a toy made 20 years ago by a grandmother should at least hint at the traditional and 2. smart fashion is timeless, even if you are a five-inch tall bunny made of cashmere and corduroy.

I also love that the bunnies are housed in a carrot, which doubles as carrying-case and storage. I have this secret obsession with fake food which might be a carry-over from never getting that play kitchen I wanted as a kid, and maybe also mixed in with my insane love of actual edible food too. Either way, yay fake food! And finally an excuse to make my own. Yes!

The body of the carrot was originally a duvet-cover which I cut to my pattern and quilted so the carrot would have some shape to it. And since the recipient is four years old, I used a pretty burly plastic zipper so it'd be easy for her to zip and unzip. The last thing I did was stitch her name onto the carrot greens. I hope she has a ton of fun with her sweater bunny family!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Etsy Discounts for Facebook Friends!

I wasn't sure if I was ready for Christmas yet, but last night we brought home the tree, and I got out my Sufjan Stevens Christmas album set, which around here is the official sign that I am in the Christmas spirit.

So now that that's out of the way, I'm ready to announce my Facebook Christmas Bonanza! I'm offering a 15% discount on items in my Etsy shop to all my Facebook fans. It's easy! Here's how to get in on the deal:

1. "Like" Recycling is Rad on Facebook, if you haven't already. Click the Facebook button on the left of the screen or go HERE. Yay! Now we're friends.

2. Shop my Etsy shop. Click the Etsy button on the left of the screen or go HERE. It looks like this:
3. When your cart is full of Recycling is Rad goodness, go to the checkout. You will have TWO payment options. Choose "other." Like this:

You'll still be able pay using either Paypal or a check, this just allows me to send you a discounted invoice without letting every single person on the internet get this deal. Because then it just wouldn't be special, would it facebook friend?

4. Spread the word.

Yay saving money and Christmas and recycling!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Craft Show Wrap-Up, Plus Etsy...

No idea how many miles we logged this weekend, many of them through the mountainous snow drifts also known as Michigan's roads. But there's no denying we had a great time. It was fantastic to see friends and support the crafty side of Traverse City. Big thanks to everyone who made it happen and/or made it out there to see us.

I shared a table with Buckets of Moonbeams, featuring the talents of my friend Noel, who makes handknit and felted purses and bowls, as well as the most scandocious hot pepper jam ever.
Orange Handknit Purse by Buckets of Moonbeams

Also at the show was Noel's husband, Troy DeShano, illustration artist and graphic designer who does some of my favorite work (including my logo and business card design!).
"A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" by Troy DeShano

Quality peoples and good times. I'm sorry if you missed it.

But now that I'm back home I have some good news if you weren't there...or if you were there and for some strange reason didn't leave with any R is R merch: I did not sell out. And this afternoon I listed a few of the unsold items in my Etsy shop. This is your chance: Go Shopping.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Craft Show Preview: Satchels!

Ok, this is it: last preview post, I promise. I patterned these satchels after this bag I made for my sister in the fall. Don't ask me why I fixated on the most time-consuming medium possible when I only had a month of production time. So I wasn't able to crank out a gazillion of these, just a very exclusive, limited run. I'll be selling these along with everything else (toys, cozies, zips, purses) at the Holla-Day Bazaar, although I totes want to keep one. Not that I could anyway: it's super uncool to carry a purse that matches your little sister's bag. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Craft Show Preview: Toys!

I had so much fun making these! Alone in what I hilariously refer to as "the studio," hunched over my worktable, trying out buttons for eyes, and giggling. That's how I spent the last few weeks. Even now I can't look at Albino Squirrel in his pleated wool pants without getting tears of laughter in my eyes.

Anyway, these and a lot more will be at the Holla-Day Bazaar with me (Saturday, December 11, 10am-5pm, InsideOut Gallery, Traverse City MI). Stop by and see us!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Craft Show Preview: Cozies!

A few cozies from the line I've been working on. All original designs hand-stitched onto repurposed fabric scraps. I'll be taking these to Michigan with me for the Holla-Day Bazaar, but you can check more cozy designs HERE.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toys are Fun.

The last week or so I've been getting ready for an indie craft show I decided to enter with a friend of mine. Decided exactly one month before the date of the show. Since I don't keep piles of awesome stuff I've made laying around, I have a lot of work to do. The show is the Holla-Day Bazaar in Traverse City, MI, and it looks like a good time. Plus, I'll be with friends, so all this work now will be worth it. I hope.

Since it's a Christmas event, and Christmas always makes me think of toys (TOYS!!), I'm making a few to go along with the bags, zips, and beer cozies I'll be showing. Making toys is vastly entertaining to my simple mind; I mostly sit at my sewing machine cackling. I'm hoping to have time for a preview photo shoot before I pack my bags for Michigan, but until then, you should look at these:

And then after that, you can also look at these.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Matt's Beer Cozy

My friend Matt has been dropping hints left and right about what a stand-up beer cozy tester he'd be if only someone gave him the chance. Then a couple of days ago he spent his entire day off helping my husband put a new window in the living room, so I figured this was the least I could do to say thanks. Especially since my living room is like a sea of sunnyness now. So let me know how it works, Matt.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Noel's Messenger Bag

Last week, before the snow, and when it was still a miraculous 70 degrees here, I took a couple quick shots of this messenger bag I made for my friend Noel. She's a fitness instructor in Traverse City, MI, so this one will be doing double duty as gym bag as well. If you're lucky enough to live in the area, definitely check out one of her classes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cozies for Cyclocross!

Last weekend was the fourth annual VeloCX, or the National Sports Center Velodrome Cyclocross, hosted by the always awesome Behind Bars/Little Guy Racing Cycling Team. Since my husband and (unofficially) both my little dudes ride for the team, I decided R is R should support the scene this year. For the event I designed this custom cozy and then made 12 of them. (In one day. What is wrong with me?) Since weather is unpredictable during the CX season, I made them all out of repurposed wool scraps. A snappy little coat for your beer! The logo on the cozies is an actual cyclocross tire track in screenprint ink, over which I embroidered the race lettering.

The race itself was pretty great. For November we had a decent day, no rain, no snow, just lots of sun and wind. And the sponsors ponied up for a giant inflatable bouncy thing, free beer, brats, and coffee. Good times. My kids raced the juniors' race, but the husb was still recovering from a broken rib, so he spent the day behind his camera. Good news for you, see his shots from the race HERE.

Monday, November 1, 2010

5 New Bags

A new batch of vintage textile purses in the shop. Details and purchasing opportunity available after the jump for each bag.
1. Librarian Bow Shoulder Bag
2. Velvet Brown Handbag* (Okay, so this one sold right after I posted this! Good thing I take custom requests.)
3. Grey Wool Wristlet
4. Green Quilted Wristlet
5. Raspberry Wool Wristlet

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Messenger on Etsy

Since the start of fall I've had a few requests to get some messenger bags up on Etsy. I've had other fish to fry. BUT. As a peace offering, I listed one there for you today. It's a large, with plenty of room for whatever it is you people need to carry around. And just in time too, with the weather here in the Midwest really starting to hit the fan, as they say. This bag is a perfect all-weather commuter...the recycled plastic material combined with the bag's fold-over flap design keeps out the wind, rain, snow, sleet, and what-have-you.

Plus: I upgraded the strap material to a heavyweight polyester seatbelt webbing that's stronger, more durable, and super abrasion-resistant. Other notable features include velcro flap closure, bright whites and yellows to keep you extra visible, interior pouch pocket for your keys and phone, AND use of actual caution tape harvested from the very first VeloCX cylcocross race hosted by Minneapolis' own Behind Bars Cycling Team. Just a little piece of history folks.

Get the details, get the bag, HERE.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Video Break

It might be a few years old, but I've had this (Cornerstone Productions) video on my brain all week for some reason. Oh yeah, maybe because IT'S AWESOME. Check:

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Heart my Bicycle

This morning my boys and I walked out the front door just in time to see their bus pulling away from the stop. We're a one (drivable) car family at the moment, and that one drivable car was already somewhere in Northeast Minneapolis by then. Not cool. But we happen to be having the most amazing fall ever, and it was already in the mid-sixties, so after a lot of complaining about the poor bus driver, we all got our bikes and rode the four miles to their school.

Yes, they were late to school, but it's not possible to stress out while pedaling through sunny neighborhood streets with the leaves falling around you. Generally I'm not a fan of the fall, since it means summer's over and winter's next, but this was a pretty awesome morning. And every time I get on my bike I think the same thought: I love you bike!

I also love my small messenger bag. It's the perfect size for holding what I need--lock, water bottle, sweatshirt, keys and phone, etc--without feeling like I'm towing a VW. Sometimes big is good, like if I'm headed to the grocery store or carrying a package to the P.O. But I like to travel light when it's possible, and this was a perfect morning for it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Face Cozy + Stag Satchel

Not that long ago my sister had a birthday, and I made her some stuff. My sister is awesome, and I'm really bad at birthdays, so I wanted to make this one totally great. First, I got this crazy thought to embroider her face onto a beer cozy. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but in its idea-form inside of my brain, it really looked rad, so I tried. As it turns out: vacation photo + iron-on transfer pencil + hot pink wool fabric = sweet face cozy. As for the benefits of having your own face on a beer cozy, well, those are pretty much endless.

After I finished that, I kind of wanted to stitch something else. I'd picked up this herringbone wool fabric at a yard sale for like a quarter, and I kept looking at it sitting there on my work table. So the night before cake day, I cut out and quilted the body of a bag, and embroidered the flap with the antler design my sister really liked from my MN Love series.

And then on cake day I made an enormous slab of chocolate cake layered with peanut butter mousse and covered in dark chocolate ganache. Done!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Custom Laptop Bag

Here's a project I finished for a graphic designer in Washington who needed a bag able to hold her laptop, accessories, paperwork, cell phone, anything else the job and day happen demand. This bag has tons of pockets, plus a cushy quilted laptop sleeve sewn in. The adjustable strap is heavy duty polypro webbing which wraps around the bottom of the bag for extra stability and durability. I lined the entire interior of the bag with a fabric that draws from the same color families as her company's identity. I also created a custom screen based on her business logo and hand screenprinted the front flap of the bag. For a vintage-inspired design, I finished the bag with a few touches like the pleating on the front of the bag, and vintage button closure on the flap.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bicycle-Themed Goodness

Bikes are great for many reasons, but being a generally shallow person I choose most of my loves on a looks-first basis. There's something about the aesthetic of a bicycle that I just dig, so when my favorite design blog, Design Sponge, posted a collection of bikes, accessories, and other bicycle-themed glory, I wanted to share the delicious eye candy, this poster being a perfect example of such (I want that). See the rest of it here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bike Tracks Custom Cozy

Disclaimer: I know you're thinking all I ever do these days is make cozies. That's just your imagination. They're the easiest to photograph, though I'm actually working on a bunch of other stuff as well. Turns out this is a busy season for both me and my husband/photographer, so I've put any major product shoots on hold for just a bit.

More importantly:

I made this custom cozy today. The project may or may not have involved me painting the front tire of my husband's cross bike with black screenprint ink.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Survived BTSW

To celebrate making it through the horror that is Back to School Week, I'm having an Etsy tote sale. All totes in my Etsy shop are marked down 20%. Check it out.

Also, we're in Mega-Production Mode here at the R is R headquarters. (That's our official term for making a TON of stuff...BTSW also marks the return of retail season.) Lots of updated designs for the fall in a bunch of awesome fabrics, all destined for local shops. I'll be keeping aside a few choice items for the Etsy shop though, so be sure to check back soon for the newest items available.