Friday, January 28, 2011

Lion Pillow + Drawing Deadline

Some things!

1. I made a gold lion pillow. Originally, the potato print pillow I made was going to be this one instead. I'm not sure what sidetracked me (potatoes?)'s kind of a frequent occurrence.

The design is based on vintage children's book illustrations. Not any one in particular, just drawing on the slide show in my brain and that nostalgic sense that type of illustration has. My screenprinting process is very by-hand and leaves a lot of room for minor variations of character, which I typically really like. I love how this lion print turned out, and there's something about the gold ink and corduroy together that gratifies my tactile side. Check him out in my Etsy shop.

2. The deadline for the drawing is Monday! It's happening 1.31.11 at High Noon. If you aren't following me yet on Facebook, be sure to join in time to be part of the drawing. You can find all the details plus photos of what the winner will recieve HERE.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things with Antlers

I'm thinking about antlers today because one of my jobs for the day is to find a single shed antler that is stored somewhere in our (scary) garage. We've decided that what's really missing from the decor of our 1920's Minneapolis bungalow is a set of antlers, so I'm designing a wall-mount using some of the miscellaneous shed antlers we've collected during trips into the forest. I can't really get started until I find the last antler, and I've been putting off going out to the garage for at least a week, so today's the day.

Although obviously the first step is looking at pictures of antlers on the internet. Look! A bike with antlers! Killer.

Antler Bike by Jenny Nordberg

Antlers are these amazing works of art that grow out of animals' heads, and while of course they have survival-driven purposes, they're also beautiful to look at. The whitetail deer we have in Minnesota grow their antlers just for the season of love (dudes only) in order to attract the ladies and get in spectacular fights. Then the antlers just fall out like loose teeth. It's so weird and cool, and I am totally taken with the whole aesthetic.

Anyway, here are some things I made with antlers on them!

Antlers 2 beer cozy from my MN Love Series. (Sold)

Stag Satchel designed and made for my sister. (So, not for sale.)

Heart Antlers Plaid Satchel. (For sale:

If I ever do make it to the garage (and out alive), and get those antlers on the wall, I'll post some photos of those, too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Art: It's Awesome.

Yay! It's Friday! And I'm looking at awesome stuff on the Internet instead of being productive! Hooray.

But first.

You know those bumper stickers people put on their cars that say "Buy Art"? (Here we go.) I'm always secretly annoyed by them because they're lame and also because I don't have that kind of cash.

So! I am excited about these two things that are awesome because it turns out almost anyone can own some really rad artwork.

Meet my talented super friend Troy DeShano ( I would classify him as terrific and his work as fantastic. You can buy prints of his HERE for insanely reasonable prices, AND they're actual fine art giclee prints, which means they're very very nice. I've seen them in person. I will attest. Here's one I love!

"The Breakfast Club" by Troy DeShano

You need to visit 1200 Posters ( On the 12th of every month they release a limited edition print by an new (up and coming) artist and sell them till they run out. Also quite affordable and a pretty sweet idea. The site got started in November, so there's three so far. I liked this one by Mando Veve:

"There is no power greater than community discovering what it cares about" by Mando Veve

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pillows on Etsy

If you read my last post, you know I'm probably still obsessed with a bottle of gold screenprint ink I found. I am. And I promised to list some pillows on Etsy for those of you who can't resist shiny things; this here is the first set.

Details and purchasing opportunities HERE. (Or scroll down for basic instructions on how to print your own!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Potato Prints

The other day, lost inside of a Michael's (big box craft store), I was led by destiny to a bottle of gold screenprint ink. I have many plans for this new friend, but this is the first project I did with it. Potato printing is something I've always reserved for disastercraft with the kids, but I just may have been underestimating the vegetable's potential.

If you're looking for a good weekend project and aren't afraid of paint-like substances, I highly recommend attempting this one. It lends itself to all levels of creative/artistic/sewing skills. And if sewing's not your thing, try printing a purchased tablecloth or curtain, or a throw pillow case if you have one that is easy to remove from the form.

The supplies you need include:

Screenprint ink*
Medium-to-heavy weight fabric (item to be printed)
Sharp knife
Parchment paper or scrap cloth

(*My favorite brand is Speedball, but any brand should be fine. Screenprint ink is available in most craft or art supply stores.)

Slice one end of the potato or whatever vegetable you're using. Using a sharp paring knife, cut shape into the end of the potato. I did a basic square, but do whatever your knife-wielding skills allow for. Just make sure the face of the stamp is as flat as possible so it meets the fabric evenly when you print.

Protect a flat surface from bleed-throughs by laying down newspaper. Then lay out the fabric, removing any wrinkles and fuzz or pet hair or whatever. Pour a little ink onto a tray or plate or newspaper and spread it around with your paintbrush. Dip the potato stamp into the ink and dab it off a little on the edge of the tray. This is the part where you might want a test subject to see how the stamp performs before you start slapping paint all over your granny's tablecloth. I used a strip of the fabric I made the pillowcase from so I'd have a really good idea of the final product. Press the stamp down lightly first, then apply a little pressure as evenly as possible. I reapplied paint after each stamp, but you might want to experiment for a different effect. This is a by-hand process for a handmade finish, so don't freak out about minor variations...that's what makes it awesome.

When you're printing your design, start small and build on the pattern (or lack thereof). If you're attempting something symmetrical, you might want to plot it out first and chalk a template onto your fabric. However you do it, when you're done stamping, leave the fabric to dry completely. How long depends on how much ink you used per stamp and all that, but make sure even the heaviest areas are totally dry before you proceed.

Once the ink is dry, heat set the prints by ironing. Follow the specific directions on the screenprint ink bottle, but basically you'll need to iron the design with a medium-to-high setting, using a piece of parchment paper or scrap cloth between the iron and the project. Iron the front and back of the printed fabric. Once the ink is heat set the print is typically machine washable, though it depends on the type of fabric you used. For longest wear, turn the item inside out to wash or wash inside a delicates laundry bag.

To finish the project, I added a couple cloth-covered buttons to mine so I'd have a tufted pillow, but do what you feel. Yay! It's done!

I know not everyone has the time or desire to make their own their own super sweet throw pillows, but now that I have gold screenprint ink, I have lots of ideas, so stay tuned for more pillows soon to be listed in my Etsy store.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tiny Spotted Owl and Barn Owl Wall Hangings

Just a quick shot of my new wall art for your Friday afternoon. Heading to Duluth for the weekend, so I'm supposed to be packing, but first check them out:

I made them yesterday. The hoops are about 3 inches across, just for reference, and they look super cute together. Also, I've been visiting this site, so I totes have owls on the brain.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Winter Cozy Excitement=Yay!

My friends. It is cozy time. We have a billion inches of snow, it is freezing out there, and the icicles on my house have reached the potentially lethal level. I generally classify myself as a winter-hater, but this year I'm trying on a better attitude. We'll see how long it lasts, but yesteday I did the unthinkable and went for a run. Outside. Basically anything could happen next.


My point is, I made some cozies. For you to look at. And buy. Or win. What?! Yes. I'm sharing my irrationally positive attitude by way of A Winter Giveaway(s...there might be more!). At the end of January I'm going to draw a name from my cache of Facebook friends, and the lucky winner, wins! A cozy! Deets below...

Contest Rules:
1. To enter your name in the drawing, be my Facebook friend. (The button's on the left or:
2. To enter your name TWICE in the drawing (What?!), write me a hilarious joke on R is R's facebook wall. To make it more interesting, dirty jokes don't count. You know I mean business because it's in bold.
3. Here is the cozy the winner will win:

Octopus Cozy: The Outside

Octopus Cozy: Awesome Paisley Lining

It's already the 4th of January! Let the friending and joking begin!