Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Color Inspiration: Red

I've been slowly going through old photos on my computer; I have about a thousand images that need to be archived, uploaded to flickr, or just deleted. It's fun to look back at the places I've been, noticing patterns emerge. Apparently, I like photographing red things.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Autumn Card Tutorial

Here's a tutorial for an easy peasy autumn card using materials I unearthed during my move. I'm betting you guys probably have all the supplies to make it too.

Here's what you need to get started: a blank notecard (you can easily cut a square of cardstock if you don't have a readymade card); scissors, colored paper; metallic gold or silver pen; and a glue stick.

First, I cut many little leaf shapes out, and then colored one side of each leaf with a gold pen.

Once you have all your leaves colored, draw a simple tree shape and start gluing. The more randomly you glue the leaves, the better it looks.

Next, I took an old paintbrush and some Mod Podge (you can also use plain white school glue) and painted a thin layer over all the leaves to help seal them in place and add a bit of luster.

And that's all there is to it! Addressing the envelope with the same metallic pen is nice, and you can also embellish the envelope with a leaf or two if you wish.

This particular card has already been added as a "thank you" to someone who bought two brooches from my shop. I try to include handmade cards with all my orders.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Work in Progress

Here's a little sneak peek of what I'm working on now. Hopefully, it will be finished and added to My Hideaway on Friday.

I've also got a tutorial for an Autumn card that I'll post on Monday. What can I say? Still very inspired by the changing of the seasons, and it's showing up in everything I do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Kilim pillow cover from Orientina
Hand woven kilim coasters
African tribal ring from Call of Earth
Woven chain from mamazoo
Vintage Kilim from Orientina

I'm really into texture and pattern for fall, particularly woven goods in traditional kilim patterns. I'm on the hunt for ancient motifs and techniques used in modern contexts and environments. What are you obsessing over right now?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Playlist

It's been forever since I made a playlist. I guess I kind of dropped the habit when we moved and didn't have internet for 3 weeks. I still feel like I'm playing catch-up. Anyway, enjoy. xo, Mary

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Bag Guide

There are so many beautiful handmade bags on Etsy at the moment, in just about every style and suited for any occasion. Here are six stylish options for fall:

Clockwise from top left: tan leather bag from Art On Crafts; Ikat peacock silk-lined clutch from Red Ruby Rose; Packet tote bag in charcoal corduroy from Jenny N. Design; dark mustard canvas lines bag from Tippythai; large leather clutch in smoke from Ira Grant; and small DSLR camera bag from stash.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Scenes from Life

I wouldn't mind living in a house with this tree shading my windows...looking at the world through purple plumes.

What I'm reading now.

This must be a secret entrance.

Wrapping presents for my sister, who just had a baby boy named Eliot. My brother and his wife are also expecting a baby in October. Actually, I'll be flying to Chicago for a couple of weeks to help take care of their other two rascals when the new baby is born. I don't know what I was thinking when I said yes to that!

Hope everyone has a spectacular weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New in the Shop

River Stones
Fall Leaves

I've been spending as much time as I can outdoors lately, which is quite uncharacteristic of me. Normally, I'd much rather be huddled over my drawing/craft table, or cuddled up on the couch reading a book or watching a movie. But after several weeks of truly horrible weather, I'm finding that I want to be outside and enjoy the moderate temperatures and sunshine while it lasts. I guess all this outdoorsy-ness has seeped into my creative consciousness because all I seem to make lately are nature-inspired brooches.

What are you inspired by right now?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Button, Button

I got a package in the mail yesterday with some colorful buttons I can't wait to use in new brooches and other craft projects. I had been looking for the perfect buttons for a brooch I've already designed, and that made me wonder: do you guys design a project and then hunt for the supplies to make it? Or do you buy supplies first, and then find a use for them later?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Wreath Tutorial

The harvest moon is out tonight, which means it's almost my favorite season of the year. The nights have already begun to draw in, and soon there will be a chill in the air. Inspired by warm fall colors, wooley textures, and layers, I decided to celebrate the new season by making a wreath. And here's how you can make one too!

This wreath is really simple to make using materials you most likely already have at home.

I started by tracing a wreath shape onto foam core board using two different sized bowls. (You could also use the side of an empty box or any sturdy material. I just happened to have boards left over from an old school project.)

Once you have your wreath cut out, find a piece of fabric large enough to cover it. I used one of my boyfriend's old wool sweaters that he no longer wanted. (I washed and dried the sweater on hot first so that the fibers would shrink and felt together.) Cut out a circle (and cut a hole in the middle) so that you can wrap it around your wreath board. It helps to cut slits in around the edges to fold it in easier. Glue in place using a glue gun or any type of strong craft glue. Don't worry if the back looks messy; no one will see that side, and you can always cut out a circle of felt and glue to the back to cover the messy bits if you desire.

Next, I made some pom pom flowers out of felt to add as embellishments. Take a long strip of felt, maybe an inch wide, and cut little slits in it all the way down. (It will look a bit like fringe.) Next, start rolling it, adding a bit of glue every now and then to secure. Want to make a larger flower? Just keep adding more strips and rolling and rolling.

I made three pom poms in different colors and sizes for some variety. But of course, you can add as many as you like. Attach your pom pom flowers to your wreath with a dab of glue.

The last step is to add a ribbon in a complementary color to hang your wreath.

And just like that, you're done!

Because my fabric had stripes, I kept my wreath pretty simple, but you could also add acorns, pine cones, twigs, leaves, little woodland creatures...anything that says "fall" to you. And what better way to use up old materials or clothes than upcycling them into pretty decorations?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Color Therapy

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling stressed and a bit overwhelmed, so my boyfriend and I decided to take a break and head to one of my favorite museums, the Hirshhorn, for some much-needed color therapy. Nothing takes your mind off problems like gazing at art that wakes you up and makes you think, or dazzles your senses with color, light, and sound.

Joseph Kosuth, Four Colors Four Words
Oscar Bluemner, Detail of Morning Light
Lawrence Weiner, A Rubber Ball Thrown On The Sea
Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Conception Synchromy
Edward Hopper, Detail of First Row Orchestra
Robert Rauschenberg, Dam
Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke
the plaza and fountain

The next time you feel overwhelmed, head to your local art museum or gallery, find a quiet space, and just study a piece of art for awhile. I promise you will emerge feeling better. It's the next best thing to playing with puppies, anyway.

I hope everyone has a restful weekend. xo, Mary

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall Garland

There's a tutorial for a super quick and easy fall garland over on A Beautiful Mess that's so cute I had to share. I've made similar garlands in the past, and they're the perfect way to brighten up a bookshelf or workspace with a bit of fall color.

I'm brainstorming ideas for autumn decorations now, and hopefully I'll have something to share with you guys soon.

If you have a favorite fall tutorial, let's share! Link in the comments. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New in the Shop + a Sneak Peek

Harvest - Felt Flower

Emerald City - Felt Flower

Winston - Bull Terrier

And here's a sneak peek of a new brooch I'm working on, an Airedale Terrier who has yet to be named. You can see a bit of my process here too, which frequently starts as a messy sketch on a scrap of paper before it becomes a wearable animal friend. By the way, any name suggestions are welcome. Leave me a comment!

I've also added a bunch of Halloween goodies for those who like to shop early.

What have you made lately?