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Nursery Thoughts

I’ve been wanting to spruce up Leo’s nursery for a while now. Currently his room consists of his sister’s hand-me-down white Ikea furniture (2 malm dressers, a billy bookcase, and a crib), a rocking chair, and two Isak prints, which I still love (you can see them in Chloe’s old nursery from a few years ago). The only things I’ve bought specifically for him were a grey minky changing pad cover, a colored bin set we found at a yard sale, and a set of shelves that we just installed.

It looks nice enough, but now that he’s a year and a half, his room is transitioning from a baby’s room to a toddler room – a comfortable and safe play area and toy storage are necessities. There is also the concern that Leo’s room is the coldest in the house, while Chloe’s gets the hottest. When we turn the heat up for Leo, Chloe’s room turns into an oven. Also, Leo’s room cools off quickly, especially at night. Room heaters seem to be either too hot or too loud, or a safety hazard.

Eventually we’ll put in replacement windows, which should cut the draft, but until then, David suggested an area rug as a layer of insulation. As long as it wasn’t white or light colored (which would just get dirty from the kids and dog) I could pretty much choose. I scoured the internet, including Ikea and Target, but nothing in the right size or for under $100. Finally, I saw a decent one on Craigslist, but it had sold. She told me it was purchased from rugsusa. I saw it on sale for the same price, including shipping, so I decided to go for it. I really hope it looks good.

The other thing I’ve been considering is a wall decal. I had one of David’s canvas paintings hanging above the changing pad, but Leo thinks its great fun to knock it down. A decal would solve this problem. I particularly love this one from LittleMooseDecals. I imagined it including Leo’s name and a slight tweak of the moon and asked if a customization was possible. Then Michelle sent me the image above as a sample. Awesome! Have I mentioned Leo’s walls are the same pale blue? And that I like clouds?

So, the question is, will these things go together, do you think? One thing I’ve learned about myself is that being a graphic designer doesn’t always translate well to home decor for me. However, I notice I gravitate to the same kind of nursery images on Pinterest, so maybe I should just go with my gut on this?


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Felt Flower Hair Clip Giveaway!

I finally found some time to make some new hair clips! These are just so fun. I can’t wait until Chloe has enough hair. Meanwhile it gives me plenty of time to build up my stash, since I’ve been giving most away as little gifts. I also decided to add a few to my sorely neglected etsy shop, and included a couple with matching cards:


Would you like to win the white felt flower hair clip in the top photo? Leave a comment below on this post and I’ll announce a random winner next weekend. Good Luck!


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Ladygil.com Banner & Avatar


I was recently contacted again by the talented Rachel of Ladygil.com to design another banner and avatar for her newest blog. Taking visual cues from the previous banners I made for her Etsy shop and studio blog, plus her love of green, we came up with this fun and friendly design. She’s excited about it and so am I. And check out the cute little promo magnets she had made using the avatar image. What a great idea!


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Bottlecap Pincushion Tutorial

I was perusing swap-bot this morning when I came across the cutest little tutorial for a bottlecap pincushion. Love it! Jen also provides a link to more little cuties and other handcrafted cushions for sale in her etsy shop Schmaltzy Craftsy and her on her blog. She even has a book out called Pretty Little Pincushions. I think I’m going to have a go at making a couple myself. You can join the Bottlecap Pincushion swap here.

If you’re interested, it’s not too late to join my plastic pendant giveaway! Just leave a comment on the previous post. The drawing will be held tomorrow!


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Crafting A Greeting Card

flower cards

For the past few days I’ve been feeling crafty, so yesterday I sat down at my computer and created a few designs for greeting cards. Nothing fancy, just something sweet and light. The photograph above shows the design I ended up using and I am surprisingly happy with the way they turned out. I think I might even list them up on my etsy shop, which I’ve sadly neglected for so long.

It all started with a trip to Michael’s for inspiration. I hadn’t been there in ages. Eventually I left with a package of Martha Stewart: CraftsFlourish” blank stationery and brought them home to try with my new Canon Pixma ip3500, which came free using a promotional rebate when I bought my imac. I did try using our color laser, but I noticed on the test print (with one sacrificed card) that the heat really warped this particular paper stock.

However, in order to truly fulfill that crafty part of myself, I took it one tiny step further after printing and glued on little cut-out circles for the flower heads. I like how it adds a subtle dimensionality and playfulness. My only regret is that I didn’t purchase more of the blank stationery while I had the chance, because the Michaels’ in my area have run-out. C’est la vie.


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The Cutest Little Buttons & Tutorials

I’ve come across the cutest custom button crafts lately. I had no idea they could be so charming and versatile, especially the fabric covered variety. Here are a few of my favorites, plus I’ve included two good tutorial links below:

button paper clips

button pins and magnets

Paper clips (top) and magnets and pushpins from Shim + Sons

The photos above are from Shim+Sons. The button crafts are available in their “shoppe” along with some nicely designed paper goods. I also really enjoy their blog and was pleasantly surprised that they were also Portland-based.

button ponytail holder

button headband

“Sienna Sunrise” ponytail holders (top) and headband from Gazzu

button hair pins

button bookmarks

“Magical Forest” hair pins (top) and “Trip to the zoo” bookmarks by Meeting Streets Designs

Here are links to two really good tutorials, one for fabric covered thumbtacks at How About Orange and a fabric covered button tutorial at Little Thing by Magda K. Both of these ladies are really talented and do amazing work.


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Drawing on other people's creativity

“Treehouses” limited edition cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)

I was thinking today that I should feature other people’s designs more often, especially the ones that really strike me as particularly beautiful, creative, cool or otherwise inspiring. Since I can’t afford to buy anything right now (see this post if you’re wondering why), I thought it would be like “window shopping” using my monitor… or maybe it would be more like curating my own imagined shop? Plus, I’m really hoping to motivate myself to begin at least one of the projects that have been sitting in the back of my mind.

One of my very recent favorite finds is the letterpressed card shown above, a collaboration between Lara Cameron, an Australian designer, and Lynn Russel of Satsuma Press, based right here in Portland. There are a set of three designs: treehouses (above), japanese tree, and birch. According to Lara’s Etsy shop, each card is letterpress printed with a vandercook sp-15 on crane’s 100% cotton lettra paper with hand mixed inks. However, if you live in the US you’d save on postage by purchasing from Lynn’s shop. I love the single use of color, the mixture of thin lines and solid shapes, and especially the little details.

“Japanese Tree” limited edition letterpressed cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)

“Birch” limited edition letterpressed cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)


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My First Two Etsy Sales!

Hooray! We just sold our first two recycled bird houses on Etsy this weekend! I’m so excited! Hopefully we’ll have time this next weekend to make more. The only down-side is that it costs almost twice as much to ship than I expected, plus we have to buy boxes and packing supplies. I wonder what my recycled options are? I guess this goes to show how important it is to do this kind of research in advance!

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