Stationery Giveaway: Crow and Canary

I love following Carina from Crow and Canary on twitter and her blog. She gets to showcase AMAZING letterpress and stationery gods like Egg Press, Lark Press, Paper+Cup...ah I wish I had her job. Anyway, she is giving out tons of great cards for the upcoming holidays by a whole slew of artists. Check out her blog post here to enter, and if you are on twitter, tweet about it for an extra chance at winning! You can also view her website here. Have a great weekend!

Friday Faves: Notebooks, Pencils, Paper, Oh My!

pencil case, sidney ann; bell jar desk set, Midwest Finds; shoulder bag, Byrd and Belle; letter organizer, the vintageholic frog

I love browsing Etsy-it isn't a suprise to anyone by now. They always have great gift guides and guides for men, women and children. They have also curated a great School and Office Supplies guide that showcase fun little notebooks, pencil cases and other supplies one would use at school or at their desk at home. Its fun to upcycle something into a useful item for the classroom-especially when money is tight. Enjoy!

Fashion: Back To School

I just registered for my fall classes yesterday (a mix of art history, business and history classes), which got me in the "back to school" mode. Today I've put together some outfits (from Forever21-I buy all my clothes there!) that will make a great first impression for going back to class in. Happy friday!
I love neutrals, and a simple tank top, linen pants and neutral scarf will make any girl look smarter!

I love this mix of girly and a little bit tough-girl. Just add some leggings and you're good to go!

This outfit is for the feminine girl who is still holding onto that last bit of summer with a punch of color in her skirt and accessories.


DIY: Knit Washcloths

washcloths by Cocoa Beans

I've been seeing more and more people selling hand-knit washcloths and scrubbies on Etsy, and according to many they are even better at cleaning than store bought sponges. Bonus-they are eco-friendly and will last far longer than sponges (and you can pick colors to match your kitchen!) Heres what you'll need:

Knit Washcloths

-ball of yarn, preferably on the rough side (cheap yarn should do fine)
-knitting needles, smaller or larger depending on how stretchy or tight you want your stitches

Create a square by casting on a multiple of 10 stitches and using the moss stitch to create a bumpy texture.

Moss Stitch
row 1: K1, P1 -repeat til end
row 2: P1, K1 -repeat til end

continue this pattern until you reach the desired length, and bind off.

Be careful not to use scalding hot water as this may "felt" the yarn. Enjoy!


Etsy Tuesday: Scabby Robot

I spotted the great shop of Scabby Robot (isn't that a great name?) during a search for back to school items on Etsy. Jill from San Francisco is behind the brand and creates awesome bags from mixed textiles and leathers. I really love the organic, truly handmade feel that her bags show; her bags can be worn shopping in the city and slinging art supplies to school.

I was able to get a little insight into Jill's brain about her work and products, here we go!

Where do you find the materials you work with?

Whenever possible, I buy local, but I buy materials in a variety of places. I'm excited by the cast-off hides, the random scraps, and love to get my hands on vintage pieces. Irregularities in color or finish that are seen as negative for mass manufacturing, I see as gems to be highlighted in my small run pieces.

How do you go from inspiration to final product? Where have you found inspiration?
I'm most inspired by the materials I collect. Sometimes I'll start a project with a sketch, but there's nothing like having material in hand. I feel like I'm having a conversation with each piece of leather by folding and draping, clipping and sewing.

Whats coming up next for your shop?
Coming soon is the official Scabby Robot online store. I've been working on a stand alone online shop to sell my small run items. The etsy shop is great for all of my experiments, but the new shop will be crisp and uncluttered. I can't wait to finish it!

Thanks, Jill! You can shop her bags here and visit her blog here. Happy Tuesday!


Friday Faves: Children's Toys

handmade wooden animals, Happy Squash Toys; socktopus, Friends of Socktopus; doll, Simpli Jessi; momma and baby monster, Danger Crafts

The children's section on Etsy is huge and is built on the love of many artists and crafters. Toys, blankets, clothes and everything in between-each handmade item is worth much more than that plastic toy you bought at Toys 'R' Us. Trust me. The toy section is definitely my favorite; handmade wooden toys, hand-sewn dolls and teddy bears-oh my! Here is a selection of a few toys that stand out from the crowd. The next time you go to a child's birthday party or are wanting a new toy for one of your own, give Etsy a try and you could find something he or she will cherish for years.

Friday Faves: Pre-Fall Fashions

Today I'm combining Friday Faves with our Fashion post. The weather has changed in Portland (who knows how long-perhaps summer will have its last 15 minutes of fame next week!), and I am already seeing some warmer, cozier clothing coming out of those dusty closets. I love seeing knits, coats and beautiful fall jewelry hit the internet-so here are a few pieces I've found that I love! I really can't wait for fall...
Blue Cowl, Tickled Pink Knits, $77

Gorgeous bib-style necklace by Dolores Petunia, $85

Fitted blazer, Forever21, $27.80

Floral Dress, Mary Savel, $58

Yvette Bootie, Loeffler Randall, $575


Etsy Tuesday: Simpli Jessi

Today's artist I can't gush enough about. Simpli Jessi creates one-of-a-kind handmade dolls for children (and adults-they're that cute!) While browsing the children's section on Etsy (a post I'm saving for friday!), I came across her unique and quirky dolls for a equally unique kid. These dolls are a great gift for a child or friend who is sure to love it for many, many years. I was so fortunate to ask her some questions about her dolls-here we go!

Where do you find inspiration to create your dolls? Are they based on real people?
-My inspiration for each doll does, in fact, come from real people! The very first doll I ever created was for a close friend of mine - who was having a birthday, and I decided to make a replica of him into a small doll. It turned out to be a hit among my friends - who in turn talked me into making more. Now, I pull inspiration from people I know or have met, strangers, funny stories I hear, and my imagination, to inspire all of dolls I create.

Describe your creative process: how do you make a doll from start to finish?
-The creative process for each doll does take some time - I like to change it up often so it stays fun, but typically it goes something like this:
1. It all begins with a sketch of the character/doll.
2. I dig through my large pile of scrap fabric to look for inspiring fabrics for the clothes - somehow this is the longest part, because I usually get distracted ;)
3. The body is hand stitched + filled
4. The doll then gets it's hairdo + cut :)
5. Clothes are handmade for the doll and the doll is dressed.
6. The doll get's it's name - from my boyfriend - and I create the funny story to go along with it. All in all, I would say it takes roughly 4+ hours for each doll from start to finish!

Describe a treasured item from childhood
I would say that the most treasured item from my childhood is my bear Fuz. When I was 3 years old, my grandfather (who always told me great stories - and liked messing with me) showed up at our house to present me with Fuz (a used bear at the time) - he told me I was to keep a very special watch over Fuz - because one day he would be needing him back. Sure enough, he would check in on him periodically to see if he was being taken care of properly. And although he never did ask for him back (ha-ha, yes I actually believed it) Fuz is still very well taken care of!

You can create a custom doll or find one you love at her shop, and be sure to check out her blog that is filled with cool pictures and new music! Great work, Jessi!


Fashion Friday: Cirque Twist

Forever21 has just come out with a new line called Twist, featuring circus-themed dresses, jackets and accessories. Now, this style is a bit "out there" for me, but some pieces can look really cute if put together right. The jackets and skirts are perfect to pair with leggings and boots for the upcoming fall season. Visit forever21.com to see the entire collection. But for now heres a preview...

Friday Faves: Workout Wear

yoga bag by rejenerate; halter top by jmorco; pants, lululemon; wrap top, shihar
I own next to no workout clothing, apart from a few pairs of jazz and yoga pants and two sports bras. Etsy has a very small selection of workout clothes but accessories for your yoga mat and water bottle are easy to come by. Inspired by my new goal of exercise/diet change, I found some items that are a great addition to anyones workout wardrobe (I know I should buy some new sports bras and tops other than ratty tshirts). Loose, comfortable styles are sure to please any pilates or yoga class. Happy Friday!


Loving It: Stylist Lucyina Moodie

I was just looking over at decor8 and spotted gorgeous photos of stylist Lucyina Moodie. She sets up interior and exterior spaces and the results are breathtaking. I want her to design my entire future house! What an eye for design and just the right touch of lived-in-ness. Visit her site and portfolio here.


Etsy Tuesday: Byrd and Belle

Byrd and Belle is a fantastic shop run by Angie Davis that features beautifully designed cases for your electronic gadgets. Angie uses thick felt and a modern simplicity to create sleek laptop cases, ipod sleeves and little works of art. Her items are gorgeously photographed and I am pining for a felt laptop sleeve-just look at that detailing! It is great to use something handmade in this electronic world of ours, and Byrd and Belle is the perfect choice!

I was able to ask Angie some questions about her creative process:

Why did you decide to create items for laptops/electronics? Do you see a need for handmade items in the electronic world?

I started making the sleeves for laptops and gadgets because they are interesting problems to tackle. They need to be highly functional and are required to be built with very close attention to specifications of the gadgets they hold. That type of work suits me. We are a fairly tech savvy household with an appreciation for all things Apple so it was inevitable that I would focus on Macbooks, iphones and ipods.

What is your inspiration/design aesthetic?

My background is in architecture and people tell me it shows in my work. I like to design using simple and functional details and fairly uncomplicated materials. In the case of the sleeves, they end up feeling very modern which is well-suited for the gadgetry they hold.

Whats your next project for the shop?

Laptop bags that have handles and shoulder straps and a new series of handbags. I've spent a lot of time this summer working on prototypes and they should be up in the shop in mid-August. Fall will also bring a new series of modern Christmas ornaments which was how Byrd & Belle got started.

Thank you, Angie!

You can purchase her items here and visit her other shop that features old maps made into coasters right here. Great work!


For a friend

Chelsea Bryant, a coworker and friend of mine (and kindred spirit-total pisces sisters!) recently launched her own blog about her inspirations, poetry and art. No one I know fits the phrase "carpe diem" more than her- shes all about loving and living life to the fullest; whether its throwing paint on an old piece of art or just having conversations about life with friends, Chelsea is a free spirit who loves things endlessly and has an adorable accent from growing up in Texas. Visit her blog, called Dayle Prints and enjoy her musings-shes great!

Photo of the Day

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon


Another great Wedding

OnceWed never disappoints. In fact, almost every single wedding featured on their site has my mind exploding with "I want that!" and "thats sooo cute!!" Their newest wedding lives up to that too. Take a look at some photos from Jordyn and Bradley's wedding.

photos via OnceWed and tec petaja


Loving It: Crystal-like Jewelry

I found this post by refinery 29 via notcouture, and am in love! Mctega's crystalline jewelry line is at once organic and high-fashion. The beautiful chunky jewelry looks as if it was created out of a primordial ooze or in a petri dish. Check out Mctega's website to see their full collections and stockists (one of which is right in downtown portland!).