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Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Embroidered Patches

Finally got around to making some new illustrations for embroidered patches.  The top three were made as a nod to boy scout/girl scout patches as acknowledgement of learning a new skill/completing a project.  Shades of a Feather, Camping Cabins, and Plaid Shirt!  Bear Friend Society is just a fun one and Camera Crew is pretty straight forward.  The neon mountains patch is featured on the vintage style blue linen 5 panel hat and is now available for sale by itself.  The others are some of the older designs, all now available on Mokuyobi Threads and in the Etsy shop.

All Patches 

Award Badges

I ironed the three achievement badges on a ranger-y button down short sleeve shirt and when I wear it I look like I legit work at a forest preserve, the coolest forest preserve ever, obviously.

Sewn on a blue Bedford Bag

Teeny loves all of the patches, she just can't bear to pick a favorite!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Studio: Tour

Well things have been pretty crazy around here for a while.  I was planning on posting some photos of the new studio shortly after we moved in on Feb 2nd but clearly that didn't happen.  So here we are a few new pieces of furniture and a whole lot of organization later, quite an improvement from the last place as far as space goes.  It's a converted warehouse building turned apartments with a whopping 1300 square feet located in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.  Have a look around!

Teeny totally sneaking in this shot.

Still have some posters to hang, oops.

Remember these paintings?

Knick knacks and supplies


Panorama! Courtesy of my iPhone.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Handmade Cards for the Win

With summer comes LOTS of important holidays.  My good friend Dustin's birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and my Mom's birthday.  I try to make a special card for all of them (If I can get a free minute).  This year I totally rocked it on the DIY cards using a big spread of crafty supplies: tissue paper, embroidery thread, watercolors & washi tape.  Some of which I even got to deliver in person which was exciting since I don't always see my family on these special days.

Remember that DIY pouf tutorial I did a little bit ago?  Well I thought it would go great inside a card as a tissue paper surprise!


The first card of its kind! (I think, maybe)

Embroidered paper card!  You can get really detailed with it but it can be quite time consuming.

A simple design can be really great too!

This was the card for my mom's birthday present.  I drew a feather with a felt tip pen, cut it out, and then used watercolors to give the feather some pizzaz!

I wrapped the present in some brown craft paper and secured it with neon green washi tape.  Then I tied the card to the present with some hot pink rope.

Close-up shot.

And last but not least a television Father's day card I made with cardstock, felt tip pens, and washi tape. So simple but so fun!  Definitely a winner.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fry Phrase Pennant Flags

I was on a mission to make some new flags that had text of some kind: a small message or phrase that were more monochromatic but with an outdoorsy camping feel, and I wanted to screen print them instead of color blocking solids like I did on the nautical flags.  I really wanted it to be a project like an art project that didn't just feel like making things to make them; like it was grounded in something.  I was trying brainstorm clever phrases to put on the flags but most of the things I came up with felt arbitrary and didn't really work.

That's when I came across Fry Instant Phrases and short sentences.  The words in these phrases come from an Instant Word List developed by Dr. Edward Fry (1925-2010) from a book he wrote in 1980.  According to Fry, the first 300 words in the list represent about 67% of all the words children encounter in their reading.  They are divided into sections of 100 phrases per group.  The first 100 are the easiest, the next 100 are a bit harder, and so on.  These phrases are ones that children commonly come across when learning to read as well as in writing and spelling fluency.

Reading through these phrases, I could see that a lot of them were common place short sentences (So there you are, He called me, Have you seen it?) but when brought together and read in a sequence they created an interesting narrative that was so loose it was really up to the reader to decide what was happening.  This really got me excited about telling a story through something I was making instead of traditional story making: sitting down and typing or writing out a story, so I picked out my favorite ones and made a list:

I read through the first 5 groups (500 phrases).  I really like how it felt when I paired them up with ones that kind of went together or that had some kind of descriptive chemistry creating a tiny narrative.  I typed them out in Illustrator and chose appropriate fonts that went with each one.  Next I arranged them into color circles with small graphic elements.  Below is the original 16 but as I moved forward I boiled it down to 12 since I would be screen printing each one in a different color (kind of a lot of work, you know?)  It's good to edit anyway.

I used creme muslin which I pre-washed making the fabric so super soft!  I precut the fabric to the approximate size of the flag.  Then it was onto the screen printing which took me about 2 days to burn each screen, print, wash out, reburn, etc. Cue upbeat movie montage music!

Finished! (the printing at least)

I printed 3 of each design and will sell them as editions of a limited run so when someone has one flag, there will only be 2 others like it making it a bit special and rare.  Next I sewed them into flags with pointy bottoms using a thin layer of batting as filler so they would have more weight to them.  I sewed in a loop of fabric at the top to fit a dowel through for hanging.

I bought the dowels at an art supply store, sawed them in half and hand sanded the ends.

I tied white paracord on the ends of the dowels for easy hanging.

 The back of each flag is signed and numbered with the edition.  Here's the first edition finished:

Done!  I hung one of each of them on the wall and took a group photo!

Some individual shots:

The flags are great to hang in apartment entry ways, bedrooms, living rooms, or kids rooms (the phrases are for children after all) to add a pop of color and some subtle style to any room.  Is there one that resonates with you?  They will be for sale at the Mokuyobi Threads booth #159 at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, NY on June 22+23. And after that in the Zipper Teeth Etsy shop while supplies last.

I hope you had as much fun reading the post as I had making them.