Monday, July 28, 2014

saturday weekender bags


This summer I've got a few shorter weekend getaways planned rather than one big vacation, so obviously I need a new weekender bag, right? Though suitcases with wheels can be more practical for longer trips, a duffel bag seems right when you're just going for a night or two. Plus, maybe a smaller bag would help curb my chronic over-packing?

Kate Spade Saturday has totally sold me on their Weekender Bag with their super fun customization tool. You can choose between two sizes, customize the color placement, and even add a monogram! I must warn you though- the customization tool is totally addicting, I could literally spend all day coming up with new color combos. Here are a few of my favorites:

I would totally spring for the monogram feature. I love personalized embroidery, but I never actually get my initials on things. I think it's more fun to get a word or phrase instead. This bag only gives you space for three letters or numbers, but that still gives you some options. I might do "YES" or "EEK". Which would you choose?

P.S. I'm also in love with the Parker Weekender from Graf & Lantz, though I think its a little out of my price range...


[all photos from Kate Spade Saturday, larger bags customized by yours truly]

Monday, July 21, 2014

monday links


I'm in LA this weekend for a quick work trip, a visit with my mom, and hopefully some sunshine. Here are a few links for your enjoyment this Monday morn:


This video on how ink is made is beautiful and surprisingly mesmerizing. It kinda takes me back to this classic from Sesame Street. 


Two Japanese artists constructed this giant kaleidoscope in a shipping container. How amazing would it be to get to go inside?




Tired of the Bold Italic? Check out The Sans Serif: San Francisco's least reliable, most entertaining source for news. 


[Top photo from Lauren Conrad]


Monday, July 14, 2014

on the hunt: coat racks


Finding a coat rack that's attractive, modern, and doesn't break the bank can be a bit of a challenge. I've been on the hunt for one for our living room and was somewhat surprised by how expensive they can be! I managed to find 8 options below with clean lines, fun shapes, and a price that won't cause sticker shock:

I ended up ordering this one from Target (seen above in the top row). So far it seems to be good quality, and I love the lime green color! 


For even more options (including some that are way, way more than a hundo) check out my Pinterest board.


[Top photo of Peg Coat Rack from CB2]

Monday, July 7, 2014

diy ribbon hanger


I've been working on organizing and decorating our office lately, particularly my desk area. I've been looking for ways to make my desk pretty and inspiring without spending much, so I turned to the craft supplies I already have on hand. I came up with this ribbon hanger as a fun way to put my ribbon collection on display. It's easy, cheap, and a great two-for-one: it livens up the wall with colorful ribbon, and makes it easier to access ribbon for gift wrapping and projects. 


This hanger is not hard to make (you're basically just tying some twine to a stick), but I've outlined the steps below for you:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

kinda inspired: kerry cassill


I am a big fan of mixing prints in my home, and I'm constantly being inspired by the prints of bedding and clothing designer Kerry Cassill. All of her prints are block-printed by hand in India on the some of the softest cotton around. The block printing gives her prints an imperfect, handmade look that I love.


She releases about six collections of prints per year in a wide array of florals, geometrics, stripes, and traditional Indian motifs. In spite of how often she releases new prints, she is able to keep her aesthetic constant enough that it's possible to mix and match between collections and have it all work together. 


My current favorite prints are (from top): pink taffy, teal small multi, pink plaid, putty ash, and stripe floral. I want to combine them all to make a totally crazy (and very pink) bed! 


[All images via Kerry Cassill]

Thursday, June 26, 2014

paper rosette tips


It's no accident that I'm not calling this post a how-to guide. I don't quite feel qualified to give anyone a guide after the terrible time I had making these %*@&#! rosettes. I wouldn't consider myself an extremely crafty person, but I can usually follow directions and get a pretty decent result. That was not the case with these suckers- they are more complicated than they look! I ended up trying out quite a few tutorials, so I thought I'd share what I learned along the way. Perhaps you can avoid some of my mistakes...


I bought most of the paper I used from Paper Source, so I figured their website would be a good place to find a tutorial. Wrong! Using the measurements they gave, I could barely get the two strips of paper to meet. When attached, they formed a sort of cone shape that would not lay flat without tearing. Fail!

Next stop, Martha Stewart. Oh Queen of craftiness, why is your tutorial even less clear than Paper Source's?! Would some photos of the steps kill you?

OK, time to find some DIYers who know what's up. I found several tutorials using the method explained on Catch my Party. It's similar to the Paper Source method, but you attach 3 fans of folded paper together instead of two. This worked a little better. I could actually get something resembling a rosette shape, but had a hard time attaching the fans with a stapler. I ended up with gaps where the fans of paper were attached (in the photo above, the top white rosette was made with this method). 

The final method I tried worked the best for me. This tutorial from the Broke-Ass Bride produced the cleanest and best-looking rosettes. One VERY IMPORTANT note: in this guide, you're using two 12" sheets of paper, cutting them both in half, and then glueing the four strips of paper together to make one long 6" x 48" strip.  Hopefully your reading comprehension is better than mine, but this wasn't 100% clear to me in the first read-through. I made one using a 6" x 24" strip of paper and ended up with another cone. You can adjust the paper size to make bigger or smaller rosettes, but the length of your paper should always be at least six times the width for this method to work. 

A final note on supplies: I used several types of paper with varying results. A medium-weight paper similar to construction paper will work best. I don't recommend using card stock, it is too thick and really a pain to fold. Paper Source's rolls of solid gift wrap are a good weight, and a good value. The fancy fine papers I used really were mighty fine. They were so soft and had a bit of stretch, but beware- they're ridiculously expensive. In retrospect, I probably should have just used scrapbook paper, but I really, really didn't want to go to Michael's...

Have you ever made rosettes? Am I the only one craft-impaired with these? 

Monday, June 23, 2014

graduation party


My good friend Kait graduated from medical school a few weeks ago, and I helped throw a party to celebrate. I partnered with Oakland Bakes to create a festive dessert bar for the occasion. 


We chose an olde timey apothecary theme with a color palette of minty hospital green, white and silver as a nod to the medical profession. We used apothecary style jars and vases, and displayed the cookies on quarter-sheet trays to suggest surgical instrument trays. I incorporated the colors into the decor by crafting rosettes and pom poms in the same palette.

Read on for more photos: