Friday, November 30, 2012

Favorite Links Friday

Here are some fun holiday-themed DIY links to get your holiday craftiness in gear. Don't forget to enter my latest contest to win a penny candy tea towel! Come up with a name for my vintage sewing machine...or vote for a favorite that has already been suggested (see details here).

1. DIY advent calendar boxes
2. DIY vintage Christmas card bowl
3. How to marble or swirl royal icing
4. DIY felt garland
5. Origami paper stars for garland or gifts
6. Fridge magnet advent calendar

Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

101 Little One-Yard Wonders

This week's nautically-inspired Spoonflower Fabric-of-the-Week Contest is in partnership with Storey Publishing. Given a pattern for a girls' T-shirt, participants were asked to design the shirt using the theme "Under the Sea". The winner will be featured in the upcoming book 101 Little One-Yard Wonders, the third book in the One-Yard Wonders series by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.

I chose to do a hand-painted design using elements from a mural I painted on my son's bathroom wall a few years ago. If you like it, please vote for it here. I would really appreciate it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Did You Say Contest? Tell me more!

By now you probably know that the sewing machine I use to sew all of my tea towels was handed down to me by my mom about 20 years ago...when she finally decided to upgrade. Well, up until now I have never really given it a name, calling it "Bessie", as I do all of my old workhorse machines (12 year-old second car, 15 year-old Power Macintosh G3, 18 year-old Apple laser printer, 30 year-old Atari 2600, 35 year-old Princess telephone, you get the picture), often praising them for hanging in there after I've pushed them near their limits. Obviously these are products proven to stand the test of time! So while trying to think of a contest theme so I could do a giveaway before the holidays, I thought: Hey, why not finally give "Bessie" an identity, and let you choose what the name will be!

In order to help you come up with the perfect name, here are some facts about the machine:

  • Model: Sears Kenmore Zig-Zag sewing machine, no. 1318
  • Purchased: New, in the early 1970s, at a Sears in a suburb of Chicago (so it's about 40 years old)
  • Color: Avocado green (of course!)
  • Weight: 21.2 lbs / 9.6 kg
  • Interesting tidbit #1: After sewing about eight tea towels, the pedal is so hot I cannot put my foot on it (fire hazard!)
  • Interesting tidbit #2: Considered vintage, one in similar condition recently sold on eBay for $145
  • Interesting tidbit #3: some of the parts are still available from Sears
  • Interesting story from my mom: "I started taking some sewing lessons in a lady's basement, and I had to take [the machine] with me to class. I remember it was huge and heavy, and everybody else brought these little, cute petite deals to class. Theirs had cases and mine didn't. I felt really poor. My first assignment was to do "gathering". The lady was really nice, and I learned a lot.... You were watching me sew, when you were about 4. You had the most beautiful honey-colored hair, and it was easy to just put it in two side ponytails, especially on hot, summer days. I may have been making something for you, and you decided to watch. You were on the side of the "hand wheel", and at one point leaned in closely to see better, and the wheel caught your right-side ponytail and started winding it up. Your scream made me take my foot off the pedal, stopping the machine. It all happened in a matter of two seconds. I felt terrible. Fortunately, I think the ponytail holder had such a tight grip on your hair in between the hair ends and your scalp that it lessened the amount of hair that was pulled out. It wasn't much, but enough to really hurt." [I remember when that happened!]

  • Now, you say, what is the prize for dreaming up the perfect name? A tea towel, of course! Any tea towel, your choice, from the 12 pictured below.

    Sound good? If so, here's how to participate:
    1. If you haven't done so already, "Like" Penny Candy Handmade on Facebook.
    2. Comment with the name you wish to enter on the corresponding Facebook post here. You can enter as many names as you wish.
    3. Get your friends to "Like" your entry comment. You may "Like" your own entry, and you may "Like" other entries.
    4. Contest ends Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 11:59pm PST. The entry with the most "Likes" will be the WINNER!
    5. I will only vote in the event of a tie. My family members are not eligible to enter names, but may vote.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Holiday & Novelty Gift Wrap

    Now that Spoonflower is offering gift wrap, I have been obsessing over coming up with some new holiday designs, and adapting a few oldies but goodies into holiday editions by making their colors a bit more festive for the season. Here are the current holiday patterns available in my shop! In addition, I have made some mock-ups of what wrapped gifts might look like using some of those holiday designs, and some other of my other patterns. They are all available for purchase here.

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Only 29 Shopping Days Left!

    Just when you thought the sales were over...

    The fine print: Sale starts at 12:00am PST on November 26, 2012, and ends at 11:59pm PST. Code will be valid only during this time. Shipping costs are not discounted.

    Friday, November 23, 2012

    It's Black Friday!

    The fine print: Sale starts at 12:00am PST on November 23, 2012, and ends at 11:59pm PST. Code will be valid only during this time. Shipping costs are not discounted.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    While I'll be cooking and the Mr. and little one will most likely be playing with trains, we will no doubt have the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade playing on the TV in the background. My son is three years old now and I think this year he'll actually be interested in most of it, specially the arrival of Santa. The parade focuses a lot more these days on live performances in front of the Macy's store, but the highlights for me are always the balloons. Here are some photos of balloons that appeared in the parade between 1932 and 1988. All the best to you and yours for the holiday! (Then get lots of sleep so you're rested and ready for Black Friday!)

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    BLINKBLINK Collaged Patterns

    I just can't get enough of these amazing collages by Berliner Anna Niestroj. Made with washi tape and miscellaneous stickers carefully placed on fabulous graph paper, Anna creates beautiful patterns with texture and movement. You can see more of Anna's work, including some really cool patterns drawn with markers, on her Flickr photostream.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Pop Art Portraits

    I am diggin' these portraits (and all the work) done by New York City artist Craig Redman. Sophia Loren and Woody Allen are just two of the many you can view here.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Make a Font in 10 Minutes! (Freebie Alert!)

    Over the weekend I discovered the iFontMaker app for iPad. Wow. Using the simple interface, you can literally make a font in 10 minutes!

    Once you have created all your characters, the app then emails you a code so you can go to the website and download TrueType and Web Font versions, and even make the font public so others can use it as well. Here are two of the four fonts I've made so far. Both of these are public--if you'd like to download them, simply click on the font name below the sample. Enjoy!

    First Try Unicase


    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Three Cheers for Pattern!

    Check out these amazing kaleidoscopic pattern elements Cassandra C. Jones makes from photographs of people and things! This group in particular, called Good Cheer, is entirely composed of cheerleaders. Cassandra says on her website:

    Good Cheer is an installation of wallpaper that is composed of snapshot photographs of cheerleaders performing routine stunts that flaunt their briefs. This type of photograph, a young girl in uniform with one leg up in the air, has a duel connotation of family values and pornography all in one image. Good Cheer surrounds the viewer in this paradox of ethical ambiguity.

    You can see more of Cassandra's work, including some really cool animations using still photographs, here.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Sweet Swedish Sippers

    You might recall I did a Friday Finds post a few weeks ago that featured some really cool mugs. Well, at the time I hadn't yet seen these. What little beauties they are! Littlephant bone china mugs are designed in all their '50s splendor by Swedish illustrator Camilla Lundsten. You can find them here.

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Geekly Chic Records & Tapes Coming to a Store Near You!

    I am so excited to announce that my Mix Tapes and Stars on 45 designs have been picked up by Riley Blake Designs and will be available (on bolts!) in stores and online in March 2013! Both are part of their new "Geekly Chic" line, featuring work by myself and two other designers. And each design comes in three different colorways! Click here to see the full line, and here to find a store near you!

    There's just a tiny bit of bad news: now that the designs will become available on 100% cotton from Riley Blake, they will no longer be for sale on Spoonflower starting in March. So if you want Mix Tapes or Stars on 45 printed on any other fabric besides cotton, you have a few months left to order.

    Advance samples of the fabric have already been circulating around recent quilt shows, and people are making some fun stuff! A couple of photos I've found are shown below.

    Photo by Erin Singleton

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Favorite Links Friday

    Gearing up for the holidays. Loving the new Spoonflower gift wrap. Planning a contest/giveaway (stay tuned!). Listing some interesting links.

    1. How to make an infinity scarf the lazy way
    2. Party marshmallows
    3. Beau coop
    4. Vintage sheet duvet cover
    5. Making a reversible bag (includes freebie PDF pattern)
    6. Literally the best thing ever: Madonna

    Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Cut-and-Sew Pattern: Holiday Cocktail Napkins

    This week's Spoonflower contest features a cut-and-sew pattern for making holiday cocktail napkins. Here is my entry, along with some closeups of each napkin. If you like the set, you can vote for it here. This set coordinates with my Holiday Tea Towel, and two new holiday fabric/gift wrap designs, shown here and here.

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