Wednesday, July 29, 2009

lunch bag

i bring a lunch and a snack to work almost everyday. my lunch contents vary quite a bit, but my snack is consistently some kind of fruit. this generally requires an assortment of containers (reduced when i go bento-style), depending on the day and the contents. for a long time i had been using a spare tote bag that my mom had, but it just wasn't fulfilling my needs. for one, it wasn't big enough. it was also lined with vinyl, which irritated me. worst of all, it was made out of this ugly burgundy fabric with stars all over. not good.

i finally found the time and energy to complete the project, which had been on my list of to-dos for over a year. i didn't have the foresight or patience to take photos to make this into a proper tutorial, but i can at least give the rationale behind the bag, and a few pointers and ideas.

my new lunch bag had to fulfill the following requirements:
- be machine washable
- slightly insulated
- have a wide bottom so containers can lay flat
- tall enough to fit many containers
- be cute

i used amy butler lotus fabric for the top portions, pocket, and straps. i used gray fabric for the base of the bag, and yellow for the lining. i used heavy weight non fusible interfacing as well as insulbrite to line the bag. for those of you that don't know (but probably can guess from the name), insulbrite is used for adding insulation. it also gives the final product a rather puffy look, which i like. it was my first time using both the insulbrite and the heavy weight non fusible interfacing, and i think maybe next time i will use a less heavy, fusible interfacing. it was a pain lining up all those layers!!! i also chose a sport jacket zipper since those are generally more durable. i think. the bag is 12 inches wide on top, and is 9 inches tall. the base is 7.5" by 6.5". it's huge! which is exactly what i need!

overall, i would say that i'm 93.5% pleased with the end product. it certainly has made the past few days brighter, and made me more excited about bringing my lunch (despite the recent boring contents), which is what really counts, right?

Saturday, July 25, 2009


mesha of the shopping kiwi ( is having a LIVE giveaway once she reaches 200 followers… which could be at any moment (she’s currently at 195)!

i will be one of the many contributors of this giveaway (as i understand it, there will be over ten etsy sellers giving away items)! i will be giving away a set of shades of grey cards (

keep checking her blog frequently- and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky winners!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

badge id

i am a firm believer that everyday objects should be both functional and pretty. this is especially true at work. whether it’s a colorful assortment of file folders, a funky memo board, or a stylish looking white out pen, the effects on my mental health are extra positive. for me, the details really do matter.

my day job requires everyone to wear a badge on the premises. most people either wear their badges on a lanyard or a badge reel. personally, i have always worn mine on an ugly black lanyard that also conveniently holds my keys. the biggest problem with this lanyard, as i just mentioned, is that it’s ugly. the other problem is somehow my badge id always falls off, despite my attempts to keep it securely attached. this makes me unhappy, since i basically have these items on my person for over 40 hours a week. that is a lot of time to be wearing something ugly.

i have been toying with some time with different ideas on how to wear my id and carry my keys around without using that hideous lanyard. while i haven’t completely sorted out how i want to carry my keys (should it be a key fob or a prettier lanyard?!), this weekend i decided a badge reel would suffice for my badge after i beautified it a little. i did this by adding a fabric covered button over the top.

before: boring badge id reel (although i do like gray) with the materials to make a covered button.

after: totally cute and acceptable!

i am ALMOST excited about going to work on monday just because i can wear it…and that makes the effort all the worth while.

on an unrelated note, do you like free things? check out michelle's blog at for details on how to win. she is giving away a cute hedgehog pendant!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

marimekko fabric wall panels tutorial

the walls in our home are pretty bare. i think it's partially due to the frequent moving we have done, but mostly it's because i'm overly picky. our bedroom walls have always been exceptionally naked, and last weekend we finally decided to do something about it.

if you know me personally, or have taken a peek into my shop, you probably have noticed that i'm a fan of marimekko, a finnish design company. already possessing many marimekko home and personal items, we thought making some fabric panels would be a great addition to our home. plus, i always enjoy adding hand made touches.

our supplies:
2 art canvas (16"x20" and 20" x24" - could have also used wooden pieces for stretching canvas, but i was too lazy to look for them)
marimekko samovaari fabric (available in my shop)
light weight staple gun

the project didn't take very long. the hardest part was trying to decide how to place the pattern.

i cut the fabric and then overlocked the edges:

unfortunately i don't have a serger, but my sewing machine does have a basic overlocking stitch that's a bit fancier than the zigzag. an unnecessary step, but i wanted the back to stay tidy and not fray everywhere.

i ironed the fabric with a bit of starch before stretching it onto the canvas. i first secured the fabric to the board with some pushpins so that the design would fall exactly where i wanted it. i began stapling from one side, then alternated sides as the fabric stretched (taking care to tuck in the edges so they looked neat). shockingly, i did not hurt myself.

voila. my husband put on the necessary components and then hung them on the wall (not pictured).
the spots in that last picture are from my camera, not the wall. i think i'll have to add staples later, as some of the fabric is a little too loose. but overall, we're pretty happy with the results.
what kind of wall art do you have in YOUR home?

Monday, July 13, 2009

next project

this pile will eventually become a new lunch bag for myself. hopefully sooner than later.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


is it too early to start bragging?
here i was, sitting idly on my super firm couch, feeling insignificant in the great big etsy world, when wonder of wonders, angela of informs me that my jane ellen cards have been featured in her blog.
take a peek... my cards are #8 on her "weekend 12 under $12" entry posted today!
*does a little dance*
check out her blog and her store! she does beautiful work!

Friday, July 10, 2009

i googled "etsy blog" and in 0.08 seconds it found 6,020,000 links. in 0.13 seconds it found 20,000,000 blogs. combining the terms to "etsy craft blog" only came up with 757,000 links in 0.24 seconds.

only seven-hundred-fifty-seven thousand.

CLEARLY, the world is in dire need of one more etsy craft blog.

so here i am.

hello! it's a pleasure to meet you. *waves*

i hope you'll follow my blog via the link on the bottom right.


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