Pizza box drawing

have you heard of the pizza box narwhal?I hadn't

Apparently this is a thing. People ask for drawings on the packages of things they purchase – typically pizza. I have gotten a few of these requests. I wish I had documented the first one – it was a request for a bear. I didn’t know it was a thing so I did the drawing, shrugged and moved on. Anyway, here is the octopus for my most recent pizza box (bandolier envelope) drawing request.

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Filed under decoration, etsy, journal bandolier, Uncategorized

Cheap DIY custom printed labels!

My spoonflower labels

I have a problem. I am cheap. And I am picky. I have tried lots of DIY stuff to make labels for my journal bandoliers. I have used stamps and twill tape. I have used the freezer paper trick to print on fabric with my inkjet. I have printed on the commercial inkjet printable fabric sheets. Most of these method have turned out “OK” but nothing gave me a satisfied feeling. I have stalked lots of label making companies. Googled my heart out but the price per label is so high on short run orders and I am trying to keep my costs low so I can keep my prices low.

Fear not I have found a solution.

But I am not telling.

HA just kidding.

My Solution is Spoonflower (www.spoonflower.com) !

Spoonflower is a custom fabric printer. They use large format inkjet printers but the end result makes it clear that any relation to my little desktop epson is clearly coincidental. You upload your image (in my case my image was my label design). You make a few technical descisions:

- What DPI (resolution – Dots per Inch) you want your design printed at. This needs to match the dpi you created you image at or the size of your label will be wrong. I make my image 300 dpi – the default spoonflower setting is 150 so I have to be careful to remember to change this. I forgot once but the staff was VERY sweet and helpful when I desperately asked them to help me cancel that order.

- What kind of repeat you want (this means how you want your design to “tile”) the standard basic repeat makes the most sense for labels as it makes for the easiest cutting.

- What kind of fabric you want. I have used linen cotton canvas and am trying the Upholstery weight twill with my next order but I like a fabric with some body. You can order a swatch book of samples for a few dollars and that will give you a better sense of which fabric you will prefer.

- How much yardage of your label fabric you want to order! I must say here, that however tempting it is to go ahead and buy a full yard right up front, it really pays in the long run to get a swatch first. A swatch is an 8 inch by 8 inch sample of your design printed on your chosen fabric and only costs $5. It is the only way to be sure that the colors you have chosen will print the way you intend them to and that your design reads clearly enough on the fabric you have chosen. The linen cotton canvas for instance, prints with much less detail (in my experience) than the quilting cotton but for me its worth it for the extra body.

This method of doing labels is more hands on than having someone else print them up for you. You have to do some planning and some design. I fold over the edges of my labels and press them before I sew them in to prevent fraying.  I cut them out myself and this is more work BUT the final cost for me of about ten cents a label is totally worth it! (less than half the price of the cheapest short run order I have found elsewhere and if my labels were smaller and I were not printing them on one of the more expensive fabric options my cost would be even lower). My Cheap side is happy and so is my picky side!  YAY.

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Filed under craft, DIY, etsy, journal bandolier, sewing

The best waxed paper ever

Isn’t waxed paper at all. For many uses the bag from a box of cereal does a much better job! Ok this is hints from heloise goofy kind of stuff (which admittedly I totally lap up!)- but really, the bag is made from plastic that is tough, slick, and great for things like separating book boards in from things you don’t want them to stick to while they are drying under weight, or protecting surfaces when you are pasting up a project. They’re clearly food safe so you could use them for NON heat related food stuff – like separating layers of frosted cookies but mostly I am jazzed about their amazing glue repelling properties.

Mad propers to my mother-in-law Carol. I used to think you were a little crazy for saving these bags. Consider me schooled.

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Filed under bookarts, bookmaking, craft, reuse

Unboxing my new toy

It’s a meme right?

All Those pictures of people unwrapping their Ipod / Ipad/ Phone / Kindle / nook / Laptop? And While I am a girl who loves her tech toys, I was really much more excited to FINALLY get THIS box from the post office. In fact they held onto it for 12 extra days. The SAID that they left a notice to come get it but I never saw one and the whole time I was waiting I was looking feverishly in the mail each day for that notice.

So anyway here it is, and just to be silly I took some unboxing photos.

Its a pretty sewing machine, and its got a lot of juice (it’s powerful) but its also finicky and I am still figuring out the best way to work with it. Truthfully? I am happy to just sit and look at it with a cup of tea in my hands. Sigh.

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Filed under sewing, sewing machine, unboxing, vintage

Hey Look! Over there! It’s a giveaway!

Check it out!  One lucky winner over at olivebites.blogspot.com will receive their choice of one of Clever Hands journal bandoliers! (Cleverhands…thats me! HA!)

Here’s the whole link: http://olivebites.blogspot.com/2011/01/etsy-giveaway-cleverhands-awesome.html

Oh, and an introduction to her awesome blog, that’s my gift to YOU.

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Filed under etsy, give away, journal bandolier

Can we call January 24th the New Year?

Ok, it wasn’t a resolution so I didn’t break anything, but I certainly meant to be “proactive” (ugh) about the blog this year. Welp, time to pull on my stompin’ boots and pull my thumb out of my mouth and get on it.

I want to do some tutorials centered around some of the product development I am doing for my Etsy shop. Some will be how to make the tools I’ll be using to make things (mostly bookbinding stuff). Others will be products I am developing to sell. Here’s a partial (spitball) list (suggestions are welcome):

Bookpress
Bookbinding sewing station
Rubber tire wallet
FAQs about sewing with rubber
DIY Bookcloth/leather
Sewing basics
Famous veggie Chili
Famous Cheesy refried beans
Various bindings : Coptic, Long stitch, Pamphlet, Kettlestitch
coat hanger fabric stash organizer

So waddaya think? What should I do first?

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Lessons learned about Tie Dye with kids


Adult gloves will not stay on little hands. Give it up.

Using a squeeze bottle to apply color and wondering if you have put enough dye into the fabric to saturate it? The answer is probably no.

When the instructions say rinse till the water runs clear, they mean it!

Rinsing in a bucket may work better than rinsing with a hose.

Naked tie dye does not prevent mess but the mess it makes is absolutely more comedic.

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Filed under DIY, Kids, Project, tie dye