New Items for the Holiday Season

I’ve finally finished photographing my last few items that I created for the holiday season and posted them in the shop.

Bike Mini Notebooks

I thought these would make a nice stocking stuffer for all the bike lovers out there. I also thought that since I’ll be selling in Brooklyn bikes had a good chance of selling well.

2013 Calendar

I thought calendars would be a great option for the shop, but it turned out to be a bigger project than I anticipated. I designed and printed out each of the months, and then went and hand embroidered each design on the top half of the card. However, what I didn’t think through was that each image is the time equivalent of a card (more actually) and so I won’t be able to make many of these. I have an initial version that didn’t work out color-wise that my sister has already laid claim to!

D.I.Y. Embroidery Kit

This is a product I’ve been working out the kinks on for awhile. I wanted to create a kit so that anyone could make their own embroidered project without the headache of lining up and punching out your design.

I settled on a design of two concentric circles and included instructions so that people would have some flexibility to be creative with the designs. I felt that some degree of customization was important since part of the fun of D.I.Y. is putting your own personal touch on the item.

So that is the very last of my new products for the holiday season. I have a couple of things that I don’t plan on listing on Etsy, that I’m holding back specially for the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade. We’ll see if I get a chance to photograph them!

Astrology constellation cards complete!

Basically the title says it all. For my etsy shop, I’ve been working on a series of embroidered cards featuring all of the constellations of astrology. I just finished posting the last of them online, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

The most time consuming part is getting the placement of the stars right. Each hole actually represents the location of a star as we see it. You can see the whole set (with many more pictures) right here.

Magnetic Map Memo Board

So quite awhile ago I wrote about turning the pins that once adorned my backpack into magnets. I mentioned that they were meant for another project, but lazy me didn’t get around to writing about it until now, while other projects are in progress but far from complete.

It all began with this image:

Part of me wonders if I should even share these images, since my photography/styling/execution can never hope to compete…anyway! They included a tutorial, available here.

So here’s my attempt and result. To summarize, basically you add adhesive to the board, stick the map on the front and wrap it around the sides, add more adhesive on top and let it dry.

I started with one IKEA SPONTAN board, hauled out from Brooklyn, a map of Asia purchased via Etsy and miscellaneous brushes and Modge Podge (not pictured).

I started with the first adhesive product (shown above) but it wasn’t making things stick well, so I got some Modge Podge proper which did the job.

I wrapped as much map as I could around the edges and added adhesive. Two lessons learned: 1) Buy a really big map (surprisingly difficult). My map didn’t quite cover the edges for a really nice finished look on the sides of the board 2) If at all possible, buy a map that has been rolled, not folded. Despite all my efforts to flatten and smooth, once the modge podge dried I could still see wrinkles.

Here’s what it looked like with the Modge Podge applied:

It went on looking like paste but dried clear. The strokes of the brush are still visible though.

And here it is immediately after being finished and drying on the wall. I added another layer of the original adhesive, which acted like a sealer, since the Modge Podge was still tacky even after drying overnight.

And here’s what it looks like today, several months after being completed. It’s usually a bit more messy (right now it has a to-do list, coupons and my jury duty summons -_-), but it’s a super convenient place to keep stuff and looks decent when it’s empty. My apartment may not be house tour-worthy but at least my memo board is slightly more stylish 😛

Presenting Koto Designs!

Despite my long silence on this “projects” blog, I have been diligently at work. I am very happy to announce the launch of my Etsy Shop, Koto.

Right now the shop is filled with embroidered cards featuring a variety of designs.

This one is based on an Islamic geometric star design.


I also have several constellations – this one is Pisces. I hope to eventually finish off the whole zodiac and a few of the cooler constellations like Orion.

I have far more cards than I’m able to feature here, come check out the shop for more!

Eight Point Origami Star

Late in the evening after decorating my tiny apartment-sized Christmas tree, I decided that I needed a nice big star to top the tree. This is an origami pattern I learned a long time ago, so long that I don’t remember the source. I regularly forget how to make it and then spend 20 minutes trying to make it work, so I thought I’d post it online in case I forgot again…pardon the dark photos. Continue reading

Happy (Belated) Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite holiday (along with Martha Stewart, which never made sense to me…white pumpkins =/= Halloween decor). I had fewer opportunities to celebrate this year but I made a few masks for the office party.

They were made using templates available here and here. Mine are printed on paper glued to cereal boxes since it’s cheaper than cardstock.

No pumpkins this year, if anyone knows a good way to display a pumpkin in a large, child-less apartment building, I would love to know 😦

Birthday Bunting Cake Decoration

I chose a birthday cake based on its taste, but it was itty bitty –too small for a proper birthday message. I asked the bakery to write the recipient’s name on the cake, and then figured out a way to add the “Happy Birthday.”

I made a mini-bunting out of origami paper, cutting the triangles from a little template I made. I wrote a letter on each flag with a sharpie and then strung them together with needle and thread, one thread for each word. Then I poked chopsticks into the cake and tied the bunting to each chopstick.

I am quickly coming up on end of the backlog of projects I finished this past year, so posts will probably get more sporadic. Until then…

Origami Christmas Wreath

I put up a few small, apartment-friendly Christmas decorations this year.  I wanted to put a wreath on our front door, but it had to be something that I could tape up since our door is heavy duty metal.  After some digging around online, I found this origami ring pattern.  I used two different shades of green paper with a gradation to white to create the effect with the dark triangles in the middle.  To make it officially a Christmas decoration I added a bow made from red ribbon trimmed with snowflakes.