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Etsy Art and My Etsy

6 Feb

For Christmas, I asked for this bear poster from Henry James Paper Goods on Etsy.

I love it. It’s a nice, fun piece of art for our apartment. And it fits in with the other big bears we have hanging around this place.

Bear Print

We hung the picture up in our dining space on the wall opposite the mirrors.

I also recently made bunting out of some scrap felt and hung it across the mirrors.


The felt for the bunting is from the scraps of felt crowns that I’ve been making. See them at my Etsy shop: Crowning Around.

Crowning Around

The Etsy shop is for fun and it’s nice to make a little extra scratch. And, it works out well since I enjoy sewing but am running out of room to put my creations.

Crowning Around - crowns

The crowns are made out of felt, are adjustable in size (velcro on the back), can be made in different color combinations, and are perfect to celebrate birthdays, play make believe, or just for kids to hang out around the house.

Crowning Around - crown

And although, I called the shop Crowning Around, there are hair bows too!

Crowning Around - hair bows

So, if you know a kid who needs a crown (or hair bows), visit my shop.


Precision Quilting, Sorta, Not Really

27 Nov

It still annoys me that I’m not as precise as I’d like to be when I’m sewing. I always cut fabric a little bit larger than I need to allow for that margin of error. 

But after sewing for a while now, I thought I’d challenge myself with this quilt.


With my first quilt, I accounted for being unable to line things up perfectly by having rectangles intentionally unaligned, and with my second quilt, I had cut rather large pieces to minimize the possibility of mismatched seams, but for this quilt, I decided to just go for it.

I was pretty precise in cutting the fabric, and when it came to sewing, I tried to be as careful as I could. But it still has some mismatches which are noticeable looking a little closer.


Regardless, I’m still very happy with the results. The quilt has bold colors and a fun pattern.

This is the smallest quilt I’ve done yet – measuring in as a full-size blanket (instead of my usual queen-size). Instead of regular quilt batting, I used a fleece-like blanket by Calvin Klein from Costco, which gave the quilt a little extra puffiness. And, the back of the quilt is black, which really makes the bright green binding pop.


The quilt is complete just in time to keep us warm on the couch, while we feed our latest White Collar addiction on Netflix…


… or for a mid-day nap on the couch.


Sharpie Art

3 Oct

I always wanted to buy art. But sadly, I think I’m not ready to make such a commitment yet. Art is expensive and has to go with your decor. Our decor is kind of a mess right now and my wallet is always thinner than I think it should be. So instead, I gotta settle for what I got. And luckily, I just happen to have a Sharpie.

So, using the stencil I made up of my husband’s mug, I decided to do some Sharpie art on an 8×10 canvas.

Sharpie Art

The first step is getting your stencil/image on to the canvas without having to free-hand it.

To do this, I printed out the stencil in the size I wanted. Then, I flipped the print out over and “colored” over the edges of the image with a pencil.

Transferring Image

Now, with the print out right side up, line it up on your canvas to where you’d like the image positioned and then use a generously sized piece of tape to attach the top edge of the print out to the canvas. This allows you to flip the print out up to check how the transfer is coming along without messing up the alignment.

Transferring Image

Then, with your pencil point, carefully yet firmly trace along all the edges on your print out.

Transferring Image

Flip the print out up every once in a while to see how the transfer is looking.

Transferring Image

Before untaping the print out, do a careful check to ensure you have all your lines.

Transferring Image

Sharpie time!

Using your guidelines, start coloring with your Sharpie. I kept the print out close by to glance at every once in a while and double check which areas were shaded in more confusing spots.

Also, use a clean scrap paper to lean your hand on when coloring. This prevents the possibility of leaning your hand on wet Sharpie ink and smudging.

Coloring with the Sharpie

Finished? I think so.

Sharpie Art

Remember that picture ledge we hung up more than a year ago? I just recently bought another black frame for it, but it still needed one more thing. Since this artwork coordinates with the black frames, and I already have a solo picture of my toddler self, I thought the Sharpie Art would be a perfect fit.

Picture Shelf

Picture Shelf

Deal With It

8 Aug

A few months ago, I started following my 10-year old cousin on Instagram. She had commented on one of her pictures, something like, “Squishy, heart-shaped balloon. Deal with it.” And, I thought it was the funniest thing.

Deal With It

Two weekends ago, we went to Ikea and went crazy with just $20. Apparently, just before the new Ikea catalog is released, the stores have huge sales on cabinet and drawer doors which are being phased out. Each piece is just $1.

Ikea Wood Shopping

With a drawer front panel in my arms and my cousin’s Instagram comment in my mind, I set out to do a new dremel project.

First, I sketched out my lettering.

Drawing out the lettering

Then, I set up my work area and taped my stencil to the wood piece.

Taped stencil to wood

Safety first. I put safety glasses on top of my regular glasses for added protection, and grabbed my dremel (and drill).

Getting ready to dremel

I started out by drilling a pilot hole at the top of the “d.”

Starting with a drilled hole

Then, I began dremel-ing along my lettering. I had to stop often to clear out the engraved area (I used the end of a paper clip to push out the saw dust from the letters) and brush away the saw dust.

Dremel process

Since I had the paper on top of the wood, it was hard to see how it was looking, so I just had to trust that it was looking good.

Dremel process

But in the end, it kinda looked a mess before I did a final clean up.

Carving with the dremel

Once I pulled off the paper, smoothed out certain areas, and did a more thorough cleaning, I was able to step back and admire my work.

Deal With It

I sat it above the window ledge in our desk area and stepped back to take a picture for my blog. I paused to tidy up my desk, and said to my husband, “The picture isn’t going to look that good because of your messy desk area,” to which he simply pointed at the sign.

Deal With It

Chalkboard Dremel Project

18 Jul

One of my coworkers told me about how she painted a wall in her kitchen and a wall in her bedroom with chalkboard paint. It made me want to do the same, but she lives in a house, and I live in a small apartment.

So, I improvised.

Awhile ago, we bought a dremel, and this was a good reason to play with it.

Here’s my practice-go. (It says “Hello my [name is],” if you can’t tell.)

Dremel Practice

Then, I moved on to the real wood, which was really just a big piece of scrap wood from an old piece of furniture.

Scrap Wood

I carved in a simple image.

Carved scrap wood

Next, I mixed up my chalkboard paint, which was comprised of acrylic paint and unsanded grout (see tutorial here).

Chalkboard paint ingredients

I painted the wood in varying shades of blue, starting with the darkest blue at the bottom, then gradually adding a little bit of white to make it lighter at each division. I did a few layers of paint to make sure it was fully covered.


After the paint was completely dry, I conditioned it by rubbing the side of chalk everywhere, then using a barely-wet sponge to wipe it away. The color of the blues all got dulled down from this, giving it a real chalkboard look.

Dremeled scrap wood with chalkboard paint

And finally, I had the perfect place to write myself reminders and draw dinosaurs.

Dremeled scrap wood with chalkboard paint

Finally Decorated

17 Dec

I say “finally” decorated, because there is only a week left until Christmas, and because this is only the second time in my “adult” life that I’ve decorated for the holidays.

Growing up, my family always decorated — we had a fake tree that we strung with lights and ornaments, hung up garland and a wreath, and put up lots of bows. It felt like Christmas.

In college one year (2004), my roommates and I decorated out of construction paper. Here’s our tree, Santa looking over us, and a few reindeer. We also had stockings and were lucky enough to enjoy snow flakes.



This year, although we don’t have much space, I found a small spot to fit in a little decoration.


The mini tree was made using origami paper, cardboard (to make the cone) and this tutorial.


The Santa was made out of scrap fabric I was going to throw away, an old (clean) sock, construction paper and cardboard (to make the pyramid).

To make Santa, I first made the pyramid out of cardboard and covered the bottom half of the cardboard with red construction paper. Then, I cut Santa’s belt and buckle out of construction paper and glued it on. Then, I wrapped the scrap fabric starting from the top and working my way down to create Santa’s hat, hot gluing along the way. When I came to the bottom of the hat, I evened it out a bit, cut off the excess red fabric, and then cut a strip from the white sock to create the brim of the hat and hot glued it into place. Then, I cut out and hot glued on Santa’s beard, and, lastly, gave him some cool, construction paper-shades.


And, as a final touch to our Christmas decorations, I added lights across our photo ledge.




13 Dec

One day, I’d like to have my own garden. I’d probably kill every plant I attempted to grow, and refuse to go out during the summer because of mosquitoes, but one can idealize.

I just started reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. (Have you read her books? She’s an awesome writer. I recommend The Poisonwood Bible.) She and her family move from the desert in Arizona to a farm in Virginia. The family plans to live off of local-grown food and grow a lot of it themselves.

I can’t decide if I’d really love or hate living on a farm. I guess it would depend on how successful I am at creating and maintaining sustenance. I should probably dip that thumb in some green paint.

The closest I’ve come lately is playing with paperwhites, which according to is a great activity to do with kids.

In San Francisco, my mom and I went to the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building. At one of the vendors, The Gardener, we picked up some paperwhite bulbs.

Is it a bad sign that I think the bulbs look prettier than when they are actually in bloom?


The bulbs are easy to plant – all you need is a vase, your bulbs, rocks and water.


Fill 1/2 your vase with some rocks, place your bulb in, fill with water just to the base of the bulb, and drop some more rocks in around the bulb to keep it in place.



In approximately 5-7 weeks the bulbs should bloom. Along the way, you can see them start to sprout up. Here are the ones my mom planted, after just 1.5 weeks.


After they are done blooming, the bulbs can be replanted in the ground, where they will bloom the following spring.