Colourful Tote Bags

The last printing session was such a success. This was the first time I was able to print a large run in different colours with minimal problems. I managed yellow, blue and pink. I’ve now sewn them all into tote bags and am chuffed to bits. I’ve overlocked the inside seam so the edges don’t fray and have tested one out with all my heavy shopping and they take the weight. I’m now thinking of making larger purses in bright neon colours with a black zip for a really bold look.

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I’ve also been working on some new designs as i’m desperate to print something different. Here are some fun strawberry patterns i’ve been working on. I can just see these working as a two colour print (oh lord!) and really large so each strawberry will measure about 5 or 6cm.

 

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How to Make Origami Storage Boxes

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These paper boxes are perfect for organising all your small items like beads, bobbins, buttons, and light bulbs. They fit perfectly into small draws, making everything perfectly neat and tidy.

I’m going to show you how to make them. It takes a while to master this but once you’ve practised on scrap paper a few times you should get the hang of it. Then you can start having some real fun with different papers. Here you can see I’ve used magazines and old envelopes. In this example I’ve chosen some scrap Christmas paper and customised it with some stripes out of the sticky tape bought from Slanchogled.

You will need:

1. A 25cm square, this will make a 6cm box. Ruler and a pencil.

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2. Fold your sheet in half so you have a nice crisp fold along the center.

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3. Take the corners of your square and fold them in to the centre. You can see here my box is going to be stripy with the snowflake pattern on the inside.

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4. Now you need to measure this square in thirds and fold along the lines.

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5. Make sure you make these creases nice and sharp – it will help you later on.

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6. Open your square and rotate 90 degrees and repeat step 4.

7. When you open this up you should have a 9 square grid.

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8. Now open two opposite flaps.

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9. This is the tricky bit. Take the top right square and fold it into the middle. Sealing down the creases as you go. Repeat this on the other side.

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10. What you should have is a flap at the top like the image below. Fold this flap all the way over.

Repeat step 9 and 10 for the other side.

And there you have it, a cute little box. It took me quite a few tests but it’s worth it!

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Craft heaven at Slanchogled

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Slanchogled is a fantastic little craft shop just a few minutes away from Chalk Farm Station and has been one of my little London secrets for a few years now. There are so many exciting items to get you inspired to create. There are the usual artist supplies like paints, pencils, notebooks and glue. They have colourful beads, wooden letters, balsa wood boxes and tiny little glass bottles with cork lids. They have a great selection of papers, pots, envelopes, little stamps and all at a reasonable price.

I bought some tiny metal buckets (£1.95 each) a small terracotta pot, (only 85p) a small glass jar and some fun sticky tape all for less than £10.This truly is a treasure trove for anyone who wants to get into crafting or is looking for some unusual items for a party or wedding. They even do workshops too! I have plans to use the sticky tape in my next post.

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Product Photography

I’m starting to build up a little collection of handmade bags and purses now and have been playing around with the dreaded task of photographing my products for ETSY. It’s so ridiculously important to have great product shots and i’m finding it difficult to get that perfect image. However, I won’t be beaten! I made a few test shots on a white chair directly in the sunlight. The white balance is completely wrong and I blame that on the lack of studio lights and sunshine. It’s very tempting to hire a professional company to do this sort of thing but i’m determined to do this on a budget, and besides, it’s quite fun learning these things yourself.

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Print of the Week: Sister Mary Corita Kent

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Print of the Week goes to my latest internet discovery Sister Mary Corita Kent. Born in 1918 Corita was an American artists who worked mainly with screenprints. She took elements of popular culture such as slogans, logos and song lyrics and transformed these ideas into playful, striking compositions; much like the great artists of the Pop Art movement in the 1960′s. Her work was highly influential and gave out a strong message of love and peace. She ran the art department at Immaculate Heart College in L.A and was admired by the likes of Saul Bass and Ray Eames.

There is a fabulous book available for £195 called American Sampler — The Art of Corita Kent.

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Crate and Barrel Peg Boards

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Working from home in a small meter square space is rather frustrating, surrounded by ugly wires, plug sockets and piles of fabric is a far cry from the glamorous, idealised setups that you see plastered over every blog and magazine. This turmoil has to end so i’m investing a few pennies on improving my workspace.

I’ve been looking around for a stylish white pegboard to sit on my desk as I can’t fit any wall shelves (oh the joys of renting.) I Google searched my way to a great online shop called Crate and Barrel who have the most delightful range of three by three magnetic pegboard items and cute accessories to match. This is the perfect alternative to wall shelves and means I can get organised and tidy.

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They are based in New York which is a damn shame for those of us living in the UK. They do ship out here but don’t forget you’ll get charged extra by the post office to pick your item up. I think this will end up being a little too expensive for my budget so i’m going to look for a cheaper option and see if I can make something similar without the shipping costs.

 

Print of the Week: Marcus Walters

This weeks Print of the Week goes to illustrator and designer Marcus Walters. I’m an avid fan of illustrations and patterns that look like they have been cut out from paper, much like the old Blue Note sleeves or the early Saul Bass film posters. Match this style with lots of layered, screen printed colours and you have the perfect style in my eyes. Marcus even designed a range of stunning t-shirts for graniph.com, a Japanese company who make very cool t-shirts.

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