Category Archives: craft

Peapod Fabrics and place settings for Sunday brunch


20100314crafts 018blogPeapod Fabrics in the Inner Sunset has the sweetest little shoebox storefront.  I had a hankering to start a sewing project and thought I’d ease into one (seriously,  just rectangles) by making placemats in anticipation of a dream dining table I hope to have one day.   (Psst…The Wooden Duck in Berkeley is having its annual Spring Sale this weekend, March 26-28.)  I was looking for Japanese import or retro-styled prints and found Peapod Fabrics based, of course, on yelp reviews.  All of the bolts of fabrics–cute, designery, calm and coordinated–all neatly lined up horizontally along the wall shelving were all bursting with unexpressed potential.  The selections are very well edited.  I paired two different cotton prints with two coordinating Kona cotton solids.  There was also a sale on decorator-weight fabrics for $10/yard, the chartreuse patterned fabrics shown.

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1 and 1/4 yards each of 2 coordinating fabrics will yield 6 reversible placemats sized about 14 1/2 by 19 inches, with 1/4 to 1/2 inch allowances all around.  It’s been so long since I did anything other than hem pants, that I’d forgotten or perhaps never realized how awesome a rotary cutter is for making straight cuts through fabric.

The result, reversible owl print placemats in neutral taupe and khaki tones:

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french toast

(Today’s Sunday Brunch at home consisted of cinnamon french toast made from Greenlee’s Bakery cinnamon bread, Niman Ranch dry-cured applewood smoked bacon and Four Barrel Ethiopia Mordecofe coffee!)

Late, but making good on a 2009 craft fulfillment challenge


I am finally addressing secondary to-do lists (primary to-do lists being such things as, Purge Closet and Sell at Crossroads Trading Co. or Donate to Goodwill, Return Straus Family Creamery Glass Milk Bottles to the market for Deposit Refund, etc.).  Check this year-old self-imposed deadline out:

fbpayitfwdWhoops!  Was that one year ago?  I had several ideas in mind on what I would make for Rosie, Thy, Phayvanh, Tamiko and Christina in this pay-it-forward craft challenge, had ideas in mind, several false starts, a bold email to them in August that something in the mail was forthcoming (*blush*) and then radio silence.  So hard to motivate even when it’s going to be something that might be fun.

Well, a week or two shy of the year anniversary of the Facebook note, I did manage to put something together, add postage and send something handmade to the gals.

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This is a linocut illustration of a Ball glass mason jar laminated and mounted onto a magnet, suitable for your fridge or workspace.

I decided to take small prints of a tiny linoleum cut of a Ball mason jar and turn them into refrigerator magnets.

How this item was made:

This is an original small edition linocut I carved from a San Francisco Center for the Book “tiny linos” workshop I took a few months ago, taught by artist Marsha Shaw.  What was neat was that, instead of printing press/proof press equipment (very large and industrial) that is usually used to make linocut editions, the “printing press” was actually a modified manual credit card imprinter!  (Check out SFCB’s website: the class is being offered again on May 1.)

20100314crafts 008I cropped the image and applied a magnet backing to the print.  The magnet was made with a small Xyron brand sticker/magnet/laminating manually-operated machine that is widely available at craft and scrapbooking stores, Amazon, eBay, etc.  The price has really gone down ($25-55) since I first bought mine 10 or so years ago!

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Craft to-do: Done!  And, hey, I’m blogging again too!  Do you procrastinate in your creative life?  Or, are crafts or hobbies an exercise in procrastination over other necessary tasks?

Mr. and Mrs. Crafty


Fresh from our craft-infused wedding and recuperating via a roadtrip across the Southwest, my partner in crime and I had one of our first arts/cultural outings on Saturday since getting back into town at Kearny Street Workshop‘s APAture Runway III. Crafty couple, Scott and Herna, owners of FLINC were on hand to sell FLINC-designed t-shirts and APAture 2009 gear. The great thing about the fashion show and reconnecting with folks that night was how it inspired us to continuing on with stuff-making, especially as a team.

Mr and Mrs Crafty

Some of our DIY collaborations for the wedding included the following:

Gocco Save The Date cards

Save-The-Date flat cards and envelopes designed by Billy and me on Adobe Fireworks/Illustrator and printed on Gocco. The return address was printed on the envelope flap and the barn illustration on the card was repeated on the upper left corner of the envelope.Cardstock and envelopes supply from Paper Source. Fellow crafty-lawyer-bride Jess at Fig and Plum recounts the pros and cons, do’s and don’ts of committing to Gocco craft for one’s wedding here at her blog.

OOT bags

Out-of-Town bags for our travelling guests. However, since all but a few were out-of-towners, we made extras for the locals as well! The bags had a wedding logo co-opted from the Made-In- China novelty item, Fortune Teller Miracle Fish.In place of “Fortune Teller” and “Miracle Fish”, Billy re-designed it with our names and wedding date on Illustrator. The logos were done using inkjet iron-in transfer paper. In each bag, we included a few helpful items (tissue, sunscreen, water), local goodies (cookies from Cowboy Cookie N’ Grub of San Luis Obispo) and a zine called “Debbie & Billy’s Guide To The Coast”.

fan wedding programs

Fan-style wedding programs. This had been a conundrum for me years ago when a friend asked me how to make these for her wedding. I had a grommet punch that I kept for fabric uses that would fix an eyelet or grommet in place, but I didn’t know how to create the mechanics of movable paper that was bound by a metal eyelet. Flash forward a few years, a landslide of scrapbooking enthusiasm, stores and tools are now readily accessible. I was looking into the products at Eyelet Outlet, and learned that the trick to making paper held by an eyelet move is to also use an eyelet washer. The scrapbooking world also revealed more efficient ways to affix eyelets beyond eyelet setters and hammers, like the Crop-A-Dile I used to bind the leaves to form the fan.The scrapbooking world has a thing for aquatic reptiles, it seems, because another tool I used to create the fan programs was a corner rounder made by the company Paper Gator.


Our wedding was held at an apple farm. To go with the country orchard theme, instead of numbered table cards, the guests’ names were printed on reproductions of vintage fruit crate labels and each table was assigned a fruit crate label instead of a number. While often no longer copyrighted, it seems (from my brief internet research) that fruit crate labels are highly collectible and borrowing (ahem) the images are hard to come by. Luckily, we found a Dover publication that contained a whole book of full-color crate labels and–biggest score of all–came with a CD of the crate labels as TIFF files! We resized them to uniformly fit on a square card and, at the reception, they were waiting on a clothesline and small clothespins for the guests.

fruit farm wedding

We wanted to share in our word-loving and game-playing and decorated the wedding cake with Scrabble tiles that spelled out “Debbie Loves Billy”. Turns out there are only two B’s in each game set, so we had to borrow from two sets!

cd wedding favor

Finally, guest favors included a CD in a chipboard sleeve printed on Gocco and packages of red Swedish Fish, both containing the Fortune Teller Miracle Fish novelty.

Swedish Fish Favors

We’re not sure just what’s next, whether another zine, silkscreen t-shirts or more Gocco prints, but we’re excited that it will be something we do together.

Wedding thank you's