Restocking the shop

I'm slowly restocking my Etsy shop. When I get really busy with graphic design work, I'm afraid it lies sad and neglected. Meanwhile, the lovely items sewn by my mum pile up. And as always, if you want to buy some of my fabric and make happy things yourself, it's available all over the internet, including at JCaroline Creative, which carries the most complete collection of my prints, as far as I know.
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Free texture images

If you need texture photos but have no budget, check out Texture Lovers. The site's photographs are "free to use in commercial and personal work" with no attribution required. Find pictures of fabric, metal, paint, wood, and more.
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Hey, Matt. What's up.

Welcome to our dining room. While flipping through a magazine the other day, Alex paused on a full-page photo of Matthew McConaughey, snickered, and joked that we ought to hang it on the wall. Hmmm, guess what happened while Alex was out one day.

We don't have any particular liking for or aversion to Matthew M. But whenever we look at that manly pose, we can't help giggling. (Click to admire larger.) It seems to produce the same effect in anyone else who comes to visit.
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Tossed and Found

A review copy of Wary Meyers’ Tossed & Found arrived in my mailbox this week. After thirty seconds of thumbing through it, I was ready to drop everything, hop in my car, and start driving down alleys looking for abandoned junk. Authors John and Linda Meyers rescue unwanted stuff and transform it into one-of-a-kind items for homes; the book shows off their projects with instructions. It's completely inspirational. And it makes me feel a little sorry for myself because I don't have a workroom or a garage. Using power tools in my living room doesn't quite work, and I'm not lugging a stack of old barn siding up three flights of stairs. But no matter. I have renewed determined to find something and fix it up. I'll keep you posted.

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Magical photo retouching

Ready for more stunning work? Erik Johansson is a Swedish photographer whose retouching skills put my jaw on the floor. Most clients ask me to change the wood finish on a product from cherry to oak, or smooth down some stray hairs in a headshot. It's like performing a card trick at a kid's birthday party, while Erik makes the Statue of Liberty disappear. See more of his work right here.
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Styrofoam cup art

While happily browsing at Happy Mundane, I bumped into Cheeming Boey's work. Boey lives in California and draws on foam cups with Sharpies. And we're not talking stick figures. Waves, birds, vines, Japanese motifs. I contacted him to get permission to post some photos and asked if he had anything to say about his cups. He replied, "I would like to show people that canvases can be anything... just because it says disposable doesn't mean it has to be." Right on.

To see more cups, click here. Read interesting articles about Boey here and here.
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Printable thank you card

Susan Connor of SusyJack paper goods has posted a freebie thank you card you can download and print. It's orange. I will choose to believe she designed it just for me. Please don't try to correct my delusion.
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Recycled magazine business card holders

Residing in my house: clear vinyl, CB2 catalog, contact paper, sewing machine. Clearly these needed to join forces and become business card holders. (Not that I need another one, but it seemed good to try sewing with clear vinyl on a small, non-threatening first project.)

1. Choose a nice magazine page and cut it down to 4 1/2" x 5 1/4."

2. Laminate it between two pieces of clear contact paper. Burnish both sides with your thumbnail to get rid of any air bubbles, and trim off any overhanging contact paper. Score the piece horizontally across the middle and fold in half.

3. Cut a 4 1/2" x 2 3/8" rectangle from some clear vinyl (inexpensive, available by the yard at fabric stores). Put a couple miniscule pieces of double-stick tape in your seam allowance area and stick the vinyl rectangle to the inside of your business card holder.

4. With your sewing machine, sew around three edges of the vinyl to form a pocket. It's easier to sew on the contact paper side (less sticking to the presser foot), so mark your starting and stopping points and sew away. The vinyl side will tend to stick to the base of your sewing machine, so it helps to curl the unsewn part up, away from the machine as you sew. Tie off your seams by hand instead of backstitching. Round the corners if you like.
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Lena Corwin desktop wallpaper

Sorry for the sporadic posting this week, guys. I'm a bit swamped with work. But that hasn't stopped me from enjoying some quirky desktop wallpaper by Lena Corwin for Design*Sponge (detail above). I keep losing files on this background of little objects, but who cares. It's fun. Get yours here, in tan or blue.
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Decorate with orange

Check out the treasure trove of orangey goodness over at Jonathan Adler! Alas, my budget is about the size of one napkin ring, but a girl can dream.

And for my imaginary kitchen, perhaps an orange appliance from Big Chill.
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Quiz: Is it a cheese or a font?

Is your Monday turning out entirely too productive? Slow things down a bit by playing Cheese or Font. (Via Swiss Miss)
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Projects for the weekend

Some craft and DIY tutorials to see you through to Monday:

Spray painted DIY wall art at Krylon (above)
How to paint a floor canvas at Sunset Magazine
Fabric covered drawer pulls by Good Housekeeping
Braided doormat at Martha Stewart
Paper wine bag by Daisy Janie
Sling shoulder bag at Oh, Fransson
Recessed zipper shoulder bag at Projects by Jane
Poppy boutonnieres by Grosgrain Fabulous

(Image from Krylon)
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How to make a ruffled felt pillow

I was delighted to see this felt pillow tutorial on Etsy's blog. Orange plus felt rosettes? What's not to love? And very trendy, since fabric flowers and ruffles seem to be springing up everywhere these days. The tutorial is from Anne Kyrrรถ Quinn's new book, Felt Furnishings.
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Win a room makeover

Look at that. My fabric has made an appearance in the October issue of Glamour. Right next to Gwen Stefani. Or, well, 46 pages past the cover that features Gwen Stefani. Same difference.

Actually the photo announces a room makeover that five Glamour readers can win. Each package includes a Fresh Nest Design decorating consultation, a Flor area rug, two armchairs, chair slipcovers, ottoman, and pillows from your choice of fabrics at JCaroline Home, a $1,500 value. Enter here!
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New York vacation

We returned last night from our road trip getaway fatter, happier, and poorer than when we left. The hallmarks of a good vacation. We drove to New York and stayed in Brooklyn at Hotel Le Bleu. (Highly recommend it. Our room was small, modern and beautiful. We could see the Statue of Liberty from our balcony! It appeared to be the size of a grain of rice, but still. The hotel has a restaurant and rooftop lounge, so even if you don't stay there, at least go eat or drink something and admire the view. It's in Park Slope, a few blocks from cool shops, delicious restaurants, and dozens of people pushing babies in strollers, so if you're looking for a nanny job, this might be the place for you.)

We walked around Manhattan, went to MoMA, spent an afternoon reading in Central Park (which I had imagined as a giant football field devoid of trees; was pleasantly surprised to find out it's pretty), got half-off tickets to see the Toxic Avenger musical (clever, goofy, 100% entertaining), and then spent a couple days near the Allegheny National Forest on our way home.

And now it's back to work. Must make more coffee...

(Images from Hotel Le Bleu)
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