Outside Oslo is available laminated!

Ooo, shiny. My entire home dec line for The Needle Shop now comes in a laminated version. Look at these makeup bags made by Rachel Epperson, the shop's owner. And how about this plump little boxy pouch?

This stuff is perfect for wipeable placemats, seat covers, play mats, and designer Slip 'N Slides. If you need a Christmas present for a sewist, consider a laminated fat quarter bundle and a copy of Sewing With Oilcloth.

Where can you get your hands on some yardage or goods made from Outside Oslo? Some options for you:

Online in Rachel's new Outside Oslo shop — Get fabric (both laminated and regular), as well as products made from the stuff. Totes, pillows, coin purses, placemats, and more. Any of the products can be made in the fabric of your choice.

At the Chicago Renegade Holiday Fair this weekend — Ms. Epperson will man a booth full of fabric and products so you can stock up on Christmas presents. I'm planning to hang around for a bit on Saturday and drool on her merchandise. Stop by and say hi!

At The Needle Shop store — Chicagoans, get hip fabrics, patterns, and sewing notions here. Or visit the online shop.

You have read this article design work / fabric with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/outside-oslo-is-available-laminated.html. Thanks!

Letterpressed e-cards from Paperless Post

I've used Paperless Post in the past to send elegant electronic party invitations and birthday cards. I like the way many of the designs look letterpressed on textured paper. Plus you can customize the typography and add coordinating shiny envelope liners for extra fun. When recipients click the envelope that arrives in their email inbox, a lovely card emerges.

Check it out! I found one that coordinates with my Fireworks fabric. Apparently I need to plan a party that includes this invitation and a big tablecloth. I'd look so put together.

This season there's a new line of holiday invitations, photo cards, and greetings that won't cost you anything to send. Check out the freebies here, or browse the entire collection here.

You have read this article cards / christmas / invitations / resources with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/letterpressed-e-cards-from-paperless.html. Thanks!

Paper gem Christmas ornaments

I love these DIY gems created by Kate at Mini-eco. Get a template for making all the paper shapes here, then create a mobile, a garland, or hang them on your Christmas tree. They'd look mighty fine on my aluminum tree, now wouldn't they? Hmm...
You have read this article christmas / downloads / paper with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/paper-gem-christmas-ornaments.html. Thanks!

Fall desktop wallpaper freebie

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm signing off for the week but leaving you with some leaf-themed desktop wallpaper in honor of the holiday. I like functional wallpapers that make it easy to find files, so this is a simple one. Download a 2560 x 1600 file right here. Enjoy your weekend!

(Artwork is not for commercial use or purposes other than personal desktop wallpaper.)
You have read this article design work / desktops with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/fall-desktop-wallpaper-freebie.html. Thanks!

DIY Cathrineholm candleholders

You're probably familiar with Cathrineholm enamelware, a line of iconic kitchen products made by a Norwegian factory that closed in 1970. Vintage Cathrineholm pieces now cost an arm and a leg. But paper is cheap! Perhaps some DIY votive holders will suffice until we win the lottery?

First I wrapped a glass candleholder with a piece of tracing paper and secured it with tape. Anything white and translucent will do the job; try parchment paper, tissue paper, or vellum if you've got some.

Then I made a template, printed it onto colored computer paper, and cut out the designs with an X-acto knife. My votive holders are 2.5" tall and came in a box from Target several years ago. If you have holders of a similar size, feel free to download the PDF.

Or, if you have a Silhouette machine, you can download the .studio file and scale as needed. Warning: I haven't tested it! If you try to cut with it, let me know how it goes.

Or, if you hate computers, just sketch out the design by hand and wing it. It'll be super.

Layer the cut paper over the white paper and secure with more tape. Done.

You have read this article decorating / paper / tutorials with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/diy-cathrineholm-candleholders.html. Thanks!

Pattern review: Bucket Bag

My mom, known to you guys as frequent commenter Grandma G, just finished sewing up a Bucket Bag from Keyka Lou's PDF pattern. She used Skiff in Dawn from my Outside Oslo fabric collection and lined the bag with some Artee cotton duck in Turquoise.

The pattern has an oval bottom, so it really is sort of like a bucket—a cute one with a big pocket on the outside and a nicely proportioned strap. Mum added a magnetic snap since a closure is always nice. And I love the button with its coordinating scallops.

My niece Courtney, who creatively modeled the bag after Mum finished it, stated that the fabric looks like trimmed fingernail bits. Excellent. Exactly the look I was going for.

Mum writes:
"It was a pleasure to sew a bag from a pattern that didn't have me tearing my hair out because it was so complicated! I really enjoyed making this bag. The instructions were very detailed, yet clear and easy to follow in a numbered, step-by-step format, with photos to illustrate every step.

I would highly recommend this pattern for anyone just beginning to make bags. It'll get you started in the right direction and you'll learn a lot about the bag-making process. I'd also recommend it for more experienced bag makers, just because it's easy and fun! And no matter your skill level, you'll end up with a very cute bag. I love the shape of it as well as just the overall look.

The next time I use this pattern, I'll probably add a pocket or two inside. Also, I might skip the darts on the outside pocket, because unless something is stuffed into those dart areas, they tend to have a dented/dimpled look (kinda like a bra that's not quite filled out, y'know?). I'd trim the pattern piece so that it remains the same shape, just minus the darts."

Purchase the Bucket Bag pattern right here, and check out other Keyka Lou designs here. All patterns are available for instant download, and most are a mere $5.00 through 11/27/11!
You have read this article bag / design work / pattern review / sewing with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/pattern-review-bucket-bag.html. Thanks!

Nice online beer label generator

At Beer Labelizer, a personal project from designer Andy Biggs, choose from an array of label options and type in your text. Download a high res jpeg and print. You could replace the labels on store-bought bottles for a customized present. Or send the link to your friend who secretly brews beer in his apartment building's basement storage unit. If you knew someone like that. Not saying I do...
You have read this article entertaining / printable / resources with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/nice-online-beer-label-generator.html. Thanks!

Build 3D paper letters from a nifty font

Speaking of Fontstruct, I found something cool over there. Punched Out is a free font that allows you to type letters, print, cut, fold, and glue to make 3D forms. Created by Tobias Sommer, it's available for download at Dafont or Fontstruct. I gave it a try while watching TV. It's a little tedious, but the result is fun!

I printed the letters in gray, scored along the center of the dashed lines, and folded so that the printing ended up on the inside of each letter.

You have read this article downloads / fonts / paper with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/build-3d-paper-letters-from-nifty-font.html. Thanks!

Make and share fonts with Fontstruct

Have you checked out Fontstruct? It's a free online tool for building fonts based on a grid. As you can see, it's possible to achieve a pretty wide variety of styles. Make your own or download some of your favorites shared by others. (Setting up a free account is required.)
You have read this article downloads / fonts / graphic design / time-wasters with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/make-and-share-fonts-with-fontstruct.html. Thanks!

How to make 3D paper ball ornaments

I love 3D paper things. Love. And when I saw a little picture of what appeared to be paper balls in a CB2 catalog, I thought, "I am going to make those."

So the other day while Alex was writing a paper about mysterious things like polymers and flexible films and tactoids, I made a paper ball. Then I proudly announced I had created a tactoid and it was sitting on my desk. He giggled. Apparently a tactoid is not a paper ball.

These are made from 12 slotted flower shapes that fit together to form a sphere. No adhesive needed; the only ingredient is paper. I made a template in Illustrator and cut out the shapes with my Silhouette machine (directly from Illustrator using a plug-in), but you could also print out the pages and cut by hand, too.

Download the PDF templates here:
Large ball (10")– print/cut 12 sheets
Medium ball (5")– print/cut 2 sheets
Small ball (3")– print/cut 1 sheet

Download a Silhouette .studio file here:
Small ball (3")– unzip the file; cut 1 sheet. (The shapes can be scaled up or down in Silhouette Studio if you'd like to change the size.)

If you want to hang your ornament, you might like to add the string before assembling the ball. I placed a piece of tape on the back of one flower so the hole wouldn't tear, then used a needle to pull string through, forming a loop on the front side. I secured the ends of the string on the back side with another piece of tape.

Use the slits to join petals together. Keep adding shapes, connecting as you go, so that every petal is connected to another petal on a neighboring flower.

It might be helpful to think of the first piece as the "north pole," and then add a row of five flowers encircling it. At this point, the ball is half finished. Here's what it looks like upside-down:

Attach the next row of five flower shapes, and finally, add the "south pole" piece to finish the globe.

The colored balls are made from regular-weight computer paper (Astrobright from Office Max) and the white balls are made with cardstock. The big sphere is the size of a basketball; the little one is approximately a baseball. And the medium-sized guy is maybe a large grapefruit.
You have read this article christmas / paper / tutorials with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/how-to-make-3d-paper-ball-ornaments.html. Thanks!

Ribbon sighting: more dog collars

I've always wondered what people make with ribbon. Now I'm starting to see where it all goes: around the necks of doggies! Some of my designs make an appearance at r.e. stowe on Etsy. Love these metal buckles.

You have read this article design work / shop with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/ribbon-sighting-more-dog-collars.html. Thanks!

Free Owl Lover customizable calendar

My Owl Barn is back with its second Owl Lover printable calendar. Choose from art by 45 different illustrators, including the fabulous Suzy Ultman, shown above. Assign your favorite owls to the months of your choice; then download a PDF and print. Make a 2012 calendar here.

You could also print the owls at a small scale for gift tags, decoupage them onto boxes, frame them as tiny art... if you love owls, you'll have a field day.
You have read this article downloads / printable with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/free-owl-lover-customizable-calendar.html. Thanks!

Oxfam's cool ad campaign

While driving around other day, I noticed Oxfam America's new ad campaign on Chicago bus shelters. I'm not sure if it was purely the design that caught my eye, or the fact that I'm reading a book about poverty so it was already on my mind. But aren't these ads pretty great? I've been wondering if I should have been a doctor or a teacher or a well-digger, but maybe designers can make an impact, too. I tried a Google search to find out who the illustrator and copywriter were, but no luck. Update: Jessica Hische was the illustrator, of course! Thanks, commenters.

To buy someone a toilet, a sheep, a song, or a pile of $%@# (watch the video!), head to Oxfam.
You have read this article help out with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/oxfam-cool-ad-campaign.html. Thanks!

Six little pouches to sew

Make some cute little cases with these sewing tutorials:
Laminated bag by Linda Turner Griepentrog at Sew Timeless
Tissue cases from Very Purple Person
Snappy coin purse by Rashida Coleman-Hale at Sew Timeless
Pear coin purse from Craft Passion
Bunting cosmetic bag at Just Another Hangup
Zip it up pencil case from Craft Passion

A random comment. Why do fabric stores and sewing websites adore puns more than any other industry does? It seams sew peculiar. Though possibly eye doctors give them a run for their money.
You have read this article bag / sewing / tutorials with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/six-little-pouches-to-sew.html. Thanks!

Decorate felt balls with embroidery

Via Bloomize I came across this Japanese magazine with instructions for making embroidered felt balls (see p. 15). So pretty for Christmas ornaments or shade pulls or embellishments on gifts... True, the directions are in Japanese, but I bet you could figure it out using the diagrams for inspiration. If you want to buy plain felted balls, search Etsy. Or to make your own, try this tutorial.

This just in! Helpful blog reader Tiffany Harvey has translated the Japanese instructions for us!

pg. 14 - The Basics of Temari Balls
Note: The original magazine linked back to a Japanese website selling supplies, so the numbers are all references to their thread colors.

(top left) Before Starting
To make a Temari ball you will use a felt ball as the foundation. Once you choose a direction for your ball, just like a globe we will call the top point the "North Pole," the bottom the "South Pole," and the center the "Equator."

Diagram - North Pole, Equator, South Pole

(top center) Materials
Wool felt balls
We will be using three sizes of balls: S, M, and L (a diameter of 1.5, 2.0, or 2.5cm). You can use pre-made balls sold commercially and choose which size of ball you'd like to make.

Temari needle
We recommend using a long needle made specifically for Temari. It is possible to substitute with a No.3 sized embroidery needle.

(top right, under picture of balls)
Temari thread
Use a cotton thread like "Temari filament," "Temari thread," "metallic", etc. We will use a mix of these and you can choose which thread to use.

(center left) Starting Stitch
1) With a ball that is 1cm or larger, make a stitch in the ball, pulling the end of the thread into the ball.
2) Make another stitch, entering the same spot and exiting 1cm or more away.
3) Make another stitch, exiting in the same spot you started.

(bottom right) North and South Poles
1) Mark the left and right center of your ball with straight pins. Decide which you want to be your North and South Pole.
2) Make a stitch, exiting at the North Pole.

Diagram - North Pole

(bottom left) Ending stitch
1) The spot for the ending stitch
2) Make another stitch, entering the same spot and exiting 1cm or more away.
3) Pull the thread and cut.

pg. 15 - How to Make

(top left) How to make 5 small Temari balls
Create Temari charms and hair ties using a mix of traditional embroidery stitches. Use these directions as a reference, choose your colors and stitches, and have fun making original Temari balls.

(center left) A - Divided Into 8 Equal Parts
Felt ball (M, white)... approximately 2cm diameter
Temari thread... LM1 ("Aurora")

How to Make
1) Follow steps 1 and 2 (winding stitch) from ball E. (LM1)
2) Exit at the equator and wind once around the ball.
3) Wrap again, four more times, as shown in the drawing.
4) Following the diagram, make a straight stitch in these 6 places to secure.

1) North Pole, Temari thread LM1
2) North Pole, South Pole
3) North Pole, South Pole
4) Straight stitch, Temari thread LM1, back center

(bottom left) B - Lazy Daisy Stitch
Felt ball (M, white)... approximately 2cm diameter
Temari filament... No. 822
Temari thread... LM1 ("Aurora")

How to Make
1) Follow the directions from ball E to make the winding stitch. Wrap twice from the top to form a cross, then wrap once around the equator. (LM1)
2) Make the Lazy Daisy stitch around the circumference of the ball. (No. 822) (each intersection is the center of a daisy)
3) Make a French Knot at each of the 6 intersections. (LM1)

1) North Pole, Temari thread LM1, South Pole
2) Lazy Daisy stitch, Temari filament No. 822
3) French Knot, Temari thread LM1, Back center

(bottom right) D - Straight Stitch
Felt ball (S, white)... approximately 1.5cm diameter
Temari filament... No. 807, 852

How to Make
Choose the placement and straight stitch in two colors.
(No. 807: 3 locations, No. 852: 2 locations)

Straight Stitch, Temari filament No. 807, 852

pg. 16
(top left) C - Chrysanthemum
Felt ball (L, white)... approximately 2.5cm diameter
Temari filament... No. 810, 812, 843
Metallic gold

How to Make
1) Follow steps 1 and 2 (winding stitch) from ball E. (metallic)
2) Wrap once around the equator (No. 812) and exit at upper left.
3) Do the Plover stitch around the North Pole and South Pole. Check pg. 18 for a diagram of the bird's eye view for reference. (No. 810, 812)
4) Cross-stitch around the equator at the intersections. (No. 843)

1) North Pole, Metallic gold
2) North Pole, South Pole
3) Temari filament No. 812, Plover stitch, Temari filament No. 810
4) Cross-stitch, Temari filament No. 843

(center left) E - Wrapping Stitch and Plover Stitch
Felt ball (L, white)... approximately 2.5cm diameter
Temari filament... No. 807, 821, 851, 857

How to Make
1) Mark the North and South Poles with a straight pin. Wrap a thread from the North Pole, over the Equator, past the South Pole, back over the Equator, and return to the North Pole. Wrap around the ball again so that you form a cross. (No. 851)
2) With a new color, wrap twice from the same point, forming a new cross at a 45 degree angle. (No. 821)
3) Wrap around the Equator 4 times. (No. 807) *Do not leave a gap between the threads.
4) Use the Plover stitch on top of the other 3 threads. (No. 857)
5) Use the Pine Needle stitch around the North and South Poles. (No. 807)

1) North Pole, Temari filament No. 851
2) Temari filament No. 851, North Pole, No. 821
3) North Pole, Temari filament No. 807 4 wraps, South Pole
4) Plover stitch, Temari filament No. 857
5) Pine Needle stitch, Temari filament No. 807, North Pole

(Bottom right gives directions on wrapping beads)
(pg. 17 shows how to use the Temari balls as charms & hair accessories)


pg. 18 - How to Stitch
Directions for Temari stitches

(top row of three)
Cross Stitch
Straight Stitch
Plover Stitch (a type of bird)
1 out, 2 in, 3 out, 4 in, 5 out
*Repeat 1 through 4

(second row of three)
Lazy Daisy Stitch
French Knot
Pine Needle Stitch
1 out, 2 in, 3 out, 4 in, 5 out, 6 in, 7 out, 8 in, 9 out, 10 in

(right side)
Chrysanthemum, bird's eye view
1 out, 2 in, 3 out, 4 in, 5 out, 6 in, 7 out, 8 in, 9 out, 10 in, 11 out, 12 in, 13 out, 14 in, 15 out, 16 in
*Centered on the North or South Pole

(below the dotted line are patterns for the cloth items in the magazine)
You have read this article christmas / tutorials with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/decorate-felt-balls-with-embroidery.html. Thanks!

Be a type designer

If you liked Kern Type, you might enjoy designing letterforms, too. Try the Shape Type game and see how closely your letters resemble samples from actual typefaces.
You have read this article fonts / time-wasters with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/be-type-designer.html. Thanks!

Ribbon designs in action

Months ago Bella Bark and Meow commissioned some ribbon designs for use on their exclusive line of pet collars and matching leashes. The other day I took a peek at their website to see if they'd been manufactured and turned into finished products, and voilĂ !
My only question is whether or not I can buy this fellow. Look at that face.

When I contacted the company owner for permission to show these images, she agreed and added that if you mention my name, you can get 15% off your order. Sweet! Enter the code JJONES at checkout between now and Nov. 16th to get the deal.
You have read this article design work / shop with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/ribbon-designs-in-action.html. Thanks!

Printable thank you card

Another fun goody! Jennifer Ferguson, the artist behind the Etsy shop Squirrel in the Attic, draws quirky greetings with patterned backgrounds. Her cards are printed on heavy recycled paper and are even cuter in person. I know cuz I've bought some before. I asked Jennifer if she'd pretty please share a print-it-yourself version of one of her cards, and she agreed. It's one of the designs in her 6-card thank you set. (Do you think it would be weird if I mailed it back to her as a thank you?)

Help yourself to the printable PDF. Then download, open in Adobe Reader, print, trim and fold.

You have read this article cards / downloads / printable with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/printable-thank-you-card.html. Thanks!

Free needlepoint pattern from Felicity Hall

While poking around The Making Spot blog recently, I ended up at Felicity Hall's website. She's based in the UK and designs contemporary needlepoint kits. I'll admit that I'm way too impatient for embroidery, and the only needlepoint I've admired is a pillow or two from Jonathan Adler. But check out Felicity's letters and numbers! Reminds me of Jessica Hisch's Daily Drop Cap project, only in wool. Pretty cool.

You can download a complimentary chart to make the word "love" here.

Or purchase charts for individual numbers and letters. Make a pillow with your friend's wedding date, spell out some words to hang on the wall, or stitch your initials.
You have read this article downloads with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/free-needlepoint-pattern-from-felicity.html. Thanks!

Printable gift tag freebie from Hello!Lucky

I didn't think I was ready to see holiday cards yet, but when the folks at Hello!Lucky wrote to introduce their shiny new website and greeting card lines, I got excited despite myself. Browsing through the site is like visiting a contemporary stationery hall of fame.

A couple of my favorite designers: Darling Clementine, above. Lab Partners, below. Those holiday city cards are killing me, and they come in wedding options, too. The gorgeous photography is by Edyta Szyszlo.

The site also sports a new tool that lets you choose fonts and colors and drop pictures easily into photo card designs, so you can customize away.

And guys, guess what. I batted my eyelashes and suggested it would be pretty awesome if we had a sheet of printable gift tags with some of the new designs. Lo and behold! You can download free pages of holiday gift tags here:
The 2011 version
The 2012 version

They're created by Eunice Moyle based on holiday card designs by SusyJack*. (Thanks a bunch!) And they don't scream Christmas, so you can use them for other things, too. Download, print, and cut them out. Enjoy!
You have read this article christmas / downloads / printable / shop with the title November 2011. You can bookmark this page URL http://jenkrebs.blogspot.com/2011/11/printable-gift-tag-freebie-from.html. Thanks!