i’m always inspired by stuff i see over in the space where our print and color team works…for instance, this desk. it’s awesome.
and this pretty fabric…
one of our call center reps shared this awesome DIY tutorial for the adorable sleep masks that she makes …these would be such a great gift for friends or an awesome stocking stuffer for the holidays.
quilted sleep mask
2 6”x10” pieces of cotton fabric
2 pieces of 6”x10” cotton batting
matching ribbon for ties (36” total)
sewing machine is helpful but project could be done by hand
start by picking out a fat quarter of your favorite cotton fabric, you can use a scrap you have laying around as long as it is at least 6” by 10”.
from your 6”x10” fabrics cut out the shape of a sleep mask. I made my own pattern for it, its not too hard. Practice on a piece of paper and once you get a good size and shape use that for you pattern. **remember to allow 1/4 “ seam allowance all the way around.**
place the front fabric right side up on the 2 pieces of cotton batting, pin and quilt whatever pattern you like. i used diagonal lines to create a box pattern but anything will work! use your imagination!
now cut your ribbon in half to make two 18” ties and position them on the front of the mask with the long part facing in leaving 1 ” overhang over the outside side edges of the mask. i roll and pin mine so as not to sew more then just the one end to the edge.
now place the back piece on the quilted front piece right sides facing, stitch around the edge with a ¼ inch seam allowance leaving 4 inches at the top of the sleep mask open so that you can pull it right side out.
once you are done sewing cut around the stitching to remove the excess batting and then pull the mask right side out making sure all your edges are pushed out completely and flat. ironing at this point does help but not required. now pin your opening closed with the unsewn seam allowance tucked in. sew 1/8” from the edge all the way around the mask. once you trim off your extra threads you will have an adorable, comfy sleep mask!!! :)
not so crafty? you can find these for sale on her etsy site.
people have been buzzing about jersey-based indie/pop band real estate since the summer, but they’re just releasing their debut self-titled album today. while the songs might seem more summer-appropriate (just look at titles like “beach comber” “pool swimmers” “atlantic city” “lets rock the beach”), it’s a great listen at this time of year, especially if you’re missing warm weather and the shore (like me). the album does have an underlying moodiness that darkens it a little bit, but for the most part it’s simple, light and breezy…great for a lazy sunday. i especially like “suburban beverage” and “black lake”. the band, made up of martin courtney, matthew mondanile, etienne pierre duguay and alex bleeker, list paul mccartney, the doobie brothers, kokomo, the boss and new jersey among their influences. also, they’re touring right now so check out their myspace page for dates and to listen to some tunes!
exciting news! we are doing a holiday craft swap! spread a little holiday cheer with a hand-crafted gift from the heart…it can be anything you want, and it doesn’t have to be specific to any holiday. you can make something with a wintery theme, cold weather accessories, something decorative for the home, or just something to make someone smile.
if you haven’t participated in one of our craft swaps before, here’s how it works:
sign up by friday november 27. to sign up, fill out the simple form here with your name, email, and mailing address. people outside the united states are welcome to join, but if you live in the u.s., you can indicate if you do not want to ship internationally. i will match you up with a partner and send you their email and shipping address.
you have until friday december 25 to make a gift and mail it to your partner. we have set up a group on flickr here where you can discuss your ideas and inspiration as you’re crafting, and upload pictures of your crafts when you make/receive them.
if you need some help getting started, check out some of the crafts people made for swaps in the past: 2009 valentine swap, 2008 valentine swap, 2008/2009 winter swap.
so sign up and start crafting! can’t wait to see what people make!
another employee here at the home office shared this recipe – her all time favorite, which is her mom’s banana bread recipe. it is affectionately titled “meeshie’s banana bread” (her name is michele, nicknamed meeshie).
meeshie’s banana bread
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 or 4 medium bananas)
1 tbsp milk
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
in a large bowl cream butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy. beat in eggs. in a separate bowl mash together bananas and milk. in yet another bowl combine remaining dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda). blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture alternately with the bananas.
for bread fill greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. bake on 350 for 1 hr 10 mins.
for muffins fill cupcake wrappers 2/3rds to 3/4ths the way up. bake on 350 for 18-22 mins. (makes about 24 muffins)
let cool ten minutes then turn out of pans and let cool completely.
jennilee marigomen is a photographer who lives and works in vancouver, and nature plays a large role in her work as well. she explains her approach to photography in her interview with booooooom: “i shoot spontaneously within a small time frame, so i would say that that my photographs are not calculated in a pre-determined sense. many of my photos are made through serendipity – i’ll find something interesting by chance, or i will end up with accidental and beautiful light leaks – happy accidents. however, i am drawn to interesting shapes, especially those that occur within nature, so i agree with being drawn to geometry. i like simplicity and isolation and frame the subject matter carefully so that there are the least amount of distractions as possible.”
yesterday i wrote about the booooooom art show taking place in vancouver…and i thought i’d share some more work by a couple of the participating artists that i really like, starting with erika somogyi…
you wouldn’t know it by looking at her work, but erika somogyi is a brooklyn-based artist. in an interview featured on boooooom she explains the inspiration behind the nature themes in her work: “sometimes i wish i were living in a log cabin in the mountains. i have spent time backpacking and sleeping outside. i love visiting the national parks. the natural imagery i use in my work comes from my travels, photos i have taken, photos i have borrowed, field studies and memories. one aspect of the work i have been making is the longing for a connection with nature. the lack of expansive wilderness here is a big part of that. in a way i feel transported by the paintings.”
“walking watching waiting”
“questions and answers”
i also like the quote she ends with:
“how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – annie dillard
you can read the full interview here and check out more of her work here.