free as a bird

one of our readers, annaliese, emailed me a little while back about a sculpture she had created that she wanted to share. she didn’t send any photos but her description was enough to peak my curiosity. i asked her to send along some photos as well, and here they are! read on for the description of the sculpture in her words…

“i made a tree branch grow forth from inside of an unwanted book, bringing life to the pages whose words have been forgotten, left in a charity shop where its bright green cover with a black silhouette of a forest and frolicking rabbits dancing about the undergrowth caught my gaze and sparked my imagination. within the grasp of the branch i made a nest from lines of text that i built up to become a home for a family of birds. above the nest the last bird is flying the nest, facing the time of flight or fall, beating its wings against the invisible air to reach that open sky its desperate gaze is locked onto, leaving behind an empty nest where a single feather lays, lingering like a memory, a remnant of the past.

the book is called “the forest lovers” and was the only material used for this sculpture with glue to bind its former flat pages together.”


what a beautiful description and sculpture! thanks so much for sharing, annaliese.


one of our stylists saw this fun DIY idea on bleach black and sent it along – i can’t wait to try it! all you need are some sharpies and an old blank tshirt or sweatshirt. then just look up some of your favorite band logos and draw them right onto the sweatshirt!

valerie of bleach black googled the logos for her favorite bands and sketched them onto her sweatshirt right in front of her computer. for some of the more difficult ones she printed them out to better replicate at full size. use a fine point sharpie for outlines and shading and a king size for filling in large areas!

i would love to try some of these logos…

pretty wild



literally, it’s pretty wild!  scientists have recently discovered a rare type of bee that makes its nest out of flower petals in a method similar to papier-mâché! the result is so beautiful – i would love to see one in real life…but since that probably won’t happen maybe i’ll collect some petals and try to recreate my own little papier-mâché project.  who knew bees could be such talented artists?! :)



how adorable are these wall decals? one of our soho employees sent these photos, which are of a craft project she and her sister did for her sister’s new baby’s room.  they found vintage sheets and cool textile fabrics and cut out the shapes.  they then corn starched them and attached them to the walls of his bedroom.  this is something you can do with any fabric and it adheres really well, plus they peel right off if you ever want to take them down or change them up!  i love this idea, and there are so many things you could do.  here are a few more examples i found to stir the creative juices:

there’s also a full tutorial to show you how to do it right here!

artwork from morocco

continuing with our exploration of morocco, today i wanted to share some of the work of moroccan artist, andre elbaz.  i was first drawn to his landscapes…they have such amazing texture and color that capture the energy and spirit of morocco.  the use of cubism gives them a surreal quality but the varying sizes and colors make them appear to sparkle like a living, breathing city.  the second one reminds me of looking down at urban landscapes from an airplane, seeing only clusters of light, thinking about all the tiny ant-like people that are down there going about their everyday lives.

more below…

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i’ve seen a lot of different DIY bookmark projects but this one really stuck out – i love the “X marks the spot” and although it appears to just be fabric it’s actually a pretty sturdy little bookmark so you’d be able to use it for a long time. kootoyoo has a full tutorial for how to make one – don’t be scared by the math in step 1, it’s not too bad!

what you need:
embroidery floss, scrap cardboard, calico, scissors, craft knife, needle, fadeout marker, adhesive backed magnetic tape.

step 1: cut a 13 cm (about 5 inches) square from scrap cardboard. cut a right angle triangle measuring 7.5cm x 7.5cm with a hypotenuse of 10.5cm.

step 2: cut your magnetic tape to fit and stick it to the triangles so that they come together neatly. set aside for later.

step 3: use the square template as a guide and cut out your calico. leave a seam allowance outside the template of approximately 1.5 cm (3/4 inch).

step 4: press your calico square around your cardboard template:

iron the corners as pictured above.


iron each of the sides as pictured – this removes the bulk in the corners and will keep the folds nice and neat.

step 5: remove the cardboard template and fold the square in half to form a triangle:
iron, fold in half again and iron.


step 6: print this template and trace it or draw your own X – you can be creative and make your own symbol or even a quote!

unfold the pressed triangle and position it right side up. with your fade out marker, check your folds carefully and mark the “X” where you’d like it positioned on the face of the bookmark. make sure you mark your X in the left hand triangle of your square. keep in mind that the center seam will run parallel to the spine of the book.

step 7: stitch your X or whatever you’ve chosen!

step 8: once you’re finished stitching, place your work face down on the ironing board as shown above and repress the folds.

step 9: position your triangle shapes (magnet side down) inside the seams and fold in half.

step 10: pin to secure.

step 11: stitch along each of the short sides of your triangle.

step 12: make the final fold and remove your pin. now stitch the short side closed to form your “cuff.”

voila! you’re done – now you can use this as you read the perks of being a wallflower for our book club :)

rachel t. robertson

i discovered the artwork of rachel t. robertson a few weeks ago and i thought it was so reminiscent of our new website creative concept, sweet jasmine.  rachel is a san francisco-based artist who creates whimsical collages reminiscent of a scrapbook, combining nature imagery and mixed media with tiny details like graph paper, envelopes, stamps and thread.


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some inspiration from the wild unknown…






beautiful stuff.  based in brooklyn, the wild unknown is a line of handmade goods and artwork inspired by nature, in particular summers spent in the catskill mountains and on the shores of lake superior, as well as their favorite songs and musicians.

i’m such a sucker for feathers. and bob dylan. see more here.

woodstock handmade houses

before woodstock became known worldwide for the most famous music festival of all time, it was a quiet town in rural new york that artisans, painters, musicians and freethinkers called home.  they lived off the land and made things by hand- even their homes.  they used local stone, wood and scavenged materials to create shelters that are as unique as they are impressive- ranging from the cave-like dens and teepees to cabins and stone structures.  these homes are documented in the book “woodstock handmade houses” and turning the pages is like stepping into one hidden world after another, imagining all the stories each sanctuary holds.  it is a constant source of inspiration that will never age.

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mural mural on the wall

this might be one of the coolest things i’ve ever seen.

inspired by a painting they found on ebay and paint by numbers artwork, scott and cheryl white turned their blank wall into mural art.  to do this they made a color transparency of the painting, and using a projector, traced the image onto the wall with pencil.  they then created a chart of all the colors and assigned them numbers, and got to work painting! it took them eight months to complete this masterpiece but imagine how much fun you’d have doing it! read more to see some awesome photos of the white’s wall before and after.

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