Monday, December 21, 2009

Paperback Star Ornament

This is a simple ornament made out of 8 sheets of a paperback novel fan-pleated, cut at an angle, then glued back to back with white glue.  A piece of twine was added to hang the star.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden Star Tree Topper

Top your tree with this glistening golden burst of... clothespins!

What You Need:

  • Pack of Clothespins from the .99 cents store
  • Hot glue gun
  • Plastic candy cane container or other 1 inch tube with one closed end.
  • Gold spray paint
  • Scissors to cut bottom 3.5 inches off of candy cane or tube.

  1. Undo clothes pins and glue each pair back to back.
  2. Glue approximately 30 pairs together.  They will naturally form a round.

3.  Cut the bottom 3.5 inches of your plastic candy cane off with scissors and glue to the back of the star.

4.  Spray paint gold or leave au natural.  I tried gold leafing it but I think the spray paint is easier and gives it a more even coat.

Bird House Ornament

Making a birdhouse for a this cute bird is a great way to reuse a clean yogurt cup and some scrap fabric and decorate your tree all at once.

What You Need:

  • A plastic yogurt cup
  • A small piece of cardboard for the base
  • Hot glue gun
  • A little bird- adopted at the craft store
  • Loose bark- this is from a eucalyptus tree in our front yard that sheds bark but birch will do for those in colder climates
  • Scissors
  • Scrap fabric
  • Cord
  • Hole punch or awl (to make the hole where you hang the loop from).


  1. Cut hole in yogurt cup that looks like a doorway so the bird can sit there.
  2. Glue a little bark to the inside of the cup where you see into the doorway.
  3. Glue bark to the outside of the cup covering the entire cup and the cardboard base.  
  4. Poke a hole in the top of the bark and run a piece of string doubled through the hole and make a knot inside underneath the hole.
  5. Attach a few scraggly pieces of scrap fabric to the inside floor of the doorway.
  6. Glue the bird inside the doorway.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

UCLA Family Commons and Taxidermy Geese

I have been a very bad girl and have totally neglected my blogging duties as of late.  It's not because there is nothing to write about.  On the contrary, I have been doing some very exciting things and have even acquired a taxidermy Canadian goose that we call Ivan.  He is wearing a sweater that I made out of another old sweater that was worn thin and a popped collar completes the look.  He was a present from Valentino's jean designer.  They closed their showroom and had to get rid of everything.  As I was helping a gorgeous Italian woman try on dresses at Cynthia Vincent's Sample sale taxidermy came up and she happened to have been given the task of getting rid of two taxidermy Canadian Geese.  So, Cynthia happens to love taxidermy as much as I do so I got two- one for each of us.  She named hers Vivian.  She is such a genuinely nice person and donated tons of fabric scraps to my eco-wrapping workshop at the new UCLA Family Wellness Center on 2nd Street.  If you are in the vicinity of the Promenade on the 19th and the 23rd between 12-6 p.m., please bring your presents and I will wrap them for you with scraps of fabric and other strange items.  I promise they will look great.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Eyecandy from the Red, Aqua & Pink group

Yummy colors and awesome designs make me think that pink, aqua, and red mixed in with some creams are the way I am going to go with my holiday gift making.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

House Mannequins

Recently I've been working quite a bit with Annette Tatum of House, Inc.  Her new book "The Well Dressed Home" was just released and for the launch she had me come up with mannequins to reflect themes in the book.  Here are pictures of romantic, eco, resort, and vintage.  I wish work could always be this much fun!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fabric Headband

A simple project perfect for a holiday gift.  I made this one for Annette Tatum with lovely fabric from her House, Inc. line.  Any simple cotton broadcloth or shantung silk will do. It's important that the fabric not be too thick or else it will really bunch up around the curved bottom tips of the headband or too fine or else the texture of the batting will show through so no silk scarves for this one unless there is a thin cotton lining underneath.

What you need:

  • Batting from a jewelry box
  • Hot glue gun
  • A wide plastic headband
  • A quarter yard fabric
  • Felt in complimenting color
  • Scissors

Step 1- Cut the bating and cover  the headband.

Step 2-  Make a line of hot glue at the edge of the headband and glue fabric a 1/4 inch in trimming closely to the shape of the headband.

Step 3-  Line the inside of the headband with felt cut 1/8 inch smaller than the inside of the headband.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quick Sweater Sleeve Kitten Hat for Ideal Bite

This is a quick and easy way to make a kitten hat out of an old sweater sleeve that I came up with for Ideal Bite's Mama Bite column.  For photos of each step go to my Flickr page.   Any soft, light weight knit will do and it is a great way to recycle that sweater that has too many moth holes to wear anymore.  

What You Need:

  • The bottom 10 inches of an adult sweater sleeve (a soft, breathable knit works best)
  • Matching thread and a needle
  • 2 little felt triangles
  • Embroidery thread to match the felt (optional; the regular thread works OK too)
  • Scissors


  1. Cut off the bottom 10 inches of your sweater's sleeve.
  2. Lay it flat with the sweater's original seam on one side, and sew either the cut end or the cuff end closed, depending on which edge you want to be the the top. Sew it inside out if you want to hide the seam or let the seam show as decoration. It'll look like a rectangle with one edge closed.
  3. To make the ears, sew pink felt triangles to each corner of the closed side of the rectangle (the top), sewing through only the top layer of knit.
  4. Still working on the closed side, pinch the middle inch between the two ears and fold down a couple of times so the ears stick up on either side of the fold. Sew through both layers of knit to secure.
  5. If the bottom edge is raw, it should roll up. For a more finished look, roll up enough to cover the edge and hold in place with a stitch on each side of the hat.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aquarium Halloween Costume

This was a really easy costume to make and only took 1/2 an hour.  Chris' costume is a muscle shirt from Venice beach with holes poked for Grippy's arms and a length-wise slit for his head from the neckline.

What You'll Need:

1/2 yard 60 inch blue vinyl (this piece was $3.00 downtown L.A.)
a 55" hoop of some sort- I made this one out of copper fridge tubing and duct-taped it the seam
Florescent yellow duct tape
Wax paper
Clear packing tape
Safe-T-Shapes for the shower floor in fish designs
Bubble wrap
Glue stick
Fabric to make straps out of
Some aquarium figurines- I had a diver and a treasure chest
Optional- battery operated book light


1.  Cut a hoop for yourself out of tubing.  Duct tape it and round out the circle.
2.  Fold vinyl in half width-wise.  On one half, place fish stickers all over and use glue stick to stick paper backings on the vinyl as well- double the fish!
3.  Stick a foot and a half of florescent duct tape to wax paper and cut out a sea plant shape.
4.  Place plant and cut a few more if needed.
5.  Put bubble wrap around the copper hoop then carefully fold the vinyl the other way so the stickers are on the inside and the copper hoop is between the sticker layer and an outside layer of vinyl.
6.  Tape the back seam and the inside back seam up with packing tape.
7.  Poke holes where straps should be and run black fabric through the holes, tie in back.
8.  Drop figurines in and sprinkle glitter in your aquarium.
9. Optional- add a book light to the display.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox Costume on Fox Searchlight

Check out the Fox Searchlight page with my Fantastic Mr. Fox costume and the three other characters in the movie that won the contest!  The film-makers made mine a little crooked but it's still a super-cute video.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Revamped T
Originally uploaded by sonyanimri

This year's Swap-O-Ramarama at Venice's Center for Peace and Justice was amazing!  The cool feature about the Swap-O-Rama which other swaps don't have are the booths with awesome designers helping with makeovers.  KB Vanhorn from Kokolelo had these amazing stencils that she designed.  I used her anchor on my Lacoste and one of her tree stencils for this off-white shirt.  Stephanie Girard of Sweater Surgery had a booth with adorable Hello Kitty, Tree, and letter die cuts.  One of them were cute as a button birds so those had to perch in my tree!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox Costume How-To

Originally uploaded by sonyanimri

Wes Anderson , the incredibly talented director of such notable movies such as Rushmore, and The Royal Tennenbaums is coming out with his claymation adaptation of Roald Dahl's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" over Thanksgiving weekend.  Gen Art and Fox Films co-sponsored a how-to costume competition that I just had to enter.  Gripps had the flu and needed to be held 24/7 so I was literally working on my costume 10 minutes a day for a couple of weeks.  I couldn't believe it when I got the call last week that I actually won for the "Mr. Fox" costume how-to!  Yipee!  My costume uses the simplest of materials and cost less than $7.00 to actually construct which helped it stand out.  Anyone could make this out of stuff lying around the house- I did!

What You’ll Need:

Fox Head:
·      Brown paper grocery store bag
·      Stapler
·      Scissors
·      Foxy red acrylic paint
·      Sponge brush
·      Hot glue gun
·      Sheet of white paper
·      One 8x10 square of each of the following:
o   Pink felt
o   Bright Green felt
o   Off-white felt
o   Dark Brown felt
·      Yarn- 2 feet
·      Black felt top hat (in bear clothing section of the craft store)
Fancy Fox Body:
·      T-shirt
·      Fabric marker in black
Fox Head:

  1. Fold paper bag in half lengthwise.  Cut down the middle and carefully detach handles if there are any. Turn half of paper bag inside out. Set aside the second half for a second fox if needed.
  2.     Fold one corner of the inside-out half over the other until bag forms a pointed nose.  There will be a center line down the front of the face from the existing fold of the side of the bag.  Staple and hot glue in place.
  3.      Using the fold lines already on the bag, cut out ears.  Staple and hot glue in place.
  4.      Paint the whole outside foxy red with your sponge brush.
  5.      Fold your piece of white paper in two.  Cut out two almond shaped eyes.
  6.      Glue eyes on and carve out holes in the center with your scissors.
  7.      Cut two circles out of the green felt.
  8.      Cut ½ inch wide strips out of the brown felt and cut to the length of each eye, hot glue to eyes.
  9.      Cut another ½ inch strip of brown felt for your nose.  Glue to nose as shown in the photo.
  10.    Cut a diamond shape in pink for the mouth and another bigger off-white triangle for the chin.
  11.    Glue half of the pink mouth diamond to the bag and the other half to the off-white felt.
  12.    Poke holes to the outside of each ear and tie one piece of yarn to each side.
  13.    Hot glue top hat to one ear.                                                                                                                          

Fox Body:

1.     Center t-shirt over a hard surface like a piece of cardboard or thick magazine.  Stretch slightly.
2.     Draw a bow tie, four buttons beneath, then the lapel of a tux.

Produced in association with the “Gen Art & Fox Searchlight  “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Halloween Costume Video Competition

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Patchwork Anne of Green Gables Dress

Back to work finally after a LONG break from having baby Gripps.  Currently working on a really fun project creating mannequins for Annette Tatum of House Inc.  This one is for the Quilt show coming up this week.  They are all the fabrics in her new collection made into a patchwork dress with some vintage accoutrements.  I would love to sip a nice cool lemonade on a midwestern porch swing in this!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Halloween Costume Ideas

I used to be a regular on this magazine show called Soaptalk on the Soapnetwork presenting fun and easy last minute Halloween Costumes.  The costumes were wild and over the top yet all of them had the common element of being fairly easy to construct.  Here are some vintage videos to get inspired by:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crocheted Acorn Earrings

It's acorn season so I can't help but post yet another acorn project.  Go grab yourself some before the squirrels get to them first!  As for the beads, you don't have to actually know how to crochet to make these earrings, simply find crocheted beads at the bead store or buy these adorable Artistrywear beads  online.  Other fiber beads would work too- say felted beads would look amazing since having fiber, metal, and wood in one project is just so harmonious.

What You'll Need:

  1. Drop a small dab of hot glue into each acorn cap.
  2. Press crocheted bead lightly into cap, hole side up- making sure the glue does not ooze out of sides.  Hold in place for a few seconds.
  3. Put head pin through gold end cap and make a loop.  Cut excess wire.
  4. Using the G-S Hypo cement, glue gold end cap onto acorn cap.  Place in bowl of rice to dry upright.
  5. Add to jewelry hooks.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quick and Easy Vintage Sari Rag Bracelet

A simple project that I made with an Indian vintage silk skirt that had shredded to pieces.  Any fabric will do but keep in mind that thicker fabrics will make thicker rope.  I find that a fine silk or satin crepe is ideal for this project because it shrinks up so easily when twisted for a soft, pliable, rope.  This project also looks great with two thick pieces of yarn.  A bike handlebar streamer instructional using the same technique coming soon!

What You'll Need:

  • Two 34"x 2" strips of silk or one double the length (longer if your wrist is a little chunkier)
  • A safety pin
  • Needle and thread
  • Bead with big hole

  1. Tie the fabric pieces together at one end in a half-knot.  Just above the knot, pin the strips to your work surface.
  2. Pick up the two pieces of fabric and twist them clockwise.  Continue twisting until the fabric is twisted so tightly that it begins to kink.
  3. Twist the two fabric pieces together counter clockwise.  Continue until they are tightly twisted.
  4. Knot the two cords together securely with your large bead in the knot.  Let go and they will twist and settle into place.
  5. If you used two pieces of fabric, loop the end without the bead together and sew in place.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Acorn Pin Cusion

Fall is in the air and I found some sweet little acorns while on a walk in the woods in Dover, a charming town right outside of Boston.  The caps seemed to come right off so I thought that they would make a cute pin cushion cap.  These would also make great place markers for a dinner party with embroidered or even written names either attached to the acorns or sewn into the fabric.
What You'll Need:
  • Circle to trace, I used a jam jar lid
  • Some yarn or cotton balls for stuffing
  • Scissors and pen
  • Scrap fabric 
  • Acorn caps
  • Glue gun
  • Needle and thread

  1. Trace a circle on your fabric, cut it out.
  2. Fill the center with stuffing.
  3. Sew the edges of the circle and cinch.
  4. Put a dab of hot glue inside the acorn cap and press the sewn edges of the fabric into the cap.