Embrace the pain. Turn a boo-boo into a woo-hoo! Each Artist Series Bandages tin contains an assortment of individually wrapped adhesive bandages, printed with a little something to take your mind off being terribly horribly injured.
Further to today’s (unintentional) theme of hand knits, take a look at these wonderful porcelain pieces. Annette Bugansky was a costume designer and she now uses her love of textiles, texture and pattern to create tactile bowls, plates and vases that appear to have been knitted. Just beautiful!
Image Source: Design Nation
You can see Annette’s ceramics, along with the work of other talented British designers here at Design Nation.
While doing one of my regular cruises around the Anthroplogie website last week I came across this divine crocheted throw rug. I adore the randomness of the colour, pattern and scale of all the individual elements that make up this piece. It probably wouldn’t work with the style of my home, but I’m lusting after it regardless.
I love that feeling when I see something that makes me gasp. That’s what happened when I saw the gorgeous indigo and greys in this beautiful image on another of my must read blogs The Style Files… and then… I focused in on the knitted poufs… OMG… not only did I gasp, but my heart did a little flutter. The out of scale use of knitting (or is it crochet?), the chunky, handmade, textured, goodness of those poufs… I sooo love them.
Image source (top): The Style Files Image Source (bottom) Heins Home
See these glorious creations here, from Dutch designer Ineke Visser.
reath is easy to make with materials you probably have around the house – no fancy hot glue guns required! Think outside the square with your paper choice – you needn’t use wrapping paper, it could be magazine pages, plain old white office paper, old comic books, anything! Patterned scrapbooking paper would also look great.
You’ll need the following materials: • 1 to 2 sheets of wrapping paper – I used the same paper in 2 different colour ways. You needn’t limit it to 2 patterns, if you kept to a consistent colour palette you could use any number of patterns or plain colours. • 1 large and one smaller plate, salad bowls or similar to trace around (unless you have a really big compass??) • lightweight cardboard – I used ivory card, but it could just be the side of a lightweight box because it will be hidden. A cereal box would be perfect. The size you’ll need will depend on the size of your bowls. • scissors • stapler • sticky tape • ribbon – roughly 65cm (25.5 inches)
Start by finding your plates or bowls to trace around. The diameter of my large salad bowl is 34cm (13.5 inches), and the smaller one is 21cm (8.25 inches). If your circles are much larger or smaller you will have to adjust the size of your leaves accordingly. The diameter of my finished wreath is 42cm 16.5 inches), which is a great size to hang on the door.
1. Place the large bowl upside down on the cardboard and trace around it.
2. Place the small bowl upside down in the centre of the circle you’ve just drawn and trace around it.
3. Cut around the outside of the largest circle. Then cut across your circle, through the centre until you reach the far edge of the small circle. Next cut across the line you just cut so you now have a + in the centre of your circle. This just makes it easier to cut the small circle out. Cut out the small circle so you end up with a donut shape. Join the open ends of the donut back together with sticky tape. (of course if you have a craft knife and cutting mat you could just cut around the two circles)
4. Draw a leaf shape about 12.5 cm (5 inches) long on a piece of paper, and cut it out to use as a template. Because the tops and bottom of my leaves were different shapes I cut the point off the bottom of the leaf so could easily see which end was the one to attach to the cardboard. I used 64 leaves in total, of which 16 were white. The number of leaves you need will vary slightly depending on how much you overlap your leaves.
5. Roll the bottom edges of the leaf together so they overlap and the sides curl up.
6. Staple the rolled leaf to the bottom, just off centre, of the wreath base so the open end of the leaf is pointing out and down.
7 & 8. Continue rolling each leaf as you go, stapling them in position so they overlap the previous leaf. They need to overlap and be placed close to each other so the cardboard base and the staples aren’t visible. The leaves should be positioned so that they follow the curve of the wreath base. The placing is fairly random, the leaves aren’t in rows. If you are using an accent paper (like my white one) place one for every 4 -6 of the main colour leaves. Make the colour placement random too.
Looking at the back of the wreath you can see that the staples attach the leaves to the center of the cardboard ring, and the leaves fan outwards.
9. & 10. Continue stapling the leaves in place. I found it useful to stop often and hold the wreath at arms length so I could see the overall shape that was being formed. Make sure the tips of your leaves follow the curve of the wreath base.
When you have reached half way stop and go back to your original starting point. Now start again from this point, facing your leaves the other way and going in the opposite direction around the wreath. Make sure that you overlap the leaves at the starting point, so there are no gaps. If this seems a bit too tricky you can always just continue on as you were all the way around the circle so all your leaves will be facing the same way. Complete the circle of leaves.
11. & 12. Tie a half bow in your ribbon so there is a small loop and one short and one long end. Thread the long end behind in the leaves in the top centre of the wreath. Staple the ribbon to the wreath.
The wreath is so light that it can easily be hung with Blu-Tac. I just put a blob each at the top and the bottom of the wreath and one on the top of the ribbon.
And that’s it. Using a stapler makes it pretty quick and easy. If you’re going to give this a go and any of the directions are unclear I’m happy to answer any questions. I hope you have as much fun making this as I did.
If you’d like to link to this tutorial that would be lovely – I’m always happy and grateful for that and I’m all about sharing. But first please take a look at the FAQ page about using my content. Thanks!
I had an urgent order for 75 of my Christmas Love Tree cards over the weekend. (yipee!)
While I was in Double Bay delivering the cards I stopped by the beautiful shop Plane Tree Farm and was delighted to find Maileg advent calendars. They had sold out of the little mice and their matchbox beds, but had the advent calendars and a wonderful range of Maileg pixies in various sizes, dressed in the most adorable knitted clothes. The advent calendars are big and so beautiful… from their toes to the tip of their hats they are about a meter and a half tall. You could stash all sorts of treats in their pockets.
Hi Top Bird, I'm about to be a mom and I’m looking for nice baby announcement cards. Since I really like your taste, do you have any suggestions for cards? Florianne (Amsterdam)
Congratulations on the impending birth of your own wee birdy!
What is it about babies (and come to think of it, weddings), that sends all sense of style zooming out the window when it comes to graphic design? I’ve searched high and low for decent cards for friends’ babies, only to be confronted by row upon row of boring, bad design in varying shades of puke and a catastrophic combination of pastels. I’m always left wondering: where’s the cool stuff?
Invariably, the answer can be found online, at the websites of independent stationers and letterpress companies. Here you’ll find beautifully crafted cards with unique designs and gorgeous illustrations.
Here’s my round-up of the best birth announcements…
As always I was excited on Friday to hear that the latest issue of small is online. And as always it is filled with beautiful imagery and products. Click here to read my last rave about small.
Image Source: small magazine
This beautifully styled fashion shoot, ‘Portraits by Maxine Helfman’, caught my eye with the gorgeous rich colours and the quirky little critters the models are holding.
It turns out that the Luna and Walking Hood dolls are by Aussie artist Fliss Dodd of Udder. Aren’t they magical? Fliss is a mother of a 6 year old and a 3 year old and she started Udder after becoming frustrated with all the plastic and synthetic kids toys on the market. She wanted to be able to give her children a handmade toy made with love from fabric. Check out her fabric stash!
Image Source: Craft Victoria blog
This is what Fliss told me about her whimsical creations: I have been making them for the past 2.5 years and what I love about what I do is creating toys from recycled fabrics and mixing them with new fabrics to create a piece to be loved which was made with love. Some fabrics (even clothing) which may of once been discarded are able to be given a new life. I love creating and fabric is so wonderful to work with because I can really recycle.
Image Source: Udder
I can really relate to what Fliss says about the value of handmade things for children (and for all of us). I want to instill that in my daughter and not have her fall prey to the proliferation of disposable plastic toys. Living in the city in this crazy world I think that’s a hard task, but certainly not impossible. Seeing these Udder delights has inspired me to make some crazy mice for my mouse-crazy girl… now if I could just find the time.
For more Udder magic and whimsy check out Fliss’s blog here, and there is an interview with Fliss on the craft Victoria blog here.
Udder’s etsy shop will be updated with new things tomorrow – check it out here, and there is a “where to buy page” on the Udder blog.