Today our friend Sophie, writer and creator of the most beautiful sewing blog Ada Spragg, visits the blog to share two of her favorite me-made summer weather accessories. Get out your sewing machine, grab some colorful fabric, and get ready to turn up the beet because you’re going to want to stitch up both of these projects ASAP!
Today we travel abroad to Ljubljana, Slovenia, to meet maker Zala Pavsek of Hiškarija—the brand known for handmade notebooks made with eco-friendly papers and Spoonflower fabrics. Hiškarija also offers mindfully crafted children’s games that are simple in design and promise to deliver classic childhood giggles and imaginative playtime. Zala, who has two children of her own, says that the spark of an idea to start her company came to her after creating a wall clock for her son’s birthday. Like many makers in the Spoonflower community, Zala discovered a way to combine her life’s passions with creativity to create a sustainable living doing something she loved. This kind of inspiration always makes our hearts happy!
My day starts with…
“Getting my kids ready for the day and walking them to school. After that I have a cup of black coffee with cinnamon while checking daily emails.”
You might already be planning your handmade resolutions for 2018 (hello, me-made wardrobe!) but let’s not forget those projects that made 2017 the year for DIY! We’ve rounded up the 25 most popular projects of 2017 and after you take a closer look, you’ll be able to see why they made the list. From DIY cactus plushies to the always popular handwritten recipe tea towel, this year’s list will be the inspiration you need for 2018.
Celebrate the holiday season by transforming a family recipe into the perfect gift using Emma Jeffery’s tried and true Handwritten Recipe Tea Towel Tutorial. Spoonflower Berlin crew member Maria shares how she put a German twist on this project using her father’s Stollen recipe in the next installment of our Handmade Holiday Blog Hop!
Maria: Every holiday season I look forward to time spent with my family. While my home in Berlin is only a couple hours north of Dresden, where my parents live, heading home for Christmas is always the most special trip. The excitement that was once filled with gifts and surprises has now been replaced with simple traditions I look forward to year round. My favorite being a slice of my dad’s Stollen, a recipe he only makes once a year. Stollen is a traditional German bread containing dried fruit topped with sugar or icing meant to resemble Jesus as a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths. And while I might be a bit bias, my dad makes the best Stollen! This is my first Christmas working at Spoonflower and after seeing the original recipe tea towel I knew I had to make one for my dad for Christmas. Follow along to learn how to whip one up for your friends and family this holiday season! [Read more…] about A German Take on the Classic Recipe Tea Towel
Not sure what to make for your loved ones this year? Well fear not, because we’ve got you covered with a gift idea for everyone on your list. Show your favorite people how much you care with these sweet and simple handmade holiday gifts that are sure to put you on everyone’s “nice” list this year!
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Whether you’re headed on vacation or a post-graduation trip, traveling can sometimes be challenging when you’re not prepared. We’ve got you covered with our round up 5 DIYs — from travel pillows to sleep masks that you can make with as little as a fat quarter! Before you head out to your next adventure (or spend way too much money on a fancy neck pillow at the duty-free shop), check out these easy travel craft projects.
What travel accessories do you swear by? Let us know in the comments!
Stunning nightdress is inspired by artist’s use of sleeping pills
Past works include a wedding dress made from thousands of old postage stamps
A stunning, floor-length nightdress made out of 2,000 Walgreens prescription labels for sleeping pills is the latest creation of a Minnesota artist, whose previous works include a life-size wedding dress made from thousands of cancelled postage stamps.
Dreaming of Sleep is the title of the new work by Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, an artist from St. Paul, Minnesota, who specializes in making handmade paper garments. It uses materials including cotton, tissue paper and scanned prescriptions custom-printed on Spoonflower’s Woven peel-and-stick wallpaper.
The inspiration for it came to Rasmussen in, fittingly, a dream but derives before that from her own reliance on sleeping pills.
“I’m an insomniac,” she says. “About three years ago, after a particularly restless night, I finally fell asleep in the early morning hours. When I reached a few fleeting moments of sleep, I dreamt about sleeping peacefully. Shortly thereafter the alarm clock woke me and I wrote ‘dreaming of sleep’ on a pad of paper next to the bed.”
“Sadly, a satisfying night’s sleep for me generally requires medication. Dreaming of Sleep is a self-portrait that illustrates my dependence on those staples of the pharmaceutical industry.”
It took Rasmussen, 47, four months and four eight-foot rolls of custom wallpaper to make the four-foot tall nightgown. It involved her cutting and stitching some 2,000 replicas of sleeping pill prescription labels. “I then integrated a secret note to myself into the hem and completed the work,” she says.
Having only recently finished it, she does not plan to exhibit it until her next solo show, which will be in Oregon next year.
Rasmussen calls the nightdress a “sculptural object,” designed for exhibiting rather than wearing. “Although I made it my size, the structure has no give,” she says. “I can’t wear it without damaging it.”
The nightgown has been through various iterations. “I tried numerous material experiments, all of which failed until Spoonflower introduced their custom designed, on-demand, peel-and-stick wallpaper.
“I simply scanned a page full of sleeping pill labels (which I’d been saving for years), uploaded them to the Spoonflower website, and ordered the first of many rolls of wallpaper printed with them. In a week’s time, life-size medication labels appeared at my doorstep.”
“This product provided me with a paper-based substrate that mimicked the physical qualities of paper labels better than fabric reproductions. I found that if I stuck the wallpaper to another paper, I could cut the rolls of wallpaper down into individual plates and sew them to the surface of the paper and cloth gown.”
Rasmussen describes herself as “an artist who creates mixed media and handmade paper garments.” She exhibits in galleries and museums internationally.
She has created other unusual garments in the past. The most similar to her latest work was a life-sized wedding dress called Mail Order Bride that she made in 2007 out of thousands of canceled postage stamps, collected from around the world over eight years. It was designed as a comment on the mail-order bride business and its growth in the Internet age.
Rasmussen is also a full professor of studio arts at Metropolitan State University in St Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches textile design and shares her enthusiasm for harnessing the latest high-tech innovations, such as Spoonflower’s peel-and-stick wallpaper. “Such technology, coupled with quality products, opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities.”
As well as using handmade paper and now custom wallpaper in her art, Rasmussen is always on the lookout for other unusual new materials. “When I see tomato paste, dog hair, sausage casings, spent tea bags or dried fish skins, I envision a work that may be transitory in nature but rich in surfaces. I derive great joy from transforming everyday materials into something personal, meaningful and beautiful.”
Dreaming of Sleep: Details
Mixed media with handmade paper (cotton, Thai unryu, tissue paper, scanned prescriptions printed on Spoonflower peel and stick wallpaper, and secret note to self) 28”w x 49”h x 11”d 2015.
“It was intentionally executed in a simplistic shape and lack-luster palette to refer to the sterile, clinical fashion associated with the medical community,” says Rasmussen.
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen – Artist’s Statement
“When I was a little girl, a family member told me that eating tomatoes would make me “big, strong and hairy chested.” I avoided eating tomatoes for twenty years.
“As a general rule, my sculptural work is inspired by childhood myths or adult anxieties regarding my body. Like my childhood association between the consumption of tomatoes and the growth of chest hair, I sometimes find body-stories or body-experiences to be simultaneously comical and horrifying. It is often these extremes in emotional reactions that drive me to produce the work, in an attempt to better comprehend each situation.”
“I use clothing as subject matter because it provides me a ground on which to investigate identity and corporeality. My garments are metaphors. They can encompass narrative qualities, illustrate and dissolve bodily fears, or act as talismanic devices.”
2016 may just be “The Year of the Handmade Undies” and we’re totally embracing it. Handmade intimates? File under: Things we love. Today, we are so excited to have Spoonflower’s Aussie friend and maker, Sophie, of Ada Spragg stop by the blog to share some pro-tips for making your own under-garments using Spoonflower’s new undie-friendly Cotton Spandex Jersey. Are you ready to get intimate with your sewing projects? If yes, prepare to be inspired!
Sophie: Have you ever considered sewing your own intimates? If not, today’s project will open your eyes! I like to think of sewing underwear as the ultimate quickie project. It’s so easy. And fun. And we all love satisfying sews. Did I mention it uses hardly any fabric at all? Less than a fat quarter per separate piece. I don’t know about you, but I always feel a sense of smug satisfaction at making something with as little fabric as possible…kind of like using up every cut of meat. And when sewing with such a small quantity of fabric there’s a sense that, well, if things don’t work out then you haven’t wasted 3.5 yards of Silk Crepe de Chine. And if you’re already sewing most of your own clothes or a good portion of them, sewing underwear feels like next level self-sufficiency.
Today kicks off the first day of our second annual 12 Days of Design! We're delivering 12 days of design tips directly to your inbox to help you create your first, or next, textile design! If you haven't signed up, it's not too late–sign up now!
Sometimes the hardest part of fabric design is just getting started. It's common to feel completely uninspired, but luckily there are a million ways to get the creative juices flowing! We'll start this year's series by sharing our favorite places and ways to find inspiration. How do you get inspired? Please share in the comments below!
1. Visit a downtown: Hit the streets in a urban area to be inspired by the city buzz and bright lights!
What a festive November it’s been for the Spoonflower team! While we’re busy prepping for the end of the year holiday party in the Greenhouse, we’re also in the final weeks of our Softies for Mirabel handmade toy drive. If you’re just learning about this wonderful drive today, don’t worry, there’s still time for you to sew, knit, or crochet a softie for the drive! Please mail or drop-off all softies to the Spoonflower headquarters by Saturday, December 5th. For more donation drop-off details, please click here.