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Friday, December 23, 2011

Handmade Holiday + Stitches

It's been an interesting week.  Somehow I managed to cut the top of my #1 finger washing a LARGE (and very sharp) kitchen knife.  It wouldn't stop bleeding so I had to go to the emergency room and I got 4 stitches.  I didn't think it would affect the function of my right hand (I'm right handed by the way) but oh was I wrong.  This created a bit of a problem for me since, you know, I work with my hands a lot.  Showering, putting my hair up, writing, and many other things became temporarily difficult.  With the holidays coming up this incident was certainly a speed bump on the road to making my family handmade presents.  Warning: gross picture approaching...

After it healed for about a week I was finally able to bend my finger and had time to complete all of my presents before I went home, but not without some bloody finger humor:

 I made my own cards this year for my mom, dad, and sister.  Hand drawn and painted with watercolors; best holiday card ever.  And inside the card?

Sometimes you gotta laugh about the bad things that happen to you.

For my sister, Laura (27), I made her an original pink chubby bear.  I had made another bear like this bigger in blue a while ago that she said I should give to her.  I spent 2+ hours hand embroidering the entire nose of that bear:

and I didn't feel like giving it away as a gift so I made her her own (a little smaller) pink bear with cream accents (cause pink's her favorite color).  Instead of embroidering the whole nose I just did the mouth and the outline and colored in the rest with a fabric marker (sneaky).  

The best part of this bear is that it comes with a removable bow pin (so totally her) that she could borrow from the bear and wear if she so desired which she loved.  So adorable.

As for my mommy, she's always looking for lightweight simple bags that she can take on vacation.  She likes LeSportsac bags because they are both of these things but they're not made especially well because just like with any mass produced item, manufacturing corners get cut to make the bags cheaper.  They also don't hold up especially well overtime.  So I decided to make her a LeSportsac style bag.

She's all about the toned down colors so I had a hard time picking a color scheme that I would be ok with making (I tend to lean in the direction of bright colors).  The bag is a neutral grey coated nylon with maroon zippers and a yellow coated nylon lining.  I think it turned out pretty well.  She's also super specific about her pockets and the direction of her zippers so I made sure to pay extra attention to those details.  Of course, she loved it.

My dad was a little trickier.  My sister always gets him books but I don't really read so I have no idea about any of that stuff and I would also feel weird giving someone a book (unless it was a sketchbook I made).  BUT THEN it came to me!  When thinking of things my dad likes, two things immediately came to mind: golf and Crown Royal Whiskey.  So obviously I went with making him a Crown Royal golf club cover.

I did a drawing of a bottle of Crown Royal, scanned it, colored it, and got it printed on fabric.  I kind of guessed on the size since I didn't know which golf club he would want to use it on.  But it actually worked out really well because there was a cover he had for one of his clubs that was getting old and dirty and his new Crown Royal cover fit perfectly!  I made sure to spray it with some scotch gard since I know he'll be playing out in the rain.

Fits like a glove! (It kinda looks like one too I'm surprised he knew what it was when he opened it, LOL)

Hooray for handmade holiday gifts!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mokuyobi Tees and Web Launch!

Finally it has forced its fun upon us!!  The *NEW* Mokuyobi Threads site is officially launched.  Which means that the new tees get to be released in a superbly neat environment! Not only chock full of new awesome tees but accessories too!  CHECK IT OUT! This now puts an end to the Mokuyobi Threads etsy shop.  Fare thee well Etsy, it was fun while it lasted.  The 'old' etsy shop will now be a topnotch shop dubbed Zipper Teeth Shop where I will be selling awesome individual experimental creations in SUPER limited quantities so keep an eye out for that product-y goodness.

Awesome Arcade

Handmade Club (Front and Back neck)

Make Ideas Real

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brooklyn Art Library

While out and about this weekend I found out about this awesome little space called the Brooklyn Art Library. They archive sketchbooks from around the world sent in through projects they have done once a year since 2010. Unfortunately you can't freely browse the sketchbooks which kinda sucks (that wall is so pretty). BUT you can get a library card for FREE and check out a few sketchbooks at a time to flip through in the library. They also have a bunch of art knick knacks available for purchase after you're inevitably inspired by the sketchbooks. They're located at 103A N 3rd Street in Williamsburg.  

If you want to make a sketchbook for their library, you're in luck!  Right now you can sign up to be one of 5,000 worldwide artists in the Limited Edition Sketchbook Project.  It's pretty cheap and they provide the sketchbook, check it out!

Here's a couple of images from sketchbooks I browsed through to get you excited:
Ellen Abraham- Narberth, Pennsylvania, USA

Lisa Buckley- Seattle, Washington, USA

 David Murphy- Glasgow, Scotland, UK

 Maryam Al-Homaid- Doha, Qatar

Qugnh Tu Truong- Bossley Park, NSW, Australia

Friday, December 2, 2011

Portfolio Photo Shoot & Logo

Yesterday I had a photo shoot for some of my older works for my revamped portfolio site.  It'll be a while until it's 100% ready so don't hold your breath.  Everyone who modeled and helped was awesome.  Here's some behind the scenes photos:

I also did a little portfolio logo for the new site.  Can't wait for it all to come together...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cassette Laptop Case

Since I got my macbook air in July I have been meaning to make a case for it.  One reason I got it was to use it during my trip to Australia so I didn't have to lug around my giant macbook pro.  As things happen I never got to make a case for it because I was super busy (as usual) and I had to shamefully buy a boring neoprene one from the apple store.

So now that I am caught up with most of the short term projects I had planned it was time to get back on top of this one.  I spend a lot of time on etsy and in that time I've seen a ton of those money holders or iPad cases that look like cassettes.  They're usually pretty awesome and also usually made of felt.  Felt is a nice fabric to use because it is super easy to sew with.  Everything else about felt sucks.  It doesn't hold up well, it won't look the same after it gets dirty or after you wash it.  And then there is the dreaded pilling.  I decided to steer clear of that disaster and turned to the next best thing, vinyl.  Turns out vinyl is just the opposite of felt, its evil cousin.  Vinyl is easy to clean and doesn't fray but it is a DISASTER to work with. All of the stretching and pulling that happens when the feed dogs go at it is not quite on the fun list.  Considering, I think it turned out pretty well.  Here's a little inside info on my project:

First I measured my computer and added seam allowance.  Then I made a muslin pattern for how everything would fit together and what shapes I wanted to use.

After cutting all the pieces, sewing, ripping out, resewing, repeat I finally ended up with this.  You're lucky that I didn't make you sit through all of that.

 I sewed the back on, hemmed the top, and VOILA!!!

A perfect fit!

Just in time for my travels to Philly next weekend for the Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar Nov 19 + 20 at the 23rd Street Armory.  If you're in the Philly area come check it out, I'm gonna have some sweet new swag that I might or might not be posting about next week. :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Squiggle Bandana

Trying out some new accessories in the shop while I'm working on the new awesome website.  Soon to be filled with new awesome tees you'll want to get your hands on.  For now, enjoy this awesome Squiggle bandana now available in the etsy store.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Logo Redesign

I started this blog in 2009 and much has changed since then.  Hopefully my design sensibility at least a little bit (for the better of course).  While my old logo (below) was fun and cute it felt like it was lacking something and I was also getting tired of looking at it.  And so it was time for something new!!  First I thought that I would just make a 'hand crafted' version of it in felt just so it would be something new to look at (and something to blog about of course!) I worked on it a little but ended up putting it off for a few months and in the process it got tucked away in my closet somewhere.  By the time I had time to get back to it I wasn't feeling it anymore and went for a whole new thing.

Original Logo

Sewn Felt Logo

Sewn Felt Logo Close-Up

I wanted to do something with an awesome color polo with a zipper pocket so I did a zipper illustration but when you zoom out enough to get the shirt in, you lose all the detail in the zipper which is lame.

And if you zoom too far in you can't tell what you're looking at (even though the colors look so rad).

I decided to ditch the shirt idea and just focus on the details in the zipper illustration even though I drew the zipper to look like it's a pocket sewn into a shirt.  I still think it translates well because it looks like it's sewn onto the blog page, maybe?  I tried it in red which is fun because it kind of looks like lips and adds to the 'teeth' pun but I ended up deciding on the blueish one.  I hope you agree and you like it better than the old logo which you do because it's so much better.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Crazy Cool Button Down

This fun shirt is the result of a commissioned project.  My friend needed a totally rad bday present for his buddy.  This friend of mine, Rostislav Roznoshchik also happens to do some sweet layered patterning work just like the one featured on the shirt below.  So I can't take the cred for the print but the classy construction was all me.  Over some tasty lunch we figured out how to make his patterns on paper into fabric so I could make a swanky bday gift for his bud.  And although my month-long trip to Australia got in the way, I still closed the case on this shirt... eventually.  My new lady mannequin is the model for this winner but the shirt is actually a men's XL.  The shirt will be more at home when it's on a bod with less boobage and more man shoulder action.

Please don't be mad that the pattern doesn't match up, just pretend I planned it and it ads to the mismatched nature of the finished garment.

Fancy Collar Close-Up

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cheeseburger Backpack

I've really done it this time.  Cheeseburger Backpack.  I've combined the two most useful objects in the world.  Cheeseburgers for eating and backpacks for carrying all of your cheeseburgers, obviously.  The though of it was dreamed up by a boy who came to visit my booth at Renegade Chicago in September.  His mom wanted to buy custom backpacks for him and his sister (since I had sold out of everything by that point).  So I showed them all of the pattern fabrics I had and then he pointed at my cheeseburger pillow and exclaimed, "I WANT A CHEESEBURGER BACKPACK!"  And I told him it had never been done before but I was willing to embark on a cheeseburger journey for him.  I guess that pretty much sold it and I'm so glad cause look how awesome it is.  His sister chose 3D glasses which is funny because that's the only other fabric I hadn't made a backpack out of yet.  BEHOLD THE FRESHLY SEWN CHEESEBURGER BAG...

Don't ask me how I got these pieces to match up because I'm not actually sure myself.

The sister's awesome 3D glasses backpack!

Since I was in Australia while they were waiting for their bags to get made I felt bad so I threw in these awesome matching pouches for them (with some super awesome secret stickers inside).  I really love how on the cheeseburger pouch you can hardly see the zipper it just blends in with the mustard on the burger. Zipper burger anyone?

I am also stoked to announce that I really really won't be making any more of these backpacks (really this time).  There's a time and a place for every bag and this backpack style is past its prime.  It needs to move aside for the new, the awesome, the improved.  Honestly I'm just really tired of making this backpack style.  Stay tuned.