Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sneak Peak!

I feel like I hardly have a moment to spare to even write this post. As happy as I am to have given myself a deadline when products, packing, etc needed to be ready to debut, I feel like there's no way I'm going to get it all done. Slowly but surely everything is coming together.

Hope to see you on Saturday, if you're in Portland! Looks like I'll be on SE 36th between Division and Clinton Streets.

New Red Circle Crafts Items Red Circle Crafts Kits & Patterns

Top Row: Pinata, Cat Bow Tie, Tiny Party Hats for Birthday Party in a Box
Bottow Row: Bunny Plush Toy Patterns, Fox Plush Toy Kit Packaging, Screen Printing Kit

All of these were posted to my Instagram. If you want to see what I'm working on, or how adorable my cats are, that's where to look.

If you aren't local, next week all of my new products will go up into an Etsy store that's still in the making. And then I'll be planning my approach to stores for wholesale accounts. Have I mentioned this is a lot of work? Also a lot of fun. I am SO excited about these products and can't wait to see how people react to them! That's, honestly, the best part about selling at a street fair like this, the immediate customer response.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'll be at the Division/Clinton Street Fair This Saturday

Division/Clinton Street Fair July 26thThis is shaping up to be a pretty busy summer for me. I'm excited to announce that I'm debuting a line of handmade art supplies and craft kits this Saturday, July 26th at the Division/Clinton Street Fair.

Some of the exciting things I'll have:

  • Shrinky Dink Buttons (for sewing on clothes, etc)

  • Plush Toy Craft Kits

  • Upcycled Envelopes

  • Screen Printing Starter Kits

  • Chalk

  • Notebooks

Plus, I hear there's going to be a parade. I'm a sucker for parades.

I'll also have the last of my Karen's Monsters stock available to purchase, with t-shirts at a VERY discounted rate.

The street fair goes from 10 am to 10pm. However the vendors are only there from 10 am to 5pm. I'm not sure where exactly I'll be, but I'll tweet it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


J and I have joked that someone should make a Yogi Bear App that works like the zombie game with geo-tagging picnic baskets, park rangers, etc. I suppose that until someone does that, we'll have to bring our own picnics instead of stealing someone else's.

Here are a few picnicking DIYs to help you on your way to towards that outside eating adventure.

DIY Picnic Basket from Style Me PrettyFirst things first, the picnic basket is key. These from Style Me Pretty are actually apple baskets with some plaid inserts sewn together and inserted in the basket along with lunch.


Mason Jar Straw Lids DIY from That's What Che SaidMason jars are pretty much useful for everything. I love that you could use a regular lid for travel and then switch out the straw-friendly lids for spill-free and anti-bug drinking at the park. This DIY requires some drilling and specialized plastic grommets, but doesn't look too complicated for someone with minimal power tool capabilities.


Picnic Blanket Roll from Purl BeeThis is not a new tutorial from the Purl Bee, but I am still lusting over it. It's a fairly simple blanket, but the ingenious part is really the straps with D-rings used to keep it all rolled up tight. I'm into just about anything that makes spontaneous picnicking possible.


Green Space Travel Case from Design SpongeThis Green Space Travel Case from Design Sponge is really lovely. You don't need to go outside to have a picnic! It would make a great, funny gift for someone or a real statement piece to your boss. Just pull it out at lunch if you normally eat at your desk. "The only green grass I get to see is the grass I bring in myself." Also, that's real grass in the photo. I almost think it would be funnier with astro turf.


Diner En Blanc2013P.S. If you're in Portland, the Diner En Blanc is happening on the 26th. J and I went last year and thought it was pretty awesome.

All photos in this post belong to their respective and linked sites.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Screen Printing Class Success!

Strong Man Stencil Ready to Print

I had such a great time at PDX Skill Share on Saturday. I think the class went great and the feedback I got was really good. Plus everyone got a chance to print! I was a little afraid there wouldn't be enough time and some people wouldn't.

Supplies Set at Each Place

Some lessons were learned.

This class needs about a half an hour of class time for clean up, and more sinks.

15 people, instead of 25 would have been much more manageable. I'm afraid I wasn't able to give everyone the attention they needed.

Students Working Together

I need to spend a few more minutes discussing the actual printing part. I demonstrated, but I should have talked a bit more about troubleshooting any issues people had.

Cardboard squeegees suck. The price was perfect, but if I do this again, I need a different DIY squeegee.

Images for Stencils


I think I did a good job squeezing this class into 50 minutes, but think how much more fun it would have been in an hour and a half or two hour time slot.

More photos from the class here.

If anyone has any photos of my class, please send them my way! You can tag me on facebook, twitter, or instagram or just email me!

Manny w/ his Circus Elephant Printed Notebook

Emily with her Fork & Knife Printed Notebook

Friday, July 11, 2014

Reminder: Free Screen Printing Workshop Tomorrow!

Screen Printing Workshop Prep | Red Circle Crafts

I'm teaching a screen printing with stencils workshop tomorrow! Yes, you can still sign up. It's a day of awesomeness. My class starts at 1pm, though you need to arrive around 12:15 to sign up. More info here about the whole event and sign up process.

I've been a busy bee putting together all the materials for the class, from my own hand-bound notebooks to assembling screens to cutting down cardboard to use as make-shift cutting mats and squeegees.

The alternate title for my class is: Screen Printing at Your Kitchen Table

What: Screen Printing With Stencils (Taught by me!)

Where: George Middle School in St. Johns, Portland, OR

When: Saturday, July 12, 2014 (Event is all day -- 12 - 6pm)

Get free tickets here.


Those photos are all from my Instagram this week.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ice Cream Crafts

Have I mentioned it's still ridiculously hot here? I think my brain is permanently stuck on ice cream. My stomach is apparently in on the ruse. So even my crafting is veering towards ice cream.

Here are a few crafts that may not actually cool you off, but will hopefully delight you as much as they do me.

Ice Cream Sandwich Postcard from She KnowsThese faux ice cream sandwiches are brilliant. The tutorial on She Knows looks simple enough. I was truly fooled when I first looked at them and couldn't understand why someone had written on dessert.


Ice Cream Gift Tags from Eat Drink ChicEat Drink Chic has these adorable gift tags as a free download. They'd be great as an invitation to an ice cream party too.


Ice Cream Pinata DIY from Oh Happy DayOh Happy Day is as obsessed with pinatas as I am. I love the crazy ideas they come up with. I'm totally inspired to make my own ice cream pinata.

All photos in the post belong to their respective linked sites.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DIY Wood & Leather Frames

DIY Frame | Red Circle Crafts

I bought J this print for Christmas. And I'm only now framing it and putting it up on our walls. We're not great at buying each other presents because they end up being presents for ourselves as well. If I had been buying for me, I would have bought the purple elephant.

After much agonizing over how I was going to hang this odd-sized print, I saw this tutorial from Coming Home To Roost. It's perfect! Although I'm a little unhappy with the heaviness of the bottom piece of wood and the wrinkles in fake leather backing.

I chose to use faux leather instead of canvas as is suggested in the tutorial because I wanted something that wouldn't unravel on me. I think after a few days of hanging, the pleather will be nice and smooth. Looking at the photos from Coming Home To Roost, I can see that some of hers have the same problem mine do. The bottom piece of wood doesn't want to sit flat against the wall and hangs out at an angle. I think if I was permanently attaching my artwork to the frame, I could staple high enough that it wouldn't do this so much, but as it stands, I'm just going to have to deal.

Because of a happy accident, I decided to leave a staple sticking a bit out of the top-back to hang it up by instead of adding leather like I did to my other frame.

DIY Frame | Red Circle Crafts

This painting is actually from my mom's recent trip to Sydney Australia. Between the size (metric) and the fact that it's a small piece of unstretched canvas, it was pretty hard to frame. So this worked out perfectly. I also love it with the leather hanger.

I've had a spot on my wall waiting for these two pieces, so I'm happy to fill them up. The artwork seems a little precarious in the frames, but it's not like they'll be knocked about.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July

Patriotic Bean Bags | Red Circle Crafts

I'm attending a weekend extravaganza out in McMinnville for the long weekend. By that, I mean, I'm spending several days with friends where we will play silly games, eat lots of food and probably spend a lot of time laughing.

I helped my friend to make a corn hole game for the Easter party that we're reusing for the 4th. So I promised to bring some new bean bags that matched the occasion better.

Patriotic Bean Bags | Red Circle Crafts Patriotic Bean Bags | Red Circle Crafts Patriotic Bean Bags | Red Circle Crafts

Details: I cut out 4.5" squares of cotton, sewed them together and filled them with dried lentils.

A really simple, but fun project. Plus, they look adorable, even if I'm terrible at matching stripes. It adds charm.

Patriotic Bean Bags | Red Circle Crafts

Enjoy your Fourth of July. I wish you much BBQ, big slices of watermelon, and ahh-worthy fireworks.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's Hot.

Summer in Portland

I sat at my sewing machine for a few hours yesterday before I realized that it was one of the warmest places I could sit in my apartment that wasn't in front of a hot stove. I gave up when I realized I needed to get out the iron.

Portland is unseasonably warm right now. And while I recall working through heat and humidity much worse than this all summer when I lived in New York, I'm calling in a sick day. The cats are as flat as can be in the windows, without any real energy even to annoy each other.

I need to work on putting together the supplies for my Screen Printing With Stencils class that's coming up in a few weeks. I also promised to bring some suitably patriotic bean bags to a Fourth of July Party this Friday.

Instead I drank cold tea, chatted with relatives not dealing with 95+ degree weather and convinced J that we needed ice cream.

Crafting will resume when I can bear to finish a project to post. Coming soon. Portland is good about having short heat waves.