Author Archive for robayre

POCKET LETTERS!

pocket letter addiction header

I have been wanting to make a pocket letter (using trading card sleeve pages as a unique way to snail mail) for YEARS.

Side note: It wasn’t until googling it for this post that I learned Pocket Letters is apparently trademarked by Janette Lane, and Janette’s website is a great source to start out at.

You can find bajillions of inspirational posts and videos online, and tips and tricks for how to create, send and store your pocket letters.

In general, pocket lettering appeals to the crafty, scrapbooker, and snail mail loving types. You can find templates that spell out precisely what to put in each specific pocket, but as a MAIL ART enthusiast myself, I just love the basic idea as groundwork to then take and be as creative as possible. One dilemma I face while making a pocket letter is that I want most of the pockets to be filled with items that the recipient can take out and use regularly and love, BUT I’ve seen a lot of posts where people store the pocket letters they’ve received in 3 ring binders, to flip through and enjoy later. If you take the elements out of the pocket letter, that leaves empty pockets that aren’t so pretty to look at later. I see a lot of the scrapbookers will even fuse and seal pockets shut so that they are not even meant to ever be opened, but just admired from the outside. Meanwhile, I’ll insert a garland that I hope the recipient takes out and hangs up in their home and brings them joy whenever they see it, rather than sit inside a binder. But, that would leave an empty pocket, if your recipient wants to save your letter. I love that idea of collecting pocket letters, but how do I find a middle ground? I still haven’t gotten there yet.

When I first found out about pocket letters a few years back, I set about creating one for my friend Anna (Alphabet Pizza). I filled a few pockets, and then fell down the overwhelming inspirational rabbit hole and quickly got overwhelmed. The partially started pocket letter floated around my studio for years before I agreed to do a valentine swap with Anna this year. I set my sights on finishing up this Valentine themed pocket letter for her AND I DID IT!

Pocket Letter to Anna

Once I got going, I had SO MUCH FUN and I completely spaced out on taking any pictures before rushing to drop it in the mail. Fortunately, Anna took some pictures and then posted them online so I stole those. It’s safe to say, I’m officially addicted to Pocket Lettering!

I like sending my mailart naked, meaning no envelope. My hope is that it can brighten the day of that many more people along the way, you can read more about that here.

Pocket Letter to Anna

I tried to make it fun, happy and pretty from both sides. Instead of sharing what was in each pocket, I’m going to make a master list below this post that includes a ton of ideas for things to include in pocket letters for future reference.

Pocket Letter to Anna

I will however share my favorite thing, which was one of the very last items I made – a “coloring book” style card. It says You Do You, which is an inside reference for Anna. I colored one in myself and included a couple others that were blank for her to use and/or share.

One of my favorite things I made for the #pocketletter was this little illustrated/coloring book style image, specifically for Anna. I scanned my drawing from my sketchbook, and printed out a sheet of them. I colored one in, and gave it, and a few blank o

After I sent the pocket letter off, I found a test sheet of the coloring book image and stuck it up with some colorful washi tape on the wall by my side of the bed. It makes me so happy to see it every day.

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Anna was so excited about the pocket letter that she made me one in return.

Pocket letter by Anna

Mine was a mix of “valentine” and red themed, hers was so stylized and so very Anna and I LOVE IT.

Pocket letter by Anna

My favorite thing from her letter was the fact that you can fit the fuji instax mini pics inside makes me want to get the mini so bad! I have a fujimax, but the pictures are about twice as big so they wouldn’t fit in one of these pockets. That being said, I do however have a polaroid pogo and those would probably fit fine in a pocket. AND, I know that the “traditional” pocket letters are made from these trading card sized pages, but I also really want to expand and try out the square coin collector pages, and various project life pocket pages, so I may find something that fits the fuji max pics yet.

Ok, so here we go… a list of ideas to put in your pockets. I made it as a graphic so you can pin it to your pocket letter pinterest boards.

Pocket Letter

If you haven’t tried pocket lettering I hope you do soon and get as excited about it as I am.

Also, I’d love to hear of creative and unique ideas/items that you put or received in pocket letters as well. Leave a comment below!

Right Now I’m…

AnticipatingUgh, this is something I need to work on. I just wrapped up a few projects and so now I’m in a slump of “what to do now?” Not that I don’t have anything to do, I have plenty more projects going, but I’m needing a BIG thing to look forward to and excited about.

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Buying  Some lovely fabrics from a trip my mom and sister and I took to Linda Z’s in Arlington Heights and Stitchworks in Evanston.

Knit sock

Creating I knit a SOCK! Just one sock, lol. I remember first attempting to knit a sock back in probably 2002-2003 and got to that heel turn and couldn’t figure it out. I have tried several times since then and just never pushed through. Finally, with the help of my sister, I got it done. Pictured above, Matt modeling the sock I knit. Now onto a whole pair.
Eating My mom, sister and I are doing Seattle Sutton over Lent, and I’m so thankful to them for gifting it to me because it is incredibly expensive. I’ve always said my whole life that I just wish I could get a Jetson’s type pill meal so I could just pop in my full and balanced nutrients, and move on, and not have to worry about food. This is by far the closest I’ve come to that.
Feeling Relieved that I’ve gotten a few big deadlines wrapped up, for work-work and for my personal work.
Listening to true crime podcasts. Someone Knows Something,  Atlanta Monster, Family Ghosts, Dirty John, Cold Case Files the podcast, The Vanished Podcast,
Loving Our humidifier. Matt’s parents handed us down their old one a year ago and I swear that this thing has transformed me from starting to HATE winter, back to loving it again. It’s all about avoiding the dry air! I think I probably drop a couple gallons of water into the air every single day in our home. Before, I was trying to use a baby’s room mister, but still getting bloody noses and my hands and fingers were so dry they would crack and peel. 
Missing  The 80s and 90s. I had a very vivid dream a while ago where my mom and I were able to go to a mall that was the 80s. We didn’t go back in time, but somehow found ourselves transported to this time. The fashions! The prices! Even though we were in an 80s mall where you wouldn’t have a shopping cart, I had one and was stuffing my cart full of stuff because I was so excited to be able to bring all this stuff that was straight from the 80s, back to current day. The dream really stuck with me and for weeks I couldn’t stop thinking of things from the 80s and 90s that I missed and wished that I could go back to get a glimpse of again. One thing in particular that I think of all the time anyway is the store chain Arcadia, that I finally found out was probably only in our area as a test market because it was part of Carson Pirie (Scott) which is a Chicago based business. Arcadia was the most amazing stationery/gift shop store. It was my favorite store at malls and I remember dreaming as early as 5th or 6th grade that some day I’d be able to design my own paper products because of it. What I would do, just to see pictures of those stores again, and the products. I remember lines of paper products, one that really stuck out to me and I had a bunch of, was a white matte on white gloss stripe motif. Spiral bound notebooks, folder, pencils, papers, etc.
Procrastinating – Sending in my latest Art-o-mat series. It’s complete (I’m embarrassed to admit, 5 years in the making), I have photographed each piece. and now need to package them all up. I also ordered blocks for my next series which I’ll begin, once I have the last series sent off.
Reading – I’ve been so busy I haven’t been reading at all, but I need to get back to some books I was enjoying, but put down when my schedule got crazy.
Seeing  We went to the movies for the first time in almost a year and saw the new Star Wars movie.
Watching  It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these posts so I’m just gonna list a bunch of things we’ve watched and loved. At Home With Amy Sedaris, Love, Lady Dynamite, The Good Place, Last Man on Earth, Broad City, Difficult People, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Alias Grace. Oh, and always watching whatever true crime docs I can, wherever I can. 
Wanting –A whole wardrobe that reflects my pinterest fashion board, Oh, and anything else in my regular wishlist, lol. 

Right Now posts

Pattern January 2018 part 3

View part 1 here

View part 2 here

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Day 21 – Rainbow. I recently did a rainbow pattern and I love it so much that I decided to expand on the idea and make another pattern that can go in the same series, but STRIPES!

Pattern january

Day 22 – IKEA. Last year I started a dollhouse pattern for the theme house or home, but had such high expectations I was kind of frozen with the fear of screwing it up. This year I started tackling it more, inspired by the flisat dollhouse by IKEA (which I just happened to purchase earlier in the month as well). I want the pattern to have each dollhouse filled with dollhouse furniture and decor when it’s done, but I don’t know… still afraid.

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Day 23 – Scribble. When I was in college we had to do a “portrait” of our foot done entirely in scribble (one continuous line) emptying a ballpoint pen. I loved how everyone’s scribble is different and unique, like handwriting. Some people have all back and forth and some people are all circles and mine is a combination of loops and hard turns.

Pattern january

Day 24 – Fly. One thing that is so great about Anika’s prompts are how most themes are words that can be interpreted in many ways. I was stumped for a while on this day’s theme, with just the image of a house fly pattern stuck in my head. It wasn’t until later, when I did a search in my flickr archives for the word fly that I saw “Flying Geese” and realized of course I had to do a watercolored version of my flying geese quilting. I love how this piece came out.


Pattern january

Day 25 – Garden. I hadn’t done a “little art book” pattern yet, so I drew and painted these cuties, my favorite from our garden, snap peas.

Pattern january

Day 26 – Slow. A water and lazy river inspired watercolor lined piece


Pattern january

Day 27 – Ends with “ing”. String!

Pattern january

Day 28 – Outline. Based on my grass paintings. The base was acrylic paint applied with a roller, then I painted white silhouette “outlines” in white and then came back in with green, and then finally added the veins.

Day 29 #patternjanuary #birdhuse This one gave me a lot of grief, similar to “dollhouse” last year, I have/had such high hopes that I kind of become paralyzed with fear of screwing it up. It’s funny how I had posted a pic of a cute little birdhouse earlie

Day 29 – Bird House. A work in progress, watercolored quilt blocks with birdhouses as the center. This piece got me excited to paint and decorate a real birdhouse. I’ve added a scalloped shingle roof, but no paint yet.

Patternjanuary

Day 30 – Skate. Letters were hand cut from gelatin prints made with my handcut paper stencils. Originally there was going to be a rollerskate at the end of each WEEEE, but then I nixed it.

Patternjanuary

Day 31 – Night Sky. While I was working on the tropical themed piece, I realized that the hexagon kind of resembled a coffin. I loved that initial piece so much that I decided to continue with the theme, and inspired by the coffin idea, make a moon/night pattern. Originally I wanted the moons to be at different phases, but I did one and I was afraid I was going to screw it up, so I added some in digitally for the time being. You can see that here.

Thank you for following along on my PatternJanuary project. I’m so glad I participated again this year and am proud of the work I created and have begun. I hope I can finalize many of these and use them for future projects.

I’d also love to invite you to visit and follow me on instagram, as I share most of my work and WIPs there first. Have a scroll through my hashtag #robayrepatterns and feel free to reach out with any inquiries.

Pattern January 2018 part 2

View part 1 here

Pattern january

Day 11 – Rhymes with itten. I still want to add color to this pattern

Pattern January

Day 12 – Ogee.  See more process images on instagram

Pattern January

Day 13 – Make up. I made circles in a “makeup” color palette and then drew a few patterns over them.

Patternjanuary

Day 14 – Tropical. This is my favorite pattern from the whole month. It was a very time consuming watercolor piece, much larger than showed here, but I think it was worth it.

Day 16 #patternjanuary - “Circle or Cube?” Another one that came to me as I fell asleep the night before. All I could think of was Qbert. Only, the original vision had the line work done with a blue ball point pen, shading in watercolor, and all of it wou

Day 15 – Circle or Cube? I immediately thought of Q-Bert

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Day 16 – Antique. This piece was inspired by the tiny fabric patterns from the 30s. While I was working I decided to try only half with the additional dots and leave half plain, because I rather liked the plain, but once I scanned it, I liked the more detailed part of the pattern after all.

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Day 17 – Instrument. Another favorite. A wax paper comb. I drew the combs in Paper by 53 and then added the wax paper and music notes in photoshop.

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Day 18 – Stay Warm. Watercolor illustration and then assembled at the desktop in photoshop

This is a hot mess. Day 19 #patternjanuary -#chevron This is a piece I started years ago at the peak of my chevron obsession, and not even halfway through I decided I was over chevron. I decided to hunt it down and finish it. It looked lame, so I thought

Day 19 – Chevron. This was my least favorite pattern from the month, mostly because I’m tired of chevron pattern.

 

Day 20 #patternjanuary - Favorite Food. But who can pick just one? I can see this as an ongoing pattern as I think of other things to add. It started out pretty straight with seedless watermelon then started getting oddly specific with my grudge with jimm

Day 20 – Favorite Food. Illustrated in pencil and watercolor with added cheeky comments

There will be one more post coming to wrap up Pattern January

Tips for Making Quality Kusudama

Gelli arts kusudama

A friend inquired yesterday about how to make one of the kusudama balls that Matt and I make each year for Christmas ornaments. I realized I never shared the ornament we made for Christmas 2017.

Gelli arts kusudama

I thought I’d pop in again to share the ornament and some quick tips that might help make your ornament go smoother. We’ve done it now for 10 years! Only 7 actually fit on the tree, because I kept having to relearn the same mistake for the first 3 years. That brings me to tip #1.

#1 Start with 3″ square papers for a 6″ diameter ball.

Unlike origami where you start with one piece of big paper and it folds down to a tiny size, the finished kusudama ball will actually be roughly twice the size of one square paper that you start with. The first year we probably used a 6″ square and ended up with a foot wide “ornament” that is really just table decoration now. The next year, trying to learn from my mistake, I think I referenced the instructions again and made 5″ squares, still not small enough. The third year, I thought I was going smaller yet, and still did a 5″ piece, both of these ended up being 10″ balls that are also too big to fit on a tree, and sit alongside the gigantic one for holiday decorations.

Gelli arts kusudama

#2. Origami paper is not preferable for a long term keepsake kusudama ball.

We’ve done a few in origami paper and after a few years of storage and use in between, the corners have all gotten mangled. The paper is just too thin and flimsy. In previous years, we have used recycled magazines, origami and wrapping paper. Christmas 2016 was the first year that it occurred to me to use a paper I decorated myself. I picked a color scheme and used regular office paper with gelatin prints on the front and back. I use basic, cheap craft paint ($1-$2 a bottle) on my gelli plate and the added layers made the paper firm, but not too heavy to fold, or the ornament too heavy to hang from a branch of the Christmas tree.

Gelli arts kusudama

3. It takes a lot longer to make one than you might think

You fold down and glue 60 squares of paper, into 12 flowers with 5 petals each.

I remember the very first ornament we made, I started out thinking if it went quickly enough, maybe we could decorate a whole tree with these handmade ornaments! That was a joke. One, because we made it TOO BIG, and Two, because the paper was so big, it took us way longer to fold and glue Three Since it was our first time doing it, we were learning as we went, and we had to reference the tutorial a lot and that added time and Four, we used white craft glue like the instructions said. Now, we have it down to a science, don’t need to reference the tutorial, and can pump it out in an efficient manner. Still, it takes the two of us working continually about an hour to make an ornament (just the folding and gluing, not including the printing of paper and cutting it down to size, etc.). It takes 2 hours for just me to make one. 10 years later, we have 10 ornaments (7 that actually fit on the tree) and I like having one for every year as a mark of our tradition.

Gelli arts kusudama

4. Use a hot glue gun

The tutorial we originally referenced instructs you to use white glue. Um, no. That will easily triple or quadruple your assembly time and will result in a lower quality finished piece, with a shorter life span. I also tried a double sided sticky tape (like a tape runner), also a no! Every year when I take them out again I have to kind of “fix” the original 3 (white glue and tape runner) and that means gluing them back together again because these adhesives start coming apart over time. We now use a glue gun and it goes SO FAST and the pieces have stayed together marvelously. You have to know how to use a hot glue gun, be safe and efficient. There’s no take back if you glue something together wrong and you want to get the pieces together with fairly good precision. That being said, Matt glued this year and maybe last year’s pieces together, while I folded. If you look at our pieces you can see the meeting point tips aren’t perfect, but off much more and things might not meet together to glue.

Gelli arts kusudama

5. Make sure you work space is clean

There’s nothing worse than soiling a piece you’ve invested a lot of time on.

Here are all of my previous kusudama posts, so you can see the other ornaments we’ve made, individually as well as in the collection.

The original tutorial we referenced has changed, and is now asking for donations and that people don’t share or direct people to the instructions? (how will people be able to donate if you get no traffic), but I’m sure there are tons of other instructions out there by simply googling it.

If you make one and share it to your blog, I’d love to check out the link. Thank you!

Pattern January 2018 part 1

January 2018 was my third year participating in Anika Starmer (aisforanika)’s #PatternJanuary project. Anika shared the following list of 31 prompts for the month and participants make patterns.

I’m sharing this now so that everyone can see and hopefully be inspired to join me in Pattern January 2018! @aisforanika just announced her list and I know she works hard on organizing it. I try not to look ahead, and just deal with each prompt as it come

I’d like to share the patterns I made in 3 posts and I’ll try to keep the commentary on each to a minimum.

Pattern January day 1 pop

Day 1, Pop. I made this cute and quick theme digitally, a combination of the Paper app, as well as photoshop on the desktop, and used my hand lettered font.

Ultra Violet Pattern January day 2

Day 2 – Ultraviolet. 2018′s Pantone color of the year. If you click over to this instagram post, you can read more (and slide through more images) to learn more about the development of this pattern, including referencing old images in my flickr archives.


#patternjanuary

Day 3 – Aquarium. This piece was inspired by the Wilco song I am Trying to Break Your Heart, AND the Heather Ross goldfish patterns. Once again, you can visit the instagram post to sroll through more progress images and inspiration pics.

#patternjanuary

Day 4 – recipe. For this pattern I ended up using some elements from a pattern from last year, added new and created a recipe card. See Instagram to see a flip video of the recipe card in action.

Pattern january

Day 5 – Tourist. I thought of Hawaiian shirts and made my own Hawaiian pattern. See Instagram to see progress pictures and the most adorable dress made from this pattern.

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Day 6 – Shoes. I referenced a picture I had taken of a bunch of Chuck’s and made this pattern. You can see that reference picture and progress shots at instagram.

I don’t know I dragged my heals so long on day 7 #patternjanuary #letsmakepatterns I want to make a bunch little watercolor illustrations of planted houseplants, but after I made the #stringofpearlsplant, I got distracted by the pattern the plant itself m

Day 7 – Plant Lady. This piece is a work in progress. I have actually made more plant patterns and so I need to scan and put them together still.

Pattern January winter

Day 8 – Winter. I’m sad to think this was actually my only pattern all month that was made from cut paper stencils.

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Day 9 – Spirit Animal. I drew a Bison, scanned it and added watercolor. I would like to adjust this, but we will see.

Pattern January

Day 10 – craft. What says craft more than the variable plethora of adhesives. I made quick sketches of a few from my collection.

I’l be back with the next 10 patterns shortly.

 

Autumn Chalkboard 2017

Chalkboard calendar fall 2017

Yikes, I’m really late sharing this! I haven’t even erased it either, to begin the winter one, so I’m gonna have to try and recall everything that might have happened since late December. Things of note from the fall:

We continued sleeping outside in our tent until mid October, (I think!) From August to October, almost entirely sleeping in the tent at night. We should just build a yurt in our backyard. Our neighbors probably think we are CRAZY. All the same, as Matt is trying to rush to spring, and I’m not there yet (I would still appreciate a couple more good snows), I realized the other night that I do have one thing to look forward to as it gets warmer, and that is sleeping out in our yard again.

I went to the Dr. for regular check ups, like a real grown up adult! This is huge for me, as I didn’t have regular Dr.s for the longest time because I’m a hypochondriac AND terrified of going to the Dr. I can’t stress how important this is for me, and how much peace of mind it brings.

Finally Finished my Art-0-mat series and ordered boxes to send them in. Right now I’m wrapping up photographing and documenting them. I’d like to make a little video to promote this series, like last time.

I had the best day! I finally got to do something I've wanted to do for SEVEN YEARS! Ever since #docrwells was a baby I wanted to get pictures taken with him in a real photobooth, but as they are a dying technology and fewer and farther between, I literal

I got to take my niece and nephews to a real photobooth for my birthday! This is something I had been wanting to do since my oldest nephew (turning 8 soon) was a toddler.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

 

Lucky Winner of Loop Giveaway

A little somethin'-somethin' I've been working on

I have had incredibly good luck in Instagram Giveaways. Knock on wood. Side note: I was just saying that ever since I started the habit of flipping pennies (where I pick up pennies whenever I see one, and if it is tails up, I flip it and returning it for the next person to find it heads-up, and lucky) that almost all of the pennies I find are tails up. I rarely find heads up pennies on the ground. Maybe I’m building up a cache of good luck, or maybe this is why I have such good luck winning on instagram ;) Side-side note: My last Grass & Stars zine was luck themed. Well, and I’ve hosted a few giveaways on instagram myself, so maybe it’s just the cycle of good karma.

My friend Courtney and I both won this print from Pars Caeli.

My friend Anna and I both won a pin from Phrasing For Light.

I think I posted about it earlier on my blog, but I won the book How to Make It by Chronicle Books, and along with it a moon print by Sycamore Press.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and highly recommend it. I have been very slowly going through it since I won it in late summer.

I won a $10 gift certificate from Lovely Somethings (a paper boutique in Ohio) and have been saving it until I find just the right thing.

Very recently I won a felted art piece by Woodland Tea Time.

My renegade giveaway haul

And FINALLY! the reason for this post was because of the HUGE Haul I won from a Renegade Chicago loop giveaway (not to be confused with a Chicago Loop giveaway, Chicago nerd humor, sorry). When Rosa (Muro Jewelry) was coming to town she promoted a loop giveaway of a collection of Chicago Renegade vendors. I had to follow each vendor, like and comment (probably, but can’t remember the exact details) on their pictures for the giveaway for a chance to win.

When we were leaving Renegade I got a message that I had WON! It was so much fun to open, everything was wrapped beautifully and I even recorded an unboxing of it, but the video was sooooo long, so instead I just did a flat lay to share all the goodies.

The box included pieces by:

1. Naturally dyed napkins by Khazanmsp

2. Earrings by Natalie Joy Jewelry

3. Toiletry bag by Gray Market Design

4. Candlestick holders by Willfull Goods

5. Little geometric porcelain bowls by Lauren hb Studio

6. 5 Free, Vegan nail polish by Claws Out

7. Notebook by Genna Cowsert Papergoods

8. 3 legged Jewelry Dish by Baronbi Studios

9. Little wood fired bowl by Buchenot Ceramics

10. Multipurpose craft tool (pompoms, weaving, bracelet making, etc.) by The Loome

11. And last but not least, my personal favorite, necklace by Muro Jewelry

Thank you to all the vendors for sending such wonderful treasures. I LOVE Handmade and all of these pieces will be cherished.

arm 3 -Found Art Tuesday

Now time to get back to entering more giveaways! Wish my luck! Fingers crossed!!

Keeping my

Drifting Off and Cloud Rainbows

Rainbow cloud pattern robayre

Earlier this year I read this where a person said that before falling asleep they think of the people they like, receiving good news. I think about that occasionally ever since reading it because 1. it is such a sweet and altruistic idea, and makes me so happy. 2. Maybe what we think of in those moments before we sleep can be seen as a snapshot of our inner thoughts and true being. and 3. Now I like to ask people what they think about in the moments before they fall asleep.

Matt said he doesn’t think, and I believe it. His head hits he pillow and he’s out (sometimes even before that point). Matt’s Mom said she counts.

I almost always like to think of art and making. Creating, art materials, concepts and ideas around art.

When I was young I used to have insomnia. When I was in college we were required to keep a daily sketchbook (a page for each studio class each day). I slept with my sketchbook in the bed next to me, and that is probably when I started thinking of art before sleep, and also when I probably stopped lying in bed all night watching the clock of doom tick away. Often, I’d reach over and scribble out ideas or sketches that I had in half (or full) dreams. It’s where I had the idea for my ongoing Circle Series. Actually, at that point, I didn’t have my sketchbook in bed with me, so I rushed into the kitchen and drew this out on my dry erase board on the fridge. I had been wanting to work in a way where I could use a lot of different mediums and styles, and still incorporate them into one cohesive body of work.

I didn't want to share my next #pattern until I shared more of my swan patterns, but they still aren't done so here is #Bright for #patternjanuary. My idea was scribble-like rainbow suns, and I built most of it in #paper53, and assembled it as a repeating

Earlier this week I had another one of those ideas right as I was falling asleep. I grabbed my phone this time and used an app to scribble it out. I had the idea of the “Bright” pattern I made (above), but cutting the circle in half, essentially making it into a rainbow shape. Originally, in my head I think the half circle rainbows would become like a scallop pattern, rainbow next to rainbow, next to rainbow.

Rainbow cloud pattern robayre      Rainbow cloud pattern robayre
On the left the idea I scribbled out at night, and on the right, one of the final “cloud rainbows”

I’ve been thinking that I should try some patterns that are not so tightly fit. A lot of the patterns I make are pretty packed because when I use fabric and sew I know that if things are too spread apart, and fabric is cut small, you don’t get to see much of the pattern. I’ve just long preferred tiny patterns on fabric, ever since my first days of making yoyos as a teenager.

When I thought of this new pattern, I thought it might be nice to switch it up. I thought of it more in terms of larger fabric pieces (fashion or upholstery), perhaps because of the influence of Society6 and Spoonflower on me. I also have been working on a different scallop pattern series already, with gelli printed papers, so I decided to really go with a “rainbow” feel. Since the rainbows would be more spread apart, I thought I needed to add another element, so I thought of adding clouds to the background, and that was when I had the idea to add an actual scallop, cloud-like edging, to the outside of each rainbow.

rainbow cloud pattern

The whole pattern feels kind of dream-like, so it was appropriate that it came to me the way that it did. Here is a 3×3 repeat of the pattern, so you can see what it looks like on repeat overall.

Last night I had another idea, only, stupidly I thought the idea was concrete enough that I’d remember it in the morning and of course, it’s gone. Word to the wise, dream ideas are never concrete. Maybe it will come back to me again tonight.

What do you think of before going to sleep?

 

Save

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Haul 2017 Edition

Whoops! I completely forgot to share my Renegade haul from September

Renegade post coming soon

This is everything my sister and I bought at Renegade Chicago, September 2017.

What’s funny is that I haven’t allowed myself to take any of my items (pie aside) out of the bag I have everything in, in my studio, until I do this post. I didn’t want to lose track of all of the business cards, so I could link back to everything. Plus there are a few things in here that are gifts for other people and I didn’t want to spoil any of them.

Starting at the top the left and zigzaging,
Fabric Origami Star Banner by Twenty Nine States
Fingers crossed relief print, and eyeball print patch are from The Diggingest Girl,
The etched ginko notebook is from Cardtorial,
Rootbeer Float chocolate Bar (my sister’s) by Chocolate Twist,
2018 Moon Calendar (my sister’s) by Margins Imprint,
Ceramic hanging planter and air plant (my sister’s) is from Kelso Doesn’t Dance,
Jewelry (my sister’s) from Muro Jewelry
They are kind of covered up, but Pick N Mix print cards by Sean Mort (My sister gifted these to me later)
The hello card was one my sister made at the Paper Source booth
Lightning Bug illustration card (my sister’s) by Methane Studios,
You Are Beautiful stickers and keychain (my sister birthday gifted to me later) by You Are Beautiful,
Reclaimed wood convex mirror by Bergeron Woodworks (my sister gifted to me)
Shark softie baby rattle (my sister’s) by Chipper Handmade,
More Muro Jewelry (mine),
Skull ring by Tough And Pretty,
We Hate Everything Together magnet by 6by6Arts,
Cards and pinback button by La Familia Green
Green monster softie by Mary Wells Design,
Sticker and skull felt brooch by Migration Goods,
and Blue Cheese Praline Pear Pie by Justice of the Pies

We had a pretty good haul this year and I was happy to see a lot of new shops as well as a more indie feel overall. I have been feeling more and more lately that Renegade was getting to be so big and so polished that it was turning commercial, and should no longer be called a craft show. You’d see booths for actual brick and mortar stores and to me, that’s not in the spirit of Renegade.

The weather was perfect.

Things that were popular this year seemed to be a lot of soap (and maybe candle?) booths, enamel pins and patches, ceramics, linen and fabric scarves, a lot of character and quote references to tv shows (Park and Rec, Broad City, etc.). There were a lot more stationers there than I ever remember seeing before, which made me so happy. I also noticed a lot of chunky beaded necklaces (mostly made from fimo) similar to the ones I make from paper clay. There were a few space, celestial, moon things, but we were surprised overall that there weren’t tons of eclipse things. Also, I didn’t notice it at the time, but searching for the origami banner maker made me realize there were SO many makers with hand dyed fabrics.

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BUT, the most important part of Renegade this year was not the booths, or the weather, or the things we brought home, but rather, who we went to see. Muro Jewelry was selling for the first time at Renegade Chicago and that meant I would finally be meeting my dear friend Rosa Murillo for the very first time in real life. We have been friends for over 10 years, ever since Rosa reached out to me. She thought I might be interested in her Found Art Tuesday project, and I was, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Muro jewelry booth at Renegade Chicago 2017

Here’s a video above, that I caught of Rosa and her husband Ruben in their booth on the first day of the fair. I was just about to type that I somehow wasn’t nervous meeting her and then I remembered reality, lol. As I got closer and closer to her booth my heart was pounding out of my chest. When I hugged her I thought she’d feel me shaking. (You may have guessed I have a little bit of social anxiety, lol). After that though, everything was good. We’ve skyped, face-timed and talked on the phone before so I knew what to expect. Side story: I loathe talking on the phone, so for the longest time Rosa used to call me and leave me voicemail messages because she knew that I would never answer, lol.
What are your plans for the weekend? I hope if you are in the Chicagoland area, it includes Renegade, because guess what? @murojewelry is going to be there for the FIRST time! All the way from North Carolina! Eeeeeeeeee! Yes, after a bobajillion years of

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Rosa was able to let Ruben take over the booth for a while, and she joined us to shop the show.

Renegade

I knew right away we had to make our way to the photobooth. It’s an annual tradition!

I own so much of her jewelry, from the past, to what has evolved into her current body of breathtaking work. It was so fun to see a whole booth of her jewelry, and so hard to pick and choose what I was going to walk away with. She gave me a branch necklace for my birthday, and I purchased a necklace and ring.

I made her one of my chunky beaded necklaces, you can see below. She put it on right away, which was kind of embarrassing because I like to think of my necklaces looking like a giant kindergartner made them, so I feel like it stuck out next to all of her grown up “adult jewelry”. Later she told me that someone asked if she sold necklaces like the one she was wearing and how I needed to make more and sell, sell, sell them! At first I was flattered, but then I wondered if it might have been questionable “the same person that made this luxurious work, also made that?!” lol. I’m not trying to bash my work, I love my necklaces, but they are definitely a bit more niche, than jewelry you would find at a jewelry store. And clearly similar necklaces were being sold at many booths at Renegade, as I mentioned above.

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Rosa has done several Renegades across the country, but never the original… Chicago. I’ve been trying to get her to come for ages. It really is the largest of all of the fests they do! Chicago did not disappoint. Muro Jewelry did amazingly well, and they ran out of business cards and bags early Sunday. She also brought enough jewelry to probably sell at (what she thought would be 2 shows) as well as enough for another event that they were hitting up on the way home. Turns out they barely scraped by! Chicago LOVES Muro! She has already decided to come back for the Winter show (which I’ve never been to before).

And if all of this wasn’t enough… I’ll have another post coming because… right before Renegade I entered an instagram loop giveaway, where I had to follow a bunch of shops that would be at the show, and as we were leaving Chicago that day I got an alert that I had WON! I got a huge box of loot that I also haven’t allowed myself to use any of the items yet either, so stay tuned for that.

Oh, and I can’t forget the link to past Renegade Haul posts.

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