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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?

 

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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.

Untitled

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.

Untitled

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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Summer 2017 Chalkboard list

Summer 2017 chalkboard

The summer was crazy! I almost ran out of room on the board.

Recently I listened to an episode of the Happier Podcast (episode 134) and a listener shared the idea of a “Ta-Da List”. Gretchen spoke about “monitoring” where you pay attention to your actions and this can aid you in regulating and modifying behavior as well as thought patterns. If you tend to beat yourself up about doing (or not doing things) you may be pleasantly (or not so pleasantly) surprised to see your actions when monitored. The idea of the ta-da list is that you write the things that you have done and accomplished after the fact, rather than things you need to do (like on a to-do list).

While I do love a to-do list, Gretchen said that a ta-da list might be especially helpful to Rebels (from her book The Four Tendencies) who might otherwise resist to-do lists. For the record when I took the four tendencies quiz I got Rebel, and as a true to Rebel I have doubted it but then refused to double confirm it, which pretty much solidifies my rebel status that much more (insert laugh cry emoji here). A quality of rebels is resisting internal and external expectations, and that is pretty much me in a nutshell.

If I remember correctly, I started doing these seasonal chalkboard lists for lack of any other chronicle of my life. I love a good scrapbook, but I had to admit to myself, it’s just not happening. I used to keep journals when I was younger, but at one point when I went back and started rereading, I realized that I had the tendency to only write when I was mad or upset and it gave a very skewed idea of what my life was like and it was REALLY depressing, so I stopped writing. These chalkboards help remind me of how productive I was, as well as bring back the memories of those events.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

The Struggle

Going through old emails in my inbox, and I found this note to myself. My inbox is mostly filled with emails to myself for project ideas and things I want to deal with later. It’s not too bad, I have about 30 emails but they literally span years and years. This one was from May 2015. I’m not going through this struggle right now, as I’m actually overflowing with productivity (almost the opposite problem), but this note still seems very important and I’d love to hear how other artists and creatives push on after the initial excitement wanes and subsequent pieces seem less and less AMAZING.

“How does one deal with the stress of expectations and still stay creative and productive? My favorite and most creative work comes from creative exploring. What happens after the first piece or two after I have an idea or concept for a series that I’d love to continue with. What happens when you want to keep producing this thing you’ve started but it is no longer creative exploration, can start to feel repetitive or redundant?

I always remember reading in Art & Fear (side note: highly recommend this book if you haven’t read it) about how creative ideas are nothing, anyone can have creative ideas. It’s all about sticking it out, and pushing on, once it’s no longer fun. The most successful artists are the most prolific. But how do you do that? Especially when what happens after the initial, fun, and creative exploration just gets worse and worse. I feel like my creativity mirrors my bowling habits. I’ll always start out real strong but the longer I play the worse I get, until it is gutter ball, gutter ball, gutter ball.”

Side note: I had to add the song Late Greats by Wilco because there’s something about artists being prolific to become successful that makes me think of this song. Perhaps the greatest piece of artwork hasbeen lost to time forever because the artist only made the one piece.

Also, I just needed to post this in hopes of getting the ball rolling again on blogging. I have so many things to share, but feel overwhelmed by it all and where to start, so this is as good of a start as any.

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Spring Chalkboard 2017

Spring 2017 Chalkboard

Summer is probably halfway through and I haven’t erased the spring board yet, ooops.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

An Honest Review of Society6 Products

I’m still trucking on the 100 day project, but like last year, I’m sure I will have plenty of make-up days afterward. Just a reminder, my goal this year’s 100 days was to focus on getting more of my work up on print on demand sites, and to finally start getting some designs printed at spoonflower on fabric. I found a 2017 planner I bought at the dollar store last fall, and so I’ve been using that to keep track of what I’ve been doing, (since I haven’t been posting daily on instagram) to stay accountable.
Society6 robayre

Today I am excited to share a review of some items I purchased from Society6 of my own designs. I placed an order which included a cell phone case, a tote bag, 2 zipper pouches, and a pair of leggings. Most of the items were birthday gifts for my sister, while the cell phone case and one of the zipper pouches were for myself.

Society6 robayre haul

The phone case came first (a week out from ordering it) and I snapped it on my phone immediately and it’s been on there ever since. I love it! I’ve had my society6 shop up since 2012 and have mostly sold phone cases from there. You don’t get to see who makes the purchases, and there isn’t a review/feedback system (that I can see anyway) like on etsy, ebay or even amazon, so as far as I know my customers have been happy. I know one customer that has been very happy… my sister. She has purchased a few phone cases from me over the years, so I had been able to see them in person and can vouch for the quality. I’ve also been told that she got lots of compliments on those cases, and was even present a few times when people praised the phone cases. I bought the slim case for myself (image and video above), specifically because the thick one looks like it had a black liner and the buttons that stick out are black, and I didn’t like that with this light and bright pattern. I love my case, which is great because I’ve been saying for years that I was going to buy one for myself. I don’t think it will be my last one either!

Society6 robayre haul

The rest of the haul arrived together, the next week. Opening up the packaging felt like Christmas, I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. I pulled the fish bag out first and was all heart eyes. My sister had specifically said she wanted this bag, and this pattern was a favorite.

6.16.17 fish bag society6

A picture of the bag in the wild. It looks great! The fabric is a nice sturdy canvas and the resolution is what I’d hoped for. The inside of the fabric is coated in black, so it has a dark lining, but not an additional fabric lining, has black handles and it seems very sturdy.

Society6 robayre haul

Here is a picture of my pattern on the left and here is a picture of the bag on the right. You can see the texture of the fabric, but it still translated well. The color being off is probably more of a camera issue and lighting issue, as I took it with my cell phone. Now it’s time for some brutal honesty…

Society6 robayre haul

My sister also wanted this zipper pouch with my grass and stars pattern. I placed the order for everything, and then while I was impatiently waiting for everything to arrive I had the idea of watching some Society6 product reviews. At first everything was going great. The reviewers were stoked and raved about the pouches they ordered. Then I hit a couple videos comparing society6 to redbubble. The reviewer confirmed a fear of mine. She complained that the printing on the fabric was really low resolution. When you look at the mock ups on society6 of the carry-all pouches, the fabric looks very rough. Society6 describes the fabric as a “a durable canvas-like exterior”. I was still hopeful that maybe when they arrived I would be pleasantly surprised. When the package arrived, I pulled out the two pouches and you can see… they are very low resolution. The fabric, while much softer to the touch than canvas fabric, has a VERY low thread count. So low that you can literally see gaps in the fabric between the threads with the naked eye. The result is a very low resolution reproduction of your design. I likened the fabric to a luxurious burlap, lol.Society6 robayre haul

When you look at these two pouches it looks like I took very blurry pictures, but if you look at the surrounding grass, you can see everything is sharp, it’s just the printing that is fuzzy. The zipper seems durable, and there is a fabric lining with interior pockets. It has a cute zipper pull and I love the detail of the society6 label on the side. I just can’t understand why they print on such horrible fabric for the pouches, the part that matters the most. I’m not sure why they don’t use the same fabric that is used on the tote bags. The products are all marked as made in the United States and Society6 has full guarantee and return policy within 90 days. If I understand correctly, after 90 days they will only provide store credit, and not cash back. My sister said she liked her pouch, though it was smaller than she imagined. I won’t be returning my pouch either, as it gets the job done, and you can see that it is still pencils. I am chalking it up to a learning experience. I hope that Society6 will make updates to this particular product line, but in the meantime I deactivated the pouches from my shop. I don’t want any customers ordering something expecting what is on the left in the picture, but getting what is on the right. If someone would like a pouch with my patterns on it, there is always redbubble.

Society6 robayre haul

Lastly, the leggings. They came out wonderfully! The color and print is what I expected and hoped for, and the construction and material are high quality. The material is a silky and stretchy material, with a good thickness to it (not sheer/transparent). I’d highly recommend them. Overall I am happy with my purchases. If I were made of money I’d buy more and explore different items, hello pillows, bed linens, and rugs! I’d also google a review of any item I bought first, youtube reviews are great because you get to see the items in action. That being said, at the recommendation and encouragement of Julie Tillman (once again) I decided to also start uploading to Redbubble. I’ve only added 3 designs so far, but I’ve already had 2 sales (Thank you to whomever you are out there!) They seem to be very much like Society6, but have slightly different product offerings…

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My favorite has to be this adorable A line dress, so cute. My sister might get it in the star pattern.

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I love these cell phone wallets, unfortunately it appears they don’t have it for my phone, although I have a regular iphone 7 and the cases for 6 fit the 7, with just a bit of difference in the camera lens location, so it might still work.

redbubble

The barn quilt pattern on a t-shirt dress

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I could see these acrylic art blocks becoming addictive. They make me think of Sid Dickens blocks, but small and we all know how much I love small things, especially small art (ahem, artomat).

That’s it for now. Thank you for stopping by!

 

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