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L&G + Ashley Helvey

This all started back in March when we went over to Ashley's moving sale (yes, I got some awesome stuff!) at first was just us doing a little shopping, but one thing lead to another, we ended up talking about a collaboration of some sort! 

This year, we REALLY REALLY want to make it out to NY for ICFF & NY Design week, since we've never been!! We firgured this would be the best time to collaborate & come up with something to submit.

We've always admired Ashley's warm & natural sensibility of using super natural materials. So we thought it would be great to merge both of our aesthetic to design & create furniture pieces for NY Design Week.  We' were so excited to hear that Ashley was just as excited about it as we are!

Our first brainstorming session was at Elliot Bay books. Without shame, we sat down and just covered the whole table with bunch of vintage books, drawings, inspirations, and materials to look at together. We were like kids in a playground going from one idea to another getting more and more excited as we talked & sketched. 

At the end of the meeting we decided to go with designing some sort of lounge chair or hanging chair...the concept & design was still a bit undefined, but we continued to explore...

We then looked at some random materials we had sitting around our house in hope to find something that can really compliment Ashley's rustic warm aesthetic and also utilizes her textile skills. 

Below are some of Ashley's felting & weaving project she was working on another day when we went over to talk. If you follow her blog, you'll quickly get a sense of how everything she captures is beautifully simple, warm, and balanced....and something that we really want to embrace.

I held on to this little tiny ball of Navajo wool sample from Ashley for the longest time...not only to look at it as a sample, but also because it was so darn cute & fuzzy! 

playing with some materials....but ended up looking like a robot!

Various cotton ropes to mock up a mini hanging chair concept

All this is still quite priliminary....but I think we've honed in on some good general direction and pallet focusing on a more natrual, simple, and warm feel.  Good thing we live & work in the same place, so we can literally look at all this 24/7!!


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Lend a Helping Hand

A great project presented by Tanya Aguiñiga.Tanya Aguiñiga is an LA base artist/designer whose been an active participant in the art/design community in bridging the world of design, art, and craft focused on the Latino community. She recently launched the project, Artists Helping Artisans (AHA), to raise money to work in the highlands of Chiapas with Mayan women in hopes to empower the people and preserve traditional & cultural arts and craft.
"...Artists Helping Artisans (AHA), will focus on helping artisans in marginalized communities whose craft traditions or livelihoods are at risk. With the current economic crisis, and tourism dwindling, many of these craft communities are in dire need of help."

It's really admirable and inspiring to see that even designers & artists can find ways to foster a better place by giving back to the people. This definilty makes me realize that even as designers we can make responsible contributions or actions that can improve people's lives beyond creating consumable tangible products.

So let's help Tanya help others... You can lend a helping hand and help Tanya to get her project in Chiapas going...and it's true...Evey contribution helps.

Donations can be made in increments of $10, $25, $50, and up to $2000 if you're feeling really generous! And with every donation, Tanya will even send something special made from her or from the artisans!
Donate $50 and receive a hand felted bird by Tanya.Donate $100 and receive a small Chiapas artisan made work and Limited Edition 11x14” print made by Tanya.

Read the full project description and make donations here.
Besides sharing the AHA project, it's also important to share Tanya's work! I first discovered her when I had the pleasure to meet Tanya at a craft show in SF back last December. Seeing her stuff was a total highlight of my trip! Not only does she creates beautiful one-of-a-kind handmade design furniture pieces, she also creates these beautiful dipped dyed rope jewelery that were more than amazing. I was literally hovering over her booth for an hour looking and trying everything on!

Dipped dyed bracelets with bright saturated colors.... I had to get the teal one! I realized that this bracelet was mentioned along with my doily rug back when Meg Mateo guest blogged on D*S!
Yeah...I couldn't help it..but I had to get one of these dipped dyed rope necklaces, too!
Check out her shop!
and yes.... she's hand-felt these folding chairs... Gawwwd....
I love how this chair looks like a loom.

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Baby Felt Slippers In Use

I posted about the little felt slippers I made for little Clara (the new addition to Piano Nobile)....and I just like to show you some photos of adorable Clara wearing them!
Me holding her as Clara poses in her sleep...
I love how she was totally fine with us messing with her while she's sound a sleep. I was even tempted to draw some mustache on her, too...but we decided not to go there....she might grow up hating me. :P



Today's Forcast is Sunny with a Chance of Baby Shower...

Our friends from Piano Nobile just recently added wonderful new member to the group! They just had their baby girl, Clara!! Although she'll take some training to do some printing and welding for them, but soon enough she'll be able to do incredible work just like Isabelle and Nick!
For Isabelle's baby shower, I ended up making a felt baby gift similar to the needle felted pillow I made awhile back.
I wanted to make something for them that they can keep even if Clara gets older.
The stuffed cloud can be hung above the crib and also doubles as a rattle know so little Clara can play with it or drool on it or watch it float above her head!

And since I'm so felt obsessed anyways, I also made her a pair of high-top felt & leather booty...
with the top folded down...for a more casual look.
the leather bottom & lace
All wrapped up for little Clara!

I'll have more photos of the little one actually wearing the boots soon!


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Needle Felting Fun!

So I did a needle felting project finally! Lauren's needle felted bowls inspired me to use the felting supplies I had for a couple of years but never really touched till now!
But I made a pillow out of lambs wool blanket and loose wool fiber of various colors in which I used a felting needle to make the face....pretty simple process for the most part, just shape the wool and poke the needle through the surfaces up and down and the fibers weave in and out of the main piece. The challenging part was coming up with the face.As you can see up close the level of detail and craftsmanship that is required for something as complicated as the sleepy face is very difficult to achieve. It requires meticulous planning, advance color theory knowledge, multiple calculated measurements, and countless facial studies of people of every race. One may see this and think its a master piece and work of art....but I, this is just something I do and have a passion for. But mostly it's because I "felt" like making it.......pause....silence.......waiting for laughter.....I FELT like it? get it? you know...since I needle "FELTed" it?
yeah...there's the laugh that I've been waiting for. Let's all which under Dylan's definition=Laugh On Line....which I have to agree it makes sense.


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I Heart Everyone!

I received some great neat gifts from people for my birthday awhile ago and forgot to mention it. There's a previous post about other great gifts I've received as well. Sorry everyone! But just wanted to let y'all know that I really am thankful for all the great lovely gifts!! I LOVE THEM ALL! (^.^)

Here's where they live in my home, now....
My first Heath ceramic from Terri! I was totally psyched to get this as a gift, since I've always wanted something from Heath Ceramics. I especially love their series of bud vases, it's such a soft humble form that feels very warm and satisfying.
Quirky creature from Terri. I cracked up when I saw this funny thing! it's so cute! I don't know what's front or back...but that's what cute about it, it could go either way. the brown thing could be a nose or a tail!Tea towels from Chika. I was also super psyched about these since I've been eying on these forever! These are designed and made by Skinny La Minx , all the way from South Africa. The designs are charming and beautiful. Close up of the beautiful printed towels. 100% cotton and made in South Africa.
Needle felted bowls handmade by Lauren. Aren't they sweet? I didn't know you can needle felt things like that! I wanna have a felting party now! who's in!?
Also made by Lauren are these sweet fabric covered tacks. I love the colors and the patterns. Those will definitely be useful for my studio, can't wait to use them!


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DIY Felt CD case

So this is one of the first craft project of the year that I made for my close friend, Noal, who moved away to L.A. last Friday. I'm super bummed about him moving away, since we've been friends for 6 some years now. We'd watch indie/foreign films, drink tea or coffee, shop at the farmers market, go on art walks, ride on scary rides at Seattle Center, go thrift store shopping, and try new restaurants, etc. We pretty much do everything together....second to Dylan.
But I suppose now this gives me an excuse to go visit him in L.A.!! I need some sun light soon.

So as his going away gift, I made him a CD case that fits 8 CDs with CDs such as The Darjeeling limited sound track, The new Shins, Nick Drake, El Perro Del Mar, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, The New Rilo Kiley, Toya (pre -Benyonce booty shaking music), Flight of the Conchords, and Thom Yorke.

I round up things I had in my apt/work studio (chikabird Inc.), and came up with using felt (red and tan), poka-dot ribbon, vintage buttons (that I've been waiting to use!) and a vintage heavy duty zig-zag scissor (one of my prized finds during my recent shopping for L&G.)
The format is like a folding accordion folding book with pockets on both sides that can fit 8 CDs.
Materials needed:
Main Piece: 5.5" tall X 28" wide
Pocket: 6" tall X 22.5" wide (cut both long edges with zig-zag cutter)
Cover Flap: 4" X 5.5" wide (cut one side of the long edge with zig-zag cutter)
Ribbon: Roughly 15" long
2 Buttons

First, fold the pocket piece in half the long way, and iron it flat.
At the fold, insert the main piece so then the pocket sandwich the main piece in between.
then mark lines 5.5” apart with 1/8” in between. Then in one continuous stich, sew down the pockets. as shown in the drawing below with red dotted line.

Take the ribbon and stitch down the center of the back. Then with the front of cover facing the back of the main piece, line the flat edge of cover with the top edge of main piece, stitch it down, and fold it over and top stitch it. Then the last step is to pick out your buttons and sew it, and you done!! TA-DA!!

you can make bunch of different variations depending on the fabric, ribbon and buttons you use. Also if you want more pockets, just add 5" 5/8 to the length for each additional CD slot, then you can fit as many CDs as you want! EASY!!