Kitschy Kitschen

Inspired by the kitchen I might have had if I hadn’t married such a minimalist. Stashed away in the back of a cupboard is a small collection of colorful Pyrex dishes that I inherited from my grandmother. Someday maybe they’ll have their day again.

This design was created for a Spoonflower Design Challenge with a Vintage Kitsch theme. I received a lot of good feedback, but did not win. In fact I crunched those numbers and I was right in the middle at the 51st percentile. Practice, practice, practice.

Do you like it more than 49% of other voters? If so, you can make a purchase at Spoonflower.

Christmas Electric Collection

Working pink into a holiday color palette starting with a traditional red and green base layer. The star and matchstick patterns really could be used year round. And that was the goal.

All four patterns in the Christmas Electric collection are available for purchase as fabric and more at Spoonflower. From left to right they are Neon Matchstick, Neon Melange, Neon Stars, Neon Lights.

Scribble Winter Collection

Taking a stab at another collection – this one for the holidays. But (purposefully) the trees, stars, matchstick pattern, and palette could be used at any old time. I always like a different sort of take on the traditional colors – without straying too far. Plus pink is always fun to throw in for good measure. The style is done in a loose and silly, juvenile style. As the holidays should be: childlike with a hint of giddy.

Pictured from left to right: Scribble Stars, Scribble Forest, Scribble Matchstick, and Scribble Clearing. Available now printed up as fabric by the yard (and about a million other things) at Spoonflower.

White Frosted Dino Circus

I’m currently working on a collection inspired by a few favorites: cookies and dinosaurs. I took the classic sprinkled and frosted circus cookies and swapped out animals for dinos. Herbivores, only! I think they have a more innocent and child-like, which is how dino cookies should be. For now, white frosted cookies on pink and blue are available. Coming soon, a complimentary design with sprinkles and, perhaps, some pink frosting.

White Frosted Dino Circus is available as fabric (and beyond!) in blue and pink.

Shhh…I finally got her down

Well, I participated (again) in a design challenge and this time did my best ever, making it to the top 75. Just barely. I came in at 73. While I’m excited about that (my goal now is to break the top 50), I’m also, like, what? This particular design was simple, unexciting, not very inspired, and kind of bland…yet got me my most “likes” so far.

The challenge this time around was to design a relaxing and neutral duvet cover. I admittedly put less effort into this one than any other fabric I have come up with in the past. Mostly I just wanted to play around with paint brush tools. And I only wanted to do that after investing a ton of time into trying to figure out a repeating herringbone pattern that just did not work out.

So, is this is this a lesson learned for me? Am I wasting too much time on actual drawings that aren’t as good as splotches of paint? Sigh. No secret here: I have not idea what I’m doing. I’ll just keep on anyway.

“Shhh…I Finally Got Her Down” is available for purchase as fabric, wallpaper, and more right here!

Eggy Weggs – Blue

The first in a collection of food prints that feature my son’s favorite food paired with circles. WOWEE! Circles. Can you even…just? Here are eggs. I don’t much care to be around eggs, but I also don’t like having snot wiped on my work shirts, and that’s something that happens on the regular too. A trend!

Purchase this design as fabric, or many, many other things.

Primary Dino Dots

You can’t go wrong with a good dinosaur. These three classic dino silhouettes in primary colors are simply the sweetest and reminiscent of a popular collection from the 80s that decorated my brothers’ shared room.  I wanted it simple and a to have a bit of a juvenile feel, so the coloring is done in the style of a crayon. I picture this pattern on a button down shirt – the images just small enough to give the appearance of swiss dots. But no. They are, in fact, dinosaurs. Boom!

You too can own this print. Take a look at the options!

Origami Puppers

Cute puppies made of simple shapes in four color ways. Hooray! Printed as fabric they would be great for children’s items. I’m going to do a little testing of that myself. Fingers crossed the end product will be as adorable as I’m thinking. Stay tuned for the verdict.

Available now as fabric and wallpaper in yellow, pink, purple, and blue.

Origami Puppers Blue is also available in a mini print. Little things are cute! Fact.

Keats Yeats Origami Puppers Blue Mini
Cocktail Napkins Anyone?

Collage of Arts + Letters: Slippers

I would never buy something so luxurious as sheepskin slippers for myself, but boy did I appreciate the heck out of them as a Christmas gift. I appreciated them until they were disgusting and dirty and worn out. And then I replaced them…making me someone who would buy something so luxurious as sheepskin slippers for myself.

Collage of Arts + Letters: Brooch

I think the Mother-of-Pearl brooch is from a Lord of the Rings collection, so not exactly my style, but it has remained safely locked away in my jewelry box along with memories of a different time. Rhona and I have been friends since our Freshman years of high school. We keep in touch sporadically (at best) but still exchange gifts on various holidays. Friendships based on receiving presents in the mail is full of surprises.

That’s Bananas – Pink

Oh yeah! Forget that other namby-pamby whatever color I had originally picked out to back these bananas. Pink is where it’s at. It actually makes me want to reimagine the entire color scheme and go for a not-so-realistic palette. Which reminds me – a friend and I were walking by Nordstrom and the windows all had a tropical theme going. “Ugh!”, my friend said. “What is with all these banana leaves?”

Each to her own. I like banana leaves. And bananas (as a motif, not so much a food). And I never claimed to be the Queen of Originality. So there you have it.

Fabric coming soon. Or maybe…gift wrap?

Collage of Arts + Letters: Black Heart Pendant

I used to have more free time to dedicate to my first love: dressmaking. And so, years ago, I was asked to make a sweet seersucker dress for Brianna to wear to her wedding rehearsal dinner. The special touch she wanted was that the back would have a cutout of a heart. No problem, said I! She was cute as can be.

Brianna recently celebrated her 40th birthday and took herself to Paris. (For mine, I through a dumb last-minute party. I’m doing it wrong.)

​Update from Brianna: Received a response (via postcard) just one week later. That’s how we like to play.

Dress of the Month Club – Annie Dress

Oh, what a little ribbon can do. This classic dress will easily get you from bright and colorful at an afternoon garden party to a sleek and sophisticated night at the ballet.  Flattering neckline, cap sleeves, fitted bodice and skirt to flatter your curves. Red, red, red!  We’ll surprise you with two ribbon belts- it’s like getting two dresses for the price of one. (Finally we have a legitimate excuse to spend a whole day scouring the town for the perfect piece of ribbon.) Cotton with a little stretch and matching nylon lining. Zips at back. May 2009

Styling by Brianna Seethoff.

Collage of Arts + Letters: Coral Necklace

Back when she had more time and fewer children, my friend Naomi would work on projects all year and then have a fun jewelry sale/show around the holidays. It was just a hobby, but she is very skilled. I was lucky enough to benefit when my birthday rolled around. Sidenote: I like color.

The postcard is from Sevilla, Italy. She and her husband have a special love for Italy and even live there for months at a time when life lets them do that.

Collage of Arts + Letters: Ceramic Squirrel

Carissa gave up on the rain and moved to Mexico. She stayed there quite happily for some time. When she would come to visit, she always brought gifts. Carissa is the only person I know who would purposefully travel with a breakable painted squirrel. And I’m glad she did.

She recently moved to San Francisco. Didn’t take to it much and relocated to Santa Cruz, mere blocks to the beach. She commutes to The City, but doesn’t have to drive, so…there’s that.

Dress of the Month Club: Carissa Dress

A peacock-inspired print in silky charmeuse paired with sleek navy blue refined wool. Lots of color with swirling purples, greens and blues to lure in springtime. Ties are attached and add just the right accent. Zips up the back. Could this be one of those transition day-to-night outfits that Barbie was always bragging about? We just promise you’ll look fantastic. And know it. February 2009

Dress of the Month Club – Sara Dress

Ready or not, Fall is here and holidays are coming. Our survival strategy? Seize every opportunity to get dressed up! This dress is your perfect weapon against gray skies and humbug attitudes. And we suspect the deep purple will offset your favorite jewelry quite nicely. Wool shell is fully lined and fitted with darts. Matching ribbon belt can be removed if you’re feeling more casual. November 2009

Dress of the Month Club – Carla Dress

This dress is just begging to take you out for an evening on the town. Dinner, dancing, theater? Yes. Yes. Yes. Finish the night off by twirling down a quiet city street and singing show tunes into the night. Transitioning your wardrobe to Fall? It would look great peeking out beneath overcoat and paired tights and boots. 100% cotton and fully lined. Zips at back. October 2009

Dress of the Month Club – Jenny Dress

Jenny Dress

Our summertime resolution:  Set pinstripes free! Out of the cube, into the park! Simple stripes on cotton aren’t just for business casual. The Jenny dress is perfect for a picnics and parks. Fabric is cotton shirting in cream with subtle yellow and brown stripes. Top is lined in white cotton. Back is a shallower v-neck with zipper. Full skirt is made for unabashed and very public twirling. Length is up to you. Pair with a bike (and basket) for a day bustling around town. June 2009

Mix Tape Measure: Post Tape Exchange

This is a tape that I sent out as part of an organized tape exchange (March 2009). Look, I’m not saying I am the most clever person in the whole wide world, but I picked a theme (1984*) and a theme song to kick the tape off with (1984) and included two karaoke style tracks for a proper sing-along. I mean, that’s good. None of these songs are groundbreaking, so I wonder if the person on the receiving end was disappointed. But, gosh. A theme is so fun.

SIDE A

THEME SONG

1984 ► David Bowie

Major Tom (Coming Home) ► Peter Schilling

99 Red Balloons ► Nena

People are People ► Depeche Mode

Wrapped Around Your Finger ► The Police

SING ALONG♫

Hold Me Now ► You & the Thompson Twins

I have a picture, pinned to my wall.  An image of you and of me and we’re laughing and loving it all.  Look at our life now, tattered and torn.  We fuss and we fight and delight in the tears that we cry until dawn. Hold me now, warm my heart, stay with me, let loving start (let loving start).  You say I’m a dreamer, we’re two of a kind.  Both of us searching for some perfect world we know we’ll never find.  So perhaps I should leave here, yeah yeah go far away.  But you know that there’s no where that I’d rather be than with you here today.  [Chorus]  You ask if I love you, well what can I say?  You know that I do and if this is just one of those games that we play.  So I’ll sing you a new song, please don’t cry anymore and then I’ll ask your forgiveness, though I don’t know just what I’m asking it for.  [Chorus]

Love is a Battlefield ► Pat Benatar

Rock You Like a Hurricane ► The Scorpions

Sister Christian ► Night Ranger

Oh, Sherrie ► Steve Perry

SIDE B

The Longest Time ► Billy Joel

Seven Seas ► Echo and the Bunnymen

William, it was Really Nothing ► The Smiths

SING ALONG♫

Don’t You (Forget About Me) ► Simple Minds & You

Hey, hey, hey, hey, ohhh . . . Won’t you come see about me? I’ll be alone, dancing you know it baby.  Tell me your troubles and doubts.  Giving me everything inside and out and Love’s strange so real in the dark.  Think of the tender things that we were working on.  Slow change may pull us apart.  When the light gets into your heart, baby.  Don’t You Forget About Me.  Don’t, Don’t, Don’t, Don’t.  Don’t You Forget About Me..  Will you stand above me?  Look my way, never love me?  Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling Down, down, down.  Will you recognize me? Call my name or walk on by Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling down, down, down, down.  Hey, hey, hey, hey, ohhhh . . . Don’t you try to pretend, it’s my feeling we’ll win in the end.  I won’t harm you or touch your defenses: Vanity and security.  Don’t you forget about me I’ll be alone, dancing you know it baby.  Going to take you apart, I’ll put us back together at heart, baby.  [Chorus]  As you walk on by, will you call my name? As you walk on by will you call my name?  When you walk away?  Or will you walk away? Will you walk on by? Come on – call my name.  Will you call my name? I say:  La la la…

Magic ► Cars

So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) ► R.E.M.**

Whistling Song ► Meat Puppets***

Michael Caine ► Madness

Skin Deep ► The Stranglers

She-Bop ► Cyndi Lauper

When Doves Cry ► Prince

What’s Love Got to Do With It ► Tina Turner

Lucky Star ►Madonna

*Not sure if every song is right on the money. I can’t recall if I used release dates or Billboard charts or what to decide what was a song of 1984.

**Isn’t it crazy that REM was doing their thing in the 80s? They were just their own cool-and-ahead-of-their-time sound.

*** Same for the Meat Puppets.

That’s Bananas! The Collected Works

Current inspiration includes my child’s favorite foods. He has a deep love of bananas that, quite frankly, I’ll never understand. But because I love him…I’ll try.

I might revisit that tan-ish looking one – I think I want it to be a bit more pink. Also, still perfecting that repeating pattern. Update: Tan has, in fact, been revisited and swapped out for pink! UPDATE: Orange has been revisited and brightened up as well. More tropical colors, I say!

That’s Bananas – Blue and White are available in fabric, wallpaper, and more!

Mix Tapes – 2 sides in 4 colors

The challenge here was to come up with a design (any design) but sticking to four assigned colors. Since I’ve been re-visiting some of my old tapes lately, cassettes have been on my mind. I don’t think anything (no CDs, not Spotify playlists, nothing!) will ever come close to how much fun it was to put together a mix tap for someone. Can I bring it back? The paint splatter is just for fun.

Do we like a more dynamic background? Maybe. What a color combo though, right?

Acid Poppy Grid

I have a thing about poppies. Mostly California poppies. Perhaps it’s nostalgic since I grew up in California and they were everywhere by the road side most summers. Or perhaps it’s just the amazing color. That orange is just something else. I really took the color and ran with it here.

This one is now available for purchase, though I may revisit the color contrast in the future. We’ll see.

Billy Buttons

An early challenge to come up with a design that adhered the theme Australian flowers. I went with one my my favorites – Billy Buttons (AKA Craspedia). I have always like these little guys dried and in a bouquet. Plus you can’t go wrong with a nice POP! of yellow. I may revisit this image at some point to add a bit more complexity/movement/excitement. We’ll see.

Mixtape Measure: Tape W / No Name

I am guessing that the year was probably 1998. Maybe 1999. If so, I was living in Rohnert Park, CA and splitting my time between classes at Santa Rosa Community College and Sonoma State University and Cost Plus World Market and my tutoring gig with AmeriCorps.  I had a boyfriend who lived in the apartment next door.  This mix tape was apparently a gift from him:  Scrawled on the back of the cover it says “Happy B-DAY BABE”. Although, judging from the release dates of some of these songs, there is a chance that he sent me this tape for my birthday the following year after he had moved to New York and I had moved to Los Angeles. 

Side A

Travis – Why Does it Always Rain on Me?

This song really made me want to move to a place like Portland.  I wanted gray skies and coffee shops.  I guess this album, The Man Who, was brand spanking new and may have (arguably) sparked my love of Britpop.

Brand Van 3000 [sic] – Drinking in LA

I must have listened to this in the car because it reminds me of driving around in my 1995 Pontiac Sunfire.

Jamiroquai – King for a Day

At about this time, everyone was talking about the Virtual Insanity video directed by Jonathan Glazier.  You may remember . . . the one with all the weird dancing and sliding about.  This band had an honest-to-god didgeridoo player.

Radiohead – Bishop’s Robes

I think that OK Computer had come out a year or two before and this band was suddenly THE band.  I bought a copy of that album just before making the drive through a torrential downpour to visit my first boyfriend. A year or so later another boyfriend bought me a tape of The Bends at the flea market (just tape, no cover).  I loved it.  Radiohead kind of haunts the memories of this period of my life.

Cure – Maybe Someday

The Cure tried for a comeback.  I wasn’t quite to my 1980’s music phase (that hit about a year later and I went to see them live at the Greek Theater in LA), so didn’t care too much.

Aimee Mann – Sugarcoated

I must not have listened to this one.  I don’t think I took notice of Aimee Mann until later when Magnolia came out.  Only then did I realize that she was ½ of ‘Til Tuesday.  She used to play, with John Brion among others, at Largo which was a block over from my apartment in the Fairfax/Melrose neighborhood of LA where I lived about 2001-2002.  It was at Largo that I saw Glen Phillips and he sang a song about Fred Meyer – it was the first time I had heard of the store chain.

Air – Playground Love

When Virgin Suicides came out this tune was all over the place all the time.

 Foo Fighters – How I Miss You

Shrug.  I will say that my one real experience with this band was when I attended a KROQ Christmas show and spent the duration of the Foo Fighters short set quietly choking on a soft pretzel.  I barely had it under control, but lived to tell the tale. Phew.

Elliott Smith – Son of Sam

While I never quite got into Elliott Smith, I did go to one of his last shows.  It was a terrible concert and he had no control over himself, the crowd, or his music.  The opening band was Rilo Kiley.  I tipped the bartender while she was looking the other way much to the embarrassment of my friend Julie.  She had earlier tripped down the stairs much the embarrassment of me.

Unamerica – Mary’s Son

I could swear that I have never heard this song before.  And don’t ever care to again. The fast forward button on my car tape player must have been very accurate.

Stone Temple Pilots – I Got You

Whatever.

Pixies – Mr. Grieves

I moved away to college owning a Pixies album, as that is an unspoken prerequisite, but had never listened to it.  This was about the time that I listened and fell in love.  I tried to see all the members of the band individually.  David Lovering used to open for Frank Black and The Breeders by doing silly science tricks. A secret-ish Breeders show in Echo Park was one of the best shows I have ever been to. I never saw Joey Santiago.  Thankfully years later, the band reunited and went on tour, so I got to check that off my list.

THE Actual Tape with No Name
Cover "Art"

 .      

Side B

Tom Waits – Jockey Full of Bourbon 

There used to be Tom Waits sightings in Petaluma, near where I lived around this time.  I never saw him.  Frankly, I can only handle his early stuff.  His super gravelly voice, as heard on later albums, makes me a little sick to my stomach.

Violent Femmes – American Music

Again, this tape was made just prior to my 1980s music phase, but I do remember thinking it was catchy.

Soul Coughing – Circles

A handwritten note on the cover reads “serious face song” which I think refers to this silly stone faced dance that my boyfriend used to do whenever this song played.  He thought it was funnier than it was. If I remember correctly Circles was on the radio all the time.

Joseph Arthur – Chemical

No clue.

Dishwalla – The Thrill is Gone

No really?  This band had another song. Huh.  Zero recollection.

Pearl Jam – Up Here in My Tree

I am beginning to seriously doubt that I listened much to Side B.

Folk implosion – Jenny’s Theme

Ugh.

Van Morrison – [It’s All Over Now] Baby Blue [sic]

My mind was slightly blown upon the realization that Beck sampled this song for Jack Ass. Also that it is a Bob Dylan song and has been covered by everyone . . . twice.

John Scofield – Blackout

It’s almost as if the boyfriend didn’t even know me. Maybe this tape is the reason we are no longer together.

O’Jays – Love Train

I think the boyfriend really liked funk, a genre I can’t stand.

Unkle – Lonely Souls

I did like this song very much and am pretty sure that I transferred it to other mix tapes for other people.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Road Trippin’

This tune may have been an homage to a Thanksgiving weekend (yes, weekend) road trip that the boyfriend and I had taken up through Portland, to Seattle, Vancouver B.C., and back.  I met two brothers with the same names as my two brothers. They didn’t have a sister though.

Tubing Dark vs Light

An early attempt at “designing”. My aim was to mimic stripes with inner tubes on water. It’s not perfect, but I’m gonna leave it anyway. I’m not sure if I prefer the bright turquoise or the light blue.

I  printed it up the darker blue and used it for a project and it looks really cute. But so far, the lighter version is the only one available for purchase.

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See? Cute. Told you so.

Popsicles

Summertime! It’s hot. You want something cold on a stick. Well, here! Take it before my fingers get sticky.

Available as fabric or wrapping paper or maybe even wallpaper right here!

And if you’re looking for that same vibe, but a bit more phallic, try this on for size (but not literally. That is a totally different kind of website). I like the colors and general idea, but may need to revise the shape of these things. Sometimes, you just don’t quite see what’s what until you are done. Boo. Fabric available for purchase.

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