Bramble Workshop x designlovefest: DIY Wall Hangings

Designlovefest published another Bramble Workshop DIY this past Monday and I thought I’d share some pictures. Jessica made these pretty wall hangings made out of copper and yarn and we shot the pictures the same day as the dip-dye placemats (so yes, more hand modeling for me… ha!). Photographs by Brittany Wood; see the rest here.






And here are some behind the scenes shots:

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Prepping all the materials for the shoot

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Above left: Promise I’m not pissed.. just focusing intensely on keeping my hands as still as possible while straightening out that copper wire. Above right: Yup… shooting the placemats at the same time. 🙂

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Closeup of the copper coupling

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Brittany working her skillzz. What a dreamy studio with the best light.

There’s another Bramble Workshop for designlovefest photo shoot coming up soon so look out for more DIYs in the next few weeks!

Bramble Workshop x designlovefest: DIY Dip-dye Placemats

Jessica from Bramble Workshop invited me to assist her at a photo shoot a few weeks ago for a DIY she did for designlovefest— these beautiful dip-dyed placemats. When I got to the studio, turns out they needed me to be a hand model. :O Err… woulda gotten a manicure had I known.

Check out some of the pictures below (more pictures here). Photographs by Brittany Wood.





And here are some behind the scenes shots:

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We were pretty much on our hands and knees for the entire shoot 🙂

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Left: Table setting… on the ground. So much easier to take aerial photos. 😉 Right: Love the bleed of the dyes, especially the pink!! Such a great (and easy!) DIY.

Thanks for inviting me, Jessica! Check out more of Bramble Workshop’s DIYs for designlovefest below:

Tina Made it for Bramble Workshop

I’m so elated slash excited to share that as of this past Monday, I’m now an intern for Bramble Workshop!!! I’ll be working with Jessica, the genius behind BW, on random projects at random times (thank goodness for my flexible schedule) and I am so so so looking forward to it.

I originally came across Jessica’s work on Instagram because I kept seeing @brambleworkshop tagged in posts of various bloggers/creatives I follow. Anddd I kinda sorta fell in love with what I saw. Here’s a small sampling of her work below– IT IS MAGICAL. Check out more at her website (all pictures below from her site too).


This insane wood + lucite chandelier for Oh Joy! Studio


Here it is installed…!


Urban Palate‘s tasting room


Loving all the wood + pops of color


Window display for Hermès


Installed at the Costa Mesa store!

I love that she uses so many different media to create her pieces. Hoping to learn (and make) tons while I’m with her. My first day will be this Saturday– we’ll be making dreamcatchers. I know… dream job. But tonight, we’ll be going to this:

Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 10.33.36 AM  Screen shot 2013-12-02 at 10.33.46 AM

Starting off the internship with a party. 😉 Looking forward to meeting tons of amazing people from amazing companies!

Have a great Thursday, friends!

Tina Made an Owl Hand Warmer

In this 90+ degree heat, I’ve decided to make a craft that will be totally useless for another few months. Or totally useless for… life. Haters gon’ hate.

This “heart warmer” has been on my “to-make” list since I saw it 2 winters ago. It’s a reusable hand warmer in the shape of a heart (filled with rice– stick it in the microwave to heat). However, I like owls and thought it would be (almost) equally easy to make it in an owl shape rather than a heart. But then I Googled “owl hand warmer” and of course, multiple hits came up, like this and this. Damn, it’s hard to be creative slash unique in the crafting world. Ah well. Here’s my take anyway.

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SOOOO this project ended up taking 29032x longer than I originally anticipated. It’s actually quite easy, and all the sewing went by quickly (both by hand and machine)— until I had to deal with the cotton floral fabric (the rest is obvi felt). Something about the small pieces of thin cotton was just unmanageable to me and I was so.frustrated. Also my sewing machine jammed about 23x which was so.frustrating. And I wasted time trying out embroidery thread for the border and ended up removing it all (because it was ugly) which was also.. wait for it.. so.frustrating. Ack.

I think now that I’ve made it once though, I can do it again 10x faster (assuming I won’t have the same set of issues), but if you ask me… I’m kinda over hand warmers and owls at this point. But if youuuu want to try, here are the basic steps:

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1) Draw a basic pattern for what you want your owls to look like. I chose a square-ish shape and an oval-ish shape, and ended up going with the former– about 2.5″x3.5″.

2) Draw and cut out a template onto card stock for the body and eyes. (Note that in the picture above-right, I have a stencil for the wings as well– I ended up not using that). I free-handed the pupils and the beak and thus did not need stencils for those.

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3) Trace all stencils onto your felt (I used a black pen) and cut out– you’ll need two pieces for the body (front/back), and two eyes. Also, cut out two pupils and a beak. Using pinking shears, cut two wings in quarter-circle-ish pieces from fabric. You can use felt for this part too, but I think the fabric looks a lot better.

4) Either hand-sew or use a sewing machine to sew on eyes and beak. I used a machine for the white eyeballs and hand-sewed the pupils and beak.

(…..seriously all of this was super fast and easy up to this point)

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5) Pin the two wings onto the front of the body. Sew just the innermost part of the wings (the CURVED parts) to the body. Then, tuck the outer edges of the fabric behind/underneath the felt, sandwiching the edges of the fabric between the two pieces of the body.

6) Sew (I used a machine) along the border of the entire owl, leaving a 1/2″ space for you to fill with rice. I left my hole at the very bottom.

7) Fill owl with uncooked rice (did I really have to specify “uncooked”?… yes, just in case), then hand-sew the hole closed.

To use, microwave for 20 seconds then… Hold in your hands. Put in your pocket. Caress against your face. Yay!

I really felt like steps 5 and 6 were the hardest parts– keeping the fabric where it was supposed to be while sewing along the border of the owl with the felt pieces nicely lined up. I may have had more issues because the edges of my felt were holey and stretched out from hand-sewing embroidery thread for my first time around the owl.

Ah well. Frustrations aside, I think it turned out pretty cute.

But next time, I’m sticking with the original heart shape………. too bad there won’t be a next time. 😉

Tina Made a Coffee Cozy

Note: This post is equivalent to a #waylatergram on IG.

Something in me screams “IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!” when August hits. Mostly in a panicked way, because Christmas shopping ranks in my Top 3 first-world-problem-stressors, and there’s only ONE QUARTER of the year left to figure this all out. One quarter!! Extra stress points go to thinking of co-worker gifts. I guess I don’t have co-workers anymore -_-, but since I used to work at a school, there were always tons of people I wanted to give a little something to, and seemingly not enough money/time/creativity to go around to make it happen. So last year, I got a head start on co-worker gifts… and when I say head start, I mean… ONE YEAR IN ADVANCE.


My friend and I got together at the end of 2011 (!) to try a reusable coffee cozy tutorial (which I can no longer find online………… to make these:


Okay, well, not exactly that one. At first we made a ton with printed cotton fabrics and oversized buttons, but we quickly discovered that cotton burlap + wooden buttons (leaves and hearts) was the way to go…. i.e. the cutest.

coffee-cozy-1  coffee-cozy-4coffee-cozy-3  coffee-cozy-5

After our experimental session, I went home and made 20 more. It was like a one-woman sweatshop with tons of under the breath cursing, burning eyeballs, and picking thread off my carpet. I collected Starbucks tall coffee cups all year (i.e. 2012), minus the holiday season, when the cups are red and Christmas-y, which I assumed would make the final presentation look a little less clean. Let me just say that some Starbucks stores are extremely paranoid and stingy about their cups. One barista wrote “FREE CUP” in huge letters with a Sharpie before she gave it to me…. LEST I BREW MY OWN COFFEE AND SELL IT IN THEIR ONE CUP? Ridiculous, and a waste of a cup.

Moving on.

The cup served as instant packaging, and inside, I stuffed some red tissue paper, a Starbucks gift card, and a bag of chocolate covered almonds. Then I safety pinned a homemade tag to the cozy, wrapped the entire cup in clear cellophane, and tied it off with some red polka dotted grosgrain ribbon. Done and done.

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I’m sad I can’t find the original tutorial I used, but here are few that are pretty similar:

Practically Functional
Wait til Your Father Gets Home

These tutorials (as well as many others found online) seem to use felt, but I feel like using fabric + fusible interfacing (like I did) would be a bit more durable and washing-machine friendly.

What is fusible interfacing? Basically a non-woven fabric that adds stiffness/thickness to fabrics. One side is coated with a dry glue. When heat is applied (through an iron), it melts and adheres to the fabric that needs stiffening. Good for a coffee cozy because it provides some extra insulation as well. 🙂


Only 4 months left ’til Christmas. I’m already behind. 😉

Tina Made 3 Cards

 Yep. Just 3. For now.

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I used to be a big scrapbooker but I haven’t made a ‘real’ scrapbook in years. The closest I get is making mass-produced template pages for birthdays/bridal showers, which don’t really count… like so: 

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Above right: All of the blank white cards are for friends to write notes for the birthday girl; the smaller card-stock pieces are mounts for polaroid pictures…

These days, to relieve my scrapbooking itch, I make cards. ‘Tis a lot more economical than buying individual greeting cards at the store, and you can tailor/personalize it to whomever it’s for! And it’s a lot less commitment than making 12″x12″ spreads.

What I love most about card-making is that I never start with a vision in mind. I start by rifling through my stash of scrapbook paper and picking and choosing a few patterns and colors. Then I start cutting and moving scraps around and gluing. Sometimes the card outcome is even determined by the size of my scraps– smaller scraps can obviously only be used in very limited ways. Case in point– I only had a single sheet of my favorite gold glitter paper so I had to use it as mere accents in the 3 cards.

Materials needed: blank cards (bought a pack of 25 from Michael’s), scrapbooking paper/cardstock (all of mine from Joann’s), scissors/paper cutter, stickers, and some type of adhesive (gluestick or double mounting squares).

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This one is for a friend’s 29th birthday, obvi. She likes to wear patterns and the colorful zebra stripes reminded me of her. Note: I love the obnoxiousness of using the word “obvi.” Doesn’t it, like, totally sound like something an airheaded high school chick would say?! ………You may now punch me in the face.

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The “fun and dumb” is an inside joke but I guess it can work for anyone, maybe. If you’re fun. Or dumb. I tried to incorporate classy/cute/quirky to reflect my friend’s personality.

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A simple thank you card for my boss. Sometimes, when the paper is pretty enough to stand for itself, I follow the “less is more” rule.

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Sent all of these out this past week. 🙂 More to come as occasions arise! 🙂

Tina Made Bunting

Seriously guys. When I saw this gold polka dot burlap at Joann’s, I just about fainted. How cute is this?!? It was begging to be made into bunting.

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  • burlap
  • twine
  • felt
  • fabric
  • hot glue gun
  • tacky glue
  • pinking shears
  • scissors

1) Cut your twine to the length of where you will be hanging your bunting, making sure to leave leeway at each end (if you want loose ends hanging). Make sure your twine isn’t stretched completely taut (unless you want completely horizontal bunting with no curvature, in which case, ignore me).

2) Cut your burlap into flags of the shape of your choice. I obviously chose rectangles– about 5.5″x 4.5″. Cut as many as you need to fill up the length of your twine, leaving a small amount of space between each flag. You can eyeball the spacing; mine was about 5/8″ between each flag.

3) Fold the top edge of each flag over the twine (~1/2 inch of burlap) and hot glue into place. Repeat for each flag. If you don’t want to use hot glue, weaving an embroidery needle + baker’s twine (in place of the thicker twine) through the top of each flag would work as well.

4) Using your pinking shears, cut out a heart from a piece of fabric of your choice. Tacky glue your heart to a piece of felt, then cut along the border of your fabric heart with regular scissors, leaving about 1/2″ border of felt. Glue your felt-fabric heart to the middle of a flag. Repeat for as many flags as you wish.

That’s it! Easy-peasy! I hung my bunting (just 4 flags across with a heart on the second flag) on the top of a small bookshelf.