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Posts from the ‘Design Candy’ Category

Design Candy: Blue Poppy Seed

So just as a forewarning to you all, I may be posting a lot of wedding related stuff in the months leading up to the big day. I hope you all don’t mind. I promise to keep it interesting and design-focused so that anyone out there can perhaps use the ideas that I post for their own wedding. This month on our self-imposed timeline, we are supposed to send out save-the-date cards to guests, and I have been looking at a LOT of pretty paper lately. And speaking of pretty paper, Jen over at Blue Poppy Seed makes the cutest invitation printables. You can check out more of her designs on Etsy. Aren’t these adorable?

Design Candy: Barkley Sound Bags Holiday Open House

Barkley Sound Bags held a holiday open house earlier this month and I went to go check out what new stuff they had in their workshop, and possibly get some presents for Christmas. More importantly I really wanted to say hello to my former boss, Dave. He started BSB when he retired a few years ago, and is the sole founder and craftsman of these wonderful bags.

It all started when the old sail from their Valiant 40 needed to be replaced, and since they couldn’t throw away the memories embodied in that sail, they re-purposed it into a tent for parties and ultimately turned it into travel bags for a world trip.

At present, BSB makes bags of different styles, from totes to duffel bags and messenger bags, using both Dacron sails that have seen many miles of ocean as well as colorful recycled wind surf sails. Dave hand-cuts each sail, carefully utilizing its features and character, making each bag unique and special. Features like batten pockets, cringles, reef points and bolt ropes are left in to give each bag its own identity. You can be sure that no two bags are alike. And because they are made of tough sails, they last for-e-ver. This I know because I’ve had mine for a few years now. I also have one of the earlier prototypes that I use as a doggie supply bag whenever I take Hudson to the park. It has held up to daily abuse remarkably well.

Below are some photos from the open house:

Bags, bags, bags!

So many color choices!

IMG_1965 copy

BSB Blue Water Totes in progress.

A yummy spread of crackers and cheese

Deb entertains the guests.

One of the work stations (I love that sewing machine)

My favorite guy and the man behind the sewing machines– the great Dave Rutherford.


Since its inception Barkley Sound Bags has gained popularity and has been featured in GQ, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Dwell and Harper’s Bazaar to name a few. Barkley Sound Bags was also commissioned to do a special line for Nautica. How cool is that?!

For more info on these awesome handcrafted bags, see these links below (after the jump).

Barkley Sound Bags for Nautica:


Barkley Sound Bags Website

Barkley Sound Bags on Facebook

Textile Design – Chinese Pistache

Ola! It’s been a busy week so far I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. I think the boy feels the same way and has decided to call it a night at 9:30 (which is unusually early in this household). But since I cannot will myself to go to sleep, I’ll take this opportunity to share with you my second installment of textile designs while watching the SNL Christmas special on television. Although now I’m realizing that I’ve been sitting here for two commercial breaks in a row and haven’t gotten anywhere with this post, and that is why I’m putting the television into mute mode for now.

The Chinese Pistache is a tree in the cashew family that has pinnate leaves that turn scarlet in the fall, and is planted in urban settings for it’s attractive autumn foliage. The first time I saw these trees was in a magazine and I thought they looked gorgeous. I think the leaf arrangement itself is interesting. For the following designs however I decided against using red and tried different colors to give it a modern spin. I think it’s more fun when things aren’t too literal, no?

Fabric Design Inspirations: Autumn Leaves and Koi Fish

Last week a friend and I decided to go on a photo safari around town. We didn’t make it to all the places on our list (no surprise there) and ended up spending almost the entire, very rainy afternoon at the Japanese gardens. I was looking for some inspiration for my first fabric collection that I’ve been planning to make via Spoonflower and I found a ton here! The gardens were gorgeous and the autumn colors were spectacular. I snapped so many photos of different kinds of leaves and tree foliage which evidently will be the main theme of my design. That and maybe some koi fish thrown in the mix. What do you think? The ideas are already bouncing around in my head. I guess the next challenge is finding the time to sit down and create them before the holiday craziness catches up to me. Gah!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start.

Design Candy: Wood and the Color White

I am so obsessed with this particular combo right now. Actually I have always been obsessed about this particular combo but since I am currently in the market for a sideboard to store our kitchen crap extra dishes and glassware, my love for wood and white has been reawakened. White is classic and wood is timeless and together they look perfect and I think they never will go out of style. Here are some great photos of both furniture and interiors that I have recently pinterested. Don’t these look fabulous?

cool contemporary office

living room storage and open shelves

dining room

cool use of an attic space (love that window!)

dining room

work space (love the industrial lamps)

country kitchen

dining area in a Brussels home. light, airy, dreamy.

Digital Textile Printing at Spoonflower

Since I recently got into the craft of sewing, I have discovered that great fabric designs are hard to come by. Most of the stuff that they sell at fabric chains are either too old fashioned or too cutesy for my taste. If you look hard you can find some really cool ones at independent stores around the neighborhood, but still the selections seem pretty limited. I thought about designing my own fabrics but the idea of setting up silk screens and emulsions to print multi-colored designs sounded like a pretty daunting endeavor. And given the limited work space I have at home, it just made the idea seem more intimidating.

Enter Spoonflower. The only thing I can say is “Where have you been all my life and why haven’t I discovered you sooner?” I guess I’ve been sleeping under a rock all this time but let me tell you, this website is a godsend and I thank Google for bringing it up to my attention. In a nutshell, Spoonflower makes it possible for people to design, print and sell their own fabric. So not only does it serve as a source for great fabric for all your crafting needs, it’s also a platform for designers to showcase and sell their own work.

How awesome is this!

If anyone out there has tried this service I would love to hear what you think about it. I can’t wait to try it myself. In the meantime, check out some of these really cool designs from the awesome designers over at Spoonflower (Click on each screenshot to go to the designer’s store):

Design Candy: DIY Coat Racks

You can never have too many coat racks. At least that’s always the case in my home. When every hook is occupied I fall into the habit of draping my clothes (those that aren’t dirty enough for the hamper) on the door knobs, arm chairs,  the sofa, the shower curtain. It drives Breezy nuts, but then he tends to leave his on the floor. That drives me nuts. I’m not particularly crazy about store-bought coat racks, unless of course if they’re Eames Hang-It-Alls*. But since I don’t want to spend a fortune on one, then DIY is the way to go. I have seen some clever ones that people have made out of common household materials, and I have rounded up a few of my favorites here and hope you get inspired too! What will you make yours out of?

Vintage Trophy Coat Rack on Design Sponge
Click HERE for the full how-to

Salvaged Wood Coat Rack on Re-Nest
Click HERE for the full how-to

Vintage Yard Stick Coat Rack by Mandi (my favorite!)
Check out this DIY project on her blog HERE

Drift Wood (the PNW has this in abundance!)
First Photo: from Canadian House and Home
Second Photo: from Apartment Therapy

Peace-Love-RockOn-ForkYou by JJevensen on Etsy

*the Charles and Ray Eames Hang-It-All.
Ah, I wouldn’t mind having one of these in my entryway. Design Within Reach is having a Herman Miller sale from June 3 to the 13th. You can drool over their furniture HERE. Below are bathroom hooks that echo the design of this midcentury modern piece.

Bathroom Hooks by Elsie Marley

Grilling in Style

Summer is so slow to come and while we had an awesome snow -filled winter, I’m sure all of you are ready for some warmer weather. I definitely am, and after we had our first official barbecue party* of the year, I am constantly filled with thoughts of the beach, sand, and more barbecues to come.

On that note, I have found some stylish portable barbecue grills that I thought I’d share. These are super fun and trendy, and as sizzling hot as the steaks that are going to be cooking in them!

Fyrkat Cone Grill by Bodum

Fyrkat Charcoal Grill by Bodum

Porcelain table top grill by Eva Solo

Bucket Grill by Saga Form

Bucket Grill by Sur La Table

Picnic Grill by Bodum

*We had our first barbecue party  of the season two weeks ago at the Eastlake house to celebrate a friend’s birthday (and send off the winter). While it was only 68 degrees and not exactly warm enough for some people, to Seattleites it was the perfect weather for it.

Weather alert: It’s supposed to get up to 70 degrees this week. I’m in a lighter mood already!

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