shastablasta wraps presents well

Sep 28

Calligraphy chalk for Chiotras

I recently had the opportunity to take my first stab at chalk pho-calligraphy for Chiotras Grocery.They’re my neighborhood corner store and sandwich shop (note they’re not actually on a corner). They had a huuuuuge chalkboard perfect for making a menu board. If you follow me onInstagram you may have seen some of my progress images. I’m happy to say it’s complete! Well except for a couple sandwiches being added to the menu. How could I forget one of my favs; eggplant, pesto, mozzarella!?


Sep 23

Design trends. Why handmade?

Yup, I’m back to blogging! While on my blog break I had the pleasure of being on a panel discussion for AIGA SF’s D.Talks series along with Everett Katigbak and Damon Styer. Josh Levinewas our fearless moderator who integrated the audience into the conversation. The theme of the night was the trend of handmade in design. Since the event I’ve been thinking a lot about our discussion and thought it worth a share here. 


Pip pip hurray! DIY paper flower stamen.

You know those little fake pollen bits you see used in paper flower making… Anatomically they’re called stamen but in paper flower world they’re called pips. And they’re not so cheap for something called a pip! You’d think they’d just cost pip cents each. Well some are reasonably priced but I’ve become enamored with the vintage glass variety. I figured I could make something a little more similar. So I did. Pip! Pip! Hurray! You can to!


Aug 04

Show and Tell: Summer Renegade SF 2014

A couple Sundays ago all of San Francisco was drenched in fog. A little winter like made it perfect for going inside to the summer edition of the Renegade Craft Fair. Held at Fort Mason it’s also a good reason to walk by the bay and hear the clickety clang of all the sail boats in their berths. Renegade is one of my favorite fairs and there was so much good stuff this time around. One of the stand outs was all the variety of ceramics. Each vendor had their own twist on the medium. I could have done a whole post on that. 


Jul 24

A crafty bachelorette party

What’s a crafty bachelorette party? Well it’s kind of like a regular crafty get together except the craft is folding paper penises. Add in paper flower craft and you can create bouquets, crowns, or corsages for the bride to be. And when you’re crafting “origami penises” there’s bound to be some laughter.


Jul 16

Tenugui gift wrapping

This past weekend Heath Ceramics in San Francisco had a lovely exhibit; Akio Nukaga and friends which included several events. One of the friends events I saw on the calendar was a Japanese gift wrapping demo. So you know I had to be there!


Jul 09

Tie Dyed Paper Flowers

You have not time traveled back to the 60’s but these petals are sporting some tie dye flower power. Okay, so I did not tie up my paper with marbles and rubber bands but these papers are not store bought. They’re dyed using alcohol inks.


Jul 01

Starz and Stripz: Patriotic mail


The US flag is a malleable thing. In it’s nearly 240 years it’s had 27 official versions though there was no designated arrangement for the field of stars until the 1912 introduction of the 48 starred flag (source). Did you know that?! The fact the flag has changed forms many times makes it seem less sacred. More sacred are the rights written within the constitution that imbued us with the ability to use the flag as a symbol to herald or question our country. Whichever you prefer. You can paint it on your jean shorts or create fine art.

So there you go! I’m doing my patriotic duty by playing with the form of the American flag. If you break the flag down to it’s simplest form it is two fields awaiting manipulation. Perfect for Zentangle and watercolors.


Jun 18

DIY decorative masking tape

Last week I shared an alternative for using plain clear tape when wrapping gifts. This week I’ve got another one. By now most avid crafters have discovered washi tape. So what’s the next logical step for a washi tape addict? Making your own of course! READ MORE…

Jun 11

Gift wrapping with image transfers

Have you ever heard of an image transfer? I had almost forgotten what they were until I recently got this book, Playing with Image Transfers, by Courtney Cerruti. I remember making one as part of a letterforms project in college. Google was barely a thing so I went off the verbal instructions from an art grad. Boy do I wish I had this book then. I remember having fun with my project but this book would have alleviated a lot of frustration.

Yeah, so what’s an image transfer? 


Jun 04

Zentangle in color

A few weeks ago I shared the tangle pattern I created called Onion Drops and I included a list of patterns I found that have a similar twisting feel. Many of them I had never tried out before so I’m following up with some sample tiles to see how some of those patterns work. I think I found a new favorite in Sand Swirl. You’ll also notice the line work on these tiles is in color! I’ve been having fun playing with a pack of Stabilo pens. Usually I draw with a black 01 Micron (0.25 mm line). These create a 0.4 mm line so the line work is still fairly fine.

If this is the first time you’re stumbling upon Zentangle check out my introduction to the practice here. It can be a great medium for adding a handmade element to correspondence.


May 28

Show and Tell: Maker Faire 2014

Have you ever been to a county fair? Maker Faire takes place at the San Mateo County Fair Grounds so walking in it has all the buzz of carnival rides, corn dogs, and 4-H projects. But this in actuality it is combination tech trade show, craft showcase, science fair, with creative oddities rolled into one. Every direction I turned there was something to wow at. The best “county fair” I’ve ever been to.


May 21

Celebrating a year of calligraphy with a summer word list

It’s my calligraversary! Myyy ca-llig-ra-ver-sary. And now I have an awful song in my head. Regardless I’m happy to say I’ve been practicing calligraphy for one year. The first 6 months was spent diligently practicing a few hours a week. And the last 6 months I’ve been less disciplined. I’ve mostly trotted out my new skill for creating notes for well wishes. I am so thankful that I did spend that chunk of time early on practicing. It felt like learning a foreign language. At times I needed to reference my notes to get my hand to translate the letter forms. But now I feel much more fluent and it flows pretty quickly even when I haven’t practiced in awhile. 

If you’ve been thinking of taking up calligraphy and need some reasons to take the plunge I’ve got five for you.


May 15

Crafty book recommendation: Just Us Girls

This months book recommendation is a crafting book for moms and daughters. Just Us Girls: 48 Creative Art and Craft Projects for Mothers and Daughters to Do Together, By Cindy Ann Ganadan. Flipping through this book brings me back to my childhood and all the fun projects my mom would come up with. We always had a project going. Sometimes it was making contraptions for blowing giant bubbles or you could find us blending up newspaper and fabric bits to make our own paper.


New Zentangle pattern: Onion Drops

One of the things I love most about Zentangle is that it’s a great go-to creative outlet when creating birthday notes and wrappings. Hand drawing something is an automatic way to make something unique and special for someone.