New to Me: Miniature Paintings on Tea Bags by Ruby Silvious

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers

Artist and graphic designer Ruby Silvious paints true miniature art, for she makes used tea bags(!) into her canvas. The results – many of which depict everyday scenes and objects – are delicate and distinctive.

Below are just three of my favorites. My goodness, it was hard to choose just three!

Ruby Silvious 52 Weeks of Tea Full House

Ruby Silvious: 52 Weeks of Tea (2016): Full House.

Ruby Silvious 52 Weeks of Tea Merry Meowy Christmas

Ruby Silvious: 52 Weeks of Tea (2016): Merry Meowy Christmas.

Ruby Silvious 363 Days of Tea 1098

Ruby Silvious: 363 Days of Tea (2015).

At this writing, Silvious’s Tea Bag Art series includes five subsets: 26 Days of Tea first in Japan and then in France, 52 Weeks of Tea, 363 Days of Tea and a Teabag Mini-book. She has also published her 363 days paintings as a book.

Found via Colossal. Read more, including Silvious’s work in other media, on her website, Twitter and Instagram!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Upcycling Magazine Ads into Envelopes

Arts & Crafts, Books & Mags, DIY

When I throw out old papers or magazines, I usually go through them and tear out pages with large, colorful visuals for crafting. Sometimes they’re ads, sometimes food photos or shots of floral arrangements. I worked my most recent batch into envelopes:

My favorites are these four:

We don’t use physical envelopes very often except for a few recurring bills. Now I’ve got a stash to tide us over the next few years. Crafting win!

New Item Info Tags in Action

Before & After, Behind the Scenes, Design & Designers, Leveling Up

As a seller of textiles, I am obligated by the federal labeling requirements (the so-called Textile and Wool Acts) to include at minimum the following information with my products: fiber contents, country of origin (the “Made in” statement) and identity of the dealer / manufacturer (which is me). I also include dimensions, care instructions and return information in my info tags, and identify the recipient of my charitable donations.

One of my projects early in the year was re-doing the item info tags. For comparison, below is the old version:

Prisms Ready to Send

The info bands on the throw pillow covers are not so bad, really. However, the stickers I used to connect the band ends did not hold properly. The Textile & Wool Acts stipulate that info tags must be securely attached to the product until delivered to the consumer, so I needed a new solution.

Fortunately, the Acts also say that label(s) need to not be permanently attached. I decided therefore to use small cards instead of bands and use linen yarn to tie these “tags” onto the items. Below is the new design:

Item Info Tags

In addition to the tags, I created small booklets to tell my store story in a nutshell. One additional consideration convinced me to make the change: the new tags are easier to attach to oddly shaped products, like hanger covers:

New Info Tags on Hanger Covers

The new info tag design, with the tags tied on, unquestionably covers me under the Textile and Wool Acts. As a side benefit, it saves me paper. Goal reached!

This is how I ship purchases to customers:

New Info Tag Item Packaged

I tag, fold and sleeve items in plastic for protection from the elements. It’s a lot of work, but the results are worth every minute.

Online Finds: Oana’s Holiday Gift Tags

Arts & Crafts, Bits in Spaaace!, Design & Designers

Oana Befort (whom I mentioned last week) made and shared beautiful holiday gift tags last year. (Free for personal use only.)

Gift Tag Pile

Tags by Oana Befort.

I printed out a bunch yesterday. Time to start thinking about presents for friends & family! 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Online Finds: Free Printable from Mini-eco

Arts & Crafts, Bits in Spaaace!, Colors, DIY, Fabrics & Materials, Geek out!

Kate at Mini-eco shares her printable gift boxes. Just look at these gorgeous, geometric, colorful, clever containers:

Geometric gift boxes

Geometric gift boxes by Kate at Mini-eco.

(Couldn’t quite come up with an altogether alliterating arrangement of adjectives. I think I’m rusty!)

See Oh Happy Day for more photos and instructions. Thanks, Kate!

P.S. d4, d6, d20 anyone? 😀

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Making Progress: Ready for the World!

Behind the Scenes, DIY, Leveling Up

Getting your products out into the world involves quite a few tasks. Making and photographing your items – apart from the initial plan and design – are just the first steps in the process. Packaging is an important step that ties in with regulations, branding and customer service. It took me several days of research, thinking and experimenting to come up with a solution that I’m happy with.

As per the federal Textile and Wool acts, I had to include fiber content, manufacturer and country of origin information. I also wanted to include care information. I wanted something that both takes my branding (logo / font) into account and is pleasing to the eye. Finally, I absolutely wanted my textiles to be protected from the elements during shipping. And I wanted simple packaging. Quite a few requirements, don’t you think?

Here is my solution:

Prisms Ready to SendThe photo above shows the first batch of my Prism pillow covers, ready to be sent out into the world. I quite like how the 18x18 size folds so that you are able to see all three colors of the pillow front. I wish I could say that was premeditated, but it was, in fact, a very happy accident I’m shamelessly taking advantage of. 😉