Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

* Northwest Flower and Garden show 2012

Posted on February 12th, 2012 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Home and Garden, Inspiration.


Mark and I spent the whole day yesterday at the Northwest Flower and Garden show.  It was a lot of fun, and I managed to find a few things to bring home: Rose Finn Apple and La Ratte fingerling potatoes from Irish Eyes, a free packet of carrot seeds from the zoo booth, some samples of chicken feed from Portage Bay Grange, and an armful of 50% books that I’ve been meaning to get anyway, including Put ‘em Up, Sugar Snaps and Strawberries, and Your Farm in the City.  I was a little disappointed there weren’t more vegetable seed companies there, though. I had hoped to find a few novel varieties not usually locally available.  There was one booth of Italian seeds that was interesting, plus Irish Eyes, but beyond that, nada.

We did get lots of ideas at the show.  I’m going to try bolding the ideas I want to remember the most for reference.  Mark was the official family photographer.

We had two favorites of the demonstration gardens, both including lots of edibles.  The first was titled Pictures at a Northwest Exhibition (creators), and featured an accordion player in a gazebo made from repurposed items and vegetables planted in slices of industrial pipe.

They also had a Kippenhouse duck coop with a living roof and potatoes planted in burlap bags.

The other one we liked was by Cascadian Edible Landscapes.  Besides all the nice vegetables, they had a chicken coop (with chickens, unlike the plastic ducks in the other one) made out of a VW bus by Recoop.

The big winner garden was also pretty spectacular, using giant tree roots in the landscape.

We spent the afternoon going to seminars.  The first was by Jessi Bloom: “What the Cluck?! Great Plant Choices for Gardening with Chickens.”  She brought a few chickens for show and tell, and her talk covered some of the topics in her new book, which I am currently on the reserve waiting list for at the library (thank you Seattle Public Library iPhone app).  She had some good suggestions, and made us realize that letting our chickens out to range during the day is not very useful if they have nothing in their little landscape.  Even though we only have two chickens, and they have a really spacious area, they have eaten every single green thing in sight.  This year we’re going to try to plant some shrubs by the coop to liven things up, and today I set up their tractor over one of my cover-cropped beds.  I was going to turn this bed under this weekend to plant with sweet peas, but instead maybe they will do it for me and get some tasty greens at the same time.

Next up was a kind of bizarre talk about Potager gardens, which included some nice pictures but not much information content.

After that, we went to see Ciscoe Morris’s seminar on Indestructible Plants.  He’s such a character.  Every slide came with a funny story and encyclopedic information.  I really need to see if the podcast of his radio show ever started up again.

We had to leave that one early to get to Annette Cottrell‘s Winter Vegetable Garden talk.  I did a lot of research on winter gardening this past year, so I was reasonably familiar with a lot of what she said.  I did get on the library reserve list for her book, though.  She had some great advice on capturing heat that we will probably try to implement somehow.

The other set of displays we really enjoyed were container gardens.  There were two I particularly liked, both of which featured moss-covered walls.  The first one was by Ravenna Gardens and had a lab theme, so of course I loved it.  Plants in test tubes and beakers!  I am now contractually obligated to try this.

Their moss wall had stag ferns (I think) growing on it.

The other one was called Portholes and Time by Cultivar LLC and Midnight Blossom.  The portholes mounted in the shed were pretty great, but I also liked the pretty boxes on the moss wall.  There were lots of cute sheds and coops.  We’re now on the hunt for a shed for the coop area to house our garden implements, or maybe we’ll build one.  This coop from the ReStore was pretty great.

Whew, it was definitely a busy day!  I’m not sure I’ll go every year, but it is definitely worth visiting occasionally.

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* honeycomb

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.


I gave the ol’ craftlog a much needed little design update today.  I got inspired after ordering this awesome honeycomb necklace from sora on Etsy.

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And then One Pearl Button posted this great thrift store afghan.

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So I combined the honeycomb theme with the color scheme and viola.

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* honeycomb inspiration

Posted on November 28th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Art, Inspiration.


I’m working on an art installation of sorts to cover a giant blank wall in our living room.  The kernel of the idea came from this paper honeycomb window display at Assemble Gallery and Studio.

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This is from a while ago.  I’d taken the picture and kind of had it in the back of my mind.  The next little push was from the cover project from the book Quilt It With Wool.

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I like the common color scheme, but with the addition of texture.

Then it was hexagons in the honey color scheme everywhere:

header for the Purl Bee

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Anthropologie window displays (picture by Calamity Kim)

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more more more more more more

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* Llubav sketchbooks

Posted on December 15th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links, Inspiration.


I am in love with the working sketches on Llubav‘s tumblr (main site: Llubave).

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The final products are pretty sweet too, but I’m really taken with the sketchbooks.  More people should post sketches!  Including me!

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* one quilt months 5 and 6

Posted on July 1st, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


I’m trying to catch up on my sadly lagging blocks for one quilt.

This one is for i heart linen, and the task was to make a house using a stack of lovely fabrics that she picked out.  I paged through an awesome book on A-frames at a bookstore a while back and knew that was it.  I loved my Fisher Price A-frame dollhouse when I was little, so it seemed like her kiddo might like it too.

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I totally winged the construction, starting from a pencil sketch.  There was a dicey moment at the end when I decided to add the yellow polka dot corners and cut one of the pieces mirror image of how it should’ve been.  Luckily I hadn’t trimmed it yet and had barely enough clearance to sew it on upside down.  The decoration on the door is a cutout from some eyelet fabric.  And can I just point out how nice and square my little 9-patch lawn turned out?  Yeah, that little confidence boost didn’t last.

This one is for Sew Click Create, and did not turn out quite so well.  For one thing, I ended up with nowhere near enough fabric, I think because I have a loooooot of fabric tied up in seam allowances.  Hopefully Chara can add some white sashing to bring it to size for her quilt.  Also, you may have noticed that I used the unpopular “zombie geese” pattern, in which you don’t read the directions on how to match the triangles for a flying geese pattern and end up chopping all their heads off when you sew the strips together.  Ah well, at least the colors are pretty.

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* random owl post

Posted on May 13th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Craft Room, Inspiration.


Vintage Japanese owl switchplate my sister got me for Christmas.  The yellow rings around the eyes glow in the dark!

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And here’s a big carved owl sculpture in some random house’s front yard.

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* lace graffiti

Posted on May 12th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration, Wants.


Took these photos last week on my last walk to work from my old house.  It’s on the 20th Ave bridge across Ravenna Park, if any locals are interested.  It’s like a giant doily!  I like how you can see the green registration marks, a little clue as to how they must’ve created it.

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I also saw some knitted graffiti on a bench in the U District the other day, but it was disappointingly poorly executed, so I didn’t take a picture.  Still cool though.

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* Deparment of Eagles/Dzama music video

Posted on May 3rd, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.


Loving the aesthetic of this crazy music video from Department of Eagles and Marcel Dzama.

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* Domino Deco File

Posted on January 17th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Links, Inspiration.


There’s a new little list of stuff I like over on my sidebar there.  It’ll be a rotating list of random blog posts, shops, artists, music, whatever that caught my eye but I never bothered to make a full post about.

There’s also a link to this thing I’ve been trying out from the Domino magazine website: My Deco File.  It’s essentially a bookmark tool that lets you save images from websites and organize them into books.  My previous “system” was saving images I like right to my computer, in folders according to type.  The main problem with this scheme is that I can never remember where an image is from, which is a problem when I want to refer to it or go back to the original site.  The Deco File thing saves the links for you, and it’s got a reasonably nice browsing system.  Also, it tells you if you’ve already saved a particular image.  Of course, it has it’s own problem, which is that the image isn’t actually saved, it’s linked somehow so that if the original is deleted it disappears from your book too.  Some websites also don’t work with it.  But despite this I still like it a lot and have been using it pretty regularly.

Anyway, here’s mine.  I’ve got idea books for sewing, embroidery, house stuff, etc.

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* fluorescent

Posted on January 1st, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Inspiration.


I haven’t been posting inspiration-y things for some unknown reason (last one was 2005 according to my archives!), so maybe I’ll do more of that this year.

I have a bad habit of accumulating piles of magazines.  Once the piles get too big, I file the ones I might ever refer back to (Readymades, all things Martha, and one-offs of select design and craft mags) and rip out pages I like from the rest.  I’ll eventually come up with a good system for organizing the loose pages, but for now they get thrown into a bin.  I rifle through the pile every once in a while when I’m looking for ideas.

Anyway, on today’s spree, I came across an issue of Wallpaper from a few months ago and was reminded of a pair of portraits commissioned from Hiroshi Tanabi (who I think is the same person as Hiroshi Tanabe, though this particular drawing isn’t listed on his site anywhere).  I like his line-work, and especially the mix of black pen with fluorescent marker.

The other one is the same drawing but with an orange highlighter instead of yellow.  I love love love the fluorescence against the brown background.  I think there’s some garish embroidery thread in my collection, hmmm.

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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!