Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

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Entries in print on demand (3)

Saturday
Oct242009

A favor

Favor Box © 2009 Cottage Industrialist // Cameron BlazerSo here's the deal. I have made you a favor box for your Halloween treats. In return you owe me nothing. BUT. If you like my little box and the other things like it that I share on this wee blog, I have a favor to ask of you in return. We'll get to that in a minute.

So. Teeny take-out boxes. They are cute, non? Well. I am going to level with you. They are kind of a pain to cut out and make. But if you have a free evening, say, while you watch the best two hours on television,* you could whip out a bunch of these. They are the perfect size for just a couple pieces of candy. Or a tiny toy. Or a monocle. Because...monocles? Awesome.

© 2009 Cottage Industrialist // Cameron BlazerAnyhoo, if you set out to make these, don't say I didn't warn you about the drudgery factor. Still, I think the end result is cute enough to warrant the effort if you're having a small party or want to limit the nutso candy consumption of your small-but-mighty child at Halloween time. Or maybe that's just me.

If, in spite of my entreaties to the contrary, you want to make these little guys, download the free, printable PDF here. All the instructions are in the printable file.

 ***

Now. The favor. If you're not really the you-scratch-my-back-i'll-scratch-your-back type, just skip this and go about your freebie business. Seriously, I don't mind. But. If you read this site with any regularity and are of a mind to help a sister out, I would love your advice. See, I have changed jobs recently, and though the work is generally the same, I have had to up my game in every way for this new playing field. It means that I don't have as much time to doodle and fidget and take pretty pictures. But I want—no, I need—to keep this blog going strong. And, truthfully, it's not that I am at a loss for content--I have OODLES of printables just waiting to be packaged up and shared, recipes that have been road tested and kid-approved, and nifty projects that are ready for prime time.

If, at this point, you are thinking, "So, then, what's the big problemo, señora?" you are probably one of those reasonable people who adjusts sans drama to the changing of the seasons and does not have a crisis of confidence in the face of complimentary valet parking. You are one of the lucky ones.

The point is that I sweat this stuff. I fret over photos and pixels and color schemes. And even more? I fret over the words. A lot of times I think people don't really read my blog but just pop in the way I pop into Whole Foods for the free cheese. But the words really matter to me. I don't just want to post braggy pictures of whatever goofball thing I've just made. I like to share the story behind the pictures and projects. But sometimes that impulse keeps me from posting because I don't have time to explain why I just came up with a printable baby announcement (i.e., no, I am not having another baby, mom). And, on the flip side, sometimes I have things I'd like to talk about that aren't connected to a cool project and that don't fit into the 140 characters I regularly exploit on twitter.

I really am getting to the favor part of this blather. Just stick with me for another minute. The favor is really simple—I'd just like to get your feedback. If I post more frequently without projects or freebies, will you tune out? If I post random freebies without the cute story behind them, will you still tune in? Do you think I should invite guest bloggers? Would you like to be one, or do you have one to suggest? Any suggestions, words of encouragement, rotten tomatoes, or golden eggs are welcome in the comments. Cheers, and happy Halloween!

*Wednesday nights: So You Think You Can Dance and Glee. Obviously.

Thursday
Aug202009

Better than sausage or legislation any day!

So the title of this post is probably not ideal since I had to explain it to my husband who thought it had weird (creepy?) overtones. Jokes are never funny when you explain them.

Anyway, you know the old saw: watching laws get made is like watching sausage manufacturing--sort of ruins your appetite for the end result. Well, when Stephen Fraser from Spoonflower sent me this video of some of my fabric being printed, I felt just the opposite, so I just had to share:

On the one hand, there's something almost unremarkable about it--we've become so accustomed to inkjet printers with picoliter droplet sizes and borderless printing at breakneck speeds, that it's easy to be unimpressed--in essence, this is just a giant inkjet printer, right? But when I think about how far digital printing has come since my family got our first Image Writer II (1987?), it blows my mind. Reminds me of the Saturday Night Live sketch where the crochety old man says, "We ate dirt for breakfast, and we liked it!" Back then, we had four-color ribbon printing and 72-dpi and we liked it! It wasn't like anything we'd ever seen. Low-cost home printers made anybody with a story and a willingness to hack away at Aldus PageMaker a desktop publisher. And now services like Spoonflower are democratizing craft, making it possible for anyone with a vision to forge on in a medium that has been all but completely closed to individual artists and craftspeople. And that is, as I told Stephen when he sent me this video, just plain rad.

Try it out

If you've wanted to try fabric printing but hesitated about the cost, there's still time (2.5 hours as of this writing) to get two free 8"x8" swatches (in the fabric of our choice, and with free shipping, too!) from Spoonflower. And while you are at it, they've made it super easy to donate some or all of the money you save to a wonderful charity, Heifer International, that provides cows, lamas, chickens, and other livestock to people in developing countries as a means of empowering them and enabling them to meet their long-term food and economic needs. Also rad.

Free swatch day is over, but swatches are only $5, so what's stopping you? I have a frightening number of them, so I am working to come up with a project to use some of them up.

Tuesday
Jun092009

Winner, winner chicken dinner!

Peacock Scatter Fabric © 2009 Cameron Blazer. Printed by Fabric on Demand. I have a fear of winning the lottery. No, really. Much as I can whine and moan about the difficulties of my tragic middle class existence, I am actually really lucky. And I'm afraid that if I play the lottery I might actually win. And my life would be ruined. No, really. I mean, how many lottery winners do you know who've written a Great American Novel? Or argued before the Supreme Court? Or held a patent? No, lottery winners hail from Warbled Gulch, WV, and Juggler's Bend, ID,* and they all squander their winnings on that most potent cocktail of sportscars, McMansions, and breast augmentations. That's not exactly my American Dream.

Still, from time to time I throw my name into the hat for contests that are not exclusively luck-based. A few weeks ago, I learned about a new print-on-demand fabric company, Fabric on Demand from the awesome website, TrueUp. Now, I am already a big fan of Fabric on Demand's competitor, Spoonflower, so I was hesitant to spread my loyalties. But I did what any good social media addict would do--scanned their site, ordered fabric samples, and followed them on twitter.** And, lo. There was a contest. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a Sally Field, "you like me, you really like me" moment when I got the email that I won. But there it was--and, lickety split, the fine folks at Fabric on Demand sent me my peacock fabric on 100% cotton broadcloth. So exciting. It's destined to be a sundress a la this pattern as soon as I can get a couple of uninterrupted hours. So it should definitely be done before my child enters high school in 2020. Anyhoo, thanks to Rysa, Mike, and the other fine folks at Fabric on Demand!

*An as-yet-undetermined prize awaits the first person who can document in comments the existence of either of these towns. Side bets may be available for your own invented hamlets of despair.

**I love twitter, I really do. But is it just me or is the whole following/unfollowing thing like so much canine bum-sniffing? Just askin'.