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Screen printing at Harvest Workroom

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

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I recently came back from a week long Melbourne trip. It was filled with so much art and creativeness that I think I might have to share more than one post about my trip.

Today’s post is going to be just about my screen printing workshop with the Harvest girls. One word: INSPIRING….

Or make that three words:

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HAPPINESS!!

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FUN!!

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MAGICAL!!!!

If you are considering a workshop at Harvest Workroom, or have an interest in screen printing, I hope my post will encourage you to take up a class! I chose Design and screen print your own fabric. It’s a two day workshop, run by the lovely Jess Wright.

I should confess that flying to Melbourne to attend a workshop seemed exciting at first but closer to the time of my travels, I started to feel very nervous and was even regretting my enrollment. I had no experience with screen printing so I felt out of my depths. I tried a few things to prepare myself for class:

1. Read up on screen printing, particularly fabric printing (I’d recommend Lena Corwin’s Printing by Hand)

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2. Brainstorm pattern ideas and draw daily

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3. Practice stencil cutting

Of course you don’t have to do all of this, in fact you might like to turn up and learn as you go! But the preparation gave me a basic understanding of the screen printing process and also encouraged me to play around with patterns.

The first day of the workshop was like a test run. We spent some time stencil cutting our patterns before applying it to our screen and adding fabric ink.

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I realised quickly that screen printing requires good discipline and organisation skills because the whole process gets messy quickly: dirty screens, spilled ink, upside down images…and then back to more tedious stencil cutting!

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By the end of the class, I was feeling a little frazzled because there was so much information to process and this whole world of screen printing suddenly seemed so overwhelming! I wasn’t sure if others felt the same but Jess was so patient and she told us to go home, have a rest and regroup for tomorrow!

On the second day of the workshop we learned about repeat printing on fabric. Using the swiss repeat technique, I made a confetti stencil pattern and picked colours that reminded me of candy floss and strawberry sorbet.

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After my very messy day on day one, day two seemed easier as I became more comfortable in using the squeegee. There is an art to it and over time I even learned to pick up the happy sounds that a good squeegee print makes!

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I love my confetti fabric!

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Next I worked on my posie pattern. I wanted a two colour screen print so I mixed up some bright orange and ocean blue. As you know I’m very partial to these colours because they are my wedding colours!

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Posie printing in action…

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The final result!

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And with all the excitement and fun going on…before I knew it the day had flown by so quickly!

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I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my workshop. It has certainly inspired me to do more screen printing projects at home. I’m going to shop around for some supplies and experiment with colours and different fabrics. At the mean time, I’m going to see what I can make with my fabric prints from Harvest. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Tea towels? Pillow cases? Let me know!

DIY Christmas Wrapping

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

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I really love this time of the year because I get to wrap up pretty presents and indulge in lots of papery goodness! I like collecting paper and usually buy one or two to add to my stash. This year I decided to stick with my DIY theme and make my own wrapping paper.

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For my Christmas wrapping project I used a roll of brown paper, a white marker pen (my favourite new pen), twine, doilies, assorted papers and stickers.

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It’s pretty obvious I have a special fondness for gnomes so I couldn’t resist drawing some smiley gnomes this year! They don’t look too bad (I think)! :D Happy wrapping everyone! My illustrated gift tags and stickers are available on my online shop.

DIY Christmas Tree

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

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I decided that this year I really wanted a tree! We’ve never had one before as a couple…and we always assumed that every Christmas we’ll spend it at our parents place (they have their own tree). But I didn’t want a fake tree…and I didn’t want to chop a tree down either…so what were my other options? A friend suggested the old tree branch idea and I was sold!

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The very next day I went hunting for my dead branch and found a huge pile of chopped up branches on the verge. I’m sure people who saw me scavenging around the wood pile must have thought I was a loony!

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I also picked up some pinecones and gum nuts and sprayed them all white with a $2 spray can from Bunnings.

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For my tree ornaments, I hung up some baby pinecones with bakers twine. The rest of the ornaments are vintage treasures or gifts given to me.

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I found a red flower pot in my father-in-law’s shed and filled it up with sand. Then I decorated the pot with more pinecones, gum nuts and tinsels.

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So there you have it…my first ever DIY Christmas tree! What do you think? Hehe :D

DIY paper heart tree

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

A few days before the Lunar New Year, it gets a bit chaotic at my parent’s house. My dad will be off to the shops to buy the best crispy suckling pig or roasted duck for our reunion dinner. We’ll do a huge spring clean because on Chinese New Year we’re not suppose to do any cleaning. The Chinese believe that cleaning on New Years day is like sweeping good luck out the front door.

Even though it’s all ridiculously superstitious, we’ve adhere to this tradition every year. We also decorate the house by putting mandarin oranges in a basket and planting fresh cherry blossoms in a vase.

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Since moving back to Perth, Big Mo and I have kept with this tradition. This morning after our spring cleaning, I decided to do some crafty decoration. I made paper hearts out of red paper and tied them to our plant. I pretended it was our little money plant!

The gorgeous watermelon bowl is by Samantha Robinson. I love her work. The tea set is a wedding gift from my mum, which we used during our tea pouring ceremony. In it are ‘Ang Pows’ or red packets. It is customary that on Chinese New Year, married couples or the older generation hand out red packets filled with money to children, teenagers or unmarried adults.

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It’s also quite normal to see a lot of red during the Lunar festival as red symbolises good fortune and joy!

Orange and blue wedding photos

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

It’s been 6 months since we got hitched, and up till today I still get emails from those who’ve stumbled upon my blog asking me about my wedding shoes and a list of vendors. So I will compile my vendor list along with this post!

Here are my favourites from our photographer, Jen Regan from Anna Rose Photography.

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For our summer wedding, we gave away orange paper fans from ebay, to cool our guests down.

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My bouquet was an arrangement of orange mokara, orange calla lilies, hypericum berries, orange roses and James story orchids. Made by Karma Floral Design. I wanted something petite and beachy! My girls are just holding a few stalks of James Story orchids.

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My dress is a simple white dress from Cue, paired with a white belt and orange ballet flats from Nine West. The headpiece is a birdcage veil by Bridal Affair. I got all this from wandering around in the city. I stayed away from Bridal shops because they were too expensive for my budget!

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We had our wedding at the Kidogo Arthouse Gallery, it’s a lovely rustic limestone building perched right on the cliff. It overlooks the ocean and it’s nicely hidden away to give us a little privacy. We started off with a tea ceremony inside the art gallery and after serving tea to our parents, we moved out to the cliff to say our vows.

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We gave away bubble bottles to our guests to blow. Inexpensive..and fun. The kids loved them the most. We wrapped up the bottles individually with our names in blue paper.

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For our decorations, we got orange and blue paper lanterns from ebay. We sewed the table runners ourselves, arranged some orange orchids in ikea vases and added blue and orange paper napkins. I’ll let you in on a secret, the cutlery are actually plastic chrome cutlery! Even the wine glass is plastic! I’d rather put money towards our first home then splurging on china dishes!

I think it’s possible to hold a handmade wedding, that doesn’t cost a bomb. We kept ours really simple and minimal. I chose not to use any videographer, chair covers, flower petals or satin ribbons…in fact we didn’t even have a wedding cake! We also opted to have a buffet lunch instead of a sit down dinner meal, which really helped with the costs. Our Surf and turf buffet was prepared by All Suburbs Catering.

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Well that’s pretty much our DIY wedding! I don’t normally post wedding related articles so I hope you enjoyed looking at all the photos! If you need any more info just email me or leave a comment here.

A word of advice to all the brides out there planning their wedding, just remain steadfast and calm about your budget! Pick a charming location that doesn’t require much decoration and add in a few personal and unique touches. Have fun!

For more pretty pictures, you can check out some of these blogs that featured my wedding too:) Ruffled.

DIY hand stamped wrapping paper

Monday, April 19th, 2010

I was inspired by Allana’s hand stamped wrapping paper from her blog that I decided to try it out myself.

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I chose a tree stamp and made little tree prints all over some brown paper. I like that the print has uneven ink marks, it gives that charming appeal.

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Since this was an actual order for a customer, I popped in one of my Little Mo thank you cards. All of my thank you cards are hand drawn on the spot. They are like little pieces of my original art:)

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Then I stuck Mr Bunny on the package for some extra love! I hope you enjoy opening your Mo goodies, Karen!

DIY house shelf

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Many of you have asked how I made my little house shelf. So I’m sharing this tutorial so that you can make your own.

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You can make it to any size, and you can prop it up in your work room or your kid’s room to display children’s books, magazines, letters or anything you fancy:)

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Outline your house on the wood. Mine is an MDF panel board from Bunnings. It cost $11.50. It’s sort of ‘medium’ in thickness. Not too thick and heavy, and not too thin either. My father in-law helped me cut it.

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We used two pieces of wood and a hinge to make the stand.
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It’s easier to make the stand when the house is flat.

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We glued wood moulding to decorate the border of the house. You can get lots of different patterns like flowers and vines. They come in a long strip. I chose a simple pattern called rope. They are all available at Bunnings.

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We made two basic shelves. We outlined on the wood first.

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Then we glued and nailed the shelves on.

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The fun part is colouring the house. I painted mine white because I only had white paint at that time. But you can colour yours in something colourful and stick plenty of fun stuff on it!

One of these days I might re-paint mine..in stripes or polka dots maybe:)

DIY recycled gift boxes

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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Lots of people asks how I make my origami display tree. I make all my origami using my recycled wrapping paper. You can get them from my shop in a set or individually. Today I am going to show you how to make a cute gift box.

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You will need to cut a square sheet of wrapping paper. The bone folder is optional (I use it to press down my paper/ creases firmly, you can use a ruler or your fingers).

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Flip the paper over so that you start with the white backing. Fold paper twice so that you have these lines.

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Using the 4 lines as a guide, take each corner and fold into the centre.

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When all 4 corners touch, it will look like this.

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Now take bottom edge of the paper and fold into the centre.

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Do the same with the top edge. It will look like this..

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When your top and bottom is folded. Fold your left and right sides in the same manner as above.

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When you open up your paper, it should have all these creases. Don’t panic, this is good!

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These creases will guide you into folding a box (that’s why it’s important to press firmly when you are folding the paper because it helps!)

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Keep folding.
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Getting there!

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Yaay you have a box! You can fill it with candies, loose change, buttons etc. To make a lid, just repeat all the instructions above BUT use a slightly bigger square piece of paper, at least 0.5cm larger. This is to enable the lid to slip on and off easily.

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For pretty packaing, I used a strip of coloured paper and some silver strings. I think lace, rik raks and vintage paper would be lovely too.

With this tutorial, you can make ANY size boxes, it all depends on how big your square pieces of paper are! Large squares make large boxes, and small squares make small boxes! Have fun!

DIY recycled paper bags

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

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Before you throw out your paper waste, you could actually turn them into something useful! You can make recycled paper bags out of old magazines, newspaper and brown kraft paper.

Since I had a lot of brown paper, discarded from various packaging, I decided to cut them out into paper bags for my upcoming market. Something to put my stationery in when I hand them over to my customers. Like a little treat bag you know.

I made a variety of sizes from small to larger bags. I used sticky tape or glue to gum the edges. Then I took out my rubber stamps and made a sweet print on all of my paper bags. I chose a tree print, because I love nature and recycling and my paper goods are all environmentally friendly too.

You can also use ribbons or sew buttons on to your paper bags! And it doesn’t matter if your paper bags are creased or dirty. They are handmade and recycled after all and those effects make them even more charming!

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