Screen Printing Workshop with Lotta

It took me awhile to get this post up. I had grand plans to create some gifts from the items I made during this workshop, but I never got around to it. Then COVID-19 hit and I’m just trying to adjust. Looking over these photos makes me so thankful for the opportunity to travel, meet new people, try and try new things. Being at home for almost two months, I really do miss them. Hopefully we will get back to normal soon. :)

Last Fall I was on the east coast on a work trip and Lotta happened to have a screen printing workshop in Brooklyn the weekend after my trip. I took advantage of my location and took a quick trip to participate in this awesome workshop.

My mindset going into this workshop was one of more LEARNING and PRACTICING. Trying not to think too much and get in my head. Creating in that space was much more freeing and allowed me to be more creative. Not only was the workshop awesome, I was able to reconnect with a friend from the Aland Retreat earlier this year.

We were able to take materials home with us, including the screen and squeegee. I have gathered up some other supplies to make my own tabletop press (like the one we used in the workshop) so I can keep practicing!

Stay tuned for seeing what I do with the prints from this workshop! But in the meantime, check out more of her workshops on Instagram via #lottasworkshops.

Up-cycled wooden box

Right now most of us are quarantining at home during this world pandemic. We are all finding different ways to spend our time and create happiness in this unknown and confusing situation. For me, I’ve found that I have more time to do cooking and crafting. I took this opportunity to go through all my supplies and find items I can do without having to go shopping for additional materials. It’s like a built in forcing function to tidy up. :) This is just one of those crafts I did while spending my time at home!

I am a saver (of memories). I love reminiscing through old photographs, memorabilia or passed down objects. The process of looking through old grade school or college memories takes me back to that place. :) Most of us understand the positives for saving these special memories…and we all know the negatives too. The best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, is just one book on how to free your life of stuff. Another good one is, Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure by Maxwell Ryan. So in the spirit of freeing my life of stuff, I am trying to up-cycle some of my old stuff instead of buying more.

One of these objects is a wooden box I made for my senior project while I was at the University of Washington studying graphic design. I can’t exactly remember the senior project assignment…but I know that everyone was pretty much free to do whatever they wanted. The tradition for senior design students is to display the final projects in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. The process was a lot of work culminating in a lecture and two gallery parties. It was quite a lot of work at the end of Spring quarter, right before graduating, which meant SERIOUS senior-itis.

So my senior project consisted of a hand-created (and designed) book that was housed in a wooden box that I made. I was so proud of this project that I have been toting it around over the years. Fast-forward to 2016…I pulled it out of my closet and laughed out loud (literally). I appreciated the effort, but holy crap…it was ugly. How did I even pass that class??!! I mentally thanked UW for my schooling and then threw the book in the trash. :) I did however keep the box cause it was a blank canvas for something cool, and I love containers. You could do this with most any wooden box from a craft store.


  • Natural wooden box
  • Acrylic paint in color(s) of your choice
  • Paint brush (I used a stencil brush)
  • Disposable plastic container (for paint)
  • Optional Supplies: Printed stencil, Ruler, x-acto knife, repositionable spray mount, and 2 small cabinet handles


Step 1: Create your design. I have been thinking about how I wanted to up-cycle this cherished memory, and I finally came up with painting a pattern on it to compliment my Pia Wallen cross blanket.

Note: You can hand paint the box, or create a simple stencil using paper and an x-acto knife. For this design, the stencil should be pretty easy to cut out.

I created three small crosses in Illustrator, printed them out onto an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, and cut them out using a ruler and x-acto knife.

Step 2: Paint the box. I adhered the stencil to the top of the wooden box with some light spray mount. This way it doesn’t move around while I stencil.

Holding the paintbrush straight up and down, tap with medium to medium-hard pressure while painting within the stencil. This will help prevent bleeding underneath the stencil and create a cleaner more solid color.

Step 3: Screw on the handles on the sides of the box. It took me awhile to find the perfect handles, but I found these on Etsy and am super happy with how they turned out.

All done! It now can hold new treasures and memories!

Letterpress with Grapheme and Field Trip Society

Another awesome Field Trip Society class under my belt. :)

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, surrounded by beautiful handcrafted letterpress goods, type drawers, and creativity. I needed this time to get my hands moving on something other than a keyboard. Field Trip Society puts together awesome events, and I am more and more impressed each time I take a class. If you haven’t tried one of their classes you should.

This class we were doing Valentine’s Day Letterpress Cards at Grapheme in Seattle. The shop is so lovely, and the products are absolutely beautiful. If you’re in the area and in need of some cards, stop by!


We did two projects, the first was a blind emboss of a heart on one press. We were given the choice to either leave the cards a-la-natural, or do some watercolor on top. They had some examples of potential patterns to paint as inspiration.


Our second project was choosing a small phrase to typeset, and/or choose some pre-existing valentines illustrations to go with it. Typesetting is more challenging than it sounds, and it makes you REALLY appreciate how newspapers were entirely set with this type back in the day. I can’t even imagine.


To finish off the cards, we were given different colored envelopes to choose from, stickers as accents, or even trace and cut some envelope flap inserts. No details overlooked during this workshop! This is what I love about Field Trip Society’s classes. :)

The finished product…yes, it’s a design pun. :) Hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day!


Craftspiration: Perforated Tote Bag

Today’s craftspiration (craft inspiration) comes from this DIY by one of my favorite bloggers/TV personalities Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love. Her Perforated Leather Flair Tote Bag got my attention back in 2017, and I’ve been dying to do it since. It takes me awhile nowadays to get to all my crafts as my job (which I love) has become bigger and better. :)

I love her DIY, but I decided to alter it just a tiny bit to allow for a leather tote bag I already had. The only difference is the bag has an exterior leather pocket. On the plus side, having the perforations on the exterior pocket will allow the pin backings to be more ‘protected’ from interior contents. It seems like whenever I wear a pin, I always end up losing the backing…thus losing the pin in return.

Check out the instructions on Damask Love, and you can see my version below.

UPDATE: What kind of magic is this? Pin locks?!? I had no idea that these pin locks even existed. I guess I didn’t really need the exterior pocket. Well too late now. I picked some of these up from Amazon, and now my pins will be super safe.



Decorating with Typography

Good typographic layouts (to me) form pictures, not just words. They tell stories and invoke feelings. I love filling my walls with things I love, and just one of the things I love is beautiful typography. I also love how it merges my background as a graphic designer with my everyday spaces. From artwork to pillows, my house is filled with typography art.


Type is saying things to us all the time. Typefaces express a mood, an atmosphere. They give words a certain coloring.

Rick Poyner, Writer


10 Principles of Good Design by Dieter Rams

Not only does this print display my love for typography, it also represents my love for design and the design process. It’s a beautiful print that is mounted slightly off the matte, so you can see the depth of the letterpress.


Helvetica Posters

My friends know I have a thing for Helvetica. My friend sent me this link to this site and it was game over for me.

This Helvetica poster I’ve had for years. Originally for my office at work, now hung in my bedroom.


NYC Subway Identity System book

Houseguests ask me why I have a NYC Subway Identity System book…and I answer “because it’s classic design.” This was my first ever Kickstarter backer project and I’m so happy I did it.


Bedroom quote poster

A DIY project I did after getting inspiration from a Pinterest find. The frame is magnetic, so I can switch out the print anytime I want. Plus this is the best quote ever. :)


Marquee Boards

Quotes keep me inspired. I have collected a few of my favorites and swap out the quotes depending on my mood or season.


Local Maps

I love my city AND my state. Nothing better than surrounding yourself with local pride.



I picked this pillow up on one of my work trips to New York City. A subtle embossed neighborhood map of Manhattan. New York always inspires me with art and design, and this pillow was just one of those times.


For all the other type lovers out there…how do you like to decorate with type? :)