f3Oakland’s “Art & Taxes” event recap!

Blog, oh hey!  I’m just gonna lay it out there, I’m super addicted to my friend’s building events.  SO ecclectic and fun!!  I have previously posted a few recaps about f3 events at the Cotton Mill Studios, should you want to check them out:



This past event was themed “Art & Taxes”, I’m guessing mostly because it was so close to Tax Day.  I made a few sewn stationery items that looked like lined grade school paper and yellow legal pads.  I also brought some jewelry, scarves AND amazing treats since we usually kill it during the later hours of the event when folks are peckish.  What can we say, we know our audience!  Lexi had awesome dino hoodies on hand, lumberjack and narwhal totes, a cloud mobile that is adorbs and stuffed whales and narwhals.  The Meck brought amazing jewelry too!   Sold a little jewelry, sold some stationery – but killed on treats.  Like, $100 on just treats alone.  Word.

As usual, there was no shortage of deliciousness that was put out on the delectables table.  The food, oh, the food – there was such a spread.  I made Madelines, triple chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies, and Black Magic chocolate cupcakes with Vanilla Bean buttercream icing.  My mom made (yes, my mom) made Lemon Tea Bread, the Meck made the America’s Test Kitchen peanut butter cookies, and Lexi made gingersnaps, a gingersnap sandwich cookie with lemon cream cheese filling, lemon mini cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and gluten free dark chocolate brownies with hazelnuts.  Yeah, you could say we all like to bake or something.

After the event got started, it was a little slow.  Then a band member from Mad Noise walked in and asked if they could do a 2 song set in the studio, and I said hell yes.  So if you scroll through, you will see a photo of them captivating the audience we had in the loft at that point.  They were literally amazing.  Such talent!

Can’t wait for the next event, and hope you can come too!


Open Studios Event @ F3!

Open Studios Event @ F3!

Blog, oh hey!  No, I didn’t forget about ya’ll.  It was the holidays, we had guests and family, and a good time was had by all.  Cut back to real life…

Just thought I would share my next event that is coming up fast, so mark your calendars for January 25th at Cotton Mill Studios!!!  Oh, and did I mention that the theme for the event is “Full Wolf Moon”?  That’s how you know it’ll be good… Here’s a preview of somethings in the works, just to wet your whistle and entice you to come out!

An F3 Event bib... "hungry like the wolf"

An F3 Event bib… “hungry like the wolf”

These are the “Event Special” kids items, bibs and onesies in super fun colorways.  And yes, I currently have “Her name is Rio, and she’s dancing in the saaaaaaaaaand…” running through my head on an endless loop.  You’re welcome.

Wolf Moon stationery in progress....

Wolf Moon stationery in progress….

And THIS will be the most awesome stationery to date.  The plan is to use the silver ink to sponge the background of the wolf silhouette, which is stitched onto the foldover card.  The cutout wolf will also get stitched onto a card, but I haven’t decided yet what size, OR if I want to use the silver ink to sponge a moon to put the wolf on.  Decisions, decisions… anyhow, the event is really fun and there’s a little bit of everything.  Including delicious baked goods and items like you see in this post AND in this previous post too.  On the 4th floor.  It’s where the players dwell.

www.etsy.com/shop/lisaBbowman Cyber Monday Sale @ Odds & Ends

‎30% off everything you’ve had your eye on during the CYBER MONDAY SALE in the shop today only! Enter the code CYBER2012 at your checkout to receive the discount, and happy shopping!


DIY Turkey day bunting

Hey again.  After making more progress and almost being finished with my napkin rings from the last post – I got flowers from the hubs.  They were gorg, but I kinda obsessed over the fabric that surrounded the bouquet.  It was this orange netting thing I immediately knew I had to save.  Wasn’t sure for what… but I folded it up anyways.  Then as I was sewing I thought about the tablescapes again.  Hmm, I don’t have a banner or bunting like I just did for Halloween, why not make one?  AND OUT OF THAT FABRIC!  Make it so, number one.

It was a rainy day today, so I pulled out some craft stuff for the kids and I to play with.  I started out with just wanting to use the orange fabric.  It turned out that it was too sheer against the kraft, so I doubled it up by folding it into a pennant shape and gluing it to the kraft.  I also stuck a heavy book on top of them while drying.  After adding my glitter letters, punching holes in them and stringing, I decided that there still was not enough contrast from far away.  So, I found some ivory handmade paper and cut it into 1×1″ squares.  I put the letters on top of the squares, and viola.  I also covered the middle marker in the same paper, and added some paper cut arrows to tie back to my Evite theme that featured them.  They are a little too big for the pennant, but I was tired at that point.  My 2 year old was really acting 2 today.  I’m pretty happy with it, but we’ll see if I don’t tweak it some more before this Thursday!  🙂

Etsy shop sales & the “storybook ending”

Blog, oh hey!  I woke up this morning as usual, getting my oldest up for school and trying to not wake anyone else up.  After the initial ‘wake up call’, I grab my phone and check email and look at updates.  An Etsy Conversations email?  A potential sale??  Awesome.  Seriously awesome way to start the day.  A gal wanted to know if I had more quantity than what was listed of my Lined Paper Stationery, because she was going to send her boyfriend letters while he was deployed.  She also wanted to make sure the cards were “big enough” because he was going to be gone for 9 months, so she’d need room to write!  I emailed her back saying I absolutely could make more and reiterated that it was a fold over card, so there was plenty of space to write on.  Enter: the sale.  She wanted 20, and I happily obliged.

WAIT.  Hold the phone.  Did I read that right??  She is buying my stationery to write her boyfriend, who is about to be deployed??  As in, these are going overseas to be a small part of a long distance love?  At that moment I was instantly transported in my mind to my Grandmothers’ home, with my Father clearing out the house after her passing.  I was about 22.  This was many years ago, but I will never ever forget it.

Standing next to my Father in his Mother’s room, at her dresser in the corner.  It’s never an easy thing to deal with emotions that surround losing a loved one.  To the right was a large window, and we would take turns staring out of it and trying to keep it together while sorting and boxing belongings up.  I remember I was the one that rummaged through the drawer when we found them, the things placed there and probably not looked at since my Grandfather’s passing 8 years earlier.  An old school Gump’s Department Store box, the contents of which was awesome and also awe-inspiring.  My Grandmother had kept the letters she and my Grandfather sent each other while he was serving in the Army in WWII.  Most of them were from his deployment in North Africa, which was something I hadn’t been told.  I knew he served, but that was it.  So after the short history lesson about occupying North Africa as a tactical move, we continued through the box.  His dice, some photos of him and his Army buddies while stationed, two packs of 40’s topless pinup girl playing cards, his dog tags and his medals.  For me, it was a treasure trove of what kids don’t pay attention to when they’re young.  At the time, I was more moved that these letters still existed than anything else.  I didn’t open them, because I wasn’t sure this was the time and I didn’t know if my Dad would even be open to me reading them.  It just felt like I should ask his permission.  So I didn’t ask.

Today I kicked myself mentally because this day occurred about 12 years ago.  I saw the box my Dad had labeled for himself “to go through” of my Grandparents things, from that day, recently in the garage.  I’ll have to think of a way to ask to go through it… because I really want to see the letters again.

Back to the stationery sale today – I was just so thrilled to think back on finding old letters from war-time(s), that I took crazy care in putting her order together.  I mean, I usually put a ton of effort and care into every order I put out, but this was so much more personal for me.  After putting the cards and envelopes together, I included a small hand written note wishing her boyfriend a safe deployment and my best wishes.  If the letters she writes to him on the stationery I made keep them close to each other… Wouldn’t it be lovely to be a part of a storybook ending?  I think so.


The Baby Shower

Holy Moly, I did a LOT of prep for my sister in-law’s baby shower.  I won’t lie though, it was a lot of fun to do.  I enjoyed all of it.  My husband thinks I spend too much time doing things for free… I respond with “I’m honing my skillz”.  I mean, you have to hone.  Otherwise you don’t have a portfolio to show anyone to actually GET work with.  Just sayin.

So, please enjoy the photos below.  There are a few that you may have already seen, so I will just link previous posts to them as they appear.

For the shower we had place settings decorated on a few tables and a buffet style lunch.  We also had a fun “Things that go pop” candy station table, with things like pop rocks and popcorn.  Just to poke fun at my sister in-law mostly, and have an excuse to pig on candy.  🙂    I tried to keep the theme from the baby shower invitation as much as possible for the decor, so you will see baby blocks, trains, and a few specific zoo animals.  I was able to pirate the actual image from the shower invitation from Papyrus’ website, which is probably a copyright infringement of some sort.  I can’t endorse it, but have at it!

DIY Baby Shower Paper Buntings / Banners

In my humble opinion, you can’t have a shower without a few banners or buntings.  You can’t.  You also must have onesies, everywhere.  In this case, it was my sister in-law’s baby shower.  She’s having a boy, so right off the bat I knew I needed a ton of blue stuff.  So off to Michael’s it was!

I’m kinda in love/obsessed with kraft paper these days, especially after throwing a bridal shower last month.  I previously bought a pack of letter sized kraft, so I already had kraft paper on hand.  For crafting.  Krafting?  LOL.  Assorted ‘dollar’ blue ribbon spools in the same shades of blue were picked up, as well as rustic garden twine.  I found adorable jolee’s stickers in baby shoe shapes, sticker letters, some adorable glitter letters in a teal-y blue, as well as “special delivery” balloon stickers.  I also found some really sweet packs of assorted papers, I’m pretty sure they were Shabby Chic label which I usually don’t care for – but I liked these even though some had florals on them.  I figured the shower really is FOR my sister in-law, it was okay to be a little girly with my blues.  So I justified.  The paper was square shaped, and I couldn’t immediately decide how to use it.  I knew I wanted to make a large sized bunting, so I cut large triangles out of kraft to spell out “baby zilli” with spacers on either size and to separate the words.  After cutting the triangles, I figured that I could glue the square blue paper sheets at an angle to cover about half of the kraft triangle.  I then applied the glittery sticker letters, and the baby stickers to the spacers.  After I laid out the entire banner, I decided the only way to apply the triangles to the twine was to sew it onto the paper triangles.  I used a super basic zig zag stitch on a really wide setting, and it turned out fabulous.

After finishing the large shower bunting, I had scraps left over that I was determined to use.  So a smaller banner was in order, for a special candy table that one of our party planners saw at another shower.  The table was to be labeled “Things that go pop”, and be filled with things like pop rocks, popcorn, ring pops, etc.  I used the scrap kraft, but discovered I could literally cover it completely by folding the patterned shabby chic paper over it.  So the kraft ended up being a stiffener in this case.  I’m okay with it.  I alternated paper patterns, and applied colorful sticker letters in alternating colors as well.  After sewing the first bunting together, I decided to sew this smaller banner together onto some of the blue grosgrain ribbon I picked up.  This turned out fantastic, until I realized I had sewn the letters backwards… which I then laughed at and ripped apart.  Only to be put back together in the correct order.  🙂  Don’t drink and craft, folks.  After finding out what candy had been bought, I opened up MS Word and put together a matching table tent for the “things that go pop” station table.  Pretty cute, if you ask me.

P.S. The “things that go pop” banner is on sale now at my shop on Etsy.com – Odds & Ends by lisaBbowman!

The Bridal Shower!

And just as quickly as it started, it seemed like it ended – we all had a load of fun.  The food was amazing, the decor looked great and I was happy with the favors I doled out. 🙂

Here are the photos as promised, that I said I would provide in order to make all my latest DIY posts make sense.  Please feel free to email me if you’d like to know anything specific that I didn’t cover in the post.  Enjoy!

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Handmade Paper Party Garlands, post from 3/29/12

Personalized Candy Favors, post from 3/24/12

Personalized Teacup Candle Favors, post from 3/11 & 3/14/12

Personalized Matchboxes, post from 3/17/12

Planted Moss & Succulent Table Centerpieces, post from 10/17/11

Handmade Paper Party Garlands, DIY

I really had no idea that I’d do so many DIY posts, but that’s the way it is sometimes!  So, if you have kept up with my last few posts you’d know that I’m getting ready to throw a bridal shower.  Those that haven’t, go ahead.  I’ll wait.  🙂

This shower will be nothing too fancy, and somewhat small and intimate.  I have most of the favors completed, as well as my gift wrapped and ready.  I’m starting to clean the house, plan the menu and design a seating area in my family room where we’ll be stationed for most of the party.  In doing all of these things, I thought I needed some ‘shtuff’ for the walls and ceiling, as it’s not super festive yet.  I found a few images on pinterest and pinned them to my bridal shower board to try.  The original image inspiration for this party garland is here.  Unfortunately I don’t have a graduated circle cutter or anything like that, but I do have some Creative Memories blades and templates, so I used those.  I chose a bridal themed paper sheet from Paper Source, regular Kraft paper (on hand from the tags I made for candle favors), and a pack of gorgeous shimmery Blush transparent rose printed paper also from Paper Source.  You’ll notice that I cut each image out of the bridal sheet – (insert sarcastic voice here) this was the plan all along and had nothing to do with keeping the costs low.  After cutting what felt like a bazillion circles and ovals in different sizes and in different papers, I sat down at my sewing machine to string them together.  I also had on hand a large scalloped heart punch that I bought for Valentine’s Day, so I punched a few things out with that as well.  I made one horizontal garland with the hearts, and plan to string the rest of the garlands vertically from that.  I promise to take a ton of pictures during set up so that you can all see what I have been working on really come together!

Wedding programs, sewn style!

In keeping true to my new hobby of sewing paper, you all might remember my post about sewing some save -the-dates for my brother in-laws’ upcoming wedding… I have volunteered my services for their programs as well!! Man, my machine performs like a champ so I feel like I can do A LOT. By that, I mean sew through six sheets of 80 weight paper. So we sat down last night, during intermissions for hockey, and did some experimenting with different stitches. We finally settled on a stitch pattern that she liked, and looked like a true book binding.  I think they will be amazing!! Again, I’ll post the final product once I have them finished at the middle of April. Until then!!


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