Saturday, November 5, 2011

Secondhand sketchbook makeover

So I found a couple of unused sketchbooks at an estate sale today for 75 cents a piece.  Talk about great finds at a great price!  But what to do about their shabby appearance?   

Step 1: Mask off the edges and position stencil securely with double-sided tape.

Step 2: Apply acrylic craft paint.

Step 3: Admire handiwork.

I'm quite satisfied with these.  Not only because the process was so quick and easy, but also because of how vibrant and fun the end products turned out to be.  All for under 2 bucks!!  It really pays to keep your eyes peeled for those secondhand fixer-uppers.  

That's it for today, see you next time :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Adventures in Sewing

Yesterday, for the first time in 5 years, I was inspired to get behind a sewing machine.

As I seem to recall, my last experience with one back in 2006 was not particularly encouraging.  I had been working with a garbage bag full of 20-year-old fabric scraps, little know-how, and a temperamental old machine.  It didn't take long before I decided that there were other, far less frustrating outlets for my creativity.

Sure, I've long had fantasies about becoming savvy enough to make my own stylish, well-tailored clothes.  But in reality, the last thing I successfully sewed on a machine was an elastic hair scrunchie at age 9.

Sewing by hand, however, I have found to be most enjoyable.  I discovered this last winter while making an embroidered felt pouch for a new cell phone.   

It's just a single piece of felt, folded over itself and stitched at the sides with a long flap on the front.  On the back, I sewed a little bluebird.  It's shape I traced from a cookie cutter (they are handy for SO many things), then added my own embellishments.

That winter ended up being tough - I had just moved back to my hometown, was living with my parents, and was unemployed.  But in the weeks that followed my humble little crafting project, this tweety guy really did help to brighten those dark days.

In the end, it's the small, simple things that make all the difference.  Which is great really, because everyone can do small, simple things.  And we can each put so much love into whatever we create.

Another thing that gets me through trying times (besides lovingly handmade bundles of cute) is journaling.  I'm not typical an evangelist, but because I have experienced it to be so infinitely helpful in my own life, I am constantly encouraging others to take time to write and reflect

So in my latest sewing project, I have decided to combine two very powerful support systems in one: the lovingly handmade journal, bursting with cuteness. 

Basically I created a sleeve for a pocket notebook to slip into - not much more complicated than covering a text book, really.

Needless to say, the first few came out a little rough around the edges.  But I think I've actually got the hang of it now.  Even the idea of sewing my own clothes is starting to sound pretty achievable.  

You can find these and more fun gifts for sale on my Etsy site!  
Drop by and check it out  :)

Thanks for visiting!  Love and lightness to you <3

Friday, October 28, 2011

Woodland Critter Shortbread Cookies

Flaky, crumbly, delicate shortbread - quite possibly my favorite sweet indulgence.  Also quite possibly the finest culinary contribution to have emerged from Scotland to date (sorry, haggis).  

If you have yet to experience for yourself the magic of shortbread, imagine savoring a thick, sweet piece of pure pie crust, only vastly more delicious and, in this case, adorable.  

My inner 3-year old did a cartwheel the moment I first laid eyes on Ikea's Woodland Critter Cookie Cutters.  What's the only thing better than a batch of scrumptious cookies?  Scrumptious cookies in the shapes of snails, squirrels, and hedgehogs.

I made these little guys following the recipe for shortbread from Joy of Baking.  The ingredients are very simple: nothing but flour, butter, and powdered sugar with a bit of salt and vanilla extract thrown in.  On top of that, I added a couple shakes of ground cloves and allspice to give mine a little fall flavor.

Personally, I tend to prefer my shortbread simple and unadorned. But for the sake of experimentation, I dipped these in melted Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.  On the hedgehogs I also ground a bit of sea salt, and the squirrels received a coating of toasted pecan pieces.

Like what you see?  Try whipping up a batch for yourself!  

Monday, September 19, 2011


Hi!  I'm Lia, creator of Small Fox Press.  

On this blog I'll be sharing my original art, photography, and writing.

Today I present to you:

The creation of the Small Fox logo.

Meet my dear friends - Speedball Linoleum Cutters.  

All those different gauges are pretty handy for carving wee foxes out of a sheet of linoleum.  

This little guy measures in at just under 3 inches in length.

Basically, a relief print works just like a stamp: 

Ink is applied to the block with a rubber roller, and the image then transferred onto paper.

The first few proofs generally reveal areas where the block needs to be cleaned up a tad.  Imperfections may be ironed out with a bit more help from the carving tools, and the block is then complete.  Once I have a print I feel satisfied with, I can create a high resolution scan of the image, and Small Fox is ready for his internet debut!


Thanks for dropping by, see you next time :)