February 14, 2013

my ever-expanding lists

i have many, many "to do" lists. one for things that need to be done around the house, one for my illustration work, another for my pattern designs, one for stuff we need for our daughter, one for projects i want to try one day, one for the things i need to remind my husband to do, and of course, a "to do before the baby arrives" one (and this is by no means an exhaustive list of my lists!).

one task on that list was to make a bag for this adorable toy by MUJI my sister got our daughter last year (shown below). i didn't want to keep the little wooden animals in the cardboard box they came in, so i decided to print a couple of stencils on a little canvas bag i had, both to decorate it and to identify its contents.

safari wooden toy by MUJI

[true story: another item on this "before baby" list was to hem my pyjama pants with a sewing machine - something i had neither done before, nor had a clue about how to-  and in my urge to check tasks off that list as soon as possible, i did that around the time we were packing our things, getting ready to move to our new place. it was midnight, i was surrounded by cardboard boxes, squinting continuously, and swearing occasionally, bent over the machine as if my life depended on it!]

now back to the stencil project:

the work of one of my design heroes, lotta jansdotter is a constant source of inspiration to me. so i opened up her stencils kit (shown below) which has very clear instructions, and finally did it. of course, i had slowly gathered all the materials i would need in advance, in anticipation of this little window of time.

so here's what i did.

followed the instructions by lotta jansdotter in Stencils, published by Chronicle Books

traced a couple of toys on a white piece of paper

placed a clear plastic folder on the drawings and traced again with a sharpie

 cut out the stencils

placed the canvas bag (washed and ironed) on a padded surface i had made with a wooden board, batting fabric and a piece of canvas. then i printed the large elephant, applying two coats.
checked the quality of my print before removing the stencil

repeated the same steps for the little elephant

the little wooden animals have a new home!

i loved doing this. it's a really quick and relatively easy method to print and it results in instant gratification. now i can't wait to make stencils with my own designs and print on aprons, dishtowels, and why not, the walls!! funny how i crossed out one task off my  list, and added 10 new ones!

but isn't that the whole point?


  1. I can relate!!! Sweet project that honors those special toys.

  2. I love this!!! So clever and cute!!!