Thursday, January 24, 2013

January Newsletter

JANUARY 2013

I will resist the temptation to tell you how, as a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I long to flee our grey, wet, mild winters. That story has likely been told countless times, today alone, on blogs and web sites. But this is the season when I can get away from the studio and seek quiet and inspiration, and so I travel. Sometimes near, sometimes far, sometimes only my mind wanders. I look for surprises in the landscape, in the books I don’t have time to read at home, in the corners of my brain that don’t often have the chance to hang out and be seen.

A Bit of Uncluttered Time
 Snapshots from Sleeping Lady, by Kata Golda
The easiest way for me to escape the “sameness” of my mossy seaside town is to head across the Cascade Mountains, just a short ferry ride away. Near Steven’s Pass I am likely to see a line in the sky: sun in my eyes, clouds to my back as I head east. Douglas Fir are quickly outnumbered by Ponderosa Pine, the moss disappears, and the dry air quickly reminds me that I am now in the arid part of the Northwest.

I’ve spent a couple of recent weekends on “the other side” of the mountains, where colder temperatures and blue skies and deep snow help me feel that I’ve traveled much further than 146 miles. The days I spent skiing, taking photos, soaking in the tub and simply relaxing at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort were rejuvenating. With renewed energy, I found myself creating a small collection of new Valentine’s Day items in just a matter of days.

New Valentine Items for 2013, by Kata Golda
New Valentine's Day items for 2013, available exclusively on Etsy from Kata Golda.


Sweeten your home with a set of three heart pillows (left). Our new felt bear with an embroidered heart (right) is a sweet companion for young loves, or a romantic valentine for older ones.
Heart Pouch with Pearl Button, by Kata Golda
These hand-stitched felt heart pouches, which fasten with a small pearl button,
can hold love notes, jewelry or any sweet nothing for a loved one.

Original 2012-2013 Valentine's Day Collection from Kata Golda
View Kata Golda's original Valentine's Day collection. Orders placed by 2/6/13 will arrive by 2/14/13.


The trip also gave me the mental clarity needed to plan for 2013. Now, making plans may not sound enjoyable or relaxing to some of you, but I take great pleasure in it. This is another reason I appreciate winter: the early, dark nights give me time to think ahead, to look forward to upcoming endeavors, and plan for winter travel.

DIY Felt Luggage Tag

And so it was that I found myself eyeing my black suitcase (which looks like every other black suitcase), thinking that for an upcoming trip to New Mexico I really ought to make a tag that stands out in the luggage carousel. Here it is, the result of a winter evening inspiration — something I would never have completed on those lovely, endless summer nights. I've put together a quick DIY Felt Luggage Tag tutorial so that you can make your own.
DIY Felt Luggage Tag Tutorial, by Kata Golda

Happy travels to you, whether you go near or far, or nowhere at all. Inspiration can be found with the slightest change of perspective, even if it’s just the changing of the light.

~ Alison Kaplan, Founder of Kata Golda

P.S.: Any ideas for “must see” places in New Mexico, or feel like sharing photos of your finished luggage tag? Please drop me a line.


ORDER NOW FOR VALENTINE'S DAY
All orders placed by 2/6/13 will arrive in time for Valentine's Day.

PLAN AHEAD FOR EASTER
All orders placed by 3/21/13 will arrive in time for Easter. Personalized and custom orders welcome.


Kata Golda creates unique gifts for children and adults using a combination of hand-dyed wool felt, stitching, and letterpress printing. From photo albums and guest books to hand-stitched items and personalized gifts, Kata Golda’s work is a treasured heirloom for any occasion.

LIKE:
Facebook & Pinterest
TWEET: twitter.com/katagolda
SHOP: KataGolda.com & Etsy

Craft Project: DIY Felt Luggage Tag


This hand-stitched, personalized felt luggage tag measures approximately 3.75” in length by 2.5” tall, but the size can be easily adjusted to whatever works best for you.

MATERIALS YOU’LL NEED:

  • Two pieces of wool felt, to make the front and back of tag (Using two full layers of felt will make your tag lay flat.)
  • One piece of wool felt, to make the scalloped border
  • Two long strips of felt (or ribbon/yarn), to make the tag’s loop
  • Embroidery floss (This thread is 6-ply and is easily separated; most patterns use 1–3 plies.)

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED:

  • A thin sheet of paper and a pen/pencil (to draw your template)
  • Paper scissors (to cut the paper template)
  • Fabric scissors (to cut the felt)
  • Hand sewing needle (sharp and with a large enough eye to thread embroidery floss) 

 

STITCHES YOU’LL USE:

  • Straight stitch
  • Running stitch
  • Whip stitch
  • Blanket stitch
  • Decorative knot (our version of a French knot)
 Unfamiliar with these stitches or just need a refresher? Download Kata Golda’s Guide to Basic Stitches [PDF].


INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1

Draw a rough template of your tag on a piece of paper, including the contact information you will use. With a dotted line, draw an "X" to mark where you will cut the hole for the loop of felt/ribbon/yarn. This will help you keep track of spacing and ensure that you don’t run out of room.




STEP 2

Use the template pieces to cut the shapes from the felt. Cut your loop as well (from felt or ribbon/yarn).

STEP 3

Stitch the contact information on the piece of felt that will be the front of the tag. For added emphasis, use 4-ply embroidery floss to stitch your name, but just 2-ply floss for the address.

STEP 4

Place the decorative border on top of the tag's front piece (with the contact info facing up). Make sure the edges match up and pin them together.

Using 6-ply embroidery floss, stitch decorative knots in the center of the scallops on the decorative border, sewing through both layers of felt so that they are held together. Then, using 1-ply floss, whip stitch the inner (scalloped) edge of the decorative border to the tag's front piece.

STEP 5

Now place the tag's front (contact info facing up) on top of the tag’s back, making sure the edges match up. Pin them together and blanket stitch the outer edges of all three layers of felt together.

STEP 6

Using your template as a guide, cut an "X" (through both layers of felt) where you want the hole for the loop. Pass the strip of felt/ribbon/yarn through the hole and securely tie the tag to your luggage handle. Bon voyage!



NOTES & TIPS:

  • Be creative with color choice, shapes, lettering and embellishment.
  • I like to hand sew with a piece of thread that is about 18" long. (Longer lengths are frustrating to work with as they tangle easily.)
  • To separate the 6-ply floss, I start in the middle of the floss strand I’ve cut and gently, slowly pull off 2 strands (together at the same time).
  • Try to keep the stitch depth and length consistent. When whip stitching, I make my stitch length and depth between 1/8" – 1/4".
  • Need felt? Bundles of wool felt squares in various colors are available from KataGolda.com, and include ten sheets of 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" hand-dyed felt. The felt varies in content from 100% to 70% wool (the other 30% is rayon, also a natural fiber), and has been tested by Consumer Testing Laboratories and found to be child safe.


~ Kata Golda



ORDER NOW FOR VALENTINE'S DAY
All orders placed by 2/6/13 will arrive in time for Valentine's Day.


PLAN AHEAD FOR EASTER
All orders placed by 3/21/13 will arrive in time for Easter. Personalized and custom orders welcome.


Kata Golda creates unique gifts for children and adults using a combination of hand-dyed wool felt, stitching, and letterpress printing. From photo albums and guest books to hand-stitched items and personalized gifts, Kata Golda’s work is a treasured heirloom for any occasion.

LIKE: Facebook & Pinterest
TWEET: twitter.com/katagolda
SHOP: KataGolda.com & Etsy