Monday, August 1, 2011

DIY your own sewZinski flower journal!

Check out Do It Yourself Magazine's Fall 2011 Issue. There's a whole spread on embroidered creations. The article features a hand embroidered flower journal cover that I made. You can download the free template at Embroider it up, applique it on, and you're ready to go with some fun new hand embroidered embellishments. 

If you have any questions on the project I'm happy to help! Just drop me a message here or shoot me an email at sew.zinski (at) gmail (dot) com.
There's also a bunch of amazing embroiders featured. Be sure to check out their pages as well. I haven't picked up my copy yet, but when I do I'll be sure to update their links here. 
Have fun stitching!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Time Giveaway!

It's summer. It's hot. If you're like me, the only thing that makes you want to leave the house is a visit to the beach, air conditioned shops, or cold drinks with friends. To celebrate the onslaught of summertime fun, I've decided to host a giveaway! That way you can shop from the comfort of your air conditioned home, and maybe grab something fun for when you do decide to venture out into the real world. 

To enter, please visit my shop on Etsy here, look around, and tell me which item is your all time favorite. Then post your response with the link to your favorite item below this blog post, or on my Facebook Page

I will pick one person at random on June 30th to receive a $25.00 store credit to be used on anything in the shop! I don't care if the item is new, old or sold. I'd love to see what people's favorite items are. It'll help me in creating new lines in the future. 

Feel free to spread the word, and thanks for stopping by!
xxxx Sarah

Thank you to everyone that participated in my giveaway on the blog and my facebook page. The winner is Betsy Kaplan! (I sent you a message Betsy on how to redeem your $25.00 store credit.) What fun! Met a lot of cool people and got valuable feedback on my products. You guys are the best!

Monday, May 30, 2011


 Hand Painted Sake Cups upcycled from vintage Coor's lab apothecary crucibles

The other day I was hand painting these little sake cups and my stepson walked in and remarked that they were cool. This is always a good thing, since he's a young teen and I imagine he has a much better grip on what's cool than I do. Since his 13th birthday was coming up this weekend, I decided to make him cupcakes that were decorated in a similar style.

 I imaged hand painting the cupcakes with icing. Comic book sound effects on the tops of the treats with colored sugar and black icing. Each one being a little yummy work of art.... then I remembered that I don't really have time or patience for that kind of silliness, so I came up with this solution instead.

It was a much quicker solution to making cupcakes look cool. I hand designed cupcake toppers and wrappers, cut and punched them all out and threw them onto the delicious vehicles of cream cheese and chocolate. KAPOW! Decorated, yummy treats in under an hour. 

I thought I'd share the cupcake toppers and wrappers as a PDF for anybody that wanted to do this themselves. There are two versions of the cupcake toppers, in case you wanted to get really fancy and color them yourself. (personal use only please.)

Supplies to make cupcake decorations
You will need:
paper for your printer (I used heavy cardstock, but regular printer paper works)
1" hole punch
clear tape
clear glue stick
colored toothpicks
decorative hole punch for starburst design

Print out the desired cupcake toppers. Color if needed. Punch them out. Punch out paper for backing. I used plain white paper to back the words and starburst design, but after I was done, I realized it would look even cooler if I had used a micro dot patterned card stock. But the plain white paper worked too.

Apply the glue stick to the insides of both circles, put a toothpick in between and press together. Let dry. 

Color and cut out the cupcake wrappers, tape the ends together with clear tape. Be careful not to overlap the ends too much or your cupcake won't fit inside. The larger opening is the top where the cupcakes get dropped in. Insert the finished cupcake toppers and you're done!

Finished decorations before adding to the cupcakes

Here's the recipe for the yummy cupcakes I made to be dressed up with the wrappers and toppers. I chose a chocolate cupcake with a creme cheese filling because I thought it added a nice KAPOW to the dessert. I'm sure you will agree. Remember, I was on a time limit here, so to make it super easy, I used a boxed cake mix and creme cheese frosting out of a can. If you feel like Donna Reed, you could go the old school route and make everything by scratch.

So I found this recipe for self filling cupcakes at, and changed a few things.

Following the directions from the recipe above, I used a Devil's Food Cake Mix for the base. The changes I made were as follows:
-do NOT mix the chocolate chips in with the cream cheese filling. 
-When it comes time to add the cream cheese filling, use1 Tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon. -Before covering with batter, place a bunch of chocolate chips on top of the cream cheese. This makes for a creamy filling that also keeps the chewy chocolate chips still intact.
The cupcakes end up looking pretty full, but that's good because it all settles in baking.

Cover cupcakes with a bit of batter, you don't need to hide everything.

While baking the cream cheese filling and chocolate chips should sink down to the middle of the cupcake while being enveloped by the rest of the batter. So when they are finished, they look like a regular cupcake. 

finished cupcakes with a hidden surprise of YUM!

Just ice them, decorate, and you're ready to blow people's minds with your amazing crafty culinary skills. The boy was impressed, so was my man. I was happy that I was able to accomplish baking a delicious, pretty treat. 

Happy Birthday C!

Cupcakes without wrappers. Still yummy.


Friday, April 15, 2011

You're so Pretty

I actually decided to take an afternoon off from crafting. It's been much needed. The day was going well, painting nails, listening to Beach House, and waiting for my friend to use Google Talk to video chat. (I just discovered the wonders of this. I heart it so much right now when I'm missing my out of town girlies.)

The major added bonus to my afternoon was a package that arrived. I had decided to do an exchange with Cara from Little Pretties by Cara Veeder. It was a box from her. Let's just say I was blown away! Not only did I receive amazing earrings, but packaging is so well thought out and put together. She added a bonus or two which made it all that more exciting. I love surprises! 
the diamond earrings are suede. love. 

Her work is adorable. Very well made and a keen eye for what's feminine, yet classically cool. I couldn't wait to wear all of the earrings. The thing that made me smile the most was the card that said "You're so pretty." Who doesn't want to open a package and have a card in there telling them that? Totally sweet.  And yes, when I put her earrings on I feel pretty. 

Thank you Cara! 

Please visit her wonderful Etsy shop. She has lots of goodies in price ranges that make the "one for you and two for me" gift buying concept work. This also made me realize I have a lot of work to do in the marketing department. I want to have cute packaging too! Cara, you've inspired me. I need to step up my game. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

To Japan, with Love by Hey Jen Renee

click here to bid

    Please visit my talented and generous friend's blog, Hey! Jen Renee,  to read more about how you can help support  Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Disaster Relief Efforts

    She is putting up for auction a gorgeous handmade Noro yarn knitted scarf. I know that  if something happened in the U.S. like the disaster that happened in Japan last week, we would appreciate any efforts others would make towards helping us overcome such devastation.  Thanks for checking it out and be sure to spread the word and share her link with others!

Here's the beautiful handmade scarf up for auction

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I've gone international

Yes, it's been a few months since I posted, but I plan on changing all of that soon. The holiday season opened my eyes to a whole new meaning of the word "busy". Luckily it sparked a lot of inspiration, new designs, new lines, and new markets for me to pursue. All of that will be revealed here soon, but for now, I thought I'd share a great artist/designer website with you. 

Click here to be transported to showcase

Check out the February showcase and you will find sewZinski work and an interview with me! I will also be selling at her shop soon. I'm excited. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I like coffee... I like to draw... Let's combine the two...

Dino Disco Boogie Clutch-$75.00
     Recently, I've been thinking of other ways I can use my love of designing and creating on different mediums besides embroidering on leather. As much as I enjoy that, it's nice to change things up a bit.

    The requirements I made for myself for these new projects: I need the items to be affordable and desirable to both men and women.  I also want the new items to still fall under the "eco-friendly" category, like my wallets do with their mostly upcycled leather composition. What to do... what to do...

    Then I had remembered back to when I used to work paint on ceramics, both at work and for my own personal amusement. It was enjoyable, but the past products had mixed results because I have little patience for painting, and the glazes aren't true to color until they are fired in a kiln. This lead to some interesting color combos in finished products. (damn, I wish I had a picture of what I've made in the past to insert here. It would definitely be the punchline.)

So I did a little research and discovered a product that I LOVE!!! Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Paint Markers
Alfonzo approves of my choices
    They can be a little tricky to use since they have a tendency to clog. I've read this complaint over and over again, so I kinda wish they'd look into a better delivery system to the head of the marker. When they do work correctly, they are a joy to use. 

After much experimenting and research to make sure they are durable and safe, I looked for a product I could use as the vehicle for my drawings. I settled on a double wall insulated ceramic travel mug with silicone lid. 
Artemis looks like she NEEDS coffee, but I'm pretty sure that's not good for kitties
Diving into things the way I normally do, I just started drawing. I hate carbon paper, and I'm not a huge fan of tracing, so I usually draw everything by hand directly onto the surface of whatever it is I'm working on. Hours later, I was covered in paint and very satisfied with the results of my work. Here's the first batch of mugs I've made
Ahoy!-front of mug
Ahoy!- back of mug

Reveille- back of mug
Reveille- front of mug
Sweet Cheeks- front of mug
Sweet Cheeks- back of mug

As you can see, I drew a lot of inspiration from old sailor and circus tattoos. I find the line work of tattoo flash very conducive to drawing with these paints, but I'll be pulling from other sources for more designs on ceramics in the future. I need to do a few that are a bit more manly as well. 

So that's my new drawing endeavor--- What do you think? I still have a lot to learn, but I think it's going to be a fun journey. There is always opportunity to personalize these mugs, just ask me through the convo link on the left in my Etsy shop and I'd be happy to customize one for you! Or shoot me an email at sew.zinski (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'm thinking they'd be great gifts for the coffee loving man or woman you love.  Also a great disguise for the closet alcoholics in your life. 
"What's that Aunt Bessie? Yes, I'd LOVE to spend the Holidays listening to you be passive-aggressive about my cooking. Let me just grab my eco-friendly "coffee" mug."
Christmas shopping, done. 

Let me also take this moment to plug my most favoritest yummiest coffees in the world:
Seattle Coffee Works! Their single origin whole bean coffee is so outstanding, you'll wonder why you ever spent money on chain house coffee swill. If you don't know where to begin, I suggest my favorite guatemala-antigua-finca-aurelio-y-lorena. I don't know how to pronounce it, but I love to drink it. Plus only $5 flat rate delivery. Try it. I keep hoping they'll sponsor my crafting, but alas, it hasn't happened yet. 

I also have friend, Calee Himes, that paints lovely ceramics, be sure to check out her hand-painted goodies here. She's located in Des Moines, IA and can usually be found at Market Day.

Here' a How to from Louchelab on painting ceramics yourself if you'd like to give it a go. 

Thanks for checking out my new goodies!