Friday, 31 May 2013

NEW at Fiber Lab!

I had been working hard on a new concept these past few weeks. This time, I am really hoping for a fabulous design that is fast to make (preferably mass-produce-able at some point in the future), easy to package, and cheap to ship. Not that I never kept those important criteria in mind before, but nothing is ever perfect. And we all keep trying.

That brings us to this hybrid of adorable crinkle fans and sophisticated maps. Meet Pancake, a collapsible wall decoration. Just spread it open and it's literally a yummy dessert for your wall. 
Some things I like about living in the United States, in no particular order of importance: USPS, Pandora, streaming TV shows, and Flour Bakery in Boston. PS it was not that warm this morning in Vancouver. As per usual, minus the rain. 

Each line radiates from the centroid of the contiguous United States, near Lebanon, Kansas. (Sorry, Alaska and islands.) This means that when you hold the map up by a string through the centroid, the map can perfectly balance itself. Here is a fun fact: apparently in 1918, the Coast and Geodetic Survey found the geographic center of the U.S. using this method as well: "by balancing on a point a cardboard cutout shaped like the U.S." Love it. Must have been a fun project!

I also made this map of Taiwan. In addition to being where I was born and grew up until age 15, it just has the perfect little convex shape that screams, "Pick me!" So, I did. Which country or what shape should I design for next? Please let me know! I will be making a list. 
Some things I remember about living in Taiwan: getting delicious street food on my way home from school with my friends, riding bicycle all day long at my grandparents' during the hot summer vacations, playing with fireworks, night markets, and lots of studying.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

HOW TO: Look sharp for the summer

Have you noticed that when it comes to paper folding, we mean serious business? See below. Yes, that is a bowtie made entirely out of paper! Also, just because summer is coming, it doesn't mean that you can't look totally dapper.
 Origami Paper Bowtie: sophistication with a twist!
Check out how it's made!

Want to try it out yourself? Download the PDF version here! Please download the file and print from your computer, and NOT straight from the browser to avoid weird formatting. And please make sure your PDF viewer is up-to-date. If you've tried everything and it still doesn't look right, you can always just print out the image above. 

I can't promise that this DIY is super easy. If you don't have a lot of experience with folding tessellations, I'd strongly suggest that you try this bracelet DIY first. It will help you get a sense of how these folds work. Good luck!

PS I'd love to see photos of your paper bowtie! Check out bowties by Ayako UyemuraJessica NevinaAll Things Paper, and la Fiancee du Panda.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Great Canadian Craft - my Afterthoughts

The Spring Fling 2013 Edition of the Great Canadian Craft was going to be my largest craft fair ever. (Okay, though it may not speak volumes, as I have only participated in one event beforehand, my expectation was high! Read on...) The venue at the Vancouver Convention Center alone conjured images of clustering shoppers in slick, bright exhibition halls. Also, there were two cruise ships entering and departing the nearby port over the weekend. Excitedly, I opted for the biggest space available (a 10' by 10), and even splurged on the option to have a corner booth. Fancy, right? But alas, it did not have the huge turn-out to match my perhaps unrealistic expectations. 

Nevertheless, I was really pleased with how our booth looked! Visualizing a design in your head doesn't always translate well in real life, but this (and chatting with cool people like Lisa Cinar of Draw Me a Lion, and Brittany van Dyck of type B) definitely made the weekend worthwhile. One lady even awarded me "Best Booth Design" unofficially, of course, as she walked by. Wee!
The Fiber Lab Family Photo

Looking forward, here are a few things that I will definitely investigate when deciding which craft fairs to sign up for:

1. Corner Booth Option:  Some craft fairs will give you an option for a corner booth for an extra fee. Whether it's worth it really depends on the layout of the entire space. For example, in a space with clearly defined aisles that force people traffic in specific directions, a corner booth definitely has its advantages. Shoppers are also more likely to visit each and every booth. 

Splurge for Corner? Go for it!

However, in a grid style layout, people tend to wander around aimlessly, with crowds gathering in the center. In this case, corner booths do not stand out at all. Exterior corner booths can even feel somewhat deserted. 

Splurge for Corner? Nope.

2. Electricity / Wireless Internet: If you need these, always check with the organizer or the venue for availability and fee. It can really add up.
3. Entry Fee: A cheap and affordable entry fee for shoppers helps ensuring a large crowd. 

Oh, another thing I learned is that I really love designing booths! I can spend months daydreaming about them. Please feel free to comment, or send me a message if you ever need display ideas or consultation!