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{Inspiration} Color Wednesday…

Historically, I tend to immerse myself in tons of inspirational research in January- I’m an information sponge. A few Januarys ago, I discovered Vera Neumann by way of a fun thrift store score of a handful of Vera scarves. Since then, I’ve purchased the beautiful book, Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon which I’ve been pouring through all month. My mini collection of Vera scarves have been within reach for an occasional juggle to admire. It’s been rainy and dark day here in the Northwest lately so Sayer & I rediscovered the power of color & the joy of floating fabric.

“Color sings to me. Color is such a marvelous way of expressing emotion. We have so many problems in this world: color just brings a little bit of joy into our lives.”  -Vera Neumann

Nothing like reading about an inspiring designer, surrounding myself in color & juggling beautiful scarves to clear my head. 

I’m in the middle of sorting out some new projects & getting sort of bogged down with details.  I hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule soon- I miss it…  

In the meantime, hope you are enjoying your week & that January treated you well! 

{Fun Finds} For the new year…

I feel a like I’m jumping into the new year in slow motion. I have so many ideas swimming around in my brain but I need some time to sit & ponder a bit before I start in on anything new. Sometimes just letting my brain ebb & flow between creative thoughts is what I need. One of the things that I like doing to let me brain wander is create an Etsy Treasury. This time I started with these three cool items & went from there. 

I got Sayer a smaller version of this Peg & Awl chalkboard & it’s fantastic. With kiddo’s love of pencils & drawing, I couldn’t help but be drawn to these adorable & cozy scarfs from Sara Carr. I also really love these prints from Blanca Gomez & can easily envision them on our wall. 

You can view this whole collection of loveliness live here.

Happy Monday!

Happy 2013!

How is 2013 treating you so far? 

We’re just regrouping & dancing our way into the new year. I’m actually in full on planning mode- I have so many new ideas for the studio that I’m just itching to start. But I need to purge & organize first. This is the first time in many years that I didn’t feel the need to move a room around on NYE (I’m sure Chris is grateful). I guess I was too tired this year. Instead, I want to simplify everything so that I can think. Do you ever feel like that in January?

This is just a quick visit to officially wish you all a Happy New year. I hope it’s off to a great start! 

{Music Monday} Last Monday in 2012…

What would you do with over 12,000 pieces of colored construction paper? If you were Erez Horovitz or Sarah Graves, you may make a video with them. This video was created with over 12,000 pieces of construction paper shown as it was shot- no special effects and I love it! It’s a nice, last Music Monday of 2012, don’t you think?

Happy New Year Everyone! 

I’m looking forward to lots of creativity, new discoveries, & projects in 2013 … and sharing them with you of course. Thanks for stopping by this year!  ~Kristin

{Inspiration} The Sketchbook Project…

Do you need a reason to create? Well, this might just be the catalyst you need. I just stumbled on this great organization called the Art House Co-op that “builds art projects and communities”. Housed in the Brooklyn Art Library, is their flagship endeavor called The Sketchbook Project which a place where sketchbooks from thousands of creative people around the world are collected and formed into a traveling library of artist’s books. Anyone can participate- their youngest sketchbook creator is 4 or 5 and the oldest is about 87. Check this out… 


I absolutely love this idea – the concept behind the Art House Co-op is brilliant. Such a fun thing to find on our way into a new year. I think kiddo and I might have to start creating our sketchbooks soon how about you? Click here to participate. 

Hope you are having a nice, relaxing weekend. 

Baby It’s Cold Outside…

Winter has a way of being sort of magical. I love how pretty the trees look in the snow, the  light the snow brings, and the texture that is created- it’s all stunning. It hasn’t snowed here yet but when you look up at the mountains (that aren’t too far away)- they’re a beautiful white. I had an idea for the Winter Issue of La Petite Magazine (that should be out soon) and wanted to try to capture a little bit of that winter magic. I was a snowflake making, cotton ball stringing nut while making a backdrop to use when photographing my article For the Love of Books. Yesterday, we decided to take our Christmas pictures in the handmade wonderland- and had some snowy fun…

I’m lucky – KLTworks is a labor of love. But I’ll tell ya, December is always a complete blur and gone in a flash. I’ve figured out over the years to get my Christmas shopping done before the craziness starts and I know how to make time for the important stuff (like pre-school caroling trips to the retirement home & Christmas program). But I do feel like my head is down working through most of the holiday season and my social life consists of my trips to the post office and UPS. I haven’t gotten it together to send out a Christmas card or letter type thing for years and my posts here on the sketchbook have been spare lately.  But here it goes,  better late than never and straight from the heart… 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!! 

{Copy Cats} Stolen Designs

Why the grumpy face you ask? I can only think that he must be responding to my stress level these days. The holiday rush of Christmas orders, the long lines at the post office & the overwhelmingly sad and staggering recent events in the news are enough to make me a bit on edge. But add a large, South Korean company stealing KLTworks designs and it’s enough to make me a little bonkers with frustration. I’ll be honest, after events this last Friday, I didn’t even want to say anything about this issue because it really didn’t seem that important in comparison and I didn’t want to add to the stream of bad news. But I know I need to say something – so here it goes…
There is a large, South Korean company called The Jany that seems to be making a habit of stealing independent designers and small shop’s designs. I found out on Thursday from a favorite blogger and KLTworks supporter that while she was looking up some Seventy Tree designs that had been stolen by this company, she found that my kitty tee was ripped off. 

Wow, she wasn’t kidding. This favorite KLTworks design was one of the first drawings I had screen printed on tees back in 2007. It’s actually a drawing of our cat Kiki. As I scrolled down the page, I noticed that my owl and rabbit drawings were also stolen! It’s hard to make sense as to why large companies feel the need to steal from smaller designers. I’m sure if they put their heads together someone within their company could come up with some interesting ideas, wouldn’t you think? It’s an integrity issue that is all to common. The internet is an amazing place- I love all of the opportunities that it brings, but it’s also is a breeding ground for situations like this to happen. 


While spending some time on The Jany website a few things were clear. They are very vague about contact information and I could easily find at least eight other designers that had their designs ripped off.  The list of designers that The Jany has stolen from is getting longer …

While companies overseas are more difficult to work with and abide by different copyright laws than we do in the US, there are some things that we as designers and owners of small shops can do to make a difference. Some of the artists I mentioned are keeping in contact  and supporting one another in efforts to putting a stop to this company’s stealing. By working together we can hopefully get The Jany’s attention. A “cease and desist” letter is in the process of being drafted as well. Social networking is proving to be extremely beneficial too. In the short time after Stacie (Gingiber) posted her blog post on this subject, she noticed that The Jany had removed her design (the red fox plush) from their site!

Here a few things you can do to help if you are interested:

Write to The Jany directly and complain about their business practices. Their email is enhelp@thejany.co.kr

Utilize the power of social media and share this story everywhere so our chances of getting our products removed from this site increase.

Write a review on their website– you can post it under the stolen design while mentioning that the design is stolen. *update 12/18- it appears that The Jany has made it a bit difficult to leave feedback due to the number of people that commented (thank you for your efforts). Apparently you need to make up a password now. 

Things like this happen all of the time, I know. A little different situation happened to me a few years ago- it leaves a person feeling helpless and violated. It’s so wonderful to have a network of fellow designers, and social media savvy friends at times like these. If you are an independent designer with a small shop, you might want to keep an eye on this company. Thanks so much for your support! It truly means the world to me.  -Kristin

* (12/20/12) Just a quick update: Everyone that wrote to The Jany, re-posted our photos, tweeted, blogged, or pinned-  please take a minute to give yourself a high five or a pat on the back-  anything that gives you a warm feeling. Hopefully you received a response letter from The Jany today. Because of all our collective efforts, they are now pulling all of the stolen designs from their sites & stopping production of the products in question. They were polite & understanding in their response to the feedback. I am still waiting for my letter & will update when I know more. Thank you, thank you from every part of my heart. I ‘m overwhelmed with gratitude & amazement. Social media is truly amazing… 





{Inspiration} A Toy Train in Space…

When I see things about little boys, boys & their dads, toy trains, space, & fun experiments- I  stop what I’m doing & pay attention. So, when I ran across this video on the oeuf blog today & was immediately interested & smitten. Of course Sayer & I have watched it many times today…

We sent my son’s favorite train “Stanley” to space in a weather balloon with a HD camera and an old cell phone for GPS. He was recovered 27 miles away in a corn field and we got some great footage of the trip. This video documents the journey from liftoff to landing.” 

Isn’t this fantastic? It made me smile & I felt like sharing…
Hope you are having a great week! 

{Music Monday} Over & Over & Over …

Wow, it’s been quiet on the ol’ klt:sketchbook! Things have a funny way of swooping my time away during these holiday months. It’s that same old story of balance – making sure I’m present enough to enjoy the holiday festivities with my family, while staying on top of things in the studio at the same time. Right now I’m bogged down with wholesale orders that are of the time consuming nature (mobiles & plush) which means I’m in need of some good tunes. Andrew Bird’s new album, Hands of Glory came out right when I needed it to. It’s actually being passed from car to car & studio to studio because Chris likes it just as much as I do!  It’s one of those albums where I can listen to it over & over again & I couldn’t keep this little gem a secret….

This is one of my favorite songs on the disc & it’s played so beautifully live! Here’s another interesting listen if you have the time…. Andrew Bird Plays Sounds from a Room.

I’m going to do my best to check in more often in the next few weeks, but if you don’t see me here, you can assume that I’m not caught up with orders yet. In the meantime, would you like to enjoy my favorite musician with me?

What are you listening to these days? 

photo credit: here & here

{How To} Holiday Sparkle

There is a very beautiful holiday magazine that just debuted this week from the creative folks over at fawn&forest. Their online shop has always been innovative & special – completely exuding the energy & enthusiasm of the cool family behind its creation. If you visit the f&f blog regularly, you know that Summer  (the f&f hostess) is passionate about making things- namely with or for her 3 adorable & spunky boys (4 if you count her husband). She is always posting (or pinning) interesting DIY projects, lovely decorated spaces & yummy sounding recipes. So it’s not surprising that this new magazine is brimming with fun ideas, DIY projects, recipes to help get you in the holiday spirit, & lots of wonderful gift picks from some favorite bloggers like Esther & Rachelle along with f&f to help you with your holiday shopping. 


It’s no secret that I really enjoy working with Summer & the team. They all have been extremely supportive and have carried KLTworks since the beginning. (Check out an earlier post on why I love f&f so much: here  ). So, when asked if I would be interested in contributing a DIY holiday ornament for this magazine, of course I was thrilled. It was so much fun coming up with the idea – I throughly enjoyed myself. This little owl was made from an egg carton & you can follow along step by step on pages 15 & 16.  


It’s Friday, grab your favorite end of the week beverage & enjoy yourself while flipping through some fun pages of inspiration.  Have a great weekend!