Monday, November 7, 2016

2016: Another One Bites the Dust

Halloween has passed, which means the next time I go into the store, I'll be bombarded with holiday decor. Christmas is right around the corner, followed by...[drumroll]... 2017

In preparation for 2017, or, to help you get your holiday shopping done early, I've released calendar designs for 2017 on Etsy. 

Designs for 2017 include:
Each calendar is a simple, clean, modern designs, that stand in a black wooden easel. Visit fivefeettall on Etsy to see the full line and place an order. Quantities are limited!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

8th Annual Recycled Art Market at City High

This Saturday is the 8th Annual Recycled Art Market at the City High/Middle School (1720 Plainfield). This is our favorite show of the year — this year there will be more than 70 booths showcasing goods made from primarily recycled materials. 
Every year, we like to debut at least one new product, this year it will be kitty bowties. Bows are made from recycled neckties and fabric scraps. These dapper accessories are perfect for all you're cat's upcoming formal holiday occasions!*
We will also have most of our standard items available too. Last year the booth was full and the day was busy. We're looking forward to seeing many familiar faces again this year. 
Items are one-of-a-kind and of limited quantity, so get there early for first dibbs! Generally, 11 am to 1 pm are the busiest hours, so if you want to avoid the crowds, plan accordingly! See you Saturday!

*Miss the show or want a sneak peek at some ties, check out

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Saving Halloween & Hiding Out at the Clique

When I started freelancing full-time, I thought I'd have all this "free" time to sew and read and cook. Frankly, that hasn't happened. It's been a whirlwind, and I feel like my feet have yet to touch the ground. 

BUT. Halloween did give me incentive to get creative and test my sewing skills, with two costumes I made entirely myself — I didn't even have to rip out any seams!

First up, Wonder Woman, which included designing a top, skirt, armbands, belt and head piece. A super shiny gold spandex for the accessories was the ultimate finishing touch (along with some killer boots from
My second costume needed to be bowling friendly. So I created "camouflage" for my natural environment... Clique Lanes. This included painting the wallpaper pattern onto fabric and then sewing it into a shirt. This was all around fun to make and fun to wear, and was a big hit with the bowling alley patrons.
Halloween will continue to reign as my favorite holiday, and the sewing machine was a great break from the computer. I'm inspired to make an effort to spend more time with needle and thread!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Timeless Tradition of Knitting

Think about how easy it is to pop into Target when you need (or simply want) a new scarf. Think about how we simply toss two socks away when one gets a hole. Years ago these items weren't so easy to come by, and acquiring a new hat, a scarf or a pair of socks, meant making them. 

This was a time when idle hands were seen as sinful, and women spent every spare minute sewing and mending and stitching and knitting. Barbara Levine has compiled a lovely tribute to the virtue of knitting throughout the early 19th century through the '50s and '60s. People Knitting: A Century of Photographs recognizes a time when every minute was precious.

Whether it was their duty during wartime, or simply a matter of supplying their own goods, knitting was (/is) a virtuous skill. And people managed to continue knitting, regardless of what their day entailed—they knitted as a form of socializing, they knitted at the hair salon, they knitted in prison, they even knitted while they walked...
See more captivating photos and read more about Barbara Levine's book on

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Memory of a Skeleton

October has arrived. And with it, all things macabre.
Check out these delicately, creepy creations by Caitlin McCormack. I'd love to dub this macabre macramé, but alas, it is actually crocheted.
The artist from South Philadelphia works with thin string and glue to give the impression of bone tissue. McCormack crochets skeletal remains which are bizarrely beautiful, like grotesquely fascinating doilies or lace. She began crocheting these forms after her grandparents passed away. You can read her interview with Make here. 
When she puts the specimens on display, they are remarkably striking—intricate details set against a black background. 
See more of McComack's work at Paradigm Gallery and Studio or follow her on Instagram

Monday, October 3, 2016

Gold Medal Design

The 2016 Rio Olympics passed with a sufficient amount of scandal, but no real disasters. In total, I watched maybe an hour of diving while sitting at a bar, waiting out a rain storm. I've never really gotten into the Olympics. Maybe I'm unpatriotic. Maybe I just don't like to sport. But I do like to brand— and the Olympics provide a very unique branding opportunity. 

Every two years, a different city hosts the Olympic games, and each city gets to design it's own logo, which will be reproduced on uniforms, on swag, in print, online, on stadiums — global exposure for millions, if not billions, of impressions. 

It's a challenging mark to create. It must include the 5 Olympic rings, the city name, the year, and a unique mark. Sometimes this is achieved quite elegantly, sometimes... not so much. 

The AIGA has compiled all the Olympic logos since 1924 and had Milton Glaser grade them on a 100 point scale. You can check out Eye on Design here to see if you agree with his grading (I didn't). Also, see how many of the recent logos you remember— the only ones that felt familiar to me were London 2012 (for it's horridness) and Atlanta 1996. 

As far as favorites, I picked three:
1. Athens 2004 - for bringing back the Greek. This is a simple, classy mark, that modernizes the traditional Olive wreath. 
2. Tokyo 1964 - it so clearly represents the country in a totally simple and uncluttered way. 
3. Montreal 1976 - I like that the rings are worked into the logo itself, though I'm not entirely sure if this is a "M" or a building. 

And what about Rio?

The Rio mark is fluid and organic. The color scheme is fresh. I didn't totally love the dancing dudes though... at least not until I noticed the corresponding family of icons that accompanies it. 
There's a full set of icons representing each sport in the games—clever little stick men sporting. These sort of sold me on the Rio mark. 

So what's to come? On the Eye on Design page, you can also get a sneak peak at the works-in-progress for the 2018 PyeongChang, 2020 Tokyo and the 2022 Beijing game marks. Nothing like spying on the design process! ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday Morning at the Felter's Market

Peak farmer's market season has almost passed, but there's one market that never goes out of season.

I discovered the Felter's Market at the Eastown Bizarre Bazaar back in June. Featuring felt food goods, as soft, safe, washable toys for children ages 3+, their products are adorable, creative and they never go bad!
I love this imaginative alternative to plastic toys. But what really sets this concept and booth apart for me, (other than the clever name) is the attention to display and packaging details. Wooden quart baskets, wire bins, gingham table spreads, beautiful tags and stickers— all these things come together to create a lovely little scene. 
And just the other day I stumbled upon an in-store display at Pinky's Place on Alpine. The Felter's Market had built a full-on food stand within the antique mall. Once again, the product presentation really carries through and sells the brand concept. 
And in case your mother didn't teach you to eat your fruits and veggies, The Felter's Market has meals for the diner goer as well. The pieces are separate so you're little chef can build their own meals! (and all at affordable prices!)
The owners, Josh and Sam, started The Felter's Market in Grand Rapids but have recently moved to Canada. Their Etsy shop is on hiatus while they settle in, but you can see what other brilliant things they're cooking up on Instagram!