January, 2009

DIY: Block Printing

January 15th, 2009

Back in December, for John’s birthday, I was in a rare crafty kind of mood so I decided to make some wrapping paper. The following block printing process could be applied to greeting cards, fabric projects…really the possibilities are limitless.

Oh, and before I move on, KITKA would love for you to share your step-by-step DYI projects so don’t be shy, send them our way!

Skill level: Easy. Use a simple image and you can’t go wrong.

Time: 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how intricate your print will be.

Materials: Speedball is a brand name that sells block printing equipment at most art supply stores. You will need a:

Linoleum Cutter (to cut the design out of the block)
Brayer (to roll ink onto block)
Speedy-Cut Block (any size)
Acrylic Screen Printing Ink (colour of your choice)
Surface to roll ink out (I use a piece of glass)
Paper or other surface you’d like to print on


Cost: If you have to buy all the materials, it shouldn’t be more than $30.

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Kitka’s Favorite Flatware

January 14th, 2009

We often don’t consider flatware to be anything more than utilitarian. But for something we use everyday, you’d think we would have more consideration for it’s aesthetic value. We’ve either been dragging boxes of old cutlery from apartment to apartment or house to house, or have been using plastic utensils and chop sticks in place of shelling out some serious dough for something that would be considered by most people to be a dull purchase. I think it’s time to start seeing good quality flat wear as a long term investment. It’s simple purchases like this that can completely alter our daily eating routines into something a little more special. I know that flatware can seem ridiculously high priced, but! it is attainable. It’s something that can be acquired through the years, something that might grow with the number of additions to your family, it’s not something that most of us can afford to buy in one quick purchase. Good quality flatware is forever, it doesn’t depreciate in value, and it turns mac n cheese into the most decadent meal of your life.

We’ve comprised a little list of our favorite flatware, ranging from Georg Jensen to Ikea:


EM Cutlery
designed by Erik Magnussen for Stelton 1995
the designer behind the Vacuum flask
$127.00 5 pc available from Unica home

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Craigslist find!

January 13th, 2009

We found this great Designer cocktail trolley from high end store: Illums Bolighus, Copenhagen Denmark on Craigslist. besides the great cork liners, the big sell is that convenient wine-rack.


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Space: Neil & Michelle

January 13th, 2009

Neil's House

Who are you?

Neil James (co-owner Style Garage) & Michelle Graham (Visual Merchandiser/designer)

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Mistaken Identity

January 12th, 2009

The Real


This candle holder is by Harri Koskinen, a contemporary designer from Finland. We love its sexy curves and the way the tea light appears to float in the air.

The Fake


We found these Pyrex vegetable oil lamps, still in their original 70s box with instructions and couldn’t help but be reminded of Koskinen’s design. They may not be as curvaceous, but we appropriated them anyway for use with tea lights.

The Real


Dresden dolls, according to Wikipedia (as I can barely find any resources due to the band The Dresden Dolls dominating the google search results), were made in Dresden, Germany between 1850 to 1870. One of their features is that they have dresses made of fabric. I once saw a real ballerina styled Dresden doll at the big Goodwill on Adelaide (RIP). It was in one of their auctions so I naively bid $5 and of course lost it. Dresden dolls are hard to come by and tend to be expensive at antique markets.

The Fake


I found this figurine at the Barrie Value Village – at first I thought it was real but the markings on the bottom are wrong, the dress is not fabric (though it is of a delicate nature), and the eyes are ummm, not painted on properly. BUT, it’s still reminicent, so I bought it anyway.

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Thrifty Finds

January 11th, 2009


These two objects were both found on the same shopping trip by John. The Roy Rogers and The Rimrod Renegades book is inscribed:

To Gary
From Santa
Christmas ’52’

I am not a huge fan of inscriptions sullying my book collection but this one is just so perfect, it adds value (as if the title alone weren’t enough).


Juli spotted these two candle holders on two separate occasions, but from the same Value Village. They caught our attention because they are reminicent of Scandinavian glass, and how it often bears a resemblance to ice. At first we thought it was an iittala designed piece (I could swear I saw some at the Finnish Place) but on our second purchase we managed to salvage a tag that reads Kosta Boda, Sweden. Either way, they look just like snowballs and are perfect for wintry candle light nights.

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