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Toronto, Canada •

The best thing about living in Toronto is the multicultural atmosphere all around. At any given time, you can hear several different languages spoken, find restaurants from around the globe and shop for eclectic items with ethnic flare. To top it all off, downtown offers a great mix of bustling city and lakeside retreat at the Toronto islands.




We head to Austin, Texas this week to take a tour of Laurie's bright and cheerful craft space and meet her lovely cats.

"My favorite thing about the space is all the light it gets. When I was looking at this house and I came up stairs and found this really giant area at the top of the landing that was just flooded with light, I just knew this was the place for me."


I believe the room was designed as a game room, but they just didn’t know at the time that it was meant to be my studio. I also love that I have to pass through that space to get to both my bedroom and my office, so all the bright colors and all the textures bring a smile to my face every time I go through there. I share the space with my two cats Fiona and Dexter, but they’re pretty good about not being space hogs.  If I’m in that space, you can bet there are 2 cats close by. 


Is this also your work space?
I have a separate area where I do my design and digital work. I’m lucky that it’s a bright and cheery space as well. I keep a pin board in front of my monitor is always being added to and has things to make me smile or inspire me. It gets a bit messy up there sometimes, but I like having lots of lovely things close by. Two of my favorite things in my office are a typography print (by Grace Hester Designs on Etsy) and a shadow box of the Brooklyn skyline (by Pepper Sprouts on Etsy). I primarily sew in my sewing room. But I’ve also used the space for screen printing, letterpress, painting and handwork. I don’t have big comfy couch or chair to lounge on so hand work like embroidery tend to happen on the couch downstairs. 

What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
Color! I try to infuse everything in my house with lots and lots of color. I’m not so worried about matching styles or about over-designing my space. I just fill it with things that I love so it feels very ‘me’.

How do you keep organized?
I’m definitely a messy crafter. But I can’t stand to walk into a messy studio. A clean start each day really helps to energize me, so I really try to clean up at the end of each day. I can feel a bit overwhelmed if I feel like I’m fighting with my work space, so spending a few minutes each day to put things away really helps me. When I have works in progress, I use note cards for helping me keep track of how many blocks I have/need, or for lists of what I need to do next. Depending on the project and how long I think it might take, a WIP project will either be stored on a shelf or if it has lots of pieces, I may set aside a bin or a box to keep it all together. Not surprisingly, I’m a bit of a fabric junkie. I think we all are aren’t we? I keep all of the fabric I design for Robert Kaufman on bolts on rolling shelves. Keeping them on bolts makes it easier for me to quickly get to what I need for a project or a giveaway. I like to share my fabric, so I do giveaways pretty frequently and its so much faster to cut fabric pulling from a bolt rather than pulling from a pile of fabric I have to stack and unsrack. Then I have big see through plastic bins that I store any of my other fabric in. Like everyone, I struggle to keep my stash organized but try to group things generally by color.

Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
I used to keep all of my very small scraps in a big bin and it was a giant mess. I never used the scraps because it was such a mess and nothing ever looked very appealing in there… So I saw a great image on flickr somewhere of someone using mason jars for scraps. So I picked up 10 large ones and use them for my scraps. So not only have they helped to keep me organized, they look really pretty. 

Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
I love my green peg board. It was so easy to do (I just painted it and there are 2” wooden spacers behind the board that I used to both attach the board to the wall and it gives enough space behind the board to be able to put pegs in and out). I bought a few inexpensive shelves which just sit on top of a few pegs and used washi tape around the edges to pretty them up. It helps me keep off all of my cutting tools, rulers and my printed ribbon (for packaging) in an easy to get to spot and that way I don’t lose anything. I also have some fun little felt pieces I made up there, so it’s like my own little village. :)

I have few of my creations on display, but for the most part, I’ve displayed gifts that some of my lovely blog and Flickr friends have shared with me. I have quilts from Ashley from Film in the Fridge and from Rita at Red Pepper Quilts. And there’s a wonderful quillow (quit that folds into a pillow!) and pin cushion from Nova at A Cuppa and a Catchup. There’s my Polar Bear Rocket ship hanging from Alex at Teaginny Designs and my selvage whale from With Hugs N Stiches. And I have some wonderful wall hangings, pin cushions and bookmarks that were gifts as well. Each one lives in my studio and I treasure each and every piece. I’m always so touched by people’s generosity and their creativity and feel so blessed when people share something they’ve made with me. 

In terms of my own crafts, you might notice in one of my pictures, there’s a resin deer head that I’ve decorated with some washi tape, but every time try to I hang it, my cat Dexter goes insane and wants to try to get to it, so I haven’t figured out a way to display it without making him bonkers. So for now, it just lives tucked into a shelf space and I’m hoping something will occur to me eventually.

How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
I keep a binder where I have mood boards and inspiration for designs. Its also filled with doodles and other goodies. 

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream craft space?
I really love my space so there’s not much I would change! I might consider adding floor to ceiling shelves and I wish I had a big comfy couch or chair in there. But other than that, I’m really happy with the space.

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Spotted something you liked in our office? Here are the tutorials for making your own Cut-Out Wall MapChalkboard Bunting, Union Jack CushionLight-Up SignOwl Cushions and Cut-Out Placemats.

Outfit details:

  • Sweater - Ralph Lauren (thrifted)  
  • Shirt - Gap 
  • Cords - Buffalo 
  • Necklace - Vintage  
  • Boots - Duck (thrifted
  • Socks - Target 
  • Bracelet - DIY (see below) 

DIY Leather Bow Bracelet:

Recreate the look with Josie's Leather Bow Bracelet tutorial:



How would you describe your style?

My style seems to always be changing little by little, but in general I'd probably say something like vintage prep with plenty of masculine details.

What's your favourite piece in your wardrobe?

My khaki skirt! I could easily wear it everyday and not even be bored. It seems to go perfectly with almost anything, and I'd be heartbroken I lost it!


Who are your style icons?

Audrey Hepburn, Kate Middleton and way too many bloggers to name.

Do you have any favourite designers?

Ralph Lauren, Kiel James Patrick and Kate Spade to name a few.


Where are your favourite places to shop for new clothes clothes?

Thrift stores. I worked in malls for years and got so sick of it! I would much rather dig through thrift stores to find those jems! 

Do you make or customise your outfits?

Sometimes. I have a few ideas and plans for making bigger peices this year and using my sewing machine a lot more, so I'm pretty excited about that!

Do you have any great tips for mixing up and personalising an outfit?  

Try to just focus on what you want to wear. Personally I like to stick to classics and pieces that I know I'll have for years when I'm buying clothes, but jewelry and shoes are sometimes a good opportunity to incorporate trends you like without going overboard. And vintage is always a great way to add some personality to an outfit!

Follow Josie on CO+K to keep up with her projects and check out her blog at Fine + Feathered »

Outfit details:


DIY Beads Of A Bird Neckacle:

Recreate the look with Charley's Beads Of A Bird tutorial:



How would you describe your style?

Difficult question, I’m into so many different looks and own such an obscene amount of clothes, which I’ve acquired over the past decade I don’t think I can generalise or pigeonhole them all. I will say I like anything with graphic patterns, embellishment or motifs. Bright colours also have a knack of grabbing my attention with a vice-like grip. With all those things in mind, I’d say graphic, artistic and colourful, but all in the best possible taste.

What's your favourite piece in your wardrobe?

My steel cap-toed New Rock boots. They’re probably the most expensive item I own but they last about 5 years so as value for money goes they’re definitely worth the outing. Unfortunately, I don’t get to wear them very often because I cycle everywhere and they’re really heavy but I remember living in my first pair when I got them at the age of 17. They certainly made 6th form life very interesting!

Who are your style icons?

Emilie Autumn. God, I wish I had legs like hers! I love the Visual-Kei look, particularly on people like Kamijo from Versailles.


Do you have any favourite designers?

Well, growing up in the 90s and studying fashion in the early “noughties” I used to be inspired by John Galliano – before his unattractive true colours surfaced -  and Alexander McQueen. They were the two stand-out designers who got me into fashion, as I think they did with most fashion students at the time. I’ve also always loved the graphic, colourful aesthetic of Thierry Mugler and the intricacy of Christian Lacroix.

Where are your favourite places to shop for new clothes clothes?

For blog projects, Ebay and charity shops because of the endless choice as well as the prices. Seriously, what did we do before the internet came along!? I get loads of my other clothes from Topshop, Miss Selfridge and River Island. I used to be really alternative but now I think I’m becoming a closet mainstreamer (if you see what I did there!) It’s good fun to mix and match. My favourite combinations tend to involve DIY versions of couture items mixed with high street clothing for an authentic-yet-affordable take on the latest trends.

Do you make or customise your outfits?

I customise whenever possible. Much as I love to sew, it’s ridiculously time-consuming and if you’re trying to figure out your own pattern that easily adds another few hours to each project. My time’s frustratingly tight so unfortunately sewing something from scratch is a rare treat. Another thing I will say is that there’s so much trial and error in sewing if you’re at a beginner or novice level. Generally you’re better off embellishing or reconstructing something that someone’s already gone to the trouble of making than trying to do it all yourself. If you aren’t absolutely 100% sure of what you’re doing, something minor  - like the wrong choice of stitch or sewing needle, or neglecting to use something like interfacing when you’re machine-embroidering onto jersey, for instance – can completely wreck your work. I’d say customising, where possible, definitely trumps sewing things from scratch.



Do you have any great tips for mixing up and personalising an outfit?  

Don’t throw old clothes out; keep them and re-work them into something else, so you can mix them with newer, more on-trend items, for a cool, considered and totally unique look.


Make sure to check our Charley's blog at Chic Cheat »

Seoul, South Korea •

The best thing about living in Seoul is that it’s such a big city with so much to do, but each dong or neighborhood feels like its own small town or community. Koreans are so friendly they make you feel at home. It’s also one of the safest cities in the world.




Welcome to the first ever craft room tour on Cut Out + Keep. Each week, we're going to tour the craft rooms, studios and offices of our favourite artists, crafters and creators to pick up tips, tricks and inspiration for our own spaces. Today we head to Santa Monica to take a tour of Erin's serene and organized studio:

"My favorite thing about the space is that it is organized, although that has not always been the case!"


I share my space with my husband, Ben. We call it "the studio". It is one of two bedrooms in our Santa Monica apartment and is about 10' x 10' in size. The space is home to all of the tools and supplies that we use for freelance graphic design, illustration, photography, painting, bookbinding, teaching, sewing, packing Etsy orders, and more.


Is this also your work space?
Yes, this is also our work/office space. We each have our own desk. As much as I'd like to craft in multiple places, there isn't much room anywhere other than the standing height table in the center of the room. This is where we work on projects that are not computer-related. We must clean up our messes frequently, as we don't have the extra room to leave them out. I spend most of my time in the space working, although often my work can be fun. My favorite things to do are bookbinding projects and sewing projects.

What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
Since the room is a bit small for the amount of equipment that it holds, we focused on creating a functional and organized space. I am often inspired by tools and materials themselves, so we store them in clear bins where they are easily visible and accessible. We added a few personal touches to the room by painting the walls a favorite color, and putting up cork boards where we can each pin up small bits of inspiration.

How do you keep organized?
Even though I am not a messy crafter, it is still sometimes difficult to organize my works in progress. The best thing I can do is to finish up one project completely before moving on to the next. Sometimes that just isn' t possible, though, and I end up moving piles of stuff from one spot to another, which isn't all that organized, I suppose! I have a large supply of papers and bookbinding supplies that I store in the studio closet. Thank goodness the closet is large! I also store large papers in a flat file under the window.

Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
Although everyone has a different preference, my favorite way to organize supplies is on open shelving. That way everything is visible and easily accessible. Ben and I installed a basic set of storage shelving from IKEA across the entire length of the studio. We found a great selection of bins and boxes at the Container Store and divided up our tools and supplies among them. I placed cutting tools in one bin, drawing supplies in another, etc. When each item has a designated bin, cleanup is much easier. I placed the tools that I access most frequently in sliding clear drawers. Other tools and materials are stored in clear shoe bins. Printer papers and flat items are located in clearly labeled document boxes.

Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
The collection of large sized papers within the flat file is probably my favorite supply. I love to collect papers when I travel, so I have memories associated with many of them. Sometimes I open a drawer just to look at all the beautiful colors and patterns. Most of my bookbinding projects are stored in the closet. A tiny collage is displayed near my computer and one of Ben's illustrations hangs over his desk.

How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
There are three main places that I keep and organize my inspiration and ideas. The first spot is my sketchbook. I always keep it accessible and use it to jot down ideas on the go. Another place that I find and keep inspiration is on my computer. I have a photo library full of images that I refer to when looking for ideas. The third place is a file box, full of bits and pieces of paper and images that I collected over time. I divided up the inspirational bits among hanging file folders that I can look through when in need of tactile inspiration.

Where do you look for inspiration?
I often look first to tools and materials themselves and think of the possibilities. If I get stuck, then I like to refer to my sketchbook or collection of images and inspirational bits. Beyond that, I like to look at books (of all subjects) that may inspire new ideas.

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream craft space?
I would love to have more workspace! If I could have more than one work table, or a larger work table, it would be a dream come true. It would also be nice to have the space to set up my sewing machines permanently, rather than having to get them out and put them away every time I use them. My third wish would be to have the space for a cozy chair or sofa where I could sit and think of ideas and sip a cup of tea.

Check out Erin's website to read her blog and see her gorgeous prints & homemade books »

Wow, we'd never have thought of trying Kool-Aid to dye our hair but this looks so pretty. What do you think?
Check out the how-to from a subtle revelry »

Outfit details:

  • Sweater - loft
  • Headband (tie from dress) & dress (as top) - charlie jade
  • Skirt - loft
  • Tights - target
  • Booties - seychelles
  • Bag - DIY (see below)
  • Necklace & bracelet - gift & vintage

DIY Stencilled Tote Bag:

Recreate the look with Katherine's Simple Stenciled Tote Bag tutorial:



How would you describe your style?

I feel like I merge cute and quirky with classic style. I like more traditional shapes, like circle skirts and cardigans, but tend to lean towards prints with animals and quirky little accessories.

What's your favourite piece in your wardrobe?

My custom made Star Wars dress from Rusty Cuts on Etsy has to be my favorite piece. It fits me like it was made for me (because it was!), features my favorite character R2-D2, and perfectly shows off my back tattoo and still allows me to wear a normal bra. It's perfection in dress form.

Who are your style icons?

I really look up to a variety of people. Zooey Deschanel, Cassey Ho from Blogilates, and Rebecca of the Clothes Horse are all people I look up to.


Do you have any favourite designers?

I really love looking at Etsy for independent designers - my favorite handbags are handmade in leather by Vahalla Brooklyn. There are quite a few brands that design for Anthropologie that I can't get enough of - like Girls From Savoy. Kate Spade is probably my favorite overall designer brand - the fun colors, great use of fonts, and quirky twists on items have always had me smitten. 

Where are your favourite places to shop for new clothes clothes?

I scour sites like Modcloth, Anthropologie, and Asos fairly often. I live in a very small city and don't have a wide variety of options for shopping, so I tend to buy almost all of my clothing online.


Do you make or customise your outfits?

In the past, I have made skirts and dresses, but I have learned to pick and choose my hobbies. I still knit all of my knit wear and have tons of scarves, hats, mittens, and dog sweaters that pop up on my blog in the colder months. I will whip out my sewing machine on special occasions, like to sew my dog a bow tie.


Do you have any great tips for mixing up and personalising an outfit?
  

I believe in wearing the same thing a lot more than twice, just in different iterations. If I have a dress, I try and think of at least 5 different ways to wear it. I do this when considering a purchase as well. Playing around with pattern mixing has really changed my ability to wear things in different ways. I also love adding different jewelry pieces to an outfit - a large statement necklace can create a completely different look than a small charm necklace for instance.



Follow Katherine on CO+K to keep up with her projects and check out her blog, of corgis & cocktails »

Reykjavík, Iceland •

The best thing about living in Reykjavík is that everything you need is within walking distance, wether you need a craft store, walk by the sea or some great coffee. Also there are cute cats everywhere!



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