Small Studio; Perfect For Me!


I’ve been really busy this week with a bunch of craziness that I couldn’t do much about! Don’t you loathe that? Things spiral out of control without asking for your permission and land wherever they want.. Usually just short of insurmountable. I stick my tongue out at all of it! Today I sat down in my studio, just a small 5×7 foot closet, and decided to try and tidy up. I lacked the inspiration to create and sometimes simply cleaning will spark my interest or kick up the creative juices. Eventually I found myself relaxing in just a little while and able to meditate and reflect. Afterward I felt like a new person, which was exactly what I needed!

Despite it being a small studio and craft space it suits me just fine. I go in and find the respite I need and surround myself with the clutter of things that keep me happy. Stacked to nearly the ceiling and every corner with cubbyholes, push pins and post-it notes, I can reach everything I need (almost without moving!) from my oversized spinning chair to make art.


I will, eventually, jazz it up (little by little) to get it more like the beautiful space I envision. But for now I am happy and content just having my little closet size studio with small luxuries. It’s always nice to remind myself just how lucky I am, especially when I’m having One Of Those days!

Happy R & R,
– Jessanne


A Leaf Bug; Summer Time Back Porch Finds


What a beautiful creature this leaf bug is! I couldn’t help but spot it when I was sitting on my back porch, it walked two inches away from my face along the railing and startled me quite a bit! So I wonder what the species of this leaf-like bug is? Anyone know?

Happy Back Porching Everyone!
– Jessanne

Edit -=>

Turns out it’s a katydid (sub-family Pseudophyllinae), well how pretty it is.

All In A Day; A Cheerful Bunting!

So I have begun a series I am going to call “All In A Day”. The idea is that once a week (I hope!) I’ll post a How-To with something that I think anyone can do in one day or one afternoon. This week I will kick it off with A Cheerful Bunting!


If you’re like me and you like instant gratification in your art or crafts then this should be right up your alley! I just need the satisfaction of sitting down to create and getting the results or the project completed quickly. Maybe there’s a birthday that you put off making something for until the last second! Or maybe you just need a pick-me-up! That’s what I needed with this project (my very persnickety truck has taken a swan dive into no transmission land!), a little ray of sunshine in my day. So here goes.. my first How-To!



24 Fabric Triangles (3.5″ x 3″)
Sturdy Ribbon (60″ or 5ft. approx.)
Colorful Thread
Sewing Needle
Pencil (or Fabric Pencil if you have one!)
Scissors or a Rotary Cutter and Mat


Let me start by saying that I do NOT sew. My mother is a fabulous quilter and I grew up surrounded by piles of fabrics and trips to the local fabric store to hunt through the bins of fat quarters. None of it rubbed off on me, except the appreciation of it’s beauty and a love of fabric!

So cutting these triangles, I simply take fabric remnants and cut what I need from them. In this project I used all cotton and a couple of the pieces had a print on them, so I ended up deciding to double up the triangles back to back so that the print could be seen on both sides of the bunting. But there are no rules here so if you don’t mind the back of the pattern showing then one triangle will be just as good! Double your fabric (right side to right side so that your pencil marks don’t show on the front of the print) and take your ruler and measure out the size triangle you want on a flat surface. I used 3.5″ tall triangles by 3″ wide, but you can choose whatever size you like! I ended up with 6 (or 3 sets of 2) triangles of each color I chose and I used 3 different fabrics. All a sort of warm pumpkin type feel together, am I channeling fall already?!

Next get your ribbon. I used a nice chocolate brown twill ribbon I found in a bargain bin at my craft store. I chose it because it was heavier than most of my other choices and complimented the oranges so well. Any ribbon will work nicely but a thicker one holds up better in the long run. If you know exactly how long your bunting should be based on your triangle size plus the distance between them (mine are spaced about 3/4″ apart along my bunting) then feel free to cut your ribbon in advance leaving plenty of length at each end for the tails (mine are about 12″ or 1ft. long). But honestly I just pull the ribbon off the spool as I go without pre-cutting it so that I can always get the desired symmetry of the tails. No worries then!



Attach your triangles to the ribbon with a simple running stitch. I do this by hand because I prefer the effect, and also because there is no point in lugging out my sewing machine unless I were making a bunch of them at a time. No need to get fancy! I chose a bright orange-red embroidery thread I had on my rack. If you are doubling up your triangles then make sure that they are aligned back to back (or wrong side to wrong side) before you start stitching so that the print will show on both sides of the fabric. I tend to stack up my triangles in the pattern I chose before I start sewing so that I don’t have to think about it as I stitch them on, I just grab from the stack. A random pattern can also work just as well, do whatever makes you happy. ^_^

When you have sewn on all your triangles along the ribbon simply pull a matching length from the beginning of your bunting at the end and snip. I personally chose not to stitch the two triangles together before attaching them to the bunting. I like the frayed or rough edges to show, but that is a matter of taste. Instead I just used a couple of dabs of fabric glue between each triangle to keep them somewhat together but even this is not necessary. Remember; No Rules!


Finish Up:

To add a final touch I tied two bows with a complimentary ribbon and stitched them onto the ribbon next to the first and last triangles on my bunting. It was a whim and made the whole thing feel complete. And there you go. If you are like me and you DO NOT sew then this might take you an afternoon at a very leisurely pace. If you’re a pro then I know you can bang one of these out in an hour or less! Hang them anywhere and bring a smile to your house. Great in a kids room, nursery, or in my case the kitchen! Whimsy always has a way of fitting in.


Hope my first How-To is easy to follow along with! Looking back over my post it seems so.. wordy! But if you have any questions or need some advice feel free to leave it in the comment section and I will always answer. You can also get my attention on Twitter @JessanneS or on my Facebook page: UpStartArt by Jessanne

Take It Easy!
– Jessanne

Lucky Leather; a coin holding necklace.


A couple of months ago my friend Tim tasked me with a project to find a way to display his 2010 APA (American pool players Association) coin in anticipation of his visit to Vegas for this year’s tournament. We talked about wire wrapping because the alternative would have required him to have to drill a hole through it, which was undesirable.

I ended up setting my mind to doing something with recycled leather instead. The coin’s purpose is to mark the pocket you’re aiming for, I think. On one side it has the year it was acquired and the other side is the one you see in the above picture. I wanted some way for Tim to choose easily which side to display or even display a different one from this year! So the necklace is more of a holster.. just saying the word coin holster makes me smile. So here it is in all it’s glory! Hope you like it Tim!

– Jessanne

Better Pictures of my Gift Boxes!

So I finally got my camera charged and the forgotten pictures removed from the memory card today. Can you believe I had unseen pics in there from Christmas?! Well believe it, but they’re taken care of now.. phew!

I took some time to sit down and do a few pictures of a selection of my favorite boxes that I’ve made so far. Yesterday’s post was really just a kick in the pants so I’d finally get this task done! Well it worked and here are the fruits of my labor!


This one reminds my of neopolotin ice cream from when I was a kid!


Cupcakes you say? Yes!


Some have ribbons..


..and some have tags.


And some are even bags!


So what do you think? Who wants cute little boxes? I can do custom orders and I am always trying new things. Shoot me an email and lets dialogue!

Happy Gifting!
– Jessanne

Gift Box Obsession, Intervention Please?!

I’ve been creating since my last post, I swear! But here’s the thing.. The ONE thing.. Gift boxes. Tons and tons of them, from teeny tiny boxes for those teeny tiny treasures up to about 4×4 inches or so.


It’s like having a creative block except I’m stuck in this loop like a skipping record that only plays gift box. Hah! All types, all colors, cupcakes, ribbons, patterns and solids. Folded, octagonal, slide top, lipstick case ones.. The list goes on and on!

The original idea was to make a couple of them for the leather fringe earrings I had made as birthday gifts for a couple of girlfriends of mine. I had a great success and the boxes really added that additional touch of homemade creativity to the whole experience. I want my creations to be completely mine, from the gift to all the wrapping.. Those little touches that take it all the way. The Full Monte of homemade gift giving!

BUT now I must have an intervention! I have all these boxes, hand created, each of them different and unique. Hundreds, no kidding. Six weeks of daily obsession! Art really can teach you a lot about yourself. So I have to move on, either stuff those things with my other creations (like jewelry or gift tags or magnets or anything!) or sell them.


So what do you think.. Would you buy these for your creations or to use as gift boxes to touch up the little things you give on special occasions? Wedding favors or birthday parties (Well, maybe not these exact ones. I sure do love being snarky!)? Send me your feedback and let me know if you’re as obsessed with boxes as I am!

P.S. Sorry about the cussing. ;)

LOLtags; The gift tag that keeps on giving!


So I’ve been making leather cuffs and bracelets for my friends and family for a few months now and end up with all of these small and awkward scraps of leather as a result. I was feeling a bit edgy last week and wound up accidentally creating my newest fun thing; LOLtags!


It’s something that helps me use up all of those little scraps of leather and punch up a gift or even add them to jewelry! I got quite a giggle out of the STFU tags after watching one of George Carlin’s stand up routines on DVD. If you can’t enjoy a bit of LOL yourself then why bother, right?

I’ll be making these available on etsy next week at my easy shop, you can find me as user JessanneS!

What acronym might describe your day today?