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San Francisco, CA


Monica Loos

art / design / paper goods

selling original art, art prints and paper goods based on paintings and designs made my monica in san francisco, california.

for commission availability, please contact me directly.



little bits from my studio, my home, my life, and my brain

Filtering by Category: DIY

I Made a Pencil Pouch

Monica Loos


My boy turned 10 years old yesterday and he has fun sketching and doodling and LOVES pencils and erasers - no idea where this comes from ;). I made him a zipper pencil pouch using inkjet printable canvas on which I had printed one of his drawings. The inside is lined with vinyl and has a camo zipper across the top. These materials where a little difficult to sew together, but I am super pleased with the results, and more importantly, so is the boy.

There are many tutorials for making these lined bags, but I went with this one by Melly Sews: found here.

Materials and supplies I used:

  • Inkjet printable canvas by Avery (purchased on Amazon)
  • Vinyl (from fabric store)
  • Scanned drawing
  • 24" zipper, which I shortened
  • Coordinating thread (orange to shorten zipper, green for top stiching on zipper, white, not shown for all other sewing)
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure

I cut my fabric to 11" x 6"

There are more zipper pouches in my future.


365 Days in My Kitchen: 056

Monica Loos


This guy, and two others, sits on a "living art" piece on my kitchen wall. Several years ago, I painted a plywood board white and, using Mod Podge, adhered long paper leaves cut from an old super-sized calendar I had onto the board. Drove in a few nails I thought were pretty good looking, and hung the tillandsias using wire. Takes up some of the previously empty wall space. Here is a photograph:


Thanks for reading!

Thanksgiving {free} downloadable "thankful for" tags

Monica Loos

For last couple years, I've posted a downloadable pdf that allows you to print out business size cards sweetly designed for using at Thanksgiving to express your gratitude for something or someone you are thankful for in your life. This year the back is a deep charcoal gray and the front has a new font I currently obsessed over.

thankful for downloadable tag

Instructions To make the tags...

  1. Download PDF here:
  2. Print page 1 using
    1. your printers best printing capability
    2. the thickest card stock your printer can handle
    3. the smallest margins your printer allows
  3. Print page 2 on the backside following same guidelines as above
  4. Hole punch where desired and string with thread/ribbon of your choice
  5. Enjoy with your loved ones

Alternatively, for non-DIYers, thankful for tags are also available for purchase on my website:

Happy {early} Thanksgiving.


Monica Loos


Just in time for your Thanksgiving celebration: "Thankful for..." cards strung with baker's twine.

Each guest can write something for which you are thankful. They can be hung decoratively throughout the holiday season and make a super sweet memento.

These are available as a set of 8 on my website:

and also as a free printable:

all that glitters is not gold. sometimes it's copper.

Monica Loos

i've been trying my hand at copper leaf. why copper leaf? well it's a warm, rich, very pretty metal AND the price is a little friendlier than genuine gold - because when i do go for the gold, it will be genuine, 23k gold, my friend. edible and gorgeous. back to copper: copper leaf is made from genuine copper that has been made extremely thin. it is light and delicate and will fly away in the slightest breeze. work indoors, away from air vents and running children - and don't sneeze! my husband and i just celebrated our 9 year anniversary. to commemorate this, i made a copper leaf "9" which i framed and had intended to add to our family art gallery wall. it ended up feeling more at home in our bedroom. this project was fun, not crazy difficult, and i love the way it looks: understated + shimmery.

supplies: copper leaf (i bought mine at sinopia in san francisco) leaf adhesive (available at art and craft stores) printout of desired shape scissors paper (i used an 8" x 10" piece of strathmore writing 88# and a rives bfk sheet) pencil fine tip brush natural fiber big brush white cotton glove


i started by carefully cutting out the 9 i had printed, then centered it on my paper surface and lightly traced it in pencil. with the fine tip brush, i "painted" the nine using the leaf adhesive. now, everything i've come across speaks of waiting 30 minutes for the adhesive to become appropriately tacky, but no one was working directly on blank paper. i've concluded, through some trial, error, and sheer brain power, that paper is more absorbent of the adhesive than, say, porcelain, and therefore it is ready to go in about half the time - though if you're in DC in july it would probably take longer. touching the adhesive with your knuckle makes a clicky sound when it's ready.

using a full sheet (they are about 5 1/2" x 5 1/2") of the leaf, and with a gloved hand, i gently placed the copper over the painted 9. i tapped it down gently. using the natural fiber brush, i went around the foil making circular motion to remove the excess leaf. some of the leaf came off of areas where i wanted it to stay. boo. i repeated the glue--wait--leaf--remove-excess steps again in those spots and all was fine.

leafing process

and there you have it! a shiny 9, matted and framed:


for the above 9, i used strathmore writing paper. i also wanted to try it on a rives bfk. it's softer and more textured. here is a side-by-side comparison (rives on the right):


the first one has a more painted-on look that is reminiscent of the byzantine icons from the 1300s. you can kind of see the brush stokes, which i like. the 9 on the rives allows the texture of the paper to come through, giving it a little reptilian feel. fun to see how different paper will impact the look of the copper.

and now it sits happily on the bedroom dresser. goodnight, 9.