Archive for the ‘DIY Designer’ Category

When you spend a considerable portion (ok, almost all of it) of your waking hours by your computer, the comfort of your work station becomes important. The angle of your chair has to be just so. The phone has to be reachable. The background music can make or break your day. It was therefor incomprehensible that I let my mousepad bother me for so long. It had served me well for many years, but the corners had ripped, the edges scratched my wrist and some kind of plastic residue seemed to collect under the mouse. It was clearly time to let go.

Commercially available options didn't appeal to me. They just seemed, well, too commercial or at least impersonal. As a crafty designer, I needed to tackle the issue hands on. For materials, I chose felt and leather and got them laser cut to size. The beauty of laser is that you can also cut the holes for stitches. It is then easy to glue and backstitch the pieces together.

Even if my waking hours are mostly spent with the computer, there is something incredibly satisfying to touch needle and embroidery floss. It made me miss my knitting. It is also nice to look at and feel my hand stitched mouse pad every time I work.


Let's face it. When it comes to kids' ready made curtains, they are not fun. Even if you can get over the boring-factor and the why-so-weirdly-short-factor, the quality is often unacceptably bad. I have had simple roman shades give up in less than a month. Supposedly, they were made for kids' rooms, so I had ambitious expectations for longer usage. Oh, how wrong I was!

Living extensive periods of time without blackout curtains is not an option for an 8 year old who wakes up with the sun (and specially for his parents). After the roman shades gave up, I obviously really had to do something about it. After spending several desperate hours going through the available boring and ugly curtains, I decided to move from ready made to home made.

I knew my artistic and design savvy son would like to choose his color and pattern. So, first we surfed some fabric sites together. Surprisingly easily, we settled to two space themed fabrics from the custom printer Spoonflower. We decided to have a bit fun and have one of the windows decorated with a different panel. Because the fabrics were both by the same very talented designer, Jennifer Wambach, we were still able to create a cohesive look to the room.

If you can sew straight line, you can sew curtains. Basically, I sewed the panel and blackout fabric into a gigantic sack. Then I turned it inside out (right sides out) and overstitched. The only thing left was to cut the holes to grommets (my package came with a template) and snap them to place. Just a few hours later, I was done! Well, until I'll start again and sew some new curtain panels for the jealous little brother.




Design Jewelry and Accessories is a brand new digital magazine that presents new jewelry trends and unique designs, as well as beautiful handmade jewelry and accessories. Annamari Mikkola Creative was covered extensively at its "Art Special" section of the November 2012 issue.

Also, the main site is being updated. Please see the new press page here.


The Cover of Design Jewelry and Accessories



Bank of America Small Business Community is a great resource for small business owners. They just went live with a really nice article about 3D printing and design. I got to comment and explain how I use 3D printing in jewelry design. It is a good read that really makes the process easier to understand.

Read the article here.

Have you ever wanted to become the next Alvar Aalto or Le Corbusier? Do you have the next Eames plywood lounge chair in you, just no way to output it? Your dreams can become true sooner that you know. SketchChair is an open-source software tool that allows anyone to easily design and build their own digitally fabricated furniture.

SketchChair lets users design chairs using a simple 2d drawing interface, automatically generating the structure of a chair and testing its stability. Users can simulate sitting on a chair with a customisable figure of themselves, in order to test and refine the chair to ensure it will comfortably support them.

The software automatically generates cutting profiles for the chairs, which can then be used to make physical SketchChairs.  Using a cnc router, laser cutter or paper cutter, these parts can be cut from any suitable flat sheet material, and then easily assembled by hand.

On people will be able to send designs to an online digital manufacturing service such as to be cut, or alternatively could send them to a local community workshop or Fab Lab.  Or for the brave of heart, find your long lost jigsaw! The flat-pack and lightweight nature of the chairs makes shipping them affordable, providing an opportunity to a wide audience of people to get their own customised SketchChairs.