Marimekko bench cushion

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This bench cushion was (honestly, I swear) easy to make. I bought a big slab of green foam from Jo-Ann Fabrics (half price!) and then cut it to the right size with a bread knife–weird, but it worked perfectly. I wrapped the foam in cotton batting to add some softness. The little village on this Marimekko fabric fit perfectly for the dimensions of my cushion. Basically, I made a shallow box with the fabric leaving one long side open, and then stuffed the foam in–slightly unwieldy but otherwise not hard at all. Both the Liberty Book of Home Sewing and Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts have excellent instructions for making a bench cushion. I decided to add piping to my cushion to give it a finished look, and to add a touch of navy. (The bench itself is my daughter’s old bookcase tipped on its side–the shelves make perfect shoe cubbies!)

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Japanese Matchbox Art

I’m in (small) love with these matchbox labels from 1920s-40s Japan. Little lovely landscapes of commercial art. I wonder what they’re selling? Five-star dining? Or a particularly elegant gas station with Quik Mart? If you read Japanese, please send us the translations. If not, just enjoy their perfect palettes: baby blue, pink and red; midnight blue, leafy green, and pink; and that rainbow circle? Stunning. Also weirdly reminiscent of my childhood Marimekko bedspread circa 1970s.

By the way, the photos are originally from a flickr set uploaded by Maraid Design. You can also see a survey of the matchbox labels at Buzzfeed.

Also, if you are enamored of small things, check out Look at this Little Thing! Fun for the whole family. My household spent about an hour looking and looking.