landscape design portfolio

a’s second year b-day cake

Aren’t these just gorgeous cakes? I fell in love with them and then had the idea to recreate one for my daughter’s second birthday this past August.

Cake Design

Here are the results:


And it tasted as good as it looked!

center street plaza

This is a project that I did with two other designers in a class I took. I loved working with these girls! They were so easy to get along with and had great ideas and talent. For our challenge, we were given a long and skinny gravel parking lot between two buildings on Center Street. We needed to design a public plaza in this space. It was a great challenge, but turned out wonderfully. We chose an Asian theme because we felt there were a lot of other foreign restaurants on the street and due to the size of the lot, long and skinny would need rectangular designing.

Here are the photos of inspiration:

Center Street Plaza Center Street Plaza1 Center Street Plaza2

Don’t you love the feel these bring to you? My heart seems to calm down… like the Zen is already working on me!

Now take those photos and put them into a design? That is what we did. That is what I do and LOVE it!!!

Here is the design we came up with. Each sheet is 24X36 with a medium of Chartpak

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Toddler T-shirt Tutorial

When I was in kindergarten, I remember wearing some t-shirt dresses that my mom had made and I remember feeling so cute in them. So I decided that I would make a couple for some gifts. This one in particular is for my niece who is the cutest red head ever! --- and she's in LOVE with Fancy Nancy. Those books are the CUTEST! Check them out here.

  • 1- t-shirt – old or new (that is what is great about this)

  • 1- 44” length of 1/4 yard fabric

  • Matching Thread

  • Tulle and jewels for flowers
I found this 5.00 shirt at Target. I liked it because it had a cute neckline compared to some of the t-shirts that are at a craft store. I made my daughter’s out of one of my Down East shirts that shrunk (another story).
I took one of my daughter's t-shirts (size 4t) and laid it over the top of the shirt. Then I traced with a pencil on the white shirt where the sleeves meet the shirt and then down the sides in an a-line fashion.
Then I cut the shirt on those lines like this just outside of the lines to give room for a seam allowance (I used about 1/4 inch for this dress).
Then with the right sides together, take the shirt and sew up the two sides from the arm hole down. (I used a zigzag the whole time on the knit to give a little more stretch for the finished product).
For the sleeves, I took the original sleeve and used this tutorial to help me cut out and sew the sleeve together. It was nice not to have to do the hem on the neck or sleeves because I used the original ones on the shirt.
With both sleeves and shirt inside out, pin the right sides together and sew around carefully. This was the most challenging part for me.
Finished sleeve inside
Then I cut about 8” off the bottom of the shirt. This length is totally up to you for how long you want it for the dress. For my niece's dress it will hit mid-calf. So here is the top of the dress put together.
 IMG_3615 IMG_3616
Now for the skirt… I found some Fancy Nancy fabric for 1/2 off! What is great is that you only need 1/4 of a yard for this dress. I took about 8 inches of my Fancy Nancy fabric and pressed the bottom 1/4 in up and then another 1/4 to hid the raw edge. Then I hemmed the whole 44” length of the piece. I decided to do two stitches to give it some uniqueness.
Take the two short ends and with right sides together, straight stitch them together. (forgot a photo of this step)
Then I folded the material every few inches to make some pleats. This took some time and I had to adjust them a few times. You need to make the skirt width the same as the bottom of the t-shirt. Then I pressed them flat. Next, sew 1/4 inch around the top of the skirt.
 IMG_3624 IMG_3626
Then I took the top of the skirt inside out, and pressed the skirt down 1/4 in and sewed around that to make a nice finished seam. 
Attach the top of the skirt to the bottom of the shirt with pins (right on top) and sew around to secure.
 IMG_3629 IMG_3631
So your dress part is done and you can leave it like this if you so desire. However, Fancy Nancy is never plain… so I had to add some frills. I got into my scrap box and found some tulle.
I folded some pieces over and pinned a flower template onto the top. Then you cut in a circle around the tulle.
Then I light up my candle and melt the edges. Be careful though because tulle melts really fast. It just takes a little heat. You may want to practice a couple of times.
After I melted my circles, I stacked them in different arrangements of about 6-8 circles to see what I liked best.
Then take and arrange on your shirt still in stacks.
Then hand sew each stack using a needle and thread. You will have to sew each one in an X shape so your tulle doesn’t tear.
Then I found in my odds and ends these acrylic jewels and glued them to the center of the flowers.
And there it is! I cannot wait to see L in this dress.
I am going to make a bag to go along with it next week since I had some fabric left over.


e’s wedding

  After I sit down with a bride, I get online to find inspiration. So here is the inspiration and then the actual results from e’s wedding from July 2010…
e’s colors were pink, brown, green, and baby blue. She just need a bouquet and boutonniere since her reception was in another state. Two days before the wedding she called and said she wanted two of each so she could have some fresh ones for photos. It was kind of stressful because I had already ordered the flowers! Yikes! But my wholesaler worked with me and we found a happy middle for the flowers.
Actual Results-
You will have to forgive me, but I didn’t have my new camera at this point in time so the shots don’t do these gorgeous flowers and justice :) The gerberas really made this wedding bouquet!

homemade laundry soap

My cousin shared this idea with me and I took off with it. I love the idea of making something cheaper than I can buy it AND that I know what goes into it! It is about about $0.01 per load! This makes about 2 gallons or 64 – 1/2 cup loads.

1 bar Ivory soap - no scent, no coloring

1/4 bar Fels Naptha

½ cup washing soda (different thank baking soda)

½ cup borax powder

45 drops of Essential Oil (lemon, tea tree, or lavender are great)

Grate the soaps and put them in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Finally, add your favorite essential oil, I use about 45 drops of tea tree oil but I used lemon and grapefruit too and they work really well. You can obviously use whatever scent you want. The EO will make the soap a more effective cleanser, make the soap more effective at getting rid of bacteria and microbes (not sure about all oils but tea tree has anti bacterial agents in it), and will of course make your laundry smell incredible.

Pour mixture into old detergent bottles and let sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. I used two 1 gallon juice containers. The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel, with a pearly white color to it. The recipe says you only need about 1/2 cup per load.  

Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap. It appears to be safe and effective in energy efficient machines too because it hardly makes any suds. Because this recipe includes far less chemical than other laundry soaps, i.e., cleaners, dyes, fragrance, you will find it to be great for allergies and sensitive skin, and I feel better about it not being carcinogenic.

new etsy shop

Okay I have opened my shop! Yeah! This is all so new for me, but I am way excited to share everything with you. Check it out here--- http://www.etsy.com/shop/rissdesignct --- you can also go to my sidebar to find a link.


Hello! My name is Clarissa. I am a stay-at-home mom of a two-year-old girl and I have big ambitions. I am a designer and crafter at heart. I look for everything in life to change and make better. From landscape design to repurposing clothing, I love it all! I graduated in Family/Personal Finance with minors in Ballroom Dance, Landscape Design, and Business Management so I hope to throw some of these topics in once in a while. Education is important to me and I feel that we all need to continue to learn and teach ourselves.
I am getting everything set up for an etsy shop and hope that you will stop there by there too when it’s done.
If ever you have any special requests for products or posts, you can get a hold of me at
rissdesign.ct@gmail.com or at (801) 210-1268
Thanks for stopping by!
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