31 October, 2008


new shot of my wall with random pieces arranged and hung. i've got a lot more pieces all stitched up, but i dont want to put any more holes in my wall!
this photo is going over to whipup, for a special little project!

29 October, 2008

birds and branches

okay i have to stop.

i started this series (huh!) just a week ago -- but quickly became obsessed. since then i have been poring over my re-checked library copy of my favorite book, samplers of the pennsylvania germans, studying the almost microscopic stitches i find in those pages. birds and foliage are common motifs in samplers from this region and often they are paired together. i've spent a lot of time squinting my eyes and making little x's on graph paper to come up with the patterns for this series.

there is so much amazing material and inspiration in this book i could just keep going and going and going! but i'm stopping myself (i think? kinda? maybe?) or else i would just keep on creating patterns and new pieces and i would still feel the same as i do now - like i could almost never be finished with this series.
here's the collection as it stands now:

the only piece missing is the big one -- and i need more floss to complete that one, so i'm stuck for the moment -- and, um, yeah, the four other pieces that i really really want to do but am telling myself not to.

much bigger needles

where did this cold come from?
i wasn't prepared for it to be this cold -- in OCTOBER. while walking around in the mess of rain and cold yesterday, i determined that i needed a new scarf; my old ones just weren't cutting it, AND i was really feeling the desire to zone out to the clacking of knitting needles.

my productivity has taken a hit with this cold weather; i am SO unmotivated on days like these. so i set up my nest -- the bed is all piled with blankets and my computer and my needlework projects and my paperwork and my trusty gato emil, and that is where i have been spending most of my time lately.
last night i settled in to my nest with two new skeins of yarn and a pair of size 15 needles. three hours later, voila, i had a new scarf. it's nothing fancy - just one-by-one rib stitch - and i made a mistake or two - but i'm happy enough with my first foray back into knitting in well over a year.
mmmmmm. warm neck.

28 October, 2008

weekend adventure

friends molly and dave invited me along on their annual corn-maze and pumpkin-pickin' adventure, and it was a totally great day.

this is molly and dave entering the corn maze. i had never heard of a corn maze before -- it is just what it sounds like, a maze cut into a huge field of corn. see the tower structure above their heads? that is set up in the middle of the maze and a guy sits up there to help out anyone who gets so lost and disoriented that they have a panic attack. we didn't have any panic attacks, but towards the end, i think we were all ready to get out of there and get some hot apple cider.

did you know corn have weird root things that look like feet? i didnt, but i do now.

once out of the corn maze we scouted for pumpkins.

here's mine. i loved it for the tangle of vines and leaves attached to its stem.

we ran home and carved them and roasted the seeds and cooked up some dinner.

here are all of our little jack-o-lanterns (in a blurry blurry picture) sitting on the porch of molly and dave's house:

i cannot take credit for the idea for mine -- it came from the cover of this month's hallmark magazine (i had no idea they had a magazine!?! is it cool? i'll need to investigate next time i see it.) which i caught out of the corner of my eye and just for a moment as we were getting dinner supplies at the grocery store. well here it is:

a wee pumpkin house! i tried to use twine to weave the sticks together to make the door -- it was not cooperating, though, so i said f-it and hot-glued them together instead.
and here is pumpkin a few days later, and looking a bit like the big-bad-wolf (which was really a nasty windstorm last night) got to it:

thanks, molly and dave for inviting me in on the seasonal fun! xo!


chez-sucre-chez is getting some love today from etsy and readymade!

i noticed that my little etsy shop was getting quite a few hits today, so i went investigating and found that i was featured on etsy's storque column in a collaboration with the editors at readymade magazine! wooo-hoooo!
click here to see the feature on etsy, and here to see the feature on readymade! wow! thanks so much jen! (she's the rad editor at readymade who chose my work to feature!)

26 October, 2008

bring on the dancing horses

i completed this today:

i stitched this one up as a special order for jessica, who wrote to me with this idea. it had been a while since i had done any silhouette cross-stitched pieces, so i kinda forgot how much time it takes to fill the space with all of those little x's -- but the end result, me thinks, is worth it...

23 October, 2008

going for the series

(did i just try for a reference to current sporting events? --- ouch...)

here's the new one of the day:

and here is the very ambitious one i am working on to round out this series:

yes, i did say it is ambitious. eeks, look at all that space that needs to be filled still..
i do think this is my most ambitious cross-stitch piece yet - it's an 8 inch frame and the pattern is really detailed -- there is a lot going on in this little scene. it's gonna take me a little while, but in the meantime i do still hope to be doing one of these smaller guys a day. hoping.

22 October, 2008

two turtle doves

here's another in the latest little batch of pennsylvania dutch inspired cross-stitch pieces:

i don't know why, but i've determined to complete one of these a day for the rest of the week.
(on top of everything else that i have going on...)
this is how i deal with stress -- this is my escape.

20 October, 2008

leesport craft fair recap

okay. so sunday's fair wasnt the best in terms of turn out.
um, nope, definitely not. sales were a little disappointing. boo.
but here is how the craft fair was totally awesome;
i got to hang out and forge a crafters' alliance with three totally awesome ladies: jen lindsay of turnstyle design (website soon to come), melanie linder of love your invite and spread the love, and karen stanford of skylark studio. holy crap, such great, talented ladies and they all live pretty much in my town and now i get to be friends with them. yeah!
i forgot to take photos of my table but i loaned it to jen and she got some shots of the table that these ladies shared.
here's jen with her set-up:

she makes these ADORABLE little stuffed giraffes and baby quilts. she's gonna set up an etsy shop soon. soon.

and here is melanie with her set-up:

her illustrations are so so cool. (check them out in her etsy shop.)

karen escaped the camera, but here is a shot of her jewelry display:

this photo doesnt do justice -- go to her etsy shop, she just set it up - i'm not a jewelry girl but i seriously believe that karen's pieces are fabulous - see for yourself.

we've got another adventure set up already -- we're gonna give these PA craft fairs another go: come see us in reading, at the goggleworks, on sunday, november 9th. a group called "reading we have a problem" (headed by matt, who we met on sunday and who is super motivated and ready-to-rally) is setting up a craft fair to coincide with the goggleworks monthly second sunday event. i'll post more info as i get it..

18 October, 2008

and these little piggies...

are going to be at the Homegrown Indie Arts & Crafts Fair with me tomorrow.

if you are in the area -- Leesport, PA -- tomorrow between 12-6pm, you should most certainly stop by. i will have a table at the fair and i know that there are going to be a whole lotta other artists and crafters selling their stuff there as well. click here for more info about the fair.
maybe you can buy one of these onesies and it can go "wee-wee-wee" all the way to your home.

16 October, 2008

owl love you always

(haha, i thought of that a few seconds ago and i'm still cracking up about it.)

piece number one in a new take on the pennsylvania-dutch inspired cross-stitch series! yeaaah!
i've got a craft fair coming up in november here in PA dutch country, so i figured i would revisit that series. i re-checked my favourite book from the local library (samplers of the pennsylvania germans) and i've found a whole new wealth of inspiration for a new group of cross-stitch pieces.
so, there will be more to come!

handing over another batch of hand-towels

yesterday i shipped a batch of hand-towels out to the Lancaster Museum of Art, where they will be sold in the museum's shop! yippee! thanks so much to my friend heather, for making this happen. xoxo!

15 October, 2008

those little cloud onesies

i'm getting ready for the homegrown indie arts and crafts fair this weekend -- building inventory, packaging, tagging, working on my displays.
i've made up a few little silver-lined cloud onesies to sell at that event:

they are similar to the ones i made for eli and cooper, but whereas theirs had stitching around the cloud, these ones get their silver lining from silver textile paint.

more updates on the craft fair as the week goes on...

14 October, 2008

chez makes active wear

remember months ago when i posted about making a couple of limited-edition onesies for two very special little dudes?
here's one of them in action:

that's eli, skating with his pop, jeremy. so f-ing cute. (oops, i just realized that you can't tell, from this crop, that they are skateboarding -- well they are --click on over to see the whole shot!)
my friends claire and jeremy are SUPER-DUPER, FANTASTIC, WONDERFUL, AMAZING (please insert at least 10 other ultra-positive adjectives here) photographers. (i would use all of those words to describe them as friends and as people, too.) they have a blog where they share little bits of their exciting lives (babies! celebrities! travel! tomfoolery!) -- you should check it out; it is way inspiring.
really, you should see the rest of the photos and the rest of their site, too. they go by the name of day19. maybe you've heard of them before -- they're pretty serious.

10 October, 2008

letter pressed

hey lookie!

poppytalk posted one of my images today for their art of display category posts.
it's a sweet little post:

thanks for the mention, jan!

07 October, 2008

love letters

L.O.V.E. is how i feel about every aspect of this project!
the color combination of pink and gold is making me so excited these days. there was a time when i loathed that combo -- thinking it so tacky and flashy and gaudy and garish (um, which really all mean the same thing, i know...). but now, i am feeling positively passionate about it! i've even gone and done my studio in pink and gold. something about the combo now feels so romantic and girly and extravagant -- evoking a spirit mixed with parts rococo and parts art nouveau.
so i love the color.
i love the texture of the embroidery floss on the metallic gold thread of the fabric.
and i love the font of the lettering.
um, yep. i'm a little happy with how this turned out.
love letters.

(i put them on etsy -- as the set or as individual custom-order letters)

03 October, 2008

letters going out today:



J two ways
(too bad i didnt have a B to send out, too... i would have loved making up that arrangement!)

01 October, 2008

chez making news

hey look (here) -- another write up for chez!

this one is from babble -- a website for parents. i went through the site a little and while um, i am definitely not a parent, it seems pretty cool. anyways -- the write-up was on a blog called droolicious, which is a part of that site. it is very sweet. thank you, elizabeth!

also in recent blog-news there was this one:

this was on maple sugar -- a blog by rebekka of the sugar bar in nashville TN (the website doesnt seem to be up yet, but their blog is). i made the S for her a little while back and i'm so happy to see it photographed and posted about on her blog! (i love love love seeing my little creations in other people's settings... so cool.) oh man -- everytime i look at her blog and the sugar bar site my sweet-tooth gets A-ITCHIN! (rebekka, if you ever need a pasty chef's assistant, can i come and be it for a while?)

why hadn't i thought of this earlier?

embroidered letters:

made for a special upcoming project.
you'll hear more about it later, i hope.
(no, i didn't intend to spell out "freak.")