29 November, 2008

let the madness begin

craft fair madness, that is.
and holiday shopping madness, too -- i mean, all of you filling your holiday shopping carts with chez-sucre-chez goodness!
i'm doing a craft fair marathon next weekend --
friday, december 5th -- i'll be in the student union building at kutztown university for their holiday marketplace. all you PA peeps should stop by and say hello.

saturday, december 6th -- i'll be at cafe grumpy in greenpoint for the hearts and crafts affair. c'mon by and see me brooklyn peeps!
sunday, december 7th -- dana b and i will be in boston for bazaar bizarre. it's always a good time, so all you new englanders, make a point of coming on out to the castle and stopping by my table!
and then the following weekend, i will be back in nyc for another fair -- this one in manhattan. more details on that one later.

besides the fairs, though -- there's always my etsy shop. check it out -- i'll be listing new items in the coming weeks. i'll let you know when they drop.
but wait -- there's more!
so, if you don't think that chez-sucre-chez merch is going to work for every person on your gift list, i've got suggestions for where else you can try:
looking to buy some super-awesome handcrafted jewelry? look here: skylark studios.
know someone with a new baby? check out clothesline for stuffies, tummytime mats, and onesies (she doesnt have her etsy shop all set up yet, but look at the stuff on her blog and then send her an email!)
know a dog fanatic? or someone with a new puppy? get em a super delux handmade collar (for the pooch) from collier leeds.
think someone you know needs some art for their walls? get them a day19 photo print or a spread the love illustration/print.

seriously, folks. we all know the economy is really stinky right now and it's making holiday shopping not quite so fun as it used to be. we're all feeling the crunch, we're all trying to spend less and to spend smarter when we do make purchases. it makes a heck of a lot of sense to me to encourage y'all to do as much of your shopping as possible from etsy shops and craft fairs and sites that allow you to purchase direct from the artist. this way, you are directly supporting a human being, not a huge corporation and, in most cases, the quality of whatever you do purchase is going to be so much better, because you know it is made by that human being, rather than something churned out of a factory.
but if you are reading this blog, you probably understand this already... so let's just call this a reminder.

27 November, 2008

holy wow -- check me out!

this magazine is on the newstands now -- the december/january issue of ready made.

and inside...

...is a little feature on me and chez-sucre-chez!
holy crap - i had no idea it was going to be THIS AWESOME.
jen from ready made contacted me a couple of months ago and invited me to be a part of the issue. i was so flattered. (i still am so flattered!)
working with jen (editor) and ilana (photo editor), i came up with this project for how to make these cute little embroidered initial pieces -- easy enough for anyone to do! so i stitched up the examples and wrote up the instructions and sent that on over to the folks at ready made to be photographed and typed up.

they also asked me to send them a wish-list of ten things i would be psyched to receive this holiday season -- they said i could go wild, to i threw in the culinary vacation to italy... (heh-heh!)

and then they sent me on over to the adorable mister spencer heyfron to have my portrait taken. -- how exciting it all was!
of course i was anxious and nervous and excited to see the piece in print. i'd been stalking the newsstands in anticipation and now it has finally arrived and i couldnt be happier. wow, i really am so happy and proud and flattered and impressed and psyched..... it's beautiful! the photo is great, the illustrations are AMAZING, the layout it adorable -- mmmm - so happy.
thank you so SO SOOOOOOOOOO much, jen and ilana and spencer and everyone else who worked on this, for your support and your belief in what i'm doing and for making it all look so fantastic! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo!

26 November, 2008


i stitched this up as an experiment -- the embroidered initial in that great typography on a striped towel.

it's kind of a wild mix -- the styles are so different, but i think that is why i just had to try it.

i can't decide how i feel about it...
do we like?

why yes...

...a twenty pound turkey WILL fit inside a chez-sucre-chez butcher-cut piggy goes to market bag.

tote your holiday market goods in style. go to treehouse brooklyn, or chez-sucre-chez etsy, to get your tote today.

25 November, 2008

whip it

thanks to whip up for featuring me in their 2008 calendar. kathreen, who invited me to be a part of the project, did a sweet little post about me today -- check it out here. (thanks kathreen!!!)

22 November, 2008


my issue (mine, mine all mine!) of country living magazine is now on the newstands.

check it out -- my little letters are in the gift guide:

to celebrate, i'm listing the set for cheap through my etsy shop! click on over here to see and order!

21 November, 2008

more etsy love

this week's mail brought me further confirmation that etsy can be an awesome little thing to be a part of.
check it out -- i got a gift in the mail as a THANK YOU!

remember the horse head silhouette that i did a few weeks ago? it was done as a custom order for jessica, who had bought items from me previously and came back to my shop to see if i could work out this idea that she had. we exchanged a few emails back and forth and worked out a deal and a plan. the project definitely took more time than i had originally anticipated, but i was happy with the way it turned out and i really enjoyed working with jessica, so i didnt feel bad about charging her less than what i actually put into it.
and look at what this sweetie did --- she (a budding needlecrafter as well) was so appreciative that she sent me a thank you package! this is awesome!
personalized packaging!

(makes me think, "i gotta step it up on my etsy order packaging!")

here's part of what she sent to me:

aren't these envelopes great? maybe i just love them because of my butcher-cut piggy totes -- NO! -- i love them because they are SO COOL. if you are looking for some rather nifty stationary, to give as a gift or for your own use, you should definitely check out jessica's etsy shop. she's got lots of patterns and designs that appeal to those of us with slightly off-kilter taste. (and she makes coordinating stickers to go along with them!)
thanks so much, jessica! keep in touch!

19 November, 2008

make it personal

i put a new item into my etsy shop!

(no, silly, not the tarts -- i made those for my papa to take to his company's bake sale.)
custom-embroidered letter/initial hand/tea/dish towels are now available for order.
i received such positively enthusiastic feedback about the lettering/font that i was using for the love letters and pink-on-gold custom-order initial pieces that i decided to branch out and put it on a pretty, practical, gift-able item. it was either totes or towels and i settled on the towels.

check out the etsy listing, or just go right ahead and order, here.

(it was cold out when i took this photo on the porch of my parents' house -- in my camo-jammos.)

18 November, 2008

candy-striped twist

i tried out this recipe for peppermint sticks from the december issue of martha.
the finished pieces and my photos of them are not so pretty-pretty as i would like them to be, but hey, this was the test-run.

when i got my magazine in the mail, i looked through it and immediately thought that THIS was the one recipe i most wanted to try. i had never made this kind of candy before - oh how exciting - a new thing to try! the ingredient list and the process both looked simple enough, so i gave it a go.

here at my parent's house with my mama and my pop and my niece and nephew all standing by, it became this super-fun family activity. the recipe really is very easy to follow, it is just the timing that is a bit tricky. you have to move very quickly with the molten candy (and it is VERY HOT -- wear winter gloves UNDER your rubber gloves!) and i was certainly thankful that my papa was standing by and jumped in to help. he and i pulled the candy (pulling and stretching it into long ribbons -- read the recipe to see what i mean) as aidyn and bella watched the excitement. mama was there to help out with the food-coloring, the bottle of which was just about empty, which is why we didnt get much more color than the pale swirl of pink that you can see in the photos. it was super super super neat-o. the flavor is PERFECT -- they are so super yummy and i wouldn't change a thing from the original recipe. it's really just the process that is tricky. you just need to be prepared and have some help on the ready. it was fun having aidyn and bella look on as the candy turned from yellow-y goop to pretty white ribbons as papa and i crafted our own visions of peppermint sticks. he rolled his to create smooth, perfectly-formed candy cane sticks while i left mine rustic and textured in more of an attempt to really bring out the twists.
a day later and the finished candies are a little sticky (mama suggested rolling them in a little bit of powdered sugar, but i havent tried it yet) but other than that -- totally awesome. we'll be making these again next time the family is all gathered around, right before christmas.

all the birds in the tree

finally. it is complete.
i'm rather pleased with it... yeah, um, i think it's pretty awesome.
the pattern came (almost) directly from one of those old samplers. i couldn't resist the birds and the acorns.

so now i just need to find a grand old hoop in which to frame it and then it goes on a wall someplace.

15 November, 2008

pilgrim's progress

i had put it down for a while, but last night i picked up the needle and made some more progress on this piece:

still a few more hours of work to go...
it's a rainy weekend here in my part of the world and now that i've got myself an automobile, i'm gonna take a little trip to spend a couple of days with my parents. i'm taking along the new martha magazine and am hoping to try out one or two of the candy and cookie recipes! i'll post if anything good comes of it.

12 November, 2008

good gnus

i'm featured on the blog etsy featured artist today!

click on over here to read the full post. it was a fun interview. thanks, debbie!

11 November, 2008

calendar girl

holy moley, more goodness.
a few weeks ago, kathreen, from the super website whipup, asked me to participate in a project that she was putting together. she was creating a calendar featuring some of the "best of" whipup posts from 2008. the best of? me? oh wowsers, i was way flattered.

and now -- the calendar is out! check it out here. it is available for anyone to order. you should get one! look at the amazing artists and projects that are featured each month -- it is a whole year's worth of inspiration! supercool. i am way flattered and honored to have been included. goodness. thank you so much, kathreen!

10 November, 2008

another gift...

...guide mention!

yeah for country living! see the online listing here.
i think it is in print, too -- i'm gonna have to run out to the newsstand to check.
this one i knew about. kirsten from country living found me at renegade this summer and invited me to be a part of the holiday gift guide feature. i stitched up the letters for them and sent them to their team to get photographed. so exciting! hooray!

i actually really like how the project turned out. this is what i sent them:

each of the letters is in a different font and normally, they would all end up being different sizes and looking a little wonky together, but i did them all on different sized aida cloth and so the letters ended up being about the same size.

hot diggity!

lookie what my friend laura spotted and alerted me to:

my hand-towels are listed in the lucky magazine holiday gift guide! all-right! see for yourself here.
the only bummer is that i am not given credit as the designer/label... there's no chez-sucre-chez credit. boo...
oh well ---
but, i am kinda thinking that maybe this means i should put this item back in my etsy shop?

etsy love

i just had such a wonderful etsy experience.
i found etsy seller exlibris handmade when she marked me as a favourite. typically, when i see i have been "favorited" i look to check out that person's shop, too. well when i looked into victoria's shop, i found a blanket that i just fell in love with.
to make a long story short, victoria and i ended up doing trade for goods in one another's shop.
my blanket came in the mail today and it is just as amazing as i has thought it would be.
here it is all wrapped up just out of the envelope:

(such sweet details in the packaging!)

and here it is unfolded:

can you see why i fell in love with this blanket?
thanks, victoria! i love it!
y'all should check out victoria's shop -- she makes custom-order fabric books. she is so sweet!

(oh - and on another etsy note -- i just ordered a rug through etsy! a rug?!?!?! etsy has everything! i had been looking for rugs for weeks, not really finding anything i loved for the right prices in the shops. and then i thought to look on etsy - i am so glad i did.. more on this later!)

november craft fairs

weren't such a smash success.
but it was a good experience all the same.
here's my little shop set up at the goggleworks in reading:

thanks to all who stopped by and thanks to matt and nancy and roxanne for organizing the events!

08 November, 2008

tag, i'm it.

i was informed by karen, of blueberry park, that she had tagged me. eeks! i didnt even know what that meant; i thought it meant that i had been bookmarked or listed on a blog. nope -- i found out that it means i've been tagged more like in the way when you are kids and you tag someone and then they become "it." it appears that i am it! well i am good at playing nicey nice, so here it goes -- let's begin:
the rules of tagging are as follows: (i copied this directly from karen's blog)

1) Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs
4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

seven facts about me... hmmmmm. okay. i guess they can be pretty much anything.
i have scars on my body from both a cat bite and a horse bite.
my favourite foods are pizza, sandwiches and ice cream (in no particular order).
i was a new york city public school teacher for four years.
i have one sister -- who, with her husband, owns a restaurant. she is awesome.
i sometimes dream of being a baker.
i very much enjoy reading non-fiction literature.
i am a terrible runner.

eeks -- looking at it now, it feels a little scary to divulge all of that. i guess that is what bloggers do, though, huh? am i a blogger? hm... a little weird.

okay - so here are the people i am going to tag:

***melanie of turtlebunnylove -- mel lives in the same town as me and i've just recently met her -- she is rad. she does illustration and custom invites.
***m.m. of a clock without hands -- i have a little girl-crush on her.
***danica of slowprogress/comfies -- her blog is really pretty and inspiring -- i enjoy her choice of material.
***greg of mountain again/general -- he's one of my best friends. he doesn't update his blog and he won't do this tagging thing.
***dana of love13bird -- she's also one of my best friends, but she LOVES a list, so she might enjoy this tagging thing.
***kristen of pommes frites -- i met her at a hearts and crafts affair craft fair quite some time ago -- she's got an etsy shop and does other cool stuff.
***kira of miss birney -- she organizes those hearts and crafts affair craft fairs. she's also a retired nyc school teacher. she's awesome.

not it!

07 November, 2008

november spawned a...

new thing?
check my etsy shop --- i'm offering the puppy x-stitch pieces for this month only.

05 November, 2008

reign deer

i was determined to see these deers crowned. (and, in the spirit of current events - YAY OBAMA!)


yes, they can appear regal. fabric and stitching color make such a huge difference in the feeling of a motif!

03 November, 2008

oh darling dear

um -- adorable?
this happened by accident. i was studying my favorite book (are you tired of hearing about that book already? does it seem like i am CONSTANTLY studying those pages? it is true. i look at it A LOT.) looking for new motifs. there are a lot of deer in those PA dutch samplers and i was trying to find one that was clear enough that i could work a pattern. there are lots of variations and most of them are kinda wonky, or really hard to see. and then i found this deer. oh, dear, i fell in love. i scratched the little x's onto my graph paper and came up with the pattern, but i had NO idea just how cute it was going to be until i had put it into actual stitches.
i wasnt going for cute! i was going for regal. i'm developing a few more patterns to round out my royal PA dutch series -- the ones with the creatures/animals facing one another with a crown above them. (why am i doing this, you ask? oh, two reasons: one, to prepare for this weekend's craft fair for the kutztown historical society, and, two, i'm putting together a little somethin' somethin' for a certain shoppe in a certain city in CA...) anyways -- these deer didnt look regal to me; they looked cute! so, i put the heart above them. that was the first different-colored-heart that i used in the cross-stitched pieces, the puppies actually came after this. it isn't that far of a stray from my series, though -- hearts are also a really common motif in the PA german samplers.
okay -- so then i had another idea:

what's going on here? kj is gettin' wild with the cross-stitch pieces! dual colors, cutesy heart themes, scenery rather than just motifs?!?!?! there is always room for growth, my friends.
and then i did this one:

next up -- the deers do reign.

02 November, 2008

and i call it, puppy love

i know -- a little different than my usual style.
puppies aren't really the kind of subject i get a hankerin' to use in my work, but i found a few in some of the pennsylvania german samplers and i figured it'd give it a go. they're little and simple and, yeah, kind of cute. and the dual color thing is new, too...
eh, experiments.