30 March, 2009

in the news

i meant to post this last week, but i guess i got distracted:

jena, over at modish, did a sweet little post on my new embroidered-roses dishtowels.
check it out here.
thanks, jena!

26 March, 2009

from the vaults

sifting through old (digital) chez-sucre-chez photos i rediscovered this one:

dang, i like those coral pieces! oh, but i have so many other projects to do before i go back to this theme.....

24 March, 2009

new sampler

i know -- it may be like i am beating this one to death at this point (the "owl love you always"), but i still love it and now that i've become so fond of the sampler thing, it seemed like the thing to do --- add the text to the owls.
so there it is.

23 March, 2009

where the wild roses grow

i tell you, i've gone gaga for stitching roses.

i've made up a whole bunch of new tea towels with roses embroidered onto them. when i did the first and second rounds (these and these), i was using a pattern that i traced from a photo of an actual rose. this time around, though, i doodled a bunch of roses freehand and then used different combinations of those drawings on the towels. i think i'm quite pleased with the results.

i'm really feeling the color combos, too... rather reminiscent of kath kidston, huh? it's quite a different palette for me, but i'm liking it.
i listed these in the shops as sets of two.

this set (above)

and this set (above)

and this set (above)

more rose items to follow...

22 March, 2009

peacock migration

i found these plumed peacocks in a drawer the other day. i stitched it up months ago -- around the holidays -- and with everything that was going on, i must have forgotten about them... oh pretty peacocks, i'm sorry.
but now they're going on an exciting journey across the country.
i put them in one of the new spring mailers and sent them off to san francisco!

i gotta make it out to s.f. sometime soon -- valencia street, specifically. i've got pieces at two shops on this same street and both shops look SO cool. check it out -- the curiosity shoppe has a collection of my royal pa dutch pieces (the ones with pairs of creatures facing one another with a crown above them) and paxton gate's curiosities for kids has an alphabet of my cross-stitched letters. has anyone in san francisco seen these displays? i'd love to know how they look....

20 March, 2009

leaves of grass

happy spring! i'm happy because i figured out how to more efficiently make multiples of my green grass totes and i like the way they've turned out:

since embroidering each blade of grass was just waaaaaay too labor-intensive, i went the route of making a stamp and printing them. i cut each blade of grass from that weird foam stuff (that all kids crafts seem to use these days) and then glued it to another piece that i used as the stamp mount. it worked pretty well!

i tested the stamp and printed some new spring mailing envelopes.
and then i did some tests of printing on fabric:

and then i moved onto the totes:

me likey.
the totes are now in the shop.

19 March, 2009

love letters arrived

i meant to post this a while ago - but it was that week that i was sick; my brain was fogged.
jennifer, of madebygirl, bought a set of my l.o.v.e. letters and then, on her blog, she posted a photo of them all set up in her home. here's my screen-shot of the photo she has on her blog: ( you can see her whole post here.)

don't they look fantastic?! and her photo is great, too! i love it -- they look positively adorable in her space.
jen's got some pretty great taste in home decor and personal accessories -- check her blog for more. thanks for posting the photo, jen!

16 March, 2009

what's goin' on...

... inside the studio is this:

mmmm, samplers....
i'm feelin' a fever for putting these things together. thus far, i've taken ELEMENTS and motifs from samplers and worked them as isolated pieces, but now i'm really feeling the challenge of the bigger, more chock-full sampler. aside from taking more time, they are a challenge because i have to think about the spacing around each character. i guess it wouldn't be so difficult if i were working from a pattern book or something, but well, that's just not my style. i'm copying the fonts and letter styles of alphabets i've found on those old PA dutch samplers and arranging them to suit the size of the piece i want to make. this was the first one -- i'm relatively happy with it, but i can see changes i want to make and directions in which i'd like to explore. there are so many other letter styles out there! so many samplers to study! inspiration is never ending.....
(i do love the red on oatmeal color combo i've gone with.... i think it was inspired by a painting of penmanship practice that my friend greg did. the painting hangs in his living room. it's one of my favourite pieces of his artwork. i wish i had a photo i could show you...)

also going on is this:

the green grass tote bag.
i was SUPER jazzed about this idea -- embroidering the line of grass blades along the bottom edge of the tote. once i started it though, i realized that it is WAY more work than i had anticipated. i didn't realize that little 3 inch straight lines would take me so long to do, but there are a lot of little lines...

i still love the idea, though, so i'm going to play with some print versions. ah, another challenge and adventure. i'm hoping to make that happen sometime this week... we'll see. (i listed the original on etsy; here.)

and, i'm strongly considering a change of paint in the studio. the pink i have on the walls now simply isnt doing it for me. it was beautiful in my brooklyn bedroom (and i am so happy to be able to still visit that bedroom when i see my friend laura, who has kept up the serious awesomeness of that pink room), but here, the paint finish is flat and blah. it looks really unfinished. so i'm thinking of doing it in that trendy blue color, the shade that's been in all the magazines for the past two years.. any suggestions on an exact paint shade?

13 March, 2009

american got sick

i've been awfully sick the past few days -- the kind of sick that leaves one rather incapacitated. those who know me know that i dont do well sitting idle... it's been driving me nuts.
so since i have no new work to show, i thought i'd share with you the painting that i spent two full days starting at: (i had to take it off the wall to get the photo.)

awesome, right? (erg -- now that i look, the photo i've taken doesn't do it justice -- i was too sick to try to set it up well!) i've loved this painting all my life, even before i knew that it was a parody of the great grant wood painting (though i think that someone explained it to me and maybe showed me a picture of the original when i was really young). it's my great aunt mary and great uncle frank and it used to hang in their big old farmhouse right above aunt mary's doll houses. i've written about my great aunt mary before (here) -- this is just further attestation of how darned cool she was.

09 March, 2009

kj go 'round the roses

after a week of working some very long days (for very nice people!) at the philadelphia flower show, i'm back to working my usual very long days for myself. on my first day back i've released a new tea towel design; the roses, in a few different color combinations on a few different towels, are now in the shop.

my childhood bedroom had pink walls and a green rug. i think the prolonged exposure to these colors in my formative years must have had an effect on me because pink and green has remained, for as long as i can remember, my very favorite color combination. (even through my brain tells me that it's kind of a weird color combination.) of course i had a thing for miami-vice-inspired pink and teal in the eighties, and hot pink and black and white in my late twenties, but pink and green has always been my true love. throw some flowers into that pink and green mix and my heart goes all a-flutter. so there it is.

friend jonny has recommended that i chill out sometimes and stop to smell the roses. i wish i knew how, jj.... i wish i knew how... until i figure that out, i'll be stitching the petals of those roses.

08 March, 2009

the toothman cometh

remember this guy?

probably not --- i made him a REAAAAAAAL long time ago. (i was gonna let him go, but i just couldnt!)
well a few weeks ago, sweet baby aidyn got his first wiggly tooth and as soon as i found out, i sent toothman on a journey though the mail so that he could be with aidyn for the momentous occasion of his first visit from the tooth-fairy. luckily, toothman made it to flemington new jersey in plenty of time; that darned tooth wiggled for two weeks before falling out. (and when it did happen, it went totally unnoticed by s.b.a. as he ate his bed-time snack of pretzels.... he seems to have eaten his tooth, too. and then, when he realized he lost the tooth, he ran around the room screaming "AWESOME! AWESOME!" it WAS awesome; i was lucky to be there with him and toothman that night.)
toothman was such a hit with the kids that brother-in-law suggested, "hey sis, we had a great idea; how about you make a new toothman for every tooth he loses? and then when b.b. starts losing her teeth, you make her a set of pink teeth?" um, yeah, cute idea, but, um, no.
but i'm a sucker for a project so of course i made more toothmen. he's gonna get three more -- which will make one toothman for each of the four front teeth. and will you believe that all three of the other ones are already wiggly?
well i gave him toothman #2 this weekend.

that's toothman #2 on the right, the blue-eyed one. he's pictured here with his buddy toothman #3, before they had to part for a while. #2 and #3 are a quite a bit more busted-looking than the last batch of toothmen. it's been a few years. i was a bit rusty.
more teethmen to follow...

04 March, 2009

capture the flag

after a whole lotta waiting, my good friends molly and dave finally had their baby on saturday night.
(hooray, hooray! a healthy baby boy!)
i've been house and dog sitting while they've been in the hospital and i wanted to make something a little special for them to come up home to, so i made a flag! (well, i guess this is maybe called a banner? or a string of flags?)

this was dave's idea, actually. it's funny -- they have a flagpole outside of their house and molly and dave have always wanted to have some sort of flag to fly on it. a couple of weeks ago, dave said to me, "hey, how about a flag to announce the birth of the baby?" of course it's a great idea so while i hung out with the dogs and kept the woodfire burning, i whipped one up. it took practically no time at all and was such a fun project.
at first i was just going to make it quick-quick-quick and wasn't concerned with the craftsmanship of it. but then i thought, well, heck, i may as well make it nicey nice. so i did. i took this as the opportunity to use up some of the fabrics in my stash that i knew i wouldnt be using so soon. our friend jen, of clothesline, also donated some fabrics to the cause.
here are the flags all strung together aside the sewing machine:

and here they are waiting for the ascent:

hurry home molly and dave and oliver james! we miss you!

i didn't realize that it was going to look so wimpy once it was up there -- i would have liked them to be bigger -- more substantial, but, well, it looks festive still. better than the plain bare flagpole, right?