29 April, 2009

masculin, féminin

new batch of sammy wraps in the works...

hot diggity dang

i love a new pile of old buttons.

when life gives you scraps...

...use 'em to make something pretty.

hey look, strawberry season's come early!
yesetrday, i took a little break from apron-making and my craft-fair production schedule to make something just for the fun of it. i've been wanting to make a little pint box of these strawberries for a while, and now i have. (and now i just gotta pick up a pint box to put them in.)
with all of the sewing i've been doing this month, my scrap basket is almost over-flowing. see:

i kinda hate any kind of waste, so i put the scraps to use and made these little pincushions. i bought little 1/4 yard pieces of the two solid red fabrics, and of the wool felt for the leafy tops, but everything else came from the scrap pile. they're stuffed with scraps, too.

i got the basic how-to and the pattern template from martha's site. (find it here.) i copied the template at a few different sizes and played around with the shapes a little to get some variety, but other than that, i pretty much stuck to the pattern. it's rather basic, simple, and quite perfect as is.

(above: photo credit: friend dave. thanks, dave! also, in the shot you can see where the sewing machine needle bit my finger. it ain't so bad!)

28 April, 2009

country respite

i just caught my finger under the needle of my sewing machine -- totally gross and scary and painful (but maybe not as bad as it sounds), so i'm taking a break until i stop shaking and finger stops bleeding (though it's tough to type without it!)
while breaking --

have any of you looked through country living magazine lately? really! last week i picked up the latest issue and i gotta say, i am impressed. (and i am not just saying this because they've been nice to me...) i think they had a bit of a switch-up with the staff and the editors and they're doing a bit of a rework. (there is definitely a hole to fill with domino being gone....) i was talking to some friends about it and was saying that maybe it's appealing to me more now because i'm more country living these days, or maybe because i'm growing into an old cat-lady spinster, or maybe it really is getting more hip! i like to think that it's the latter of those three possibilities. i think it is! you should check it out. there are some really nice spreads and features in there... i think i'm gonna get a subscription! okay. back to sewing.

more apron strings

i finished a whole lotta little boys aprons and now i'm working on a big batch for the girls.
soon i'll be able to show off the whole finished project....oooooh, i'm looking forward to that! they're coming along beautifully, cori!

24 April, 2009

why didnt i think of this months ago?


it's a bit way too ubiquitous now, but man, people were going apeshit for these posters last year.
i was driving the other day, listening to my ipod on the shuffle, and that jarvis cocker song came on where he sings, "my eyes could see the glory..." and i was thinking how that was a reference to some hymn or something and then i was thinking of song lyrics that would be cool to cross-stitch in a sampler style kind of piece. i did that smiths one before, but i was thinking of making more of a really traditional sampler looking piece but with some great quote/lyric that i love. well this train of thought led me to the idea of x-stitching this "keep calm and carry on" quote. so i did. and now i'm through with it. (though i do wish i had done a better crown... oh well.) i still haven't thought of what quote i want to use for that other idea... someday.

22 April, 2009

apron preview

(more soon!)

home again home again jiggity jig.

i've returned home to the studio after more than a week away. i'm pleased to see that only two of my plants died. (i thought more of them would have perished.)
before i left, i started repainting and reorganizing the studio. it feels like it's been a work long in progress and there is still a lot more to do.
here are a couple of shots as it stands now: (actually, they were taken before i left.)

lookin' good, eh? it's only one corner, but i am happy with the way things are coming along. the first shot is of my little plant window (the view outside the window isnt so picturesque, unfortunately -- it looks out on the roof of the building next door) and the second is looking back into the bathroom, which i've spruced up a bit, too, lately.
obviously, though, these angles aren't showing any real work space. that space is still in development, but here's what it looks like at the moment:

the sewing machine's gotta get moved to its own table and i need to hang some stuff on those bare walls! i'm sure the surface of the counter will not remain so uncluttered for long.
and now -- ugh. the other half:

haha... yup.... so half-assed. i think i am the only person i know who would paint halfway and then get tired of that job and start setting up the portion of the room that was done with the plan to go back and do the rest later. hey mans, i've been busy! i have a lot coming up and i need a working work space! i'll get to finishing that paint job in the next week or two....
with the way things are going, though, i am going to be spending a lot of long hours and days in the studio.
here's what's up the pike:
sunday may 3rd:

i'll see you in brooklyn at greenpoint's cafe grumpy for the hearts and crafts affair event.
then on may 30th - 31st:

melanie of spread the love and i are going to be sharing a booth at the art star craft bazaar at penns landing in philly.
the week after that, june 6th - 7th:

i'll be back in brooklyn for renegade. it's being held in the park part of mccarren park this year -- not the pool. hopefully the weather will be better this time!
yeah... so with these shows and a bunch of other little jobs and projects, i'll be crafting away in the studio for the next month and a half. i will get to finishing the paint job somewhere in between though, i will...

20 April, 2009

another instance of internet awesomeness

last week i posted about how much i have enjoyed the little connections and interactions i've been afforded through this blog and otherwise through chez-sucre-chez. well it's happened again.
this afternoon, i received an email from artist rae dunn. i first "met" rae after she placed an order from my etsy shop. through her etsy profile, i noticed that rae had a shop, too, so i clicked on over to see what her work was all about. it was then that i realized that this was an artist whose work i had been noticing on blogs and such for several months. so i was pleased to have received an order (and then a second order!) from her. (also maybe worth mentioning in this story about fortuitous exchanges is that i was so impressed with rae's work that i included it in my "10 things" wishlist for my little feature in readymade magazine!)
today rae told me that one the items she bought from me was included in a photograph that was taken in her kitchen and then the photo made it into a book that was published in japan!
look at my little piggy goes to market bag in action:

hooray! (and hot damn, that's a way better product shot than the ones i did for my shops!)
i took the photo from rae's blog -- i assume that it is a picture of a spread in the book that she took herself.
the book is called san francisco kitchens -- a look into the homes/kitchens of artsy creative types who life in sf. take a look at rae's blog (here) -- she give a little more info.
totally cool. thanks for the heads up, rae, and congrats on your inclusion in the book!

red work love

i positively love the look of red stitches on white fabric;

it's what started me on the embroidery kick in the first place. (remember? here.)
good color choice, heather!

silver and gold

new silver and gold frilly print sandwich wrappers (which in my head i always call sammy wraps) are in the shops!

here and here.
c'mon buy yerself somethin' pretty for earthday! (one of these sandwich wraps -- it's a responsible purchase!)

19 April, 2009

mama and the apron strings

i had to make A LOT of apron ties this past week (4 per apron, 24 aprons and counting...) and i think if it weren't for this

fantastic little gadget, i would have gone bonkers.
the turn it all bow whip. holy crap, this thing saved me hours turning the little tubes right-side out after sewing them. i found it in mama's sewing room. i didn't even know such a thing existed.

ho-ly crap. really. much better than the old safty pin tied to a piece of string method.
more about the apron project soon -- i'm returning home to the country tomorrow and hoping for a nice sunny day and a clothesline somewhere where i can get a good shot of the ones i've made so far!

17 April, 2009


another cool bit of press for my shop this week --
i spotted some web traffic coming from cool mom picks.

they included my monogrammed tea towels in a round-up of mother's day gifts.

13 April, 2009

letter love

i received a note from jen jafarzadeh l'italien this morning letting me know that she had written about my wares on her blog, the haystack needle. (check it out -- it's a good one!)

when i clicked on over to the link she sent, i was psyched. it's a lovely little round-up of letter/initial themed products, and mine sit with some pretty impressive company.
i love when people write to let me know that they've featured chez-sucre-chez on their blog or etsy treasury. of course it's flattering, but it's also really cool to "meet" these people; to discover new blogs and etsy shops and fellow artists and writers. it's nice when i accidentally stumble upon a chez-sucre-chez mention without notice, of course, but seriously -- i really do think it's great when people reach out with the "i just wanted to let you know that i featured..." email. i guess it's a strange internet/blogging phenomenon that i really like -- i totally treasure those email exchanges that i've had with individuals whom i've come in contact with through my etsy shop and blog. (nina, jessica, brooke, leila -- i've got at least ten more of you in mind but i'm not gonna list because i dont want to leave anyone out!!!) sheesh, you guys are great...
thanks, jen!

12 April, 2009

to market to market

hey friends, check this out:

poppytalk handmade is an online craft fair run by the wonderful jan and earl over at poppytalk. each month, there's a different theme and a new crop of artists who are invited to participate and set up virtual tables, or shops. i've seen the offerings of past markets and i'm always impressed by the work that is featured.
well, i'm thrilled to announce that i am taking part in this month's market, which kicks off tomorrow.
april 13th - may 8th is the "mother's day and kids market." i've got my shop all set up and now i'm anxiously awaiting the opening of the market so i can see how it all looks together and who the other artists are! i gotta admit though, i'm a little nervous because i don't feel that my product shots are totally up to snuff... but other than that, i'm excited.
if you get a chance, click on over and PLEASE, send me feedback on anything i may be able to do to make my little shop look more attractive and enticing to potential buyers! click here to get there.

10 April, 2009

so terrific

one of my very favourite blogs mentioned my shop today!

shelterrific is one of those blogs that i check in on regularly. if you've never visited before, i recommend that you do -- they've got a little team who puts together a pretty tight round-up of good stuff related to the home. i'm really flattered that they mentioned my shop (here) as one having a "sale that makes us happy." hooray and thanks, shelterrific!
(oh, and that sale, in case you didn't know -- hand-embroidered tea towels -- two for $30 -- for a limited time only over at my shop!)

cake shop

i had the chance opportunity the other day to meet jodi, of short street cakes.

jodi is running my dream business --- a bakery with a little shop section of hand-crafted gifts, which jody calls the "birthday boutique." the idea is, you go in for the cake and you can get the gifts and the cards and the flowers there, too! months ago, my friend jen told me and the other z-towners about jodi and her new venture and we put together a package of our wares and sent it on down to her shop. and then the other day, as i was sitting in my friend leah's living room, testing out my sandwich wrapper pattern, in walked jodi, suitcase in hand, just arrived from asheville for a two-day visit. it took me a few minutes before putting it together, but then i figured out this this was JOdi -- of short street cakes! she's totally cool! and she loves my sandwich wrappers, so i'm sending some down there for the shop. yay!
if you happen to be around asheville, north carolina, be sure to seek out and visit short street cake shop to satisfy your sweet tooth and your indie-shopping needs.

08 April, 2009

this one's for you, boys

(and faux-bois loving girls)

hahaha! wood-grain print sandwich wraps. i didn't want the boys to feel left out -- didn't want any of my eco-conscious guy friends feel like they had to take their sandwiches to lunch wrapped up in lace or pink flowers.
these are funny, right? i made them with the boys in mind, for sure. they're slightly bigger than the other ones i made. for my test, i used three slices of bread instead of two. also, i used bigger hooks and eyes on these ones than i did for the girlie ones. (thinking of my father's hands and how he'd be hating the tinier hooks and eyes.) and i didn't give these ones any fancy scalloped or otherwise decorative edges -- just plain, no frills. i just gotta go out and get the right kind of elastics to use as fasteners and then they're done.
guy friend, you'll be getting yours in the mail in a few days!
update: i've got the elastics -- these babies are now available in the chez-sucre-chez shops. here and here

07 April, 2009

shop talk

i kicked off a little sale today over at my bigcartel shop.
all of my hand-embroidered tea-towels are now (for the next two weeks) two (any two) for $30.

monogram towels, heart-in-crown towels, hand-towels and the new rose towels... all on sale.
click on over here to check it out.

also -- i put some of the sandwich wraps into the shops. it's kinda a pain in da butt, because i use different buttons for each of them (it's more fun that way! i get to use these pretty vintage buttons that i've been hoarding!) so no two are alike, and i figure that people want to get the one they see in the photo. so i'm listing them separately. i put one of each kind in each of the shops.

these two are on etsy:

and these two are on bigcartel:

go get 'em!

06 April, 2009

look mikey, SANDWICHES!

well, no, really it's just bread (because i didnt have any sandwich fixin's on hand for the test -- just the bread)--- and really, the bread, the sandwich, isn't the true focus of this post --- (but i couldn't resist using one of my favourite lines from one of my favourite movies; "my own private idaho") -- no, this post is really about sandwich WRAPPER!
check. it. out:

how hot-stuff is that?!?! seriously -- is this not the best looking, sexiest, sweetest, most pretty sandwich wrapper you've ever seen? well if it isn't i wanna see the competition.
i cannot take credit for the pattern. oh, how i wish i could -- but nope -- i gotta give credit where credit is due: i saw the how-to for these reusable oilcloth sandwich wraps in this month's kiwi magazine. kiwi is a magazine for environmentally-conscious families like my friends the macdonalds, in whose home i saw the magazine. the design and pattern are by vickie howell -- who i didn't know about before, but i now see that she is a knitting and crafting superstar. you should seriously check out her sites -- she does some GREAT stuff! so yes, i saw the feature in the kiwi magazine and thought -- oh my goodness i need to try that - those are AWESOME. so i ran on over to my little mennonite fabric store and as soon as i set my eyes on the lace-print oilcloth-like material, i had the vision of how i would use vickie's pattern and rock it my own way. lace-print? seriously? YES, PLEASE. i knew i had to use that and to get a fancy scallop edge-cutter to make the most pretty and girlie sandwich bags i ever did see. i think i've succeeded.

i played around with the pattern, seeing if there was anything i should do differently because honestly, i think i just have some thing about using someone else's pattern; like i feel guilty or cheap for not having thought of it myself. so i wanted to come up with something better, but after playing around with it, i decided that the original pattern is absolutely perfect -- flawless. impressive. (i just tried the link so that i could share it with y'all, but it's not there anymore!!! hmmm. maybe i can find it someplace else...) so all i needed to do was give it my own aesthetic touches.
such a brilliant idea --- eliminate the waste of using disposable plastic sandwich bags by using this re-usable one. wrap up your sandwich like it's in a little envelope, use the wrapper as a placemat while you're eating, then wipe it off and it's ready to use again the next day. so. cool.
i did ones in a more traditional oilcloth print, too:

i even tested them with different bread sizes and they totally work. big sandwiches fit, no problem, and little sandwiches fit all snug and happy, too. they're adjustable. freaking brilliant.
i've got one more style up my sleeve though -- the next one's for you, boys.

04 April, 2009

trying to catch the wind

it sure is blustery out there today.
working on lots of pretty things today -- projects in the works, lots of projects in the works. i always have projects in the works.
these are what i sewed up yesterday:

now they just need the finishing touches. you'll see them in a few days.

i sorted through my button collection and chose a few good ones to clean up and use:

and, a different project (in the works)-- i'm halfway through painting the studio:

i was over the pink and wanted something new. it sure is different. i think i love it. but sometimes i think it looks a little like a swimming pool. it sure is blue. but very cool and refreshing.
i only did half of the room, now i have to do the other half... ugh. (and the little bit in the photo is the only part, the only view, that is not entirely a chaotic mess!)

03 April, 2009

listen to the rhythm of the falling rain

i'm spending this rainy day stitching up something new!
keeping me humming as my little sewing machine does is the newest mix by my pals over at mogollon.

check it out (here)! in addition to kick-ass design, they've got a little music station of mixes that you can listen to on their site. (to get there, click on the mogollon fm link on the left side of the site.)

01 April, 2009

in black and white

this one's going out in the mail today:

i think this is the first one i've done in black stitches on a white towel --- i like it!

digging the dirt

great guy friend greg and i spontaneously made some terrariums the other day.

it wasnt anything we were planning (hence, "spontaneously") -- we were sitting outside in the sunshine and greg just got the notion and we made it happen with moss and rocks and weeds that we found in the backyard.

this was the first, which we made together:

then this was greg's:

(i love the little pile of sticks and the hill of moss with the tall moss things growing out of it.)
and the tall one was the one i made:

that little tuft of green is growing like a --- weed. i swear it grew like an entire inch - or two - overnight. does that mean it's happy in its new home?

i'm leaving them in new york with greg and heading back home to the country to see how my house plants are holding up. i havent been so good with the living things lately...