31 July, 2009

zippy pouch love

i need to take a moment to express my love for my chez-sucre-chez zippy pouches.

oh zippy pouches, i love you.
they've served me well. look at how beat up and loved and used and abused they are! aside from the dirt, though, they've stood up exceedingly well, i think! believe me, i am not gentle with things like this. these zippy pouches have been tossed around from one tote to the next, lain on sticky dirty bar counters, been stashed behind booths and benches of dirty dance halls, thrown on the ground, spilled upon, etc. etc. etc. neither has ever fallen into a toilet though, thank goodness.

now here's your chance to get your own chez-sucre-chez zippy pouch. i finally got around to making the pouches out of that great fabric that i scored last month. it all worked out swimmingly. the fabric was pretty much already cut (it was cut into large quilt squares) and i happened to find just enough matching zippers to make up a uniform batch of these. amazing.

i know it's a bit like tooting my own horn, but really, you need one of these. i've got friends who bought them (or who got them from me as i-love-you-friend gifts) last year when i made the first batch and it makes me smile to see them still so happily using their pouches. (heidi and dana, i'm talking about you!) really it's not my doing so much as it is the beautiful fabric. i just gave it a purpose.

this photo makes the pouch look like the orange print one -- but it's not -- it's red print on an off-white background. i've only got a small quantity of these (eight i think, and some are already spoken for) so click on over here and get yours today.

also -- i've got this one made up and listed and ready to go.
it was my friend sara who inspired this one. she knew i had this fabric and she requested a pouch made from it. so, i hooked her up. since i rarely make just one of anything, however, i've got an extra. so i listed it in my shop. it's here if you want the details.

isnt that a fun fabric? i found it at my local mennonite-run dry goods store and couldnt pass it up. my friend molly, who was with me that day, convinced me to buy the rest of the bolt. so maybe i'll make more. or maybe it will sit in my fabric collection for a while.

i think that maybe there's a story behind that fabric -- someone said it had some local significance... anyone know the story?

but when you're tied... or: aprons, the soft launch

(of course it doesn't really make sense -- but sometimes i just can't get over and past a smiths reference - even if it doesnt really work, it just gets stuck in my head and i need to use it. sorry.)

remember months ago when i started making the kids' aprons? (you can read here, if you want to get caught up on the full story.) i made them as a commission for my friend cori's wedding. i made 32 of them for the 32 children who were in the wedding. before we move on to the aprons, let me just say that the photos i have seen of that wedding are AMAZING. amazing. i sometimes just go back to look at them at random times because they are just that good. you should see for yourself. oh my goodness. amazing. click here. and here.

so -- as i was making the aprons for that project, i developed a pattern and a method that i really like and that makes it easy and fun to make more of these aprons. for cori's project i made a whole bunch of extra aprons in all different patterns, colors and prints so that i could pick and choose which ones i liked best as a collection for her order. some of the girls' aprons tagged and ready to go:

and this was the scene inside my studio during that time:

i'm telling you, i made A LOT of aprons! the extras i took with me to my summer craft fairs and i still have some left over -- i just listed them in my shop, though -- on sale -- check 'em out: here.
the challenge in listing these things is having access to kids to model the aprons. i attempted a photoshoot with my niece and nephew a few weeks ago but as luck would have it, the only time i had them in a good mood and ready and willing to pose for me was when they had just gotten back from a day at the beach. so they were all grubby and wearing beach clothes. oh well.

and then they started making grass beards and i knew the photoshoot opportunity was over...

whereas the first round of aprons were made in all different colors and patterns in only one or two sizes, i've now reworked my size charts and patterns to be able to offer them in sizes 2T, 3-4 years, 5 -7 , 8-10 and 12 - 14. i'm gonna be listing the aprons as a set color/print but with the ability for one to order it in any of those sizes. the first of these is up:

these are mega difficult to photograph without a wee model!

i love love love love this print. i fell in love with the fabric a few weeks ago when i first saw it and then when i went to get it and to pick out a coordinating fabric for the other side, i was super pleased to see that it matches perfectly with my favourite-color-of-the-moment. and look at how that pink rickrack goes with it!

i put it on my dressform to be able to show the shape better. i know i'm tiny, but this is a size 3 -4 year old apron -- it's gonna look a lot different/better on an actual 3 -4 year old than it does on my shape.

so -- now that i've got the patterns developed and set i'll be doing more of these -- offering more prints/styles.
here is the listing for the first official style, available in my bigcartel shop.

30 July, 2009

the new fellas (and lassies)

due to the sensational success on sending two toothmen into the world in as many days, i've whipped up a new crew. here they are:

haha. (sorry -- i can't help but laugh when i look at these guys -- especially when they're all lined up like a little gang. hilarious.)

i've created listings for some of them so far, but the rest will have to wait until tomorrow.
for now, meet:
la gamine:

check out those legs! woot-woo! (that's supposed to be a whistle sound.)

she's available here.

and then there's old blue eyes:

i love the way this pair of vintage buttons works here to give him a big sparkly-eyed face.

he's listed here.

next, may i present, violetta:

she's the skinniest of the bunch and she looks to be a little shy, but i assure you, she's quite sweet.

you can find her here.

and lastly (for the time being), here is mister brown eyes:

what physique! i think he's almost my idea of a perfect tooth shape.

his listing is here, on etsy.

29 July, 2009

pretty in prints

new sammy wrap prints!
super-helper ellen and i went to the local fabric store earlier this week and picked out a couple of new prints for the sandwich wrappers. i'm gonna be stitching up a bunch and marketing them as a back-to-school necessity in the coming weeks, so i wanted some fresh material to play with.
here's the first:

i'd been eying this material for weeks, but wasn't sure how well it would translate as a sammy wrap. i don't know why i was so wary of the fact that it's transparent -- regular baggies are transparent, so why was i thinking that it wouldn't work? ellen really liked this print and i am glad that she convinced me to get it, because the finished product looks awesome. unfortunately, though, it doesn't look so awesome in photos. i had to try a few different settings:

i like how the textured print almost gives it a quilted look.

but i am not completely psyched on the photos -- they're okay, but the real thing is definitely better-looking. i do, however, enjoy the way that my afternoon dc and the strawberries worked as props.
and then here's the other new print:

i'm calling this one "the modernist picnic." i don't have a good name for the other one -- any suggestions?

i've listed the transparent geometric overlapping circles print wrappers (see!? i need a new name for it!) here and the modernist picnic print wrappers are here.

*rather an aside, but in reference to my post title; i recently came to the realization that i think "pretty in pink" by the psychedelic furs just may be one of my all-time-favourite songs. yep. so there you go.

27 July, 2009

looking for someone to love

i know i said that i thought i was going to keep those extra toothmen around to keep me company in the studio, but this one particular guy was giving me the feeling that he really rather wanted to maybe find a new home:

look at that face! he wants to see the world, or at least be united with someone (besides me) who thinks the world of him. he's got some love to share.

so -- i set him up as a listing on my etsy shop as a tooth buddy. he'll be mailed with some little coin envelopes stamped with the words "tooth fairy" so that he can help out with tooth fairy duties if called upon. the child could put his/her tooth in the envelope and put it under the pillow and then the tooth fairy can leave the loot in the same envelope or in one of the spares or however else he/she sees fit. i've thought a lot about (and had many suggestions to do so) how i could make these guys into tooth fairy pillows and this is what i've come up with so far. i know i could sew a pocket onto the backside of them, but i just dont want to -- i think it would detract from their charm. a tooth fairy pillow is only used so many nights in one lifetime -- i want my toothmen to be adored ALL THE TIME.

so -- check him out. (here is the listing.) snap him up for your favourite five year old (or thirty-five year old, or sixty-five year old.... ).

**whoa! one day later and he's already been scooped up! toothman is off to live in salem, mass. lovely! so now his buddies are eager to see if they can find new homes, too. i've just listed another (here). we'll see how it goes!

home sweet home - the market

chez-sucre-chez is participating in this months poppytalk handmade market. the theme this month is aptly fitting -- it's a housewares market titled "home sweet home." jan and earl, the LOVELY duo who make poppytalk happen, have been running a really great series of posts; 70 reasons to buy handmade and vintage. they're providing some wonderful reminders to support creative businesses and individuals and to spend our dollars in more meaningful ways. (click here to read all of the posts in that series.)
click on over (here) to see this month's market -- as usual, they've curated a brilliant round-up of talent and products. thanks, jan and earl!

*simple home sweet home sampler piece pictured above is available through my bigcartel shop. (here)

25 July, 2009

lineup; of teethmen

sba (my nephew) lost his fourth tooth, which means that i need to send him another toothman. he gets one for each of his four front teeth, so this is gonna be the last toothman for a while; until bb (my neice) starts loosing hers.

although i only needed to make the one, i couldn't help it, i couldn't stop -- i made four. i love making these little guys! check out this crew:

haha! i love how they all turn out so differently and with so much personality. i draw each one freehand on the fabric, and then when i sew, i never follow the lines exacly, so i never know what they're gonna look like until they're turned out and stuffed and stitched up. sometimes i finish one and i go, "oh..." as in, "bummer." but usually i look at them and kinda fall in love each time. i like how the green-eyed one in this bunch has kinda dumpy hips and a really spacey look on his face. and how the brown-eyed one crosses his legs. (that happens sometimes, i'm not quite sure why! it's serendipitously unintentional.) i think i like the one on the left the best, but i've been known to be a sucker for the tall and skinny-legged ones.

and then look -- turn them around to see that they have butts! hAHA!

another unintentional feature that i love.
oh toothmen...
so -- one goes to sba and then the other three.... mmm. don't know.. i kinda think i'm gonna keep them around the studio to keep me company for a little while. we'll see.

21 July, 2009

home sweet home - the series

i have finally begun a project that i have been wanting to do for almost a year now (or maybe more); a series of home-sweet-home cross stitch pieces.
on friday i spent the morning in a sunny brooklyn backyard (with the moya!) making up patterns and getting started on the first two pieces. i hated them; so much so that i'm not even going to show them to you. booooooo.
but yesterday i tweaked a pattern that i had done earlier in the week and now i'm on a roll.
attempt number one:

yea! it's cute! but definitely not finished..... it needs something else... and it's waiting for its frame, which was just painted black, to dry.

once i finished that, though, i was able to see that i really love the lettering and i wanted to see how they would look all pushed together like actual script. (sometimes it is difficult for me to see these things when they are just patterns; i often have to go through with the actual stitching to decide whether or not something works for me. when it does work, all if good, but when it doesnt, ooooh, that is frustrating!)

i like it! and i really like the white stitching on the black background... gives it a more modern look, no?

i like this photo of the piece on my urban outfitters doily rug. (speaking of urban outfitters rugs, check out this one -- so appropriate, right?! i might need to order it...)

and then THAT one (above) inspired me to do THIS one:

i find that few cross-stitch fonts actually have the letters line up all nicely but these ones do and i was making my lines and grids to get everything spaced and even and centered, i came up with the idea of putting the stitches on an embroidered schoolhouse paper kinda thing. the script style letters and care i was going through to get them all lined up just reminded me of early penmanship lessons.
i'm really happy with the colors together. i went with a graphite grey color instead of black.

(this piece also reminds me of my friend barbara's paintings -- the ones i gushed about here.)

so, i think i am maybe now finished with all of the home-sweet-home pieces that i want to do with this lettering style. but i'll definitely be doing more in other styles... i've already got more patterns made up.. coming soon.