28 February, 2009

ello ello ello

i realize now that i am just not going to make it to portsmouth, new hampshire, to see the cute show at the ello gallery. i'm bummed. it thought that i would make it at some point this month, but icky sicky cold and work and the distance kept me from getting there. grrrrrrr! gr!gr!gRRRRRR! (that's me being disappointed mad.)
the only photo i've seen is one that elise, of argyle whale, posted on her flicker site.
here is a screen-shot of that photo: (because i am technologically challenged and i couldnt figure out how to get an image off of someone else's site -- or maybe i just didnt have the patience or attention span to do it.)

and here is the link to the actual page of her flickr album (and while you are there, you should check out her argyle whale photo album -- her prints are terrific -- i'm especially enamored with this one right now.)

don't my cloud pieces look just fantastic, though? i couldn't have been more pleased with the way they were displayed.. byrdie and her team did a truly fantastic job. (i don't know the artist whose work hangs next to mine! our work looks great together, though. if you know who it is, please please please let me know in the comments section! thanks!)

thanks to elise and justin for posting the photo, and thanks to byrdie for inviting me to participate in the show. i'm so sorry that i didnt get to see it for myself. ugh. still bummed.

everything's coming up roses

inspired by a special request, i'm trying out a new motif:

hmmmm. this is an image that i probably wouldn't have picked up or stumbled upon on my own at the moment, but, as i said, i was put to the challenge as a special request (on which i may elaborate later, seeing how things go...) and i'm quite glad i went for it. it's been kind of a cool challenge -- forcing me to think outside of my usual methods and techniques. usually, my new designs are inspired by an existing image that i've found and like. i modify the original as needed or simply copy the lines that i need and viola, pattern is done. here, though, i actually had to go looking for the right source image, and it -- flowers, roses -- wasn't the sort of image i usually think about. so i've been looking at and sketching and plotting roses a lot this past week. i've tried them out in cross-stitch (and wasn't so pleased with the results) and in needlepoint, which was a new exercise for me:

(i think i kinda like needlepoint! i may go back to that again sometime....)
and i tried it out in french knots:

yeah. i really like this one. i started this as a practice piece to hone my french-knot technique and to see if the pattern worked. i'm kicking myself now -- i should have just gone on to the real piece, on a good piece of fabric. grrr. i'll probably finish this piece, though, even though it's on scrap canvas --- i've gone too far to abandon it! if and when i do finish, i'll probably sew this piece onto a tote or something...

and then i tried good-old straight up embroidery. i'm happy with how this turned out.
so, while this is just a work-in-progress right now, you just may be seeing some roses in the shop this spring!
i know i'll be seeing some real roses this coming week -- i'm going to pick up some extra work by helping out at the philadelphia flower show. a bit of a change of pace, a bit of change in my pocket, a bit of a break from the chez. maybe i will come back completely gaga for floral motifs, or just ready to rock out the roses.

27 February, 2009

proud PA

as i've mentioned before, (here, and here, and here, and here, and here...) being in PA is pretty darn great.

(reason # 127 -- the annual virginville film festival)

obviously, i am not the only one who thinks this way. one person who is a huge advocate of PA crafters is tara, who started the website and network handmade in PA. this girl is amazing. she's got energy, enthusiasm, motivation and make-it-happen-ness to a level of which i am envious. she started handmade in PA just a couple of months ago, and already it's grown and is attracting some pretty sweet attention. i'm proud to have been invited and to be a participant in this crafty little group! this weekend, some of the handmade in PA members are participating in a little blog carnival of sorts. we're providing links to one another's site and offering some sweet little discounts to those who find us through this forum and who jump on the chance to score some genuine pennsylvania-made awesomeness.

here's my discount, folks -- go to my online shop (here), do some shopping, go to checkout and enter handmadeinPA in the coupon field and enjoy 10% off your merchandise purchase. pretty rad, no?

but i'm not the only one -- check out these other Handmade in PA blogs. on each of these blogs, you can find out other great reasons why PA is where it's at. you can also find out how to get a great deal in each of their shops - now through monday, march 2nd!

Melissa from SqrlBee - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Koco from MissKoco - Get a FREE lavender sachet with your purchase!
Lynn from UnaOdd - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Rosie from RosiesWhimsy - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Kerry from ALittleSparkle - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Marissa from MarissaJoannaRojas, MJRojasPhoto, and YayforFidgetArt - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Dana from WiredDesign - Get a single FREE "Never Enough" Sterling Silver stacking ring with your purchase!
Sarah from SweetSallysSoaps - Get 3 bars of handcrafted soap for $15!
Melanie from SpreadtheLove - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Erin from Ruju - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Hillary from Antebelle - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Patty from ArtfulMommy - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Emily from disCARDS - Enjoy FREE Shipping on orders over $5!
Tara from typOH - Enjoy FREE Shipping!
Kristen from WatersGirls - Enjoy 30% off your purchase!

hey look; z-town's own melanie linder created the illustration that several PA bloggers adopted to support this event!

25 February, 2009

somewhere there's a feather

i had mentioned this project a while ago; it's been in the works for quite a few weeks, but i've only just today gotten to finish up and photograph the pieces i was working on. a return to a past chez-sucre-chez motif: feathers...

feathers on handmade linen hand towels:

i had made the towels, oh, um, i guess about a year and a half ago. there is a great fabric store for fine fabrics -- mostly linens and wools and shirting cottons and such -- in my old neighborhood of greenpoint and that is where i picked up the yardage of linen. (i just looked it up, the store is called tip top fabric. it's on calyer street at mcguinness. it looks like a weird place, it is a little weird, maybe, but it is full of REALLY great fine fabrics at very reasonable prices -- check it out! {wow, that sounded like an advertisement.... i swear they didnt put me up to it...}) i made these towels and few others and then one little one that i embroidered with the feathers for my bathroom at the time. i've been using that towel ever since, but i completely forgot about the other ones. well i found them recently and i was so impressed with my use of the selvage for the front hem. i thought its feathery, wispy quality would pair perfectly with the delicate fringe of feathers. it does, right?

but before this project was the pillows:

first this one:

and then this one, which i just finished today:

(i had fun doing product shots at my friends molly and dave's house. look at their dog, dot, in the background; she's so funny!)
and now, the feather motif projects are complete. for now, at least, until the next time i come back to them. i really really do enjoy embroidering the feathers, but it just takes a while...
schwew! it feels really really good to finish projects. dang, i love that feeling! (and then there's the photographing, and posting, and listing, and blogging about them, but now that's all done, too! hooray!)
both the hand towels and the pillows are now in the shop. check them out, here.
now i'm off to finish some more projects....

23 February, 2009

love my way

i've stitched up a bunch of new love letters, but i'm waiting for the freshly painted frames to dry before i can call this project finished. i played with the stitching on a few new fabrics, and i REALly like them. here's one of the new sets:

and here are some other piles of love letters waiting to be framed:

tomorrow i hope to be posting photos of the complete sets (and listing them in the shop).
also this week -- LOTs of other projects! it's going to be a good one - i can feel it.

19 February, 2009

leaving things behind

i'm packing up to head back home to PA in a little bit. i'm going back to celebrate a birthday and the anticipation of a soon-to-be-arriving baby (not mine, silly), oh, and to get back to work.
mom and pop have been awfully sweet to me these past couple of days that i've been here recovering from the cold.
so i'm leaving them with:
a cake-dome full of fresh-baked biscotti!

a freezer tray of freshly rolled and stuffed ravioli!

(plain: aka ricotta, parmesan and herbs, roasted red pepper and goat cheese, and artichoke with lemon and parmesan)
(i told you i am in love with my ravioli maker, i've been using it any chance i get.)

(um, i'm also leaving my cat for the week... which they dont know yet.. so i'm hoping the biscotti and ravioli sweeten that a little bit...heheheheh....)

18 February, 2009

being sick...

... is made only slightly less crappy by having a freshly laundered and pressed vintage linen hankie with which to wipe my snotty nose.

sorry. this is a weak photo and a weak post. my brain isnt working and my body feels like it's been zombie-fied.
hopefully, i'll be back to normal working order in a couple of days. i've got so many projects in the pipeline; i'm eager to feel better and to start whipping them out!

14 February, 2009

my bloody valentine

this is what happens when two single girls spend an afternoon making valentine's day cookies:

(and then they go out and have several cocktails -- that's next.)
haha! check out the ones with the bullet holes -- those are so funny! they're my favorites.
we really wanted dragees to use as bullets to the hearts, but there are none to be found in greenpoint, brooklyn -- none. there are also no heart-shaped cookie cutters. i think we did pretty well with our free-form cutting and our red and white and pink and black royal icing applied via home-made ziplock piping bags.
(thank you for being my cookie valentine, L!)

13 February, 2009

valentine stitches

(taken this morning, outside, in less windy conditions)

stitched x's and o's to y'all...

12 February, 2009

score one for my girls

i know i've been posting a whole bunch about my z-town ladies, but heck, what can i say, i'm just so psyched to be in the company of such awesomeness. karen, of skylark studio, was featured today on the blog etsy featured artist.

in her interview, she gave a really super fantastic description of the place we're all calling home. check it out -- here.
(much love to you, k!)

a woman of letters

last week i gave a preview of a work in progress; and now, it's complete.

here is the set of letters -- the alphabet -- that i've created for the children's shop in san francisco (i havent yet checked with them to see if it's okay for me to link to them... i'll do that and get back to this....)

there are a couple of extras, yes. i'm gonna let them decide which of the duplicates they like best.

here's the set i started with:

and here's a little fun i had while i had such a large set of letters to work with:

i had been wanting to do this for a loooooooooong long time -- since a friend suggested it months ago -- but i never had all of the letters. sometimes, i'd be real close to having them all, only to find that i needed more o's, or another t, or another e. and i just didnt have the patience to make it all happen. but this time, i was so close that i just HAD to make it happen.
and i'm glad i did.
(i just wish my photo shoot went better!)
someday, i'd really love to have a set of this hanging on a wall in my own house.

and here's a little love for y'all:

(xoxoxoxoxo to you from me!)

09 February, 2009

new colorway

crown pillows in the new colorway are now in the shops. (click here for etsy listing. click here for bigcartel listing.)

actually -- this was the original colorway.

okay. so now the crown motif theme is complete.
and i've already got the next thing all cooked up.... check back in a few days --- i'm going back to an old chez-sucre-chez theme and i'm making it luxe.

07 February, 2009


... are so freakin' fun to make, and strawberry buttercream rocks.

baby shower today was great. i'm happy and proud to know so many really amazing women. xo to y'all.

06 February, 2009


oh my goodness... so cute. i should have included something in the picture as a scale reference. these little shirts are SO TINY!
this was an experiment -- and i think i like it enough to keep on going. lots of friends around here are having babies -- i wanna make some sets of these -- little monday through friday packs with different colors and different arrangements of the ric rac. (putting to good use another craft/sewing material that i've been collecting and hording.) next time, i'll just get the ric rac on there a little more straight.

05 February, 2009

well ellO there

the opening of the CUTE show, at ellO gallery in portsmouth, NH, is tomorrow evening (friday, february 6th). this is the show that includes a few collections of my silver-lined clouds.

i am bummed that i can't make it up there for the opening -- i tried to work it out, but a trip from here to portsmouth and then back here and then to jersey and then to brooklyn all in a matter of just a few days -- it was just too much. but, if you are near portsmouth -- you should go and listen in on people's conversations about my clouds and take pictures and call me up and tell me all about the opening! grrrr - i totally wish i could be there.
here is the link for the gallery. if you are in the area, but can't make it that night, the show will be up until march 2nd, so we've got a month to check it out.

pork stock

(pork stock, is that even a real thing? i've heard of chicken stock, and beef stock, but pork stock, hmmmmm.)

anyways, just posting to let y'all know that the piggy goes to market totes are back in stock. they were sold out for a while and i was waiting on my supplies to be able to make more, but the waiting is over. they are here. they are stitched up. they are ready for you. click here to get yours.

alpha beta

here's the task/project du jour:

i'm creating an alphabet set for a children's shop in sf -- super cool, right? so today i have to finish it up -- gotta make a C, make a new J (J's are the most frustrating letters! the patterns that i have for them are all so wonky that i cant find any i really like -- they dont look like J's, so i've had to recreate most of the patterns... oye.), and then iron them and frame them for good.
i'll post more (and links to the shop) when it's all set and done!

02 February, 2009

my new love

is a ravioli-maker. um, not a man who is a ravioli maker, but a kitchen gadget that enables me to make ravioli.*

i found this little treasure under a table at one of my favourite flea markets. for $5, i couldn't pass it up.
so on superbowl sunday, as everyone else watched the game, i made ravioli. it was perfect -- i got to be a part of the party, but i didn't have to watch the game. i drank beer and played in the kitchen, and then afterwards, i had hungry people to feed. i couldn't have been happier. oh, and adding to my happiness is that the ravioli were a success -- i'd never made fresh pasta dough before, so i didn't know how it was all going to turn out. but all three (carrot pasta with cream cheese, ricotta and dill filling, beet pasta with goat cheese, ricotta and sage filling, and plain pasta with peas, ricotta, parmesan, and mint filling) were just right -- neither i nor my friends could think of a single way to improve upon them. i think this love is going to last.

now that i think of it -- this was a pretty darned good week of cooking adventures! on monday, i tested a new version of my recipe for date cake with toffee sauce and found, to my delight, that i've almost got it. (i'm trying TRYING to come up with a date cake that makes me as happy as the one served at moto, in brooklyn. mine is definitely a little different, but it's getting there -- next time will be a winner, i think.) and then on tuesday, i made my best risotto yet (the texture and consistency was PERFECT, the flavor combo was delightful --roasted butternut squash and just the right amount of gorgonzola).
okay... enough gloating in my successes. i've gotta get out of here and get to the gym!

*(is it kinda pathetic or kinda awesome that i fall in love with kitchen gadgets before i fall in love with men? i'm voting on kinda awesome?)