26 January, 2010

new harvest of prints

the little stuffed strawberries certainly got some attention from having their photo in country living. i made so many to keep up with the demand that i went through most of my strawberry fabrics and so i had to go out and find more. i've started doing sets all in red prints -- and really enjoy the way the colors and prints of these ones go together:

sets of four and sets of six:

it's nice that the hubbub has died down now -- i finally caught up!

23 January, 2010


i sincerely love the process of washing and ironing and folding new fabric.

22 January, 2010

quilting zee

for the past three fridays, i've been getting together with friends melanie linder, sara smedley, and karen stanford. though none of us ever made a quilt before (i started two, but never finished either...), we wanted to tackle the project to make one for jen, in celebration of her new baby hayden. we came together with vague ideas and notions of how quilting is done and what kind of process we needed to go through to put it together. i think we were all seriously impressed with ourselves and the outcome of our first quilting project:

it all came together rather easily. -- the first time we met up, we brought pieces of fabric from our various collections and found that, when we put them all together, they just worked! we barely had to do any editing. we decided on our size and pattern and got started on cutting the squares. each of us took one square to embellish with printing or embroidery. the next time, we started putting the quilt top together and i think we were all pleasantly shocked that it went so smoothly - literally - everything just lined up! i guess it was a good thing that we were so precise with our measurements. then, this last friday of our project, we finished the quilt top, made little tied knots between all of the squares to keep it quilted, and put the three layers (top, batting, and back) together with bias tape. i'd say it was rather painless! careful measuring, precise cutting, straight, steady sewing, tidy ironing and attention to detail at the seams and corners totally paid off. we actually got it done in time to go deliver it together to jen and new baby hayden. hooray!

21 January, 2010

triple dutch

i stitched these up over the past couple of days:

i fell in love with this square dutchy pattern that i found in some old book, and then i wanted to try it in a few different color ways.
stark, graphic white on black:

i always love the crispness of white on black.

traditional blue and red - done on higher-count aida cloth (bigger squares):

lots of the patterns that i find are printed in blue and red like this. i am not sure if that is the colors that they were intended to be worked in, or if red and blue were the most readily printed colors - or if it because they are easy to read.

and more modern creamy yellowy gold on grey:

i know -- yellow and grey are SO spring 2009, or was it 2008... whatever. i like the subtlety of the muted colors and how the border around the design gives it a whole different feel.
i think i've got one more variation that i want to try.... or maybe i'll put this one down for a bit and move onto the next project. i made these all sized to fit in those white square ikea frames. square frames are kinda hard to find! i'd love to find some good old ones --- i'll have to keep my eyes open for them.

20 January, 2010

poppy-larity contest

remember a week or so ago i rallied to get my z-town girls nominated to the poppies? well, it turns out that we've all been nominated, an all of our own separate categories, along with HUNDREDS of other crafty types. it's a little daunting.
if you'd like, and you have a minute, and you havent yet voted for someone else, please click on the link here to support chez-sucre-chez. you can only vote once, per computer.. vote on your iphone, too!
i gotta be honest, i am not really feeling too uber-positive about this one. i think that jan and earl over at poppytalk are absolutely fantastic -- they've been really good to chez-sucre-chez and i always enjoy the correspondences i have with them -- and i totally see the awesomeness in their vision for the poppies, but i think that that this award will be a bit more of a contest of who does the most twittering and facebooking and blogging for votes than it will be about most-deserved crafter. HOWEVER, that being said, let's give a vote for chez-sucre-chez, shall we? so that i at least wont look like a total loser....
thanks, friends!

16 January, 2010

two weeks later -- new years

hey - happy new year! i've been wanting to say that for two weeks, but i've been sitting on this post until i had a proper photo of the project that goes along with it.

a couple of days before new years eve, i stumbled upon some art nouveau style cross stitch patterns. inspired by my friend karen stanford and the way that she uses nouveau style motifs in her cut sterling, i wanted to give at least one of these patterns a try. in a nod to one of her designs and as an addition to one of my collections, i chose a peacock feather pattern to start. it took me a few days, but i finally completed it. i even got it into a frame!

(the color in these photos is totally wacky -- sorry. i've no patience today to try for better.)

so - that project behind me, here's how it links to new years -
every new year's day in philadelphia there is this thing called the mummers parade. (check the link - you can learn a whole lot more about it.) basically, it is a parade of guys wearing dresses and feathers who carry little decorated parasols as they dance down the streets. we'd sometimes watch the parade on tv when i was growing up. i remember liking it, but never really caring that much about it. well, this year, i got to see it up close and personal. what a hoot!
look at this troupe! i didnt know you could do things like this in the mummers parade. this was like the hipster etsy crew:

look at those costumes! they're amazing! they were all dressed up like foods -- haha! here is the one that really made my morning:

SPAGHETTI! i was too slow and shy and get her photo the first time we passed them, but as we walked past on our way back i RAN to catch up to her and then had to yell, "HEY SPAGEHETTI!" at which point she turned and did this little dance. amazing, right? dd -- next year when i am wondering what to be for halloween, remind me that i want to be spaghetti.

we walked around the streets at the very beginning of the parade - it's like warm up time - they're just getting lined up and arent quite in full swing. it's a long walk from where we were to where the real performances go on, but it was highly entertaining none-the-less. after the guys in dresses drinking budlite out of cans as they bounce their umbrellas up and down over their heads, come the more elaborate costumes and floats and bands. sooooooo many feathers, even a peacock!

and an 11am celebratory cocktail at the dolphin:

that's it! happy new year. make it great.

14 January, 2010

owl love you two ways

i really like this greyish-blue on the oatmeal colour aida cloth:

in addition to bushels of strawberries, i've done a lot of stitching so far this week:

and it ain't over yet...

13 January, 2010

so/sew many berries

these ones are all already spoken for, too!

(my post title was inspired by my recent re-reading of "a perfect day for bananafish" and its seymour/see more glass. hot dang, i love the way that it sticks with me days months years after reading.)

12 January, 2010

z's girls

have you heard about the poppies? jan and earl, the amazing duo behind poppytalk (look at that site redesign - beautiful!), have come up with a sweet little award contest thingy for the crafty set. they're going to be awarding "poppies" to the best (or, at least, most popular) in several categories of crafter. my z-town girls have decided that it'd be cool if we all at least made a try for getting nominated. if you've got a minute or two, please help make that happen!

if you've seen skylark studio/karen stanford's jewelry, you know it's rad. antlers, birds, nouveau-style dutchy tulips, all done out of hand-cut sterling and made into earrings, necklaces, and tie-tacks. she should totally be nominated for favourite handmade jewelry. click here, scroll to the bottom, click "leave comment" and put her name in!

how about doing the same thing for melanie linder? her illustrations, prints, and postcards are outta control adorably awesome! i wish i could draw even a teeny bit as well as mel. here's the link to nominate her in the category of favourite affordable art.

and sara smedley -- remember those julia-child-inspired aprons and tea-towels that were making the rounds on the blogs a couple of months ago? those are her fantastic design. let's help her get the nomination for favorite in textiles; click here and do the scroll down and comment thing. you just need to leave her name and/or etsy shop address!
jen has a bun in the oven that's just about cooked - so she's not had so much time to keep up her etsy shop. she'll be back in action in a few months, though. look at this beautiful little ornament that she made for each of us z-town gals right before x-mas. i love it:

yeah, it's not such a good photo... sorry.
anyways --- the last day for nominations is today. of course that's short notice. so my style. please go on and do it now if you can! here's the link for the full details. thanks!

11 January, 2010

like strawberries in summertime

my little fabric stuffed strawberries and strawberry sachet sets are in the february issue of country living magazine!

they're included in a round-up of 50 "brilliant bargains" that all cost under $50. man, i am loving country living magazine; and not just because they've been so good to chez-sucre-chez. i've said it before and i will say it again, it is so much more of a hip magazine than it used to be - or than i remember it being. maybe i just never gave it a chance, or maybe now that i'm old i think it's cool. or maybe it's because i live out in the country now... whatever. those of you who miss domino should really give it a looksie; i think they're working (and doing a pretty good job) to fill that void, but in keeping with more of a country than an urban aesthetic.

i'm happy that people seem to be noticing and responding to my little berries -- they're selling as fast i can make them; which is fine with me, because i actually really enjoy making them. the bushel in the photo above is completely empty now that i've filled my orders from last week! another cool thing is that so many of the customers who have placed orders for the berries have been so sweet in the notes and email exchanges they've sent.

in making the latest batch i found a new scrap of red in my fabric pile and i LOVE the little berries that it makes:

okay -- i'm off to make more berries now...
but wait -- with all this talk of strawberries, let's think about summertime for a moment, shall we?

aaah. from this past summer, when my friend molly and i went picking organically grown strawberries at a local farm (whose name i forget). they may have been the most delicious berries i have ever tasted.

06 January, 2010

show us your kits!


i'm declaring january (and february and probably march) chez-sucre-chez do-it-yourself kit month. it's darned cold out there!
i know that i don't feel too motivated to go out and run around and do and see stuff when the nights are so cold; i'd much rather be snuggled in my nest working on a project or three. so i've made up a bunch more of my cross-stitch kits and i marked down the prices in both my etsy and bigcartel shops. just $14 bucks (plus a coupla dollars for shipping) and you've got a perfectly good excuse to stay inside some cold dark night (or two or three if you're a cross-stitch beginner, or if you have a short attention span). i'm thinking you should buy two of the kits (two different ones - so you can swap patterns later!) and then, when they arrive, call up one of your friends and tell her (or him) to bring over some cookies and hot chocolate (or wine, or whiskey -- just be careful, it ain't so easy to cross-stitch when your eyes are drunky crossed, believe me, i've tried.) and the two of you can stay in and stitch together.

sweet squirrel kit - the original:

owl love you kit:

make your own home sweet home:

hearts and hares (bunny love) kit:

puppy love kit - two projects for the price of one:

then, when you finish the project - take a photo and add it to the new flickr group that i just created!

i made a group, "your chez-sucre-chez" as a space where you can share photos of your completed chez-sucre-chez patterns/kits. i'm always curious to see how these projects turn out and what kind of cool little twists you creative peeps out there do with the kits. i've heard some people tell me they added names or words or dates to the pattern, or that they did it on another type of fabric, or that they mounted the finished piece in a funky frame. well now there's a place to show that stuff! do it! please!
i'm also hoping that people will post photos of chez-sucre-chez pieces or products that they've bought from me (or my retailers) as they are now living in their homes. being that each of my pieces is handmade by me, i spend time with each one - and i hope that they end up being used and loved. i know that a lot of my customers are the types who enjoy creating a beautiful living space for themselves and i would LOVE to see how my chez-sucre-chez wares fit into those spaces.
so please, get out a camera and show us your chez-sucre-chez! (ps - i've never been an administrator for a flickr group before, so i'm hoping that you can just join and post -- try it - let me know if you run into any difficulties. thanks!)

04 January, 2010

best wishes

found a chez-sucre-chez mention (here) on the blog wishwishwish. i'm happy for two things: one, chez-sucre-chez shares a post with anna karina and two, that i've now discovered another great blog -- it, and its author, is adorable. see for yourself here.

(thanks, carrie!)