28 October, 2012

bowled over

For the Martha Stewart event, I knew that I only had a small table space and wasn't going to be able to bring too much in terms of props or hardware for my set-up, so I opted to keep it simple and just brought four different products from my kind-of all-over-the-place line. I brought the cross-stitch kits, a selection of monogram tea towels, the new produce bags, and bowl covers. Those bowl covers sold out the first day! I should have known; the same thing happened at Renegade Brooklyn this summer -- I thought I had made plenty and then POOF, they were gone. The funny thing is that these have never sold well in my online shop, but when people see them in person, they freak out over them!

They're really hard to get good photos of, I think that's one of the issues with the online sales thing. I'm hoping that this new batch of photos is a little more interesting than my last ones... Anyways, with the holiday season coming up, and Clover Market next weekend (Ardmore, PA - 11/4) and Crafty Bastards (Washington DC - 11/10) the weekend after that, I'm sewing up more. Hopefully this time I'll be better prepared (and that, once I am, people have the same reaction to them)!

Currently, I've got them in the classic ticking stripe, blue linen, natural/light beige color linen, and this beautiful floral print. I love this floral print so much that, when I couldn't find it anymore at my local fabric shop, I special ordered more. I think it's got the same sweet charm of a Liberty print.

The packaging for the covers has certainly improved since I first started offering them! Originally, I just had them all lumped together in a bin, and girls would go running over to them exclaiming, "Bonnets!" Seriously. And then they'd be interested once they realized what they really were, but still - it made me wonder if I should, indeed, start making bonnets!
At Renegade, I packaged them in little green paperboard strawberry boxes, and that worked well, but the new bakery bag packaging is a huge improvement, I think. I like the way it instantly makes them more gift-able. (And, they look so neat and tidy all lined up on my studio shelf as I add more and more to my stock pile.)

Check them out in my online shop. Better yet, if you are local to PA or DC, come and see me at Clover Market or Crafty Bastards and see them for yourself! (I'll have them in more colors/prints and sizes, too.)

Here in the Middle-Atlantic/east coast, we're getting ready for some major storm action. It's so hard to tell with the media these days, and with unpredictable weather, what's really going to go down. But we've got water jugs filled, flashlights and candles ready, and plenty of snacks in the house, just in case. I'm going to jump off the computer and bake us some yummy bread now, too. Best wishes out there to all my friends in the storm path; stay safe! xo.

25 October, 2012

american made - recap

The Martha Stewart Presents American Made event last week was awesome. My head is still spinning with gratitude and joy that I was invited to be a part of the Our Finds Marketplace. Here's a blurb about the Marketplace that was hanging nearby our little table set-ups:

Wow. Seriously.
I didn't get many photos, because I'm pretty terrible at documenting these types of events. I sometimes remember that I should take photos, and then I run around snapping shots and then, when I look back at them, I realize that they're all really terrible photos. Sorry. Here is at least a little glimpse of what our Marketplace looked like:

(that's my set-up on the left and then Vintage by Crystal next to me, and then Threadfollower to the right, and Gleena Ceramics at the very right edge of the shot.)

My set-up was on the end, at at the end-cap, Posman books was selling copies of some of Martha Stewart's books. Around the other end, directly behind me, was Jane D'Arensbourg, and then Foxy & Winston.

The great thing about this set-up is that we artists/vendors were all so close to one another, that we got to hang out and gab all day long. Usually, at craft fairs, I don't leave my booth - either because I'm there all by myself or, when I do have help, because I don't want to miss the opportunity to talk with my customers or anyone who might pop by to see me. So --- I don't usually get the chance to meet and talk to other vendors. I worry that people think I'm a snob - but I'm not, I swear! At this event, however, our close proximity and shared space allowed me to make new friends - hooray! I so enjoyed talking to the Janes (Jane D'Arensbourg and Jane of Foxy & Winston), Crystal of Vintage by Crystal (Her work is SO cool - my photos were terrible - but you should click the link to see what she does.) Cynthia Treen of ThreadFollower, Jordan of Enormous Champion, Asya of Gleena Ceramics, Angela Ligouri (her shop/studio was featured in the latest issue of Living. Her work and products are so pretty!), and Claire, who was with Winter Water Factory. What a great bunch of women!

Almost directly across from my table was this:

It's amazing. I swooned when I saw it in the November issue of Living and it's just as impressive in real life. Alisa Toninato, of FeLion Studios, is the artist behind these cast iron pans. I got to chat with her a bit as we were all setting up on Tuesday and I asked her about the crazy looking boots that she's wearing in the photoshoot for Living, and she explained that they're to protect her tootsies in the event that spilled molten metal should get on them. Yikes!
The only other honoree that I got to speak with was Flora Grubb, she's super sweet, too!

Honestly, after three days of going to "work" in the beautiful and historic Grand Central Terminal, surrounded by so much talent and inspiration, I kind of didn't want it to end! It really was as good as I hoped it would be, with workshops and presentations (that I wish I could have attended), beautiful floral arrangements, delicious food samples (we vendors would occasionally hear of some deliciousness or other being served and we'd sprint over to snag a sample!), and scores of amazing people. I got to meet more of the MSLO staff (including Jodi Levine, whose work with Kids magazine was some of my favourite of all the MSLO publications.) and so many really encouraging and enthusiastic supporters of chez-sucre-chez.

Phew! It was a great three days. THANK YOU Betsy, and Jennifer, and Ayesha, and Marcie and Hannah and Martha and everyone else who helped to put the event together and to make me a part of it!

Check out some of the press of the event (and see some photos of me!) on the MSL tumblr and this post and this post of the Martha blog.

That's my mom & pop at Grand Central! They took a special train trip up to see me in the big city -- so did my Nani and Aunt Laurie. I'm so lucky to have such a supportive family. Love.

22 October, 2012

a most beautiful gathering

Last Saturday night (actually, it was the Saturday night before the one that just passed) I was so fortunate and flattered to have been invited to the beautifully inspiring Terrain for a gathering and shared meal. They called it the Terrain Table and held it to bring together members of the Terrain community -- artists, farmers, bloggers, community members, employees of Terrain (and other UO brands), and other wonderful people -- so that we could meet and mingle and share an evening of wonderful food, warmth, conversation, and inspiration.
It. was. amazing. I am so happy to have been there, and that my friend Jill was able to go with me. We swooned over all of the details (and the food!) and mingled with our fellow diners. I took photos, but they were less than stellar. Here are two, which will give you just a teeny idea of how awesome it was:

Susan Hutchinson, author of the blog Fluerishing (remember, she and I worked together to create custom pieces for the nursery of her twins?) was there and did good post about the evening on her blog. See it here. I found another great and comprehensive post on the Free People blog (here). (And, if you see the photo down the table, you can see Jill and me - I'm the one with the red bandana head!)

Sharing food, drink, and conversation with interesting people and/or loved ones is possibly my favourite thing in the world. I wish that could happen every night, but then, maybe I'd take it for granted. Well, I certainly didn't take for granted that I was able to take part in this very special evening. Thank you, Terrain (and, especially, Miss S!).

11 October, 2012

mull it over

for the past couple of months, i've been working on a project for terrain and they've finally hit the shelves; seasonal goodness -- mulling spices! my studio, with over a hundred pounds of mulling spices in it, smells amazing.

the first part of the project was selecting fabric for the bags. at my favourite dry goods store, wooden bridge in kutztown PA, i found four prints that i liked. i was hoping i'd be able to find three or four that i liked both on their own and together and that they'd each evoke a warm autumny feeling. i think these work quite well. i love a project that allows me to go fabric shopping.

then i sewed up all of the bags, and was able to do that lickety split with the help of my mama. (she's been a champ of a helper since she retired; i love it!)

then the fun part -- filling the bags. each gets two scoops of mulling spice mix (a blend of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and dried orange peels) two re-usable steeping bags, and a cinnamon stick. each bag/packet makes up to four batches of mulled wine or cider. yum!

then they get packed up and shipped to terrain, which is a little funny to me - because i live less than two miles from the shop. but the shipments go to the distribution center, which makes sense because there's now a terrain in CT, and they do online sales. (the last i looked, the mulling spice bags weren't available online, but i just sent a new batch - maybe they soon will be?)

speaking of terrain, on saturday, i'm going to dinner there at the cafe and i couldn't be more pleased and excited. i was invited to take part in what they are calling the terrain table -- a gathering of artists, farmers, bloggers, community members and other friends of terrain. how fun does that sound? this is exactly the type of event/gathering that i love doing and wish i were able to more often host in my home. i LOVE love love sharing beautiful meals with inspiring people. i'm taking my friend jill along with me and we're both super psyched. (i'm guessing i'll probably snap a few shots and post them on instagram... take a peek there!)

for those of you able to come to clover market on sunday, i'll have a few packets of mulling spices with me. come and get 'em!

08 October, 2012

a very busy week

i'm hoping to post more this week, but not sure if i'll get to --- i am sewing and stitching like mad in preparation for two exciting upcoming events:

one -- this coming sunday, october 14th, i'll be setting up and selling at clover market, in ardmore PA.

PA locals know that this is a good one, with an impeccably curated group of crafters and antique dealers. I've got lots of goodies all made up and ready - including some goods that i've never offered in my online shops before. i'm hoping that i get a chance this week to photograph and post some sneak peeks of those items.
more info about clover market can be found here.

two -- next week is the american made awards event, presented by martha stewart, and i am so overjoyed and excited to have been invited to be a vendor as part of the "our finds" marketplace.

tuesday night is the award ceremony and a private reception and i might even get to meet martha herself! then, wednesday and thursday are open all day to the public, in vanderbilt hall of grand central terminal (nyc). there'll be workshops and presentations and plenty of awesomeness to see and do and sample and taste. they're billing it as "bringing the pages of Martha Stewart Living to life." being as it's my favourite magazine, that sounds amazing to me and i'm so incredibly psyched to be a part of it! more info is here.
as you can guess, i'm going a little bit crazy getting ready for it. i have no idea what to expect, so i'm just stitching stitching stitching making making making sewing sewing sewing as much as i can, and making everything look as pretty and polished as can be. my mama's on her way over here for the day - she's been an amazing help with sewing and keeping me and my studio organized. last week, she spent three days here and one of the best things she did for me was to cut through the madness of my mess! woohoo!
so, if you don't hear from me again this week, you know why -- but i'm hoping to post some photos the prep and the progress. til then, have a great week, friends!

01 October, 2012

in anticipation

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm feeling the change of the seasons come on quickly. Unlike so many people I know, however, I don't welcome the crisp days and chilly nights of autumn; it's actually a huge bummer for me to feel the warmth and light of summer quickly fading away!
I'm trying to be optimistic this year, though.. so I'm finding reasons to be happy about the season. These chestnuts, gathered just downstairs in my yard, are one thing to be happy about. Last year, the squirrels always beat me to the best nuts, leaving only the teeny tiny useless ones and empty shells. This year, however, they don't seem to be so interested in them! I've gathered overflowing pockets-full of chestnuts for the past two mornings, and there are still so many on the tree!

In other optimistic and exciting news:
*I've got a new piece in the works. I hope to have it finished in a couple of weeks.
*I've been asked to participate as a vendor in the upcoming American Made celebration hosted by the folks over at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. I'll be doing a post on that soon with more info.
*I'm teaching a cross-stitch class this Sunday! It's been a while since I've been in the classroom. (Did you know I used to teach fifth grade? Yep, it's true.)There are still some open spots, so if you're in the eastern PA area, check it out and sign up!
*Clover Market is happening again in less than two weeks and I'll be there! It's another PA thing. Come on by if you can!

That's it for now -- more soon!