24 February, 2013

going for retro farmhouse chic

Fortunately for me, there is a Joann Fabrics shop just about two miles down the road from my house. I say fortunately because I end up realizing that I am out of some supply or other AT LEAST three times a week and I'm glad that the shop is close enough for me to run there and back without eating up a whole day. Most of the supplies that I need are things like floss and needles, but invariably, I find myself looking at the printed cotton fabrics just about every single time I'm there. Recently, they began carrying a line of fabrics designed by quilter Denyse Schmidt and I've been eyeing them every time a new print comes in. When this one (above) came in, I practically ran over to it to get a better look. To me, it looks so 1940's-ish; reminding me of wallpaper and linoleum flooring prints similar to some of the ones I encountered in my home renovation project. I imagined it immediately as a print for bowl covers and could already see the photo shoot set-up that I'd do for these. And somehow, that photo shoot set-up came soooo close to exactly what I had in mind:

I'm quite pleased with the bowl covers, and the photos I was able to get for this batch. As I think I've mentioned before, getting these things at just the right angle or setting or whatever so that they don't look weird or stupid is kind of challenging. I always think they look so much cooler in person than they do in pictures or text descriptions -- but this is a decent little set of photos I got today, I think!

It was fun setting the scene with some of my favourite kitchen objects as props. The pastry cutter was a hand-me-down from B's mom, who inherited it from her mother-in-law but never used it. The cookie cutters, bunny salt & pepper shakers, and heart & arrow measuring cups are treasured antique/junk store finds. The sifter is one that B bought for me. I just picked up that red candy tin last weekend, and the cross-stitch piece is done by my mom; it hung in our kitchen during my childhood and I bet it's part of the reason I'm now doing what I do.

The "wallpaper" in the background was made by using one of the patterned rollers from The Painted House. I had seen them on Etsy sometime in the fall and was obsessed. Ordering two of them (I also got the deer print one - had to have it!) was my Xmas gift to myself and reward for working my butt off that season. If you've ordered anything from my shop recently, chances are good that the envelope carrying your goods was decorated with one of these two prints. (I'm planning on using these for my spring/summer craft fair booth walls - but already I'm betting that I'm not the only one with this idea.... )

In the same trip that I picked up the DSQuilts fabric, I brought home the gorgeous navy blue floral print that these are made of:

And while I was at it, I did a photo shoot for the bowl covers in red and white polka dots - a fabric I've had and offered for a while, but never had good shots of. Now I do!

That's it for now - and I think I still have another couple of hours of sunshine... Gonna see what else I can get into...

another star....

I think I had it in my head that I needed one more piece to round out this silvery-stars series, and I couldn't move on until that was done.

I absolutely love T. Rex, and I've thought to do lines from this song (Mambo Sun) before ("beneath the beebop moon, I want to croon, with you...") but this one works with my star theme -- and, being that so many dudes are rocking beards these days, I figure it's got to resonate with some hipster somewhere.

I have one more piece to do with sparkly metallic embroidery floss (a custom order - using champagne colored floss) and then I'll be on to the next theme. I hope you're all having a great weekend! xo.

20 February, 2013


Hi, I'm back!
I'm finally feeling energy and motivation coming back... and now, since Monday, my head is full of so many ideas that my fingers can't keep up with it all!
Forget those finished projects that I mentioned in my last post - I still haven't photographed them and who knows when I'll get to that... Onto more recent work.
Many months ago, I finished this piece:

and I love it -- but man, is it ever difficult to photograph, because of the subtlety. The silver stitches on the pale blue fabric are gorgeous, but they are, indeed, subtle. And while *I* really like that, I know that it's not everyone's cup of tea.

So, I stitched up another, on black, to get the full contrast.
The words are lyrics from an REM song that I loved when I was in high school (and still love today, actually).

(Those stitches look like they're white - but they're not; they're the silver metallic floss, but my camera has a really tough time focusing on that detail in most light....)

And, while I was doing all of this stitching with the sparkly floss and in the theme of stars, I whipped up another -- also lines from a song that I loved in high school. (Depeche Mode this time.)

On this one, I used a different sliver floss - one that had a little more texture, thus making it a little more sparkly, but also a lot more of a pain in the butt to work with. My experience in working with any kind of metallic floss is that it tends to fray, a lot, and so I find that it's better to work with shorter lengths. It's definitely more challenging than regular floss -- but worth it!

I was considering doing another star-themed piece or two, but all of the quotes I most want to do are kind of long, and ideally, I'd do one that would fit in a smaller frame. (These ones are 11 x 14 and 12" diameter.) Maybe something will come to me.... In the meantime, however, I'm going to be working on those other ideas. I hope your week is going great! xo.

08 February, 2013

And now, February?

Phew, time does go by when you're hiding under a blanket thinking that miserable cold winter will never end...

It's been a tough month or so. I decided, after a very very busy November, December, and beginning of January, to give myself the end of January "off" and not to worry about doing new stuff or organizing or any of the other fun fresh-start things that usually come along with the first month of the new year. Honestly, I was feeling pretty burnt out. So I allowed myself some down time; but really, I was pretty busy anyway just keeping up with my Etsy orders and the few custom orders that I had on tap already.

And then, February was here before I knew it, and now I'm feeling pretty behind with my original plan to make February like what January should have been. (the time for organizing, new ideas, big new business plans, etc.) This dreary weather is kind of kicking my butt.

But enough crying and wailing from me! Sheesh!
I do have projects in the works. I even have exciting new completed projects, but nothing is photographed yet.... So, though I don't have much to share and report right this very instant, I will SOON - really!

In the meantime, Valentine's Day is less than a week away.
I do have a new kit that I designed inspired by all the the holiday of hearts and red and pink and kisses and hugs. It's this one:

Similar to my Borderlines kit, but all with the theme of hearts. I'm really liking it and, once I can get my hands on more red Aida cloth, will be offering it in a classic red and white colorway, too, and will keep these in stock well past Valentine's Day. I'm hoping that you all like it enough to make it a new c-s-c classic.

Also in the theme of Love Day (which is what nephew Aidyn once called Valentine's Day years ago when he was a wee one and it made my heart smile so big), is the Valentine themed diy hankie embroidery kit:

Just like the regular boyfriend hankies, but with the red/pink color scheme and a special Valentine themed template page, which includes sentiments like "be mine" "loverboy" "truly yours" "je t'aime" and lots more.

A couple of weekends ago, I lead a workshop using these kits and showing how to do the embroidery and make a personalized hankie. It was great! I had such a wonderful group of ladies -- I wish we could have stitched together longer. I'll have an eye out for sure for more opportunities to teach classes or workshops like that... If you know of any, send me the info!

Okay, now to log off and make the most of this beau-ti-ful rainy day. I'm thinking I'm going to treat myself to a lap around Terrain and a coffee at the cafe there; like bribing myself into motivation. Happy Friday, friends!