28 May, 2013

summer season kick-off

Yesterday was Memorial Day and we celebrated the kickoff of summer with a little backyard get-together with some close friends.

Of course I had to take a few chez-sucre-chez photos:

And then I relaxed a little bit and stopped moving our guests' coolers and backpacks out of frame and joined the party, but I missed getting in on the action of the wiffle ball game.

I don't know how or when it was introduced to us, but my family is pretty into that game "washers." We have tournaments and everything each summer. Last year Brian made us a pair of washers boxes and I embellished them with one of those wallpaper rollers.

When we do these backyard party things, B takes care of the dude things like the fire and the sports, while I dance around the kitchen baking up treats. (This time around it was these pretzels and the Smitten Kitchen salted-caramel brownies.)

(A note on things in B's toolbox: Dark Igloo lighter, matches from Maggies Crooked Cafe in the Catskills - best pancakes ever, and custom-made camera strap, out of frame mostly, which I ordered from Etsy shop Mesa Dreams.)

B also collected the veggie-hot-dog sticks:

What boys don't love sitting by a fire whittling sticks?

Cutie-pies Addison and Vivien came over and created their own little camp; it was pretty darned cute.

Luke found a tree to climb:

The last time we had people over for a fire was a few weeks after Easter, and we roasted Peeps and sandwiched them between Easter chocolate and graham crackers. I think the kids were expecting s'mores again this time, so our friend Ron ran out and got all the fixins.

And that was the day! At the end of it, we all grumbled and remarked about how it didn't feel like a Monday and that nobody was looking forward to jumping back to work the next day. I wasn't exactly my most productive today.... but I'm looking forward to kicking butt the rest of the week! Only three and a half more weeks until Renegade...

22 May, 2013

starting to feel like summer

Oh my goodness, I love this weather. This is the time of year that I jump out of bed early in the morning ready to make things happen.
Here are a few things I've made happen so far this week:

Bowl covers - in new prints. I've actually had the blue print for a while, and had done some bowl covers in that print for Art Star, but now I've made up enough and photographed them and they're in the shop. And that pink -- well, pink isn't usually one of my colors, not for chez-sucre-chez, anyway, but there was something about that fabric that made me swoon. I had to have it; I had to make things with it. And now there are bowl covers, and I'm pretty okay with them - I'm really okay with them, in fact.

Another custom piece; Marvin Gaye lyrics. This one actually happened last week. I like it a lot. The quote was longer/more wordy than ones that I've done in the past - but I really wanted it to fit in the circular format, so I used 16 count aida instead of my usual 14 count, and then I was able to get it in the 12" diameter hoop/frame.

And then there's this, the latest piece to come off my hoop:

It kinda took me way longer than I thought it would - partly due to many mistakes that I made, and had to tear out, and redo, towards the end -- but it turned out almost exactly like I had envisioned it. I like when that happens.

I got another one of those patterned paint rollers - can you tell that I am obsessed with these things?

Here's another one of those frank behind-the-scenes shot:

I'm setting up this scenario in our bedroom, where the landlords have requested I not paint over their color. Oh man, I love these wallpaper things! (This one I got from here, a US-based outlet. I'm not quite sure how they get away with selling these things through etsy, but I'll take it.) I bought a big roll of Banner Paper (sold at Staples in the shipping supplies aisle) and put that up on the walls with a bunch of masking tape - and then I rolled on over them with the paint. Kinda wish I had the energy and drive to do the whole room like this....

I'll be posting more shots of this set-up once I get more pieces on the wall.
I hope the weather wherever you are is sunny and warm - or chilly and grey - whatever makes you happy. xo.

16 May, 2013

a few new things...

Last week, I was busy busy busy with my preparations for the Art Star Craft Bazaar - which was actually really good this time around! It's Thursday and I'm still unpacking and catching up from the weekend and the week before, but I'm also feeling really motivated and excited about new work. Renegade Brooklyn is coming up in a little over a month and I'm feeling positive about it this year. I'm thinking that after 5 years of doing these summer outdoor events, I might *finally* have my act together.

Here are a few things I did the week before Art Star:

It's a line from the play Lady Windemere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde. I went through a bit of a kick in high school where I was OBSESSED with Oscar Wilde and reading just about everything he ever wrote. I thought to do this quote a couple of months ago, when I was doing all of the pieces about stars (here), but then I was over it. I guess it never really left my brain - I had to make it happen, and when I went to check my copy of the old Oscar Wilde collected works, I smiled to see that I'd underlined that quote oh so many years ago when I first read it.

I also remember the first time that I recognized it in the Pretenders song, Message of Love. (Check out Chrissie Hynde in that video; her style is so bad-ass, I love it.)

Also new -- simple ticking stripe napkins with "Enjoy!" embroidered on them. I think they're quite fantastic -- casual, smart, chic.

The Thursday night before Art Star, I had a moment of sudden inspiration where I decided it'd be a great idea to stitch up a few special towels for Mother's Day.

B graciously did the illustration for me and I was able to stitch up a few before the event, and I'm glad that they were well received -- I only have one left!

Lastly, here's a look at my display board as I was setting it all up for my booth:

(I had to take this off of my Instagram account, as I didn't take any regular camera shots of it...)
It's always a surprise, and a bit of a delight, when I put all of the pieces I've been working on together in one display. I'm always a little bit impressed and excited about how well they end up working together - like I've been working on themes and schemes even moreso than I had previously realized.

I've got one more piece in the works with this whole pink/roses theme -- and then we'll have to see what happens next!

10 May, 2013

Hello friends! This weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, is the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly and I'll be there at booth #42. This is my FIFTH year doing the event, but my first year doing the event solo. In the past, I was always with one or more of my z-town girls. This year, it's just little ole me... So, I'll be lonely. Please stop by and visit, see what I've stitched up for the occasion, maybe pick up a last-minute Mother's Day gift? I've made and will be bringing lots of fun and special little items that I haven't even photographed -- I *might* get time to take some snaps of some of them today, but at the rate I'm going, that's not likely...... So please, if you're in the area, come by!
(The event goes on rain or shine... And it looks like there'll be rain on Saturday at least.. Come hang out with me under the tent!)
More info on the event here.