Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Phwew... these past few months have been an absolute blur, I tell you! Quilt Market through Christmas just tends to be that way. And I'm overdue on just about everything, including ye olde blog! This year was especially crazy - hello, holiday Big Crafty! Boy, doing a craft show during the holiday makes so much sense, but it's killed any inclination I may have had for handmade holiday gifts. Gift cards it will be! Here's a little sampling of what I made for my booth:

First, a little series of stretched canvas birdies in various adventures with umbrellas, kelpies, etc. (see more on my flickr page!) This one was my favorite - the waves, the clouds, the big dipper - and it was a little hard to let go of!

And more bird cameos. The little scarves, well, they just made me happy!

And mushroom terrariums and mushroom embroideries. It was actually a pretty good show for me - all pennies go to the new sewing machine penny jar!

I have been thinking about some goals for next year. I'm thinking a healthy dose of quilt WIPs, maybe some crochet, and some more craft/quilt experimentation. I absolutely love making stuff that people want to purchase, but I need a break from that mode for a little while. There's one more crafting project on the horizon.... big announcement headed your way soon! Until then, may your holiday preparations be merry!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still alive! Plus exciting news!

And kicking.... despite my silence! Still waiting to get my groove back in the new crafty space, but I'm going to officially cut myself a little slack. Plus, I've got some good news. I'm so excited to announce that I've got a new book coming out next month. Stash Happy Felt features 30 projects to make from all that felt stash taking up space in your closet. The designers for this book are absolutely and fabulously talented... the projects are fun, unique, inventive, and stash-bustingly awesome! Here's a sneak peek:There are so many super fun projects in the book. We'll be sharing a few of them (and holding some felt giveaways!) over on the Lark Crafts blog later this month and in early October. In the meantime, here are a few of my projects from the book:

Monday, July 25, 2011

sorta settled...

Wowza... what a May, June, and July! That's what moving will do - that, and prepping for a craft show. I apologize for the extended silence - life was absolutely swirling and demanded all of my attentions. I'm happy to report that we're getting settled into the new place here in West Asheville, we're loving it (!), we're enjoying the park and pool across the street, and the dogs are loving their new windows. The first space in the house to get settled was the craft room... the space used to be a part of the old front porch and it came with dark teal floors!
I love this little corner especially... it's just pretty dreamy. Still waiting to be pinched, but absolutely savoring the new space. More pics to come as the decorations go up. And as the IKEA furniture is completed - fun stuff!

Next up was the Big Crafty, Asheville's rockin craft show. I participated two years ago and remember learning all kinds of things that first time around... which I'm pretty sure I promptly forgot! It was a great show - soooo many talented folks in this area! - and I sold a handful of mushrooms and stitched things, including one little terrarium to a young gal who was there spending her allowance - love that! (But I didn't sell the green-framed birdies below - score! They're now on my wall at home!)

Okay, I do love the crazy pace of life at times, but I think (hear me, universe!) I'm ready for a little quiet-tude. I think that's when the real beauty of being in this place will start to sink in. I'm ready to get back into crafty mode too (especially since I'm behind on bird-a-month!), though a little break was nice. I keep thinking it's going to start feeling like summer someday soon... anyone else having that feeling?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

bird-a-month: may (and more mushrooms!)

It's May, friends! Official start of the picnic season, one of my very favoritest things about summer, and a natural pick for this month's installment. The mini patchwork blanket was fun (but don't look too closely, mkay?), but the grass stitching is probably my favorite element. It was something I added at the last minute, after I thought I was done with this one. Does that ever happen to you? At any rate, I'm glad I added it.And, of course, more mushrooms, this time a little group shot. Fingers crossed that I actually get into the show/sale I'm prepping for, though I'm sure I can think of something to do with all these cuties if not...

And good news on the house hunt front... we'll know in a matter of two weeks whether or not we'll be moving into an absolutely dreamy spot here in Asheville, complete with a dedicated (and lovely) sewing spot for yours truly (which would make me a very happy - very lucky, very blessed - gal!). I'll keep you posted. And in the meantime, we'd appreciate any finger crossing you can spare!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

mugs (and more mushrooms)

So I count May as the start of summer, even if it's not official. It's hot, I start plotting my hikes, canoe voyages, and tubing trips, and, of course, I get the thrifting bug. I set out today on an important mission... but of course found some goodies that had nothing to do with that! (Wish the decanter showed up better: there's a ship on the front!) Our cups and dishes and mugs are a grand assortment, and I kind of like it that way. These bad boys below were actually what I was looking for.... mugs and mugs and mugs. (Looove the deer!)
For what, you say? You should really know me better by now (this is, after all, post numero 101!!!)... when an obsession takes hold, it really takes hold! Here's what I had in mind... and I love the look! And I'm working on my own technique for the gills... i.e. cheating with dark strands of felt!

And you'll never guess who I got to hang out with this weekend... photos coming soon!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

mushrooms of a different kind!

I must be in a restless mood cause I am hopping around with the craftiness! That's what happens when you work on craft books... the latest bug I've caught is needle felting, inspired by the lovely Lisa Jordan over at Lil Fish Studios. Man, this lady is a crafty genius! I fell hard for her mushrooms (even bought some!) and then I had to try them for myself, which lead to an apple tree to a topiary... I'm officially hooked, even though it hurts to type because I accidentally "needle felted" my middle finger. No pain, no gain, I guess! Now what else to make in miniature...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

birds of a different kind

Oh, the start of beach camping season - how I love thee! I spent last weekend camping in Edisto, SC, with my mom, her new pup (a cairn terrier named Paula Deen), my grandma, and my cousin and his fam (hi, Kate and Ned!). We had so much fun, especially decking out my mom's new camper with its requisite amount of mingos. Here's Ned with a small portion of the flock... right before the carnage started. And there's nothing like sharing some grand marnier with your soon-to-be-88-year-old grandma!

And nothing like doing a little cross-stitch in your tent! I saw this fabulous birdy (of course!) pattern in Alicia Paulson's new book Embroidery Companion (love it!) and I just couldn't help myself! Not that I need a new hobby OR more excuses to make bird-themed thingies... simply lovely, though, and portable too - loving doing a little stitching in bed at the end of a long day. I estimate I'll complete this pattern sometime in 2013 ;) so check back on my progress!

Monday, April 11, 2011

little springtime adventures

Sometimes I need a break from sewing flat decorative things... you know the feeling? The whole reason I got into sewing was to make clothing (back, oh, 15 years ago) but I haven't done much of that in a while. Until, that is, our good friends had little lady Sofi. Making kids clothes is so much fun... in about an hour and with about $3 worth of fabric, I whipped up these little cuties (using a pattern from Sew Tina!). Fun, non-commital, useful... lovely! A sew-errific Saturday was followed by a leisurely hike at Sam's Knob on Sunday (oh, Blue Ridge Parkway, I love thee!), with my little lady Violet. So nice to move and just breathe some fresh air! And get some much-needed exercise after lots and lots of sitting! That is a downside of this crafty life of ours...Violet went to the vet last week and she is absolutely tipping the scales at 51 pounds - yikes! Turns out those "growths" I was worried about are actually just love handles....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

march showers, april mushrooms!

A case of art/craft imitating life? May be! I've been so enthralled with all the little mushrooms popping up here in WNC, especially the tasty kind (see my previous post!). This month's installment of bird-a-month was brought to you by morel power! Gosh, those little mushrooms are fun to make, especially when I should be doing other things like a zillion WIPs, walking the doggies, cleaning the house, and cooking food and stuff... oh, crafty distractions!
I couldn't help myself with the basket! Now to figure out where Mr. Birdy is headed next....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

coming up mushrooms!

Everything is.... that is! And that's one of my favorite parts of early spring. I've been working on a little side series (for a show this July - fingers crossed!) with little hooped-up mushroom outcrops. These are so addictive - really the perfect thing for those little fusible backed scraps in my scrap basket. I've been painting the hoops... and, er, getting better as I practice.

Speaking of mushrooms, we have so many varieties of mushrooms here in western North Carolina! Imagine our surprise when we stumbled upon a crop of these tasty morels, growing in a random bit of mulch in our apartment complex! Guess what's for dinner? Yes, a bit alien looking, but so so tasty.
I'm loving this little mini theme - welcome to my new blog header! I stuck with the same one for so long, I'm really enjoying switching things up seasonally. Keeps it interesting! And I'm thinking a birdy might look right nice among those fungi...

Monday, March 21, 2011

birthday apron (con tiger pig!)

Well, after crafting something for my friend with mildly evil intentions (she rocked the crown!), I felt that I needed to redeem myself. About that time, this fabulous apron kit arrived in the mail from my friends at Crescendoh. I'm not usually into kits, but I must say, it was kind of nice to have the work done for me - a perfect set of fabrics and notions, cleaned, pressed, and ready for me to get started. It was also nice because my vintage fabric collection is kind of wimpy, but I so love that look. And when I saw the fabrics, I knew just who the apron would be for...

(Take a closer look at this kit and other fabulous kits over here!)

And here it is, about two hours later. Fun and done! And I love the vintage-y look. And so does a certain tiger pig I happen to know... (scroll down).
A face only a mother could love? Perhaps. A little scary if you met her on the street? Probably. Seriously happy dog with a seriously silly smile? Yes indeedy! A smile that is REALLY hard to catch on camera, hence the blur. But golden nonetheless!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

birds and umbrellas!

As promised, here's the March installment of my bird-a-month challenge. It has been so rainy in Asheville, and I've been seriously craving some bright colors - I think that happens every spring, with (always!) serious repercussions for my (growing!) fabric collection. I'm enjoying being able to focus on one single little project for the year (with plenty of other projects on the side, of course) and I'm liking how the project is shaping up... seems like each installment has its own distinct feel. I like to think that these birdies are all part of the same family, so not the same birdy every time. I've got some plans for the summer months - think crazy adventurous auntie birdy! It was nicer here this weekend, though...and just in time. The hubs and I are in house-hunting mode and I can't help but be on the lookout for the perfect crafting space! I don't need much - just a little space of my own. I think I'll know it when I find it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

crafting for good.... (and -mild amounts- of evil!)

Strange title, I know... but let me explain. The weather here in Asheville has been unseasonably warm and sunny, well, during the weekdays that is. The weekends, that's a different story, especially the last one - rain, rain, a little snow, and more rain. All that precipitation does make for good crafting weather, and I have been quite productive. Which brings me to the "good" part of my title. Our Asheville Modern Quilt Guild is creating a charity quilt. We're all string-piecing blocks like these:And now for the evil... my nearest and dearest friend is having her 30th birthday this Saturday. I simply couldn't let the glorious occasion pass without making something silly for her...and then requiring her to wear it...out on the town...all night long! If you can't dress your friends (or kids or dogs or spouses) in silly handmade stuff, who can you dress up? And in case you're wondering, her nickname is Tortilla Mae (long story!). Got my March birdy in the works... hope to share him with you soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

my (kinda sorta) new toy!

Ever since Quilt Market in November, I've been absolutely pining for a new sewing machine, particularly one that starts with a B and ends with a ernina. I've really been wanting to give free motion stitching a try and I don't have the option to drop the feed dogs on my machine and that new fancy BSR thing-a-majig seemed, well, fancy.... So I did lots and lots of research into multiple kinds of machines, asked MANY people about different brands (including some back and forth with many Janome lovers!), and did some general poking around; by the way, thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions and feedback! In the end, one suggestion helped me make my decision: look into buying a feed dog cover for my current super old but completely trusty and truly loved Singer 6105. And I did just that!
And it fits perfectly, even though my machine is 20+ years old! So, free motion experimenting, here I come! Was it hard to resist shiny and new? Yes, of course. Will I continue to pine? Probably, but investing in a new machine and saving to buy a house - well, the timing is just bad. What did Violet think of my decision? I think she'd give it the thumbs up if she had she is with her cheese-eating-est smile on instead!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011: put a bird on it!

Anyone else loving Portlandia? I might have a different opinion of the show if I lived in Portland, but I think Asheville is actually a lot like the place. And, in general, I'm okay laughing with and at myself. My hands-down favorite clip has got to be "put a bird on it." I realize the irony here: who else could have timed the announcement of their year-long project so perfectly?!? Seriously... I'm taking 2011 and putting a bird on it!

And so without further ado, here's Mr. February. I made the heart the same way I used to make valentines: fold the thing in half and chop chop. And the bowtie, well, I thought it was just extra Bryce-like.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

bird-a-month: january

Oh, birdy... my old friend! I was flipping through an old children's book the other day and those waves popped out at me: lovely, artful, and just a touch of menacing. I knew they'd find their way into one of my stitchies some day... and today was it! I'm contemplating a year-long project with these birdies - I'm planning one per month (that I can maybe turn into a calendar for next year?). Without further ado, meet January: dark, cold, and with storms looming.

For more in this series, check out: February, March, April (coming soon!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

doodle stitch purplework!

So...I couldn't resist temptation: I'm officially joining Aimee Ray's doodle stitch along. I needed an easy, low-commitment project for the start of the year... and I'm dedicated to getting comfortable using purple on a more regular basis. Good thing I happen to know lots of little ladies being born right around this time! (Here's a link to our little Flickr group if you'd like to play along!)

This project did get me thinking about some potential new years resolutions in regard to craftiness. I think I'd like to take on some kind of big project but I haven't yet settled on a theme. I've been thinking, too, that I should focus more on the process and the journey rather than the finished project, but that's darn hard to do. Or maybe the most important thing is that I put energy toward being creative on a regular basis...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

last & first

Happy new year! Working in publishing is a strange thing... I keep thinking "only 2011?" That's what happens when you work so far in advance. I love this time of year: everyone posts their terrific mosaics of things made in the last year. So good to take a look back (and hard to do for folks who are in the midst of planning the next great quilty!) and to celebrate all that creativity. And with that in mind, here's a mini retrospective: my last creation of 2010 and my first of 2011!
Cheers to you for a happy, healthy, and amazingly creative 2011!