A few months ago as I was picking Eliza up from school, the teacher stopped me to ask if I would be willing to think up a few craft ideas that they could do with the kids as Mother's Day gifts. Ooh hoo hoo..my kind of fun. They settled on a simple yoyo flower pin and asked if I would be willing to come in the day of the craft and help out. Montessori is usually pretty "stay away and let the kid learn" so I jumped on the opportunity! That was a fun day. I was amazed that the skill of sewing with a needle came very easy to the three and four year olds. Montessori teaches living skills and "up, down" was something they knew. I remember trying to explain "in and out" and having this gorgeous little girl look at me like I was speaking Alien. So I showed her and she exclaimed "oh! you mean up, down." I sat there dumbfounded, clearly out explained by a 4 year old. Anyway, it was a hit and up there is the one that Eliza, my 3 year old at the time, made for me. :)
On other flower news, I recieved an email from Susan who created an etsy treasury yesterday out of items created out of my water lily (otherwise know as warter lily) print. The treasury is so pretty! I had to have her explain to me what exactly it was, and basically it's a way to have items with a similar theme / fabric / color recognized. At least that's how I'm understanding it. So go take a look at the pretty creations!
More Market prep projects! Now you are finally seeing why the last few months have been a bit project-less around the blog here. I guess that's the one good thing about dry spells, the flood finally has to open.
I had an insane amount of people asking about these at market-if I would do a pattern / how to make them. They are soooo easy that I could never feel good about charging for a pattern, but I'll see about doing a tutorial. Maybe when the website goes live, which will be soon. I know I keep saying that, but really-soon is coming. For the patterns too. Thank you for being patient with me - one woman shows can be difficult but as time goes on, things just get easier and faster.
One day maybe I'll go into the hours that launching a big project entails but I would have to seriously think about it for a while. I wonder how many hours a designer puts into a line of fabric. It would be different for everyone, but it's a huge job all around. Maybe I'll have to take a tally with my friends (all listed over there on the right in the links) and come up with an average. It would be interesting that's for sure. Ok, tangent over, back to pictures. I must say, I'm really loving this post a day business. I feel like we're finally getting good and caught up with each other!
My tidbit for the day-a link to an interview I did a while back. Natasha of Creative Nachos (how fun of a name is that?) had asked me a couple months ago if I would be interested in doing an interview. I had just finished doing a few others and thought I had pretty much covered the basics so I told her that if she came up with some truly unique questions then I would love to do it! She totally delivered and I loved answering these questions. We talk about music (if you hadn't noticed, I kinda like it). I even touch on the surface of money a bit, which I know everyone is so curious about. I also talk (or gush) about one other designer that I just have goo goo eyes for and think is just about the nicest person ever. Go read for yourself to find the answers to these scintillating tales.
First off, it looks like Farmer's Market is starting to crop up for sale! I'll include links to different places when you get your stock in if you shoot me an email!
The pictures today are more of my "Market Prep" crafting. Do you ever have a night that you just remember being so great? The night I made these was one of those nights. My family was safely tucked away in bed, the house was clean. I settled down to watch the Jane Austen Book Club (I love Emily Blunt!) and get some work done. This was an easy craft to do while not paying too much attention to my hands. I spray painted the inside of the boxes (light layers over primer) and attached the fabric mostly by spray adhesive. I used a little Mod Podge around the lid, but for the most part used spray adhesive because I didn't want them to have that "glued on" look that you usually get with Mod Podge. Good project, good movie, good night. :)
I made this a few months ago in the preparation for market. It was so quick and easy-I just randomly pulled bits and pieces from my scrap bucket (which is overflowing at the moment) and pieced it together with no plan in mind. That is my kind of quilting. I try to plan a quilt out, but somehow it just doesn't work in my head. The same thing goes with any sort of creative process for me-I'm a WIP type gal. I have two other full size quilts that need to be shared at some point!
I got a quick note from the Rag & Bone crew and they are offering a 20% coupon to you guys. Just enter the code "portabellopixie" at check out. It will be good until 6/30/08.
Easter Basket Fodder: Cute little zoo animal finger puppets! The easter bunny whispered that they are from the craft store in a cute little ready to make kit for only $1 each. Run, run, run as fast as you can!
Perfect for stow-away play time on the go. They were really easy to make too, only taking about 5 minutes each. (All the sewing is already done, you just glue the pieces together!)
Ethan was unavailable for pictures, I believe he was rolling around on the floor at this point with a chocolate bunny the size of his head. It is gone. (OK-it wasn't really that big, but it is gone. ;)
I'm making good headway, almost up for air! Thank you for all the offers of help for sample sewing, I will definitely want to do test runs with home sewers before the final printing, so I will be in touch!
We're on our way out of town for the night (with the kiddos-romance saved for later) and I had to pop in really quick and post pictures of the Valentines Eliza and I created yesterday. If there is ever a time for lacy and pink, it's Valentines Day! All the others are the ones she recieved from her class party in pre-school. It was super fun and easy. We just used spray adhesive to attatch two cirles of fabric together. Cut them in half down the center and glue them back together after mis-matching the fabrics. Pop on a doily, some ribbon and a few candies and you're good to go! Happy Valentines friends!
Somebody forgot to tell this little booger not to grown up. Sniff sniff. She started ballet last week and the next day we got a call saying that an opening at pre-school had finally opened up. She started yesterday. Five days a week, 3 hours a day.
She has been on the waiting list for 2 places for about 6 months and the Montessori called first. Hooray! I researched several places in town and was sad to see that so many of them are really just day-care incognito. I'm really impressed with the way Montessori is run, it will be perfect for Eliza. She has always been our child that needs to be coaxed, not pushed. That's really how the system is set up, letting them learn at their own pace in a still structured environment. Hopefully it all goes as well as I hope. Hopefully I can get used to the empty space that is there when she is gone. Hopefully I will be wise enough to spend that time giving Ethan some special attention. He misses her when she's gone. "Wares Ewiza?"
So anyway, a child's first day of school requires a new article of clothing, doesn't it? She's spreading her wings, so a butterfly was necessary. Meet Mariposa, my little butterfly applique pattern. You can find it over on the side bar.
The pattern is just for one set of wings. If you want the look that I created here, cut 2 sets of the wings and arrange them staggered. The body is a leaf I had lying around, you could give your butterfly a ric-rac body or just buttons in a row..lots of options! I'd like to do a Monarch butterfly with buttons around the edges of the wings. They've always been my favorite for some reason.
(Speaking of my side-bars you might notice I changed around my flickr badges. I won't bother going on about how that is all I accomplished the other day. I fiddled with them all day, playing with the coding to make them pretty. So feel free to add your pictures into the Shir Madness group and join the Ginger Blossom group for when you get your hands on the fabric!)
Here she is, my little piggy trinket I spoke of the other day. Why this little oinker gives me so much happiness is completely beyond me.
It was just like any other thrift store trip. I made my usual rounds based on order of importance. Fabric racks 1st, dishes second in case any Melmac turns up. Round on back to the picture frames and outdoor section and on the way back up to the front to check out, breeze through the knick knacks.
While on that breeze through the knick knack section, there was a pillar of light shining down into a dusty corner..there she was..this adorable little piggy stapler. You've had these moments I'm sure, where your blood pressure rises, your breathing increases and you made a viper-like snatch for that diamond in the rough. Even when everyone around you is staring so obviously that you can read "it's just a plastic pig, lady" acreoss their faces-it's ok, because you got it before anyone else.
Anyhow, she makes me happy, even her back. Piggy got back and it is cute! I don't know what to name her though, I'm not very good at the naming of things. That would be Amelia's department. Or yours-got any suggestions? Maybe a prize to the name I pick? Let's see, piggies like scraps so how about a baggy of Ginger Blossom scraps? Pick your best name, only one! I guess you can enter one name a day until I pick one, but only one per comment, give me your best.
On other fronts, thank you for all your incredibly kind comments and emails after my last somewhat deeper than normal post. It felt good to talk a little more about who I really am and what is important to me, I so enjoyed chatting with you all over the last few days. I know there are a couple unanswered photography question emails out there, it's only because I'm writing a section for my FAQ's devoted to photography because it really is not something you can just answer by telling the type of camera you use. (Nikon D50) It will be coming soon, with links to all my favorite photo actions that I've had the chance to try out, the tutorial I recommend as a miracle worker and all the things that I feel need to be answered when the question of photography arises.
We're busy getting ready for market, I am working hard after the kids go to bed to get the first pattern line completely drafted so they can go off to the various printers etc.. that they need to travel to before entering your hands. Time frames are looking good though and the debut for Portabellopixie Boutique Patterns is still set for May 16th at Quilt Market. It's slightly scary for me to put that in print, but if it's out there then maybe I'll just have to make sure it happens then huh? :) I've got a good support system though, Dustin is helping me make the freebies for our booth. Have you ever embossed anything? Super easy and makes something look super fancy! You can use any craft rubber stamp or you can be snoody faloody and go down to your local printer and have them print out your logo on a custom stamp. (And yes, my new logo is actually my signature, now you can all forge my checks, but please don't.)
Make sure you buy pigment ink, it is oil based and holds the embossing powder that you sprinkle over it. You have to apply heat to the powder-I don't think a hairdryer will work. You could hold it over the stove, but you'd have some mighty toasty fingers. The easiest way is to just buy an embossing gun-it shoots a targeted jet of hot air where you want it and will turn the embossing powder all shiny-like and pretty. You too can have hundreds of little white boxes with your name embossed. What's going in the boxes? Little squares of fabric with a pattern for a fabric flower. So if you're planning on attending quilt market (in 3.5 months) make sure to stop by and get a little box of fabric from us. Whew! One thing down, 800 to go.
OK-go name my piggy! She's too cute to be name-less.
Oh-also! My friends in town have started up an etsy fabric shop! If you knew these two girls, you'd want to buy them out of house and home, they put together beautiful fabrics and have excellent customer service. I hear talks of some really cool kits and new things for their store, so make sure you mark it in your favorites. JM Fabrics (Jessi and Mel)
Thank you for all the techy help the other day. I can fake technological things to look like I really know what I'm doing, but really I don't. I'm still learning, and have decided to finally really figure out what typepad can do. Hence all the changes! Fun, fun, fun. It's looking a little bit more polished and I love it. There is also a few new sections to peek into. There is a FAQ's section down there a ways..and a tutorial section! I've been meaning to do this for a while and well, now I have. :) And of course if you're going to make a tutorial section, you better write a tutorial. Shir Madness will hopefully teach you all you ever wanted to know about shirring. It really is very easy, but also very easy to mess up and make a total disaster out of. Kind of like baking bread.
Click on the Shir Madness link over there on the right and it will bring up a down-loadable PDF file. Save it to your computer and print it out for a little machine side help when you need it. My piano instructor used to alway talk about getting skills "under my belt" and shirring is definitely a skill to master for a seamstress. If you do it correctly, you can pop out a garment in less than an hour, no pattern needed. Need some extra inspiration for what to do with shirring or want to show off your already polished shirring skills? I've created a flickr group just for that. Check it out! There is already a great selection to peek at and get inspired by.
Oh, and I know several people want to know where tags came from. They are from Fancyweaver, and they are the best deal I've been able to find for orders under 1000 pieces. Go check them out!
OH-and do you love our new floor? Behind Eliza down there..I know, not the best picture of the floor but I couldn't resist pointing it out!