Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Around the house

This spring, we moved into a beautiful mid-century brick ranch.  It needed a bit of cleaning up and TLC, but it is a beautiful home and I love, love, love it.

Because it has a mid-century modern design (it was built in 1957), I strongly feel we should enhance that with MCM furniture.  So I was delighted to find this adorable rocker at a local garage sale a couple of weeks ago:
This darling chair is from 1967.  It's in great shape.  It's just the right size for me.  And it goes perfectly in the living room.  Perfection for only ten dollars.

Outside the house, we have a fabulous back yard.  When we moved in it was overgrown but I did a lot of weeding and planted some stuff.  Gardening is a bit like gambling for me, my skills are improving but still somewhat hit or miss.  Things seem to be growing pretty well.
It's been a challenge to work in the yard due to the power of the mosquitoes this year.  They are absolutely crazy-bad.  But we spray and fog the yard so we can still enjoy our backyard oasis.  Maybe someday we'll add on a sunporch.
Something else I love about our house is that it's a walkout, and since I work in the basement, I'm just a few steps away from my beautiful backyard oasis.  Also it's so nice to have windows in my studio.  I have so much more room to make a nice, messy mess, too.  Maybe someday I'll get the studio "finished" and share some pics here, but for now, it's definitely a work in progress.

Enjoy what's left of summer.  I know I will.  It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Whole Lotta Making Going On!

Ah, summer, how I love thee!  Afternoons at the pool are our favorite activity.  When I'm not swimming with my little guy, I've been using my weeks off from Farmers Market to get some new inventory ready.  I've been inspired by some new papers:

Boy, do I love that bicycle print.  It comes in other colors and previously I had the green & teal on gray version, but I think I might love this gray & white on black version even more.

I'm also excited to use this leaf-print paper:

I've been working on a new batch of vintage dress-pattern journals this week as well.  These have been a popular item at Market so it was time to make more:

These are much more time-consuming to make than vintage-book journals, because I have to cut the book board, then glue the cover papers to the board...but I really love these.  I hate it when I hear people say how they've thrown away so many old patterns...because even if you aren't going to sew the garment, the artwork on the envelope is beautiful and there are oh so many uses for the pattern tissue.

I'm also doing a few Bingo Books for a customer.  I used to do make a lot of these back when I first started doing shows, but then online sellers really raised their prices on vintage Bingo cards so I don't do so many any more.  These cards actually belonged to my grandparents, and since they weren't heavy chipboard, I just glued them to book board so they would be sturdy enough to make a journal.  These are nice sized, a little bigger than 4 x 6.

So that's what's been going on around here.  I've got one more Saturday to sleep in before I'll be back at the Farmers Market on July 25.  You can find me at 2nd & Court with lots of new stuff.  Come say hi!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hello again: another Black & White quilt

My but it's been a long time since I've shared anything here...seems like years ago instead of just a mere eight months!  Much has happened (we moved!) but in those busy months I have managed to keep creating, both for work and for fun, and thought I would share one of my favorite projects today.

You may recall that about a year ago I shared a black and white quilt that I made.  It found a home with a fabulous friend of mine, and after it sold I started thinking about another one.  And as it happened, I found myself at the Quilting Connection in Ames, (aka fabric heaven!) and lo and behold they had a lot of outstanding black and white prints that came home with me.  Here's what happened to those prints:

I got a little crazy this time and put some gray in with the black and white.  Notice the adorable retro pickup-truck print--how cute is that?  I also made the hubby a Christmas stocking out of that print. He wasn't quite as excited as I was about the truck fabric, but he managed to look interested for a moment or two.

I wanted to do something rather unexpected for the back of the quilt so I let the top sit for a couple of weeks until the right quilt back presented itself to me.  That's how my process often works: I just wait for the right fabric to find me.  And it always does.  In this case, it was this unbelievably cool bird print that I found at Stitch:
The inspiration for using yellow binding came from Maureen Cracknell's blog, which is one of my very favorites; she's an amazing quilter.  She showed a photo of a recent quilt of hers which she had bound in yellow and so I thought I would use yellow on this quilt.  Love how it turned out.

I made this quilt as we found our new home and as the weather began to change from winter to spring.  The black and white reminds me of winter and the birds, of course, are the quintessential harbinger of spring.  And here at our new home, we are lucky to have lots of birds visiting our yard and birdfeeders all the time.  That's just one of the many things I love about our new home.  I'll be sharing some more about our new house as I get some pictures.

With spring comes the Farmers Market as well, and this year  I will be there on opening day, which is May 2.  If you're in Des Moines, please stop by my booth on 4th street, north of Court Avenue, and say hello!  I'm looking forward to being part of this wonderful event again this year, which marks 40 years of the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market.  

Happy spring to all and bring on the warm weather!