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Mar 23, 2008

Don't Just Put Flowers in the Vase!

"Oh, nice flowers, but why is there an artichoke in the vase? Oh, wait there's two... no, three!" Gasped my dear husband looking at our luncheon table this morning.
"Yes, darling you are so observant, there are 3 artichokes in the flower arrangement." I respond, while I rush around preparing the appetizers, Henry underfoot, my oldest son rolling his eyes, like 'why ask dad,' and the twins speaking in loud squeaky voices in excitement and sugar overload on chocolate and sugary marshmellow! Tugging on my apron all at the same time! I think it's normal for artichokes in the flowers to be frank. Once I had a whole bushell of carrots upside down with their greenery flowing over the top of the vase. How 'appropo' for Easter ... ah, bunnies and all. I so believe in expanding ones world, and,

"...don't just put flowers in the flower vase."

is a metaphor to live with, don't you? I mean what else can we do? How about placing garden furniture inside and crystal chandeliers outside hanging from the large old oak tree. What about live, yes, swimming fish as a dinner center piece and napkins torn from scraps of linen... Oh yes... So I went on a hunt for some simple oversized placemats so I didn't cover my lovely wood table with a tablecloth... and of course I didn't find the placemats so this morning I opened my fabric stock closets and found lovely linens in a few appropriate colors and 'whalah' instant napkins. I didn't bother stitching the edges, and of course I went further and ripped large pieces of linen; sandwiched cotton batting inbetween the layers and oh-me-gawsh, I have my placemats. Not finished of course, and just lovely. I folded and ironed them and tied chocolate (what else) color satin ribbon bows....
I somehow favor raw sticks, ivy, green moss, birds and all things with a natural twist. In that flower arrangement, along with those artichokes, are bunches of willow sticks... all curvy and wrapped into the flowers. Oh and of course I came across natural sticks of cinnamon, I think on my hunt for the peppercorns... and naturally stuck them into the flowers too!
A lovely concoction I dare say... Well, it all worked, what with those frayed linen edges, bits of sticks and raw cinnamon, oh and the artichokes!

Mar 13, 2008

MJ Booties

When my twins were babies they were tiny. I mean Amelia was 2 lbs 12 oz and Jonty was a big boy at 4 lbs... They were preemies and there were very few oneseys or booties to fit. I did find some soft cuddlies at The Gap, but other than that I made their little hats and booties and blankees... Oh and we had to have many burp cloths around with little man Jonty. A little reflux action had us walking around everywhere with one attached to our shoulders!!! They're now 5 and tall (they are both going to be tall people and tower over little me)... and when ever I see little booties I go crazy. Now I create lovely patterns for babies everywhere, not just for mine! I even have a series of Bootie stationery... very popular booties for birth announcements and notecards... The pink booties are called Baby Oxfords and the green and pink are called PinkBooties... see them both on

The fabric booties shown up top, are called MJ Booties (Ahhh that would be Mary-Jane Booties)... The pattern is easy and my objective was to make them without looking home-made... they are soft and even have a foundation in the sole for shape. The fabric here is from new Annabella in Rachael colorways, the black and white fabric is called VENICE. I love it with the Bliss in its pinks and dark chocolates (used as the lining), and the sole (which you unfortunately can't see, is an acqua blue colorway for a new fabric called Mila. This pattern is going to be available for sale shortly. Debuting in Portland Oregon in May. Wait 'til you see the matching, adorable brimmed sun hat for babies. This aint your average hat people....
Sorry the pattern is not a freeby... But have a peek and let me know if you're interested.
All my best, this sunny day in North Carolina... a mere 74 degrees F or about 20 C. Yeahhhh... I love it here in the Spring!

Mar 8, 2008

Sleepy Afternoon Quilt Pattern

Especially for Chloe!
I am chomping at the bit for my sample yardage from the mill... Chloe's Imagination is on its way in final form and I just can't wait. So, today I literally ran into my favorite local quilt shop, (between my 5 year olds gymnastics, checking in at the Cid Pear studios, and of course saturdays are meant for shoe shopping) Quilts Like Crazy (Wake Forest NC) where I thoroughly enjoy chatting with shop owner, Nancy and her lovely daughters; and of course, again, I was wowed by the amazing quilts hanging around the shop.
The dilemma for me as a fabric artist is basically, how to show off the fabrics in quilt form without cutting too deeply into the fabrics. The truth is, I want to show off the art and design, but also their glorious pattern and color combinations in delicious patchwork. It's sort of ironic, no?

Anyhoo, with all of that in mind, and CHLOE'S IMAGINATION due in shortly, I have been working on a series of quilt designs for the show, and thought I'd share with you. I created this design especially for Chloe's Imagination, and I chose the Marigold Palace colorway. I love it so much, I can't wait to try it in the lavender and browns too; and oh, the Pink Veranda colors are vibrant in girly pink, chartreuse gold and luscious swimming pool blue... just you wait! So, here's an image of the quilt I called "Sleepy Afternoon". It reminds me of a hammock and a shady spot, with the bees and the birds fluttering about. It's a simple quilt using a very easy 3 part block, and a plain square. And a lovely accent for the border and that tiny square... So here it is, tell me what you think... feel free to down load the pattern HERE.