ornaments on the horizon

I know it has been pretty quiet over here. It has not been quiet in my life! I am making great progress on my ornament patterns and hope to publish 5 designs in mid-July, when I get back from Portland, Oregon.

7:2:ornaments 1

And, I took another trip down to Brooklyn for some West Elm business- that made the 3rd trip to NY in 5 weeks! I stopped in Connecticut to see family. I’ve spent some time making new clothes- I really ought to do a post about that. But, mostly I have been concentrating on pattern writing and photo taking.

7:2:ornaments 2

And, wow, is my desk messy. Lots and lots of tiny bits of paper and thread and felt.

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And samples and more samples.

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I’m hoping to be back to the regular making schedule once I am back from my trip and the patterns are ready.

goings on

There is lots going on around here. This morning, I packed up two orders, walked to the post office, then the bank, then the library and back home. And somehow, since I haven’t done any sewing, I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done! So, now I am writing a blog post. Last week I took a super-fast, overnight trip to Brooklyn to see the year-end show at the NYU Game Center where one son is getting his MFA. Next week, I will probably go back again for Mister Finch‘s show. Busy, busy!

I’ve got a table full of foxes waiting for me.

5:26:foxes

But, I’ve gotten distracted by ornaments.

5:26:ornaments

When I was asked to design some ornaments for West Elm, I needed to come up with a lot of ideas and then they picked what they wanted. The thing is, I liked all of them! It has been tickling the back of my conscious brain ever since that I should move forward with these others and make patterns. I even got started a few times but ended up getting flooded with ideas and then feeling overwhelmed. This time, I said I would teach a class to make ornaments. That is the way I finish things- commit to someone else. So, moving forward! So far I have a fish, a whale, robot, and a long list, drawings, and first try prototypes of lots of other things. I will keep you informed as they move forward.

What else? I am taking a class to make the Cooper bag. I know, busman’s holiday, but I knew I wouldn’t get to it if I didn’t schedule a time. Hopefully it will be done on Wednesday evening and then I can show you.

I am going to Portland, Oregon in July (8- 13). So excited!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but a reminder since I’m making a list here- I am not planning on doing any shows this year. It doesn’t look like that will slow down my traveling though!

 

next up- Washington DC

The next event on my schedule is Crafty Bastards in Washington DC. There are lots of terrific vendors and super nice crafty people so it will be a great time! You can get tickets ahead of time here.

9:14:desk

I’ve got a lots of new pieces in progress- assorted piles of foxes, tattooed ladies and lumberjacks, all in various states of completion. Hopefully I will have some finished pieces to show in the next few days.

lots and lots and lots

So much going on and nothing getting finished- yet.

I posted here about first steps of tattooed people and fish, moving along with the foxes. That is still happening.

A week ago I spent a day dyeing.

4:15:dye 1

I started out with some prints that I over-dye for hair.

4:15:dye 2

Then ALL those tattooed bodies.

4:15:dye 3

It was many pots worth. I was very tired by the end of the day. Then, next day I ironed them all and put them back in their bin. Soon I will start cutting out all the rest of their pieces.

I sewed faces on 9 foxes-

4:15:fox

and started in on the clothes-

4:15:fox 3

But I got a bit distracted trying to choose fabrics for dresses. I ended up spending a morning sorting through all my fabric drawers, pulling things out that called to me and in another pile, to get rid of.

4:15:fox 2

Then, somehow, not really sure how this happens, I started sewing the fish mentioned in that link above. And now, 2 1/2 days later, all 29 are sewed up and waiting to be finished.

4:15:fish 1

They will trickle out a few at a time over this year.

And lastly, Sweet Paul was in town last week and had a signing for his new book- so fun to meet up in my neck of the woods!

4:15:paul

Of course I bought my very own copy of his new book- Sweet Paul Eat and Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love and had it signed. I need an occasion to make the World’s Best Cake! Anyway, I’m keeping very busy and soon lots of finished pieces will start to appear!

lots and lots of WIPs

My etsy shop is bare and I am trying to get my inventory back up before show season. I’ve started working on many, many new pieces. Step one, cut out the parts. With the tattooed dolls this means the pieces that need to be dyed- the “skin” parts.

3:29:wip 1

3:29:wip 2

3:29:wip 3

I cut and cut and kept cutting. I now have a LOT of bodies, ready for the next step- dyeing.

3:29:wip 6

After I have these all dyed, then I cut out all the other pieces. Then construction starts.

Next I pulled out all my bins of wool and my fish pattern-

3:29:wip 4

and now there are 29 fish cut out and ready to move forward.

3:29:wip 5

And I am moving forward on foxes, already sewn. I’m stuffing them and next come the faces.

3:29:wip 7

And I’m sewing up some pugs. Yep, I’m all over the place. That’s why nothing is getting finished but things are moving forward all over the place. Hopefully something will get done this week.

it’s been quiet here

But not so quiet in my actual life. Since my last post, I finished my prototypes for West Elm and sent them off. Fingers crossed that all proceeds smoothly from here! Then I started prepping for a class that I taught at Gather Here over the weekend. I was having a hard time staying focused on that task and did a lot of cleaning, sorting, picking through, inventory-ing before I’d have to give myself a stern talking to and get back on track. It’s a January kind of activity. Anyway, the class was terrific!

1:15:class1Everyone worked hard and made some wonderful worlds.

1:15:class2

1:15:class3

1:15:class4

And on Saturday night, I started a quilt. Because, you know, it’s January!

1:15:quilt

I booked a trip to Chicago in February- Hurray! Now to look into all the fun stuff since it will not be a working trip…. hmm- how does one do that?

September fish

Step by step. These photos are from my phone- sorry about the bad focus on some.

17 fish- all the pieces cut out and piled.

Step 2- 10 are sewed up and ready to be turned. 7 are bagged and put into the fish bin for later.

Step 3- turned right-side out.

9:15:fish 3

 

Step 4- stuffed and finished!

9:15:fish 4

And there will be more fish tomorrow!

teaching in San Francisco?

tiny worldsI will be in San Francisco again this summer for the Renegade Craft Market on July 27 and 28. I am thinking about teaching a Tiny World class while I’m there. It would be either before (Thurs 7/25 or Fri 7/26) or after the show (Tues 7/30). Is anyone interested?

Details- it is a 6 hour workshop, 8 people max, cost will be approx. $75. I am trying to gauge interest before I buy my plane tickets.

And, don’t forget I will be at the Art Retreat just a few weeks later. I’m filling up my teaching schedule!

a terrible week in Boston

Oh man, what a week. After teaching last week-end, I had plans to get things finished up this week. That hasn’t happened.

We are having Spring and here is the proof- my always blooming on Patriots’ Day daffodils.

4:19:springOnce the news of the bombing in Boston was everywhere, I found it almost impossible to pry myself away from the computer. Finally by Tuesday evening I was able to settle down enough to spend some time in the studio. But all week has been about obsessively checking Twitter and all the news streams. Today has been very strange. The town where I live is not “locked down”, but most of the surrounding towns are. The streets, the sidewalks and the sky are all eerily quiet unless a really loud helicopter flies overhead. Public transportation is cancelled so no bus noise on Mass Ave. And so so much crazy news and no real news at all. I tore myself away from the computer at midday and went out to the garden and turned the compost pile- phew! It was a relief to be out in the sun and doing something physical.

So, here is the studio today.

4:19:wipYou know I got about 90% done on 3 lumberjacks (last post) and then I got distracted by the idea of making more of this model of lumberjack. I’d cut out and dyed fabric for 3 more “Big Men” tattooed lumberjacks last fall, but never cut out the rest of their necessary pieces. I did that. And sewed them up and stuffed them. And then thought I’d like to make the thinner guy as a tattooed lumberjack. I’ve got 5 mostly cut out now, 2 sewed, 1 stuffed. And one more thing- I want to cut out some big men lumberjacks, no tattoos. Yes, I have been distracted.

4:19:messPiles and piles of wool, stuffing, pattern pieces, misc. other fabric piled up over every surface. The studio is not exactly in the state that would lead my brain to calm relaxation. Oh well, that really isn’t my way.

In other news, I am going to be off for a little vacation, leaving mid next week and gone for a week. I’ll be deactivating most of my Etsy shop on Tuesday but thankfully I can still sell my patterns because Etsy has just rolled out instant downloads for pdf patterns- Hurray! If I get any of the fellows finished, I’ll post them before I leave. Otherwise it might be quiet around here for a while.

Fingers crossed that everything will be feeling back to normal soon.

another week

This was my last week in Instagram.

4:15:fishFish are being sewed and stockpiled.

4:15:faceI’m working on Lumberjacks but haven’t managed to finish up any. I keep cutting out new ideas.

4:15:3menAnd over the weekend, I taught a Tiny World Class at Gather Here. Here is setting up-

4:15:class14:15:class2Midway through the class shown above. And we finished up with 5 adorable tiny houses!

4:15:class3I’m not very good at getting in-focus photos with my phone, but much better at getting any photos at all!