6 January, 2020

2019: The year that faded away

2020-01-06T16:42:55-06:00Everything Else|3 Comments

Just before Christmas, we lost our beautiful Chester. We adopted him and his brother Leo when they were 6 months old and we got a message from a friend that there were these puppies in need of a rescue. We thought we might be nuts getting two puppies at once, but it turned out to be messy, chaotic and ridiculously affectionate fun. Chester had a cancer of the blood vessels that had spread from his abdomen to his lungs. We had no idea that anything was wrong until very early one morning when he woke us up whimpering. The emergency vet was the kindest and most gentle person who had to break the news that the tumor had ruptured, he was bleeding internally and there was nothing that we could do but say goodbye. The cancer had taken over. It was a shock and it took us a few days to be able to talk about it without sobbing. He was much loved and he will be missed. My sincere thanks to everyone who heard and reached out to us with love. The photo above is one of my favorite pictures of him ever, blissed out and panting after fetching the ball a million times.

The rest of 2019 has just faded away into a blur. I had a couple of blog posts planned out; I often write a recap post of my year and a goal for the year ahead. But instead, I just took a social media hiatus. I stepped away and de-scheduled the posts and put my Etsy shops on vacation and I just took a break. In all honesty, the idea of having to deal with a panicked last minute online customer, […]

18 December, 2019

A year of Design Challenges

2019-12-18T11:55:05-06:00Everything Else|1 Comment

Every week, Spoonflower posts a design challenge theme and asks designers to create something that is their interpretation of that theme. Themes this year have included pollinators, fitness, color-blocking, pirates and dinosaurs. In 2018, I made a goal for myself of designing something every week of the challenge. I decided to continue that in 2019, so this week was my 97th consecutive design. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I post them there every week and often talk about how the design is made and what inspired my interpretation.

I was really happy this year that I had 6 designs that placed in the top 50 in the challenge at Spoonflower! My Color Blocked Elephants was my top finisher. It came in at #17. I also had one design – Eucalyptus Blossoms – featured in the Spoonflower holiday magazine. Most of the designs are also available in my Spoonflower shop in my 2019 Design Challenges collection.

I put together this slide show so you can see all 48 designs from this year and I marked my personal top 10 for the year and the six that placed in the Spoonflower Top 50. Some of these designs I love a lot – Striped Stegosaurus, Elizabeth, Moon Landing – and there are some that I am not so happy with. But I am super proud that I finished something every week. Practice! I am hoping in 2020 that I will break into the top 10.

Which was your favorite design from 2019? I’d love to know!

28 August, 2019

Pattern Review: Sydney Bag by Swoon Sewing Patterns

2019-08-28T16:54:09-05:00Everything Else|2 Comments

This spring I flew to DC and taught a weekend of classes for two different fiber art guilds there. I had time before my talk to chat with some of the members and they showed me a project they had been working on. A group of about 8 of them had gotten together one weekend and made Sydney Bags by Swoon Patterns. It’s a pretty cool crossbody bag with lots of practical pockets, nice details and ways to use combinations of different fabrics. We talked about how it would be fun to sew in some Spoonflower fabrics since that was what I was there to talk about. When I came home, I bought and downloaded the pattern but I didn’t get a chance to sew one until now.

I decided to make mine on a whim, so I used scraps and things from my stash. The print is one of my designs called Sara. I had some scraps of eco canvas left over from another project. (That design is available in my Spoonflower shop.) The contrast is a remnant of orange velveteen I bought because I liked the color. I had some metal zippers in my stash and I lined it in a deep blue dotty cotton print. It’s bold. I will admit that. But I love it.

The pattern was superb. The ladies that I talked to from the quilt guild said it was the hardest thing that they had ever made. I don’t think it was hard in the “I don’t have the skills to do this” sense, I think it was hard in the “wow this is complex and I have to pay attention” […]

16 July, 2019

Artist vs Big Giant Company (with a happy ending)

2019-07-16T17:03:48-05:00Everything Else|1 Comment

If you follow a bunch of other artists and crafters on social media like I do, you will have seen stories about big giant companies (like Target and Anthropologie) using artists’ work without their permission. I have a friend who this happened to and it’s rotten. (I think hers had an ok resolution, but she isn’t allowed to talk about it.) My story is a little different and it starts with a video game.

You may or may not be a fan of video games. For the most part, I am not, although I love board games. Recently, a company called Niantic came out with a phone based game inspired by the Harry Potter Universe. It’s called Wizards Unite. In the game, you are a wizard helping to capture some magical creatures set loose in the real world and you find them by walking around and looking for them with your phone. If this sounds familiar, this game is based on the same platform as PokemonGo, which was all the rage just a few years ago. Like I said, I am not in to video games, but I am on board with anything Harry Potter inspired so I had to check it out. My husband and I have a fun time walking the dogs after dinner and exploring our local park for signs of magical beasts. There are lots of fire breathing chickens and baby hippogryphs there, in case you were wondering.

In the game there are “Greenhouses”, which are tied to geographic elements in the real world like a piece of public art, a neighborhood sign “Welcome to Northeast Park” or a sculpture or statue. They are spots to get a little spell energy or […]

9 July, 2019

Selling your Designs on Spoonflower at Craft Industry Alliance Journal

2019-07-09T10:25:24-05:00Everything Else|Comments Off on Selling your Designs on Spoonflower at Craft Industry Alliance Journal

I wrote an article for the Craft Industry Alliance Journal about selling your designs on Spoonflower. The Journal is usually available only to members, but they decided to make this story available to the public. Yay! Read here about how you should think about TACOS when you are creating your designs, and let me know if you have questions! I’ll do a follow up post here on the blog to answer them.

8 July, 2019

Wiksten Shift: I thought it would be cute…

2019-07-08T19:10:33-05:00Everything Else|3 Comments

I don’t have a lot of time to sew purely for myself. A lot of my business is sewing for other reasons: making items to sell or creating pieces for exhibitions. A few weekends ago, I ended up with some free time and nothing pressing on my agenda. I wandered up to Knit & Bolt, my neighborhood fabric store, and I bought a copy of the Wiksten Shift Dress pattern.

I’d been seeing this one all over Instagram and the craft blogs. It’s a super simple shape and I could have probably drafted the pattern myself, but I like to support indie pattern designers and I honestly didn’t want to think that hard. I just wanted to spend an afternoon making a simple dress.

I had a perfect piece of fabric: a blue/green woven that I had bought to make a dress for my sister’s wedding. I ended up not having enough fabric for the dress I wanted to make for that event, so I used something else and this green went in the stash. It’s a cool weave that has blue threads in the warp and green threads in the weft so it changes color a little as it moves and it is super soft.

The pattern has a yoke on the back and I thought it would be fun to use a contrasting fabric for that and I found a scrap of this print that I designed and printed at Spoonflower on some cotton sateen. The colors were perfect together.

Since this was a new-to-me pattern designer, I remeasured myself and checked their size chart and decided based on […]

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