Washed Ashore - Art to save the sea

During my recent visit to Chicago I enjoyed seeing the The Washed Ashore Traveling Exhibit at The Shedd Aquarium. These pieces of art were all made from plastic with extensive bite marks from fish, crabs, birds etc. that washed ashore.

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Marine animals often mistake plastic for food which can be deadly. Every piece of trash picked up and properly disposed of is a piece that will not cause harm to local environments & animals. Visit Washed Ashore.org for more show info

Marine animals often mistake plastic for food which can be deadly. Every piece of trash picked up and properly disposed of is a piece that will not cause harm to local environments & animals. Visit Washed Ashore.org for more show info

Inspiration is everywhere

I'm often asked where I get my ideas, the answer is everywhere. I'm not an artist known for doing one particular thing like flowers or birds etc, I go with whatever moves me in the moment. When I was nearing the end of my quilt project I needed an idea for a few more blocks, I had done all sorts of sentimental blocks, done some of my favorite things but I needed a few more, what to do.... I went to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx to see the Chihuly exhibit, (hurry if you haven't seen it - ends Oct 29th) thinking it would inspire me. Well I loved the exhibit but it was the water lilies that got my attention, I always admire them when I visit the gardens but this particular day I knew they were what I wanted for my last blocks!

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I took lots of photos and as soon as I got home I started sketching & cutting blocks, 3 in all!

I took lots of photos and as soon as I got home I started sketching & cutting blocks, 3 in all!

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I loved the idea of the doing one in reverse and was really pleased with the outcome.

I loved the idea of the doing one in reverse and was really pleased with the outcome.

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As you can see when I like something I'll use it in more than one way! Different colors, adding stitching, so many possibilities!

As you can see when I like something I'll use it in more than one way! Different colors, adding stitching, so many possibilities!

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This ribbon entrance to the kids garden is one of my favorite things, I'd love to do this in my garden!

This ribbon entrance to the kids garden is one of my favorite things, I'd love to do this in my garden!

Spoiler Alert! The following are photos of the Chihuly Exhibition. If your not in the area have a look if you are in the NY area go see the exhibit it's wonderful! Enjoy!

Spoiler Alert! The following are photos of the Chihuly Exhibition. If your not in the area have a look if you are in the NY area go see the exhibit it's wonderful! Enjoy!

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DIY Mesh Hanging Display

For a show I had this past weekend I needed a way to show my embroidery hoop art & banners so I quickly & easily put together 2 hanging displays made from things I had around the house. I had 6' of plastic mesh left over from another project (cut it in half to have 2 -3' pieces). I cut down 2 - 2X4's to 36" (the width of the mesh) and then cut them to in half lengthwise using a table saw, so I then had 4 pieces roughly 2X2X36. Next I stapled the top of the mesh to one piece of wood & did the same on the bottom, repeat for the 2nd hanger. I drilled a little starter holes & attached 2 eye hooks on each hanger & voila done! 

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I LOVE how they turned out, so easy & they worked perfectly for what I needed. I hung them on the back wall of my tent so they visually drew people into my booth.

I LOVE how they turned out, so easy & they worked perfectly for what I needed. I hung them on the back wall of my tent so they visually drew people into my booth.

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They roll up so easy to transport & easy to store!

They roll up so easy to transport & easy to store!

If you wait till your ready.....

If you wait till "your ready" or "everything is perfect" or "the timing is right" you'll never make a change. A few years ago my very smart & talented son made me a website, I loved what he did & it linked to my instagram & blog and Etsy. The only downside was he had to manage it since I don't write code, if I wanted to update show listings or add a photo I had to ask him. Im way too independent for that so this year I decided to make a change so I've switched over to squarespace where I can do everything myself. Full disclosure - my son has helped me navigate the process a lot, I'm not a button pusher by nature, fear of messing up is more my nature! So today I will open my new website which is not perfect (yet) and many of my products are not yet listed in my shop but if I wait till its perfect I'll never go live! 

So much for a weekly Blog update

t's been a very busy month preparing for the
BUST HOLIDAY CRAFTACULAR
 on Dec. 6&7 this year in Greenpoint Brooklyn!
 425 Zippers have arrived
 Printed a batch of my holiday tea towels
 Sketched Monster Dolls, hopefully next update I will have actual samples to show

 Lots of designing going on, this is a card holder inside & out



And lots of new fabrics being printed

One step forward...one step back...or is it the other way around?!

My sewing machine is one of my most treasured possessions as it was the first "major" purchase I made when I started working...you can guess by the photo how long ago that was! It has served me well for 40+ years but I had such a hard time making the 2 samples above that I had to bring it into the shop. He pretty much told me to put the money towards a new machine with metal gears... so now I have a new machine with metal gears & I also spent the money & repaired old faithful...we've been thru too much for me to toss it now!

 

 I had several "OH NO" moments this weekend...After a productive day in the printshop I banged one screen into another & poked a hole in it....ARGH!


When reclaiming a screen the power washer sprayed back on me so I took my glasses off & put them in my apron pocket....when I put them back on they were bent out of shape, they wouldn't even stay on my head, this is the best I could fix them without completely snapping them..."OH NO"! Guess I'll be getting new glasses this week.

Busy Busy Busy!!!!

I've been very very  busy...screen making, printing, sample sewing, logo tweaking, website designing... oh & I ran a 20 mile ultra marathon!
My website is up so go ahead & check it out. A special thanks to Joe Molinari who created it.
Since I've been so busy I'll be posting to my facebook page daily & I'll update my blog weekly.

IPAD mini case made with my original hand screen printed fabric,
 foam to protect your device, a two way zipper & a soft furry lining

I got some very good input from some very talented friends as to the readability of my logo,
it was great advice, so thank you Gina & Scot!

Made my first samples of my holiday tea towels & I love them!



Little by Little....



Little by little a little becomes a lot! This is my mantra, my way of life, maybe the best advise I've passed on to my kids. The big picture can be so overwhelming sometimes but if you consistently do a little bit at a time, put one foot in front of the other and just keep moving forward you can accomplish a lot!
2 color screen print created using china marker on acetate

A Tedious Task



Label printing takes time, a lot of time, aligning the labels for printing, then letting go of perfection, not to mention heat setting them all. A tedious task for sure but so worth it in the end!

My totally awesome TOTE...if I do say so myself

This is my go to tote. There are so many things I like about it; I made it from a linen cotton blend so it's light weight but strong, it can be folded up & kept in my purse so I always have a tote when I need one, it has long handles so I can throw it over my shoulder keeping my hands free, it holds a lot & mostly it looks good doing it! Here's a sneak peek at one of the prints I'll be making it in for the upcoming holiday shows.

I Wish I had a Wishing Tree





 This past weekend in order to avoid a block party I took a drive to Stockbridge Ma. I happened upon the Berkshire Botanical Gardens which are beautiful & I came away with a ton of photos & a very long "wish" list for my garden. In the children's garden was something I had never seen or heard of; a "wishing tree", it stopped me in my tracks. I absolutely loved it. It was magical. The wishes ranged from silly to serious. I added several myself, I hope they all come true especially the one about wishing I had a wishing tree!

Galvanized Garbage Can Planter


Lots of new things in my garden this year & this would be one of my favorites. I was inspired by where else - Pinterest, you know how it goes one link leads to another & I came upon the blog  ilovethatjunk which featured a vintage garbage can planter & the minute I saw it I knew I had to make one. I didn't have acess to a dented old can which I would have loved so I went to Home Depot & bought a new one.
1. I drilled several holes in the bottom of the can for drainage. 2. Cut a circle of filter fabric & put that on the inside of the can. 3. I filled about half the can with empty water bottles to take up room & keep the planter from getting really heavy. 4. Because my yard is hilly I used a level before adding the soil - I used Miracle Grow Container Mix. 5. Add Plants, I used Elephant Ears, Calladiums, Colieus, & several different Sweet Potato Vines.
I love how it turned out!

Project Linus



Another Project finally done. Years ago I made enough squares for a queen size bed, put them in a large plastic container to put together another day & the years started rolling by...as usual. In Janurary I decided this is my year to finish up some of these projects & the squares were on the top of the list. I also decided I didn't need another huge afghan so I divided the squares up & made 3 smaller blankets to donate to Project Linus, a non-profit organization that provides home made blankets & quilts to children in need. Click here if you'd like more info Project Linus/http://www.projectlinus.org/

This Little Piggy Went to......


 I cut the shape out of 1/4" plywood using my scroll saw, sanded it,
painted a couple of coats of chalkboard paint, covered it in chalk
& then erased & it was ready for hanging. I used the Commad Velcro to hang it,
& for the finishing touch I tied bakers string to his tail to hold the chalk.
LOVE how it turned out!

Re-purposed Planter

I've wanted to make a tire planter for the longest time & I decided this was the year.
Before doing a big tire I decided to try out an old wheelbarrow tire I had.
 I marked the zigzags with chalk & cut. Now Ive read some people say that tires cut easy, this was not my experience, I got a huge blister on my hand & my arms were sore for days!
Turning the tire inside out was no easy task either. I've learned a lot depends on the individual tire.
This tire had a rim making it a perfect fit for an old birdbath base I had hanging around.
A can of black spray paint & its perfect!

Zucchini Pie X2

I hate to cook...except if its something from my garden.
As soon as I spotted the zucchini yesterday I knew what was for dinner!
Zucchini Pie!
Callan was coming to visit so I made an extra one for her to
take home to share with her roommates.
Here is the recipe I use with the exception I use only about 1tbs parsley flakes
& I use a pie dish instead of a quiche pan.
It is absolutely delicious!
Click here for recipe