Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring Studio

On a recent trip to Monterey (California) I stopped to do a little shopping before heading home.  One of my stops was the local Michael’s craft store, we don’t have one in Hollister, I always stop and shop if I have the time.  While walking the isles my Husband and I came upon the silk floral display, the beautiful spring and summer flowers were showing all their bright pretty colors.  I could not resist picking up some new silks to brighten up my black & white studio.  I know, I know….most interior designers hate silk (fake) flowers and plants but I happen to love them, at least the ones which are made well and actually look real.

The silk flowers I chose for my studio are super fun with polka dots all over them, they don’t look real and I did not want them too, they were chosen strictly for their fun factor and cuteness.  A touch of spring has sprung in my studio giving it a pop of color and a bit of a lift on those still cloudy days, at least until the sun can shine everyday, all day long and I can add live spring flowers into the mix.

I did pick out some truly beautiful silk hydrangeas for new spring arrangements for my Mother’s grave site, I should have those finished and delivered in time for Easter. Of coarse real flowers are always better on display, but sometimes, due to weather, location or time, silk flowers and plants are just right for any occasion.

Consider adding a splash of spring color to your own creative spaces and home d├ęcor by incorporating some pretty silks; brighten things up while you wait for the real spring flowers and plants to arrive.

Thanks for letting me share a splash of spring with you.  See you soon.

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also like:

Fall Floral Arrangements
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Splash of Spring Give-Away

Hello everyone, I am sorry I have been away for so long from my blog posting, I have been helping our very dear friends with a really difficult move.  I was far away from my computer everyday and too tired at night to sit and write anything you would want to spend your time reading.  I am finally back in the office so here is a new post for you to read which should actually make some sense, I hope.

As promised I am having a special give-away contest with an early spring theme.  The contest goes like this; I am looking for ideas to help me figure out what to create out of the Vintage Notions fabric I recently won on a blog give-away.  I will be giving away two gifts, one for those of you who would like to sew/craft with fabric and a second gift for those of you who do not.

This is the fabric I won, there are 18 fat quarters and one panel; I want to make as many different items as I can from them.  All ideas will be considered, I will choose two from the comments section to win a fabric stack or the cute spring journal, notepad, pen and nail file set.  You don’t have to sew to win something.

Prize #1 is this spring fat quart set of 8 mid tone fabrics.

Prize #2 is a cute spring bird set containing a journal, note pad, pen and a jewel studded nail file. 

I am really looking forward to your suggestions as to what to make with my new fabrics; they are sitting on my cutting table waiting to be turned into some fantastic creative projects.

Here are the rules:
One entry per person
You must specify which gift you would like to win
You must have a mailing address within the USA to win.  
Deadline for comment entries is midnight, west coast time, March 9, 2012.
Please leave your first name and the first initial of your last name with your comment so I can contact you when you win. (It will be posted on my blog so you can contact me with your shipping address.)  Sorry about all the rules, a necessary evil.

Thanks for hanging in there with me while I was away from my studio and office.  See you soon.  Laurette

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also like:

I Won! I Won!
Vintage Notions

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Vintage Notions

The new fabric line by Amy Barickman, The Dressmaking Collection, produced by Red Rooster Fabrics and the book, Vintage Notions, also written by Amy, has finally arrived.  I won the fabrics and book from a contest sponsored on the blog of Betz White.  I was so excited to receive them; it was like Christmas morning as I opened my box of fabrics and my new book.  Everything came wrapped in tissue pattern pieces, how cool is that, perfect for any dressmaker.  As my eyes feasted on all the wonderful vintage inspired fabrics my mind began to spin with all the fun projects I could create with my new fabrics.  The biggest problem will be figuring out what to make first and if I will have enough fabric to make everything I want to make, so many projects and so little time, what’s a girl to do.  I can assure you every last scrap will be used with nothing going to waste, let the fun begin.

So many fun prints and patterns to work with, 18 fat quarters and one really beautiful coordinating panel, something you rarely see, the entire fabric line all in one quilt shop or in one on-line store.  I am very blessed to have then all.

Some of the possible projects for these wonderful fabrics are a quilted purse, an apron, pillows, zip cases, needle cases, book covers, e-reader covers, wall hanging or lap quilt….hmm what else?  If you have any ideas I did not mention please use the comment section to leave your suggestion and if I pick your idea and make it, you will get a special gift from me.  The gift will be announced in the next posting along with the deadline for submitting your suggestions. Here is a hint, think spring time.   I will be working on the Vintage Notions projects throughout the spring and summer months with supporting blog posts so you can track everything I create as I go along. 
**Due to the difficulties of shipping I can only ship inside the USA at this time.

The Vintage Notions book, An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun, is such a lovely book, I can’t wait to read every page, not to mention creating some of the retro inspired projects and recipes. Thanks to my new book and fabrics I won’t run out of inspiration through the coming months and into the fall.  Of coarse there are still all those unfinished projects from last year and the already planned ones for this year.  I believe I am going to be a very busy lady indeed.

*On a very special personal note;  I just found out today there is going to be a new grand baby this coming fall.  My son and his wife are expecting their first child.  I am thrilled, lots of special gifts to make for my new grandchild, I can't wait, the new baby will make it three very special grandchildren, I am beyond blessed.

Thank you for letting me share my newest book, fabrics and my special news with you, watch for the give-away details in my next post.  See you soon.  Laurette

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also enjoy reading:

I won! I Won!
Colorful Fabric Zip Bags
Quilted Valentine Table Runner

Monday, February 13, 2012

Be My Valentine

Today’s creative moment happened when my granddaughter came to my house to make some Valentine pinwheels, elephant Valentine’s Day cards and a heart picture frame.  It was lots of fun, especially when we got her Mama and Grandpa to make them right along with us; we had a great time, lots of love going on in my house.

When we finished our projects, my granddaughter and I, set the table for a special Valentine’s Day dinner using the new quilted table runner I made, it was recently featured in one of my posts.  I let her set the table all by herself; she did a really good job, a future interior decorator.  We set the table a couple of different ways but ended up resetting it the way she originally had it, she has a very good eye for color and style and she is only five.  I am a very proud Grandma.

My daughter and granddaughter made this pretty little heart window decoration for their home. Very cute.

With the table set and all the projects finished I can see the love in everything we created and it finally feels like Valentine’s Day is about to arrive.  I hope all of you are experiencing that kind of creativity and love and I wish each of you a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

Thanks for letting me share our lovely creative projects with you.  See you soon.  Laurette

If you enjoyed reading this post you may also like:

Quilted Valentine Table Runner

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Inspired Organization

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis are probably wondering why I haven’t written a post all week.  I was asking myself that and the answer I came up with was; I haven’t been creative in almost two weeks.  I have been busy with a lot of non creative “things” leaving me pretty flat in the creative department, not to mention having blogger’s block, also known as writer’s block, not a good thing for someone who writes a creative blog.  Ah oh!

So…. In the spirit of being officially uninspired I decided to share some inspiration from one of my regular readers, June, who became inspired by my studio organization posts.  June lives in Kansas and has a rather large studio where she quilts and makes crafts with her grandchildren.  The posts I wrote about sprucing up my studio and re-organizing my fabrics and supplies had her looking around her studio to see what she could do to make things work better for her own work/play spaces.  Here are a few of the photos she shared with me; this is only a small part of what she did.

She told me she sorted through all her fabrics, notions, tools and supplies putting them into clear stacking drawers and boxes then giving everything a label (you know how I love those).  She hung her notions and tools so she could easily see what she had to work with.  Extra fabrics and supplies were removed and set aside for donation.  Projects, fabrics and crafty materials are now ready to use and easy to find. I am so proud of her that was a lot of work.

June was also frustrated with the lack of a good inspiration/design wall, she was stumped as to how to get one she could leave up and not have to take down all the time; until she saw what I did with my closet doors/walls.  Inspiration struck, she got the idea to make her design boards movable by hanging a rod over her cabinet doors and using clip on rings so she could hang a really large quilt or her small design boards.  Now she can either slide the project over or unclasp it when she needs to get into her fabric cupboards.  A very smart way to create space when you don’t have enough walls for inspiration boards or a design wall for laying out quilting blocks.  June thank you so much for sharing your studio spruce up with me and helping me to break my blogger’s block.

Thanks for letting me share today’s inspiration with you. Look for something creative from me in a few days, I don’t know what it will be, maybe something fun to wear.  See you soon.  Laurette

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also like:

Studio Inspiration Boards
Studio Supply Storage
Fabric Organization
The Organization Bug
Control That Clutter Parts 1, 2 &3

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Studio Inspiration Boards

As part of the 2012 studio re-organization I freshened up just about every area of my studio with the exception of my inspiration boards.  They had been sitting with the same ideas, pictures and articles on them for several years, time to shake things up.  Many of you have your inspiration boards on your walls on cork or fabric boards etc... , mine; however are hanging on giant closet doors which take up one entire wall of my studio.  There wasn't another space for them because the other big wall is taken up with three large windows leaving me only two shorter walls for my fabric and my sewing/design counters.  I basically hung my boards up there during the move to keep everything on them from getting trashed or lost; they have been bugging me for over a year and now was the time to change things up.  I thought about it for quite some time before coming to the conclusion I could just continue to treat the doors as walls and hang whatever I wanted on them as long as I used those handy little Command Strips for hanging everything up, this way the doors would not be harmed and I could easily move things around.  I am very pleased with my new inspiration walls/doors and when I get tired of them I can change them anytime I want.  Here’s what I did.

Kind of a cluttered mess with no rhyme or reason to them, the doors go floor to ceiling, there are three of them, which cover over 11 feet of closet space, I am one lucky girl to have such a huge closet for all my crafts.

These doors are not very impressive empty; they just become one big long expanse of blank space.  No way was I going to waste so much real estate in a room with only two usable walls.

I love the way the black and white looks on the white doors.  The beautiful pictures of the classic couture garments are all framed in matching black frames and placed around a long black framed mirror.  The pictures were from my last two studios and it was killing me not to be able to use them in this studio, problem solved.  On the second door I hung cork boards covered in black and white Fleur-de-lis fabrics, used elsewhere in my studio, pulling those prints over to the doors.  The entire studio is done in an icy blue for the walls and all the accents are black and white with touches of hot pink for a pop of color.  Can you say Black & White Bling!

The fabric covered boards make a nice backdrop for all my new inspirational pieces, which brings some extra pops of color into the room.  One of the boards on the left is a dry erase board and the other is magnetic, perfect for all those little reminders I might need to post.

I left the third door plain white so I could use it between the other two doors when I need a design/photo wall.  The white door gives my eyes a rest when I need to design a quilt or use it as a clean backdrop for taking photos.  I have a fleece covered board I can attach to the white door, with more of those Command Strips, when it is time to create patterns or quilt layouts; I have the best of all worlds this way.  Now my studio is organized and complete, ready to work in on a daily basis, no more clutter or confusion, I am one very happy seamstress/crafter/quilter.

Thanks for letting me share my Studio Inspiration Boards with you; I hope you enjoyed reading about the last of my studio spruce ups.  Look for more creative projects in my next posts.  See you soon.  Laurette

If you enjoyed reading this post you might also like:

The Organization Bug
Fabric Organization
Studio Supply – Storage
A Bit of Bling
Black & White Bling
Contain That Clutter Parts 1, 2 & 3

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Colorful Fabric Zip Bags

At the beginning of the New Year one of the goals I set for myself was to start working on all those unfinished and planned projects from 2011.  I am happy to say I have begun the process, slowly, but I did make a good start towards whittling down those piles of fabric and notions.  I spent a fun day, last Thursday, working in my studio making some really colorful zip cases, from the Atkinson Designs pattern line, Cash and Carry. Those little zippered cases can be used for eyeglasses, sun glasses, pens, makeup or all the little loose odds and ends.  I put my reading glasses in the first one I made, the quilted case keeps them from getting broken, scratched or lost in the dark bottom of my purse.  I completed three of the bright little bags in the morning and made the Valentine Table Runner in the afternoon.  One unfinished project and one new one, things are moving along right on schedule.  Next up will be more of the zippered bags, all gifts for my favorite gals.

This stack of fabric was set aside last year to make the zippered cases, they were buried in a box at the bottom of the pile and they were found during the great fabric reorganization at the beginning of the month.

Pretty fabrics all cut and ready to sew, I just love the colorful prints and solids together.

These are just so cute; I can’t wait to make more of them.  Next on the list are some animal prints, lots of black and white, and several other fun patterns.

Once the zippered cases are done I am not sure which unfinished project will get worked on, there are so many to choose from. Maybe it will be the restyling of an old garment which has been sitting in my studio for months waiting to be upcycled into something special to wear, or maybe it will a new project yet to be decided?  You will just have to keep reading to find out what comes next from my colorful, creative studio.

Thanks for letting me share these fun, colorful, zippered bags with you.  Look for more bright projects in my upcoming posts.  See you soon.  Laurette

If you enjoyed reading this post you may also like reading:

Quilted Valentine Table Runner
Working with Fabric
Butterfly Mobile
Lampshade Tutorial

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