Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Unofficial Start of Fall: Nantucket Holiday

Sankaty Lighthouse

As many as you know I usually visit the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts this time of year.  And this year is no different.  Except that we are here for two weeks and my daughter is 15 months old so it's not really a vacation.  However, it is still incredibly enjoyable to be here.  I do love coming to the island.  It is magical.  There are several historical associations on the island and they have done an excellent job at maintaining the integrity of the island.  We always go to the beaches but if it is a cloudy day it is not a loss.  You can find me on one of the many walking tours!  If you are not a walking tour type of person just submerge yourself and get lost.  Harper and I take a walk every morning.  There is inspiration everywhere!

Classic Cape Cod style houses, gardens and yards are well cared for and after Labor Day the crowds leave.  As someone said to me this morning on my walk, "It's the most beautiful time of year". 

Friday, August 22, 2014

DIY Watermelon Coasters

So if you follow me on Instagram you will know I've been working on these bad boys for awhile. Summer is busy and I have to say I actually keep making more of these instead of writing up the post.  Finally I said to myself "self just start writing". "Get something on paper". Yes call it old school, I like a pen and paper.  
There are a few things that I really like  about this project: one, the wool felt is lovely and easy to work with, two, you can really mix up the colors. Watermelons range from soft pink, not quite ripe flesh to deep sweet pink, super ripe.  Three, you can hand sew or machine sew these coasters.   Which means it can be a travel project. 
I struggled with the shape in the beginning.  My inspiration for this project came from Molly's apple coasters on and this piece of fabric that I fell in love with two summers ago:  

I wanted to do watermelon coasters because the shapes can be different and these are a whimsical coaster for a summer BBQ.  So I've experimented with a few shapes, colors, threads and techniques.  You choose what you want to do. See what you like best.  So choose your design and your color palette.  Once you choose your palette you will need 1 piece of felt per color.
My palette: the greens are lime, kelly, olive
pinks: baby pink, bright pink, pink, fuschia
white: ecru, white

1 18" square felt per color
hand sewing needle- I used an embroidery needle between sizes 5 and 10
dmç cotton perle 8 -  greens #700 and #906 (lime green),  ecru, deep pink #718, bubble gum pink #603, baby pink #818
For the seeds: I used DMC embroidery floss in black #310, it's a 6 ply but I only used 3 ply.
fabric scissors
pinking shears
1.  Your design is chosen; half circle, full circle, cut slice.  Cut out your pieces of felt. 
The following directions are for circle and half circle. I used the bottom of a large jar that had a 5" diameter.  This was for my green piece and the largest size, from here I sized down about 1/2" for the white then the pink.   If you have Adobe Illustrator or a compass, you can make your circles quite easily.   I created a template in Illustrator.

I played around with the design of it.  In the top photo you will see I experimented with strips of pinks to add some dimension.  I also experimented with shades of green thread to  add watermelon skin texture.  I ultimately settled on the circle and half circle, 3 layers and keeping the flesh a solid piece of pink felt.

2. Sew the seeds. Place one piece of pink felt on top of white felt and using the black thread, either 3 ply of DMC floss or the perle DMC  do a simple running stitch starting at the back side (the white).  With a disappearing tracing pen I drew little v's to follow as a shape for the seeds.  You can also machine stitch the seeds.

 For the machine stitch I used a zig zig in black or chocolate brown on top.  Remember to sew the seeds before putting the last layer, green, on. This way you won't see the underside of the seeds.

3.Lay the pink and white section on the green.  Do you want a really ripe melon? Then choose your dark green.  Pin the layers together and if you want to make a bite into the piece of melon now is the time to bring out the pinking shears.  

Hand sew pink edges with your choice of pink Perle thread and then do the same with the white.  You can sew a green Perle thread around the edges, this would just be a topstitch. 

Time to have a watermelon cocktail!

PS these are machine washable cold, but please line dry.
And be sure to check out my post on etsyny website on cacti color palettes for the fall!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Time for a Picnic!

I would like to introduce my new product, yarndyed and quilted picnic blankets! With beautiful summer weather, what is better than enjoying the sunset and having a lovely meal maybe a glass of wine or two in the park or at the beach.

This summer is my return to Celebrate Brooklyn! a summer long music and movie festival in Prospect Park.  I am one of the 17 people selling in the EtsyNY booth.
There are two different styles.  One is quilted with a cotton canvas or poly canvas bottom.  The canvas is water resistant so if the ground is damp your bums will stay dry.  These are also quilted with a light batting and pieced on top with some fun summer prints or limited edition of Charley Harper organic prints by Birch Organics.

The other style is called the Flattie.  This is a basic picnic blanket made with yarn dyed cotton so it is vibrant in color, strong weave and softens with each wash.  These have a pocket so you can hide your phone or wallet or tuck your shoes in there and keep the blanket from blowing up in the wind.

Serano Deluxe with Anchor
yarndyed stripe flatties or solid organic ice blue

These are easy to carry or pack in a bag or under a stroller.  A problem I am now familiar with.  I made these yarndyed throws to be compact and fit in the diaper bag or under your stroller. 
The size is approximately 45" x 55" perfect for a family of 3. 
 You can pick one of these up at Celebrate Brooklyn shows in Prospect Park and later this week they will be listed in my etsy shop!
Hope you are having a great summer!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hot Summer Hues

Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink

         I've been thinking about the colors peach, neon peach and coral shades. It's definitely the new neon pink. The past few years, summers especially neon and hot pink is the color for men, women, kids, interior design and crafts.

Naturally we would tire of all the pink.  The other morning while waiting an exceptionally long time for the subway I noticed how many people, mostly women, were wearing shades of peach and coral and not pink.

I myself have been designing with more coral and peach color shades. Ive been working on picnic blankets like a crazy woman.  I've hired a sewist to help me ramp up production because the blankets keep selling out this summer.  Such a great feeling!

I've also started working on a new knit blanket for Harper.

 My co-worker Derya helped me choose the shiny matte shiny palette.
This is what we are calling it because of the matte organic yarn alternating with the shiny Pima cotton.
And what a pleasant surprise at work this past Sunday when I saw the new color of Madeline Tosh yarn, neon peach
neon peach from Madeline Tosh

 oh my! I can't wait to work on this. I've already started designing a new winter scarf.  ahh these yarns are amazing! london tierney
Take a look around and drink in all the peach hues this summer!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May Giveaway

We are almost thru May and barbecue season is beginning.  I can hardly believe it! I have been prepping my back yard every free minute.  Planting new flowers, veggies and herbs.  And I just cut the grass today, yes we have a small area of grass and I own a push mower.  I have never really used a push mower.  It's not that bad.  Quite easy and I find it enjoyable.  Relaxing.  The other day we started up the grill just to give it a little test run.  This Saturday will be our first barbecue and Harper's First birthday and I don't want to run out of gas.  Or the grill run out of gas.  Do you grill? Do you wear a grilling apron? One of those that have some sort of funny sayings?  Well in May one of my aprons is part of a give away on the Etsy New York blog.  Just click here to see the whole post.

Butcher Style apron with Liberty of London pockets

And while you are cooking, keep your hair pulled back with this bandanna.
Made of Liberty of London Tana Lawn and finished with bright neon pink stitching.

Basically all you need to do is visit my facebook page and like it.  Then in the comments write #maygiveaway.  You have two more days, the raffle closes on May 23.  And if you love free things you should check out the Etsy New York blog often because every month there will be a give away! How sweet is that!

Good luck!