Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brush roll

After seeing the pencil roll I made for my niece, a friend asked me to make her a brush roll, hoping it would motivate her to get back into painting. 

She looked through my fabrics and picked one she liked but I didn't have quite enough to do what she wanted, so I found one in the same line with a matching heavy cotton.  She sent me some specs from similar rolls she found online, and I created my own pattern.

 I wanted the layers to be nice and thick to absorb any water from wet brushes.

 The damask and stripe fabric is more intricate than I would usually be drawn to, but now that it's finished, I actually love how it looks.  As I started, I wasn't sure how I was going to finish the edges, but when I found a package of olive binding in my stash, I knew it was just the pop of color needed.

I added a length of rope under the binding and here it is all wrapped up!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pencil Roll

I've had about a millions ideas for Christmas presents I'm going to make this year, but since my computer was out of commission for a few weeks, I haven't been able to post what I've been working on.  Well I'm back in business, so here is the first of a few projects I hope to feature in the coming weeks: a colored pencil roll for my niece, Sydney.

An artistic nine year old, Sydney loves to draw and I thought this would be a fantastic way for her keep her creative juices flowing on the go.

This features some of my favorite fabrics of late and rolls up into a nifty little package.

Coordinating zigzags on the inside allowed easy sewing of the pencil slots.

Rainbow fun!  The eraser and pencil sharpener were my own additions to some other fantastic tutorials I've seen around the web.

I also whipped up a fabric covered sketchbook to complete the set.  Great for my little artist-on-the-go niece!

Friday, October 1, 2010

just in time for goodbye

We've enjoyed the very close company of my brother-in-law, Kevin, his wife, Crystal, and my nephew, Finn, here in Cambridge for years.  But we knew our luck couldn't hold out forever and I'm devastated to say that in a few days they're moving on to - if not greener, then certainly more sparkly - pastures in Las Vegas.

Tonight we're throwing a goodbye dinner with some of their closest friends and I just finished up a project for the baby they're expecting in November to give to them this evening.  I'm pretty excited to present it to Crystal et al as it's probably the biggest hand-made gift I've ever made.  The little one should have a great time playing on this blanket until he's big enough to use it on his toddler bed:

The primary fabrics are technically germs, but I've broadened that out to a larger alien/space motif (inner space... outer space... it's all connected, right?).  Design-wise the gigantic log cabin couldn't have been easier, but I loved the fabric so much I wanted to keep it in large pieces. I think Crystal will love the colors and I'm not totally horrified at my first attempt at free-motion quilting, so I'm pretty pleased overall.

I think quilts will be rare projects for me since I enjoy piecing, but I really, really don't like quilting.  My husband had to clear the room of little ones because of the horrific stream of vitriol coming from my mouth as I tried to man-handle these gigantic pieces of fabric through my machine.  Uh-oh, kids, mommy is quilting.  Let's go to the playground...

But it's done and I'm happy. 

Now I just have to find a way to get along without Kevin, Crystal, and the boys in town.  If I thought quilting was hard, I can't imagine how difficult that will be.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

cute is as cute does

Not all of my designs find their way to my shop.  I edit a ton and my shelves have a growing stack of "not for public consumption" discards.  If I don't love something I've made enough to sell, that doesn't keep me from giving it away.  In this case, my baby girl reaps the rewards (or the cast-offs, as it may be).

Lila is modeling a cute little pumpkin onesie I whipped up in 30 minutes the other night.  It's a little too "home crafty" for my shop, if you know what I mean.  (Do I know what I mean?)  But seeing it on such a sweet little pumpkin herself, I kind of love it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

anyone's peach cobbler

I went a little crazy at the market last week and bought way more peaches than we could eat.  By this morning most of them had gotten over-ripe, so I decided to use them in a lovely cobbler.  My mom's recipe (and I assume, her mother's before) calls for a pre-made pie crust, but since I didn't have one on hand I went to my Joy of Cooking book and made their Flaky Pastry Dough.  I have never found a more reliable cook book than this.  I experiment a lot, but if I want to know exactly how to make a scone, tamale pie, or roux the way it was intended, I go to that book. The following recipe is kind of opposite that precision, but not without it's own brand of charm.

The first time I used my mom's recipe I couldn't believe she could really call it a recipe at all.  It's like reading a map, but the legend is gone and a quarter of the page is missing.  My slight frustration the first time around has actually turned into delight as I've used it again.  I realized this is exactly the way I would write a recipe.  I've made it my own (you kind of have to), so I feel confident to call this:

Grandma, Mom, and Summer's Cobbler

Peel and slice 4 cups of peaches
I left my 6 peaches unpeeled, cut them up and that looked about right.  You'll see measuring isn't a big thing in my family.

Mix with 1 cup sugar and cinnamon
The Anderson ladies have a notorious sweet tooth, so I toned the sugar down to 1/2 cup.  I did 4 or 5 dashes of cinnamon.

Press 2 pie crusts together and lay in 9 x 13" pan
Since I made the pie crust, I just rolled it out into one large piece

Fill with peaches and fold crust over
Bake 425 degrees until browned
This is the thing I love about this recipe.  I'm sure it's just how my grandma thought of it; she knew how long a cobbler took (one load of laundry long, or the time it takes to write three letters), and didn't feel the need to put that in minutes.  "Until browned" turned out to be checking at 30, 40, and 45 minutes for me.

Pour on simple syrup made from equal parts sugar and water simmered
How much sugar and water?  Simmered how long?  I simmered 1 cup of each for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.  I used about half of that.

Baste with syrup and continue to bake until glazed.
About 10 more minutes for me.

And voila!  One gorgeous peach cobbler.  If you're brave enough, make it your own too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

my first sale!

Shortly after opening up my shop two days ago, I was selected to be in the "Pumpkin and Spice and Everything Nice" Treasury.  What a nice way to launch!  This morning the notebook that was featured sold, so I'm off and running. 

I'm very excited about a new line of skull onsies and bibs, so keep your eyes open for that.  In the mean time, I'm just basking in the love!

visit my shop at:

Friday, September 10, 2010

coming soon...

Just about ready to open my doors at Etsy, and I'm thrilled!  I've been a busy bee making sure I have a good supply of stock ready to go. I'm having a blast designing new products and a cute little freebie to go with all purchases.  Here's a sample of one of my bib sets.  Aren't they adorable?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

back to work

Back from a lovely vacation in Mexico and I'm excited to get back to work.  First up, I needed an ironing table.  (The top of my sewing table covered with a towel just was not cutting it anymore.)  I recovered an old card table with batting and fabric and now I have a lovely new addition to my workspace.

Even more exciting, my fabric labels came in!  Can't wait to make something that has my logo permanently attached.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'll have a little bit of everything

A fresh start.  I've been working on refining and defining my style all summer.  Here are some things I've been exploring:




Punk Rock



I'm getting closer to a style that is all my own.