Category Archives: I Made This

Ballons_prop

This week, I have been busy behind-the-scenes making a video for Handmade Hostess. I always see these cool book trailers on the web, and I thought “why not try to make one myself?

If this sounds fancy, then you are not picturing it accurately at all. There is no budget. No crew. No high-end equipment. No studio loft. This is me with my $99 flip cam and a tripod in my living room. (My sister really lucked out that I moved so far away and can’t rope her into helping.)

I thought I was doing really well on Wednesday until I realized that I had filmed everything sideways. Lucky for me, I had no plans on Thursday so I could just film it all again — not sideways.

This weekend, my husband is going to help with a few of the shots I couldn’t quite get myself. He took a look at what I’d shot so far and said it was “pretty good” which is really the highest form of praise I could get from him. (But I don’t want to oversell it. It’s possible he just felt bad for me because of the sideways footage incident.)

video_shoot

Here are a few things I learned this week:

  • Not having furnished or decorated the living room is very helpful when you want to make a video.
  • The camera adds 10 (20?) pounds. (Also: if you put on a dress and can’t zip up the back, no one will know if you don’t turn around.)
  • If you’re going to put a cupcake in the refrigerator that no one can eat because it’s a video prop, you better have some other type of dessert on hand.
  • Wearing your Christmas dress, socks, and slippers in March will look strange to your neighbors.
  • However long you think it will take to make a video, just go ahead and multiply that by 3.

Seriously though? I’m having so much fun. I can’t wait for you to see it!

Fabric Line News

Wild_Abandon_a-01

To my fabric-loving friends:

After waiting a long time, I finally have some news to share. My new fabric line, Wild Abandon, is not going to be printed.

I know some of you have seen glimpses of it over at the Andover Fabrics website (or maybe even in person from your sales rep). The decision to drop the line came from Andover for business reasons.

Wild-Abandon-Cover

Chevrons_a-01

I wanted to share a few thoughts since some of you have asked me for advice over the years about the fabric design business.

First, I am proud of the artwork. I really pushed myself and created something I consider beautiful. Sometimes, that’s the win.

WildAbandon4

A year or two ago, I would have been absolutely heartbroken. Now, I feel that this is confirmation that I am moving onto a different path.

The work of an artist — or in this case, a fabric designer — is to keep going back to the drawing board and to create new artwork. You must really love THAT part of it — the sitting at the blank page and starting again. It must be enough to keep you going when your work is rejected, unpopular, or needs revision. (And, believe me, I’ve had plenty of all three as all artists do. This is not the first line that has ended up on the cutting room floor.)

WildAbandon3

The other aspects of designing fabric — the booths at trade shows, the occasional press, the sewing samples, the teaching, the moment when you first touch your fabric — are all great. In fact, any of them might get you excited enough to try. But, at its core, fabric design comes down to the design itself. You need persistence, vision, and the desire to practice at it continually.

At this moment, I am being called to a different practice: writing. As I mentioned in this post, I recently completed my first novel. I don’t consider this giving up. but giving in to another calling — one that, in all respects, I feel much better suited to.

North-Star-Afterglow-01

WildAbandon2

This will still be a creative space, and I’m excited to see how it evolves.

On a related note, I wanted to point out something some of you have probably already noticed. I recently made the decision to close comments. I want to let you know up front that I still respond to nearly every email and Facebook message I get and try to help people with their sewing and pattern-related questions. I consider you all my friends and will continue to support you in any way I can.

As bigger bloggers like Grace from Design*Sponge have noted, comments on blogs really took a nose dive last year. At this point, I’m getting an odd mixture of spam and the occasional troll! However, the thing that pushed me to this decision is that I don’t want to seem like I’m constantly asking for pats on the back. I am hopeful that we can have a better, more two-sided conversation over Facebook, Twitter, or on e-mail.

Thank you to everyone who has cheered me on in this journey. I feel very blessed and optimistic about the future.

Filed under Fabric & Sewing, I Made This. Tagged with , , .

Handmade Hostess Workshop & Open House!

white-fabric-flower-handmade-hostess

Keli of Drygoods Design and I have been working on something pretty special — a Handmade Hostess Workshop & Open House. If you are in the Seattle area, then I hope you will head over to her beautiful shop in Ballard on Saturday, May 11th for this 2-part event. The Open House is free (no RSVP required), but the Workshop spots are limited so be sure to sign-up early!

(Do you wish you lived nearby, but don’t? Well, I have something special planned for you, too. I’ll get to that in a moment.)

fabric-flowers-mobile-closeup-2

Workshop (5/11 from 1-3:30pm)

My hands-down favorite project from the book are these fabric flowers — and based on everyone’s reactions to them, I think they are your favorite, too. I am going to be teaching a class where you’ll make a fabric flower that you can use as a centerpiece, mobile, or even a really gorgeous gift wrapping embellishment.

The workshop is the week before Mother’s Day, so this would be a fun treat to bring your Mom to or just a chance to get a head start on her present. You’ll need some basic sewing machine skills, but these flowers are beginner-friendly. (And if sewing isn’t your thing, then hold on because I have something for you, too!)

The workshop is $35, and there will be refreshments, goody bags (!), and some sneak peeks of my next fabric line. Enrollment is limited, so if you’re interested, be sure to sign up here.

Drygoods-Design-Invite-small

fabric-flowers-centerpiece-2

Open House & Book Signing (5/11 from 3:30-5pm)

In the afternoon, we’ll open up for a Book Signing and Open House. Everyone is welcome. There will be door prizes, a beautiful, simple craft you can make and take home with you, and refreshments (think: dessert)!

No sewing or crafting experience necessary, but if you’d like to, we’ll be making some paper flowers from the book.

Last year, I got the chance to go to several book signings, and while it was a total treat to meet some of my favorite authors, I sometimes wished there was more to do. I really want every single person who attends to know that there are a few special treats planned just for them.

If you are local, then please help spread the word! I still feel a little bit like the new girl in town and really appreciate the support.

IMPORTANT: To reserve your spot in the Fabric Flower Workshop ($35), go here to sign-up. The Open House is free and open to the public — no RSVP necessary.

For my non-local friends: I always feel bummed reading about cool events that I can’t attend! So, I am going to be giving away some extra goodies from the workshop right here on the blog. It’s my way of saying “Wish you were here!” Stay tuned for details.

Filed under Books, Fabric & Sewing, I Made This, Site News. Tagged with , , , , , , , .

Handmade Hostess (Official Book Trailer)

It’s done! At last!

My homemade book trailer for Handmade Hostess is all finished.

It’s pretty short — just one minute long. I tried to give you some more glimpses of the projects in the book which was fun and also helped me answer my husband’s frequent question. “Do we really have to keep all of this stuff?” (Um, yes.)

If you like it, please help spread it around. You can watch it right here or head over to Handmade Hostess (Official Book Trailer) on Vimeo.

I completely lucked out and the super talented composer, Ashley Jurgemeyer, allowed me to use her song, “Sunday Sundress.” I love it. Which is important, because when you are editing something, you get to listen to the music track. A lot. It’s a good sign when you still like the music as much on Day 15 as you did on Day 1. Thanks Ashley.

Filed under Books, I Made This. Tagged with , , , , .

Featured on A Subtle Revelry

Parasol Backdrop DIY

Victoria at A Subtle Revelry always has great, unique party ideas and projects going on, so I’m flattered to be on her blog today.

If you have been curious about how to make the parasol backdrop that is featured on the cover of Handmade Hostess, well, here is your chance! Check out the post at A Subtle Revelry for the full Parasol Backdrop instructions and DIY.

Special thanks to Luna Bazaar for loaning us the parasols and to my Dad for helping me design the PVC backdrop. It always helps to have an engineer in the family!

Hope your week is off to a good start. I am working on one last audio fix for my video (fingers crossed). I can’t wait to share it with you!

Filed under Books, I Made This. Tagged with , , , , , .

Behind-the-Scenes: Making a Video

Ballons_prop

This week, I have been busy behind-the-scenes making a video for Handmade Hostess. I always see these cool book trailers on the web, and I thought “why not try to make one myself?

If this sounds fancy, then you are not picturing it accurately at all. There is no budget. No crew. No high-end equipment. No studio loft. This is me with my $99 flip cam and a tripod in my living room. (My sister really lucked out that I moved so far away and can’t rope her into helping.)

I thought I was doing really well on Wednesday until I realized that I had filmed everything sideways. Lucky for me, I had no plans on Thursday so I could just film it all again — not sideways.

This weekend, my husband is going to help with a few of the shots I couldn’t quite get myself. He took a look at what I’d shot so far and said it was “pretty good” which is really the highest form of praise I could get from him. (But I don’t want to oversell it. It’s possible he just felt bad for me because of the sideways footage incident.)

video_shoot

Here are a few things I learned this week:

  • Not having furnished or decorated the living room is very helpful when you want to make a video.
  • The camera adds 10 (20?) pounds. (Also: if you put on a dress and can’t zip up the back, no one will know if you don’t turn around.)
  • If you’re going to put a cupcake in the refrigerator that no one can eat because it’s a video prop, you better have some other type of dessert on hand.
  • Wearing your Christmas dress, socks, and slippers in March will look strange to your neighbors.
  • However long you think it will take to make a video, just go ahead and multiply that by 3.

Seriously though? I’m having so much fun. I can’t wait for you to see it!

Filed under Books, I Made This. Tagged with , , , .