Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Impulse Fabric

I have no idea why, but this pink and blue fishy fabric caught my eye and I had to have it.  After pondering for a while on what purpose it might serve, I came across a pattern online for a fabric basket.  I spent most of the weekend re-organizing my linen closet, so I thought it would make a great place to stash hotel samples, soaps and travel size items.  The fish would be cheery inside the closet and brighten things up.  Since I have a nasty habit of following directions carefully, but not reading them beforehand, I missed the sizing of the basket until I was halfway finished and noticed that it was turning out to be incredibly small.  The finished product is roughly 6x5x4--about the size of a large makeup bag. It is adorable, but I'm still at a loss as to how it could be used.  Any ideas?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Find Friday

I think I have finally mastered the search mechanism on Etsy.  After blinding stumbling aimlessly looking for the perfect items, it suddenly dawned on me that recommendations from people whose taste I admire might be the best way to go.  Whoa, was I right!  Simply find a seller who has taste similar to yours and look at their favorites or their circle.  Presto!  The ring dishes pictured above so perfectly capture my taste that I let out a little squeal when I saw them.  I actually ordered the bud vase in the same colors and two things will drive me crazy until I receive it--one, they are made to order so you don't know exactly what it will look like until it arrives and since it is made to order, there is a long-ish lead time.  Two things I am really not good with--waiting and surprises.  I will let you know how it turns out.  In the meantime, check out Cynthia Vardan's shop for some really inspiring pieces: http://www.etsy.com/people/cynthiavardhan?ref=ls_profile

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First product from the fabric haul

More to come like this-I'm pretty happy with the finished product.  I think it looks pretty fab on the dishwasher!  Waverly fabrics make everything look better.
I have a huge soft spot for Nantucket and few things remind me of that adorable island more than the hydrangea.  When planning my front garden, which is basically a huge mulched bed that enjoys blazing sunshine almost all day long, planting several of these puffy, soothing beauties was a no brainer.  After successfully murdering the first batch that was planted, a second round was installed.  An errant landscaper did everything he could think of to perpetrate their demise, but miraculously, they seem to have finally survived to the point that they are blooming enough for me to cut some flowers to enjoy inside.  This is the first bloom of the year and I'm ecstatic that they are back.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fabrigasm Weekend

I have been a super frustrated individual for some months now because two things happened in my life that created a great conflict.  One, I discovered Amy Butler fabrics (yes, apparently I HAVE been living under a rock, but more on that later) and two, could not find a single store within reasonable driving distance of my house that carried them.  I am happy to tell you that as of this weekend, not only has that problem been solved, but I have been led straight into an addiction that is sure to increase the rewards points on my Visa card straight into complimentary Hawaiian vacation territory.

The first thing that pushed me down the evil path of destruction was my good friend Sarah telling me about a wholesale home dec fabric outlet in Delaware.  Yup, wholesale, outlet--tax free.  Stick a fork in me.  Interior Alternatives is a veritable wonderland of high end wholesale fabric that I nearly fainted when I walked through the door.  One problem--not a single bolt of Amy Butler fabric in sight.  One giant armload of bargains later, I was happy, but still unfulfilled.  Sunday brought another cloudy, semi-chilly day, which allowed me to feel less guilty about not working outside and broadening my retail search.  I had been on the Amy Butler website earlier and looked up store locations with zero success.  Fabrics on the Hill in Chestnut Hill, PA was suggested and yielded nothing but being yelled at for having the audacity to enter with a coffee cup in my hand.  I get it, but I am an adult and had they been nice about it, I might have not have turned on my heel and marched out the door upon realizing that they didn't have what I was looking for and then had no desire to give them any business.  With a little more diligent examination, the search showed a store in Narberth called Cloth and Bobbin.  Hmm, my curiosity was piqued and after reading the glowing reviews on Yelp.com, I couldn't wait to visit.  I wasn't disappointed.  They didn't carry the entire Amy line, but had all of the quilting fabrics as well as some others that I might never have found.  Their owner Johanna was one of the nicest, most welcoming shop owners I have encountered in a long time and I can't wait to return.  A quick shot of my weekend haul is shown below.  I cannot wait to dig in!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fabulous Simple Find

I love things that are really simple and when that is combined with functionality, well it just sends me over the edge.  When I found this bag on Etsy, it was something of a revelation--not that I need an excuse to lust over a bag.  It has the ability to convert from a shoulder bag to a backpack and has tons of pockets to keep everything organized.  Oh, and a key fob clippy thing so I'm not rooting around for my keys.  These are custom made by Mims of Maine and can be special ordered in any number of fabric/leather configurations.  Definately worth the seven week wait.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How it all started

I had the great fortune to have a fantastically talented grandmother.  This was both good and bad.  Good because she seems to have somehow passed on all of that ability and bad because she left this world before getting a chance to show me what to do with any of it.  She was an artist in her heart and a seamstress by trade.  Legend has it that she had a commercial sewing machine in her possession that had the power to "sew two doors together" and never needed anything as mundane as a pattern to work from.  She could look at a garment, go to the store and source some fabric, go home and whip something up on a matter of hours that would be better made and more flattering.  A lot to live up to.

My own mother has no artistic or crafting abilities whatsoever, so growing up, sewing was something that other people did in factories.  We had a sewing machine (the model in the photo above) that lived in our hall closet under a cover.  I had never seen under the cover until one day I asked my father to help me figure out how to use it.  He dragged it out, dusted it off, expertly wound the bobbin and threaded it and I was off and running.  I was stunned.  It was an incredible looking antique.  The motor smelled funny when it ran, the entire kitchen table shook, but it had a GAS pedal.  More on this later, but something with a motor attached to an actual pedal that I could make go as fast or slow as I wanted absolutely thrilled me to death.  It did exactly one stitch, in one direction and you couldn't adjust the length.  Very limiting, yes, but the end result was two pieces of fabric that were attached.  For an eight ten year old, this was extremely liberating.