Ooooh, nice little shout-out on the wonderful Print & Pattern blog this morning…
…but then again, if you’re here, you might have already known that by way of navigation.
All things come full circle. Woohoo! Thanks P&P! xo
Ooooh, nice little shout-out on the wonderful Print & Pattern blog this morning…
…but then again, if you’re here, you might have already known that by way of navigation.
All things come full circle. Woohoo! Thanks P&P! xo
When you’re busy working on projects and need a break, what do you do?
If you’re me, you’ll consider eating chocolate like it’s a qualifying round for the next Olympics, possibly take a nap because the baby needs one and you need to keep him warm (even if it’s summertime), or do more work, but on a completely different project.
So when I’m knee-deep in a design and just don’t want to deal with a difficulty it’s presenting me, but I’m still in my feverish must-keep-making mode, I’ll pop over to another design I’ve started or take a wild stab at a fresh one (you know, because I don’t have enough windows open on my laptop as it is). It’s like the freestyle portion of a dance competition and it affords me the license to release the reins, play and experiment.
That’s what I did here. Taking a break from a batch of ongoing work, I jumped over to see what I could come up with for Spoonflower’s latest design challenge. With the random theme of a Midsummer Night’s Dream coupled with a restricted color palette, I figured, hey why not see what perfect strangeness I could get up to.
After briefly quizzing my husband, our resident theatre expert, about the play, I messed about long enough to come up with this pattern … ta-daa! Quirky, a little odd, and a perfect design distraction interlude. Done!
And now, back to regularly scheduled programming… :)
I think it’s a tie. Nope, nope, actually, I think SK Brain wins for Most Messiest Possession.
I have so much going on at the moment that I can’t think straight. Designs and projects and emails and whatever else I need to keep up with.
My studio isn’t in top shape yet either. *Collective gasp.* I know, I know. I’ve slowly brought things out from boxes and really haven’t tended to organizing things completely before plopping myself down at my desk and carrying on with my to-do list.
I’m so used to not having a studio space that this is working perfectly fine, although it’s not the most inspiring to look at. First off, the room is a hideous baby blue, thanks to former tenants. I have a can of white paint to cover it, but it was delivered after my shelves and furniture were put in place, so I’m lazily ignoring the fact that I have to move everything out of the way to paint. Between you and me, I’m not sure if I’ll actually do it or not. We’ll see.
Until then, there are at least small vignettes in my room that are pleasing to look at, so I’m just focusing on those for now…
These guys are from my childhood. After rediscovering them and finding a shelf to put them on, Mister Baby Pants has taken a liking to them, so they’re now on a lower shelf where he can reach them and walk around with one in each hand for as long as his heart desires.
A top shelf assortment of odd things I’ve collected. My big S goes everywhere I do, but come to think of it I need a K to match. *I’m looking at you, eBay.* P.S. Ignore that baby blue wall. Repeat: Ignore that baby blue wall.
An impromptu stack of yummy fabrics that are waiting to be whipped into a finished project. Magically would be nice, but otherwise, when time allows.
The only thing on my desk aside from an unsightly stack of drawings and other papers and my laptop. Oh no, these are certainly not all the pens I own but they’re my current favorites.
That’s about all the current excitement there is in here, which makes me realize I need to get on with sorting and arranging things. I’ll leave that til tomorrow, since today is my birthday and the sunshine is calling my name. Woohoo!
Happy Friday, good people!
I need more fabric like I need rabies.
…um, so I got a stash of fabric the other day. What?
Fine, whatever. Judge me.
But I couldn’t resist the potential of scoring at the annual More Than Just a Yardage Sale hosted by the Textile Museum of Canada.
Turns out, it’s a two day event eagerly anticipated by many people who, usually nice and demure, get their “Fileen’s Basement” sale behavior on, elbowing, shoving past and grabbing at as much juicy fabric they can.
I knew the sale started at 11am on Friday and heard later that there was a line out front and at least one woman who was taking more than her fair share of some fabrics, pushing otherwise docile Canadians into yelling at her for taking more than she should and not leaving anything for others.
I would have loved to have seen that go down, but was more than happy to have missed the chaos.
Instead I chose to meet up with my friends Michelle and Steff at a civillized 4pm, after all the mayhem had died down.
I’ll show you what I walked away with in a minute, but first I thought you might like to see just a few of the gems that I, shockingly, left behind.
I’ve been paying extra attention lately to only buying things I’ll actually use, so the things that fascinate me but fall outside of that ”use & need” realm, get captured photographically…
I actually really wanted this needlepoint book on classic cars. It was truly awesome and I held onto it for awhile. But I know full well that I’d buy it and it would sit there on my shelf for another 15 years.
This is all aside from the fact that I’ve had zero interest in needlepoint and, I ain’t gonna lie, just wanted someone else to whip these up *for* me. (read: zero patience as well).
I just loved this book for its cover.
It was a book on silk-screening and seemed to have been produced in the late 60s. The inside was filled with yellowed pages of black and white text and photos. I think if there had been more riveting content, this would have made it home.
But I’m perfectly fine just staring at this picture of the cover pattern. I love it.
Behold. Seriously. Just behold this.
My friend Michelle spotted it and although there was no way in crocheting hell that I was going to purchase this, it was a clear winner in the OMG, Take a Picture of T-H-I-S! category.
So what did I come away with?
This great little stack, some binding business and zipper action! All for just about $5 buckaroos total!!
Most of it came from under the scrap tent where a volunteer was selling $2 dollar plastic bags that we could fill to our hearts content.
Steff and I shared that loot bag and shoved tightly wadded up pieces into it until its tiny plastic molecules screamed for mercy. Listen people, we are ruthless when we need to be.
I especially love the Italian cotton velvets and that red/linen floral jacquard print (which is interesting because I don’t usually go for reds or really florals for that matter).
Although I do not care for animal prints either, I couldn’t pass up on that tiny swatch of leopard-esque fuzziness. It might just make its way onto a pair of kid pants in dire need of a knee patch. R-A-W-R!!!!
End result of the day: big score and I’ll do it again. I never learn. And clearly I want rabies. Okay no. Just more luscious fabric to drown in. That’s not going too far, is it?
As the US goes into a long holiday weekend, (I don’t get one this week but will instead be trying to play catch up; don’t most of us?), I thought I’d share a quick glimpse of a WIP I’m currently tinkering with…
Somebody seems a bit sour about something, wouldn’tcha say?
I’d steer clear until the dust settles cuz that’s some kind of stink eye. I’ll go ahead and ignore her and finish up the surrounding illustrations. Maybe that would make her happy! We can only hope…
While I do that, you go and enjoy your weekend, ya hear! Take an obscenely long nap and eat just a bit more than your fair share of ice cream.
Enjoy and happy Memorial Day weekend!
Did you happen to attend International Spring Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon this last weekend?
I wasn’t able to make it but my latest collection for Timeless Treasures was busy showing itself off to all the people who were in attendance.
I love seeing all the photos posted online during the event and squealed with delight when I spotted this picture.
Um, how cute is this dress? Modeled by Hayden at the Timeless Treasures booth, it’s such a fun way to use my cursive handwriting design.
Love it! Want it! Need it!
Yay, Hayden! Yay, Spring Market!
Well, that pretty much took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get from the back burner to the front and to actually complete…
What am I talking about, you ask?
Without further ado, please say hello to the sorely-overdue redesign of my main website!
Out with the old (flash) and in with the new (smart device-friendly)!
If you’ve ever taken on the task of creating a website or redesigning one, it can be a hideous beast that just refuses to do anything nicey-nicey. It can go on and on and on and on, like the ramblings of a small deliriously tired child who just won’t quite go to sleep after an exhaustingly long day.
Full disclosure: my husband is the real star here as he’s the Patient Programming Wizard behind the site. I’m the Micromanaging & Overly-Dramatic Art Director who wants her inner vision to just upchuck itself out of her cranium and transform instantaneously into functioning HTML jibba jabba.
Anyway, it’s done. Phew! Just in time for the weekend.
Go check it out here. I hope you like it!
Got the Monday blues?
How ‘bout now?
*I looked for the creator’s name all over the internetz to give proper credit but found nothing. :( If you know who made it, let me know! In the meantime, well done, anonymous pattern dancer maker, well done.
A year or so ago, after Spoonflower unveiled a custom decal printing option, I made up an entire alphabet based on the same look the NYC MTA subway system has. Why? Uh, hello, because my children love trains and love the subway, of course.
Knowing we would eventually move, I stuck them up temporarily in The Bub’s room with donuts of scotch tape.
Now that we’ve moved and the kiddos are sharing a room, I brought the decals back out as I had a new master plan for these unsuspecting circles.
A few months ago, I had spotted these fun DIY ways to decorate rooms with washi tape. Really cute stuff. But I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to spend the extra money on trendy washi tape if I could find brightly colored masking tape that would give the same effect I was after. There. I said it.
I searched around online and did find one multicolored pack that would give me the most colors for my buck and the lower price point made it easy to commit to. After all, it’s paper tape that’s just gonna be crumpled up and thrown out eventually, so why waste good quality college-fund pennies on something so transient?
I bought two packs and I’m glad I did.
I mean, they *look* pretty substantial, right?
Bwhahahaha, S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E!!!!! They’re totally Liliputian-sized rolls of masking tape!
Almost criminally small, but I chose to ignore that and plow ahead with My Big Idea, making double-widths of every color.
So, I taped and taped…
And taped and taped some more…
It was incredibly fun to do, I might add. Removable defacement of property. Freestyle drawing with tape. Going hog wild. I highly recommend it!
Are you still with me? I hope so, because it’s payoff reveal time!
Behold, good people!
Ta-daa! Presenting my loose rendition of the MTA subway map.
Sure, I could have reproduced the lines more accurately to their real-life counterparts, but the fun of this was morphing that idea to fit these peculiar wall angles and have it all come together in a neat way that the kids would enjoy.
It was really fun to do (I know, I said that already. I mean it that much) and I, personally, would have called it complete at this point.
But then the kids entered the room…
…and excitedly offered their help.
First, The Bub showed off his masterful sticking skills…
…then Mister Baby Pants lent his keen artistic eye to the project.
They added more and more and more of what I would have deemed *leftover* decals.
But hey, it’s their room and what’s more fun than putting sanctioned stickers all over the place? I’ll just ignore them being wonky and off-kilter and focus on the spirit of collaboration.
Must. Resist. Compulsive. Desire. To. Straighten. Everything.
They added every last decal until the box I had them in was completely empty.
Part of The Bub’s design vision included thoughtfully pairing up “the babies with their mamas,” as it were.
The time flew by and after all that peeling and sticking and sticking and peeling, our new DIY room decoration was complete!
Subway wall art, ah-yesssss! Job well done and we love it!
Sometimes I like to float about the internetz checking out what people are making with my fabric. Here are three fun things I spotted late last night when I really should have been brushing my teeth and heading to bed.
I have my priorities.
I mean really, excuse me, but how outrageously CUTE is this!?!?
What a wonderful way to use my Writing fabric. I love how fan-folding this particular fabric makes the bow tie look paper-like. Score one for All Things Clever!
Head over to Toma’s Tutus & Things to see more cool creations like this cursive cuteness.
Hello, most awesome geekiest wallet! This will go smashingly with my pocket protector! You heard me right.
Linda, from Linda’s Creative World, calculated everything just right and took my Math fabric to new level of spectacular. Looks like it’s got just about all the compartments you need to hold all your most valuable personal effects.
Too bad I’m just too darn lazy to google-translate Linda’s post and glean exactly how it all transpired. I know. Sad. However, taking a page out of Mister Baby Pants’ book, who needs words when you can be just as pleased by all the pretty pictures!
And for our last bit of today’s cuteness, here’s a darling dress donned by its darling little owner, Noa.
I think somebody’s H-A-P-P-Y!!! <——makes me happy seeing it too!
Shoot, now I want one! Grandma Becky? Are you reading this? Grandma? *is this thing on?*
Thanks to Toma, Linda and Pink Chalk Studio for showing off some really fun projects! I love seeing what you guys come up with! Woot!
Happy weekend everyone. Get to makin’ something!
In the land of SK Plate-Spinning, I got *one* (only one?!?! grrrr) new thing done.
Behold, good people…
A sailing-inspired fabric design! It’s called ‘Mariner’s Melody’ and you can see it in all its salt-watery glory here.
I entered it in this week’s Spoonflower design challenge and you can go place your votes here!
04.02.13 Edit: Hey mateys! I got 3rd place in the challenge. YAY!
Am I the only one who randomly assumes everyone else grew up with the same things I did? Maybe so.
It’s a bit mad on my part as my childhood was such a tapestry of different things, but hey, you never know and I’ve often been surprised.
Here’s something I was specifically wondering about…
While going through a box of childhood toys recently, I came across these two seemingly straight-forward bears.
The red one, as I recall, was my brother’s, and the caramel one was mine. I think because it had my favorite green-colored eyes and bow, I claimed ownership of it the moment they were presented to us.
If memory serves me, we received them from either an English or Australian family friend. I can’t recall whom exactly, but being a huge teddybear lover, I loved ‘em right away.
Innocuous enough, but these bears do something special…
Their bodies are stuffed except for their tummies and when you flip them over, they have zipper-openings in which you are meant to fold up and put your pajamas into.
As I remember this was the perfect incentive to get me to make my bed, culminating with this final step of stuffing my pjs inside the bear and placing him on my newly-made bed…and I loved that part.
A very effective tidying tool, indeed. Well played, SK Parents, well played.
So when I rediscovered them the other day, I immediately bequeathed them to my kids and showed The Bub how they work. Sure, maybe I am hoping for a similar newfound passion for proper bed-making. ;)
Unstuffed tummy > Stuffed with PJs tummy = Tadaa!
He was quite impressed, which made Mama happy.
Growing up, I always thought every other kid had a pajama teddybear on their bed too, but on closer inspection all these years later, I see that these bears were actually handmade especially for us, so maybe they were truly one-of-a-kinds. They’re beautifully made, I might add. Also, thanks to my mom’s masterful archiving skills, they look brand new all these decades later. Shoot, they look better than I do.
So while I still wonder if anyone else on the planet had something similar, it also occurred to me that this old idea could easily become new again with a resurgence of DIY pajama teddybears. Or if you truly can’t resist the ever-present owl craze, pajama owls.
How cute would those be? I’m onto something, methinks.
Come on. Just look at him. Kinda makes you want to make one for yourself, no?
Hmmm, maybe I also need to make myself a more sophisticated version so I can fall in love with my daily bed-making ritual again.
Bwhahahaha. Hang on. Who am I kidding.
I have a stack of on-going drawings that I need to complete, but more times than not, the allure of starting a fresh new illustration often takes over.
Here’s a case in point. But I’m setting my foot down, and mark my words, I will finish what I’ve already started. Seems like a good task to tackle with the onset of spring, right? A creative spring cleaning, if you will and I’m determined to catch up. Um, wish me luck, okay?
Happy springtime and spring cleaning!
Whatever you’re celebrating this week….
Easter, Passover, Spring Break, scrambled eggs or the amazing spectacle of feather-plumed chickens…have a happy time! And happy weekend!
No, this post really has nothing to do with anything other than sharing a fascinatingly handcrafted item I spotted when I was out and about yesterday.
I happened to glance over from my car and saw this sight…
Three Nerf Noodles, a gob of plastic zip ties and plastic twine all lashed intricately together and topped off with some sort of fluorescent strips.
I mean, that’s a whole lot of effort for something that has negligible effectiveness, don’tcha think?
There’s DIY and then there’s DIY. I love ingenuity but I’m pretty sure I would have stopped shy of actually executing this and then attempting to use it.
A for effort, though!
It did get me thinking…a nicely padded hand-quilted version of a bumper guard, on the other hand…now that might be something worth exploring.
I’m telling you, every time I see these AWESOME finished projects from folks, the more and more my eyes dart around my house to see what furniture I can reupholster as well.
Just look at what Graham did with my Mexico Springtime fabric over in Amsterdam…
And from what he tells me, this is just the beginning of what will be an amazing room redesign. I can’t wait to see more photos, because, hello, this chair is DIVINE!!!
Thank you for sharing it, Graham….and for making me want that chair!
The other night I spied this AWESOME drawing contest Google is hosting for youngsters, and I thought, “Oh boy, I would have been A-L-L O-V-E-R that back in the day.” If only I could Peter Pan myself and I’d be able to meet the age requirement.
Because if you didn’t know by now, I’m one step short of foaming at the mouth when there’s an art contest afoot.
Clearly it’s hardwired because I’ve had a desire to compete since I was a wee tot. Who knows why, I’ll leave that to the professionals to decide. What I can tell you is that I’ve always, always loved a challenge. I couldn’t care if nobody else entered or, in the words of The Bub, “60-hundred” people were also competing; for me any opportunity to brainstorm a puzzle and have a platform to creatively execute my ideas was the stuff that made (okay fine, makes) me tick.
Oh, not convinced I was bitten by this bugs eons ago? Well, let’s review just a tiny sampling of SammyK contest design highlights over the years, shall we?
Exhibit A: From 1981. I was all of 10 and as the article states, “We know her well at ‘Gulf News’ – she invariably bags a prize at our Junior News painting competitions!”
How’s that piece of evidence, Your Honor? Guilty as charged for unabashedly loving competitions! Muahahaha.
Go ahead and ignore the article (hello, embarrassing documentation of a 10-yr old’s ramblings); let’s focus on that spiffy dress!
Exhibit B: The “Cleanasaurus.” A grand creature I concocted for a citywide search for the best glamorization of a trash-sucking MadVac machine used in downtown Louisville, KY. If memory serves, this was around 1995.
I won the contest and got to suck up my prize money on live local television (yes, there’s a video and no, I’m not showing you).
After the win, I was asked if I’d create the actual beast myself. I remember it being completely unchartered territory (and a tad unnerving), as I had to keep in mind that this thing would be dragged through all kinds of nasty who-knows-what trash all day and it needed to be able to live to tell about it. Painting the vehicle body and making the neck cover were fairly straight forward things to sort out. The head was a bit more complex.
I constructed the head armature out of dense foam, and covered/reinforced it with heavy-duty marine grade coated canvas. I also made it easily removable from the nozzle neck by way of a huge garden clamp. This way, all parts could be deep cleaned with easy access to every nook and cranny. I finished off the details with durable paint (I don’t remember what kind exactly), fabric spot patches and plexiglass eyes.
It lasted a good long time, until a few years later when I was sent the now frayed around the mouth and permanently dirtied head for a complete cranial makeover. Fresh canvas, spots and paint, and the Cleanasaurus was soon back in business sucking up trash like it was nobody’s business.
Exhibit C: From 2004, here’s another public art contribution, this time a New York City mural, called “Heartbeat Brooklyn.” This is one of two huge panels I illustrated, showing highlights of the great borough of Brooklyn.
And here’s the other panel with someone walking by it, which gives you a better sense of how big it is. If you’re ever cruising through the Gowanus Canal area of town, you can see it in all its glory by the Lowe’s Home Improvement.
So there we have it, folks. Yes, there more examples (oh, puh-leese, don’t bother acting surprised) of my addiction to art contests, but I’ll stop with three that span a good range of my life so far. Seeings how I don’t plan to stop entering them anytime soon, there’ll surely be more to share down the road. I’m shameless.
In the meantime, since I’m clearly the poster child for such things, I implore you to share the Google design contest with any young creative minds you know. Because let me assure you, if they’re anything like me, they’ll L-O-O-O-O-O-V-E it! (plus there are AWESOME prizes to boot!)
I know I told you about a fairly recent obsession with making pants for my boys after I finally dove in and tackled making my first pair (following a paper pattern) a few months ago.
Once that first pair was done, I was on a roll. I had tackled the elastic waisted front and thought I should attempt the flat front style next.
The Bub demanded a pair be made out of some rainbow remnants he found in my stash. I love them; they’re totally him. They also keep reminding me of Mork & Mindy (maybe I need to get some suspenders for the boy) and rental clowns, who I’m not a big fan of, so I much prefer my son wear them.
This pair was better although I failed to line the stripes up nicely on the outer seams and that bugs when I look at them. Granted, I had *just* the right amount of fabric to make pants for him, no more, no less, so I’ll forgive myself a little for not nailing the streamlined details.
Learning. I’m learning.
So I upped the ante and made another pair of flat fronts, this time using a cherished tomato wide whale corduroy I had.
I even spent extra time binding all the seams with more of that vintage tape I had gotten last summer at a local yard sale. I knew if I was going to make pants out of this juicy fabric that I wasn’t going to have ugly fraying bits inside.
Loves ‘em! The Bub loves ‘em!
They go awesomely well with his favorite color orange color and some swanky new red desert boots a friend brought back from Spain. Not to mention those bright orange socks.
The boy is stylin’.
I have no complaints about my sewing job on these. I’m thrilled with how they turned out. The only thing that might have been a good touch would have been to line them so he could wear them in colder weather. But, hey that’s no biggie.
So now with three pairs of pants under my belt (there’s a visual), I decided it was about time to a) make some pants out of my fabric, and b) make a matching pair for Mister Baby Pants.
I’ve stuck with the flat front pants as they look a lot sleeker and give a nicer fit. I’m also a big fan of the wider leg, which makes them really hang nicely.
And I matched up the pattern on the seams properly this time. Yessss.
Mister Baby Pants loves them too. He actually requests to wear them more times than not, barely giving me a chance to launder them.
(This picture just makes me laugh.)
And one more time, with shoes, lollipops and a t-shirt change.
Have you read Overdressed? I haven’t yet, but am definitely in line with the philosophy that making your own clothing gives you a better appreciation for true quality and I hate the wasteful marketing manipulation that trends and poor quality create.
Ignore stinky short shelf life trends! Say NO to “fast fashion”!
Add to that, my excitement over Celebrate the Boy, and I’m on a path to make, make, make more of our own fun clothing.
Do you ever make something and then, merely halfway through, you’re 100% convinced it’s completely horrid? All that time and material wasted and all you’ve done is make one gigantic pile of yuck?
Yeah well, that’s kinda where I thought I was headed when I took on the task of making a birthday present for a friend of the The Bub’s who is turning 5-years old.
In my continuing quest to use up supplies I already have, I decided to focus on some fancy lace my friend Rosanna had sent me last year. I’m not a lace person and up until now, I thought my only future opportunities to use it might involve musketeer costumes or an 80’s Prince-themed shindig.
Knowing the birthday girl is very into frilly girly things and loves playing dress-up, I found my perfect opportunity to go hog wild with lace, lace and more lace.
I made a bag. A lacy bag. I ran out of the first lace I was using. Then it started to look like a skirt. Then I got frustrated and almost quit entirely. Then I took a break and ate a couple of brownies I had just made. Then I came back and concocted a rose flower embellishment to nicely divide where the original lace ended and the second lace began. Then I finished sewing that second lace all the way to the top. Then I added handles and…
Done, and narrowly saved from complete disaster. So says I anyway. It’s SO not my taste at all and still edges on garish to me, but for a little 5-year old girly girl? It just might be a TOTAL DREAM COME TRUE.
I also had to go for the gold with the wrapping too… an unapologetic explosion of ribbons and bows coupled with the perfect card showcasing a fellow dress-up aficionado (so what if it’s a highly unenthused feline).
Happy Birthday, Maggie! :)
I was interviewed a little while back by Threads Magazine and totally forgot about it until my friend Sarah told me the other day that she had seen me mentioned in her mom’s latest issue.
I quickly got my hands on a copy, thanks to reader Rachel who popped one in the mail to me, since all my local stores were already sold out.
If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at DIY fabric designing, look for the great article (ahem, the one I’m quoted in) in the current Feb/March issue. It’s got great tips and covers all the basics of the whole process.
Thanks for another great article, Threads!