Aug 29, 2014

Destashing / Studio Clean Out Sale!

I'm moving into a new studio in a few weeks.  It happens to be right next to where I am now, and I've been spending some time in what is now my neighbor Ted's space with my measuring tapes and quizzical looks, trying to visualize how my stuff will look and where everything will go.   I've also been staring down my own stash of art supplies, and yesterday in a mad fit of organization, I sorted a bunch out and set about figuring out how to get rid of it.

I can't just throw it to the curb, this is stuff I've collected over many years.  At the same time, I have A LOT of stuff, and I am wishing for more space than stuff these days.  So- I've listed some of my collections in the shop.  Here's a sneak peek.  

More to come soon!

Aug 26, 2014

Exhibition at Western Carolina University

You may have heard via facebook of word or mouth about this exhibition- a solo exhibition of my artwork at Western Carolina University.  I was unable to be there for the opening.  If any of you make it to see the show, please send a photo or two my way!

Aug 13, 2014

Colorbursts and Satin Stitches- Packed and Ready!

Your subscriptions (almost two hundred!)  packed up and ready to go!  
Colorburst Seeds in Progress
My version, stitched with Dyed Fiber threads
My Mom's version, stitched with DMC floss.   

Flower thread for everyone!

Hello there!  Long time no talk! If you are following me on instagram, you know that I was in California for a week or two at the end of July, teaching at A Verb for Keeping Warm, and kicking around the bay area with my good friends.   I paid a visit to Creativebug, ate at my favorite restaurant, and shivered because I failed to pack properly and once again did not anticipate the coldness that is San Francisco in August.  Whoops.

Since I got back I've been slowly chipping away at packing up this month's orders.  It's a great month!  Both Colorburst and Stitch of the Month subscribers get a free skein of Flower Thread, as well as a color chart and a free cross stitch pattern from the same company.  Have you stitched with this stuff before?  It is an un-mercerized cotton that makes a beautiful thin line on your fabric.  I think you're really going to like it.  

Believe it or not I am headed back to California tomorrow for a wedding, so orders are shipping out TODAY! A little earlier than usual.  Enjoy!     

Jul 16, 2014

Chain Chain Chain!

Through somewhat of a coincidence, both of this month's subscriptions focus on chain stitches.  The Stitch of the Month sampler explores a few variations on this simple stitch, and the Colorburst subscription has circles of chain around the border.  Of course, with that one, you could choose NOT to do that part as chain stitch.  They could be filled-in ovals of satin stitch, or tiny little bunches of french knots, or tiny back stitches, or, or, or.....

You can see my mom's version up top (along with a few other upcoming colorbursts out on her clothesline in Michigan), and my (yet to be finished version) in my messy studio in Brooklyn.

This version (below) of the Chain Stitch Sampler is from Sherie on Instagram.   I am amazed (AMAZED!) at how many of you have stitched the text onto these samplers.  It looks so good!

Finally- Thank you to everyone who ordered samplers and subscriptions during our annual summer sale.  There are lots of new subscribers in the mix now (welcome!)  

Stitch of the Month Subscriptions shipped out this morning.  Colorburst Subscriptions will mail out tomorrow (I had to print more after that summer sale added a ton of new stitchers!).

Get your needles ready- and send me your pictures!  #dropclothsamplers

Jul 1, 2014

The Annual Sale!

Last year, I went to Michigan for a week over the Fourth of July, and had a big sale in the shop while I was gone.  This year, I'm doing it again!  Please use code MICHIGANSUMMER (no spaces) to take 20% off your order, including subscriptions (!) from now until July 9th, 2014.  Please note that while the shop is open, the shipping and handling department (aka: yours truly) is closed, so your order will ship out on or around July 10th.  Here's a link to the shop.   

Wishing you all a great vacation- see you next week!  

Jun 27, 2014

Instagram Tagging Giveaway!

Hello!  If you are a subscriber, you probably already know about this little contest.  If not, now's your chance! Through the end of June 2014, tag your samplers on instagram with #dropclothsamplers.  I'll pick one winner to receive four beautiful skeins of Cottage Garden Threads, pictured here.  You can tag as many photos as you like.

I've been busy embroidering some of the upcoming Colorburst Subscription samplers- I can't wait to share more of them with you all! Here's a finished one and a little sneak peek of what's to come:

PS- What do you think I should name that finished sampler?  Leave your ideas in the comments, and if I use yours I'll send along a little token of my appreciation.....

Jun 24, 2014

Three Things New York....

The Cloisters.  I am sure that there's an ode to this place somewhere in the history of this blog, but it really is one of my favorite places in NYC.  A long subway ride from Brooklyn, but a world away from anything that feels like NYC, getting off the subway and walking into Fort Tyron park is more like stepping into Tuscany.  On weekdays especially, this is one of the quietest, most peaceful places in Manhattan.   

Lately the weather here in New York City has been reminding me of the cool breezy summers I spent growing up in Western Michigan.   Normally it is hot and muggy and utterly disgusting by now, but this year has been something of a gift, with cool breezes at night, and sweet smelling air in the park.  I've been trying to get up and go for a walk in the morning in Prospect Park, and everytime I do it gives me a new lease on life in this crazy city.  Finding quiet, and nature, and  short little escapes is key to my sanity.  

A few weekends ago, Katy and I went hiking at Gertrude's Nose with these guys.  It was so much fun! Hiking with experts that offer advice, delicious lunch made right on the trail, and transportation? Amazing.  Not having to look at a map or plan anything at all? Priceless.  Can't wait to take another hike with them.    

Finally, sewing meets sidewalk!  On Sunday, my friend Nancy came over for a beer, and shortly after she left she called to tell me that she had found this gem on the sidewalk down the street.  Stiff and dusty and in major need of an overhaul, this machine was, nonetheless, really beautiful.  If I didn't already have three machines (two of which are also in need of MAJOR work), I would have hauled this one home.  I hope someone found it who will give it a good life.    

What about you? Are you sewing with an old beautiful relic like this one, or do you prefer a new model?  I was a diehard fan of old machines until I got my new BERNINA.    

Jun 18, 2014

Sampler of the Month: Embroidered Filling Stitches

This month, Sampler of the Month Subscribers are working on Filling Stitches.   Check out Jorie Slodki's version from last year here:

I think Jorie is the fastest stitcher I know.  It seems like last year I  barely dropped these in the post office box when I'd see her finished versions of the samplers on Flickr.

Just like the Colorburst Subscribers, every Sampler of the Month envelope comes with Cottage Garden Threads this month.  Post of picture on instagram of what you're working on tagged wit h#dropclothsamplers for a chance to win three full skeins.   Can't wait to see what you all are up to!

Jun 16, 2014

Colorburst Plaid!

This month's Colorburst sampler is an embroidered plaid.   I stitched mine entirely by hand, with a combination of backstitch and couching.   The drawing for this one was inspired by the plaid sections in one of my all time favorite books.  That book and its hundreds of pages of design inspiration have been the seeds of so many things in the studio over the years.  Lately though, I have been really in to the plaids, and to laying down color after color in perpendicular lines.  It's such an easy way to build up a lot of great texture.   I'd like to work this one again in machine stitches, hoping one of you does the same so I can see the results!  
 This month I stitched my version of the Colorburst sampler onto a bit of linen and turned it into a little zippered case with the help of my new BERNINA.   I'm curious to hear what you all are doing with your samplers.  Are you making quilts, adding them to garments, using them as patches on a bag?  Leave a comment below to let us know, or better yet post a photo on instagram, and tag it with #dropclothsamplers.  Thanks!
By the way, check out all this beautiful thread!  This month subscribers to both Colorburst and Sampler of the Month got a few strands of this beautiful hand dyed cotton floss from Cottage Garden Threads in Australia.  The etsy shop Braidwood Heritage Crafts carries it, but you could win three full skeins of your own just by tagging the samplers you're working on with #dropclothsamplers on instagram.  I can't WAIT to see what you're up  to.  Thanks!

PS- More plaids are available if you'd like to start your subscription before the end of this month- threads included!

Jun 12, 2014

Three things New York (Brooklyn!)....

1.) Yesterday, I finally made a date with myself to go to the Brooklyn Art Library. I spent the afternoon looking at sketchbooks and poking around Williamsburg.  At the library, you can search by artist, title, type, style, etc.  I first searched for my friend Courtney Cerruti's book.  Each time you request a book off the shelves, they bring you the book you asked for and a random book.  It was so much fun to sit inside on a dreary day and look through book after book. Besides Courntey's, my favorite ended up being a book that was a random selection, this one by Marya DeBlasi from Columbus, Oh.  Have you been to this special collection?  Would you submit a sketchbook?

2.) While I was in Williamsburg, I was excited to remember while walking along, that it is the home of Mast Brothers Chocolates.  I stopped in to their beautiful store and tried a few.  I can't wait to go back for the factory tour.     I'm not sure if it's still true, but their chocolate used to arrive by wind powered sailing ships.

3.) Honeysuckle!  It is out everywhere right now.  Katy and I had dinner the other night at Brookvin, surrounded by Honeysuckle in the back garden. The food was ok, but the garden?  Amazing!  I love this time of year before it gets too hot.  The air in New York smells so good these days.