Monday, April 27, 2009

shake a tail feather

It's official (and about time with only 5 days to go!): Tigerlily's 6th birthday party will be of the dancing variety.

Normally Tigerlily and I collaborate on invitations but this year I just need to get the word out so I threw something together on the old computer, printed on cardstock, rounded corners (ah, the wonders of the corner-rounder...) and stamped the bottoms with some birds from Lil's stamp collection. Easy peasy and still satisfies my diy sensibilities.

We'll be pumping the tunes from the window of our soon-to-be new place which backs onto the People's Park, actually a privately owned vacant lot that our neighborhood community has been steadily beautifying. A beautiful, clay wood-fired oven was built there just before our arrival in the community and has been such an amazing asset; we were there for a neighborhood dinner just last night and will be firing it up for pizzas during Lil's party.

Free school work party and Lyric at the bread oven

There will be pizza, dancing, and cake (I'm thinking of making a rainbow cake, though cupcakes would be MUCH more practical). Instead of the ubiquitous pinata I am going to make goodie bags and a few things to put in them. And, of course, a dance mix for everyone to take home!

In other news, I was featured on The Daily Stroll today!! Thanks so much, Lizzie!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

the giving tree

I've taken the past few days off. Well, off of work, the work that I seem to have been doing day and night for months, at least. A few nights back, after tucking the kiddies into bed, I felt the first twinges of annoyance at the prospect of settling into yet another night of work. I'm actually kind of amazed that this is the first I've felt this twinge, but I decided to back off a bit and come back to work refreshed (as refreshed as I can be in the midst of a too-small apartment being packed up for our move down the road). I've enjoyed the few days away from book-making though I could not bear to keep my hands completely idle--I crocheted 4 new dishcloths and made some more headway on Tigerlily's knitted log cabin blanket. I couldn't completely abandon sewing, either, so I started on Tigerlily's birthday dress (only a week until my baby turns 6!!).
Besides, it was too beautiful all week to be inside sewing! I spent a ton of time outside with the kids, building garden beds, planting peas, participating in two Earth Day tree plantings (one to replace a beloved tree in the swing park.

Graham hanging the pinata for Tigerlily's 4th birthday party.

the enchanting stump dance

helping to plant a new tree

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

my latest

What else to do for a little boy named Hudson than a Hudson Valley-inspired book?The cover image comes from the invitation for little Hudson's welcoming ceremony. So lovely.
I love the Halfmoon, Henry Hudson's boat. Each September the replica docks for a few days in Albany as part of the recreation of the original ship's journey and we always walk down to the Riverfront to climb aboard. Last year Tigerlily took over the ship, becoming the pirate girl she truly is.
The "U" was extremely difficult to come up with but I really love this. Hudson's mama came up with the idea to include the North Star quilt block which was used as a symbol of the journey North.
The (Shawan)Gunks were difficult to depict so I put them in a very typical Hudson Valley setting.

Of course, there are orchards everywhere around here.
The wigwam is one of my favorite exhibits at the NYS Museum so it was fun to create one for a book.
I tried to capture the history of the Hudson Valley and instill a real sense of place in the book. It helps that I live here, and it was kind of cool to remember that Albany, as small and insignificant as it sometimes seems (T'Lil likes to call it "Smalbany," as do many other locals), is one of the oldest cities in the country and is steeped in so much history.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


...just in time. I've got to make more of these for the shop!

Friday, April 17, 2009

week in review

Easter morning at the Boatshop Egg hunt in a construction zone

Easter braids
daffodils and dirty toes

the girls

trapeze with trampoline

"my ball, Panther!"

stump dancing

learning the word "forsythia"

It's been a busy Spring Break week! And I still have to make a gift for my 7-year-old niece's birthday party on Sunday. Tigerlily suggested a cloth book full of horses which is a fantastic idea but crazy to attempt at this late date. So, of course, I'm diving right in!
A merry weekend to you all!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

all at once

I really have been working. Working hard, and nearly constantly. Walking to the park with the kids, embroidery in hand. Cutting bits of appliques in the car on the weekly errand run (Skye driving, I'm not that crazy). And the second the kids hit the hay I've been hitting the sewing machine (and the bottle...just kidding). But for the longest time it felt like I didn't have much to show for it. And then, this week, I finally finished a bunch of projects I have been working on for some time now, all at once.
These 6 comprise my first wholesale order! These headed out earlier in the week to DHARA Naturals in NYC.

The 3 British Words books are all pretty much the same, same fabrics, same images.

The Earth books have the same images but I made them each with a different accent color (blue, green and red) to go with the interior browns.

I am thrilled to be branching out to wholesale and am excited to pursue this avenue further. I have to admit that I was sad to see these babies go, they came out so wonderfully!

I also finished a couple of books that were ordered by my dear (and very patient!) friend Krista forever ago. They are a collection of different things in each child's/family's life and I kind of love the randomness of them.
And finally the book in trade for my mother's beautiful pendant.

I have to say it's pretty satisfying to see all of the books I made all layed out together like this. Sometimes I imagine how cool it would be to see the hundreds of books I've made (in just one year!) all together, to make a little library of them. A cloth book reunion. If only I had the time to make a cloth book library all my own....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

etsy trade love

I'm all about trading these days. I'll never have a lot of money (nor would I really want to) but I do have a lot of skill to make/do things that can be traded as currency. I've done a few trades with other Etsy sellers (everything from the best laundry soap ever to beautiful gifts) and have a couple more in the works (including Tigerlily's 6th birthday gift--I can't wait to play with this one!).

My latest trade was so, so special. I wanted to give my mom a really special Mother's Day gift, something to commemorate her mother. When I was approached by Aurora of Eclisse Creazioni Art & Photography about a trade I knew one of her custom portrait pendants would be perfect. And I was right, it is beautiful.
The picture doesn't really do it justice, the image came out perfectly.

She offers the option to have a portrait on each side of the pendant so I had her put my Grandpa on the opposite side.

I couldn't wait until Mother's Day to give this to my Mom so I gave it to her on Easter. She loved it, it really was perfect. Thanks, Aurora!