April 26, 2013

backyard buds

Red maple


Spring awaits us patiently, leaves and flowers as opened gift saved for the right moment.

April 24, 2013

A new logo is born!

I don't often take freelance work these days because I have a hard time getting it done. But I was excited at the opportunity to help a local business I love and care about – my daughter's dance studio! The client was fabulous to work with. Not only was there no real deadline (bonus!) but she has a sharp design eye herself and offered valuable critique that brought us together to this fabulous final product.

So, presenting for the first time on this blog: Over the Top Academy of Dance's  new logo!

We just ordered business cards so I am excited to see the logo "in action" for the very first time. I absolutely can't wait for the day when it gets placed on the building! I designed a special horizontal version for this very purpose.

April 22, 2013

In honor of a crafty pioneer

Here's a photo of my Great-Grandmother Sonja Clark. Fortunately, I do remember her although I was still in elementary school when she died. This photo was taken in 1976 which is before I was born but in it she looks exactly as I remember her.

I am lucky enough to sew on her machine and hang her crewel pieces on the walls of my sunroom, living room, nursery, and hall. As a child I played with a stuffed elephant (denim), two stuffed hippos (corduroy), and a stuffed pony (cotton with yarn hair) all crafted by her. When I went to my grandma's house and played with my mom's old Barbies I got to dress them in sparkly evening gowns that were sewn by this very same lady. I am so impressed with her!

In this photo you can see a collection of her creations:

I know my mom still has some of those stuffed animals. I might just have to welcome a few into my home. I am especially amused by the hippos! Who sets out to sew one of those!

April 19, 2013

beautiful bits for the birdies

Once upon a library book I read about using a suet feeder to fill with nesting materials and hang it out for birds to shop from come springtime. We don't have a suet feeder but in the spirit of "use what you have" my dear husband crafted this holder out of a bit of fencing, some zip ties, and some rope. A "love letter" for me and for our feathered friends!

Fingers crossed that a lovely nest lined with my favorite fabrics presents itself on the ground sometime this summer or fall! Wouldn't that be a find?

April 17, 2013

fluffy fancy flowers!

We had a loose garden theme for my daughter's birthday party this year. We made some tissue paper flowers a la Martha (with some additional inspiration from this blog) to hang above the table and we served dirt cake instead of our usual cupcakes. Can you spot the one where I forgot to round the edges?

I also made some small ones and put those in vases on the mantel. The garland was one of my earliest sewing projects and it makes me happy every single birthday I use it.

After the party I transplanted the flowers to the dress-up corner in the basement because I couldn't stand to just toss them into the recycle bin!

April 15, 2013

Fresh book bags!

The front – one big logo

The back – medium logos

The side – small logos

I've been keeping this project a secret for a long time. I designed the bags and then there was the long gap where the bags were produced and then shipped on a slow boat from China (literally!). Then there was the long gap where we were using up the old bags (lime green fabric with the blue & white version of the logo, if you were curious) before we started giving these new bags to the public.

But then the other day I spied one in use! How I love to see my design work out there in the real world! So now I am able to officially share the beautiful library bags I designed. My freshly-minted 5-year-old agreed to model for me, appropriately enough, right before a trip to the library.

I actually really love the business of the repeated logos acting as patterns. I think it is kind of funky and in-your-face. Not a traditional, boring bag for us! While the design was just a work-in-progress I actually had several co-workers express their, ah, hesitancy, about the design. We forged ahead all the same. If nothing else, it is memorable!

April 12, 2013

belated Easter eggs

We did not do our eggs until well after Easter. But we still did them! The little ladies chose a princess decorating kit, of course. And now the eggs seem like a special treat for breakfast. Who doesn't desire pretty pastel princess eggs for breakfast!

I have no special methods to offer, at least for this year. I did make a photocopy of instructions on making natural dyes from the book Naturally Fun Parties for Kids; Creating Handmade, Earth-Friendly Celebrations for All Seasons and Occasions. I really want to try such a thing but we just haven't yet. Maybe next year.

April 10, 2013

Whereupon I complete winter tablerunner in the spring…

At long last I have completed my winter-themed table runner! The one I envisioned for use in January and February. That seems to be how it goes with me and my projects!

I made some serious binding blunders. No fault of the lovely binding instructions I was following from blogger Crazy Mom Quilts. I would go into detail but then I would have to explain what exactly I was thinking when I did what I did and I can't say I am very sure. I think part of my problem was that I was referencing a second set of instructions from a book. I guess the important thing is that I rescued the project and still have a functional table runner in the end.

I ended up doing the quilting just around the little red squares and then around the border. This is fairly minimal but I think it works for this design. I have yet to get all brave and freehand and twirly with my quilting designs. Someday perhaps!

April 8, 2013

Stack o' craftiness

And I'm back… Thanks for your patience. I still intend to post my usual three times a week. And I rarely plan to have these empty weeks where there aren't any posts. They just seem to happen. I used to feel bad about it but I think I am done with that (the feeling bad, I mean). I have started following a few other blogs lately that seem to post rather sporadically and I still keep following them and enjoy posts when they do appear as pleasant little surprises. So enjoy the pleasantness I am offering, dear readers!

If I haven't managed to actually be crafty as of late, you can be sure I have still managed to read about quilting and crafting and other such lovelies!

Here's what I've been browsing lately:

Crafting a Meaningful Home: 27 DIY Projects to Tell Stories, Hold Memories, and Celebrate Family Heritage
What is especially fun about this book is that every project is from a different blogger/crafter. I loved reading the stories and inspiration behind each project. I found many of them to be intriguing although I am avoiding adding anything new to the project list for now!

In the Studio with Angela Walters
The quilting in this book is amazing! Like, jaw-droppingly beautiful. The quilting itself is a breath-taking element with Ms. Walters. I am so not there yet with my own beginner's skills but I am suitably impressed.