I had a blast

at the uica Holiday Artist Market this weekend. Thank you so much to everyone that came out to support our local artists! There were so many talented people there, and I was lucky enough to come home with some of their work. Noticeably absent was my friend Rebecca Green, who is now rocking the art scene in Phoenix. I wish she could have been there, but it was still a great time. My husband was amazing, sitting with me and helping out. 

I promise I’ll be photographing what’s left and posting to the online shop this week.  

Have a great evening and wishing you a great start to the week tomorrow morning. 


Time Flies

Whew! I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post! It’s been such a busy 7 months. I got married and helped my husband start a small organic farm. That sure kept this girl busy! But the holidays are approaching, and I’m excited to be back in my studio, making all felt friends, zipper pouches, and evening working on some baby clothes and embroidered napkins. 

I’ll post more info about the holiday venues I’ll be at very soon. I’ll also be updating my online shop soon, too. Please feel free to email me with inquiries or requests for custom orders. 

Hope you had a great weekend! I’m off to carve a beautiful pumpkin with my farmer. 😉 And tomorrow we’re making goat milk and blueberry ice cream! This is gonna be a good week.


I’m so happy to be writing this post this morning, with a few windows open, beautiful gentle sunlight, sipping fresh lemon juice in a tall glass of water (I hear that is a great way to get your body ready for the day) and it is seventy degrees (in March, in Michigan!) It’s parent teacher conferences at school this week, and that difficult “doom and gloom” time in schools, when the budget is looking quite depressing and wondering about the next year. But this weather has helped raise  colleague’s spirits and none of us are taking it for granted.

I’ve haven’t had much time for sewing so far in 2012. I loved the linen apron, tea towels and pot holders that I made for the UICA’s Live Coverage event and was so happy to see them find a new home. The section I was working in had pretty harsh lighting, so I didn’t end up getting any great photos to share with you. I have a fun, patterned custom order apron to work on now. Other than that, I’ve been trying to rejuvenate my creative self. I’ve been looking through all sorts of books for inspiration and new techniques. Stencils, screen printing, watercolor and acrylic painting, sewing dresses for myself: all things I would like to do, but it can be hard to choose one to start with. And I get so inspired looking at other artist’s blogs, especially Gennine’s Art Blog…I would I could be that productive with my art everyday. I purchased a new sketchbook, and wrote down some goals and have done a few doodles and sketches. It feels like a lot of pressure. I haven’t regularly drawn or kept a sketchbook in since college…about 6 years ago. I’m trying to find the balance between challenging myself to push, to grow, to have a clear vision for what I want to do and make, to create quality images (which takes time and dedication), and playing, trying new things and not being afraid that they aren’t good enough, not being too critical of myself. I hope to have lots of sketches to share with you in the coming weeks, but for now I’m keeping my sketchbook private. It’s going to be an exciting time, really delving into creating a brand for myself and exploring different materials and processes. I also have a super secret project I’m working on with my friend Emilie Tromp, that we’ll share with you in June.

I’ve also recently become addicted to Pinterest. Art students and artists are always collecting images and inspiration, and Pinterest seems to be  the perfect tool for doing that online. How about you? Do you have a Pinterest account? What are your favorite things to pin?

One artist that I wanted to share with you is Jenny Bowers. Her stuff is amazing! I really am hopelessly in love with color and pattern.

In addition to my teaching and art making, my fiance and I are starting a small CSA organic farm. He gets to starting planting seeds in the green house next week and even put peas in the ground. No matter what, this summer is going to be exciting (a new farm, our wedding, a new home)! I’m hoping to borrow inspiration from the farm, including lots of vegetable images and maybe some farm tools in my work.

I hope you’re reading this with the window open, listening to the birds sing, and feeling excited to be alive and to do the things that make you the most happy.

Aprons Galore

I’ll be making an apron for the UICA’s Live Coverage Event in February 18. Here’s a peek at the materials I’ve collected. I’ve got the fabric in the washer right now, and I’m hoping to get started on creating my own pattern today too.


I also wanted to share a few photos of aprons that have inspired me.

from Egle Bibillute on etsy


from Rakuten Global Market (in Japan)


from rowhousenest.com


from Charlottesfancy.com


and a beautiful one from Anthropologie... not very practical. I know I'd get spaghetti sauce all over it, but the layer of eyelet lace on top are beautiful!


and I couldn't leave out lotta jansdotter

and another by lotta

okay, last one, I promise. I just love her prints, especially on linen.


Well, I’m off to check on the apron fabric in the dryer now, and then do some work on a super secret project for school. Feel free to share any photos of aprons that you love, or suggestions for what might a handmade linen apron more special. I’m thinking about stamping/printing on the fabric, or possibly hand stitching a design. Also might find some cool buttons, maybe made of wood or clay. So many possibilities! I think aprons have the potential to really enhance your experience in the kitchen. I often think that if I have special dishes, utensils, cookware, etc and a beautiful apron I’m more likely to spend more time and more thought on what I’m making and to experiment with new ingredients and techniques, to really enjoy the food, and maybe even gain a new confidence in  yourself.  I have also been thinking about aprons for gardening and for art projects. I must confess I splurged on this marimekko apron to wear at school, and it always lifts my mood. I get tons of compliments on it, from the students and my colleagues. A splash of bright color can make a big difference.

It’s been snowing outside all morning and it’s gonna keep snowing all day, i just feel like staying in and working on projects. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Ooh, since we’re talking about aprons this morning I wanted to share the website that my sister is working on: betty sage. She’s a foodie and she know her way around the kitchen. Yes, she’s my little sister (and don’t you forget it, Allison) and I have to admit that she was making lunch for me at an early age, when my cooking skills only including pouring myself a bowl of cereal and toasting a piece of bread. I still call her for advice when trying something new, even simple how to, like “AL, how do I broil a steak, and should the meat have flames shooting out of it?”  She’s also on facebook.

That’s all for now! 🙂

It’s been such a great weekend! I picked up the beautiful save the date cards my good friend Becca made of us and got many of them ready to mail tomorrow. We took some engagement photos, a lunch date with my farmer before he had to go milk cows…while I had fun with a friend coveting everything at Anthropologie, a little thrift shopping (I got some blue glass jars and an espresso maker for $10.) We also had a wonderful dinner at GROVE, a new restaurant in town with lots of local and fresh ingredients. I got to meet another friend for lunch at our favorite soup place and we talked about teaching, graduate school, and wedding planning. Any this afternoon I’ve been hanging out with my cats, doing some pilates and some long range lesson planning for school. I’m feeling content. I haven’t had time to do any sewing recently, and I’m okay with that. Still waiting to get started on the first dress (see my previous post.) When I’m starting something new, sometimes it just takes me a while to get up the courage to give it a try. And I am really looking forward to making my own clothes, even if they’re simple. This week I’ll be working on a custom order tote bag and a special project for the UICA Live Coverage event in February…so it looks like the dress might need to wait another week.

In my lesson planning, I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate gnomes and mushrooms into a lesson. They’re just too fun. Here are some of the images I’ve been inspired by.

by Aimee Ray, available to purchase on etsy


We also had a meeting of the the ladies from the Handmade Collective and we’re planning a special workshop for March. Can’t wait to share more about it soon! Hope you’re having a relaxing Sunday evening and that Monday morning greets you with a smile.

First Dress

Ahhh, Sitting at my computer with a great cup of coffee (in one of the  several Christmas cat mugs I inherited from my aunt a few weeks ago), a piece of delicious toast and a bowl of yogurt and raspberries (my absolute favorite fruit of all time)…and they are in one of my new anthropologie bowls I treated myself to recently. I can’t help it, having beautiful things to use everyday puts a smile on my face. I got to sleep in since today is my day off from work and I was able to leisurely take care of dishes and laundry, etc. today without any stress. We’ve had some beautiful weather (It was 50 degrees yesterday!) and now we’re looking at a snow storm tonight and early tomorrow morning. You can see it in all of the teacher’s eyes at school…. s n o w d a y… we hardly dare say the word, hoping not to jinx it. It would be so great, snow days are like a gift from the earth, reminding us to slow down, take some time for ourselves, and to stay warm and safe inside with loved ones, or at least a good book. I wish everyone could have snow days, not just teachers. Well, enough about snow days…

I’m planning a trip to the fabric store to hopefully start my first dress this weekend. *Correction: I’ve sewn some dresses and skirts before, around the age of ten, with the help of my awesome and fun loving step-mom. What do I remember (besides the laughing)? Lots of ironing, pressing, trying it on, tearing out stitches, resewing, etc. = frustrating. Hopefully I’ve gained a little patience over the years, as well as some increased sewing skill, and now I have a serger to help me out too. I guess I’m feeling cautiously optimistic, but excited none the less.

Before I forget, I’m thrilled to be invited back to the UICA’s Live Coverage Event in February. I have something special planned for that…more info soon. I’ll also be helping my farmer do some planning for the season…he starts planting in about 10 weeks…so exciting!

Hope you have a great day!

Multi-tasking Monday (at least, it feels like Monday)

It’s such a nice sunny day here, and the snow is making everything quite pretty. It was the first day back to school after our holiday break. All of the teachers had sleepy eyes and the kids were quiet, some of them almost zombie like. And as sad as it is for vacation to be over, I for one was ready to go back. It feels good to get back into a groove and to feel productive. I thought this morning, stayed to finish and submit the lesson plans for the month, returned some borrowed mirrors to a very generous art teacher colleague, and did some grocery shopping on the way home (including several cans of shaving cream for some puffy “frosting” we’re using to paint some cupcake pictures tomorrow. (In case you’re wondering, you mix equal parts of shaving cream and glue together to make the puffy paint. You can add color with food coloring and liquid watercolors, but ours will be white with little metallic puff balls on the top. Young Fivers, eat your heart out!) I’m also doing some serious multitasking: taking care of some emails, doing laundry, sorting through the mail, looking forward to peeking at the new Anthropologie catalogue that arrived today, brainstorming some designs for a new fabric, and trying hard not to keep looking at the clock, waiting for my serger to be delivered…which could be any moment now! I can’t wait to try it out. Sadly, the books I ordered that will teach me how to use it, and patterns for the clothes I want to make, won’t be here until later in the week, or even, maybe (gasp) Monday. * I guess I’m feeling a little dramatic today too. 🙂

One of the books I ordered. I'm so excited for it to arrive! She also has a few knitting books I'd like to give a try.

I was just invited to Join a show on January 23, 6:30-8:30 at DeGraaf Interiors in Cascade. I’ll give you more info soon!

I hope your day is going well! (I almost wrote Monday, but I guess it’s Tuesday. Feels like a Monday, though.)



Dress Forms

I hope you’re having a great holiday season. I’ve been enjoying my time off of teaching, catching up with friends and family, lounging in my pajamas until noon, cleaning and organizing my sewing room and admiring the new sparkle on my finger since getting engaged to my farmer last week. 🙂 I’m pretty much the happiest girl on the planet right now. I also took the plunge and ordered a serger and some books about fabric design as sewing clothes. I’m going to start making some of my own clothes, and maybe even to sell later in the year. Lots of exciting ideas for the new year.  Are you guys thinking about new years resolutions yet? Exercise is definitely one of mine. Two real workouts a week is my goal, but three or four would be better.

I wanted to share this cool idea for making your own dress form, as I did some research. I was looking at purchasing one, but I read that it’s still difficult to an adjustable one to really match your measurements and shape. I’m toying with the idea of making one. I let you know if I do. I like the paper mache one. The vintage forms are so beautiful, I’m not sure mine would look that nice. I love looking at them in antique stores.

I hope you have  a great New Year’s Eve and that you’re feeling inspired about something too.

Screen Printing!

Can you tell that I’m excited? I’m listening to Christmas music while cleaning my house and getting ready for my very first ever screen printing project. If it goes as planned, I’ll have some water resistant fabric done tonight, in time to sew it into pencil pouches and maybe a cosmetic bag or two by our big Handmade Holiday Party on Friday. I know it’s too early to be announcing New Years Resolutions, but I’m thinking mine is going to be something along the lines of expanding my products, including some clothing, and lots of custom fabric I’ll screen print…and going to yoga class more often.

I know I’ve promised to update my online shop, but to tell you the truth I’ve sold out of almost everything oilcloth. I’ll be working around the clock just to get a few more things made for Friday. But I have wallets, which I need to add to the shop, and drawstring bags with velvet ribbon ties. Unfortunately it’s too late to order oilcloth in time for the holidays. I’ll be doing a major overhaul to the online shop after the holidays. I’m looking forward to sewing the screen printed fabric, and finishing up a few custom orders, but then putting my feet up, drinking some custard nog (it’s sooo good!) and relaxing with my farmer and our friends and families.

I was looking through the new Garnet Hill catalog that came in the mail today and wanted to share this really sweet wooden dove wreath with you.


Hope you’re having a great night. Maybe I’ll see you at the party on Friday, 6-10. More posts coming soon!