Monday, March 31, 2008

ready for bloom

Everything is done for the bloom show and here is a preview as promised. The nandina pillows have both a contemporary and traditional feel, I think.

Smokebush leaf clusters are randomly arranged on this pieced and quilted wall hanging.

I love the playfulness of the fiddlehead prints. The ginkgo wall hanging is printed on vintage French linen from the 1920s - there are still some minor rust spots in a few places - the fabric is so beautiful - dense and lustrous.

The bags are very different from anything I've done before. For this special flowery occasion they are perfect. For more information about the bloom show visit the barn swallow.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

weekly delights

Alabama Stitch Book by Natalie Chanin. A book brimming with wonderful sewing projects, as well as an eye-opening history of the cotton industry in the south, and a delicious biscuit recipe as an extra bonus. I am inspired to do more hand stitching for sure. You can purchase the book, and learn more about Chanin's beautiful work and entrepreneurship by visiting  Alabama Chanin.

Silvergems by Leslie Chisholm. My friend Leslie is a wonderful jewelry designer who now has a new etsy shop. Her pieces are simple, elegant, and masterfully crafted. You can also find her work over at The Barn Swallow.

Harmony art. Fanciful and lovely organic cotton fabrics. This one is  called whispering grass. Check out harmony art for retail outlets.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

preparing for bloom

Things are really busy over here. I am getting ready for an upcoming show at The Barn Swallow called bloom. It is a collaborative event where several artists create objects inspired by the arrival of spring, blossoms, and sprouting growth. I am honored to be part of this endeavor, along with talented artists such as potter Janice Arone, jewelry designer Leslie Chisholm, photographer John Grant, and painter Leslie Banta. Now, as always when preparing for an event, I get wrapped up in an abundance of ideas and never quite know what the end result will be. This time I am trying some new things such as the linen roses above (inspired by a project on the wonderful Japanese fabric store Linnet's website) and another version of a fabric flower at the bottom of the post.
There will be several printed pieces represented as well, such as the nandina leaflet star flower created above, and a fun screen printed fiddlehead pattern shown below. Friday is my deadline, and I promise to show you the final objects as they take shape. In the meantime mark your calendars for the opening reception on April 5, from 1 - 3 pm. The show will run until the end of May, and I hope you'll have a chance to see it if you are in the Charlottesville, Virginia, area. 

Thursday, March 20, 2008

oskar's day

We are all shedding tears in my family today. It is five years since our beloved, field romping, frisbee catching, goofy, amazingly loyal, sometimes smelly, lab Oskar died. It seems a bit silly to grieve over a pet after all this time, but he was our first baby, and an exceptional friend... We now have two other dogs, equally silly, devoted, and loved. Still, Oskar will always have a special place in our hearts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

weekly delights

Some of my current favorite discoveries:

Textiles from Jobs handtryck: Heracleum natur, designer Dagmar Lodén , 1955, and Magnolia, designer Eva Jobs, 1994

A small family owned textile company in Dalarna, Sweden, which specializes in hand printed fabrics in delicious patterns, both new and vintage. Many of the designs originate from the 50s and they also sell finished products such as pillows, bags, table linens, and trays. Once you go the website you can choose between a Swedish and English version.

Italian artist and fashion designer Kris uses her blog as a sketchbook. She posts images combined with her own reflections and stripes of colors extracted from the photo. I love her sensibility and keen sense of beauty. A truly inspiring blog for any artistic mind.

These natural hooks are created by John Robohm in Jacksonville, Vermont. They are made from maple, beech, birch or other hardwoods grown in the area. No two pieces are exactly alike as they are crafted from the natural branches. The simple beauty of nature in its purest form.

British textile artist Bridget Davis recently opened her Etsy shop where she sells her embroidered and appliqued pillows. The whimsical motifs are adorable and I admire her skillful stitching.

Glass artist Tracy Bull incorporates natural elements and creatures, lots of creatures, into her work. Her enchanted illustrations can be found on cuff links, pendants, badges, and night lights. She also has an etsy shop for one-of-a-kinds.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

a new card

My favorite fern fronds decorate these freshly printed note cards. I love working with paper, especially this recycled card stock from French Paper, a small family owned paper mill. The colors are great, oddly muted but still warm and vibrant. The cards have blank interiors and are available in sets of four with accompanying vellum envelopes. They will be posted on the etsy shop soon...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

orange crush

I adore this bag. The fabric choice is perfect, the design is innovative, and the craftsmanship is impeccable. This is my first purchase from talented designer Carol Gilbert at Yorktown Road and I couldn't be more pleased. When not in use it hangs in my studio as a reminder that the world is full of beauty.  

Monday, March 10, 2008

white spring

Cut star magnolia branches are in full bloom in our family room. The flowers are so beautiful in a fringy, delicate way. I spent most of this past weekend outside, working in the garden. Despite near freezing morning temperatures, I happily pruned, dug, replanted, raked, and dug some more. My lovely husband started on the raised beds for the vegetable garden. They look so nice and they will help us conquer the inevitable chaos of rampant growth that will hit full force come July. There is much left to do of course, such as plopping the beds in place, digging and hauling dirt to fill them up, amending the soil, planting the seeds, and watch everything sprout...

Friday, March 7, 2008

handkerchief project

A while back I found these wonderful vintage irish linen handkerchiefs. Unused but gracefully aged with occasional spots to prove their heritage. They are sheer, almost transparent, and the linen is just exquisite. Now a few of them will be transformed into a wall hanging, although I am not sure which form it will take just yet...
I printed large geranium leaves in shades of brown and ochre in their centers and have carefully hand pieced them together in long strips. They would look quite lovely as is, used as a room divider or curtain, with lights filtering trough the gauzy material. I am also thinking that they would look fantastic backed by a very coarse nubby linen as a contrast.

This is what I love most about the creative process, the small decisions that need to be made along the way. So challenging and exhilarating at the same time. Stay posted...

Monday, March 3, 2008

random inspirations

unferling fern, the time for spring is almost here

transient wallpaper, renovation underway at my sister-in-law's house

seaside rock pattern, too intricate to be replicated

bicycle parking in malmö, sweden

as green as it gets, woodland path in bohuslän, sweden
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