Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sweet Coco: Behind the Scenes

A little first round sketches of my first illustrated book: Sweet Coco.

Craft Vocab: SKU

Layering fabrics with free motion embroidery

When I first learned about free motion embroidery, I used it for everything. I can't seem to sew a straight line with a normal foot, so sometimes I would even do regular sewing jobs with a free motion foot. A few years ago I started this beauty, a free motion portrait. It's based on an image I found in an old fashion magazine. I haven't touched the work in a long time, and in fact just found it recently, so maybe I'll start back in on her. 

At the time that I started this project I had tons of tiny little fashion fabric scraps, all different construction, and had no idea what to do with them. So I just started pulling the ones that I thought looked enough like skin and stitched them on in layers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Sometimes I draw things and I think...well...what am I going to do with this drawing?
But hey, corn, it's what's for dinner!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New work up at Nina Cosford

So I love Nina Cosford., and was very excited to see some new work up on her website. Here, I've posted her old stuff, because it's probably not that old really. I also read there that she has 6 published books. Go Nina! Okay, I took a second look and added her lemons. It's hard to find lemons here in Brazil, so it's a happy thought for me. See Nina's work HERE.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This is it right now. Pretty cleared off, which is a rare thing. A cup of coffee (maybe it was tea?) a bowl of acerolas to snack on. And my lovely Stabilos. I only have 5, and one of those I found on the ground. I was happy to find they sell them in the store right down the street from my house. Now...just have to learn Portuguese so I can tell them what I want.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Craft Vocab: Greige

Do you ever hear a word in the crafting or making community and go, uuuuh? What? I do. All the time. Having gone to art school and worked in the fashion industry, I like to think that I know quite a few of these jargon words, but honestly, there are so many that I still have no idea about. This little craft vocab section is partially me explaining words that I don't know (feel free to give me suggestions!), and also creating a little visual dictionary of arts and crafts.

Friday, August 17, 2012

LEIF blog

They've got a good thing going. As well as the shop. But I'm not much of a buyer, just a looker. See them HERE. Images  of Arite Kannavos' work from LEIF (okay, and everywhere else on the internet).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Painted Picture 1

I'm trying something new here. It's an ingenious idea I had where I take one of my favorite sketches and I put it on one of my favorite photographs. Ingenious, I tell you! Okay, maybe not ingenious, but a pretty picture for you, right? I hope you like it. Because I do.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A DIY I could handle

So I really love to make stuff, but usually there isn't enough rhyme or reason to make a DIY for others to follow, from my work. A lot of times I will finish a project, having documented the whole thing, and go back through the process and see that it might actually work for a DIY, but man, after I do a project I'm too exhausted to write up a DIY!!! So I really appreciate those that post easy to follow, easy to execute, and beautiful DIYs. I've recently come across a few that I love, and really would love to try.

Here is a wonderful tutorial for color blocked pants. I only have like three pairs of pants that fit, so maybe I won't risk turning one into a fashion statement. That means only two normal pants. But. If I do change my pants....this is how I will do it. Tutorial at Honestly WTF.

And then, another thing I love, but might not do (I live in Brazil, there isn't much wool going on here, it's hot). Find this tutorial at Honestly WTF as well.

Mmmm, rope belt! I've got lots of rope... If I don't cover it with fabric, I'll paint some. And then I'll let you know how that goes. Find rope belt at A Pair and a Spare.
Beaded belt. I thought this one would be the most complex, but it looks like if you have decent shopping resources, this one could be easy! I was going to hand bead the whole thing (okay, I wasn't actually going to hand bead anything, most likely. Just think that I would). Found at a Pair and a Spare as well.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weeellll isn't that fun

Okay, so it seems I'm on a UK kick? I don't know why. We just met a gal in our Jiu Jitsu class from across the pond, but I don't think that's why I'm hearing all the news from GB lately. They just seem to have great stories at the moment. Maybe I'm just waiting for the Olympics.

So these two little owls were hatched in an incubator and are now living with a guy who works as  a wildlife park. They are cuuuuute. There's another picture of them with his dog, which sounds hilarious to watch, too. Read the rest of the article HERE.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Good Reads!

Okay, so this isn't a wholly individual idea. I'm borrowing it from E, at E Tells Tales (dang, who did her header? super sweet!). She had a post of summer reads, and as I had just bought a whole box of books (see after the photo for info on that), I thought I'd do list of these books... A little insight into my brain, and reviews for what I have read.

1-The Hunger Games: What, you're just now reading it? Yes, I blame it on living in a country where they write books in a language I'm not fluent in. I just got a Kindle and it came with a free book. It's still on the 'top sellers' on some lists, so it was one of the first ones I saw. I had no idea it was so survivalist! I mean, I guess I could have guessed. I think I would probably die pretty quickly in the Games, but if no one could find me, I would probably survive quite a while. Before we moved to Brazil (where there is so much fruit growing right in front of your face that you feel like you could survive forever) I was pretty in to foraging. I didn't do it much, but did come up with some stuff from roadside walks and our back yard. Okay. So this wasn't much of a book review, was it? Well, it was good. Simple and interesting. How's that?

2-Beekeeper's Bible: Haven't read it yet, but it is beautiful, and I thought it would be good on the bookshelf. Reviews said it was a pretty thorough beginner's guide to beekeeping. We live in an apartment at the moment. Probably not happening.

3-Preservation Kitchen: Dang! It's on my wishlist! I forgot I didn't buy it. Shoot.

4-Omnivore's Dilemma: I read this a while ago (I went on a Michael Pollan book spree and read them all), but I brought it home for my husband to read. The Polyface Farm section is great. The best ever. In a dream world I have a screen printing studio on the grounds of my little farm. Hah. One day. Read this book, it'll make you think harder about your food.

5- Farm Anatomy: This book was only $15. Julia Rothman is such a dream girl. I've wanted this book since it came out, but never would have guessed it was priced so sensibly! An amazingly thorough coffee table book for the aspiring farmer.

6-Wild: We just had our first visitor here, and she left this book for us to read (it was her travel read, she finished while she was here). Another one that I'll let you know about. Thought it fit the theme though.

7-With Broadax and Fireband: We live in the Atlantic Forest Region of Brazil. This was the second most ecologically diverse place in the world (second to the Amazon rainforest) until it's demise by the hand of MAN! Oh man. Sad right? (also, don't quite me on these "facts"...) I thought it would be good to have a little history of the area we live in. Also, haven't read it yet.


Okay, so that's it for my book review. How did you like it? Did you like that I haven't read most of the books on the list? If I did a real book review, it would probably have to be a yearly one. So maybe next year. I don't read toooo many books. I wold like to read more though. But until I get better at Portuguese, most of my reading time goes to Portuguese textbooks. Oh well. Those are fun, but not very interesting review material.

And one more tidbit. They aren't libraries where I live (not that I've found) so to get books I have to buy them from bookstores, online, or with  my kindle. I buy from ThriftBooks. They have great shipping options, I can almost always find the book I'm looking for, and the price is right! Also, they're reused, so I like to think that I'm saving a tree somewhere.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sea Urchins!

Hey guys! So as you all now know, I'm going to be designing fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics. Now I'm a sewer from way back when, but I'm a little rusty. So when they told me I was in, they also suggested that maybe I hone up on my special skills. I say OKAY! A legit reason to craft? I've been looking for one of those. I made a pillow. It took me a little while, and all the materials were leftovers, so I'm not going to pretend it's a tutorial or anything. But maybe it'll gear me up for something that other people would want to learn. Yeah?

As I'm working on it, actually pretty close to finished, I hold up the embroidery to show my husband. And the following conversation happens:

Me: What is it? Can you tell?
Husband: A snowflake!
Me: No. Not even close.
Husband (knowing that I like marine creatures, pulls out the fanciest seashell name he knows): Conch?
Me: Noooo... but I guess you're closer.
Husband: Seashell!!!
Me: Really? We have two of these things in our house. You still can't guess?
Husband: Sand dollar?

And that's where I just gave up. So this is what sea urchins look like when they die. They loose their spines and have this beautiful skeleton thing. So pretty! Okay, enough chat, I'll get to it, here's the sewing part:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

About Me

 Well hey and welcome all you Art Gallery fans! Today I am announcing that I will be designing a fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabrics, so I assume the majority of you are here because of that. But, in the chance that you're here on your own, well lucky you! Today you get to know me a little better. We've got a little video on YouTuby, so check that out, but also check out the little Q&A session below:

1. Where were you born? Lexington, Kentucky. But I only lived there for a few months. I lived in 4 states before I turned 5. And I was raised in southern Alabama.
2. Sweet or sour? Sweet AND Sour!!!! But most hours of the day, sweet. 
3. Favorite song? Whaa? Favorite song? That's really hard. Not to be the boss here, but how about favorite artist? Jimmy Buffett. He's from right next to my hometown, so he's sort of a hometown hero. And margaritas, beaches and palm trees? Who doesn't love that?
4. Dream vacation? I've always wanted to go to a Pacific Island country. Like French Polynesia, Micronesia, Cook Islands, Vanuatu. I don't know anything about those countries but I love little islands.
5. Favorite actor/actress? Well, I don't really think I have a favorite. But right now I'm really liking Cheryl Hines in Suburgatory. She is hiiilarious!
6. Favorite Holiday? Chriiiistmas!!!!
7. Most "go-to" color? Well, black? For wearing. Because I spill a lot. Then, maybe grey? What a boring answer!
8. Favorite food? Artichokes. I always had an artichoke on my birthday growing up.
9. When I grew up I wanted to...draw all day. How did I figure out how to make that happen? 
10. Thing I miss most from home? Home like where I used to live with my parents, or home like the United States (because I live in Brazil)? From my parents house I miss their cooking. They are both incredible cooks. From the United States, I miss the Dekalb Farmer's Market in Atlanta, Georgia. Best supermarket in the world.
11. Pepsi or Coke? Errr, water? 
12. Tea or coffee? Methinks tea. But I like coffee a lot too. But not too much caffeine. I get all crazy!
13. Fav clothing store? Goodwill and Target. I'm a super basic dresser. Oh wait. I should have waited until the next question!!
14. T-shirt & jeans or glam it up? Tee shirt and jeans even sounds fancy for me!
15. Read or TV? Aaaargh, I have to choose between all these great things! Tea or coffee, read or TV? Who chooses just one, guys? I choose both!!! But. For the sake of answering. If I'm alone: read. If I'm with my husband: TV
16. Favorite TV show? Used to be Scrubs, but now I go from series to series, start to finish. My husband and I are midway through Breaking Bad. Kids, don't do drugs!
17. My hobby is.. Gardening. I grew an artichoke!!!! I'll have to post a picture on here. Who knew you could just put a seed in the ground and grow your favorite food?
18. Morning person or Night owl? Morning person for sure.
19. Fav fragrance? Fragrance like smell/scent, I really like the handy wipes you get at BBQ places. Fragrance as far as the ones that come in a bottle, my friend Florencia gave me the only real perfume I have. I don't know the name of it. It's just a little bottle, but I wear it when I'm feeling fancy. I love smells. Garlic and butter. Laundry. Windex. The ocean.
20. Wild card... whatever you want to put ... Make your own Q? Hmmm. I love question and answer, but this seems tough. How about odd facts? Here's one:
-I was a tour guide in college. I gave sightseeing tours on a boat, and we chased dolphins.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quilt squares gone awry!!!

Sao Joao Festival Flags

By now you probably realize I live in Brazil. We're pretty new here, so most experiences are new and fresh. This year we sort of missed a festival called Joao Pessoa. We're still not really sure of what it's all about, but people dress up like rednecks (blacked out tooth, overalls, plaid, hair in pigtails) and eat corn.  So whatever it was, it sounds great to us, and we are going to make sure we're here next year.

Another great thing about this festival (and it seems like all Brazilian parties) they put up flags! I'm not sure if the type of flags I'm posting about here are supposed to be specifically for Sao Joao, but it's the only time I've seen them, and everyone had them up for the festival (we missed it, but, like all Brazilian holidays, it lasted a month). So here's a little printable pattern for Sao Joao flags. I love them because they're just a rectangle with two cuts. This is something I can do, you know? Not very hard to mess up? Click on the image for the full size version.

Doctor, please!

Hey there! Quilt blocks. Aren't they neat? This is my first one. I tried to pick something that looked painless and simple. But I neglected to read any instructions. Errr, so it was a work in progress. But most of my projects are just that. I don't think I've ever sent out to make one thing and ended up with the steps being exactly what I had planned. 

Straight from the bed of the scanner

A little miscellany.