Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christmas in August

Ok, so maybe I'm a month behind on the whole Christmas in July thing- I prefer to think instead that I'm months ahead of the whole Christmas in December thing instead. It has felt like Christmas the last few days. I dug out some ornaments from last year's Christmas trove and dug through my fabric jumble to find all the holiday fabrics. Turns out I didn't really have much left over. But as a friend of mine likes to say: God Provides. Often in surprising ways!!!

My surprise came yesterday when Jasper and I tripped over to a quilt store I hadn't been to before. I was trying to find a sub for some Kaffe Fasset fabric I'd used up and walked into a winter wonderland. Christmas the way I like it with lovely Moda Fabrics draped every where and literally hundreds of bolts of winter inspired fabrics. Turns out that this shop, The Four Seasons Quilt Shop, specializes in seasonal fabrics. If you click on the link to the shop you can get a visual of their shop. I selected a few quickies that caught my eye and thought I'd share them with you.

The swirlies on the far right are Kate Honarvar forTimeless Treasures, the next few are from last year's Joann stash, then I have a couple fabrics from the Figgy Pudding line. If you scrapbook you might recognize the name from a line of Basic Grey scrapbooking paper that came out a few years ago. It seemed so familiar when I saw it- guess I know why now;). It's cute though. The stars pattern is from the Holly Jolly Snowmen collection from Kathy Schmidt for Moda.

More favorites include the Crazy Eight line from Moda. They come by the yardage or you can buy one of these cute little layer cakes that include a piece of each fabric in the collection.

Lots of links in this post- hope you enjoy them!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A little bit of ART

Saw this over at Zinnia's blog and I think it's absolutely charming! Stumbling on things like this always feels like a little gift. So thanks Zinnia!

By the way she is hosting a journaling challenge that I'm sure will be fun and amazing! I can't wait to see the results! In fact, I'm super tempted to do it myself. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So Charming- the latest Somerset Home!!!

Ok folks! The latest Somerset Home is now available and has in it a "how to" for my jewelry tree AND my wire bird lamp! The article is titled Art as usual and in it I mention how I discovered that motto and applied it to my life. Which you, my wonderful readers know all about- but I bet you'd still like the "how to" part.

Both the tree and the lamp are classic designs from my Etsy shop but new to this version are the clay charms. I wanted to up the "art" part of the tree for the magazine so I came up with the charms. Here's a little about them...

The charms are made of wire and polymer clay. I used Studio Sculpey brand clay. The stamps I used were from the Magnetic Poetry "family and friends" collection of word stamps. I also used the Studio Sculpey brand of brown antiquing glaze for a slightly distressed look. On the back of the charms I glued on little scraps of fabric to match the tree branches. Just seemed like a nice little finishing detail. They were tied on with little scraps of embroidery floss (DMC 844). It was a fun project!!

This won't be in the book but I will be including a more detailed "how to" of the charms for a charm bracelet project that will also have cute little fabric charms. SO cute!! Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fall Colors

This weekend was the turning point for a project I've been working through lately. I've been trying to come up with a fall leaf garland and although I had the basic conceptual of it fairly early on some the "how to" was taking it's dear sweet time actualizing. It was the fabrics that were giving me the most trouble. They would define the mood and feel. Felt- a little cozy and comfy but definitely simple and a little kids- crafty. Seasonal Quilt fabric- ok but a little too much in my opinion. It screamed fall and as the shape will do that, so I thought the fabric didn't need to as well. I found a lovely scrolled ornate pattern I liked that would probably work and it came in both orange and brown but no red for the maple leaves. But then I found a scrap of batik I had and I love how the sun shines through this fabric. It would look beautiful hanging in front of a window, which is where I kind of visualized putting it. YAY! Problem solved!

The basic leaf concept I came up last year as I was casting about for some fall decorations. I wanted leaves to hang from my chandelier over the dining room table. For V-day I hang a stitched and stuffed wire heart, for Christmas some ornaments I've made. It's my revolving seasonal display. Thinking about it some- I realized what a big inspiration the calendar can be. Creating your own handmade decor for the holidays and seasons can prompt you to play with color schemes and imagery you might never have tried before. I don't naturally turn to browns and yellows in my work. But I love working with them. I just don't think to. But for fall? I can't think of anything I like better than to be surrounded with the browns and oranges and deep reds and golden yellows that define the season. So think about it. How could you surround yourself with the loveliness of the season? Then let yourself be inspired!