Friday, June 30, 2006

Crochet Design

The scarf I pictured the other day was a design found in Debbie Stoller's new book Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet - The Happy Hooker. Yes this is still a G-rated blog, but I can't help the title of the book. It has a lot of great crochet patterns and ideas and some very detailed instructions and illustrations if you are new to crochet. I love the scarf I made from the book and was inspired to design my own scarf so that I can pass it on to you at the SimplyJune store. I have a ways to go, but here is my first attempt at designing a scarf.

On another note, every crafty girl should have an assistant and this crafty girl is no exception. Lucas is quite an assistant and quite the inspiration. Plus, who can resist that cute little smile. Here he is assisting me last night by keeping my seat warm - a very thoughtful pooch.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Funky Fabrics

I'm branching out - taking my timid design self to places I have never gone. :) I have an eye for design, but a very conservative one. I like patterns and designs that are safe and work - the tried and true. I don't mean the familiarity found in vintage designs, but rather taking that leap to combine colors, textures, designs, eras, concepts, etc. that one might not initially think would work together. I've always been afraid to try, but I'm feeling a little more daring and trying to challenge myself in that way. The background and bottom two fabrics are comfortable to me. They have their own boldness, but they are definitely in my comfort zone. The top four fabrics scream color and are definitely out of the comfort zone, but hopefully you will see them soon in my new daring design persona. Ah, I guess the first step is always recognition...

(Despite being the tried and true, I love this fabric combo and can't wait to make a cute little purse with which to stroll along the beach in the summertime.)

I have been busy crocheting too and experimenting with some patterns using what I have in my yarn stash. Having finally reorganized my studio, I found quite a bit of yarn that I had forgotten about. Here is a cute thin scarf of a nice length to wrap around a couple of times - cozy and cute. I'm desperate to wear it, but alas I will have to wait until Fall.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Summer Dress and Bloomers
Sewing, sewing, sewing...and finally back to blogging. I've been busy working on a number of projects and collecting materials for others. I have recently acquired a number of beautiful prints and am mentally designing some new handbags that I would like to get on paper shortly.

The pink rose dress and bloomers is a gift for my little friend Baby Sarah. I love little girlie summer outfits and had this cute pink print in my cotton stash. It has been a while since I have sewn clothing, but it went really smoothly and I'm happy with how it came out. Maybe you will find something similar on Simply June in the future. Again, so many fun things to sew, so little time...

I have also finished a nice number of the hand towels and am waiting for a sunny day to photograph them outside. I'm thinking of doing a group shot with them out on a drying line hung using the vintage style of wooden clothes pins. I found some at a yard sale recently. They themselves are not vintage, but I think will give me the look I want in my photographs. I like photographing my wares outside as I can never get the lighting I like inside. Eventually I will invest in some better lighting, but in the meantime outside seems to be my best option.

As I mentioned, I have been collecting materials for other projects I would like to work on. Here is a bundle I purchased from NZBug on Ebay. Check them out at They make beautiful children's clothing and once in a while sell fabric remnants on eBay. They sent me my fabrics in such a cute little bundle that I felt like I was getting a present! The first two prints are by designer Amy Butler and are from her Charm collection. The third is a beautiful almost gauze- like cotton imported from Europe.

Monday, June 19, 2006


I didn't used to like wearing skirts that much, but have really fallen in love with them over the past couple of years especially with all of the pretty vintage looking fabrics out there. I keep meaning to make a pattern from some of my favorite skirts so that I can use some of the retro repro fabrics I find. I just took a book out of the library on this subject and hopefully it will help in that endeavor. The photo to the left is of a skirt I just bought on ebay. The brown satin ribbon is just above the hemline and the skirt comes to about mid-calf. Very cute and my favorite blue brown combo.

Kolya is going through a phase recently where he wants to be held constantly. I love holding him, but after a while my arms feel like they are going to fall off. I finally decided to buy a baby/toddler sling from Lucky Baby ( and it arrived today. I bought the cute one displayed on their homepage with a brown lining. I think they used an Alexander Henry fabric. They have a great sense of style and color at Lucky Baby as well as an incredible product.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

This is Jason's first Father's Day. Kolya and I took a trip out to a store in Bedford on Friday where we had seen these beautiful bamboo plants recently. I made the little shirt and tie card from an old Martha craft using some scrapbook paper that I had. I think it makes a fun little card and would be a great craft for kids to do too. To celebrate the day we also had Chinese takeout and watched the World Cup. It is in the 90s today and just unbearably muggy and hot, so we are trying to take it easy.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Summer Days

It is one of those really beautiful summer days - sunny, warm, slight breeze... I went out in front of my house to snap a couple of pictures of my flowers. I love purple. I don't know what it is about that color. I find myself drawn to it. For example, I will be standing in Target in the shampoo aisle trying to find something I like and hopefully a sale. Now, I have a few brands that I favor, but I am more likely to buy the bottle with the purple stripe than the one with the blue or red for instance. This is a little sad when the purple one is meant for a different hair type, but what to do? There used to be a little shop in Faneuil Hall Marketplace in which every item was purple. I guess I'm not the only one out there! Unless, that is why they went out of business. I never bought anything...

I took a trip out to a fabric shop about 45 minutes from my house today. I had a coupon and wanted to pick up some Pellon stabilizer for some purses I am going to make. I looked at our local store, but they were out. I found some great clearance fabric while I was out there and got a few yards for a rainy day.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Print Blocks

I've recently become interested in old textile print blocks. I just bought a great one on Ebay and am dreaming up some ideas on how I want to use it. I'm hoping to get to the craft shop today to buy some Jacquard Textile Paints and maybe some type of roller to spread the paint on the print block. I would like to try it out on a T-shirt and then some paper products too - hand printed cards, wrapping paper, etc.

I'm going to heat set my labels today and sew them into my dishtowels. If we have some sunny weather this weekend, I hope to get some photographs of my new wares outside and get them onto the website.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I have been working on coming up with some new labels for some of my designs. In the past I ordered some labels from a great company in Australia ( ). I am really happy with my white on black woven labels and they look good in both my handbags and hats, but I wanted something a little different for the dishtowels and aprons and other things I have in mind. I e-mailed a number of by favorite craft bloggers out there and contacted some companies, but didn't find exactly what I wanted or I should probably say the price that I wanted. I've tried a varitey of ways to make them on my own, but just have not had the result I wanted. Anyway, I finally came up with an idea that worked. I ordered a rubber stamp from Simon Stamps (! I was able to send a file of my logo and they made me a stamp for under $10! I then tried quite a number of brands of inkpads with varied success and ended up with a fabric paint pen which I color in my stamp with and then stamp on cotton twill tape. I let them dry overnight and then heat set them with my iron the next day and wahla! I have labels. I just made a batch yesterday which are going to be sewn into my dishtowels.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I really enjoy planning parties and coming up with little details to make them unique and special. My dear friend's son just graduated from High School and they threw him a big party on Saturday. It had a carnival/boardwalk theme with a delicious varied menu highlighting Mexican cuisine. I made menus to place on each table to add some more color to the festivities. I used some great wrapping paper that I found in the clearance corner at the Container Store (now one of my favorite places to stop). I feel so organized in that store. How is it that you can pick up a few plastic containers and suddenly feel like you have accomplished something and that your life is going to have so much more order? Anyway, back to the party. I wanted to put together a graduation gift and had come up with the idea of a laundry theme. Somehow your life revolves around laundry in college. There is usually no time to do it and suddenly it seems much more logical to own 30 pairs of underwear and just go home once a month with your car full of laundry. I found a great article on how to do your laundry with some helpful tips - even I learned a couple of things. I adapted it a bit and made a little laminated booklet on a metal ring and put together some other helpful laundry products. How many stuffed bears holding diplomas and wearing a mortar board do you really need? Who designed the graduation cap any way?...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thrifty Giftbags

I read a lot of craftblogs for inspiration and am always reading about great thriftstore finds. Our local thrift store just never has anything unique. However, yesterdayt I took a road trip with Kolya to a thriftshop about 40 minutes from our home. It was a sunny day and just seemed like a day for a drive. I have a small stack of Mapquest directions in the car to various distant craft stores, fabric stores, thrift stores, etc. for those days when I just need a drive and want a destination. Well, this thrift store turned out to be the perfect destination. I still did not have any luck finding vintage sheets, fabric or housewares, but I did find some great new giftbags and boxes at .25 a piece! They are made by a company carried a the Container Store as well. Here are just a few of my finds. I love the colors and various shapes. I love gifting little goody bags and these are a treat in themselves. Wouldn't you just love getting a fancy cupcake in the clever pink and brown box?

I'm still working on my dishtowels and hope to get some up later this week. I really want to overhaul my website a bit too, but that may have to wait. So many ideas, way too little time to design...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Birthday Bliss

Well, I celebrated my 31st birthday yesterday, June 1st and had an absolutely wonderful day. To start with, my little Kolya slept in until 9:30 (we've had a busy week and he has a touch of a cold). The only other time he has slept in like that was on our anniversary. What a thoughtful child! I am convinced it was his present to me. Anyway, I got a couple of hours to myself in the morning and worked on the overhaul of my studio space. I am trying to get really organized and am slowly sifting and sorting. After a fun morning with Kolya and his naptime, we drove out to a fabric store about 45 minutes from our house. I picked up a few fabrics to add to my little line of dishtowels as well as some natural cotton and polyester twill tape. It is hard to find the cotton
twill tape and I was hoping to find some in white, but so far no luck. I think I am going to try another fabric store today. We returned home and I got ready for an evening out with Jason. Kolya spent the evening with some dear friends and we had our first evening out since bringing Kolya home. We had dinner at my favorite Greek restaurant, which I would seriously eat at every night of the week if I were rich. :) We ate every last speck of food on our plates (even the waitress commented) and we rolled on home to give Kolya a nighttime snuggle and kiss ... a really wonderful day.