Thursday, August 31, 2006

What is Blick

I found this incredible site the other day called Blik. They design and produce these really unique wall decals. They come in a variety of trendy colors and come in a pack of 9. What you see in the photograph is one package of the Iron Vines design and costs $50.00. Jason and I have been planning a redesign of our bedroom for a while and have decided to do a blue and brown combination. I think the cocoa version of these would look great mounted on a blue wall. We don't have a lot of wall decorating options in our room because we have a Mansard roof - causing all exterior walls on our second floor to be angled. I had thought of tacking original canvas paintings to the walls, but I like this idea so much more. We are going for a somewhat modern look in the room with a platform bed and really simple colors and furniture. I want a clean, modern feel to the room and I think these elements will attain that.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fabric Sources

I'm often asked where I find good sources for fabrics. I love being able to go to my local shops because nothing compares to being able to touch and feel the quality of the fabrics and to see the colors in person. But, I also find such a limited supply at my local shops and don't always have the time to browse through all of the bolts of material - you know what I mean if you have ever been pulled into the fabric store vortex. So, I have found quite a number of sources for fabric on the web (no comment one the hours I spend browsing fabrics and materials online). So, here are some of my favorite sources and I'm sure they will become yours.

Purl Soho
Repro Depot
Hancocks of Paducah
Flapper Girl Fabrics
Supper Buzzy

Also don't forget to be creative when looking for fabrics. A trip to your local thrift store can yield some great fabric finds. I love looking through the pajama section as you can find some fun quality cotton prints. Take another trip to your favorite bedding store and flip through the clearance bedding. Mismatched sheet sets make great yardage too. If your lucky enough to live near an IKEA, they sell fabric too and at a great price! Many of their bedding sets are also fabric designed by some the leading designers out there.

Here are some recent thrift store fabric finds... Happy creative fabric shopping!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More Nataliya Bags

I have added four more Nataliya bags to SimplyJune and have a stockpile of fabrics to try over the next weeks. I love pairing new fabrics together and the surprise of the finished bag. I think that is why I order small quantities of each print and design from there. It would be ghastly boring to make the same bag over and over again and isn't it more fun to buy a bag that all of your friends aren't carrying too?

Thank you, thank you to all of you who have given me such sweet and thoughtful feedback on
the new bags. I'm so glad you like them!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Its All In The Details

One of the goals I have for Simply June is to keep things relish in the make every product with the attention, love and sincerity I would when making a gift for a friend. I want those details to show and I continue to strive to put more of myself in everything I create. Perhaps this is a lofty goal as I try to grow a business. There was a time when I would be afraid to acknowledge these words, much less write them to the masses. I have always been terrible at keeping a journal of any kind. Even starting this blog was intimidating to me as a journal makes thoughts so permanent. What will I think when I look back on my thoughts, dreams and aspirations? Will I be embarassed or disspointed in how things have turned out? Somewhere along the line I realized that it is looking back on our thoughts and ideas that we learn and grow the most. I have also found the magic and accountability in letting others know my goals so that they will happen. So, this is my wish as I grow Simply June. I can't wait to read these thoughts in a year...

The little purse card is being included with a recently purchased birthday present (handmade to match the purse being shipped). If you would like us to include a card along with any gift, just make a note in the "Shipping Instructions" comment box when you are checking out in our online shop.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thriftstore Therapy

Nikolai and I went to a thrift store this morning. I'm not exactly why he likes this one so much, but he practically runs to get into the cart when we get there. A lot of people shop there and it is huge, so I think he gets some good people watching in. I of course get my retail therapy. Today included an Ann Taylor Loft Black Blazer, Levi Strauss Jeans, J Crew wool sweater, cute cotton blanket for Nikolai with brown and blue stripes and little monkeys on it and a CD - all for $11.45. There was a crazy lady volunteering there today. Nikolai of course loved her. He is very attracted to eccentric and slightly insane people. She had a frosted sort of disheveled haircut and huge dark rimmed glasses with rhinestones all over them. She kept trying to get me to buy a bright coral lacy slip that she thought I could wear as a skirt. She was very disappointed when I said no. Honestly, there was a day when I would have taken the slip just to avoid the awkward conversation. Of course, I would have hung it back up when she wasn't looking. However, today I stood firm and told her that I wouldn't likely wear the "skirt". Ahh, thrift shop therapy...

Oooh, here is a picture of some recent finds. The napkin holder is from a local thrift shop and the feedsack fabric is from eBay. I LOVE the green and blue cherries and was hoping to make a little valance for my kitchen with them, but the greens just didn't mesh well. I think these are now going to be aprons.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nataliya Bag

The Nataliya Bags are finally up in the SimplyJune shop. I am hoping to have more by the end of next week, but wanted to get some in the shop in the meantime. The Natliya Bag is a nice every day handbag. The shoulder strap measures approximately 24" and the bag tucks nicely under one's arm. The inside of this bag also features three pockets perfect for your cell phone, keys and other small items. The Nataliya Bag is named after our son Nikolai's favorite caretaker at his orphanage in Moscow. She took especially great care of our son and loved him dearly. Special people inspire creativity and I can't think of anyone more special than Nataliya.
FTP Blip

The embroidered buttons are now up in the SimplyJune store and I hope to have six Nataliya Bags up later today. I'll keep you all posted. The embroidered buttons were ready to go up yesterday when I posted in my Blog, but I had a slight FTP blip. I called my hosting company this morning and the blip ( Websters: A temporary or insignificant phenomenon, especially a brief departure from the normal) is fixed. Sorry for all of the technical jargon... hee, hee, hee.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Embroidered Buttons

I think I have mentioned that I have been doing some embroiderey lately. I learned how to do this as a child, but really needed a refresher. My Mom came up for a visit recently and we went through some of the basic stitches together. I forgot how much I love to embroider and especially freeform. I have always liked to cross stitch, but find it tedious to check the pattern and then skip all around with one color of thread only to forget what I was doing and go back to the pattern and then back to counting again and on and on and on. It is so nice to sit down with a blank "canvas" and design as you go. I have added these fun button sets to the SimplyJune shop. They are so much fun to add to your favorite knit sweater or to embellish your clothing, handbags, ponytail holders, bobbypins, etc. Each set of three comes wired to a cute card with the SimplyJune logo. They are the perfect little thank you gift to have on hand and easy to pop in a little bubble mailer for a cheery hello.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My fabric order came in last week from Hancocks of Paducah. I love everything that I ordered. Most are Michael Miller, Amy Butler and Free Spirit fabrics. I picked a bunch of fabrics in various color combinations and I'm really excited about how they are combining in the new purse design. I have six purses done and hope to make six more before I put them in the shop. Sorry for the fuzzy pictures.

I had a great weekend of estate and yard sales and will post some photos soon. My favorite find was a circa 1940's Remington Portable Typewriter with white keys. It needs just a little cleaning, but it works really well and I have been punching away at the keys. I'm thinking of typing all of my hang tags on it for my Simply June holiday shopping party. I love the nostalgia of the typewriter font.

Simply June - Temporarily Offline

I just wanted to note that our SimplyJune website and e-mail accounts were down for a number of hours yesterday. If you placed an order or sent an e-mail, we did not receive them. We apologize for any inconvenience. The problem was caused by a construction accident near our hosting company and has since been fixed.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Vintage Button Swap

I finally got a chance to photograph the wonderful goodies I received from the lovely Nicole in a recent Vintage Button Swap. This was my first swap and I was just BLOWN AWAY by Nicole's generosity and creativity as well as everyone who posted photos on the FLIKR account (I've got to figure out how to do that). She made all of the cute little paper envelopes containing the buttons. She also included some beautiful fabric from my favorite designer, Amy Butler. There was also a cute cute cute little apple and pear tray that I am currently using to hold some of my embroidery threads and needles while I make embroidery covered buttons. I am in love with the decal. I love that it is in the original package labeled 19cents (Am I missing something or is there no cent sign on a keyboard?) Hmmm, anyway the decal is sure to adorn something in my kitchen soon. Every button is so utterly beautiful and unique. And they are all MINE! :) I'm a little giddy today... So, silly me sent off my first swap package and I made a cute little travel sewing kit with the vintage buttons sewn into it. But, I just had no idea how much other fun stuff people send in addition to the swap, so a second package is on its way to Nicole. I get a redo right? Now that I have the hang of this swap thing, I am surely hooked. I've already signed up for an international vintage craft book swap. Hee, hee, hee....

Yummy Yummy colors and ooh, cherries!

19 cents (There is no cents sign - I Googled it on the chance that I'm going blind!)

Ooh, sparkly. I can't wait to use these. Just look at all the detail in the largest black button!

Pretty envelopes and bity pretty trim!

Thank you Nicole! Oh, and the Cram Cream tape on the box - so cute.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

H is for Howard
I put together this gift for Kolya's buddy Howard who turns 2 on the 20th. We had the wonderful experience of attending Howard's baby naming ceremony this weekend and to wish him an early Happy Birthday. His gift later included some homemade orange playdough. Here you see a little cotton/linen-like tote lined with the fun colorful design with which I made his initial. Also, included was an oilcloth apron which you can find in my shop SimplyJune. I used the apron's colors to inspire those in the tote. Happy Birthday Howard!

Monday, August 14, 2006


This is my truck. Well, not exactly mine, but the truck of my daydreams. On a recent beach weekend, Jason took a picture of this beauty for me. As I ogled it and daydreamed aloud about meandering trips down country roads with my dog Lucas in the front seat, hair/fur blowing in the wildflower sweetened wind and some acoustical sounds resonating from my radio... Jason then asked where exactly he and Kolya were going to sit. Hmm, hadn't really thought that one through exactly. I really think this is just a girl and her dog kind of truck... plus its just a daydream. In realty Jason, Kolya, Lucas and I meander down country roads in a Jeep Liberty filled with stuffed animals, cracker crumbs and toddler toys with acoustical sounds resonating from our radio - interrupted by bursts and blips of screaming, whining and barking, but with that safe feeling of family enclosing us. Daydreams are fun, but reality is so much better...

I stopped in to pick something up at my local fabric store the other day and they were having a sale on patterns for $1.99. I have been wanting to make some clothes lately, but haven't found a lot of extra time. I'm thinking I may make it a point to make a few outfits after the holidays when I can slow down and enjoy some personal projects during the cold winter months. I have also been doing some embroidery and thought it would be fun to add some embroidered details to some of these patterns. Anyway, into storage for a snowy day...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Creative Moments

I'm working a bit today on getting my blog name out there to bring new visitors to Simply Blog and ultimately to Simply June. Here is a banner I created for some webslog directories. Feel free to add it to your blog and I would love to reciprocate!

While I'm busy crafting ... check out this crafty blog: 52 Projects. Jeffrey Yamaguchi, author of "52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity" has a wonderful blog that is sure to get those creative juices flowing. Check out his photo album titled "Tree", where he frequently takes photographs of the same tree on his daily run. Jeffrey reminds us to find creative ways of experiencing our every day activities. So, find some creative moments in your day...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

From Cram Cream to Squid Jerky...

I promise I'm crafting away for SimplyJune. There just hasn't been a lot of time to take pictures. I also have a huge fabric order coming in from Hancock's of Paducah to spice up my stash so that I can launch my new handbag design shortly. I'm also working on some freebies for the website to give you a little taste of all things SimplyJune.

In the meantime...check out this great blog that I just stumbled upon Gimme Your Stuff! I love it and love the idea. From Cram Cream to Squid Jerky...I have got to try this out!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Craft Sanity

If you are a crafter or just interested in the current DIY (Do It Yourself) movement, you have got to check out Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood's website In her weekly podcasts, Jennifer interviews some of the most amazing crafters making an impact in the crafting community. Recent interviews include Debbie Stoller (co-creator of BUST magazine as well as author of the "Stitch 'N Bitch" books), Amy Karol (of Tie One On, Angry Chicken and King Pod), and Linda Permann (editor of the new magazine Adorn). Jennifer takes an hour with each guest to talk about how they started crafting, what they are doing currently and what they hope to do in the future. It is fascinating to hear how these men and women are contributing to this wonderful movement. I have really been blown away by the knowledge, sincerity, creativity, imagination, resourcefulness and business sense that these crafters have. I have learned so much and enjoy the inspiration I gain from Jennifer's insightful interviews. It also doesn't hurt to craft sanity!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Summer Days

There are lots of things happening in the studio and on the homefront. We spent another beautiful part of our weekend at the family summer cottage along the South Shore of Massachusetts. This weekend was Scituate Heritage Days, an event I have attended since my childhood. It is a fun weekend with a huge street fair, bands performing, butterfly release etc. On a whim, I entered this years logo contest and won! So, Kolya and I were part of the Opening Ceremonies!

We also had an incredible time as a family walking around and looking at the various craft vendors. One designer I just have to point out because of her incredible talent, imagination and eye for colors and design was Jen Jen Jewelry. I seriously regret not buying a beautiful piece while I was there, but will definitely have to order something soon. Not to be missed are her stained glass necklaces in which she encloses beautiful papers in glass.