Thursday, September 21, 2006

Black & White

These new Nataliya bags are going into the SimplyJune shop tomorrow. I love these fabrics and especially the fun contrast of the black on white and reverse white on black. The first bag features an awesome Art Deco alphabet print that I just adore. These prints are great for every season and versatile with just about any color in your wardrobe. I may just give one to myself...

The Fall arrives on Saturday, but that crisp air arrived today. I bundled Nikolai up in a cute sweater and blue jeans today and went into Lexington to get my hair styled. Nikolai had a play date with Jason and spent some time tearing around his office and banging away at the keyboard. I basked in my hour of luxury at the salon. Don't you just love that light airy feeling when you walk out of the salon? Even just a trim can put an extra bounce in your step.

I'm working away here in the studio and have some new hats that will be ready for the shop soon and some other surprises too!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Acorns, String and Other Things

This weekend we dropped by an Estate Sale run by a local Antique Shop. Estate Sales are usually held on both Saturday and Sunday and sometimes even start on Fridays. My favorite, Franklin Street Antiques, holds theirs on Saturday and Sunday and they mark their prices in half on Sunday afternoon. This of course is my favorite time to go. You have to be willing to go through the leftovers of the sale, but the prices are unbeatable and the crowds are gone. One of my favorite aspects of an estate sale is getting to see the inside of another house. Many of the houses in our area are quite old and I love all of the details and nooks waiting to be explored. Often these houses have been lived in for years and though they need work, many of the original details are there. Jason finds estate sales depressing - usually a life has ended and he finds it sad to sift through others' personal belongings. I see this side to it, but I also see the silver lining of goods recycled and a new person to love them.

My recent finds are this great string dispenser made from heavy iron. One bolts it to a wall and the cone of string is unraveled and dispensed through the ring on the end. I think this will likely go in my studio. The scale of this photograph I'm sure is quite confusing as the pan is just a miniature version perhaps for tea cakes and the Acorn Tea Steeper is one of the largest I have ever seen. I have a small collection of these now after see a Martha Stewart article suggesting they be filled with Lavender and Bath Salts and steeped in the tub. This one is the perfect size for that. The original use of course is for containing loose tea to be placed in either a teacup or probably in this case a teapot. Most have a metal chain and hook attached so that they can be pulled out when the tea is done. This one is missing its chain, but delightful non the less.

I promise there is much work going on at SimplyJune and I hope to upload more goodies to the site by the end of the week.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tap, Tap, Tap.....Ziiiiiiiip...

I love the sounds of a typewriter. Tap, Tap, Tapping along on the keys. There is a rhythm, a tempo, a decisiveness in action and a permanence to the words formed. This I write to you from the relatively quiet keys of my Dell laptop where I can add and delete words at will.

This typing beauty is a late 40's early 50's Remington that I bought this summer at a yard sale. A local family was emptying the contents of their elderly mother's home as she got ready to move after many years. The first thing that caught my eye was a large box of beautiful variegated wool granny squares framed in black. The box contained dozens of these beautiful squares and some extra skeins of the beautiful wool yarn - a project never finished, but made with love. I pictured the old woman sitting on cold New England winter evenings crocheting and enjoying the repetitiveness and sense of accomplishment that I find in needlework. So, I decided to take the squares home and finish it during this cold New England winter. I continued to meander up their driveway to find my Remington beauty. I fell in love at first sight. I could hear the Tap, Tap, Tap......Ziiiiiiiiiip... in my head and I tried to contain my excitement. One should never bug out one's eyes or jump for silly joy when one finds a gem at a yard sale. Instead, I asked its price in my most non-chalant manner. (I have never been able to witness my bargain hunting acting abilities, but hey anyone who knows me knows my record speaks for itself.) After a little bartering, I got my portable Remington and my box of wool granny squares for a neat 25. As I began to leave with my goods in hand, one of the sons about my age asked me with a somewhat baffled look, "What exactly are you going to do with that box of wool and an old typewriter?" Apparently, I'm 31 going on 81...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Website Updates - Mailing List

Every once in a while I just have to share a new artist that I have found. Emily Martin from Inside a Black Apple is one of the most unique and imaginative artists I have found doing her crafty thing in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has a sweet and sometimes haunting quality and I can't help but be drawn to these beautiful dolls she has begun making lately. The faces are handpainted and the dolls a so beautifully detailed down to their Mary Jane shoes and recycled wool sweater or hand painted dresses. I'm desperate to own one.

On a SimplyJune note, I have made a few updates to the website with many more to come. I have updated the "Customer Service" section to better describe my shipping policies and have lowered my shipping rates to compensate for some of the lower priced items I have added to the website lately. I have also added a Mailing List form. Simply fill it out and press Send and you will be on the SimplyJune mailing list. You can expect periodic updates about what is going on at SimplyJune as well as some extra goodies along the way. Sign up now and tell a friend!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Wool Felt

I have been admiring some of the things other crafters and artists have been doing with wool felt and am finally taking the plunge. I looked everywhere for a good supplier of wool felt. My local fabric stores carried a small selection of very drab colors and at very high prices. As I began looking online, I found a number of sources for wool felt, but was introduced to the fact that there are a number of types of wool felt available - 100% wool, 70/30 wool-rayon, 60/40, etc. There seemed to be benefits to each of them as far as durability, color selection, price, thickness, etc. I finally narrowed my choice down to two companies and my first order came in the mail today from The Silver Penny - might I also add that I ordered it yesterday! I get so excited when I have something on order - constantly peeking through my shutters at the mailbox. As a child, I lived in quite a rural area and our mailbox was at the end of our long driveway. We had a little red flag on the mailbox and would place it up in the morning when we had mail to go out. The postman would put it down when he had picked up the mail and made his delivery. I would peek out the window to look at that flag and run down when it had been lowered to see if there might be a letter for me! Now, I live in a much more populated area. We actually have street signs that read "Thickly Settled". So, our mailbox is actually attached to our house and the postman walks right up to our door to make his deliveries. So, my peeking through the shutters to look for mail sticking up out of the box replaces the little red flag, but my excitement is much the same.

Back on track...I excitedly opened the box, which also included a cute little Mary Engelbreit card as a gift (I love ordering from small businesses - when has Staples or L.L.Bean ever sent you a little gift?) Inside, I found this yummy selection of wool felt (60/40). I have not worked with it yet, but it has a nice wool texture, nice drape, wonderful colors, great price and I can't wait to start creating with it.

The second website that I found was The Twining Thread. They offer a beautiful selection of 100% wool felt and have the best selection of colors at this grade that I have found so far. The cost of wool felt is a bit more, so I thought I would try the blend first and then move up to the 100% to see which I am happier with.

Stay tuned for some felted goodies at Simply June...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Savoring the Last Morsels of Summer

It is hard to believe that it is September already. I happen to adore the Fall, but there are always mixed emotions as one season leads into the next. I love New England for its seasons - each one offering its favorite clothing, foods, activities, etc. As I savor the last days of summer, I share with you some photos of favorite summer memories.

We spend many weekends during the summer at our family cottage. This shot captures a tiny bit of rainbow and those cotton candy evening skies of the South Shore. I think of so many things when I'm in this place. This is where my father spent many summer days as a child, where I did the same, where my husband proposed to me, where Kolya saw the ocean for the first time, where Lucas loves to run and roll in the sand and where I hope we will all have many more happy summers.

Go Red Sox!!! I went to my first Red Sox game last week! We went courtesy of the Scituate Mariner using the tickets I won through the Scituate Harbor Days logo contest. We had so much fun and so many new experiences. I have had a desire lately to really EXPERIENCE things in my life. I have so many things I daydream about and so many things I would like to try. I really want to take the time in my life to live these things. So, at Fenway Park I took in the sights (love the green green of the grass, red red of the soil, intimacy of the ballpark), the sounds (Let's Go Red Sox, Let's Go, Clap, Clap; Sweet Caroline, Bom, Bom, Bom...; the crack of the bat, the scream of the fans, the chatter throughout the game of game stats, fans cheering for players as if they were family) and the tastes(Fenway Frank, Popcorn - which they throw at you and then come get your money!)

I am working hard in the studio with some great surprises as I prepare for the holiday season and most importantly the SimplyJune Open House coming up in November! I'll keep you posted with dates and details...