Monday, June 30, 2008

Lazy Days of Summer
We've just returned from two very lazy weeks at the beach (with a little visit back for the Craft Magazine release party...but more on that later). I've probably blogged about this before, but our family owns a beach cottage right on the beach along the south shore. It was built in 1940...designed by my Great Aunt Mary and built by her father. She had grown up in Kingston, MA and they owned a large amount of land including a cranberry bog (now sadly the site of a shopping mall). Her father had lumber milled from trees on their land to build the cottage. The design features an exposed roof allowing you to lay in bed at night searching for creatures and designs marked out in the grains of the wood. My all-time favorite is a pig wearing a striped bandanna and an eye patch who watches over me as I sleep.
So, a couple of weeks ago we packed up and headed for the cottage. The town conveniently now has a commuter rail that allows Jason to commute easily from the beach. It is a longer commute, but the change of scenery and pace makes it worthwhile. Each morning Kolya and I crawled out of bed half asleep and rode with Jason to the train me that extra bit of time to awaken. It was sort of comforting to have a routine even in a new setting. We would wind our way through the beautiful back roads. Each morning we would pass the same man out for his morning walk. He was an old Indian man dressed in a turban and traditional Indian Kurta Pyjama. His face was earnest and worn with age. There was something careful about his presence and each morning I wondered where his destination lay. I was so disappointed to find on one morning that he had gotten an early start and learned that when he reached the end of his 2 mile long road... he turns around. He turns around! I was convinced he was on a daily trek to an Ashram or to commune with nature at the local wildlife sanctuary. I even had visions of that beautiful scene from The Little Princess where the kind Indian neighbor transforms over night the attic room of an orphaned girl into the suite of an Indian princess. Surely, this man could not have just been taking a walk...
Well, we enjoyed many relaxing days in the sun, on the beach, in the water, taking walks, enjoying thunder storms and then beautiful rainbows, digging in the sand, sleeping to the constant lull of the waves, blowing bubbles into the wind and just enjoying life. But, we are also so happy to be home. There really is no place like home...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Zeal Embroidery Basket

I have a favorite woven basket that I carry my embroidery and other small handwork around in. It is the perfect size for a small project, needle, thread and scissors... The lid was way too boring however and I knew exactly who could solve that problem ... my friend Zandra of Zeal. I knew she would know the perfect papers and colors to make it mine and was so excited when I saw the finished project. I can't wait to carry it down to the beach next week...

Zandra and I will be sharing a booth at Artbeat in July, so make sure to stop by and visit us!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Girls Night Out Bag

I'm looking forward to a girls night out tonight with a bunch of the moms from Kolya's school. They are such a great eclectic group that have found a great balance between being moms and pursuing their own interests and dreams. So, I whipped up a little bag to go with my dress tonight. I wanted something fresh and summery and had this cute place mat among my fabric stash. I have really been trying to think outside the box when shopping and thrifting ... looking for items that are just begging to be re-purposed. I added some polka dotty fabric to the sides ... a bamboo handle hangs from hand-cut bias tape. I'm ready to step out tonight!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Our neighbor rang us this afternoon to tell us about a bird's nest that had fallen into her yard. Thankfully it's feathery occupants had already moved out. Kolya and I padded over to her yard in our bare feet to inspect her find and she let us take it home! Kolya and I have plans of painting some rock "eggs" for out nest at the beach next week... In the meantime my new little embroidered bird sachet from Anthro might occupy it for a bit... (The place mat an birdie are a part of my birthday goodies from my dear friend Monica. Thank you M!)

Another order of zippers arrived at my door today. I have bunches of zip pouches in the works for Artbeat in July and I can tell how quickly that date is going to sneak up on me. Make sure to mark July 19th in your calendars and come and pay us a visit. I will be sharing a booth with Zandra from Zeal and we both have some new goods to share! Sign up on the SimplyJune mailing list if you haven't already to make sure you receive a special postcard invite in the coming weeks...

Craft: Issue 07 Release Party - BOSTON

If you are local to the Boston area, check out this cool upcoming event hosted by Alison Gordon (The Sampler) and Simone Alpen (Greenward). Check out Craft Magazine's blog for updates and reviews of release parties in other cities. I'm planning to attend and am meeting up with Melissa from Yummy Goods. See you there!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vinyl Wall Art

I've had my eye on this website for a while... check out Vinyl Wall Art when you get a chance. They offer an endless collection of clever decals for your walls. This is perfect if you rent or like to change up the look of your walls as often as I do! Now someone just needs to invent a paint that works like the paint bucket tool in Photoshop...

They are also offering a clever little giveaway on their blog right now, so spread the word!

Posie Locket

This idea has been floating around in my mind for quite a while and I finally sat down to create it this afternoon. I used a bullion stitch to create the posie. After endless struggling with cotton embroidery floss, I decided to try cotton pearle floss. It has enough of a sheen to slide the base thread through the wrapped portion. I attached my design to a vintage brass locket and added some modern findings. I think its the perfect summer accessory...don't you?

Oh and if you haven't stumbled upon or heard about this new business... check out Spoonflower. They are a new service that allows you to print your own fabric designs! Oh the possibilities! I feel giddy just thinking about it. They are still in the beginning stages and appear to be at the "invitation only" stage right now, but you can register on their site to receive an invitation in the future. Check out their blog for some great previews of orders that have already been printed...
Brilliant idea!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Polka Dotty Zip Pouches

The school year is quickly coming to an end. Kolya has one more week of school, but his teacher is having a special moving up celebration on Friday. I'm such a sucker for little kids performing songs with hand motions. Anyway, I've been whipping up some goodies for his teachers including zipper pouch sets. (I promise there will be plenty at my next show for those of you who have been inquiring.)

The rain is coming down steady today...the perfect kind of day for embroidery and yo-yo making ... Alexi Murdoch in the background... dark cashmere incense burning... slipper sock mary janes covering my toes...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Polka Dotty Yo-Yo Flowers...All in a Row

I'm busy in the studio working on end-of-the-year teacher's gifts...goodies for my Etsy shop & even more goodies for an upcoming show - stay tuned for more on that!

I have been happily hand sewing fabric yo-yos with no particular project in mind. But, last night they were just begging to be flowers. This cute polka dotty garden dish cloth is in the Etsy shop!

June is definitely my month in more ways than one... Did I ever mention that my birthday falls on June 1st? It is also my middle name, but the two have nothing to do with each other. Now it is the name of my little cottage industry too and it seems to just suit me. Happy Tuesday!

Bug Expedition

Kolya and I headed out on a bug expedition this morning. With magnifying glass, bug catchers and bug jar in hand, we arrived at the Garden in the Woods ready to explore! Kolya has always been a bit timid with bugs. Especially for a child who is most happy when covered from head to toe in dirt. We had a four-legged winged creature in our car the other day who we named "Fred" and that seems to have made all the difference. Especially once he learned that Fred likes to eat lettuce instead of little boys. So, we packed up our gear this morning and headed for our adventure. I happily snapped pictures while Kolya chased after all types of bugs. I am NOT by any stretch of the imagination the outdoorsy type. This is not my comfort zone. I think I have mentioned this before, but I like my climate to be happily controlled by heaters and air conditioners. I don't like to swat at bugs, have dirty feet or that prickly sweaty feel. But, for the sake of my 3.5 year old son, who is ALL boy I will do it. (I did however wear a cute dress, pink Crocs and my favorite bug themed necklace.)

Here are some snapshots of our expedition...see if you can spot the hidden bug!