Monday, October 20, 2008

Holiday Bazaar - Sunday November 9th

Join Simply June for some early holiday shopping at The Goddard School in Wayland on Sunday November 9th from 11am-2pm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

What Planet is Kolya from?

So, I was dropping Kolya off at school today and was chatting with one of the Moms from his class. She has a younger son "L" who is a year younger than Kolya and they are buds. The Mom shared the best story with me as we headed back to our cars... "L" has been really interested in planets lately and has been asking lots of questions about different planets and who lives on them... Here is their conversation:

"L": Who lives on Venus? "L's" Mom: Nobody honey. People only live on Earth. "L": We live on Earth? "L's" Mom: Yep.

"L" goes off to play for a while... pondering the information as little kids do. A bit later he goes back to his Mom...

"L": What planet does Kolya live on?

Yeah, Kolya's Mama wonders that sometimes too...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shop Update

Leanne won! My favorite Project Runway contestant and fellow Etsian won! Check out this great article on Leanne Marshall on Etsy's Storque. Check out some her past and current collections as well on her website.

There is just never enough time in the Simply June studio, but I finally got a few new items up in the shop. Check them out when you get a chance...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Embroidery Class

I'm so excited to announce that I will be teaching an embroidery class on Sunday November 16th from 1-3:30 pm at Spark Crafts in Cambridge. Here is a class description & one of the projects we will be working on:

Basic Hand Embroidery

Learn a variety of basic embroidery stitches to complete the class project and more. We will be making embroidered buttons…perfect for updating your favorite old sweater or gifting to your favorite knitter. We will also adapt our buttons by making embroidered button rings…make one to match every outfit or to give as gifts. We will cover line stitches, chain stitches, satin stitches, couching stitches, French knots and more. We will also cover great embroidery reference books and design transfer methods.

Class Fee: $30
Supply Fee Options: $10 or $20 (to be paid to instructor the day of the class, cash or check only)
Basic Materials Fee: $10.00
In class use: Hoops, Scissors, Transfer Pens, Variety of Threads
Take Home: 10 ring bases, 10 button bases, Some thread, 1 needle
Take Home Kit: $20.00
In class use: The Kit (that you will take home)
Take Home Kit: Embroidery Scissors, Selection of Needle sizes, Embroidery Hoop, Fabric, Thread, 10 Ring Bases, 10 Button Bases, Transfer Pen

Offered: Sunday, November 16 from 1:00-3:30 (Karen)

So, if you live in the Boston area take a look and sign up! I'd love to see you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Transforming Your Experience of the World

You know those days when you leave the safety and comfort of your own home and head out to do something as simple as go grocery shopping and along the way you encounter aggressive drivers, unfriendly faces, people bored with their jobs, people caught up in their own challenges of the day?... How is it possible that I can go grocery shopping and possibly only talk to the checkout person to say "paper or plastic?" But, we all seem to have a million things going on and I have even found some people alarmed when I try to engage them in conversation at a store (granted I do live in New England). None the less, sometimes I am just as much at fault for this. However, there are those days or moments when I clear my head and live in the moment...take the opportunity to complement someone, connect with someone.

I remember one trip to the store when I was standing in front of the dairy case... looking for a certain item. A woman came up next to me and I made eye contact with her and just shared a friendly smile. I headed back to my cart to add my item to it and she hurried to catch up with me. She told me that she hoped I had a really nice day and that she wanted me to have something. She handed me a round pin with the American flag in the shape of an apple... I believe celebrating excellence in education. I took it and thanked her and wondered for a moment why on earth she had given me the pin when I realized it was because we had connected... no other reason. Giving a gift was her language...her way of telling me that and she gave me what she had. That moment was so rich that I still remember it all these years later.

Well, this leads me to this amazing excerpt from NPR that I heard Sunday night at church. The clip was from the NPR show Storycorps: Recording America... all stories recorded in a traveling sound studio visiting towns and cities throughout the country. This particular story was titled "A Victim Treats His Mugger Right"... told by Julio Diaz of New York City and his account of being mugged and the amazing story that unfolded. It is really worth the listen and really drives home the point that we can transform our own experience of the world.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blankets Cost Money

I'm looking forward to a girls night out tonight to celebrate my friend Karen's birthday! We are meeting up at our ritual hangout to eat good food and celebrate our friendships. The lap quilt is a birthday present for Karen. I love making these and combining a palette of colors. These colors speak her name and are from at least a couple of Amy Butler's lines. The quilt is machine sewn and the bias tape is half-machine and half-hand sewn. I learned a new bias tape trick recently that has really made the task much easier. Have I mentioned how much I love to hand sew? I could really sit for hours and sew on bindings... very methodical... very meditative...

On the subject of quilts... I recently had a conversation with my son Kolya about some quilts that I am making for some upcoming shows. This comes following many conversations where I am trying to teach Kolya that we can't always buy new things when we get tired of the old ones. Things cost money and we should spend our money wisely.

Kolya: What's that?

Mama: This is a lap quilt that I am making.

Kolya: Oh!... a blanket!

Mama: Yep, that's right.

Kolya: Who is it for?

Mama: I'm going to sell it... hopefully someone will love it and buy it.

Kolya: Are they cold?

Mama: (chuckle) Maybe.

Kolya: Don't they already have a blanket?

Mama: Probably, but they might want another one.

Kolya: Oh, but that's not a good idea if they already have a blanket... blankets cost money!

Yeah, I guess I got my point across...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

We have been making a few changes around the Simply June household lately. In an effort to get more organized and to tighten our financial belts, we have been coming up with a weekly menu and creating a grocery list based on it. We have seriously cut about $50 off of our weekly grocery bill as a result! Of course from half of you, I'm sure there is a resounding chorus of "Duh!", but we are a little slow to pick up on things around here sometimes. Maybe it is the creative spirit that we have tried to cultivate in our household, but we usually would just "wing it" while grocery shopping (or food shopping to those native to MA - still makes me giggle for some reason). Anyway, we would just sort of wander into the store and follow our cravings. Yeah, bad idea. So, now I add a cookbook to my weekly list at the local library and sit down at the end of the week to flip through the pages and see what strikes my fancy. I have found that choosing recipes from the same author helps in my quest to save money as they are partial to specific ingredients that show up in many of their recipes. How many times have you purchased a package of fresh thyme or a carton of buttermilk only to find them lingering in the back of your fridge a month later because you only needed a Tbsp. or 1/4 cup of their contents? I have also found that we are eating healthier. I know exactly what we are going to be making each night, so I'm not poking around in the kitchen...nibbling on things until I give in and come up with a plan.

So, what is this weeks cookbook you are wondering? "The Food You Crave...Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life" by Ellie Krieger. So far we have had the Stuffed Turkey Burgers (p. 218) with Garlic "Fries" (p. 265) and Macaroni and Four Cheeses (p. 168). The picture above is of the mac and cheese which is made with two packages of pureed winter squash in addition to the four cheeses. Now the author says "This creamy, crumb-topped macaroni-and-cheese gets its bright orange color and a big nutritional boost from pureed winter squash. Don't tell an no one will ever know. They'll just thank you for making their favorite cheesy comfort meal." So, I whipped up this recipe while the boys were playing astronaut in the living room and served it up without a word. Kolya later looked down at his plate and claimed to have a tummy ache. While Jason was clearly mentally going through this weeks grocery list to discover the mystery ingredient. Yeah, not fooling anyone here. The dish did however get a vote of approval. Yum.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Custom Inspiration

I love having to the opportunity to do custom work when it fits into my schedule. I was given the pitcher from Anthropologie as inspiration for the color palette for one of my embroidered yo-yo dish towels. I love poring over my fabric collection to find the right colors or fabrics for a certain project. It is also nice to have the challenge to work within the constrains of the fabrics I already have. So, here they are... the finished "inspired" dish towels.

I have so many projects on my plate right now. Keep an eye out for an Etsy update soon... I promise and I'm getting ready for three upcoming shows and a few other surprises for the Bostons folks...