Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let the holiday decorating begin!

Can you believe that today is the last day of November? This year has completely flown by and I can hardly believe the year is coming to an end soon! It's been a wonderful, wonderful year and I plan to make the very most of every minute of the holiday season this year. Even though I live in Texas (where we're lucky to have 'fall-ish' weather with practically no winter) it really feels like the holiday season around here already!

The day after Thanksgiving, I put up the holiday tree and it looks really lovely. I grew up in a house where there was a menorah next to a tree every year and I've continued the tradition here in my home. :) The tree is looking lovely and I had hoped to put pictures up today but this post ended up being longer than I thought so I'll share more pics and some other cute holiday projects later this week.

I've been busy making holiday gifts and new stockings for the mantle. I had SOOOO much fun with these. Tufted Tweets everywhere in my holiday decor this year!!

As you know, I'm not the greatest free motion sewist (is that the right word?). But these little cuties were the perfect solve for that. And felt. Glorious felt. The most forgivingly wonderful fabric. I love that they look handmade and love all the crazy stitching. I was really inspired by 3 very talented ladies to make the little circles. And then it took off from there. Stockings. Ornaments. Garlands. Oh my!

The fabulous Lucie Summers (check out her Etsy store here) and her mom, made the world's most amazing quilt. Seriously jaw droppingly gorgeous, eh? Take the time to click through her photo stream. You'll be amazed...

And I have been lucky enough to strike up a friendship with the incredibly talented, sweet and funny Sam Cotterill of mummysam fame. Her new book, Fanciful Felties is divine. Beautifully written, super duper fun projects and really just an overall delight to read. I am thoroughly addicted and am working on a small softie village for the guest bedroom. And being the very talented gal that she is, she also has some gorgeous fabrics she's designed for sale in her etsy store.

For months I've had a huge crush on the fabric boxes that Lesley at Smidgebox makes. So super, duper cute! I'm hoping she'll be making me a few early next year!

And finally, the pattern for the stocking itself (free!) is from Amy Butler and can be found here. I of course added the little peek-a-boo circles to the front of the stocking. Her pattern is wonderful and it's fully lined which I love. My stockings are lined with green Birdies on a Wire which it turns out is a great holiday fabric!

I've also sewn up some holiday ornaments and a garland in this same style. I actually made TWO garlands. One for me and one for you! I'll be doing a giveaway in the next few days and someone will be able to hang a Tufted Tweets garland in their house very soon! The only rule will be no making fun of my free motion stitching 'skill'...I'll also share some details on how I made the little peek-a-boo windows (easy-peasy) in my next post. Have a wonderful night everyone and have fun with your holiday decorating!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A blog post from my publisher about the book!

How delighted was I to be pointed in the direction of a lovely and very sweet post by Rotovision about my upcoming book, The Complete Guide to Designing & Printing Fabric. They also included some sneak peeks of a few pages which they've kindly agreed to let me share here! In addition to the 'techie' tutorials for how to digitally set up repeats and all that good stuff, there's loads of information in the book about color, inspiration and tutorials for hand rendered designs too.

It just gives me chills to start to see everything coming together. I have to tell you that writing the book was one of the most challenging and fulfilling things I have been fortunate enough to do. All of the text is now officially complete after 5 months of really, really hard work. (Yahoo!!!) Now I'm working through the editing process and I'm getting to start to see some of the layouts from the art director. It's really amazing how many people are involved and how long the whole process takes. I can hardly believe it will be next fall before I get to hold a copy in my hands!

In addition to getting to interview some amazing designers and collaborate with some really talented people, another one of my favorite parts of the book was getting to work on all the photography. I completely and totally lucked out and was able to get the talented Ryann Ford to do my photography and Robin Finlay to do my styling. What an amazing duo they are! I only wish we had taken more 'behind the scenes' shots. This was from one of our shoots where Robin styled a fake bed to show off this gorgeous Bird in Paradise fabric from Umbrella Prints.

When you see the final shot, you would NEVER in a million years guess that the bed was actually a couch cushion. :) As we get closer to the publication date (next fall is still a long ways off!) I'll have more and more to share with you. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Santa Donkey - Tree Skirt finished!

First, thanks to everyone for making me giggle at myself and my previous tutorial for charred croutons. :)

Over the weekend I finished off my tree skirt! Am really happy with the way it turned out and its going to be so much better than the usual wadded up sheet that usually doubles as a skirt each year.

The only challenge is that every time I put it down on the ground to photograph it, the cats come over to 'help'. So just pretend there aren't kitties lying on it/under it and you'll get the idea. I'm beginning to wonder how these curious little creatures are going to do when the tree actually arrives. I'm beginning to fear for the safety of my ornaments...

In other holiday crafting news, I'm working on some fun holiday garland from Tufted Tweets and I'll post pics of that as soon as I get them done. Hoping to possibly get them finished this week. Maybe I'll even make 2 and do a giveaway!!

What fun holiday sewing projects are you working on?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another reason I would prefer not to have salad for dinner

So I figured I would have a nice quiet night at home and eat a healthy salad for dinner. Here's how my well laid plans literally went up in flames around me this evening...

1. Make salad. Healthy leafy greens. Me: "Gee, this will be a nice healthy dinner. I should do this more often! Hmmm. Fresh croutons...gee that sounds great. Where is that loaf of bread anyway?"
2. Cut croutons from loaf of bread
3. Place croutons in toaster oven under broiler
4. Completely forget about croutons
5. Wander out of kitchen to sort mail
6. Remember croutons
7. Run like a crazy person across house towards kitchen
8. Enter smoke filled kitchen
9. *X&^%*!
10. Grab potholders
11. Throw back door open
12. Remove charred/flaming/smoking used to be croutons from toaster oven and place them outside to continue to smolder
13. Realize that smoke detector is about to go off
14. Close door so cats do not run away forever when smoke detector starts
15. Race towards hall closet for broom (cannot reach smoke detector)
16. Smoke detector goes off
17. Smoke detector then sets off the house alarm
18. Push button on smoke detector to stop screeching sound (i.e. slam broom end into smoke detector)
19. Jump off chair and run to alarm pad to turn off alarm
20. Phone is ringing (alarm company) so run back to kitchen to get phone and tell them all is ok
21. Miss call from alarm company because phone not on charger. Where is phone?!?
22. *X&^%*!
23. Run upstairs and find cell phone instead (pass two terrified cats on the way)
24. Call alarm company
25. Alarm lady: "Hello Ms. Wisbrun, we have dispatched the fire department to your residence."
26. Me: "Ummmm.... You can cancel that call. I just burned some croutons."
27. Alarm lady: "Pardon? So you do not require the fire department?"
28. Me: "No ma'am. So sorry for the trouble. All is well here. Thank you for your help."
29. No longer hungry. Stupid salad.
30. Head to kitchen. Where is the gin and tonic instead? I'll just have that for dinner and enjoy the burned toast smell that has permeated every room in my house.

Hope you are having a wonderful, crouton-less evening where you are! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

New fabric in the shop | Polar Bears!

I am so super excited to announce that I have 4 new patterns in 2 color stories listed in my Etsy store. Wahooo!!! Say a big hello to the Polar Bears :)

I've been working on these polar bear designs since late summer and finally decided they're ready to make their big debut. Every time I look at them, they make me smile so I really hope you like them too.

In terms of the colors, I got so many emails when the 'Sherbet' color story for Urban Circus was retired and it's one of my all time favorite color combos. So I'm thrilled be able to bring it back. And there is a more gender neutral color combo of aqua and red called 'Ice' that I just adore.

Everything is available in the store and I have a few yards of each ready to ship now and can print additional quantity of whatever you need. Have a great weekend everyone!

Multi Bear Dots in Sherbet

Small Bear Dots in Ice

Flowers in Sherbet

Dashed Stripe in Ice