Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Portrait Quilts

While reading FiberArts magazine last week, I found out that the magazine is sadly closing (I knew I should have started my subscription sooner). It was always a great read to find new artists and interesting new works in fiber. FiberArts, you will be missed.

In that issue, I also discovered the work of Luke Haynes, a quilt artist who uses traditional quilting techniques to make realistic and modern portrait work. I loved the quilts that were featured in the magazine, and I was incredibly surprised to find out this morning that they are being sold in his Etsy Shop. So if you like his quilts, you can head over there to buy a piece of his art.

Can you believe these are quilts? I love the way he does shading with not only different shades of color but different patterns as well. I especially like the detailed backgrounds and how he combines the quilt pattern with the imagery on top. Beautiful work!

All photos via

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Stores List is Up!

The last of the first round of orders from the National Stationery Show finally went out on Friday, and now I am getting started on round two. There are still plenty more orders to go out, but for now I have updated the "In Stores" page on So head over and see where you can shop in your city!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Handwoven Scarves by PidgePidge

One of my favorite vendors at Handmade Mart last month was PidgePidge, which offers an amazing line of colorful scarves that are all woven by hand. I loved the way she used all the different textures and patterns in one scarf, and I have spent plenty of time since the show looking at the huge range of color combinations they come in. She makes scarves in two weights: one for winter and one for summer, so you can keep wearing them all year round (especially when buildings are so air-conditioned in the summer you need to wear a sweater when it's 100 degrees outside).

I have never woven on a loom before, but it is something I have been wanting to do for years. After seeing these scarves, and all the amazing patterns she combines into one piece, I have been looking up classes again. You can see the full line of scarves right here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Around the Studio

Lots going on around here: Stationery Show orders shipping out, working on some big upcoming projects, getting ready for summer craft shows, and hopefully some time for a few new designs soon. Busy busy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Ralli Quilts

I stumbled across another updated version of Ralli quilts this weekend, from LA-based designer Heidi Merrick. Her combination of modern prints with traditional embroidery is so beautiful I almost emptied my bank account and bought them all immediately when I clicked on her website. The green one is definitely going on my future wish-list.

According to her website, all her pieces are made in the US. That means she isn't outsourcing the production of all those tiny embroidery stitches, which makes the $249 price tag seem incredibly reasonable. As someone who is maybe 1/100th of the way through embroidering a ralli quilt, I can understand just how much time it takes to get that effect. Yes, I think I'll take them all.

Images courtesy of Heidi Merrick, found via Fibercopia

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fair Trade Tea Towels

A few weeks ago, a very interesting looking package arrived at my doorstep (actually at the front desk of our apartment building, but same thing). It was wrapped in cotton, stitched together with twine, and weighed about thirty pounds. It could only be one thing: a shipment of organic fair-trade tea towels from Chennai.

Last year, I was buying my tea towels from a company that mass-produced cotton products in China. Very cheap, but not exactly environmentally or ethically sound. So when that company closed at the beginning of this year, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted something higher quality and organic, and during this search I stumbled upon a company that sold tea towels that were not only organic cotton, but also woven at a fair trade co-op in India.

After several months of testing sample fabrics and negotiating shipping times, my neatly bundled package arrived. Below are a few pictures of the actual weavers and cotton pickers who make the tea towels I am now using, and which you can have in your very own home.

The price of the tea towels has gone up slightly, but in my opinion it is worth it to know where the cotton comes from, how it is produced, and that it is improving the livelihood of an entire village (Kilvayattanan Kuppam in Tamil Nadu, to be precise). You can even go and watch them weaving the tea towels, next time you find yourself in Tamil Nadu.

Photos via Bishopston Trading Company
So, now when you buy a tea towel you are not only supporting an artist and small-business owner in the US, but an entire village of weavers in India. And that is a purchase you can feel good about!

You can find the organic fair trade tea towels in the shop, right here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Rainy Renegade

Under normal circumstances, a torrential downpour and forecasts of thunderstorms would have craft vendors running for their U-Hauls and fleeing the scene. Not so at Renegade, where Day 1 began with a drizzle and only got worse from there. It's lucky I started packaging all my cards in plastic a few months ago, or I would have lost a whole lot of inventory.

When we arrived in New York on Friday night, we were surprised at how clear the sky was, since it was the first time in a year we have been to New York and it wasn't raining. It rained at the Bust Craftacular last year, it rained when we went to visit friends, and it rained the entire way through the Stationery Show. But no, the clear skies didn't last long, and we woke up Saturday morning to an almost 40-degree drop in temperatures and cloudy skies.

Because of the rain the night before, my booth was located right next to an enormous puddle, which was deep enough to be classified as a pond. The rain kept going all day, misting at some points, and then bucketing down at others. It didn't deter the shoppers though, and McCarren park was packed all weekend with some very soggy-looking New Yorkers.

We got to sample the hippest iced tea I have ever had, home made and individually bottled. I kept giggling every time I drank it.

Joe held down the fort while I took bathroom breaks (or meandered on my way to the bathroom to talk to other vendors, sorry!) He did an amazing job; thanks Joe, I couldn't have done it without you!

The booth was packed all weekend (at least the rain drives people in for shelter) and it was great to meet so many people who had come from all over for the show.

There were plenty of other printmakers at Renegade, and one of my favorites was Ohio-based JustAJar, who combine woodcuts with letterpress to make beautiful prints and posters.

One vendor was actually letterpressing business cards in their booth, so people could watch as they had custom pieces made.

On day two, the forecast predicted storms all day, but it turned out to be mostly sunny. We kept running out to get "one last thing before it rains" and even rushed to pack up the car at the end of the day before the rain started. But, as of 8:30 pm when we hit the road, not a drop had fallen all day.

Overall it was a great show, and a huge thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth! It was great to meet you all, and we'll see you again next year!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Renegade Brooklyn this Weekend!

This weekend I will be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, so if you're in the New York area, come stop by! I will be at Booth #119 in McCarren Park, and as well as cards and accessories I'll be selling some limited edition prints that aren't available online! Once they're gone, they're gone, but if there are any leftover at the end of the weekend, I'll be posting them online next week for all you non-New Yorkers.

Photo courtesy of Renegade Craft
With hundreds of vendors, this is one of the biggest craft shows I have ever done, so there is sure to be something for everyone. You can see the full list of vendors right here, so take a look and start planning your purchases!

If you're in New York, stop by and say hi, I would love to see you this weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Around the Studio

It's been a busy week of finishing up Stationery Show orders and getting ready for Renegade Brooklyn this weekend. Of course, my body always knows the best time to get sick, so I spent the last two days lying on the couch wrapped in heavy blankets even though it was approximately 100 degrees in our apartment. But I am sitting upright again, and back to work.

There are cards to package, prints to frame, orders to ship and coin purses to sew, so I thought I would share a few photos of what is going on around here. The studio is pretty much at full capacity right now, so I can't wait to start getting the orders out the door. And if you are in New York, there is more on Renegade Brooklyn coming tomorrow, so stay tuned.
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