Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

My very favorite thing to do on Halloween is watch this wonderful animated show...enjoy!

Until next kind and stay creative.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Do I have enough????

Hello friends...I'm working like a madwoman, trying to finish all my items for my Open House next week in NY. I do this to myself every time...I fret over wether I have made enough creations for the show and will people like them...UHG!!
 While watching my new obsession, Boardwalk Empire on HBO Sunday nights, I have been creating lot's of needle felted snowballs. See my tutorial here.
 My cupcake variation
 Snowdrift variation
Painted glass balls with German glass glitter for extra sparkle on your tree
Some folkart saltbox houses
I had to throw in this photo...isn't she adorable? Her name is Liliella and she is modeling one of my polar fleece hats that I will have at the show. Childrens and adult sizes.
I have so much more not enough time to show them all.
Ok...back to the studio.
I just know I need more !!
Until next kind and stay creative.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Defense of Autumn

Hello friends. This morning I was grocery shopping and I overheard a woman talking on her cell phone. She was complaining to the person on the other end about how much she hated Fall. She was moaning about the weather and having to deal with family for Thanksgiving.  It was all I could do to keep from drop kicking her cell phone into the next aisle. She had the most depressing tone in her voice and she was whining...I hate whining!

How can you hate beauty like this.

Can she really gaze at a view like this and not smile.

And all those wonderful Autumn aromas...pumpkin pie and apple crisp. Hot cups of cider and hot apple cider donuts...yum!
Some of our most special holidays happen in the Fall. Family time at Thanksgiving and the fun of coming up with a cool Halloween costume every October. The bright smiles on the little trick or treaters as they hold out their plastic pumpkin buckets.
I like to think of spring and summer as the full day of fun in the sun that we all enjoyed. The Fall is more like the time of the day when your Mom or Dad come in to tell you a bed time story...all full of colorful characters, exciting story plots, rich smells and wonderful endings. All to prepare us for a good nights rest..which will be Winter.
So I will ignore and keep my distance from those who fail to see the beauty in every is much too short.
Until next kind and stay creative.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Sky of Ocean Blues

Hello friends.. well my sisters arrived on Friday. I was so happy to see them. We had so much fun while we painted our snowmen gourds, drank good wine, ate good food, browsed around cool shops and enjoyed each others company. Oh...we also laughed ...a lot!
I took my sister Maddy on one of my walks with me and she helped me pull down some Bittersweet that was growing in a tree. I have been eyeing it for weeks, but it was out of my reach. After much struggling, we finally yanked it was not a pretty picture. Thank heavens no one was on the road to witness our shenanigans. My sister Joanne was all smiles as she painted her first folkart snowman ever. I'm not sure, but it might have been the first crafty thing ever for Jo. She was funny as she texted to everyone she knew, a cell phone picture of 'Gourdy' the snowman. Yeah...she named him!
They left this morning and I am sad. I miss them already. 
After they left, I headed back to my studio and my sewing machine. I spent all day sewing with some of the wonderful vintage tablecloths (1940's) and lot's of pretty cottons.
I created this pretty extra large pouch. Great for keeping your favorite personal items together or maybe for packing while traveling.

I mixed different prints for these bib style aprons. Pay no attention to all the fabric stashes in the background. While I am knee deep in sewing, my studio gets quite messy. Snips of fabric and thread cover most surfaces.
 This is a new Baby Doll style I worked on today. I love working with the vintage soft and rich feeling. They sure made beautiful textiles back then (1940's)
I'm thinking, because of the style, these would make great maternity aprons also. 
It is dark now, but just a little while ago my hubby called for me to come outside to see the evening sky. 
 It was beautiful! After a day of warm breezes and fast moving clouds, the most beautiful blue sky appeared.
 Just look at all the blues and turquoise hues.
 And the clouds were magical.

Times like this I wish I was a pilot.
So that was my weekend! I hope yours was as much fun.
Until next kind and stay creative.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mini-models and a Hill of Mums

Hello friends....just came back from a fun weekend with my friend Roberta. Roberta has three gorgeous granddaughters and the twins happily agreed to model a few of my felted sweaters. Ok...I had to bribe them with pretty little zippered pouches, but they really worked it on the runway  ;-)
 What a difference it makes to photograph them on a real little girl instead of a hanger. This was actually the very first time I have seen some of these on real children. I fell in love all over again!
                         Little Olivia and Sofia are a size 5T and my sweaters fit them beautifully.

    They looks so darn cute
                        The twins said my sweaters were soft and warm, which made me smile  ;-)
While there Roberta took me to Ott's Nursery where they had a mountain of gorgeous mums on their yearly display.
Pick a color!
The view from the top walkway
These are my favorites...I love the little spoon at the end of each petal.
I loved the stems on these pumpkins
And ..Yes..... Autumn  has come to Pennsylvania.
Until next kind and stay creative.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Photo Shoot

Hello friends...last weekend when I was in New York I took the opportunity to get a few of my new creations photographed. Whatever does not sell at the Home Show will be placed in my Etsy shop. I'll share a few photos with you...
Creamy wool fingerless gloves with soft fleece rosettes.
Super soft polar fleece cowl and glove set..zebra with pink rik-rak.
Really cute puppy print in polar fleece and ruffles.
Vibrant lime green with ruffles and little terriers. These cowls are so easy to just pull over your head and long scarf tail to deal with. 
This was the first time I had seen these on a real person. I think they look great and Kelly said they were very warm. 
I started to play around with stretch denim and I really like the results. Very youthful and pretty easy to sew with.
 These are black stretch denim with antique lace trim and vintage buttons. A little Goth meets Queen Victoria.
Cloud soft pumpkin cashmere and vintage buttons.
Of course I will have over one hundred different zipper pouches to choose from. This one was created using an antique table runner I found while on my trip to Amish country.
So that is just a tiny sampling of all the fun items that will be for sale at my open house. I have sooooo much more! I hope I did not bore you  ;-)
Until next kind and stay creative.
'The Girl Back Home'
'Banana Republic Rebirth'
Oooops...I forgot to tell you, last weekend I got 2 e-mails informing me that I am to be featured in the newest annual edition of 'Apron*ology' magazine and one of my children's felted sweaters will be featured in 'Altered Couture' magazine.  I have been smiling for days!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Color of Cancer by Sean Metzger

Quick...without researching, what cancer does this ribbon represent?

MySpace Graphics

and this one?

The American Legacy Foundation released a study in 2007 that showed two-thirds of women surveyed believed breast cancer was the leading cancer for woman in America. 

There are over 100 different types of cancer, but it's easy to forget that when everything is painted 'Pepto'. I'm talking of course about breast cancer. I understand breast cancer is a serious medical illness, but what about other cancers: prostate, cervical, liver, testicular, skin, and pancreatic cancer.  Throat cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, and, the monster, lung cancer. Did you know that lung cancer is the number one cancerous killer among women? If you did, according to the previously stated study (if it still holds true), you'd be in the minority. Maybe it's because breast cancer is the sexier cancer. You can't put intestinal cancer on the cover of NEWSWEEK magazine.  We can't expect Coca-cola to put the word 'testicular' on an aluminum can, can we. But you can put a portrait of a fit, beautiful, half-naked woman showing off a PG-13 amount of side boob on the cover of Time magazine.
That you can do and you can do it in spades.

   I'm tired of seeing pictures of beautiful naked women, pink ribbons on every commercial product, and entire events dedicated to one type of cancer. The number one cancer in the world is lung cancer, but does anyone know the color of that ribbon? (It's Pearl, for those who thought I wanted an answer.) Or better yet, Lavender, which is an awareness to ALL cancers. I only say all this because my aunt died of cervical cancer, and my girlfriend's mother was recently diagnosed with lung cancer (she has cancer in both lungs, but those aren't as easy to remove, so that option is gone.) It probably doesn't feel too well to think the public is fighting more for the person to your left, who is getting the same chemo treatment, than they are for you. I mean, to get cancer sucks, but to feel like you got the wrong cancer?

Awareness? Who doesn't know about breast cancer. And better yet, who by now doesn't know how to check for it (gently press you fingers along the outside of you breast, walking them around the sides, got it.) Now, how do you check for lung cancer, or prostate cancer? Endometrial? Can you even do a physical test for endometrial cancer? What the hell IS endometrial cancer? Does anyone know what test best diagnoses endometrial cancer? Its symptoms? How do I help the cause of endometrial cancer? Where do I go to donate money to endometrial cancer victims? I could do research, but I'd rather skim Reddit all day and look at pictures of sad Keanu. Americans don't like to do research when it comes to stuff like this. It's easier to pay an extra dollar when you checkout at your local Foodlion for whatever cancer charity they are promoting at the time, and let's be honest, (in a whisper) its probably breast cancer. 

I'm not angry with breast cancer awareness advocates. I don't want them to stop doing what they're doing. And I don't mean to demean anyone's experience with the illness. If you're feeling like, "My aunt died from breast cancer and how dare you lessen the seriousness of such a blah blah blah," then you aren't paying attention; I am simply advocating more awareness towards those who are probably feeling a little less known these days. 

I'm sure people will respond by asking why I don't get off my ass and do something about it. I'd like to think bringing awareness to these facts is my contribution.  

While adding tags, I noticed this:
"Stand Up To Cancer" Facebook page has over 400,000 fans.
"The Breast Cancer Site" has over 1.6 million!

I couldn't find a Facebook page specific to lung cancer in my short time searching that had more than...600 fans."
**So there it is...Sean has managed to verbalize what I have been thinking for so long, but too chicken to write. Kudos to you, my son. You make your Momma proud!

As Sean stated, I want all of you in this battle to fight hard, but let's not forget all the brave women and men who are fighting the 'unpopular' cancers.   They need our support and research money just as much.  And where is all the Billions that has been raised by all these so called 'pink ribbon' campaigns??? 
Many donating companies spend more on the promotion than the donation.  Seems dying of cancer is great for sales. It has gotten so commercialized it's ridiculous. I prefer to make my donations to the American Cancer Society and not to pink labeled Hostess Twinkie cakes. Anyway..the artificial unkowns in those probably cause cancer!
So just a little food for thought and I hope I have not offended anyone, but happy if Sean and I have enlightened a few.

Until next kind and stay creative.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seasonal Changes and Tutorial Update

Hello friends..I decided to give my blog a little seasonal makeover. What do you think? I recreated my blog banner using a few of my favorite backyard bird photos and brought in more earth tones. Still might do a little tweaking..this is where I wish I knew my way around an HTML.
 I have been busy in my studio getting ready for my November home show in NY. Yesterday I completed these two pretty tote bags. Really love the colors in this beautiful quilters cotton that I bought at KellyAnn's Quilt Shop here in Warrenton. I embellished it with an antique embroidered table runner.
 Of course the inside is a pretty as the outside!
 I have to share something cute my hubby said to me when I showed these to him. He looked at the two totes and said, "those are beautiful Jan, but do you really want your name on the front for everyone to see?" Spoken like a true secret agent man ;-) 
I just shook my head and walked away...with a big smile on my face.
 I love this rusty dogwood in tune with the fall season we are in.
Snazzed it up with a vibrant green coffee cup print.
So that's what I have been up to...and judging by all the great blog posts I have reading lately, you are all in high creative gear also...I love it!
Until next kind and stay creative.

Everything Etsy

I was asked by Kim to do a tutorial on zippered bags on her wonderful blog, Everything Etsy. Please stop by and say hello. See you there!