Monday, October 25, 2010

First Married Lady Post

Thanks Erin for this amazing photo... can't wait to see more!

Off to South Carolina for the next few days but I will see you when we get back home.

Thanks for all the love on my last post!


Rhea Butler

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Last Single Girl Stitches

... And my last single girl post!

Well, there were times I never thought I would say this, but I am leaving today to get married.

And before I leave this space for a few days, I wanted to share with you my last single girl stitches.

I have made a "Guest Quilt" to have people sign at my wedding.

Originally this was a much, much, MUCH more complicated design, but as the days ticked by it became more and more apparent that the quilt I had originally intended for my Guest Quilt was just not going to happen, so I had to go to Plan B.

Plan B was some "Turnover" Triangles that were leftover at the shop and some Martha Negley for the border... all I had to do was cut some off-white muslin squares into triangles and stitch everything together... easy peasy.

I won't be posting for the next dew days, but please do check in with my lovely photographer (Miss Erin of BluebirdBaby) for shots from the big day, and when I get back I will share some pictures with you as well.

Thanks everyone for all of your wishes and support... they mean a lot to me, probably much more than you know.

See you again soon when I am Sadie, Sadie, Married-Lady.



PS... Came home tonight after a hard day's work of stitching the Guest Quilt followed by Mani/Pedi's and Mexican food with some of my friends to find this Jack-o-Lantern waiting for me on the front step, which made my heart melt. It took a long time to find him, but I am definitely marrying the right man. If you are single, please don't "settle" for just any ol' man... I am glad I didn't. And that is my last single girl advice!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lots of events at the store (and one big event that is NOT at the store)

Hello all,

I wanted to drop in here and let you know that I have updated the website's events page.

There are lots of good events coming up this fall.

We have an "Evening with Liesl" (her class is now full, but you can still get tickets to her presentation for just $5!)...

We have our annual "Late-Riser's Sale" for all our locals...

We have a 4-day "Thanksgiving Sale" that is just for our internet fans...

And we have a "Holiday Craft Swap," among other things!

For more information on any of these events, please go and check out the events page as soon as you get a chance.

And as most of you know, the nuptials (that would be the one "Big" event to which I am referring) are taking place on the 23rd.

Of October.

Also known as "9 days from now."

I will be checking in between now and then but I wanted to let you know that as the big day approaches, I am getting more and more excited and it all feels very much "real" to me now and I am so crazy that I don't know how I am going to live with myself for the next week and 2 days.

All it takes is one lovey-dovey, happy-sappy song to play on the radio and I am a wreck.

All tears, this one.

I'll pull it together for the big day, though.

And here's a juicy tidbit for you...

In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I had a very dramatic last-minute "change of a dress" and I am no longer wearing this little number ...

but have decided to go with this lovely frock instead!

I love it!

It is so comfy and has the loveliest details, like a sweet golden zipper that matches my ring and other baubles quite nicely!

Now I just have to rustle-up some killer boots and I can get myself hitched in style!

(A huge "thank you" to Jessica in the returns department at J.Crew for dealing so nicely with a *slightly* hysterical bride who may or may not have misplaced her receipt and may or may not have adhered to the 60 day return policy... if you were an angel, you would have earned your wings by now and I am forever in your debt!)

And file this under "strange-but-true", one of my dearest friends just took a whirlwind trip to LA for her brother's wedding, and the bride in that instance had also recently returned a dress to J.Crew in favor of the exact same dress that I chose!

Don't believe me?

There are pictures here!


I will see you again soon... say a little prayer for good weather on the 23rd!

Don't forget to check the events page!



Monday, October 11, 2010

This year's big 'ol pumpkin

Here are some pics from the pumpkin that Mom and I decorated (with help from my little sister Johanna) for this year's Pumpkinfest.

We decoupaged fabric onto our pumpkin with acrylic gloss.

Here are the directions from last year on how to make a fabric covered pumpkin, giant or otherwise.

The giant pumpkins for Pumpkinfest are grown all over the state, but our pumpkin was grown by a local boy and weighed in at 337 pounds!

I thought it had great color and a great shape, too.

Enjoy and I will be back soon with pictures of the other pumpkins from Pumpkinfest!

(Note: The pumpkin in these pictures is covered with acrylic gloss that is still wet, which is why it looks milky... the acrylic gloss dries clear, but you will have to take my word for it, as town got so crazy with Pumpkinfest visitors that I was too terrified to go back and snap pictures of the dry pumpkin!)



Friday, October 8, 2010

City Weekend: we has it!

Late-breaking news!

It's a Moda-ful day: City Weekend has finally arrived!

We are unpacking and putting it up on the website as we speak, so please enjoy.

We ordered most of the quilting weight cottons and all of the knits... and the knits are sooooo soft.

They are just like Liesl promised: substantial yet soft and I've never seen anything like them.

I can't wait for Liesl's workshop to make something with them!

We also have jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm squares galore.

Stop in the shop and see them in person or check the website in the next couple of hours.


(Thanks, Liesl!)



PS... I am officially declaring it "Break Dancing Day" at the shop. If you stop in you can show us your best break-dancing moves because we have ALL KINDS of cardboard now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What goes into an ad

Here's a little behind-the-scenes peek for the locals that I thought might be interesting to those of you living far away as well.

Each week I hand-draw the ads for the store and they run in the local newspapers. We have a great spot: always on the inside of the front page... our ad has been there for as long as I can remember, which means at least 15 years, but I suspect Alewives Fabrics may have had an ad in that very same spot for more like 35 years.

I feel like our ads are small but mighty: we may not have the biggest ad in the paper, but we are going to do the best we can with the space we have. Therefore, I try to have a different ad for every week (although I will confess to having "recycled" a few over the years), and this week is our town's annual "Pumpkinfest" which is a HUGE deal here, so I knew I wanted to do something "pumpkin-y."

The ads that run in the newspaper are only the size of a business card, and I could never draw something that teeny tiny, but the newspaper supplies me with a special notebook of paper and after I draw the ad, the illustration gets reduced down to size.

I start off with a concept (this is where being a creative person comes in handy). Usually there is something I have to mention, like a sale or a class or an event or the arrival of a new collection, but sometimes there is nothing pressing to advertise. I like those weeks best, because those are the times I can be really silly and go wild. In one of my more brilliant weeks I did a drawing of a cow-girl wearing patchwork chaps and holding a couple of irons, six-shooter style. The caption read: "Alewives: where the irons are hot and the fabrics are hotter." This week was not one of those weeks, though... I absolutely had to work pumpkins into the ad!

After I have developed my concept, I sketch the ad in the special notebook that the newspaper has given me.

This is exactly the same idea as writing the first draft of a story: I don't get too hung up on making things "perfect," but I try to map things out and I can always refine them later.

Once I have my sketch laid out and rearranged to my heart's content, I start "inking things in" with a pen.

This is where the ad really starts to take on a little personality and my particular style of drawing starts to come through. I have always been a pen-and-ink gal... probably that comes from high school when I used to doodle a lot with a pen on my notes.

Once everything is "inked" in, I go back with a pink pearl eraser and erase all of the pencil lines to see what kind of shape I am in.

When I see everything all "cleaned up," sometimes things jump out at me that look a little "bland," so I go back in and add some more details to those areas. Right now with this ad the pumpkins are looking a little flat so I will have to give them some attention and see what I can do.

I will put some cross-hatching into the pumpkins to give them dimension, I'll sharpen up the eyes a bit, and then I am pretty much done!

Here's what the finished ad looks like:

My lines aren't too straight around the edge, but I never let that bother me too much... these ads are handmade, after all!

Next I will go outside and draw something similar on our chalkboard and then my "ad campaign" is done for the week!

Here is the folder containing all of the previous year's ads:

Pretty soon we're gonna need a bigger boat.

That is 52 weeks worth of ads over 6 years, so roughly 300 hand-drawn ads.

When we started doing hand-drawn ads, our ad-man, Ernie, asked me if I would like him to return the drawings for the ads each week.

I had said no, but Mom intervened (such a Mom thing to do) and asked if he would return the ads after all.

I have to admit that I am glad she did this (you were right, Mom... I know you love to hear me say that!).

I enjoy looking through these ads and occasionally recycling one of them.

It's really fun to see how the ads have "evolved" over the years...

(Looks like our shop hours have evolved, too... now we are open 7 days a week!)

(This ad's a little "cheeky," don'tchya think? ; ) )

(One of my faves.)

Thanks for taking this stroll behind-the-scenes, looking at what goes into one of our ads with me... that was kinda fun!

See you again soon with more pumpkin-y goodness!



Friday, October 1, 2010

Innocent Crush is in!!!

Anna Maria Horner's new line "Innocent Crush" just came though the doors.


Still on "City Weekend" watch.

If you had told me that we would get "Innocent Crush" before we would get "City Weekend" I would have told you to hush yo mouth.

But here it is, October 1st and still no "City Weekend."

Moda told me last week it would start shipping on the 28th so it should be here any second, tick, tick, tick.

I've got a big ol' space carved out for all those knits and everything, just waiting to be filled up.

In the meantime, Jessica is gone today and Mom and I are here at the shop by our twosome and as soon as I finish this post my fingers are gonna start flying to put "Innocent Crush" up on the web.

Updated to add that the fabrics are up in the shop already, soon to be joined by FQ bundles and Turning Twenty kits, too!

Oh, and I should mention that these are JUST the quilting weight cottons.

We have ordered almost all of the velveteens, voiles and home-dec fabrics, but they aren't going to be in until December-ish, they tell me.

We shall see...



Wedding Watch: Bachelorette Weekend

Ollie's bachelor party may be this weekend, but my bachelorette party was last weekend.

We wined, we dined, we danced, we soaked (our feet), we shopped, we took in the city... all of the above.

And it was a great weekend.

We are really lucky to live so close to Portland, because it is an amazing city.

And I am really lucky to have such a fabulous group of friends.

Wedding is in 22 days! (Gulp!)