Monday, July 27, 2009

Making a pillow

Here's a little before and after for you. First picture is some of the raw materials that I start out with to make a pillow. The second picture is the finish line. It's a long journey from picture one to picture two, but I love every step of the way! Except maybe for putting in the zipper on the side. That's my personal challenge--getting quicker at the zipper (oh, sounds kind of risque!). Each time is better, and, those who know how to do it know that there is nothing difficult about it. Nonetheless, I sweat it out over that particular sewing technique. I could just leave the dang thing out and sew up all the sides, but that is NOT my idea of a quality pillow!

The pillows are 14 x 20, very soft and an excellent accent piece for chairs, sofas and beds. That's my sales pitch for today.

Oh yes, life is very tweet.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To market, to market

Many years ago I tried my hand at rug hooking. It was a lot of fun and I made a couple of very pretty, small rugs. For traditional rug hooking, beautiful hand dyed, felted wool is cut into strips and then hooked into a backing. When we moved away from my rug hooking teacher and group, I wisely bought a quantity of wool from her for my next project. You know how that goes. A sample of that wool is in the picture on the bottom

One day I picked up a copy of the magazine Cloth, Paper, Scissors. There was an artcle about projects using felted wool in the magazine. I started experimenting with my wool and got hooked on needle felting at the same time. Needle felting uses roving, which is what yarn is before it's spun into those strands that we knit into sweaters and mittens. The picture on the top is a sample of my roving stash. So pretty to look at, so many choices of colors. Love it. It's a perfect marriage.

My specialty is accent pillows. They are great fun to make, although I do stab myself with those felting needles (barbed, not nice at all) and it's murder on my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (both hands!). Can't help it though, I'm obsessed. Not only am I not going to stop, I'm selling them--so I have to make more! Next post I'll show you some of the pillows I've made.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Here's a picture my son did when he was a tiny boy. He did love those dinosaurs. Later, when he got older, all the pictures were of Ninja Turtles and weapons and lots of Star Wars stuff. So I really treasure the early ones!

Ok, now I've been fair, shown pictures done by both kids when they were little (sigh, so artistic, so sweet and innocent). Now I'll stop.

So this week I took a class at Ornamentea in downtown Raleigh. It was taught by the store's dynamic owner, Cynthia Deis, and the topic was about selling. There is SO much to learn about selling! I'm used to selling a service--interior design--but selling an actual product is very different. Or is it? I'll tell you more about my product another day, and we will go on the journey to bring a product to market together. Anyway, the class was very well done and I enjoyed every minute. Cynthia is extremely knowledgeable and has impeccable credentials to teach this subject. Her shops in Raleigh, Ornamentea and Panopolie, are wonderlands for crafters who aren't exactly finding the right materials at places like Michaels. These shops have materials of a higher quality and the staff can teach you how to do something new every time you stop in. Just lovely places.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


We're having a great summer. The weather here in NC has been generally wonderful. We'll probably pay dearly in August with lots of heat and oppressive humidity, so I'm enjoying this while it lasts. The fabulous grandboy, Alex, just finished two weeks of a summer camp program. He had fun and I had some time off--four hours a day! Talk about your win/win! Alex lives with my husband and I and we have a good time together, but a little time to myself is always appreciated, and he's a typical 4 year old--he needs lots of time with his peeps!

The photo today is a picture my daughter did when she was a very little girl. It's crayon and chalk on black construction paper (mixed media!). It was always a favorite of mine and hangs in my studio.

Soon I'll tell you about what I did last night (hint-I took a class). It was great!