Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bundles of Love

Now that I am rooting myself in the textile world - thanks Moda! - I have heard about a wonderful project started by a man on a mission.  Iraqi Bundles of Love is an idea that helps out women in Iraq who have little or no access to quilting and sewing materials.  Major Art La Flamme has a simple way that we can all give a little back to a country in need.
After writing to the Major, inquiring about his project and where to send some scrap bundles - he immediately wrote back with this information:

I added some more to the site recently, on ideas of stuff to send - like knitting stuff.  But really, anything and everything gets put to use here -- this, after Iraq was under sanctions for so long.  Bigger is definitely better -- bigger pieces of fabric, bigger spools of yarn (send the whole bolt; don't send the whole sheep).  Green, by the way, is a favorite color in this culture.
Spread the word.  This is a pretty rapid-fire project, running about 6 weeks from start to finish (8 if you count delivery).  Which isn't much.  I am trying my best, with the website and the emails and all that, but it's a bunch.  I can sure use the help with the word of mouth stuff!

The deadline is September 7th,  so that Art has plenty of time to distribute material before he leaves.  Read here for more information on how to build a bundle and to contact the Major for his APO address.  If you love the idea and would like to support it but don't have a stash sitting around, Sew Mama Sew, will make up a bundle for you for a mere $15.00. Meanwhile, I've got all sorts of Rouenneries scraps to pack up and send off to some creative sewers in Iraq!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Opening Soon!

"I was all set to visit your store after the spot on Eye on L.A.  Unfortunately, you don't give any information about your location on your website.  Crossing you off my list of "must visits"."
Ouch - this was an e-mail I received yesterday.  I thought about deleting it and pretending I never saw it , and then I realized...the time has come.  I need to re-open French General.  Last May we packed up the little pink bungalow in Hollywood and moved our workshop about 15 minutes east to Riverside Drive.  Thanks to my family and friends, we've taken downs walls, installed a wall, painted, planted and primped....I think we are almost ready.  As of September 21st, we will officially be open on Mondays from 11-4 and every other Saturday for workshops, including jewelry, needle, textile and paper crafts.  A list of our workshop days and times will be posted on our website in September.
The new address is 2009 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles, California 90039 - so please put us back on your list of "must visits"! 

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Merci Mom!

A little shout out goes out to my mom who arrived to French General (yes we really do have a new place!) with armloads of fresh laundry this past week!
Every year I bring back loads of old dirty, patched, frayed (did I say stained??) household linens.  And every year, my mom picks them all up from me, takes them home to her laundry room and scrubs, soaks, washes, dries and presses every one -- and then delivers it.  Many times I don't even recognize the piece because of the beauty mom has found underneath the grime.  
Right now she is working on a pair of old linen French flags (the kind of flags the French fly in front of the Marie)
and... because we can't determine the year (they are really old but not really delicate) mom doesn't know if she should soak them or not - lest the color runs.  So we are stuck - to wash or not to wash.  They are really dirty. Good luck mom!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Come Create

I love this new trend of women's workshops. Over the years, I have found that teaching and holding workshops is one of my favorite things to do. The workshop retreats are becoming the modern day quilting bee. It's a natural for Home Companion to start a workshop - to continue teaching. Mary Englebreit and her fabulous editor, Barbara Martin, have organized a five day workshop in St. Louis, Missouri next Spring - April 29th through May 2nd. The group of teachers and panelists include some of my favorite people - Charlotte Lyons, Marcia Ceppos, Wendy Addison, Kathy Curotto and Amy Butler. I was asked
(or I begged?) to teach a class or two. Anyway - sign ups begin September 1st and they are sure to sell out fast.  Tours, prizes, seminars, workshops, gatherings...what more could you ask for? To find out more, visit Home Companion Workshop.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summertime Blues

Why do we have to work, write, post, design in the summertime?