Thursday, September 29, 2011

County Fair Blog Hop

Wow - good thing I checked my blog! I thought I had this scheduled for 8am this morning....oops, it's like the alarm that didn't go off!

It's my turn on the Moda blog hop! After 23 hops, you've finally landed here! Hopefully I will be able to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about me...but didn't want to ask! I've had fun reading all the designer's blogs this here are my answers to the Moda questions, whether you want to know them or not.....

What's your favorite fair food?

Any day at the fair is a good day - because of the food! After walking around the livestock, craft and artisan areas, I wander over to the food area. Since I only find myself at a County Fair once in a blue moon - I go for a bit of everything. My new favorite fair food is the chocolate bacon - a bit of salty and sweet all at the same time - sometimes it's even frozen...why not?! I also love the deep fried cheese curd - a specialty at the Wisconsin fairs. Oh, and the cotton candy - who can resist the cotton candy! There is no such thing as moderation at the fair - is there?

State Fairs have become known for what they can FRY? What do you fry?

I fry french fries and serve them with mussels cooked in a white wine and garlic sauce - known in France as Moules-Frites.  One of my favorite Moules-Frites recipes is here.
My favorite place in the world for french fries is at L'Entrecote in Toulouse (they also have spots in Paris and Bordeaux).  The best part of L'Entrecote, besides the fact that you don't have to order off of the menu - everyone gets the same meal....entrecote, french fries and salad -  is the fact that they keep returning to fill your plate when it is empty.  And the sauce, the secret sauce they pour over their meat - no one can figure out what it is - even though many of us have tried...and you know who you are.

What's your guilty pleasure?

Big surprise here.....more food!  My guilty pleasure is(are) Jelly Bellys - I can sit for hours thinking up new flavor combinations - and then being the official taster, this usually results in me feeling sick and swearing off of them for a year!  I also love a good bottle of French wine - but I do not love these two culinary treats together - definitely not!

Enough about food.....

What's on your bucket list?

I would like to take a textile tour of of India - the tour would include nothing but sitting around and watching fabric be blockprinted, woven or dyed all day, everyday.  In the evenings, I would stay at an Indian palace and learn how to cook Indian food.  I would watch a lot of Indian movies and wear a sari.  I like the idea of living in a different culture for a while - learning to live in another world.  JZ doesn't think I will ever be able to do this since I can hardly wait 30 minutes for a bus.  But I have faith.

What inspires your work?

My work is inspired by an old house in the middle of the South of France surrounded by lavender fields. And stripes - I love stripes.  Every time I see someone dressed in stripes I feel good - there is something fresh, simple and clean about stripes...they are timeless.

Coco in Stripes

What movie do you watch again & again?

Coco Before Chanel
The Great Gatsby
Jules et Jim
Bright Star

What's on your night stand?
(I really wish I had a picture of this - but my computer is on edge and I can't download anymore pics!)
Lavender sachet, stack of Cote Sud magazines, pictures of Sofia, and an old wooden jewelry box - filled with all sorts of old beads, rosaries and other charms I have collected.  I also have a book or three - one that I am reading, one that my mom gave me and one for inspiration.....The Root of Wild Madder by Brian Murphy, Tattoos on The Heart by Father Gregory Boyle, and Summers in France by Kathryn Ireland (thanks Mogull!)

Tell us about your pets...

This is Sofia and her pet chinchilla - Aladdin.  Actually he doesn't live with us, we just sponsor him so he can live in a natural habitat at the Moorpark Training Zoo.  We are allowed to visit him once a month - which we have done once - he's cute and very soft.

This is me at an angora goat farm we found in the South of France this past summer.  This isn't really my pet - but I loved this little baby kid and would have loved to have taken him home with me!  He fell asleep in my arms - and I fell in love.

In real life, we have two cats, Johnny and Boots - both found us - while looking for food and love. Johnny is the tough boy and Boots is the show cat - well, at least that's what we tell them.  This is a picture of Johnny sleeping - something he does very well.

What creative plans are in your future?

Besides Rouenneries Deux being released in the Spring 2012, which is very exciting, I am working on a paper arts line for EK Success which will also be available in the Spring and a home decorating fabric, trim and wallpaper line which will be available in the Spring of 2013.

Best of Show!
Ok - enough about me! How about a fun County Fair project designed with our new collection, Rouenneries Deux! This simple project can be made out of all the scraps you never want to throw away. Use these pins to commemorate special events or tie onto packages for the holiday season.

Download Ribbon Pattern Here

Now...for the really fun part! (And we're almost done here!)  I have a handful of precuts to giveaway to a few lucky winners - all you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me what your guilty pleasure is! As long as you know all of mine...I may as well know some of yours! Thanks for playing along and be sure to visit Lisa from Primitive Gatherings tomorrow!

Au Revoir!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Last Call for Woad!

We have a spot or two left in our Woad Workshop this Saturday, October 1st.  If you are interested in learning about the ancient art of dying with this vibrant weed, please call the shop or e-mail us.  We are excited to have Denise Lambert return to the US from France.  After teaching workshops in both New York and San Francisco this month, Denise is back in LA!

See more pictures from the New York Woad Workshop here, all photos by Colin Cooke.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer in France!

It's that time of year again...we're starting to make plans for our Chateau Getaway Summer 2012. We've got two wonderful weeks planned for next summer - both involve lots of flea markets, food markets, crafting, and eating!
Week one, we are excited to have The Gilded Life in France, with Shea Fragoso and Debbie Murray coming along to teach us how to uncover gold (in the name of old textiles, paper, notions and jewels) and then craft the gilded way. Shea and Debbie (a fabulous mother-daughter duo) have been crafting and creating for years - you can read more about The Gilded Life on their blog What Happens Next.
Week two, we are thrilled to have American Quilt Retailer return again and host Handmade in France, a creative week featuring artist Charlotte Lyons, who will teach her inspiring stitching workshops. You can read Charlotte's musings' on her blog House Wren Studio.
If you have dreamed of living in the rural countryside of France, with a house full of like-minded women, surrounded by sunflower fields, then you will love our week in France. For more information or to sign up for a spot on our Summer 2012 Chateau Getaway please drop us a note at and we will send you all the information.
See you in France!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Molly and Stella

I'm really not sure if this is right or wrong - but it cracked me up. Molly, my sister, and Stella, her dog/child, are quite the pair - and for any of you out there who know Molly...well, this photo just kinda sums it all up!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jewelry 101 NYC

On Friday, October 7th I'll be in New York City at Tinsel Trading teaching our Jewelry 101 Workshop. If you have ever taken one of our jewelry classes before - you know the drill - but for those of you have wondered what it's all about - here is a quick breakdown of the basic techniques taught in the class:

We start with the chain, measure it to our wrist and then connect a clasp on one end and a jump ring on the opposite end. Next, we thread beads onto head pins and then cut and loop the headpins onto the chain, using a pair of round nose pliers.

After mastering the technique of cutting and looping to create the chain jangle, we make up a handful of old charms by gluing the glass cabochons (or stones) to the corresponding brass bezel - they fit together like puzzle pieces.

After the charms have set, we lay them out and begin designing the bracelet - moving around the parts until we find the right balance. Once we have all of the glass and brass charms in a pleasing order, we connect the charms onto the chain by using jump rings and a pair of flat nose piers. At this point, the bracelet is starting to come together and we could stop here...but if you are up for the challenge, we'll keep going....

Using eye pins, we will thread a series of beads onto each pin and then cut and loop the wire to each other to form what is known as a rosary chain. We will connect either end of the rosary chain to opposite ends of the charm chain to make up a second strand.

And voila - the bracelet is finished - with very few tears! For a special finishing touch, we will add a bit of silk ribbon so that the bracelet can be worn as a necklace by tying the ribbon around your neck.

That's it - simple and beautiful - and all hand made by you! If you live in the New York area and would like to join us for this special evening,, sign up at Tinsel Trading or please call 212 730-1030 to reserve your spot. Merci!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Off to St. Paul!

I am packing up and getting ready to head out to St. Paul for the week to attend Jo Packham's Creative Connection Event. Last year I met so many creative and inspiring people that I am really looking forward to it all over again. This year, I am teaching two different classes with Wendy Addison: the Bibelot Charme Workshop and the Boite de Bijoux Workshop - both include a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry (taught by moi) and an embellished jewelry box (taught by Wendy).
Marcia Ceppos, of Tinsel Trading, will also be in our workshops running a petite Tinsel Trading Emporium - so you can pick up all your favorite vintage crafting supplies!

Who else is going to be at the event - or rather - who isn't! The event is attracting more and more people from all different creative fields: Charlotte Lyons, Brenda Schweder, Betz White, Shea Fragoso and Debbie Murray, Jenny Heid and Aaron Nieradka, and Heather Bailey - are just a handful of some of the teachers teaching creative workshops. Then you've got Vogue Knitting, MaryJane's Farm and BlogHer also pitching in and offering different panels, classes and demonstrations. It's sure to be a fun-filled few days - there is still time to make a reservation if you just can't miss it!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Double Trouble Winners!

I loved all of the second time around stories - each one gave me a bit of hope! To choose four winners for our Rouenneries Deux Giveaway, I started with my favorite number: 21, inversed it: 12, added them together: 33, and then multiplied by 3: 99.
Four winners - count 'em out - and then e-mail me your details!
Thanks for playing along - sorry to make you work a bit for fabric - although you might get to read the comments for the second time around!

Photo of the Iron Jaw Kimball Twins, 1920s
Via Lens, the NYT Photo Blog

(Did you get the same winners as me? 21: Lesly in Ontario, 12: Nancy in Wisconsin, 33: Kathleen Grace in Michigan and 99: Leslie Quinn)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Country Fair Blog Hop

Today's the first day of Moda's Country Fair Blog Hop featuring all of their fabulous fabric designers. I've never done a blog hop before, but I'm up for anything new these days! For 27 days you can hop around and see all sorts of fun projects inspired by the country fair, learn interesting, little known facts about your favorite designers, pick up new project ideas and maybe even win a prize or two! It's gonna be a fun-filled month with lots of inspiration from the fair!

We'll be back on September 29th with our Panier de Fleur project and some fun giveaways...hope to see you then!

Meanwhile, here's the line-up and the blogs to follow:

September 6th Sandy Gervais of Pieces from My Heart
September 7th Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
September 8th Barb and Mary from Me and My Sister Designs
September 9th Camille Roskelley of Thimbleblossoms
September 10th Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts
September 11th Basic Grey
September 12th Polly and Laurie from Minick and Simpson
September 13th Sandy Klop from American Jane (Post will be featured on Moda's blog)
September 14th Liesl from Oliver + S
September 15th Joanna from Fig Tree and Co.
September 16th Lynne from Kansas Troubles
September 17th Barb and Alma from Blackbird Designs
September 18th Aneela Hoey from
September 19th Barbara Brackman from Barbara Brackman, of course.
September 20th Bonnie from Cotton Way
September 21st Christina from Cabbages and Roses
September 22nd Deb Strain
September 23rd Jan Patek of Brannock and Patek
September 24th Lauren and Jessi Jung
September 25th Stephanie from Lily Ashbury
September 26th Julie from Cosmo Cricket
September 27th Kate Spain
September 28th Karla, Susan and Lisa from Sweetwater
September 29th Kaari from French General
September 30th Lisa from Primitive Gatherings
and the fun continues into October
October 1st Kathy from Kathy Schmitz Studio
October 2nd Liz from Liz Scott Designs

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rouenneries Deux Giveaway

Here we are...doing it all over again! After our first Moda fabric collection, Rouenneries, was such a wonderful surprise, we thought....why not do it again? We've picked out the best prints and added a handful of new designs all in classic shades of juicy reds (Penny's description), faded reds, dusty hemps and tea stain - with a bit of blue and grey touches thrown in to freshen things up. We've even added a cheater cloth - a patchwork design using some of our favorite prints.
I'm getting a little ahead of myself, since Rouenneries Deux won't be in quilt shops until March 2012.... but, thanks to Moda, I have a handful of precuts that I would love to giveaway - so you can get a head start on your favorite Rouenneries projects. If you worked with the original Rouenneries, released in Fall 2009, you know that this collection of fabric is perfect for quilts, clothing and home accessories. For just some of the beautiful projects designed using Rouenneries, look here.
Leave us a comment with your name and if you like, tell us your favorite second time around story. You'll be entered in our drawing for one of four bundles of Rouenneries Deux. Isn't it always better the second time around?! Bonne Chance!