Saturday, October 10, 2015

Celebrate our New Website with Free Shipping!

We're so excited that our new site is finally up and running well that we decided to celebrate by offering free shipping!  Simply use the discount code: bonjour when checking out.  Why not pick up a couple of our stitching samplers and embroidery floss for the upcoming winter months?  Thank you for all of your support, inspiration and friendship over the years!  French General is 18 years old this year and we are so happy to be here!  Merci!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Craftcation 2016 is Coming!

Craftcation Conference 2016 
It's that time of the year again, time for one of my very favorite events, Craftcation! 
 Craftcation is an annual four-day business + makers conference featuring industry professionals leading attendees in hands-on food & craft workshops and lectures and panels on creative business. Craftcation ignites the entrepreneurial spirit, strengthens craft and business skills and builds relationships in the creative community. If you’re a maker, blogger, creative entrepreneur, food artisan or a creative then join us for four inspiring days that you’ll never forget. 
The next Craftcation will be April 7-10, 2016 at the Ventura Beach Marriott in Ventura, California. I will be teaching three classes:  Indigo, Sashiko and Jewelry Making - take one or take all three - it's your choice when you sign up for Craftcation!
Early bird registration begins this Wednesday, September 30th at 9am.  The first 50 people to register get $50 off of their registration! 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cooking with Charlotte!

 We are so excited to have our favorite French Chef, Charlotte, coming to our Art of Craft event in January!  Charlotte has been a professional chef for the past twenty years and studied sauces in Paris for four years.  Charlotte is our personal chef at the chateau, and many people return year after year just for her food!  Charlotte is warm, funny, adventurous, and able to present French cooking in the easiest terms - I have learned to make countless dishes, sauces and deserts from Charlotte over the years - classic recipes using food on hand - nothing fancy! 
At the Art of Craft event in Santa Paula this year, Charlotte will be teaching an all day cooking course including lunch and jarred items to take away and enjoy throughout the winter months.  Charlotte will be using regional food for all of her demonstrations and recipes, including: lemons, oranges, and avocados grown in Santa Paula, herbs grown in Ojai, honey made in Fillmore and vegetables from around the county.
We hope you can join us for this special weekend in Santa Paula - and a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from Chef Charlotte in California!

If you can't make it to Santa Paula this year, but would like a set of  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Art of Craft 2016

We've just announced our upcoming Art of Craft event for January 2016!  Held every year at French General, this year we decided to move our creative event an hour north of Los Angeles to Santa Paula, California!  We are so excited to share this historic town with you - our workshops will take place within a four block area from the historic host hotel, The Glen Tavern Inn.   Spend the day learning to make a hand-stitched heirloom quilt, cooking with our favorite visiting French Chef, Charlotte, block printing on linen and exploring new jewelry techniques!  Our days will be creative and communal - learning from each other as well as from our teachers.  All of the materials will be supplied, all you have to do is show up and be ready to dig in and learn something new!

Sign ups are happening now!

Hope to see you in Santa Paula!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Stitching Beauty

We are thrilled to announce our new project with Cosmo Threads!  We've designed four collections of floss palettes - based on the different seasons.  Included with each floss package is a free PDF embroidery sampler that you can copy off, transfer to fabric and stitch.  Or, you can make it easy on yourself and simply order the sampler already printed from our Embroidery Collection.
 Here's a sneak peek at our floss collections, that can be ordered from French General now!
Get Your Stitch On!

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Indigo in New York!

Join me for a fun-filled day at the South Street Seaport Museum on Sunday, September 13th for a full day of Shibori and Indigo Dyeing!  We will take time to explore different types of Japanese resist techniques including nui, kumo, itagime and batik - as well as demonstrate simple sashiko stitching.  A fiber kit is provided for you, but you are free to bring your own small bag of natural textiles to play with.  Sign up here - wear your blues - and prepare for magic!

Monday, August 03, 2015

Our told to you by Molly and Kaari


I feel as if I have told the story of how we began French General over and over again...the barn, the shop in New York, the move to California, the books, the's all been this very slow organic growth - the epitome of a home grown business.  Along the way I have worked with some amazing, talented people, including most of my family and friends.  It's been a long, creative trip - one that began with an empty barn and the birth of Sofia (no she wasn't born in the barn!) and my desire to stay at home and raise her.  If you haven't heard our story, or, if you just want to hear it all over again, head on over to Abby Glassenberg's podcast, While She Naps, pour yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of wine!) and listen to Molly and me wax poetic about what we do and why we do what we do!  And I of these days I will have an updated headshot!


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Stitching in Vermont!

Join me for a weekend in Vermont this September 17th- 20th at Meleen and Charlotte's Vermont Getaway!  We will be exploring antique French textiles - looking at old scraps - the small repairs, the natural fibers, the center seams and the printing and weaving  methods.  We will be stitching with 18th and 19th century French textiles, learning how to hand quilt, and making beautiful blocks for a wall hanging or quilt.  For more information on the weekend or to sign up, please visit Charlotte Lyon's blog, or write to Meleen and Charlotte at
This is going to be fun!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thank you for all of the nice comments about the new website - 
I am glad you like it as much as we do!  
I couldn't just pick one lucky winner...I never can...
so instead, I randomly chose three names:  
Alice, Pamela Gerard and Tamara.  
Please send us a note to 
and we will pack up a box of goodies for you!  
Also, please include what your vice is...if you are a fabric fanatic, 
a die cut/stamper collector, paper lover, or stitcher...
so I am able to make up a special bag just for you!
Thank you again for all of your nice words!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Giveaway to Celebrate our New Website!

Fifteen years ago, JZ created a website for French General - it was different, inspirational and fun and served it's purpose - we were able to get the word out about French General, as well as sell our craft kits, books and fabrics to people all over the world!
But fifteen years is a long time and all good things have to finally, after many months of discussion, debate and deliberation...we are ready to unveil our new web site.  It may not be as layered as our last site - but I think you will find it very user friendly!  There is a search button (oh my!) and a place to sign up for our monthly newsletters (that's right!) as well as an inventory count - so we will know when something has sold out (finally!).  We hope you agree that it is a simpler way to see what is happening in the French General world and we invite you to visit often as we will always be adding new and interesting ideas to the site!
In celebration of all of this big news...we thought we would do a giveaway...something we have not done in a very long time!  So please leave a comment below and tell us what you think of the new site, you can visit French General here.  We will choose one random comment and send out a goody bag filled with some of our upcoming Le Marais fabric, our new jewelry book, A Year of Jewelry, and a couple of our embroidery samplers!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Home from France....

It's always strange coming home from France.  Every summer, we spend six weeks running around the countryside, visiting friends, and just generally, pretending we are French.  This summer was no different.  We spent three weeks at the chateau scouring the flea markets, crafting in the studio, cooking with Chef Charlotte and, again, pretending we were French!  Then I drove down to San Sebastian and met up with family and relaxed in a beautiful, coastal village.  Finally, JZ, Sofia and I flew up to Paris and spent a long weekend seeing the museums, eating in the cafes and biking around the city...a perfect way to end a long holiday.
And for some reason...after seeing everything, doing everything, eating and drinking would think it would be a relief to come home...but it's always strange to come home.  I am at home in France as I am in Los Angeles.  And, I am as happy in France as I am in California - it just takes some time to adjust and acclimate to both cultures.  Here are a few snapshots of our trip abroad  - the good, the bad and the ugly -  and hopefully, you will feel like I do...that living in both countries is the best of both worlds!