Monday, March 30, 2009

Taxes & Water Damage

I think that headline says it all. We came home to water damage from the upstairs apartment on Friday. We were planning a nice dinner out because it's restaurant week in Brooklyn, but instead we were faced with buckets of yucky water pouring down from above. Our carpet was soaked through, and all I kept thinking about was mold. Then we spent Sunday getting our tax information together. So not fun, and so not what I wanted to be doing. We have 7 weeks until Chickpea is due to arrive, and I had wanted to clean and organize everything. Now I am faced with contractors, sheet rock, plaster, and a big mess. I wont say anymore because it's too depressing. I'll be back tomorrow with something fun hopefully.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crazy Critters Totes

The Crazy Critters are running amock on some new totes. I LOVE the googly eyes. They really bring out the character of these little guys. Also the craft-foam embellishments, buttons, and ribbon handle are darling little touches.

Monday, March 23, 2009


My friends and family pulled off a surprise baby shower for me this weekend in PA. No one seems to believe I was surprised though. I'm teasing that they either think I'm brighter than I am, or they don't know how far I'll travel just to have brunch with them (I thought I was meeting my girls for brunch). I am not one for being the center of attention, but everything was so nice. All of the little touches, like John and my SIL scheming to decorate with one of my baby shower collections. The diaper wreathe and diaper cake designed by Miss S, our very own Martha. The time spent planning so I would be surprised, and all of the gifts were just wonderful. One particularily touching gift was a basket of favorite children's books, with a special note inscribed inside from each person. The notes mentioned why this particular book was a favorite, or held a special message for our new family to-be. Well, I am a sucker for books. I probably read one inscription before I started crying. I immediately thought about the 'one day sooness' of it. One day soon, I'll be reading these books to Chickpea. One day soon, he or she will smile at us while we read his or her favorite story. One day soon I'll be able to tell Chickpea about each person that gave each special book. As Miss A's inscription read "You are already so loved by so many," and well, that just melts my heart. Thank you everyone for planning such a special day for us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hand Quilting

My hand quilting class started last Thursday at Purl Soho. Firstly I want to say that if you're in New York, and you love fabric and yarn this is definitely a destination. It's actually two little stores, one knitting, and one quilting, and they are both gems. It's definitely a 'designers' store with white shelving, floor to ceiling, stacked with gorgeous yarn, and fabulous fabric. Gazing over it all, your head starts spinning with possibility and plans.

Ah, but the best laid plans...I wanted to have my Spoonflower fabric printed before the hand quilting class started. I had big plans. The test print came back with color issues, and it takes awhile to get the fabric back from Spoonflower, so the plans have been modified. It's probably for the best, since this will be my fist attempt at quilting.

So last Thursday, at my first class, my first impression was 'Wow, hand quilting is very precise work'. It's a lot more technical than knitting. In the first class we learned how to draft a template, cut template pieces, cut pieces out of fabric, and we stitched one block together. Our teacher, Cassandra, said we should decide on a project for the class. I knew I wanted to make something for Chickpea, but I wasn't sure what. I spent hours at Barnes & Nobel pouring over their quilting books, and my head was spinning. Not being a quilter, I was unaware of all of the possibilities. I decided to go with what I was attracted to, which is the more modern quilts, a la Denyse Schmidt. These quilts are bold and graphic, and use lots of solids.

So I have drafted a template, bought fabric, and have started sewing. The plan is to make a quilted playmat. It's very bright, and will be personalized with an initial. So far it's going well. I'll post the progress as soon as it starts looking like something.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cover Girl

I am so happy to announce that one of our Reindivas (Joy) is officially a cover girl. It was an intense photo shoot, and she thought she got the shot, but you never know. After much deliberation, it was announced that she was the new cover girl for the RAZ Fall & Winter 2009 catalog. Joy will be doing an autograph tour at Christmas.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baby Blanket

The Baby Blanket is finished, and a little friend decided it looked like a snuggly place to rest.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Knit One, Purl Two

This is the knitting project I mentioned in an earlier post. I am knitting a little baby blanket for Chickpea.

Last month, Miss A, Miss B and I took a knitting class for Festivus. What you ask? Yes, Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us. Miss A and I have been celebrating Festivus for years now. It's a low stress holiday because there is no exact date, you can fit it into your schedule when you want to, and you can do anything you want. Basically we use it as an excuse to try, do, or see something new. When I mentioned a knitting class, Miss A was very excited because like me, she is a perpetual student. Miss B is a crochet master so she was excited to join us as well. So off we went to knit. Miss A had asked me in passing if I had knit before, and I said yes, but it had been at least 15 years since I had. After picking out our yarn and needles, the teacher set about showing us the knit stitch. As it turns out, I did remember. I guess it's a muscle memory, like riding a bike. In my mind, I could have never done it, but once the teacher jogged my hands memory, I was knitting away. I also learned the purl stitch, and how to cast on. Later Youtube showed me how to cast off, and I was set.

I'm halfway through the blanket pattern, and it has been very meditative. It's definitely not perfect. I dropped a stitch, and picked up an extra one, but I was not about to let perfect be the enemy of good. Chickpea will like it because it's warm and soft, and one day know that there was a lot of love stitched into every row.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I wanted to share a few new imprintables that have just come out.

At The Alter for all those summer brides.

Crazy Critters for the Birthday tots.

Precious Love for all the chic Mom-to-Be's.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Fever

For one brief shining moment on Saturday, we had a glimmer of Spring in Brooklyn. The sky was a glorious Brooklyn blue, and everyone was out; the stroller brigade, the dog walkers, the love birds holding hands, and the runners in their shorts and T-shirts. You could feel the spring fever. John and I got way too excited and headed to the beach. Of course by the time we got there it was no longer as sunny and getting cold. Still, we took a nice long walk on the beach and boardwalk, and stopped to feed the seagulls. We also took some 30 Week belly pictures, introducing Chickpea to the ocean. We can only hope that he or she will love the beach as much as we do.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Artful Words from Eric Carle

image © Eric Carle. Join in celebrating

"When I start a book it's a lot of fun. After a while it is work, then it becomes labor. Towards the end it feels like slavery! After I have delivered the finished illustrations to the publisher, I become sad. But when I see the printed book, I am happy again!"

Friday, March 6, 2009

Step Away

image © Lion Brand Yarn. learn to knit.
In the Ted talk that I posted on Wednesday, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about taking creativity out of ourselves. Basically unburdening ourselves with the responsibility that it is part of us. She calls on you to think about creativity as a muse that sits in the corner of your studio, or maybe within its walls. I love this idea. If you are working like a professional, you are showing up at your desk everyday. Undoubtedly there will be days when the ideas don't flow, when no matter how hard you try, it just. wont. gel. These are the days, Gilbert says, you can turn to your muse and say (and I'm paraphrasing) "I'm showing up. I'm doing the work. If you want this to be good, I'm going to need some extra stardust." And if your muse happens to be busy at that moment, well then you have to step away. This is what happened to me yesterday, my project was just. not. working. I thought I had a good concept, but it was falling apart in the execution. I was going to a bad place in my mind, so I decided to step away. I walked over to the yarn store, and bought a pound of sunny yellow yarn for another project. I was so excited about it, that I started knitting as soon as I got home, and magically, I was no longer in that bad place. My mind was still working on the solution to that original project, and hopefully my muse was as well, because I'll be sitting down on Monday to solve it, and I'll need the extra stardust.
PS - I just started knitting. It's a story for another post. I'll photograph my project next week.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bridal Party

With Spring right around the corner (yipee) Bridal Showers will be in full swing soon. This little card is available to shower all those brides with well wishes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Artful Words from Janeen Koconis (KOCO)

KOCO NY Journal, available here

Don't underestimate the big message a small card can contain, she says.

"Really, what's happening at its most profound level is that (a) folded piece of paper is allowing for a link or a bridge or a connection between the person sending and the person receiving it," Koconis says.

"So I think that what's possible with a greeting card is really incredibly profound," she says, "because it's going to that core place, that core part of our humanity."