Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Featured Fabric



This week's feature is a darling pre-cut kit from Moda Fabric.  Packed neatly in a small bakery box, the fabric selections look delicious!  Inside you'll find a "honey bun" of pre-cut strips and 3 mini charm packs -- and a pattern for not just one quilt but two!  It makes a darling mini quilt top that is 26" x 26"...I think it's perfect for a patchwork pillow top, doll quilt, or just to hone those quilting skills.  The boxes come in two choices; the grey has a great vintage feel with grey neutrals and a pop of red, the yellow box will give you a more primitive, rustic look with warm earthy neutrals.



 

These are a special edition and I have a limited number to offer...so get yours right here!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Making the Most of March

March feels weird these days to me.  I'm coming up on another anniversary; April 4th, 2011 was my last radiation treatment at MD Anderson (after a full 30 treatments).  I remember it well, I left on a very blustery February day and came home in April - already hot with Spring in full swing.  A whole month had gone by without me.  So, even tho this March has been super challenging with the building repairs...I try to take time and notice what's changing and how I'm changing.

Part of my effort to "change for the better"  is I've decided to learn how to quilt.  This is my third month completing the Craftsy Block of the Month - this month was the Economy Block.  I was really excited as this, THIS is what I think of as REAL quilting.  I had no chance to squirrel away a whole day to complete it so I broke it into bite sized pieces - pre-cutting all my fabric one day.  Watching the video class.  And then, finally, assembly...sewing!  Something, was lost in translation with all my stops and starts.  I remembered in the first class that we were to use a scant 1/4" - I thought it was for ALL blocks.  Ugh, it was not...I figured it out half way through and made it work, tho my points are a little off sadly.  But that's what learning is for, right?  Mistakes and all.  I do love how you can fussy cut and feature a fabric in the center.  I picked this one (it's from IKEA, gah!) to coordinate with a flower basket applique we will be attempting in later months.



See my progress:

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Finish Line



Two months has been a long wait to fill our apartments; but we finally got the A-OK to proceed with occupancy after the repairs.  Again, I'm not sure why my town of Ponchatoula makes it so hard for businesses to do business here.  It's a darling town - but you really have to be from here to make it here.  Which is a shame, because we could ALL be a lot stronger if city leaders weren't so adamant about some succeeding and others struggling.

Anywho, whenever the apartments are vacant I use the lull as a great backdrop for my product pictures.  I've even toyed with the idea of switching the shop to upstairs because the views and light are tremendous!  Here's a sweet pair of vintage sheer strawberry drapery panels - I love the view of one of our old oak trees across the street.



Here's one of the cute archival papers from Cavallini against the brick wall...all bathed in natural light.  I guess its been the only perk of the vacancy after crazy tenant #1 and #2 left, but I'm glad the two new families are thrilled to be going to each and adding a new chapter to theirs and my life.  *fingers crossed* we are all happy for a long time!



 

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Looking From Above



Back in the early 90's I had the chance to study "historic preservation" at an authentic French Chateau (through a group that I'm sure crashed and burned years ago).  Though it turned out to be a real place, the experience was a bit more "indentured servant" than educational - so I thought.  I spent 12 hour plus days with a couple that had bought a 16th century chateau, assisting them from digging out hedges, holding flash lights as they fixed roof leaks, cleaning (16th century dirt, for sure).  For barely a 20 year old design student - I was tres unimpressed.

Little did I know, years later I would buy my own chateau...that's French for old-a** money pit...which I love.  It's actually, the Old Nehi Botting Company in our town, originally built in 1925.  So, in hind-sight, I wish I could sincerely apologize to my French family from years gone by for being a little American .  I can't tell you the countless hours we've spent doing so much of the renovations ourselves.  And though it sounds like a hassle, it feels like you are actually breathing life back in these old buildings.

This week, though, we let the professionals take this job.  We are in the midst of re-roofing the oldest part of the building and will cap the parapet walls that line the perimeter.  See that thickness...those are 12" thick walls!  This place is a tank!  Needless to say it's been hard to stop for a minute and blog - something I really wish I could teach the dog to do!  I should be back in full force next week  - until then, have a great weekend everybody!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Featured Fabric



When I listed this fabric Wednesday...I just knew it deserved a spot as my Featured Friday Fabric.  I kind of have to pinch myself a little bit to believe *I* have this...This is vintage Greeff.  A company from Great Britain that was purchased by Schumacher later on(also a well respected fabric and wall covering company in their own right).  This is original tho...and on a gorgeous thick linen.  The print features a bit of a tropical scene with intertwined vines and a bevy of pink blossoms...with the oddest little birds - the selvage calls this print "Lansdowne".  I just love it.  I've saved a bit for myself but have made 2 yards available to the public.  The width being about 47" makes a 1 yard length a crazy amount of fabric...but the repeat is just huge!  so you may want to apply to a canvas or make large pillows.  The choice is yours...either way you are going to LOVE this!

Also, an update on my scrap packs...a few more have been listed and these have larger sized pieces (so, not as many individual pieces as the 60 - 70 piece packs offered but the same weight with the same quality).  Check them out here.  I also have one pack available that is strictly vintage cotton suitable for quilting - available here.



--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Downton Abbey Cross Stitch Patterns are 2 fo $10

Ok, Y'all...it's time for us to move on and stop morning Lady Sybil, Matthew, and Season 3 - let's get ready for next season!  I'm offering up both of my Downton Abbey Cross Stitch Patterns at an even deeper discount than normally...like, 2 for $10!  Yea!!!



I'm running this special price through lucky March 17th.  Just think - you could have both complete and framed before Lady Mary remarries!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Julia Child Revisited

I still can't decide.




I've screened a few sets of the Julia Child inspired Fleur de Lis trio in the past (here and here) but I really can't settle on a blank to give me the look I want to standardize.

Here's another try...a nice blue stripe running the length of the towel with the trio in uniform grey.  I like it...but oh was it hard to get the correct registration on each towel...those tiny fleur de lis motifs had to land in just the right spot each time!  Oy!  That's the number one reason there's just two being offered at this time.  So if it speaks to you - please grab it here.

It's been fun silk-screening a bit more regularly - gosh, compared to my other hobbies of crochet, cross-stitch and now soap making - this is the fastest thing I can produce!  Last month I had two large orders online that nearly wiped out my stock again, so I am back to building it up once more.  I'm pleased tho, that one of the orders gave me a sweet review on EVERY style of towel she purchased thru Etsy including this particular one:
Fabulous!! Love the antique look of this fleur de lis!! Will shop here again. Thanks for offering such great quality items!!

She's talking about my oatmeal linen towels...which are still out of stock currently.  I've printed a big run of them, they are just waiting to be heat set.  Hopefully, they will be up by end of the week - gosh, they are sooooo pretty!



--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Forward



I guess I've been inside listening to news too much about the Snowquester or Snowmaggedon...whatever you Northerners are calling this unbearable white stuff these days; anyway, I completely missed that Spring has already sprung here.  Normally, I am totally delighted but ugh...the weeds have sprung right along with it.  I knew it was a bad sign when Saturday, a customer - a new customer, at the shop came in and said "Wow! the inside sure looks a lot different than the outside."  And I knew exactly what she meant...the weeds have just  taken over.  I wanted to give her my sad story about how I can't really can't garden since my cancer treatment...but really, I just hate weeding like most every person on the planet.  So, I just kept my mouth shut and vowed to weed it this week...at some point...I'm pretty sure, eventually...I'll get to it.

Anywho, stuff I didn't plant is coming up just beautifully at the house.  I wandered thru and found wild violets and strawberries; azaleas already popping out and even a few camellias hanging on until temps get a bit warmer (any day now).  I even made this adorable toad-friend; though he (maybe she - how do you tell) has a death wish and keeps choosing to hop around the driveway.  And unfortunately, after a long day at the shop, toad-friend is the last thing on my mind...hop swift my friend.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Featured Fabric



This week I am highlighting Rayon!

Rayon was the leap into synthetic fabric, though it has a bit of a natural footprint.  We still use it today for its sensational silky feel and gorgeous drape!  Originally created in the 1800's to imitate silk through a regenerated cellulose fiber, this making it actually a semi-synthetic.  It was not until the 1940's and 50's that gave us high-tenacity rayon, which is really what we still think of  rayon being today.

I have two really lovely examples up for grabs today; both are excellent retro prints dating from the 1950's and 1960's.  This first is a darling pink print with blue roses and the second is a baby soft pink floral with apples.  Both are 1 yard in length and would look lovely utilized in a blouse or skirt!



--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beginnings...



Here's a sneak peek of a new pattern I am currently developing.  The pattern is mostly complete; I just like to stitch everything out to see how it will finally look and oh yeah, I'm complusive!  It's been several months since I've stitched and it feels great to be creating something new again.  Over Christmas I had developed a small cyst in my finger (no cause for alarm) but the amount of stitching I was doing (and the speed) really, really aggravated it.  It's still there but, so far, I'm not having a bit of trouble.

So, last night, all I have is one hour, one measly hour, to stitch.   Everything is set, the house is quiet, my work area set, and my hulu queue set with (I am so embarrassed to say) The Carrie Diaries.  Or what I like to call the perfect crafting storm...hit play and realize my white embroidery floss had been pinched.  I suspect the cats.  Anywho, I moved on to another color and grumbled a bit.

Hopefully, I can move on a bit faster through the weekend.  I need a new TV series to bridge my time through the stitching.  I'm not sure if you're like me, but I have to have something on while I work (even in high school I had to have a TV on while I studied).  But it has to be just the right kind of show or movie; nothing too good or interesting to draw you in and simple enough to follow along in case you miss a bit because you aren't really paying attention.

The last two weeks I found the Netflix series House of Cards; I love Kevin Spacey and I love politics...but everyone in it is just an absolute train wreck and makes for excellent crafting tv.  I made a ton of jewelry for the shop through 13 episodes including these totally sweet and innocent wire wrapped bird nest pendants in the midst of episode after episode of power grabs, deception and fairly self-destructive behavior!   Whoever said you can't be productive while sitting for hours watching TV was wrong!



--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A New Perspective...



Friday was the shop's five year anniversary; I sort of remembered but then forgot at the same time (our actual open date is February 29th - so like us to open on a Leap Day).  A couple people had urged me to do something...and I realize it is an accomplishment, but honestly - sad to say, every event we do for this tiny town, they just have not fully supported it.  And then there was the turmoil with the upstairs tenants last month, which in turn led to some small town politics biting us in the a**.   So, Friday...our anniversary, I just opened the doors like any other day and the heavens must have parted because we had this stellar day with customer after customer telling me the nicest things and reaffirming my decision to be here.  The cherry on top was an unexpected visit from an old colleague...gosh, we haven't seen each other in nearly 10 years even though she's only 50 miles south in New Orleans!  She was blown away by our shop, our building and the life C & I have created.  It was the best anniversary gift I could have never imagined to see this...ALL this through new eyes.  I'm starting to notice those troublemakers and naysayers that have left in the last month and those that are in the process of leaving us are clearing a path for new directions and new opportunities.

Today we began phase one of construction improvements on our building to help satisfy some city requirements that we are being strong-armed into providing even though they fell under existing conditions and the city building inspector failed to note originally when he granted occupancy to the adjacent tenant.  Again this is a small town and though its not exactly right - you can't fight this because as he told me word for word "I can make this a lot worse for you."  Sounds threatening, huh - it is, but its really par for the course in small town Southern Americana.  And I'm ok with it, because one we can't fight him and two we are going to make things right for our investment, our future tenants and in part this town though its just is not a very reciprocal relationship, I find.  So, I'll keep you all posted on our renovative progress and small town nuttery.

Good news though...I'm stitching again.  Yes, a new pattern is in the works!  I hope to have a tiny reveal tomorrow here on the blog.  I know a lot of people had hoped for a third Downton Abbey Cross Stitch pattern...but honestly they keep killing characters off, (and now with O'Brian leaving - what what?!) I can't keep up!  So next up is something light, uplifting and something that we can all Believe in!  (psst that was a hint!)

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Featured Fabric

vintage fabric scraps

Ready to get scrap happy??!!?  Here's a new offering of some highly sought vintage remnants including barkcloth, chintz, and cotton twill.  I've weighted out a variety of these pieces in 10 ounce bags (roughly that comes to about 60 to 70 pieces).  The pieces vary from 4" x 6" to 4" x 4" - small patches that could be used from sachets to patchwork pillows or totes.



*** Updated 3/30/13 - I have several new and different scrap bags available again (still at a hefty 10 ounces); some pieces are larger than the original 4" x 4" or 4" x 6" pieces, so you may find these bags have a little less variety, but the larger pieces will allow for bigger projects like totes and coin purses, etc.  The listing has moved to here.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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