Tuesday, September 21, 2010

… designing fabric



Gosh. . .  you know it's been a while since you've posted when blogger asks you to sign in again. . .  oops. It has been quite the busy little place around here, with getting ready for Market (in 5 weeks), & also getting ready for a little 'escape' trip to St. Louis & Minneapolis this weekend & next week. (I'm so excited! I promise to take you with me!)


As I've been working on new designs & on new projects with my new fabric line, 'Georgia Lou' - I have been thinking that it would be nice to let you see how this fabric line came about!. . .


'Georgia Lou' is my third line that I have been blessed to create with Lecien. I say blessed because that is truly how I feel about working with them. I have always loved the quality of Lecien's fabrics (& those wonderful Japanese textile mills!) & they are really wonderful to work with. . . I just love them!


Because the design department is located in Japan - I always work a bit more to be sure that I have communicated my ideas. They also have a wonderful lady (& dear friend!), Nireko, that also makes sure that my ideas are communicated (& that the translation of them into Japanese is as clear as possible!).


Often with my fabric lines - the inspiration comes from a vintage textile from my (ever growing) collection. I take my textile piece to an architectural printing company here in town - where they have an extra large scanner & can make a color scan for me of the entire piece (up to 36") - so that I can be sure to include the design's repeat & to really capture the design & it's inspiration. I think that I'm the only one that brings them vintage fabrics. . . but now they look forward to seeing what I bring in next! (I must be the one who gives them a little 'change-up' to their normal routine!) With the fabric scan (digital) - I am then able to 'play' with it in Photoshop - sometimes pulling elements out of the design for coordinating designs. 


Next, I will also put together secondary coordinating fabric ideas (checks, stripes, tonals. . .) that I would like to have to compliment the main & coordinating prints.


I also include photos of inspiration pieces. . . for the look & feeling I'd like the fabric line to also have.


One of the things I love with working with Lecien - is the fact that I can communicate the colors I am thinking of with their own floss colors - that incredible Cosmo embroidery floss that you have probably been hearing about. (. . . at least I hope you have!) As you can see from the photo of the flosses above & in the floral in my blog header (the main floral from 'Georgia Lou') - the colors in the fabric are reflected in the floss colors. This way I know that I can clearly communicate the colors & know that they are attainable in cotton. I actually specify what colors (with Cosmo embroidery floss numbers) I want for each colorway & design. Thankfully, it has worked beautifully!


Here's the color ideas (using the flosses) that I sent with the presentation for 'Georgia Lou'. We didn't use all the colors . . . but it gives a great starting point & provides a wonderful palette to work from. There's also one incredible perk (that I never thought of at first. . . ) with specifying the colors with the flosses.  I end up with a set of  embroidery flosses that perfectly coordinated with my fabric line! 
How great is that?!!!

Next post, I'll take you on the journey of the amazing process that I have with Lecien's incredible designers & artists. . .!

Bren


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

daybook ::30::


for today :: September 14, 2010

outside my window. . .   sunny, warm . . . a wonderfully quiet morning.

I am thinking. . . of what all to take for my upcoming trip . . . to St. Louis (for business), & then to Minneapolis (for fun & relaxation!)

from the kitchen. . . coffee. . . so far. Thinking that later today I'll grill some chicken (a regular thing around here!)

I am wearing. . .  my walking clothes. . . will be changing into "the summer uniform" (shorts, tee, no shoes)

I am creating. . .  some new stitcheries & I'm letting myself do one more quilt design before Market. (I've been going back & forth with that decision. . . after all - there's only so much time & only one me!)

I am remembering. . .  how good it is to get my walking in. . . daily.

I am reading. . .  'The Postcard' - by Beverly Lewis. . . (summer reading has been slower as stitching is taking up my evening time. . . 

I am hoping . . .  that I will get all the things/designs that I have in my head - done before Market.

I am hearing. . .  the water fountain in the back yard. . .  love that sound.

around the house. . .  I'm trying to keep things in the studio & office organized. . . that becomes a but of an ongoing project at this point before Market!

I am going. . .  to finish writing the directions my latest pattern today. . .! (yea!!!)

one of my favorite things. . .  the small of coffee beans - just as they are gound. . . (ahhh!(

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . finish writing quilt directions, prepping stitchery projects for my trip, hopefully dying wool (if my wool order arrives!), & starting the final quilts for Fall Quilt Market. . . & walking, every day!

from my picture journal . . .


Bailey. . . "helping" with my pattern writing. . . (. . .& sometimes Twitter & blog checking. . .)

Bren

Friday, September 10, 2010

… dad update


Thank you to all of you who commented & emailed me your prayers & best wishes for my Dad (& me). They were felt & so appreciated.


It has been two long days - but Dad is home & will be great pals with his recliner for a couple of days. I'm being 'nurse', as for the first 3 days, there is icing & dressing & ointment every hour - on the hour on his left eye & cheek. . I went into Dad's bedroom this morning to find that the left side if his face had dried blood tricking all over it.  In the middle of the night, he tried to lay in his bed for a bit - but his head was not raised up enough & it gave the blood the opportunity to eek out.) It scared me at first - but wasn't so bad - so now he's back in his chair (& happy to be there!) . . . & will need to make it home for the next few days.


As he was in prep for his eye surgery - I did get to see how much cancerous skin/tissue had to be removed by the dermatologist the day before. . . & I must say I was a bit surprised. His cancer was only the basal cell kind (the least scary) - & yet because it was in an area right next to his eye & cancer is such a stinker - they had to remove a lot more than they thought. At first they thought that it would be the size of the tip of a pinkie-finger & maybe a few layers of skin. . . but they ended up needing to take an area about the size of a large thumb & also down more layers into some cheek tissue. They also had to take the outer corners of his eyelid - as the cancer went right up to his eye. (Sigh.) There is nothing they can really do to tell if the cancer has affected his eye yet - that will be a matter of time. Yesterday, the plastic surgeon did a great job making a flap to cover the opening. . . (yea for Dad being 82 & having sagging skin under his eyes!) & she had to stitch the outside of his eyelid closed a bit - so he will have one smaller eye for at least the next six months. But - our bodies are amazing & hopefully the surgeon will be able to undo the stitching on his eyelids after the six months. 


So,. . . I went into all that to also say - please use sunscreen when you are outside. Cancer is real bugger, & even if you are diagnosed with what is supposed to be a mild formation. . . it doesn't necessarily stay that way. You can ignore it, & if you don't take precautions. . . it will be the nasty thing that it is & go for it.


Okay. . . sermon over. Thanks again for all your prayers & please keep praying for Dad. . . he's always been such a 'dapper' guy & snappy dresser. . . & this change in his appearance won't be the easiest thing for him to adjust to. Hopefully he will soon feel good enough so that he can get out into the yard (with sunscreen & his hat!) & baby all the beautiful plants that he has nurtured all around the yard. (Like the Texas Ranger along the side of the driveway that has been blooming like crazy with the rains we have had this summer - photo above.)


For me. . . Getting ready for all this helped give me the push to get another new quilt top done this week & for the next few days it will be pattern writing time. . . & website updating time.


Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Thanks aging for visiting & for all your prayer & wishes. . . they do mean so much!

Bren

Thursday, September 9, 2010

… goodbye "summer". . .


Well. . . sorta. Even though - it's not official on the calendar, & our temps will still be warm, the weather is definitely starting to change. . . & for that we give a big sigh of relief!.


. . . Just got back from our (Bailey's & mine) morning walk. . . & we actually got out before the sun rose! (. . . been having a bit of trouble with that lately!) Actually I was ready to get up since about . . . well since I put my head on the pillow last evening - as I hardly got any sleep last evening. . . lots on my mind, I guess.


I've had this photo for quite a while - but I thought I'd post it today, as it shows the amazing mountains that I live next to. I just love them. They are called the Santa Catalina Mountains & they take my breath away. . . on a daily basis. This photo was taken as the sun was getting ready to set for the day. During the latter part of the summer, we have what is called the monsoon season, when we get afternoon summer rains. So this scene is not an uncommon one - the mountains with rainbows framing them. . . I will never tire of this view! (. . . & in the morning - the sun rises over these beauties!)


Yesterday was a long day , & today is certain to be a long one too. I have a bunch of errands to run this morning & then later today, I will take Dad across town - where he is to have surgery . . . some plastic surgery. Dad has had some small skin cancer  spots removed in the past several years. . . but he just never liked wearing a hat like his doctor prescribed for him. . . 


This time the new cancer spot was a bit more troublesome. It was next to his left eye, & yesterday they did the procedure to determine & remove the cancerous area. They remove what they can see & a bit more to hopefully get it all & then you wait (in the waiting room) while they do tests on the next layer. . . & if they find cancer cells again - they go back & remove a but more & repeat the process. . . Dad had to go back seven times. They ended up having to more than they thought they would need to & even had to take the skin right up the edge of his left eyelid. A bit scary.


So, today he will go have surgery - so that the plastic surgeon can hopefully repair & close the wound. Dad is doing pretty well, but I can tell that he's a bit concerned. Hopefully, he will get good news from the surgeon.


I'm getting some stitchery prepped to take with me & I'll be working on some pattern writing while I wait. . . (after finding the nearest Starbucks that is!. . .)


So, . . . if you think of it, I'd sure appreciate your prayers for my Dad today, & for me - that I will be able to do what is needed & will be able to comfort him through all this.


Bren

Saturday, September 4, 2010

… I ♥ hydreangeas. . .



If you've followed my blog for a bit - you probably know my love for hydrangeas. I can't explain really why - but I do. It's one of the heartbreaks of living here in Arizona - as they do not thrive here well - at all. I have silk hydrangeas (in many different colors) scattered all over my house (. . . & please, those of you who "poo-poo" any flowers that aren't real  for use indoors, don't judge me. . .) A couple of times each year - I break down & buy some potted hydrangeas, & I would do it throughout the year - but they are ridiculously expensive here!



Then . . . the other day when I was checking to see (dreaming really) - if there might be some new type of hydrangea that would just love & thrive in our Arizona climate. . . I found these . . .





Oh. My. Stars.


Seriously. . . you know that tingling feeling at the back of your jaw . . . & you just know you might start to drool at any second?. . . that's what happened to me when I first saw these. They are called 'Vanilla Strawberry' Hydrangea (heck, no wonder I almost drooled!), & the colors range from a creamy white to soft pink to a deeper pink - all one one bush. I had never seen this type of hydrangea before. . . & just when I thought I couldn't love them any more. . . !


No, they're not a miracle hydrangea that will grow & thrive here. . . but now I'm just hoping that some angel of a nursery person decides to pot these & sell them at the florist &/or garden center! . . . I'm certainly going to keep my eyes open for them!


Hope you have a great weekend!
Bren

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

daybook ::29::



for today :: September 1, 2010

outside my window. . .   sunny, warm . . . typical end of summer weather. . . summer tries to hang on for as long as possible, it seems.

I am thinking. . . of the rest of the designs that I want to complete before market. . . so many things on my list! . . . The rest will have to wait until after Market

from the kitchen. . . cookies. . . lots of cookies! The firemen from our local fire department came out yesterday to replace all the batteries in the smoke detectors (one of the ones up high - about 14 feet - started 'chirping'). . . & I always like to make them cookies to say thanks. This time it's peanut butter cookies & chocolate chippers!

I am wearing. . .  the summer 'uniform'. . . shorts & t-shirt. . . no shoes.

I am creating. . .  an applique border for a new quilt, & some new wool & stitchery little projects perfect for the sewing room. . . .

I am remembering. . .  how much I love to stitch. . .

I am reading. . .  'The Postcard' - by Beverly Lewis. . . & I'm re-reading 'The Mark of the Lion' series by Francine Rivers. . . (a friend is also reading them & so I'm keeping up with all the details. . . I love these books!)

I am hoping . . .  that the temperatures cool off  a bit more in the mornings so our morning walks won't be so hot!

I am hearing. . .  the air conditioning. . . just kicked on.

around the house. . .  I'm trying to rotate of 'fall-ish' quilts in. . . in the hopes for autumn!

I am going. . .  to try & be a better blogger this week. . .

one of my favorite things. . .  watching little birdies in the bird-bath. . . so funny!

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . finishing the border (applique) for this current quilt, & then get the backing for it & two other quilts done & get all three quilts to the precious hands of Nubin, my quilter!

from my picture journal . . .

Girl Sewing in an Interior  -  Carl Holsoe

. . . this depicts my days lately. . . (no complaining!!)  ;o)

Hope you have a wonderful week!
Bren

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