I have been awful about posting. My apologies. I will do better next week. (At least that is my intention!) I haven't been doing anything too exciting-- yet. Next week should bring lots to write about.
I have been awful about posting. My apologies. I will do better next week. (At least that is my intention!) I haven't been doing anything too exciting-- yet. Next week should bring lots to write about.
For the next four weeks, we'll be running specials on jcaroline creative!, including discounts on certain items, gifts with purchases and a crafting book giveaway. The specials, gifts and book will change each week, so be sure to check back each Monday to find out what's new! We'll let you know the weekly special on our Spring Carnival of Savings page, which you can always get to by clicking on the new button on the left side of this blog.
Part of the savings during the Spring Carnival will be the new Amusement Park from Jessica Jones. For the next four weeks, we'll be offering a $2 per yard discount ($10.95) on this new fabric. All the prints are 54" wide 100% cotton canvas.
It is luscious! The new Spa colorway is my current favorite- blues, teals and deep greens on an ivory background.
The Earth colorway is a mix of brown, tan, gray-brown and rust-brown on an unbleached canvas background.
The Candy colorway is pink, orange, red, and gold on a light beige background. You've seen the far left (Calliope) and far right (Fireworks) prints before. Stacks and Beads are the two new prints.
Of course, we'll be offering this fabric through jcaroline creative!, but it is being distributed by Braemore fabrics, so you should see it popping up around the country at various home decor fabric stores. We'll keep you posted of any sightings!
I'll also start working on some fun projects with the fabrics over the next few weeks, which of course, I'll share!
The Proud collection from Keri Beyer came in Friday and is up on the web today. It comes in a turquoise/orange, blue, and purple colorway. Some of the pieces are simple graphics, while others are very complicated layers of sketched items. I love the peacocks and feather detail, myself.
The other new fabric that I am really digging are these two-tone graphic prints from Robert Kaufman called Olive Trees.
Also from Robert Kaufman are Punchy Piques in great bright prints for spring. Great for children's clothes, pique has a woven texture, similar to corduroy. It gives the cotton more body and helps resist wrinkles.
Jessica Jones, aka "rock star", has expanded on her Fireworks and Calliope designs and created a 12 piece collection (four designs, three colorways) for Braemore Fabrics. So now there is even more Jessica Jones goodness to go around and go around it will! Braemore is one of the largest home decor manufacturers in the U.S., so you should see this fabric hitting lots of local stores. And of course, jcaroline creative! will carry it as well. In fact, we are accepting preorders now- should be in our hands in the next two to three weeks.
For those of you that purchased Fireworks and Calliope and the previous designs wholesale through Michael Miller Fabrics, they will continue to have those available until early May. Some of the earlier collections may not be re-printed at this time, so stock up! In May, I'll work up a strategy for those shops that are not Braemore customers that want to carry her collections.
First, let me say how proud I am of Jessica, because I've always thought her designs rock and it is awesome to see that other people do to! Secondly, a huge thank you to Michael and Kathy at Michael Miller Fabrics, who enthusiastically took a chance on fabric that didn't fit that well with their core products and gave it a try! Amusement Park and Sunflower & Stripes would never have happened without their help and I feel fairly confident this opportunity would not have presented itself either. From their fabric, I always suspected they were an innovative group and to my advantage, they are!
The picture above shows the "color plates" which is a really fancy name for an ink jet printout of the actual scale and color. The mill then uses the colors from these printouts to match the ink.
The fabric should be here in about two weeks and I promise you'll see pictures immediately. In the meantime, we are accepting preorders which will ship as soon as the fabric comes in!
"This collection is really what I see when I grew up in the Virgin Islands. Women wore dashikis to the pool and the towels were overly striped and bright. The lounge chairs were cushioned in velvety brights, the bathing suits were two toned brights with lots of contrast and the cabanas and the restaurant lounge interiors all worked so beautifully together in those endless summer days. These fabrics screech relaxation and colorful calypso bands infused with palm tree swaying trade winds. It was a magical time that gave birth to this Day Dreamy palette."
She also has a podcast interview over at CraftSanity, where they are giving away a couple of fat quarters to five commenters. So certainly sign up for some free fabric and what you don't win, just come back and buy!
In a totally different style is Michele D'Amore's Natural Effects for Marcus Fabrics. I don't know much about Michele, except that she is an "old school" textile designer for Marcus Fabrics-- meaning she works for them and creates a bulk of their designs as opposed to the recent trend of licensed designers. You can read her background here. What I find so interesting about Michele is her design range-- she designs collections that are VERY different from each other. Some of them are just too traditional for me (beautiful, but 'NMT', not my thing), and at the same time she'll create collections that I love. Now that's talent!
Remember when I bought this cool print from Lizzy House? Well, that print was the genesis for her debut fabric.
Twenty-one pieces of utensil and dish goodness available here. Shown above left is the Appliance colorway, on the right is the Kitchennaire colorway. The third colorway is Sunny Side Up!, a combination of teal, yellow, orange and purple. Darling fabric just dying to be aprons, napkins, tableclothes, pillows, kitchen curtains.
There is a great interview on True Up with Lizzy about the collection and her designs. She also provides a "sneak peek" on her blog of her next fabric line. Don't get too revved up- all you can tell is that it is fabric-- and it might have a bird in there.
We've gotten in a ton of new fabrics in the last few weeks, and I certainly didn't want you to miss anything, so I thought I would recap.
Anna Maria's Good Folks came yesterday and is available here. Kim at TrueUp has an interview with Anna Maria about the collection here.
The collection features two color palettes: Byzantine (shown on the left) and Adriatic. If you remember her Bohemian Rhapsody collection (her first), this collection reminds me of a new and improved version. Two of the prints are recolored from Bohemian Rhapsody (Filigree and Cathedral).
My favorites pieces have a deep ink blue in them.
From left to right is Ink Buttoned Up, Dusk Filigree and Dusk Festival. The festival prints are a great plaid motif that reminds me of tablecloths. I think this collection screams to be table linens and bedding. Very homey and comforting.
We also got in some pieces of Tina Given's Treetop Fancy collection here. Tina has such a unique painting and color style that I am always intrigued by her work. My favorites from this group are:
From left to right, Sky Treetop, Green Sunset Veranda, and Papaya Treetop. How awesome would a light aqua room be with Sky Treetop curtains and throw pillow from Green Sunset Veranda? It is so sophisticated, but I think could work in a child's room as well.
My favorite fabric we've gotten in lately are new canvas prints. I love canvas, because I think if you are trying to sew something with body (totes, bags, pillows), you can't beat it. And I don't think I've hidden my love for simple graphic prints.
From left to right, Sweet Potato/Natural Shiba, Black/White Victoria, and Kelso/White Dandie. The Shiba print is so 70's to me and I love it. The Victoria reminds me of a pen and ink doodle and I'm always drawn to the contrast of black and white. I made a tote out of the Victoria which I'll share as soon as I get the how-to done. And of course, how can you go wrong with huge dots on brown?
From left, Brown Amsterdam, Breeze/Linen Henna, Black/Linen Media. The Amsterdam print is a little more traditional looking, but again, I love brown. Even though we might be suffering from paisley fatigue, I really like the rich,deep colors of the Henna pattern. It is a very intense teal with a pumpkin orange and olive, on a linen background. And that Media print- again, screams 70's to me. This one is linen on a black background, but we also got the Linen/Breeze and a Black on a white background.
We have also gotten in a lot of Alexander Henry lately. Okay, let me correct myself-- we have had some of the Alexander Henry for awhile, but I just now got it photographed and on the web. I love Alexander Henry prints and just wish they were easier to get a hold of and keep in stock!
Pink My Secret Garden, on the left, so makes me want to perfect my tunic or blouse pattern because I SO WANT ONE out of this. It is so Lilly Pulitzer I can't stand it. Mona (you remember, my poor abandoned dress form) has on a sleeveless, barely started tunic right now. Perhaps I should get on that. Natural/Black Capri in the middle is a huge print in black and white that again, must be a blouse for me. I love blouses- they make me feel like I went to some effort instead of pulling on a T-shirt. It must be the buttoning. And I can't find T-shirts in these crazy prints. Pink/Sage Blakely is the same coloring they have used in the past in a great huge print. Guess what I want out of it?
That is basically the last two week's of fabric additions. And coming next week-- Lizzy Dish! I can't wait.
I went a little nuts over the weekend and cleaned out fabrics. So a bunch of stuff is on sale for $3 a yard. Yes, $3 a yard. Some other things are on sale for $4 or $6 a yard and I put Anna Maria Horner's Drawing Room and Joel Dewberry's Ginseng on sale for $9 a yard. It is moving fast, so don't hesitate! Out with the old and in with the new, I say!
Sugar Snap by Melissa Averinos is here! And it is cute! My personal favorite is Cocoa Kimono which is a huge scale print in luscious colors. I predict this line to be a fast seller, so don't miss out on the first round!
I met Melissa at Spring Quilt Market and she is very nice and fun. I suspected she was talented and clever when she handed out her business "card"-- a 6" x 12" piece of natural canvas that had been silk-screened with one of her designs and her name and phone number. Check out her Yummy Goods blog to read more about her and her designs. She's opening a gift shop in Cape Cod and she is sharing photos of all the-- you guessed it-- yummy goods that she is filling it with.
A truckload of loveliness arrived yesterday afternoon. The new Amusement Park collection and Sunflower & Stripes collection from Jessica Jones! I love them all! In the Amusement Park collection, she used a light beige background, which on the canvas, gives it a very linen look that is so rich looking. And the colors are awesome, without being too overpowering. Fun, fun, fun.
The Sunflower and Stripes is printed on unbleached canvas, meaning it has those little dark flecks of cotton seeds on them. So cool and natural. And the Sunflower design makes me smile every time I see it... fun without being silly. And of course, how could you go wrong with an awning stripe?
So I had to whip up a little jumper for you know who. She's probably too young to appreciate the design aesthetic, but some day she'll understand that she had the very first item made from Jessica Jones's Boardwalk fabric. Doesn't it look great with her crocs, Jessica? (Jessica declared Crocs the ugliest shoes ever, by the way, but I think she gave a pass to wearers under 12.)
Oh, and I made Jessica write up a comment about each print so you can get some insight into her design psyche. So be sure to read the fabric description because she will tell you how the design came about and I might even add a comment or two myself!
And most importantly, use coupon code ORANGE through October 15 and you'll get 20% off all of Jessica's fabrics. Go forth and purchase!
I bought this print from Lizzy House and got it last week. I. Love. It. She doesn't sell them framed (darn), so I borrowed this picture from her blog, because it is how I imagine mine looking when I finally get it to the frame store. I got excited about this print because it is the catalyst for her line of fabric, Lizzy Dish, which will be released by Andover Fabrics this fall. She released a major sneak peek yesterday when she received her strike-offs. Think 1960's kitchen theme. Forks, spoons, knives, plates-- you know, the major kitchen players. A nice break from florals, I think. Check out her work here and drop her a note that you've been waiting for the fork to be elevated to the status you knew it deserved.
Paula Prass has some exciting news over on her blog Show + Tell. She shows a sneak peek from the first strike-offs of her fabric line for Michael Miller, Flights of Fancy. Take a look, as she gives you three more shots to admire. Paula is an interior designer by training, so I think her fabrics have a nice home dec look, but in a whimsical, colorful way. I have to admit, she sent me a sneak peek of all the fabrics and I love them! The cute pink mum print you see on the bottom of this picture? It comes in four other colors, I believe and is my favorite.
And not to ignore Michael Miller's other new talent, Patty Young, who is giving us a peek of her new line, Andalucia on her blog. She does some great mockups of the fabric on chairs, lampshades and pillows. She also has a great post showing lots of the fabrics in their "raw form" while she freaks out about her name being on the selvedge. (Though I would think it would be more freak inducing if they had put someone else's name on the selvedge.)
Both of these fabric lines will be available around Fall Quilt Market time (late October). I have to say I am so excited to see all these new fabric designers with fresh new designs. I remember going to Quilt Market three or four years ago and struggling to find new fun fabrics to buy. Now, I actually have to pick and choose because I can't get them all. And it can't help but increase enthusiasm for sewing when you actually have something cute to start with.
So stop by both their blogs and let them know their hard work was worth it!
Circles and Stems
Poppy Dot Floral
Cats (Just kidding-- Birds)
Erin McMorris delivers another darling group of floral prints. We just got in these 12 prints from the Park Slope collection. Circles and Stems is the print that originally caught my eye, but I'm growing quite fond of floral swirl. It's nice to see some orange and deep blue, as well.
I was at the airport yesterday, which for some reason, is the only place I think to buy magazines. So I picked up the June/July issue of Domino. Let me first say that I do like this magazine and I certainly don't want to ruin my chances of appearing in it as their "most awesome person ever" or even as their "person of mediocre interest" or even their "designer don'ts". So, hopefully, no one from Domino reads my blog. Which, I believe, is a safe bet. Anyway, here's what I found:
This is a two-page article proclaiming "democratic decorating". The subtitle reads "Welcome to the revolution: The freshest idea in design springs from a new crop of fabrics and wallpapers intended for all of us--not just the pros." Let's review the fabrics shown: The red-and-white chair fabric is Erica Wakerly's Teepee fabric at $90/yard. Available at printpattern.com The green and white fabric shown on the yellow chair is "lattice" in grass at $80/yard and the Slate blue solid on the mattress is $62/yard, both from Seacloth.
The second page features such designers as Kyra and Robertson Hartnett of twenty2. They offer hand-printed fabric for $135/yard.
First, let me say I love these graphic fabrics and kudos to those designers for getting out there and not only designing them, but producing them! And they certainly deserve to charge whatever they would like for their creations. I hope they sell it by the ton, become incredibly wealthy, and fulfill their wildest design dreams.
My confusion is with Domino announcing that this is now available to the "rest of us". Huh? I'm clearly not in that "us". What do you do with $135/yard fabric? Buy 15 yards and reupholster your $300 Ikea couch? That's a $2,025 redo, sans labor. I sure would not allow anyone to sit on it and I'm afraid my vinyl slipcover would detract from the design aesthetic.
I appreciate that these fabrics are available retail and not just "to the trade". But to really be for the "rest of us", they also need to be affordable.
Okay, to get myself back in the running for Domino's "most awesome person ever", let me say Domino's website is really trying to be more "rest of us". Today, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge shares her outdoor accessory finds for under $100. (I believe her under $100 finds is a weekly feature on their website). Holly Becker of Decor8 features interesting furniture finds on Etsy. Some are a little pricey, but these one-of-a-kind, hand-made items compare favorably to a $5,280 couch featured in the print version.
So, Domino, keep showing me cool stuff. Let's just not pretend it's available to everybody. And I'm available for your feature on reasonably-priced fabrics anytime!
Jan of Daisy Janie has designed some awesome fabric that is available on her website, Daisy Janie. If I was an artist, this is what I would draw. She sells the linen/cotton blend fabric in fat quarters (27" x 18") and also features handmade handbags, fabric totes & pillow covers from her fabrics. I love her mix of colors.
Jan started her web career with the blog, Scoutie Girl, which uncovers great finds by indie artists and designers. Check out Jan's Daisy Janie blog, where today, she shares that she has begun her first full week of self-employment with her cherry tree falling on the neighbor's garage. Eeeek.
How did I find Jan? Well, I was doing a Google Blog search on "jcaroline creative" one day in January and found a post mentioning my name. She was posting about Jessica Jones's fabric and mentioned that she had emailed me some months before about her fabric and I had never responded. Fortunately, she did not call me the rude b-word that I was thinking as I read it. So I immediately commented that I hadn't seen the email or if I had, I didn't remember it. (I really do try to respond to all emails except those offering to help me collect money from Nigeria and those that offer to enhance a certain organ that I don't even have.) However, I'm so glad she went forth with her idea even if she didn't hear from me. Because her designs are fabulous and I don't know that I could have helped her much anyway-- she seems to have done quite well on her own!
So here's to going forward with your ideas and selling enough fabric to pay for your neighbor's garage.
Print shown from left to right, row 1: Audrey & Bloom; row 2: Lulu & Maxie: row 3: Jackie & Kate.
The totes and cosmetic bags are packed and ready to head to L.A. this weekend. One of my employees got them done today and it was so nice not to sew for a couple of days! Clearly, I didn't spend time styling this photo, but you get the idea. Maribel did a wonderful job and the totes are darling.
Yummy. And Brooke did a cool collage of the photos as well that she posted on her blog yesterday.
So it's feast or famine around here. I make nothing for days and then I make a gazillion things in three days. Modern Flora is taking an out-of-town trip to Los Angeles for a textile trade show next week. The show is for manufacturers, so I wanted to show Modern Flora in some home decor settings. I did contemplate (for about 2 seconds) sending furniture, but instead decided to pull together an outdoor photo shoot in four days with only three items made out of Modern Flora. The child's Poang chair, the floor pillows and Leaflet chair were, thankfully, already made. But I decided to add a slipcovered couch, a covered lampshade, more pillows, a tablecloth and napkins, and a crib set with a quilt. And they were finished yesterday and shot this morning.
So how does a photo shoot work? Well, it is one heck of a lot of work and kind of a frenzy. You want the photographer to get as many shots as possible, so you have to stay out of the way, but you are always dying to smooth out a wrinkle or clip a thread. And double-stick tape is an absolute must!
This is Brooke Schwab, who photographed the outdoor "rooms". And how did I find this photographer? Well, of course, all roads lead back to Jessica at How About Orange, who designed her logo. What did I do before I knew her? Floundered, clearly. Anyway, Brooke does a lot of wedding photography and specializes in really fun settings and shots. Peruse her blog to see her great photos and read the story behind them.
So, Brooke shot three rooms outdoors and I think they look fantastic. (Thank you, Brooke, Jessica and me.)
First, the nursery:
No, the stuff in the front was not in the real shot-- stuff just got dropped and set down everywhere. It would be so easy to just walk away and leave things at the site.
which I was the least excited about in the planning phase because I was afraid it was just too plain, but I love it in the photos. And the bowl of apples was inspired by Jessica's comment that she would love to see the fabric under an apple tree. Sorry, none in South Texas, but I thought the colors were awesome with the tablecloth.
And the living room:
which makes me think I need to immediately purchase a cottage with white bead board on the walls and fill it with my Modern Flora furniture. And this project gave me an excuse to do something I've been dying to try: making awning stripe "fabric" from solids. Then you can pick whatever color combinations and stripe widths you want.
Now, I can use the next two days to print and mount the photos for the show and make a couple of tote bags and Modern Flora is ready to go. Show well, my little fabric.