Thursday, September 30, 2010

about time, huh?



...today was one of those days where I just needed to do something for myself. As a one woman show, it's amazing how little of your time is actually spent creating. Many a day is spent with e-mails, paperwork, packaging, posting, and all the other bits and pieces that inevitably leads to a week where I haven't created a darn thing. In order to keep some sanity around me, I have come to realize how important it is to just clear the desk and be completely selfish.


...after one last look at my e-mails, (really not a good idea that I have the computer so accessible...I am one of those easily distracted souls that will "just check my e-mails quickly" every few minutes while I am working...have to stop that!) I turned off the computer and began to work.


...I didn't spend the day rushing to meet certain deadlines and bolting to the post office before the school bus arrived, but rather put on my comfy jammie pants, had a cookie, and started to play. These solo play dates are so needed, and I often have to remind myself that they are also a necessity to keep my other work fresh and creative.

...alright. Obviously I have the computer back on, but I swear I won't check it every couple of seconds! Besides, I have to run off to the kitchen for another cookie.......

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

fabric and book giveaway!



would you like a chance to win a free bundle of mummysam fabric from Robert Kaufman and a Fanciful Felties from mummysam book as well? Well, please hop over to Stash's lovely site and enter a comment today....

(so sorry for the lack of any advanced warning! The chance to win ends this Wednesday...good luck!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

whew!



whew!
I am back from the most wonderful night in Brooklyn, where I took on a new role as "teacher" for a few hours and lead a wonderful workshop in the even more wonderful work space of Etsy. Being completely surrounded by such a creative environment was just what this mum needed, as it brought back instant memories of those super late nights in art school. (oh how long ago that was!) It was fantastic, and if only I had remembered to actually bring my camera (ugh!), I would have something visual to share....

...so, for the time being, I shall give you a little peak into a new fabric design I have been playing around with.

Thanks to not only the Etsy staff for making my visit so incredible, but also to all of you who made it out for a fun night of stitching (and chatting...of course). Please send me images of your finished pieces, as I would love to see how they turned out!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Friday excitment (with a lot of butterflies....)



...I am heading off to bed with too many butterflies in my tummy to count, as tomorrow brings about a big day full of excitement!

...First, grab a cup of coffee and head over to Martha Stewart's site and look out for this free tutorial I have cooked up. (Yes....it even includes the telephone booth tutorial from my book!)

...Then, after a day sewing up your own little bag, head on over to Etsy Labs Craft Night for a fun afternoon/evening of even more sewing. (are your fingers tired from just thinking about it?)

Wish me luck, and now I am off to grab a quick mug of warm milk in hopes of putting some of those butterflies to sleep....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reserve a copy for Craft Night!



...I have received e-mails from those attending Etsy Labs Craft night if a book can be purchased in advance, and picked up at the night of the workshop. Certainly! For the next two days, I will post a special listing for those attending the workshop in Brooklyn this Friday. Simply visit the Etsy shop and reserve your copy.......Oh how excited I am getting! It's looking to be a fun night of creating, and of course some good old "chit chatting" as well!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday Showcase (on a Monday)....



...as I sit here surrounded by the overwhelming aroma of Vick's in my "not so pretty" jammies, I can't help but wish I had these lovely lounge pants to wear...

..a big thank you is in order to Kleja for sparking jealously on this end, as I wish so much to be sporting them myself. I absolutely love how she incorporated the mummysam fabric into the pants....something I would never have thought of.

..Congratulations Kleja on being our second showcase, and your free fat quarter will be on it's way! To all of you new to this event, I encourage everyone to send me work using mummysam fabric. Every Sunday I will not only feature the work but also send a free fat quarter his/her way!

(Thank you to all have submitted thus far...all the work has been so lovely to look at, and will be kept in the pool for later showcases. So keep them coming!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Showcase Sunday delay...

just a quick heads up to all of you out there...we are home with two kids not feeling too hot, so I am postponing "Showcase Sunday" until tomorrow. see you then!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Etsy book pre-order?



..I thought we could have a little fun this Friday evening, no?

..with my upcoming book events happening ever so soon, I thought it would be fitting to have a little event of our own right here.

..I am setting aside twenty copies to launch a pre-order on Etsy this evening. ( Did you notice above the little intro tease? I was so honoured to have the lovely Julie from Etsy Labs write it. )
Along with the book, (which I will sign, although I haven't practiced writing my name this much since grade school when I wanted to see what my name would look like when I'd marry my fifth grade crush ) I am also going to include printed card stock scenery for you to make you own little environments!

(note the drawn scenery in the background? I thought it would be fun to include some for you to have fun with as well!)

....So please come join me and spread the word.....

coming soon to Martha.....



....a little something I "cooked" up for The Crafts Dept. at Martha Stewart Living next Friday, September 24th.

...Please pay me a visit and get crafty with me!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

come sew with me at Etsy.....



"Join us on Friday, September 24 for a workshop led by Samantha Cotterill of mummysam, in conjunction with the Dumbo Arts Festival. We'll play around with different techniques of embroidery as we work on a project from her new book, Fanciful Felties from Mummysam. This should be a fun evening as we dive into creating one of her characters, Charles. To make it even more entertaining, options will be provided to allow you to customize and make him your own. Whether it be choosing from one of several different faces, jackets, or sweaters, you are sure to come out of the workshop with something completely original. We are even including illustrated cut-out scenery to make a complete environment for him!"

The Craft Night scoop:

Where: 55 Washington Street, Suite 512 in Brooklyn, New York, 11201
When: Friday, September 24 from 4-8 p.m. ET
What: Join us to stitch, chat, and meet artist and author, Samantha Cotterill (that's her on the left), who will also have early copies of her new book for sale and to raffle off to lucky winners.

And, online: Live far away? Join us online at 5 p.m. ET for a live how-to demo in the Virtual Labs, our online multi-user chat room. (See what time 5 p.m. ET is in your hometown.)


If you are attending Craft Night virtually this week and would like to craft along with us, you'll need to round up the following supplies:

  • Stuffing
  • Embroidery thread
  • Patterned cotton fabric for the back ( roughly 5" x 9" for each piece)
  • Wool felt:
    • White wool felt (4" x 6")
    • Cool blue wool felt (3" x 3 1/2")
    • Scrap of wool felt for base (3" x 3")
    • Scrap of wool felt for mustache
  • Embroidery needle
  • Transfer paper

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

what to make for lunch......



(click on image to enlarge)

...I had every good intention last year of making lunches for the boys that were not only healthy, but also appealing enough to get them excited about what they were going to eat. I think I was brilliant at the job for about three weeks until I "lost my steam"....pretty soon I found myself frantically scouring the cupboards (knowing that the bus would be arriving any minute) looking for something to pull together, and thus would often get repeated reminders that "I always get that...." I was tapped out of ideas, and I couldn't seem to remember those lunches that were a big hit.

...This year I am determined. (Again, we are only one week into school mind you......)

...Lunch for the week is being planned ahead of time, to hopefully avoid staring at an empty fridge on a Wednesday, only to realize that we had already gone through all the fruit. Rather than rely on my memory to come up with different combinations (which worked "so well" last year), I am documenting every meal with a little doodle. It is with this idea that I hope to eventually have a bunch of these little memory cards, which will then allow for a much less stressful approach to lunch planning. I hope.

..what do you have planned for lunch today?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

fixation....


(embroidery on linen)

..my eldest son goes through "obsessive" moments, where he will focus like nobody's business on one particular subject for an insanely long time. Right now we are into license plates, or more appropriately, the need to see as many different ones as possible. Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Connecticut, Florida are to name but a few of the plates we saw over this past weekend in one of our favourite local towns.


..With this obsession, however, can come a lack of thinking when he is in the "zone".
This past Saturday we arrived in town ready to visit our usual coffee hangout when he spotted one. The excitement was building up in his little body when he spotted it from across the street.
It was a new one. The letters were blue and the picture was different. He had (sorry,"had") to find out right away if he was right. So far he had documented about 17 plates, and this would bring him even that much closer to twenty.

..Without thinking, he started to bolt towards the car. Luckily I was there just in time to grab his tiny frame and hold him back before a car got dangerously close. After I calmed down enough to take a breath, we went over to take a look.




..He was right. It was a new one. And yes...he is that much closer to twenty. (and I much closer to being absolutely frazzled!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

upcoming "book tour".....



...as the nerves begin to stir in the belly with the near release of my book (eek!), I thought it fitting to invite you on a little "tour" I will doing to promote this little labour of love.
Albeit a short and quick little expedition, it will be an intense one....one that I hope will allow me to get a chance to connect with many of my readers (and possibly gain some new ones as well!)

..September 24th: (Friday)

1. Look for me on Martha Stewart's web-site! I will be doing a guest tutorial on a cute little bag and piece from my book for their craft department, and I would love for you to visit...

2. ETSY LABS Craft Night (in conjunction with Dumbo Art Festival)
I am so thrilled to be taking a little trip down to Brooklyn to introduce a project from book, and would love to see you there. The event runs from 4-8, and will be a great opportunity to "... to make things, sharpen your craft skills, meet new friends, and hang out." There is no need to worry about missing a demo, as this will be a come and go as you please type of event. Come anytime!

*** I am also going to be selling some books at the event, and this would be a wonderful chance to obtain a copy before they become available in most stores and on-line! ***

October 2nd (Saturday) 11:30 - 1:00pm

1. Craftland School of Craft Lecture Series:
Love and Art/ Balancing a Growing Family and Creative Time
time

Please join me at the Craftland shop in Providence Rhode Island for a group discussion on how to balance your life as a parent and artist. I will be talking about my history as a painter and how I expanded my career since returning to the art world as a fiber artist. "...Group discussion will include sharing tips and strategies for staying both inspired and attentive. Tea and cucumber sandwiches will be served!"

If you are interested, stop by Craftland to register...

*** Even if you cannot attend the lecture, I encourage you to stop by after, as I will be selling copies of my book and fabric!*****

October 16th (Saturday)

1. Renegade Handmade in Chicago

This is going to be such a fun event, as I will be hosting a workshop that evening where students can work on a project from my book. There will be giveaways (yay!), so please save the date until I have more details to share...(You can follow Renegade's blog for more information...)

** again, I will be sticking around for a bit after the workshop to sell/sign copies of the book! ***

whew. It may be a quick whirlwind of a "tour", but it is going to be packed with so much excitement.....hope to see you there!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Showcase Sunday.....



...As I sit here in my favourite blue cardigan getting ready to bake some cookies (can you tell yet that I have a slight addiction to fall?), I couldn't help but wishing I had this lovely potholder to take them out of the oven (I use an old sock and scary looking dishtowel....not the prettiest sight. One of those things that I just never get around to doing....). Anyway, I wanted to thank Rebecca for sending me a perfect image of what she made for this first edition of "Showcase Sunday". Using mummysam fabric, I have asked you all to share with me your wonderful creations, and were so pleased with the results! For those new to my blog, every Sunday I will pick a work to share, and in appreciation will send the featured artist a free fat quarter of mummysam fabric!

...All of the images I have received were so lovely, and will be kept in the "pool" for upcoming showcases. I would like to eventually put a gallery together of all your wonderful creations, so please....keep sending me your pictures....and thanks again for all of your great submissions thus far..

..Congratulations Rebecca, and thanks so much for participating in what I hope will become a fun tradition!

Friday, September 10, 2010

it's Tuesday on a Friday....



...first of all, please excuse the quality of my photos, as the night had gotten away from me but the need to share this overrode any need to present the perfect image....

...O.k. With that out of the way, let's talk a little bit about my little "struggle" this morning.
As many of you know, I am documenting the good (and not so good) bits of raising a son with
Asperger's, and with that comes this next piece in my series of sewn journal entries. As I am sure many a mother can relate, this morning was met with a lot of frustration on my end as the battle of finding that perfect sock seemed to last excruciatingly long. We must have gone through an entire bucket of socks before finally settling on two mis-matched ones that received the thumbs up approval. Where one sock failed in it's excessive fluffiness on the inside, another was similarly disqualified due to a seem that sat uncomfortably along the front edge of the toes. Some pairs weren't equal in height when pulled up with the same force, and others felt too tight or too "mushy"....


...After what seemed like an eternity, my patience started to wear quite thin. My frustration was showing, and he could see it. He became agitated, and so did I. Tears started to ensue, followed by my little guy feeling bad about "being that way".

...I felt bad. Not because I couldn't understand him, but rather because I could. I am him.
I lived through this myself, and continue to do so today. I can remember many a morning growing up and screaming because my sleeve was wrinkled under my sweater and my poor mum would spend an eternity trying to pull it "just so" in order to calm me down. I cannot wear socks with a seam across the front either. Anything with the slightest amount of wool is bothersome, and fluffy socks on the inside are definitely out of the question.

..I took a deep breath and stepped back. Of course those socks won't work because I know how awful it feels to be so uncomfortable. We talked for a bit until everyone was calm again and started all over again. We found the right socks, one red and one blue. One fresh from the laundry and one not so "fresh". But they felt right, and that's what's important....

..Sometimes you need to just step back and breathe....(but make sure you are wearing comfortable socks when you do so....)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

a bag fitting for the first day....



...with big A safely on the bus and on his way to 2nd grade (and not without a few watery eyes on my end mind you....), it was time to get the little one ready for his last year at Montessori.
And being that it is his final year (oh, the weepful soul I have become!), I thought it fitting to send him off with a bag much more his "style". It really was a fun project that was easy to make, but also an opportunity to put in a little fun fabric of my own. The face fabric was perfect for it's function as a pocket to include notes for the teacher, and as little M discovered, perfect for much "better" things as well :)

...just please don't notice that I put the handles on the wrong way...can I pull it off if I say it was "intentional" ?

..P.S. Don't forget to send me your images for our upcoming "Showcase Sunday"! (see post below)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

an opportunity for all you sewers out there......



I must admit I was a bit red in the cheeks when receiving this lovely image from KLEJA
over at klaydoughdreams, as I am still getting used to the idea that there are creative minds out there using my fabric. It is so wonderful to see how you all envision using my collection in such a variety of ways, that I just have to see more! With this in mind, I thought it fitting to come up with a fun opportunity to not only showcase your work but also have a crack at winning some
extra fabric to have even more fun with. Let's call it Showcase Sunday, shall we?

E-mail me your images with a little description about what you have made, and every Sunday I will pick a piece to "showcase" on this blog. If you find yourself a lucky feature, you will be sent a free fat quarter of your choice! sound good?

..oh, this shall be a lot of fun, and thanks again KLEJA for showing off this perfect piece. (cute ear and all....)

p.s. I cannot thank you enough for all of the incredible comments on my last post. All of your kind words were met with great comfort, and it truly meant so much...