Sophie's Locks of Love

Judging by the overwhelming outpour of comments on my last posting (*snort*) I gather that you guys prefer "perky Patty" over "pouty Patty," so I thought I'd share with you guys a little event that has brought so much joy into our lives.

My oldest daughter, Sophie, just aged about 10 years overnight. Not that I secretly long for my baby to grow up (because I really don't) but this decision was so mature on her part that it has left me in awe.

Sophie found out about Locks of Love (follow the link to read more about it if you are not familiar with their organization) and immediately declared that she wanted to "help the sick children" so off we went to our local Cookie Cutters to make her – and another lucky girl's – dreams come true. It just so happened that this week coincided with a fund raising event sponsored by Cookie Cutters and Dawn Bergeron Photography so we were able to document the whole process.

I couldn't be happier with the job my sweet and talented friend, Dawn, did with these pictures. They are just precious and will be such a special keepsake for us. Sophie's locks of love measured in at 24 inches (scalp to tip) so we decided to donate 12" of hair (you need a minimum of 10" to meet the requirements).

Sophie is beyond thrilled with her new "big girl do" and mama and daddy are incredibly proud or her "big decision".

Check out Dawn's blog for a recap of the event and lots more pictures. Thanks so much, Dawn!! We love the pictures!

I've been sleeping a lot lately. Well, mostly since I returned from Portland. This is noteworthy because I am a self-proclaimed insomniac. Anyone who knows me well would be able to attest that I can operate on very little sleep... like 4 hours MAX! My usual day goes like this: I wake up at 7 am (or a tad before), get the girls ready, make breakfast, drive Sophie to school, do stuff around the house (cleaning, house projects, etc.), run errands, drive the girls to their extra-curricular activities (swimming, toddler classes, etc.), work on design or sewing in between stuff, put the girls to bed no later than 8:30 pm and then my work day really begins. I normally either design or sew until 2 or 3 am. Then I toss & turn for a while and am back up at 7 am the next day.

Lately it's been different though. I've been going to bed early (well, 11:30 to midnight is early for me). Wake up at the same time (and sometimes late! UGH!) but catch cat naps all day long. The extra curricular activities are over for the year, so there is no more driving around during the day, unless it's for my own purposes. This affords me the opportunity to just veg out on the couch with Sydney a lot. I pop in a movie she likes and then I'm out for a couple of hours! What's wrong with me? This is not the usual Patty. I'm usually a ball of energy... bouncing from thing to thing all day long. I never sit down unless it's at the sewing machine or computer. That's how I'm able to accomplish as much as I do while caring for 2 small children (or 3 if you count Jon).

There's a few theories bouncing in my head... one is that I'm making up for lost sleep. Especially during those crazy 4 days at Market. ;) My second theory is that the weather is having an adverse effect on my mood. When it's nearly June and it's 45 degrees and storming outside for days, it has got to affect your psyche somehow, right? And lastly, I think I may have iron deficiency anemia again... going to get that checked out next week. I've had this before, twice, and it always comes with fatigue so it may be a close guess. Or maybe it's all of the above combined, but nevertheless I've got to get out of this funk soon because I have so much to do.

If you're curious as to what I've got going on right now, I'm in the midst of color pitching for my new line of fabric. It is similar to what those of us in the graphic design / printing world would call "color separation" but instead of using Pantone swatches, we use actual fabric swatches. It's loads of fun (and I'm not being sarcastic here... it really is load of fun!). My designs are finished... there are 9 total different designs and 4 palettes (colorways) each, for a total of 36 beautiful mix & match fabrics... I hope you love them as much as I do. I will share some sneaks here really soon. I know I keep promising that, but this time it's for real, just give me a couple of days to get all this color pitching done and I will take some pics of my boards right before I send them off to Michael Miller and share right here.

OH, and another weird thing that happened to me: my mom calls me yesterday and offers to take the kids for as long as I want during the Summer months so I can get some work done. What a sweet offer, right? I tell Jon about it, we look up flight information and figure out exactly which days we should do this and for how long. We figured out that the 4 of us could fly down to FL on July 1st, stay there for a week, then Jon & I would return alone on he 8th, leaving the kids at mami & papi's for 2 weeks. Then mami would fly up with the girls on the 22nd and fly back down to FL on the 29th. We ran this info by them, they agreed and... you'd think I'd be ecstatic, right? Well, noooooo! Instead I started feeling sad and wondering if I'd miss them too much and even having freaky thoughts about something terrible happening to the girls and me being hundreds of miles away. UGH! Again... have to get out of this funk -- PRONTO!

OK, so that's what's been going on. I actually feel better after writing it all down. Updating my blog is one of my favorite activities, so I had a feeling it would perk me up. Sorry about all the melodrama, LOL!
Always Mod

These past two weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for me. After the thrill of attending Quilt Market last weekend and meeting up with so many old friends, I've had to force myself to jump back into the flow of things, wearing the big hats of mommy, clothing designer and textile designer. Which, speaking of the latter, we are in the final, final steps of the fabric design process and I should be able to show you some sneaks very, very soon!

But what brings me to this posting today is something that I am still a bit choked up about. The folks at Always Mod, an authorized retailer of Marimekko, run this awesome blog which showcases new products and design ideas and shares history and news on the company. Well, a few days ago, they contacted me and asked if they could feature my Etsy shop on their blog! (OMG, right?) I was like.... "Uhm, let me think about it for a sec... YES, YES, YES!"

Well, the feature is up today and WOW, what a feature! They have 5 large photos from my Blüm Collection up on their site and a very nice write up.

Click here to go to the Always Mod blog and here for their online store... such YUMMY stuff! Or click here to check out Marimekko's website... always such a treat for the eyes!

Thank you to the Always Mod staff for taking notice of little ol' me and for that amazing feature... I still can't believe it! :)
Market Report

My brain is mush right now. Can someone really take this much visual stimulation, inspiration and creativity in a short 4 days and remain conscious? Quilt Market (and all the activities surrounding it) was an experience that I will never forget... and the thought that I get to do this all over again in just 5 months is making me numb with excitement. :)

Since I have an ungodly amount of photos and I couldn't figure out what to show first, I've decided to do a daily account of events in chronological order, so here it goes...

DAY 1.
Thursday, May 15th, 2008

It's my Birthday! And what a way to celebrate it! I was greeted at the airport by the ever so vibrant Myrinda of Fabric Hound and we soon met up with my pal Eva and her sweet friend Tara. The four of us headed out to our Meet & Greet party, so appropriately named Fabric 2.0, hosted by Caroline of J Caroline Creative and Michael Miller Fabrics at a Spanish tapas restaurant named Oba.

Of course, the first order of events was to get an "MMF Girls" photo:

From left to right: Kathy Miller, Paula Prass, Sandi Henderson, Patty Young

Then we did a little meeting & greeting...

From left to right: Tara, Eva Taylor, Joel Dewberry, Patty Young

Me & Heather Bailey (in case you didn't know) ;)

Me & Melissa Averinos

Me and Daria Muirhead

Outside, waiting for our cabs, we got a little silly...

From top left (clockwise): Megan, Sandi, Eva, Daria and me

And I couldn't resist posting this picture of the fabulous Kathy Miller waiting for her cab to arrive outside of Oba. I felt like paparazzi...

If you'd like to read a full report of this kicking party, check out Caroline's blog... she is the funniest person I've met in a long, long time!

We took a cab to the convention center where a few vendors were still setting up, and I got to experience my first Sample Spree! "OHMYGOD" is all I can say about that! ;)

Back at the hotel, my sweet roomies (Daria, Megan, & Amelia) surprised me with a birthday card and some awesome raspberry truffles. Thanks again, girls! I was so touched! LOVE YA!!!

DAY 2.
Friday, May 16th, 2008

First day of Quilt Market. I was blown away not only by the size of it but also by the immense amount of creativity surrounding me.

Sandi's booth was a breath of fresh air. Every time I came by to visit there were at least a dozen people admiring her fabrics, patterns, decor, pictures, clothing... everything! Here she is with her mom:

And I had the pleasure of being there when they surprised Sandi & team with a wonderful award. They won 2nd Place for Most Creative Double Booth! CONGRATULATIONS, Sandi!!! All your hard work definitely paid off! :)

Sandi Henderson and her husband, Dustin

Chelsea's booth was another breath of fresh air... so colorful and fun! And she was busy, busy, busy all day long selling patterns and chatting with everyone who came by to peek at her fabulous set up.

From left: Lucy, Jona and Chelsea

And I got to spend some quality time with Chelsea's gorgeous and talented aunts, Lucy and Lila.

From left: Lucy, Lila and me

I stopped by Joel's booth for a visit and got another picture with the fabulous designer. His new line is just breathtakingly beautiful.

Here is Eva reknotting the sash on the gorgeous robe she created for Joel's booth. Everyone who came by wanted to try it on because it was so amazingly soft and comfy.

I even got to witness Daria interviewing Joel for her Boutique Cafe podcast!!! WOOOHOOO!

Next to Joel's Booth was the ever so colorful display space of Anna Maria Horner. Her new fabric lines are so bright and fun! Her booth won 1st Place for Most Creative Double Booth. CONGRATS, Anna Maria!!

From left: Paula Prass, Anna Maria Horner and me

Up the way a little bit was probably the most visited designer's booth in the whole Convention Center. Amy Butler was so sweet and fun. Her looks and personality totally match the amazing textiles she designs. I couldn't resist having my picture taken with Amy as I held the fabulous purse my mom designed for me out of her Nigella fabrics. Amy loved it, BTW! :)

And last but not least, I couldn't leave the show without visiting with two other super talented and sweet designers... Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom and Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S

Jennifer Paganelli (Sis Boom)

Liesl Gibson (Oliver + S)

After Market closed that day I went to Fabric Depot with the LimeVine gals and we couldn't resist the photo op...

From left: Emily, Eva, Patty & Amie

And later that evening we met a large group of boutique designers for dessert and wacky fun in downtown Portland.

From top left: Jenn (Fabric Bliss), Em, Amie, Eva, Tara, Patty,
Wendy, Traci, Jona (Fabritopia), Myrinda (Fabric Hound) and Taya (Em's daughter)

DAY 3.
Saturday, May 17, 2008

I was already dead tired by my 3rd day in Portland so I took a small fraction of the pictures I took the prior 2 days. LOL! I spent the day at Market doing the same thing from the day before but with half the energy. Then after Market we headed off to a Vendor Appreciation party being thrown by Fabric Depot. (Yep, I visited that store 2 days in a row... and I still didn't see it all!) This is the only picture I captured from the party... The Elfin Section

Me, Paula Prass and Melissa Averinos

After the Fabric Depot party, the Michael Miller crew (and a few others) headed off to dinner at an awesome Peruvian tapas place. OMG! The music, food & drinks were amazing!!! We had a blast!

Caroline (J Caroline Creative), Me and Michael Steiner (MMF)

DAY 4.
Sunday, May 19, 2008

Market still went on for another full day but my roomies and I decided to take it easy. We had a quiet breakfast back at our hotel room, packed, chatted, looked at pictures and headed to the airport mid morning. I had a loooong flight back to Chicago followed by a loooong drive down to Bloomington, but 8 hrs. later I was home enjoying the company of Jon & the girls. :)

Thanks to everyone for waiting so patiently for this report and for all your sweet comments and wishes while I was gone. And to all who I met at Market: it was a true pleasure! I can't wait to do it all over again in 5 months... this time I'll have my own booth! WOOHOOOTY!

Houston or Bust! :)

Portland or Bust!

So this is it. I am heading to Chicago in just a few minutes and flying to Portland for the International Quilt Market. I am still on Cloud 9 and just cannot believe I am actually going! I can't wait to meet all the Fabricnistas (yes, Paula, I stole your term) and catch up with old friends, but most importantly I am so excited about getting to meet the folks at Michael Miller Fabrics face to face. Kathy Miller has been an absolute pleasure to chat with over the phone through this whole design process and Sandi tells me the rest of the crew is just as great so I am just giddy with excitement.

And as a side note, good thing I am -- what my friend Melissa would call -- "elfin," LOL! I was able to fit 6 outfits, 6 pairs of shoes, PJs, my flat iron, my cosmetics & toiletries, my camera, my iPhone, my wallet, 2 design portfolios, a sketchbook, a box of Moo cards and the new purse my mom made me for Mother's Day in this small carry-on suitcase and this weekender bag from Bath & Body Works. At first, when I looked at those diminutive pieces of luggage I thought it was nearly impossible but, again, "good thing I'm elfin" and my shoes & clothes are tiny!!! ;)

So... if you'll be attending the show, I hope to meet up with you. If not, I will be back next Monday with a full report. :) Have a great weekend, everyone!!! I have a feeling Blogland will be a tad quiet for a few days... at least the crafty neighborhood in Blogland. ;)

Happiness is...

... sleeping in on Mother's Day then waking up to the sweet scent of homemade Belgian Waffles being made by none other than your handsome flour-covered husband!

... seeing the glowing face on your 3-year-old as you open up a paper bag containing a half-dead flower in a hand-painted clay pot that she planted by herself 2 days prior at her toddler class. (it's gotten plenty of water, sunlight and TLC since then, so I think it'll make it) :)

... seeing the proud look on your 6-year-old's face as she hands you the beautiful oversized cards that she so meticulously made for you while you slept.

... going shopping without any distractions (read: without kids or husbands tagging along asking you how much longer) and finding the perfect pair of jeans to take on your upcoming trip to Quilt Market. :)

... going to your favorite Sushi restaurant with your most favorite people in the whole world and having them behave all the way through dinner and actually have fun!

(above photos taken with my iPhone)

... knowing that in just 3 short days you will be flying half-way across the country to meet up with some of the most amazing and inspiring women you have ever come across in your professional career. :)

***Special Addendum***

Happiness is... finishing a blog posting just to be surprised by yet another amazing handcrafted gift... this time from your own mother! Thanks so much mom! My new Marieliz purse is absolutely divine! I can't wait to show it off!!! LOVE YOU!!!

Feeling the "Love"

A sweet customer of mine, the lovely Lovelyn, totally made my day with her wonderful pictures of her 3 girls in their MODKIDs and her description of her shopping experience. It was one of those blog postings that made my mouth smile bigger and bigger with every word I read, so I just had to come here and share with you guys!!!

How sweet is this picture of her two oldest running through a field of wildflowers? She totally captured that childhood innocence that we all crave... not a worry in the world, not posed or contrived, just 2 girls running, being silly and having the time of their life! :)

And here is this super sweet picture of her youngest in her Blüm Collection... eeeek! I just want to squeeze those cheeks!

Click here to check out Lovelyn's awesome blog. It's always such a fun spot to rest upon in the sea of blogs I read because it captures real life in such a casual, unfettered way. Thanks so much, Love! You totally made my day!!!
Urban Jungle

I am hanging out on the bay this week with LimeVine and Friends for our first EVER Guest launch!

To celebrate this event, I have listed this sweet 3-piece custom set. I have been holding on to this amazing Lycra for over a year and I finally found the perfect opportunity to use it! The swim-cover up is made with 100% Organic Bamboo... YUMMY!

Check it out:

Search Boutique LLB on eBay this week to find the other ensembles listed by this AMAZING group of friends!

This item is NOT available in my Etsy store, but if you'd rather shop Etsy than eBay, click HERE to check out what items I have on there. :)

Thanks for looking! :)
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