Get Your Own!

haha... I didn't mean that title to sound mean. ;) I just get so many compliments every time I go out with one of my mom's purses that I thought I'd share my source with you so you can get one too. See? Isn't that nice?!

My mom has been at it again and this time she has loaded up her Etsy store with all kinds of new goodies... all made with Michael Miller fabrics.

(click on each photo to be taken to the Etsy listing)

First up is her most popular purse design, this time made with my ModBlooms baby wale corduroy...


She also played around with Laura Gunn's Lantern Bloom fabrics and made a couple of gorgeous purses...



Another version of her most popular design, this time with Michael Miller's Dandy Damask...


A large tote made with corduroy and my Andalucia Mod Dots ribbon...


And finally this sweet little tote, made with lots of Mezzanine, that would be great to take along as a craft purse for those who love to knit or embroider. I also thought this would be perfect as a sleepover bag for a little girl... with plenty of pockets to store her toiletries, toys and treasures!


OH, and she even re-listed her most popular design yet... HERE!

All of the purses shown above are READY MADE and ready to ship. So, go ahead... get your own! :)

Oh, and if you've been wondering what's going on with The Name Game, we're still working on it. This week we've been a little busy but I promise to choose the winners soon. Contest isn't closed yet, so if you still have suggestions... go ahead and leave them under the Name Game post.
Behind the scenes...

... at the studio. This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of welcoming the ladies behind the amazing publication Where Women Create into my home and it was an experience I will never forget. Jo Packham, WWC editor, originally called me while I was vacationing in Florida last week and since I didn't recognize the number on my caller ID I almost didn't pick it up. But alas I did and, oh my gosh, I'm so glad I did because the schedule was t. i. g. h. t. and I probably would've been dropped if I hadn't picked up the phone when I did.

Less than a week later I had three wonderful women in my home and we had so much fun talking fabric, patterns, kids, art and life in general.

Below, photographer Dana Waldon shoots one of my Andalucia upholstered chairs and a couple of my Marieliz purses.


After the shoot, we relaxed for a bit in the living room before they headed back to Chicago to continue with their busy schedule. From left to right, photographer Dana Waldon, WWC editor Jo Packham and Jo's assistant Gina.


Where Women Create
is a quarterly magazine that celebrates creative women and their inspiring workspaces. I am incredibly honored and flattered to have been chosen to be a part of it. My feature will either be in the February or May 2010 issue. I'll be sure to let you all know as soon as I know! But in the meantime check out Where Women Create in stores like Barnes and Noble, Borders, Michael's & Hobby Lobby. Or you can subscribe on their website. You may even see a familiar face or two in this current issue. ;)

And while you're at it, you can become a fan of WWC on Facebook and also follow them on Twitter. YAY!

(WARNING: picture overload!)

Yes, we were gone for 9 days and like I said in my last post, we had something planned for each day. So here's a synopsis.

Day 1: Jungle Adventures
Sophie has had an obsession with alligators for as long as I remember so my mom wanted to take her to this funky little place. I guess it's more like a zoo than like a theme park. They don't have any rides, except for the one that takes you around this foul-smelling swamp on a pontoon boat to see where the gators dwell. Here's a view of a dilapidated Spanish fort we saw during the swamp ride:


Sophie & Jon smile for a picture during the swamp ride despite the foul sulfur smell emerging from the green waters...


They also have shows, the most popular of them being the one where a young *brave* girl gets IN THE WATER WITH THE ALLIGATORS and feeds them, practically shoving pieces of meat in their mouths. There is not enough money you could pay me to do this! Although I was more than willing to do this.


AH, and then there's the show where they tell you about the jungle critters and let you pet them. You already saw me get up close & personal with the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula. She was so soft & gentle! Sydney petted her from afar...


Here are Sophie & Sydney with a rather large ball python (I was so proud of my brave girls!)



We also all got to hold a baby alligator but they wouldn't let us take our own pictures. If we wanted to record the moment we had to buy the pricey pictures they took with a far less awesome camera and far less experienced photographer (haha) so we opted against it.

All in all it was a great time... bit too hot, humid & smelly for my taste but just watching the girls' reactions was totally worth the sacrifice! ;)

DAY 2: The Beach
Can't go to Florida without visiting the beach at least once, can you? Here are some of my favorite shots from that day...





Day 3: Disney's Magic Kingdom

Again, we can't visit FL without at least one day with Mickey & friends. The girls had an absolute BLAST that day. They got to meet and chat with their favorite princesses, Cinderella, Belle and Aurora. Here they are with Belle:


Then they spent some quality time with Mickey & Minnie...


And even more quality time with grandma...


They explored the set after Pirates of The Caribbean ride...


And even did some modeling for one of my upcoming patterns, Isabel. Not sure if I can use these photos for the booklet, though. Her bangs were so sweaty! Did I mention it was crazy hot & humid in FL?!?


We even caught a glimpse of Cinderella's Castle at night on our way out...


It was so pretty the way it changes colors every few seconds...



Then decided at the last moment to stay a few minutes longer for the Parade of Lights...




We got home at midnight that night but the memories will be unforgettable!

Days 4, 5, 6 & 7: Port St. Lucie and South Beach

Jon & I left the kids with my parents and drove South for some grown up time with my sister and her husband. We had more fun than I could even describe and decided not to lug our big 'ole camera around so we could truly enjoy our time.

We had our waitress take this picture of us with my iPhone... not too shabby, eh? If you've ever had breakfast on Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami, you are probably dying laughing at this typical picture. For those of you who have never been... they give you these GINORMOUS drinks, like the size of your head! Caty & Jason got the Mimosas, Jon got a Bloody Mary and I opted for the Sangria, which was delicious but I couldn't even finish it. Fun times!


We shopped, drank, ate like pigs and took in the sights, which really, in South Beach, it's enough to keep you entertained for 4 days!

Day 8: The Beach... again!

Yep, we had to squeeze in another trip to the beach before we left and this time we brought my sweet niece, Asja, with us. The girls had a blast!


Day 9 was travel back home day and it was a tough one. Our first flight was delayed, the we had a layover in Atlanta. That next flight was delayed too. It's funny how tiring it can be to just wait around in airports. Must be those uncomfortable seats. By the time we got home Sydney was sick to her tummy... she threw up on her bed almost immediately after coming home. As I was changing her bedding, she threw up on the couch. And as I was wiping down the leather on the couch she threw up on the stairs. I gave up on cleaning this time and just sat with her. She didn't want to talk or eat or sleep... just sit. So we did. For a while. She slept like a baby that night and woke up the next morning happy & hungry like nothing had happened. PHEW! I wish I was as resilient as my kids!

Anyway, thank you to anyone who sat through my Vacation Album. I know it was long and wordy. I am still going through all the names. Give me a little more time. I want to make sure I don't miss any... and the entries are still coming in. haha

We're Baaaack!

We've been in Florida for the past 9 days and it was both wonderful and exhausting! We had activities planned for each and every day... not kidding! It was a blast but I'm glad to be back.

Did you guys know this is my 300th post? Of course not! I didn't even know until a few minutes ago. Seriously THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the sewing pattern name suggestions. I am not kidding you when I say that I was expecting a couple dozen suggestions but coming home to 260+ comments was truly shocking... in a good way! :) It's gonna take me a few days to read through all of them and pick my favorite 2 or 3 names. Most of you left multiple names under your comment so I'm estimating having to go through a couple thousand girlie names. Boy, maybe I should get busy and make more patterns so I can use up more of them.

I'll announce the winners as soon as I can! I did want to point out something... I noticed that the names Ava, Isabel and Julia kept popping up here & there in the comments so I am afraid I wasn't too clear in mentioning that those are names I am already using (see 4th paragraph down on the Name Game post). Just didn't want anyone to think I used their name without due credit! ;)

OK... I'd better get to work. I'll leave you with a little sneak peek from our FL vacay...

This one I call BLISS.


And this one I call FACING FEAR.

Facing Fear

More pics (correction: TONS more pics!) coming in the very near future... brace yourselves! ;)

In the meantime, please check out my interview on TRUE UP. I talk about my inspiration for each and every design in Mezzanine. I also give a little non-visual sneak of my next fabric line.

Also, Quilt Home is featuring yours truly in their most recent e-newsletter... I'm SO flattered. (pssst, scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter to see a 15% coupon that expires this Sunday valid for my fabric & patterns!)

And last, but certainly NOT least, Better Homes & Gardens' Fall issue of Quilts & More magazine has a 6-page spread on how to make the 3 pillows I designed for my Andalucia fabric debut last Fall. On the last page, they even show you how they took the same designs and made them out of Mezzanine!! If you can't find a copy of this mag at your local bookstore, you can buy one at Fat Quarter Shop.

Be back soon...
The Name Game

WOW! Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments on my new studio. You guys are the BEST!!! We are heading out to Florida today for our annual vacay but I wanted to leave a little contest up on the blog. Just something fun for all to do while I'm away in the land of sand & sun for the next 9 days...

See, it seems I've run out of ideas for naming my sewing patterns. It's sorta like naming kids, except I only had to do that twice. And yes, I've actually brought out the "baby names" book a couple of times to help me out! The first 4 patterns came to me fairly easy. Lil' Chef was a no-brainer. Frida was named even before she was fully-drafted... really! Kyoko took a slight bit of Googling but once I saw it, that was it. Emma was just one of those pretty, feminine & delicate names that fit perfectly with a pretty, feminine & delicate dress.


Then came the Sophie and the Sydney... I'm sure by now I don't really need to explain where the inspiration came for those.
(pssst... if you're new to my blog, those are my kiddos' names!)

For the Fall release I plan to have 4 - 6 new sewing patterns. I've already named Ava. The pattern is done and currently off to the testers. I've even shared some outtakes from the cover shoot. And I'll show you Isabel when we come back from vacation. I'm taking my Isabel sewn sample to FL to try to get some cool pics for the booklet. Then I have another one in the works that may or may not be called Julia. I'll share more details when I return.

So... that leaves me with needing
1 - 3 more names and I'm just running out of ideas and time. Here's where all you wonderful blog readers and creative types come in. Leave me a girlie-girl name suggestion in the comments below this post and if I choose your name you will receive a sweet little bundle of goodness. I don't know what it'll be yet (since this just occurred to me last night) but I promise it won't disappoint... and there will definitely be yummy fabric included! :)

Oh, and while you're leaving name suggestions, if you would like to give actual new sewing pattern suggestions -- anything that you'd like to see a pattern for? -- please, by all means speak up. After all, these are for YOU!

OK... we're off. I'll leave you with these two crazy girls...

Here's Sophie returning from day camp last Friday, toothless & painted.

Sophie toothless & painted

CONFESSION: the tooth fairy completely forgot to leave money under the pillow that night. But the next morning I logged on to Twitter and found out she had a tough time the night before due to storms and was still working on collections (yes, the Tooth Fairy IS on Twitter) so as the kids were mesmerized reading her tweets, the tooth fairy snuck in and left the money. PHEW! Twitter saves the day again!

And here is Sydney, also returning from day camp a few weeks ago. A camp counselor had French-braided her hair and when we took the braids out it looked like Mermaid hair so I couldn't resisted a picture.


CONFESSION: I've never learned how to French braid but always wanted too. I've attempted it a few times and failed miserably!


(P.S. Our Web Store will remain open while we are traveling but all orders will ship on the 19th or later. Thank you for your understanding!)

My Studio

It took us a little bit to get it to this point but I'm finally ready and excited to show you guys what we've been working on for the past few weeks... the MODKID Studio! I apologize in advance for the lighting. This is a basement studio with only one smallish window so natural lighting is practically non-existent and studio lighting is hard to position when you have so many elements to block the flow of light.

Anyway, ready for your virtual tour? As you first enter the room, you see this:


The cutting table is the piƩce-de-resistance. I dreamt it up one night and Jon made it happen for me. We took two Expedit bookcases from IKEA, turned them on their side and butted them together to create the base of the table. That was the easy part. The shelves are hollow at the back which is great because I can store long items that span from one side to the other. Then I told Jon I wanted a 1.5" gap in between the tabletop and the base to store flat pattern sheets and other large paper drawings. Jon built me a tabletop out of MDF with dry-erase board on the top (perfect for jotting quick measurements or notes!) then mounted it on top of the bookcases with two 1.5" spacers in between. PERFECT!

Here's a closer look at the cutting table:


As you walk toward the back side of the table, you see a better view of my fabric shelves (which are just two Billy bookcases from IKEA side by side) and a little sneak peek of my sewing table.


Around the other end of the room is my extra long sewing table. Believe it or not I used to have these 3 machines on a table that was about 1/3 shorter than this one. Now that I've been working with this much elbow room I have no idea how I ever sewed anything before. From back to front you see my 31-year old Bernina Record (my prized possession), my BabyLock Imagine serger and my White SpeedyLock serger (always set to the rolled hems function). The table and chairs are also from IKEA (yes, we shop there a lot!)


Turning around and facing the other side of the room, you get the left side of my cutting table. Here is where I store all of my sewing supplies... anything from cutting tools, to interfacings, tracing papers, you name it. I also have several bins that hold ribbons, fabric scraps and miscellaneous office supplies.


On the far right of the studio is my computer desk. This is an old desk that I purchased back in Orlando 10 or so years ago and has moved with me from house to house and State to State. It does the job. My new MacBook Pro sits up there on the half shelf and is hooked up to a 24" Cinema Display because this old lady has failing eyes and needs to see things BIG on the screen. The sweet little red task chair is from (you guessed it!) IKEA. (By the way, this is my interim chair until I can afford to get my dream chair. Hopefully my back won't be broken before then.)


Adjacent to my computer desk you will find this colorful little bookcase which houses some of my favorite things: sewing books, trade magazines, music CDs, kitschy toys and collectibles. Everything is at arm's reach in case I need to reference something or just play...


And last, but certainly not least, is the most comfortable spot in the studio. I have fallen asleep on this couch many a night when I'm just way too tired to get my butt up the stairs to my own bed. But, hey, I'm not complaining...

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