Spring Break 2011
... and the WORST trip to IKEA EVER!!! :(

First of all, I want to thank all of you for the most wonderful comments and warm wishes regarding our MODKID HQ. We are thrilled about this new adventure and are working tirelessly to make it all come together. Of course, since not everything always works out how you'd expect it to, we signed the papers just days before we were supposed to leave for our Spring Break trip.... something we had planned a long time ago. We couldn't cancel it because reservations were made and other family members were meeting us there too, so that would've been just plain rude. Plus, the kids deserved a fun trip (Jon and I did too, but in all honesty, we just wanted to move into the office right away).

So, we packed our bags and headed to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where it was all about fun in the sun — a far cry from the 30 degree weather we left behind...



On one particular day, the sun was out and the skies were clear but it was just a tad too cool to go in the water, so we took a nice walk on the beach and I took the opportunity to shoot some photos for a new pattern coming out in April (yes, folks... it's SNEAK PEEK TIME!) :)



Another day, we found out that Savannah, GA was just a short 35 minute drive from our resort so we decided to make a day of it. Jon and I had visited before on our 5th wedding anniversary, but we really wanted to go again with the kids and my parents.


A rare shot with me in it...


I just adore the architecture in Savannah. All that exposed brick and stone make my heart sing. The history and culture is palpable in every nook and cranny of this place.



Loved this dragon lamp post!


The kids loved it too... thank goodness!




Then, as I tweeted our location, a sweet tweep told me to check out Savannah Bee Company and boy, am I so glad she did! This place was AH-MAZING! Honey tasting, bath soaps and other products made with wax, a place for the kids to play and watch movies...it was just so cool!


And of course... bee and honeycomb imagery EVERYWHERE (you know I felt right at home!)



On our way back home we spent the night in Asheville, North Carolina, a town that Jon and I have been wanting to visit for quite some time now. It was everything we expected and more!

The night we arrived, we had dinner at a wonderful Thai restaurant with a relative I had never met before! This is Josephine, a cousin of mine from my paternal grandfather's side of the family.


The next morning as we drove through the picturesque Historic Biltmore Village in search for a place to eat, we accidentally ran into Waechter's Fine Fabrics. I immediately recognized the name because they appeared in an episode of "On the Road with Austin and Santino" in which I had spotted several of my MODKID patterns made up into store samples. What a treat!

Sydney looked out our car window and shouted... it's mama's fabric on the window! They had a wonderful display of knits right on the front window!


Inside, the place was a sewist's paradise!



We even got our picture taken with the owner, Joyce Yarling, holding one of their fine creations... a Sydney Hooded Dress made with dupioni silks, created for the Holiday issue of SEW WOW magazine (pages 109-110)


The nice ladies at Waechter's told us to eat at Books and Breadboard. What a lovely cafe! Wonderful service, food and presentation. (You know I'm a sucker for nice packaging!)



The rest of our day was spent galavanting through Asheville. We drove by the Biltmore Estates, visited the Grove Arcade and spent some quality time at a park across form the Courthouse.




Photo opps galore!


It was the perfect trip!

So here's the part where you feel sorry for me:

When we got back home, Jon and I headed to IKEA so we could get some things for the office. I had a specific list (on my iPhone notes app) and a budget in mind. We were so proud of ourselves for keeping to the budget while still staying true to our aesthetic. When, BAM! My iPhone4 gets stolen practically in front of our eyes! :( I say "practically" because I did walk away from it momentarily while I looked at a piece of furniture, but it was gone in a flash! As soon as I turned around and saw it was gone, I yelled over to Jon to call my phone. He did and the jerk actually answered it! Jon heard some muffled voices for a few seconds (like they had their hand covering the speaker and were trying to decide what to do) then they hung up. We called it like a thousand more times and never heard a response so they must've turned it off immediately. JERKS! I spent some quality time with IKEA security and visited the Lost & Found and few times, exchanging numbers just in case, but nothing.

And before you all start telling me about Find My iPhone and Mobile Me or any other tracking device, let me just say that I was stupid enough not to turn on the Find my iPhone setting on my lost phone so there's no way to track it. I also did not have it passcoded (yes, stupid, I know!) We have tried everything under the sun to find it, believe me! Of course, after we figured out it was a lost cause, we deactivated the service and changed all my passwords, etc. so at least the jerk can't get into my accounts or use the phone. They can still sell it in the Black Market but oh, well, what can I do? In the meantime, I'll be using this lovely replacement because I'll be damned if I'm gonna spend another $700 on a new iPhone just 2 months before the iPhone5 is released!


In case you're wondering, that ^^^ is my old iPhone 3GS that broke right before Spring Quilt Market, last year. And the year before that I had a broken booth. Hmmm... hope there's no correlation! I can make & receive calls with it but the screen is way too damaged to type on it so I can't email, tweet or text. :(

Anyway... that was my sob story! Now, make me feel better by voting for Flora & Fauna at the Modern Madness game over on FatQuarterly. I am so proud of my girl, F&F, for making it into the Sweet 16!!! :)

Introducing... MODKID HQ!

If you follow me on Twitter then you already know that about 4 or so months ago we made the decision to no longer move to Florida but stay and grow our business here in the Midwest. You probably also know that for weeks now we've been looking for a commercial space that MODKID could call home but nothing was quite right. Too big, too small, too expensive, needs too much work, etc. etc. etc.

Well, about a week ago Jon and I were driving through our downtown district, daydreaming about how awesome it would be if we could find a cool, lofty office space among the trendy caf├ęs, funky boutiques and eclectic eateries. "Drive down that road again!" I would say as he quietly obliged. "Have we gone this way yet?", "How about over there?" All of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a sign on a window. I quickly jotted down the number on my iPhone notes app and urged Jon to stop the car for a quick peek. It was freezing outside, so my sweet hubby told me to stay in the car while he checked it out. He peeks in the windows for what seemed like an eternity then runs back with a curious smirk on his face. "Patty, you have to come see this! I think we found it." Totally annoyed, because surely he must be pulling my leg, I shake my head and roll my eyes. He walks off and beckons me with a smile. I think, "Oh, what the heck" and tighten up my scarf.

This is what I saw when I looked in the windows.


If I had designed a space from scratch... well, let's just say that I felt violated! Like someone had stepped into my brain, snapped a photo of my dream space and created it for themselves without even asking for permission. The nerve!

The days that followed were utter torture. Again, if you follow me on twitter, you know. Waiting, talking, negotiating, waiting some more, making myself seriously ill over the thought of losing it. Yes, that's what it was like. Saturday night we found ourselves sipping hot tea with the owner of the building at the Chinese restaurant next door. We brought our top negotiator (Sydney)... because, who could say no to that face? We would've brought two negotiators, but Sophie was away at a sleepover.

Well, I won't drag this out any longer... ladies & gents, meet... MODKID HQ!

This is the view of the right wall looking from the front of the building. Original hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, 18' tin ceilings, lots of windows...


A little bit further down the wall... there's even a clothing rack for all of my trunk show samples! This place used to be home to a posh bridal shop.


Further down the wall we see the first of two bay doors... perfect for bringing in large shipments (probably fabric in this door, since we'll use the one in the back for bringing in pallets of patterns)


The rear portion of the building will be Jon's area, which will eventually house his desk, racks of patterns and a fulfillment area.


Here's the 2nd bay door and a cool glass block window that lets in tons of light in this back room.


Now, we've turned back around and are looking towards the front of the building. The door on the left there is for the unisex bathroom.


There are two dressing rooms on the left side, which is perfect for days like today when I have a handful of beautiful models shooting pattern covers. And yes, first order of business: switching out those ugly black curtains with some pretty Patty Young fabric!


You may have spotted these already, but I wanted to give you a closer look at the tin ceiling and the gorgeous brushed nickel chandeliers. There are 12 of these beauties! TWELVE! I die!


To give you an idea of how much character this place has, every now & then you see these...


I thought they were stickers at first, but noooo... they are tin (or some sort of metal) and are bolted right to the wood. I assume they are covering something, but I don't want to find out. They are staying put. Here's another one... cool, eh?


For those history buffs out there, Jon's been doing a little research on the building and he just found out tonight that this used to be the headquarters of State Farm Insurance from 1922 to 1924. WOW! Read more here. There's an old picture of our building from the 20's in the third section down.

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that we are overjoyed with our new venture and are already feeling right at home...


I hope you guys don't mind that I'm gonna be documenting the whole office decor process here on ye olde blog. Thanks for coming along for the ride! :)
Jumping on the bandwagon...

Our littlest princess, Sydney, usually wavers between wanting to do everything big sister does and marching to the beat of her own drum. For weeks now, she's declared that she would never cut her hair but alas Thursday night we found ourselves making yet another donation to the wonderful folks at Locks of Love.

I came prepared with my entire camera equipment, including my brand spanking new, totally awesome lens. Of course, as luck would have it, I had forgotten to charge my battery pack after my last big shoot and it was completely drained. :( So... iPhone comes to the rescue again.

One last look at her long locks...


Too late now...





Finishing touches...




We're so proud of our little princess! Way to go, Sydney!!!

If you're still reading, I wanted to thank all of you who voted for Flora & Fauna in FatQuarterly's Modern Madness game. We won! WOOOHOOO! And now SANCTUARY is up and I really need your votes because it's getting tough in there. Go here to vote!
Bags, totes and purses... oh my!

I love purses so much I could easily be nicknamed The Bag Lady. But I'm sure I'm not alone so I wanted to pop in here today and share a few fun finds of cool bags made with my Sanctuary line.

First off, check out this great big tote made by my friend, Dana Rainwater at Bug A Boo Baby. I have known Dana for nearly two decades (oh my, how time flies!) and she never ceases to amaze me with her creativity. Dana currently owns her own business here in Bloomington, IL designing custom bags like this one and baby items galore!



Dana also designs these super stylish clutches...



Speaking of clutches, I ran across these photos in my Sanctuary Flickr group and couldn't help but share. I had to do a little digging but I finally found the Etsy store where Tickled Paisley sells these.



I also love this other find from my Flickr group, a gorgeous Dahlia Lama purse from Mama Roux.

Seafoam Dahlia Tote

Seafoam Dahlia Tote

Have you guys seen this Sanctuary version of our popular Stella purse pattern that my mom has for sale in her Etsy store? This is a one-of-a-kind creation, so if you don't grab it now, it'll be gone for sure! :)


My mom designed this pattern for me last year, based on a simple sketch I emailed her. How cool is that? She got it spot on! :)


If you're wondering what's kept me so quiet and distant for the past few days, well let's see if I can sum it up. I've been...

  • Reviewing strike offs for my next fabric collection. I am so in love with this one! (and yes, I know I always say that but that's how it goes!) Rich, exotic, happy colors. So different and yet, so me. Can't wait to show you.
  • Sending out tester packages for the next round of MODKID patterns... Girls, Tweens, Misses and Women's Plus. It's all there! No, no boy stuff yet, but I promise I will tackle that in a future release. I need more time.
  • Finishing up the final chapters of my book for Wiley. Yes, I can't believe I said FINAL. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel... it's getting brighter and brighter (hope that doesn't mean I'm dying!)
  • Preparing and finalizing artwork for 3 new licensed products that I am over the moon excited about. I can't spill the beans till it's all a done deal (I know! That kills me more than you know!) but all I can say is that my mom will LOVE the first two but my dad will SQUEAL when he sees the third! (well, that is, if my dad's way of showing excitement was by squealing. In reality he will probably just smile and say "WOW! That's great. Can I have one?"
  • Working on a FREE tutorial for this quilt. Yes, I know I promised that tute like 5 months ago. I usually don't stall like that (well, you know) but as you see, I've been a little busy. I hope you guys still want it...

Now it's back to work for me. But, while I'm here (since I don't know when I'll get the chance to pop back in) I wanted to tell you guys about a fun game going on over at FatQuarterly. It's the fabric aficionados version of March Madness... called Modern Madness. I had to have Jon explain the whole brackets and predictions thing to me, haha. Instead of basketball teams, they have the top 64 fabric lines on a board (or do they call those brackets? I dunno!) All I know is that I am thrilled and honored to be included twice: Flora & Fauna and Sanctuary made the cut. WOOHOO!

Round 1 Region 1 is on right now, with Flora & Fauna in the running! So fans, please pop on over and vote for your adorable hummingbirds, bees and moths... oh and don't forget those sweet daisies, blossoms and dandelions. heeheee If you need a refresher, click.
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