Getting inspired

I have been sewing a little bit here and there, in between working on the new business! Sweetchops is going great guns thanks to everyone adventuring out and visiting me. I can’t tell you how fun it is meeting so many new and interesting people and having a warm relaxed place for my existing clients too. But I still need some sewing time!

I love Leah Duncan, her fabric and prints are so nice and I really thought they would go well in the new salon space. While working on my farmers wife quilt I’ve been earmarking all my favorite block so I could go back and use them individually later on in quilts themselves. I enlarged the pattern for ‘squash blossom’ which has an awesome Navajo feel, I believe, perfect for Leah’s fabrics. And I made some bigger blocks that are soon to become cushions in the ‘waiting room’.

I also had been asked aaages ago by my dear friends Liz and Karl if I could make some cushions for their new lounge area in their office. I searched and searched for some cool black and white upholstery fabric. They wanted me to coordinate with a black and white rug that was already in the room. But after looking for some good graphic prints I realised upholstery fabrics are a bit frumpy. So I decided to make some graphic black and white quilt blocks that hopefully weren’t frumpy :)

I backed them in the famous IKEA Britten Nummer fabric and I love the results. I even made a round cushion which was an interesting learning experience putting a zipper into. They are a smidge lighter than the rug and couch base cushions, so I might tea-dye them to darken them up a slight bit. And will you take a look at my sweet God-daughter? Isn’t she the cutest? I made 4 cushions all up and I love how much faster they are than a whole quilt!

I’m still not getting as much done on the weekends as I’d like, turn out a business is a ton of work!? But I wrote a list of all my things to finish/new projects and there are 9 things on it. 9 big things! Including possibly attempting Noodleheads cargo duffle bag, with thanks to Mere for starting me on another new project I probably didn’t need!! Also branching into some garment sewing – SHORTS!! I’m making some.

Phew March

I knew it was going to be a busy month, starting a new business is quite a job, but how awesome is working for yourself? I’ve done it before with my glassblowing, but this is a whole other kettle of fish. I opened Sweetchops, my own salon, this month and wasn’t sure how things would go, but 3 weeks in, I can honestly tell you, it is so much fun! While I always enjoy my work a lot, I haven’t enjoying my workplace so much in a long time. It’s a bright beautiful space that is sunny and relaxed and full of all the things I like best. Of course it comes with more responsibility (esp financially!) but it’s well worth it to have the freedom to work the way I want and to treat my clients the way I feel is best.

I was really lucky with this opportunity, so I don’t feel I can give advice along the lines of ‘just do it’ but then again, lots of new things in life are a bit of a risk, so I do feel like I can say, ‘just try it’. These days there are inspirational quotes posted frequently about the place online and I find almost all of them truly inspirational despite the fact that I forget them hours later. There are only a few that stick in my mind and those are the ones to try and live by I guess. The words of clarity that really resonated with you enough that your memory kept them for future reference. The main thing I’m realizing is that it’s best not to just settle for good enough which is all very well to say, but harder to act on. Life is too short not to at least try.

I have to remember that obviously you can’t control everything around you especially how other people choose to behave, then these wise words will ring in my head.

 

Log cabin

Last weekend I wanted to make something quick and easy and satisfying! So I decided to use some of my favourite fabrics and make a little log-cabin. It was so fun to make, although it was tricky to choose a fabric for the centre square. I love this quilt because it’s the first time (while auditioning a number of different coloured fabrics) that I ever heard Ange say the words, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I like the purple best”.  I’m hoping to finish it this week because March is madness for me, in a good way.

 

Fabric love

Once you start buying fabric it’s a slippery slope. These days there are tons of fabric lines being released regularly and every time a new one comes out, I must have it. There are are lots of designers I love and often if you don’t buy the material when it comes out, you miss out. And it’s rarely reprinted. And then you have to start the obsessive hunt on etsy for ‘oop’s’ (out of print) that you loved but couldn’t quite afford at the time! Ha oh first world problems. Anyhow, I thought I would share some of my favorites of the moment.

Leah Duncan’s new line for Art Gallery Fabrics is called Meadow.

(click the image to go to Leah’s blog)

I loved Carolyn Friedlanders Architextures and her new line, Botanics is also a fav.

(Click the images to go to Carolyn’s site)

Ellen Luckett Baker is also awesome. Her new line is called Garden and even though I don’t love butterflies, I adore this collection.

(Click the image to go to Ellen’s blog)

I spend hours shopping online and tweaking my cart, I don’t buy tons, but I do have hundreds of wish purchases just waiting there. I just need to get rich and buy a house with a bedroom just for fabric. Don’t even get me started on the 2014 Liberty of London spring releases…

The Philosophers’ Mail

Have you seen the new/gossip website that takes a different approach to viewing celebrities and world news? It’s called the Philosophers’ Mail and it’s run by the wonderful School of Life which is partly to do with the also wonderful, Alain de Botton. One of my favorite authors.

Here’s how the School of Life explains their new site:

The School of Life is proud to announce its latest venture, a new media outlet we’ve called The Philosophers’ Mail. This daily online news source is committed to bringing you the latest, biggest stories, as interpreted by a team of our in-house philosophers rather than journalists. We will have reports coming in from London and from our foreign bureaux in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Paris and Istanbul.

The goal of the Philosopher’s Mail is to prove a genuinely popular and populist news outlet which at the same time is alive to traditional philosophical virtues.

For too long, philosophers have been happy merely to be wise and right. This has offered them huge professional satisfaction but it has not influenced the course of society. The average work of philosophy currently reaches 300 people.

So I began reading this newspaper of sorts each day and I can honestly say I find it quite refreshing. I work in a salon, that means, obviously I am ontop of the hottest celebrity goss! But it is unbelievably sad over time and yet I’m still always curious.

Alain de Botton is such an interesting man, I’m sure many of you know him well. I really do recommend any of his marvellous books, they are somewhere between self-help and prose. Sometimes he merely states the obvious, but I always find that to be the best kind of writing, the kind that makes you re-look at what you already know. I first stumbled across him years ago when, by chance, I watched a series on the ABC called “the Perfect Home” which was SO good I’ve looked for it since to no avail. Based on “the Architecture of Happiness” which is my favorite of his books.

New beginnings

Even though it’s already February (already!) I really feel the new year is still fresh. I’ve been handed some great opportunities this year, which I am so happy I can act on. No more working for people who think you’re lucky to have a job with them. Time to be more in control of where I want my life to go and surround myself with people who want to move forward with integrity, happiness and enthusiasm. I’m fortunate to have a ton of support from many people which I only hope I return some way or another.  I will shortly be spending more time in this beautiful space. With thanks to Nadyne for giving me an amazing reason to return to Montreal.

I’ve also been sewing here and there! A finished quilt top for MY NEPHEW OR NIECE!!!  I can finally talk about how super excited I am about becoming an Aunty for the first time in May!!  I just could not be more proud of my sister for how well she is handling herself, most un-cranky pregnant lady ever! Even with the insane Aussie heat! What a champ.

But that quilt top is a secret (shh) so I am going to share pics later. In the meantime I just purchased this awesome quilt pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew.

The Pow wow quilt. I’ve really liked it for ages and I finally bought it last week. So far it’s really easy and fun to sew. The one I’m currently making will be a lap quilt for my other gorgeous sister, who I recently made some cushions for. A lap quilt is the perfect thing to make with extra fabric from cushions. Matchy couch comfort!

2014

I’m late to wish everyone a happy new year! I took a blogging break while I spent a few glorious weeks in my beautiful homeland, Australia. It was roasting hot and I loved every second of it. Now that I’ve returned to a nippy -20°C I’m writing long lists of to-do’s for 2014 and trying to manage some brutal jet-lag. It still seems weird for it to be cold in the new year, it’s a bit less motivating than I’m used to, but this year is already full of much change and possibility which I’m excited about.

There will be some sewing happening soon, with lots of new fabric I spoiled myself with, I’m keen to get back to it. I’m not a resolutions type person, but this year I’m trying to choose happiness if I can. Did you make resolutions?