March 30, 2012

Furry Friday

TGIFF! The other day, my dear friend Molly, who gave us Franny and Lou, sent me a picture of their Mom, Stella. So sweet! We've added her to our family photos :)
Have a wonderful weekend!

March 19, 2012

Excuses and Winners

First the excuses.
It was a beautiful day yesterday. I mean a no-jacket-almost-short-sleeved kind of day. Sunny, warm and a perfect time to be in the garden! Just look how much these grew since the other day:
Planting lettuce quickly turned into pruning roses, clematis and hydrangea, raking the flower beds, edging the beds — well, Pete did that while i trimmed the iris back— and sifting/turning the compost pile. Once we got going it was hard to stop! Needless to say, i was painting our bedroom (wha?) until about 10:30 last night. So that's my excuse for not picking winners yesterday. Hope everyone had a beautiful weekend, however you chose to spend it.

Side note: it's another beautiful day today. I wonder what else i'm not going to get done?! Serious dose of spring fever. How about you?

Now the winners! But first another side note to drag it out just a second longer. Again, i just have to say how uplifting and inspiring all your comments have been. If i ever need a reminder of life's silver lining,  i'll be reading through them again (and again). Ok, finally...the winners. A big congratulations to:

Please email your mailing address to and i will send some Joy or Good Fortune to you! Thanks again to everyone.

March 16, 2012


Happy Friday! I am so thankful for all of your comments about what you're thankful/grateful for. Last night, as i was reading each of them, i was completely overwhelmed with such a positive feeling and wanted to reach through the computer screen and across distances to give each of you a big hug! The next best thing i could think of was to respond to each of you personally...which i started to do and was determined to keep up with, but then for some reason blogger stopped letting me leave replies!? So i apologize if you did not get a response from me. To make up for that, i'm going to be adding to the giveaway pile and instead of 7 lucky winners, i'll pick 17...this Sunday.

But back to your wonderful comments...they keep coming in! Thank you. If you haven't already, i urge you to go back and read through them. You won't be sorry and maybe you'll feel what i feel too. It's always an awakening moment to become aware of the many different things we are all dealing with and working through in our lives. Whether we find ourselves facing life changes, health issues, small achievements, milestones, inspiring paths, losses, new arrivals or simply accepting the way things are, i really think that if you stop somewhere in your day and find one thing to focus on and to be grateful for, you might just find another...and another, and maybe even another. It might sound idealistic, but it's not impossible. Good habits are easier to make than bad habits are to break, right? Choose to work on the good stuff (i have to remind myself of this often).

I am grateful that 17 years ago tomorrow i met my wonderful, loving husband (luck of the Irish!)
I am grateful for my family. When we get together, there is usually lots of laughter and i love that.
I am thankful that my aunt is celebrating her 6th year of survival of pancreatic cancer.
I am thankful to love what i do (almost) every day and for all the support and encouragement from YOU.
(see what happens? this could go on and on)
So i'll wrap it up by saying that i am sooooo thankful that we share our home with these two. We love them a lot, if you haven't noticed...
...but especially love them when they help put the groceries away...
...or help with the laundry.
Have a wonderful weekend and i'll see you back here on Sunday!

March 15, 2012

Spreading Some Joy and Good Fortune

Hello, friends! It's been a snoozer on here lately and i am sorry for that. Lots of good stuff going on behind the scenes (despite the late nights and giant piles on my desk) and some new exciting announcements coming very soon!

It was such a beautiful day yesterday that i ate lunch outside in our garden, warmed by the early spring sunshine and the happiness of seeing color coming back into the landscape. I adore this time of year and looking around, i could not believe how quickly everything has begun to bloom. But then i started to feel that overwhelming gardener's urge to start pruning, digging and planting. Does this happen to you too? While i was moseying and poking around, i thought it'd be fun to share my little tour via Instagram. Are you familiar with this awesome app for your phone?  It's kind of like twitter only with real time pictures. You might want to check it out and then link up. It's also great because you can save your pictures as usual and share them on your blog. So here's my lunchtime garden tour from y'day. Look at these springie beauties!
Uh, wait a minute...did you notice something unusual about some of those blossoms? They sure look a lot like fabric don't they? I didn't think you'd miss that and am thrilled to let you know that precuts of Joy, my new Christmas collection for Moda, are popping up in stores now! So to help spread the Joy and a little extra Good Fortune to you, i'm giving away all the items in that photo to 7 lucky winners! All you have to do is leave one comment describing something you are happy about/grateful for. I'll use to pick the winners and will announce them this coming Sunday (after i plant our lettuce).
Good luck!

March 2, 2012

Mystery Solved

Wasn't the Mystery blog hop fun? I realized somewhere along the way that making guesses is not so easy! So i don't know about you, but i can't wait to see what some of the items were...still scratching my head about a few of them. Be sure to head over to the Jolly Jabber to see if you're a winner! Again, so many thanks to everyone at Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring this.

So i thought i'd share a little more about the item i picked out. When i thought about what "vintage modern" meant to me, i couldn't help but think about the cycles of trends in fashion and how they come and go and define a certain point in time. You know that old adage "what's old is new again"? I think that about sums it up. Maybe just add, "and will be old again, eventually". I was a teenager in the '80s and would have to say there are lots of trends i hope never come around again (think Flashdance and genie pants — i think i had a pair in every color)! How about you?

Just to refresh, here's the "clue" you had to guess about:
When i was digging around in my closet for something vintage-ie, i came across a pair of wraparound polyester bellbottom palazzo-ish pants. The search was over! Definitely vintage, but oh so modern. They were given to me by my Mom who bought them in 1968 (when Lyndon Johnson was president) at Henri Bendel in New York City — which would make them 44 years old — older than my sister and me!

The vibrant colors have not faded one bit in all these years thanks to go ol' polyester (and probably all the time they've spent in the bottom of my closet). The poly is that soft silky kind, not the jumpsuit kind à la Charlie's Angels. And the "wraparound" feature is...interesting to say the least. First you tie the back pant panel(?) around your waist and then tie the front panel(?) around to the least i think that's the way it's supposed to work!

I can't believe i'm going to share this with you, because i much prefer to be on the other side of the camera, but here is a dorky picture of me wearing them:
In honor of my Mom, who wore her hair in braids all the time, i figured i would too. And i'll even admit that i actually used to wear them out (yes, in public!) when i was in my 20's. That was over 20 years ago and this was the first time i tried them on since then. Happily shocked to say they still fit!

But the weirdest thing that occurred to me when i pulled these out of the closet, was how much this print looks like the Pond Garden print i designed in Good Fortune! Could it be that somehow, somewhere in my visual memory banks there was something about this pattern that embedded itself in there?? Maybe that's how something vintage becomes modern again...hmm...

And here's a little Franny fur to end the week:
 Have a wonderful weekend!

March 1, 2012

Seeing Spots and Dots

 I love dots. In our bathroom alone, there are dots on
our shower curtain:
on our bath mat:
and in a framed doodle i painted using a strong brew of tea:
I love them so much that i think i could design using only dots and never tire of the possibilities!

Are you familiar with Yayoi Kusama? She is one of my favorite dot artists. Recently, she did an interactive installation called "The Obliteration Room" at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Australia. It started out looking like this:
 Then over the course of two weeks, each child visitor was given colorful dot stickers and was invited to collaborate with the space. After thousands of visitors, the room soon looked like this!
 There is a wonderful series of photos that shows
the progression over time on Colossal.

Another of my favorite dot artists is Georges Seurat. Long before pixels, his pointillist paintings are composed of small dots of pure colors that are placed next to each other. For instance, blue dots next to yellow dots that when viewed from afar, our eye actually mixes the colors so we perceive them as green. Amazing! Someday, i hope to stand in front of this one at the Art Institute of Chicago:
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884
And then there's artist Paul Klee, who once said, "A line is a dot that went for a walk". It was my high school art teacher who shared that with me and the humor in it stuck. I think of that every time i open my sketchbook and touch my pencil point to the paper. So i like to think of a drawing as a dot on an adventure...and each collection of designs as a journey. Packing now. Bon voyage!