April 30, 2010

Fandango Friday (final peek)

Is it really Friday already? Is it really the last day of April? Sheesh, this week/month has totally flown by!

I saw this video recently and after i stopped laughing, it got me thinking. Some of you might want to wait to eat the marshmallow, so i really don't want to be a spoiler by showing you too many peeks of Fandango. With quilt market just around the corner, i'd like to leave an element of surprise for you to discover on your own. For those of you who want to pop the marshmallow into your mouth right now, i'm sorry. But here's a little something to tide you over:
You can put your nose to the screen and look at them up close if you want...you just can't eat them from the inside out ; )

But there's a silver lining...

Maybe some of you don't even like marshmallows and no matter how many were piled up in front of you, you wouldn't want to eat them anyway. So i want to be sure to include you in a giveaway too! Fair is fair, right? This is a one-time, one-chance to win a set of either the Sorrento or Loire plates i designed for Crate and Barrel.

Ok, what do you have to do to enter? Well, first...over on the left sidebar you'll see both sets of plates listed under "Where to Find Products". Go check them out and come back here and tell me which ones you'd like. For whichever group, please pick either the set of 4 (which has one of each color) or all of one color. In other words, no mixie matchies, please.

Then...since it's almost picnic time, and these plates will be ready to pile high with yumminess, please send me a recipe for one of your favorite picnic dishes, sides, desserts, whatever! It can be in the form of a link to a blog or site with the recipe (so you don't have to write it out), or you can email it to me at kate(at)katespain.com. Just please note the recipe name in your comment so i know which recipe is yours.

Finally, and only if you want to...let me know if you'd eat the marshmallow now, or wait?

You have plenty of time. I'll use that handy random number generator to pick the lucky winner next Friday May 7th. Can you believe it will be May 7th already?! Good luck!

April 29, 2010

My Broadway Debut

Thankfully for your ears, i don't mean the stretch from 42nd to 51st where it's the singing-with-music-lights-and-extravagant-costume-change-Broadway (trust me, you really don't want to hear me sing). The Broadway i'm referring to is where it intersects Houston St. and separates NoHo from SoHo. It just so happens that at this certain intersection, there is a certain store that my Dad was walking by the other day that has a certain set of plates displayed in their front window! He snapped this pic and sent it to me:
I kinda can't believe it. *Pinch, pinch, pinch* Nope, not working.
In all seriousness, this brought me to tears of incredible joy. When i set out to license my artwork, i'd try to create designs with a "dream company" in mind. It helped in narrowing down a style and sensibility and gave me something to strive for. I'd think, "if i could pick any store where i'd love to see my designs, which would it be?". Crate and Barrel was always the one i'd pick.
So this is really a dream come true.
But i still can't believe it.
I'm so grateful for my Mom and Dad who never flinched at supporting an endeavor to pursue dreams of any kind.

April 28, 2010

April Showers

There are some plants that are best photographed after it has rained. It's only once the water droplets have settled into the soft ridges on their leaves that another aspect of their clever design is revealed. Lady's Mantle and hosta are two such plants. And it rained yesterday.I also couldn't resist showing you some of our asparagus that we've been enjoying for breakfast! If we don't eat it, the bunny will.

April 23, 2010

Fandango Friday (Part 3)

This...is what was in this...
...over 70 pounds of Fandango.
That pile? That's all 40.
And it's all for you!
(p.s: this is not a giveaway...but there may be one coming up in the near future *wink, next friday, wink*)

April 21, 2010

Picnic Season

Have you been to Target lately?
Lookie what's in the Cards & Party aisle waiting for you......from me! (quite a new look for lil' Verna, wouldn't you say?)
Do you know burgers actually taste better on these paper plates? Don't believe me? Go on over and ask Elizabeth!
You can't tell from the picture, but these have gold printing on them. Pretty luxurious...for paper plates, that is ; )

April 19, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect

Note before viewing: There are no special effects or smoke-and-mirrors magic tricks going on in these pictures. That's my hubby standing on a chair with arms stretched high overhead, holding my quilt up in our back yard. He was so patient and did such a good job you can barely see his fingers! Thank you, Sweetie. I wish that breeze hadn't been blowing through, otherwise i'd have been quicker and then your arms wouldn't have felt like they were going to fall off. I'll try to be a little faster next time : )

Many of you may already know this pattern. It's called Sweet Menagerie by Roslyn Mirrington of Bloom and it's on the Moda Bake Shop. I picked this pattern because i've wanted to try to make a nine-patch for a while — either the kind you can see or the disappearing kind. This pattern looked fairly straightforward (except for the borders), and I really loved how quickly and fun-ly it went together (except for the borders)!Uh, but as a beginner, there were no detailed instructions for the backing or measurements for the binding...so i winged it. Thank goodness for Google and a few clicks later this handy, happy binding calculator turned up.
One other quite mysterious thing happened...my finished quilt size was about four inches longer and two inches wider than the instructions had outlined. Hmm, anyone care to explain what i did? Beginner quilter magic maybe? It's perfectly imperfect and I really love how it turned out!

Looking at these pictures now, I suppose i could've ironed this quilt before photographing it, but that just seemed silly. Especially because those are happiness wrinkles formed from curling up under it since last weekend when i sewed the last stitches on the binding. Remember that. Happiness wrinkles.
Not crow's feet :)

April 16, 2010

Fandango Friday (Part 2)

It's Friday again...you know what that means *wink, wink*
Without further ado, here they are...Fandango precuts!A little background about this collection..
For many years, my aunt and uncle ran a pottery studio on the Upper East Side in New York City. I was sooo fortunate to have taken classes with them and to have made pottery for nine wonderful years. It was through their teaching that I learned about the rich history of majolica, as well as the beautiful tin glazes and decoration of this ancient art form. These are a few of the pieces I've made over the years:Fandango was inspired by the earthenware, mosaics, tile work and motifs of Barcelona. The palette mixes red jasper, turquoise, and celadon with hints of terra cotta and glints of gold. When combined, I thought the collection resembled a snappy Spanish dance...a Fandango, if you will : )
So get out your castanets and enjoy!
ps: feel free to snatch the photo of the precuts for
your blog or website!

April 14, 2010

Patience, Rewarded

Before the beautiful flowers fade and drop, i wanted to share some pictures of several of my orchids that have been blooming since February. The flower spikes usually show up in late October/November and it takes about 4 months before the flowers will open, but once they do, you're rewarded by months of amazingly beautiful blossoms. They add inspiration to my windowsill and are a wonder-filled segue to Spring.

These two cymbidiums were given to me by my Mom. This one has huge flowers that are about five inches across:
This one is a miniature and its flowers are about a quarter of the size (but equal in beauty!):And this cymbidium was given to me by my aunt:
It's a prolific bloomer!
I bought this little Japonica for myself three years ago:It sits right here next to me every day.

April 12, 2010

Being Wrong Is Good

Remember how i told you that Fandango will be shipping in October? Well, i was wrong. It's actually going to ship in
A u g u s t !
You read that right. August!! I'm as surprised as you are! Annnd, even though it's only Monday, you can have another sneek peek of Fandango here.
(pssst...there are flannels in this group, too!)

April 9, 2010

Fandango Friday

i meant to post this last Friday, but when that didn't happen, i just didn't care much for the sound of "Fandango Saturday" or "Fandango Wednesday". So i waited another week until my inner Goldilocks was satisfied and now it's juuuust right. Here's another (bigger) sneak peek at Fandango — which by now you may know is my next fabric line for Moda.
But don't get too excited..because these were strikeoffs and none of these color versions actually made the final cut. Oh that's just mean (must be my inner Cruella DeVil). So how about this, each Friday for the next few weeks, i'll show you another little peek. Sound good? On that note, i'll leave you with a thought from my inner Winnie the Pooh:
"Rivers know this: there is no hurry.
We shall get there some day."

April 6, 2010

Victory Gardens (revisited)

Hmm...i didn't intend to get off on this tangent, but might as well go with it! After yesterday's post, I got to thinking about those Victory Gardens that people planted during World War II. Ever heard of them? Well, I did a little poking around to learn more about them and wanted to share my findings with you!

As I understand it, since resources were being diverted to support the war efforts, the government rationed food and encouraged people to grow their own vegetables as an act of patriotism (and so more supplies could be sent to the troops overseas). Imagine that...a patriotic potato! So people did it! They planted gardens in their front and back yards, on rooftops, in vacant lots, and even on public land like Boston Commons. In portions of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, there were over 800 plots cultivated! I also read that by 1943, there were about 20 million gardens nationwide that produced 8 million tons of food! That's 41 percent of all the vegetable produce that was consumed in the U.S. that year. How amazing is that?! Here are some more old posters that celebrate the movement:
Kinda makes you want to put on your stars and stripes dress and get out your shovel, doesn't it? (But can anyone tell me what kind of hat that is?)

April 5, 2010

Addendum to last post...

I'd love to add this to our garden.
It's called "Spaghetti Bench" by Paris-based Argentinian artist/designer Pablo Reinoso. Actually, i think i could go for a whole set of spaghetti furniture. And since it's dinner time now, maybe we'll have spaghetti :)

Solar Power

This hasn't happened in a long time. A first of the season, really. I spent the whole, entire, bright, beautiful, sunny, warm weekend outside — except for the time i spent making a quilt sandwich in our basement. Yes, you read that right, "quilt sandwich" (hold the mayo). Didn't turn my computer on once. Not once! I feel solar-ly recharged, ready to start the week, but achy all over from working out in our garden. The nicer it gets outside, the harder it is to stay inside. You know how it is.

Our garden is really small, but we've managed to make use of every square inch of it (well, almost). A couple years ago, we built raised beds to extend the growing season for our veggies by a few weeks — in fact the lettuce, spinach and beets are coming up already! Here's my new bumper sticker:
Anyone have any good kale recipes?? (eh hem...Jocelyn?)

Most of our garden is dedicated to flowers...oh, and raspberries — wow do they ever spread fast! Something we really like to do is to grow native species plants because they're the most sustainable and don't require using fertilizer or pesticides, and they're not invasive. But some of the best benefits are that they attract birds and butterflies and help maintain small-scale biodiversity (like keeping the honey bees and ladybugs happy!). Here's a great site if you're interested in finding plants that are native to your area. Ok, stepping down from my compost pile...

So while we certainly did plan on which flowers we wanted to grow, we didn't know that we would also be planting magic and inspiration, but it blooms prolifically! Over the weekend, I was reminded of this. You see, some of the patterns from Verna were inspired out there. Here are two that are blooming right now. This is our magnolia tree:
That inspired this:
And this is our hellebore (also known as Lenten Rose):
That inspired this:
Wonder what will catch my eye this year?
Hope you had a very Happy Easter!