Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Artwork Can Now Be Found On Checks!

 {Just Dandy checkbook cover and checks}
I am SO excited to share with you today my new licensing partnership with Check Advantage! Starting today, my artwork can now be found on checks! I've designed 6 collections featuring some of my favorite and best-selling artwork. The fun thing is that each set of checks comes with four designs, and you can get checkbook covers and labels to match! EEK!

I have wanted to design for checks ever since I got my first checking account when I was a teenager in college. I think that was one of the first times I saw and understood how artwork could be applied to product. I would check out every company I could and review all of their checks in hopes of finding ones that I loved. So when the opportunity arose to work with Check Advantage I was IN!!
Now, I just need to decide which ones I'm going to order for myself....

Which is your favorite set?
The juicy colors against black with All Dolled Up?
Retro 60s tribute to mod with Just Dandy?
Outdoor picnic inspired designs in Field Day?
Vintage Tablecloth feeling vibe of Prairie Park?
The cross-stitch and crochet homespun feel of Hope Chest?
Or the sweet vintage feel of Flea Market?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I recently finished the audio-book 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain, and just HAD to share my thoughts with you! If you are an introvert, are married to one, are in business with one, or have an introverted child, I highly recommend this book. (BTW-I listened to the audio book and found the voice of the speaker quite perfect to listen to.)

In addition to highlighting the strengths and power of introverts, this book also shares about how America became such an extroverted culture, and compares it to China's respect for quiet and reflection. How to choose a job that suits your energy needs or to set-up 'restorative niches' – places you can go or things you can do to recharge. Why brainstorming and open work environments don't bring out the best in anyone. How to understand your introverted child, meet them where they are at, support them and help them grow in the way and pace they need it. This book is also backed by a lot of research and scientific study. What I also love is that it shares quite a bit about extroverts and doesn't make them look like the bad guy. It shows the strengths of both types.

One of the many big take-aways I have from this book is the research behind open work environments. Have you worked in a corporate environment where they decided to get rid of your single cubicle, and open up the area for many of you to share a space in the pursuit of a 'more collaborative environment'.  This book shares study after study about how this model fails each time. Studies show that both introverts and extroverts are not able to be as productive as when they sit by themselves, nor come up with their best ideas when sharing an office space.

I myself am an introvert. I get recharged by spending lots of time by myself, vs extroverts who get recharged by being around people. I'm married to an extrovert. My parents are extroverts, and many of my close friends are extroverts as well. I love extroverts! I also love introverts and they hold a special place in my heart because I can relate so well to them and their inner lives. I have a huge passion for Myers-Briggs and Keirsey temperament sorters and research, and love to help people understand themselves and those close to them, using these tools. Because of these tools, for a long time I've been perfectly OK being an introvert, and knew the powers we had, however, I still found this book validating, interesting and powerful.
As part of my job presenting trend, color and print, I've needed to give multiple presentations a year. Learn how to project my voice. Not say 'um'. Prepare what I'm going to say, and articulate it to an audience. For my entire life I've heard how I need to 'grow', to be less like myself and more like _______. This book is the first time I've truly heard not only that it's OK to be an introvert - but that we have unique strengths and power to contribute to this world, and the world needs us just as we are. What I love about this book is that it doesn't give me tips on how to become more extroverted. It accepts introverts for who they are and shares tons of research and case studies to back up the power of introversion.

Yes, there's room for all of us to grow. I'm thankful for all the years that I had to give presentations as I went from shaking and freaking out, to finding my voice and speaking what I was passionate about. I know what does and doesn't work for me now. However, I think it's important for all of us to know that we can only grow within who we are, and can really only grow and stretch by a few degrees. We will never be able to be someone else. We are who we are and that's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Global Bazaar Fabric Collection Photo Shoot

My latest fabric collection 'Global Bazaar' with Blend Fabrics started shipping in January.
Woo-hoo! 4 weeks later, I FINALLY got my photos from my Global Bazaar photo shoot back last night, and I'm just dying to share them with you! If you follow me on Facebook, you've probably already had a chance to check them out on my website. However, for all of you who visit my blog, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos and a bit about the day.

My vision for my Global Bazaar photo shoot was to have a teepee on a beach. That's where it all started. From there I decided to cover some vintage suitcases with my fabrics from this collection to round out the theme, make some pillows, borrow the gorgeous quilts that were made by Metropolitan Quilt for Blend Fabrics, create a backdrop out of flag tape, and bring one of my living room chairs to the beach. What a day!

 {Vintage suitcases I covered with my fabrics}

I found these suitcases on CraigsList about a 2 hour drive away, and my husband and I took a morning to drive and pick them up. I covered all of the hardware with masking tape, and I spray painted the edges and the handles black. I then covered the suitcases with my fabrics using (original, matte finish) Mod Podge, a foam brush, and (multiple) fresh blades on an x-acto knife.   

{Close-up of my Global Bazaar fabric collection}

As I was determined to finish all 3 suitcases in one sitting, cutting around the hardware just about put me over the edge! It took me 6 hours to complete this project, and I must say that they are absolutely GORGEOUS in person! The Mod Podge dried completely clear. They still feel like fabric to the touch, as I didn't put a sealer on them since they're for decoration not for really traveling

Also, doing a photo shoot on the February was not particularly genius because of how cold it was. My poor models were freezing but I must say that they constantly had a smile on their faces and were having a blast! Whew!

For this photo shoot, I decided to keep it smaller than my previous ones, for many reasons. One being that this year, I'll have 3 fabric lines coming out with Blend Fabrics. Three!!! With 3 fabric collections vs. 1 this year, I need to conserve my resources and my energy to be able to do photo shoots for each. Speaking of which - I am in need of sewers who can help me out...but that's another blog post.

 {Victory Patterns 'Roxanne' and 'Simone'}

In keeping with a smaller shoot, I sewed two garments this time, and excitedly used patterns from Victory Patterns. I LOVE Victory Patterns due to their fashion forward styles. The garments fit like regular clothes too, which is dreamy. The garment on the left uses Victory Pattern 'Roxanne' and the garment on the right uses pattern 'Simone'.


I LOVE the back of the 'Simone' high-low hem dress with the contrasting pattern! I used my Global Bazaar fabrics: Global Bazaar floral Red, Chimera Gray, and Hand-drawn Stripe Red for piping.

The collar on this 'Roxanne' top is to-die-for! What a great sewing pattern!
For this pattern, I used my Global Bazaar fabric 'Dancing Geos Blue', along with a black sequin fabric and a solid pink cotton.


Above is a bolster pillow that I created (and hope to put together a free sewing pattern for you...).

I must say that I'm quite proud of myself for creating everything for this shoot on my own. Although, I know now that next time I will definitely need some help! It's just too much to do it all and be successful at running my business (& preparing for Surtex!) as well. I hope to blog soon about how much I need you. Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy these Global Bazaar photos and that they inspire you to use my fabrics for your own creations! If  you'd like to see more photo's, I've uploaded them to Flickr, and also created a slide-show on my website for you to watch. Please do share what you create! I'd love to see!

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Moyo Digital Magazine Feature - Fashion & Fabric

Issue 3 of Moyo magazine is out, which includes an interview with me talking about 'Fashion and Fabric'. In this interview I answer questions like 'How to submit your work to a fabric company', explain the differences between designing for fashion and bolt fabric, and I walk you through my thoughts and process for designing my Hope Chest fabric line.

Also included in this issue is Amy Butler who talks about the business of design, a fun designer diary from Jessica Swift, and other great pattern news and information that I'm sure you'll love. If you are a textile or surface pattern designer, I encourage you to read this issue of Moyo which is all about fabric!

If you haven't heard of Moyo magazine yet, ‘MOYO’ (pronounced mo-yor) is from the Japanese for ‘pattern’, and was started by Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls.

Please feel free to share this resource on your blog, in your newsletters etc and tell all your friends about it. Visit the website and scroll down for details of how to share it. MOYO is free and they want to share the wonderful world of surface pattern design with as many people as possible! 


If you read my interview and have any further questions about fashion and fabric, please post them in the comments section and I'd be happy to answer them!


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