New York ribbons

>> Thursday, May 31, 2007

I feel I've been neglecting my needle book I'm going to try to catch up a bit. We've had a busy time recently, mainly because we just bought our first house! We didn't think we could afford one in Toronto, and were planning to just buy a slightly bigger condo, but after not really seeing anything we liked, we extended our search a bit and found a little house just at the edge of our budget. I keep telling people that it's very small (it's a 1-bedroom bungalow), because I don't want people to see it and be disappointed. I have to admit that my first reaction on seeing the house was to laugh, because it looked so tiny. But while it also needs redecorating throughout, it definitely has potential to be a really lovely little home. We'll be moving in at the end of July and I'll be sure to share our decorating pictures then.

We also had a trip to New York city recently, and stayed with a friend in Hoboken. Lucky for me he had already found the "ribbon district" and had lots of great shopping tips. The ribbons at the top of this post are all from M&J Trimming (1008 Sixth Ave.), a store that will dazzle the ribbon lover, but also has buttons, lace, purse handles etc. All my favourite ribbons were from the front of the store, in a section devoted to embroidered ribbons, with many fancy ribbons imported from Europe as well.
To balance out this splurge, I also found these lovely ribbons (above) at the Textile Museum sale last week, the place where I like to stock up on crafts supplies for the coming year. The one on the bottom is my favourite - many thanks to my friend Sarah who found it first but let me have it!

Around the corner from M&J Trimming are more ribbon, button and bead stores, including the Martha Stewart recommend Tinsel Trading (Tinsel Trading 47 West 38th Street New York), and a similar store I discovered called Store Across the Street (Store Across the Street 64 West 38th Street New York). And if you're in that neighbourhood, I recommend the beautiful Bryant Park nearby as the perfect place to have a drink and sit down and look over your new ribbons. There are lots of little iron table and chair sets for anyone to use.We also went to a couple of flea markets. At the first outdoor parking lot (junky type) flea market I found a beautiful antique compact for $5 and a Noel Streatfeild book I hadn't heard of (New Shoes) for $1. It was across from an expensive looking indoor antique mall which we didn't visit (too much to do, too little time!) The second flea market was a few streets over in a parking garage. We could have spent hours in there but were getting a little tired and hungry.And speaking of ribbons, I picked up these bargains at Kate's Paperie on Broadway in Soho which was having a moving sale. This was also near to my other favourite stores, Pearl River Trading, Anthropologie and Kate Spade.And last but not least, my catch up wouldn't be complete without finally sharing the adorable little rabbit made for me by the lovely and talented Susan!


Good Catch Motherlode Craft Fair

>> Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Illustration by Becky from Sweetie Pie Press

So guess what? I was invited to participate in my first craft fair! At first I was worried I wouldn't have time, I have a lot going on, but then I figured it sounds like such a nice group and a good chance to try it out.

What will I be selling? Well I have some knitted bags that are always expensive to ship, so I figured a craft fair was a better venue for them. That includes the finished verson of this:And I have my bird card sets, and I found some lovely thick vintage cotton fabric with a tree pattern that I'm going to whip up into cute totes. I have some jewellery that hasn't made it into the shop yet. I have some needle books that just need to be embroidered, so hopefully those will be ready in time. And possibly some more pouches. So much to do so little time!

Here's the info:
Good Catch Motherlode Craft Fair
Saturday 12 May 2007
Good Catch General Store
1556 Queen Street West
(Back Yard)
Toronto, ON


Catching up

>> Thursday, May 03, 2007

April is a busy month for us, we have four birthdays to celebrate now (including mine) and of course Easter. For my birthday Bradley took me to Montreal for a lovely long weekend staying at the same B&B as we did before. The weather was gorgeous this time, so we had a great time walking around and I had some handmade coupons from Bradley for both a ribbon spree (see above) and a button spree (see below).
Another one of my other Bradley presents that I loved was the blue floral fabric I used to whip up this large messenger bag before going away. I used some dark brownish khaki twill for the exterior and used pale blue twill to line the inside, and the floral for the outer flap, and to line the pockets and strap. This bag turned out to be exactly what I needed, light enough to carry around all day but big enough to stuff full of extra things on the way home. The fabric is Denyse Schmidt's "flea market fancy" and comes in a variety of colours.
Other than crafts shopping we also did some geo caching (Bradley's current passion) and ended up hiking around on some nice trails on the mountain. We also saw a very inspiring show at the Beaux Arts museum, about Disney and the artists that inspired Disney. I had the thrill of seeing some of Beatrix Potter's artwork in person, including a sample illustration for Alice in Wonderland that she made to send to publishers. Why on earth she wasn't commissioned to illustrate more books before publishing her own is beyond me.

The other highlight of our trip was finally meeting my extra-talented fellow illustrator, Susan Mitchell. I'm planning to post more birthday and Susan goodies in my next post!

And finally, before leaving I was commissioned to illustrate a book for Scholastic, and so that's been keeping me busy since then. It's a wonderful story (with a lovable dog in it) and it's been a real treat to work on it. Of course I'll be sharing the artwork for that in the next little while.


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