Thursday
Jun192014

A New Holiday Workshop, (which is also a studio sale!) and 2015 Registration for Palm Springs now open! (oh, and yes, we are reprinting Mendocino, but it won't be out for a while!)

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Our Holiday and Winter Workshop Schedule is now up on our workshops page, and includes our ever-popular Palm Springs / Ace Hotel Series and a new set of one-day gift-making holiday workshops in the historic South Street Seaport Museum, here in Manhattan. More info and registration here.
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We are really excited about a lot of things about the line-up for fall and winter, especially our new workspace near my apartment, in the historic South Street Seaport Museum, in a building that has been around for much longer than most of Manhattan. Its a huge space, several thousand feet, with an open layout and high ceilings, and it's in the center of a newly hip neighborhood center full of food trucks, outdoor movie screens, a skating rink that becomes a bean-bag covered lawn during the holidays. This is where we will be hosting both of our one-day Holiday workshops. Our guest teachers will include Jodi Levine, formerly the editor of Martha Stewart Kids and the genius behind Super Make It, and the amazing Annabel Wrigley. Our plan is to provide the raw materials and inspiration for you to make your own holiday decorations and gifts, with the added help of a team of illustrators who recently proved their metal on our rooftop, at our launch event. We loved watching them help create portraits (I did a few of my own, too!) of our guests and their families and pets. Some of my favorite work has been portraits, especially drawings of children (and ok, pets!), especially when the images are on lovely usable things like wooden egg cups (these look just as pretty displayed on a shelf or windowsill as they do holding actual eggs), candlesticks, wooden balls and beads, and blocks. We are planning to expand to wooden and ceramic  plates, trays and bowls for our holiday events. We help you draw and paint on them, provide the laquer, and send you home with an incredible family treasure. One of these days will be just grown-ups (that one will include a cocktail and lunch!) and the other will be designed for moms and their kids. Both will run from 11-5, and all of your supplies, lunches, and some treats will be included. You can scroll down to have a look at some of the amazing things that we made at our launch party last weekend to get a sense of what I'm describing. Its really, really special stuff!
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And since this is Heather's hood, we will also be carting down every last bit of non-current and off-price merchandise (and now that we are re-printing Mendocino, I guess I can finally let go of that yardage, too! and don't head over to Windham's website yet, it won't hit shops until summer 2016), plus the usual line-up of signed books, artwork, samples, strike-offs, etc, and setting up a little holiday sale for our workshop guests. 
We hope to see you there!
mother/kid regsitration is $495, solo crafters (for the day that doesnt include any kids, but does include cocktails) are $265.

 

 

Tuesday
Jun102014

Rooftop Launch Party, Full Report!

inspiration wall at our rooftop workshopWe had so much fun this weekend celebrating the releases of Far Far Away and How To Catch a Frog here in New York City, on the rooftop of my very own building. We kept our plans pretty hush hush, but this weekend's craft projects were all about family, art, and togetherness. We had Annabel Wrigley here, and we also hired five incredibly talented illustrators to help us create very personal and very unique family portraits, some in shadowboxes and others on rows of wooden egg-cups (those were my favorite!) and using unexpected raw materials, buckets of paint (thanks to our friends at Martha), fabrics and trims, and some personal epherma. There weren't many rules, but the results were just marvelous. We topped off the day with ice cream and some Meyer Lemon Cocktails from our friend Maggie Brown at For Keeps, and a trip down to the historic Seaport Museum (my hood) for a teensy bit of shopping and paper-arts history. Here are a few more snaps...

We are planning a series of Holiday Themed New York City Craft Workshops too, those will be indoors, but just as much fun. We'll be making ornaments and menorahs, garlands and gifts. Our illustrators are coming back, and so is Annabel. Our Holiday / Winter Workshops open for registration at the end of this month, sign up for our monthly newsletter if you want to hear more, or check back over here around the end of June.

Dilek and the portraits on eggcups that she made for a workshoppera wearable family portraitI drew a lot of kids and pets for shadowboxes!fork husbands really are the best.

there were several artists involved in this masterpiece. The discovery that you could make a topknot out of para cord was a high point of the day.

we signed and doodled in lots of books!

and gave away some fabric, thanks to Windham!

Monday
Jun022014

The Princess and The Pea Quilt Kit

One of the best things about working with Windham Fabrics is that they ask that I design a quilt around each new collection for display at Quilt Market. I love quilts, really I do, but I can't say that I've made very many. Luckily, my friend Anne is a whiz, and was willing to make one up based on a drawing, pictured below. The response to our "Princess and The Pea" design was so strong at Quilt market that we, Windham and Anne and I, have decided to create and offer a limited edition kit, which will be ready in early July. If you'd like to reserve one, you can place a pre-order (with a very small deposit) in the online shop. The Princess and The Pea Quilt Kit includes all of the fabrics (almost every print in the Far Far Away collection, plus some solids in pink, yellow, and green) that make up the quilt top and binding, plus the actual quilt pattern. This quilt measures 70" by 90" which is more than enough to cover a twin bed.

I took these photos in Bee's room, where she has moved recently from her crib to a big girl bed. It looks pretty spectacular with the unicorn wallpaper, which can be made via Spoonflower's wallpaper printing service using the "Orange Unicorn" file on the dvd in the back of Heather Ross PRINTS.

Saturday
May102014

Mother's Day

photo by Patricia L Brown

 

My mother used to do this thing, with my hair,

she would put her strong hand on the top of my head and weave her fingers into my thick bangs,

and shake them into a fly-away pile of blonde and brown, shiny and dirty. 

and say, looking straight into my eyes,

You are so beautiful.

And I would swat her away and shout at her to stop messing me up, and think of all of the school pictures that showed us, my sister and I, with those same crooked bangs that she would trim with dull scissors, and which always looked like a smile with some of it's teeth missing or a cob of corn only partly eaten, and I would try to smooth them into a straight line in front of the smokey mirror that hung at her height and which only showed me the top of my face, where my eyebrows were still low and mad.

But then, within a matter of days, she would do it again. and again. and again.

I had forgotten that, until yesterday.

When I pushed my hands into my daughters hair, while she picked at her breakfast, still in her pajamas and with her sleepy head, into the bangs that I had cut myself, unevenly, with scissors that I thought I had had sharpened, but probably hadn't, and I said, without even thinking it first, with my eyes trying to catch hers,

you are so beautiful.

and she pushed away my hand and shouted, with her eyebrows low and mad, 

MOMMY STOP TOUCHING MY HAIR.

But I'm not going to.

Monday
May052014

Preserved Meyer Lemons (Thank You Maggie Brown)

 

Consider this your official PSA: Meyer Lemon season is nearly past. You can still find them in better grocery stores and online, though, which means that you should be stocking up for the lonely, meyer lemon-less months to come.

If you don't know this about me already (and you probably do, because Meyer Lemons are on my list of Things I Never Shut up About, right between Full Moons and Nani Iro), I am crazy over this pretty little citrus. There was a tree in the backyard of a house that my father and my sister and my brother lived in in Santa Cruz, California, when I was about fifteen, and on one visit from Freezing, Vermont, I woke up there to find that everyone had gone to school or work. I stepped out into the small backyard in my bare feet to find a pretty lemon tree sitting in bright morning light, with ripe fruit just falling off it's branches. The color of these lemons was more like a dandelion than a lemon, that pretty warm yellow that I still can't get to appear on my computer screen, and when I cut one open I found it to be completely edible, peel and all, and more sweet than tart but also very tart. It all seemed too good to be possible, and from then on, in my mind, California smells and tastes like a Meyer Lemon. It just does.

I stock up when I can, I make Vince and Sophie send them to me from Santa Rosa, but they don't last sitting in a wooden bowl as long as I'd like, so I asked my friend Maggie Brown, who is my summer partner in berry picking, swimming, jam-making, and all other things seasonal, to preserve some for me. Since then I've been whittling away at the row of pretty little yellow jars (nothing sparkles like glass that has been boiled, filled with bright colors) on a high kitchen shelf. I use them to make dressings and chopped up over roast chicken, and I use them for cocktails, throwing a sinlge preserved lemon and some crushed mint and thyme, and some vodka, into a big ball jar with some ice and shaking and straining the whole thing into martini glasses. I even gave a few away for Christmas this year, and then asked her for more. She finally took pity on me and came to my kitchen this last weekend with her big copper pot and showed me how, step by step, to make them.

I'm trying to get the written recipe out of her, along with some step by step's for first time makers. I'm making progress. Her's is a well kept and much tested bit of kitchen perfection. I'll keep you posted. There are a few other recipes out there. Don't wait, the Meyer Lemons will be gone very soon. you can see the rest of the images over here, on my Instagram.

Copper pot is available here, fabric print file and sewing pattern for apron is in this book, orange pot is from Le Crueset....