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!)
We 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.
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.
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.
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.