Tuesday
Apr012014

Far Far Away by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics, and a new Collectors Pack

When I first drew these designs, five or six years ago, I didn't have a daughter, much less a lot of Princess paraphenalia hanging around for inspiration. But this time, as I was sorting through these designs and printing them all out to study their colors in preparation for their re-release by Windham Fabrics, and hanging them up on my studio wall, I had an actual Princess castle, almost three feet tall and just as wide, right behind me the whole time. Then, I remembered that Liesl had made a beautiful little Bubble Dress from one of these prints, also before I had a daughter, and that now, just in time, after hanging in her closet since before she was born, it fits.

My princess-freindly household is also currently consumed with the idea of sleepovers, big girl beds, making friends, and playdates (which we are getting very good at, in a two-almost-three sort of way), and also, unfortunately, in resisting naps and bedtimes with the ardour of a certain royal and her obnoxious pea. We were thus inspired to create both a piece of original artwork and a "quilted play (nap?) mat" project for this fabric collection, and are offering them all together in a special "Far Far Away Collectors Pack". Thanks, btw, to my dear freind Anne Sullivan for translating my drawing into a quilt. She's such a pro.

Each Collectors Pack includes a half yard of each print (16 in all), a signed print of "Princess Sleepover" (pictured in detail below), and a pattern for this adorable, cozy little mat. The quilted mat project takes only about a fat quarter of each print, which means you'll have another fat quarter left over for other projects or that stash of yours. The package price is $90.

We are offering these only on a pre-order basis, since we must pre-order them from our manufacturer. If you'd like one (or two) for yourself, please reserve yours right here. We are asking for a small non-refundable deposit ($20). These will ship in July, at about the same time that the line begins to appear in shops. We'll send you an invoice when it's ready to ship. 

 

We are always looking for a way to offer international shipping, but cannot do so at this time. I know, it's unfair. I agree. But the extra work involved in shipping internationally from our remote summer locale is prohibitive, and the high shipping rates often create issues post-sale. We will, however, always try to ship to US military familes worldwide, even if it's means a lost day or two on our end. It's the least we can do. If you have questions about this or anything else, please don't hesitate to email us.

Here's another shot of the print. Oh, and if you can guess correctly the identities of each and every princess pictured, you might just win a super cool prize. More on that later.....

the gorgeous photos of Bee and her freind Daisy, by the way, are by the very talented Patricia L Brown.

and here's the quilted play mat. And that daughter of mine. Oh, did I mention that the playmat has long ties so that it can be folded and secured for easy storing (or using as a comfy little seat), and that at the end of one of those ties, there is a pea? Its a green pom pom, but you get the idea.

Place an order for a Far Far Away Collectors Pack here. View the entire Far Far Away Catalog over here. Email us your questions, as always, over here.  

Wednesday
Mar192014

Another Hand painted Janome Sewing Machine...

 

I should begin by saying that I'm in no way sponsored by Janome. We do have a great relationship, but it's one based on mutual admiration ( i hope.). I use Janome sewing machines in my workshops and in my studio because I believe that they are the best new machines available today. I also use a few vintage lovelies, which I still collect obsessively, and honestly if my studio was on fire and I had to pick just one to save it might be my featherweight, which doesn't actually work presently but they don't make them anymnore, do they?

Janome made several generous contributions to a benefit that I hosted a while back by donating a few machines to the cause, which I then embellished and then raffled and auctioned off. This is the last of them, about to be packed up and shipped off to it's new owner. I've painted four others, including one lovely white Singer Featherweight, and have really loved the process. I think I'd like to do more. I'm sure of it, actually. I've got quite a full plate at the moment but we are looking into it, and if I can manage to offer a few of these as commissions, we'll announce it in our next newsletter.

Oh, and I used Martha Stewart Craft Paints for this. The colors, the quality, and the price in that line are all above and beyond. 

Monday
Mar102014

Workshops and Weekends (and possibly a cold beer) with Denyse Schmidt

a drawing I did of Denyse and her design wallSo much about this summer's workshop schedule feels like a homecoming, in my mind. I'm hosting two one-day workshops on my very own rooftop (where Denyse Schmidt will be making a guest star appearance!) following a whole lot of travel in May, and then I'll be heading up to Bridgeport CT to help Denyse with one of her brand new weekend long Advanced Improv Workshops.

When I first moved back to the east coast and was struggling to find my footing and adjust to muggy summers  again, Denyse invited me up to Fairfield on weekends, which is just an hour away by subway and train. Denyse is what my grandmother would have called a Great Yankee Hostess. I would always arrive to find beautifully packed picnic lunches, starring bacon sandwiches, which we would put into a sturdy tote and carrry to the beach on a pair of heavy vintage bikes. In the evenings we played Scrabble and drank beer on her porch as the sun set.  Denyse always has a solid plan with plenty of art, outdoors, and good food, regardless the season. That was the thing that I remembered quickly about living in places with four seasons: that each of those seasons moves quickly, and must be savored.

Regardless of season, my favorite place to be with Denyse was and still is in her studio, in the hardscrabble town of Bridgeport, which is a place so like so many of the small towns in the Northeast whose boom years have come and gone, leaving behind the tall sturdy buildings made of stone and brick and wood with their huge windows to let in the sunlight. Denyse's studio is in on the fourth floor of one of these buildings, and the windows are so big and the light so beautiful in her workspace that it's no wonder the colors in her fabrics and quilte feel so pure and true. Like so many people, her studio is also where I took her amazing one day improv workshop. She has been hinting about developing an Advanced Improv Weekend for a while, to show off the best bits of her hometown (and her real life), and this summer it's finally happening. It sounds, in my opinion, too good to be true.

I'm also looking forward to our (sold out) Blueberry Hill Inn workshop in June. We missed being there during our hiatus and can't wait to pull in and see our big scissors flag flying. In case you don't know, it's tradition for an English Inn to fly the home counry flag for it's guests. When TC and I got married at Blueberry Hill in 2007 we had friends who came all the way from London, Ireland, and New Zealand. It took them days, literally, to get there, and when they came to the clearing at top of the mountain where the little Inn sits and saw their respective flags flying they were beyond touched. It occurred to us after six years of workshops there that we needed our own flag, so we made the one above. That was during our last visit so this summer will be it's innaugual hoist, and the first time I'll see it waving through the trees when I come up the gravel road. 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Mar052014

Coming to a City Near You: How To Catch A Frog Book Tour!

How To Catch A Frog Book Tour:

Come say hello and pick up a signed limited edition art print, we're giving them away with every book purchased at a book tour event. Support your local bookseller!

May 10th, 1:00pm: San Francisco, CA at Book Passage (Ferry Building Location)

May 12th, 7:30pm: Portland, OR at Powell's City of Books (Burnside St Location)

May 13th, 7:30pm: Denver, CO at Tattered Cover (Colfax Ave Location)

May 14th, 7:00pm: Austin, TX at Book People

May 15th, 7:00pm: Wayzata, MN at The Bookcase

May 17th, 2:00pm: Chicago, IL at Book Cellar (Hosted by the Sulzer Library)

May 22nd, 7:00pm: New York City, NY at Powerhouse Arena

 

Tuesday
Feb252014

Sneak Peek: Far Far Away Re-Print!

Slightly new colors, on soft quilting cottons, same cranky, sleepy little princess. In stores this summer...

Contact Windham directly for wholesale info, join our newsletter e-mailing list for updates!