Heather Ross Shop

Introducing Heather Ross Prints!

Heather Ross24 Comments

I am so pleased to tell you that my newest crafts book, Heather Ross Prints, is now available.

This project is truly close to my heart. Inspired largely by the community of crafters that exists online and the infectious spirit of generosity among them, I set out to create a usable digital library of my own (favorite) fabric designs. I spent the better part of a year exploring new digital printing technologies and trying out new craft techniques (lamp making, bookbinding, wallpapering) searching for new ways to use my artwork. With the help of STC Craft, Brooke Reynolds, and John Gruen, I bundled it all into a book (which comes with a dvd full of artwork!) that I couldn't be more proud of. I also included a chapter on my own creative process with a step by step guide to designing fabric in Photoshop, and a bunch of full-page images of my prints that are on perforated paper so that you can rip them out for giftwrapping and scrapbooking.

There was one other objective set forth early in the project: to make this book affordable for everyone. Alhough most of the crafts books that STC Craft makes are hardcovers, Heather Ross Prints will make it's debut in paperback at the absolutely fabulous price of $24.95.

Here are a few of my most favorite projects and photos from the book:

Digitally Printed Wallpaper! There are more than 5 print files in HR Prints that can be uploaded onto this website to create standard sized wallpaper - including Underwater Sisters, Horses, Frog Prince, and The Owl and The Pussycat, and another 40 prints that can be used to create wall murals. You can even choose to have this paper printed on a self-adhesive substrate that can be easily applied and removed. This photo was taken in my daughter Bee's bedroom at our house in the Catskills. Vera and Pauline hung it the day before the shoot, and there it remains.

More wallpaper, this time my Horses, plus a decoupage project on a little white storage stool. I love the little Pendleton Blanket we found for this shot! I think if we hadn't already hung the unicorns that this would have been my choice for decorating Bee's room.

 

Thisis one of my most favorite paper craft projects in the book. I thought it would be fun to mix a printed fabric bound cover with a printed paper endpaper. The inside pages are blank, simply a stack of fresh white printer paper. I included a few sets of print combinations, but especially love the Wildflowers with the Playing Horses print. The fabric can be printed via Spoonflower and the paper can be printed at home or at a service bureau with a wide format printer (like Kinkos). Very basic bookbinding techniques are employed, as is my favorite new crafty find: Padding Compound.

Here are my Racecars exactly where they should be: in a little boy's bedroom. These prints are two of about forty in the book that can be used for anything and everything, including fabric. This is Spoonflowers lovely linene / cotton blend. We washed this in very hot water and the colors stayed fast, the fabric became softer.

This photo didn't actually make the cut, but it was one of my most favorites. We shot it in Bee's bedroom, upstate again, with low lights. That's my grandmother, her great grandmother, on the mantle. I was seven months pregnant and absolutely sure she would be a "Trixie", but she's not. She's a Bee. Still, how cool is it that you can make your own lanterns from rice paper and lamp making supplies?? (more of that over here) and cooler still, we have included versions of the print file (yes, rice paper can be used in ink jet printers!) with EVERY letter of the alphabet on the DVD in the book. These could be used for parties, weddings, etc. etc..... Here's a close-up, they all have my Far Far Away prints on them!

I'll be back next week with more details, including a descripton of what it's like to set up an outdoor shot in the pouring rain when you are seven months pregnant and cannot zip up your raincoat.

Heather Ross Prints is available now on Amazon. It's been shipping for a few days and should be hitting your neigborhood bookstore's shelves very soon. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

 

Crafty Chloe Fabrics, Now at Hancock!

Heather Ross6 Comments

Did I mention that I designed a line of Crafty Chloe fabrics for Hancock? And look at these adorable bags that I spotted over at Threadbias! The collection is based on a few of my favorite illustrations from the book and printed on a very nice quilting weight cotton, from my friends over at Windham.

photo from Threadbias

Word on the street is that they are selling really quickly, I just had to pull a few strings to get a few more yards for my self and to stuff into my studio sale boxes!

photo from threadbias

 

How Natalie (Alabama) Chanin Saved My Summer.

Heather Ross10 Comments

Humidity + residual baby weight = blech.

Ive got it easy, I know. I don't have to dress up for an office or for a fashion-conscious family, my commute is between my bed and my desk and the fridge, and Bee throws up me no matter what I have on, without prejudice. But STILL, who wants to head into summer (which, for all the waiting, always sneaks up on you) with a closet full of tight waistbands and legs the color of eggshells? I was a single Buy It Now Button away from owning a bulk lot of vintage muu-muus (I was delayed momentarily on the underwear or no underwear thing. Did you know that Lily Pulitzer never wore any under all of those bright caftans?) when Natalie Chanins new book landed on my desk and saved me from myself.

Natalie designs with summer in mind. Better yet, humid, eastern, summers, where a single dress must a) encourage afternoon naps b) feel at home in the kitchen, the garden, the cafe, and the market, and c) flatter shamelessly without clinging. Wow. That sort of describes the ideal husband too, doesn't it? Any-hoo. I'm a longtime fan of Natalie's clothing designs and was at the front of the line when her first book came out, having admired her work on the racks of Barneys and the like. Her sewing patterns do not dissappoint. These are the same dresses, tops, skirts, and accessories that carry four figure price tags and are coveted by ec-groovy lady rock stars. The same ones. But in her books, Natalie teaches you how to make them yourself. The styles are amazingly simple, it's the beautiful handwork that adorn them that earn those high prices. This might have been the summer that I took on one of Natalies genius embellishment process, but I put all of my needles safely out of reach while baby-proofing and haven't been able to find them since. It's OK, though, because Natalies pieces stand on their style and fit alone, and I happen to have a big piece of organic stripey jersey that is just begging to be turned into a fresh little dress.

Natalie's pieces are so simple to sew together. Her aesthetic begs for raw edges, not fussy finishes. They go together in a single evening, and when you pull them on they don't just make you look better than you did in whatever you were wearing before, they make you feel better.  If you've not yet dicovered the joy of the ankle length summer dress, you really must at least try to make this in it's longest length. You can always cut it shorter and just let the hem curl up a bit. Natalie would totally approve.

If you don't happen to have some cast-off crib sheets around, I suggest looking here and here for the perfect jersey fabric for Natalie's skirts, tops and dresses. Or buy a kit from Natalie herself.

Easy to make, easy to wash, easy to wear. Hello Summer. Thank You Natalie.

 

My Mother's Paintings

Heather Ross19 Comments

Pat's Barn, by Tess Beemer

I have been collecting and buying my my mother's paintings for years. There aren’t many of them out there, unfortunately. Before I had my own baby I wondered why she didn't paint more while I was growing up, but that was when I didn't know that what little mental and physical energy remain at the end of a day of parenting are used up obsessing about whether or not you are any good at it.

My mother was barely able to paint at all when we lived on West Hill, where the priority in winter was tending the potbelly wood stove that sat in the center of our two room house like a giant furious baby bird. She managed to do more during the years that I was in high school, when we had moved into a big falling down house with electric heat in town specifically so that I could more easily stumble out of bed and into the path of a school bus. It also helped that I required  much less attention in general because I had sudden access to neighborhood friends (or as my grandfather put it, future co-defendants) and was finally able to focus entirely on running absolutely wild, the only thing about me under any semblance of control being my bangs, Aqua-Netted into an utterly frozen, totally flammable state. As soon as the leaves had dropped and it was too cold to leave the house unless it was on fire or you had run out of cigarettes, my mother would set her easel up in front of a window and paint what she saw through it. I realize now that a winter landscape in a harsh climate is probably almost always painted by a native artist,  because unless you were painting the way she did, through the windows of a warm house, standing still for more than a moment isn’t possible. I barely looked twice at these paintings when I was young. I remember walking - or running - past them on my way towards our flimsy front door that could barely keep our cats out of the road,  much less me.

Frozen Laundry, by Tess Beemer, collection of Halsey L Beemer

When summer came back so did our relatives, and many of these paintings went home with them in the fall. I would see them again, years later, hanging on the walls of my relatives’ houses in New York City and Bethesda, Maryland, and wonder how we could ever bear to let them go. How had I not noticed how beautiful they were? After that, whenever I would visit my mother, I was the one who would take home canvases. Standing in front of these paintings now its as though I’m standing in the front room of that house, looking through the windows on the front of the house towards the road, just about to leave.

We were renters there, and eventually the house was sold and we had to move out. Shortly afterwards it burned to the ground. I think it was a managed, intentional fire set by it’s new owners who lived in Montreal and spent weekends next door. They told us that they considered it a dangerous building in need of too much repair, I think, but really it was a wonderful old place. I think they just saw their chance to eliminate the possibility of ever having neighbors again and struck the match.

I have seven of my mother’s paintings grouped together on my living room walls, right above a sofa covered with Denyse Schmidt quilts and pillows. Their work looks beautiful together, maybe because they both went to RISD, or maybe because we are all from small New England towns with their solid, square little houses in need of warm quilts and wildflowers on the roadsides and printed on the cottons. Over the years a lot of people have expressed an interest in these paintings, so I decided to ask my mother if I could offer prints of her work for sale. She works with a really good giclee printer in Vermont, and has agreed to some small runs (only 50 in each size, all signed and numbered) to be made and sold here, on my website.

We will take orders for the next few weeks through my online shop, and then have everything printed, signed, and shipped directly from Vermont. Giclee printing, if you are not familiar with it, is an amazingly high quality method for reproducing paintings. All four paintings in this offering are offered in two sizes (dimensions listed refers to paper size) and on both heavy watercolor paper or canvas. Shipping is $10 within the US. All proceeds beyond the cost of printing and shipping will go straight to my mother, who is currently in the process of putting in her vegetable garden. I’m doing this for her as a Mother’s Day gift, partly because I know that when she runs out of money she will try to move in with me and I’d like to delay that, and partly because I love her, but mostly because I want more of the world to see how truly gifted an artist she really is.

PS: your words of support and encouragement to my mother - and to every single artist and every single mother - are just as valuable as your orders...

 Froze Laundry, by Tess Beemer, collection of Halsey L Beemer

Montgomery Center, by Tess Beemer

 Gloria's House, by Tess Beemer, collection of Chris Beemer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inroducing Nursery Versery, my newest fabric collection

Heather Ross35 Comments

My newest collection of printed fabrics for Kokka is made up of four prints, each of which is offered in at least three colorways. It's printed on a lightweight cotton linen, a weight that Kokka calls sheeting. The line will officially launch next week, at Quilt Market, and will be available in shops and on line in June.

Speaking of fabric collections, I'm offering another Photoshop for Fabric Design Workshop here in New York City November 10th, 11th, and 12th, Veterens Day weekend. We had so much fun at the last one, and can't wait to do another! This one will be timed with the release of my new STC book, Heather Ross Prints, which is all about how to design and use repeating patterns to make everything from wallpaper to rice paper lanterns. You can read more about (and register!) for the workshop here.

Oh, and do check back later this week! I've got something planned for Mother's Day that I'm very excited about...

more from the "PLUM" colorway:

 

...and a few from the "PINKS" colorway:

 

 

and from the "YELLO AND GRAY" colorway: