Better Late Than Never

February 28, 2013 § 1 Comment

It’s the last day of the month and I feel like I just crossed the finish line!  It’s been a particularly rough month and my commitment to the Craftsy Block of the Month was, well…not happening.  Maybe because it was something just for me and not the business, I brushed it aside.  So, yesterday when I realized it was the 27th and the 28th would be the last day of this short month, I hurried up and pre-wash my fabrics and dedicated today to polishing the February block off…Spring Blooms!  Created with partial seams; not a fan, I discovered.  Three blocks took ALL day…in my defense, I had to squeeze this in during shop time.  And it never fails…when you have something to do (or want to do) – you will be busy all day.

craftsy block of the month february 2013

I’m fairly happy with how this came out; one block is a teeny tiny bit too small and hopefully I can even it out during final construction.  I’m just glad I accomplished this – though it may seem insignificant; it’s a goal achieved, a new skill learned and a little me time as a bonus!  Wahoo!

The March block goes live tomorrow and fingers crossed I won’t drag my feet.  I think an 1-2 hour commitment a week might get this done by month end.

See January’s BOM.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Friday Featured Fabric

February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

This week I’m featuring a berry cute new print that arrived just recently in our sewing center at Nest.  An adorable strawberry print that has a fun mod feel about it!  I’m located in a very small town, Ponchatoula, but make no bones about it…strawberries are big business.  We have a huge Strawberry Festival each April that is second to Mardi Gras in attendance (it’s a bit of a carnie nightmare…but that’s another story).  I am hoping this print will get picked quick…already we’ve cut a few yards!  I’m offering it by the yard on Etsy or on my main site by either the 1/2 yard or full.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Things We Dare Not Speak Of…

February 21, 2013 § 2 Comments

It’s been a bit rough at the building…for awhile, I was almost certainly going to start a Downton Abbey inspired reality show…because downstairs (me) was definitely having issues with upstairs (bad tenants).  They’ve nearly gone – good riddens.  Usually, though we have some life balance where when the building “falls apart” so to speak, our shop downstairs picks up and holds us together.  This month has just been blah…I’m not sure why, but a large portion of our walk-ins have just been…I hate to say it…awful.  (of course, if YOU have visited this month…I certainly don’t mean you *wink*).  If it had not been for a few tourist that wandered into town post-Mardi Gras, I’m pretty sure I would have gone running into traffic mad.  Last Saturday, not thirty minutes after we had checked-out a really lovely couple from New York City (who loved everything!), a local couple came in to browse.  The lady picked up these earrings and I suppose she thought they were too much because she bellows “ridiculous”.

I don’t know, I think they are nice and just $15.  Anywho, she turns to her mate and begins to rub her belly and proclaims “I am so bloated”.  For reals.  I prayed in earnest at that point she didn’t need the bathroom or just spontaneously combust.  I’m not sure why but the local radio station keeps playing this clip from the movie “You’ve Got Mail” where Tom Hanks says “Don’t Cry Shop Girl” and Meg Ryan tearily responds “I hoped it was you” – I feel like reenacting this after each good sale.

Have you hugged your shop girl lately???

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Death and Downton

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

(no real spoilers here if you’ve not already seen the Season Three finale) – It was such a sad Sunday!  Plus, someone in my Facebook feed blew the whole ending hours before it was on…still a bit bitter about that!  C didn’t know…and I didn’t let on too much…only, shaking my head now and again “it’s gonna be sad…”  Immediately, after the ending, I actually had to laugh…C’s reaction was “are you kidding me?!  Those were probably the only two cars in the village and WHAT… were they going 20 mph??”  So, you hear that Julian Fellowes?  You’ll have to do better to impress us…but do stop killing main characters…thanks!

After that episode, I did wonder if anyone would buy my cross stitch patterns (they have thankfully).  But now is probably as good of time as any to remind everyone of my New Girl TV show cross stitch.  Also, an enjoyable show…and no one has died!

Other than falling into a deep Downton depression; I spent the last couple days doing some deep purging – my bedroom closet is nearly organized with three large boxes of clothes off to donate!  We also cooked a really simple dish of slow cooked black beans and rice.  We used purple rice; it’s new to me…a Louisiana product that was specially developed to be higher in antioxidants.  Its not suppose to taste different but I thought had a slight nutty flavor…which I liked.  The only downside seemed to be we could not stop singing Purple Rain while we cooked…and subsequently it stayed stuck in our heads for most of the evening!

Purple rice looks lovely before its cooked…but once cooked it looks a bit wormy.  Blending it with the black beans was a good call and delish for a cold night!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Friday Featured Fabric

February 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

maharam repeat classic hella jongerius

For this week’s edition of Friday Featured Fabric, I’ve selected a really special commercial upholstery fabric designed by Hella Jongerius from Maraham.  I think this is still in production today, but when it was first introduced in the early 2000’s during my career as an interior designer, it was a hit in our firm.  Well, not that we found a use for it (mainly because it cost over $100 a yard) but it was and still is sensational because it has a huge repeat.  When you hear someone talk about a “repeat” in fabric, they mean the frequency the pattern repeats – both vertically and horizontally.  This can make a huge difference when you are working a pattern for either a quilt or reupholstering a chair…bigger repeats mean more waste typically.  This fabric, aptly named, Repeat Classic, has an almost comical repeat…at least over 3 yards vertically.  It is full of stripes, botanicals, an exploded herringbone, and even a dainty pheasant made to look like vintage embroidery.  This is really, in one of the most unusual forms, commercially produced art.  Again, we never found the opportunity to use it or had the luck to have a client willing to pay; but we were so enamored that we began ordering sample after sample – just to own a little piece of this unique fabric.  Finally, I think the manufacturer caught on that all of these cash poor designers were hording their samples and began sending out color tips cards instead.  Recently, I found a few of these remnants in my stash.  Though they are not very wide, they are very long strips of durable commercially produced fabric…I think they would be perfect for small coin purses or accents on pillows.  What ever you dream up, you can now own a small piece of Classic Repeat here.

maharam repeat classic hella jongerius

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Bragging Rights

February 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

So, tomorrow is my birthday and it’s time for some good news that I’ve been holding back since going through this rough patch.  Early this month my first Downton Abbey cross stitch pattern was briefly mention on both Apartment Therapy and Babble blogs; Babble even went so far as to post it to their Facebook page creating a flurry of really nice comments, shares (and sales!)

Quite please to be posted next to Pin-up Cat! Harooh!

I hope all you don’t mind me bragging; it’s just that no one in my family watches the show (C just started watching in earnest this season – I think partly to see what the hey I was talking about).  One of C’s distant cousins visited this past Christmas and knew about the patterns; she was ever so sweetly chatting me up about it – which led to the rest of the family in earshot baffled…cross stitch, British people, PBS…and you make money doing this???   So, you can see why I’m not even going to explain what is Apartment Therapy.

AND special thanks to my friend Marie; she sent me home Saturday evening with the most delicious homemade bread!  I love baking bread but there’s just something special and better about it when someone else makes it!  She’s got a how-to on her blog…check it out!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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A New Direction…

February 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

(not the band!)

It’s been, dare I say horrible week or so?  Well, at the least frustrating.  As I mentioned in my last post, we have a couple tenants scheming and causing a nightmare of problems for not only myself but other tenants.  I won’t go in to details but, for me, personally it’s been hard watching these individuals behave with such disregard for their fellow tenants.  Of course, with every show of human indecency, I’ve been witness to an out pouring of kindness from so many other venues.  Even each online order I’ve received in the last week…don’t laugh…but I’ve said each person’s name out loud and thanked them.  Because part of this mess is that these two individuals would like nothing more to financially ruin me.

So…I’ve had a few sleepless night (ahhh…more time to work!) and I figure it’s time to make lemonade out of lemons, right?  Here’s a new item I began offering in my Etsy shop late last week:

vintage thimble scissor fob

I’ve been admiring necklaces utilizing old thimbles for some time now and I’m just one of those people I suppose, that thinks my notions need notions too!  So – voila, a vintage thimble scissor fob was born!

thimble scissor fob

Even the rather utilitarian aluminum thimble fob looks cool!  I made this one a bit bohemian in design… and I sort of want to keep it!  So, even though life is rather messy tonight, I am so glad to have creativity on my side in the face of absurdity and adversity!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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