January, 2011

Sharing the Love on Martha Stewart!

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

I am beyond excited to announce that Jessica Pigza and I will be on the Martha Stewart Show this Thursday, 2/3 at 10am! We’ll be talking about our Handmade Crafternoon at the NYPL series. We’ll also be showing some vintage valentines from the library’s collection, and doing a little demo of how to make your own.

Today I’m practicing the techniques we’ll be sharing on the show, but I’m totally out of pretty paper. Luckily, as I was digging through my craft supplies, I found a piece of paper that had a pattern made from a crayon rubbing.

It inspired me to make a stack of rubbed paper of my own for my practice tv valentines using the same technique. I just grabbed some white printer paper, shoved a doily underneath it, grabbed a crayon and started rubbing. The result is really lovely.

You can rub all kinds of things, even ancient roman coins (a suggestion offered by my husband and helpful on-site photographer Rufus Tureen). I am sticking with doilies and lace at the moment, but coins, leaves, textured fabric and any number of other raised designs will work well under paper. It’s a great way to make beautiful paper in a pinch!

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Cut and Paste

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

This weekend I hosted a Creative Art Making at The Brooklyn Museum. The museum holds these art workshops every two to three months, and invites New York-based artists to participate. I chose to lead a workshop on collage and decoupage.

These Creative Art making programs, which are geared towards adults, are also designed to explore one of the current exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum. My workshop was inspired by the fantastic Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera exhibit. Rockwell used photography to help craft composite images that he then painted. The exhibit is fascinating and gives you an illuminating look into his process.

I wanted to use collage and decoupage to have participants explore the idea of composite images. Obviously, composite images are constructing very easily nowadays with Photoshop and other similar programs, but I wanted us to do it the old fashioned way.

I decoupaged the back of a clipboard that morning to demonstrate the combination of collage and decoupage techniques. (Thanks to my photographer/mom Pamela Madden for her snapshots and love).


When you first apply your decoupage medium (I’m a Mod Podge loyalist myself), it looks goopy, as pictured below. Be not afraid! It dries clear as day.

The donut box and the pretty lady box were made by a sweet mother-daughter team from Milwaukee. The daughter goes to Pratt and is lucky to have such a cool mom!

Caroline Rideout and Alicia Boone from the museum did a fantastic job getting everything set up for the day, including all of the supplies. We primarily used magazines to make our collaged boxes, but they also brought some silver and gold paper which was used beautifully by various attendees.

Decoupage can be messy, so it’s smart to put kraft paper down to protect the surface you are working on.

My brother Andy and his fiancee Emmy came to the workshop as well. Their creative boxes and the one my mom made are shown below.

I snagged Emmy a copy of Martha Stewart Weddings when I paid a visit to the Martha Stewart offices the other day. It’s a gorgeous issue and, as always, has loads of inspiring ideas and swoonworthy stories. She did NOT decoupage with that magazine. :) I’m very grateful to have been invited to the museum and hope to do other events there in the near future!

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Martha, Martha, Martha!

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

I’m thrilled to announce that Handmade Crafternoon at the New York Public Library is being featured in February’s issue of Martha Stewart Living!

You can get a sneak peek of the story here. You can also check out a video they made to go with the iPad version of the magazine.

This is a tremendous honor for us and Jessica Pigza and I are truly excited. We’ll be welcoming some of the folks from Martha Stewart to the NYPL on February 5th from 2-4pm for a Valentine Making Party, so pick up a copy of the magazine and save the date to get crafty with us.

And if you are in Brooklyn next weekend, please join me 1/15 at the Brooklyn Museum for a Crafternoon of collage making inspired by the fantastic Norman Rockwell exhibit. Oh 2011, you’re going to be the craftiest year of all!

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Happy Old Year!

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

The end of the year was so joyful for me – we went to LA and met my very first niece, Priscilla! We had a wonderful time getting to know her, all the while avoiding the NY snow and doing the LA things, like hiking in the sunshine in December.

As my first niece, Priscilla had to be the recipient of something very special and handmade. I made her this bunny from the pattern in Kata Golda’s charming book Hand Stitched Felt.

The dress pattern was modified from a pattern in the book. I added buttons and buttonholes so that she could change outfits for different seasons. I can’t wait to make her something for spring! I used felt hand dyed by Sorcha over at OhMaFelt, the best supplier of felt in the US of A. That felt is a pleasure to craft with.

I was inspired by vintage felt goodies that my sister-in-law Phoebe has collected, including these amazing felt baby cowgirl boots. I plan to try my hand at copying them in the near future.

(That tiny velvet jacket draped behind them was handmade by my mother-in-law. It is stunning and was worn by Priscilla on Christmas day.)

I also love the felt birds on this pretty sewing box.

Oh, there was so much to swoon about in LA, it would be the longest post ever if I covered it all. So for now I’ll just leave you with this taste of goodness.

May your new year be as sweet as California berries!

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