Superfluous DVD Case

My husband came home with this DVD one day, which was loaned to him by a friend as a must watch! As I inspected the cover I told Josh, "that guy looks a lot like a young Sam Axe." What? The goofy, tactically helpful, best friend of Michael Weston, on Burn Notice, isn't a household name? Oh.

Look, he autographed it! Turns out that Sam's real name is Bruce Campbell and before I knew about him he was starring in cult classics like The Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. I do like Sam Axe, but I'm not a devoted enough fan to watch something that features a "ghastly army of skeletons," so while Josh watched the movie, I made a box to protect that fancy signature!

One final note, those little guys with the fork and match are pretty cute. I wonder what their story line is.

A Quilt for Baby Andrew

This quilt belongs to a little guy named Andrew who was born on the 15th of July! He gets to start his life in the sweetest nautical themed nursery. I had been wanting to make a quilt for him, and when I saw the nautical theme, an idea came to mind for this herringbone style quilt. I had navy and white fabric on hand from another project, and was able to jump right in and make big half-square triangles to piece together a crib sized quilt. I had some fabric in mind for the back, but when I went to Jo-Ann's to pick out polka dots for the binding, I saw this darling whale fabric and it was kismet. You can click on the photo to see it up close, it's so cute!

In these colors, the boldness of the pattern reminds me a little bit of boating flags, and the interlocking nature of it reminds me of the knots associated with nautical things. Can you tell I don't know much about being on the water!? Most of my nautical reference comes from my one time on a sailboat, going on a cruise, and whatever my husband tells me about Deadliest Catch or Shark Week. 

I really like the look of the thick binding on the back. This is the first time I've done that. I thought it would be nice to be able to machine stitch the binding down on the long sides, and have that line of stitching double as the last line of quilting on the front of the quilt. I hand sewed the top, bottom, and miters of the binding since I didn't want a line of quilting running perpendicular to all of that parallel quilting.

My friend sent me this photo last week, aren't these kiddos darling!! Andrew is already so good at sharing!

Custom Address Books

Have you ever had one of those friends that you don't talk with for ages, but when you do it's as if no time has passed? I have one of those from childhood/ teenhood, who I just love! But this post is about address books, isn't it! This friend of mine got in touch to see if I could make some custom address books for some newly married folks, and this is what we came up with!

I had some extra paper after the endsheets were made, so I made some simple soft cover books to include in the package. I thought my friend and her mom could toss them in their purses, or gift them along with the address books!

This endsheet paper is mesmerizing! 
I was able to use pre-sewn text blocks for these, which is a huge savings over printing and cutting out all of those little tabs by hand! Check out the link if you'd like to try your own DIY books.

This lokta paper was interesting to use for endsheets. It is handmade, so there is a variation in thickness throughout the sheet. You can see through it in some spots, I'll have to remember that because it could be a fun parlor trick for another project!

A Quilt for Emmalyn & Hope

This quilt had quite an adventure before it was delivered to the little girls who call it their own. Before darling baby Emmalyn was born (2010), her mom, another dear friend and I picked out the Pickle Dish pattern from Kaffe Fassett's book called Quilt Romance. We were certainly romanced by the pattern on the cover and spent hours together at Joann's picking out just the right fabric.

I ended up working on it during a span of four years, in three different states! It started out in Florida, made its way to Missouri, and finally was finished Oregon before returning to its home in Florida. By that time Emmalyn's sweet baby sister, Hope, had been born (2012), so it became a quilt for two!

Ollie had a lot of fun with this one, and is probably still looking for it around the house!

It was so satisfying to see this through! I remembered to post these pictures because the little ladies have a baby brother who just recently made his debut into the world. He has a quilt headed his way in the mail, and I will share pics of that next week!

A Visit to OCAC

I paid a visit to the enchanting campus of the Oregon College of Art and Craft the other day. The studio manager of the Book Arts department graciously gave me an excellent tour. I had been there once before, several years ago, long before I studied at NBSS, and it was fun to see it with fresh eyes! 

Classes weren't in session, but I was able to get a good glimpse into the classroom spaces of all of the departments. Most of the spaces had really wonderful natural light streaming in. I, of course, enjoyed taking a look around the Book Arts department, but some of the other departments made a lasting impression as well. The Fibers department had quite a large room full of more looms than I'd ever seen in one place. The Ceramics department has an outdoor kiln area that smells wonderful and looks rustic in a way, but that could just be because of the green surroundings and the local wildlife! The Drawing and Painting department is in a newly built space (a portion of it is pictured above) that is really fantastic. When I studied drawing at SCAD it was in an historic building that had been renovated and turned into classroom space. That had a special feel to it, but I had never been in a building so specifically suited for the art of drawing and painting. Here's a neat post about the building from Architecture News Plus. The Photography department was beneath the Drawing and Painting space, but that was the one studio we didn't see.

A little deer family was strolling about finding their lunch during my visit. While I was in the library, the librarian pointed this one out to me and we spoke in whispers while we watched. The school library is part of my county library system, so after my tour, I spent a bit of time there and checked out a few books on book design and layout for an upcoming project. It was a pleasant surprise to be introduced to this great resource for art and craft books.

I'm not sure what connection I might have with OCAC going forward, but it is one of those places that just has a nice feeling to it, so having some sort of relationship would be great. There are community programs and opportunities for further education that are available, but for starters I might just make it a habit to visit the cafe for lunch, stop by the gallery and gift shop, and then pay a visit to that gem of a library. In any case, I'm happy and appreciative to have been able to tour this special creative place that is practically in my back yard!

A Quilt for Baby Sam

My friend Wendy had her second baby, a son named Sam, a little over a month ago! When Sam's big sister was born, Wendy and I worked on a quilt idea together. This time around, I saw some fabric that just felt right and went for it without spilling the beans. Part of the reason for the secrecy was to go easy on myself just in case I didn't finish it in time! Keeping my lips sealed must be the trick, because I finished it about a week before Sam was born!

My favorite helper, Ollie, is modeling the lovely fabric by Skinny la Minx. It's called Up Up & Away and was designed for Cloud9 Fabrics. I have some triangles left, and while I don't have a baby to swaddle, I think our new printer might be in need of special attention by way of a quilted cover of sorts!

The back of the quilt features Passing Clouds in gold by Eloise Renouf from her Bark & Branch line for Cloud 9 Fabrics. I bought all of the fabric for this quilt from Lima Sews, a Portland Etsy seller.

Happy Birthday, Sam!

A Patriotic Gift

A good friend of mine, who was born on the 4th of July, has a special interest in the Presidents of our country.

I always get excited when I come across neat presidential things, because I can squirrel them away for later gift giving! A while ago, I found this little book about the lives of the U.S. Presidents at one of my favorite antique shops, The Butler Did It Antiques in Cannon Beach.

The book is very slim and just has a paper cover, so I thought it deserved a clamshell. Then I decided that it needed my friend's initials on it. Very presidential, don't you think?

Here the book is nestled in its box. It is a Little Blue Book, as can be seen on the front cover. I wonder if it was ever truly blue, that's some serious fading!

It all starts with George! All of the illustrations are pretty great. Another thing you can see in this photo is that the book was printed in the US, but what I didn't realize is that it was published/printed in Girard, KS. Girard is about an hour away from my friend's hometown of Independence, KS. That was a fun discovery!

Big Friend Co.

The latest folding and sewing that I've been up to has been for Big Friend Co. and I couldn't be more pleased about it! My husband, Josh, and I put a name to our design studio this year. It seems like we've always had a company, working together on this and that, but the time came to put a name to it and as it is said, hang out our shingle.

The bulk of our work is of the freelance variety, including children's books, posters, album art, and some motion graphics. If you follow this link you'll be treated to a full page of Josh's illustrations. Understandably, I am the most partial person you'll ever meet when it comes to his work, but I really think you'll like it!

In addition to this freelance work, we thought we'd like to make some of our own products. This was born from the idea that there were some things we wished we had, and perhaps other people might like those things too! To start with, we've made some fun journals and card sets. Follow this link to take a look at what we've made! And this link to keep up with the Big Friend Co. blog!