Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm Ba-a-a-a-a-a-ck!




I know, I know! It’s been forever since I did an update on my blog. I profusely apologize. It sucks when I go to someone’s blog and I’m expecting some fun ideas, news about what they are working on, and find that it hasn’t changed in months. My bad. I have no excuse except for working nonstop, photo shoots, finishing a new book, the holidays, and nursing a sore shoulder. Yes, I’m going play the pity card. There is a funky hallway going into our master bedroom and I was in such a hurry that I forgot about the left side of my body needing to clear the opening. Arrgh! The doctor says it will take up to 3 months for my rotator cuff to heal. The steroid shots were not pleasant, but all the babying from Scott is fabulous. And baby I’m gonna milk it. *giggle*



video

Project Runway Behind the Scenes Video

Hey, you won’t believe the fabulous line of products I have been working on. You all know that I’m a huge fan of Project Runway. Well, we have acquired the licensing for Project Runway products and I have been a maniac for the past several months as we developed unbelievable trims and goodies you can embellish your wardrobe with. I have always loved making rosettes out of just about everything, and when I saw the episode where the designers were repurposing jeans into extreme outfits, I decided that we just HAD to have Zipper Rosettes and Zip Trim!

The products will be in your local Michaels sometime in January, and at Target.com to order online. The photo shoot was unbelievable, and of course Scott shot it in our distribution center. I had a blast creating all of the fashion for the models to wear. The best part about the products is that you can use fabric glue to attach everything! So, not only can you sew it onto garments, you can also glue the giant gems, zip trim, rosettes, and studs to your shoes and purses and jeans.















Field Trip to Loveless Cafe

Field trips on the weekend are pretty much the norm for us, since moving to the Nashville burbs. We heard so much about the Loveless Café that we simply had to go see what all the fuss was about. My momma makes the most divine biscuits in the world, so I was pretty skeptical about the biscuits everyone talks about from the Loveless Café. But, when they brought out those biscuits and gravy and homemade jellies, I flipped out! OMG, they were fabulous. Buttery, flaky and endless. Yep, they keep bringing them out until you say, “stop!” We brought some home and ate on them another couple of days.



New BOOK!

I said that I’ve been busy, and I mean busy. Check out the new book, Cookbooking just now available at Barnes & Noble and of course at Amazon.com. I designed nearly all of the projects in the book, and Barbara Winkler wrote the content about them. The book is all about how to organize your recipes in creative ways. If you are like most people, you have a ton of loose magazine clippings and hand scribbled recipes, or cards that people have given you over the years, that are thrown into boxes and notebooks. Mine were the same way, but not any more. I figured out that I could design all kinds of creative ways to categorize my recipes and be able to find my favorite Stuffed Shrooms recipe when I need it.














One of my favorites was the cookbook I made for my Mom’s 70th birthday. My entire family participate by writing about their favorite moments with my mom’s cooking or their favorite dish. Then I made a notebook with retro fabric, tons of ribbon, grommets, and 3 binder rings. You’ll love it! Best part? Some of my mom’s recipes are in there! There are ways to give recipes as a gift, and how to create an heirloom cookbook, and even a kid’s lunchbox recipe organizer.



I plan to put them on our website to buy soon, but meanwhile you can scoop one up online or at the book store.

Holiday Videos at Lifetime!

Have you been watching the holiday videos on MyLifetime.com? The cute little stocking that I sewed up for the Christmas project is so easy, but you’d never know it by looking at it. And don’t forget that you can personalize yours by cutting out felt letters and gluing them on. I know it’s too late for this year’s stocking, but it’s a perfect time to get started for next year. One of the cool things about handmade stockings is, that they are perfect to stuff and pop into a fedex mailer to send anybody on your list. Fun!


CHA Trade Show theme: "It's Easy Being Green"


Right now I’m busy as bee working on new products for the upcoming CHA Trade Show in Anaheim at the end of January. It’s top secret right now, but it involves the theme of the show It’s Easy Being Green. I can’t wait to see what all of the other manufacturers present for their new products that speak to the need to recycle and sustainability of crafting. After all, that’s what we crafters do best, turn scrap into art. This has been one of the most satisfying challenges of my position as New Product Manager at Wm. Wrights Company. We recently combined all of our sister brands under the umbrella of Simplicity Creative Group, which has given me the opportunity to combine efforts with the talented team at Simplicity headquarters in New York. Our company just keeps designing amazing new products and marketing strategies to keep us on the cutting edge.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Punkin Fun in Nashville


South of Nashville, there is the most adorable pumpkin farm you ever did see. Scott and I had to explore, take some photos and hang with the locals. They had itty bitty punkins, that are just perfect for building topiaries.

I made these with dowel rods and wooden discs. Drill a hole into the wooden disc, the same width as the dowel rod. Glue one end of the rod into the disc, then paint it black. When it's dry, you can pierce your little punkins as you stack them on top of each other. Scoop out a place on the top to shove a votive candle into the punkin for a topiary candlestick. Now you can tie raffia around the bottom or place in an urn for a fabulous fall centerpiece!

You can get more details from the Project Page at Pattiewack.com on how to make the topiaries.

Don't throw away your topiary holders after the pumpkins dry out, because you can use them for apples, gourd, and clove-covered oranges for a terrific Thanksgiving centerpiece that looks great, and smells heavenly.


The Nashville Farmer's Market is huge! We had a blast looking for fresh veggies to take home for a homemade soup for the week.

I'll be coming back here to pick apples next time. Wow!


Then we headed to historic Franklin, Tennessee for the annual Pumpkinfest. Good grief, it was crowded, but it was FUN!

I couldn't help it, I had to have a funnel cake, baybeeee. OMG, there was SO much powdered suger, you could barely see the funnel cake underneath. Yummmmmmmieeeee.

I love autumn. It's the best season of all.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Interview with New York Daily News!




You can be on the look out for an interview I did this week with The New York Daily News for Jean Chatzky, the popular news columnist with a daily column called Your Money. She also the author of "Make Money, Not Excuses" and hosts a daily show on "Oprah & Friends" on XM Radio, and is the financial editor of NBC's "Today"show.

So, I know you're thinking, why would Jean Chatzky be interested in ME? I know! Well, she wanted to get some crafty expert advice on what parents could do with their kids for Halloween on a budget.

And man, I loved it! Her assistant Arielle and I chatted on and on about all the ideas I had. First, I told her my ideas for some funny costumes, and then about how to get umbrellas at the dollar store and make Monster Umbrellas. Not only are they great for mom and dad to hold on a rainy Halloween night, but they would make fabulous and fun party decorations if you hang them from the ceiling for a sensational and cheap way to make a huge impact in a room!




You can find the instructions and patterns for these fun Monster Umbrellas on Pattiewack.com. I would love to hear from you, about your ideas, too. I'll let you know when the interview is posted on The New York Daily News, and you'll find out some cute things you can for Halloween on the cheap.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tomato Art Fest


I forgot to post about the fun and artsy fartsy Nashville Tomato Art Fest last month! I found the photos today when I was searching for something else, and thought I may as well put them on my blog because they are so darn cute. Scott and I bought a poster that looks like the front of this t-shirt, and framed it to hang above our piano. Love that. The artist is Sheila B. and her website is a hoot! You HAVE to check it out at SheilaBware.com to see what a crazy and amazing artist she is from the Nashville scene.

There was so much art to see, and the crafty art caught my eye, like this big paper bowl made from a roll of tickets. I would love to make one of these myself.

This wall of bottle caps was outrageous, with a different image in every single cap. Think of the work!

I can remember eating at Big Boy restaurants when I was a little girl, so the big guy brought back a few memories for me. Waffles, burgers, grilled cheese sammies, yummmmmers.

A gang of Wrights buds met there, including Chant and Robyn who are graphic artists. We hung out in the art gallery soaking in all the tomatoey vibes.

I'm crazy for collage, and this art doll collage is fabulous! Check out the sassy little bottle cap used for a hat!

This graphic artist decided to use an itty bitty tomato as the priceless setting for an amazing tomato ring. That's a little saucy I'd say. wink-wink

Ah, collage. This wooden box was the best collage ever. The clock is real, and the metal items are real, but the rest is paper.

The artist couldn't stop with decoupaging the outside of the box. The inside was just as fun, with a mirror inside and a felt lining to make it complete.

Oh the drama. It's not every day that we have the opportunity to spend an evening looking at tomato art. Big thanks to Teresa (the greatest APM in the world) for taking the pics and sending them to me. I'll be back next year for the continuing saga of the life of tomatoes turned into art.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Winners and Losers on Project Runway


You win some, and you lose some no matter what, and tonight's losers got a double whammy with two designers knocked off the runway. Terri lost it with this ho-hum design that was bad fabric, bad lines, and a bad partner.

Blayne lost too, with this horrific rendition of a Libra costume that reaked with disjointed design and nothing that says haute couture.


I thought for sure that Kenley would be packing up her scissors with this insane idea that she is the designer goddess. Her arrogance and annoying voice coupled with a talk-back attitude was so grating, it was hard to watch.

Joe did a safe design with some gorgeous fabrics that kept him from being thrown off the runway, but not good enough to win.

But the winner was Jerrell with a heavy houndstooth fabric and jacket with rows of trim on the sleeves. Tim Gunn was worried about the fabric, but it proved to be just the ticket for a big win. The designers are going to have to kick it up a notch for me next week, because so far I'm not too excited. How about less drama and more attention to good design?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

N.E.E.T. Magazine


N.E.E.T. Magazine has the latest issue up on their site, and it's great to view every page for free without having to make the trip to the local book store to pick it up.

Check out the adorable covered button bracelet by Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary fame, on page 139. It's been YEars since I made a covered button. This made me go through my sewing stash and look for my little rubber mold and metal buttons to cover with fun fabric. What a great idea for making something memorable with a piece of fabric that you just can't part with, but it's too small to really make anything with.

Thanks Jennifer!

Felt Rings and Purses




Reform School has the most adorable felt purse kits that are meant for kids, but I need one!

The little sparrow purse looks very sweet and fairly simple to do. After I saw these, I thought how cute it would be to make them in other shapes like a daisy or a giant leaf.

They also have gorgeous felt rings in every color of the rainbow. I keep thinking that I need to get busy and make some cute things for Christmas office gifts, and this is a great idea.
My sister-in-law Gail makes beautiful felted purses and it's time to get out the one she made for me last year to go with my fall sweaters. I'm loving the cooler weather here in Tennessee.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Diane Von Furstenberg on Project Runway!



The designers played the big time tonight when Diane Von Furstenberg judged their designs that they created with her fabulous printed and tweed fabrics.

Here's the winner! Love the color, the style and the fit. Leanne did it again with well fitting and tasteful garments.

Kenley did a fabulous chic dress, although I think she could have done more...how about a bolero or a hooded cape?


Blayne's outfit was both cute, flirty and tailored. I would love that in MY closet!

But really, Korto's elegant and wonderfully wearable couture won it for me. She is constant in her design statements as one of the contestants to watch out for!

Sewing Art


Faythe Levine is documenting the rise of DIY and the new wave of art, craft and design. Handmade Nation the book will be released by Princeton Architectural Press in November 2008 and the documentary with the same title will be released in 2009. The art being used to promote the release is fabulous! Check out the zipper, the spools of thread, a box knife, needles, buttons, scissors, thread, and beads.



Speaking of sewing notions, when I saw these on West Elm, I went crazy! We can make these! They are simply wooden boxes painted white, with stenciled icons of scissors, rulers, and a needle and thread. I'm a nut for organizing, and it's almost impossible to walk down the aisle at the discount stores without buying tubs and plastic boxes to hold all my craft stashes. Now I will have the perfect way to cram my sewing stuff into cute boxes that can sit anywhere. Who needs plastic when they can have cute?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Auto Parts Runway


Just thinking about a rubber dress makes me sweat, and the designers on Project Runway tonight were really sweatin' it when they were challenged to make garments from Saturn auto parts. All I could think of was to use upholstery fabric, but these smarties used everything! Leanne won the challenge with this amazing rubber dress. I loved how she took seat belts and cut them in zigzags and frayed them to make the sexy fringe around the bustier.

Suede shined with the crazy creative use of rubber mats for the fitted top, and then used the shiny material for a fringed skirt. I'll bet his fingers were wrecked from pushing a needle through that!

I fell in love with Kenley's flirty peplum made with filters. She's always the girly girl, and her style always makes a statement.

Scott's favorite was Korto's classy coat, designed with seated belts woven into an unbelievable tailored garment that the judges fell in love with. I'll bet it weighed 15 lbs. and the model couldn't mover her arms, but who cares? It's fashion, baybeeee....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quilts, Friends, & Bloody Marys


Quilts, Friends, and Bloody Marys?
Yes, you read it right. The 2008 American Quilter's Society Quilt Expo was in Nashville this week at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center. Teresa and I took off on Friday afternoon and headed up the highway to see what all the excitement was about.

We were one of the show sponsors with our EZ Quilt Tools by Wrights, and our buddies, Mimi Shimp, Darlene Zimmerman, and Michele Muska worked their little bunnies off at the show. Scott and I hosted a little cocktail party at our house for the girls, because they deserved it after all that hard work. The Bloody Marys were terrific, as Scott served us as our bar tender and made sure that Darlene's drink was a virgin.
*giggle*
We laughed and talked about Darlene signing dozens of autographs, and of course we oohed and ahhed over all of the gorgeous quilts we saw.

I just laughed out loud when I saw this sassy quilt with the high heel shoes. It says, "If the shoe fits, buy it in every color."

This one cracked me up! Check out the iron lady with scissor hands and rotary cutters for hair. Preeeety creative, I have to say.

And this one with the laundry was a hoot! The clothesline is an actual cord, sewn to the quilt. The quilts were all incredible, and there just wasn't enough time to really absorb every quilt. Plus, there was shopping to do! Teresa and I snagged some nice Christmas gifts and loved browsing through all of the fabulous fabrics.

Of course, there's always a rogue bunch of musicians pickin' and grinnin' at the local hangs, and these guys were at the most popular place in the county for barbecue, at Martin's Bar-B-Que.

You won't believe it unless you see it,

but this place is half barbecue joint and half auto repair!

And then there's the gang that hangs out in Nashville, and Chant found out that if she put her head under a hanging lamp, it looked like a hat! This was at the Spaghetti Factory in downtown Nashville with a bunch of peeps from the office.

Howard is looking good, and sporting a happy smile.


I must have had shaky hands when I took this pic of Robyn under the lamp shade. Sorry Robyn!

Okay, I couldn't help it, I had to do the lampshade trick too.
There's nothing like have fun friends in Nashville!