Monday, June 29, 2009


Walking into Parcel for the first time is just as good walking into for the 100th time for you are never bored at this store. Everywhere you look is delightful. It is like the cliche that you want 'someone to pinch you because you can't imagine that it is real.' Yes, it is and this is truly a wonderful magical alternative universe that you just wandered into.

The shop is a gorgeous paperie filled with unique treasures, papers, ribbons, trims, 1930's-1970's children's party decoration, favors and toys, vintage ephemera, game pieces, tiny treasures, candles, stationary and a sweet shoppe with old fashioned and difficult to find candies. I asked the owner what her oldest item in the store was and she said late 1800's ledgers and some photos from that time period.

She offers custom invitations, stationary and unique gift wrapping choices. Trust me they are all amazing. Also, many beautiful cards for every occasion.

Parcel is located in Montclair, NJ. The owner, also a Nancy, is one of the nicest, most creative and unique shop owners I've come across. The store is a visual splendor with little vignettes and displays covering every inch of shelf and tabletop.

I can not leave the store without a bag in hand. Today I brought home some sweet treats, two glass cloches and some bits and bobs.

The window display is always a beautiful work of art. Today was no exception.

Oh, Nancy told me that the website is going through an upgrade and is going to be amazing. Please take a look and if you are close enough for a day trip by all means... go. Also, I got into a lovely discussion with a gal who works there who graduated from the same high school as I did although she was a decade and a half later then me. We had some of the same teachers and a mirror experience with the art teacher! Loved what we hated, hated what we loved etc. Very funny.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

embroidered baby dress

Who made it?
For whom?

So many questions.....

My Mom has been cleaning out her attic and found this gorgeous dress in a box of old linens.
She is going through the linens and washing everything carefully.
I haven't taken a peek at those yet.

Tucked between the layers, this lovely handmade and stitched baby dress. Most likely was made by a relative of ours -a grandmother, great aunt or great grandmother. I am in awe of all the detailed tiny stitches and the time spent on making this dress.

The embroidery and cross stitching is so pretty. It does show sign of wear and age but is in decent condition.

Here are some detail images.

I think this will fit Scarlet although I haven't tried it on yet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

princess and the pea skirt

A little girl wakes from her nap to find a new skirt and the tiniest pea.

She delights in the skirt and stares at the pea as if it were the most wonderful thing. To see such pleasure in simple objects through the eyes of a child. She decides to try to eat it. Oh, not so good...

The Princess and the Pea is currently the favorite fairy tale of Ms. S so how could I not oblige her in making a skirt.
The fabric (if you don't know already) is by Heather Ross. Oh, how I love the double gauze. Let me count the ways....

Friday, June 19, 2009

sashiko embroidery

I recently became fascinated with sashiko embroidery and splurged with some samplers and supplies from Purl Soho.
I find this to be a very meditative craft and as I work I can think through the day and things in my head and just let myself become entranced by doing the same stitch over and over.

This here is a close-up view of my first one. I am already at work on another and plan to do 3-5. I will either make these into pillows or frame them
as a grouping when I am finished.

The supplies for this type of embroidery are sashiko thread, needle and thimble. Since I was using a sampler I didn't need to purchase fabric. A cotton/linen blend would be perfect.

It is a bit different then embroidery in that you do not need to use a hoop or separate the strands. This is good project to bring along to the park and is really quite simple. The one I am working on presently looks more complicated but, is made easier with a chart letting me know which direction to work first. I think that tension is a challenge here not to get puckering which I can see I did get a bit of. Also, an accurate stitch length. It would also be nice to add a touch of this type of embroidery to something you already have. A pincushion and wool skirt come to mind.

It is a concerted effort for me to relax so it is nice to have some crafts which allow me to do this.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

black and white seersucker with a side of mint julep

Okay, there actually aren't any mint juleps in this post. Mick just thought that these are the type of pants that should be enjoyed while sitting on a porch swing in the summer sipping mint juleps which actually I don't think either of us has ever had. He has requested I make some for him. Pants and mint juleps.

Matty Gray thinks they are jumping pants.
I always give him a bit of an introduction before he leaps as if he is some sort of rock star.

The instructions for these pajama pants are in Weekend Sewing. They sew up in a snap.

Monday, June 15, 2009

le' slouch

This is my most recent knit- le' slouch beret but I call it Anna.
To be Anna.

Anna Karina has been a style icon of mine ever since I discovered Jean Luc Goddard films in my mid 20's.
The first one I saw was Bande a Part. Ever since a part of me has wanted to be Odile dancing around in my kilt at a cafe. I actually have the whole ensemble just right. I just need my partners in crime. And, although she doesn't wear a beret in this scene, a beret is essentially a French 'it' girl accessory.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

vogue 8468

This is the pattern name for my new summer dress. It is an 'easy' vogue pattern and I would recommend it as it truly wasn't too hard.
I combined a Liberty of London (Rose Edenham) with Robert Kaufman's Tencel/Linen blend and am pleased with the look, feel and ease to this dress. It is certainly a dress designed for comfort which is wonderful for wearing out and about all day with two kids in tow.
i added a little extra material to the side as my waist measurement didn't exactly fit into the measurements in the pattern and it turns out i didn't really need to do that but, that is fine.
I think the flap 'pockets' are a cute addition and I don't mind that they are not real pockets.
I have officially learned to go with my system for installing zippers. This is at least the second time I've followed directions and not liked the way it came out and had to do it over.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

teacher gifts

Since I am pretty sure Mrs. Drew and Ms. Millie don't read my blog I thought I'd share what we will be giving for our teacher gifts this year.
Tomorrow is M's last day of preschool for the year and rather then go with the group present I thought a basket of strawberries from our garden, a nice chocolate bar and a handmade pear sachet filled with rice and lavender would be nice.
I actually made about eight of these last week so I'll have some small gifts for those times when you need one.
I made these last year as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

strawberry pie

The strawberries fields are ripe and we have been busy picking twice a day for about a week or so now.
Yesterday, I cam home to freshly baked strawberry pie made by M & M and it is absolutely delicious.
The recipe is from here. They did use a store bought crust but other then that I think it was followed exactly.
We have been enjoying a variety of strawberry desserts. Simple pleasures like strawberries and fresh whipped cream, strawberries with melted chocolate chips and mint.

Unrelated- I made an amazing carrot cake the week before.

Friday, June 5, 2009

busy bee

Just realizing how many things I make that begin with the letter B.
So many B's.
Here are barrettes, button bobbies, buttons and badges.

Oh and I also like making bloomers and bonnets for Ms. S. I am not joking when I say this.
And, then there are booties. I can't forget those.
Just remembered another one....brooches!

I have been a very busy bee in my sewing room. I've been trying to be neat and tidy but it is so hard.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

crafting update - smocks

Here are some new smocks I will have with me on Sunday.
I love making these. They are so versatile and last so long.
Ms. S has worn hers for 9 months so far through all seasons.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

rose garden

I had not been in many years and it was still magic.

Monday, June 1, 2009

artist studio tour etc.

I will be taking part in the Maplewood/South Orange Artist Studio Tour this year on June 7th by having a table in front of Perch Home

Also, wanted to mention that there is a sale in my Etsy shop for 15% off through this Friday, June 5th EST.

And, my 'candy necklace' shown above is now available as a custom order online. These necklaces are made with wool fleece dyed naturally with plant dyes and the colors are just gorgeous. Each one is unique as the plant dyes vary.

If you are local I would love to see you on Sunday.