Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shop: Kid Icarus

Let me just start by saying, sorry blog for having neglected you so much lately. I've started a new job where I wake up at 4:45am and commute for two hours a day. In addition, making sure my home is in proper order and of course, working on new designs and products for the shop.

Hard work indeed pays off and I'm so excited to announce that our tea towels can now be found at Kid Icarus in Kensington Market, Toronto. It's one of my favourite spots in the city and KI is one of the cutest shops around as it doubles as a store for the handmade and print shop. Be sure to drop by and support local and handmade artists.

::: Nathalie

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inspired by Nature

Here's a preview of some designs I've been working on. The tree pattern was inspired by my road trip to Miami earlier this year. The trees in Pennsylvania really stood out - they looked so perfect and somehow magical. The print is done with india ink on mylar. It took me over a week to do each individual leaf with a brush.

The random feather design was something that happened to come to mind. The print above is a 4 colour screen print on hemp/ cotton that I sewed into a tea towel. I hope to have it on the shop soon.

The colours, where inspired by my pedicure/ manicure. I mixed the light blue fabric paint to Sephora's Havana Dreams nail colour, which is my favorite new blue.

There are so many other designs that I have in mind that need to come to fruition. I hope to share them with you soon!

::: Nathalie

Monday, July 4, 2011

Strawberry Jam

I went strawberry picking this weekend and was nearly trampled over by a woman who insisted on stepping over me to stay on the same path, as opposed to moving over. I was completely speechless as she laid her hand on my shoulder and proceeded to swing her leg over me!

Here I am, happily picking strawberries before being trampled over by an inconsiderate picker.

The recipe: "Children's Strawberry Jam" from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook - a 384 page book on jams, marmalade's, jellies and lots of tips and wisdom.

Jams are best made in small batches. We picked 18 lbs of strawberries and this was only 8 lbs. 10 more to go!

Our first try at this jam took longer to cook than anticipated. The sun had since long gone when we began filling jars.

Finally! Beautiful strawberry jam! Geoff goes through a lot of jam so I hope this lasts us into the fall!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shop: Mitrebox Framing Studio

I'm happy to announce that a selection of my crafts can be found at the lovely Mitrebox Framing Studio in Minneapolis, MN.

If you live in the area, be sure to drop by and check it out.

Happy Shopping. : )

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Home Sweet Home

While I was in Florida, Geoff worked non-stop on installing new floors. I'm happy that everything is finally coming together.

We've put a lot of work into the house - painting, renovating, making accessories and furniture or collecting original artwork (from my brother mainly). I personally love looking at other people's homes for inspiration so I thought it might be fun to share mine with you.

1. Large metal tiled frame with recycled mirror, made by Geoff.
2. Ikea chairs spray painted white.
3. I screen printed and hand-dyed this runner in my No.03 pattern.

1. Screen printed and handmade pennants. By me.
2. "The Mocking of Christ" by my brother, German.
3. Handmade pillows. By me.
(I got the idea from a decor book to cover an ugly couch with fabric. Much better than navy leather any day.)
4. My favorite piece so far: Geoff and I designed this coffee table/ bench with heavy metal legs. My father cut and made the metal leg frame, while Geoff stained and finished the pine table top.
5. Geoff's first wood work project - 3 individual pine shadow boxes.

You can barely tell, but I pushed the 3 boxes together to make shift a side table.

1. Original bird drawing by German.

(Expedit Ikea bookshelf sits over top of a vent. Geoff made and painted the block legs the shelf sits on to allow air circulation.)

1. Original painting by German. (Love this one.)

Hope you enjoyed the tour. : )

::: Nathalie

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Back to work I go!

Got back from visiting family in Miami last week. I miss everyone and the weather like crazy. What I would do to hang by the pool right now.

In the meanwhile, this is what I was up to today. Loading new items on etsy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Messy Mess

The current state of my studio is a MESS. I have only an hour to clean since I have to start packing for MIAMI! I'll be leaving tomorrow morning for a two week getaway to spend sometime with my grandmother. I can hardly wait!

::: Nathalie

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Indian Florals & Hemp Linens

I just uploaded a new tea towel onto etsy. The pattern is inspired by Indian design.

I've been meaning to do a few more sketches based on my studies, but sometimes it seems impossible to find the time to sit down and draw. Until then, I hope you all like this.

::: Nathalie

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thanks Uppercase!

In the mail today was Uppercase #9, always a treat, but this issue is just a little more special for me.

Thanks Janine. You made my week!

: )


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Printing In My Home Studio

After taking a textile printing course, and reading numerous books, I finally set up my home printing studio. Through some minor trial and error, I finally devised a system where I know exactly how long to shoot (burn) my screens for the perfect print.

Since the screen is so big, I'm using clamps to keep it in place while I print my tea towel. Typically Geoff or Diana help me with multiple registered prints.

I'm really happy with the end results - an eclectic print with serene colours that would match just about any table setting. These tea towels will be available on the shop soon, but the one pictured here, is mine to keep. : )

::: Nathalie

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Really Spring!

Geoff started a spring tradition last year - growing our own flowers. We started 3 weeks ago and our plants are already looking happy and healthy. I can't remember what we're growing - morning glory and something else... Regardless, it's fun watching them grow.

Happy Birthday Grace!

Spring also means birthdays galore- husband, family, friends and Diana's mum's birthday. I baked her 2 (!) carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting - her favourite. Of course, I couldn't resist baking one for keeps. The last cake came out of the oven at 8pm last night and half is already gone.

My favourite carrot cake recipe is from Canadian Living and is aptly named Canada's Best Carrot Cake. It contains crushed pineapple, which gives the cake a soft and moist texture. Added bonus, your home will smell really yummy, like carrot spice goodness!

I recommend CL's recipe to the one's I made last year (from Martha) any day. Martha's were too greasy and gave me a bit of a stomach ache. Ick.

Happy baking!

::: Nathalie

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inspired Florals and Geometrics

I've been super busy and super tired lately. In a nutshell, this is what I've been up to:

All zippered pouches of all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns can be found on the shop.

More updates to come soon including my shopping at the One of A Kind Spring Show and booth pics from SpeakEasy.

Goodnight all.
::: Nathalie

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Event: SpeakEasy Spring Craft Show

Remember to stop by the Gladstone Hotel later today for the SpeakEasy Craft Show. Hours, 7pm-11pm. Diana and I will both be there selling our our wares so come by and say hi!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Zippered Elephants on Etsy

Elephant pouches of all colours and sizes on our etsy shop. These will also be available at the SpeakEasy Spring Craft Show next Thursday. Make sure you stop by and say hi!

::: Nathalie

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Recipe: Ravioli Lasagna with Sausage & Mushrooms

Pre-dinner drinks: trying to calm Diana's neurotic tendencies...
4 parts dry sec (or vermouth), 1 part creme de cassis.

My over exposed lasagna shot. The setting sun was super bright.

Dinner at my house yesterday - Diana made my day when she told me I was her favorite cook ever! Thanks bff!

I made ravioli lasagna with sausage and mushrooms (from Chatelaine). The first time I made this recipe I stuck to the directions exactly. It was really good, but a bit heavy on the sauce.

This time, I varied the recipe (since I didn't have crushed tomatoes in my cupboard). I mixed small can of tomato paste with a can of diced tomatoes (796mL) and I got a much lighter, and still super-tasty tomato sauce. Last minute, I threw spinach leaves into the lasagna toss to add colour to the dish.

Here's another variation for the cheese topping. I didn't have mozzarella, so Diana helped me by shredding cheddar and topped if off with some asiago.

Tip: In my house it's just Geoff and I so making a 9 x 13 dish of pasta is too much food for us. I split the lasagna into 3 dishes - one for dinner that night, a little one for my parents, and a portion that I froze for another day's dinner.

This is my favorite kind of recipe - easy & super tasty and relatively healthy. For a vegetarian option - just delete the sausage. Happy cooking. : )

::: Nathalie

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Etsy: Vibrant Colours with A Hint of Silver

My latest esty treasury: Vibrant Colours with A Hint of Silver.

I love the Etsy community for being able to buy directly from so many talented artists around the world (who we might not have a chance to know otherwise).

Be sure to click on the treasury link to find out about these beautiful works of art. : )

::: Nathalie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recipe: Double Chocolate Cookies

I love chocolate so naturally one of my favorite cookies are Martha Stewart's Double Chocolate Cookies. Straight out of the oven, the warm cookies ooze hot chocolate chips as you bite into them.

I prefer to eat them cooled, when the chocolate chips are solidified and the rest of the cookie is soft. I have them with a cup of hot orange pekoe tea (clear thank you), which is absolute perfection.

Instead of chunks of milk chocolate, I lazily threw in chocolate chips. And, instead of making over-sized cookies, as suggested, I made them a standard cookie size, using my OXO cookie dough scoop. I ended up with over 4 dozen cookies, perfect for sharing.

Recipe for Double Chocolate Cookies are found here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Snowy Spring & Event Meetings

Late this morning: spring in Oakville, Ontario. Please go away snow.

Last night, pre-snow, Diana and I met about the table layout for our upcoming event - the SpeakEasy Spring Craft Show, held April 7th at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto.

(Sorry about the bad pics. We took them with a camcorder...)
Diana thinking. (Or is she bored?)

Blurry me.

There's now a couch in my bedroom and it's brilliant!

Diana bonding with our linens.

Until next time...

::: Nathalie
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