Friday, April 9, 2010

Fabric Friday

Wow, how to start this Fabric Friday post, except by saying that I am oozing with excitement and inspiration. I had decided earlier this week to feature the fabrics of Denyse Schmidt. She is a designer that has been creating beautiful quilting fabrics for a while now. I have used a number of fabrics from all of her collections from the beginning of klt:works. She just recently came out with a new collection and it seemed fitting to chat about her. However, before I get to all of that, I need to tell you about about a lovely creative coincidence that changed my slant a bit. 

Yesterday, I got my absolute favorite magazine in the mail called Uppercase. I have mentioned it before in an earlier post (Inspiring Prints: what makes me smile) because I truly love everything about it. The magazine comes in its own cardboard envelope and the anticipation of its arrival starts weeks prior to receiving it- it is that special. So, I frantically opened the enveloped and started flipping through the pages (even the ink smells great). My eyes immediately fell on an article written by Karyn Valino  called, "perfectly pattterned careers: textile design".  This article focuses on the "small independent creatives" redefining the world of textile design. Denyse Schmidt was  the first interview, then Lara Cameron (from Ink & Spindle), and Michelle Engel Bencsko (Cloud 9 Fabrics) was the last. My socks were knocked off. It was a gorgeous layout and I admire all of the designers and use their fabrics because of what they stand for. Timing is everything (which is Sayer's phrase of the week) and I hit the inspiration jackpot yesterday.

So, back to the fabric. When I choose fabrics for klt:works, I am very selective. Initially I gravitate towards a textile because of aesthetics, but I research a lot about a designer and their process before I become a loyal fan. Denyse Schmidt caught my interest because of her lovely quilting but it was that she was bringing something fresh and new to the fabric scene that I really appreciated. I find that my style is very modern, but I love nostalgia. I think that is why I respond so strongly to her designs. I also enjoyed reading about her background and that she came from a family of makers. Chris went to Rhode Island School of Design (and went back and taught there a bit after grad school). Both of his parents also went to RISD. So he comes from a family of makers too.  I actually found Denyse's work through an RISD alumni page. Needless to say, I have been loyal to her designs ever since. I used fabrics from her Flea Market Fancy collection, for some of my first Flights of Fancy Mobiles in 2006. When that was all gone and sold out everywhere, I moved on to her Katie JumpRope fabrics. Now I am excited to play around with her new Hope Valley collection. Here is a little peek into my Denyse Schmidt fabric stash (what is left anyway). Pictured: Hope Valley, Katie Jump Rope, Flea Market Fancy (left to right)

I wrote a bit about Ink & Spindle in my first Fabric Friday post because I love that they screen print their fabrics themselves. They are very aware of what being eco-friendly means and they use environmentally conscious inks, fabrics, and  practices in their Australian studio. So, I was not only impressed by their designs, but their philosophy as well.  I became familiar with Cloud9 Fabrics because they use eco-responsible inks and dyes too. Being that I make things for children, I am particularly looking for organic and eco conscious fabric options. You can read about these designers in the 5th Uppercase Magazine. Pictured: My stash: Cloud9 and Ink & Spindle (left to right)

Oh, inspiration is so sweet. After I finish reading the rest of my Uppercase Magazine, I am hoping to dive into my fabric stash. Happy Fabric Friday!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spontaneous Photoshoot

Spontaneous photo shoots happen all of the time around here. Being that klt:works is a small business, everything is pretty much done in house. We have a great little photo booth area that Chris created and it is utilized for all sorts of projects. As no surprise, Sayer is my star model for klt:works. He is has been extremely well documented in his 2+ years. The days of propping him up and making goofy faces at him in order to get a good picture, are gone (although that doesn't mean I don't still try). Getting a picture of an adventurous toddler is a whole different game. It becomes a family activity- a fly by the seat of our pants adventure. Forget about having any preconceived ideas about what the photos will look like, or what story they will tell. The trick is being able to capture the magic, let go a little, and remember to have fun.

Last night I needed a few photos taken of some new klt:tees and Sayer was eager to "help". He was giddy with excitement, not because he likes to get his picture taken, but because he loves to explore a room that he doesn't get to play in very often.  He is a definite goofball who enjoys being the center of attention (the jury is still out as to where he gets that characteristic). After about 200 photos, we decided to end all of the fun, even though Sayer wanted more. I thought I would share a little glimpse into the process of getting just a couple pictures. 

We were all smiles and giggles at the beginning of the shoot. It looked like it was going to be a piece of cake. Yes, there were a few breaks to play with cars, but changing tees multiple times can be exhausting. Oh, and the discovery of a jar with a red lid did hold us up just a bit. But, as you can imagine, it was really exciting. The best part of the whole process, for me, is sitting at the computer with Sayer on my lap, and browsing through all of the photos. I really do think he has a sense of pride knowing that he is so much a part of klt:works. Or, maybe that is just the mom in me talking. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

{Music Monday} Dipping into kiddo's playlist...

I discovered the band, They Might be Giants , in college (in the late 80's early 90's- not to date myself or anything). They were an art department staple, clearly because of their cleaver lyrics and visual language. Their early cds still come to the surface of my music library from time to time and always provoke laughing, loud singing, and funky movements.

When I became pregnant with Sayer, one of the first things I bought (even before the car seat & crib) was a They Might Be Giants cd for children called No. I remember listening to it, rubbing my large belly, and wondering if Sayer would think it was as wonderful and funny as I did. I was so pleased to learn that TMBG was making smart music for kids. I suppose that is part of being the age that I am- the musicians that I like had kids and have been redefining their interests as artists. The 2009 release of, Here Comes Science, was immediately purchased and shared with my family as well. And not surprising, this album came with some pretty awesome music videos that are just as inspiring as the music. My absolute favorite is, Electric Car. I find that I keep coming back to it, both for my enjoyment and Sayer's. So, for Music Monday, I thought I would dip into Sayer's playlist. Enjoy!

Now it wouldn't be a true sketchbook if I didn't show the part that I am even more interested in, the making of the video. Here is the video showing  Ru Kuwahata, Max Porter and the whole Tiny Inventions team assembling the visuals for the video to They Might Be Giants' Electric Car. Happy Music Monday!


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