Friday, May 21, 2010

{Fabric Friday} From an Old Chocolate Factory in London...

Another new klt:fabric stash is ready to be shared. I just received my new order of hand printed fabrics from Helen Rawlinson and they are just as I had hoped they would be, bright, graphic, bold, and gorgeous. Helen has a studio in an old Chocolate Factory in London where she creates and prints beautiful textiles. I was lucky enough to have stumbled upon Helen's work this last fall over at papernstitch

I love these little peeks into Helen's studio. You can find this picture along with a great interview here. Helen is particularly known for her lamp shades and Sayer is lucky enough to enjoy one them in his room (which are quite tricky to photograph by the way).

Helen is a mom as well as an artist which may be another reason that I love to make things with her fabrics. She is very aware of child safety laws and prints with same non-toxic inks that are used in England's elementary schools. Creatively collaborating is something that I truly enjoy and I feel by making things with Helen's fabrics, I get to do just that. Here are some of my favorite Helen/Kristin plushies.

I can't wait to get started with my new idea for these fabrics. Receiving them this week was  exciting. So, stay tuned for more creations inspired by the momma in London who makes beautiful things in an old chocolate factory.  Happy Fabric Friday!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

{Tagging Game #8} I have been tagged...

I woke up this morning to find that I had been tagged! Thanks to Helen, one of my favorite textile designers, for adding me to her tag list. This will be fun! Sort of funny timing really, because I just received my lovely order of fabrics from her and was planning on writing about them for my Fabric Friday post, so stay tuned for more about her beautiful work tomorrow. I just loved the photo that Helen posted on her blog of her son Stanley, under a blur of handmade butterflies (on her birthday). 

My computer is a mess of photo folders- I don't do the best job burning and removing them from the desktop. So I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be my 8th picture in my 8th folder. It is a collage that I made of Sayer (last fall) that makes me smile. I made him a slug lovey plush that has become his best friend, sort of his "go to" pal. He calls it his "Conk" (which used to be Gunk) and it goes EVERYWHERE with him. It has been washed over 100 times at least. I took all of these photos right before his nighttime story and this was the series of events that took place with Conk's antennae. I can't even describe, in words, how good it feels that Sayer loves something that I made him. He is sort of my tester for klt:works and this little slug plushie has been one of my favorite things to make. Ironically, I made a Gunk with Helen's fabric too. 

It was really fun to look at old photos. Helen said it best when she mentioned that she was struck by how quickly her little boy was growing.  I had that same feeling. 

So, here are the rules:
The Tag game goes as follows:
Go to the 8th folder in which you store your photos
Select the 8th photo
Post it to your blog and tell the story behind it.
After following the above instructions, you are ‘supposed’ to tag 8 other bloggers.
Here is my list of bloggers that I want to invite to play. However, don't feel any pressure from me. I know you are all busy! Just join in if the spirit moves you. 

Have Fun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

{Everyday Inspiration} Nostalgic Palettes

Anyone that knows me well, can tell you that I am a HUGE Muppet Show Fan. Actually, I can broaden that a bit by saying that I adore all puppets. My dream job has always been to work for the Muppet Show. Sayer had a large bin of puppets and the whole vintage collection of the Muppet Show on dvd before he was even born. So, it is no surprise to say that there are elements of my favorite Jim Henson characters in the klt:works plush that I make today. Kermit, Fozzie, & Big Bird are top characters on my list & also serve as my biggest color inspiration. 

I became ultra aware of this when Sayer and I started watching Sesame Street together in the mornings. I remember loving Big Bird when I was young, but as an adult I was struck by how happy the yellow, hot pinks, oranges, and reds made me feel. We also started really getting into vintage Muppet Show episodes at this time and I started sketching and making notes everytime I watched it. I have always loved the palette of the show. The velvet curtains have been an image that has popped up in my art for years. But when I saw Fozzie's polka dot bow, I realized that I really wanted to make a few plush that incorporated all of these things that I loved as a kid. So, I made the "Joy Birdie" plush with the idea of Big Bird's colors and Fozzie's bow. This plush makes me just as happy as Big Bird does, so I think it worked.

Oh, and then there is Kermit. He is my ALL time favorite. When I went to NYC for graduate school, I didn't know anyone, hadn't lived in a city before and was a little overwhelmed by the experience right off the bat. The first time my mom came to visit me, we went to FAO Schwarz and she bought me a Kermit puppet to keep me company (I believe she brought me some pepper spray that trip too). Sayer now has this puppet and brings it out every time we watch the Muppet Show together.  I love Kermit's colors as well. The colors inside of his mouth against that great, green body is wonderful and I guess a little comforting to me. Here is my "Dottie Slug" that I made with Kermit and a little bit of Fozzie's bow again, as inspiration. 

I could go on and on with examples of how these childhood characters inspire me daily, but these two are my favorites and the most deliberate. I just read this awesome post over at Modern Kiddo this week about the Muppets and so it was on the top of my brain. I thought it would be a nice time to share this with you. If you are a Jim Henson fan, drop on over to Modern Kiddo - they are fans too, along with design & vintage lovin' mommas!

What sort of childhood memories inspire you in your daily creating? 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

{Studio Glimpse} A random thought...

Every now and then I get an itch to give myself a quick, creative challenge. Being that this is my virtual sketchbook, I thought I would share my latest artistic hurdle. I have tried twice now to draw my studio interior in thread- (by free-motion sewing) which has proven to be quite a challenge indeed. I just needed a break from my klt:projects for a minute and it seemed like an interesting thing to do. What I can't really determine is, whether or not my last few tries have served my purpose, or do I keep trying until I get something I like? I guess for now, I will give myself a little drawing times in between filling orders. Somewhere between the batch of slugs, parliament of owls, & mobile plushies, I may just have a creative breakthrough. Or... I may come up with a completely different idea to try. Just wanted to spice things up in the studio a bit. What do you do when you need a creative break?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

{Music Monday} A little bit of sunshine...

"She & Him make music for an eternal springtime, when the temperature is warm enough to go riding with the top (or at least the windows) rolled down and the radio turned up. They occupy an alternate universe where the saddest of songs feel as warm as sun showers; the rain may be coming down, but somewhere nearby, everything looks bright." 

After reading the description of the music of She & Him on their website, it made complete sense to me why it has been dominating my studio ipod lately. I have been loving their new release, "Volume Two" that came out a few weeks ago. While "Volume One" got a lot of air time in it's day, I am enjoying this new album even more. (And as a little side note: She & Him radio on Pandora is awesome too.) The story of how Zooey Deschanel & Matt Ward formed, "She & Him", is pretty cool- unassuming, and just all about the music. Which is a little surprising when the "she" in the duo, is most known for her acting chops- which I suppose, only makes the videos that much more entertaining...

Safe to say, I will be working to sounds of She & Him in my studio for quite awhile. This second album shows that the duo is here to stay. So roll down your windows, turn up the music, and (hopefully) enjoy some sun showers. Happy Music Monday! Do you have a favorite new release that you are listening to lately?


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