December 9, 2012

Studio Sale

Saturday, December 15
10a to 4p
[address removed]

IMPORTANT: My studio is in a gated neighborhood called [removed]. Please park outside and walk in (loads of street parking!). The “STUDIO SALE” sign, kitty-corner from the gate, will be visible when you’re standing there. At the keypad, press #022 and I will buzz you in. This will be posted on the keypad too.

My studio will be open for holiday gift shopping. You will find pillows filled with French lavender, and made in vintage and new Chinese brocades, Japanese kimono and obi, and hand-dyed woolens and silk. Bookstrings embellished with vintage Peking glass beads and kingfisher feathers, kimono silk rag baskets, collaged happy houses, and best of all, reworked dolls from the 1940s. Adorn your wine bottle gifts with sets of tiny hats and scarfs; these come in packages of five.

Joining me are two friends:

Anita Chan of Aniwares has animal-themed AniHats, AniFloppyHats and AniBlankets for children. They’re all clever and handmade one at a time by Anita. Visit her website for photos and send an email if you see something you want held just for you.

Nancy Tyrell of NacyAnneQuiltworks makes brilliant, modern quilts. All the cutting and sewing is done by Nancy using 100% quilting cottons and machine-quilted on her long arm machine. I love her sense of color and vibrant combinations. See for yourself this Saturday or visit her online shop.

We hope to see you! If you are unable to attend, all items are available by mail order. Please let us know and we’re happy to accommodate.

December 7, 2012

Carmel Valley Artists

Haven't begun your holiday shopping yet? I will be at this show on Saturday, December 8, from 9:30a to 3:30p hawking my wares: Lavender pillows in vintage Asian silks, bookstrings with Peking glass beads, altered dolls, happy houses, kimono silk rag baskets and purse hooks.

Come see me, and 36 other artists, at Carmel Valley Artists Show & Sale. Mimosas and appetizers will be served too.

I went a little crazy knitting tiny hats and scarfs. Dress up your bottles before presenting them to friends. These are available by post too -- just send me an email at laurensng (at) abc-rags (dot) com.

November 16, 2012

An Artist's Work is Never Done

Last weekend my pal Anita and I went to the Olivenhain Crafts Fair. This "Slave" pillowcase, sold by a dealer of vintage linens, was in her $1 bin. Surely it was part of a pair... It will make a cute apron.

Are you on my mailing list for local show notices? By now you should have received this season's schedule. If not, let me know and I'll add you. Come for a hello and a hug! I hope to see you at one of my events on the right sidebar.

November 5, 2012

Rosie Gets My Humor

This is a very blurry photo of the very beautiful Rosie. Rosie came to my booth on Sunday at Temple Emanu-El's Holiday Bazaar. She saw my magnets with Shakespeare's quotes. When she saw the set of colorful words he used for loose women (if you get my drift) that I'd snipped and collaged from several plays, she knew right away they were going home with her. I LOVE IT when someone gets my humor! Thank you, Rosie, for visiting me this weekend.

Another ideal customer was Pauline, the retired English teacher who's specialty was Shakespeare for high school students. 41 vendors filled this beautiful building -- the room was energetic and lively, and I had a great time meeting everyone who stopped by to admire my dolls, magnets, lavender pillows, and wine bottle hats/scarves.

If you didn't have time to come by, check the sidebar (right side) for two other shows I'm doing this season. I may even do a Studio Sale like I did last year. If you're on my mailing list (email me!), you will get an email.

November 2, 2012

Lest You Think Me Lazy

If you think I've been slumming, you'd be partially correct. It's been difficult to get going after summer ended, but I've got a show to do on Sunday -- are you with me?! Check sidebar for details!

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is chock-full of wonderful lines. The lines have made their way into our minds, hearts and souls, and into my magnets as well. Bits of text, acrylic paint, and stitches, all under a protective seal. These will be for sale in my little booth, ten magnets for $15. Where else could you get one-of-a-kind masterpieces for this happy price?

Shop local, shop handmade, and help support independent artists. Thank you.

September 3, 2012

String Bookmarks

Ten bookmarks, made from vintage Peking glass with kingfisher feathers, various beads and string... Eventually they will be posted in my ArtFire shop at $15 to $18 each, depending upon materials.

August 26, 2012

Peking Glass and Kingfisher Feathers

What an heady combination! Several years ago I scored this cache of old stock beads which were decorated with tiny snips of bright blue Kingfisher feathers. The mix of old metal, glass and feathers is music to my eyes, singing of old Chinese jewelry. After decades in storage, the feathers are falling off, so I am regluing and sealing them for protection. String bookmarks are in the making. Stay tuned for a photos of the finished work.

August 16, 2012


Paint samples are a shame to toss. I made gift tags with them using glue, ribbon and card stock. Small punched holes allow for attaching to gift bags with fishing line. In another series of the same, instead of holes, I used photo corners to hold them to the front of a wrapped box.

August 3, 2012

Completion Success

I'm in a creative slump again. Picking myself up by the bootstraps, an unfinished project called out, and mostly bc it's been sitting for ages.

I started this many years ago. It's a sign for our front door to allow friends into our home during parties. The blue background used to be a hanging file folder. This is a collage of fabric, card stock, my secret writing, machine embroidered text, and acrylic paint.

Hmm, what's next?

May 12, 2012

It was only a dream

I drove myself to the Talmadge Art Show and arrived 90 minutes before the show was to open. I had plenty of time to set up my booth. I stopped the car to find my space in the event room. When I came out to begin unloading, my car was not where I left it. Had I forgotten where I parked? I walked up and down the street and eventually walked the side streets too. The car couldn't have been stolen, as the keys were in my pocket. Did I lock it? Would my inventory and display materials be gone when I found my car? The more I walked, the longer the blocks became. I couldn't find my car and, surely, there were only 15 minutes left before the show would be open to the public. I imagined Sharon, the producer, being upset with me for being unprepared.

What a relief to wake up.

May 4, 2012

Happy Houses at Talmadge Art Show

I've been working on something new which I call Happy Houses. The exteriors are bright and happy, just like the insides. When you're feeling especially upbeat and positive, stash a little bit of happiness inside for a rainy day. With that, happiness is always accessible, just in case you need to make a withdrawal. Happy Houses are about 6" x 6" x 12".

What are you doing this Sunday? Please join me at the Talmadge Art Show and see the work of 86 artists. Doors open from 10a to 4p on May 6, 2012 at Liberty Station Event Center, 2875 Dewey Road (cross street is Truxton Road), San Diego, California 92106. Come for a hug and a hello, and remember Mother's Day with my selection of lavender-filed pillows in vintage Asian fabrics, kimono silk rag baskets, earrings in semi-precious stones and Happy Houses.

April 14, 2012

Brocade Selvedge Edges

Spring Cleaning in the sewing room netted a bowl of selvedge edges, mostly vintage brocade from Hong Kong. I'm itching to weave these into new cloth. How would you use it?

April 11, 2012


I don't know what it is about the shape of houses that draws me. All it takes is a square, or a rectangle, with a triangle on top to create one. It's so basic, so childlike, so warm, so cozy... I'm making houses right now. Here is a small detail. I hope to have some for sale at the Talmadge Art Show on May 6, Sunday. Please join me.

March 4, 2012

La-Z-Girl Armchair Caddy

The various types of needlework I do in front of the TV requires organizational help, esp when using pins and needles. How many sharp things I've lost, oh dear, it's a wonder I haven't been stuck! You will recognize this batik from Ryan's Kindle bag. The base of the caddy was quilted. Then I folded fabric to make double-thickness pockets. There wasn't a pattern; I made it up as I went along.

Pure wool roving, meant for use in my Embellisher felting machine, happened to be a good match for the fabric but, never mind, no one knows bc it's tucked inside the pincushion. The pincushion can be removed when not in use by unbuttoning it from the base, like right now when I'm knitting.

The outside pocket is deep enough to hold two skeins of Red Heart yarn. Lately I've been knitting with Red Heart Soft Yarn which comes in smaller skeins than the Super Saver. The pocket stay open with boning sewn inside a casing.

The pleated bottom allows for all the space. Classic quilt binding was the finish of choice. In this case, I sewed it on in two pieces, with the final piece over the pleated bottom.

Maybe you've noticed the Twitter feed in the sidebar. Sometimes it's easier to crank out a few lines of text. Follow me!

March 1, 2012

Laying Low

Activity in my sewing room has been anything but stagnant. This is the time of year to catch up on personal projects before sewing for shows begins again.

A border was added to the small tumblers quilt (37" x 43"). Several small quilts are done now and the procrastinator in me is putting off an attempt to machine quilt them. It's a challenge, but I think I can do it (but not yet!). It may take a while, but once I get in and make the requisite mistakes, it's usually too late to back out, and I have to get it right. How are you with challenges? Do you dive right in or do potential mistakes keep you from the task?

Marimekko cotton from the Crate and Barrel outlet store at $3.95 per yard became an everyday tablecloth. Their bright and happy prints are hard to resist.

My niece Natalie asked for earrings for her best friend. She suggested I copy the pearl pair I made for her. Since I had the tools out, I made Natty another pair with sterling beads stamped with virtues. I chose Self-control and Patience, characteristics that we at any age might find useful. Other new pairs that will go into my online shop have the words Spirit and Hope; Faithful and Goodness; Love and Passion; and Balance and Spirit.

I made new baubles for myself too from potato chip pearls and pink glass. As new favorites, they've been swinging under my lobes everyday.

February 15, 2012

Silk Tumblers Panel

There were so many rules to sewing with silk that I'd forgotten, simple things, such as changing to a brand new, appropriately-sized, sewing machine needle -- I should have called my sewing goddess, Nedra Michalek, for advice first! A lot of seams were unstitched and resewn due to shifting under the presser foot (and oh those bias edges!), but I stayed calm and it's finished now. There are sheers in my stash, also shibori-dyed, to be added for texture. Free-form random organic shapes, raw edges and lots of handsewing are filling my head. This panel measures 20" x 40".

February 10, 2012

Onto the Next Project

The tumblers quilt in the previous post was a blunder. What was I thinking when I decided to leave out the yellow blocks? Blue and red was terribly dull, so the yellow border was cast aside for something else. I donated the tumblers-blunder top to Rosie's Calico Cupboard.

I'm still working with tumbler blocks, only these are smaller at 3" and cut from shibori-dyed silk, and I'm sewing the rows. Silk behaves differently from quilting cotton, to say the very least! Shown here is 1/3 of the wall hanging. The door is closed to keep kitties from chasing their tails on the floor where the blocks are laid out. Sewing silks on a bias edge is challenging to say the least, so I'm giving myself plenty of leeway so I'll stay calm. After a few rows, I started to enjoy the careful work. It's not so tedious after all.

Please note I've added a subscription function to my blog (sidebar, upper right). No more checking for updates because you can follow by email! Have a good weekend.

January 29, 2012

Tumbler 2

This gadget has my mind reeling with possibilities! I put another group of fabrics through the die cutter already. Gosh, do I really have to go to work tomorrow??

You might wonder about the waste fabric, so here is what I ended up with. There may be better ways to layout fabric, so don't take my word for it. If you have useful advice from your Accuquilt Go! machine experiences, please leave a comment here. Thanks!

Tumblers Quilt Top

I bought a new toy and took it out of the box today, an Accuquilt Go! fabric die cutter. Every year I give up quilting, only to pick it up once again and, with this, new ideas are filling my head. The die cutter comes with a die and cutting mat, but I also wanted the 6.5" tumbler die which was an extra cost.

After reading the (simple) instructions, I began cutting at 1:30p and, by 6:30, the quilt top was done. It's small, 34" x 36", but the speed with which I cranked out the tumblers was extraordinary! A few thoughts: Fabric gets wasted, although not a lot; I didn't iron out folds before cutting; two or three layers is my favorite amount to cut; the cutting mat gets pretty chewed up; the cut pieces are exactly the same size and piece together beautifully. This project is also the first top I've made on the Featherweight.

I am coveting the apple core, although it will be hard to decide which one to buy. Tumblers and apple cores will make great backgrounds for art stitching I envision on the surface.

January 24, 2012

Art by Diane

Call me a lucky girl! For my upcoming birthday, my pal Diane made this collage for me. I LOVE IT!! I (highly) recommended the book Taking Flight "to give [Diane's] creative spirit wings," and this was one of the projects. It's polymer clay and acrylic paint on pine board. I'm tickled to death she made this for me. It hangs on my wall near my computer, keeping company with other handmade items. I look at this and see the affection that Diane and I have for each other.

5.5" x 7"

January 13, 2012

Cross-body Kindle Pouch

My nephew Ryan was given a Kindle Touch for Christmas and I thought he needed a proper pouch to carry it to/from his grandparents's house. At the fabric store, he chose this elephant batik and had only one request, "I don't want it to look like a purse" -- an appropriate comment from a boy!

With fusible batting in between two layers of batik, I outline-quilted the elephant on the flap, then stitched diagonally across the rest. French side seams encased the raw edges with a finished look. The pouch is meant to be worn across Ryan's body, so I sewed in nylon webbing with a buckle and made it adjustable for a growing boy. The pouch stays closed over a wooden button with a black hair band because I was too lazy to go to the fabric store for a tiny piece of elastic.

Inside, there is a flat pocket for the USB cable. This elephant was also outline-quilted, but without batting.

The pouch folds closed over the extended top of the main pocket to secure his device. Sure, I could make these to sell, but I won't (long hours, custom fit for various devices, fabric choices won't suit everyone).

January 8, 2012

Christmas on the Brain

These bottle decorations were made by special request for a favored customer and likely in early preparation for her next Christmas. After the holidays, appropriate yarns in proper and classic reds and greens were not as plentiful, however, I found the perfect red. The hats were knitted on circular needles and the icord scarves were knitted on double pointed needles. Usually, I crank out the scarves on a hand knitting mill, but this yarn was too thick for the gadget.

Thanks to this hat and scarf project, I'm on a roll. Now all I want to do is knit more hats. I'm feeling Christmas-y in January!

January 5, 2012

Happy 2012 to You

Happy new year to each and every reader! Thank you for continuing to follow my world. Here's wishing you a year filled with love, creativity and serenity.

For me, it will be another year of working with fabric, my favorite medium. I recently acquired some remnants of hand-dyed silk. These will be used for dolls and lavender-filled pillows. I'm salivating at the thought of playing with these rich colors and textures, slurp!