Tuesday, January 5, 2016

backyard studio photo shoot

Hi there! It's been a hot minute since I actually sat down to write a proper blog post.
 This photo shoot featuring my backyard studio taken by the very sweet and talented Chelsea Laine Francis actually happened a few months ago but I haven't had a free moment to share it with anyone.... so here it is in all it's glory and oh yeah, I have long hair!!


I hope you enjoyed my little studio tour and a glimpse into my work space and life as a crochet taxidermist. Some of these images may sneak into my upcoming book that I've been working on. Look for it to drop August, 2016!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

You sweeten my day

Oh hi there! Just a little update while I'm busy working away crocheting during this Holiday....
I chopped off eleven inches of my hair and I'm half way to platinum! It's quite a shock but I'm so happy with it and it's certainly way easier to manage and shaves off about an hour of prep time when I need to get ready to go out. For years I've had long locks and it's been a comfort and a place to hid through all the rough times. After cutting it I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my chest... it was quite cathartic really. No more hiding. I'll be back to blogging regularly after the Holidays and after I finish up with my crochet book coming up here in January. I have a few more pieces to crochet and a photo shoot in MA!! Storey is flying me out to meet the whole team that has been working so hard on my upcoming book and I'm so thrilled to meet everyone. More on that later. Happy Holiday's everyone!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Holiday gift guide

I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this amazing holiday gift guide put together by non other than the talented Chelsea Laine Francis whom I adore! Not only is she the sweetest and kindest of persons but she is also an amazing photographer. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working directly with Chelsea who came to my home and photographed me in my humble backyard studio. I was so delighted to see my images, one of which is going to be my portrait for my "artist bio" in my upcoming book due out August of 2016! I can not wait to share my beautiful session with you all! So of course it was a no brainer when Chlesea asked me to be a part of her wonderful gift guide for this holiday season. Um... yes please! There are some amazing artists and makers featured in this gift guide and I'm so proud to have my little jellyfish sitting next to each and every one of them.  

Items featured here for kiddos:  
 1) an 'ice cream swirl' notebook by Denik for doodles and dreams.

2) a letter writing kit by P.S. Paper Shoppe
3) a super cool beanie that provides jobs, education and mentorship from Krochet Kids intl. 
4) t-shirts that help kids imitate the best of the best by Wee Rascals.

5) the crochet taxidermy head of a jellyfish by Nothing But a Pigeon

To check out the full feature of this "Gifting Good Guide" hop on over to Chelsea's blog and get all the details. A big thank you to Chelsea and to all the fabulous makers featured in this beautiful spread! I am truly blessed to know many of them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The paper + craft pantry

It's rare to come across a kindred spirit nowadays. That's why when I met Pei of p.s. Paper Shoppe I knew we would become great pals. It wasn't until Pei moved from Houston to Austin that our friendship truly blossomed and now I'm proud to call her a close friend. I'm so honored to write a post about my dear friend that is making her dream became a reality by opening up her very own stationery shop and workspace this weekend to all of Austin! Without further ado, here are my interview questions that Pei so thoughtfully answered.

Q: For those readers that don’t know you personally… you were originally a dance major and lived in Houston. When and what made you decide to start your own stationery business while living there? Was it a dream that you always had in the back of your mind?

A: I have always been a paper lover and have always appreciated really great, quality and unique stationery. It started out as silly little doodles on post-it notes that I decided to turn into stationery so I could share them with friends and family. It was a huge learning curve since I am a self-proclaimed "analog" kinda gal. With a lot of trial and error, I taught myself the basics of Illustrator and In-Design so I could turn my little doodles into paper goods that I could share with others. 

If you would have asked me a few years ago if I thought I would ever be a small business owner, I would probably laugh and say you were crazy! All I knew from the beginning was that I loved designing and creating things that would be be accessible to everyone. 

Q: You later decided to “take the plunge” and move from Houston to Austin. What made you decide to make that change? Was it business related?

A: I definitely consider Texas my home, after having lived here for over 16 years, but I have enjoyed traveling between Texas cities. Houston was home for a while because it was where my family lived when we moved to Texas but I spent many weekends in Austin. I've always loved Austin and the creative community here, so when I was debating a change of scenery, it was a no brainer! 

Q: About how long after moving to Austin did you decide to open your own stationery/workshop. Is this a dream that you’ve had for some time now? How did the idea start and develop?

A: Earlier this year I spent a lot of time thinking about what direction I wanted my small business to grow in. After realizing that my passion and love of my business was primarily directed to the other small businesses I had gotten to know through the years. I absolutely loved seeing other small business owners grow, gain momentum, and flourish. I wanted to create a space that would be inclusive and supportive! 

Q: Tell us about your shop "Paper + Craft Pantry". I know your space is one part local paper shop & one part collaborative workshop which is a unique idea.

A: The Paper + Craft Pantry came from combining two of my favorite things! I wanted to be committed to showcasing stationery from independently owned businesses from all over the United States and beyond while also having a space where local small business owners could come share their talent with the community. 

Q: What types of crafty and fun workshops do you have planned for Austin?

A: My goal for the workshop calendar is to be sure to offer a variety of workshops so that anyone wanting to learn or create would be able to find one that excited them. From the more DIY and crafty workshops like calligraphy or stitching, we also have workshops for small business owners that would empower them to grow their businesses. 

Q: What are some of the difficulties that you’ve faced while taking on this huge venture to open your own business? What are some of they joys that you have also encountered along the way?

A: It's hard. Plain and simple! Behind the social media photos, are long hours and to be honest, some tears. I believe so much in this business and in what I am trying to create here in Austin that it can be extremely overwhelming when things don't go exactly according to plan. 

Owning a small business seems like fun, where you get to work form home and have a flexible schedule etc. But I don't think enough small business owners get credit for all that they do! True, most of us don't work a 9-5 job, because most of our workdays are probably 12-18 hr days. Yes, we have a flexible schedule! But that also means that we work through most weekends and don't have a day "off". 

When it comes down to it, I think it is a matter of how bad you want it and how hard you are willing to work. The best part of all of this is the folks I have met along the way. The go-getters, the movers and shakers in this amazing town I call home, who have rallied behind me. The ones who brighten my day by simply believing in me. The ones who believe in my goals with The Paper + Craft Pantry. And also to the fellow small businesses who want to be a part of what I am creating! 

Q: For people who are reading this and are trying to pursue their own business ventures and dreams, what’s some good advice that you could give to them? What are some words of wisdom that have helped you out along the way?

A: Find something you love, something that you are willing to give 110% every. single. day. 

You'll have good days and bad days, good events and bad events, the most important thing is taking something positive from every experience you encounter. Also, finding time for yourself, even if it is just for fifteen minutes a day! 

Interview by Taylor Hart and the lovely Photography by Chelsea Laine Frances

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Crochet strawberry... a free patttern

Howdy folks! I've been gone on vacation for awhile but I'm back with a very deliciously cute strawberry pattern for you. It's fast and fun and makes the perfect little gift for someone you love.

Chain 2. 2sc into the 2nd chain from the hook.
Row1. 2sc in each sc all around. = 12sc. Pull magic circle closed tight so there is no hole.

Row 2-3. 1sc in each 12sc all around. 
Row 4. * 1sc in the 1st sc, 2sc in the 2nd*. = 18sc.
Row 5. *1sc in each sc all around*. = 18sc.

Row 6. *1sc in the 1st 2sc, 2sc in the 3rd.* = 24sc.
Row 7. 1sc in each sc all around. = 24sc.

Now it's time to add the seeds to your little berry. You can use white, yellow or even black yarn for this... feel free to experiment! All you'll need is a tapestry needle and a long piece of string of your choice color of yarn. Sew seed shapes in and out like you are sewing little quarter inch stitches. Repeat until you have your desired look.

Row 8. *1sc in the 1st 2sc, dec into the next st.* Repeat. = 18sc. 
Stuff almost all the way to the top.
Row 9. * 1sc into the 1st sc, dec into the next st.* Repeat. = 12sc.
Row 10. * 1sc in the 1st sc, dec in the next sc.* Repeat. = 8sc.
Stuff the rest of the way.
Row 11. Skip every other sc, sl st in last st pulling through a small tail of yarn. Cut yarn and weave in the loose end. Now it's time to work on our leafy part of the strawberry. 

Chain 2, 6 sc into the 2nd chain from the hook. Pull tight.
Row 1. 2sc in each sc all around. = 12sc.
Row 2. *3dc into the 1st sc, sl st into the 2nd sc*. Repeat.
Sl st in the last sc pulling through a long (12 inch) tail of yarn. Cut excess yarn. 
Now it's time to sew your green little leaf onto your strawberry!!

Place the leafy part on the end of your strawberry (as seen above). Using your tapestry needle weave the long piece of yarn in and out of your strawberry making sure to keep it as close to the green leafy part as possible... this will make it look more neat and clean. After you have finished sl st in the last st and cut yarn leaving a little tail to weave back into the leaf. Voila!

You should have a cute little finished strawberry to put on your shelf or give to someone you adore!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall vibes...

Oh hi there! I've been struggling to find time to blog and actually post about something meaningful. I have so much to say but not nearly enough hours in the day to do all the things I love doing 
(blogging being one of them). The last week has been spending time catching up with all my crochet projects for stores, wholesale orders and Etsy orders. Not to mention crocheting taxi heads to send off to be photographed for my upcoming book! Eeeeeep! I'm also trying to work on taxi heads for the four shows that I'll be participating in this Holiday Season. I'm so excited that I've gotten into all of the ones that I applied for. It's going to be a lot of work but I love that I'm a "Girl Boss" now and get to decided how I run my own show.... literally. 

This is a little outfit that I wore to my dear friend Becky of The Pink Samurai's Baby Shower. I was honored to be a part of her baby experience and am also delighted to help decorate her Dino themed Nursery. (I crocheted her a Triceratops Dinosaur head). It was a fun night and I aslo got to catch up with some crafty peeps that I hadn't seen in awhile.

I'm really looking forward to spending some QT with the Husbear coming up here mid October when we take a trip to Port Aransas. We booked a cute little love shack through airbnb. It's tiny but we will basically be spending the majority of our time at the beach anyhow... we just need a place to rest our heads at night. 

In other news, I'm hoping to buy some cute pirate accessories for my Halloween costume tonight with my BFF Christopher. I'm going the "cheap route" and am building a costume around a teeny weeny black skirt I own. I figure that I already own black boots and a red bandanna so voila! Instant pirate costume. I just need a few more pieces and it will be complete. 

Besides Halloween and vacation things I've been trying to get back into my daily workout routine now that my sister and brother in law have left. Did I mention we had house guests for a week? It was fun but I neglected my regular diet and workout regime and it basically threw my whole schedule off. It's totally okay to indulge every now and then, and I totally let myself.... but getting back on track seems so hard now, especially since the days are getting shorter and it's darker in the mornings now.

I have a few small goals planned for this October if I can find some free time I'd love to host a clothing swap and maybe have a small dinner party as well. I'm trying to be more involved and more social but I find it hard to find time. I swear there are not enough hours in the day....

On that note, I better take off to go on my daily run. Have a great week kittens!

bre pea.