a new home... a new studio!

ok, after i drooled over my imaginary store-to-be someday, i decided i can at least start small by completely reorganizing and redecorating my studio... which i will get to do anyway since we're moving in the next month or so! i've had so many ideas for this for so long i'm not even sure where to begin, except that one of my big priorities will be getting the loads and loads of fabric i inherited from my mom completely organized (and probably color-coordinated, knowing me) enough to really use it well and easily. she had mountains of fabric, several lifetimes of projects worth, and it seemed to be a constant frustration for her to never quite have them organized enough to really access them easily, according to the projects she needed them for. i can't imagine the factory warehouse of amazing projects she could have cranked out if she had been able to walk in and find exactly what she was looking for right when she needed it and had time to work on it.

SO! that is my goal. in honor of mom. i will make your fabric findable and i will use your fabric.

i have a big white bookcase (also thanks to mom) and i've had something like this in mind, maybe with wire baskets to keep all the different colors together, so that i can pull them off the bookcase like drawers:

i like the old, vintage stole-them-from-my-grandpa's-chickenfarm feel to them, but of course, i might have to spray them with a little polycrilic sealant or something to keep from damaging the fabric in them. i used to work at a little jewelry and craft store that used these in the bathroom to keep extra toilet paper in, and i though they were too cute. then i saw a magazine all about organizing your studio (which i wish i could find now!) and it had a big bookcase with fabric in these on the cover and i thought yep, that's exactly what i'm thinking.

the other thing i've been obsessed with for the longest time (and even more so now that i have several colors of thread from my mom vs. the 2 or 3 pitiful little ones in a jar i had by myself) is one of those wall-hanging boards with pegs for each of the little spools of thread. i found an absolutely gorgeous one at glassbeach's studio that apparently her husband made for her (how cool is that!) and then was lucky enough to find a tutorial at mantua maker that i think is completely simple enough for me actually make:


(*photo also thanks to mantua maker!*)

it's basically a large board (shelf, whatever you have on hand) with nails to make the pegs. and of course, these will have to be color-coordinated as well. i'll probably also end up needing a little something to hold larger rolls of paper in, although i think i'll use a planter instead of a basket for a bit more sturdiness.

ideally, maybe i can find a way to give it a little peacefulness and a relaxing feeling, since i can tend to put myself into crafting frenzies, and possibly some homey charm thanks to paper lanterns and/or twinkly lights! and if you're creative at all, i don't see how you could not get excited twitches when everything is organized just so.

(ps- if you're looking for some studio inspiration, i highly recommend browsing through the craft rooms flickr pool. make sure you have a couple of hours to waste if you do!)


sweet dreams are made of these...

i don't think i've ever done a very good job of hiding the fact that i dream often of owning my own handmade store someday. were money and a permanent place to commit to not issues, this would be the very first thing i would want to do! people talk about a "happy place" that you think of when you're laying in bed at night and can't fall asleep... well, this is mine, my own little shop full of goodness made by two hands.

(this is a location i scouted in downtown wake forest... if by 'scouting' i mean i walked by it, noticed it was available, and said oooh! wouldn't that make an awesome ellebee-studio-in-the-flesh?)

it's incredibly astounding and inspiring at the same time to see and read blogs by ladies who have accomplished this dream, that for me, seems light years away from possibility. i stop by their websites often, read their blogs, and continue to dream of the days that i could hopefully have a shop like this of my own (or live close enough to work part time in theirs!). some of my absolute favorites are:

  • red shoes- catherine has a really beautiful web page for her shop as well, but this is a link to her blog, because i loved reading (and seeing pictures of!) how her shop transformed from just a place with (scary) paint to a colorful wonderland of a shop! my favorites are her knack for transforming cast-off furniture into something amazing with a mere coat of paint, and her numerial applique pillows!

  • edith and edna- i admit i haven't read their blog much, but their shop is a "curated shopping experience" full of handmade lovelies! soulemama (whose work and creative mothering i also admire!) has been known to show some of her quilting work there. i especially love the story of how they chose their shop name... they compared family trees and both had several grandmothers/great-gradmothers/great-aunts etc. with the names of edith and edna.

  • the paper sparrow- already the most lovely shade of ellebee green, how could i not love this shop? i stumbled across kate's blog, ironically enough, by googling myself, and she came up in my search because she linked to my blog from hers. the swirly-bird window decal alone may require an in-person view one of these days!

now granted, i've never physically been to any of these shops. i've never met the owners, and i only feel like i have because they are each willing to share their creative process with the world through their blogs. and i'm so happy they do! maybe it's simply knowing that this shop dream can be done... is being done, and done well by other creative ladies out there, that is so inspiring!


i made a shoe!

you knew i had to do the booties too! these are definitely my new go-to handmade baby gift, super easy and super cute!


i love crocheting!

i've been crocheting off and on since my great grandmother taught me how at the age of nine. it's something i love to do because it's so relaxing, and for the most part, a finished product (depending on the project, of course!) can be accomplished in an hour or two... almost instant gratification, but still with the pleasure and enjoyment of saying look what i made! i'm the type of person that always has something "on the needles" (though that's more of a knitting term since crocheting only takes one at a time, and i haven't been brave enough to try to learn to knit yet). i have so many half-finished crocheting projects that i've attempted to make the proverbial basket full of yarn part of my home... this one, for example, has been sitting by my couch full of a half-finished baby blanket and underneath it, the squares for patchworked couch-snuggling blanket:

because i usually work on it while i'm watching a movie, i just let it live on the end table beside the couch and hope it adds some charm and warmth to the house. at least the blue matches everything else in the room!

so, of course, my crocheting has taken a baby theme recently! i spent a really relaxing saturday afternoon today sitting on my made-up bed (something that rarely is done) just crocheting and letting my mind wander. i started a granny square baby blanket on a car trip to the beach a few weeks ago, similar to the one i made my baby nephew last year, and i decided to do something a little different and just play around with it as i go.

for baby nephew:

half-finished project number three:

(and a skein of pink, just in case! doesn't hurt to have both!)

my one big downfall in improving at all in crocheting is that i'm terrible at following any kind of pattern. i'm much more an explore-as-you-go type person. i'm working on it though... trying to pick out patterns and really work on focusing enough to follow them. i felt very accomplished when i followed not just one, but two patterns to make this super cute little baby hat:

it was the first time i'd used the baby hat pattern, found after a quick google search of "easy crocheted baby hat patterns" and it actually was very quick and easy! the flower i'd done before and is one of my favorites. the hat itself turned out a little smaller than planned (almost preemie to newborn rather than newborn to 3 months as planned with the pattern) because i had to go two hook sizes smaller, since i have a very random selection of hooks from over the years. i also found it's really hard to get a good picture of crochet work!

so in celebration of my 111th day of pregnancy today (yay!) i now have a pink hat and an almost finished blue blanket! just a few more weeks until we can hopefully find out which one we'll need. i think until then i'll go work on some matching pink booties, just in case, of course!


a sale for summer!

my shop at etsy has been active since january 6, 2007... hard to believe! what's amazing is what a little community it is. while that's great for the seller (it's like a really fun quilting bee where you can make funky things and nobody will bash you) I wonder sometimes if it's not really confusing for a shopper who is just stopping by to look or because they know the owner of the shop or was given a business card, etc. the site does seem to have it's own language sometimes:

- "convo" is the conversation button you click to send a message to a seller
- "pif" is a pay-it-forward where you list something for nearly free in hopes someone else will list something as well and keep the chain going
- "destash" is when you've listed some of your supplies overstock for sale to clear it out

... you get the idea. well, in that same vein, a new phrase/concept has been coined: the yart sale. this is an etsy-wide kick-off of summer and father's day sale, spanning from june 11th to the 20th. my shop has been in a bit of a doldrum due to the lack of time i've had to devote to it recently (pregnant... new job... moving...) so i thought this would be a fun way to welcome in the summer!


all of my "yart sale" items are freshly updated in their own little section... i hope you'll check it out when you get the chance! you'll see some newer items and some old favorites... help make room for all the new lovelies to debut!

happy shopping!


of course...

i'm still a believer that the most beautiful graphic quality of a home still has to be a sleek little black puppy:
now that's great design... those sweet little feet and big soulful eyes have got the little black dress beat every time!


design inspiration.

“it’s rare to have the power to change a mood. great design can.”

there's nothing like a wander through the blogvine to open your eyes to great design, and thereby, great inspiration! some may call it the blogosphere, or blogweb, i prefer blogvine as in "i heard it through the blogvine"- when you click on one blog, which links to another, which links to another, and then suddenly your screen is full of fabulous things you've never seen before and have no idea how you found.

a great post about elevating the mundane things in your home to make them more lovely, such as this awesome idea... decoupaging lovely paper onto the undersides of your stair treads in a lonely little corner that needs some loveliness:

i have (as i'm sure many of us do) great illusions of wanting my
home to truly reflect me and my family, in it's colors, furnishings,
and design, and a lot of times i forget that uniqueness can be
accomplished with something really simple, like a little decoupage.
frequently too, ideas all too often fall into the black hole of "i can
do that myself" and never quite get done.another thing i came across is a site of amazingly ingenious ideas
to make your business cards individualized and unique. one of my
favorites is this divorce lawyer whose card is perforated to purposely
split in two, so that both parties can have the information... no
sharing necessary! i love anything that plays on a stereotype.


the very "green" idea of resuable grocery bags seems to be gaining in popularity! while i really like the idea in theory, i usually either forget to bring them with me, and buy too many groceries to fit in just one or two. my favorite so far is one that, ironically, i picked up on a whim in the checkout line at my usual grocery store... it was one of those $2 off if you have a store card. i googled the brand name, reisenthel, and found out they have lots of cool stuff! i love how tiny and tightly it folds up into its little zippered pouch.

and last but certainly not least, the absolute minute i am able to find out the gender of our baby, and thereby instantly know both his or her name and initials (we have a boy name and a girl name picked out), i will be gifting to myself this incredibly cute set of onesies, presented oh-so-lovely-ly in their own wooden gift box! these are the boy ones, but all of them at handmade jig on etsy are ridiculously cute.


(thank you to each of these individual websites/designers for the use of their pictures! be sure to check out their websites for more awesome products!)


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