22 December 2009

Trunk sale.

So the market was a big hit! I slept about three hours the nite before, the light bulb on my sewing machine went out in the final moments and I was so shy at selling my wares. But all in all I was happy to see everyone and most excited to see all my hard work come together at one time. We had special visitors with gingerbread, mince pies and hot teas, and my friend Julian was on hand to give me a nudge whenever a customer looked interested.
[Photo by Katie Horwich]
Using North Carolina's rich textile history as a starting point I made a new paper-cut logo with a cotton branch.
It turned out just perfect for cards, signs and for the first time, custom wrapping paper (!) tied up with deadstock Coronation ribbon.
Other new additions have been 'tongue and groove' pleats, thinking back on my childhood home, and the first bag with leather straps, something I've wanted to do for a long while now.
[Photo by Katie Horwich] I was so happy to get into bed that nite, I slept from 8.30 to 8.30!

13 December 2009

Today at Tate!

My friend Emma will be generously selling some of my wares at Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, today from 11 am to 6 pm in the Tate Turbine Hall. Check it out if you're nearby.

06 December 2009

*Time is on my side.

I've fallen behind on blogging this past month or so, I had some bad news and things have been far from good. I'm working to sort it all out, but immigration troubles are no joke! To try and keep my mind off things I've been holed up in my sewing corner working towards my first-ever UK market stall, which will be this coming Saturday 12 December in Stoke Newington. If you're nearby it would be great to see you!
Hello friends, Save the date for Saturday 12 December 2009 when my lil' venture Growin' Up makes its UK market stall premiere. Stop by to say hello and see this snail cross the finish line. I'll have pouches and totes among other carriers and surprises, starting at £10. Just in time for mistletoe I'll be treating you to special offers, custom gift wrap, 'free with purchase' and if you're lucky some of my Nana's 'Martha Washington' candies. Some of you already know that I've hit a big hurdle with my visa - thus all proceeds go straight into the 'Keep Jess in Britain Fund'. Here's hopin' to see you on the 12th if not before. Big love, jess *What Growin' Up's first UK market stall *When Saturday 12 December, 10.30 am-5 pm *Where Of Cabbages & Kings Christmas Market Abney Hall 73a Stoke Newington Church Street London N16 0AS Nearest overland: Stoke Newington or Rectory Road Buses 73,393, 476 stop outside Abney Hall

06 November 2009

Good eats: There's always room for. . .

I don't think I've ever expressed my 'gotta-have-it' love for cake here in blogger land. It's real and it's deep. And it started at an early age. I still have very fond memories of a 'Strawberry Shortcake' themed cake made by my Aunt Peggy for my fifth birthday. And my mama's 'Coca-Cola' cake for my older brother's thirteenth. Both my grandma's had their own versions of chocolate frosting: Fannie's is the one I use to this day. Savannah's was fondly called 'chocolate skin' because you could peel the frosting right off layers of cake!
When I was in high school my mom and I took a cake decorating class at Hungate's arts and crafts in the mall. I was the youngest person there! We made it through beginner, intermediate and advanced (wedding cakes!) and soon had a lil' business going doing different cakes. Saying that I became burned out would be an understatement. But gobs of buttercream and late-nite hand cramps never stopped me from having cake cravings! Nowadays I make cakes when I want and how I want, always ready to try something new.
So to celebrate the opening of our new commission 'Bunker' I made 'War Cakes' using Ann Jackson's recipe from Heart of the Home. Tho eggless, butterless and milkless they were mighty tasty.
And to say good-bye to one of our curators I channeled Buckminster Fuller with a geodesic dome - this one brought back the hand cramps!
With the holidays comin' on full force I want to try, among other varieties, a candy bar cake and a red velvet cake from scratch. There's just one question - who wants to lick the bowl?

30 October 2009

Family Wreath: Tommy Jr.

For years a small chocolate box sat in my Nana's side board. The box was filled with dozens of photographs taken by Thomas Jefferson Rolland Jr. (1915-62), my father's uncle, during WWII. When I was last home I scanned in some of my favourites before giving the lot to my father for safe keeping. Here are a few of them with Tommy Jr.'s own captions. The last two always get my imagination a'racin' with thoughts of who he met along the way and how the places might look now. They leave me wishing I could hear the stories behind each and every click of the shutter.
'Visley - look at the crease in my pants' 'Berne' 'Bremen' 'Castle Denmark' 'Church Visley' 'Copenhagen' 'From hotel in Stockholm' 'Railroad station Denmark' 'Renne'

20 October 2009

'Wherever your eyes should fall they should fall on objects of beauty.'

who doesn't like getting paid to play hookie? for our staff away day we jumped the coach to Charleston Farmhouse and Berwick Church in Sussex. visiting the Bloomsbury group's former playground was inspiring to say the least. and a countryside tease always makes me smile.
as soon as we walked into the house i was ready to move in! every little detail, each brushstroke, each one of Vanessa Bell's circles, the Omega fabrics, every snippet of gossip, set my heart a'flutterin'.
you're not allowed to take photographs in the house, which at first made me a bit mad (!). everything is so beautiful and i wanted to capture it all. not just look at it in a book through someone else's photographs. but the next day, still holdin' onto my Charleston buzz, i decided it's a good thing! i'll definitely be going back there one Sunday, and until then, i can hold everything in my memory. i did find a couple of great examples over on type happy.
i don't want to gush too much about this place, but! i'll just say if you can make it one day, don't pass it up. our tour guide Patsy gave us some great quotes which i'm including down below here . . . . 'If it stood still in the house, they painted it. If it moved in this house, they made love to it.'
Bloomsbury group lived by three rules: love of beauty, love of truth, and most importantly, love of friendship. Dorothy Parker said of Bloomsbury in the 1920s: 'They painted in circles, lived in squares and loved in triangles.' 'Wherever your eyes should fall they should fall on objects of beauty.' - Vanessa Bell

12 October 2009

tobacco country.

growing up in Rougemont, North Carolina, summer sights from the porch swing included a magically-different-every-night sun setting over a pond with rows of tobacco waiting to be harvested. to think i couldn't wait to get out of there. nowadays i would give just about anything to see one of those sunsets again.
[these promotional 'needle books' are from my Grandma Fannie's sewing stash.]

11 October 2009

Scrap exchange no. 11: Mingering Mike.

'Mingering Mike: A One-Man Band' from DAM Magazine, Jan/Feb 2009
click on each image to enlarge, and afterwards, ger yer groove on.
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