not quite what your grandma used to make...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

News and Napkins

A Retro Remedy was featured on another blog!  How exciting!  It's a first for me , so of course I'm gonna share the link and give lots of thanks to Fore Front Fashion for including me in their round up of Portland talent.  (I always love a little publicity) 

There were some other beautiful pieces listed in their slide show as well - I always new Portland was full of talent!

I've also been busy busy busy this week - I am a sewing machine!  Since within the first few days of my vacation from my day job I found out that I was accepted into the MECA Holiday Sale (see this post for info) I've been using my days (and evenings and sometimes nights) to finish up my stack of almost finished products and crank out some new inventory for the sale.  So far I've been super productive. 

In the works now are stacks of embroidered  dinner napkins and cocktail napkins.

This set  of dinner napkins uses one of my favorite decorative images - inspired by vintage tattoos - a blue bird.  They're embroidered with simple line work in a very pretty multi-shade blue floss.

The next set is definitely more summer appropriate than year round - but hey, who doesn't love a picnic!

Made of some fantastic woven red gingham fabric that I bought as a small amount of  remnants - each napkin has 4 black picnic ants climbing across the bottom and up the side.   

The third set (and the last I have pictures of for now) are retro party perfect!  I kinda want to make a set for myself - or maybe holiday gifts...hhmmm....

Fun patterned cotton material - the pattern reminds me of olives, which then just seem perfect for drink themed cocktail napkin - embroidered with ice cube filled tumblers and a green atomic swizzle stick.  

With this set I'm also trying out a different way to finish off the edges - with a much wider hem - and a no-folding-necessary, handheld size and style.  I'm taking pictures as I go and will post about the process later.  If it works out I plan on a bunch more sets in this cocktail size.  

Well there's plenty more to come  so I best get back to it.  

Til next time!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

A little vintage Halloween for my readers!  

I've had fun enjoying all the homemade costumes around me this year!  I made my lovely Megs a Hercules costume and I was Medusa  - gotta love a fantastic well built head piece! 

Have fun and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Retro Remedy at the MECA Holiday Sale!

That's right kids!  I got accepted into the MECA (Maine College of Art) Holiday Sale!  It's been a couple years since I did the sale, but it's, by far, my favorite art n craft sale of the winter.  

Good thing I took a vacation this week from the day job - time to buckle down and build up a bigger inventory for the sale.  I have a few sets of embroidered napkins just waiting to be finished off around the edges, a couple more toddle pillows to photograph, and a stack of fabric cut to make some wintery snowflake cocktail napkins.  I also have a bunch more bluebirds cut and ready to sew and stuff and I have some fabric octopi in the works. 
  But that won't cut it for a sale - time for a supply run.  I think I'll make some more hight charts, a bunch more napkins, maybe some table runners and maybe some rag dolls.  

More posts to come as I finish up projects!  

 Have a great weekend!
  And keep the sale in mind if you happen to be near Portland in December.  It's  a fantastic sale featuring 65 local artists - many of them students and alumni of MECA. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Crafty Christmas

Like a lot of my fellow artists and crafters of all sorts out there I am a big fan of the handmade gift.  Not only do they really help a strained budget, but they always seem more loved, cherished, and appreciated (and are regularly requested around here).  This year Tilly from had the fantastic idea for a group blog to share out handmade gift ideas, tutorials, and successes.

Joining up was the easy part, however, now I just have to figure out what I'm making and what to share.  So far I've seen some fantastic ideas for gifts and holiday goodies.  

So what are your holiday gift giving plans?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A little post about a little bird.

A new addition to the collection: my little stuffed BlueBirds.

Made from up-cycled fabrics (specifically worn out old jeans) and scraps from projects past - these little birds are cuddly soft and awfully cute ;)

They're machine sewn, hand stuffed, and have hand sewn details.

And did I mention they were tough and durable?

The first one I made I gave to the pups to test out for weak spots and general durability.  It took a rough game of tug for the two of them to puncture it - followed by the rest of the week of Kinsey being obsessed with pulling out ALL of its stuffing.  (And I don't think kids are as rough as the two of them).  

The stuffing-less BlueBird is still one of her favorite toys.

(Kinsey does not like to have her picture taken)

Well, back to the sewing machine.  Until next time - enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Toddler Pillows

After trial of the first Toddler pillow that i made (see post here),  I decided to keep going and make a more - with the only real adjustment being adding a bit more filling to make it a little firmer and prevent clumping after it's been washed a few times.  

Attempting to keep myself from following the whims of my scattered mind, I kept the images on the pillows in line with the few vintage inspired children's decor themes I've been working in.  

The fantastically fuzzy squid is part of my oceanic, 'Anchors Away' (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-inspired) line.  (A pillow with fuzzy octopus tentacles is in the works - as well as some painting inspired by the book itself. )

For the green edging I used the same technique of hand sewing crocheted chains of baby-soft yarn on to a fun printed fabric.  

For the blue body itself, the fuzzy yarn I used was thick and double woven so I simply sewed over and through it for a secure attachment.  

I backed this pillow with the soft sea-glass blue micro suede - great for kids where it's durable, soft, and easy to clean.

I also finally made some 'A Retro Remedy' fabric tags to sew into the items I make - so instead of sewing on my logo  I switched it up and kept the oceanic theme going with a cute little starfish on the back corner.  

A fuzzy success if I do say so myself ;)

Also with the 'Anchors Away' line is this Anchor  Pillow. 

 The fabric is a wonderfully soft and fun polka dot flannel that I got in a cluster of 5 shades odd length end cuts (but the lengths were just about perfect for what I needed :) - don't you just love when that happens!  

Here's the tags that labels that I made.  At some point I'd like to order some really nice woven tags for my pieces, but my profits are definitely not there yet.  

So these I made from a satiny white ribbon with this great red print that reminds me of the midcentury atomic prints.   I found a great font and printed on some iron on transfer paper and most of them came out pretty good (there were definitely a few mess ups in the first trial). 

 The next pillow uses the same image as the very first trial pillow that I made for my little niece - the bright red poppies. 

I haven't quite decided what to call this line.  It's inspired by the vast poppy fields in the film version of 'The Wizard of OZ', but going with the section of my shop is also cuddly stuffed Blue Birds (a blog post of follow on those) and I'm planning some storybook illustrations to go with in.  

I would love some suggestions on a name for the line - maybe I'll do a giveaway item for the suggestion that I pick?  

I made the back panel for this pillow before I thought of making the fabric labels so it still has the embroidered logo.  

For this pillow I used two more of the pieces of  polka dot flannel and the edging is a green patterned cotton that was hanging out in my scrap bag.  

All in all I think the the lines are coming along. And there are constantly more pieces in the works.  

I also applied to this winter's MECA Holiday Sale at my own alma mater, the Maine College of Art.  I'll find out on the 29th if I'm in - and if so it means a whole lot more time spent making my objects - I'll need a much bigger inventory for the two day show.  

Keep your fingers crossed for me!  And have a great weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Retro Remedy has new items on Etsy!

That's right folks, I've been a busy little crafter lately and (as a result) have new items on Etsy!

The new items are hair clips.  Fun floral pops of color. 

And - being made by me - they are all hand made, hand sewn, and one of a kind!  

(I also want to add many many thank yous to my beautiful friend Tiffanie -and her fantastic hair -  for modeling the flowers for me! )

So go ahead - check them out!  Maybe there's one perfect for you?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Anchors and Gingham, Oh my!

'Afternoon Readers!  Just a quick post today, then back to finishing off some projects.   I just wanted to share my newly listed (and newly finished) set of Blue Gingham Embroidered Anchor Dinner Napkins.

Made out of some fantastic (and perfectly sized) fabric remnants I found and grabbed up a few months back, they're hand embroidered with anchors.

  Maybe it's growing up on the ocean, maybe it's having sailors in the family,  maybe it's my love for classic anchor tattoos?  But I love these so much I almost hate to put them up for sale.  (almost).  They don't quite match my kitchen though. 

 Will they match yours?

Enjoy you afternoon!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Picnic in Portland

       So as I mentioned previously, last Saturday was the PICNIC Art and Music Festival here in Portland.  This is Picnic's third summer festival (and this winter will be their second holiday sale).  I took part in last years sale, but took this year off due to focus on my blogging, promoting, and mastering this whole internet thing.  

I made sure to get up on time on Saturday and dragged my fantastic Megs out of the house with a promise of good coffee and a breakfast sandwich so that I could be one of the fist 25 shoppers there.  Why? To receive on of the free goodie bags full of coupon and some free gifts! 

 While I waited in line for a bag Megs got quickly distracted by the bikes for sale.

Organized by the fantstic women that run Ferdinand and PineCone and Chickadee, there was row after row of great artists and their booths.  The amazing weather this year definitely helped - I was there early and it was already getting packed! 

There were so many great handmade goodies - I left with a lot of inspiration and one splurge.  What did I get?

A new bike!  Just a cute old beater 3-speed to tool around one.  There's a few more months of bike riding weather left, right? 

Enjoy your week!