Friday, May 25, 2018

Things...... And Webs Appearance June 2nd - next Saturday

My friend Gail often uses the title "things" in her emails. This is one of those blog posts that seems like "things" is an appropriate title. 

The fine folks at Webs are hosting a Crafting A Patterned Home Book Event on Saturday June 2nd from 2-4. More information here. It is a completely free event but they like to have  people register so they know how many cookies to buy! Hope to see some of you there. It will be inside so I will have plenty of samples available for looking and will probably do a demonstration. 

My Farmer is in rough shape. All the physical work he has done over his six decades has taken a toll. He is having one of his hips replaced July 17th. We are getting prepared for the operation and his healing. Needless to say, as a farmer there is never a good time to schedule a surgery like this. I was hoping he could wait until November when things slow down a bit in the cycle of life here at our farm but he is in such pain that he can't wait. He is counting the days. It looks like the other hip needs to be replaced too. Please bear with me as we go down this surgery journey. Financially this is going to be very difficult for us. When you run your own business, there is no vacation pay or sick pay. We are looking forward -- not backward -- and Mark hopes to come out better on the other side of surgery and recovery. 

I have rescheduled the first retreat of the season. Decorative Furniture Painting and Fabric Printing will now be held on August 11/12. Check out all the classes now here. One Day Retreats have just opened up. 

Julia is done with school until next fall. She will help me take care of her Dad as he recovers. After all her time being a patient in the hospital, she is a good nurse and I will be counting on her. 

I myself am trying to re-group after all the work I have done launching my new book Crafting A Patterned Home.  I've got to make some "NEED TO DO" lists to get myself re-motivated to move on with my Creative Life while still trying to drum up some interest in the new book. There is so much to do around here in the summer. Need to get the garden tilled and then planted, continue with the Farmers Market season, plan and teach the Creative Retreats, take care of my family and try to find my Creative Self again, care for My Farmer after his surgery. Tall orders. Life throws us plenty of challenges and we must keep moving forward even if sometimes we feel like we are moving backwards. 

You can still purchase copies of Crafting A Patterned Home here on my website. I will throw in Free Shipping, some lovely Rikki Snyder photographed postcards, and a Kristin illustrated bookplate. Thanks so much for your support of our farm and family. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Design New England + Spoonflower Blog + Mason-Dixon Knitting Features

I was surprised to hear from my friend Andi the other day. She was jumping through the phone line telling me my new book Crafting A Patterned Home had been featured in a magazine called Design New England. Wow! So exciting. Here is the cover and the feature piece. Read the et al. article here

I was also quoted in another section of the magazine called Selections: Bold is Beautiful. How fun. Here is the link to that page.

You can read the entire magazine on-line here

Another surprise was a large feature on the Spoonflower blog. You can see that here.  

And the book was featured on the Mason-Dixon Knitting website as New And Noteworthy: The Books of May. You can read that review here. I really admire what Kay and Ann have done to create a community of knitters, crocheters, sewists, dyers, and quilters so I love that the new book got included. 

Thanks to the folks at Roost Books for publishing the book and generating the publicity for Crafting A Patterned Home. Copies of it are available on my website here. I will throw in free shipping, a Kristin designed bookplate and 5 beautiful postcards with photos by photographer Rikki Snyder. Check it out here

If you don't like to order on-line, there are instructions on how to order by mail on my website

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sew Much More Podcast with Ceil Diguglielmo + Kim's Chairs

I was delighted to be asked to be on the "Sew Much More" Podcast hosted by Ceil Diguglielmo. Ceil has been a maker of window treatments and began her podcast a few years ago as a way to branch out beyond just making. She is a great conversationalist and we had a fun chat. We talked about all kinds of things. It is a bit of a long episode - maybe I talked too much. Here is the link to the episode

You can check out all her podcast interviews on her site here. Thanks so much Ceil for helping to spread the word about my work. I was especially excited to be on this podcast because I would be reaching a whole new group of folks who do not know anything about what I do. The nice thing though is they are all very into fabric and design and so they might be interested in the things I am doing now. 

In other news, my friend Kim from Kim's Upsholstery is doing up a set of Victorian chairs. She purchased my new Mod Suzani Fabric for the upholstery. Here is a link to Kim's YouTube Channel where you can find many amazing DIY videos. Kim painted the chairs with a paint line I had never heard of called Debi's Design Diary's DIY Paints. There are so many great women out there doing interesting things - aren't there? 

Here is a small picture of the Mod Suzani Fabric that I designed and Kim will be using. You too can purchase it on over 25 types of fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap over on my Spoonflower shop here

Hope to see some of you at the Webs Tent and Fleece Sale in Northampton tomorrow. The event happens rain or shine.  I will be set up with our local lamb. I will be bringing my books and other products with me but if it starts raining like crazy, I will put them away - books, paper and rain do not do good together. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

This Coming Saturday! Webs Tent and Fleece Sale

Popping in today quickly to tell everyone that I will be setting up a small booth at the 16th Annual Webs Tent and Fleece Sale this Saturday - May 19th from 10-5:30. I think this may be the 6th year that I have done this event. I look forward to meeting lots of folks and spreading my love of color. I will have our Farm Raised Leyden Glen Lamb with me along with my books and whatever else I can organize quickly. I will be sure to bring samples from the new book. 

Also - upcoming at Webs, I will be doing a Book Event on June 2nd from 2 to 4. More information hereThanks so much to the fine folks at Webs for helping to spread the word about my new book Crafting A Patterned Home

I'm off to the Tuesday Market in Northampton today. It looks like it is going to rain something awful. Our lilacs are just starting to pop. And the apple trees in the orchard are ready to burst open too. I will try to get some photos this week but for now - here is a throwback to the lilacs a couple years ago. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

30 Lambs Going to Hampshire College

The other day I was at the Tuesday Farmers Market in Northampton and I met a lovely woman named Brook and her daughter Olivia. They were both knitters and had all my knitting books. They were so excited to run into me as I was to run into them. That's why I like doing the Farmers Market - I frequently meet someone interesting and have a good conversation. We chatted and chatted and they took home both Crafting A Colorful Home and Crafting A Patterned Home because they couldn't decide which they liked better. 

I learned that Olivia is graduating from Hampshire College in a few weeks. She told me how she loves sheep and how she would take her knitting and go knit with the sheep that Hampshire College raises each year in their farm and food program. I said - oh what a coincidence.... those sheep were born on our farm and we sold them to Hampshire College. She continued to tell me how popular the sheep are with the students, alumni and community. And she also told me that her roommate Celeste Jacobs who is an art major did a lovely papercut project of the sheep last fall. And get this - her design was chosen to be the Graduation poster, t-shirt, and mug design for the class of 2018. Here is her poster. It is lovely. 

I told Olivia and Brook that Hampshire College was coming Thursday to pick up 30 more lambs. The farm manager Mo arrived with 4 farm interns and they loaded the sheep. Coincidently they were all young women who had never handled a sheep before. My Farmer loves Hampshire students - he thinks they have the best can-do attitude and are willing to do anything. These girls did a great job carrying the sheep out of the barn, loading them onto the scale, and then out the other end and onto the trailer while I recorded all the weights. The lambs weighed between 50 and 75 pounds and were born in late January/early February. I took these photos of them as they loaded the last lamb. And then they were off. 

Here is a photo from the Hampshire College Farm Instagram feed. The lambs are happy grazing the green grass. If you follow @HampshireCollegeFarm on IG you may see the lambs pop up in the feed through the next year. Eventually the lambs will be used to feed the students and alumni at special events at the school.  Thanks Hampshire College for being a loyal customer. Have fun with the lambs. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Kristin Nicholas In Vermont Saturday at Northshire Bookstore

On Saturday at 3 p.m. I will be doing a short presentation about my new book Crafting A Patterned Home at the fabulous Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. After the talk, we will be making the Kantha Dishtowel featured in my new book. Cotton dishtowels, thread and needles are being supplied free of charge my publisher Roost Books and me. This project is for beginners so do not stress if you have never embroidered. 

I do not know all the details about the event but you can find more information on the Northshire Bookstore website here. The event is free and books will be available that I will be happy to sign. 

Northshire Bookstore is one of the best bookstores in the USA. Many years ago I did a talk there when Colorful Stitchery was released. I appreciate their support of my work. Julia is coming with me because she loves a good bookstore and I know she will get lost in their shelves. They also have a lovely cafe. 

If you have never been to Manchester, why not hop in the car and come early for lunch? Then you can take in some of the other shops in town and end the day at Northshire talking with me and sewing with everyone who comes to the event. Sounds like a good day to me. 

Bring small scissors if you can because I do not have enough for everyone. Hope to see some of you there on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. - the day before Mother's Day. Bring a friend or your Mom!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Today's Big Adventure - Facebook Live with Kim's Upholstery

My friends Kim and Bill Chagnon have an on-line Upholstery Teaching Site called Kim's Upholstery. They have hundreds of videos on their YouTube site and 44,000 subscribers! Their on-line teaching site trains people to do upholstery themselves and to build a business. 

Kim and Bill are also professional upholsterers. I met them a few years ago through our mutual friend potter Lucy Fagella. Kim and I were in an evening pottery class together for one session. When I was working on my new book, I hired Kim to make a slipcover out of fabric I designed. This is the chair she covered for me in my yellow Bloomsbury inspired roses and diamonds linen/cotton that is also available on my Spoonflower shop here

I also hired Kim and Bill to recover my favorite chair with the fabric that I hand-stamped with a paisley design. That chair is on the cover of my new book Crafting A Patterned Home which you can buy on my website here. They delivered the chair the day of the photoshoot - I love the way it turned out. And Kim and Bill were so thrilled that their work was on the cover of the book. 

Kim and Bill are always looking for promotional ideas. They have so much energy and so many ideas. They are such a team. Kim is the Creative person and teaching personality. Bill is the behind the scenes person - he films all the videos, does all the editing and website stuff. He is amazing. If I had a Bill I could produce so much more but alas, I have a Farmer who has sheep and is too busy to help me with anything. 

Kim and Bill have always been trying to get me to promote my business but the time was not quite right. Now with the launch of my new book Crafting A Patterned Home I agreed to film a Facebook Live demo for them. This is the first time I have done a Facebook Live event and it was a lot of fun. I demonstrated how I printed the fabric for the chair that Kim and Bill upholstered for the cover of the book. 

Today at 12:30 we went live. It was a dicey day - on my way to their studio, my brakes started spewing black smoke and smelling really awful. I drove slow and made it there just in time to go live. It was fun seeing the questions that would pop up on the screen that Bill and Kim read. People popped in and out of the live feed. Kim told me that lots of folks watch their FB Live posts on their lunch breaks. The cool thing is that at the same time that the FB Live video is being live streamed, they are also capturing video. It is then uploaded to their YouTube channel so that you all can watch it. So - here you go - Kim and Kristin live. It is an hour long and there are some funny parts. It was fun to do and we may cook up some other ideas to help promote the book and promote Kim's great Learn Upholstery subscription website and my new book Crafting A Patterned Home. I'm in guys - just let me know. 

You can follow Kim on Instagram here. You can find her on Facebook here. And you can subscribe to her YouTube channel here. She also teaches on the Craftsy website - a class called a Custom Fit Slipcovers: Couches and Sofas. Thanks so much Kim and Bill for giving me this opportunity. 

You can still order signed copies of Crafting A Patterned Home on my website. I'll throw in free shipping and some free goodies. Thanks so much for your support. And welcome to those new to the blog. I hope you find it interesting and fun. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Photos from the Book Party

What a weekend! The Book Party was a huge success. It is all a bit of a blur for me and I am plum exhausted. I keep going over the conversations I had with so many really nice people. It was such fun to share all the decor and color with folks that were interested in what I do. I have no idea how many people came but I am guessing it was at least 200. 

Saturday was incredibly beautiful - sunny and not cold and not hot - just perfect. Blue skies - some wispy clouds. The dogs Kate and Sadie greeted people. The cats - especially kitten Rosie and senior cat Charlie were definitely the stars of the weekend. 

This is the 4th time I have held an Open House but the first Book Party. Over the years, I have figured out the traffic patterns and what works best. I was extremely fortunate to have Photographer RIkki Snyder and her boyfriend Riley here to help out. Rikki took all these photos for me because I just didn't have time to do it. Thanks Rikki. My friend Kay ran the cash drawer and my friend Linda came and helped greet people. It was awesome to have such help because it really isn't possible to do this kind of thing without help - especially with the cleaning and set-up. Thank you Kay, Gail, Rikki and Riley for helping make it all guest worthy. 

I had a guest book so that I could see where people traveled from. Lots of local folks came along with folks from Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, and even Texas. Now I'm hoping this event helps to spread the word about color and pattern and creativity through the folks who came and the new book Crafting A Patterned Home which is getting out there. 

I had the first floor of our farmhouse open along with the two sheds outside and my studio downstairs. The outdoors was self-guided and it was great to look out the porch windows to see folks enjoying the sunshine and the spaces I have created. 

Here are some photos taken by Rikki so you can feel like you were here. Enjoy!

New Tea Towels - Rosie checking them out
My hexie afghan was a hit

Julia is on the hunt for new glasses


Thursday, May 03, 2018

Two Days to Go before the Book Party

I'm in a mad rush to get ready before the Book Party this weekend. I have no idea how many folks will come. It is an Open House format so everyone is welcome. The hours are 11 to 4 and people can stay as little or long as they like. My goal is to inspire folks to add color and pattern and joy to their own spaces. I'm hoping it works!

Tomorrow we are moving some sheep up to the green pastures outside our farmhouse. Hope they don't hide in the orchard so people can see them. 

Roost Books (my publisher) is supplying some food which is so sweet. Rikki Snyder - the photographer - is coming too. I have a few friends helping out but I really don't expect too many folks to make the trek - although I hope I have a decent turnout considering the amount of work it is to put on something like this. What was I thinking? 

At any rate - I am still sewing tea towels which I will have for sale - New designs that I did this winter. I also had some of my older patterns reprinted so there will be a variety. My sewing machine seems to be holding up okay. 

I'll also have some of my handmade pottery for sale. I haven't had a chance to make any this winter but I do have some pieces that didn't get fired in time for my Christmas sale so they will be available. 

Hope to see some of you here. No need to sign up but if you want - there is an EventBrite page here. This is a casual event - but wear flat shoes. The terrain is hilly. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

My Handpainted Library "Wallpaper" in Photos

Happy May Day everyone! Only a few days until the Crafting A Patterned Home Book Launch Party here at our antique farmhouse. I hope to see some of you here. Photographer Rikki Snyder will be here too to greet you. And I have some friends helping out too. Here is the Eventbrite site for more information. It is FREE. Books and some other things will be for sale (hint, hint - Mother's Day is coming.) You do not need a ticket but I thought it would give me an idea if anyone is coming

You all have seen the cover of my new book Crafting A Patterned Home. It features the handpainted wallpaper I did back in 2003. This was before I had a digital camera and before this blog (which BTW started in 2006). But I did have a regular camera and amazingly so - I documented the steps of handpainting the wallpaper. Please excuse the lousy photos - they will help you get the idea. 

I'm not a fan of stenciling - although I know many people love to stencil. I've tried it but the paint always seeps under the stencil and I have a real mess. My handpainting technique is kind of the opposite of stenciling. I use cardboard templates and with a pencil, trace the templates directly on the wall. Here are the templates I made out of Fedex envelopes.

Here is the room before the painting began. 

I began at the corner of the room and traced the center cross along two walls. Then I filled them all in with red paint. 

Next I took the largest shape - the square with the points coming out four sides and traced that in the center of each opening created by the crosses. I painted them an apricot color.

Next I traced the circle motif inside each large square. I painted them in alternating shades of butter yellow and turquoise.

Lastly I added a pointy cross shape to the center of each circle in a pretty orange shade. After all the colors were laid on, I outlined the shapes in black with a small liner brush. 

Here is the room completed. All the directions and templates are in my new book Crafting A Patterned Home. I know my color choice may be too out there for most but with a little experimentation, you can develop your very own colorway. 

In addition, you can find a digital version of this wallpaper design available as wallpaper, fabric or giftwrap in my Spoonflower shop here. It comes in two sizes - as seen here and at half scale