Monday, December 10, 2012

The "P" Word

So, I have often heard that the "P" word can be the downfall of a blog...

I would think that it is beyond obvious that I've had just a few things that have kept me very busy and away from blogging these days. The truth of the matter is that I have not even logged onto my own blog in days, maybe even weeks, not even to check out my favorite "must read" blogs. Somehow I've not found the time or even had the desire.

It's not as if there hasn't been enough going on around me to blog about, no, no... in fact there has been almost too much going on. So, should I fill you in on what you've missed?...
  • Our first month as life as four... it really hit me when I did a Skype call with my parents recently where you can see a small image of yourself in the corner... and there we were together, the four of us. Hmmm.
  • The second visit to the hospital with our big guy... and a second time coming home with stitches, which leaves me only with the realization that boys really are a whole different category than girls.
  • Our first major e-mail newsletter in October with SWD...
  • November 17th was a big day for me... we celebrated our annual Thanksgiving in Germany for the 4th year, it was my grandmother's 86th birthday, my cousin and his wife had their first baby, and I celebrated an anniversary of sorts myself... 6 years in Germany!
  • I did a small show... nothing big, just a small table set up combined with a weekend visit with the in-laws. Which meant a little bit of sewing time for me... I just love it when the hum of the sewing machine puts the little one to sleep.
  • The little guy's first smiles and first attempts at talking. Listening to the big guy asking Papa for help in German, and then turning to me and asking me the same thing in English.
  • I made my very first Advent calendar for the big guy... an owl a day keeps the doctor away... or something like that.
  • Nibbling on my newfound favorite Christmas cookies…a simple, sweet, thin and crispy cookie. Lingering with a hot cup of tea on the side, snuggling the little one to sleep while enjoying the snow and the birds fluttering in and out for their own tasty treat.
But more than anything, I have been enjoying the changes that adding a new life brings. And right now I so want to enjoy it and not let those moments pass me by. So, a "pause" (which I have kind of already done) should be of no surprise. I'm not ready to quit, but ready to re-tank, ready to be re-inspired and ready to enjoy this still and reflective season with my family. I could imagine that the first of the year will bring new inspiration for me, and I hope that you all will take the time to slow down and enjoy the silence in your own life more than ever before.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Versandkostenfrei* - jetzt bis 11. November!

Unsere Regale sind prall gefüllt mit den neuen Stoffkollektionen des Herbstes! Um das gebührend zu feiern, könnt Ihr diese tollen Neuheiten (und auch alles andere) von jetzt an bis zum 11. November 2012 innerhalb Deutschlands versandkostenfrei bei uns bestellen.

Wählt bei der Bestellung einfach „Versandkostenfrei“ aus und gebt im Kommentarfeld folgenden Code ein: SWDfree. Bei Bestellungen über 75 Euro erhaltet Ihr außerdem noch einen farblich passenden Fat Quarter (unserer Wahl) oder ein „Notes Journal“ Schnittmuster-Notizbuch für Eure Nähprojekte (solange der Vorrat reicht). Gebt einfach an, welches Extra Ihr gerne haben möchtet.

*Bei Versand innerhalb Deutschlands!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sometimes between spliting time between our newborn "snuggle-bug" and his active whirlwind big brother, I do get a chance to sneak away and do something creative. It doesn't happen often right now, my time is extremely limited, and I think that if I am able to sew five strips of fabric together that it was a really good day. My projects are small, and seem to take an eternity until they are finished, but for now I am happy for those few moments that I do get.

What is inspiring me these days is a project using paper, fabric and buttons. (Oh, how I love buttons!) Usually when I use any of my beloved buttons, it is hard for me to let them go. Yes, I admit it... I am a hoarder. I like to keep those special buttons because they are... well, special. So, I decided to scan them in instead... and thus no tearful partings with any of my beloved notions. Do you like to hold onto things too instead of using them?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Entdecker Rabatt - 15%

Before our newest edition came along, I had a very, very long list of things that I wanted to accomplish before our world got turned upside down... and now I get to share with you something that I was finally able to check off the list! It's been in the back of my mind now for quite some time to open a second Dawanda shop, separate from the fabrics we sell, with the things that I have made. So, without further adieu... just a sneak peek of our Still Water Designs Accessories shop:

A lot what I have listed, you may have already seen in some form or another here, but now I've sorted things into "collections"... either by colors or fabrics. I was able to whip up a few things before my September due date, and here a just a few things you'll find in my shop:
I've added my jewelry items in addition to my sewn items, and I have to say that getting back into this detailed handiwork is something that I find very relaxing. Sometimes it's hard juggling back and forth between two passions, but if there is one thing that can tempt me to leave my sewing machine, it's making jewelry.

So, with all that being said, now is the perfect time for Dawanda to run a "Entdecker Rabatt" (Discovery Sale). Essentially 15% is being offered to "first-time-buyers", and since the shop is just opened, you can all be a "first". The sale starts today, October 15th, and runs through October 21st, 2012.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Long Overdue Introduction

I suppose it is time to introduce you to the reason for my silence. Another sweet and precious boy with a full head of hair... just like his brother. I've been recovering slowly and have taken the time to ease into our new life status... so, let me intoduce you to:

Samuel Elias Richter
September 12, 2012

Now is the time that we are getting to know our new little guy, and he is gettting to know us.

... and you know what? I think we've decided to keep him ; )

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Enjoy the Silence

Stillness and Quiet. And I think it is obvious why... our lives are now changed and we are enjoying that small window of time where life moves so, so slowly. Taking time to really soak in and enjoy the "forced rest"... the calm after the storm. We made it through, and we are FOUR!

Enjoy the Silence.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Not Just and Overnight Guest

Are you like me?... every time company comes there is a whirlwind of action going on - cleaning, straightening, checking one more thing off the "I'll get around to it list" just before the overnight guests arrive?

As I've already told you, we have a very special guest on the way. But the difference is that this guest plans to stay for quite a while. Even though it feels a little like getting ready for weekend company, things really have been about shifting and ma
king room for new things, and finding homes for those things that piled up way too long until a new home could be found for them.

I'm doing things... lots of things. I'm busy. I'm marking things off my list that have been neglected for far too long. Yep, I'm nesting. The nest is close to being ready, and the date of "ready or not, here I come" is right before my door. Question is, can you ever really be ready?

I suppose it is like when your overnight guests finally arrive... you then notice that big speck of dust in the corner, something that is not in its place, and that whatcha-ma-call-it that didn't get cleaned properly. And then there is usually that the reminder to yourself, that your guests often do not see those things anyway, and if they do somehow they are able to have fun and enjoy the moments in spite of those things.

... It's definitely a process, but I am learning that it's actually O.K. if everything is not just how I like it. I could imagine that our new little guy won't even notice. Hmmm... what a concept!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where it All Began

A simple sketch.

That's where it all began... really. And I guess the encouragement of a good friend. I never really set out to design my own ribbons, and truth be told, I'm not even one of those self-described "always used to doodle on everything I could get my hands on" kind of girl. It's my dad who I consider the artist of the family. I am the one who creates things using other things.

... but like I said, I started with just a simple sketch. One doodle became two, and two doubled, and somehow I ended up with a basic sketch. It seems that I like to draw on graph paper, although not because I am following the lines or trying to keep things in scale. I just like it.

I would have to say that the sketch was the easiest part of the whole process. It's the color and the small, but super significant details that take the creative process in a whole other direction. So once the basic sketch was done, it was sent to the manufacturer where they digitalized my drawing and filled in the colors that I had used. We picked Pantone colors and they matched the colors to their thread colors. Then we got a rough draft of how the ribbons would look in the colors that we chose.

... and that was just the first step.

I'm planning a follow-up post to share the next steps... a very long and drawn out process when you are just chomping at the bit to get the final product in your hands. But I guess that is why they say that good things come to those who wait. (and wait, and wait....)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

HEUTE - 12% bei Dawanda

Dies könnte Euch interessieren... es gibt heute 12% Rabatt in unserem Still Water Designs Shop auf Dawanda! Neue Stoffe, Schnittmuster, Webbänder und mehr im Angebot!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Süsses Erbslein

So now that the upcoming baby news is out of the bag, I thought that I would back track a bit and fill you in a little more about my ribbons and share a few behind the scenes about the whole designing process. But first things first... I thought you might be interested in how I came up with the name "Sweetpea Designs".

I've shared with you before that nicknames for children or one's special "sweetheart" are a lot different here in Germany than they are in the States. I can't really say that I know where I came up with the special nickname for our little guy, or if I even know anyone else who calls their little tyke the same, but since our little man came into our lives, I have been calling him, "Sweetpea".

I suppose that "Sweet pea" could have two meanings... a tender or sweet vegetable pea, or also associated with the word is a fragrant, climbing, flowering plant that one finds often in Mediterranean regions (Duftende Platterbse)... either way the name stuck.

So after much back and forth, I just couldn't get away from the name, and thus we decided to launch my ribbons under the label of "Sweetpea Designs"... and that's how the name was born, or should I say blossomed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Last Hurrah

So, I guess it would be fair to say that I've been keeping secrets... not that I had planned to, but somehow that's just how it's played out. Always when there is a major project, it somehow needs to be kept under wraps until it is time for the big reveal, and let's just say that ribbons have not been the only thing that has kept me busy these days... very busy.

There's a saying in English when someone does something as a "final gesture, effort, or performance" (Wikipedia) before the end of something, it is considered to be "The Last Hurrah" or "Swan Song"... that last beautiful song that a swan sings before it's death. O.K... sounds a little dramatic, but you get the picture, right?

This past weekend, my husband and I had our "Last Hurrah"... our final performance before the end of "life as we know it", so to say. No, no... no separations, emotional upsets, or anything heart-wrenching, but just a "little" life change for us. In fact our change is mostly about adding and not losing. If you've never been good at putting two and two together then let me just come out and say it... we celebrated a weekend away, just the two of us, without our "little guy" as a "Last Hurrah" of sorts before our newest "little guy" gets here. Yup, that's right... number two is coming!

Somehow I've not managed to tell you about it until the time is almost here. I can't really say why I've not talked about it before now... and it's not even because I'm a private person and wanted to keep this to myself, but I guess I've just not found the right time to say it. And now the time is getting close... closer than I realized, it seems a little silly for me to just all of a sudden out of no where (in a couple months... more like weeks now) make a birth announcement about our new addition.

I guess in some way I have already been preparing you for the quietness that is to come by the quietness that you may have noticed over the past several months. Of course I'm not really sure what the outcome will be, as no parents are, but am hoping to deliver a most beautiful performance as we close one chapter and prepare to start the next.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"x" Marks the Spot

If you have children, you know that they can be all consuming and that they love invading every inch (or centimeter for that fact) of ones space. Two weeks ago our little guy decided that a visit in mommy's office was where he needed to be and that mommy has the best pens and pencils to color with... especially on printed invoices and such that are on her desk. In an effort to reach the pens before mommy could reach him, the lightning quick movement resulted in a whole glass of water being dumped on my computer. Uggghh... being without computer for days is almost like torture... seriously, what did we do before them?

But needless to say, our little "Arbeitsdirektor" (work director) really hit the spot... and I mean literally. After days of air drying, attempts with the hair dryer, and even in the oven, my computer came back from the technician completly repaired, but with one small exception... who would have thought that one uses the letter "x" so much until it's gone? I have to say that it's much better than an "a", an "e", or even an "s", but control cut is now out of the picture. I guess you could say that "x" marks the spot... and boy, did our little guy hit it!

P.S. every time I used the letter "x" in the post, I had to copy and paste it from somewhere else. Did you know that at least half the people in Germany (or more) have an e-mail account ending with tja, and I have two!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Park & Garden and a Fabric Introduction

I can't tell you how long I have been a fan of Lizzy House fabrics. She always packs a punch with whimsical designs and fun colors. She has even mused herself how much she really enjoys working with color... and of course, such bright and fun colors made such a great statement at our show. Here we featured fabrics from the "Outfoxed" line as well as introducing her newest collection "Hello Pilgrim"

(O.K., so you might have noticed a couple Amy fabrics mixed in there, but I think it still works)

... so I thought I would combine a little booth snapshot with a fabric reveal. I really love these super fresh blues... so perky and cheery. Berries, leaves, butterflies... delish!

Isn't this trendy, vibrant coral color as equally delicious. Oh, listen to me carry on... one would think that you could actually eat this stuff. Well, I guess it all depends on how you look at it.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Park & Garden Anna Maria "LouLouThi"

So if you've been hanging around here for a while, then you might know that Anna Maria Horner's "LouLouThi" collection is not a new collection, but at the same time, one definitely worthy of showing off.

I wanted to feature this collection at the show for several reasons...

of course, I've ranted and raved about the fabulous ribbons from
Renaissance Ribbons that coordinate with this collection. I've actually added a few new ribbons that are great for summer sewing projects.

Did you happen to notice the cross stitch fabrics in the upper and lower corner of this pillow? No, I didn't spend hours before the show hand stitching this, but used fabric from Anna's "Needleworks" collection (found here and here).

This fabric is so versatile and can be used
in so many ways... what's not to love? Yes, one can actually hand stitch it, or use like a normal patchwork fabric, as a border on a skirt, or pillow... I really could go on and on.

Check out the very first photo in the post again... did you a
lso happen to notice the super fantastic bag in the lower right hand corner?... yeah, also made with the Needleworks fabric using AMH's new Art Student Tote pattern. (if I get some time, then I'll try to show you more detail)

Another addition to the LouLouThi line is this absolutely delicious Voile fabric. This is so light, buttery, and soft... if you are anything like me and have to touch everything as you walk through the stores, then this is the fabric for you! This comes in two equally as delicious colorways... sherry and forrest.

Well now, you certainly didn't think that was all, did you? More to come this week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Park & Garden "Kitchy Kitchen"

So, our second main featured fabric collection at our show were the fun and vibrant kitchen fabrics, "Kitchy Kitchen", designed by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics.

Juicy and bright citrus fruits, colorful veggies varieties, zig zig stripes, and tangy geo wedges in fresh colors are quite the eye-catcher.

We added a small bistro table and chairs decorated with placemats, matching napkins, fabric baskets filled with herbs, pillows, and a fun carafe wrap using the coordinating collection. I found the inspiration for the carafe wrap and the fabric baskets here.

Of course such fun fabrics lend themselves perfectly for a patchwork apron, matching hand towel with patchwork accent trim, and even a simple oven mitt. You can find the free downloadable pattern with great photos and instructions here.

So, has this left you hungry for more?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Park & Garden 2012

Since this year we added so much to our booth at our exhibit, I thought that it might be nice to reveal it section by section this time. My goal was to feature a few fabric collections to give visitors ideas and show what one can make with certain fabrics.

One of our main featured fabric collections was "Garden of Delights" by Jules Davis for Blend Fabrics. These fabrics are not only a tasty treat for the eyes, but have a super quality and feel. The garden themed fabric was the perfect feature collection for such a show.

...pillows perfect for a favorite wicker chair, straw garden hats with fabric accents, light and airy summers skirts, brightly accented shopping bags, and fabric baskets filled with flowers featured just how versatile this summer collection is.

These really great Gamaschen (boot covers) were the talk of the show. People just couldn't walk by without making a comment about them. I got the pattern from Smila's book "Für Dich Genäht". If you're going to get dirty, why not look good while you're doing it, right?

How could I forget about all my non-sewing customers with these pinwheels made in bright and juicy colors? Remember them from here?

This was a really super fun downloadable pattern that I stumbled onto a while back, and knew I had to make them using this collection. Really easy and with a video too! Pin cushions, jewelry stands, or sweet decorative accents in a boring corner... I'll let you decide.

So, this was just round one... still a few booth shots to show, but I figured that this might whet your appetite.

Ready for more?....
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