Saturday, December 26, 2015

An Eye on Spring 2016

   With visions of sugar plums and Christmas happenings still in our heads and on our schedules, the holiday is still going on around us. But I also need to take into consideration that the world of design must grind on behind the scenes!
   In order to have the fabrics, designs and looks ready for the public, when they are actually ready for them, these things must be planned out and finalized months ahead of time - most times way out of step with the actual season!
   It can sometimes be difficult - I have had to play Christmas music in May, to put me in the mood to design for the Xmas season, when I'd rather be picking lily of the valley and smelling my lilacs!

   So to, now, with Christmas parties still to attend, I am sneaking off to my computer to continue work on my new spring designs!

   Here is a teaser of what spring brings - fresh florals and sweet pastels.
And of course, my "blueberry blue" color way, which is in the same family as Pantone's 2016 color choice "serenity".

And a saying: 
Some people look for a beautiful place.
Others make a place beautiful.

I do hope I can be that person, helping you make your home beautiful, with my fabrics and wallpapers.

"Faded Rococo Roses" in blueberry, printed on linen cotton canvas

"Swedish Summer" in blueberry, on cotton poplin

All my fabrics can be found HERE, in my shop LilyOake, on Spoonflower.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Serenity Blue", Pantone's Spring Wedding Colors of 2016

Cathleen Hearts in blueberry by LilyOake
Pantone's Spring 2016 Wedding Color Serenity is a dead match to LilyOake's "blueberry blue"

I was so excited to see Pantone's new 2016 Wedding Colors!
Because the their color "Serenity"(15-3919) is a very close match to my "blueberry" blue color in my lines of fabric, wallpaper and gift wraps in my Spoonflower shop, LilyOake!

A sun faded blue with hints of red undertones, my version of Serenity, "blueberry", is soft, romantic and soothing.
Annika in blueberry by LilyOake

I have over 400 original, copyrighted designs in blueberry (as well as many other soft pastels such as peony or sorbet pinks, basil green, Belgian linen, buttercup yellow, blue-violet...)in my Spoonflower shop, where you can order any of my patterns on 18 different fabrics, 2 types wallpaper (including removable) and even gift wrap!  Its a fabulous print-on-demand website where you can decorate with beautiful designs by new fabric designers, to make your home unique and romantic.

Here are a few examples of my designs in blueberry, which would make fabulous bridesmaid dresses, even a wedding dress!
The reception is a  fabulous place to use soft, romantic florals in tablecloths and napkins, chair slipcovers or a wedding canopy!
Ames Chinoiserie in blueberry by LilyOake

Check out my shop LilyOake, on Spoonflower, for all of my many patterns of florals, checks, tartans, stripes or chinoiserie in the luscious shade of "blueberry" - or, known to Pantone as "Serenity".

And enjoy my patterns featured here - just a small sampling of what I can offer you, for your special celebration or home decor.

Blue Rose Wreath in blueberry by LilyOake

Blueberry Watercolor Roses in blueberry by LilyOake

Caroline Bouquet on white by LilyOake

Edwina in blueberry by LilyOake

Saint Katherine in blueberry by LilyOake

Seaside Garden Stripe in blueberry by LilyOake

Sommarhus Tartan in blueberry by LilyOake

Stella in blueberry by LilyOake

Susan in blueberry by LilyOake

Swedish Folk Hearts in blueberry by LilyOake

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Cait" 2016 Tea Towel

   Its that time of year again - when Spoonflower puts out the call for tea towel designs to enter into their yearly contest.

   This year I went back to blue & white, after straying to other colors the last 2 years.
I used an older design of mine: Swedish blue rose heart and vine on a fresh white background.  Sprinkled in a few flutterbies for whimsy.

    I don't ever expect to win - the winners/top 10 are always trendy/kitschy, illustrator-created designs in weird color combinations - lol.  But the motivation to create the design is what I'm mostly after!  And I definitely have my following outside of Spoonflower's crowd.  Gals like me, who love old-fashioned florals in fresh, pastel colors that are easy on the eye - and easy to live with in their homes.

   Made from 55% linen, 45% cotton, its not only pretty but super absorbent!
Not just for display or drying dishes, these tea towels on linen/cotton canvas fat quarters also make great placemats, napkins, table runners, tray liners and even one half of a pillow case (use a plain cotton for the backside).
I think it would work well as gift wrap too - around a kitchen-based gift or even to wrap a loaf of homemade holiday sweet bread for someone special.

    Its for sale in my ETSY shop, HERE.
It comes pre washed, ironed, hemmed with my pretty cotton tag and a convenient hanging loop on the back.
Its ready to use, right out of the package.
(makes a fabulous gift too, especially with the holidays coming up)

   Or you can purchase it by the yard through my Spoonflower shop, HERE.
You get the raw fabric which, if you sew, is a better deal for you!  Pre wash in cold water with a mild detergent that is phosphate free.  hang to dry.
Finish your own way.

"Cait" 2016 calendar tea towel in blue and white

"Cait" 2016 tea towel with my beautiful paper packaging.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gift Cones

   The old fashioned holiday craft fair season is upon us!
I have always looked forward to hitting up church bazaars and community center fairs for hand made, home made and one of a kind for gifts for family and friends.
In particular, I love the baked goods!

   I decided to enter a few craft fairs as a seller this year to help further my introduction of fabrics and wallpaper designs to the public.
I look forward to meeting all those folks and talking shop (decorating with fabrics and wallpapers)!

   To compliment my linen cotton tea towels, cotton pillows and lavender sachets, I am adding decoupaged gift cones and serving trays to my assortment of goodies on my sales table!

   The trays aren't completed yet but the cones were mostly completed last weekend (except for the four tartan ones).
Not a big fan of a lot of drippy, faux-Victorian ornament, I wanted to keep these simple yet festive, with the possibility they could be used to give a gift other then just at Christmas time too!

   I used inexpensive pastel colored hem tape as ribbon (something I have done for 20-odd years), along with thin silk embroidery ribbons and some special sparkly lace trims, pompom ribbons and velvets.
  The interiors of the cones are painted with chalk paints and the bases are paper mache so these cones are made to last!
   The outsides are covered in paper gift wrap from my fabric and wallpaper lines.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A New Soup Tureen

   My creative/art projects have fallen by the wayside temporarily as we get the house ready for fall weather.
   That includes yard clean up and installing new chimney piping for the wood stove.

   But I've also switched the menu over to more fall-inspired dishes.
I love soups and stews and make them at least 3x a week when the weather turns chilly.

   I found this tureen on eBay for....wait for it....$55!!
Its a Danish made, hand painted soup tureen in Royal Copenhagen's Blue Flowers Fluted.
Mint condition - its like no one ever used it!
Had to have it.
   I collect RC Blue Flowers but in the Curved version - but who cares!  When a beautiful Danish soup tureen presents itself for that price, I'm not passing it up because of technicalities!  LOL

   I couldn't wait to get it home - and yes, already used it!  Its pretty big though, and its just the 2 of us.  But it will look spectacular on the table Christmas Day with my traditional lobster bisque in it. SIGH

Kitten Stuey in the background: he is fascinated by candlelight so I have to keep flames up high where he can't reach them!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Making a New Work Schedule for Fall Projects

   Now that the art studio tour is over and my mad scramble to ready my studio, clean house and get my projects completed is over, I have taken a few weeks to relax and breathe again.
   I created a new line of Swedish folk art designs for my Spoonflower shop, while waiting for my newest order from Spoonflower to arrive to complete a couple of sewing projects for 2 loyal customers, Susan and Lynda!
As soon as I stand up, my seat is taken!  Its like musical chairs around here.

   I also acquired a beautiful antique Swedish pine corner cupboard with a barrel front for my studio, where I will display and store my fabrics.  It needs a little TLC and is currently sitting upside down until I get a missing 3rd leg on the back!
   But its a marvelous piece which I will show you photos of after its all repaired and in place.
In the mean time, my kitten, Stuey, has been sneaking one of the doors open and sleeping in it.

I also added more tea towels to my ETSY shop, LilyOake on ETSY

Sweet Pea photo bombs my photo of the new tea towels as I ready them for my ETSY shop.

   I am also working on a project for myself I began a five years ago - painting and gilding my old dining room hutch.  The hutch had been a throw out because a large dog had chewed on a corner and the glass was broken, etc.  But I saw its potential and hauled it home.
It still needs the painting finished and gold leaf applied.  I also want to sand off the bit I hand painted and start over with something in softer blues and more full/romantic.
I started painting my own hutch five years ago - you know the saying about the shoemaker's children...

A detail of one of the hutch upper doors filled with part of my blue & white collection. I am pretty picky about what I collect.  (has to be Danish, German or English made!)

  I have many new projects on the way for my Christmas studio tour where I will be a guest at another artist's home!
Its the first weekend of December!  I'll be a guest in Tribal Zone Studio.  It will be so fun!!
If you are local, come see us.
December NEAT Studio Tour

(My newer projects include heart shaped pillows, Decorated cones for gift giving and a hand made table lantern!)
I am so excited to begin this new round of creating!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Custom Wallpaper, Fabric and an Art Studio Tour

   Hi Everyone!

I have been uber busy this past spring/summer, getting ready for an open-to-the-public art studio tour.
Here is the link to Arts North! Studio Tour.
I will be showcasing my fabric and wallpaper designs as my art form.

I will also be hosting 3 guest artists in my own home - hopefully they will all fit into the dining room!

I will be right next to them in my tiny, but pretty art studio room.
(more photos of that after the tour is over)

This will be my very first time participating in such an event and the first time ever having the public entering my tiny cottage!
Talk about pressure and nervousness...

I have been scrambling to not only design fabrics and make things with them (like throw pillows, chair slipcovers, sachets, tea towels, etc), but also to whip the few rooms open to the tour, into viewable shape.
Mainly, the dining room, which is the first room of the house upon entry.

The room needed to be upgraded so my sweetheart and I installed beadboard wainscoting all around the room, which I then caulked and painted.
We tried our hand at crown molding which is now caulked and painted too.  So much work!  But so worth it.  It really adds character to a room, a house.
We will do this in the family room too - a winter project!

I then repainted the walls a lighter blue and wallpapered one small wall area, to showcase my designs and how they work together to create a cohesive look in the room.
The rest of the wallpaper will get done after the tour.
I have 3 guest artists who will be hanging their framed art on the walls and the last thing I want are numerous nail holes in my newly hung wallpaper!

I designed the wallpaper to coordinate with the curtains and slipcovers on all the chairs!

I thought I'd share one small corner of this room (the rest isn't ready yet!!) as I am 10 days out from the studio tour and still have loads to get done.

Years ago I painted murals and furniture for a living and after I left that behind for a career in graphic design, I still painted pieces for my own home.
The table is a piece I did 10 years ago, or so.
Way before chalk paint!
I used acrylic latex over Kilz primer.  Several coats of paint in a soft white and a pale Swedish blue.
Protected with 3 coats of Crystalfin poly acrylic in semi-gloss.
The top was done with a fine nap roller.  
No unsightly, unprofessional brush marks anywhere!! (and I am proud of that)

I added faux nailhead from Do it Yourself Chic and gilded it with composite sheet gold leaf, as well as parts of the base.

The fabrics are all mine, sewn from my designs I feature for sale on Spoonflower.
If you are looking for fabrics and wallpaper in a Swedish cottage look, please visit my shop:  LilyOake

I adore the linen cotton canvas and have nearly all my designs printed on that fabric content, but there are 18 different fabrics available, plus 2 types wallpaper and gift wrap too!

Let me know what you think!

And if you're in Seattle on September 12th and 13th, please swing by to say hello and tour the other 11 studios with their guest artists, in the neighborhood.
A table I painted 10 years ago, pre-chalk paint.  Gilded and protected by Crystalfin, its still like new after heavy use!

The table base with Swedish blue and gilded accents....and an elegant tail model, courtesy of Tessie!

Sweet Pea models one of the linen slipcovered chairs, in "Jane's Rose Bouquet" in blueberry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tea Towels!

I love pretty linens and have collected pieces here and there over 25 years now.
But the prettiest printed pieces are hard to find, usually expensive and not always in the colors that match my decor.

That's one of the reasons I got involved in designing my own fabrics, through Spoonflower.

I am slowly decorating my way through my own home, sewing slip covers for furniture; pillows and curtains for every room.
I also love to make simple tea towels in delicious
florals and patterns.
I sell them through my ETSY shop, here

I will also offer them for sale during the Arts North Studio Tour
I am participating in, in September.

As a fabric and wallpaper designer, I am going to have slip covered furniture, decoupage storage boxes, throw pillows, lavender-filled sachets, fabric baskets and tea towels for sale,
in a myriad of patterns I designed.
If you live in Seattle, I'd love to meet you!

I will also be hosting 3 local artists who
are all talented painters!
And of course, the other neighborhood artists will have their studios open to the public as well.
Come see how we Seattle artists live and work in our home studios!

Back to the tea towels - they are roughly 18" x 27",
55% linen and 45% cotton.
They are SO absorbent, you will be amazed!
No lint or wipe marks left behind!
And they look so pretty hanging on your rack.
Some people use just for display!

Decoupage Storage Boxes

   Do you do the same thing I do....Dream about doing something for your own home or work space but never actually getting around to it?
Decoupaging my storage boxes is one of the things I'd love to have but only create for others.

I decided to have a selection of boxes for the Arts North Studio Tour I am part of in September.
They'd coordinate well with my blue and white upholstered pieces and other soft home furnishings.

Once done, I sit back and think "this would look great in MY bedroom or studio"!

Maybe, after the tour, if these all sell, I will finally reward myself with pretty storage boxes!

"Gingham" in blueberry and "Lake Emily Summer Roses" in blueberry on white

"Violetta" in deep blueberry and "Imma Toile" in 2-tone blueberry

"Gingham" in blueberry and "Lake Emily Summer Roses" in blueberry on white

"Seville Damask" in Delft blue, and "Delphia" in pale blueberry

"Gingham" in blueberry blue on a hat box

"Gingham" in blueberry hat box with a pale whisper soft blue interior

"Neoclassical Birds" in blueberry on white, and "Damsel Floral" in blueberry

"Neoclassical Birds" in blueberry on white, and "Damsel Floral" in blueberry