Monday, March 10

Full Circle - Dutch Hearts

Finally we arrive at "Dutch Hearts," part of my "Dutch Garden" collection, a distillation of the original "Dutch Heart". 
This pattern transports me to a 1960s garden party with ladies in their summer shifts and perhaps a mother - daughter matching set. 
www.nybg.org
I hope you've enjoyed this early garden tour with me! Yes, we've circled back to the New York Botanical Garden circa 1966. I highly recommend checking out their post From the Library: Mad for Mad Men, the Garden in 1966.

You can view the entire "Dutch Garden" collection here and all my other prints at my Spoonflower shop. Each is available as fabric, wall paper, wrapping paper and decals.



Thursday, March 6

Dutch Garden

Continuing down the tulip path… here are two prints from my new Dutch Garden collection on Spoonflower:

I love connecting the dots of inspiration that lead to a new design, especially when those connections are unexpected, yet so right, at least in my mind (for instance Cake Plates).

A few years  ago, my Pennsylvania Dutch surroundings (see If you ain't Dutch) inspired me to come up with the print below called "Dutch Heart." Recently I decided to revisit the design, but wanted it to have a looser, hand-drawn feel that would work as a repeat print. Ideas were coming together but the magic happened when I stumbled upon my muse (keep scrolling)...
© Sara Smedley 2014 all images above
Thank you Redd Foxx! XO
Don't forget, you can view the rest of the Dutch Garden collection here.



Wednesday, March 5

Tulip March

© Sara Smedley 2014
Quite a while back, I promised to share the inspiration for my Spoonflower print collection, "Tulip March." 

www.nybg.org
While researching mid-century landscape design one day, I came across a post on the New York Botanical Garden's website titled, From the Library: Mad for Mad Men, the Garden in 1966. Included were photos from their archives. This contact sheet is from a 1966 Dutch-themed exhibition.

Mid-century! Dutch! Tulips! Three irresistible sources of inspiration to me. This visual step back into time was all it took to set me on the tulip path once again, as you will soon see.

Wednesday, October 2

NEW designs NEW shop NEW logo NEW me

I've always wanted to do textile and wallpaper design and now I am! I've just set up my new Spoonflower shop, added my first few designs, and even changed my logo. Yup, it's a brand new me. My prints are available on fabric, wallpaper, even gift wrap!

My first print collection is called "Cake Plates." The colors were inspired by a room interior featured in a vintage magazine. It's available in several colors and variations and would make a cool gift wrap:
Next post I'll share my initial inspiration for my second new collection "Tulip March," which is also available on Spoonflower:
all designs © Sara Smedley 2013
One more thing... sometimes to make room for something new, something else must go. In this case, I will no longer be making items for my Etsy Shop. That means the aprons and tea towels that are available for sale now are the last that will ever be! Onward and upward...




Tuesday, July 9

La Fête Nationale!

Yes, Bastille Day is almost here! I always enjoy seeing Etsy Treasuries inspired by this French National Day and it's icing on the cake when one of my Fleur de Lis Butcher's Aprons is included in these festive treasuries, such as Fête Preparations, curated by Marie-Claire.

I also love to see cooking inspired treasuries, and yes, they are even sweeter when one of my designs is included. I am inspired to go right to the kitchen by Sharon's treasury, Love Cooking? I have to admit, I am also coveting the "1950 Man's Apron." How awesome is that? 

Tuesday, March 5

Home Sweet Factory

Today, my dear and extremely talented friend, Wendy Stevens, as well as myself were featured in the Reading Eagle's Business Weekly! You can read the article here.
(If you look closely, you'll see a hint about where my next "hand" design is going)

Thursday, February 21

Everyday V-Day!

How did I miss this? One of my favorite blogs, Apartment Therapy, featured my Dutch Heart Butcher's Apron (in black), on Valentine's Day! You can visit their post here.


The same apron (in red), was included in this gorgeous Etsy Treasury, curated by Kate of Lithuanian based Yarn Store! Sweet!

Wednesday, February 6

Fresh Take

I want to share this photo of some curtains a customer made with my Dutch Heart tea towels!
I love this idea, not to mention those green walls!

Monday, January 28

Pinches and Shots

Sounds like a visit to the doctor's office but fortunately, we're talking about a couple of Valentine's Day inspired Etsy Treasuries, featuring my Dutch Heart apron and tea towel.

 
"Add a pinch of love", curated by Diana Smith and "Shot Through the Heart", by Karen and Kim. Thanks ladies!

Wednesday, November 28

Xmas 2012 gets a helping hand!

I couldn't resist using the "hand" pun this time. I know it will get old, but it seems wrong not to ride the wave for just a little bit. To the point, my Xmas 2012 Tea Towel is now available in my Etsy Shop!

...and so, a new series is born. I'm very excited about this line and have visions of more hand scenarios dancing in my head.

 
I even love the way they look folded up together!

As promised, I have also added my Flutterby Butcher's Apron (to go with my Flutterby Tea Towel). Yes, Virginia, there is no hand, but anywhere I thought of placing it just seemed bizarre. Think about it. Instead, I mixed it up with a very large butterfly, which makes me quite happy. I hope it will put a smile on your face too!

Photo credit © Jickie Torres

I'll leave you with this festive gift wrap tip out of the December 2011 issue of Romantic Homes Magazine, using one of my Dutch Heart Tea Towels. My original post can be found here.









Monday, November 19

Flutterby Butterfly!

Just in time for holiday gift giving, my newest design, "Flutterby" is now available as a Linen Tea Towel in my Etsy Shop! A matching Flutterby Butcher's Apron will follow shortly and I'll be adding a new Christmas Tea Towel, as part of my "hand" line by early next week!

 
Flutterby is the first of my line of tea towels which will feature a hand. At this point, I could run wild with clever lines such as: "Hand towels!" "Handy wipes" "Hands-up the best towels ever!"

 
Instead, I'll write about where the hand inspiration came from. I've forever been a fan of vintage cookbook illustrations and many have wonderful "how-to" line drawings with these Laura Petrie-esque hands. My very favorite comes from the 1964 edition of The Joy of Cooking (later versions have "updated" hands). I grew up with this book and the page I remember most, and still turn to each Christmas, is the "Rich Roll" cut-out cookie recipe which my mother always made and I still do (with icing!).

Another nostalgic influence for the Flutterby design in particular was this Arabia Pottery Finland butterfly pitcher, which I also grew up with. Unfortunately it's long gone, but my memory was jogged when I came across this one in this Etsy shop, (sadly, it was already sold).

I hope this kitchen related nostalgia trip of mine helps get you in the mood for a heartwarming and delicious Thanksgiving this week. Stay tuned for more holiday goodness... Cheers!





Monday, October 1

I couldn't be prouder!

I finally got my hands on a copy of the Fall 2012 Smithsonian Catalog and featured on page 7 is non other than than my Fleur de Lis Butcher's Apron and Tea Towel!

I am extremely honored and proud to see my work associated with The National Museum of American History's upcoming exhibit "Transforming the American Table" which includes Julia Child's Cambridge Kitchen.



Thursday, September 13

Apple days ahead!

Ah, it is time for apple pie! I love the mellowing days of September with their promise of crisp and colorful days ahead. As the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, I find myself in the kitchen more. The last few weeks I've been busy freezing roasted heirloom tomato sauce and ratatouille. I might do pesto next and am curious to try a tip I read on one of my favorite blogs, thekitchn, for freezing herbs in olive oil.


We are fortunate to live close to a wonderful orchard, County Line Orchard that grows all kinds of heirloom apples (and other fruits). It keeps things interesting to follow the progression as different varieties come into fruit. Right now it's Honey Crisp time, by the end of the season we stock up on Keepsake apples. I was just thinking about apple pie the other day so it was a nice surprise to see my Dutch Heart Apron in this Etsy Treasury, Time for Apple Pie, curated by Faith from Ordinary Mommy.

Wednesday, August 15

Cheers, Julia Child on your 100th birthday and thank you!


Today is a special day for Julia Child fans everywhere! Countless glasses, forks, and wooden spoons will be raised in her honor. 


Three years ago, I came out with an apron and tea towel design inspired by the cover of her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol.1. Happily, they were well received by bloggers and customers who would share with me their own passion for Julia. Since then, my aprons and towels have made it to "Julia Child club" dinner parties (hand delivering did occur to me) and even to someone close to Julia (but who shall remain nameless)! It has been heart-warming and a privilege to be part of this enthusiastic community who have been touched and inspired by this great woman.


Today, I am excited to announce that my Fleur de Lis Butcher's Aprons and Tea Towels will be carried by none other than the Smithsonian! Yes, JC fans, the one that houses Julia's Cambridge, MA kitchen at The National Museum of American History! They are available on location at the museum store, online at SmithsonianStore.com, and in the upcoming fall catalog.

If you are near DC, there is a special celebration at the American History Museum here. Otherwise, get yourself into the kitchen, to a dinner party, or one of the hundreds of restaurants featuring Julia Child inspired menus tonight and of course... bon appétit!




Friday, July 20

Julia, Julia!

Oh, dear! It's been way too long since I've posted, but this might help explain why:


I'll post more later but I've been putting together a very special order! Hint: Julia Child's 100th birthday would have been this August, at which time my "Fleur de Lis" aprons and towels will be available here...


Wednesday, February 1

Romanian Tulips

I love red tulips and am flattered to see my Dutch Heart Apron included in this Etsy Treasury, Being in love with red tulips, curated by Etelka Rozsa a photographer from Zalau.
I'd never heard of Zalau so I looked it up and it is in Transylvania, Romania! Earlier in January, an apron of mine showed up in an Australian made Treasury. I love to know my work is being enjoyed in so many diverse places! 

Tuesday, January 24

Kiss the Cook!

I love this Etsy Treasury, Kiss the Cook Valentine's Day Treat put together by K Francis May of Bleeding Hearts Design! Thank you for including my Dutch Heart tea towel!