Open for Business

Owls and Pigeons has opened an Etsy shop!

Owls and Pigeons, Alexandra Augustine

Brighten up your kitchen with cheerful dandelion towels,

Owls and Pigeons, Alexandra Augustine

or find the perfect housewarming gift – a set of Tea Time towels and…

Owls and Pigeons, Alexandra Augustine

a reversible tea cozy!

Owls and Pigeons, Alexandra Augustine

The Owls and Pigeons Etsy shop features my original textile designs that I’ve made into towels and cozies – more designs are to come. For example, my teapot is nice and warm on top, but I think it needs a matching padded stand to sit on to keep it really warm through my long lingering weekend breakfasts.
You can find the shop here: Owls and Pigeons Etsy Shop

Sunflower Seats

For years our dining chairs have been a simple and cheap Ikea design that were handed down to me when a neighbor moved to Florida for a job singing with Cirque du Soleil. Ideal for twenty-somethings settling down in their first apartments, the chairs were cheap but were not made for longevity, and I decided recently that not only was I starting fear for our lives every time we sat down, but that we had probably outgrown them. So after a lunch of meatballs and lingonberry sauce, and much deliberation and seat testing, Mark and I decided on an Ikea upgrade: from “Stefan” to “Börge“.

Boring Borge

I liked the sleeker design of the Börge, but the stark white muslin seat cover was not very imaginative. Fortunately, it was removable, and could easily be replaced with a more interesting design.

exciting_borge

When I got home and assembled the chairs (these took a little more work to put together than the Stefan, which is a good sign for durability) I realized that I had the perfect design, my Sunflower Seeds! I pulled out my staple gun, and went to work – so that the cover would have a more tailored fit, I decided not to make the cover removable, I can always pry out the staples if/when I decide to change the fabric again.

Alexandra AugustineI love how the chairs turned out. The fabric complements the chair really well and the overall design works with the rest of the room. And, most important, I no longer fear broken bones when we sit down to a meal.

Want to re-cover your Ikea chairs, make a dress, wrap a gift or paper your bathroom with “Sunflower Seeds”? It’s now available for sale on Spoonflower in a variety of fabrics and as wrapping paper and wallpaper. Check it out here: Spoonflower.

 

The More Things Change…

I recently became inspired by a Fall/Winter 2015 trend report on StyleSight.com featuring prints that use simple black line-drawn symbols as design motifs.  It reminded me of the fun show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from way back in 1997 called Wordrobe that featured garments throughout history whose designs incorporated words and letters. As the exhibit showed, taking common symbols that are normally used for practical communication, and creating a design element with them is not a new idea – as I found out again when I came across a great image from Bauhaus Textiles of patterns created with typewriter keys from 1932.

Inspiration

 

I thought of all the symbols used in the needle arts and I started poking around my library of embroidery and knitting books. The symbols used in 19th century whitework embroidery caught my eye. Taken alone, they have clean direct lines, but arranged all those symbols together in a floral motif, and they create a very different effect. And, if you take those same symbols and arrange them in a completely different way, the look can be very modern.

Embroidery

 

 

From Small Seeds

I’m still waiting for my sunflowers to bloom, but in anticipation – and as an inevitable follow up to my sunflower seeds design – I created a sunflower design for the home.

Sunflower Table Cloth

I was inspired by my sister’s garden where she has a carpet of zinnias blooming under a profusion of tall sunflowers growing behind them.

Sunflowers by Alexandra Augustine

I love the combination of the bold yellow sunflowers with the colorful scattering of zinnias among the green leaves.

My garden upstate usually blooms about a week or two after my sister’s on eastern Long Island, so I probably won’t have any zinnia or sunflowers blooming this weekend, but my dahlias are starting to pop open!

IMG_6131

We’ve been busy

It’s been a busy season, Mark and I have been working, flowers have been blooming, vegetables are growing, bugs are buzzing.

I’ve also seemed to have a acquired a fascination with mushrooms. Now that the lazier days of summer are here, I definitely see a mushroom project in my future.

Happy Summer!

Summer can’t be far behind!

My favorite farmers’ market opened for the season this past weekend! Because of Eddie Izzard tickets, a belated Mother’s Day celebration and work, we were not upstate for the opening, but I’m really looking forward to another season of the Barryville Farmers’ Market. In honor of my favorite greenmarket, I created a couple of posters for an assignment for my SVA illustration class taught by the wonderful illustrator Melanie Parks.

The illustrations are watercolor and I used Prismacolor pencils for the typography, with some help from Phtotoshop. I wanted to evoke the charm our small market along with the range of delicious fresh food that is available there.

Barryville Farmers' Market

 

Barryville Farmers' Market

 I can’t wait to go up this weekend and stock up with farmers’ market goodies for the long Memorial Day weekend. I definitely see some grilling happening at the cottage… although, maybe not chicken.

Washington DC in April

This past weekend Mark and I were in Washington DC where the weather was so gorgeous, my friend and host, Emily, packed up her two little boys and the five of us headed out to the National Arboretum. We wandered around the Capital Columns, a rather strange, but beautiful landmark that made me feel like I was in a Star Trek episode where the crew has beamed down to a bucolic classical civilization. After the boys rolled around in the grass for a bit, Emily headed back home to take them to a sleepover and Mark and I went off to explore the rest of the gardens. To get out of the sun for a bit, we ducked into the Bonsai and Penjing Collection, and we suddenly found ourselves in an incredible world of intricate miniature trees. They were amazing, I’d had no idea that this is what Bonsai really are, certainly nothing like their poor step-cousins that you can find in Chinatown or the Flower District.

Bonsai

Bonsai

Bonsai

Bonsai

 

I’m still in awe.

We had a great time in DC. Lots of great food, relaxing and catching up with friends.

Oh right, I also ran my half marathon.

DC_Half

 

Meet Lulu

Introducing Lulu, a very stylish bunny.

Bunny

She and her wardrobe (and work) have been keeping me busy for the past few weeks. She came from the pattern by Julie Williams, called “Bunny Girl in Dotty Dress” and is headed to a silent auction fundraiser for The Casey Young Foundation on April 5th.

She was a lot of fun to knit and only a deadline stopped me from knitting more dresses from her dress pattern collection, “Seasonal Dresses” .

Every bunny needs a place to store her dresses and a cozy spot to rest between tea parties. Lulu has a custom painted wooden box lined with original printed fabric.Bunny_box

Lulu and her fabulous wardrobe can be yours!
On Saturday, April 5th, she will be up for a silent auction at a wonderful event in Brooklyn, NY to raise money for “The Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood Program”. You can purchase tickets for the event here.

I hope you can make it to the fun event, and good luck with the bidding!