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.


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.


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.

Grazing in the Grass… and on my dahlias, and my impatiens and my snapdragons…

If you noticed by the dates on my posts, I’ve been a little preoccupied this summer. The long stretches between my posts are to be blamed on my concentration on my career shift. This summer I’ve been busy with work during the day, and classes at FIT and the Art Students League at night. Despite all that, we’ve had another wonderful summer at the Little Blue Cottage. Although, I’m sad to say, the garden suffered because I paid more attention to my computer and sketch pad than to the weeds. The sad shape of the garden was partly my fault – planting seedlings before the last frost, not keeping up with weeding, and just plain ignoring it – but I can also put some of the blame on our neighborhood friends who view our yard and garden as an all-you-can-eat buffet.

The rabbit population, not surprisingly, seems to have increased since last year, and our paltry electric fence around the flower garden was a laughable attempt at protecting our seedlings from their feeding frenzy. (After much research and trips to the garden center, Mark has since juiced up and fortified the fence).  As much as they are a bane on the garden,  they are really charming when they are sitting on the lawn nibbling away at grass.  They are so at home in our yard, that they are completely unperturbed as I cautiously creep closer and closer with my camera clicking away madly, until they’ve had enough and then go bounding off into the woods. They have been great subjects for my sketches.


Rabbit and Ferns


Now, if I could only get them to just eat the weeds in the garden…