I Got This

A Spoonflower contest with a clock theme? I wonder where I can find inspiration…

hmmm…. Let’s take a look at a photo from a recent Christmas in my childhood home:

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A nice family holiday scene, let’s take a closer look:

clock_collection

Yes, that’s right, eleven clocks. And that is in just one corner of one room in my parent’s large Victorian house.

You know all those teapots that I have? Well, I inherited the collecting gene from a master collector, my mom, and she has a thing for clocks. Her collection has expanded exponentially over the years, so I kind of know clocks.

Clocks, Alexandra Augustine

For my clock design, I decided to go with an art deco theme in black, silver and white, to highlight the graphic geometric shapes. And, in honor of all of my mom’s non-working clocks, each one frozen at a different hour, my clocks tell different times.

Alexandra Augustine

 You can vote for “Deco Clocks” here:  Spoonflower Weekly Design Challenge 

And if your bathroom needs a little sprucing up, you can order the wallpaper (or fabric and wrapping paper) here:  Deco Time

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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!

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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!

Counting Sheep

I couldn’t resist creating a design for Spoonflower’s latest Design of the Week contest, “Bedtime”. I have a rather checkered history with sleep – I’ve watched more than my share of infomercials, long-syndicated tv shows and forgotten movies while the rest of the world is dreaming – so my motif came to me pretty quickly.

Bedtime by Alexandra Augustine

As it turns out, I was not the only designer who used sheep in my design entry, there must be a lot of insomniacs out there. Although there are several sheep designs, it’s interesting to see how different each one is and to see what other designers are doing on Spoonflower.

To vote for my design, or any others that you like, go to Spoonflower.com and find my design “Counting Sheep”.

Counting Sheep

Counting Sheep

The winner will be announced next Thursday afternoon.

I’m off to take a nap.

Seeds! and Inspiration

Neither snow nor rain nor icy slush kept my hardy mailman from delivering a much anticipated package yesterday – my seeds! During the winteriest weeks of February, I’ve been happily planning out my garden for the spring. Although I had planned to keep things simple this year and concentrate on growing tried and true vegetables and flowers, I ended up getting a little carried away picking out flower seeds.

seeds

I got most of my flower seeds from Botanical Interests and my vegetable seeds from Pinetree Garden Seeds. I also splurged a little and ordered some fabulous looking dahlia bulbs from Eden Brothers. I’ve been starting my dahlias from seed, but I can only find the more gaudy, showy flowers as bulbs and with a name like “Bora Bora”, how could I resist.

All this planning for Spring and warmth and flowers had me inspired. I went back to a photo I took of my seedlings a couple of years ago that I’ve always loved and have wanted to work into a design.

seedlings

This design has turned out to be one of my favorites. The touches of green and celadon hint at the promise of spring among the brown tones and blue highlights. It has a fun but sophisticated look.

seedlings

The groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter and this would be the perfect print to liven up my tired winter wardrobe. A fresh print on anything but wool would be fabulous right now.