Thursday, February 26, 2009


According to the random number generator, Elsiee is the winner of my first giveaway. Thank you to all who gave input. By the way, I did get into the gift guide right away with the Amy Butler fabric changing pad bag - the product, not the pattern and in the travel gift guide, not the baby. So it's all good, and the response was so varied as to which photo to use, that I am using them all! I really want to stay away from talking about my products on this blog, so I appreciate your indulgence with this little project. Now we will resume our regular programming. I can't wait to see what Elsiee picks for her prize!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Recommended Reading

For some fresh inspiration, go to the library on a rainy Saturday and spend time in the picture books. Nothing beats a concisely told humorous story accompanied by artwork. James Marshall's Victorianesque artwork for the 19th century Edward Lear ballad, The Owl and the Pussycat, is a hoot, literally. You will find it in the childrens poetry section of the library, and it also has a touching afterword by Maurice Sendak. After I bought the spotted owl fabric by Alexander Henry, intending to use it for a new tea party chair, I woke up the next morning thinking, "The owl and the pussycat went to the library on a beautiful pea green tote." So I had to make it.

A few of our St. Patrick's Day favorites may inspire you to make something or at least, cuddle up with your kids for a good read. Headband by louandlee
Patrick : patron saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola
Finn MacCoul and His Fearless Wife a Giant of a Tale from Ireland by Robert Byrd
Too Many Leprechauns or How That Pot o' Gold Got to the End of the Rainbow by Stephen Krensky, Illustrated by Dan Andreasen
If you love hedgehogs, check out Jan Brett. Many of her childrens books feature them. Her detailed illustrations are a treat. Amy Gaines sells the pattern to make this hedgehog.

My friend, Ginny turned me on to the now famous (she even has an action figure) Seattle librarian, Nancy Pearl. Her website is a great resource for recommended reading in all genres. In fact, Ginny and Nancy told me about my favorite business related book when it first came out. Imagine this, a professor at MIT writes a book on behavioral economics that is so entertaining you will have to read portions of it out loud to your spouse, and it will change how you do business. Check it out. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Fun fact about reading out loud to kids: it improves their vocabulary. When my youngest was still in diapers, she would tug on my shirt and point to her diaper, saying "filfy, mama."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Giveaway Part 2 Some Perspective

Today I want to post a photo that puts the leading contenders in perspective. Taking my own advice from Am I Worthy, I used poster sketch to take a look at my items along with some items that are already in the gift guide. Maybe this will affect how some of you see them as well. Read yesterday's post for the details on the giveaway. Oh, I added the Amy Butler fabric changing pad bag to the mix now. That item sold as soon as I put it in the shop, but I haven't made time to make another one, so now it is in there again as a custom made to order item which will make me take time to make it as soon as someone orders it! So, you can comment here or on the previous post, and I will add you to the contest. Thanks for all of the great feedback!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Help me choose, win a prize

There are so many things I want to blog about today, but I only have time for this one. Yesterday I noticed that a lot of the choices in the baby gift guide on Etsy are actually patterns. Naturally, my question is why not my pattern? So I am changing the photos on my compact travel change pad bag pattern and hopefully landing in the gift guide where I belong. If you leave a comment on this post, telling me which of these photos you think is the most attractive for the Etsy Baby Gift Guide, you will be entered in the drawing. If you also leave a post with a real tip on how to get noticed by admin to get chosen for the gift guide, you will be entered again. The winner will choose her own prize. If the winner is outside the US, she may choose any of my PDF patterns. Inside the US, she has 4 options of finished products - 1. one of my compact travel change pad bags, which is the coolest baby shower gift ever invented, 2. this sunglass case, 3. a finished frame purse like one of these pictured in the pattern, or 4. any pattern in my shop. Thanks for your help, and good luck! Here are the 6 photos I am thinking about using. Tell me which one you think is best. Entry deadline is Noon pacific time on Wednesday, February 25th, and I will annouce the winner here on the 26th!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Winter Valentine

Winter Valentine
Originally uploaded by studiocherie
Happy Valentine's Day! It is still Winter outside, but it is Spring in our hearts.
PS - It is snowing again! I can't wait to update my location but I am still living inside a snowglobe. Somebody let me out!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Some of My Talented Customers

I got a treasury yesterday in which I featured teamates. (Take a look before it expires on Saturday - beautiful stuff.) Today I got one ready to feature my customers. I don't know whether I'll be able to post it on Etsy though, so I am posting it here. Thank you to all who appear here, you are wonderful customers. I only regret I don't have room for all of them. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Aircraft Carrier Part One

If you saw Cabin Fever Decorating, you saw the aircraft carrier. I called it "this boring couch." I think StitchinDye's pillow pictured in that post (which sold immediately by the way) was better than mine, but I am using up my scraps for this project, and had to work with what was on hand. Also she used 16 circles, and I am not that ambitious. The aircraft carrier has 9 pillows in back. There is no way I will have the entire couch done in time for the contest at apartment therapy, but they did get me motivated to start. I've left it around and Rory has not said anything about it. I think that means he's going to absolutely freak out when he comes home one fine summer day to find the entire aircraft carrier transformed into a bohemian love boat. Let's see if I can find some artwork equal to the pillow...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Faith in Action

While love is powerful, "both a sickness and its cure," (That is from Shakespeare in Love, not sure if it is originally from the Bard himself.) faith is indispensable. When love becomes twisted, we still call it love. Twisted faith, however, carries the name fear. Faith is a pure and positive attribute. I think that is part of why I love this tee-shirt. As soon as Randi showed me the design, I asked her to make one for my daughter. The other part of why I love it is that it is done with what is called direct to garment printing. The other name is sublimation. The inks are shot into the fabric by the printer, not laid on top if it as it is with silk screening. The result is a permanent design that has no tactile residue. Randi has been busy adding new things to her shop, as you will see below, so you will not see any tee-shirts there, but she loves to do custom work and would welcome more orders like mine. If you want to do more than wear your faith on a tee shirt, sign the petition over at My friend Stephanie sent me a link and I followed it, explored the site, and acted on my faith. I hope you will too.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Unmasking An Iconic American Image

The Associated Press is seeking compensation from artist Shepard Fairey for using their image, which they purchased from a photographer named Manny Garcia, and turning it into a poster for the Obama campaign. Capturing an iconic image of a person takes years of practice, patience, thousands of shots and some luck, being in the right place at the right time with the right conditions and the right equipment. Turning that shot into a stencil looking poster takes less than 5 minutes on Photoshop. Why didn't you ask permission?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On the Ball Decorating

As an upholsterer and slipcoverer, it is very hard to admit this, but right now I am sitting on an exercise ball, and I like it! Inspired by a marathon running co-worker, Rory picked up a 65cm exercise ball to use at his office. He made the fatal mistake of inflating it at the house. Now all of us want it. I am seriously thinking about how our kitchen table would look surrounded by big blue balls instead of chairs. If I am thinking this now, that means 3 years from now, Pottery Barn will be selling them in white and gold. Meanwhile, I am rethinking my green plan for the aircraft carrier (that's the name of the boring green couch in our living room - see Cabin Fever Decorating.) I may have to go with blue. I do like how those Amy Butler fabrics look on the blue chair (I am pretending the bags are pillows.) Now there is a contest at Apartment Therapy called do it now. Nothing like a challenge (and prizes) to get me off the dime- and on the ball.

Stumbling Through Cyberspace Together

inspirational message necklace by CherishDesigns
When Etsy added the "bookmark and share" button to every shop and every item, it reminded me of my son as a two year old. His famous saying from those times is "Can I have some? What is it?" We all rejoiced over having the button but had no idea why it made us happy or how it was supposed to work. Then someone recommended bookmarking yourself, and chaos ensued. Something felt terribly wrong, so I headed over to Barry Hurd's blog to read about social media influencer marketing. Before you click on that link, let me tell you about Barry and why I went to his blog. Barry's company is called 123SocialMedia, navigating business in cyberspace is his specialty. I don't know his IQ, but I know his number is higher than mine, so if you think I am cerebral, you better swallow some ginkgo biloba before you click that link. He doesn't break up his thoughts with pretty pictures like I do simply because search engines don't look at pictures. He is all about content and optimization, if there is any entertainment factor it's all in the words. I thought of Barry because the last time I visited his blog for some heavy reading, I noticed that he had just about every social bookmark button invented, prominently placed with every article. postcard by yuuco
After reading the article, I decided that I better get serious about being an influencer, so I signed up with SumbleUpon to experience bookmarking for myself. The spirit of this process is honest recommendation, and you won't be taken seriously unless you take the process seriously. Call me an idealist, but I am going to recommend that you don't bookmark your friends products or articles out of friendship. Instead, have the integrity to recommend products and articles that have actually benefited you and these can certainly include products and articles produced by your friends. If everyone took it seriously, we could use services like sumbleupon to discover truly outstanding and helpful content and products on the internet.
fine art print by CitrusTree

The first thing I bookmarked on SumbleUpon was Barry's article that I linked to above. I was asked to write a recommendation - I think it only does this when an item is being submitted for the first time. This was easy to do because I can truly recommend the article and Barry in general. Now that I am a member of StumbleUpon, I have their toolbar on my browser, and whenever I want to recommend something, I can just click on the thumbs up symbol to submit it. If you want to connect with me on stumbleupon to show me your favorites, my username is studiocherie. If you want to recommend one of my blog articles, like Am I Worthy (the one about using poster sketch), sign up on SumbleUpon or Digg or one of the other bookmarking services, then give it the thumbs up. Remember, if you are first, you will have to write a short recommendation. The same goes for my customers, I really prefer that only people who have actually purchased my products recommend them. I am not going to submit stuff I like (with the exception of photography) unless I have actually purchased it or at least seen it live. I will continue to illustrate this blog with Etsy products that look interesting though. If you ever purchase something that you found through my featuring it here, please let me know, and if you really love it, I will submit those too. Let's stumble through this together. Hope that makes sense and wasn't too meaty for you: - )