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  • Quote Garden from Garden Secrets

    Quote Garden from Garden Secrets

    Quote Garden is one of my favorite prints from Garden Secrets, my newest collection from Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics. It's a little bit painterly, a lot grassy, and bright and fun. I think it's a really nice complement to the whole collection, because it brings a lightness to all of the amazingly bold colors. I also have a thing for little weeds, and these were drawn after I grabbed a bunch of tiny grasses from my apartment's front lawn. Look how beautiful they are? Most people don't look down too much at the grass, and usually weeds aren't exactly encouraged. But I love em.

    So we get the 'garden' part, but the quotes? I really haven't had many people ask me about it, which surprises me. Don't laugh, but I haven't actually seen the fabric yet. Logistically, it's expensive and a bit wasteful to mails yards of fabric down to South America, and I visit the US pretty regularly, so I'll be picking it up the next time I fly up. Two birds, one stone. So, perhaps the letters are so small that no one notices, but I can't attest to that, as I haven't seen it.

    There are three vague names and words tucked into leaves and stems, that I hoped people would take the initiave to look up, and perhaps that's the other reason I haven't had many questions, did you all look these up yourselves? Pat yourself on the back if you did! If you didn't, I'm here to help out. There are three quotes in the print that I really love. They have such meaningful messages that I thought I might as well use my mighty powers as a fabric designer to spread them to the world. This is one of the secrets in Garden Secrets.

    The first quote is from John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury, it is as follows:

    "Fill each day with life and heart. There is no pleasure in the world comparable to the delight and satisfaction that a good person takes in doing good."

    The second quote is from Albert Schweitzer:

    "Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you no pay but the privelage of doing it."

    I will admit, I really know very little of John Tillotson and Albert Schweitzer, so I apologize for being uneducated on them, they seem like great speakers. I just know that when I give back, help out a neighbor, carry an old lady's groceries, give blood, any silly little thing, I feel so rewarded. I don't want to say I'm always patting myself on the back just because I did some little thing, but really, it makes you feel good to see others feel good. End of story: do something good for someone else, it'll make you smile. And you know what's good? The quilt/fabric community is full of good people who consistently give back, I know you guys are already feeling great.

    The last quote is from Martin Luther King Jr. I live in Brazil, and there are so many holidays here, I totally forgot MLK day. Last Monday would have been a logical day to post this. Alas, I need a better calendar with holidays from Brazil and the US. Back to the subject, the quote goes as follows:

    "Even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry; (Go ahead) sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, "Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well."

    If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill

    Be a scrub in the valley—but be

    The best little scrub on the side of the hill,

    Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.

    If you can’t be a highway just be a trail

    If you can’t be the sun be a star;

    It isn’t by size that you win or fail—

    Be the best of whatever you are."

    This is taken from one speech I've listened to. There are a lot of great points, but this is my favorite. I've really liked this one for a long time. I mean, I love to sweep, so literally, the man speaks to me. But joking aside, be so proud of what you do. Whatever you do. Always put your best work forward, and be so proud of what you do, in anything, sewing, teeth brushing, studies, helping others.

    And, to finish, I apologize if I've written any of these quotes wrong, or attributed them to the wrong people. I did the best research I could!

  • Circles this Week

    This week seemed to end up being an array of circles, as far as pictures go.

    We're in the middle of Brazilian summer, and we have had a great amount of rain at our house in the mountains/rainforest. We live in São Paulo state (just like New York, New York, state and city have the same name), which the majority of is currently in a really tough drought. We happen to live in an area which is recieving a lot of rain, though, so I am very thankful for that. Our water comes from a spring (or a well? I'm really still a bit lost on the translation), so thankfully, we have plenty of drinking water. One consequence of many years of drought followed by heavy rains is flooding and mudslides. We've been safe from flooding, as we live on the side of a hill, with good drainage, but our roads have had a little bit of mud action. Again, though, thankfully, we really haven't been harmed at all.

    We have a BOB stroller, which usually when I see in public I go, sheesh, that's such a big stroller, what in the world am I doing, but when I see in situ, at our house in the muddy mountains, I think, oh, that's why I have this. We live at the end of a dirt road, and were stuck in the house for a few days after mud blocked our road. Without the BOB we really would have been stranded. I took the picture to show how caked on the clay-like mud got around the tires, but it really doesn't do it justice. With a toddler in all that mud we were a huge mess.

    Also in my world of circles, I started cutting into Garden Secrets, and I love it so much. The large Bouquet print is so amazing, and it's voile, so even better! For where to find it you can check Cloud 9's website, they have a great 'where to buy' section.

    I started cutting some circles for some circular placemats, the bright colors go great on our rustic(ish) kitchen table. I used the scraps to do a bit of a test, and am going to turn them into coasters (you know, so that our "rustic" table is protected from water marks). I sandwiched a bit of felt in between the voile and a nice chambray and hand stitched it on, a bit of a trapunto technique. It raises it a bit and looks so nice. And I love the scraps from this gigantic print, it seems like it might be daunting to cut it up, but I like it just as much in small pieces as I do whole.

    The last in a series of circles (seriously, though, I looked through the camera and it was all circles) was the inevitable picture of something I ate. I really try not to do that, but it happened. We were sorely lacking in lettuce from the garden, so I picked some nasturtium petals and leaves, marigold petals and rose petals, as well as some leaves from a cabbage that doesn't seem to be turning into a cabbage. I didn't tell my husband what was in it until he finished, because, I mean, you never really want to tell a guy he's eating flower petals, I feel like that just wouldn't go well.

    That's all in my world. Back to working, drawing for a new collection, and hopefully making some tutorials that I can share with you soon.

  • Here I am

    Hey guys, it's me, I'm going to post a few pictures about my home. I usually don't post much like these, but I look through them and ooh and aaah at how beautiful I think the landscape is, so thought to share a bit with you. Usually pictures from my home life are so messy, unscripted and just plain normal, that I don't post them. It's all very un-designer-y. At home I'm very much just a normal person, with a normal family, and things are as beautiful as one might imagine. Dishes, you know, and dust, I've got in by the bucketload. But I also have some extremely inspiring imagery, if you can look past the non-professional photography (kudos to you that can do it all, I, myself, haven't figured out photography yet, nor do I really care to). Have a look, I hope you love it.

    Just a warning, for the future, I am often bare foot, and although the trend has come and gone, I swear I've been taking barefoot pictures as long as I've had a camera. I apologize, but I still love those photos, and most likely will post them on the regular.

    Welcome to my world!

  • New Work

    I've got some new work out in the world! A new fabric collection hitting stores as we speak, with Cloud 9 Organic Fabrics, a great new animal print that I can't wait to share with everyone, and lots more in the portfolio. If you are a ecologically sustainable manufacturer of quality products and are interested in seeing my portfolios, shoot me an email: sarah@sarahwatonillustration.com. I look forward to chatting!

  • Check out Pen to Thread

    Hey world!!! How's it hanging? Life treating you okay? I hope so. Holiday planning is on it's way, and gift planning will be starting soon...or has already started. I totally recommend homemade gifts, I think it's the nicest way to share a piece of yourself. But what if you just don't feel crafty? What if you're usually the recipient (time to pick up embroidery, but more on that later)? What to give that crafter in your life? How about Pen to Thread?!?! My new embroidery motif book, perfect for sewers, quilters and crafters of all sorts. Embroidery is the thread that binds us, right? Check it out on Amazon.com, as well as Interweave.com. It doesn't actually come out until January, so it'll have to be a belated holiday gift. But the best belated gift I bet you'll give (or get!).

    More photos to come soon, keep an eye out.