Quilt Envy: Pennington’s Quilts

Firstly- yes, I have been shamefully absent from the blogosphere for (gasp) over a month!  Running a handmade business means sewing, ironing, and shipping like crazy!  I have many, many things to share, but for today I really just HAD to tell you about the lovely Brooke, of Pennington’s Quilts and her amazing Colorful Modern Baby Quilt quilt using my striped yellow bias tape.  The colors are vibrant, calming, and modern all at once and the stitching is just so much fun.  I also love that this is a baby quilt.  Lucky kid, whoever gets this fresh heirloom!

I’ll also be posting Brooke’s quilt to this month’s Polly Danger Facebook Contest, so make sure to “like” it!  Read my June newsletter to find out more about the latest Facebook Contest!

Crushing on Chet and Dot

Ever since I first laid eyes on Chet and Dot’s cashmere plushies at the Crafty Wonderland Shop last year I was in love.  I’ve posted about this soft, pretty, kawaii, floral fantasy before, but I just must do it once again!  Visiting the Etsy shop reminds me an awful lot of my favorite boutiques in Tokyo- it’s filled with precious and luxe items in ridiculously adorable form.  Jenn makes healthy use of wool felting, cashmere, pastels, florals, and sweet details.  From sweet plushies to dainty charms, to bear potholders to aprons, totes, and even sweet little baby shoes. I think one of the things I love most about the items in this shop is the perfect blur between something you’d buy as a fabulous baby gift, and something you’d keep for yourself.

Meow.  These pretty plushies are almost too pretty for baby’s hands, but I’m pretty sure when the time comes my little one will own an army of them.

I’m also in love with these beautifully felted flower brooches.  I’ve bought myself a white hydrangea, which is currently adorning my pink cardigan.  Too pretty.

This adorable potholder is almost too cute to use.  I love the retro fabric, and the face.  It’s like he’s saying, I’ve got a job to do- let me at that hot pan!  Yosh!

And the very dainty illustrated charms are just the thing to wear to a tea party, don’t you think?  I love that they come on silk ribbon.

But the very next thing on my must purchase list is this tiny woolen kitty.  Just look at that pouty embroidered face!  I think I have a little display cabinet that is awaiting a little woolen animals collection as a matter of fact . . .

If you want to see more of Portland’s own Chet and Dot, check out these links:

Chet and Dot on Etsy: http://www.chetanddot.etsy.com

Chet and Dot blog: http://chetanddot.blogspot.com

Or stop by the Crafty Wonderland Shop in Portland, Or (on 10th Ave. across the street from the library).

Crushing on: Yes Jess

Happy Monday!  Today begins my promise of posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday, starting with a Handmade Crush on Yes Jess knittery!  I think it was her dainty bow headband that first got my attention, but once I peeked into her shop I understood that this was no ordinary knitter.  Oh no, my friends, this is something very, very special.

In addition to this Bow Headband in Mustard, I found all manner of winter accoutrements that look like they came straight from Alice’s Wonderland.  Hats with massive pompoms, gigantic bow ear warmers, leaf motif headbands- all just so cheerful and wonky!

There is truly no cuter way to warm your ears than with a bow as big as your head.  Big ol’ Bow Ear Warmers in Cherry Red are just the thing to keep your ears warm, hide bed hair, and make you the star of the show every where you go.  I’m pretty sure these would make Minnie Mouse jealous as heck.

If bows aren’t your thing (in which case this probably isn’t the right blog for you), or if you’re just too shy to wear a giant red bow on your head, how about a massive pom pom instead?  This Massive Pom Pom Hat seems like it might be a feat of gravity, but I’d say the cuteness factor is strong enough to encourage excellent posture!

In addition to head wear, Yes Jess also carries some lovely accessories that can be worn in other ways, like this Dapper Knit Tie, perfect for fancy office dress up.  Makes me miss my secretary phase.

Yes Jess also carries plenty of toned down, but still stupid cute slouchy hats and accessories. One of my favorites is the Bows and Bows and Bows Slouch in Baby Pink!  It’s subtle and outrageously adorable all at once.  LOVE!

Added cuteness are the photos- coy looks, stripes, and anything with mustard always wins.  Plus she looks and awful lot like my good friend, Rhea, which adds to the crush.

You can find Yes Jess here:

Yes Jess on Etsy

The Yes Jess blog

and follow  Yes Jess on Twitter

Crushing on Track and Field Designs

Adorable floral prints- check.

Cute animal screenprints- check.

Soft colors and old world charm- double check.

What you’ll find at Track and Field Designs, besides cuteness, is a collection of padded bags and pouches perfect for keeping your cameras, cell phones, and laptops cozy, safe, and wrapped in the electronic version of a meadow on a summer’s day.

I just have to say that I think Sasha’s got it goin’ on.

Check out Track and Field Designs shop here.

Crafty Crush Interview- Messy Jesse

If cold weather doesn’t make you want to knit, I don’t know what will. As the weather turns icy and gray, I find myself not only pulling out my knitting basket more frequently, but also seeking out bright and cheerful colors. Today’s Crafty Crush celebrates a lovely seller who manages to pet my knitting needs and love of color all in one! Jessica Fincham runs Messy Jesse, a place for bright and sweet needle organizers!  Not only are her organizers delectable, but her packaging and personal style is just as adorable.  Make sure to check out her blog at the end of the post for a little studio tour!

Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello! my name is Jessie and I’m 23 years old. I live in London with my boyfriend Robin and I have my a little Etsy shop ‘Messy Jesse’ on the side; making bright knitting and crochet organizers and other small accessories. I even have a whole room dedicated to my love of sewing and all things crafty in our two-bedroom flat! I’m not entirely sure how I got started, I’ve always been creative ever since I was little. The name messy jesse actually was a childhood nickname that kind of stuck throughout the years.
(Me too!)

Your fabric selections and combinations are so cheerful and uplifting!  How do you select fabrics and fabric combos?

Thank you Polly! Well actually I think this might be my favourite part of a sewing project, I love matching up my fabrics together; stacking them, folding them … re-folding them! in all kinds of ways to see what looks best together. I also think having your fabrics out on display helps; it makes shopping for new fabrics easier as I know what I already have to work with.

Can you tell us about the craft scene in London?  Any favorite handmade shops?

There is a thriving crafting community in London, although I’m new to the area so I haven’t quite immersed myself in everything. I did go to a fun Etsy party at The Make Lounge recently; a popular craft workshop venue in London with a contemporary twist. There’s so many other workshops and events going on all around the capital. There’s also lots of great places to get supplies, Soho is famous for its fabric shops, and there are countless markets to get all sorts of sewing materials and vintage gems

What are some of your favorite fabrics to work with?  Do you have any favorite craft projects, sewing patterns, online places to visit?

I just love working with cotton, it comes in so many prints, patterns and colours – and it’s the most versatile. I’m also a big fan of vintage 60’s dress patterns, as well as modern day designs – although I tend to alter something, which doesn’t always go to plan! I have so many places I visit online too; where do I begin!? for supplies I love browsing (shopping more often) fabricrehab.co.uk – they have such an amazing collection of fantastically bright and cheerful fabric. Cottonblue from Etsy also has a lovely selection of Japanese fabrics and sewing notions which I am such a huge fan of. Recently I have been aquiring a few pretty vintage sheets, which has quite rappidly become an addictive hobby!

Where else can readers find you, your goods, etc?  Any upcoming craft shows, promotions or other tidbits you’d like to share?

You can find my wares available to buy in my Etsy shop, I try to update it as much as I can, and I should hopefully be getting some handmade christmas ornaments in soon!  You can also find me over at my blog: MessyJesseCrafts. Thank you so much for having me Polly; I’m such a huge fan of your work too.

Thanks so much to Jessie for sharing!  Now check out Jessie’s oh-so-cute studio!

Handmade Crush Interview – City Chic Country Mouse

I’m so pleased to have Jamie and Carmen from City Chic Country Mouse here today for my first Handmade Crush Interview and giveaway!!  If you don’t know City Chic Country Mouse, let me just say that they make the most cheerful, crisp, fresh, and fun sewing room accessories I’ve ever seen.  Their line of ironing board covers and aprons, just makes you want to spend all day in a sunny sewing room!  Love, love, love their new aprons! Jamie and Carmen have been lovely enough to share a set of sewing patterns as a giveaway! Find out how to enter the giveaway at the end of the interview.

Please tell us a bit about yourselves.
Hello! We are a mom and daughter shop which we named after our nicknames for each other…Mom (Carmen or “Country Mouse”) and Jamie (daughter or “City Chic”). We gave each other these names based on where we live and our quirky characteristics due to our geographical locations. For example, City Chic must always drive when Country Mouse visits her in the city (traffic can be scary for a Country Mouse!).  We make each other laugh frequently because of our differences.

We specialize in sewn items designed to make your household chores more cheerful, fun and lovely.  From the sewing/craft studio to the laundry and kitchen we enjoy bringing style to these everyday tasks. It all started with the handing down of a thirty year old Singer sewing machine (from Country Mouse to City Chic) and falling in love with some fabric at a local fabric store. Who knew it would blossom into an unbelievably enjoyable joint venture?!?

City Chic Country Mouse is unique in that you’re a mom and daughter team (obviously you make a great team)- can you tell us more about how you work together?
Being mother and daughter, we know each other better than anyone so we understand and accept are our strengths and weaknesses. We seem to fall into our natural roles…there’s no fighting, no drama, honestly!  Jamie (daughter/City Chic) has a great eye for design, picking out fabric and envisioning how it will all come together. I also do the majority of things related to technology (I’m the City Chic, so it only makes sense, right?) I handle listing our new items in our shop, take photos, and write most of the blog posts. Country Mouse spends the majority of her time in her sewing studio keep up with our customer requests and coming up with new products and sewing patterns. She’s still the one I go to when I need an alteration for my own clothes or if my doggies need a new bed…although I am learning more and more sewing techniques!  We try to share the boring, not-so-fun tasks such as accounting, taxes.

Your fabric selections and combinations are so fantastic!  How do you select fabrics and fabric combinations?
There are so many wonderful designers and fabrics to choose from, it can be overwhelming! We try to stay true to our style and what we like, but also try to have enough of a variety to give our customers lots of fun things to choose from. Living in Minnesota, we have a definite separation between our seasons (snow will be on its way soon!) and we like to choose fabrics based on the time of year as well. For example, we recently added new items from Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow collection which is a perfect for Fall.

What are some of your favorite fabrics to work with?  Do you have any favorite sewing patterns, projects, shops, online places to visit?
Surprisingly there are never any arguments about what fabrics we are ordering, we both seem to agree on what we would like to work with. There probably aren’t any arguments because we have a ton of fabric! That being said, a few of our recent favorites are Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow collection as well as his previous collections Deer Valley and Aviary. We love how he brings a bit of nature into his fabrics. And of course we are really excited for Amy Butler’s new collection – Soul Blossoms to arrive! We have always adored her work and have had the chance to meet her in person several times and she truly is such a kind, down-to-earth person.  We also ordered our first organic fabric line from Cloud9 this year after seeing it at Spring Quilt Market and have enjoyed creating with this as well. We enjoy treasure hunting at estate sales and started incorporating some vintage lace, linens, and doilies into our designs and have really enjoyed mixing things up! We buy fabric from a variety of different etsy shops and our favorite brick & mortar shop is Crafty Planet.  We could go on and on about fabric, but we’ll stop there.

Where can we find more City Chic Country Mouse?

City Chic Country Mouse  blog (we love when people stop by and say hi)

City Chic Country Mouse Facebook Fan Page

And We  City Chic Country Mouse Flickr group for everyone to share their creations from City Chic Country Mouse sewing patterns

PLUS-  Jamie and Carmen are excited to once again be a part of No Coast Craft-o-rama on December 3 & 4 at Midtown Marketplace in Minneapolis, MN.

Enter to win a set of patterns from City Chic Country Mouse!  The giveaway will close midnight (pacific time) one week from today (November 18).

To enter, first visit City Chic Country Mouse’s shop,  and then leave a comment on this post noting your favorite sewing room goody! Don’t forget to include your email address in the comments.

Want extra chances to win the giveaway?  Leave a comment letting me know you’ve:

* Become a Facebook Fan of Polly Danger Crafty Style

* Tweet this post!  Make sure to mention City Chic Country Mouse in your tweet!

One winner will be selected at random from all entries on November 19, and will be notified via email. Good luck to you all!

Crafty Crush Interview- Paper Pastries

I’m sure you all remember back in November when I posted about my love-at-first-sight experience with Paper Pastries, a sweet + spunky greeting card company based in Los Angeles.  If you missed that post, you can read it HERE.  I’m so smitten with Margaret’s style and techniques and over the months I’ve developed some burning questions, which she’s been kind enough to answer.  Wheee!

P.P.'s trademark card- this one is my favorite!

Please tell us how Paper Pastries was born.

The name came from my two favorite things.
I’ve always enjoyed making cards and writing letters.  When I was little, I would make “really special” happy birthday cards and demanded that my mom take them to work with her to sell.  She would sell them for .15 cents each and I thought I was rich.  The cards are a little more thought out these days, and a little pricier… you know, because of inflation.  The quick version of the story: I had a job I didn’t love and after I quit, I couldn’t find another job, so i was motivated make my own.

Why stamping?

Because I can do it on my counter top, tabletop, desktop- pretty much any flat surface no matter how big or small.  I’ve always loved rubber stamps. I had quite the collection when I was little, and I wish I knew where they all went.

I originally wanted paper pastries to be letterpress. I took 3 years of letterpress classes in college, and even have a kelsey press.  At this time, rubber stamps won out because of practicality.I simply don’t have the space for a letterpress set up. Rubber stamping is so unique to each individual piece that I have grown to love it just as much as letterpress. I’m not saying I won’t ever change my method to letterpress, but it won’t be any time soon.

I love taking a drawing, then seeing my rubber stamp a few days later. I love the versatility of being able to stamp anything, anywhere. Definitely has it’s draw backs though, like the week before a show I tired my hand out so much I can’t even type.My machine is my hand!
{ Linda + Harriet, one of my favorite lines, started out stamping, then moved to letterpress. }

Can you tell us something about your aesthetic- what draws you to what you’re drawn to?

I grew up around classic cars and vintage furniture. I spent a lot of time going on road trips, shopping in antique stores and going to museums.  I have always been interested in objects that have a history and I think that definitely influences my line.

How did you come up with the awesome card shelves you use at shows?

I wanted to showcase the cards- they are the foundation of the line. I requested something useful, beautiful, and that no one else had.   Thanks to my boyfriend/handy man/carpenter, Tony, for designing and building the shelves. It was his idea to scallop the tops of them, and I chose the colors. I love hearing people talk about the shelves at shows, I’m so glad shoppers see how much effort I put into my display.  It was all the result of 4 hours at home depot and about 6 hours to build each shelf.  You can see pictures of the process HERE.

The recipe book in your first baker’s dozen is so fantastic- can you tell us what inspired you to do bacon recipes?  Any hints what the next project might be?

Bacon is just as comforting to me as baked treats.  I became obsessed with finding new recipes when I was presented A “the bacon of the month club” membership. I learned letterpress printing and bookbinding while in college, plus a million other skills. I’d like to use the baker’s dozen project to bring these skills back into my life.

What are Paper Pastries’ plans for the rest of 2010?

I really want to take paper pastries to an out of state fair!  Plans for 2010 are- baker’s dozen, and focusing on custom work, like weddings!

I have a feeling your dream might come true, Margaret . . .

* A million air kisses to Margaret for sharing her creative insight with PD.  You can find more Paper Pastries goodies and info below.

Paper Pastries Etsy Shop

Paper Pastries Dot ComEnter code “POLLY” to get 10% off your entire order! *only applies to PaperPastries.com purchases.

The Official Paper Pastries Blog

Letters and Ledgers and Papery, Oh My!

Oh how I love stylized and romantic adaptations of anythings.  One such anythings is official looking papery and stationary and such.  I’ve always had this deeply brewing obsession, but the other day that was completely set off by this (meep!) fantastic pale sagey/gray clipboard from O-Check Design.  So I thought I’d share a little of my obsession with all you devotees of every day beauty.

I love the French phrase typed up at the top.

You can purchase your own HERE.  Thanks to me, I think they’re sold out at Reform School , but maybe if you bug them enough they’ll order more!

I’m basically just in love with O-Check right now.  I found this beautiful library pocket journal over at The Curiosity Shoppe, with no brand name, but I later scrounged it out and yes, it turns out to be O-Check.

It’s full of pockets and tidbits!


And then I found this elegant little number from 16 Sparrows who are beyond everything.

But what is the Letter Writers Alliance you ask.  It’s just the most awesome alliance this century.  It’s a very official thing you know.  And you can join HERE– besides the obvious honor of just being part of the L.W.A., admittance gets you very official goodies, like these:

What it comes down to is this- we need to all join the Letter Writing Alliance, send each other letters and badges and other yummy paper goods.  Okay?

Besides the incredible and romantic L.W.A. stationary and goods, the brilliant 16 Sparrows also makes the famous telegraph stationary and the very delectable paddingken stationary -YUM!

Other official paperies include this journal from Laurel Denise, which is just as official looking inside as outside!  I love how she uses the official-ness of the lab notebook look to incorporate soft and delicate illustrations.

And last but not least how about giving a hand to those people over at Chronicle Books, huh?  On top of publishing fantastic crafty books and gorgeous kits and gift sets, they’re bringing us a little of this-

The Old School Ledger.  It’s on pre-order HERE if you need it as badly as I do.  The fine folks at Paper + Cup Design also gave us the almost as perfect Old School Letter Set.  I only say it’s almost as perfect because it’s a bit easier to find great stationary than to find great notebooks.  And anything that says Ledger on it wins hands down any day.  In my book at least- woah!  Ha!  I’m a cornball at heart.

Well, I’ve rambled about hot paper for long enough.  Now I’m off to join the L.W.A. and start writing some letters!