category: handmade

Posted by in handmade

*hi everyone! today, we’re kicking off the holiday showcase as we meet charlotte wolf from charlotte’s sew natural. let’s join her as she discusses creativity and living the life of an artist!


Charlotte Wolfe
Owner of Charlotte’s Sew Natural
Newton, Kansas

Ever since I can remember, creativity was encouraged as a “good” thing. It was easy to imagine that I might grow up to be an artist! In college, I was lucky enough to discover the theatre and majored in costume design. A theatre design major offered what I hadn’t found in either a fashion design or art major – “collaboration” – wonderful, talented people to work with. The curtain going up provided an absolute deadline. There was always another project demanding creative attention with the next show. I found it very fun and satisfying.

When I started my own business, a retail fabric store which has since evolved into a “quilt shop” called Sew Natural, I benefited from that experience.

Today, 30 years later, I still consider myself an artist first and a reluctant business person second. I find that I do my best creative work under pressure. If I am having trouble getting started, I will list the problems that need to be solved. Usually heading the list, is the date by which the project must be completed!

Once I’m immersed in a project, I need to find more hours in a row to give it full attention to complete. However, most of my creative projects are built on a few snatches of time, often while multi-tasking. I work best, first thing in the morning, with a cup of strong coffee. I often push the envelope of my available time, gulping down yogurt as I dry my hair just minutes before I need to be at the store. I’ve found that the shower can wash away the creative juices, so I postpone that as long as possible!

Nothing like having to “go” to work! The structure of having to be somewhere else, is helpful in building the desire to get back into the studio to do creative work. No one works in a vacuum, and I am lucky to be exposed to many great ideas, and talented people, every day.

One recent example:

This past spring, Creative Grids Rulers challenged shop owners to make a 36” long quilt row using one of their rulers, then ran a contest on Facebook all summer, asking people to Like their favorite quilt “row” submissions. A Creative Grids Ruler had to be used in construction. The design had to be a certain height and length. It had to represent a season. And there was a deadline! Oh, one other thing, it couldn’t be too complicated, as the quilt rows were to be written as patterns and given away for free to participants in the Row By Row Experience, a new kind of quilt shop hop.

The Row By Row Experience had a seasonal theme. This included a series of trees looking different in each season. I started wondering what the small cardinal in the leaf-less winter tree saw looking out across the field of snow. One thing leading to another, I came up with the idea of the cardinal building himself a snowman friend. I found the perfect Creative Grids Ruler to cut 3 different size circles to create the snowman, and I was off and running! I worked early mornings on the design, and tweeked it in the evenings. With the deadline for photography looming, I finally had a chance to take an entire morning to stitch the row and sewed it into a table runner, in case one didn’t want to make an entire quilt.

My row was one of the top vote getters! My own design, but it owes much to others. The quilt industry is full of gifted, industrious, generous people. I am so inspired by and very lucky to be a part of this global community!

I’d love to hear from you via social media, or if you’re ever in the area stop by the store and say hi in person. – Charlotte

Charlotte’s Sew Natural elsewhere: web | newsletter | facebook

Posted by in handmade

silhouette cutting machine (1)

i’m just bopping in to share my latest love with you: the silhouette cameo cutting machine. i purchased it several months ago and didn’t start using it until last month. i cannot believe i waited so long! all of the sudden, i feel like i’m not sure how i lived without the ability to cut all.the.things.

though i had about a day’s long learning curve to get through, the machine and program that comes along with it, called silhouette studio, are really easy to use. i upgraded to the ‘designer edition‘ so that i could import files in from illustrator. it works like a charm! the cameo will cut sticker paper, vinyl, temporary tattoo paper, stencil material, cardstock, chipboard, magnet sheets and even fabric!

silhouette cutting machine (2)

one of my favorite features of the silhouette studio is the nesting feature. once you have several motifs in the document, you can simply select ‘nest’ and the program will place as many motifs as possible on the sheet in order to maximize your space and reduce waist. it’s like magic.

silhouette cutting machine (5)

silhouette cutting machine (3)

i got slightly carried away with the temporary tattoos. they’re just so fun! to make these, i printed the designs on temporary tattoo paper with my standard printer (along with a set of registration marks silhouette studio includes on the document), then ran it through the cameo. the cameo reads the registration marks and cuts everything out precisely. and, it actually works!

silhouette cutting machine (4)

silhouette cutting machine (6)

it has been incredibly helpful as i’ve prepared for a craft fair and upcoming trade show. i’ve made custom hang tags and sticker price tags which you might be able to see in the top photo. i also made a gold vinyl decal of my logo, which you can see in the above photo hanging on the cart. this thing is amazing!

do you have a silhouette? if so, what are you favorite ways to use it?

Posted by in handmade

handmade fashion - sewing patterns (1)

clockwise: pleated knit skirt // out and about dress // tiny pocket tee // scout tee // alder shirt dress

i’ve been on the hunt for some sweet and simple sewing patterns lately, and i’m so excited about what i’ve found! since we now have 4 knits and 2 voiles offered in each of my fabric collections (perfect for garment making), i’ve gotten the itch to learn how to sew apparel. since my mom is such an amazing seamstress, i usually outsource any apparel projects to her, but i think i’m ready to finally take the plunge and start sewing some myself. i can do it, right?!

i’m planning to start with a few tops from grainline studio and i’ll be sure to share the process with you as well. i’m also in search of a pattern for pair of high waisted – wide leg pants. do you know of any?

your turn! what are your favorite sewing patterns or companies for apparel?

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foxglove // the riding peplum | sewn by sew caroline // beautiful dreamer cardigan | sewn by sew caroline // the dreamer top


clay opera

October 6, 2014

Posted by in handmade


oh my, clay opera’s unique platters, bowls and spoon rests are so darling! i love how they are both playful and sophisticated at the same time. the glossy cream glaze gives them an elegance, while the cute motifs and darling eyelashes just make you want to squeeze them. i am especially fond of this bear spoon rest (of course). and, wouldn’t you love to serve a fresh batch of biscuits in a cute little pig bowl?!


october gift guide

October 3, 2014

Posted by in handmade

october gift guide | going home to roost

product links: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5* | 6* | 7 | 8  | 9 | 10 | 11* | 12

a handmade gift guide for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays… or for no reason at all!

* get 15% off using code ROOSTER on non-sale item purchases, valid until 30th november. thanks, sara!

* sign up for the Happy Mail Society and get 1 free month. thanks, melissa!

*get 20% off using code 2liduvina0. thanks, ludmi!

fun facts for october:

>> first week of october is children’s book week
>> october 4th is world animal day
>> october 20th is spirit day
>> october 21st is apple day
>> october 23rd is mole day
>> october 27th is navy day


hi everyone! i’m pleased to welcome heidi ahmed to our space today. she’s a talented watercolor artist, illustrator and surface pattern designer. we recently got connected through my creativelive course, and i have been blown away by her work (see her pattern collection here!). today, she’s sharing with us some inspiration and a beautiful printable. thank you, heidi!


share something everyday download (3)

Hello! My name is Heidi Ahmed.  I am from Columbus, Ohio and specialize in watercolor illustration & design. I have recently branched my watercolors into surface pattern design after taking Bonnie’s CreativeLive class on Designing Surface Patterns From Scratch. This class was life-changing for me because it exemplified a career path that provided more purpose and opportunities for my art.  In my current work, I had noticed that painting images has its limits.  While I enjoyed the process, I did not find as much fulfillment as I was expecting.  Surface design allows my work to touch people’s lives in a more tangible way.  In addition to the nature of the work, I found myself drawn to the community because they were generous, talented, and encouraging.  

In essence, surface design gave strength to my weaknesses.

During the class, I was inspired not only by Bonnie’s sincerity but also her willingness to teach. I was completely blown away by how genuine she was. One of the concepts from her class which really stuck out to me was the idea to “share something everyday” (inspired by austin kleon). It was clear that Bonnie believed in this idea and demonstrated it in her own life and work.

I was drawn to this concept because it is something I have struggled with since the beginning of my career.  I was afraid to share my work not for fear of people’s critiques but for fear of theft.  Seeing Bonnie’s generosity and confidence, however, inspired me to have courage and share my work. We have to be willing to let our work go and “find its place in the world,” much like a student going to school.

As a reminder to myself of its importance, I wrote out the words “Share Something Everyday” in calligraphic hand and posted it on my wall. I was determined to put this concept into practice for myself! I felt the first step in doing so would be to do just that:  share it!  So I’m sharing it as a free download here.

share something everyday download (4)

to download: click here (or on the image above) to download the printable PDF. print on kraft paper and cut out along faint lines.

Lastly, I want to thank Bonnie for the opportunity to share my thoughts. I have grown not just professionally but also personally through her class.  If you are interested in taking her class, it is available on  If you have any thoughts you’d like to share… about sharing… please share them in the comments below!

Heidi Ahmed is an artist working in Columbus, Ohio. She specializes in watercolor illustration & design. You can see more of her work on Lost in Reverie and visit her shop here.


master series with jo klima

September 22, 2014

Posted by in handmade

master series with jo klima (1)

happy monday everyone! i am very excited to welcome jo kilma to the roost tribe this friday as she joins us to discuss mindfulness and creativity.

jo is a soul-centered designer and artist with a curiosity to explore creative and spiritual practices which deepen and support our desire of living a beautiful and authentic life. she loves creating beautiful websites and branding for amazing women and businesses – bringing their ideas, energy and spirit to life. see her work at the darling tree, follow her creative adventure at maps to herself, or get in touch on twitter, facebook or instagram.

master series with jo klima (2)

master series with jo klima (3)

jo and i go way back. in fact, she designed this very blog for me over five years ago! (time to get her to do an upgrade, you say? i agree! wink.) there’s something about jo and her work that just draws you in. you can tell she loves what she does. her sense of style and design are impeccable and she works really hard to bring women’s creative businesses to life. it seems as though everything she touches just comes to life!

master series with jo klima (4)

jo elsewhere: web | blog | twitter | instagram | facebook | pinterest

so come join the roost tribe and get your learn on! join anytime this month to receive jo’s article on mindfulness and creativity.

roost tribe

what is the roost tribe? the roost tribe is a membership that welcomes you to a family of creatives for just $5 a month. by joining, you’ll become a part of an incredibly inspirational community. members receive a welcome packet with several informational e-books covering blog growth, pitching your products, writing product descriptions, going home to roost’s creative story and a list of top industry resources. additionally, each month members receive printables, patterns, illustrations & clipart, a plant based recipe, adobe illustrator tutorial, iphone & desktop background, special guest articles on creative topics and more all delivered right to their inbox!

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Posted by in handmade

 exhibitors at the indie craft parade (2)

hi everyone! i’m back from the indie craft parade and want to share a little bit about it with you! it was held in downtown greenville, south carolina, and was bustling with makers and indie-preneurs all weekend. in fact, there was a line out the door and around the building to get in all weekend- which just made me giggle with delight!

above was my little corner of the craft fair. i sold fabric covered notebooks, handmade camera straps, inspirational art prints, gift cards, temporary tattoos, patterns and sewing kits. i have just a few things leftover which i’ll try to share on instagram this week- follow me there if you’d like to see what’s still available!

since i know many of you couldn’t attend, i wanted to share a few of the artists that i fell in love with. i came home with a bundle of handmade goodness and i can’t say enough about how beautiful these maker’s booths were.

let’s get started!


exhibitors at the indie craft parade (3)

emily jeffords had a gorgeous booth (she won best booth award!) for her beautiful original paintings and prints. her work is so peaceful and serene and i have fallen in love with her color palettes. you can see more of emily’s work here.

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the artists of bean & bailey  make contemporary slip-cast ceramics that are light and airy yet super durable. i grabbed a splatter tumbler to use as a to-go mug and it feels so good in my hand. everything they make is simply stunning!

    exhibitors at the indie craft parade (5)

with adorable baby clothes and a onesie that says ‘hey there baby bear’, it’s no wonder i totally fell in love with strawberry moth.

exhibitors at the indie craft parade (6)

erin godbey (creator of the indie craft parade) just debuted her new line of salts and sugars called queen’s cupboard. rumors of a website are spreading, but until then, you can contact erin directly to place an order. we grabbed some sriracha salt, french kitchen salt and pure vanilla extract and it’s all been amazing (i just added the salts to some roasted potatoes and pumpkin soup last night!).

exhibitors at the indie craft parade (7)

at spectrum-style, julia riffle works with wood, leather, clay and found natural items to create one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. i happily picked up a new necklace and beautiful pair of stud earrings this past weekend. stay tuned, their fall line is releasing soon!

exhibitors at the indie craft parade (1)

finally, i don’t drink much soda, but i completely fell in love with pure sodaworks over weekend. in my opinion, they have handcrafted the most delicious, all-natural sodas on the planet. they simply take the finest organic fruits, berries, and herbs they can find, sweeten them with natural cane sugar, and create carbonated taste sensations like no other. my favorites were strawberry jalapeno (amazing!), cafe cola and apple pie.

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