Archive for the ‘.’ Category

New! Sarah Jane Wallpaper

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I’m so excited to be announcing my very first line of wallpaper! This has been a secret I’ve been keeping for a while, and I can’t wait to show you!

Wallpaper and wall decals are something I’ve been wanting to offer for a long time. I’ve gotten so many emails from you over the years begging me to make wall decals and wallpaper for kid’s rooms, but the right opportunity never arrived. I wanted to be very selective in the product that we chose, and the company that we would collaborate with. But now it’s all here, and I’m thrilled! I know you will be too.
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The wallpaper and wall decals are all fabric, peel and stick, resizable, removable, easy to apply and take down, made in the USA and incredibly high quality, which makes for gorgeous colors as well as making them easy to wipe down. While I was applying one of the wall decals, the sticky parts got stuck to themselves, but there was never any damage or tearing when we “unstuck” the sticker. You’re going to love it!

I’m loving that this wallpaper is stick on, peel off. It makes for the perfect kid’s decor because it’s a non-perminant commitment. No glue and no mess!

The designs I’ve created all come from three fabric lines you might be familiar with: Children at Play, Out to Sea and Wee Wander. It’s been so fun to resurrect some designs that are from my first collection. So, Children playing dolls, playing rocket ship, on parade, mermaids, pirates, ships, horses, deer, tree climbing and fireflies. I hope there is something for everyone!
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Thank you so much for all your excitement on Instagram and Facebook…it’s been so great to hear your responses. I hope you love this as much as I do! Now to figure out how to deal with my kids who want one of everything in their rooms!

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1 MFS_aqua 600_250

2 BAL 600_500

2 MFS_navy 600_250

2 PH_blue 600_250

2 SNL 600_500

2 WTB 600_500

2 OTG_grey 600_250

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The family tree is one of my favorites! It’s up in our house right now, and the kids love it. You can use it as is, or with the custom

 

boxes (which are separate stickers that can be placed where you like) you can display your family names and family heritage. It’s a great way for your children to know their family heritage in a playful, beautiful way!
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Sarah_Jane_20 Sarah_Jane_01I’d love to hear your feedback, and answer any questions you have! For a list of basic questions, we have a FAQ page you can glance over, or feel free to email us on the contact button above on the blog. And feel free to share! When you hover over the image, you can easily pin or go straight to the listing when you click.

I hope you enjoy! It was so fun to create, and now it’s your turn. You can click here to see them in the shop. I can’t wait to hear about your lovely spaces!
xo
Sarah Jane

And a special Thank you to Meta Coleman of One More Mushroom for styling and Cassidy Tuttle for Photography!

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Sarah Jane Wallpaper & Wall Decal collection!

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I’m pretty excited to make this very huge announcement! Come end of July, I’ll be having a wallpaper and walldecal line with Pop and Lolli! I will be launching 3 collections with them, and I’m over the moon!

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I’ve been looking for just the right company for a while now, and Pop and Lolli fits the bill. Made in the USA, 100% kid safe and best part? All wallpaper is peel and stick, which means that you can reuse, remove and have flexibility!! No sticking on and glueing…which is the worst when you have children that are moving, and growing.

I’ll have more information as we get closer! I plan on having all products for sale on my website by the end of July!

Get excited!!! (My kids are already claiming dibs on theirs! They aren’t happy that I still need to photograph some more!)

Have a lovely, lovely weekend!

xo

sarah

 

 

20/06.
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A Legacy of Creative Mothering

grandma knell Vera Jewell Cloward Knell June 29, 1932 – May 7, 2014

This mother’s day is a really significant one for me, as my family is mourning the loss and celebrating the life of our dear mother and grandmother who graduated to her heavenly home on Wednesday. I’ve mentioned her before occasionally on my blog, as we lived with her for 18 months She leaves behind an increible legacy. One I’ve always been so proud of, and such a part of. But now, with her gone and find myself overwhelmed with all that she gave to me, I can’t help but honor her publicly this special Mother’s Day. grandma and baby.crop She left us rather suddenly, with just a few weeks of illness that took her back to heaven. I’m still processing, still feeling so much. She was the matriarch of one incredible family. 10 children, 51 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and counting. I’m the oldest granddaughter. And while I didn’t grow up near her, my summers were so happy because I was aroun d a family that was just so creative. And because my grandfather was an artist/architect, and my grandmother a crafty, creative maker, their home was filled with so much creativity. But today, in this space, and as we celebrate our mothers, I want to pay tribute to the creative lessons I gleaned from her. I’ve learned so much from this woman, I could go on for pages and pages. But like many of you, I’m sure your creativity came from a previous generation somewhere. And so it did for me. And though I didn’t live near her as a child, it was evident, from a very early age, that my tie to her was bound because of the interests we shared. She didn’t leave boxes of handmade treasures. She was never a professional in her craft. Instead, she used her wisdom and creativity to build a home, and teach children how squeeze the most out of life.  I will always love her for that. grandma knell child.crop

Lessons of Creativity from my Grandma

1. Use your hands

My grandmother was a creative wonder. When she talked she used her hands. She would make with her hands whatever she couldn’t buy. She loved crafting with paper and glue. She loved to do paper cuts, and would spend hours and hours cutting intricate designs into 3D paper dolls, paper art or stationery. She was amazing with an exacto knife, and her attention to detail was second to none. My father has a paper angel on the Christmas tree at our tree topper that is nothing more than a plain white piece of paper…..cut into a lacey, curly haired angel blowing a paper trumpet and held delicately together with glue. apple people small These little people are, belived it or not, hand sculpted fruit people that she made from dehydrating apples and apple cores. It might seem a little odd, and a tad crazy. But this was my grandmother. If she had it in her mind to create something, she did. And she would use what she had. She gave these to my children as christmas presents last Christmas, and they are just so telling of her personality. And it’s where I got my “make something out of nothing” tendancies. I love her for that.

 

2. Make your own play

When there was nothing around to play with, my grandmother would sing a song and make her hands into the people that she was singing about. Or she’d take some paper and glue and make a quick puppet out of a paper cup. There was never a reason to stop playing. When I was 8 years old, my grandmother made me a fabric tote, filled with scraps from her mother’s quilts and other pieces. She made me 3 rag dolls and clothed them so stylishly, and encouraged me to make my own fashionable wardrobes. For years, I would grab my tote of scraps, and attempt to create whatever inspired me in that moment, with just a needle and thread. sewing 2 It was this same value of teaching children to “make their own play” that inspired me to teach my children to sew before they could even read. I can’t say that I actually “taught” Addie anything here, but it was my grandmother’s influence that inspired me to let me children figure out for themselves to to keep entertained. Addie made this adress all by herself at age 3. I still have it:) IMGP9380 (1) Gosh. She loved anything self made. When we lived with her just a few years ago, I made her her very own personalized paper doll. See that little “J” for Jewell on the undies? The adorable thing is, that she played with it even then. She was an eternal child at heart, and loved her paper and hand made play things. She cherished creative play! dollhouse Here’s Addie playing in the dollhouse that she would tinker at. It was one of her prized possessions. Made to look like an unfinished, framed house, she “drywalled” the walls, rooffed it and was always rearranging the furniture. Do you just love that painted pinecone roof?

 

3. Tell Stories

kindergarten crop My Grandmother loved children. It might be obvious because she had 10. But she loved kids! She had a degree in Elementary Education, and was a Kindergarten teacher before she chose to stay home and have a family. Her mother was a Kindergarten teacher as well, and so she had a childhood filled with stories and poetry and nursery rhymes that would stay with her until the time she died. My grandmother LOVED children’s picture books, and I would venture to say is her favorite genre to read. She loved the classic vintage stories, and many she had memorized. “Little Orphan Annie” she could recite and would excited the children evey time! She instilled in me a love of children’s literature, but mostly from how she would TELL stories. She could capture the minds of the most roudy of children just from her sing-songy voice as she’d act out a poem. Gosh, I’m going to miss her voice. Just hearing her tell “There was an old Lady who Swallowed a Fly” was magic…even after the 20th time.  country-bunny It’s also her love of children’s books that fostered my own love, especially of old school classic picture books that I’d find in her home. It’s this classic illustration style that has inspired my own style so much.

 

4. Find Joy in the Choas

10 kids As a creative and a mother of 10, there was always something going on. Always a project, always noise, always music, always chaos. My mother, who met my dad in highschool, describes their home as a joyful mess. There was learning, and love. As an artist and a mom myself, sometimes I wish that  my home were Domino Magazine ready, and that my kitchen was photo worthy all the time…or any of the time for that matter. But my grandmother taught me that it doesn’t matter. What matters is the love and the joy that’s found in the making. Whether you are making a family, or a painting, love the process, and be OK with the level of chaos….it’s all for a greater purpose. 5 kids My dad is the one that’s laughing like a little rascal. I love that picture. swing set crop As a child, I loved playing at my grandmother’s house, because it was always seemed to be in a state of “not quite finished.” There was always something to explore, a mud hill to make into a battle scene, or dressups to find in a dark hidden corner of the basement. Things weren’t tidy and orderly (as you can imagine with 10 small children) but what there was a lot of, was imaginary play. Art supplies were as available as the silver ware drawer. Ink Pens could be found all over the house. Books were everywhere. The Grand Piano that took up most of the small family room was always begging to be played. Grandma would make paper dolls, and paper puppets. She was always encouraging us grandchildren to act out plays that we made up, and perform talent shows. The home itself was small and modest, but the richness of play and imagination was so full. And now, as a mother, with my own home “not quite finished” and the panic that I sometimes feel that our kitchen still needs to be backsplashed, our landscaping isn’t complete, our garage is full of “projects” just reminds me that because of that, my own children are constantly exposed to making their own little worlds….too much perfection takes all that away. I’m so glad I had a grandmother who made the most of what she had, and allowed her children and grandchildren to imagine the rest.

 

5. Do it Yourself

christmas card crop   Here’s a Christmas Card from 1975 with my Grandfather’s lovely handwriting and the coordinated efforts of screen printed team uniforms. My grandmother, like many of our grandparents, was a product of Depression and World War II. She learned at a young age how to be frugal, and to create your way of life with your own two hands. And because of that gift, she was able to provide a very rich and full home with her meager income, raising 10 children. She embodied the motto that I’ve since made into an Embroidery Pattern, one that epitomized her times, and I hope to keep up: make it do photo But she did so with a smile. She raised 10 children in a 2 bedroom house (which was added onto, but in maverick class and style) and she taught me how to use my hands, creatively, to make things work. Scotch tape and scissors could solve most problems. Darning socks and a stuffed animal would keep things longer, and save you from having to buy a new one. She died in a dress that the darned and sewed to make it just as she liked it, and she’d had that dress for gosh, maybe 30 years. I respect that so much. In this world of NEW NEW NEW she embodied the virtue of “Make it Do.” A wedding shower gift to me was a hand sewn grocery bag holder, that was made “just right” so that you could stuff those tedious bags in and grab them right when you needed. She delighted me with her frugality.

 

6. Surround yourself with beauty

I remember traveling through Europe, and noticing in many homes, that while their dwellings might have been modest, they would invite us in, and show off their painting that they saved up so much money for, and valued above all else. Sometimes I feel like in this Americanized world we live in, that original art takes a back seat to many, many things. But my Grandmother (as well as her husband) loved art and furniture, and well made things. Her eames chairs, classic mid century modern architecture, and collected art pieces brought her so much joy. Just a few months ago, I caught her staring at a Frank Magleby painting that she paid $50 a month for, valiantly, until she had it all paid off. She sat in her chair, and said, “Sarah, I love that painting. It took me so long to pay it off, but it makes me feel like I’m looking right through a window into anther place.” She loved rearranging her spaces, and I’d often come over and the family room would be in a different arrangement. In her later years, as she became more and more sedintary, her potted flowers and gallery walls became so important to her.

 

7. Sing it out 

radio show.small Sometimes I envy the children who were products of radio shows and the era of memorizing songs and stories as a part of childhood learning. Because of that, it seemed like Grandma had a song or poem for everything. If you were sick and didn’t want to go to school, there was a poem for that. If you were lonely and needed cheering there was a song for that. Her creative mothering hinged on her ability to pull things from a hat that just kept getting more and more full. A significant song, that I’ll finish with today, is a classic from the 30′s was one example of the kinds of songs she would sing to bring meaning and comfort both to herself, and the children at her feet who learned to do the same:

And if things don’t look so cheerful, just show a little fight.
Fore every bit of darkness, there’s a little bit of light.
For every bit of hatred, there’s a little bit of love.
Fore every cloudy morning, there’s a midnight moon above.

So don’t you forget, you must search ’til you find the bluebird.
You will find peace and contentment forever,if you will be like I.
Hold your head up high, ’til you see a ray of light appear.
And so remember this, life is no abyss
Somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness.

~Bluebird of Happiness, Sandor Harmati

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This mothers day, I’m so honored to celebrate the mother of all mothers. 105 direct decendants have a part of her with them, and I know her legacy of creative mothering lives on. I find myself anaylzing my own creative tendancies, and measuring their purposes. The value of teaching children through art, craft, music, literature and handmade resourcefulness has lessons that stay with us for life. And make for a beautiful life. Because of her example, I’ve known that if something is needed, you can make it yourself. If something isn’t the way that you wish it to be, you can create a better way…even if it’s just in your attitude.

Creative mothering is everything to me. And I’m so blessed to have had a mentor along my path.

Have you had a creative mentor in your mothers and grandmothers? I’d love to hear.

You can also visit Sycamore Street Press, One More Mushroom, Mer Mag and House that Lars built today, and read about their creative legacies as well.

Happy Mother’s Day to you!!

xo

Sarah

 

9/05.
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Wee Wander feature with Tent Pattern from LLK

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

I can’t tell you how much I love coming across your amazing collaborations and creations with Wee Wander! Seriously now. It’s baffling to me how much is going on in cottages and sewing rooms the whole world over, and I just get goosebumps when I come across your amazing work.

View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

These photos are a collaboration of Little Lizard Designs who designs sewing patterns for children. Like this teepee for instance. Adorable! And these dresses. So much to play with!

Chasing Mermaids put together the photoshoot with the help of Claudia Blake Photography.

You can see the full post here with all the details of the shoot…patterns, products, etc.

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View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids View More: http://claudiablakephotography.pass.us/chasingmermaids

Really you guys.  These fabric collections are created with so much effort. I can’t even begin to tell you the all nighters, the take out, the piles of laundry, the messy studio, the creative blocks, and just the challenge of putting my heart in print. It’s just such an incredible process. One that I actually love for how much it stretches me and pushes my creative vision. So when I see your projects and your passion behind these fabric collections, I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart to see so many of you use this in such beautiful ways. I love seeing you get inspired, and I love seeing your creativity! Thanks so much! (Can you tell I’m under the wire for deadlines as I write this? I may or may not have a studio begging to be de-cluttered and a house aching to be laundry-pile free as we speak). 

It’s such an honor. Thank you!

And thanks again LLK for sharing!

xo

sarah

 

 

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black friday 2013 blog

29/11.
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Valentines Printables are up again!

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Due to popular demand, these little friends are back for Valentines day.

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Complete with 2 envelopes and 2 cards.

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Have fun with these! These two are such a pleasure to illustrate:)

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CLICK HERE to purchase PDF DOWNLOAD

 

xo

sarah

22/01ART
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2013

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Taking some time off from this space for the holidays felt just right. How are you? Hope you didn’t come by too much, cause I was laying low and enjoying some well deserved home-body time. All of us (except the husband-turned-nurse) got sick over the holiday, which meant that instead of formal feasts, we stayed in our PJ’s and had chicken soup on Christmas. It was a bit of a downer, but we were all together, snowed in under a foot and a half of snow, and it turned out to be just the pace we needed.

Taking time off from the computer and internet completely felt very well deserved as well. Maybe it’s part of being creative but every so often, I get completely burned out of doing anything social, or creative, and December was one of those months for me. I have had these lulls long enough to know that I need to just go with the flow and let myself unplug. And it was good that I did. I’m ready to get back into creating again.

2013: I’m really interested to see what this year brings! I’m a goal person, and I consider myself  pretty driven. But this year, I’m feeling the need to be a little unattached to my goals, and instead be more focussed on the daily moment. To be a little less pushy of myself, and to allow growth and blossoming to happen in their own time.

There is a lot of stuff I have scheduled, and plenty to keep me busy. But for whatever reason, I’m feeling less go-go-go and more “listen and pay attention.” Does that make sense? I won’t be doing any less, but I intend to have my mind more open, and less filled with lists and pressures. I think last year, I had intentions of letting go of the clutter tasks, and focussing on the creative. But I wasn’t as successful at it, because I still tried to push myself to get there. This year, I’m opening up, staying quiet in my mind, and being more intentionally aware and allowing myself to grow where I need to. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. My mother-brain gets in the way of letting me just “play” sometimes. I’m sure there are a few of you that can relate. It’s all for good reasons, but I am letting go of the “musts” and “shoulds” a little more, and letting myself make more room for expression.  Good for the soul.

I’m excited to share it with you.

Here’s to a new year!

xo

sarah

 

PS: The above illustration is the portrait of my kids I made for my parent’s this year. I’ll be sharing more of the Portrait Project as they come in!

 

 

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Washi Tape Christmas Card Tree

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Here’s a quick Christmas Fix if you are needing one. I went to my local fabric boutique (Harmony & Darlybird) and they had this adorable washi tape tree on the wall. So cute! We’ve added presents (one for each of us) and we’re displaying our Christmas Cards on them this year. We’ve run out of room, and so tomorrow I think I’ll make a few more.

Super easy, and a great way to use up the tape. I love that won’t ever damage the walls, and the kids help put it up. Are you a washi tape geek like me?

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Happy Less-than-a-week-till Christmas day! Horray!!

And PS: Thanks so much for all the amazing donating for the Sandy Hook Cards. We’re up to over $1200 of funds donated (and that’s just approximating the numbers from 2 days worth) $5 can go a long way! I’ll be collecting funds all through the holiday.

PPS: Tomorrow is the LAST DAY for all my paper goods in the shop (sigh.) Grab them in the clearance, or never more!

Off to make some peppermint Cocoa now:)

19/12CREATE
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