Travel – icing on the cake blog

Drew and I took a two-week backpacking trip across Europe. Amsterdams archief We visited friends in Copenhagen and they showed us around Denmark and Malmö, Sweden. Amsterdam museum Drew visited the renowned Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium while I spent the day traveling through Amsterdam, Netherlands and on to visit the tulip fields in Holland.


Amsterdam urinals We stopped in Paris for part of a day so that Drew could see the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, before we took a train up into the Swiss Alps for several days of exploring the beautiful towns of Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Gimmelwald, and Stechelberg, Switzerland. Amsterdam holland We both fell in love with Switzerland — it’s quaint towns, breathtaking mountains, and crystal clear streams and waterfalls. We met up with my sister Kelsey as she studied abroad in Italy and explored the coastal cities in the Cinque Terre with her. Amsterdam 2 for 1 She showed us around Florence and we ate the most delicious gluten-free pastries and more gelato in a week than I have in the rest of my life combined. Amsterdam airport map We went on to eat the most amazing pizza in Naples and explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Amsterdam high school We ended our trip in Rome, seeing the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain and visiting Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel.

I applied to grad school at the Savannah College of Art & Design, got accepted, quit my job as a graphic designer, moved from New Orleans to Savannah, Georgia, decorated a new apartment, made it a third of the way through my Masters degree in Fibers/Textile Design, and lived apart from Drew for three months so that I could start school and he could continue working in New Orleans. Amsterdam real estate (read more about grad school here)

Drew and I finished a 3+ year process of paying off all of our credit card, car, and student loan debt! (read more about our debt free journey here) We lived the majority of this year completely debt free for the first time in our married lives, even with paying for two apartments in separate cities and for my grad school tuition! We stretched our possessions to furnish two separate apartments, without buying much more than a Craigslist couch, trash cans, and a couple rugs. Amsterdam houses I also simplified my clothing into a capsule wardrobe and realized that I pretty much only wear black.

Many road trips happened between New Orleans and Savannah and I made the trip from Savannah to Jacksonville, Florida to pick up Drew from the airport many times. Amsterdams blauw We made a few trips to Nashville and Southern Illinois to visit family. Amsterdam europe map We also explored Tybee Island, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina. Amsterdam weed I even evacuated Savannah from a hurricane — driving the 8 hours to Nashville by myself at night (with Violet). Amsterdam tours I also traveled to visit my sisters and aunt in Raleigh, Wilmington, and Kure Beach, North Carolina.

I worked my full-time job in graphic design for 8 months out of the year, made another quilt and another quilt top, did a 60-day daily practice of block printed patterns, starting painting with gouache, created a complete pattern collection with three colorways, did a lot of reading, writing, and research, re-branded my art portfolio website, and learned a lot about myself and my design style and where I want to go with my career.

I turned 25, celebrated 9 years together with Drew, lived completely alone in a new city by myself for the first time in my life, had to learn how to take care of a household alone, struggled with starting school again, missed my husband more than I can even put into words, appreciated him so much more, learned what it means to miss New Orleans, spent both major holidays away from family for the first time, and felt some of the deepest sadness and loneliness I’ve ever felt. Amsterdams weather For the first time in my life, I cared deeply about the US Presidential Election and was devastated by the results. In stepping so far outside my comfort zone this year, I’ve felt more emotions than I even knew were possible and I’ve also felt so much more alive.

I realized just how important getting ~10 hours of sleep every night is to my productivity and sanity. Amsterdam bottle I ate healthier and drank green smoothies for breakfast almost every day. Amsterdam usa For the first time in over three years, I took time off not just for travel, but to rest. Amsterdam edibles I spent the last month of this year back in New Orleans, clearing my head, re-evaluating my life and priorities, centering myself, and finding so much clarity. Amsterdam e dintorni I realized the true importance of taking time to rest and recharge. Amsterdams theaterhuis I also realized how much better I design and operate when it comes from within myself and not to meet other people’s expectations. Amsterdam ice bar I also found so much more bliss in small, everyday moments — eating at my favorite restaurants, being back at SCAPC, and slow Saturday mornings with Vietnamese food at Singletons and a visit to a coffee shop with Drew.

2016 was a year of some of the highest highs and lowest lows for me. Amsterdam exchange It was a year of growth in many ways, but growth in addition to being good, is also hard. Amsterdam 9 streets I’m grateful for the ways that it pushed and strengthened me, glad I lived through it, but also glad to see it behind me. I’m looking forward to what 2017 has in store, but I know that much of it will also be full of good/hard growth. Amsterdam seed bank Here’s to new adventures, discoveries, patterns, places, and opportunities ahead.

“There are stars you haven’t seen and loves you haven’t loved. Amsterdams studenten corps There’s light you haven’t felt and sunrises yet to dawn. Amsterdams stadsarchief There are dreams you haven’t dreamt and days you haven’t lived and nights you won’t forget and flowers yet to grow and there is more to you that you have yet to know.” –Gaby Comprés

P.S. Amsterdams museum Past old year reflections and new year goals: Goals for 2016, Reflections on 2015, Reflections on 2014, Goals for 2015, Reflections on 2013, Goals for 2014, Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013, Happy 2012, 2011 and 20 Before Twenty.

Last weekend, I attended the Cotton and Steel Patchwork Weekend Workshop hosted by Anna Maria Horner at her new (and fabulous!) shop, Craft South, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Craft South is so insanely beautiful and inspiring. Amsterdam rose You can’t walk into this space and not be inspired to create. Amsterdam 7 day forecast How I wish this space existed in New Orleans (or that I lived closer to Nashville!).

As you all already know, Anna Maria Horner and her fabulous fabric design skills have been an inspiration to me for quite a while (read more about that, here), so I’ve been dying to get to Craft South and take a workshop ever since she announced that it was happening (she started Craft South workshops last summer in another location and then opened Craft South the store this past May).

When I saw that she had put together a weekend workshop with all five of the founding designers of the fabulous Cotton and Steel, I jumped at the opportunity! Six amazing fabric designers all under one roof teaching me how to quilt and chatting about the industry? YES!!

My older sister lives right outside Nashville, and we love the area, so it is always nice to have an excuse to make a visit up there. Amsterdams vloerencentrum It is only a few hours from my hometown, so my parents and sisters also came down to visit while we were in town for the workshop (we had a tie-dye birthday party for my niece, Evie, while I was there too!).

I loved getting to explore the 12 South neighborhood of Nashville that Craft South is in. Amsterdam flights and hotel I hadn’t spent much time in that area before, but it is a great little area! Lots of cool restaurants and shops.

I was a little nervous to take the workshop considering I’ve never actually made a quilt before. Amsterdams verrekenbeding But I have a sewing background and I’d done some other quilting-type projects before (I made a quilt top and stretched it like a canvas to paint on in college and when I was younger I did some paper piecing), so I was prepared enough. Amsterdam bar and hall If you remember from my goals for 2015, quilting was one of them!

I really love the way my quilt is starting out! LOVE those little paper airplanes! The quilt pattern we worked from for the workshop is the Mod Hexagon Quilt by Rashida Coleman-Hale (one of the designers for Cotton and Steel). Amsterdam keukenhof The patterned fabrics I’m using are fat quarters of different prints from Cotton and Steel and Anna Maria Horner. Amsterdam ny zip code For the background fabric, I’m using a metallic woven from Anna Maria’s Loominous fabric line (it is so pretty and sparkly – I wish you could see that better in the photos).

We also learned how to make fabric yo-yos and patchwork zip and Gamaguchi pouches, but I mostly stuck to working on my quilt. Amsterdam netherlands weather I wanted to get as much as I could done while I was there. Amsterdam guster I still have quite a bit left to do. Amsterdam zuid wt I enjoyed getting to sew on the Janome machines while I was there. Amsterdam lonely planet Craft South is also a Janome dealer if you are in the area and looking for a new machine. Amsterdam 2 days If I decide to keep quilting, I will probably have to eventually upgrade my basic Singer machine, but for now I can make it work.

It really was such a great weekend and I’m so glad I went! All the other workshop attendees were the best and I enjoyed hanging out and sewing with them for the weekend (and learning from them!). Amsterdam hospitality All the designers of Cotton and Steel (Melody Miller, Rashida Coleman-Hale, Alexia Abegg, Sarah Watts, and Kim Kight) are seriously some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Amsterdams prostitutes It was such a treat learning from them about sewing, quilting, and the fabric design industry. Amsterdam or paris I especially chatted with Melody and Alexia at dinner both nights and loved hearing about their stories, successes, and advice they had for others wanting to explore the fabric design and manufacturing industry.

This past weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to New York City and attend a three-day Fabric Design Workshop led by the amazing designers Heather Ross and Anna Maria Horner. Amsterdam images (I’ve mentioned AMH several times on here before, you might remember me meeting her at Quilt Market last year).

Three days of insight into the fabric design and manufacturing industry, peeks into the design process of Heather and Anna Maria, looks at their sketches and fabrics, great conversations, learning a different design process, and exploring the awesome city of New York. Amsterdam 3d printed bridge Above Anna Maria is showing us an example of her original sketch and then her final pattern (Eucalyptus from Pretty Potent).

Again, another sketch to final pattern example. Amsterdam ohio This one is Small Gathering from Folk Song. Amsterdam drink I was so happy that she showed this particular example, as this fabric was actually quite influential to my own story. Amsterdam tavern When I was prepping for my freshman dorm room at Tulane, I bought this fabric (in her Good Folks collection in the sea colorway) to make a pillowcase for my bedding. Amsterdam history That fabric ended up being the jumping off point for my dorm decor. Amsterdam airport It was while I was living in that dorm room that I realized I had a passion for design and that I wanted to be a designer. Not long after that that I read an article in Country Living about Anna Maria Horner and saw this sketch on her bulletin board in the photo of the article and realized she was the designer of my pillow fabric. Amsterdam deli I had always been a collector and lover of fabric, but hadn’t before thought much about the design process or the designers behind them. Amsterdam mo That article and AMH’s fabrics started my desire to learn more about this elusive industry and made me want to design fabric of my own!

I also love the sweet illustrative style of Heather Ross’s work and I loved getting to learn about her process as well. Amsterdam june weather In the photo above, she is showing the class how to build repeats in Photoshop using one of my designs as an example. Amsterdam in spanish Loved seeing the subtle differences in the colors she chose, verses the jewel tones I was originally using.

I really love how the final pattern came out. Amsterdam walmart It is a different style than my other work (much more sketchy and hand-drawn looking), but I really love it! As I said before, the original colors I used were jewel toned, as they usually are, and in Heather’s demo, she changed the colors to these. Amsterdam liquor I loved seeing my work re-colored and in a new light. Amsterdam museums These aren’t colors that I typically would have chosen, but I love how they work together. Amsterdam klm It has me looking at colors differently now! Anna Maria also gave several talks about her color theories in her work and I loved hearing her perspective.

For this course, we learned how to design pattern repeats in Photoshop. Amsterdam weather in april At first I was a little wary of that (I like using Illustrator for pattern design), but in the end, I actually really loved learning this process and the different look it gives the artwork. Amsterdam lyrics Although I do really like the flexibility of designing in Illustrator, I might give this Photoshop design thing a try more often! (Photoshop was the first Adobe product I starting using, way back in grade school!)

The class met in the same building as Heather’s studio, on Fulton street in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. Amsterdam hilton It was only a few blocks from the new Freedom Tower/One World Trade Center, and was an awesome area to get to explore a bit. Amsterdam neighborhoods We walked over to Chinatown one day for soup dumplings for lunch.

I was in class most of the time we were in NYC, but I got the chance to explore a few other places in the evenings. Amsterdams verzetsmuseum This was my third time visiting NYC, so I didn’t try to squeeze in a lot. Amsterdamse 9 straatjes I really wanted to make a trip to MoMA, but alas, it wasn’t open late enough for me to make it after class. Amsterdam quotes It was Drew’s first time in NYC and he explored craft beer/coffee/food places during the day while I was in class.

Chinatown, the East River Ferry (we stayed in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn), Flatiron Building, Times Square, The High Line (so awesome!), Chelsea Flea, ABC Carpet and Home (so amazing! floors and floors of amazing furniture, bedding, awesome rugs, etc…). Amsterdam visa I’ve had a great time every time I’ve visited NYC, but this time I really fell in love with New York! The weather was amazing, I mastered riding the subway, and I came to appreciate the determined energy about the city and the fact that so much is all at your fingertips. Hotel d amsterdam leidsesquare It was a really awesome trip.

I’m so glad Heather and Anna Maria put this class together and I’m so grateful for them opening up their careers to give us advice and insight. I amsterdam card reviews I came to New York with a mini portfolio of designs and I left with a different perspective and new direction and ideas for my work. Amsterdam n y obits This class made me grateful for my art degree and left me wanting to draw/paint/sketch/block print and in general put a little more art into my design work.

Interested in taking a similar workshop? Heather is hosting another Fabric Design workshop this fall! Details can be found on the workshops page of her website, here. Amsterdam sign Anna Maria also hosts different workshops at her shop, Craft South, in Nashville. Amsterdams lyceum Find more info on her workshops and classes, here.