Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone's Christmas celebrations were as wonderful as mine was! I wanted to share this precious little picture from my cousin Megan Rion at Imagine That Photography in Lake Charles, LA. This picture was taken back in November when we all had a visit with the family down there, and Megan usually takes pictures of the Little Papoose if ever we have free time. She wore her Christmas Party Dress 2013 for a few of the pictures, and I think she looks adorable. Check out Megan on Facebook, she is amazingly gifted!
Photographed and Styled by Megan Rion, Imagine That Photography

Monday, December 23, 2013

Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection: New Additions

Tis the season of having babies! I could count off all the people I know who are pregnant right now or who recently gave birth, but I would run out of fingers to count on. I am surrounded by all the new baby smells and the preparations and the anticipations. My own sister is due in the summer so we have a joint baby board on Pinterest where we compile all of our favorite decorating and baby related ideas. I love finding new kinds of things with her, but I have to admit, I am hesitant to pin anything because then everyone will start asking my if I am pregnant, which I am not. It would be fine if I hadn't been getting that same question from everyone for every year since Albert and I were married six years ago.

Original Little Papoose, 3 months old
Since I began Papoose Clothing as a side project for this little nugget up there, I naturally had only baby clothes starting out. I had a few occasional toddler sizes, but I figured if nothing sold, I would simply give them to her! It worked out well in the beginning, but now the hobby has turned into a thriving business.
My faithful notes and sketches
This new collection and the beginning of a brand new year has given me a brilliant idea. With all the babies I am coming into contact with these days, I thought why not make a few little baby pieces to be launched with the new collection. I have more than enough little models and most of them being from Louisiana where the new collection is based on. I just need to get started with that idea because the rest of the collection is almost completed and I will be visiting Gatlinburg soon! So what do you guys think, should I include a few wee sizes in the Bayou Bébé collection? Do you know as many new moms as I do right now?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Feature Friday: Bobbi Lewin

A friend's grandmother taught me how to do a few basic crochet stitches back in high school, and I absolutely loved crocheting. Funnily enough, several of my friends began crocheting or knitting at the same time, and we would sit in our literature class  stitching away while learning about Greek and Roman mythology. I think everyone received a scarf from me that year for Christmas because that was basically all I could do!

I'm sure this talented lady could make a scarf if she wanted to, but there is so much more to Bobbi Lewin and her amazing shops! There are so many delightful needlework and mixed media items to tempt anyone with for themselves or other people, but I have to say the darling buntings are my favorite. There is one for every occasion, from Christmas and Halloween to weddings and flowers. Expressing herself through a modern take on a timeless craft, Bobbi crochets some truly exquisite works of art that brings such happiness with their simple beauty.

1.    How do you define art?
I think art is any physical manifestation of something you pull from within your self.  I don’t believe that all art has to have some deep philosophical or social meaning.  Some art is created just from a desire to create beauty, and that is ok.

2.  How would you describe your art?
Random.  I go back and forth between wanting to create with fibers and wanting to paint and draw.  My subject matter tends toward birds and flowers, but not always.  A lot of my textile work is non-representational.  In it I’m mainly focused on texture and form.  I like to juxtapose new with old, shiny with nubby textures, and join things that don’t belong together.

3.  Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
colorful, incongruent, wayward

4.  Who has most personally influenced and inspired you as an artist?
That is really kind of hard to answer, as I get bits and pieces of inspiration from all over.  My fiber work is originally inspired by my grandmothers and my mother, the women in my family who handed down these traditions.  Painters from the past who inspire me are Marc Chagall, Van Gogh, and Cezanne.  Today, I really enjoy Dolan Geiman’s mixed media and collage work.  Louise Bourgeois is a favorite sculptor.  I am amazed by Elaine Bradford’s crochet sculptures and I love Ann Wood’s owls.  Oh and I can’t forget Mister Finch.

5.  Has your artistic sensibility changed since you first began?
My color palette seems to be changing.  I tend towards bright colors in my mixed media work, but lately I’ve been using a more muted scheme.
6.  What inspires your art?
Mostly things from nature.  The wetlands around the Great Salt Lake are a major stopover place for birds on the western migration.  I love to go out to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and watch and photograph them, then they show up in my paintings.  Woodland birds are another repeating theme.  Textures that I see in nature translate into fiber work, such as fungus growing on a tree or other plant forms.

7.  Do you have a favorite artist from another field?
I adore Matte Stephens mid-century style.

8.  Who is your favorite competitor from your field?
I don’t think in terms of competitors.  I’m pretty small stuff and don’t really show up on the radar of people looking for art, so...... yeah.

9.  Do you have any occupation hazards or mishaps?
Well the truth is I’m really clumsy and I hurt myself all the time.  I stab myself with needles, spill paint on my good clothes, knock stuff over, and run into doors and furniture.  I’ve accepted that I’ll never be a ballerina and I can laugh at myself.

10.    What did you wish you would have known when starting out?
How hard it is to market yourself.

11.     What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
In the crochet shop my favorites are the garlands and buntings, especially this one  I really like the colors.  I think the world should be covered in buntings because they are cheerful:)  In the mixed media shop it is the Pelican Dream painting.  I actually have it on my dining room wall and hope nobody ever buys it.

12.    Who is your favorite author? What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite author today is Barbara Kingsolver.  She deals with important social issues; I always learn a great deal from her books while I’m being entertained. 

My favorite book as a small child is one I can’t remember the name of and would love to find again.  It was about a mom and some kids who went on an adventure.  The mom was obsessed with violets and everything she had was covered in violets: her dresses, her sofa, the wallpaper.  What drew me to this book is that it made me laugh hysterically.  I’m just so curious to know what it was about it that I found so funny, and if that is related to my very quirky sense of humor today.

13.    When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist.  Or a horse; I really wanted to be a horse.

14.    Where is the farthest you have travelled? Where did you dream about visiting as a child?
Uganda.  My husband and I were at Kitovu Hospital in Masaka last month volunteering for The Fistula Project.  I was knitting with women who were there for surgery and my husband, Craig, was working with women and kids on writing their names, and also documenting the project through photography.

I really don’t remember where I dreamed of going as a child; that was so long ago.

15.   Which musician or musical group inspires you the most?  What was your favorite childhood song?
My musical tastes are quite varied.  I enjoy the female jazz greats from the previous century like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.  I like traditional world music, and contemporary folk music.   My favorite childhood song was a lullaby my mom used to sing, Chi-Baba Chi-baba.  It’s an Italian lullaby that Perry Como sang.

16.    Where can people find you and your art online?
Currently my work is for sale in my two Etsy shops and on Society6.  I plan to add a store directly to my website at

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Adult Wendy Darling Inspired Nightgown

I don't know why, but I was never really a huge Peter Pan fan. I liked the story, but I definitely wasn't obsessed with it like I was with other fairytales. I can't tell you the last time I thought about it, it's been that long.

Initial Design Concept
All this to say it's somewhat of a surprise to me that some people are so in love with that fairytale and Wendy Darling. I don't know what it is, I guess I never identified with her, but the Wendy Darling Inspired Nightgown is definitely a big seller in the shop, particularly this year for Halloween. Obviously we're all different and have different tastes, so I am super glad a sweet customer requested the nightgown for her little papoose back in March. Without that prompting, I seriously doubt it would have occurred to me to design a Wendy Darling nightgown.

Since it has been such a popular dress for the little papooses, I occasionally receive requests to make adult sized versions. I try my absolute best to explain the longer time and extra fabric needed to produce an adult version, which in turn requires a higher price amount. Unfortunately, some people expect too much for too little, especially quality, handmade goods. Still, a lovely customer approached me to sew one for her daughter who is wearing adult sized clothing and would love this dress, so I was terribly excited to finally make an  adult-sized version after so many initial inquiries that fell through!

Completed Adult Sized

Monday, December 16, 2013

Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection: Theme

I am devoting all of my free time now to fabricating items for the new collection, and while I briefly talked about images that were inspiring me, I wanted to expand on the theme a little bit. I hope you were able to glean a little insight from the images because they all speak so well to the type of mood and colors I am going with. I am particularly attracted to these colors because green is my absolute favorite, and the murky blues and mysterious teals work so well with each other.
If you did not already know, I was born in Lake Charles, LA, where most of my family still resides. I take frequent trips back down to Cajun Country throughout the year to visit family and eat the best food imaginable. It is such an inspiring and mysterious and historical place, and I wanted this collection to represent all the wonderful things that are specific to Louisiana all on their own. It was easy for me to understand this theme, and I hope the collection has all the heart and soul I am pouring into it!
I have been struggling for months though and the name of the collection. There is so much to consider when dubbing a collection, I don't want to get it wrong, and there is so much I want to represent in the name. I knew I wanted to incorporate the mysterious qualities of the bayou, maybe the sound of zydeco music or the taste of shrimp gumbo, I became overwhelmed with it all. After weeks, literally, of rolling ideas around in my head, I finally settled on "Bayou Bébé." I think it perfectly sums up the location and the French influence that is so indicative of Louisiana.

I still have so much sewing to finish before I am ready to release the new collection, but I might have to post a peek or two into what I've finished before the official show off. I am cooking up a new idea for this collection as a sort of special addition for the little papooses to commemorate this specific theme that I know they will enjoy! Keep checking in to see more backstory for the new Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection Bayou Bébé!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gift Certificates

With the holidays in full swing, I am turning to handmade artists this year for most of my Christmas purchases. I have most of my gift ideas covered, but there are still some people who are just so difficult to buy for! I don't know what it is, but I somehow get this blank feeling for some, even though I know them and know what they like. Enter, gift certificates!
I particularly love gift certificates, I don't know why they sometimes have such a bad reputation. I love receiving them because it then allows me to choose exactly what I want! I wanted to promote that precise feeling of personal satisfaction so gift certificates are now available on the website in $40, $60, $80, and $100 increments, convenient choices for anyone's price points!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gingerbread House 2013

I have such wonderful and vivid memories of making gingerbread houses at my grandmother's house during the holidays as a child. All the grandkids would gather in the kitchen and put together their own interpretation of a gingerbread house, although we used graham crackers and cake icing. I loved playing with all the different types of candy and being together, then finally parading our houses throughout the house so all the grownups could see our creations. It is a classic holiday memory for me and all the grandkids, which is why it was supposed to be such a fun idea for this tradition to continue with the Little Papoose!

My sister bought a kit for this year's experiment, and the best part about the whole thing was opening it up and smelling the wonderful gingerbread! It was divine! After that initial burst of excitement though, it pretty much went downhill. 

We managed to get all four walls up and together for the most part, even though the icing does not stick and hold like it was supposed to. I guess we could have stood there and held each seam together for five minutes until it dried before moving on, but who does that? We had an eager two year-old who was going to dive into the bowl of candy at any minute.

My sister and I were taking turns squeezing out the useless icing from the bag because our arms would get tired. We figured out the roof and hoped it would stick despite common sense, and we were able to at least get a picture of it before it crumbled down. I was beginning to spread the non-spreadable icing on the roof when it all came tumbling down, I felt like the big bad wolf destroying one of the little pig's house!

Luckily the Little Papoose wasn't at all interested in a well-built gingerbread house, she was quite content to sink her hand into the candy bowl and randomly place bits of brightly colored gumdrops and peppermints onto her collapsed roof. At first she decorated one half of the roof then proceeded to take off all the candy she'd just placed there so she could re-decorate just that one spot again. In the end, she was really only interested in the little snowman that came with the house, so all turned out well!

And clearly we like to be fancy when we make gingerbread houses, even if those stylish dress up clothes are over the pjs!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Feature Friday: Bunnies N Buggies

With the Christmas holidays coming up and trying to find those perfect gifts for everyone on my list, I naturally turn to handmade artists. I love buying from artists themselves who put their creativity and energy into making a product and whose hands actually were used in the production. I enjoy meeting people who have that creative drive and being inspired by them, which is the main reason I began these artist interviews.

I came across this absolutely fun-filled shop recently, Bunnies N Buggies by Tina, a lovely lady who fascinates me with her variety of ingenious bath products. I was instantly drawn to her Doctor Who inspired items, being a huge fan myself, but there are also tantalizing scents ranging from Spiced Chai to Unicorn Burps! Tina's sense of humor and playfulness is evident in her range of products, and I was so excited to read her answers to the interview questions.

1. How do you define art?
I think art is the act of taking things and turning them into something else. Painters transform paints, brushes, and canvas into paintings; writers transform words into books and poetry; musicians transform series of notes into songs – these are all just variations of “art” as a whole. A pastry chef creates a masterpiece through flour and sugar the same way a jeweler may with fine gemstones and metals.
2. How would you describe your art?
Fun, playful, and a little quirky. I like everything I make to be colorful and to put a smile on someone's face. I only actually sell my soaps and body products now, but I still paint and do other forms of art in my spare time. Everything I make takes on my colorful and playful style. I received feedback from a customer the other day that said “these soaps smell like joy and unicorn laughter!” That was the highest compliment I think I've ever received. When I hear back from customers, I can practically picture them jumping up and down, with that same unbridled enthusiasm and joy that little kids have.
3. Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
Quirky, playful, fun
4. Who has most personally influenced and inspired you as an artist?
I honestly have so many different sources of inspiration, but a lot of it comes from my family, especially my son. Sometimes I feel like I'm channeling his enthusiasm through myself.
5. Has your artistic sensibility changed since you first began?
Oh yes. I went through periods of feeling like I needed to complete everything a certain way, because of a perceived standard of “that's how it's always done”. It has taken a while to get out of that, to feel more free to experiment. Now, I make things the way I would want them to be. If no one else adores them the way I do, I'm OK with that. (Although thankfully that's not the case!)
6. What inspires your art?
All sorts of things! I love SO MANY fun, silly things, and I think that gets captured in a lot of what I create. I love cartoons, and toys, and video games and comic books and all sorts of neat, geeky things. And glitter. Lots, and lots of glitter.
7. Do you have a favorite artist from another field?
It's hard to say. To answer that, I'd have to pick a specific field! I love illustrations and digital art, especially because drawing is something that I am just NOT good at, so I look at artists that can as just awe-inspiring. One of my favorites is Sebastien Millon. ( ) If my items could be turned into cartoons, this is what they'd turn into.
8. Who is your favorite competitor from your field?
This might sound silly, but I've stopped looking at my competition. Doing that ruined me for a while, as I always felt like my work didn't live up to what these amazing artisans were doing. But, that wasn't the case. We're not the same, there may be hundreds if not thousands of other people in the bath and body field at this point, but I think we all bring something unique to the table.
9. Do you have any occupation hazards or mishaps?
Aside from hot soap burns? There's always something, and I'm a natural klutz, so that doesn't help. I always have weird little cut and burn marks in places. I got a piece of jewelry wire straight through a finger once, horizontally. I'm not even sure how I managed that.
10. What did you wish you would have known when starting out?
No one hits the ground running. You need to be patient and still be true to yourself and your craft.
11. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
Well, I'm a HUGE Doctor Who fan, and with the 50th anniversary coming up it is definitely the Doctor Who gift set at the moment. But I also love the Espresso Shot coffee soap and the entire Paris Romance line – that one smells like shortbread, sweet lemon and blackberry and it is just to die for! One of the greatest perks of soapmaking is being able to open the storage closet on any given day and just pick what I want to use. It's one of my few big indulgences.
12. Who is your favorite author? What was your favorite book as a child?
I love Anne Rice books. I always have. I've read and own most of them at this point. I love reading in general though and I have hundreds of books. I can't ever convert to a Kindle or e-reader because I just like the feel of an actual, real book. As a child, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I had hundreds of books then, too. My family couldn't get me more books fast enough!
13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young, I always thought I'd be a teacher. I kind of wish I had pursued that further, but it wasn't meant to be at the time. I'd just be happy if some day, before I retire I can open my own actual little boutique shop.
14. Where is the farthest you have travelled? Where did you dream about visiting as a child?
I have to say I'm not one for travelling! I'd much rather stay home with a good book and supplies before going much of anywhere. The furthest I've EVER been was to Bermuda as a child – and I grew up in New York. We moved to Florida about 4 years ago, but we tend to do local day trips rather than big vacations. When I was young I wanted to go to Japan, and if I was going to go anywhere, that would still be my first choice.
15. Which musician or musical group inspires you the most? What was your favorite childhood song?
I don't have just one, and I have rather, well, eclectic taste in music. A lot of industrial, and a lot of electronic, rock, punk, pop. I can play seven instruments and most of my background is actually in music, so I can appreciate a variety of genres, even if I don't personally enjoy them. And never underestimate the power of a perky pop song on a bad day – it can be a huge pick-me-up when you're just not feeling like yourself. You can find everything from FunkerVogt and Aesthetic Perfection to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in my car. (Don't tell them that. I don't think any of the four would be crazy about my taste in music!)
16. Where can people find you and your art online?
You can find me at (which goes to our Etsy shop). I'm on Twitter @bunniesnbuggies, Pinterest at, and Facebook at I'm working on a new store site as well outside of Etsy but I don't have a grand opening date set yet!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rapunzel Inspired Dress

There is a very special little papoose who is so in love with Rapunzel right now, that I feel like a new creation is in order. I am hoping to have it done before Christmas so I can give it to her as a present, along with the Tinkerbell Inspired Outfit I have been meaning to make her for literally weeks now! It started awhile back when she wanted "My pencil!" I couldn't understand what she was saying at first, but she kept repeating it, "My pencil, my pencil!" I had no pencil on me at the time, and I couldn't imagine why she wanted one until it dawned on me she wanted Rapunzel. I'm a little sad though because she's now pronouncing it correctly!

I've had several designs drawn out, but I seem to have lost them! I think they are still packed away in a box somewhere from the move, and I am so upset with myself for not being better organized. I faintly remember some of the design elements I originally drew, and I managed to come up with something I feel is indicative of Rapunzel's dress while throwing in my own personal style to keep things from being stale.

I kept the fabrics simple with cotton ones and stayed with feminine colors. I seem to veer more towards plain colored fabrics than flashy prints with my fairytale collection. I think it helps showcase the design and the craftsmanship I strive to perfect. I am really excited about completing this design and adding it to my shop, Rapunzel is such a fun character to be inspired by and create a new dress from!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection: Inspiring Images

With the busy season coming to a close, I have more free time to focus on the new Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection. I have been mulling over this collection for weeks now and am in the middle of fabrication, but I wanted to give a little glimpse into what I've been working on. I have been pinning like crazy lately when I see something that catches my eye with the right mood or colors I'm going off of for this collection. I won' be revealing too much, but here are a few images that are beautiful and inspiring me right now!
Styled by Tina Hellberg and photographed by Idha Lindhag, this beautifully designed room has all the earthy greens and moody browns I am searching for. I love how sumptuous and organic the space feels at the same time.
This oil painting of a magnolia bud by Susan Gutting of Small Oil Works is beautiful in its simplicity. I love how she captured the small and unassuming beginnings of a flamboyantly pristine and fragrant flower.
Photographer Alfonso Bresciani captured this incredibly dark and mysterious oak lined driveway. I love the magic eeriness of fog, and this is such a stunning picture of classic moss-covered oak trees that makes you want to venture to see what's at the end of the road.