Thursday, September 27, 2012

Need to take a Sewing Workshop?

Kitten--you're doing it wrong.

Shoulda' taken a workshop. Before Assemble makes its big switch to online video workshops and products, do you need to take a workshop? Been procrastinating on learning crochet? Well, now's the time! Our last TWO months of workshops are now online to browse and sign up for in our kits & workshops shop section. DON'T miss out! We will be open through the holidays for shopping, but workshops end in November! Hope to see you soon.

-A & E

Great Goods by Quill & Fox

How pretty is this new stationery by Quill & Fox? Husband and wife team, Andrew and Yas Imamura, do it all from their home studio in Oregon. I'm drawn to their nostalgic styling and soft colors, reminiscent of Rifle Paper Company (another one of my fav's.)
quill and fox stationery

I am currently trying to figure out where I can put this print in our house -- perhaps right above the coat rack, where our guests can see the tiny "visitors welcome" sign. It also reminds me of a favorite book we read to Henry, "The Little House." by Virginia Lee Burton. Adorable.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Imposter Syndrome: Don't Overshadow Your Own Successes

This past weekend, I spoke on a panel about the Do's and Don'ts of Approaching Shops & Galleries at this year's School House Craft Conference. If you haven't taken a look at the SHC conference and are in the the craft/design business field, I highly recommend taking a look for next year. You would be hard-pressed to find a more supportive and encouraging group of like-minded and genuinely knowledgeable folks to help you along on your journey to small business success.

Part of me always wonders when I speak at these types of conferences, "why the heck do they want to hear me speak? I'm just Andie." Obviously I'm qualified to give these sorts of lectures, but what is it that holds any of us back from believing this fact? That's when I found this article in The Seattle Times, originally from The Washington Post: "Feel Like a Fake? Imposter Syndrome Common at Work."

imposter syndrome from The Seattle Times via The Washington Post on Instagram

"The term, created by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, refers to the idea that competent people find it hard to believe in their own capabilities or internalize their own accomplishments. They see evidence of their competence as mere luck and sometimes feel they are not actually qualified for the position they hold." -Joyce E.A. Russell, Washington Post

Sound familiar? I definitely start to feel this way sometimes, even though my career on paper would definitely impress myself! It's difficult in this creative field, especially, where others' work is so available to admire on blogs and Pinterest.

So what can we do to avoid these feelings of self doubt in our career field? Read more at the actual article page, but see below for their bulleted points:

• Surround yourself with supporters.
• Get a mentor or coach.
• Be a mentor or coach.
• Stay positive and focus on your accomplishments rather than focusing on everything you don’t know or have to improve upon.
• Set goals and keep track of what you have accomplished.
• Acknowledge your mistakes, but treat them as learning opportunities instead of fatal flaws.
• No one is perfect. Recognize that others do not have everything all figured out.
• Remember that people are not paying that much attention to you.

Have you felt like this in our creative field? In any other areas of life such as motherhood or school?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Busy Bees are Working!

Okay, not actual bees, but Emily and I have been busy, busy working on some brand new, fantastic products for Assemble. Debuting soon, are several crafting kits that we have been developing to keep you crafting.
crafting kits needle felting bookbinding crochet
The first kits we will be debuting include needle-felting, bookbinding and crochet. Plus, more are coming! We are always looking for great ideas for products, especially kits. What would you like to see? Fabric projects? Stamping kits? You name it, we'd love to hear your ideas. In the meantime, here's a little sneak peek of what we've been working on. Sorry it's such a tease, but there is more to come soon!

Friday, September 21, 2012

This Weekend: Craft, Design & Business at the School House Craft Conference

Do you guys have your tickets for School House Craft yet? It starts today!! Hurry up! I'll be speaking this Sunday with Shalene Lundgren and Andrea Porter about the Do's and Don'ts of Approaching Shops and Galleries at 1:00pm. Don't miss it!

NOTE: Assemble will be CLOSED on Sunday for our Panel at School House Craft. We hope you will visit us there!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

DIY Hand-Stamped Fabric Gift Wrap

Let's combine a few of my favorite things: fabric, stamps, yellow, and gift-giving!!!

I wrote about "Give" wraps by Chewing the Cud last year. They have some great new colors out! But I wanted to try my hand at making my own. The point is reusing what you have, right? So here's what I came up with...

fabric gift wrap furoshiki DIY musubi stamped wrapping paper

What you'll need
Scrap fabric -- 28" x 28" is ideal for all-purpose wrapping, but obviously use you have
Stamps -- or some interesting object you don't mind dipping into ink
Stamp pad -- suitable for fabric (ColorBox or VersaCraft work well)
Scissors or a rotary cutter and a straight-edge

What to do
1. On a flat surface, stamp your fabric. Be as calculated or as free-form as you like.
fabric gift wrap furoshiki DIY musubi stamped wrapping paper

2. Let your ink dry completely, or heat-set by ironing the wrong side of the fabric.
3. Square off your fabric using a straight edge and rotary cutter or scissors. You can leave the edges raw to keep things simple, but I sewed them under with a straight stitch and contrasting thread.
4. Tie fabric around your package by bunching at the top and securing with ribbon, or using a Furoshiki-style wrap.
fabric gift wrap furoshiki DIY musubi stamped wrapping paper

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coming Next Week: Prints from Fabulous Artist, Janet Hill

I came across Janet Hill's beautiful work when I was browsing archived editions of Matchbook Magazine (one of my faves), and stumbled on her story in the October 2011 issue. There is so much story in her work, and I'm so proud to announce that we will be carrying her prints at Assemble starting next week! In the meantime, check out this preview of some of our picks:

Can't wait to have her work in stock! I'll let you know when I have it up on the website too. Yay!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Business of Happiness

I was chatting with a customer the other day about what exactly we do at Assemble. It's a simple question on the surface, but when it gets right down to it, there is nothing that one NEEDS other than food, shelter and water, and we definitely don't sell any of that. (Well, sometimes we give out glasses of wine, but that's beside the point).

We sell beautiful products made by mindful, thoughtful designers and teach crafting techniques. No one NEEDS these things to survive and live, so what business are we in exactly? We are in the business of happiness. We love having folks come into our shop and to our website and squeal with delight at the little treasures they find that make them smile. And in the scheme of things, isn't that just as important?

This morning, I watched a documentary entitled Happy. It was so interesting learning about the elements that make up a human's happiness. So, I'm getting down to the simple things. Things that are pretty, things that I just like. Here are a few of them:

the business of happiness collage with fiestaware, coffee, matchbook magazine and rubber stamps

1. Matchbook Magazine: Matchbook is a monthly online-magazine that details everything about a beautiful life. Profiles of successful designers, makers and doers, plus fashion, factoids and articles make this one a favorite of mine to devour in twenty minutes.

2. A friend of ours owns and operates Bananafish Studios, and her stamp collection is inspiring and definitely happy. One of my new favorites is this "Today" stamp. Make a list, remind yourself to live in the moment, or document your day. Coming soon, $2.50

3. Coffee. Isn't this stuff just great? I like to mix it with Chocolate Soy milk. Mmmm.

4. Fiesta Ware has a brand new color: Flamingo! So cheerful and oh-so-chic.

5. The Small Object (new products coming soon in our shop!) has a new product out: this sparkly Gold Heart Pin, $12. From Sarah of TSO, "I created this heart pin for me. I needed it--a super sparkly gold glitter glitzy pin for my lapel to spread the love with whomever set their sights on me that day. It's like imaginary fairy dust folks and it feels good. Dress up the night! Shine on!"

Something Old, Something New: Weathervanes

Something old: 19th century weathervane broadside

Something new: USPS 45 cent stamps

And...Something I'd love to have: Screen-printed rooster tea towel

Monday, September 17, 2012

Favorite Friend: the UPPERCASE Typewriter Project

Something we'd like to start here at the Assemble blog is our Favorite Friend series. We have so many talented and wonderful people in our lives, and we want to show off all of the creative things that they are working on.

This week, we bring you Uppercase, and their special Typewriter book project. Anyone who has stepped foot into our shop knows that we are lovers of the typewriter. Our 1960s Smith Corona Script Typewriter boasts our shop colors, and a "do-not-touch" sign (cause who isn't protective of their babies?)

Janine, the creator and publisher of Uppercase Magazine, is on a mission to bring the brilliance that is the typewriter to the masses in richly illustrated book containing tons of "never-before published typewriter memorobilia." BUT...she needs your help. Check out their "kickstarter" on the right sidebar of their site.

uppercase magazine typewriter project collage

"With a timeline aligning with the birth of creative industries such as industrial design, “commercial art” (graphic design) and advertising, a study of the machine offers a snapshot into trends in industrial design and developments in manufacturing. A documentation of the ephemera of typewriting—ribbon tins, manuals, advertisements, promotions—is an informative and beautiful history of modern design."
-J. Vangool Check out the video here:

I for one CAN'T WAIT for this project to be complete. I'm hoping we will be able to carry it in our Assemble Shop as well. The project inspired me to take a photo of our special wedding typewriter that we purchased this year from BMT Vintage -- refurbished, 1950s Royal Quiet Deluxe in "snow white." We have four others in our collection that may warrant photos too...hmmm...And just for fun, here's a link to one of the greatest music videos of all time, circa 1970 from Bombay Talkie. Also, remember this guy? Hee, hee! Enjoy!

Images: from Uppercase, and Assembleshop's Instagram.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tonight! 6-9pm Little G Across America

Are you guys all planning out to come out to our special designer showcase tonight with Cub Report Card? We just set up the new designs last night and they are adorable! Come see us and say hello to Michelle of Cub Report Card.

cub report card silk screened designs

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Textile Arts Center in Martha Stewart Magazine

Have you guys grabbed your October Martha Stewart Living Magazine yet? I was playing around with the new issue on my iPad this morning (in pajamas, ridiculously) when I stumbled across our friends, the Textile Arts Center, within its coveted pages. Yay for them!

martha stewart magazine feature on the textile art center

Textile Arts Center opened in New York City around the same time that Assemble did, and they strive to be a resource for textile designers of all kinds. Their intensive classes and workshops, plus open studio time draw textile artists and newcomers from all around the city. We were also very excited when they visited us in Seattle to see our space! See their wonderful blog entry here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bringing Old-Fashioned Back to the Table

Table linens have come back into fashion, especially fabric napkins and tea towels. A simple piece of cotton is a great canvas for a designer, and people are increasingly interested in reusable goods. I'm a sucker for anything that goes in a kitchen, it's no secret. But I particularly love to collect the old fashioned bits and pieces that aren't quite as common anymore.

Napkin rings. I see why people don't love to use these. They only serve one purpose - to hold your napkin in a little bundle. But they don't have anywhere to go once your guests pull them off, and they aren't always easy to clean or store. Still, I love to mix and match my wooden sets, that I bought at garage sales for $1. I think they are an easy way to make a guest feel special.

Candlesticks. I don't know too many people that regularly use taper candles at the dinner table. I do, but only for special occasions. I keep a shoebox in my hutch with all of my seasonal colors, wrapped in wax paper. My eclectic collection consists of both brass thrift finds and beautiful crystal from Tiffany & Co. Just remember to light your wicks before setting out, and use a snuffer instead of blowing out the flame to prevent wax drops from flying.

Click below to read more:

Gettin' Stampy

I don't know what it is, but around Fall, I start digging out all of my old rubber stamps and playing with them. Maybe it's something about the changing weather that makes me want to make cards and wrapping paper. Craft season, so to speak. Assemble has an order out to to one of our favorite artists and designers, The Small Object, for brand new stamps and fun schtuff. We can't wait--should be any day now!

Photos via Assemble's Instagram

These are what I've been playing with lately, the Nesting Doll Stamps from The Small Object--they're on their way! And just new in stock, a verrryy limited edition of Seattle Stamps from Yellow Owl Workshop. These are not even available on their website, so be sure to grab them here at Assemble.

Here's another absolute favorite from Yellow Owl Workshop. My goodness, I want to buy this so badly, but we only have six of them so I'm saving them for customers. Eeek! It's the Farm Scene Set ($24.50). Just lovely. *stamp* *stamp* *stamp*

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Home Office Area Makeover

With all of this business of closing our shop doors and going online, I had a pretty hard time seeing myself working in the "office" area that we used to have. White walls with some cute things hanging, but overall drab.

For all those lap-toppers out there, do you find that you just end up in front of the TV with your computer? Then work and play are immediately melded into one and there is no division from work time and non-work time (something I have a LOT of trouble managing). Now that I'll be working at home starting in January, I found that I needed to solve this problem--and fast.

We were lovingly gifted a beautiful, new Mac desktop for our wedding present by Christian's parents, so that pushed me in the direction of making my office space classy enough for such a lovely new toy. The desk is built in, so unless I want to get out my jack hammer, it's going to have to stay until I can go in a different direction. Hence, my office area makeover!

Click below to read more:

Little G Across America

I'm really not sure that gerbils get enough credit. I mean, they're obviously the most stealthy of the domesticated rodents. Plus, they're adorable. Christian and I have a silly day dream about getting two gerbils and naming them Grandma and Grandpa. I digress.

This Friday the 14th from 6-9pm, one of our favorite stationery and accessories designers, Cub Report Card, will be stopping by to showcase a trunk full of new designs, all centered around (okay, now my ramble is about to make sense) a little Gerbil named Little G -- and he is traveling across America, perhaps to your own state!

Little G will be at Assemble with tons of brand new friends including T-shirts, tote bags, brand new card styles, pillows and much more. Here's one teeny, tiny sneak peek but that's all you get!

Make sure to stop by and see us (and Little G). It's the end of summer and we are in good spirits. Only four Artwalks left before the big switch to online!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome to Our New Blog!

With our decision to go exclusively online in January 2013, we decided to go upwards & onwards with a brand new blog! We can't wait to get started. Become a follower or add us to your RSS feed! Welcome, welcome. -Andie & Emily

pretty girls andie emily assemble shop gallery and studio
Photo by Inward Facing Girl
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