Wednesday, January 28, 2015

March: The Lapin Market!

We know it's mid-January and the dead of winter right now, but believe it or not, by mid-March, Spring will be just around the corner.  The days will be noticeably longer, it won't be nearly as cold, and the sun will feel just a little bit warmer.  To celebrate the coming of Spring, Confectionique's March market theme will be "Le Lapin" -- the bunny!

What's more quintessentially Spring than visions of bunnies, chicks, and lambs?

Remember, Easter is Sunday, April 5th this year!  We'll have tons of Paques (Easter) merchandise -- let us help you fill your basket with vintage, Parisian and handmade treasures!

Join us for a complimentary glass of wine on Thursday, March 12 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm as we kick off the "Le Lapin" market with our monthly Nuit Blanche celebration!

March "Le Lapin" Market Hours:
Thursday, March 12:             5pm-8pm            
Friday, March 13:                   10am-5pm
Saturday, March 14:              10am-5pm
Sunday, March 15:                  Noon-5pm

Stay warm till then!

Anastasia and Adam

Saturday, January 24, 2015

January's Restless Atelier, Fini!

When I finally sat down to read the directions, my first thought was "uh oh." I asked my daughter if I could bring the book and my supplies to her house, because after reading the first few lines I was already confused. I didn't have any idea how to transfer patterns onto fabric to stitch them. I use iron-ons, or I embroider free-handed.

When I arrived at Rosie's house,  I opened the book and pointed to the page. "See, it only tells you to transfer the pattern, but it doesn't tell you how to do it," I complained, exasperated. "Mom," she said kindly, "Did you look at the beginning of the book? This is where the author provides you with all the information about techniques." Sheepishly,  I said no, I did not look at the beginning of the book -- I didn't even think to do that.

So we built a light box, and . . .  ta dah! I was able to trace the patterns and stitch them. This is all going to go so much easier, I thought to myself.  Following directions is fun!

Until the next paragraph.

I can tell already that my biggest challenge is going to be following directions. I enjoyed the process of making this caddy -- once I stopped reading the directions. I did my own thing after paragraph two.   I know  -- this sort of defeats the whole purpose of my year-long journey.

So, what would my 8th-grade Home Economics teacher have given me as a grade for my sewing project? I am certain I would have gotten nothing above a B minus. It would breakdown as follows (The italicized is what she would have written on my Project Completion Sheet).

1. Creativity: A-  I like your mixture of patterns and fabric selections, the general look of the finished product and the way you arranged the pockets, although it appears you didn't do all of them, this will be reviewed below. (She never gave me an A for anything.  I think she thought not getting an A would make us work harder.)
2. Embroidery: B+ I like the blue thread choice as it coordinates well with your fabric choice and displays nicely on the yellow fabric, but you didn't do all the required stitching.
3. Sewing : B+ You did do back and forth stitching to secure pockets (I don't remember what this technique is called.) Your top stitching was fairly straight, however it would be perfectly straight if you pinned all sections first. You used the correct color thread. All seams appear straight.
4. Following Directions : D  Remember, you can learn a great deal more from following directions. I know you will do better in this area next time.
5. Complete Project on Time: A-  Remember, I never gave you an A, why start now?

And what did I learn? Well, I learned to explore more of a book before I decide the directions aren't adequate. I learned how to make a light box. (This is the favorite thing I learned.) Finally, I learned that this "reading directions thing" is going to be the bane of my creative existence!

I also wanted to report the main fabric I used is from Madame Catherine, one of my favorite purveyors of vintage French fabric in Paris. Merci!

I will have my sewing tidy at our next market March 12-15.  Be sure to share your January craft project on Confectionique's Facebook page! I am excited to try again in February.
à bientôt,


Friday, January 23, 2015

We've returned from Paris!

Well, perhaps vicariously. Since the success of our winter-themed markets, we realized our French inventory has declined significantly. Merci to all of you who visit our little French market and make it possible to reduce our inventory in the first place!

Adam and I decided if we couldn't actually set foot on one of our favorite continents this winter, we would ask a number of our French friends to bring a bit of France to us. We arranged for several shipments of a variety of traditional vintage French treasures: classic cafe au lait bowls, vintage Japy- and Jaz-brand French clocks, old spice pots, linens, and cigarette papers! (The packaging alone of the old cigarette papers are divine - these have many crafting possibilities!) And our dear friend Julia just popped a box filled with lapin- and poisson-themed vintage goodies in the mail for our upcoming Lapin market in March.  For our crafty customers we have reastocked vintage French fabric, ribbon, beautiful thread and other mercerie.

Many boxes from our friends have yet to arrive, but our inventory is again filled with pretty Paris treasures and vintage French lovelies! Merci to all our friends in France for helping us put together a delightful Spring inventory!

I am excited for all of you to visit Confectionique in March at our "Le Lapin" Easter-themed Market from March 12-15.  (Remember, there's no market in February this year!)

The Lapin Market:

Thursday, March 12:   5pm-8pm
Friday, March 13:         10am-5pm
Saturday, March 14:   10am-5pm
Sunday, March 15:       Noon-5pm

à bientôt,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A New Year Begins Again....

After all this time, Confectionique finally has a good foothold in Middleton.  We have a wonderful group of truly creative women who have brought treasures each market, almost since our doors opened, with excitement and enthusiasm. We have had a wonderful landlord and cohorts at the airport, glorious space to help make all my creative dreams come true, and we have had all of you -- our loyal friends and customers.

Some of you we see each market, some every few markets and some only for specific markets. We have so enjoyed seeing the happy faces of our established customers and the new ones that continue to find us one way or another.

You have traveled along with us to Paris, participated in our "Package from Paris" adventure and have encouraged us every step of the way as we move in other creative directions. For all this, and so much more, we are so very grateful and simply couldn't imagine something else more fun than opening our doors to you at Confectionique!

But, to avoid dullness and complacency, we decided it was time to shake things up a bit for 2015 at Confectionique.  We are introducing a new market schedule -- we have moved our February Market to March this year.  Our March market will be our Easter-themed market -- "Le Lapin" or the bunny market, a theme we haven't been able to celebrate for two years now.  The following month, in April, we'll feature our spring and garden market.  In June we'll host our vintage summer market, and August will be our annual home or maison market.  Once we return from our September buying trip to the City of Light, we'll be ready to cap off the year with  2015's Les Trois Fetes:  The Haunting (October), The Feasting (November) and The Giving (December).

We hope to see you at our "Le Lapin" Easter-themed Market from March 12-15.  (Remember, there's no market in January or February this year!)  We certainly want you along for the ride in 2015!

The Lapin Market:

Thursday, March 12:   5pm-8pm
Friday, March 13:         10am-5pm
Saturday, March 14:   10am-5pm
Sunday, March 15:       Noon-5pm

Bonne Annee,
Anastasia and Adam

Friday, January 2, 2015

Restless Atelier: January - Ode to Benjamin

 So it's time to launch our first Restless Atelier project, and get immersed in the process!  When my son gave me this beautiful book for Christmas, I flipped through it, gazing at the pictures, and commented, "Oh these pictures are so beautiful." My son looked at me and said, "Mom, do you ever actually make anything out of the craft books I have given you over the years?"

Now I can say yes. I decided on this pattern (a sewing tidy or caddy that you hang up for organizing your sewing supplies) for a number of reasons, in addition to the fact that Benjamin gave me this book for Christmas. 

I wanted a project centered around organization, which is often a big part of January life for me.  The book is called The Maison Sajou, and it's from one of the premiere thread companies in France.  The pattern calls for both machine- and hand-stitching (both of which I love),  and I will have to do something called "binding a strip" (whatever that means). You may have to help me with that! 

I hope it turns out -- it sure looks pretty on the page! I will post my progress on Facebook and my final project when it's complete. What is your January project?

PS...I decided to not fully read through the instruction before deciding on this pattern for fear it would scare me away. Not sure this was a good idea!

a bientot,


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I bought it because the pictures are pretty!

I just added another craft book to my beautiful collection of craft books. Before that I added a handful of vintage sewing patterns to my already growing pile, and before that I added a new book of embroidery iron-ons along side all my other embroidery iron-ons.

Often, I never really intend to make any of these things. I just like to acquire and admire books and patterns. My collections are beautiful and in lovely condition (likely from lots of non-use).

So, my Confectionique resolution for 2015 is to actually complete at least one sewing, embroidery, crochet or bead-work craft per month for one year (a total of 12 projects) from one of my many delicious books or patterns. I will post the pattern of my choice, show you my progress along the way and then the finished product. I will show my crafty outcome regardless of how it turns out!

This will be quite a challenge for me. In middle school, I received grade reductions from my 8th grade home economics teacher because I liked to take shortcuts (like not pinning or not pressing all flaps open) and would just look at something rather than follow the instructions. So, on top of actually doing the crafts, I will also actually follow the step-by-step instructions from beginning to end. I may even try a vintage pattern I bought in Paris, which should be interesting, since as many of you know, my French is a bit "sous nominale".

And just to add extra incentive for me to work carefully through my projects, if the project is a piece of clothing, I will wear it to market (no matter what it looks like - -as long as it fits) or set it out at the shop for us to review together.

I know that I will always be the "make-do" type. Making do with things I already have or bringing together unlikely things to make something new.  I like using shortcuts and my own ideas -- it's how my brain works. Still, I think working through the process of a project from beginning to end will be a good lesson for me. It will help instill more patience with the process rather than just being excited about the finished project, at least I hope so. I am calling this year at Confectionique  Restless Atelier: "The art of enjoying the process".

I hope you will follow along. Provide me with advice, feedback and support. Perhaps you could share pictures on our Facebook page of what you are working on as well?

Bonne Annee friends.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Extra Merriment Hours & Sale Dec. 18!

The secret is  out . . . yes it's true . . . just like Disney World has extra magic hours, Confectionique has Extra Merriment Hours this month!  We will have a special Nuit Blanche open house this Thursday, December 18, from 5:00pm to 8:00 pm in case you weren't able to make it to this weekend's "A Merry Christmas -- in Paris!" Market (or just want to come back for more holiday merriment)!  As a special thank you to our customers, all remaining vintage and restored floor furniture and all lamps will be 40% off -- Thursday night only!  We need to make room for new merchandise in the New Year!

We still have lots of holiday stocking stuffers, gifts and handmade crafts for you and your loved ones, plus beautiful vintage treasures from the flea markets of Paris!  And if you haven't yet picked up your 2015 market card with our new schedule, you'll want to do that -- we're shaking things up a bit for the new year!

We hope to see you and share a complimentary glass of wine with you!

"Extra Merriment Hours" Market and Sale:

Thursday Dec. 18   5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Joyeux Noel,

Anastasia and Adam