Thursday, June 19, 2014

moving to a bigger cardboard box

I'm moving my blog today.

Which reminded me of this picture of Steeb bringing home an enormous watermelon box for us to play in two summers ago. (my how that little boy has grown)

Blogs are a little like cardboard playhouses. Very real in some ways and completely just imagination in other ways. You can get as fancy or as plain as you like, invite lots of friends over or just your dolls. There's endless room for customization if you have a good box blade or a little code to work with.

I spent 8 years blogging in this playhouse and now I have made a little website to call my own.

It's just
so simple.

Come on over and look around.

I'll be cutting some new windows from the digital cardboard and maybe coloring the walls with virtual crayons as time goes on.  But for now, it's good enough to play in.

Thank you for reading my words for all this time. Would you like a sip of imaginary tea?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I spent Mother's Day in Edison, WA with my guys. When the little one got bored in the car, I told him to pretend his window was a television and we were watching a documentary on one of America's most scenic byways. I love that he is four now, because lines like that work. And I love that we were on Chuckanut Drive, so it was also true.

 (James Reisen made this fruit crate boom box that really jams. Get it: fruit/jams.)
 We poked around the Lucky Dumpster and restocked their shelves with pins, hats and critters. The little town is so bustling this time of year, it took quite a while to get in our business, hugs and jive talk with James between customers.

The NOMAD trailer was parked down the way and I finally picked up a deck of Jen's gorgeous tarot cards.

Lunch came from Mariposa and we dripped our delicious tacos all over the sidewalk while watching a bird fly in and out of it's nest hole in the wall at the Lucky D.

It was the perfect mix of making money and spending money with people we love, to make this mama feel good all over.

I hope this spring holds some sweet adventures for you too. Even if they are just backyard, down the road, making business a pleasure kinds of adventures.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

alt for everyone, generocity and style

I entered another Instagram dance off with Hilary Rushford and this time I got the prize!

As a winner, I get to attend alt for everyone tomorrow. It is a virtual version of their alternative design conference. As much as I would love to attend the in-person event this summer (Martha fricken Stewart is the keynote speaker!) I am equally excited to learn and network without having to drive to an airport or arrange childcare. I signed up for classes around my weekly walk, preschool drop off and the farmers market. I'll even be able to sew hats at the studio and make dinner for my little family while filling up on inspiration.

I am so grateful to Hilary Rushford for her real life style tips and business savvy and for generously giving me the seat at the conference.

She's got a gorgeous video series coming out tomorrow that will teach you how to feel more fabulous with what you already have in your closet. No matter what your shape or budget, if you want to love getting dressed in the morning more often, you should check it out. And if you don't hang out on Instagram, here's my 15 seconds of fame:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 favorite FREE apps for photos

Here are the three free apps I have been playing with this spring to add new dimensions to my photos. You do not have to use Instagram to use these apps, although that is why they were developed. You do however have to have photos on a smart phone or ipad as they are all touch screen type apps.

This is the one I am most excited about. You can add text, overlays, crops and play with all the levels of opacity and size. It's not going to be as precise as photoshop or illustrator because it is all done on a touch screen. But whoa, you can do all that with a touch screen. The colors are plentiful enough for me, but if you have a specific Pantone color you are trying to match for your project, you will have to just go with a close enough shade of seafoam green.
So far I have just messed around with the designs that it comes with. There are other packs of themed fonts and squiggles that you can purchase or add for free. If you are using it professionally, naturally make choices within your brand's color story and style and keep everything very readable. Stay away from adding diamonds and moustaches to every picture for example, unless you sell diamond encrusted moustaches.

There are many free apps that do this basic thing. Again I would avoid the super wacky starburst and squiggle line formations. Stick with a simple grid or row of images and take off the preset photo corners frame for a cleaner look. You can also add some text with this one. It does have ads that pop up, which is annoying, but that's why it's free.


Choose your photos in the order you want them to go as there isn't any drag and drop rearranging of the order. But you can duplicate an image for it to last longer. Once you have your images chosen the app sets the length of each photo to fit in either a 15 or 30 second clip. You can add a title to the beginning. For a small one time fee you can remove the Flipagram watermark and replace it with your own name at the bottom.
If you have music on your device you can insert that. You can narrate a voice over. Or they offer previews of popular songs that you can use without any copyright issues.

Although I have spent several hours figuring out how to get the look I want from these programs, they are remarkably intuitive and fun. When I would start to get frustrated with their quirks or limitations I would remind myself that I was creating professional materials for myself with technology I already own. What a powerful feeling to have these tools at my fingertips.
I hope you have fun exploring these apps. Let me know if you have any favorites I should try.

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Bellingham Farmer's Market Opens this Saturday 10am-3pm


Five Things I am Getting at the Market this Saturday

  1. Greens. I really eat better when there are so many cute farmers selling me kale.
  2. Honey. I eat honey like a pooh bear and put spoonsfull in my coffee. which brings me to...
  3. Coffee. Several great local roasters and ways to drink it.  It helps me stay cheerful and productive all week and especially at market.
  4. Treats. From pie to scones & macaroons to chocolate pretzels to the ever wafting smell of kettlecorn. I am planning on putting something sweet in my mouth. And if I'm lucky, someone will have some other treat they can't quite finish and give me a bite...
  5. Hugs. I'll admit, I'm not actually much of a hugger. But after a long winter of solitude, even I will be giving some hugs to vendors and customers I have missed in the off season.
What's on your list?

Monday, March 31, 2014

this just hung

I spent the first part of the month stitching every day for this art show. It was a good place to start, meditative, focused.  This is what I hung today instead. Sometimes the paint can tell the story better than the thread. The stitches may still find their way to the wall, you'll have to stop by the Old Town for yourself to see....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Here comes the cute...dun dun da-dun.

Did you see this behind the scenes teaser of my spring commission over on Instagram?
The time has come when I can show off my special project. Watch this dorky video,

here come's the cute from Libby Chenault on Vimeo.

 And If you want my hand in making your occasion remarkable, please contact me

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blooming Scraps Workshop March 22 at the Ragfinery

Celebrate spring with me at the Ragfinery. No matter what the weather is doing outside, we can dig through a pile of luxury knit scraps and watch our cashmere garden grow.  In this two hour class you will learn (or practice) basic hand sewing techniques with endless variations for creating flowers from scrap material.

For the price of a moth and squirrel pin, I will teach you my formula to make your own. You will leave with at least one pin or hair clip and inspiration to continue customizing projects at home.

what: Blooming Scraps Workshop
where: the Ragfinery, 1421 Forest Street in Bellingham
when: Saturday March 22 1-3pm
cost: $15 cash or check includes all materials and supports the Ragfinery
The Ragfinery will be open for sales after the class if you are inspired to purchase additional material from the shop.
Reserve your spot today by contacting me mothandsquirrel(at)

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

I am hanging an art show at the Old Town Cafe at the end of this month. You can check my progress on Instagram (@libbychenault, #makestitcheseveryday). It really makes me laugh to be practicing something so tangible and meditative (sewing) and something so modern and fleeting (Instagram) at the same time. Always learning, always exploring.

Friday, February 28, 2014

this happened today

Today I joined instagram (you CAN do it without a smart phone!) I cleared some boxes of fabric from around my desk. And then i recorded this 15 second dance clip to win a spot in a mentorship program with the ever stylish Hilary Rushford of Dean Street Society. It's funny what you can rationalize as business when you are a creative entrepreneur.
and now you can follow me on instagram. Instagram
Like this clip and have your own micro mini dance break with me.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

midwinter break

Last week I was given a real lemon, picked fresh from someone's tree and mailed to my friend John. All that morning I just held it in my hands, precious globe of citrus sunshine and sniffed it. At my kitchen table I had to paint it and one of my tiny glass jars with snow drops from my backyard, a page of midwinter hope and small delights.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Now at the Bureau of Historic Investigation

I made a new collection of key rings for the Bureau of Historic Investigation this week. My classic keys and feathers in a pallet inspired by painted ladies and old photographs.  Their shop is such a well curated collection of items local, historic and sassy. I am super excited to be sharing my goods with their loyal fans. Check out their website for a taste of their wit and style and pop in next time you are in downtown Bellingham.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Art Walk FRiday Night 6-10pm

I've been in the mood for sweetness, stitching in the studio and printing cards at the kitchen table.
I think handmade valentines are the best. But if you are feeling a little overwhelmed or under the weather this February, let my hands be the ones that make yours this year.

All these goodies and more are available in our studio Friday Night at the Art Walk, 6-10pm.
Come upstairs to the Pickford Dreamspace studios, 1318 Bay Street in downtown Bellingham for a sweet piece of handmade love.

Monday, February 03, 2014

scraptastic color pop!

Last Saturday we gathered at the Ragfinery for a Scraptastic Color Pop workshop.
photo by Angela Cook
photo by Angela Cook

We made yo-yo pins and pom-pom garlands to add color to the cold winter grey.  Everyone was excited to practice these basic hand sewing techniques with infinite possibilities.
 Angela, who makes hats as Humperdinck, took the basic yo-yo concept and went wild.
Barbara ditched the heart for a robot on her pin.

Read Cynthia St.Clair's blipfoto post about her day here.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

read about the Ragfinery.

I've been enjoying a bit of winter down time from the farmer's market and regular blogging. I am catching up on some personal projects like wedding gifts for people who got married several years ago and super hero capes for Franklin's preschool. And I'll be honest, I'm catching up on episodes of gLee and Under the Gunn. It is winter after all.

In the new year I've also had more energy for my work with The Ragfinery. You can read more about it in the current issue of The Cascadia Weekly(just click here for the online version.) I hope to have more photos for you after my workshop there this weekend. Until then, just imagine an old auto body shop full of piles of potential….

Friday, January 17, 2014

Want to make crafts together this winter?

I'm planning a workshop at the new Ragfinery in Bellingham and will be sending out an invitation to everyone on my newsletter list Monday morning. If you want to drink coffee with me while we transform scraps into color pops of creativity, get your name on my list right now!

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

let's talk about beautiful things again

My new bulb planter, crusted with mud from a cold but sunny afternoon planning for the future. What can you plant this winter that will bloom in the spring? What beautiful dreams can you take the tiniest step towards right now? What habit can you re-comit to that will help you maintain your best self?

Do you remember when I was doing these drawings regularly? I am going to start again. Once a week. I was just trying to think up a grand 52 week project when I came across a few of them and realized I didn't need to reinvent the wheel or join some online movement. I just had to get out my pen and some paints and take a moment to see.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

It is already the first Friday of the month, the year even. Come downtown from 6-10pm January 3 and we will start the year off with creativity and community. Try on a hat, talk to me about the Ragfinery, buy a card set or a cashmere headband and dig through the $5 bin for treasure.
1318 Bay Street, above the Pickford Film Center. Studio #201.