Important Brown Dog Studio Tidbits

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I can't wait...the studio starts up again for the year with my Valentine Open House, January 28-30, back at the sweet vintage and artisan shop, Simply Bungalow. You'll be excited to know that we've penciled in dates for all of the 2016 studio open houses at Simply Bungalow. Some of them have been scheduled to coincide with special Bungalow events. Woohoo! AND...I have an ever-changing small collection of grab and go necklaces for sale at Simply if you need a giftie when this chickie isn't at a show...PERFECT!

Here are the details for the Valentine Open House...
Thursday January 28 (5-7)
Friday January 29 (11-6)
Saturday January 30 (10-6)

at Simply Bungalow, 2295 South 48th Street

I've been busy in the studio and will be taking orders for custom pieces.

also...the new year is bringing some changes in the studio. Here's the short version...I'll be giving more details over the next few weeks...

  • Fewer shows, focusing on my favorites and more time to work in the studio! Making pretties!
  • Working on the website over the next few months, making it more streamlined and offering more of my one-of-a-kind pieces (usually only seen by show shoppers!), in limited supply for limited time.
  • Fun photo montages showing how I create handcrafted pretties from raw materials and really great tools!
  • Greater focus on in-person custom orders, but offering the purchase of "design time" for anyone unable to work with me in person at a show, needing more customizing than regular online custom items.
  • Orders to be shipped, picked up at upcoming show, or in person ONLY at Simply Bungalow, ONLY during regular shop hours. Farewell to the studio drop box.
I love Facebook for quick details, giving you a peek at what I'm making BUT it doesn't give me the opportunity to go into much detail 
SO...I'll be posting more regularly on the studio Blog (YAY!) when I need to share more info.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fairy Collage Charms
Thursday March 12, 6-8pm
at Simply Bungalow
$50, class size limited to 6
Contact Sarah OR Simply Bungalow to Register and Pay for Class
Artist Sarah Long/Brown Dog Studio
Do you love my sweet Fairies and Friends charms? In this class, I’ll teach the creative process of layering your photos with other mediums to create your own fairy charms! I will supply tools, pens and other artsy bits. You will finish the artwork for 2 fairy charms in class. Your fairy collages will then be placed between glass and soldered…The finished pieces will be ready within a few days to be picked up at Simply Bungalow. Please note that you will not be learning glass cutting or other soldering skills in this class. All finishing work will be done by the instructor.
This 2-hour class is $50, and must be paid in advance in order to reserve a seat. Class size is limited to 6. All supplies will be provided for the class. If you want to use YOUR photos and have a personalized proof sheet for use in class, please contact Sarah AT LEAST 3 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE CLASS. Otherwise, I’ll come with some ready fairy girls, photos, wording, props, etc. You will be able to create 2 charms.  E-mail Sarah:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

...a piece of the past

Last summer I bought a darling friendship quilt. It was in pretty rough shape and my intention was to "cut the heck out of it" (a quote from family members who routinely comment on what happens to the majority of my finds!). 

I'm fascinated by the labor of love the quilt represents. I also have a bit of "quilt-envy," not having one of these in MY history! I admit that the missing portions around the edge shown in this photo are a result of my eagerness to harvest a few of the hand-embroidered signatures RIGHT AWAY. It was only AFTER I'd done a bit of cutting that I thought I might have enjoyed keeping it, despite its flaws, especially because the green and yellow pattern is so happy!

What I don't know...WHO were these women? WHY did they (all 90+ of them) make this quilt...was there an event, a marriage, a church fundraiser? WHO kept the quilt all of these years?
What I DO know...The date on the quilt is June 1932. SOMEONE loved and used this quilt, evidenced by the worn spots, many of which saw careful repairs. A great deal of care was taken to piece together all of the signatures into blocks that used (I think) feedsack cloth in dozens of patterns.  I can't get over how perfectly the background fabric of the embroidery has aged, whereas the stitching remains colorful.

I am utterly intrigued with the embroidery...the styles are so varied. Most women worked their first and last names, but about a dozen used the Mrs. title followed by a husband's first and last name. 

The styles range from over-the-top elaborate detail, hard to distinguish from modern-day machine embroidery, to a very simple running stitch. Most women chose to use a signature version of their name, whereas a few used block letters. I LOVE the women who added the very bold statement of a PERIOD to the end of their "signature," almost an "I was here" kind of flourish. 
I ask myself, how would I have been represented for the past 8 DECADES if I had been part of this quilt...were these women happy to contribute their time? Was this something they did routinely? Or did it signify sacrificing precious time in an already busy day?

I LOVE the names...oodles of Marys, a few named Grace, Anna, Maggie and Jennie...but then, Pearl, Edith, Harriette, Minnie (2!), Vera, Hazel, Ansty (!), Jessie, Doris, Martha, Thelma and Amelia...Sadly, I don't remember the first handful I harvested last Fall :(
I'm so happy to be able to offer these as a piece of wearable history...I don't think most of us will find our name to Sarah to be found! But maybe a mother or grandmother or favorite great aunt?

I think I might just choose a great old name as my own...which oddly enough brings back a sweet memory from my college days and may be the REAL reason I was drawn to the of my dearest friends and I always gave each other "nursing home names" and we were routinely "Pearl," "Mildred," or "Bertha". When we stumbled across each other on Facebook after a few years of scattered written correspondence , we were "old lady" friends all over again!
I've made a few dozen names for all of my upcoming "junk" shows. I still have over 50 names in reserve and will continue to add to the collection as needed. You will be getting the actual name, cut and encased in glass according to the size of the signature..."Frances" holds the title of the LARGEST of the charms...She really filled her allotted space with her name and I had to cut a wider strip of glass than I originally intended to use! I'm thinking about offering initials on request, keeping in mind that using initials will deplete the pool of old-fashioned names.
AND...I have odds and ends of the quilt reserved for some bunting and other surprises!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

If you're looking for my next Lincoln event...this is it! The gals at Simply Bungalow, just north of 48th and Normal, are hosting my Mother's Day Trunk Show April 10-12, after we had so much fun with Valentines...hearts and glitter you know! 

I'll be taking special orders like always, along with oodles of pretties ready for purchase on site. THIS time, your order will be ready to ship...either to you or to the giftee, in time for Mother's Day, OR you'll be able to pick it up in person at the Patina Market, held on May 10 at Simply Bungalow.

I'm excited to be vending again at the Patina should come see ME, of course, but then you may find some really great treasures the vintage dealers bring along. I ALWAYS do! Last time there were over 20 vendors, and Heidi has been working on super-secret blueprints to squeeze in MORE!!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pop-up Studio?

Raise your hand if you headed off to the studio this past weekend and wound up staring at a sign on the door telling you to go to the studio's NEW Pop-up location? (You're not alone; one sweet, honest shopper admitted as much to me on Thursday) 

If you've been shopping at Brown Dog Open Houses over the past 8+ years, you've stepped into an extension of  my studio (or garage, etc), which resides in my home. What a joy to have welcomed so many of you into my homey studio! It made sense..If I needed something, I just popped right back into my work area. Because I had regular open shopping hours during the week, I usually left the studio set up most of the time...when I was doing maybe a FEW shows a month.

But the times have been a-changing! With 45+ shows a year (at last count), the studio stays in pack-mode so that I don't spend literally HOURS each week on extra packing when I could be making pretties for the studio. I also lose workbench time setting up one-on-one appointments in the studio. 

So, when Todd (Mr. Brown Dog) wondered aloud if I'd ever considered a different venue for my Open Houses, I started thinking...
hmmmm....better lighting, better parking, more elbow room, no stairs to the basement, none of my shoppers worrying about whether they could bring friends to a show, not to mention the teenagers' bathroom!

And a plan began to take shape! After a whirlwind search for open space to lease and a few disappointments, I finally (last minute) found a great, temporary site for both parts of this year's Christmas Open House and Stop and Shop. A HUGE location at 56th and South Streets, my set-up has been great for shopping and check-out. I have NOT opened a permanent location, and that isn't my plan...the studio travels too much to even consider a shop.

A big THANKS to everyone who came and found the studio this weekend. I took oodles of custom orders, which will be ready for pick-up in the SAME LOCATION, along with even more GREAT shopping in 3 scant weeks...Thursday Dec 12 (5-8), Friday Dec 13 and Saturday Dec 14 (10-8 both days).

Will I have this space again next year? Well, the leasing company probably hopes it will be rented before then, but I will plan on having locations for my Valentine, Mother's Day and Christmas shows. I've gotten so busy during June and when I usually have my Fall Open House that I'm deciding whether or not just to have you find me at one of the great shows I attend!

Pop-up studio EXPLAINED :)