Saturday, February 26, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner!
Congratulations Nancy Rosback!  

Deborah Beau recently hosted a hutch studio giveaway on her fantastic blog Kickcan & Conkers.  It was a first for hutch studio and I was blown away by the interest, enthusiasm, and wonderful comments that were focused on our creative efforts.  We appreciate it all greatly and will continue to do our best at making clever and fun ideas for everyone to enjoy.  Enjoy your new paper house garland Nancy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Latest Spin

~ The Latest Spin ~

For those of you that haven't visited hutch studio for the past few months I wanted to show you the new whirligigs that are spinning outside on the fence and inside as well.  The first is titled "Cookin With Steam" and it's a (double spinner), meaning it has two levels of wind catchers that rotate in opposite directions simultaneously. Oh it's as cool as it sounds.  It's also made from a vintage toy washing machine and is topped with an antique steam iron. $325. In store pick up only.

"Sail Star" isn't super new but it has been recently refurbished.  Paint was applied to the jumping fish molds and the boat masts were reinforced.  This one FLYS when the wind is blowing. $250. In store pick up only.

This one is the most recent gig.  "Starbird" is her name and she is a double spinner topped by a super cool aluminum deco styled tea kettle (with a bluebird spout).  I've been waiting to use this pot for a while.  I just put this one out on the fence last week and it quickly became the best mover to date.  $200. In store pick up only. I hope that these fun wind spinners get you to plan a little trip out to La Conner soon for a studio visit.  I also offer whirligig workshops that are one day creative blasts.  Click on the "Workshop" underneath the blog header for more info.  You to could have a whirligig spinning on your fence this season. call 360-466-2303

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Color Inspiration

~ Color ~
I've never considered myself to be particularly good when it comes to using color.  I've painted the walls in my own house numerous times because my opinion on the colors always seem to change.  My wife and I recently bought a new orange sofa to replace a bright blue one that we've lived with for ten years by covering it up with a neutral slip cover.  The colors of hutch studio seem to be the one's that I'm drawn to over and over again.  They seem to transport my mind back in time and take me away to a space of memories.  A calm feeling in contrast to the bustle of the outside world.  My focus in this post is going to be (tan/yellow/gold), red, and black.  This color combination when applied to objects of age seems to always appeal to me.  The red and golden hues are very warm and the black gives it that graphic "coolness".
I just looked around the studio for things that had these common factors.  Some are objects that inspire me, some are props, and some are tools.  You can discover all of the following items here and there at the studio if you look hard enough.
Isn't this Buster Brown shoe box lid great? In this instance the darker red provides the contrast in the graphics. I love the simple line drawings of the children playing.  And yes the original shoes are still within.  
There something about old rulers and hand tools.  The wood is warmer because it has been well used and touched.  Add the old worn paint and it's a winning combo in my color book.  What color combinations get you excited?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Illustrated Drum Shades

~ Illustrated Light Shades ~
One day I was organizing one of the rooms at the studio used to store just about everything and sitting on top of a precarious pile of old lamps were a few newer looking drum shades.  I'm assuming someone had bought them with a plan, but had abandoned the project.  Inspired by a children's book that my wife and son had recently given to me as a gift I decided to use the simple white surface of the shade as if it were a wrapped piece of paper to draw on. I first did a very light pencil sketch followed by line drawing with a fine point black sharpie marker.  Subtle color was added with watercolors.
Because some of the themes at the studio incorporate children, nature, and animals, that's what I used as subject matter.  The first lampshade pictured a little boy and a bird, a little girl and a squirrel, and trees with an acorn.
It really made a sweet light for a nursery or small child's room.
Well, someone else thought the same thing and bought it.  The room got dark after that so I had to come up with another one quick.  It was early spring and the mole hills were treacherous in the back yard so I thought Moles and Daffodils would be a great combo. Oh yeah, and a little girl and boy too.
I love a challenge, and to make a mole cute is exactly that.  Can you picture this little dude doing a little "Caddyshack" dance?  This lamp is still the center piece in our "sweet room" at the studio.  It retails for $150. call 360-466-2303 or stop into the studio to see it in person.

I'm thinking the next one is going to have "pink tulips", bunnies, a little girl, and a little boy.  What do you think? Should the little girl have curly red hair?
I also want to share a secret with you.  The magical ingredient that I add to so many things that I make in the studio is............

I put it in myself as well.
It adds the right warmth to white and tones down colors that are a little too bright.  Give it a swirl!  No cream or sugar.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A fun little idea.

~Paper Lantern House~
Here's a fun and really simple idea.  Take a photograph of your house and print it horizontally on a standard 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of 20# weight paper.  Cut a straight edge along the bottom of the image and at the top cut along the house's roof line.  loosely wrap the house around a soup can slightly overlapping at the back.  Using a couple of pieces of satin transparent tape secure.  Now in order to make this a safe lantern you need to use a battery operated tea light.  You can find these little 1 1/2" lights pretty easily in craft stores (especially around the holidays).  NEVER USE A CANDLE!  Paper + flame = fire.  Simply place the paper house cylinder over the tea light and your house is glowing with warmth.
This picture was taken in the dark, but in a dimly lit space with a fresh battery in the light the house gives of a nice soft glow.  I sell these "hutch studio" lights at the shop but it's just one of those free ideas that people leave the studio with.  To make a "move" easier on a child a warm light of the house that they grew up in could be a great comfort.  If you use this idea in some way I would love to hear about it and post a picture if possible.  Send photos and messages to me at the studio
Have fun with the idea!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

hutch studio Giveaway with Kickcan & Conkers!

"Vintage Book House Garland Giveaway"

Deborah at "Kickcan & Conkers" has been so nice and gracious in putting together a hutch studio giveaway.I wanted the giveaway item to be very special so I put together a garland of the only remaining paper houses that I have made from repurposed 1942 Peter Rabbit and Mother Goose books. So far the response has been amazing and the comments are flowing.  You have until this Sunday to enter, so you still have a chance to win. Hop on over to Kickcan & Conkers now! These houses could be hanging at your house.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More "Softer" Birds

~Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!~
These little plush birds are new design prototypes that were a part of our recent display at the NY Gift Fair.  They are aprox. 4 inches tall and made from a soft cotton knit with a felt beak and wire legs and feet.  $17.
The pink dotted one is doing a funny little jig.  $17.  call 360-466-2303 to order.
This little chick is made with our special "picture book" printed cotton fabric.  All 3 of these soft birds are handmade original designs that are for sale for $17. each.  I think that's cheap! cheap! cheap! So give me a ring at the studio to order.  360-466-2303.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Put A Bird On It"

~Put A Bird On It~
"Sweet Tweet"
Glazed Porcelain Bird
in a  wire cage.
3.5"h x 3"w

A few weeks ago, my wife who spends a great deal of time in the blogosphere came across a video from a new television show called "Portlandia".  It was titled "Put A Bird On It", and featured Fred Armisen from SNL, playing one of a pair hired to tweak a design boutique.  Their solution to all sad and ordinary things was to put a bird on it and it would be magically transformed into something desirable.  I know the reason that this is sooooo funny to me is that I know how true it is and I certainly use the "bird" at the studio quite a bit.  Pictured above is an early version of a "Sweet Tweet" which I started to make last spring to hang in the many windows of our side porch.  The red and blue seemed to be the most popular but I made them in just about every color for a while.

"Sweet Tweet"
*very early version & no longer available.

Some of the very first sweet tweets were made using oval tart tins as bases.  There is also very old sheet music lining the bottom of the cage.

"Sweet Tweet"
*Current version of design.

Every time I made a few more of these popular little guys I would change the design slightly.  The most recent (pictured above) has a base made from repurposed cardboard and the bird is made from painted fimo clay rather than glazed porcelain.  I personally prefer the matt surface on the bird, but what do you think?  I'm not sure if I will be making more of these birds but that's what I always say.  There are still a few left in the shop so give me a call if you are interested in purchasing one.  They're cute wherever they hang or sit.   360-466-2303

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Escape from New York

Krys and our amazing gift show team finally got out of New York City.  The snow delayed them a bit, but alas they are all home safe and sound.  I wanted to share more of the special goodies that have returned with them.  Pictured above is a plush giraffe named "Teeny". He measures approx. 8 inches tall and was one of  the items representing hutch studio at the International Gift Fair.  He should be strolling onto a table or shelf at the studio this weekend.  $21.  call 360-466-2303 to order.
This lovely doll was also on view at the show, but sadly she is not quite ready to be sold in the shop.  Maybe a couple of little tweaks are in order.  Hopefully we'll see her again soon.  I would be interested in your thoughts about her.
This "Teeny" giraffe is a little plumper due to her knit fabric.  She is very soft and squishy.  I think her white polka dots give her a "walking in the snow" look.  She is approximately 8 inches tall and retails for $21.  Call 360-466-2303 to order.

Chili Cook Off Report

It was a Chili night on Samish Island and the Fire engine was parked in front of the local Community Center with all lights flashing.  Good luck finding anywhere to park.  There were cars and trucks everywhere.  For this "first time" event the turnout was amazing.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time and all the cooks seemed to take it in stride when both the "Firefighter's Trophy" and the "Diner's Choice" Trophy were swept by a very proud couple.  The trophies themselves were very hot looking thanks to the Tom Theisen who made them by hand.  I would like to send out a special thanks to Ann Reid who gave a speech and directed everyone's attention to hutch studio which seemed to cast it's creative spell over the event with Whirligigs spinning at  the center of every table.
This was just such a fun time and I'm definitely looking forward to going again next year.  I'll just arrive earlier to make sure there is still plenty of Chili.  After expenses the event brought in $1300. to support the Community Center and the local Fire Department.  Nice work everyone!  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Windows of Hutch

~ The Windows of Hutch ~
I have to say that of all the things that I make at the studio the window coverings are my favorites.  There seems to be so many levels on which to appreciate them.  You are drawn to them from outside the house and that experience changes from day to night.  from inside the experience is different but the light from day to day and day to night always effects how the look.  The shadows that are created by the daylight passing through the cut designs are always exciting to see.  The above detail is from the spring and summer  window covering I call "Rainflowers" .  It is a paper cut using thin white butcher paper.  I like the way the paper curls at the edges and gives the design some dimensionality.  The cascading flower and leaf pattern has a second element of dangling paper raindrops painted grey blue that fall from a cloud valance along the very top edge.  This rain can be seen silhouetted in the photo below. 
The "Rainflowers" window covering is available as a paper cut kit.  The full design measures 34 inches wide by 67 inches high and can be adjusted to fit most window openings.  The cost is $28. and will be in our blog shop soon.
 "Winter Window"
Our "Winter Window" is my favorite.  The design is a northwest woodland winter scene comprised of trees, snow, mushrooms, a bird, and a squirrel.  It is cut out of quilter's batting which has a translucent quality that allows for beautiful lighting effects when double layered.  Pictured above is single cut out layer that has great shadow casting qualities. This fall I changed them slightly by dyeing the cut out layer dark brown, giving the design greater contrast without the help of backlighting.

In our "sweet room" which has a lot of light aqua and soft pink colors I dyed the solid piece of batting a very soft pink and left the cut out layer the natural cream color.  I also flipped the image to create a balanced overall design for the double but separated windows in this nook.
I often tell customers about the first time I went outside the studio after dark, with the lights on inside.  It looked magical and felt that way too.  It was that tingling sensation throughout the whole body that you only experience on rare occasions.  It's like when you hear a singer hit that amazing note or see a dance performance that leaves you breathless.  Anyway, it was cool.   This is a photo from last season before I dyed the cut outs brown.  It's even better now.  In the fall and winter I set the upper room lights on timers so everyone walking or driving by after dark can experience this magic for themselves.  Remember Morris Street in La Conner, Washington.   Take a drive!
Like everything at the studio the window coverings are totally made by hand.  The idea begins as a free hand line drawing that gets hand cut into a template.  The template is then placed onto fabric, the design is traced, and then the fabric cutting is done.  These windows are well worth the labor involved in making them, but don't take my word for it, come on by and see them for yourself.

"Winter Window Design"

Pictured here is an example of a completed double layer winter window with a dark brown cut out top layer that was hand dyed.  This exact design measures 33 inches wide by 67 inches high and can be cropped to suit most window sizes. 

The cost for the winter window pattern is $24. and will also be available in our blog shop very soon.  Until then just give me a call at the studio if you have any further questions or to order.  360-466-2303.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Whirligigs On The Road.

~ The 1st Annual Samish Island Chili Cook Off ~
& Whirligigs!

Hutch studio was asked to loan a few of our cool whirligigs for the "1st annual Samish Island Chili Cook Off".   These spinning centerpieces will be on every table.  Maybe the wind created by the spinning gigs will help cool down the burning taste buds.   Come by for a visual as well as a culinary treat.  I'm taking the whole family.  See you there!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NY International Gift Fair

I wanted to share what we've been recently working on at the studio.  A small collection of sweet items that capture a nostalgia for our childhood, or perhaps the childhood of our dreams.  Houses, nature, children, and pets, all play together inside a warm and worn suitcase.  The art of sewing, wire bending, and paper cutting are highlighted as well as the idea of recycling and repurposing everyday items and materials.  This group of goodies will be displayed in our "Bunnies By The Bay" booth at the International Gift Fair that runs from Jan. 29th- Feb. 3rd.  So if you happen to be stuck in New York City due to all the snow right now, stop in at the Javits Center for a peak and let us know what you think.
This is one of the latest creations for our "hutch studio" line of little pets.  "Kitty" is a soft hand painted plush sitting approx. 3 inches high.   A great example of "less is more" or "less is meow".  She is backed with a soft cotton fabric in a polka dot print.
"Puppy" is a hand painted plush sitting approx. 3 1/2" high.  He is also backed in a soft polka dotted fabric. Both of these cuties are just prototypes at the moment along with a number of other items in the case.  We want to cage a reaction at the show to see what might be worth producing more of.  I know that I am looking forward to seeing more of these little pets at the studio.  How about you?
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