Grain Sacks of the 21st Century !!

After finishing various errands this morning which included picking up my latest batch of stitched Blue Cupboard labels (which are even better than the first round) and picking up the house, the Studio called my was time to fling open those doors and begin to create.

Even though the wind picked up a bit the 70 degree sunshine was awesome and I wanted to snap some pictures outside for something different.  It was a bit of a challenge keeping everything in focus as it was breezy but felt so good working on some quick staging and snapping.  I found this old wood clothes rack for $3 at a yard sale several years ago and couldn't resist - I just knew I would have a use for it.  Although I use another for actually drying heavy things in the sunshine, this one is used for pictures as it has some issues.  The Blue Cupboard kitchen towels did not seem to mind.

If you haven't noticed, I also have an affinity for old wood peg clothespins.  The blue ticking bag is full of them and I am thinking of ways to incorporate them into the packaging.  The blue and white quilt was a special surprise from my Handsome Man several years ago and he knew even then my love of all things worn and loved.  

Two different colors of denim are being used for the main debut line and I am preparing to work with a natural color bull drill denim next.  The colors are centered around shades of indigo and cream which will be the foundation of Blue Cupboard and the upcoming designs.  I am also experimenting with how the labels are sewn on.  Some folks like the frayed edges and some prefer a cleaner look.  I have sewn them both ways and am hard pressed to pick a favorite.  I think both methods will be used?  If you have an opinion, I would love to hear it!  Whether it is about the labels, fabric, or whatever, I seriously would love to know your thoughts!  Questions are also wonderful additions and I am happy to answer any you may have!

You may be wondering about the functionality of denim which is about an 8-10 oz weight but as I planned, I will not put my reputation on any design I have not used (and used hard) and tested.  The denim is proving to be all that I had hoped and more.  As with linen, denim gets softer with each washing and the absorbency is awesome.  I do not hesitate wiping up a coffee spill or using it with spray cleaner on the cupboard doors and countertops.  I wash the denim kitchen towels in a cool temperature and toss in the dryer.  All of the denim fabric has been washed (twice) in hot prior to cutting/pinning and dried hot in the dryer.  You will experience no unexpected shrinking and stains come out easily.  Don't be afraid to use any stain pre-treater if you feel a spot is going to be tough to remove.  The denim takes this on fearlessly.

Ironing is up to you - I LOVE to iron (weird?) so it is a treat to do so on these towels.  If I don't get to it right away, I fold them and tuck into the pantry drawer - they still look great and don't wrinkle as you would think.  They are denim after all and just like your favorite jeans, they look great and are happy in any condition.

Moving things back into the studio, I was planning to share some highlights of the business card development process.  If you recall in the previous post, I struggled finding just the right design, look, and feel from various online attempts and came up with a more handmade version.  These are in prototype phase and I am sure will evolve due to a recently ordered Blue Cupboard stamp but will give you a rough idea

Yes, library cards....tea-dyed, splattered, and stamped.  The new stamp will be used in the top area and each card will have hand-written details.  I love the idea of using something we are all familiar with and keeping it personal.  With this type of design, I also feel comfortable changing the main component as the business grows and evolves.  

Each card will be dated with the Blue Cupboard "established" date along with the date the particular item was made.  My business information (website, email, phone, etc.) along with care instructions, fabric content, and personal note will round out the design.  I have library card pockets that I am experimenting with as well for a complete look.  I would also like to incorporate denim fabric (possibly the selvage edges?) in some fashion and have a few ideas about that too....the creative process in all areas of the business design are invigorating as each idea can be used without boundaries.  As I mentioned...ongoing design evolution (smile).

Kraft paper is another component that will be part of the packaging.  Natural cotton twine or stamped cotton twill are also possibilities.  My desire for the brand is one of "natural and familiar" in all areas.  I am not looking to reinvent the wheel of branding or packaging, just finding the right touches that work well with my vision.  By combining as many personal touches as I can, including handwriting on the tags, I wish  for anyone who owns a Blue Cupboard item to know of the human element that went into each and every one.  I have dreams of them being handed down over the years so that when our world moves steadily into new areas of technology, the Blue Cupboard name will stand strong as a reminder of simple and useful.  

The grain sacks of the 21st Century!!  

Nicely made with mitered corners, a stitched label, a twill loop for hanging and easy care.  The first of many new designs coming.  I am anticipating opening the online the store in the next several weeks with limited quantities of each.  That will be a VERY exciting day for me sharing these with you!

I love to hear thoughts, comments, and suggestions.  Your words and opinions mean the world to me and  I relish each and every one.  .