I am living a blissful dream spending my working time designing. There isn't anything I'd rather be doing and I've been so blessed to fall in with some amazing manufacturers and creative people to help along the way.
I am happily married with two kids. My family comes first! I consider myself so lucky to work with companies and other individuals who respect that. When the house is a mess and the kids aren't fed, I find it practically impossible to be creative. Everything has a time and a place and I feel balance is essential.
I have been creative for as long as I remember. My first true craft obsession was scrapbooking. When I was in high school, I tagged along with my best friend to a scrapping party and I was hooked. I can still feel the excitement at the idea of creating this story of yourself and your loved ones on paper. Stickers, embellishments and paper replaced my high school clothing fund.
I have always sewed. My first memories are of my grandmother teaching me how to make a receiving blanket one summer when I was visiting in her in Pennsylvania. I remember frolicking around the neighborhood in the morning, sewing in the afternoon and movies at night.
I continued to sew the rest of my life - prom dresses, flapper girl costumes for my friends, cool skirts. My first job in high school was working at a fabric store. Talk about fueling an obsession. And a fabric collection! I remember one year making a Christmas stocking for every person on my gift list. For some reason that year, paper just was not going to do. So many of my happiest memories are sprinkled with the touches of handiwork I put together for the occasion.
When I had my first child, a girl, a whole new world of crafting opened up to me! We were laughably poor college students and I remember watching for the sales at the local fabric shop. I would go and buy just enough to make her a special dress with matching trims and ribbons. I can still remember the smell of the fabric store and what memories it brings back. She's 5 now and far outgrown those little dresses, but I truly believe that it was those early days with her that have landed me where I am now. I had taken that semester off from school and she was my only responsibility during the day. Sew, snuggle, scrapbook, repeat. It was blissful and instilled in me an idea that has stayed with me:
You can be a strong independent individual, and be domestic and soft at the same time. True story.
The next year, our son came along and I started feeling a strong urge to find a career that would allow me to stay at home with them. Not doing something wasn't much of an option, too much going on in my head and I think it would explode without an outlet! Finding the right thing was actually quite easy, it practically fell in my lap.
I started making custom versions of the outfits I was creating for my kids and named the label, Portabellopixie. I was always on top of the newest designer fabric collections and after an inspiring conversation with Heather Bailey in the fall of 2006, I felt that fabric design was something to consider. I put together a quick portfolio of artwork and presented myself to a few manufacturers. Michael Miller was the right fit and we were off!
I had started my blog in the spring of 2006 to show off my clothing designs, and with my contract with Michael Miller freshly secured, I shifted to focus of the blog to overall crafting. I also set off into designing and printing my first collection of sewing patterns. The response to my sewing patterns has far exceeded our expectations-thank you so much for supporting us! I named the pattern line Portabellopixie, to continue the name I had grown to love so much!
In the last 3 years, I've had the pleasure of designing a home decor and gift collection with Hullabaloo.
I also just finished up my first sewing book with Wiley Publishing, and is due out Spring 2010. It is titled Sewing Bits and Pieces and it dedicated to sewing with scraps. It is turning out beautifully and I can't wait to share it with you!