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Archive for the ‘Cultured Expressions News’ Category

Hi Everyone!

I hope this post finds you navigating life as creatively as possible ; ) It’s been a Blessing to continue to serve you through all of your newly-found sewing and quilting time, the mask-making and more. Your curbside pickups, online orders and virtual visits have kept us afloat and we THANK YOU SEW MUCH! We miss our regular tribe of visitors, and have made sew many new friends in the past few months who are curious to explore the studio, too!
SO…we’re re-opening the Studio this Wednesday, July 8! 
Please see important information below… 
StudioStreet
We welcome you back starting this Wednesday with a few simple precautions to help ensure everyone’s safety:
  • To help maintain social distancing, we will serve a MAXIMUM of 3 customers inside the studio at one time.  Please CALL THE STUDIO at 866-683-2568 or TEXT Lisa at 908-553-0196 to let us know approximately what time you’d like to come by. This will help us to give you personal service, juggling with virtual visits, etc.
  • A FACE MASK is required by EVERYONE entering the studio.
  • Please use our HAND SANITIZER, available as you enter, so you can safely enjoy the tactile, Fabrigasmic experience of fabric shopping.
  • Naturally, we must all observe social distancing as much as possible.
  • You can now schedule your Virtual Visits ONLINE! If you’re far away, (or even if you’re just around the corner!) visit us virtually! Check out our new online booking page. Appointments are now generally available Wednesdays thru Fridays.
  • ONLINE ORDERS and VIRTUALS: Due to our higher volume of orders AND increasing shipping delays of the USPS, it may be taking a few extra days to receive your orders. Please keep this in mind if you’re working with a specific deadline.
  • An update on CLASSES:  I’ve decided to suspend all of our in-person classes, events and parties thru the summer, and will revisit plans based on the conditions in September.   Sorry for any inconvenience, but I look forward to booking events again when possible, and am now actively preparing online classes and trunk shows, so stay tuned for details!!

This Wednesday we’ll open for extended hours of 12-8pm, and we’ll start back with regular hours for the rest of the week – Thu 12-6; Fri 12-6 and Sat 10-6pm.  Of course, as regulations and situations continue to change, hours may also change, so please feel free to call, check our email newsletter (subscribe here), and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @culturedexpressions for updates.

NEW IN THE STUDIO…

Bead Packs!
Handbag Handles!
Brass Embellishments!
MORE New Ankara Prints!

1417 MAIN STREET, RAHWAY, NJ 07065   –   www.CulturedExpressions.com

Thanks for your cooperation —

we look forward to seeing you soon, in person and/or virtually!

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FaceMasksFinished

Happy Sunday!  I hope everyone is maintaining well through The Situation.  To that end, yesterday we published a tutorial video on the fabric face masks that are currently in such hot demand.  Sew an easy pleated face mask with Cultured Expressions’ quick tutorial by Lisa and Edie!

FaceMAskVideoRAF

Cultured Expressions DIY Face Mask Video

These are not intended for hospital use necessarily, but for personal use. There are numerous tutorials, guidelines and opinions on the use of these masks…we encourage everyone to do some research on what will work best for you. Stay safe!!
***Note that in the video, after the pleats are sewn down on each short side, you should continue around the long edges of the mask as well. You can see this stitching in the photo above.  This will finish the edges nicely and close the open edge where you turned the mask inside out!! .
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Due to the demand, we’ll be creating a limited number o finished masks, beginning April 1. Be sure to follow us@culturedexpressions on IG and FB as well as Cultured Expressions!

Video Music by @ericparker20

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KidSewing-Taiye

With schools closed indefinitely and increase in the number of work-from-home parents and guardians due to the COVID-19 situation, planning daily activities for your favorite little people will obviously be key for the well-being of all involved!

Once their online schoolwork is complete, try using your own interest in sewing and quilting to keep them occupied. Depending on the age group, they could be happy gluing colorful African fabric scraps to cardstock to create collage artwork.  Older kids might want to stitch together fabrics in their favorite color (by hand or machine) to make a pillow or tote bag.

 

IMG_20190427_111213711_1556406572394Whether they’ve expressed an interest in learning more about the needle arts, or the suggestion is yours, we’ve gathered a few tips for quilting with children to make the process both fun and successful!

  • Keep it simple – Begin with a single block that can be made into a decorative pillow, a bed pillowcase, tote bag front, or accent block for a denim jacket back or a T-shirt. It can also become a simple art piece suitable for framing.
  • Mending is Trendy!  Show them how to creatively mend their clothes and/or add decorative patches with hand stitching and easy embroidery stitches.
  • Take into account the child’s personality when planning your quilting session. For younger kids, keep it fun (and safe) by avoiding projects that require precise measuring and cutting. Instead, pull out some precuts from your stash, focusing on the fun of design and the creativity of blending colors and patterns.
  • For older kids, or those who are naturally inclined to math and geometry might want to explore the more precision-based aspects of quilting, where templates & rulers are used.
  • Remember that children’s taste levels are more sophisticated than ever; have a variety of fabrics and embellishments available for experimentation. Provide the opportunity to work with batiks and other cool “adult” fabrics that aren’t strictly juvenile in design and coloration.
  • Let the child work with scraps of one of your own current projects, to create a small “featured block” you can use as the back label for your quilt. The label can include both of your signatures.
  • Remember, the key is to reduce the stress of the situation – with any luck, you might also create a budding new fiber artist in the process! Have a follow-up project in mind to keep up the momentum and encourage their efforts as they work. The follow-ups can introduce new techniques to gradually increase their quilting skills.

And remember, though things seem to be changing almost hourly, we plan to open the Cultured Expressions studio during regular hours this week, including Virtual Visits, (shopping the studio via video phone call!) and we expect to continue operating our online shop

Thanks to Taiye and Maya, two of our lovely young Kids Camp attendees from 2019 ; )

Stay safe, everyone, and whoever you’re housebound with, keep creating!

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LisaOutdoorsCEHey everyone, and Happy 2020!  Welcome to a brand new year, the perfect time to hit the ground running ; )  I know many of you are engaged in your creative businesses, or planning to launch your business soon. Congratulations, that is Excellent!  And like some of the talented individuals I’ve helped over the years, you might feel as though you need some help focusing your business, whether it’s tightening up your actual creative techniques, getting over your Sewcrastination, or wanting some insight into marketing and developing your business  —  trust me, I get it!

www.artisanbusinesscoaching.com

With more creatives deciding to start or further develop their businesses than ever before, I decided to give more structure to the way I’ve been helping others.  So, in Fall 2019 I launched Artisan Business Coaching just for you!  With over 20 years growing the Cultured Expressions brand, and over 30 years in the sewing/quilting/craft industry altogether, I’ve experienced a lot, I’ve figured out a lot, and I’m still enjoying the journey!

If you feel YOU are at a point where you and your business can benefit from a coaching relationship, check out Artisan Business Coaching and complete the contact form online., or call me at 866-MUDCLOTH.

**** And as a New Year’s Get Busy bonus, I’m offering an extra bit of motivation: Sign on by January 31 and get 10% off Cultured Expressions products for the length of your coaching!  Just mention this blog post.

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Don’t Miss These CYBER Specials:

  • FAT QUARTER FUN! Save 20% on all African Print FQ assortments, including 10-, 20- and 40-packs, kente 6-packs and black/white 8-packs. Shop Fat Quarters NowFQs
  • Purchase any GIFT CERTIFICATE of $50 or more and get 10% bonus value added to it! For example, order a $100 certificate and we’ll adjust it manually in the amount of $110. They are beautifully packaged with a Fabric Surprise. Please include the names of the Giver and Recipient, along with a preferred color, in the Comments when you order (or just email us these details after you place the order) And yes, Giver and Recipient can be the same person, so go ahead, treat yourself, too Shop Gift Certificates Now
Offers Valid Online, Now thru Monday, December 2 at 11:59pm!

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HolidayCouple.jpgHappy Holidays, everyone!!  Yes, again, already!!  Which means it’s time to upload my favorite Holiday Couple graphic, so I hope you find them as amusing as I do ; )

I’m not sure where 2019 went, but I hope yours included a good amount of creative time with your favorite African fabrics ; )  If you fell a bit short of your creative goals, there’s still time to immerse yourself at the CE Studio.

FreeSpiritDolls

Our December thru February workshop schedule gives you several chances to end 2019 and begin 2020 with an interesting project in hand!  New to the lineup is our Free Spirit Doll.  

Choose your batik or African print, and your natural hairstyle – Bantu knots, locks, braids, Afro – then embellish as you like. The class makes a fun Girls’ Night Out project, or even a Mommy & Me creative session.

You’ll also find studio favorites including the String Quilt, Corded Organizer, Color Block Batik Bag, Waistbeads and more, all offered at various dates and times. See you soon!  Register by phone at 866-MUDCLOTH, in person at the studio, or online at CulturedExpressions (click on Shop Online / Workshops)

And be sure to join us at the studio December 13 & 14, 2019 from 1-4 pm for Holiday Gift Make & Takes — Drop in and make your choice of five fast, fun gifts, priced from $5 to $25 each.  Make one, two, or all of them, including: Brass & Bead Necklace, Wine Glass Charms, Batik Bookmarks, Fabric Coasters, Embellished Pouch Necklace. No pre-registration needed. Light refreshments will be served, too. Bring a friend and make gifts for each other ; )  See you soon!

DOWNLOAD the Dec – Feb Workshop Schedule

 

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ArtisanGRAF
Increasingly, since opening the CE studio in downtown Rahway almost 2 years ago (!), I’ve come across other talented people who wanted to carve out their own piece of this exciting industry, but needed some help getting started, or moving forward.
I began to help a few of these creatives toward their goals and decided to better structure my own efforts along the way.
As a result, I’m thrilled to announce Artisan Business Coaching, a new branch of the Cultured Expressions experience READ MORE, and if I can be of service, just yell!
lisa

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Hey everyone! Check out these new arrivals at the studio… vivid prints and gorgeous bogolan/mudcloth for pillows, fun tote bags, table settings, headwraps, clothing, quilts and sew much more!  Stop by the studio or call to order 866-MUDCLOTH. Prints are $8 yard and the bogolan pieces are $50 each, measuring approximately 64 x 44″.  If you need more inspiration, download our workshop schedule for May thru July

     

      

And here’s the contest:  If you’re a true collector, you probably recognize this print of elegant ladies.  You know the print, they measure about 12″ tall and come in various colors. This combo is my favorite.  Ever wonder what they are discussing, or where they are going, or coming from?  Tell us their story below in THREE SENTENCES or less, and the best narrative (as judged by an independent panel of Cultured Expressions studio associates) will win a yard of the fabric! Reply by Monday, June 3, 2019 at 11:59pm for your chance to win!  Good Luck ; )

UPDATE:  The winner of one yard of fabric is @sisterquilternyc, aka Ghana SewJourn alum, Dee Huffman. Thanks everyone for playing along on Instaram and Facebook!  If you don’t follow us there, check us out @culturedexpressions.

 

 

 

 

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SignBlocksSM

Have you done your “Sew It, Sign It” block for our community signature quilt project yet?  We need all blocks submitted by Saturday, May 18 (that’s Next Week!!) in order to complete the quilt around June 19, world Sickle Cell Day.  The proceeds from the quilt ($8 from every $10 registration fee) will benefit the Sickle Cell Assn of NJ.

YoannEdieSM

If you’ve already ordered your block kit online, PLEASE be sure to get it back to us by Saturday!  As an alternative, if you haven’t ordered your kit yet, or you won’t get a chance to stop by the studio,  you can still support us with your $10 donation, let us know what message to write on the block, and we’ll “sew it and sign it” for you!  Call us at 866-MUDCLOTH (866-683-2568). 

Thank you for helping us to support Sickle Cell Awareness!!

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Hey, everyone  —  believe it or not, spring is on its way, which means NOW is the time to plan your post-hibernation creative activities!  We just confirmed “Kente & Culture”, a great event with our friend and Ghana’s master kente weaver, Kwasi Asare on Sunday, May 5.

KwasiHeadshot

He’ll give an informal presentation on kente cloth and its role in Ghanaian culture, then lead you in creating your own kente sample strip on a hand loom!  PLUS, to keep the vibe flowing, we’ll end the event by serving a light buffet of African-Caribbean cuisine, and it’s included in the workshop cost. ; )

If you’ve joined me on previous Ghana SewJourns, Kwasi will be familiar to you as our kente expert! It’s an event you won’t want to miss…  Register online or call Lisa at 866-MUDCLOTH (866-683-2568).  Space is limited!

(Even better, while you’re here for the event, you can also contribute your block for our “Sew It, Sign It” signature quilt project, benefitting Sickle Cell awareness!) 

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