Archive for the ‘Writing & Self Publishing’ Category

It’s been a long time, but I’m pleased to report that Fabrigasm, the Magazine for Lovers of African Textiles, is back with issue #7, ending a 3-year hiatus mostly due to the opening of the Cultured Expressions Sewing Studio in Rahway.

This issue includes an interview with Denver-based fiber artist Valerie C. White, three projects, some exclusive CE recipes, tips for headboard decor and handwoven fabric how-to’s, features on sewcial distancing, and much more. My fellow goat lovers will also be happy to see the return of the Goat Gallery ; ). The issue ships beginning December 15 and can be ordered online.

Fabrigasm Magazine, Issue #7, published by Cultured Expressions, Inc

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Hey everyone! Later today we will unveil the TWO winners of our Handbag Challenge

Thanks to all who entered, you’ve really impressed me and my judges.. as a result, the process took a bit longer than I intended.  But trust, this inspiring bunch of bags is worth the wait, so stay tuned  ; )     — lisa

SewJourn Prize GiveawaySewJourn Prize Giveaway

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No, not my book African Accents… I mean these distinctive pllows, shown as part of eclectic room designs featured on their slideshow today.  While there was no mention of the pillow fabrics specifically, I always enjoy seeing how nicely they play with other looks in decidedly non-African decorating styles.

In fact, this first image was titled “Sophistication, Style, and Plenty of Art Combine in This Hollywood Home,” complete with bogolan throw pillows (a favorite among decorators).


And this kuba cushion:


was titled “This Charming Georgia Home Blends the Best of Southern Styles—Old and New”

I know African textiles are used as accents all over, I just don’t visit the Traditional Home website as often as I’d like to, so when I do run into something noteworthy, I pass it on — and that’s the point of #AfricanFabricMonth, to celebrate them in all their glory, beauty and versatility…enjoy!

Be sure to share YOUR African decor with us on Instagram every Friday this month with the hashtag #AfricanFabricMonth, for the chance to win a fabric prize from Harlem Needle Arts and Cultured Expressions!     DETAILS

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Cord Control, African Mosaic Style, #AfricanFabricMonthAfter too long a time fumbling through cords at the bottom of any handbag, I decided it was time for some cord control, African mosaic style. I stitched up an African Mosaic zippered pouch to keep them all together, and out of the way of everything else!  Earphones, assorted charger cords and devices, thumb drives, spare phone batteries, etc. charger cords– the list of everyday essentials continues to grow…  Now, they’re all in one confined space that minimizes the tangling, and makes changing tote bags that much easier.

The project requires (1) 50-pack of 2″ African print squares (from which you’ll choose your favorite 36 prints), an 18″ square of fusible layout grid, black lining fabric, fusible craft interfacing and a zipper.  And optional beads for the zipper pull  ; )  Make the pieced block and create the pouch…for instructions, order Fabrigasm issue #4 (Winter 2015, Page 9).

Of course, your squares can be monochromatic instead of mixed.  Here’s one in just my brick reds and browns…and it uses 49 squares (7 across and 7 down).  Tailor yours to whatever size you need.  You’ll find a zillion uses for these — try one, or a few, during AfricanFabricMonth!

AMQKZipperedPouch Cord Control #AfricanFabricMonth

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Fabrigasm4-COVERIt’s here, it’s here!  Well, actually it’s at the printer as I type, but it’s just days away…

Fabrigasm Issue #4 is action-packed with these features:

  • Kente Cloth
  • Your Creative Space
  • Travelogue
  • Take the “Cut It Up” Quilt Challenge
  • Handbag Happenings
  • The Function of Color
  • Free Projects
  • The Goat Gallery and more

You’re gonna love it!  And we’re trying something new – each order for Issue #4 will include a Free Fat Quarter of African fabric, an upgrade from the swatches we sent with earlier issues…  Order your Fabrigasm now, and be among the first to receive it, beginning January 15.    28 pages, $8.95

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AA-SoldOutyou’d better hold on tight, because it is now officially out of print and no longer available!  This week I realized that I had apparently gone through my last box  (kinda like when you get down to the last few Cheetos in the bag without realizing it!)  So while it’s an accomplishment to sell through two printings of my first book, still I’m a little melancholy about it.  Wow.  It’s like my first child has grown up and moved out  ; (

But I can’t bring myself to remove it from the website, so it will remain there, marked SOLD OUT.  I still think there has to be one last box hiding in the garage.  Somewhere. Maybe.  I hope.

Well, that said, it’s time to start thinking about a self-publishedAfrican Accents II, maybe for 2016…stay tuned!!

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Yep, we’re competing for one of 20  Chase “Mission Main Street” small business grants of $150,000 each, and we need YOUR help!  If you’re on Facebook and have about 45 seconds, you can move us closer to our qualifying goal of 250 votes – then we advance to the main competition to win one of twenty of these generous small business grants! (That stage includes the submission of essay questions and other qualifying exercises).  So, you can vote in one of two easy ways:

1.  Log into FB as usual, and visit one of my pages (Lisa Shepard Stewart OR Cultured Expressions) and click on the link in my post.   You’ll come to the voting page. Enter “Cultured Expressions” in the search box and you’ll see Cultured Expressions come up. Then just cast your vote.


2.  Just click on this link, which will bring you to your Facebook login — once you’re logged in, enter “Cultured Expressions” in the earch box and you’ll see Cultured Expressions come up. Then just cast your vote.

Thank You for your Vote, and Please pass this on to your FB friends, too.     —    lisa



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Slider3-EventsIn honor of spring (and really just because a new look was waaaay overdue) we’ve updated CulturedExpressions.com!  Hope you like it.  There are a few more tweaks to go, so stay tuned as always, and be sure to sign up for the e-newsletter if you haven’t already.

Take a look around, and comment below before Friday, May 2 to tell us which fabric header is your favorite.  You’ll be entered into an RFD – Random Fabric Drawing!


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Fabrigasm3DeliveryYAAAYY!!!!  The good news – We just got our delivery from the printer, and Fabrigasm Issue #3 is now a real, real reality. UPS just made it before The Storm!

The bad news —  The snow is just starting, so I probably won’t get to the post office to ship the advance orders until Saturday! (I guess it would take me that long to process these anyway… ) Thanks to everyone who took advantage of our Dec 31 FREE SHIPPING deadline.  If you missed it, you can order your copy online now from Cultured Expressions.

It’s an oversized 36-page issue, with images from the SewJourn exhibit in Ghana! Also, read about our next SewJourn – we’re headed to Santa Fe, NM this fall!  Plus… exhibit reception pix, tips for planning your sewing year, Stuff We Like, two free projects, upcoming events, retail therapy, the Goat Gallery of course, thought-provoking discussion questions, and other inspiring things.

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LisaLongarminWe’re breaking in a new email service provider, so check out this month’s issue and let us know what you think!  Cultured Expressions has had a crazy, busy and productive year — You’ll see some of the highlights in the now-printing Fabrigasm issue #3.  And it’s about to continue for 2014, so be sure you’ve subscribed to our newsletter to stay up on the latest, and share it with your crafty friends!

We wish you a happy, healthy and active New Year! May you take the time to create as much as you like.  I’m planning to devote more time to my sewing machine in the coming year.  What are your creative goals?  —- lisa


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