Baby Envelope

by Joanna
This is the opening illustration for our new children's book, Freddie's Blanket.  My husband Eric did an amazing job of capturing the feel I wanted for this new story, and this first illustration might just be my favorite one of them all.  He carefully studied my knitting pattern design, the Baby Envelope, while creating this drawing, and I just love the beauty of this simple moment.

The Baby Envelope is one of five new knitting patterns included in our new knitting picture book.  My only regret is that I didn't come up with this pattern sooner- when our three children were still babies!  The Baby Envelope is uniquely designed with one extra wide flap which can be tucked under and around the sleeping babe. 
Simple and sweet.


Cozy Toes

by Phoebe
This year we are celebrating Christmas at our home in Colorado.  Mother's handknit and felted slippers were a big hit with the children a few years ago and are back by popular request.  Felting is really neat, because when you start you have something jumbly and messy looking like this:
And after you felt (or "full") the slippers in hot water they look very tidy like this:
Lots of little toes will be nice and cozy this winter! 
We hope you are having fun crafting, baking, and creating for the holidays this year-
Merry Christmas from all of us at Slate Falls Press!


Childhood's Inspiration

by Joanna
When we first discussed what the cover of Freddie's Blanket should look like, Eric knew exactly what he wanted- a little boy pretending to be a knight using pots and pans and a wooden spoon for his helmet, sword, and shield.  And, since we don't have an art director, a publicist, an editor, or a publishing house guiding our creative decisions, and we can do whatever we want, that's what we did.  I think it turned out to be really fun and creative.  As soon as my father-in-law (the sneaky signwriter) saw the cover when we put it up on Amazon last week, he emailed me this photo:

"Beach Warriors, 1978?"
Eric is on the left, with the wooden spoon and the pot lid.  His younger brother Chris is holding his own!  The boys spent time in the summer "down the shore" (if you are from New Jersey you know what that is) at Grandma's bungalow and made their own fun and adventures out of Grandma's kitchen stuff.  I just love how my husband was able to recreate a very vivid childhood memory on the pages of our new book.  He really outdid himself on the artwork on this one- you won't be disappointed!


Emma and Phoebe in North Carolina

Emma's grandmother knit her a lovely Phoebe Mouse for her recent birthday.  I love the sweet look on her face as she is opening her gift!

Emma lives on a North Carolina farm with a farmyard of horses, cows, goats, chicken, dogs and (sometimes) pigs.  Louise, who lovingly made her this cute doll, has four grandchildren and one more on the way!  I think Emma will have a lot of fun with Phoebe in her big happy family!


Serendipity Yarn and Gifts ~Buena Vista, CO

by Phoebe
Last weekend we had a fantastic time at Serendipity Yarn and Gifts in Buena Vista, CO.  If you are in the gorgeous Collegiate Peaks area of Colorado, you simply must visit this amazing yarn shop!

Here I am with my new travel companion, May, and another sweet Phoebe from the shop.  I have to confess I am a little jealous of the Beatrix Potter mouse buttons on her jacket!

Baby Jake was our first visitor.  Can you see how his clever mama has bundled him into her jacket?  What a cutie!

Sweet Penny is going to be a big sister this year, just like in my story.  How perfect!  Did I mention this yarn shop also has toys?  Yup.  It's just that kind of place.

Lily was another young guest at the book signing.  She was being such a good mama to her little baby... it was nice to meet her, too! 

This event was scheduled during Buena Vista's "Chocolate Walk"... so if yarn, knitting, storybooks, toys, babies, and happiness weren't enough, there was plentiful chocolate to be had by all.  I look forward to coming back when Freddie's Blanket is out!

Thank you, Serendipity, for the hospitality (and for special ordering that Classic Elite yarn for my mom).  Thank you to the readers and knitters who came from near and far to join us for a fun day!


Fringe~ Salida, CO

by Phoebe
*fabric*yarn*gifts*... the sign says it all!
Fringe is nestled in the artistic mountain town of Salida, CO, and is located in an 1890's general shop.  The original store shelves are brimming with (you guessed it!) yarn, fabric, and gifts.

The shelves boast bolt after bolt of fabric from some of the best designers out there: Alexander Henry, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Bailey, Kaffe Fasset, Joel Dewberry, Michael Miller... Fringe does not disappoint!

Here I am with some of the pretty thread and buttons.  If you have been following along our journey, you know that we love buttons (and sewing!) here in the Slate Falls Studio!

We were warmly welcomed by a great group at the shop, including...
Kylie, and avid reader and eager crafter!

And Lily, who is very eager to have a Phoebe doll of her own!

This is handsome Wyatt, who has a big sister named Phoebe.  Of course we signed a book for Phoebe!  Wyatt's mom is looking for a children's book with a character named Wyatt, does anyone have any suggestions?

Fringe has got it all.  From the moment you enter Penny's shop you just know you are in a special creative place!  Case in point, we had an interesting "first" this particular evening- someone learned to knit during the book signing!  In the cozy knitting lounge, patient hands showed Maureen how to knit:

And she picked it up like an old friend!  Thanks, Maureen, for making this a very memorable book signing!  Thanks, Fringe, for the great evening!


Color Proofing

by Phoebe
It is hard to believe we are reviewing the color proofs for our second book already.  Here you see three different versions of one of Father's illustrations.  One is from our studio printer, and two are from our book printer.  We need to compare these with the original illustrations from Father's studio and make sure the colors match.  This is the very last step before we have the book printed.  If we like the way they look, Mother will sign an important paper and mail it to the book printer, who will then start the presses.  Before long, Freddie's Blanket will be on the truck to our studios!