• Garment Sewing,  Sewing

    Navy Block-Printed Culottes

    navy flower shorts from india fabric - samanthasews blog

    Two summers ago, on a visit to Ohio, my mom and I accompanied my aunt and uncle on a stroll through their local farmers’ market. We sampled some scones, picked out some produce, and saw many wonderful doggies, but what I remember most about that day was a pair of shorts.

    I saw a girl about my age wearing the most adorable shorts. They had an elastic + drawstring waist, but they were made from a navy fabric with a floral border print that elevated them from “gym shorts” all the way to “dressy shorts”. In a rare moment of nerve, I approached her, gushed over how cute her shorts were, and asked if I could take a picture so I could try to sew them later. She was more flattered than confused, and didn’t even seem to think I was weird (although perhaps it was just midwestern kindness).

  • Painting

    A Christmas Painting for the Newlyweds

    watercolor wedding painting - a Christmas gift for newlyweds

    My little brother (okay, little by just 18 months) got married in June and it was just so great. I finally have a sister (in law) and it was so exciting to be a part of their special day and the months leading up to it. I wanted to do something special for them for Christmas, and decided to test my painting skills.

  • Printmaking,  Travel

    Woodblock Printing at Jaitex Art in Jaipur

    woodblock printing at jaitexart in jaipur, india with ace camps

    This was the final workshop of our Jaipur trip, and it was a true culmination of everything we’d learned. We drove out to Bagru again, this time to Jaitex Art, for a session on true woodblock printing (as opposed to the mud printing for indigo resist).

    jaipur woodblocks at table
    first night dinner table, set with our custom blocks

    When we first signed up for the trip, many moons before departure, we were given the opportunity to each design our own woodblock. Our designs were sent to India, and our blocks were carved by master artisans in preparation for our arrival.

    When we all met at the hotel for dinner on the first night, our blocks greeted us by candlelight. It was the cutest gesture and a very warm welcome to a new place with a new group of people.

  • Books

    My 9 Favorite Books of 2019

    my favorite books 2019

    I’m thrilled to report that in 2019 I read 51 books, completing my goal of 50 for the year. I track my books in Goodreads, which is good motivation and also helps me remember what I read (and whether I liked it). Most importantly, it helps me find my next book. I’ve always found choosing books to be the hardest part.

    I worked hard this year to pick up my Kindle instead of my phone when sitting on the couch or lying in bed, and I feel like this year re-solidified reading as a true hobby of mine. I’ve always loved to read, but as an “adult” it can feel less productive than what I “should” be doing, so for a long time I didn’t read nearly as often as I would have liked. But guess what? Reading books feels way better than scrolling Instagram. So I’m all in.