Who do you think you are?

30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

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January Radishes

A radish.

That I have been neglecting this site is undeniable. I have been conflicted about how and why to continue. In the Pinterest era, it is easy to believe that there is someone else out there who is better, neater, tidier, and thensome than anything I have to offer.

But that's the thing, isn't it?

Tightly framed shots. Perfectly placed bokeh backlighting. Marvelous antique silver cachepot somethingorothers.

Does anyone really live like that? I travel in some pretty well-heeled circles, and I don't know anyone who does.

For the last year or so, I've struggled with Cottage Industrialist. It has brought me incredible pleasure, helped me to forge real-life friends, and helped me soldier through some tough times. But I have become increasingly concerned that I have been a part of selling a fantasy. A fantasy in which I do not—and do not want to—live.


In late December of 2008, I posted a calendar on my blog, which was then only a few months old. I sent a PDF of the calendar to a blogger I admired. She never wrote back. I printed off a few copies for family members and moved on. And then on December 31, the hits started rolling in. First by the hundreds and then by the thousands. Some other well-known blogger I'd never heard of had found the calendars and posted a link in her year-end round up. And, overnight I went from having a handful of friends and random Norweigans reading my site to being (okay, feeling like) an internet sensation. And, well, that felt pretty fricking good.

To my great delight, a lot of the people who came for free calendars stuck around and became a part of a community of big-hearted people who appreciated the same things I did and encouraged me personally as I tried to figure out how to pursue them amidst the pressures of being a mom, wife, lawyer, daughter, sister, and friend.

That and, I would soon learn, they (along with every other person on the internet) REALLY liked calendars.

For the next few years, I would spend much of November and December trying my best to outdo myself, trying to please the clamoring hordes. I tried humor one year. The next I taught myself to paint. Seriously. 


This year, as October and November and December ebbed farther and farther along, the annual pressure to come up with a calendar felt lopsided and weird. I've never let up with my industrialist ways at home. But over the last year or so, I've decided to back off of documenting my every crafty or culinary move for the world to see. So why keep up the calendar business? Hadn't it run it's course?

But. Two things:

1. Radishes.

Two years ago, when I set out to do the drawings that became the basis of the Seasonal Produce Calendar 1.0, I had a file that I worked on for HOURS. It was a bunch of radishes. And I loved those damned radishes. But I ran out of room for them. And never finished them. I can't tell you how many radishes I've drawn since. It's like they're trying to tell me something.

2. Emails.

The Internet gets a pretty bad rap. Creepy ads for Viagra and Cialis and mail-order brides. Spam chain letters and flame wars and anonymous comment trolls. But, in my experience, the Internet is full of kind, lovely people. WHO FREAKING LOVE CALENDARS. And who write forceful, if very polite, emails requesting same. Posthaste, please.


It's late. Your January is one-quarter finished. You are likely penciling in your February obligations.

And all I have for you is this radish. This single, winter radish.

But that's the thing. It's not perfect—radishes rarely are. But they are bright, red spots in winter's dreary harvest. They are a promise of spring's plump peaches, of summer's bright red tomatoes. And so, in a way, this single radish is my promise to you few who remain, who pester me (eversogently) for the next installment in this Julian madness. There will be more to come. In the fullness and ripeness of time. 

You never know when the next bumper crop is on the way...

Download January here. Be not a jerk. Do not sell, alter, or redistribute, please.


Come here often? OR Bloglessness of the Long Distance Runner

Well, hello, there. Long time no see, eh?

When last we met in April, I was crowing about having run 6 miles. That was pretty cool. Then I finished a sprint triathlon in May. Very cool.

If you've been following along here for a while you know that when I do things I tend to, well, DO them. So, I got a little caught up in running and swimming and whatnot. Last month I finished my first half marathon, and now I'm training for a full marathon in the Spring. For reals. And though I've been crafting and cooking and writing (you can read about my swim-bike-run exploits here; other stuff isn't quite ready for prime time), just like always, there were inevitable trade-offs. Work greedily gobbles up most of my free time, leaving little time to sit back and appreciate time to draw, daydream, write, think, and laugh. Over the last few months I realized that under these conditions I could either live my life or I could photograph it. I chose living it. That didn't leave much in the way of pretty pictures for the blog.*

But now that another semester is behind me and my evenings are my own again, my sweet blog has been calling out to me, begging to be revived. In particular, some of you have been asking if/when another calendar would be available.

I have good news and bad news. So the good news is that there is a new calendar. The bad news is that it is based on the same drawings as last year—if, like me, you loved those drawings, there is no downside; if, on the other hand, you are sick of them, I guess you're out of luck (that's the bad part).

© 2011 Cameron Blazer // Cottage Industrialist

The printable calendars are available here 

Alrighty, then. You've got 21 days to plan your collard feasting for 2012. Get cracking!


*Does that sound defensive? I don't mean for it to. I've written three different long, drawn out posts explaining why I took an unplanned break from blogging; how I want Cottage Industrialist to change and grow; and the responsibility I feel to portray my crazy, happy, frustrating life honestly. But every time I have written those posts, they sound like defenses against an argument no one is making. If I want this space to grow and change and be a little different, I only need to make it so. Right?


Resolved: A calendar, the seasons, our food, and a plan (of sorts)

Updated on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 7:03AM by Registered CommenterCameron Blazer

Happy New Year!

I love New Year's Day. New Year's Eve, not so much. But New Year's Day I love. Especially when it falls on a Friday. Other than the long weekend aspect, I love, love, love the food. In South Carolina we traditionally eat pork, collard greens, and peas and rice (or Hoppin' John) on New Year's Day. Like many food cultures, each of these foods symbolizes a hope for the new year—for plentiful food, money, and luck.

Continue reading...

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Free Card and Tiny Envelope Printables Galore!

Who doesn't love a nifty envelope? These days security envelopes are all the rage in crafty circles, and it's not hard to see why--they combine good, clean design with a little mystery.

In the spirit of that mystery and the fun that comes with surprising friends and family with a surcee or two at the holidays or any other time, I came up with a set of gift cards (or calling cards or charade-clue-cards or whatever else you want them to be) and tiny, matching envelopes that feature two of my favorite fabric patterns. And because I can't ever leave well enough alone, I went wild and added 4 new colorways to each pattern.

I designed the cards to be compatible with Avery pre-cut business cards (look for products 5881, 8373, 8869), but I printed mine on plain-ole cardstock and just cut-em out. I've included cut lines to make it a little easier if you go that route. If you want to type a message on the cards, you can use the fill-in-able fields in the PDF--whatever you type in one field will automatically show up as the text in all the others.

But, really, it's all about the envelopes, isn't it? These are just the right size to enclose a single card or a store-bought gift card. And they come together in a jiffy. Just cut around the edges, slice into the slit marked on the big flap with an x-acto, and tape the two side flaps to the big flap. When you're ready to seal the envelope, the top flap slips into the cut you made in the big flap. Fun!


Each card file contains 8 cards, 4 in each pattern. And each envelope file contains 2 envelopes, one in each pattern, and some strips of patterned paper that you can use to enrobe a tiny box, hang an envelope from your christmas tree. We used these at my house on Thanksgiving as place cards and napkin rings.

I meant for us to tuck cards into each envelope with a word or two about what we are all thankful for, but we never got to it. C'est la vie, non?

I've grouped each download into the colorway to which it belongs, each inspired by my dreams of Morroco (nope, never been there, just dreams)--download one or download 'em all, just remember these are for your personal, non-commercial use only.


Fez: Download the printable cards. Download the printable envelopes.

Marrakech: Download the printable cards. Download the printable envelopes.

Casablanca: Download the printable cards. Download the printable envelopes.

Byzantine: Download the printable cards. Download the printable envelopes.

Tangier: Download the printable cards. Download the printable envelopes.

Wasn't that fun?

If you haven't already entered my Holiday Fabric Giveaway, there's still time to enter--get crackin'!


A Holiday Fabric Giveaway

Have you heard of papernstitch? It is a curated exhibition of handmade and independent design and craft. And this month, I have my debut fabric exhibition there!

Visit my exhibition on papernstitch!
I have been designing patterns for surface design for a long time now, and I have never found more satisfaction than seeing my designs come to life on fabric. Rather than set up an Etsy store to sell these fabrics, I am able now to sell them directly to my friends and family far and wide thanks to the merchant platform provided by Spoonflower. And because I can sell them directly, I do not have to process the fabrics or ship them myself, meaning that buyers get the same price I do! So cool! And even better, any design can be printed on any of 5 fabrics in cuts as small as 8x8"! Have I mentioned that I love Stephen, Kim, Gart, and everyone else at Spoonflower? Well, I do.

I heart papernstitch! I heart Spoonflower! I...am getting carried away, no?

Still, since I'm in a spread-the-love kind of mood, there's something in it for you...

Cottage Industrialist Textiles Holiday Giveaway:

Here's the deal--I'm giving away 2 yards of quilt-weight fabric in any of my available designs (to be chosen by the winner). Enter to win three (!) ways. 1) Visit my exhibition on papernstitch, and take a look! Leave me a comment there on your favorite design (you'll need to sign-in, so I can be sure to get your email address); 2) Leave me a comment on this blog about your favorite design from the papernstitch exhibition; and 3) Spread the word: tweet a link to this giveaway with this link: http://cottage-industrialist.com/holidaygiveaway. Entries will be accepted from now until midnight EST on December 11. I'll pick the winner at random and post the results on Monday, December 14.

And for all who celebrate it, I wish you a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

And stay tuned...later this week I'll be posting a fun printable featuring designs from some of my favorite fabrics!