May 27, 2015

A Peek and a Sneak Peek

Posted by Cathy Heck

Here is one of the very excellent reasons that we had to miss Surtex this year.

Ellen, one of the writers of this blog and designer of many of our collections has, along with her precious husband, introduced her best collaboration ever.

Here’s a peek at our very own studio spokesmodel, born this week! We are all in love with this little fella.


And, this is also a sneak peek of one of our new wooden box frames coming out this July with Primitives by Kathy at the Atlanta Gift Show.

A gift within a gift.

We can’t wait to watch this little peanut grow.


Categories: about us

May 14, 2015

On You Go

Posted by Cathy Heck

It’s that time of year when a new group of graduates is stepping out into the world to make a difference. Whether you will find new ways to feed the world, care for others, or make this old planet we call Earth a prettier place to live … thank you and best wishes.

Happy graduation Class of 2015!








Categories: about us

May 12, 2015

DIY: A Fresh and Tidy Kitchen Herb Garden

Posted by Cathy Heck


Even though Mother Nature forgot that it was springtime in some parts of Colorado on Mother’s Day (her own special day, for Pete’s sake), it really is time to put on your gardening gloves and smell the terra firma.

And, if you need a bit of inspiration, you might want to buy some of our fun new kitchen garden markers by Primitives By Kathy and start your own jardin des l’herbes. Or you might make one for a friend in Denver, with a card that says, “Happy springtime! I promise, it’s here.”



Each marker is made from a print of our original stitching, then decoupaged onto wooden signs attached to stakes. They are for inside gardens only, which makes them even handier, because you can clip your fresh herbs and add them to culinary masterpieces without even putting your shoes on to go outside.


Here are the super easy DIY instructions for making this aromatic garden for your kitchen counter or windowsill:

1) Find six pots in the garage. If they are too dull for the season, paint them a bright color. We chose kitchen-friendly white. You don’t even have to paint them perfectly. Loose brush strokes add to the character.

2) Place a few pebbles in the base of each pot (about 1 inch).

3) Add one herb plant to each pot. The herbs we stitched for the garden signs are: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme … and basil and oregano, too.

4) We added pebbles on the surface, but you can also top with moss, or just fill in with dirt.

5) Add the fancy herb markers, water every now and then, and enjoy.


Now doesn’t that put a happy springtime look and scent into your kitchen? Plus, now you can be totally hip in the kitchen and start infusing everything from vinegar to vodka.

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Categories: about us

April 30, 2015

Grown in California: Berkeley Best Bets, Springtime

Posted by Cathy Heck


This is not the way our blueberries are sold in Austin grocery stores.

When we found our way to the Monterey Market in Berkeley, California, we knew we weren’t in Texas anymore. I LOVE blueberries, and not only were these berries abundant (a 4-ft x4-ft bin full), they were perfect … just the right balance of sweet and tart.


In fact, I might have eaten a few too many. I was a little afraid I was going to turn into Violet Beauregarde. Thank goodness I did not have to be juiced.

The reason we were visiting Berkeley is that one of our Heck family designers (and a co-writer of this blog) moved there several years ago (here’s one of our first Berkeley posts), but Ellen and family will soon be moving her studio to the other side of the country, so we knew we had better enjoy one more springtime visit and report our favorite finds from a local. We couldn’t have chosen a better time. Berkeley was in full bloom. (Below are photos of flowers along our neighborhood walk.)


After we picked up our farm fresh produce, we sauntered across the street to the Berkeley Horticultural Nursery. S-l-o-w-l-y, we walked around this amazingly tidy floral maze to study all the gorgeous and unfamiliar-to-us foliage that had been surrounding us as we had been strolling through the Berkeley hills. Below are two you might want to try if you live nearby. The one on the right is named Mrs. Cholmondeley. I think she could be a storybook character.



After we finally forced ourselves to leave the orchid house, we headed to one of our favorite places in the Gourmet Ghetto, the Cheeseboard Collective. If you have a chance to go, you will want to enjoy their daily pizza selection. We were there for sourdough baguettes to take on our hike in Tilden Park.

This regional park is amazing. It’s hard to believe that it is so close to downtown Berkeley. At the top of our hike, we could see to the Golden Gate bridge and beyond. We had planned to have our picnic there with our fruits, cheese and two baguettes, but when we almost stepped on this fella, I suggested that we take our picnic to a different locale. (Even though I once was a brave girl scout, I don’t really love snakes.)


When we arrived at the Berkeley Rose Garden for our picnic, it was one of those days when the sun is hot, the breeze is cool, and in this particular place, the air smelled of roses.

There were roses of every color and variety … and on the way home, we even spied a rose that wasn’t a rose.



And home for us, this time, was just across the street from the Rose Garden. For the first time, we tried an Airbnb, and we can officially report that it was excellent. We were much closer to our peeps and the room was clean and comfortable. We felt as though we were locals.


So, if you find yourself in Berkeley in the springtime, we hope you will enjoy some of our favorite finds … especially munching on blueberries and baguettes in a rose garden.

April 10, 2015

A New Studio Pup and His First DIY Project

Posted by Julianna Heck Larsen

Hello handy people out there. It’s time for another studio DIY, but this time it is coming to you courtesy of Julianna and the newest canine member of studio East.

Before we dive right in, I’ll give you a little history about the way this new addition came to be…

Cathy and Jim of the Austin studio (who also happen to be my mom and dad) Skype with me multiple times a day. We discuss everything from color to coding from our shared screens. About two weeks ago, after a couple of hours on Skype, discussing our newest project (coming soon), I casually held up a photo of a furry little friend that was about 6 weeks old and said, “I’m getting a puppy and I’m picking him up in two weeks … okay, bye!” Luckily, I am an adult, married, and have a full-time job, so it went over way better than it had the many times I begged to bring home a dog in the past. Cathy’s only worry was that the new puppy might take the spotlight off of our family blog hog, Neville. So we’re not telling him about the new studio pup until he’s really ready.

Now, let me rewind even further…

Four years ago, I traveled to Copenhagen with Anton to visit his family and to see Denmark. One of my favorite memories from the trip was an evening excursion to Tivoli Gardens. It is the second oldest amusement park in the world, and many people say that it is the place from which Walt Disney found his inspiration for the Disney parks. As the night ended, I leaned over to Anton and asked, “If we ever get a dog, can we name him Tivoli?” Happily, he agreed. So, below is our new puppy, Tivoli Larsen.


Now, on to his first DIY: A Scandinavian-ish napping bed. I have been pretty obsessed with modifying Ikea furniture lately with staining and small additions. My favorite new discoveries whilst Ikea-hacking are the pencil legs that I used for this DIY doggie bed. I found them at Lowe’s and I have used them on four other pieces of furniture. Anton suggested that perhaps I stop using them after this DIY. I think he may be right.

Supplies you will need:

Wood for the base, wood for the walls, nails, legs, the thingies into which you screw the legs, wood stain, pillow, fabric, hammer, screw driver, and a needle.


As you can see from my casual supply list, I wasn’t super specific about measurements … that’s because I just kinda winged it when I went to Lowes’ and Walmart. I did have them cut the wood to fit at Lowe’s, which is super handy if you don’t have a tool shed yet. In total, this bed cost $28. But, the bigger the dog, the bigger the bed. So if you have a Great Dane … well, yikes.

Directions: All you have to do is nail everything together, screw in those fancy modern legs, stain it and voila!

Making the sham for the pillow took longer than making the bed frame. But, that’s because I’m dreadful with a needle … my fingers literally look like I have been playing with a cactus. I was able to get two pillows out of the one I purchased at Walmart for $5, because I cut it in half like a bagel and made two shams!

So, if your pet would like to sport a modern vibe while lounging in a clean mid-century bed, you might want to give this a try!


And for one more peek at our new spokesdog, here is Tivoli after his first bath. This is before he curled up in his fancy new bed for a few hours of beauty sleep.


And Neville, don’t worry, you can still be the blog star … I promise I will not be dressing Tivoli in the number of costumes that your human mom has dressed you!



Categories: about us

April 4, 2015

A Clipping From the Easter Gazette

Posted by Cathy Heck


To all of you who are secret facilitators for Mr. E. Bunny: we wish you a successful evening and a joyful (and restful) Easter day.

From all of us at Cathy Heck Studio

Categories: about us,holiday Tags:

March 29, 2015

Mr. E. Bunny’s California Studio

Posted by Cathy Heck

Every year about this time, we try to find a day (or two) to pull out the dyes and wax and make a few sort-of-Ukranian eggs to add to our stash. This year, that day happened when two of the Heck sisters were together in the California studio. Fortunately, they took a few pictures so that the Texas office could see them in the making.


The Easter elves were so focused on their work that they didn’t take a lot of in-progress photos, but here are a couple that Ellen took of Margaret during the early stages of egg-shell magic. (Can’t you just smell the happy Easter-time scent of white vinegar?)



We hope you are having fun preparing for your holiday festivities … and that next to the vinegar-y dyes, there might be a tastier bowl of eggs (perhaps of the chocolate variety!)


Categories: about us Tags:

March 20, 2015

Hello Spring!

Posted by Cathy Heck

It’s the first day of Spring and everything is blooming in Austin,Texas! And, rain is drenching the baby leaves, too. It’s definitely a yay day.


And we have some fun new products hatching to celebrate the happy arrival of springtime. We created them for Primitives by Kathy.  We actually stitched these in the heat of the summer, but we were in a springtime mood. Here are some photos of the piles of fresh floss to set the color story for the Made With Love collection celebrating fresh new growing things.


And this is the magic that happens when our stitching is applied to artwork for brightening home decor and tablescapes. And, by the way, you are allowed to start putting these all around, even if it’s still snowing outside in your neighborhood. In fact, you might need them the most! Happy Vernal Equinox!


Categories: about us

March 17, 2015

Some New Bunnies Just Arrived

Posted by Cathy Heck

Look who just hopped into the studio! Lots of fun Easter products to put you into a springtime mood … even if the white outside your window isn’t a bunny.

If you need to add a few new accents to your Easter tree, you might like to collect these ornaments from our Made With Love collection. We stitched lots of bunnies and borders to adorn wooden ornaments, frames and box signs for your Easter and Springtime tablescapes. The printing is so amazing, they look like we stitched through wood.


You might find these in your favorite gift shop or you can buy them directly from Primitives by Kathy: Here are links to the box sign, bordered egg, floral egg, bunny egg and running bunny.

Wishing you lots of fun surprises from Mr. E. Bunny.







March 8, 2015

Planning the Wedding You Imagine: From Paper to Perfect

Posted by Cathy Heck

We had a wedding right in the middle of the Christmas holiday. And both the bride (Julianna) and her mom (me) were also working together on a number of studio deadlines. Whew! Now, we are coming up for air and we are happy to share our tip for making a wedding that looks just the way the bride imagines (even if you’re juggling other work or life projects).


MOOD BOARDS! These little paper planners help everyone involved truly “see” the bride’s vision. They are an excellent way to inspire your florist, caterer and even to give some clarity to your own mom. (In this case, that would be me.)

You can make your mood boards on paper, or happily, now, you can make them on Pinterest. We did both. However, sometimes one has collected so many moods on a Pinterest board that it’s hard for the vendor to decipher. So, cull your vast Pin board to make a “Seriously, This Is The Look I Would Like To Have For My Wedding” board. Print them and keep them with you as you are searching for everything from cake to nuts. Here are some of the mood boards that we created to inspire our vendors … and ourselves.

Julianna was a winter bride, and from the beginning, imagined it all to be white and twinkly, with classic black for her bridesmaids and accents of gray and rose-gold all around. Her wonderful groom is from Denmark, so she wanted to keep the look clean and elegant like she had observed in so much Danish design.


Julianna loved the casual but chic wedding ensemble (above) that the beautiful Olivia Palermo wore for her wedding. (However, we both nixed the wedding shorts since it was a winter wedding, after all.) Like Olivia, Jules wanted to find a full tulle skirt and pair it with a soft cardigan. And she was hoping it could be the perfect length to show off some sparkly shoes. Below is the final ensemble. I am pretty sure she is happy with the result.


For her bridesmaids, she imagined a timeless look that Audrey Hepburn might have worn in 1965 or today. And her little flower girls would wear dresses that Jackie Kennedy might have chosen for her own flower girls.


Below you can see the way these mood boards came to life. There were smiles all around … especially when our flower girls (one from Denmark and one from Texas) walked down the aisle with purpose and cuteness. And, I mean cuteness with a capital C.



We started with the invitation.

Mom: “Jules, what kind of invitation would you like? Engraved? Letterpress?”

Jules: ”Mom, I think I need to design my own, or else it would be rude to my degree.”

Mom: “Oh, well we certainly wouldn’t want you to hurt your degree’s feelings.”

The invitation set the tone. Modern, simple, black and white and gray with a little touch of rose-gold bling. It included a nod to the fun fact that the bride and groom found each other, even though they grew up across the sea. Once the invitation was created, all the other pieces fell into place.


We held the reception in our home, catered by the amazing Eddie Bernal of 34th Street Catering. All was warm, rosy, twinkly and easy. Photos below: For rose-gold sparkle, I gathered every piece of mercury glass I found from near and far. I am still having mercury glass dreams. And, here are some of the flowers by Westbank Flower Market. The floral pieces looked as though our mood boards had burst into full bloom.

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We wanted to welcome our new friends and family from Denmark, as well as embrace some Danish traditions. Below is our version of a Danish Gate of Honor. Later in the evening, we were introduced to the curious tradition of cutting off the toes of the groom’s socks. You can read about that here. (P.S. If you are a Danish groom, don’t wear fancy socks!)


And the twinkle continued inside. Thank you to Amanda Pomilla Photography for capturing all the sparkle. Below left clockwise: 1) Petit Fours in rose-gold and ivory were made by The Cake Plate, and were as delicious as they were pretty.  2) The hand-painted Happily-Ever-After Globe was the one thing on my list that I thought I would have to give up due to time, but luckily, Ellen stepped in and painted the base, so I could embellish with abandon. 3) Here are more flowers by Westbank Flower Shop 4) And, the party favors were hot-chocolate-for-two kits, inspired by our pin boards and assembled (and taste tested) during some sisterly pre-wedding craft sessions.


After smiling until our cheeks hurt, the evening ended with the rose-gold sparkle Julianna imagined on those mood boards months ago.


So, if you are about to begin making some wedding plans, start pinning to your Pinterest board … and be sure to share it with your mom. Happy Wedding!

Tillykke (congratulations) and best wishes to Julianna and Anton.

Okay now Jules, back to work! :-)



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