Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Colors: Making Me Happy

The brightest, sunniest, most comfortable shoes, ever.
(They really are more orange than red...and not quite this bright!)
Found today for $4.00 while on a very special trip to the thrift shop.
I'll explain more soon...

This is the best recipe I've tried.
Only I make my own pound cake...From a box this year 'cause I'm pressed for time.
Love these and can't wait to make them for our family holiday party,
starting on Saturday night.

Loving this week off so much...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Practical Sewing

My fabric stash is growing and slowly taking over an entire corner of my room!
So, in attempt to curb my appetite for fabric--I have put myself on a fabric "diet" of sorts.
I can not, will not, spend over $5.00 a yard...and so far, I've been able to
find some pretty great pieces for next to nothing.
I made this Phoebe Bag with fabric I found at a local thrift shop.
It was fifty cents for half a yard...The lining was the same price. Wow!
Out of the three bags I've made so far, this is my favorite.
I think it will get a lot of use this summer, too!
Thank you, Rebeka for this beautiful, free pattern.

And I am pretty happy with this refashion.
Originally, this was a very old white cotton shirt from India that I barely wore.
I really liked it...I just don't think I ever "felt" it in that way.
Well, I cut off the long sleeves, dyed it Pearl Gray (Rit) and made some pretty flowers
to bring it up to date a bit...and here she is!
I love it and can not wait till it warms up again to wear it belted.
I had fun yesterday dipping all kinds of textiles around the house into the pretty gray soup! Now I have pillowcases to match the duvet I made. (I still need to show and tell that one.)
I've discovered that the liquid Rit dye is way better than the powder, btw.
After many strange results, I will only be purchasing bottled dye in the future!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

'Fumes of Spring and A Little Secret History

I've had a love affair with scents for a long, long, time.
I have written countless essays on my own personal history with scent, scent & society,
the "culture" of scent...and so on and so on. My earliest memories of fragrance trace back to
the bottle of perfume on my mother's dresser. The classic sky-blue bottle of
Estee Lauder's Youth Dew was the scent of my gorgeous, raven-haired mother.
I bought myself a bottle many years ago just so I could always have a part of her with me.
Scent is like that. As our most powerful memory-keeper, it is the fastest way
to revisit a special someone or some time.
I could go on forever and maybe this will be the place where I start to "publish" some of
my ideas, my studies, and writing on the subject.
After a few years completely off the stuff for various reasons, I am back in full force.
I have been allowing myself to decadently dabble in this costly indulgence.
Hey, I'm worth it, right? And those pretty bottles of magic make me so happy!
Thank heavens for places like TJ Maxx...for all the classic jewels like Rochas Tocade and Ma Griffe. But LuckyScent is my real weakness.
I first encountered niche fragrances at the counters of Barney's & Saks Fifth Avenue.
LuckyScents has everything niche and more...Best part, you can sample anything they carry for (usually) $3.00. This is just perfect for my every-changing moods & tastes.
I get to sample these works of artful science in small doses and at a fair price, too.
All I know is (so far), I've never met scents like these before:

Calamus: I met you three years ago right around the time I met LuckyScents for the first
time. Loving CdG, your neon green bottle and the fact that you are the offspring of Leaves...that was enough for me. I love your creamy freshness and the fact that even though you are a
green scent, you are so not one dimensional...or even two!
You are simply gorgeous and remind me of the cool bath Titania & Oberon must take together
amidst the velvety moss.
Le Labo: Forgive me for avoiding you for so many years. I wrote you off as another
hipster niche fragrance after you moved your fragrance lab to downtown nyc.
A lab? How pretentious, I thought.
Then there was the guy at Stink Bomb's old job at the bakery who said, "You love perfume?
"Okay. Sure," I I really thought "Yeah, right! Now get away from me, please!'
But my girl Katie is always dead-on and she has the best nose around and she seems
to have similar tastes in 'fumes as me and I'm a little in love with her as a person...
So, I broke-down recently and sampled Labdanum 18.
Oh. My. My.
This stuff sexy but tame, french smelling beast.
It is not dirty-sexy, although there is a definite waft of animalistic stuff thrown in the mix, but it is way in the background here.
This one has an unusual haunting innocence about it.
-Meant for a romantic date at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
followed by a dirty martini in the lobby of the W Hotel
and some amazingly playful conversation.

And this is the most oddly familiar scent I have ever encountered.
I have read so many interesting reviews on this one.
It has a real following. I hear a certain celebrity studied this one for a long time before
coming up with the formula for her most popular scent and ya know what?
I can totally smell the influence of this one in her frangrance. (Think synonym for the word, beautiful, here!) However,
you could never match this true masterpiece.
Andy Tauer, you are such an original artist and I am such a fan of yours.
It's crazy. How the heck do you do what you do with scent?
I want to sample all of your work. Soon.

This one triggers a memory of someone I have no recollection of.
It's a memory of him, whoever he happens to be.
He is real and true
and strong and natural and beautiful.

He is rare.

Smelling this about an hour after I put it on, almost makes me cry with longing for him.

These three jewels are so special, I don't know if I actually want to commit to purchasing more than the modest samples that now lay on my vanity.

I want this love to last.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yes Sir, That's My Baby!

Sometimes there is just no denying that she is mine...
and I love it!
For example, some of her tastes- her likes and dislikes.
Well, they are proof that we are very much genetically connected.
Her crazy love for artichokes -ME!
Her constant love of being busy and in motion...ME!
Let's not forget her love of all things fragrant & lovely...
Yup, she has definitely inherited my "enthusiasm"
for perfume and already has her own wee collection.
This past year she has expressed an appreciation for school uniforms!
She she goes to a public school...However, a few trips to the thrift shop resulted in some uniform-style clothing being brought home with us.
I didn't know if she would be turned off because they are not her
usual style--all flair, color, and drama for my Leo girl!
But she is undoubtedly the daughter of the free-sprited, rebellious high-school freshman who upon learning she would be attending a local private school could not wait to wear the uniform!
My Cub loves the uniform-preppy style so much that I went on a little shopping spree for her
over at my all-time favorite clothing line for kids.
French Toast, now we both love you!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Things

Seems like I buy a new tote bag with each coming of Spring.
With frequent trips to the green market and random last-minute outings they are so useful and convenient. I think the beautiful weather combined with scoring some gorgeous, inexpensive fabric at a local thrift shop was the perfect combination here.
This fabric is soft and lovely. It is a vintage cotton, but it has a very subtle sheen to it and it is a bit thicker than most. I adore it...and I purchased a yard for 50 cents. Yes, 50 cents!!!!
I used this Vintage Fabric Tote tutorial for a quick sew.
This is great for a beginner as the directions are straightforward & easy to understand.
I was especially happy to cut-up that pesky sheet I was no longer using and had been hanging around the donation corner for way too long! It made the perfect lining for the bag.

And a peek inside...
Look who finally has little sewing labels.
Yay, Me!
Too many friends and relatives have told me they would love a label
inside what I have made them.
I thought it was a good idea. I decided to stick with Candy Buttons, too. Although, I have another name in mind for a side ("company") project I'll be working on this summer.
We'll see...
Cute, no?

Here is an extra something that made me smile.
On Monday I wore the new crochet necklace I made to work
and it made me very happy!

Happy Weekend &
A Blessed Spring to

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Love the Rain

Love the fact that the rain allowed me a little bit of extra-crafty time I wouldn't
normally indulge in over the weekend.
Finally picked-up the much needed parts for my sewing machine and she's working like a dream.
I was able to finish up those pesky t-shirt refashions that have been hanging around a while, too.
Today, after church, lunch & the movies...We ran into JoAnn's to pick-up a chain for a project I'm completing tonight and I just happened to run into these gorgeous
fabric remnants. They are home upholsteries that are being discontinued. Normally $36.00 a yard- I purchased three of 'em for $2.00 a piece. They are thick & lovely.
I see some adorable make-up cases, pouches, & wristlets in their future!

This ruffled-crochet bib necklace was a lot of fun to make and took no time at all.
I plan on making more of these with a fun twist- each layer a different color and maybe using a combo of ribbon & chain. Ah, the possibilities.
Can't wait to wear this...maybe tomorrow!

I hope this weather is going to hang around just a little bit longer.
I'm not ready for full-on sunlight through 7pm.
I think I'm one of the strange ones that does not appreciate daylight-savings at all.
I love my evenings-the earliler they begin, the better.
Have a great week, Friends.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Favorite Recipe

A day of adventuring in the wild weather has left us happy to be home this evening.

We are baking these delicious & nutritious brownies while watching Labrynth.

I discovered this recipe a while ago, when I was trying to

lose the baby weight while still enjoying baking & sweets.

To this day, they are by far our favorite brownies!

Give them a try.

I think you'll love 'em, too!

Friday, March 12, 2010


My Buttercup Bag is complete!
It was difficult to decide which fat quarter of fabric to use.
But after thinking it over...knowing that I wear a lot of solids- I thought this
animal-print style would make a cute accessory for spring that I would actually use!
The photo is deceiving. It is fairly small.

I'm happy about the way the inside of the bag looks, too.

If you are a beginner and are interested in making a little bag- I would definitely recommend this quick, easy, and user-friendly pattern by the generous & talented
Made by Rae.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sewing Inspiration: Fairytale Fashion Show

I get so refreshed & excited when I find something from the fashion world that
reflects a sense of originality & true creativity!
I found the lovely photos this morning via Craftzine.
Super exciting and relevant to me because the Fairy Tale Fashion show happened at Eyebeam, an innovative organization I worked closely with while at my old school in the city.
I was teaching Media Studies at the time and ran a Creative Technology after-school program for student artists.
I am so happy for Eyebeam. They are expanding & growing and are at the center of so many great things. I keep reading about them everywhere, it seems!
Check out their amazing website 'cuz they truly are on the cutting edge.
Anyway- I was so inspired by these photos.
I love each piece of clothing for its detail, craftmanship and for this specific fashion show, use of technology!

Love the sleeves on this Origami Jacket.
This Cameo Halter has an electric wire running through it with the controls hidden inside the cameo. How cool is that? I would wear that in a second.
Where I would wear it is the question!
I am going to make a shirt like this without the wire. A big red velvet choker, super-size cameo and beautiful tulle trimmed with ribbon. Yup. That's it!
This is so ethereal & futuristic. Love it.

This is the Twinkle Skirt.
Apparently, it has very tiny lights inside the apron-style skirt.

And here is my personal favorite...The gorgeous Balloon Dress!

You must watch this video for the sheer beauty of it.
I know you will be inspired, too!
Here's to the visionaries who are working with fashion as the medium it truly is--
an art form as well as an expression.
Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Material Girl

I am so happy.
Guess what's coming to Target on March 14?
Liberty of London fabric collection, "exclusively for Target!"

I fell in love with Liberty fabric during my first trip to London in 1987.
(Saw David Bowie in concert there, too!)
I don't formally collect Liberty because it is way out of my price range, but I
do have a few pieces I've scored while thrifting over the years.

Yes, I will be the nerdy girl waiting for the doors to open that day
'cuz besides the clothing & housewares in all their deliciousness-
I'm gonna pick-up that

And while we're on the subject of stuff...

Look at these cute shoes. I love the color, bows, and the fact that they are suede.
I love suede shoes so much, but they are ridiculously impractical.

Can you believe they cost almost twice as much as the bike?

Think I could make a pair of these?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Refashion For Her

Not the greatest photos, but you will get the idea.
I've begun to fill an enormous box with the clothes Cub has outgrown or just does not
wear for whatever reason. She never wore this straight Levi jeans skirt and I thought it was worth saving. So, I cut a shirt that no longer fit her and sewed it to the bottom half of
the skirt. To cover the quicky cut & sew job, I sewed ruffled eyelet trim around.
I know she really likes it 'cuz I gave it to her last night
and she put it on this morning.
Boy, have a become a pro at not saying everything that is on my mind this year!
My brain was screaming...You TOTALLY can not wear clashing floral patterns!!!!!
But of course, I told her, "nice outfit" and "great job!"
I'm just so happy she is enthusiastic about dressing herself these days.

Here is the lumpy-butt back view. She actually wore her long floral shirt outside the skirt today, but it covered the ruffle trim, so I hastily tucked it in right before I took the photo for y'all!
"Come on, Mom! Hurry up!"

You get the idea, that's the main thing.
I absolutely love sewing clothes for children.
I could do this all day long...

Monday, March 1, 2010

An Early Refashion

Today was supposed to be the day that I received the email from Wardrobe Refashion
explaining to me how I could link to their site and post my (re)creations.
I never received it. Whaaaaa! I've been so excited. I sent Nikki an email, so hopefully we can figure it out soon!
This was the first refashion I was going to share- so here goes!
This was a pink cashmere sweater my grandmother gave me a loooooong time ago.
It is from her favorite store, Lord & Taylor.
I haven't really worn it much in the last five years or so, but I've kept it for
its sentimental value.
Then I found a link somewhere about refashioning sweaters and trimming
cardigans with crochet, etc.

And so I gave it a whirl!
This was the first of a few sweater refashions.
I started out by cutting off the zipper. Then I crocheted all the way around the sweater. I used my wonderfully discontinued "Rave" Cache yarn, too!
I'm pretty happy with it. I closed it with a vintage pin and wore it
to church on Sunday.

There you have it!