Saturday, January 31, 2009

A romantic and hip February screensaver

February's sketch is all about what's on my mind - it's contemplative, moody and hip. The first glimmer of spring is starting to show with scattered hearts, flowers, bees and butterflies and love in the air. And a relaxed attitude prevails by mixing old, worn denim with the colorful plastic accessories I am busy crafting at the moment. On the left, she is dressed with a fitted denim tunic (naturally made out of cast-off jeans) with a lacy hand crocheted flounced hem and a pair of cuffs (made out of my re-cycled household plastic containers). In the sketch on the right she wears old worn jeans under her cozy, hand knit floral-patterned sweater, and the candy striped earrings (from my trail of postings), with a favorite green suede purse. Enjoy February!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Two of my favorites -- Kusmi and Marcolini

I love Kusmi Tea, they are rich, heavenly, never boring, full bodied and pure teas. One of my favorite blends is "Sweet Love" - with it's ginseng, and liquorice, spices, guarana seed and pink peppers. The romantic drawing on this tin, and unique drawings and color combos on all their other tins, conjure up emotions and thoughts that add to the experience, and also make wonderful containers to use and re-use. If you try "Sweet Love" you will fall for it!

And my absolute favorite Pierre Marcolini chocolate is the glossy, red raspberry heart or "Coeur Framboise." They are filled with a raspberry-chocolate center, coated in white chocolate, and sprayed with this beautiful raspberry shade that has a glimmer of dark chocolate sparkles (or at least I see that glimmering effect) that says - chocolate goodies! They sell them in little boxes of pairs in the store, and that is they way I love them - two for two.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More about those re-cycled plastic jewels...

With my many, many thanks to a friend, here are some great photos of my newest craze for accessories created out of empty, recycled, plastics. They're fitting the bill on all corners - priced just right - free - satisfies my desire to lead a more eco-lifestyle - and fills my fashion needs for over sized, bright, cheerful and bold! Happy, fun and easy to make, photos from the top, are "Candy Striped Rubber Drop Earrings" strung on orange rubber bands with striped yogurt containers, the "Sunburst Charmer" this time strung on a doubled over brass chain; and below the "Kiwi Hoop Earrings" twisting a kiwi fruit basket net with cottage cheese container hoops. Click the links for the tutorials from past blogs ...
... and I hope it inspires you to hord your recycles for creative new gear.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gorgeous wool coat

Things turn round and round, starting with Nancy at sewwest.blogspot receiving the Creativ Blogger Award, and kindly nominating me, whereby I've been introduced to her wonderful sewing blog, and some others, which then led me to the Slap-dash-sewist and her exploits to finish her wool coat to wear to Obama's inauguration ceremony. (My life's story, even my wedding dress was made at the eleventh hour!) And then I remembered this wonderful picture taken in the National Portrait Gallery in London, of a handmade coat, cinched with a wide belt to set the full skirt sailing, and all her eclectic accessories of an over sized brooch and bag, and metallic shoes. Isn't it inspiring...hmm, I wonder what I'm adding to my To-Sew-List?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Valentine cotton scarf and sewing material

Sweet Charity
a hand sketched love scarf on cotton fabric
So here's "Sweet Charity", a full sized valentine's scarf, that I hand sketched with colored pencils, printed on 45" wide (in one repeat), pretty cotton fabric produced by Spoonflower (the online fabric printing company that is a wonderful resource for crafters and artists.) One yard of it can be hemmed into a single scarf, tacked on a window for a breezy curtain, used as a table cloth or, or cut into ... hmm, a pretty top or bag. If you want to order it for your valentine's day gifts ($25.00/yard + shipping), email me as I'm delighted to ship it out!
(another close-up)
I love the feeling of something naive, sweet and innocent, and it was a pleasure to create -- it's so deliciously appealing on these cold winter days!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Here we go! Obama, Michelle and the kids have a spirit and enthusiasm that is going to carry all of us forward in a more adventuress, happy and fun way. I'm ready!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Valenki felted Russian boots with flower embroideries

In the Trib I read a wonderful article about the Russian country wool felted boots - Valenki -with naive embroideries made by Olga Chernikova (they even include her email address and addresses in Moscow that sell them). Certainly the perfect boot for the frosty weather they inspire one to mix bright folkloric appliques and embroideries ... hmmm ... in unexpected ways.I love the little white child's boots in the above photo from wikipedia .

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Plant creations by Elsita

One of my favorite blogs is Elita's, her voice is a small and delicate one, yet powerfully wondrous. She walks a delicate line between make believe and reality with a rare honesty and sincerity. I just discovered her "plant creations" but whatever she posts I love and wanted to share it with you.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

DIY Earrings made from recycled household plastics

Kiwi Hoop Earrings

DIY jewelry - made out of discarded empty plastic containers pulled from the re-cycle bin - are fulfilling my winter fashion blues. The characteristics of this material lends itself to my hip fashionable whims, due to the -- colorful graphics and textures of the containers -- the lightness, which allows you to pile it on in bulk for a super over sized proportion -- and the freedom to cut and experiment with no waste - just toss your discards back in the bin and enjoy your successes. Also, part of the camp look is that the mix of household products is so tongue in cheek and makes it especially interesting to style up or down. With a bold flourish of dramatic proportions, and the hope to brighten up your wardrobe in the middle of the winter, here are photos and the How-Tos of my current two favorite earrings of the moment -- The Candy Striped Rubber Drop Earrings and The Kiwi Hoop Earrings! Candy Striped Rubber Drop Earrings
Selection of empty plastic containers;
2 x 6" long orange rubber band
2 x silver, pierced earring loops
Cut oval shapes out of empty plastic containers: 5 x 2" long ovals cut from a red and white striped yogurt container ; 3 x 1 1/2" long ovals cut from a transparent plastic shampoo container; 7 x 2 1/2" ovals cut from transparent, light blue water bottle container (follow my lead or use it as a guide and do your own thing.)
Punch a hole at one end of all the ovals.
Pass a 6" long orange rubber band through all the ovals, gathered into an assorted, mumble jumble order.
Slip a silver pierced earring hook through the rubber bands to hold them together.
Now make the other earring.
They dangle and feel very 60s modish.Kiwi Hoop Earrings
For these earrings, I used 4 different items, a silver clip-on earring gadget; one of those iridescent mesh bags used for fruit that my kiwi came wrapped in; an empty cottage cheese container with green graphics printed all over it; and 2 pieces of 1 1/2" x 5" long organza ribbon with lots of beads and sequins sewn on it that I found in my stash of ribbons. I wouldn't expect everyone to have all the exact same elements, so use my version as a guide and put it together with your favorite colors and with what you have or find (hunting is part of the design adventure.)
You also need some scissors, needle and sewing thread to match the organza and glue for plastic.
Sew the organza ribbon together to form a soft loop with a 5/8" overlap.
Cut the iridescent mesh bag in half. Take one half and slip it through the organza ribbon, knot it twice on top, and tuck loose ends inside the organza ribbon. Sew the ends together snugly.
Cut the empty plastic container round and round, 1/4" thick, so that you have a long continuous piece. Slip it into the other end of the organza, wrapping it around several times (mine wraps around 5 times) and then glue ends together with about a 1/2" overlap.
Securely attach your clip earring gadget on the back side of the net knot.
Make the other earring.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pretty Scarf with a Crocheted Edging

I am crazy about scarves and shawls and rarely leave the house without (at least) one in tow. I collect them, make them and re-design them. They are a way to enjoy patterns and textures with individual style ... and on this cold winter day, I’m huddled inside and inspired to add some newness into my wardrobe so I’m making scarves with lavish edgings. I've lined up a row of scarf projects along the carpet to plow through and fortunately I have finished the first one and have an event tonight, so I will wear it out -- instant gratification!
"Pretty Scarf with a Crocheted Edging" was actually in my fabric pile and started as an unfinished piece of printed vintage organza from either the 50s or the 60s. The flowers and colors are romantic, so I choose a yarn for the crocheted edging in that spirit - a multi colored sock yarn in a softly blending shade. Here are the How-To-Steps:
Printed silk organza yardage (about a 30” (76 cm) square)
Silk thread in a shade that blends with silk organza
A ball of stocking weight yarn that looks wonderful with your material (I used “Regia”, color 5264, 50g, 125 m from Schachenmayr, 75/25 wool/poly)
A small crochet hook of suitable size for the yarn you choose
Basic sewing supplies

How to:
Machine zig-zag all around the outer edge of the silk organza fabric with silk thread (or even better, hand roll the edges).

Establish a working edge by hand sewing a row of blanket stitches all around the edge with the silk thread.
Make a row of single crochet stitch, working one stitch into each blanket stitch.
(Here is a photo of the work in progress, plopped onto another one of my friends' whimsical Memphis platters.)
Then ...just add a lush crocheted edge until you have used up your ball of yarn. Choose an edging that suits your experience and timeline. I would have loved to have created something very elaborate but time and ability led me to what I did, which is to create little arches by chaining a length of 5 (the next row 6 stitches, followed by 7 stitches) of length, that I caught in place by inserting into the next loop.
Finish loose threads with a few extra stitches, clip and steam edging as needed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Memphis vase with the sunburst charm

I adore the whimsical, contemporary boldness of the Memphis vases. My friend's collection always continues to dazzle me. Here are some photos of my favorite "trinket" the re-cycled bottle necklace -- and one of their vases!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Re-cycled plastic diy fashion accessories

Following on a "challenge"from Louisa at from my posting about gorgeous accessories by the Belgium designer Christophe Coppens I made a fashion"trinket" from empty, plastic soap containers. Finished with a pretty lilac ribbon slipped through the loop it was worn as a necklace to a chic party ... but you can also slide it onto a snap bolt and hook it to your cellphone or a bag. It is contemporary, a sunburst of color and shape, that makes pleasure and use from what would be chucked into the re-cycle bin. I am going to be making some more accessories with this material, it's just too fun to stop here and love synergy, so shoot me any images ... or challenges!
Here's the step-by-step how to:
Materials: Scissors
Hole puncher
Gather together some emptied plastic bottles (I used, orange, turquoise, white and transparent shampoo, water and kitchen liquid soap containers)
2 - 2 1/2" karabiner
How to Make it:
Cut oval shapes out of your plastic containers, ranging in size from about 2" to 3".
Punch a hole at one end.

Slip the ovals, in an assorted range of colors and shapes, on the karabiner. Attach a ribbon, a snap bolt or a chain through your karabiner and wear as a necklace or hang as a charm to brighten the winter day!

January screensaver is all about a dreamy, fulfilling world

The January 2009 screensaver is my New Year's wishes - a dreamy place, with good thoughts, feelings and beauty inside and out. Each month, when I sit down to draw, I search for a balance between fashion fantasies, dreams, wishes and global street realities. The pencils just sort of move along new paths until I happen upon the combination that feels right. I hope to surprise and delight, and to spark your fashion world in wondrous and fun ways in 2009!