Sunday, August 30, 2009

September fashion screensaver

(Click here to upload or print the September 2009 screensaver)
September’s calendar is inspired by our desire each fall to update and brighten up our wardrobes. Fashion whims are discovered through our feelings about the world, our dreams and our changing lifestyles. Sketched in this month’s screensaver is a DIY, re-constructed, denim jacket with hounds tooth check (sketched with faux fur, leopard shoes and a Coco belt) cuffs and collar from, naturally, my book ... Denim Revolution. I adore this jacket which was fun and easy to make. Sewing, re-fashioning cast-offs or new finds, mending, patching, playing with shapes and materials in individual ways, is very rewarding. You can make a difference in this world by your choices, by balancing your individuality and homemaking skills with new buys from favorite designers as you update your fall wardrobe and pack away the summer T’s. Updating your wardrobe is part of the process of giving a gust of positive energy to your outlook as you take on new challenges or set new goals for the upcoming year. Follow your urges and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recycle household plastics into chic photo-stands

If, like me you are always collecting and gathering special mementos - like postcards, photos and sketches - that inspire thoughts and memories of events or ideas that you want to remember or reflect on, ... then here is a easy and fresh way to display them around your home ---

The 3-step 3-minute DIY Process:

--Sort through your empty household plastic or cardboard containers;

--Choose the ones in the colors, patterns or textures you love, that will also sit level on your table or shelf;

--Cut a little slit (I used an exacto knife, so this is only for adults,) slightly angled toward the back, about an inch deep, and slip the postcard through it. Finito!

Once I started I kinda went crazy with all kinds of version. At the very top image, on the library mantle, I used blue and green water bottles cut down, with yogurt and can tops; and in the image just above, from the left -- a feta cheese container, upside down; the bright yellow top of a windex spray; the top of a starch spray can; and an upside down chocolate dessert container. The photo of the model in the denim skirt, by the way, is from my book, Denim Revolution, of the diy back to school projects -- "schoolgirl charm skirt and waist cincher." The version above from the left is the top of a whipped cream container, the chocolate dessert container, the spray top, and the feta cheese container.
And here is a carton that some pears came in, with a postcard of Mark Rothko contemplating his Seagram paintings.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sewing pattern archive is open to the public for a one-week free trial

CoPA, the Commercial Pattern Archive database at the University of Rhode Island is offering a one week FREE trial to download their extensive collection of home sewing patterns. The login is: guest, and, the password is: pattern. Above is one of McCall's Rudi Gernreich pattern's from 1967, modeled by Peggy Moffitt! Do start by reading the instructions and then just search, lots to curl up and discover.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Easy summer pizza recipe - mozzarella and arugula

If , like me, cooking with fresh, simple, local ingredients is one of your great pleasures, then you understand that vacationing in Italy is true bliss. I feel as carefree and happy as my sketch when I am gathering ingredients, cooking and sharing a meal. This menu was only pizza - one made with fresh mozzarella and halved cherry tomatoes cooked on a round of pizza dough, and then, served with a bunch of freshly picked arugula tossed on top, which sort of melts and has the most wonderful aroma. Peppered olive oil (just push some dried peppers into your jug of olive oil) and freshly ground salt was sprinkled on top to taste, which means a most generous portion of that olive oil.
And another page from my sketchook filled with thoughts, impressions, recipes and more.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Family quilts used for wedding decorations

Following on my quilting moment, click here to view an inspired wedding, where, among others, quilts made by the bride's great grandmother and aunts were scattered around adding to the festivities in unexpected ways.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A rather special French quilt

This quilted antique, uncovered in France years ago, has been pulled and put away numerous times and finally it's going to become a pillow, with a soft fringed edging of some sort, still to be decided. I think it is so lovely, the vintage printed cotton fabric, and the swirly quilted stitch, that I wanted to post it -- hoping it --

-- will inspire someone, somewhere, who is quilting something or other!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quilt made from re-cycled men's shirtings

Men's shirts, especially white ones and blue and white ones, have always been at the top of my list of favorites. So when my sister offered to sew me a quilt, it had to be made from men's shirtings. Chambray has been used as the border and Egyptian cotton is the background. It is yummy, light and perfectly cozy as a summer blanket. And we ended up making it together in the end -- which was fun, fun!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Liberty's Fall 2009 newsy email

I really start to droll when I receive Liberty's newsletter. Starting with these brooches, gorgeously realized by Amanda Fatherazai, with her signature couturier perfection, ...

... their fall list of must-haves range from stitching classes, morning and afternoon tea included - after all it is Liberty's, Ebony and Ivory Bespoke scarves and Hermes Pour Liberty. Those four are my personal favorites of the moment. Liberty's is like no other store. They harmoniously blend their creativity with an attention to detail and style that inspires, and always delights the eye in unexpected and whimsical ways.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pin cushion tutorial

Here is another cushy pot, and as I'm naming them, this one's called "Sugar and Cream." The base is a very old metal coffee filter and the cushion is made from vintage fabrics including an old pillow case, trims, and of course...denim.
Click the link here - and it will take you to a cushy pot tutorial.
Share your pin cushion creativity here - on flikr.
And here's still another cushy pot, this one named "Glam Pot."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August's fashion screensaver

download this month's screensaver here,
to upload it as your screensaver or to print a hard copy
August is the time for travels and renewal. Coming home with flowers, tastes and sketches from journeys, this month's screensaver turned into a collage of memories. Cuffed jean shorts seems to be the summer '09 uniform for both genders worn with breezy white cottons by foot or on two wheels. And the awe of Pisa never fades. Below are a few more images. Handmade shoes in Florence...swimming trunks in patterns and colors like one can only find in Milan.

... And I'm collecting napkins (so descriptive of the spot) from favorite cafes like 10 corso como and Princi in Milan and another one from Caffe Florian in Venice, as dreamy as ever. Happy August!