Friday, April 23, 2010

a surprise

dear friends,

a fun dream,

that started
as a little seed

is about
to bloom.

I can’t wait to share it with you …
in just a few days.

Wishing you
a very sweet weekend,
See you on Monday,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Useful list of hints and thoughts about successfully mending denim

(The big pile of denim scraps above allows one to pick and choose a favorite shade to patch jeans.)
Mending denim is one of the more satisfying and calming sewing skills. As you work, your mind easily wanders around with thoughts about food (always pleasant) or memories of the day. For me it conjures up the joy of knitting. You gaze with pride at your handiwork.  But after all your effort and time, you do want to be assured that your mending will be enjoyed and also durable. Through mending jeans for my own family I have learned a few useful and tried and true steps and techniques.  These ideas have been gathered together onto a list and I wanted to share it with you, hoping that it will help you avoid some of my silly mistakes ...

Your comments or emails with your own hints, struggles or wishes, about mending denim are warmly welcomed.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Alice in Wonderland denim pedal pushers

This photo, of the “Alice in Wonderland” project in my book, “Denim Revolution,” captures the magical, upside down images of the beloved children’s story. I have always loved everything Alice, and couldn’t resist including a design named in her honor. It also demonstrates how you can take an old pair of jeans, in this case, ones with out-of-date flared legs, and playfully morph them so to speak, like Alice, into something new and fun. These pants after they were cropped, patched and stitched have all the charm and delight of a spring flower garden. 
… and then why not make yourself a - Lollipop Power Belt—a waist cincher with the leftover denim.  Happy sewing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Les Tartes de Françoise arrives in nyc

We all have favorite desserts. When I start musing about cheesecakes, I can taste them with my eyes. New York varieties are thick and rich made with cream cheese and graham crackers, Italian versions created with ricotta cheese feel so homey, while the French versions are altogether another taste and texture, made with fromage blanc. One of my most favorite is “Fromage blanc spéculoos” from Les Tartes de Françoise. No matter how many times I’ve eaten it, at room temperature or slightly warm from the oven, it never fails to surprise and delight with its perfect combination of textures -- the fluffy, light, cheese snuggled into a crunchy crust of crushed spice cookies, the traditional, Belgium spéculoos variety. Only their ovens and chefs know how to bake them, just so. I have just returned from the Brussels, tiny, discreet, Françoise shop, actually the atelier, which as an afterthought happens to kindly also sell retail via word of mouth. When they heard my accent, the staff proudly told me that they have just opened a shop in NYC. So if you live in the neighborhood, and want to fall in love, do scout them out and enjoy a slice of Françoise’s Fromage blanc spéculoos!
And if you don't live in NYC or Brussels, here is a recipe for those special Belgium spice cookies, spéculoos.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A spot of sunshine in Seattle

In my family, Connie takes the most beautiful pictures.  She just sent me this one of little Panda enjoying a wink of sunshine in Seattle.  Isn't she glorious?  And inspiring a sewing project ... with soft, worn denim of course, ... naturally after a well deserved sleepy morning and a cozy read.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Free April 2010 fashion screensaver

Oh my, it is already April 4th and only today I am finally ready to upload the April calendar...I wonder what that means about the month ...certainly, that good things are around the corner!  The ideas for this month's wallpaper have been swimming around in my head for awhile.  It started with the romantic sound of the Mama's and Papa's song about going to San Fransisco with flowers in your hair.  As we enter into the heart of spring, dreaming about San Fransisco and all it's soft lovliness, is where I would love to be, right now.
The above postcard from Romania, dropped on my drawing table, with this little boy, or is it a girl, in her decorative hat, covered in grass, beads and flowers, and equally decorative jumper.  The image didn't end up in the wallpaper, but I wanted to share it with you, as it was an inspiration.
Finally, a couple images have been scanned and inserted into the painting from my set of playing cards, from one of my favorite spots, the Portland Rose Gardens.  It is an easy walk or bike ride from my childhood home, and full of my favorite spots, smells of the good earth, a seemingly endless variety of blooming roses, and my sweet memories.  Right now I'm remembering the day my younger brother and I visited, not so long ago, on a gentle April day, when he bought me this deck of cards.