Monday, April 29, 2013

At my desk

Been working on some ideas for a set of wedding stationary. Waves and fun curly cursive fonts. This is just some preliminary doodling but I'm excited to see what it ends up turning into.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Even if I'm feeling a bit blue, a color organized closet will cheer me up without fail.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

striped dress re-do

I've had this striped dress for a while. It's been lingering in the back of my closet for months and was about to make the jump to my "to donate" bag when I realized I hadn't worn it in months. However, I'm all for trying to bring new life to old things, and I love stripes, so I decided to try to make it into something I would wear.
The main problem was the dresses length. I am very tall and the dress ran a bit short, to the point where it was near scandalous even with tights. So I took a foot off the bottom and made it into a top. I even shortened the sleeves to a more appealing length.

Considering I've worn it twice in one week I a going to chalk this up as a win.

I was also able to turn the discarded skirt material into an infinity scarf which means that every bit of this old dress was used in some way which makes me pleased as punch!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

dress pattern

Once upon a time I found a dress. It was the perfect dress in fit and style and I wanted to wear it every day. I think most women have a similar piece. Something that is so "just right" that you don't know how you lived without it. And I have come to the conclusion that I would probably be happy if I had a closet full of this magic dress in various colors and prints.
In an attempt to make that a reality I drafted a pattern from my perfect dress and decided to try my hand a sewing a real dress. Not a jersey t shirt dress (my usual flavor) but a fully lined, zippered, darted, legitimate dressmaker dress. I figured I would make the first try of this home made pattern out of a thrifted vintage sheet so as not to waste any good fabric if my attempt went awry.

It was a fairly simple pattern, with a wide waistband and full 10 gored skirt. I decided to add an additional pattern (tiny hot pink polka dots  after I had cut out all of the pattern pieces. It's very subtle but a fun addition.
 I had to make several tweaks as I was constructing my trial dress, but I made sure to diligently alter my pattern to reflect what I discovered but overall it only took five hours which seems pretty quick considering I added rickrack trim to the hem and hand sewed the waistband lining in. I think I will make another go but alter the bodice to have a different cut as an alternative, perhaps a sweet boat-neck  I will see how my fancy strikes me but all in all this first take on my new pattern made me feel that my dream of having a "uniform" of perfect dresses is totally within my grasp!

Monday, April 22, 2013

At my desk

I had seen something (maybe on Pinterest) about making gold nugget post earrings out of modeling clay and I of course cannot find the original image that was stuck in my head, but it did get me thinking that I could probably make them with a hole through so that they could  be strung like beads. I made about a dozen in a variety of sizes and painted them all with gold acrylic paint. It took forever to paint all the little sides with multiple coats so they would be more convincingly solid gold.
I strung the beads on silk beading thread with some gold tone seed beads for dividers and then used some chain I already had on hand to make up the rest of the necklace length. I wouldn't say these would fool anyone as real gold but they are pretty fun none the less.

At my desk

I made this monogram stamp I made for a current project. I was trying out this gold ink for the first time. It is gorgeous, very metallic and solid, but unfortunately  it seems to take an infinite amount of time to set, I may even need to experiment with some sort of clear coat over it as the gold seems to rub off on everything.

Friday, April 19, 2013


I made an (early) birthday cake for my papa last weekend. It was carrot cake, and a delicious one at that (all that cream cheese frosting......mmmmmmmmm). I felt it looked a bit too simple though with it's rustic creamy frosting job, so I added this dapper fellow, appropriately attired in hat and rhinestones for the festivities.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Like a schoolboy

I've been mildly obsessed with schoolboy style blazers since the fall, there was just something about the crisp contrast piping and embroidered insignia's that spoke to me. After trying to find one in the color combo that I was visualizing and failing miserably  I was looking at pre-made binding tape (for an unrelated project) and suddenly thought that it would be the perfect material for recreating this affect myself. 
I scored this beige blazer at the thrift store. It fits well but is entirely unremarkable by itself.

It took several hours (or episodes of Mad Men if you prefer) to carefully measure and pin the tape to the jacket. The collar notches and rounded edges proved particularly challenging.  But after attempting once and having it turn out dis-satisfyingly crooked and not-quite-right, I ripped it all out and tried again, using what I had learned the first time around, and I feel that I was very successful.
I feel it turned out quite well. There are of course, imperfections that I am brutally aware of, but no one else seems to notice them and I did get several compliments and a few people who asked where I'd gotten a blazer this style in such a great color. I will take it as a success! (and throw in a gratuitous detail shot as well)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tonights Special- The Big Scare

This cocktail was developed because I'd frozen some extra pineapple juice into an ice cube tray and wanted to create something with these "juice cubes"

{the big scare}
2 oz light rum
1 oz St Germain
2 oz cranberry juice
serve over 2-3 pineapple juice ice cubes, top with soda water

Monday, April 15, 2013

At my desk

This is a brief glimpse of my desk and the wall behind it taken up with some printing I was doing for wedding save the date postcards. They were everywhere. I also had my clothes drying rack commandeered as a storage space until the gold ink cured.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Ironing tulle seems like the most ridiculous thing in the world. That is until you try to sew twenty layers of it. Then ironing seems easy and fun. It may look like an innocent cotton candy cloud but it's like it's possessed!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Party favors

I was asked to make some party favors for a baby shower. The parents decided not to know the baby's gender so I had to go with a non-specific pallet and subject matter. I decided to do little boxes of chocolates (Godiva cause they're fancy) and packaging for them to match the rest of the party decor. I used brown waxed paper bags and index cards and went with orange and white and polka dots cause those are all universally liked things. At least I think so. And I was given pretty free rein here so hopefully these are cute enough?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

come sail away...

I found this fun sailor dress at a thrift store. It was several sizes too big but being that it was only a few bucks I figured it was worth a shot to see if I could make it into something wearable. I turned it inside out and took in the darts on the front and back by about an inch and I also modified the shoulders a bit as well. I made a new grommet in the belt so that I could fit it to the proper size and now it looks much less like a nautical sack and more like something I might be able to wear.

Monday, April 8, 2013

At my desk

So technically this isn't at my desk, but it is next to it. I got a new dress form (her name is Joan-long story) and immediately after unpacking and assembling her I started dressing her up. I had a new flower broach (the purple one) that I pinned to this vintage 50's party dress and I thought it was really pretty. So I started adding a few more flowers I had lying around from various projects and then the birds just sort of happened (left-over's from a Christmas party hat) and I thought it looked wonderfully springy and sweet. Now I just need a little cottage in the woods, and some fairy tale creatures to help my get dressed in the morning...

Friday, April 5, 2013


This is my pincushion. It think I got it with a box of sewing supplies when I was maybe 10 years old? It very well may have been from one of my grandmothers. At one point it was bright turquoise and all of the politically incorrect chinamen around the edge wore extra bright jumpsuits. Now it is faded and so threadbare that the sawdust interior is starting to leak. It's a sad moment but it has come time for a new one.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Typewriter Makeover

My trend of painting things into more cheerful colors continues unabated!
I've had this old typewriter for years. I think I got it from the Oakland City Collage flea market in my first year of college. I remember dragging it home in it's suitcase box many blocks on foot and then thanking my lucky stars that I was able to make it work when I finally got it back to my dorm room. A lot old typewriters don't have modern ribbon available that fits them so they are just (awesome looking) decorative. This guy, a Smith-Corona Tabulator, actually works, and other than a slightly wonky "k" it is pretty perfect. Except that it looks real bland in it's gray/brown original state. So I decided to change that.

It was very tedious to paint around all the little corners and in between the keys. I had to tape it up real good to avoid getting primer or paint on any of the working parts but it was totally worth it in the end! I'm not sure I've seen anything more cheerful. Who needs a computer anyway, right?!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

bathroom artwork

Since I can't be content with having artwork just in the living room, and because I have so much of it, I decided to add some decoration to the tiny white bathroom in my apartment. I feel like bathrooms are the best place for odd or funny artwork so I created this giant Bill Murray portrait myself and then added some other pieces from my collection. I figure there's no need to have blank walls anywhere.

Monday, April 1, 2013

At my desk

I guess this is in my shower, not at my desk. I've been gathering supplies for some sewing projects. For one of them I dyed some fabric to get a warmer, more pink shade. Which involved a very Dexter-like scene in my shower with a big tub full of red liquid and lots of rubber gloves. But I think it turned out well, now I just have to cut and sew it and turn it into something.