Friday, November 26, 2010

Young Victoria Collaborative Book (part two)


Here are the rest of the pages from the book. The back of Rita's page and the back of Cristina Sequino's (Sweet Pea Ink) page (I had to flip it because... well, you'll see in the next image):


Cristina's page flipped open, so I had to flip her page so it would remain functional! Behind the dress is a glammed image of Victoria. On the right is the front of Robin Sanchez's (Once Upon a Pink Moon) page. Isn't that fringe just amazing? And the lace skirt?

The back of Robin's page echoes my first page which is really cool, and nicely matches Pam Keravuori's page (love the detail in this and that it looks like a stage set!). Pam's blog is Pamela Jane's.
The back of Pam's page and the first "sign in" page. We sent our pages off individually so it became a bit of a challenge to incorporate everyone's tags and cards.

The other side of the signup page, which conceals yummy tags, and also a card that Sue sent that gave background to her page.


So there you have it! A simply scrumptious tactile book! I hope we get to do something together again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Young Victoria Collaborative Book (pages)


So here are some peeks inside. This is the cover...


This is the first page that I made.


The back of my page and the amazing 3D shoe that Sandy Marotti of Sew Revived made for me!


The back of Sandy's page and Sue Elseth's (My Mother's Pearls) luscious page. I love the pink velvet ribbon and how she dressed a young Queen Victoria.


The back of Sue's page with the fun prize ribbon and Rita Blanks's page (no blog alas). Love the old millinery, the aged glitter and the flocked wallpaper background.


More in a couple of days...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alterations

At time of writing, I am Really Really Close to signing up for Mori Cupcake. (editing to add: I have signed up! First lesson starts today!)

Two weekends ago, I went through my wardrobe, which I've mentioned in an earlier post, to weed out the too big clothes, the clothes I never wear, figure out my style, etc.

This t-shirt had been consigned to the toss pile (not even good enough to give away). You can't see it in the photo, and the close up didn't show it either, but the threads are pulling in the fabric. However, it's an extraordinarily comfy shirt so I didn't want to give it up. What to do?


I thought of covering it in net and embroidering on it and hiding the edges of the net with some silvery grey seam binding. And then I came across this fabric in Yardage Town. Sheer(ish) with embroidery.


There's only one problem: the fabric's not wide enough for the tshirt width. So now I'm stuck. I had visions of it going longer than the shirt itself (going for a layer like look), but how am I going to get it to work if the original t-shirt is going to be visible on the sides? Any genius thoughts out there?

Actually, this is the fabric I saw first:


I got enough (I hope) for a skirt, and a scarf. Not that I've ever made myself a skirt before. The last time I wanted a skirt made I went to my mother-in-law. She did a good job but I don't think she sews any more.

I found this fabric too. A soft lineny eyelit in "natural" shades. This would make a great shirt/blouse, but see above. I am thinking beyond my meagre sewing skills. And my total lack of sewing machines. (And my total inability to make the $%^@ sewing machine work.)


All is not lost though. I successfully replaced the worn elastic on three skirts (two others proved beyond me), and mended rips in two skirts. And I have easier plans afoot.

Like this one:


It's a Holy Clothing velvet shirt (much like that purple velvet dress that I will cut up). It fits nice, it's just the sleeves drive me freakin' batty! So I'm thinking, lose the batwingy part of the sleeve (see sleeve on left hand side) and have it be somewhat t-shirty looking.

Friday, November 19, 2010

La Sirena progress

In Suzi Blu's La Sirena class I'm learning to draw faces (folk art and slightly more realistic) and shade them using color pencils. Eventually I will be in a place to paint.

So here's one I'm particularly happy with, although still room for improvement.

You might note she's not a mermaid (not that you can tell from this cropped image). I dreamt her, although she had black hair in my dream, and I really like how the color of her hair turned out on this so I guess I'm going to have to draw her again at some point. I was going to anyway, because I dreamed her in a coffin and those colors are too warm for a dead person. (Yes, morbid, but she's a metaphor.) I picked up greys and what not so the next attempt will have that color shift as well.

The classes so far have been with eyes open, but she was dead so I had to figure out how that looked.

Did I mention I can't wait until I get to paint?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Style

I wrote this last week. I thought while I'm feeling chatty, I may as well spread them out in even batches.

My fashion style seems to be three different kinds:

1) jeans and t-shirt: although my latest pair of jeans have rhinestones down the seams and my favorite shirts are printed with swirls, text and a bit bedazzled, my attire is usually pretty plain. I catch a bus and walk to work, so it has to be comfortable and not result in chafing! (was that TMI?)

2) loose and natural: my summer gear of long linen pants (see commute) and long sheer shirts

3) the 20s/30s look: this is probably the vaguest of the lot and is primarily evening wear. Long lightweight coats: plain, chinoiserie, float black pants, vintage styled silk tops

And there is a fourth. The few pieces that survived my brief foray into the goth world, although really they are a few velvet tops of various colors and black lace stuff.

There's also romantic swirly dresses and a long summer coat that I fell for but haven't actually worn (it really is gorgeous). These fit into the mori girl style, as does much of the "loose and natural" (apparently called natural kei in Japan), and my romantic pieces.

This is the long summer coat, front and back:


So it's semi my style already (although the idea of commuting wearing a skirt, bleh). I just have to make sure I'm not mutton dressed up as lamb. I think I can wear natural flowing clothes and add a layered look without heading for a kajillion ruffles or looking like a doll.

I like the idea of adapting a style to fit me and make it mine.

PS. I signed up for Mori Cupcake...


What about you? Do you have a style?

Monday, November 15, 2010

More on Mori girl

Mum asked for some Mori Girl examples, so here they are.

Some photos of Mori girls, purloined from the web without credit, which is not kosher but as I saw these images in a bunch of different places without attribution, it makes it a little difficult to credit! (If these are yours, let me know and I will credit!)

So this is an example of Mori girl style:

whites, neutrals, pastels, long skirt, cute hat, lots of layers, sweet without being sugary. Here's a closeup:

I have a sundress from my teen years (yes, I do have great difficulty throwing out pretty things), that I think I could cut to get a skirt from, if I can but figure out how to make a waistband and attach skirt to waistband without going crazy. It could be a little shorter so another skirt could peek out from underneath, or serve as the longer petticoat...


Here's another Mori Girl look:


Love the waistcoat over the dress, and the lace headband. I went shopping at Yardage Town last weekend and picked up this lace (and some other things, but more on that some other time).

And here's a shot of me wearing the lace headband and what I'd call "Mori Girl Lite" (well, hardly Mori Girl at all from the waist down -- it lacks layers!) to church.

Which is lace headband, lace tank, cotton sweater, long blue skirt (the bright colors are more the Grimoire style--which is very Eastern European folk), natural ribbed wool socks and black flats that look a little like ballet slippers. Comfortable and flowy and it felt good. The part I was most uncertain of was the head band because I don't usually do anything with my hair.

Sorry. I don't ever do anything with my hair. Which is why the lace headband felt weird.

A couple more Mori girl examples:

Do you suppose they are wrist cuffs serving a new use? Not sure I'd ever do that, but they sure look cute!

I need me some brown boots.

So what do you think of Mori Girl?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flower

It's almost winter and here in Southern California, plants are still blooming.

We planted a hibiscus this year, and hopefully it will survive the winter (it's in a somewhat protected corner), it's been showing one flower at a time. Maybe next year when it's older, we'll get more blooms.

They fade quickly, so when I saw this I had to snap it straight away. (I was harvesting eggplant for a failed attempt at caponata). It was a little droopy, so I lifted it up to show the center. Aren't the colors fantastic?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Closet Cleanout Part 2

So I slept on it, and I pulled out one of the pieces I was going to donate.

It's a sack (talk about earth mother). But it's in my favorite color.


The photo above shows the dress untied. I am wearing my street clothes underneath it.


And here it is tied (am still wearing jeans and tshirt beneath it). Forgive the foggy appearance. I need to clean my wardrobe mirrors....

And here is the detail on the bodice which is one of the main reasons I pulled it back out again. See, I could cut up this dress and use it in my purple fabric book (that's not even started yet), but it is a perfectly good dress, which was the reason why I consigned it to the toss pile. If it didn't feel so much like a sack on and if the sleeves weren't so giant, I'd keep it. (It's from Holy Clothing, btw, I have a number of their skirts and tops. Love love their skirts)

Can I do that? Can I cut up a perfectly good dress? Mum, do you want it? (And if you do, you're going to have to hem the dickens out of it, I trip over it all the danged time.)

What would you do?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Clothes and such

So it's been on my to do list for some time now to clean out my closet, for there are finally things in there that are way too big for me (I've lost just over 21 pounds). I've been holding the same weight for about 3 months now and it's probably time to start working on the next milestone of another 15 pounds.

Good news: I can fit into two skirts that I couldn't before (they're my absolute favorite skirts so I refused to throw them out. Why it took me this long to lose the weight to get back into them is another story). Another dress which is a swooshy delight is like one inch away of being wearable.

I was really excited to hear about this new class: Mori Cupcake that's happening on Suzi Blu's ning site. Love the idea of altering clothes just a little bit to make them mine.

However, I'm behind on Suzi's current class (La Sirena, she's got a mid-semester deal going), so if I sign up for this, I'll be basically downloading the videos and pdfs to look at after the new year. I'm still practicing my shading faces with color pencil, I might share a couple later. I'm hoping to soon graduate to painting a mermaid.

Anyway, the clothing class is about Mori Girl-style which is the Japanese take on European folk dress. Remember the 70's with flowy peasant dresses and what-not? Like that but with shorter hemlines and just a relaxed, casual feel. (See here for a lengthy video. Love the Grimoire shop it features!) As I was looking at images and thinking that I had a bunch of pieces that would work.

So while I was trying on clothes in my wardrobe to see if they were too big, I auditioned pieces for this style. I do feel there's a fine line between cute Mori-style and "earth mother" and what might look nice on a wee thing mightn't be quite so flattering on a curvier size.

The upshot is that I have quite a few pieces that fit the style (I think) without being earth-mothery. Including some pieces that I hadn't worn because I didn't have anything to wear with.

Ok, I know, pictures, pictures. I could have snapped a shot of my bed covered in clothing. But I got a wee bit carried away and forgot the whole fashion show part until everything was in bags and taken downstairs to be fixed or altered.

There are also a whole lot of skirts (that swoosh and cling most becomingly) that need new elastic, so that's my first job, to restore those. I also have buttons to sew back on and straps to shorten (somehow).

What I need to make the look work and fit who I am, I've decided, are simple, short sleeved blouses in creams to wear under crocheted tank tops and with pretty vests, some with collars, some not. And an Anthropologie scarf (like this one). Hope dragged introduced me to an Anthropologie store while I was in D.C. and I just loved so much of the stuff even though so much of it was way out of my price range...

Oh and I also uncovered another stash of handkerchiefs (do they multiply while I'm not looking?). I am thinking that after the success of my curtains, these could become a skirt-apron, a sheer layer to wear (or not) over a skirt or dress, or embellish a plainer skirt that I have.

So projects galore ... not that I don't have enough to do, like a certain embroidery sampler I've been putting off.

Speaking of which, I'm starving, so I'm off to get a bite to eat, and watch some telly and stitch.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Such a pretty giveaway.... plus an online mag

I'm back from my little trip to D.C., where I had fun even though I hadn't thought to bring a scarf or gloves or warm hat! (*brrrrrr*)

And almost forgot to share this giveaway. Vintage Bunty is celebrating the opening of her new shop by having this giveaway. Your opportunity to enter closes tomorrow (Saturday). Oops, I was supposed to post about her new shop: here's the linky mclink!

More about my trip at a later time. The new Somerset Studio magazine arrived while I was gone....and I only managed to read a couple of pages last night -- after being awake for almost 24 hours! (oy. vey.)

Oh, and if you've been living under a rock and haven't seen the announcement of Amy Powers' new magazine issue, go post-haste! Not only was I eager to see Miss Lynn's contribution, but the Mary Engelbreit contributed as well!

It does mean, alas, that I'm going to have to start thinking about holiday baking. The latest catalog of King Arthur Flour has some nice recipes (including a fruit cake one. I've lost the "bashed up brown cake" recipe that was my favorite), and I'm definitely going to make springerle again.... I've cooking magazines coming out the, well, anyway, I've a stack of cooking magazines because there's no more room in my "cookbook" shelves. I'm either going to have to get rid of cookbooks or eventually get around to pulling out pages and organizing...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Young Victoria Collaborative Book

So May was our deadline for getting our pages done and sending them off to each other to compile into a book. I think we did pretty well with the deadlines!

The beautiful pages sat in a (carefully protected) pile until two Mondays ago. Finally, I completed the "sign in" pages and put it all together.


It's kind of bulky :) And pretty fantastic and scrumptious: from soft teals and pale pinks to luxurious reds and golds! I ordered the pages so they'd reflect their neighbor page and that worked out pretty well.

I was thinking of redoing a couple of the pages I'd sent out to my partners, but I don't think I will now. The book is bulky enough as it is!

I have just realized that I haven't put up any images of the pages within my "Young Victoria" book here. If there's interest, I could do that, but it'll take me a little while and I still haven't got the Hudson Valley pictures from September up!

The book project came to be because I missed the people and the creativity of Silver Bella last year from practically the minute it was over. So this was my way of continuing that delight.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Green Paper September challenge

This is the September Green Paper challenge I didn't get around to. This is pretty much my original vision of it, except I went 3D, adding millinery flowers (which are held in a jazzed up toilet roll you don't even see) and cheesecloth (I love the dreamy effect it gives!).

Adding the flowers meant I had to put Lillian on to something more substantial than cardstock, so I'm using Artist Canvas Boards.

Right now it's propped up on top of my millinery flower holder. I have no clue how to make a hanging thing for it. Buy a frame??

Suggestions, anyone?