Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1912 Dress Project

I wanted to share my recent project: making a 1912 dress (well, blouse and skirt) with a pattern and barely any instructions. Like most costume and history buffs, I'm obsessed with Downton Abbey. So lots of sewing was done while watching. This is a dress for the character Marion in The Music Man, which is set in 1912 also. I'm super proud!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Art Collage

We had this nice big wall in our new living room that needed something on it. We also had more art than I knew what to do with. This is why I love the new fad of art collages. Who wants a boring wall filled with all images that look entirely the same? And who has that? The beauty of art collages is that just about anything can go up on the wall. Usually you get a quirky conversation piece that's a well-rounded representation of all your interests. This is nice because it combines the things I love with what Jason loves. What do you think?

I started by laying everything on the floor until I got an interesting collection of things and moved things around until it felt "right" or balanced. You don't have to do that. You can just take some nails to the wall and do whatever. Great, right?

I always try to add a little moment of surprise and humor in what I put up. Hence the little gnome. He moves to a new place every time we move. :)

Moving in to our new home has made me realize that it just isn't home until I've surrounded myself with art! Now back to sewing...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine Faves Via Etsy

It isn't hard to like Valentine's Day: giving sweets to show love is one of the best ideas ever! As opposed to the usual merchandise found in your big box stores, try these more personal and hand-made items that are more small business-friendly:

Sugar & Spice is a custom cookie company that makes me want to drool. The artist Michaela Canady has impeccable decoration skill. You can order 12 of her beautiful hand-made sugar cookies here.

Black Baroque makes prints from vintage book paper and sheet music overlaid with intricate images of animals in black, grey, and bright red (one of my favorite combos). View more of their beautiful prints here.

I couldn't resist these embroidered lips made by Sam Gibson, in Northamptonshire, England:

Last but not least, Lemon Drop Papers makes this charming card, with eight small envelopes in which to hide eight personalized messages. For those of us who can't say "I Love You" once. 

All this makes me want some chocolate!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Creative Candy: Takashi Iwasaki

Takashi Iwasaki's playful embroidered art speaks of a fantastic private world that is bright and beautiful.

Mogmogkukan by Takashi Iwasaki, 2011

I love his statement, which explains that these worlds he creates are actually quite personal:

"Most of my recent works (after 2009) are either visual recording of my daily life or visualization of my imaginary worlds or landscapes that no one would see unless otherwise depicted; whereas my earlier works have been mostly focused on their formal qualities.

Those recent works may appear to be abstract on the surface, however, most shapes and colors have meanings and origins that are very significant to me in the way I feel them, therefore they are very representational and are reflection of my state of mind.

Things that I feel are never the same in the next moment because I keep changing. Capturing moments and sharing my visions with others have been my recent obsession and pleasure."

Pkapkatogeshakin by Takashi Iwasaki, 2011

Shishitata by Takashi Iwasaki, 2010

Poetry by Takashi Iwasaki, 2011

Check out his full portfolio here, which includes more embroidery, paintings, sculptures, prints, and what he calls "abbies"--his nickname for abstract drawings.

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