Monday, June 25, 2012

Kitchen Update- Using wall color on furniture...

 In an attempt to streamline and update the look of my house, I've been on a furniture painting kick.  Some of it is a definite improvement- but this matching of the wall in the kitchen is a questionable one.  Is it a good thing that you can't tell where the wall ends and the table begins?  I've yet to decide if I'm in love with this latest decorating move... I think I need to put the paint brush down and work on other things for a bit.
After.  Cleaner, yes. 

Before, as you can see, James is not pleased.  He demanded it be painted yellow to match the wall (can I blame my 1 year old?).
A little Santa Fe for our taste.

Summer Fair Necklace

On a recent pop into Anthropologie, I saw these incredibly colorful and totally unique necklaces by the London-based designer Akong.  I instantly fell in love.  They are like having a street fair around your neck.  The way they combine fiber trim, leather, and metal is a totally fresh, yet primally decorative approach to jewelry.  The technique is such a simple wire-wrap- I thought I'd try it and see what I could create using what I had.   I adore the outcome!  I think it's the best necklace I've ever made (although I say that after I make everything).  It's very versatile and can be dressed up or down and paired with something basic or worn to a wedding perhaps.  I'll see as summer wears on how many outfits this pretty piece ends up with! 

Another version avec pom poms

1.  Use a long long 24 gauge wire and triple wrap end to start, then weave a strand of suede cord and rhinestones to a chain by looping through the chain.  Loop in the end of a piece of decorative trim but leave loose.

2.  Glue the trim to the back of the chain with Liquid Fusion.  This will keep the trim from moving around.  This process is being overseen by the police.

3.  To finish off ends, loop equal lengths suede cord through both ends of chain.  Poke head pins through all four ends of cord, and pull two each through end caps.   Attach one side to finishing clasps and one to extension chain with a little something for decoration.

Perfect with summer chambray button down.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Neon Ladder Necklace

 Marisa Lynch of New Dress A Day is not only an outrageously fun lady, she's also immensely talented in the crafting department.  We had the pleasure of working on a mystery T.V. pilot together  and I instantly felt a serious soul-sister connection to her.  She offered to babysit sometime which is an instant "LOVE" for me (for any of you who want to get me to "LOVE" you too).  Not that I would ever take her up on it because her mind is made for creating and that is what I see us doing together.  Here is the first of a series of projects we made together.  More to come!!!

Get your hands on some brass or copper tubing at the hardware store.  This is made by K&S and was 1/8" in diameter.
1.  Cut tube with wire cutters by gently working the pliers around the tube in a circular motion.
2,  Paint neon then thread onto a head pin.

3.  Thread multiple tubes onto a loop chain in a ladder pattern.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Plushie Silk Fish and Kids Modeling

I'm lucky enough as a crafter to work with some pretty amazing companies, and the creative team over at the San Diego Hat Company is as good as it gets. They're always thinking well outside the box for visual ideas to support their products, which always presents a great creative opportunity. This year, for their Spring 2013 catalogue shoot, they had this idea of having some of their younger models holding striped fish under their amazing hats. It might sound random but I loved the idea right off the bat and rushed for my sewing machine first chance I got.  Also, it just so happened that they needed a couple more boys to model in the shoot, and Nanci, (my prop stylist and amazing jewelry designer friend) hooked up James and Grippy to get in front of the camera.  Of course, James had no idea what was going on.  I had my fingers crossed that he wouldn't tear the hat off of his head and eat it or just walk off.   Grippy modeled for them a few catalogues back, so he was an old pro, and just needed to be bribed with toys to strike a pose.  The fish were the real divas here: their stripes were really tricky, and the silky fabric just wouldn't stop moving around as I sewed it.  Still, overall they turned out pretty well and only took a couple of hours to complete.  At the end of the day, I am so lucky to get some amazing professional photos of James and Grippy and can't wait until this catalogue comes out. The fish are jumping!

The finished plush fishies.

The color palate of the shoot.

1.  I sewed 3 inch strips of silk (because I had scraps already) together and ironed the seams open.

2.  I freehanded a fish.  If you don't feel comfortable with this draw ahead of time.  Leave a hole so you can stuff it and hand stitch the hole closed.

3.  Turn inside out, stuff with hollowfill and add button eyes.  I added a fin and flippers by hand too.
The fish with my little "shark".
Fish anyone?  No one seems interested... Hmm.

Grippy ready for his photo!

Being shot, I had to hide so as not to distract.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baby Blessing Way

Yesterday I attended the loveliest event called a Baby Blessing Way.  I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to it... thinking of all the boring baby showers I've been to with the silly games, then having to watch someone open presents.  Not exactly my idea of a fun afternoon.  Well, I was totally surprised by how lovely this party was.
My friend Jessica Begum of Hipster's Teaparty threw it for herself.  A simple evite, no presents (it's her third child so she has everything), all that she requested was that we bring a quote to write on a card that she was going to put in a book, and a dish to share.  She hired a henna tattoo artist to treat us to a tattoo and we all sat around chatting and feasting on the potluck style buffet.  So simple and totally lovely.   Here are highlights of the party.

A lovely hand sewn punched heart garland.  For directions check out Jessica's blog.
A simple and elegant flower arrangement and yummy cupcakes.
Simple garden decor.
The momma's henna tattoos.  
My tattoo!

The favors.  Can't wait to light my candle.
What a blessing a baby coming into the world is.    Looking forward to meeting Jessica's little bundle!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Patchwork Indie Art & Craft Fair

Andrea Luna Reece
The awesome Patchwork Indie Art & Craft Festival took place today at the Helms Bakery in Culver City.  It was such an inspiring event.  Seeing all the fabulous wares people spent much of their time making so impressed me.   The dedication it takes a crafter to put herself out there and get it all together to sell at a show like this is really a feat.  Many of these talented ladies dragged their husbands/boyfriends to the festival to help them "man" the booth.  I just adore the fact that these partners-in-craft love their gals so much that they drove (I'm imagining), helped set up (heavy lifting), and endured hot 5'x5' spaces for hours on end to show their support.  When you fall in love with a crafty gal, this is your future, men. Anyhow, here are a few of my favorite booths.
My dear friend Jen of Unurth  was selling her colorful/functional ceramics and home goods.  Her boyfriend Jeff is hiding behind the display.

Check out this amazing planter.

...and her lovely mugs.

Another impressive ceramicist there was Alyson Iwamoto.  So delicate and natural...
The ZFLA booth with handmade critters from repurposed sweaters, wool felt trimmings and suede scraps.

My new buddy from ZFLA.

Laser cut magnets from  Their stamps are also to die for.  Another boyfriend manned booth.

Special owls from Andrea Luna Reece.  She must like animals because there were tons of critters in her booth.

My new owl spoon rest.
The lovely  Melissa Abercrombie of Blue Ribbon Salvage who made beautiful jewelry out of 19th century medals, compasses, and baby rattles.

Here is a French medal for best honing pigeon.  She also had French medals for mothers who had had five kids (or more) who managed to live beyond the age of five.  Can you imagine?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Neon Floral Wedges I'm still on the neon train.  Maybe it's because I grew up in a neighborhood infatuated with Phil Collins, or maybe I just love the 80s, but whatever the case the fact is that neon is back IN, finally, and I couldn't be happier. Seems like nowadays everywhere you look someone's added a bit of nuclear colored pop to brighten an otherwise dreary outfit, and why wouldn't they? Neon is instant color. So, my latest project is a suede wedge redo... The shoes themselves were just sort of blah, nothing special, been sitting in my closet forever and I didn't think they particularly went with anything.  Suede is a hard material to redo because you can't paint them the way you can paint plain leather but my solution was to add the detail on top.  I glued leather cut-outs that I cut with my Cuttlebug die cutter, then rhinestones with my Tulip jewel heatsetter tool to the heels to make them pop.   And while they didn't go with much before, I think they will now... I have a ton of blue dresses that I thought this new color palate would work well with both navy, white and black.

The before.
1.  Run leather scraps through your die cutter or manually cut floral shapes.  I have big feet (size 9) and needed a lot of flowers.  You could also use a manual punch for this part.  The Martha Stewart die cutters are really lovely too.

2.  Use Liquid Fusion or a fabric glue to glue shapes to wedge.

3.  Bedazzle with rhinestones for a little extra interest.
4.  Paint leather with Krylon Brights fluorescent paint pen.  It took about 5 layers to get the desired saturation.  Let dry between coats.
Cute, right?
Perfect with my black, silk Cynthia Vincent jumper!