Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Vintage trim make me giddy, and the variety available is unbelievable-- jacquard, braid, lace, fringe, bias tape, piping, ricrac. I can't resist picking up a yard here and there, and subsequently have quite a stash.
Having just been gifted a few more yards from my dear friend Silka I am feeling inspired to find uses for all this trim. In the meantime I'm satisfied just to admire all the beautiful patterns and textures wound up on spools or just tangled en masse.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I love wrapping presents and the process of layering new paper with recycled scraps, vintage adornments with homemade tags... I have a habit of accumulating decorative papers, boxes, and ribbon even when I have no immediate use for them because I know that at some point they will serve as the perfect gift wrap.
The brick-covered alcove in my Brooklyn apartment makes the perfect space for a small studio. There's plenty of natural light, with a view facing 7th Avenue, and enough space for my narrow desk, sewing machine, bookcase and metal chest of drawers. I can't complain about the size because I just feel lucky to have the extra space to spread out and pin up my inspirations. Sunday afternoon is my favorite time to rummage through my fabrics, put on some music, dive into a few projects and completely lose track of time.
Monday, December 7, 2009
This holiday season my grandmother (aka Bonne-Maman), a woman with few needs, reminded us of what she does NOT need: a renewed subscription to France Magazine, clothes, scarves, night ware or soaps. To quote her directly, she has no more room for "objects."
Inspired by the embroidered textiles her mother had used to use, I went against her wishes and made her a change purse out of an embroidered japanese cotton fabric. I used the the "wrong side" of the fabric, an intricate lace-like webbing, for the lining because it was just to beautiful to hide.
I think she'll be willing to make room for one more "object".
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Whenever I'm in Montclair I make a point to stop by Parcel, an extraordinary stationery shop that sells vintage paper supplies, game pieces, ribbon, party favors, and nostalgic odds and ends. I'm not able to get there very often (which may be a good thing), but when I do I take the time to scour every corner, shelf and basket in search of unique gift wrap adornments. There always seems to be an unintended harmonious palette and theme running through the items that I compile.
I have been working on 19th Street for almost 3 years now and can't believe it took me almost that much time to discover Les Toiles du Soliel. The shop's saturated provençal colors lured me in and the over-sized bolts of striped cotton canvas held me captive. Feeling overwhelmed with potential projects, I scrawled some ideas in my notebook intending to return when I had an concrete project in mind.
As the holidays started to approach this year, I was searching for a gift idea for my mom and a reason to return to Les Toiles. Knowing that she needed a tote for her knitting projects, I decided this would make the perfect gift-- both practical and a reminder of our family vacations in the south of France.
Racing against Jenny's September 18th due date, I carried this ever-growing knitting project all over with me hoping to get in a few stitches whenever I could. I started the papoose on a plane ride to St. Martin and ended it feverishly one night in Brooklyn at 2 am just a few days after Ellis was born. In between those two points, the papoose accompanied me on train rides to and from New Jersey, to a weekend getaway in DC, under a tree in Prospect Park, and hours on Ron's couch watching TV. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment in finishing my largest knitting project to date, and even more so when Jenny sent me these photos of Ellis wrapped up in her new blanket.
Josephine and I were thrilled to collaborate on throwing Jenny & Erik a baby shower in preparation for the arrival of their baby girl. We decided to nix the traditional pink "It's a Girl!" motif and instead made invitations, decorations and favors that reflect Jenny & Erik's personal aesthetic: bold colors mixed with pastel, polka dots, bicycles (a nod to their bike-riding days in Amsterdam), and a charming combination of old & new.