Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Do you Polyvore?

Yesterday was one of the few rainy days we've had this winter in southern California. It stormed for most of the day . . . it was perfect for staying indoors. After doing some closet cleaning, I spent several hours playing on Polyvore. 
Helsinki Weekend
Polyvore is a website where you can pull items, like clothing or furniture from a list and create a look, or what they call, a "set." You can be really creative . . . when I started (just a month ago!) I tried to be realistic in creating a fashion look - something I might actually wear,  but I quickly realized that I would have a lot more fun with looks that I would never, or could never, really wear (like high-heels.)

You can settle for the items already on the site, or "clip"other things you like from blogs, Pinterest (do you Pinterest?) or from a retail site.

I found these art prints via Pinterest and clipped them to Polyvore, so I could create these sets with clothing, jewelry, and other accessories. The colors and city themes in the art were fabulous.
inspired by tulips

This is so fun and relaxing for me. Sometimes I can spend too much time there, but I can be spontaneous, spend a lot of virtual money, and just enjoy being creative.

Ready for Stockholm
night and day in Copenhagen

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wabisabi Green Gallery Opening

Last night I ventured down the coast to attend a gallery opening. Well-known local artist, Jolee Pink, launched her newest venture in Encinitas. She opened a pop-up gallery (with several other artists) to showcase her modern, eco friendly home decor collection and turned a ho-hum commercial space into an aquatic wonderland for the event.
A ceramic sculpture by Jolee Pink
I first noticed Jolee's work many years ago when it was featured at the Encinitas Library. I loved her pillow designs and decided to sell them in my retail shop. She is multi-talented and works with lots of mediums, including fabric, paint, and ceramic.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hugo, Gears, and Steampunk

My husband and I have been wanting to see the movie HUGO for months and finally got the chance yesterday . . . just days before the Academy Awards. The movie is up for ten awards and worth a few wins in our book. It was visually stunning, entertaining, and enchanting. Big players in the film were the gears. Many, many gears, in many forms, some of them larger than life. Taking place mainly in a Paris train station in the 30s - it is about a young boy who lives in the station and keeps the clocks set to run on time. Go see it soon!

Before my visual encounter with gears in the film today, I had been noticing that they are everywhere right now. I've seen them in TV and print advertising, in jewelry, and in home decor. It started a few months ago when my daughter was experimenting with gears for a business logo for her marketing company. She wasn't able to find a combination she liked at the time and never created a logo using the motif. Since gears are being used over and over again now, I am kind of happy she didn't end up with a gear logo. When something gets too popular I tend to not want to use it much. 
Here is an interesting mix of gears I found in a simple search on Google Images.
It's from an online gallery: 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thrifty Find - Wicker Chair

I thought I would try something different now and then. I am always finding things in thrift stores that I love but I do not buy. Unless I am looking for a piece for a client or really cannot live without something, I often just take a photo and note the price.

My first post is about the wicker chair in the grouping below (created on Polyvore.com - so much fun!) It was only $7 and in great shape. I would paint it black, purchase or make a cushion, add a pillow or two, a foot stool, plant, umbrella, and most important, a glass of lemonade.  Ah, summer living.
Thrifty Find - Wicker Chair

$7.00 wicker chair and  $5.00 stool from Brother Beno's Thrift Store on Mission Road in Oceanside, California.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Bohemian Wedding

In the spring of 2010, I had just twelve weeks to plan a DIY, hand-crafted, bohemian-themed, "Words of Love" wedding for my daughter. . . which included making a wedding dress.

In a series of blogs I will share the details of the wedding planning, the dress making, the decorations, the crafting, and the hours of thrift shopping for supplies, and all of the unique touches that made it such a special occasion.

Here are a few photos of the overall wedding so you can see the location. Most of the photos are by Joel Navarro, from Imulsion Imagery, including the beautiful photo of the bride and groom. You can contact him via this email: imulsionimagery@gmail.com

The wedding spot, above, is Lake Forest Keys, in Orange County, California

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rossipe Recipe

Here is a recipe from my book, Rossipes
Photo of pesto from the book, Rossipes

Fresh Basil Pesto is one of my favorite pasta dishes. I have a bowl that I just found in the thrift store and I can't wait to use it next time I make it. The bowl was part of a set of two and cost $5.99. They were made in Italy. Perfect.

The back of my thrift store find
Two bowls - $6. Goodwill Store find
The ingredients and a jar of fresh basil pesto

Fresh Basil Pesto

Makes 1 2/3 cups
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted lightly in a skillet)
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano (or a blend)
2/3 cup olive oil

In a food processor combine basil and garlic in work bowl and blend to a fine paste, scrapping bowl as needed.  Add pine nuts and cheese and process until smooth.  With machine running, pour olive oil through feed tube in a slow, steady stream and mix until smooth and creamy. 

If pesto is too thick gradually pour up to 1/4 cup warm water through feeder.

Use now on hot pasta (good on linguini,) or transfer pesto to a jar and cover surface of pesto with a layer of olive oil about 1/8 inch thick. Seal jar with tight-fighting lid. Stir oil into pesto before using. 

Pesto in my new $6. thrift shop bowl that was "Made in Italy"

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hankie Pankie

I have been collecting hankies for years. Many of them came from my husband's grandmother and many were found in thrift stores, flea markets, and at garage sales. For my daughter's wedding I decided it was time to reduce my large holding of vintage handkerchiefs and give them away.

Here is what the note on the bowl said, "Ladies, please take a vintage hankie as a keepsake to remember this beautiful evening . . . and to dry your eyes if you should shed tears of joy."

It is no secret that I cry very easily, so I was prepared during the wedding. I kept two of my favorites out of the bowl - and holding one in each hand during the ceremony, I was ready.  But for some unknown reason, I didn't cry at all.  I just beamed with love and enjoyed every minute.

The hankie container was a small two-piece punch bowl I found at a thrift store. It had a little pedestal that made it a bit more important. The bowl sat on a tall round table near the ceremony site, which was convenient for the ladies to grab as they took their seats.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sewing for a new generation

I was looking through photos of my daughter, Tracy, and came across these pics of her wearing a a few of the many dresses I made for her.  Tracy now has a sweet little girl (Olive) who can wear them when she gets a bit older.

1st Birthday Dress
The photo with the balloons is her 1st birthday and it was a very elaborate dress for the occasion. I love the long ruffled pantaloons!

I made the white dress with blue sash when she was a flower girl in her aunt's wedding. The teal and pink dress was made for a Simplicity Pattern Company sewing contest. I like how it turned out . . . and remember doing some fun stuff like running several shades of ribbon through the eyelet. I worked hard on the creation, but I did not win the contest!

Flower Girl
I'm so happy that all of these dresses were saved. They must be somewhere in the garage rafters, but a recent quick search turned up nothing. We will try again very soon - so that Olive will be able to wear them before she gets too big.  She is only a year old, so there is time.
Sewing Contest

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Back to Blogging

Is there room in the world for another lifestyle blogger? I hope so, because I am back to blogging after a long break.

In the past, I never took my blog posts too seriously and stuck to writing about sewing aprons and my daughter's wedding dress. But now I am going to talk about All Things Design - including interiors, party and event planning, crafting and DIY, food related items, and Sew Eco Chic (my original blog.)

I have been very busy in the last few years since closing the retail store. There's been a wedding, two grand babies, two 1st birthday parties, not to mention the creation of a 320-page family cook / history book and a 100-page wedding album . . . with many redesign projects in-between. Two design projects that I will share were designed mainly with thrift store, consignment shop, flea market, and garage sale finds.

My topics will cover all of the things I have been working on and continue to be involved in. Life is full and fun and there is much to share, so I better get to it. And now, I never leave home without my camera!

My adorable granddaughters, Olive and Lulu in the pumpkin field 2011