Screenshots from Ballet Shoes. Thank you, Netflix, for the suggestion. You weirdly know my taste in fashion.
Screenshots from Ballet Shoes. Thank you, Netflix, for the suggestion. You weirdly know my taste in fashion.
I find the quilt-making process exhausting and yet every time I finish one (not that there have been that many times) I’m already thinking about my next.
Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow is a movie that has certainly grown on me over the years. (I know I’ve must have mentioned this movie before!) I love the production design, especially the costumes; Colleen Atwood can do no wrong. But in the last few years (I watch it annually around this time) I’ve changed my focus to something else: the quilt.
This quilt is one of the prettiest I’ve seen. The pictures are dark, I know, but I hope you can see what I see. This simple triangle pattern might be my favorite quilt design. I’ve seen this type of pattern more often in older quilts, like early and mid 19th C. What I find most interesting are that the triangle’s bases in one row do not line up with those of the next. (Unlike the example you can see here.) Instead the triangles themselves line up with the triangles in the second row over. (Sorry for the possibly convoluted explanation.) This pattern seems less common than the former, perhaps because it’s more difficult to keep all the rows lined up neatly without having the bases to match up.
Here you can see some detail. This is also proof that I’m a certifiable sewing nerd: “Folks, forget Johnny – LOOK AT THE QUILT!” Oh, I even love the shattered pieces and yellowing. Look at the blue piece by Johnny’s right ear, isn’t it lovely? (Gosh, I wonder how the art department found such a quilt. It looks like a genuine antique, doesn’t it?)
Another slightly more awkward image of Johnny, I mean Ichabod, on the quilt.
I’d like to make a quilt like this. I don’t know if I’d use feedsack or feedsack-like prints or something more Victorian. I’d probably use colors that are lighter and maybe a little brighter although I really love the ones used in this piece. Anyway, I don’t know when I’ll make this but I already have some fabric in my stash that would be suitable. I hope to start this winter.
In the meantime, I’ve got some frocks to finish up and share with you!
I love to watch movies for the costumes. (And if you’re anything like me, you do too!) I had placed Kit Kittredge: An American Girl in my Netflix queue months ago for this very reason. I’ve never had much interest in the American Girl doll phenomenon (I have to admit, I’ve been more of a Barbie fan) but when I saw the trailer for this movie I figured it would be a wealth of Depression era fashion inspiration.
“Depression era fashion inspiration” sounds rather contradictory. But even those families who had to pinch their pennies often managed, with a lot of creativity, to produce unique and pretty clothing for themselves. Feedsacks, scraps and old clothes were given new life and transformed things like day dresses and quilts.
My favorite part of everyday 1930s fashion (besides the sweetest prints and handmade sweaters) are the little details: plackets, collars, ties, buttons, etc.!
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you so I’ve only posted some of my favorites. There are plenty more highlights in the movie, including lots of inspiring grown-up wear! (I even spied some Remix shoes.) It’s a cute family film with a wonderful cast (Stanley Tucci, Abigail Breslin, Joan Cusack and Julie Ormond), albeit a little slow at times. It would be a good movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon or weekday evening with a pot of tea and some vintage sewing or knitting to work on.
Have you seen this movie? If so, what are your thoughts? What costumes movies do you find inspiring?
Two very talented ladies (“very talented” doesn’t even begin to describe them, actually) are coming out with new craft books this year. I’m very crafty myself (um, yea?) but I don’t own very many craft books. Nowadays I tend to only get the ones I really, truly want; too many craft books in my collection have ended up on the local library steps (figuratively speaking) and that can get expensive (although I’m always happy to donate useful things).
And the books I’m referring to are about two of my favorite things: embroidery and paper dolls! Both so dear to my heart, perhaps because they remind me so much of my childhood art-making.
My friend Alicia’s “Embroidery Companion” is such a beautiful book, due out August 10th. I mean, look at the cover! Sheesh, I love that skirt. I want that skirt. We need to embroider more, don’t you think?
Emily Winfield Martin (I just had to mention her middle name, as it is the best ever), also has a book coming out on November 2nd called “The Black Apple’s Paper Doll Primer.” This book looks like so much fun for both little and big kids (I.e. moi). I bet you could get lost in it (which is fine by me, especially if that sweet little white bunny led the way).
Both books are available for pre-order if you want to make sure you get a copy. And don’t forget to click the above links to find out more info and see some sample projects!
Where the Cardinals Sleep; 8.5 x 11 watercolor on paper
This is one of those pieces that had a very humble beginning. I’m acquiring a much better habit of sketching to just draw and see where that takes me.
The other night Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow was on TV and with hot chocolate in hand (seems like there’s almost always hot chocolate involved any task I do!) I drew this lass, a cardinal friend. Can you see references to the movie? I think they kind of snuck in there unconsciously.
This watercolor and its sociable birds remind me of the time when I was younger…I was outside on my parents’ porch while my mom watered her garden. The birds always liked to come by when she was doing this, perhaps because the fresh water was so much better than any standing pools they could find. A house finch flew down from the birch trees and landed on my arm, Sleeping Beauty-style. I was in a state of delight and concern for I had never experienced an encounter such as this – was this bird really friendly or was she trying to tell me something? She looked at me and chirped and hopped from side to side a bit. She jumped onto my shoulder just before tweeting her good-bye and flying back up into the trees.
A wee burro (burrito?) friend found at Porchlight, a lovely shop in Portland, OR.
It’s pouring rain and it’s really nice. I love waking up on the weekends when the weather is like this: the interior of the house is grey and a little chilly. I make myself a cup of cocoa and pull out the warmest, loftiest blanket I have. Sometimes I’ll read, watch a movie I’ve seen a hundred times or up date my to do list. (That sounds incredibly dorky, about the to do list. But I’m obsessed with it and have about 50+ things listed at the moment.)
Speaking of reading, have any of you read The Mysterious Benedict Society series?
I just finished the first book and I’m onto the second one (above). I find the cover illustration pretty thrilling!
So, I know I’ve been a little bit scarce around these blog parts. I’m like the friend that thinks about you but gets really bad about calling. A couple of reasons include me taking on more hours at work, and a sudden and unignorable (not sure if that’s a word but it works for me) Tendonitis/carpal tunnel flare up. My husband and I even made a trip to Ikea to buy a new desk hoping that it would help. (My old one is currently in the middle of my office. Totally in the way but what a nice place to pile stuff on. [It's better than the floor.]) And I’ve been keeping off the computer as much as I can when I’m not working. At first I was really bummed about it but I’ve resolved to find a solution. I’ve been reading up on things, exercising and trying to keep my mind in a positive space.
Oh, there are a couple of things I wanted to mention before I forget:
Ok, it’s cocoa time. I hope you are all having a cozy weekend so far!
…Illustrator. It’s kind of addictive actually. I’m often torn between doing more traditional, pencil drawn illustrations and computer/vector stuff. For a long time I had resisted computer-generated art but I can’t seem to pull myself away. So, why can’t I do both?
Winter has really only begun and I’m thinking of spring, my favorite time in L.A. Maybe because we’ve had some lovely weather lately. Or maybe the recent foggy evenings led my mind to inky waters, sea monsters and such. Which made me think of the beach. WHICH made me think of summer and warm weather and sundresses. WHICH THEN led me to start planning my warm weather wardrobe, inspired by Summer Finn. (JUST saw that, if you can believe it. Loved every second and every stitch.) Oh, and a new pair of clog sandals. How’s that for stream of consciousness?
Thank you to everyone whom participated in A Slight Sinister Giveaway! I LOVED reading all about your costumes and scary stories; I now have a little spooky list of books I’ll need to check out, so thank you for that too. If you haven’t read them, check out the comments in the giveaway post and maybe you’ll find a creepy story that might interest you.
Ok, without further ado, the winner is: Lucky #5, Modern Crush!
Thank you again, peeps. Oh, and happy fall my Northern Hemisphere friends!
(Random number-generating goodness brought to you by random.org.)
Greetings, dears! October is only a few weeks away and Halloween, for me, always marks the start of the holiday season. So, I thought I’d celebrate a little early and give away 1 copy of AntiCraft: Knitting, Beading and Stitching for the Slightly Sinister. Not only does this book contain the original publication of my Brier Rose Scarflette pattern, but a TON of other cool and creepy projects.
Here’s what you do: from now through Monday, September 21st midnight PT, leave a comment in this post describing 1 of the following:
A winner will be randomly picked and announced Tuesday, September 22nd.
You know, it just occurred to me that I should have posted a photo of one of my favorite Halloween costumes when I originally wrote this – ha! I just so happen to have one:
That’s me in the angel costume. My dad made the halo and wings (you can’t really see it but both are sparkly with gold glitter) and my mom made the dress. My parents did not like putting me in store bought costumes and made ours (mine and my brother’s) whenever they got the chance. I’m not sure I knew then how lucky I was to get such nice, homemade things but I certainly am now. (Next to me is a friend as a Barbie bride; I think I was jealous of her costume.)
Another reason I was anxious to start blogging again (as I eluded to in my last post) was to share my very exciting crafty news with all of you.
First, my vintage-inspired bathing suit design in Vickie Howell’s Pop Goes Crochet (which is now available). Weee!!!!
I created this crocheted retro design back while living in Austin. I was a little nervous contributing to this book; I mean, Vickie Howell is, like, mega-famous in the craft world! But she’s also really sweet and made sure to let me know that she was super happy with the design. When she sent me this photo I was blown away. ”Wow, that’s my suit??” I was thrilled to say the least. Then her pal Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club (if you love retro and bright/fun colors, you’ll love her shop!) said some really cool things about it on her blog, which again, is thrilling! I can’t wait to get my copy which is on its way!
Dujour is a new online and limited edition print magazine about emerging artists, designers and so forth. And it’s gorgeous! I love some many things in this magazine (I got the online subscription) and I’m especially loving this collage here; I’m completely flattered that my print is included in this mix. Wow, there are so many talented and wonderful artists out there.
Anyway, thank you for letting me a boast a bit. I couldn’t help but want to share these happy, craft-related things with you! And thanks for the sweet welcome too on the last post – it’s so good to hear from you.
Have a lovely and long (hopefully) weekend.