Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter has arrived....time for neck warmers

Winter has arrived here in NYC. Today has been a blistery, cold day and all I wanted to do was lay under a blanket, watch the Closer that I dvr'd and crochet. As I was walking home from the subway, wishing I had my neck warmer on I also thought that this is a great project to share.
I started crocheting last year and really enjoy it over knitting. However I am finding this year I do like the look of knitting. But in this post I wanted to share with you this quick neck warmer that takes me about an hour.
I found it in the Crochet Essentials Book from Lion Brand

The size needle is a speed hook 35.
I find that monochromatic yarns do look best. And this neck warmer is made with acrylic (to keep the shape), cotton and wool for warmth, and rayon (that's the added softness).
I have included a few colors I have done to show you the difference in between one color and 2 to 3 color. Some of these are available in my etsy shop if you did want to purchase one.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Holiday Wreath - Under $30

Living in NYC, like most things, Christmas Trees and wreathes are over priced.  Last year I purchased a wreath, coughing up $30. It was painful knowing that I can easily make one if I had access to the key ingredient, the branches.  This year I used the ole' noggin and decided to make one. Also just to point out, last year after we gave our building staff their bonuses, we were told that the wreath on the door is a fire hazard.  This year I decided I will refuse to take it down. 

On to the creation. I picked up this grape vine wreath at Michael's for about $6. I was going to make a Thanksgiving Autumnal wreath for my sister but that never happened.

Here is my handy assistant Homer observing the process.  When we purchased our tree I saved the branches they cut off on the bottom. I also saved the branches we had to trim to get the tree into the stand. I used my floral garden cutters for this.  I then used basic twine to tie the branches onto the wreath. I wanted to use green floral wire but I couldn't find it in my stash. 

The twine actually worked quite well. Here is a photo of it where it barely can be seen. Good job blending in with the branches.
 I had a decorative red berry branch garland I purchased last year post- Christmas sales. I used this to wrap around the wreath. I was going to add pine cones that were purchased at Michaels for $4.00 a bag but I felt the berry wreath was enough. If you decided to add pine cones you can hot glue or attach them with the twine. I purchased purple ribbon ($2.00) at Michael's pre Thanksgiving to use for gift and wine bags. I used this to hang from the door. It has a nice gold trim so adds a bit of shimmer to the wreath. All in all I spent about $10.00!
Wreath is still hanging and no notices from my building staff.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Soiree Floral: Style Me Pretty Feature - Tracey and Andrew

I am so happy to announce that my wedding has been featured on Style Me Pretty Blog. Dawn Kelly, from Soiree Floral, submitted our info and they chose us! Here is a link to Dawn's blog linking to Style Me Pretty.

Soiree Floral: Style Me Pretty Feature - Tracey and Andrew: Good morning everyone, Happy Friday! We are smitten with our feature on Style Me Pretty today. Our fun couple Tracey and Andrew really put lot of thought and attention to detail in their big day. Read more.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 Under $25 Gift Guide

A little under 2 weeks before Christmas, can you believe it? How time flies. End of another year and the economy still isn't that great. So in this post I decided to do an Under $25 Gift ideas all thru etsy. Buy local. Not only do you support our US local economy, but also you are not supporting sweat shops over seas. And a bonus, most likely you are getting one of a kind and handmade item by talented artisans and crafters.  

I typed in Under 25 on etsy and one of the first thing I found is this cute french clip pouch. 

change purse by AnOrangeBlossomBag

Little Necessities artwork by TamaraGarvey     

City Kitty Tee by BigBridgeStudios  

Hippo playing a violin note cards by HansMyHedgehog   

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Markets starting up

This Saturday will be my first holiday market this season. The Astoria Market which is held at the Bohemian Beer Hall and Garden in Astoria is doing a pop-up in Manhattan! I have worked in the Astoria Market and it is a great group of crafters. I was super excited to find out about the pop up only 8 blocks from my apartment! Yay!
Here is the 411.
December 10th Saturday
St. Paul the Apostle 60th and Columbus
11 to 5:30
Over 45 vendors.

December 17th and 18th you can find me in Brooklyn!
Both days from 11 to 7 I will be at the Brooklyn Lyceum
227 4th  AveBrooklyn, NY  11215
Corner of President Street
R train to Union Street

Find some great gifts from creative artists and designers. Buy local and something unique for the people in your life.

Hope to see you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Pies and Spry Pastry

Happy Monday everyone! Since Thanksgiving just passed and food is on everyone's mind, I thought I would share a wedding gift I received from 2 dear creative friends, Diana and Hannah.  I do like to bake and Diana, Hannah and myself are in a stitch n bitch together so we do have potlucks. The Lost Art of Pie Making. The stories are great and I look forward to working on the recipes.  It reminds me of the Waltons, remember that tv show? Or books like Dick n Jane.
I look forward to spending some time with Aunt Jenny and her recipes.

For Thanksgiving everyone usually has a pumpkin pie. I made pumpkin cheesecake. Personally not a fan of pumpkin pie. But something my friend Kayte did was attend a dinner and she was in charge of bringing the pies. All pumpkin but from different stores. This makes for a fun and interesting taste challenge. The pies came from Fairway, Whole Foods and Trader Joes. The winner? Fairway.

Happy eating! On to the Christmas season!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wow a full 2 months plus...

My last blog was over 2 months ago. Compared to Kim Kardashian's marriage is that good or bad? Well I myself got married!

I tried to keep up with the blogging but for those of you who get married and do the planning yourself you know how absorbing it is. I day dreamed of posting the projects I created for the wedding. 

So in my first post back to the real world in NYC I would like to show off some of the things I designed and created for my wedding. We got married in Nantucket Massachusetts. The photos are from Claudia Kronenberg Photography based in Nantucket, MA. I don't know how we are going to choose which ones to buy because there are so many fantastic ones. Libby, our photographer, was wonderful and so patient with my immediate family of 25 plus my new husband's family. 

I purchased my dress from J.Crew. I wanted something simple with clean lines. However, I did want to add my own touches. Many friends and strangers asked if I was making my own since I am a designer. No way. After seeing how much work went into altering the dress down 2 sizes I never would take on such a task. Esin of Sew Elegant, a Vera Wang alum  recommended by J.Crew, altered my dress. J. Crew was out of a size 2 and only a size 6 available. She brought it down to size 2 and at my last fitting I dropped a pound or 2 and she had to take it in more. She is amazing, sweet and a very talented seamstress!  But I did have a sash created and added buttons I found at M and J Trimming on 6th and 37th in NYC. Robins egg blue was the main theme color. I thought I would never find robins egg blue shoes. I was going to start checking vintage shops in NYC. My husband decided to check J. Crew for suits for the wedding. So one day we walked into one and bam! Robins egg blue shoes right there. I couldn't believe it! 

A little pricey but the color was perfect. It still amazes me to this day. Ok this is perfect. Then I visited  Mood fabrics to look for fabric for my sash and the bridesmaid's sashes.  After 2 visits I found a taffeta stripe that exactly matched robins egg blue and peach taffeta for the bridesmaid's sashes. Also just to note, I didn't sew these on the bias which I thought I might have to. 
Finally things were coming together.

My sister in J.Crew dress and the peach taffeta sashes I made.

Another little find at Mood Fabrics were pieces for the brooches I made. The back clips I had to hot glue on. Unfortunately I was out of time to put more work into this.

I decided to make a fascinator for my hair instead of a traditional veil. I took a class at  3rdward in Brooklyn with Cha Cha, the millinery instructor.

Feathers and flower bought at M&J Trimming.

Considering the wedding was in Nantucket in October chances of it being a bit cool were highly likely. To keep me warm I bought a pashmina and on the reverse side of it I sewed fabric leftover from the fabric I purchased for my sash, the robins egg blue stripe.

As a designer I had no interest in making my own dress but I did design the flower girl dresses. My 2 nieces, Aster and Charlotte, are 5 and 6 and this was their first wedding so they were very excited.  I wanted them to wear dresses they can wear again.  The bridesmaids wore blue dresses from J. Crew so I started with the color. I looked around at stores and didn't find what I wanted then I looked on etsy. I found some dress styles I liked but not in fabrics or colors I wanted.  I contacted a woman on etsy and commissioned her to make the flower girl dresses.  Angela from Maple Tree 2000 was wonderful to work with, very accommodating, professional and a very good seamstress.
The main fabric is Amy Butler Daisy Chain in Deco Rose pattern in Navy. I chose a matching light blue with white dots for the waistband and the bottom hem. I did want the dresses to be a bit poofy, I love how tuille lays and has some swish effect. Angela was able to also make a petticoat in navy. The girls as you can see in the photo looked absolutely adorable! Their flower girl baskets just completed their outfit. Our florist Dawn Kelly, owner and creative director of Soiree Floral, knows her stuff!

I do want to mention that we also tied in our robins egg blue color with the groom and best men's apparel. Andy picked out a Vineyard Vines tie with the Nantucket Island as a motif in navy and robins egg blue. His cuff links were a diy from his father. They were given to his father by his grandfather who got a coin from the year he was born and a coin from the year his wife was born. He made them into cuff links and gave them to Andy's father as a gift. Andy's father, for the wedding, has passed them on to Andy.

So I think that covers all the apparel. On to the rest!

Save the Date magnets and the Wedding invites were made thru Vista Print.  The paper for the invites we purchased at Paper Presentation in Chelsea. I was in heaven with this store. And I couldn't believe I never heard of it. My friend Kayte used this store for her invites as well. Thank you Kayte! Andy and I decided to use a Copper Style Gothic font in robins egg blue. The whale cut out on the band is from a Martha Stewart punch I found at Michael's Craft Store.

Another little thing, well not so little, but very good to have is a website. I created ours thru It was really cool to have it and send people to it.  The website is no longer up but I made 5 pages. The first page was a basic welcome, pictures of bride and groom from grade school and a map of Nantucket. The other pages were: how to get there, where to stay, what to do, where to be and when, and registry.

Save the dates, wedding invites, dresses and all things dress related done.

The tables. Soiree Floral on Nantucket was a click as soon as we met with Dawn the owner and designer.  We brought lots of pics and we liked her aesthetic. At our first meeting I spotted a bird cage.  I just had to have it! And of course the faux bird that lived there, Mr. Peacock. This worked well since I did want some peacock flowers in my bouquet.


Being Australian, Andy wanted some native Australian flowers in the vases. Dawn found some Kangaroo Paw, Waratah and other beautiful Australian flowers. Fortunately my husband has good taste and a good eye.

We didn't want to just use white linens. I wanted to put a little of my own style into the wedding. So Andy and I decided to make table runners. Once again I turned to Amy Butler Designs. For the main runners we used Nigella Imperial Fans in spinach and river and for the cake table and cocktail tables we used Lotus Morning Glory.  Dawn designed the floral arrangements so they complemented the table fabrics.  Originally we were suppose to have round tables but  Unique Nantucket, who was our planner for the day, suggested long tables, Mediterranean style. This was such a fantastic suggestion. For some reason round or rectangle just weren't working out for us.

For table names I created cards with names of different parts of the island. I found a picture of a vintage map of Nantucket and tweeked the color a bit. Then I printed it at home on an Epson Workforce 1100 printed on a cream colored card stock. Dawn provided the stands for these.

The bride and groom table cards tied to the bird cage. 
For guest seat assignments and as wedding favors I made luggage tags using the Amy Butler fabrics we didn't use for the tables. We purchased alot before we decided on which ones to use. This worked out perfectly because all of the colors complemented each other. The luggage tags were a challenge to make. Once again thanks to my friend Kayte who stayed up till 3 am one night helping me cut and iron. I didn't have the time to grommet them myself so I took them to Steinlauf and Stoller. Then used a twisted rope for the ties.

For presentation, I thought that tieing the luggage tags to apples would look cute but the tags were too big (6" long).  Instead Dawn suggested lining them up in metal pans. Easy to find your name and looks very stream lined, I like how it turned out.

Lastly the cake. We had cupcakes made by Natasha Misanko who works at
American Seasons. She made one little cake for us and cupcakes for everyone else. She creates dreamy mixes like peanut butter fluff in a chocolate cake and has a wide variety to choose from. On the filled cupcakes Natasha was able to make white chocolate whale tails for the tops. For cake toppers we decided to use woodies. These were the cutest things and weren't stereotypical toppers. The artist I found on etsy, The Little Gift Box, was great to work with.  I sent her a few pictures of us and the attire we would be wearing. She sent us a photo of the completed dolls and once we approved she sealed them and sent them off to us.

All in all we were very happy with all of our vendors and the wedding day! Just wish we got to enjoy more of it. We chilled out on Nantucket for a few more days then honeymooned in Greece for 2 weeks. Back to the grind now and sewing for the holiday markets coming up!

PS my husband proofed this post for me and did make one correction. In my profile I do need to change "my boyfriend" to husband. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello September

So I think September may be my favorite month. The weather is beautiful, warm days, cool nights. Summer is winding down but we still have access to garden veggies. And the birthstone of September is sapphire and astrological sign for most of the month is Virgo.

I am one of the facebook posters for the newnew team in NYC. I check out the daily treasuries and share with the world what I think are the smartest, most unique and simply beautiful treasuries put together. Ok what's a treasury? A treasury is a list put together on of items on the website. There is a theme that the creator of the list comes up with. Anyone can create a list.  There are many treasuries per day.   Today I chose this treasury to share,

The items themselves are varied and interesting but visually the blues are just breath taking.

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The NewNew NYC

Have you heard of The Newnew?
It is a great, awesome group of crafters. This is not just a group of people but the support of independent business is wonderful! NYC is tough to find the little things like where do I buy bulk shipping bags or what markets should I be in? The Newnew is there to help w all of this stuff.
So all this week  I would like to focus on Newnew NYC crafters. Today's blog is ceramics and housewares. I have spent a good time recently looking for cake stands and birds. Odd combo but there is a reason. While on etsy I found these oh so cool ones from Newnew New Yorkers!


  • shevongantceramics
    brooklyn, NY 
    Just click on a picture to go to the artist's shop on etsy. Or just type in newnewteam to see all of the New York Indie Artists part of this creative collective!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Animal Camo

I received a custom order the other day on etsy. A woman saw my animal camo mini tote. I love this fabric so much. It is so cool and fun. Of course it is Michael Miller. The woman wanted a larger tote in the same fabric, fortunately I did have enough fabric.
So I took some pics of the building process. I call this the City Tote. Living in the city I sometimes don't make it home in between errands and stops. So many times I will carry my laptop, gym clothes and regular purse stuff. This tote will hold it all!
The original pattern came from Lotta Jansdotter
I deleted a few details and added a few.

In this shot, I added heavy weight fusible nterfacing to the outside fabric to give it some stability.

The inside of the bag is built the same way as the shell. I used a canvas for the inside, to give some body and durability.

Drop the liner into the shell and added bias tape around the top.
Double needle those straps!
If you decide to make this bag and have some questions feel free to ask me!