Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Selvedge - A Publication

I wanted to share a new magazine I have discovered that I am reading cover to cover.  It is called selvedge.  My background as a designer, I mainly focused on woven fabrics.  I find myself still being drawn to wovens over knits.  Selvedge is the finished edge of a fabric, it is the part that is pinned down onto the loom while it is being woven.  Selvedge, the magazine, comes from London.  It is filled with articles of forgotten crafts, artists and designers bringing quality back to the art of design and making it local again.  Now the magazine isn't just for someone in the trade, any crafter will enjoy this mag for it's inspiration, fun how to's  (how to make a pre-tied bow tie) or special articles on different crafters (in the latest issue we learn about Lobster Pot Maker Nigel Legge from Cornwall).

Nigel the lobster man and lobster pot maker.
Picture taken from Selvedge Magazine
Although the magazine is based out of London and there are many British companies and crafters featured, they also include global crafting.  In Issue 51, March and April 2013, there is an article about Namibia, the history and the traditional patchwork dresses the Herero women wear.  The history of the Herero women dates back to an awful war with German colonial forces.  However, the Herero women have added their color, style and unique headdress to make them their own.  They are now a symbol of pride and status.

Picture from Selvedge Magazine

The last article I want to call out is "Maine Line".  It is an article about numerous communities in Maine with creative entrepreneurs.  I don't want to spoil it for you so I will just give you a little info.  It covers sea bags, linens, textiles, blankets from merino and much more. This article makes me want to move to Maine!  And the illustrations in the magazine are just simple and gorgeous!
If you have the opportunity definitely pick up a hard copy or visit their website here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Garden Inspiration from Etsy

With the warm weather here, all us gardeners are just itching to get outside.  Now that I live in Brooklyn, I have a back yard!  I love it. I love being outdoors, working in the sun, it's quite quiet where I live which is surprising being so close to the city.  Last year was our first year here so we didn't renovate the back yard.  I planted vegetables and flowers in beds. This year we are having some landscaping help so I am not planting anything quite yet. However I still can window shop for garden inspirations.  Here are some things that I am liking on etsy these days.

Terracotta planters

Modern Ceramic Planters

Watering Can

Garden Stakes

Garden Tortoise

Buddha Dog

Garden Stool
Love the quilt like looking pattern in the above stool.  And the color of the glaze reminds me cool, refreshing water.  Perfect for holding your icy beverage or as an extra seat.

One thing missing is garden markers.  The trend on etsy seems to be using old silverware and embossing them with your veggie and herb names.  I love upcycling but just didn't like this look.  I did find these classic ceramic markers from a shop called From Artisan Hands.

Hopefully you will be inspired by the cool pool blues, the aloe shades of green and the terracotta rust colors and create something today.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flamingo Pink and Apple Green- Lilly Pulitzer

Photo from http://www.lillypulitzer.com/

"They were accessible to most but really only wearable by the few who were so rich that they could afford to have bad taste".  I read this in the NY Times this past week regarding Lilly Pulitzer's death.  If you know the designs, depending on how you feel about them you may laugh at this statement.  I laughed.  As a designer I love the bright colors and some of the artwork.  I don't like the customer it attracts; elitist, snooty and usually bad taste.  The kind of people who buy something for the name.  The kind that like to compete with the Jones.  But enough of that, I love her story.
      Lilly came from a privileged background in NY.  While on holiday in Palm Beach she met Herbert Pulitzer Jr and eloped in 1952.  They settled among the citrus groves on the Pulitzer estate and she like most women of her time became bored.  Three kids and a nervous breakdown later, she escaped back to NY.  After a short time she did return to Palm Beach and under the advice of a doctor she found something to do, she opened up a juice stand.  Her and a friend, who was also a former editor at Harper's Bazaar complained and struggled with the constant citrus stains.  Boom, light bulb.  They made a simple shift dress that was bright and colorful with a large and loud pattern, the juice stains would blend right in.

1960's Lilly Buy this on etsy from nelsonbridge for 210.00
 What amazes me is that the dresses started selling for $22.00 each, expensive back then.  These were basic, simple and cheap construction.  Well the dresses started to be seen in magazines and Jackie Kennedy, who went to school with Lilly, was seen wearing one on vacation.  As my husband says, en fuego, they were on fire.  Everybody wanted one.

From Palm Beach Vintage
Lilly designed until 1984 and times changed, minimal looks were in and bankruptcy was sought.  The label was revived in the 90's and in 2010 Oxford Industries acquired it for $80 million.  Oxford is quite a large company with many, many labels under it's umbrella.  Lilly didn't have much of a part, she consulted occasionally.

Looking at some of the fabrics and designs, a few do remind me of the Liberty of London artwork.  How? the way the motifs blend in with another motif, such as this one.

"Sweet Corn"

Maybe not so much as motif upon motif, maybe it is the lsd look of the fabrics.  Maybe this is what happens when you are in the sun so much.
As a textile designer it is enjoyable to create such bright, colorful, whimsical and large prints.  These designs will put you in the mood for a life at the beach or a summer bbq.

Born out of necessity...I do wonder what happened to her juice stand partner Laura Robbins.  How come the dresses became known as Lillys?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mad Men style on Etsy

Mad Men, the new season number 6, starts next Sunday.  Such an awesome show not only for story lines but also the costumes, furniture and over all style.  I am part of a craft group called the Etsy NY Team.  One of my obligations on the team is to create treasuries showing off some of the goods from our 260 members.  Not every item is only Etsy NY members so we are able to include world wide sellers.

  Tuesday is my treasury day and I chose the subject of Mad Men.  Etsy.com not only sells handmade items from around the world but also sells vintage items.  If you are looking for one of a kind items, want to support local and not something made by unfair labor practices check out some of these items.

To see the whole treasury click here.

From the shop Antique Apartment
From the shop Pyrex Princess

Who wouldn't love to be sipping a nice icey cocktail from these bright pink Bermuda glasses. How fun!

While wearing the below dress and earrings?

Shop Exile
From the shop Toasted Coconut

Find the adorable cute wicker purse at the shop MoyToyz.  Wicker not your style? Carry your things in this sweet little change purse from PinotbyLyn

What will my guy be wearing? How about this vintage suit from the shop Vogue Vintage?

Now that my honey and I are both dressed you can find us having cocktails in these cool Dorothy Thorpe Tumblers found in JunkGirlGreen

And if I get stuck for something to say or have some awesome design idea, while having my cocktail I can always check my Don Draper notebook.
buy this at Invisible Crown