Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pretty Pics for a Rainy Day

English Garden path from pinterest
What a miserable rainy day we are having in NYC today! Wow, I sit here looking out and the rain is just coming down.  I started working on my garden this past week and am so excited to get planting and harvesting!  I also started putting all of my garden inspiration pictures in a scrapbook.  I thought I would share some with you to put some color into this dreary day.

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens Grid garden

Martha Stewart
Breathtaking blue and purple hue border from pinterest

Another beautiful purple hue  path on pinterest
from Herbal House on Pinterest

 Sindi Alvarado on pinterest
Sweet pea tower from pinterest

Pinterest via tumblr via Domino Mag

After reviewing all of the photos I have here for inspiration, can you say that I am drawn to purples?
I just recently found out that I will be having a plot in the community garden in my neighborhood.  I am so excited!  What to plant????

Do you have a favorite garden color? How do you organize your garden? What's your inspiration?
What about container gardens? Those are very useful in urban situations.
And also can be used very creatively.  What do you plant in pots? How do you like to organize them?

Happy planting!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kitchen Inspirations

This past Sunday I prepared an Easter brunch.  I realized how my kitchen is lacking in a few things.  Nothing makes cooking easier and more enjoyable than good quality and fun kitchen utensils.

I am loving the purple and aqua spatulas here. 

Silicone spatulas on Food52

Ceramic spoons from Cor Pottery on Etsy
I met Cor, the above spoon artist, recently in Park Slope at the Co-op Grocery.  She is such a lovely woman and her spoons are amazing.  The colors are eye catching and mesmerizing. I purchased some of her spoons and will be using them in my apron photographs.

Biscuit maker on Food52

I am tempted to make some biscuits just so I can try out this biscuit maker.

I love going to flea markets but sometimes in NYC you just can't find a deal or what you are looking for.  Etsy is only a click away.  I own one whisk.  I feel like when I use it, I need to use it immediately again and will then need to wash it.  I know, woe is me.  But why not buy another one?  Look at this beauty.

Vintage whisk on etsy 

The above whisk is from a shop on Etsy called Lovintagefinds.  The shop is wonderfully curated and has some really amazingly, beautiful items.  I could do some serious damage here.

I have been wanting one of these since I made my wedding registry 2 years ago, 3 years ago.  Mainly for making guacamole.

mortar and pestle from lovintagefinds on etsy

These are the things that Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma imitate.  Nothing comes close to the real, authentic original.

Do you have any favorite kitchen items? Ones you can't live without?  Ones on your wish list?


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DIY Making a Rag Rug Pillow

Recently I was commissioned to make a pillow case out of a treasured heirloom, a client's mother's rag rug.  When I first learned about this project I thought what a great idea! This should be a quick thing to do.  So I accepted the project.  Being a family heirloom I was a little nervous, I didn't want to make any mistakes, cut too much or make the whole pillow case a hot mess.  I did love the whole idea of it.  Originally a rug and now the client wanted to make it a pillow for her newborn son.  Recycle, up cycle, sustainable.

It took much longer than I originally thought.  Doesn't everything? At first my plan was to bind the edges with an off white cotton or cotton linen fabric and use the same fabric on the back side for the case.  Once I cut into the rug of course it started to fall apart.  A rag rug is a combination of scraps of fabric, short and long, twisted and braided.  Sometimes wrapped or tied together.  It was like cutting a potato chip and trying to put the pieces together.  What did I take on?

Solution: Attach a completely separate piece with enough allowance to be the binding on the back side of the rag rug.  Once this becomes one piece then start making the back side of the pillow case. The fabric on the back side is in in two pieces to accommodate the zipper.

Binding strips cut on the straight grain

The first attempt of binding the edges.

Normally I tell my students not to pin their projects like this but because of the delicacy of this particular project I had to lay my pins horizontal to the sewing line.

Overall it took me double the time expected but I was happy with the results... and more importantly so was the client!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Trip to the Macys Flower Show

The show was ending on Sunday April 6th and I was determined to get there.  It was April 4th. So I packed myself and Harper up and we headed to the Macys Flower Show.  Harper, strapped into the Becco carrier, because it's easier on the subway.  We were going to make it a quick trip and hopped on the subway right after picking up our lattes.  I thought Harper might like all the colors, and I was right.  Her head was angled up the whole time.  

For more info on the Flower Show check out my post for Etsy NY right here.

View from the balcony
Bouquet of the Day by Kenji Takenaka

It is truly amazing and awe inspiring to wander up and down the aisles among all of these larger than life flower arrangements.   If you missed it this year, don't miss it next year!

Happy Spring!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Liberty Scarf Bandannas

If you have been a reader of my blog you know I am a fan of Liberty of London fabrics.  because of my background in textiles I appreciate the details and history of these beautiful fabrics.  Part of the kitchen line I am working on has some Liberty Bandannas.  Bandannas for the kitchen? huh?
These are bandannas that you can wear in your hair to keep it pulled back while you work.  You can also wear one around your neck.  You can roll it up or fold it in a triangle.  Many options.  In addition, some of these are double sided.  I also have started working on some styles that are patch worked.  The love of Liberty.  If you can't decide on which print to buy you don't have to.  Buy a patchwork bandanna.  What do you think?

The love of Liberty.

Have a great week!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Pocket Square News, The Winner is.....

The winner for the new pocket square design has been chosen.  Thank you to everyone who voted! It will be the Xanthe Sunbeam in red.  This colorway is from the 2013 collection. You may have seen it in J.Crew in a woman's shirt.

These Tansy flowers were hand painted and drawn using pencils and inks.  Inspired by the landscape that surrounds Abbey Garden on Tresco.   These cheerful red flowers have a stylish 50's look.  The center of the flower is a navy blue.

The winner of the new pocket square is Jenn from Firelight Jewelry.  If you didn't win, there is still a way you can have some sunbeam for yourself.  Visit my etsy shop.  If you are interested in ordering a large quantity for a wedding please drop me an email


Friday, April 4, 2014

Creating Color Story Boards

Grapefruit Pie at Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus Brooklyn

As a designer the first step in working on a new line was creating a story board with our inspirations and our colors we were thinking of using for the clothes we would be designing. We would use tear sheets from magazines,  pictures from art trips and spend hours pouring over pantones and trend reports.  I was in design school at a time when computers were starting to be used more.  I would scan my pictures into photoshop and tweek them in illustrator.  That was over 10 plus years ago.

I was reading a friend's blog, Lai Grai,  and she created some color palettes of her palette.  When we worked together at Purl she would play with her palette using skeins of yarn or embroidery floss.  So many colors to choose from! In her blog she talks about a color service called Stylyze.  She discovered Stylyze thru another blog called Leif.  What I love about reading blogs is that you learn about other great blogs! What an easy way to discover new inspirations!

Brookline Mass February 2014 Washington Street 
tan  and neutral threads from my studio

House in Sconset Massachusetts

And my favorite, the Hedgehog.

Hedgehog from Vogue Magazine
Looking for some inspiration?  Check out stylyze.